Sunday, August 20, 2017

Exit strategies Part II: Surprising aspects of the 25th Amendment

Is there an exit strategy, in case the crazy gets even worse? Given the rapidity of events, I decided to offer a second weekend posting with some urgent perspectives.

You'll recall that last time I posed “four options.”  Among those exit strategies, I urged that we look away from impeachment, which would only serve the interests of those who provoke this phase of civil war. (Don't go there!) Indeed, as the clinical symptoms displayed by President Trump grow ever more extravagant, folks have started to stare longingly at the 25th amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Yes, you've seen articles lately discussing this option... all of them extremely shallow and missing a key point we'll reveal here. But for starters, do give it a careful read, because things could get critical very fast. The pertinent stuff starts here:

'Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.'

Note this line in particular: "...or of such other body as Congress may by law provide..." 

Hence Congress can establish, by law, a commission of sages who may - in coordination with the Vice President - declare the President unfit to discharge his duties. Interesting. But has anyone, especially in Congress, actually thought through the implications? 

The group that one might normally expect to invoke this amendment — the Cabinet — is filled with Trumpists and some bona fide crazies. They will at best be slow to act on any Vice Presidential request to declare POTUS incapacitated… and hence the VP may also hesitate to ask, even at some critically dangerous moment. 

But consider that other body the 25th talks about. Note: there is no prescribed time sequence, so an alternative commission could be created in advance, and thenceforth serve as a warning to the President, to remain calm. In order to be established "by law," over-riding a presidential veto, the 'other body' would have to be bipartisan.

Moreover, this commission would be able to act - in concert with the VP - almost instantly, should POTUS issue bizarre or especially dangerous orders, offering a way for sane grownups to cancel some crazy action or command. The mere existence of such a commission might ease the pangs of our Officer Corps, knowing they would have a place to turn, if some spasmodic-insane order came down.  I know of nowhere else that they could turn.

Without such a Congressionally established commission in existence, the VP would have to assemble the Cabinet behind the President's back and persuade a majority to betray the man who hand-picked them and to whom they owe everything. Which path do you think is more likely to act as a brake on sudden, spasm-lunacy?

The 25th Amendment continues: "Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office."

There it is again. The "other body" or Congressionally-appointed commission - in conjunction with the VP - may then reject the President's demand to be reinstated... sending the matter for decision by Congress. A 2/3 vote is then required in both houses to keep POTUS suspended. 

Thus we have an answer to anyone who claims this step would bypass the popular will, or create undue burdens on the presidency. There are several places where 2/3 majorities are required from both houses, plus cooperation from the Vice President... a far steeper set of obstacles, by the way, than is required for impeachment.

"Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office."

It is infuriatingly unclear what happens during the four days that Congress has to assemble and the 21 days it has to deliberate. I would assert that during those 25 days the VP is in charge. The Supreme Court would almost certainly have to decide.

What is clear is that there’s a way for Congress to lay groundwork in advance, to protect the Republic from an unstable president. A commission can be established... right now... that waits, ready to bypass the Cabinet in this one matter, but still requires both consent and courageous leadership from the Vice President. 

As a way to firm-up its trust and moral authority - especially since establishing it requires a law and hence likely an over-ridden veto - any such commission should be nonpartisan. I'd envision it starting with all the former presidents, vice presidents and retired Supreme Court Justices, plus an array of mighty American notables. (I'd add all U.S. winners of the Nobel Prize.)  And recall, that commission would be backed by the Constitution itself and empowered to cancel or postpone any rash presidential order, by exercising its right to hand reins over to the VP for a limited time.  

The circuit breaker for a mentally ill president is already provided for... if Congress chooses to use it. Note also that Senators and Representatives who might balk at a rush to impeach and remove might go along with simply creating a commission that could elevate the veep for a few days.

Even if such an action has only brief effect and POTUS is reinstated — recall it takes 2/3 of both houses to prevent that — the effect will still be to assure a pause for calm and reflection, during which any rash orders may be put on hold.

Believe me, I see flaws in this as well!  Given that Mike Pence is a member of an end-the-world-as-soon-as-possible cult, and has expressed utter devotion to Donald Trump, I am only somewhat eased.  

Still, I have to wonder. Do you think Congressional leaders are even aware of all this? Has anyone, anyone at all, worked it out down to this level? That the U.S. Constitution itself would support establishing a commission of sages in advance? One that would thereupon be able to act swiftly to protect us?

== ADDENDUM: Someone has, indeed, thought of it... ==

Since posting this, I stumbled across proof that others noticed the same thing. Alas, though, it's a Democrat.  And his well-meant efforts may have harmed, rather than helped promote such a commission.

"Rep. Jamie Raskin’s (D-Md.) bill seeks to create the Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity to fill a role outlined by the Constitution’s 25th Amendment, which sets up presidential removal procedures."

This article is inaccurate and inflammatory in a few ways. But it shows that back in May Rep. Raskin at least noticed and pondered the inner meanings of the 25th. There's real overlap with my approach, but with emphasis on the commission being much more medical in nature: 

"Raskin wants to provide a specific “body” comprised of 10 physicians, psychiatrists and retired former leaders — like presidents and vice presidents — chosen by House and Senate leaders of both parties."

This could be a basis for negotiation about the actual bill, which would have to pass both houses... likely by 2/3 to override a veto. But I think Rep Raskin misses the point that even if Congress creates it, this "other body" cannot do a thing without the Vice President's cooperation and consent. The VP is central.

Moreover, this will be dismissed as partisan posturing, unless it is promulgated above-all by Ryan and McConnell, and they won't make any such move until it's almost too late.

So here's my clever political recommendation.  Staffers for Ryan and McConnell must discreetly approach a dozen important retired generals and admirals and ask them:

 "Do you believe that establishing such a commission in advance, so that the Vice President can act swiftly in a crisis, would enhance the security and safety of the United States?"

That's it.  If the response is yes, then it should happen. And history may remember those who prevented the simple measure.

(I will keep an eye on this Jamie Raskin fellow, though.)

== Another use ==

Okay, let me share a Doonesbury-level summer daydream. 

Such a commission — established for one constitutional purpose — could serve us in other ways. For example, by informally using the members' high-renown to help set up or endorse reputable fact-checking services that are beyond partisan reproach. 

Imagine both presidents Bush plus Obama, Clinton, Gore, Biden .... and Cheney and Quayle ... joining Sandra Day O'Conner and a dozen other luminaries saying "facts exist and here are several groups we trust to debunk all the lies going around."

Nothing would help us more than some process by which Americans could declare “our greatest sages and best minds say that’s false. So let's put at least that lie behind us.” 

== One way Bannon was right ==


My new posting pattern is to use the first half to address urgent news... and then seguĂ© to some of the less-urgent ruminations I've stored up.  So here we go with part 2.


While his malignant influence was partly responsible for the illness, I do agree with the departed-but-unlamented Dark Lord of the West Wing about one thing: the necessity of reversing the decline of U.S. influence, especially vis-a-vis trade and intellectual property. 

Moreover, those of you rejoicing over that decline have no idea, clearly, what the entire rest of human history was like before the 90% benign American Pax. (I agree that the bad 10% really sucked. Culpa nostrum. Now find another era with such a low ratio.)

Here is a very perceptive and articulate Australian view on Trump at the G20. It's actually the best summation of our situation that I've heard or read or seen, all in a compact, on-air report about POTUS effectively ceding leadership of the world to China and Russia. The background image - of the president of the United States, friendless, wandering the lunch table at G20 looking for any of the leaders willing to have him join them - would be heart-melting, if not so richly earned.  (Though thanks Australia… for Rupert Murdoch.)

But it all comes full circle to the weapon our enemies have used to put us into decline... fostering the failure mode that Arnold Toynbee called the destroyer of nations... the demolition of trust in our creative or knowledge castes.

More than half of the Republicans surveyed in a recent Pew poll say colleges and universities are hurting the country, a drastic shift from how the same group viewed such institutions two years ago. Alas, this article doesn't go to the heart of why. Every single fact-using profession is now warred upon by Fox and right-media... scientists, teachers, doctors, journalists, economists, judges, civil servants... and now the "deep state" FBI, Intelligence Officers and the U.S. Military Officer Corps. 

The Orwellian hate fest toward fact-people became essential, as they are the ones standing in the way of a re-imposition of 6000 years of feudalism.  And what do all fact-folks have in common?  Nearly all were influenced by the fact-using places called colleges and universities.

There's more to it, of course, and I explore the disease in more detail here: "Declining trust in our expert castes: what are underlying causes?"

To be clear, this extends to previously exempt groups of fact-users. Elsewhere I have gone on about how the FBI, CIA, and military officers used to be safe from the murdochians’ all-out war on sapient professions. Only now – prompted by the noxious “deep-state” meme -- confederates feel free to wage open war on those fact-people, too.

Civil servants have always been hated-on by the far-right (though Adam Smith extolled them as a counterweight against aristocratic cheaters.) But they were given safety by laws passed since the 1880s (by Republicans, no less.) I have a libertarian corner of me that is willing to discuss how bureaucracies are ever in need of being refreshed to prevent cloying meddlesomeness. Still, we have a civilization with rules and compromises that we agreed to by sovereign political processes.  And while politics has been (temporarily) destroyed by the murdochian-confederates, we still have a civilization to maintain, and civil servants are there to keep a complex society spinning.

