Drinking Liberally Virginia Beach Chapter Blog

November Meeting Reminder

Join us to discuss the recent election and anything else you care to talk about on Thursday, November 14, at 6 p. m. at Croc's 19nth Street Bistro, 620 19th Street, one block from the Virginia Beach Convention Center (map).

I trust you voted in Tuesday's election. When we voted, a poll worker offered me an "I voted" sticker. I turned it down, as I always do. I believe that persons who don't vote should wear stickers, maybe something like "I'm a poll shirker," but that's just me.

In the meantime, here's some reading to occupy you as dusk comes earlier and earlier:

Paul Krugman offers a theory as to why Elizabeth Warren's very existence seems to push Wall Street financiers' buttons.

In no surprise to anyone, an ex-Facebook employee reveals that Facebook doesn't care about election integrity. In a related piece, Common Cause's Yosef Getachew explores the disturbing implications of Facebook's decision that truth is what people think.

At Psychology Today Blogs, Ira Hyman explore the news bubble that Donald Trump frequents. Also at Psychology Today Blogs, Joseph Pierre explores the enduring appeal of conspiracy theories.

The Las Vegas Sun's publisher, Brian Greenspun, argues that we are teetering on the edge of the Rule of Lawless.

My old Philadelphia DL friend Brendan Skwire suggests that, in the impeachment inquiry, the principle tactic of the President's defenders to keep moving the goalposts.

Jenice Anderson reports on a disturbing study that indicates that persons who complain most vociferously about biased reporting can't separate news stories from opinion pieces.

Will Bunch discusses the American history that you--and I--weren't taught in school.

Finally, UW Professor David P. Barash cites precedent.

Local Election Information, Part Three

Today's Virginian-Pilot had additional articles about the upcoming Virginia Beach elections. I commend them to your attention:

Virginia House of Delegates District 83: Nancy Guy (D) vs. Chris Stolle (R)

Virginia Beach Treasurer's Office

Virginia Beach School Board

In addition, they addressed this race, which covers primarily the Eastern Shore, plus a little bit of Norfolk:

Virginia House of Delegates District 100: Rob Bloxom (R) vs. Phil Hernandez Jr. (D).

You can see maps of the districts at VPAP.org.

Local Election Information, Part Two

Local Election Information

Over the past couple of days, the Virginian-Pilot published several in-depth articles about the upcoming state and local elections in Virginia Beach. At our last gathering, several folks expressed dismay about how to learn about the local races, so I decided to share the articles with you.

Two Virginia Beach City Council special elections. (Note that, regardless of which Virginia Beach district you live in, candidates for all practical purposes run at-large. The reasons for this are deep in the history of the city and I won't go into them in this email. Just vote for every seat that's on your ballot.)

Virginia House of Delegates District 85: Rocky Holcomb (R) vs. Alex Askew (D).

Virginia Senate District 7: Cheryl Turpin (D) vs. Jen Kiggans (R).

Virginia Senate District 8: Missy Cotter Smasal (D) vs. Ralph DeSteph (R).

Please join us at our regular gathering on Thursday, November 14, to discuss the election results.

October Meeting Announcement

I've had touch of a cold and look forward to toasting my recovery with you on Thursday, October 10, at 6 p. m. at Croc's 19th Street Bistro, 620 19th Street, one block from the Virginia Beach Convention Center (map). In the meantime, here's some interesting reading I've found:

Will Bunch describes how Donald Trump is lowering the Barr.

Lawyers, Guns, and Money is stunned that studies confirmed the obvious.

Professor of Law Joseph Kennedy points out a quid pro quo rrequires no magickal incantation to be a quid pro quo.

Brendan, who I used to chat with at the Philadelphia DL, explains that facts really are what people think.

At the Las Vegas Sun, Peter Wehner speculates as to how the Republican Party, which once styled itself as the party of rectitude, morphed into an association of acolytes of amorality.

Susan Estrich discusses what makes Donald Trump a not-Nixon.

At AL.com, Kyle Whitmore argues that "your civics teacher lied" to you about the rule of law. (Are there still such things as "civics teachers"?)

In an interview with Gary Marcus, Harry Shearer explores how AI might indeed be artificial, but is hardly intelligence. (The interview is about 50 minutes long; you may want to download it to your favorite podplayer and listen to it at your leisure. Since "social" media is all about the algorithm, this is well worth a listen, as is Shearer's regular weekly show.) On the same topic, Bobby Azarian discusses studies that indicate that AI reflects the prejudices of its designers.

