Observation: Tactics and Demonstrations

As many of you know, I do my absolute best to avoid learning about current events. (The gossip who tells tales cannot keep faith; shun therefore the society of blabber-mouths and busybodies.) But somehow it came to my notice that there was a “right-wing” (eh) protest in a Northeastern city last week. It seems that about twenty or thirty right-wing demonstrators showed up, whom the police vigilantly cordoned off from the rest of the population to protect them from ten thousand or more counter-protestors.

I don’t know what the reactionary consensus is, but I say this is excellent news. While in general I disapprove strongly of attrition, if it only takes twenty right-wingers who are willing to have their faces photographed for future harassment and disemployment to pin down ten thousand left-wingers, we should be encouraging appropriate allies to hold rallies is every city in the country, as frequently as possible. You can’t turn out ten thousand (let alone forty thousand or more) lazy leftists every single weekend for months at a time. They just get bored. The media audiences will get bored, so the journalists will get bored, so the attention-whores will get bored.

The only problem, of course, is that most cities prefer not to set up a heavily-defended 100-yard perimeter around “problematic” speakers. And that sets up an entirely different cost-benefit dynamic.

Oh, and speaking of current events: my wife tells me that Bannon is out. That seems like a bad sign, but the main thing I’ve learned about American politics in the last two years is that Donald Trump is much sharper than I am. When he replaced Lewandowski with Manafort, I was concerned that he was selling out his unconventional advisors in order to be received into the bosom of the GOP establishment. In retrospect, it seems that testing different lieutenants’ abilities and shuffling them around to maintain a maximally efficient organization is just what Trump does; he doesn’t see the world through the lens of Brahmin-kabuki so he doesn’t bundle personnel decisions with symbolic statements about his policy intentions.

I do fear that Trump, for all his excellent instincts, relies on his advisers for his ideals, and that he could eventually org-chart himself into a real dilemma. But he also seems far too aware of the value of branding (or, to put it in the vocabulary of a gentler age: the value of good faith and strong character) to abandon the electorate he has carved out for himself. I will continue to wait so that I may judge on the basis of results rather than relying on my own (inferior) political instincts. (By the way, all signs are that the purge of the regulatory bureaucracy is proceeding at lightning speed.)

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9 thoughts on “Observation: Tactics and Demonstrations

  1. > As many of you know, I do my absolute best to avoid learning about current events.

    So we *do* have something in common. But you do tend to pick up on them passively from what the tight-knit internet circles you inhabit are saying, anyway. And the occasional curiosity to look up a news aggregator.

    I do agree that Bannon was not quite as significant as hyped out to be. NAFTA renegotiations initiated by the U.S. Trade Representative began in the wake of his resignation. The coverage on the Afghanistan troop increase showed that it actually took effort to persuade him, and various past interviews show that Trump is not some opportunist, but has held his basic national-populist views for quite some time. Plus, Bannon being back at Breitbart means they’re going to up their coarseness again, making for the closest there is to mass-media Juvenalian satire. Not that I’ll be reading it, but still.

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    1. I really don’t inhabit any “tight-knit internet circles” – I hear news solely from my wife and my tennis partners

      >Not that I’ll be reading it, but still.

      surrrre I believe you 😉

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  2. Have you ever addressed the argument regarding IQ that “There are more differences within races than between races so checkmate bigot” argument? I have actually encountered this in real life recently and it has no convincing power at all. I can’t even see what it is supposed to prove. Any help?

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    1. I’ve written about that at obsessive length, but I don’t remember if I posted it on my blog.

      The basic problem is that the “differences within” one group give a *range* and the “differences between” groups compare their respective *mean values*. Bracket for a moment the question, “Why would information about the range be relevant to a question about the mean?” The really bizarre thing is that it’s not even clear *what it means* to compare the two numbers: are you supposed to literally subtract the range from the difference in the means to determine which is “bigger”?

      It’s infuriating and this is why I recommend laughing at leftists rather than entering into their mad thought process. (And bear in mind, that this is even *without* getting into important points about covariation, such that the principle components of the variance are more informative than any single variable.)

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      1. Thanks. That was where I was coming from. I am glad it wasn’t me. It gives me an actual headache trying to figure out what they think it shows.

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