Now comes an exposĂ© in Foreign Policy revealing how alt-righters are savagely attacking this final, fact-using group. Career civil servants often endure stressful working conditions, but in the Trump White House, some of them face online trolling from alt-right bloggers who seek to portray them as clandestine partisans plotting to sabotage the president’s agenda. The online attacks often cite information that appears to be provided by unnamed White House officials or Trump loyalists.

“The trend has unnerved the career intelligence analysts, diplomats, security experts, and military officers who are accustomed to operating outside the political arena,” write the authors Brannen, de Luce and McLaughlin.

The anecdotes in this article are deeply  disturbing. But above all they are indicative of the full breadth of this war upon any semblance of objective reality or sapience in American life or governance. The smart bomb question that I ask everyone to use, when they confront their mad-right-confederate uncles (or better-yet, their aunts, who might yet be swayed) is: “Can you name for me one fact-centered profession of high knowledge and skill that is not under attack by your cult?”

As it happens, there are two remaining groups who both have some degree of intellectual accomplishment, and are utterly exempt from the right’s War on All Smartypants.  They are:

Doctors of Divinity

… and…

… members of the CEO-WallStreet-Inheritance caste.

Both groups are beneficiaries of staggeringly huge tax breaks that they extort from us all, via dependent politicians. Both have everything to win, if all the fact-users are destroyed, or at least crushed into submission.

Both have helped to bring about the long-delayed Decline of the West.


78 comments:

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin in the previous comments:

Tim H, sorry but this is cockeyed: “We got The Donald because he made noises that could sound progressive, if one squinted just right,”

No that is not what happened. What happened was a festival of hate. Not so much racism (though it was there) as hatred of university/city/smartypants elites and their “facts.”


You're both right, kind of.

The rabid Trump supporters who still love him to this day respond to the "hate all smartypants" rhetoric.

But they alone were not enough to elect Trump. His win was a perfect storm of many influences, the absence of any of which might have still had Hillary squeak by. One of those influences was the fact that Democrats who were not all that happy with their candidate were able to convince themselves (or be convinced) that Trump wasn't actually all that bad for a Republican--that he was friendly to gays, that he didn't praise the Iraq War, and that he was a fixture of New York City.

Had progressives been as fearful of Trump as they were of Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio (for examples), we'd probably now be referring to "Madam President".

David Brin said...

In this earlier appraisal, I list half a dozen reasons why the dems would be crazy to fall for the impeachment trap.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/05/dont-impeach-plus-appraising-gop.html

So long as the Officer Corps is thoughtful and deeply concerned-prepared to do their duty by us, then I worry less about a spasm. Still, were Congress to go ahead and set up a "25th Amendment Commission," it would serve as a warning, that DT should stay calm. Also, the Officer Corps would then have a place to turn, in extremis.

Right now, such a commission is politically impossible. But my purpose is to have some House & Senate staffers know about this and ponder it well, in case a day comes when even Ryan's pack of ... realize their own lives might be at stake.

Do I expect this to happen? No. Should it be on the shelf, an option that's known and ready? Absolutely.

As for Mike Pence, he is a deep Dominionist whose central anchor is the Book of Revelation. See illustrated here the events that they actively pray to witness, soon.
http://www.electricsheepcomix.com/apocamon/

Moreover, the Trump White House leaks like a sieve, rendering it somewhat harmless. A Pence-Dominionist WH would be utterly disciplined; we'll have no clue what they are doing.

Hence, my aim would not be to eliminate Trump, but to have the option of rapidly ordering him to some Betty Ford Clinic for narcissists, cutting short some panic-driven spiral.

Tony Fisk said...

Bannon hasn't so much been fired as re-posted.

Hey! We didn't give Murdoch his American citizenship! He's still got influence a-plenty in Australia, with newspapers, Sky News, and the IPA think tank pulling Liberal Party strings. His influence and dual citizenship is ironic, given the brouhaha that's currently disrupting Parliament. Still, that's what can happen when a fishing expedition uses dynamite.

Fox's influence was described long ago in this short film, from 1943. Oh, it's propaganda, of course. Easily recognised. Easy to dismiss as being too obvious. Well, techniques for dividing and conquering suckers have evolved a little since then. That said, it's heartening to see incidents like this being reported.

Rich H said...

If we remove Trump then what? Pence may worse then Trump in that he could do some real damage to our country. I see it like jumping from the trying pan into the fire!

David Brin said...

Rich H while I agree with you, did it occur to you to actually read this posting before commenting?

Zepp Jamieson said...

Dr. Brin said: "Imagine both presidents Bush plus Obama, Clinton, Gore, Biden .... and Cheney and Quayle ... joining Sandra Day O'Conner and a dozen other luminaries saying "facts exist and here are several groups we trust to debunk all the lies going around.""

The bull goose Alex Jones conspiracy nutes would just snort and say that you've just identified the "deep state". The problem isn't just that Trump is nuts: his supporters and political allies are, too.

Jumper said...

I was wrong about un-informed Civil War buffs with the Nazis. They were all Nazis or Nazi sympathizers. Trump was 100% wrong, not 99%

David Brin said...

Zepp. Their confederate coalition utterly depends on holding onto the Ostrich Republicans. This commission could yank millions of heads out of their denial holes.

Laurence said...

The republicans would be fools to replace Trump with Pence. The things Trump has that repel liberal actively attract conservatives. "hate speech" becomes "plain speaking" "aggression" is "charisma" "rudeness" is seen as "humour" etc. By contrast, boredom is the one truly non-artisan emotion. Mike Pence generates this in spades, he has all the charisma of a dead tadpole. Replace Trump with Pence and the Republicans will be utterly crushed.

David Brin said...

Sorry Laurence. They would bolster Pence with terrorist reichstag fires and he would offer "strong father."

Paul451 said...

From the last thread:

David, to Duncan,
"I keep telling you and you simply will not listen"

IMO, it was you who weren't listening to Duncan. You have imagined him as your fantasy of a naive lefty idealist, and that's who you are asplaining to.

Instead, listen to what he is saying: Your "blue dog" strategy has been tried before. It. Doesn't. Work. Voters just don't vote for them.

Outside of the US it was called "third way" politics, centre-left parties all adopted it, and it briefly gave them government, but voters on both the left and the right grew quickly to despise them. Those "third way" parties responded by adopting more and more of the characteristics and policies of the centre-right and right-wing parties, and eventually voters just turned around and voted for the real thing. As Duncan said, why vote for GOP-light when they can have the original full-strength version. Your whole strategy tells them that they are right.

This objection is not about ideology or purity. It's about effectiveness. Your "blue dog" type candidates don't win elections even when they run as Republicans in Republican primaries. They can't win when they are not only sensible conservatives, but also carry the brand-name that conservative voters are loyal to. So why the sweet monkey Jesus would it work when they carry the brand-name that conservative voters are trained to hate?

What works is promising radical change and being a little bit crazy. Strip away the identity politics and cultural shibboleths and look at the campaigns that the elected Republican politicians ran on, up to and including Trump. Challenging the "mainstream", attacking "Wall Street", denouncing "fat cat" politicians and bureaucrats. Lies, but that's the message that the vast bulk of conservative voters are drawn to.

Not sensible negotiation, not centrist policies. Changing the system, overthrowing those in power, putting power in the hands of the people.

Oh, does that language remind you of another group? Yeah, the left. It's the same message, just with a different flavour sachet.

You are obsessed with the idea of winning over people like Tim2, calm sensible conservatives who dislike modern Republican politics but aren't willing to embrace Dems because of the lefties, or whatever justification they've created for themselves. But people like Tim aren't the path to winning back the US.

The trick to winning is to convince the kind of angry conservatives that the current Republican strategy was designed around. That's the "Judo" move. To use their own campaigns against them, to take their base out from under them.

Jumper said...

I do think people who try to analyze the last election by following the logic of the voters is playing a fool's game. The elections are won by illogical emotion. That is, the winning is determined by fools who trump the logical of both sides.

Here's a quote I ran into today:
"Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders than the arguments of its opposers."
-- William Penn

LarryHart said...

Paul451:

Instead, listen to what he is saying: Your "blue dog" strategy has been tried before. It. Doesn't. Work. Voters just don't vote for them.

Outside of the US it was called "third way" politics, centre-left parties all adopted it, and it briefly gave them government, but voters on both the left and the right grew quickly to despise them. Those "third way" parties responded by adopting more and more of the characteristics and policies of the centre-right and right-wing parties, and eventually voters just turned around and voted for the real thing. As Duncan said, why vote for GOP-light when they can have the original full-strength version. Your whole strategy tells them that they are right.


It worked briefly for Bill Clinton, and enough to get him a second term (though not to hold onto congress). I think it fails because the left-leaning party loses sight of what the strategy was about in the first place and starts thinking "They voted for us because we're just like Republicans" instead of "They voted for us because we were on their side on economic issues."

Blue Dogs in strong-Republican areas might work if they show voters that they (the Blue Dogs) don't insist on abortion-on-demand or gun control or tearing down Nativity scenes in the town square, but will vote to protect their health care and to keep their food and water safe and to maintain critical infrastructure. Bernie Sanders had popular support, even in red states, but red states weren't going to vote for representatives of his ilk if the Democratic Party insists on running only those who are leftists on social issues. There are visceral issues that some voters simply feel they must vote against, even if the opponent they put in place is bad for them economically.

