We Need an “Era of Good Feelings” II

Remember the “Era of Good Feelings” from elementary history? The Era of Good Feelings was a period between 1815 and 1815, when James Monroe and Democratic-Republican Party trounced Rufus King in the 1816 election, thus ending The Federalist Party’s long run as top dog in American politics. It was the first time one political party took over for another.

Federalists and their allies were pissed, of course, but they let the transition happen, holding back their bitterness for the sake of the country. Everyone wanted the nation to expand. Thus, they were mature and put aside their egos for the greater good.

Americans of that era knew the peaceful transition of power was essential not just to good governance but to the entire American experiment. They knew partisan politics was beside the point.

They had to show the world that our revolution would be maintained. So, rather than peddle conspiracy theories or trying to rain on Monroe’s parade, the Federalists and loser Rufus King bottled up their feelings and went about the business of government. They didn’t criticize the other party; they put on a happy face and did their jobs like adults.

In this era of remakes and sequels, can we get another Era of Good Feelings? No one’s asking you to be happy, folks – please, just pretend, for the sake of the nation.

National Park$

While the Trump Administration debates tax cuts for wealthy people, his Interior Dept. is considering raising entrance fees for national parks, which are meant to be open to the public.

“Targeted fee increases at some of our most-visited parks will help ensure that they are protected and preserved in perpetuity and that visitors enjoy a world-class experience that mirrors the amazing destinations they are visiting,” said high-flying Interior Sect. Ryan Zinke, whose friend just won a huge contract to restore power in Puerto Rico.

Oh, Good!

Forget Skynet. Humanity may be fucked by a simple AI error. From WSJ:

“….There are no established methods to test AI for safety, fairness or effectiveness. Error-prone or biased artificial-intelligence systems have the potential to taint our social ecosystem in ways that are initially hard to detect, harmful in the long term and expensive—or even impossible—to reverse. And unlike public infrastructure, AI systems are largely developed by private companies and governed by proprietary, black-box algorithms.”