Some Items

Peter Beinart has written an intriguing article for Atlantic magazine titled “Why Trump Supporters Believe He Is Not Corrupt.” From the beginning mariner has been confused by the blind eye of Trump followers who insist that he is not corrupt. Peter provides an insight:

“Trump supporters appear largely unfazed by the mounting evidence that Trump is the least ethical president in modern American history. When asked last month whether they considered Trump corrupt, only 14 percent of Republicans said yes….”

“Once you grasp that for Trump and many of his supporters, corruption means less the violation of law than the violation of established hierarchies, their behavior makes more sense.”

To Donald’s followers, the idea that a woman would become President is untenable. Oddly, they called Hillary corrupt from the beginning. The core realization for us is that Donald’s followers long for the traditional image when men were men (especially white men) and social rank was important. The social changes since Barack became President (talk about a violation of hierarchy) are both socially and economically threatening. Donald’s followers are against cultural change; Donald’s choice of words stirs feelings in his followers that things are being put back where they belong; Donald calls a spade a spade, and so forth.[1]

A forthcoming book titled “How Fascism Works,” by Jason Stanley addresses this phenomenon in detail.

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Mariner often uses the term ‘class.’ It turns out, upon further reading, that the term class is not well received among those who study such things. Class has so many variables, definitions and criteria that identifying a person within a unique class is virtually impossible. One example that confuses is that a librarian, expected to be more educated and likely have a college degree, is paid only a fraction of what a laborer makes in a factory. Still, there is a line drawn between working with one’s hands and those who do not.

Mariner, like most folks, uses ‘class’ to define economic status; broadly speaking, a lower class, a middle class, an upper class and the absurdly wealthy. The argument is made that Americans are preoccupied with capitalistic comparisons but economic ratings are not reflective of reality. Dollars do not classify a human being by race, sex, morality, intelligence, lifestyle, suppression, criminality, profession, or geography – just to mention a few. In other words, an amount of dollars does not classify the empirical reality of a living human being. Perhaps it may be more accurate to describe individuals by their lifestyle and behavior rather than the number of dollars they have. A frequent observation is made of ‘working class’ individuals who win the lottery for millions of dollars; they don’t change their behavior very much despite the opportunities massive assets may offer. Further, a person may be very wealthy and be President of the United States but behave no differently than a New York City mob boss.

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Another note from Chicken Little about privacy and data mining by corporations: The Associated Press (AP) asked Princeton University to investigate whether Google continuously tracks your location even if you turn off that option. Google says that will prevent the company from remembering where you’ve been. Google’s support page on the subject states: “You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored.”

That isn’t true. Even with Location History paused, Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking.[2]

One cannot own one’s life without privacy. Has this item brought us back to the first one that deals with fascism?

Ancient Mariner




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