Democrats will never get the vote of white supremacists or Christian Dominionists. If they try to be "Republican-lite" to get those votes, you are correct that they will fail. But the voters who voted Republican because they are afraid of what a Hillary nominee would do to the Supreme Court, but who are now begging/threatening the Republicans they voted into congress over health care? The ones who (incredibly) voted for Trump because he'd drain the swamp while Hillary is a creature of Wall Street? The ones who voted for Trump because while he violates every tenet of Christianity, he'd be good for "Christian" issues while Hillary would not? Those voters might be reachable with--might even hunger for--an economic populist who just isn't as scary as Democrats seem to them.

Obs said...

I think it's pretty obvious that Dr. Brin is calling for a mixed strategy. Basically, tailoring the candidate to the district, with an emphasis on targeting the personality and temperment of the voters in question. Some districts will respond well to a Bernite-style leftie, others to a ramrod straight Marine officer.

Can you guys offer any reasons to think that a Bernie leftie would do well in a deeply red district given the massive temperamental and cultural chasm between voters and candidate?

Ps. I will acknowledge that the Democrat name is anathema in some districts. Ideally, they should start a third party of sane conservatives that can make an electoral pact with the democrats. Democrats agree not to run candidates in deep red districts, and the sane coservatives agree to help implement a shared platform if and when they get into Congress.

Deals like this are done in other democracies, I don't know how feasible such things are in your system.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Dr. Brin wrote: "This commission could yank millions of heads out of their denial holes."

It could. But I think Trump himself is doing a fine job of that. Marist had a poll Friday that showed Trump support collapsing to the mid thirties in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan--states he carried in November. Some Republicans in Congress--about 10% of them--are attacking Trump directly, and the rest are trying to pretend he doesn't exist. Vociferous defence of him in Congress seems to have vanished.

In short, your commission would be preaching to the choir. Not a bad thing, but more or less in the role of a pebble in the stream. The minute it flexed its 25th Amendment muscles, the Trumpkins would be out in force, calling them "deep state minions" who purvey "fake news." That would be enough to justify inaction in Congress. And an impeachment much be bipartisan, or it will backfire badly, as you noted.

Oh, I got a response from that guy who attacked you for saying Heinlein would have little use for Trump. He wrote, "Heinlein would have recognized the fake news media for what it is: a Marxist (odd that Google thinks "Marxist" isn't a word) propaganda machine that you anti-Trump fools are falling for hook line and sinker..." at which point I quit reading. In his eyes, we are sheeple.

LarryHart said...

Zepp Jamieson:

Oh, I got a response from that guy who attacked you for saying Heinlein would have little use for Trump. He wrote, "Heinlein would have recognized the fake news media for what it is: a Marxist (odd that Google thinks "Marxist" isn't a word) propaganda machine that you anti-Trump fools are falling for hook line and sinker..."


A significant number of fellow American voters believe this shit. Remember the guy who kept posting Pizzagate links here? He seemed sincerely incredulous that we could ignore such "evidence" and continue to support Hillary.

I watched that 1947 anti-propaganda film that someone linked above, and I felt tragic nostalgia for a time when that message would naturally resonate with most Americans. These days, I'm afraid a third or so of my fellow Americans would be nodding their heads in agreement with the Nazis in the film, and some of the rest would be saying "I don't agree with their anti-Catholic/Jewish/businessman/etc policies, but the rest of them are spot-on!"

I fear for the future.

LarryHart said...

On internet platforms banning sites like "Daily Stormer"...

On the one hand, I'm happy to see it. OTOH, I understand all too well how that sort of decision-making power can be captured by supervillains as well as heroes. While I'm rooting for one side in this particular case, I don't know whether I consider the precedent to be a good thing or a bad thing.

One side effect I'm glad to see, though, is the right-wing calling for treating internet platforms as public utilities available to all on a content-neutral basis.

The only way reforms get done in this country is when the right-wing is the aggrieved party. Liberals have wanted to treat drug addiction as a medical crisis rather than a criminal proceeding for decades, but it's only happening now when right-wingers are having an opioid crisis. I'm convinced that if a Republican ever wins the popular vote for president but loses the electoral vote, the electoral college will be eliminated or neutered the next day. Maybe we'll get net-neutrality out of this dust-up after all--a concept that was being abandoned when Comcast and its ilk were to be the arbiters of what gets through on the net.

LarryHart said...

I've been waiting for Jim Wright to weigh in, and he doesn't disappoint...

http://www.stonekettle.com/

...
As my fellow Alaskan, writer and journalist Shannyn Moore, said, “Remember when hating fascism didn’t make you a liberal?”

When did standing against fascism, against hate, against racism, against Nazis – Nazis – become a liberal thing?

When did defending sedition, treason, fascism, hate, violence, murder, genocide, intolerance, racism, slavery, and Nazis become a conservative thing?

I mean, you would think we could all agree on this – even if it is the only thing we can agree on.

You would think that we, we Americans, we could all agree that standing against fascism, against white supremacists, against the Klan, against Nazis for fucks's sake, wouldn't be a left, right, liberal, conservative, republican, democrat thing.

This is an American thing.

This should be the one thing we all agree on.

This should be the one thing our leaders, no matter their party or ideology, should agree on.

This is the one thing we all must agree on. Without caveat. Without qualification.

If you must qualify your denouncement of fascism, of Nazis, of the Klan, of the Confederacy, of slavery, of evil, with a “but” in the middle of your sentence, you’re the problem.
...

LarryHart said...

The 89% solar eclipse in Chicago looks as if it will be obscured by clouds.

At least we have tv and the internet. I hope to see coverage from downstate Carbondale, where the eclipse will be total.

LarryHart said...

There's a cosmic balance to the universe. Chicago got a Cubs World Series win, but then we had to be denied the eclipse. A little over an hour ago, at the peak of the coverage, the sky was full of clouds which almost looked like rain (although the eclipse probably made them seem darker than they actually were). Now that it's all over, the sun is throwing shadows again outside.

Looks like the clouds moved in just at the wrong moment, and then said "Our work is done!"

locumranch said...



More & more, David turns to false dichotomy to always argue that 'more is better if some is good'.

David quotes Toyenbee out-of-context in the last thread in order to make this very 'more is better if some is good' argument about diversity. In context, while Toyenbee argued that societies who invest in a liberal diversity of "creative minorities" may DELAY social collapse, he neither argued that any society could use diversity to AVOID collapse in an indefinite fashion, nor did he dispute that societies who over-invested in cultural diversity tended to hasten their collapse as in the case of Rome & its 'diversity' of Visigoths.

In the sense of society being a metaphorical stew, a little cultural diversity adds 'spice' to a meat & potatoes culture, whereas too much metaphorical 'spice' in combination with an insufficient culture of meat & potatoes renders the metaphorical social stew unappetising, inedible & unsustainable.

David makes this same 'more is better if some is good' argument in this thread as he mourns our declining trust in our expert castes, never recognising that a dramatic 'more is better' increase in the number of experts must necessarily DECREASE the relative value of individual expert opinion in almost all cases.

In the sense that 'too many cooks spoil the stew', I term this the 'dueling specialist' phenomenon which provides self-evident 'proof' that 'less is often better than more' as evidenced by the chaos that ensues when a preponderance of experts opine conflicting directives as to the better or 'best' course of circumstance-dependent action.

Similarly, it is intellectually dishonest to argue that 'some is bad if too much is worse ', as most of you do when it comes to ethno-culturalism, fascism, cultural homogeneity & conservatism. You also contradict yourselves when you invoke the 25th Amendment while arguing that you can preserve our Society's respect for political & executive branch authority by destroying it utterly.

'More is better if some is good' & 'some is bad if too much is worse ' are LOGICAL FALLACIES, and you condemn this our Society to doom & gloom by these your irrational indulgences.


Best
_____
King Lear, Act 1, Scene 2: "These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to us: though the wisdom of nature can reason it thus and thus, yet nature finds itself scourged by the sequent effects: love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide: in cities, mutinies; in countries, discord; in palaces, treason; and the bond cracked 'twixt son and father.

David Brin said...

Paul451: “Instead, listen to what he is saying: Your "blue dog" strategy has been tried before. It. Doesn't. Work. Voters just don't vote for them.”

And all this means Paul, is that you aren’t listening, either. You are zero summing, assuming it is either or. When a good army sends desert troops to fight in the desert and mountain troops to fight in the mountains.

“What works is promising radical change and being a little bit crazy.”

Bah.

 Obs said...
I think it's pretty obvious that Dr. Brin is calling for a mixed strategy. Basically, tailoring the candidate to the district, with an emphasis on targeting the personality and temperment of the voters in question. Some districts will respond well to a Bernite-style leftie, others to a ramrod straight Marine officer.”

Thanks. You are welcome here.

Zepp I agree the Trumpists are not worth an argument. Still, before signing off, ask them if they had evber studied what marxism means? Better, cut and past in one of the following.


If Any of these are true, then your movement is not a political party, it is a dangerously insane and incompetent cult.

1-   Can you name for me one profession of high knowledge and skill that’s not under attack by Fox/Trump &cohorts?  Teachers, medical doctors, journalists, civil servants, law professionals, economists, skilled labor, professors… oh, yes and science. Thirty years ago, 40% of US scientists called themselves Republican, now it is 4% and plummeting. They are voting with their feet, the smartest, wisest, most logical and by far the most competitive humans our species ever produced. 
http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-mistrust-of-science?linkId=25842187

And now? The US military and intelligence officer corps! Yes, this is not your daddy's conservatism. When your screeches of hate are directed at every fact-profession... and every fact-checking service is automatically "politically biased" because they keep finding your side "pants on fire" crazy... it has started to occur to us that we do not need to play sumo with you - pushing our web pages against yours.