Professor Lane Crothers, blogging as PoliticalProf, pictures the Disinformation Superhighway.

Gordon Weil argues that the Trump administration is the ultimate outcome "running the government like a business."

And, in closing, Rocky Mountain Mike offers a tune of the times.

Good-Bye Dorian, Hello September Meeting

I hope everyone got through the storm with minimal inconvenience and no damage, and I'm looking forward to sharing Dorian stories on Thursday, September 12, at 6 p. m. at Croc's 19nth Street Bistro, 620 19th Street, one block from the Virginia Beach Convention Center (map).

One of the things I found distressing about the coverage of the storm was the cluelessness of the coverage in not connecting the dot between the increase in severe weather and our changing climate. To paraphrase Thom Hartmann, the U. S. news leaned heavily to hurricane porn.

Here's some other pieces I've found interesting:

At Psychology Today Blogs, Noam Sphancer tries to figure out why Donald Trump is obsessed with President Obama. Also at Psychology Today Blogs, Pamela Paresky explores the language of dehumanization and how it fosters an "us vs. them" mentality.

David Atkins offers a theory as to the dilemma the press faces in trying to present "balanced" op-ed pages. In related news, Jeet Heer investigates the travails of a soreheaded snowflake.

Leonard Pitts, Jr., argues that a "return to normal" is the last thing we need.

NorthJersey.com reports that the police may be "Ringing" at your door.

At the Hartford Courant, Gary Yohe and Michael Mann discuss the other kind of climate change.

Ewan Morrison travels the Disinformation Superhighway.

And, finally, Tom Tomorrow reassures us that we can rest easy because Sherlock Trump is on the case.

August Meeting Announcement--Interesting Times

Join us on Thursday, August 8, at 6 p. m. at Croc's 19th Street Bistro, 620 19th Street, one block east of the Virginia Beach Convention Center (map).

My wish has become not to live in interesting times. Here are some interesting articles about our interesting times.

At AL.com, George Wallace's daughter sees disturbing echoes of her father's racist tactics in the actions of Donald Trump. In a related topic, Connie Schultz argues that Democrats who think they can ignore Donald Trump's racism are, as my old boss used to say, in error.

Dana Milbank sardonically argues that Baltimore must be deported because it has no place in Donald Trump's vision of America. Meanwhile, Solomon Jones marvels at the capacity some have for forgetting where they came from.

At Psychology Today Blogs, Steve Taylor discusses the characteristics of the form of government which he dubs "pathocracy."

Lalo Alcaraz envisions the re-institution of the Federal death penalty. Will Bunch delves into the motives for that action, as Susan Estrich struggles with the same topic.

Sue Carlton of the Tampa Bay Times explores Florida Republicans' persistent efforts to gut out the vote.

Bruce Lowry abhors a tweet storm of hate from New Jersey's Sussex County Republican Party (despite its name, Sussex County in New Jersey's northernmost county).

Glen Geher explores the downside staying glued to your screen.

Ravi Chandra suggests that the psychological underpinnings of white nationalism include narcissism and tribalism.

Again, I'd rather live in much less interesting times.

A Tankard, Not a Tank: July Meeting Announcement

Join us on Thursday, July 11, at 6 p. m. at Croc's 19th Street Bistro, 620 19th Street, one block east of the Virginia Beach Convention Center (map).

Here some interesting reads I've encountered since last we met:

Eugene Robinson is bemused by the "Never-Trumpers," who seem to think that Democrats are obligated to nominate a Republican who meets their approval. An old friend from my Philly DL days is more blunt. In a similar vein, Lane Crothers is bemused by the double-standard in coverage of the two parties.

Joyce Vance argues that there is indeed a crisis at the border: a humanitarian crisis. The Sacramento Bee's Gil Duran remembers a Holocaust survivor he used to know and reminds us that a concentration camp by any other name is a concentration camp and that quibbling over what to call Donald Trump's concentration camps for kiddies is nothing more than a misdirection play. Tangentially, the subhead (superhead?) on this story from Der Spiegel takes two cakes and a side of ice cream.

Robert Klose fears that facts will fail to faze Trump's supporters. On a somewhat related theme, Matthew Hutson investigates how and why persons clearly remember stuff that never happened.

Elie Mystal reminds us (and Joe Biden, but he's not listening) that the past is not even past.

