Me and Bernie

Bernie Sanders (I, but really, DS, just like me, VT), is running for president, as you may have heard. He’s an interesting guy, and has many stances I agree with wholeheartedly.


In many ways, he’s the idea candidate, and would make a fantastic president! Seriously, it would be amazing to see him in the White House, with a solid Democratic majority in the House and Senate. The kind of lasting, positive change that could be created boggles the mind.

Here’s the problem: Bernie Sanders is almost 100% un-electable outside of Vermont. Having him as the Democratic party nomination would almost guarantee that we’d lose the general election. That’s assuming he can even get the nomination, which he can’t.

See, much as I like Sanders, I know he’d almost certain fail in the general election. Americans have a history of electing moderates. Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon, Bush (the first), Clinton, Obama, and many others were fairly middle of the road. The only times they’ve elected people who were to the extreme right (Reagan, Bush II), were when they thought they were electing moderates and got something very different. The only times they’ve elected someone on the extreme left…well, really, it’s only happened with Franklin Roosevelt, and then the country had about 33% unemployment and we were on the brink of an armed revolution.

Bernie Sanders is a proud socialist (which makes me wonder why he isn’t running for the Socialist party nomination, but never mind). Americans have no interest in electing a socialist, which says nothing good about our country, but that’s a different discussion. The public, who in general favor most of his position, would never vote for him because they think he’s too far to the left.

Now we do have to take a moment to explore that bizarre phenomenon. Most Americans are likely in favor of pretty much everything on that list up there. Most Americans agree that those are good things and should be done. Most Americans would also say that they’re centrists and wouldn’t vote for someone like Sanders. It’s a strange and unhealthy disconnect that we have.

But that’s even assuming Bernie could get to the general election as a Democrat. He can’t. He doesn’t have any of the money or endorsements that Clinton (who has earned all of her current status), has. That might sound like a minor thing, but it isn’t. It gives her a huge advantage heading into the primaries. It’s one of the major reasons that Joe Biden likely won’t run.

The poll numbers really tell the story. Much as the Sanders crowd likes to crow about how well Bernie is doing in the polls, the fact is that he’s severely behind Clinton at the national level. Just look at these numbers here. Polling not too far behind him is Biden.

So let’s consider. At the moment, Clinton has roughly 40% of the voters to Sanders’ 25.8%, with Biden at 20%. Once BIden officially says he isn’t running, which I believe will happen in the next few days, where do you think his supporters, who are establishment Democrats, are going to go? Will they throw their support in with Sanders? No. They’ll go to Hillary, and she’ll poll up around 55% with Sanders gaining maybe slightly to get to 30%. That does not a nomination get. That’s not even going to into things like his problems with any voters who aren’t white and middle class.

Now it’s not impossible that Sanders could get the nomination. If Biden announces that he’s not going to run and Clinton gets indicted for the email scandal (not gonna happen), then yes, Bernie might get the nomination. Maybe. More likely we’d see a surge in support for Webb or O’Malley. Sorry, Chaffee, but people raise an eyebrow at your Republican past.

It’s also not impossible that he could win the general election. If the Republicans somehow nominated Trump, or some right-wing lunatic like Cruz, then, yes, he’d likely stand a very good chance of winning. But that wouldn’t be because people support him; it would be because they’d be voting against the others.

Can you imagine, too, what a Sanders presidency would be like? You think it’s been bad with Obama, just wait until someone who actually is a socialist gets into office. The Tea Party would go insane, and the Republican-controlled Congress would stymie every single thing he tries to pass. Maybe he could get lucky with a Democrat sweep in the 2018 mid-terms, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Lastly, let’s take a moment to remember Howard Dean, and others like him who seemed like great candidates and appeared to be doing very well. These darlings of the left were fun and entertaining and utterly failed in the primaries. History is not on Sanders’ side.

Now all this said…I’m happy he’s running. He’s getting people interested in the election, and that’s good. He’s also forcing Hillary to track to the left, at least a bit. That’s also good! Further, it’s helping Hillary to be more prepared for the general election, and that’s no bad thing.

So support Sanders if you must. Be happy that he’s running. But make no mistake: it’s not going to happen, and hopefully he’ll be smart enough to drop out of the primaries early, support Clinton, and get her into the White House. If he then were to become Secretary of Labor, I’d be one happy camper indeed.

Amazing, if True!

So Blogtor Who is reporting that Big Finish has signed-up David Tennant and Catherine Tate to reprise their roles as the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble, respectively, in an upcoming set of Doctor Who audios. I believe there’s only one correct response to this.

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Now this hasn’t been confirmed by Big Finish, but currently I have no reason to doubt Blogtor Who, which is generally regarded as a fairly reliable website. Time will tell, of course, but I will say that if this is true, I’m very excited. Donna was easily the best new series companion, and I’d be very, very happy to have her back.

Good Job, Queen!

So Queen Elizabeth II has beaten out her great-great grandmother to become the longest-reigning monarch in British history.

Good for her!