You are simply crazy. Period. (Oh by the way, how come your cult never offers to negotiate a fact checking service that's non-partisan? Because you know what will happen. It will turn against the confederate cult, because facts hate you.)

David Brin said...


Back to those NAME AN EXCEPTION lists:

2- NAME ONE major metric of US national health that did better across the spans of either Bush administration than across the spans of the Clinton and Obama admins.  You cannot. Nearly all such metrics declined - many plummeting - across Bush regimes. Nearly all rose, many of them by a lot, across both DP terms. The record of almost perfect mal-governance would make any sane or scientific-minded person flee the GOP screaming and never trust them again.

Clinton & Obama scored better in every category, including rate of change of deficits and military readiness and every sane conservative desires. Quibbling-wriggling-squirming will not change that.  And Clinton-Obama were sabotaged 3/4 of the time by the laziest and nastiest (GOP run) Congresses in US history.

3- Name one GOP leader between Reagan and Ryan who was even mentioned at the 2016 Republican Convention. Except for Newt, all were brushed under the rug, including both Bushes, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Dennis (friend to boys) Hastert, Tom (convicted felon) DeLay, Boehner. In fact, name a republican between EISENHOWER and Ryan who was even mentioned by the party at the RNC, other than Reagan and Newt! This shows how writhing ashamed Republicans are, of their record at governance. How desperate they are, to double down on the insanity with new heroes, shouting "squirrel!" and pointing offstage at ever-greater hallucinations, rather than face the fact that their side has gone insane.

4- Name one of the dark fantasies about Obama, from black UN helicopters and taking away all our guns, that happened or was even tepidly tried.

5- Name one time when Supply Side (Voodoo) "Economics" made a successful prediction? One? Ever? One time when slashing taxes on the rich led to reduced deficits and to vastly stimulated economic activity, or even much investment in "supply" capital? Once. One time when this cult religion actually delivered?

6- Name one other time in American — or human — history, when an administration spanning 8 years had zero scandals or indictments concerning malfeasance in the performance of official duties. It has happened twice in American — or human — history. The administrations of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Name another!

David Brin said...

Locum knows Toynbee the way a toe manicurist knows how to build a spacesuit.

And he is part of the chain of catastrophes that have been inflicted no by God or bad fortune or the stars, but lunatics.

LarryHart said...

@Dr Brin,

Did you get to see the eclipse?

I didn't, but only because of cloudiness.

Paul SB said...

Many years ago I was doing research for an osteologist friend, helping get a report written, and she referred me to a very eye-opening article. It was about a bit of a mystery mesolithic archaeologists were having a hard explaining. For decades they had been finding carcasses of animals killed by hunter/gatherers that had not been completely stripped of meat. They could tell from the age ratios that the animals that were being left with meat on the bones were ones that had been killed in winter and early spring - the famine months. This did not make sense, until a team working in the Black Mesa region near Four Corners decided to do some in-depth nutrition research. The cuts of meat that were left on the bones were the leanest cuts. Researching the nutrition end, what they found out was that the proteins in eat are especially difficult to digest, requiring a lot of calories to get them through the alimentary canal without most of the protein coming out the other end. They calculated the amount of energy the hunters were getting from the meat they had eaten, and then the amount of energy that would have been required to digest the lean meat, and found that those hunters would have starved to death if they had eaten all the meat off their kills.

We have been told for a long time that we should be eating lean meat because the triglycerides and cholesterol will kill us in a number of nasty ways. But when you eat lean meats your body starts to crave calories to help digest those proteins. Since the rise of agriculture what has always been available to turn to has been grains and potatoes. The result is obesity and metabolic syndrome.

So meat and potatoes is not a good thing, it's a recipe for a painful, preventable death. A diversity of vegetables and fruits serves us much better. If you have to have meat, eat less of it but leave the fat, so you don't end up overdosing on starches. Meat and potatoes is not a good thing.

donzelion said...

"2- NAME ONE major metric of US national health that did better across the spans of either Bush administration than across the spans of the Clinton and Obama admins."

While it hardly went far enough, the "Medicare Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003" did expand drug coverage and made some necessary changes and appears to have prevented cost growth in medicare dramatically (some economists attributed 60% of the slowdown to 'part D'). Of course, since it banned Medicare from negotiating drug prices (and since insurance companies have perverse incentives), total costs continued rising (perhaps slower than before), and a handful of insiders discovered how to raise prices for 'specialty' drugs (not subject to bulk discounts negotiated by insurers) so they could trade profits from trading drugs like other securities.

Trump has played it both ways on what he intends to do about drug prices. With the CEO of Merck withdrawing from his photo op 'council,' I would expect
(1) Trump will have it both ways and do almost nothing
(2) Trump will claim victory and declare how he saved the system
(3) Trumpists will believe him, attributing 100% of any cost increases to Obama, and ignoring any other facts
(4) By 2020, there will be a handful of billionaires who specialize in brokering "specialty drugs" (but who are general known for other lines of business, like 'securities')
(5) Relatively few people will die from denial of these specialty drugs, but they will cost 10-100x in America what they cost in other countries

donzelion said...

Larry: re "bannning sites like "Daily Stormer"...

Generally, there's a bandwidth limitation on any website that is hosted. Daily Sturmer was a routine target of DoS attacks, which would throttle it into inaccessibility. The hosts had an option to allocate significant resources to ensuring it remained accessible, or to refuse to do so.

"The only way reforms get done in this country is when the right-wing is the aggrieved party."
Not the only way, but it does become a massive affair. When a liberal Pasadena Christian church criticized Bush 2's war in Iraq, it was investigated and its tax exempt status called into question. When Obama continued the same policy, it was proof of the 'war on Christianity' - and the IRS/Justice Dept. got tied into knots.

"Maybe we'll get net-neutrality out of this dust-up after all"
Doubtful, but I've heard nothing at the carrier level, only the ISP. Have you?

donzelion said...

LarryHart: Oh, and bear in mind, there's always the Justice Department seeking data from DreamHost to identify IP addresses for anyone who used liberal sites.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/18/opinion/justice-department-dreamhost-site-trump.html?mcubz=3

Indeed, this 'digital dragnet' ought to arouse significant concern and interest here. If we actually believe sousveillance has any possibility of working, cracking down on hosts and monitoring anyone who attempts to sousveil may chill the possibility.

LarryHart said...

donzelion:

"Maybe we'll get net-neutrality out of this dust-up after all"
Doubtful, but I've heard nothing at the carrier level, only the ISP. Have you?


I saw a print article this morning--it was either the Chicago Tribune or the New York Times--in which the right-wingers were using verbiage like "should be regulated like a public utility." I don't know if the role of a Google or GoDaddy is sufficiently distinct from the role of a Comcast for rules to constrain one and not the other, but I think it makes it harder to argue that "private companies have the right to discriminate based on content" if you're also arguing for everyone to have equal access to web hosting.

David Brin said...


LH we hosted a street party for the neighborhood… a card table and a lensed solar viewer and eclipse glasses. Maybe 40 people to gather and view the 60% coverage

Kewl

Donzelion. Medicare Part D is a huge badge of shame for republicans. When dems pass new entitlements, it is always with provisions to pay for it. The GOP/Bush did no such thing for Part D.

LarryHart said...

There are a few comics fans here. Anyone else read "Elephantmen"? It's set in a kind of dystopian future in the year 2260. I've been reading it for it's 70+ issue run, and I just now noticed that it's always cloudy and drizzling in that world's Los Angeles, and that that's a joke.

Paul SB:

For decades they had been finding carcasses of animals killed by hunter/gatherers that had not been completely stripped of meat. They could tell from the age ratios that the animals that were being left with meat on the bones were ones that had been killed in winter and early spring - the famine months. This did not make sense, until a team working in the Black Mesa region near Four Corners decided to do some in-depth nutrition research


I find that tale amazing for a different reason...that someone can tell which meat was and was not eaten off of such old bones, and in which seasons to boot.

Dr Brin:

LH we hosted a street party for the neighborhood… a card table and a lensed solar viewer and eclipse glasses. Maybe 40 people to gather and view the 60% coverage


Well, 60% of something is better than 89% of nothing. Stupid clouds!

The one in 2024 will apparently have Austin, TX in the totality, so if my daughter gets accepted into UT, we'll be golden!

Paul SB said...

Larry,

"I find that tale amazing for a different reason...that someone can tell which meat was and was not eaten off of such old bones, and in which seasons to boot."
- This is why experts in a field should be taken seriously. The average person doesn't have a clue what can actually be done in any field that is not their own, so all they have to go is "what everyone knows." Most often "what everyone knows" is a good century out of date.

Our eclipse is a fun example. While being checked out at the grocery store I asked the clerk, "Did you see that dragon try to eat the Sun a few minutes ago? I sprinkled some habanero sauce on it and the dragon spat it out again." The clerk thought it was funny. There are still people who think that eclipses are caused by Satan and you can be possessed during one. Once I left a dinosaur video for a substitute while I was at a meeting, and the kids the next day said the sub was freaking out, claiming that dinosaurs aren't real and asking how could they possibly tell what they looked like? If you don't know, find out before you criticize. But who does that? That would take time away from hurling insults at people on FacePalm.

LarryHart said...

Paul SB:

Once I left a dinosaur video for a substitute while I was at a meeting, and the kids the next day said the sub was freaking out, claiming that dinosaurs aren't real and asking how could they possibly tell what they looked like?


I thought Jesus rode dinosaurs.