In an issue that's striking close to home, a Seattle trauma doctor comes out firmly against the proliferation of rental scooters because they are dangerous. On a personal note, I got buzzed by two bros weaving down the sidewalk on them at last year's sand sculpture exhibit; I personally believe them to be a plague and a menace that should be banned from public streets and walkways.

The New York Times explains how Big Data is using your "smart" phone's Bluetooth to follow you around as you shop. (Me, I keep the Bluetooth and GPS turned off unless I am actively using them and even then I'm dubious.)

And, to close on a positive note, Shaun Mullen sees a bit of hope.

June Meeting Reminder and Suggested Reading List

Join us on Thursday, June 13, at 6 p. m. at Croc's 19th Street Bistro, 620 19th Street, one block east of the Virginia Beach Convention Center (map).

Here some interesting reads I've encountered since last we met:

Lane Crothers explains Trump's Trade War Kabuki. He also offers an-only-slightly-tongue-in-cheek explanation of what went wrong with the "information superhighway."

In the Hartford Courant, Richard Brown and Ron Formisano argue forcefully that the term "American Heartland" as it is currently used is woefully out-of-date.

In a decade-old clip from an interview with Keith Olbermann, George Carlin predicts the present.

Connie Estrich, who went to law school with Attorney-General William Barr, wonders what happened to the William Barr she knew.

At Psychology Today Blogs, Paul Ekman offers a list of traits which he believes characterize effective U. S. Presidents; I submit that you will find the list interesting in the light of the behavior of the current incumbent. At that same site, Adrian Picoctic explores the psychology of political personality cults and Bryna Siegel examines the effects of the internet--particularly the effects of "social" media--on public acceptance of objective fact.

Speaking of "social" media, Ed over at Gin and Tacos tells the tale of a person who followed the Facebook algorithm into the right-wing rabid hole. If you are heavily invested in "social" media, I commend this article to your particular attention.

The recent spate of harsh anti-abortion laws passed in Southern and Midwestern states has garnered much publicity. At AL.com, Dr. Alan D. Blotcky questions Alabama Republicans' claims that these laws are all about the sanctity of life.

At The Roanoke Times, Terron Sims bluntly protests the glorification of traitors.

The Virginian-Pilot remembers the Norfolk 17. I can say that they had it rougher than the first black kids to integrate my own school, just 40 miles north of Norfolk. Honest to Betsy, some white teachers wore gloves so as not to have to touch their papers . . . .

Tuesday is primary day in Virginia. Remember that the one vote that is certain not to count is the vote not cast.

May Meeting Reminder

Join us on Thursday, May 9, at 6 p. m. at Croc's 19th Street Bistro, 620 19th Street, one block east the Virginia Beach Convention Center (map).

Since last we met, the torrent of news has been unrelenting. There have been several mass (or attempted mass) shootings, leading Dick Polman to muse on the right-wing's reluctance? refusal? to give creedance to an alarm sounded ten years ago about the danger of lone wolf white supremacist terrorists.

In a scathing piece in The Roanoke Times, Jeff Thomas calls out the myths that white Southerners, particularly Virginians, have told themselves to put a pretty face on slavery, secession, and the Civil War.

Paul Krugman explains why "Republican expert" is an oxymoron.

Llewellyn King makes a persuasive case that Donald Trump is the logical outcome of the notion government should be run "like a business," pointing out that Donald Trump is running the government just as he ran his businesses.

Greg Kesich examines Russian efforts to divide Americans and offers a reason why Republicans seemingly have no objection to them. In a related piece, Eric Hazeltine suggests that the success of those efforts demonstrate a deep understanding of the exploitation of psychology and tribalism.

Regarding another item in the news, the North Jersey Record takes a deep, insightful look into how vaccines and vaccinations became controversial, noting, almost in passing, that Russian trolls used this issue as another vector for fomenting divisiveness.

Steve M. tries to make sense of right-wing logic.

Loren Soeiro inadvertently offers a field guide to the Trump administration.

On the "social" media front, Ira Hyman wonders whether we can save ourselves from the flood of falsehoods on "social" media. Martin Longman looks at the dilemna Twitter faces in trying to deal with racist twits. And Jim Wright puzzles over why he got put in Facebook jail for some unspecified thing he "may have" (to quote the notice he received) done.

And, to close on a lighter note, Non Sequitur memorializes the first corporate board meeting. (By the by, the Pilot has not printed my letter to editor about its dropping Non Sequitur, in which I wrote, "I understand why you dropped Non Sequiter; I disagree, but I understand. But could you please replace it with something at least mildly amusing?")

See you next week.