Elizabeth II has been a great asset to the British as they transitioned away from Empire and into the Commonwealth. She’s been a steadying influence during times of crisis from World War II, throughout the Troubles, on up to the 7/7 attacks and beyond. It is true that her role is almost entirely symbolic, but that’s ok; there’s nothing wrong with having basically a powerless mascot for your country.

So good for the Queen and good for the UK!

Congrats to you!

Congrats to you!

A Day of Rest

Today is Labor Day, and thanks to my new job, it’s the first paid holiday I’ve had in several years. Hooray!

It’s worth taking a moment today to remember the sacrifices made by the labor movement to give us the benefits we enjoy now. Sick days, minimum wage, anti-child-labor laws, paid holidays, vacation time, overtime pay, the 8-hour work day, the 40-hour work week…all these things and more are things you owe to the labor movement in general and to labor unions in particular.

And so let’s take a moment to appreciate what people fought, and sometimes died, to bring about. Let’s also remember the distance we still have to clear. Let’s provide mandatory sick time for all workers, especially those who handle your food. Let’s provide better unemployment insurance and better job training for unemployed workers. Let’s provide mandatory breaks for all workers, not just those in states that require it (Arizona doesn’t). And let’s continue to fight for equal pay for women and family leave for everyone.

We’ve made a lot of progress, but we still have far to go. Keep up the struggle!


All religions are fundamentally terrible. They’re all predicated on a lie about the basic nature of reality, and humanity would be better off without all of them. Yes, we hear the biggest complaints about Christianity and Islam, but let’s not forget that every religion is terrible.

Case in point, Hindu. Here we have a story about a young man who fall in love with a woman from a higher caste, ran off with her, and as a result his sisters were sentenced to be raped. Because religion.

Lest you cry that, no, this sort of nonsense isn’t part of the Hindu faith, let me point out that the caste system in India is entirely based on religion and has no connection to the real world.

All of the people in this story, from the young man and his wife, to his sisters, to the village council, are all prisoners of a really shitty religious belief that says that your position in life is mandated by the gods, and there you shall stay. IF you’re lucky, you’ll be reincarnated in a higher, better position.

What a stupid concept. What a stupid religion. What a fucking horrible group of people who would do and allow this sort of crime to come up.

Religion absolutely does poison everything.

Another Fire Fail

So it looks as though faulty arson science resulted in yet another likely innocent person spending almost three decades behind bars. At least in this case, unlike in the Willingham case, the person in question wasn’t murdered by a state more obsessed with revenge than justice.

I’m to the point now where I think the government should have to go back to every arson conviction that was issued prior to 2000 and review them; possibly with new trials for all. Yes, this would be expensive, but so what? We know that much of the evidence used to convict people of arson prior to about 2000 or so was extremely faulty and not worthy of being called “science-based” in any way. It is therefore worth it to go back and look at every case.

There’s really no down side here. If the new science upholds convictions then great; we know we got it right despite the faulty science that existed before. But if even only a handful of convictions turn out to be wrong, well, at least we’ve done what we can to fix the situation and can hopefully make it up to the victims.

How to Be Ignored

Here’s a simple lesson in how to be ignored.

So this lady lost her audience (a group of liberal socialist-leaning Democrats), about eight seconds into the video. She never regained them. They ignored her message. Why did this happen?

First off, she hijacked the mic at an event where someone else was going to be speaking. That’s fairly rude, and a guarantee that people will focus more on your methods than your message.

Second, she started out her position in an area that’s pretty much going to be a no-go forever. Yes, the land that everything in the Americas stands on was stolen from the Indians. You know what else? The land the British occupy was stolen from whomever was there before the Celts by the Celts, stolen from the Celts by the Romans, stolen from the Romans by the Angles and Saxons, stolen from them by the Danes, and stolen from them by the Normans. The Italian peninsula was stolen from the Etruscans by the Romans, and then stolen from them by the Huns, and from them by…well, so many different groups…

The point here is that all land is stolen from someone else at some point in time. There is no fix for this. We should stop doing it, and largely have, but there’s no way all white people in the USA are suddenly going to decamp for Europe and return the land to the Indians. It won’t happen. Bringing it up in a situation like this is pointless.

Next, telling your largely white, very liberal audience how racist their city is, and how terrible gentrification is (I’ve never understood why), isn’t really going to win you any points from them. Sure, you can talk about systemic racism and generational poverty, but pointing at the only people who are a: likely to be sympathetic to your cause, and b: are in a position to do something about it, and telling them that they’re the problem…yeah, that’s just not going to fly.

Lastly…ugh. All she does as she stands up there is give ammunition to our enemies. The Fox News crowd likely ate this up, and many moderates and liberals, myself included, were rolling their eyes so hard you could have hooked a generator to them and used them to power the west coast. She comes off as a shrill, liberal stereotype, and that doesn’t benefit anyone.

What should she have done to get her message across? Moderate it quite a bit, and then get permission from the organizers of the event to let her talk. She still might have been ignored, but having a small number of people focus on your message, while the rest ignore you, is far, far preferable to having basically everyone ignore you and focus on your methods.


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