Can't these people even get their own stories straight?

matthew said...

Dr. Brin (being formal because I'm about to disagree with your prognosis, again) -
You're misunderstanding the nature of both Sanders' and Trump's appeal last election. They were both successful because they were not representative of their parties' leadership and messaging. Sanders went the route of the European Center-Left with a mild case of socialism as a panacea to our problems. Trump offered white nationalism, hate, and bluster to a party used to hearing dog whistles instead of "plain talk." Both explicitly ran against the party apparatus.

Both of these approaches outperformed expectations precisely because the majority of Americans when polled, show a preference to "neither of the above." Because there is no viable third party and no negation option on the ballot, *anyone* offering a different path is looked at seriously. The hatred for both parties is so strong right now that the only way to succeed nationally is to have a large degree of repudiation of the status quo in the winning message.

Running to the center in "enemy territory" will just produce more weak-sauce losses. If the goal is to revitalize the 35% of liberals in a deep-red district and strip away low-information independents then something "new" must be presented. Since no third party can get onto enough ballots to win massively nationwide, then the challenge must come from the extreme within the party.

It's the only move that will generate the necessary enthusiasm and the (most deeply needed) separation from the national identity of the party.

While I agree that some level of Blue Dog strategy would succeed to a small degree in some areas, the overwhelming victory required to beat back gerrymandering and cheating will only come by tapping new energy and enthusiasm.

Remember that I got the prediction right about the last election before you dispute this strategy. Learn from your mistakes, because you are making another one by assuming most voters will accept the same old shit by the same usual suspects (the center-left or right).

matthew said...

BTW, I'm not telling the "colonels" not to run. I'm saying that they should get a strong primary challenge from the Left. If I'm correct, then the leftist should win. If not, then the "colonel" can win.

But the DNC *must* not be seen to have a preference in the fight. And *must* throw resources behind the winner.

Because the DNC cannot be seen to represent the status quo anymore. Absolutely must not throw their weight into the primary fray.

Unless the idea is "rope a dope." I could see a lot of success in a strategy where the DNC moved to support the weaker candidate. People hate them enough for that approach to be successful.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Larry Hart said, "I fear for the future."
With reason. And when propaganda is winning, that raises the anxiety, since we are capable of great foolishness when leaders resort to clever lies.
But I was watching Trump's speech tonight, and reminding myself that they are lies, and thus can be brought down, and the lies we're seeing now aren't particularly clever.
Take tonight's speech; it almost sounded somewhat sane, at least to anyone who doesn't know Afghanistan is dubbed "The Graveyard of Empires" for very good reasons, until you get to near the end of the speech, where he proposes demanding a consortium between India and Pakistan to help extricate the Yanks from the mess they've stuck themselves in. Nothing but clear skies there, you betcha!
Of course, he betrayed his 'anti-globalist' base once again. He can only kick them in the nads so many times before they start wondering if that isn't just a tummyache they got from Obama.

Doctor Brin: I didn't have time to waste on that particular speciman, but I very frequently ask people to define their bugaboos, whether it's socialism, communism, globalism or collectivism. Only rarely do I get an answer, and it's even rarer to get a coherent or even logical answer.

They get very upset when I point out that the national defence is the ultimate socialist endeavour.

David Brin said...

Matthew I understand Trump/Sanders very well. I doubt you do.

Trump extrapolated and leaped aboard a frothing, rabid animal and whipped it into a rage that its earlier masters never expected.

Bernie Sanders is a mainstream liberal democratic politician with some quirks, like calling himself an Independent for decades while caucusing with the DP and working hard on pragmatic, Rooseveltean legislation. He clamps down hard on commie shit while egging on one moderate-left reformist faction or a moderate-pragmatic party.

The weird thing here is that you actually actually think these are similar phenomena.

The following is a study in nonsense. “Running to the center in "enemy territory" will just produce more weak-sauce losses. If the goal is to revitalize the 35% of liberals in a deep-red district and strip away low-information independents then something "new" must be presented. Since no third party can get onto enough ballots to win massively nationwide, then the challenge must come from the extreme within the party. “

Bah and utter bah. The voters in those districts will spit in the eye of a Santa Monica liberal. An alternative “strong father” based on decency and maturity could kill the loony version.

“BTW, I'm not telling the "colonels" not to run. I'm saying that they should get a strong primary challenge from the Left. If I'm correct, then the leftist should win. If not, then the "colonel" can win.”

Go ahead and tun as a santa monica liberal in a red district. I am fine with this. Except that the lefty may actually win the primaries in many southern college towns. And then we’ll get bupkiss.

Viking said...

@LarryHart
Kimberly, OR, 12 miles north of center line, clear blue sky, nearly two minutes of total solar eclipse. Watching the corona was great!

Theoretical crazy idea: Flying a SR71 eastwards in the shadow of the moon, it should be possible to watch the eclipse for at least an hour, at around Mach 2.

locumranch said...



Zepp, Matthew & Larry_H "fear for the future", quite rightly, as they witness the collapse of popular, comfortable & official narrative.

Experts contradict each other on a regular basis. The expert archeological & anthropological data about ancient human dietary habits cited by Paul_SB supports a Paleo Diet narrative while contradicting more than 75 years of 'Food Pyramid' dietary expertism that promoted more affordable complex carbohydrate & grain rich diets at the expense of more expensive but healthier meats, fats, fruits & nuts. David promotes a narrative that exalts progressive US administrations & blame shifts all shortcomings to the conservative contingent, while ignoring the bipartisan nature of US political establishmentarianism.

Donzelion tacitly supports censorship & abridged Free Speech for unpleasant political groups like the Daily Stormer, while objecting to conservative attempts to censor liberal & progressive speech in similar fashion.

All-of-the-above forget the hard won lessons of the past 75 years. Even when confronted by inherent contradiction, they resort to confirmation bias as they abandon empiricism in favour of magical thinking. They preach inclusiveness while they exclude all that they deem 'deplorable'; they demand those authorities & freedoms that they would deny to others; and they stand dumbfounded when their actions engender equal & opposite reaction.

You are liberals who have abandoned liberalism & progressives who have repudiated progress. Unlike most of you, I remember the proposed March through Skokie in 1977, one supported by the ACLU & extensive legal argument, and you can refresh your deficient memories at the Huff Post link below:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/geoffrey-r-stone/remembering-the-nazis-in_b_188739.html



Best
_______
The USA & its allies sold arms to both Iran & Iraq during their 1980-1988 war. The 'why' of it? The USA & its allies wanted BOTH SIDES TO LOSE. This is why a majority of US voters supported Sanders & Trump iconoclasts during the last election. This is also why Zepp, Matthew & Larry_H fear for the future. The voting majority wants BOTH SIDES TO LOSE.

Tony Fisk said...

@viking: Not crazy at all. Flying a jet to chase the shadow of the Moon has been done using Concorde.

"Jesus rode dinosaurs" brings to mind a rather silly game Neil Gaiman recently ran on twitter, which asked folk to submit photos of dino statues whose accuracy was beyond debate.* Someone submitted a di(n?)orama of a Union soldier being plucked off his mount by a hungry refugee from the Cretaceous. A more poignant example featured dino roadkill near Perth. I'm afraid all I could muster was a report on the new exhibit at Winton, which is interesting, but not quite in the spirit of the thing.

* As in: no debate required.

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Paul451 said...

Obs,
"Can you guys offer any reasons to think that a Bernie leftie would do well in a deeply red district given the massive temperamental and cultural chasm between voters and candidate?"

"Deeply Red districts" are not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about blue-collar areas that previously have voted for Dems, but have swung to Republicans because Republican candidates are the only ones talking about their economic pain. The fact that the Republicans are lying doesn't change the fact that they are the only ones who are consistently blaming someone, and therefore acknowledging that the pain is real. (I suspect that a similar strategy would work in Deep Red districts, but only by primarying cookie-cutter Republicans.)

The moment a Dem (or a Dem-running indy, like Sanders) gets traction with would-be-Republican-voters on economics, you get "sensible" Democrats hand-waving away whatever they are talking about ("Trump voters aren't poor, therefore..."); or going back to identity politics, implying (or stating outright) that people only vote Republican because they are racist. The simple fact is that Sanders did better in rural, white areas than in the Democrat heartland. He did better in the rust-belt states eventually that elected Trump. He spoke only on the economics; if someone tried to bring up gun control or some other Democrat merit-badge issue, he waved it away, "We can't talk about that until we solve the economic issues."

The weird thing is, the Clintons, of all people, should have understood this. Bill won by running as an outsider on a pure economics campaign. Hillary was beaten in 2008 by an outsider running on a campaign of literal "change". Nearly beaten by an old shouty Jewish socialist from New England, and actually beaten by a bored, distracted incompetent. And as near as I can tell, the Democrat leadership still haven't taken the hint.

In the end, Trump was the only one talking about jobs, and Wall Street, and "insiders", and "your country being taken away". So they voted for him. The fact that he was lying didn't matter, the fact that he then filled his cabinet with Goldman Sachs insiders didn't matter, at the time he was the only one in the game.

[David keeps arguing against an imaginary version of us. Who but him has mentioned "Santa Monica Liberals"?]

Tim H. said...

I think Hillary may have purposely diluted her economic message to keep the money in it's comfort zone, after all, no money, no campaign. On a brighter note, my wife & I found a spot north of Kansas City where the clouds were thin enough to enjoy a brief totality, our first, and likely last.

LarryHart said...

Viking:

Kimberly, OR, 12 miles north of center line, clear blue sky, nearly two minutes of total solar eclipse. Watching the corona was great!


Chicago is blessed with the best weatherman in the country, Tom Skilling. He did a broadcast from downstate Carbondale (100% totality) that was awesome to behold and really made me wish I had been there. If my daughter's high school hadn't already started so friggin' early in the year, a drive down there might have been in the cards.

What the cameras couldn't capture is the full effect of the "night" sky appearing at midday. I've heard Venus became visible right before totality. That would have been cool to see. What was visible was the full daytime off on the horizon (across a lake) while it was dark overhead.

Best of all was seeing so many people enjoying an event together that really has no socio-economic effect on their lives at all. One might wonder why, but I wouldn't dream of breaking the spell by doing so.

LarryHart said...

Breaking radio silence, as locumranch actually had a good point:

The USA & its allies sold arms to both Iran & Iraq during their 1980-1988 war. The 'why' of it? The USA & its allies wanted BOTH SIDES TO LOSE. This is why a majority of US voters supported Sanders & Trump iconoclasts during the last election.
...
The voting majority wants BOTH SIDES TO LOSE.


Which means the voting majority considers itself a separate thing from the government they supposedly have a say in. No one says "A pox on both our houses!" Wanting both sides to lose is the same thing as wanting the system to break down. If true, that's a death knell for a failed democracy. A functioning democracy should never come to the point of a huge majority feeling excluded.

If the voting majority wants BOTH SIDES TO LOSE, then the voting majority shares a goal in common with al-Quaeda and ISIS. I mean, what's the point of Trump's Muslim ban again? Why bar people from entry who mean us harm when we mean us harm? Is the idea to engage in protectionism for home-grown terrorists? Al-Queada and ISIS are taking jobs away from the KKK and Nazis?

Zepp Jamieson said...

All that happened here in Santa Barbara was the night-and-morning-low-cloud seemed a bit gloomier than normal. Thought about cruising up the pass above the fog, but 56% coverage and fighting traffic unused to mountain roads just wasn't that appealing.
Few years back we had a full annular eclipse at home in McCloud. It didn't go full dark like a total eclipse, but it got very dim, and the most striking thing was all the shadows got a double edge to them. The local coyotes did not like it, not one little bit.

Paul SB said...

On issues of diet, loco is illustrating one of the key flaws in conservative thinking - that if an idea has been around for a long time it must be right. His emphasis on high trophic level foods (meaning meat) is entirely typical, and is one of the key myths behind the Paleo Diet that has been catching on lately, and the Atkins Diet that was such a fad 20 years ago. Technical problems with the assumption that we have to eat meat every day to be healthy include misinterpreting the techniques used to estimate meat consumption in bones to overestimate meat consumption, and completely ignoring the fact that different people have different dietary needs, depending on size, haplogroup and lifestyle. Then there's the assumptions about evolution - that if that's the way it was for put cave people ancestors it must be the right way to do it. But your genes don't need you to live to be 80 to create and raise children, you only really need about 30 years. Meat gives you a rich source of protein, but the triglycerides and cholesterol in them do not lead to a long and healthy old age.

Here's some links to articles on the Paleo Diet. The first one is long but more thorough.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-paleo-diet-half-baked-how-hunter-gatherer-really-eat/

Rapid weight gain (mouse study)
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160218114753.htm

Acheulian plant diversity
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161205164935.htm

Multiple paleo diets
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141216082143.htm

Problem w/ medical advice
http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2012/06/02/154166626/the-paleo-diet-moves-from-the-gym-to-the-doctors-office

Meat & cheese as bad as smoking
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304125639.htm


He does have a point about the FDA's food pyramid. A lot of politics went into its creation. However, the weight they have placed on carbohydrates reflects the fact that this is what is available. The planet simply cannot support the number of humans on it if everyone were a "meat and potatoes" eater. We would need several more planets, or else have to kill off about six billion people to eat the most people from Indiana eat. I've probably mentioned my grandfather, who was a well-to-do civil engineer in Indiana. He believed, as did most Americans of his generation, that living the good life means eating steak for every dinner. He described having a heart attack as feeling like a truck was running over his chest for an hour or two. He died from his ninth heart attack.

That said, this is hardly an indictment of expertise in general. It only suggests that you need to carefully weigh the words of multiple experts, and be aware of what those people are actually experts in.

LarryHart said...

From today's www.electoral-vote.com :

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said yesterday that Congress will raise the debt ceiling on schedule, thus avoiding a threatened government shutdown. That there is a law limiting the amount of debt makes no sense at all. It is an attempt to repeal mathematics. If Congress passes bills raising, say, $3 trillion a year and passes bills spending $3.5 trillion a year, the government has to borrow $500 billion to make up the shortfall. A law saying that the government can borrow only, say, $400 billion, means the government will default on its debts, which is probably unconstitutional. If Congress wants a smaller debt, it has to either raise taxes or cut spending or both.


Does anyone know where to find the WWI-era statute which created the whole debt ceiling thing?

My understanding is that the debt ceiling was established, not to rein in spending, but to allow spending up to a point without congress having to micromanage the budget. Specifically, as the US was ramping up to go into WWI, the president (as commander in chief) was given authority to spend up to x amount without bugging congress about each line item. In modern terms, the president was pre-qualified to spend up to x amount on the war.

The restriction was on the president, not on congress. How did it become a thing where congress itself was constrained from borrowing more than a certain amount? As stated in the article above, this makes no mathematical sense. When Democrats ran the congress (before 1995), they operated under a theory called "deem and pass", which meant that if congress approved a budget which required a certain number of borrowed dollars, then by doing so, they were deemed to have raised the debt limit. Republicans repudiated this doctrine specifically so that they could hold the budget hostage to their unpopular demands. But I still don't understand how what was originally a pre-approval for the executive to spend up to a certain limit became a nonsensical limit congress somehow imposes upon itself.

Anonymous said...

Paul451,

What exactly is your objection to a mixed approach where you tailor the candidate to the district? There are districts where the Colonels will do well and districts where Bernie style candidates will have broad appeal, such as the blue collar areas you mention.

All Brin has asked for is adding a few more weapons to the arsenal without throwing away other weapons that are still effective. I'm struggling to identify the nub of your opposition.

Obs said...

Sorry that was me above.

LarryHart said...

Trump continues practice of consuming unpaid services (emphasis mine) ...

www.electoral-vote.com :


The Secret Service's mission includes protecting the president and his family, as well as investigating certain financial crimes. Unfortunately for it, the President and his children travel so much that 1,000 agents have already reached the limit of what the government can pay them for salary and overtime. The service is proposing to Congress to raise the amount they can pay agents from $160,000 to $187,000, but even if Congress agrees, about 130 agents would not be compensated for work they have already performed. A consequence of making agents work but not paying them has been serious attrition within the Service. When Barack Obama was president, Donald Trump constantly complained about him taking so many vacations and how much it cost the taxpayers. If Trump were to spend nearly every weekend in the White House, as Obama did, then the Secret Service would not have the problem it has now.

A.F. Rey said...

Speaking of Trump, did anyone else (other than Rachel Maddow) notice that one little line in his Afghanistan speech last night:

As the prime minister of Afghanistan has promised, we are going to participate in economic development to help defray the cost of this war to us.

Ignoring the fact that Afghanistan has no prime minister, does this sound to anyone else like a promise to exploit Afghani resources for our own profit?

(As Colonel Jack Jacobs quipped on the show, when he first heard the phrase, he imagined us harvesting poppies for the Afghanis... :) )

David Brin said...

How can you discover things you have no “right” to know, in fields in which you have no training////

AFRey thanks for that tidbit. Let the sacking of Afghanistan commence. What could go wrong?

Loc-liar claims that liberals abandoned liberalism. Liar. The ACLU fought for peaceful speech by assholes then and the ACLU fought for peaceful speech by assholes just last week.

Most liberals poll as favoring letting anyone speak on campus and they oppose the Berkeley fringe PC bullies. Moderates still run liberalism.

In contrast, you support your worst assholes with lavish media and elect them to high office. Liberals span a vast range and mostly are moderate. You are part of a lunatic confederacy that wages on war upon all fact professions and even your “moderates” are on the front lines.

Of course Republicans want both sides to lose! They aree shills of their plantation lords and those lords don’t want to curb abortion or make jobs or slap China. They was an end to politics! They want democracy and adult negotiation to end. That is why GOP Congresses have been the laziest in US history.

donzelion said...

Locum: "Donzelion tacitly supports censorship & abridged Free Speech for unpleasant political groups like the Daily Stormer, while objecting to conservative attempts to censor liberal & progressive speech in similar fashion."

"Free speech" means that the government cannot arrest you for improper speech. It does not mean that private platforms are forced to open themselves up to viewpoints they don't like.
Thus when Trump's Justice Department does a dragnet to discover IP addresses for people who posted or looked at photos of the protests following Trump's election - as with DreamHost - that is a threat to 'Free Speech.' When Twitter, Facebook or any other PRIVATE COMPANY constrains users, that is "free markets."

This is a fairly standard constitutional formula dating back decades that has never seriously been altered by any Democrat since the post-McCarthy era (save with exceptions for porn and copyright theft). Yet he feels vindicated when Trump usurps that same arrangement to go after one set of speakers, and feels threatened when private companies fail to do his bidding to enable another set of speakers.

And he denies having fascist inclinations...

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

Loc-liar claims that liberals abandoned liberalism. Liar. The ACLU fought for peaceful speech by assholes then and the ACLU fought for peaceful speech by assholes just last week.

I remember the 1977 Nazi march more than loc does. I lived in the suburb of Evanston at the time, which is just next door to Skokie. I was a teenager, but understood the idea that freedom of speech applies to all, not just to popular speech.

As provocative as that Nazi march was, it was primarily an expression of their words. I don't recall any open carrying of firearms or threats to the physical safety of the crowd. Today's Nazis are not just indulging in free speech, they're openly threatening violence to dissuade people from taking lawful actions that they don't like. This is not free speech, but an open declaration of war. Once someone violates the prime tenet of civilization, "I'm not at war with you as long as you're not at war with me," then they no longer have a right to hide behind the skirts of civilized norms themselves.

That's me, not the ACLU who is still defending their free speech rights. If anything, the ACLU seems to bend over backwards to favor defending right-wingers' rights moreso than those of lefties.


Most liberals poll as favoring letting anyone speak on campus and they oppose the Berkeley fringe PC bullies. Moderates still run liberalism.


Yes. I wish the campus lefties wouldn't act as if refusing to let someone speak is a good idea. We don't need Nazis of our own in order to defeat Nazis.

Intimidation is something else again. Force must be met with counter-force.


Of course Republicans want both sides to lose! They aree shills of their plantation lords and those lords don’t want to curb abortion or make jobs or slap China. They was an end to politics! They want democracy and adult negotiation to end. That is why GOP Congresses have been the laziest in US history.


I think you missed locum's one decent point, which is that a large segment of voters wants both sides to lose (and therefore, reasonably, voted for Republicans who want the same thing). To the extent that that is true, it is a danger to our country, and one that needs addressing. Why, in a supposed-democracy, do so many citizens feel dispossessed that they can elect Donald Trump as a "fuck you"? Pretending it isn't so won't help.

LarryHart said...

donzelion:

Yet he feels vindicated when Trump usurps that same arrangement to go after one set of speakers, and feels threatened when private companies fail to do his bidding to enable another set of speakers.


It's not just one person feeling that way. I stand by my assertion yesterday that when the right-wing's ox is being gored, we have a crisis that needs fixing. When someone else is the victim, then it's just market forces and the invisible hand that government shouldn't interfere in.

How else does Mitch McConnell have the balls to condemn Senate Democrats as "obstructionists"?

donzelion said...

Paul451: "The simple fact is that Sanders did better in rural, white areas than in the Democrat heartland. He did better in the rust-belt states eventually that elected Trump."

2008 actually follows the same model, albeit county-by-county maps hide this effect. Hillary won every big state with an organized Democratic party machine save Illinois; Obama won everywhere else. Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana ultimately went to Hillary, BUT rural, white areas of each state favored Obama, leaving him in close enough striking distance even in states and counties he didn't actually win.

I suspect the Clintons did understand this - BUT hoped Trump's flaws would override the problem. The Clinton campaign spoke far more 'loudly' about Trump's flaws than Hillary's plans...plans nobody really cared about. The Saturday Night Live and other crews loved to hate on Trump, but since Hillary was wonky, and nobody cared about her 'wonky' plans, the election became a referendum on 'more of the same ole v. something new.'

Both talked about jobs, Wall Street, etc. Few heard her speak. Not uncommon for women in general...

donzelion said...

LarryHart: "I stand by my assertion yesterday that when the right-wing's ox is being gored, we have a crisis that needs fixing. When someone else is the victim, then it's just market forces and the invisible hand that government shouldn't interfere in."

I see your point; the problem is in the remedy.

Want to ensure 'rightwingers' have 'free speech' rights on FB, Twitter, etc.? Nationalize all media and IT to make sure every nutjob has his 10 minutes to screech.

Want to ensure 'leftwingers' have 'free speech rights on FB, Twitter, etc.? Shut down a police investigation into websites.

That the two remedies are regarded as somehow being 'equivalent' illustrates the problem.
One side believes "political correctness" threatens national security - as if the nation will be overrun by AQ and ISIS unless you can say 'n1gger,' 'f@g' and 'k1ke' freely.

"How else does Mitch McConnell have the balls to condemn Senate Democrats as "obstructionists"?"
Esp. since McConnell's only real achievement was obstructing Merrick Garland's nomination. Yet whoever has the loudest, most expensive bullhorn can call the other side an obstructionist loudly...

Other than Medicare Part D (and yes, it's deeply flawed) - can Republicans point to a single thing they've done since 1994 that made America better? Safer? Stronger? Healthier? They certainly made a handful of Republicans a lot richer. And those rich folks can always hire a pool of Locums to spout drivel about threats to 'freedom.'

donzelion said...

Larry: An aside on the ACLU, here's a good article - http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-aclu-tensions-20170817-story.html

Essentially, the ACLU remains committed to the view that even odious speech must be protected from government restraint. I don't see that changing. Last month, the ACLU filed on behalf of Milo Yiannopoulos, of all people, just as they filed on behalf of the Charlottesville protesters to prevent them from being denied permits unfairly. There is, of course, a limit when the protesters advocate actual violence...

Paul SB said...

I just found an interesting article on how the simple-minded genetic determinism of ignorant white nationalists is backfiring on them. They are getting genetic tests to prove how Caucasian they are, and very few of them are getting the results they expect. Anthropologist Raymond Firth wrote a long time ago that whenever two populations meet, they may or may not bleed, but they will most certainly breed.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/white-nationalists-are-flocking-to-genetic-ancestry-tests-with-surprising-results/?WT.mc_id=SA_HLTH_20170822

David Brin said...

Who favors free and open speech? The nerve, Who fought against the fairness doctrine and got all the rebuttal rules (requiring broadcasters to offer a few minutes of rebuttal each night)? Rupert Murdoch screeched over it, the GOP rescinded it, and Fox hollers like mad at even a hint at its return. They know that just 5 minutes per day of factual rebuttal would tear them open like a matador and half their clientele would bleed away.

Funny thing, the "fake news" mainstream media isn't afraid of a rebuttal rule. They say "bring it."

The Fox model is based on an audience of dittoheads, nodding to incantations that must never be interrupted with facts.

donzelion said...

"Why, in a supposed-democracy, do so many citizens feel dispossessed that they can elect Donald Trump as a "fuck you"? Pretending it isn't so won't help."

Pretending it isn't so won't help, but neither will dwelling upon it to the exclusion of doing what can be done. Yes, there are cynics and nihilists in the world who stir up a ruckus and intrude upon our well-being and peace of mind. But we still have work to do. And eventually, even the nihilists still believe in something.

David Brin said...

PaulSB This raises a potentially effective – and hilarious – way to combat these groups. Show up at their rallies and hand out coupons for 23&Me…or some cheaper site… to get their haplotype inheritance markers tested. At minimum, you’ll roil their pot, isolating the extreme racial purists and getting them acting hateful to many of their own recruits! Even better, some of the marchers may get drawn toward both science and acceptance of complexity, plus identification with more than one simplistic (and actually nonexistent) “European” stock. Heck, talk those Silicon Valley types into doing this in a test somewhere, then see how effective it is. If so, then fund giving spit kits away at every rally!

LarryHart said...

donzelion:

"How else does Mitch McConnell have the balls to condemn Senate Democrats as "obstructionists"?"

Esp. since McConnell's only real achievement was obstructing Merrick Garland's nomination. Yet whoever has the loudest, most expensive bullhorn can call the other side an obstructionist loudly...


My point was that Mitch McConnell essentially invented obstructionism, or at least he could channel Hamilton as such:


I practiced [obstructionism]; I practically perfected it!
...


It's not just a matter of each side accusing the other of something. The "balls" is that he now can act as if obstructionism is a bad thing.

LarryHart said...

donzelion:

Hillary won every big state with an organized Democratic party machine save Illinois; Obama won everywhere else. Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana ultimately went to Hillary, BUT rural, white areas of each state favored Obama, leaving him in close enough striking distance even in states and counties he didn't actually win.


I've said it before, but the primaries are a different game from the general election, especially the Democratic primaries which are almost all proportional rather than winner-take-all. Obama losing Pennsylvania to Hillary in no way is a forecast that he'd lost the state to McCain in November. Also, in many cases, the states Hillary and Obama each "won" were irrelevant as they almost split the delegates evenly.


I suspect the Clintons did understand this - BUT hoped Trump's flaws would override the problem.


They probably thought that Trump didn't have a snowball's chance of winning.

The Saturday Night Live and other crews loved to hate on Trump, but since Hillary was wonky, and nobody cared about her 'wonky' plans, the election became a referendum on 'more of the same ole v. something new.'


To be fair to SNL, they also riffed on Hillary's over-optimism, but in this case, they all probably thought it was warranted. Just as I did when I knew the Bears would kick butt in the 1986 Super Bowl way ahead of time. It didn't even feel like I was "jinxing it" because the outcome was so obvious.

Both talked about jobs, Wall Street, etc. Few heard her speak. Not uncommon for women in general...


Heh.

There must be two kinds of men in the world: those who really do have a problem with powerful women even if they say otherwise, and those who don't. I'm of the latter type. Really. The best boss I ever had was a woman, and I never had trouble reconciling myself to taking her orders. Some do, though. Some really do.

Paul SB said...

Dr. Brin,

Brilliant! (my daughter says). Hoist by their own petard, as old Uncle William would say. I loved how they found that the older, more established members would do rationalization somersaults, but if newer members confessed to not being 100% European (and there's a little irony there, too, since they tend to be people who do not look favorably on Europe) are getting thrown out. They thwart their own growth, but what do you expect of man-children?

Reminds me of an old Kate Bush song I always skipped called "The Man with the Child in His Eyes." I always thought of it as The Man with the Brat in His Eyes.

George Desmond said...

Quite revealing

matthew said...

"Matthew I understand Trump/Sanders very well. I doubt you do."

Hmm, you seem to believe you understand the phenomenon. But you got the last election horribly wrong. I did not get it horribly wrong. I got it correct and identified why ahead of the event. Time will tell about the next election. I think your advice to the Dems ignores all recent electoral history and represents wishful thinking instead of an understanding of what drove low information voters.

locumranch said...


Who bans speech that they judge to be unpleasant & hateful? Why have public agencies declared war on confederate statuary & symbols? Why are there a paucity of conservative voices on publicly funded media? Why have publicly funded universities become leftist propaganda mills? Why are state funded universities allowed to favour the female gender over the male gender by a factor of 2 to 1? Why does the state force private (but conservative) brick & mortar businesses to offer services to people they consider 'undesirable' while it allows private (but progressive) internet businesses to deny services to people that they consider 'deplorable'? Why support inequality in the name of equality?

That said, I think Paul & David's idea for widespread genetic & haplotype inheritance marker testing is an absolutely BRILLIANT way to create a fair-level-open ethnic playing field! Just imagine the hordes of pale-faced whites with assumed privilege who -- on the scientific basis of genetic inheritance testing -- can then (A) prove their minority status, (B) gain the right to sue prospective employers & service providers under federal anti-discrimination laws and (C) qualify for generous affirmative action programs.

Nicholas Taleb makes a similar point when he compares Jewish, Aryan, Greek, Lebanese & Arab genetic markers on his blog (1), but it is my belief that he errs when he assumes that such findings would force white supremacists to "either need to abandon their link to Western Civilization or abandon their antisemitism".

Au Contraire. Such findings of genetic similarity would allow racism to flourish with impunity by providing legal immunity against such allegations, as progressive doctrine currently states that "ethnic minorities CANNOT be racist against white people (because) racism requires power and prejudice (that only) white people have", at least according to Google (2).

And, hilarity would ensue with the Republican Right self-identifying as the Pro-Minority Party:

“Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we conservatives are free at last.”


Best
____

(1) https://medium.com/east-med-project-history-philology-and-genetics/something-nordic-supremacists-will-not-like-44d99e8a4188

(2) https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1901544/google-promotes-controversial-claim-its-not-possible-for-ethnic-minorities-to-be-racist-against-white-people/

Zepp Jamieson said...

locumranch: name another country in the world that tolerates statues of its traitors.

LarryHart said...

locumranch:

Who bans speech that they judge to be unpleasant & hateful?


I dunno, who bans people they judge to be unpleasant? Who tries to change the libel laws to outlaw speech they'd rather not have people hear? Who calls "fake news" anything he doesn't like?


Why have public agencies declared war on confederate statuary & symbols?


Because they represent an army that took up arms against the United States? Or maybe because the statues weren't erected at the time of the Civil War, but during periods when black people were gaining too much equality and had to be intimidated?

Turn that question around. Why do you want Confederate statues to stay put? The answer to one is probably the answer to the other.


Why are there a paucity of conservative voices on publicly funded media?


Because they don't have to beg for space on public stations. They own all of the private ones (with the lone exception of WCPT, Chicago's Progressive Talk). I mean, why aren't there more billionaires on food stamps?


Why have publicly funded universities become leftist propaganda mills?


Probably because conservatives are so anti-fact and anti-knowledge and anti-logic. I actually agree that universities should not forcibly exclude conservative ideas. But I can understand why any place of learning would be on guard against a declared enemy of learning.


Why are state funded universities allowed to favour the female gender over the male gender by a factor of 2 to 1?


Because women are so hot! Duh.


Why does the state force private (but conservative) brick & mortar businesses to offer services to people they consider 'undesirable' while it allows private (but progressive) internet businesses to deny services to people that they consider 'deplorable'? Why support inequality in the name of equality?


First of all, Nazis are not excluded for being 'undesirable', but for being a declared threat to the rest of civilization. Sometimes, one is forced to take a side. It's like "Freedom from bullies or freedom for bullies?" You can either believe in freedom for Nazis or freedom for everyone else. It's not possible to have both.

That said, both types of cases you're talking about are fairly new in the public square. The latter case isn't even dry yet. Neither is settled law. I suspect we'll see the intricacies get worked out in the legal system. You'll have your chance for Neil Gorsuch to weigh in yet.

Now I've got one. Why do you spell "favour" like a Canadian?

David Brin said...

“But you got the last election horribly wrong.”

Oh, utter bull puckey. I expressed no prediction and remained worried. Moreover, I will compare predictive records, gladly.

Locumranch was actually slightly amusing this time. Hence full name.

But the confed statues were erected directly at moments when blacks seemed uppity. They were aggressions that don’t belong on public squares. Go view them at sites owned by Dizzy Daughters of the Confederacy. In a few cases, I’d put them up at battlefields, if there’s equal time.

Again. We moderate positive sum types are embarrassed by and reprove campus PC-bullies and zero-summers. They control almost nothing. You obsess on these yapping ankle biters because you want the world to think they are equivalent to the ENTIRETY of the mad American drooling-insane right.

They aren’t.

David Brin said...

onward

onward

Paul451 said...

Obs,
"All Brin has asked for is adding a few more weapons to the arsenal without throwing away other weapons that are still effective."

Go back and read David's previous main posts on his colonels idea. He calls for "5000" such colonels. In other words, every currently Red federal district, every Red state district, every local county seat. Oh, sure, he accepts running a few lefty candidates in lefty areas.

If you go back further, you see a constant refrain to peel away the sensible "ostrich" conservatives. But IMO, they are ostriches precisely because they've blinded themselves to the sins of their own party. Occasional regular, Tim2, is an example. He doesn't like Trump, he doesn't like what his party has become, but all through 2015/2016 he kept pointing solely at H.Clinton and asking the rest of us, "If a Republican candidate did that, would you (or the-media) have been so sanguine?" and ignoring that the actual Republicans candidates were doing things that were vastly worse.

Such people aren't the right target. The candidates who might appeal to them already lose Republican primaries. Republican voters already reject such people.

The right target is therefore the angry, "low-information" swing voters. People who voted for Clinton, then Bush, then Obama, then Trump. People who responded to Sanders, in spite of (or because of) his "I'm a socialist" Judo move. And I suspect that the candidates that appeals to such people will also appeal to many angry rusted-on Republicans. Not "ostriches", not Tim2, but many of the very "despicables" who are drawn to more and more radical right-wing extremes.

Those people respond, now, to clear messages critical of the leadership of both parties, critical of the failure of politics, open about the degree of theft from average Americans, and demanding a radical change. That's what they are voting for now. Just given them that. How hard is that? Give them the thing they are voting for.

Paul451 said...

Larry,
"I wish the campus lefties wouldn't act as if refusing to let someone speak is a good idea."

Free speech doesn't mean that a private institution is required to give you a forum. Giving an flagrant and obvious troll like Milo Yiannopoulos a forum is not "exploring different views."

"Don't feed the trolls" applies at an institutional level.

Donzelion,
Trump vs Clinton,
"Both talked about jobs, Wall Street, etc."

No, Clinton patronised. Trump ranted. People want someone who is as angry as they are.

(Sanders also ranted, which was his appeal).

"'n1gger,' 'f@g' and 'k1ke' freely"

Don't do that. Say the words or don't say them. Don't make me say them (via your letter substitutions) for you.

(This is a personal bug of mine. Drives me nuts.)

LarryHart said...

Paul451:

Free speech doesn't mean that a private institution is required to give you a forum. Giving an flagrant and obvious troll like Milo Yiannopoulos a forum is not "exploring different views."

"Don't feed the trolls" applies at an institutional level.


Ok, but then don't invite them in the first place. It's one thing if (say) Milo or Ann Coulter petitions the university for a forum and the university says "No." It's another if a campus group actually wants to see them and invites them to speak.

If they've got a valid invitation and a willing audience, then counter-protest or avoid the venue, but don't shout them down or use violence to cancel the event.


Donzelion,
"'n1gger,' 'f@g' and 'k1ke' freely"

Don't do that. Say the words or don't say them. Don't make me say them (via your letter substitutions) for you.

(This is a personal bug of mine. Drives me nuts.)


If he was using the words directly and being "cute" with the spelling as if that let him off the hook, I would agree with you.

As his point was to discuss the use of words by other people, I understand the benefit of referring to which words he's talking about without using them himself.

It may not be the opposite thing, but it's a different thing.

donzelion said...

Paul451: re word substitutions for curse words

I know it's annoying. Sorry, but I'll probably continue doing so.

I once wrote an article arguing that when a classmate draws a pencil mustache on a picture of George W. Bush and posts it on her dorm room door, she is not demeaning the memory of the Holocaust (I made it doubly confusing for budding lawyers by arguing that my classmate would be better off comparing Bush to Andrew Jackson - the only other president to declare war on one tribe because another, different tribe had attacked Americans).

For years, the top search results you'd have found for my true name would show "XXX name" and then "Hitler" afterward in the following text (if you actually read the article, you'd realize I wasn't a Nazi sympathizer, but nobody reads past the headlines in those sorts of searches).

Sorry if this drives you nuts, but nowadays I'd prefer to keep even my pseudonyms from similar outcomes with other bad words.