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Toward a More UNITED United States

May 31, 2016
World War II veteran Walter S. Buist watches the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. His country has changed, too, and not necessarily for the better.

World War II veteran Walter S. Buist watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. His country has changed, too, and not necessarily for the better.

On the eve of Memorial Day weekend, 2016, my old next-door neighbor from back home, Kevin Buist, e-mailed three photographs to his family and a few selected friends (myself included). The photos were of his late father, Walter S. “Scotty” Buist, at three stages of his life: as a young airman serving in the Army Air Forces during World War II… in middle age, dressed in 18th-century colonial garb (complete with wig and tricorner hat), posed before the vast 48-star American flag that unfurled between a pair of trees in their front yard on national holidays… and finally, as an elderly veteran watching the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington. (See above.)

The last photo was especially poignant. Shot from behind, with only one shoulder and the back of his head visible, this image had us viewing the ceremony as if through my old neighbor’s eyes. I could only imagine the mixture of pride, humility and regret for comrades lost in long-ago battles over Fortress Europe.

Mr. Buist was a patriot, no doubt about it. He participated in numerous flying missions over Axis-occupied territory during the war, and his commander was none other than Col. James Stewart. (Yep, that James Stewart.) I always thought there was more than a little Jimmy Stewart in his own make-up: his frame tall and lanky, his manner folksy and unassuming but undergirded with the steel of irreproachable character… gentle and good-natured to the core… a devoted father and genial neighbor.

I never knew whether Mr. Buist was a Republican or a Democrat. It hardly mattered. What mattered about Mr. Buist was his decency. He was, just possibly, the most American man I’ve ever known — American in the way foreigners used to perceive us in the days before right-wing tea partiers and left-wing grievance warriors commandeered the national stage. Just one of those modest Yanks who stepped up to help save the civilized world.

When Mr. Buist left us five years ago, at the well-seasoned age of 86, his America had already split into warring factions — each spewing contempt for its mortal enemies on the other side of the cultural divide. I’m guessing that Mr. Buist knew nothing about the vicious tribal squabbles that had erupted during the last few years of his life — and if he did, I’m sure he would have scratched his thatch of white hair and frowned. He would have wondered what happened to the singleness of purpose that united us during the war, propelled us to victory and led to a half-century of mostly-benevolent leadership over the free world.

Of course, not everyone approved of FDR, our wartime president — and yet the America of Mr. Buist’s youth united behind him, respected his decisions, took pride in his firmness and eloquence. Today our presidents and other politicians rank somewhere between advertising executives and penny stockbrokers on the scale of public esteem.

It’s an angry and vicious place, this latter-day America. The extreme left and extreme right, like powerful electromagnets, have sucked the life out of the center with their damnable distortions, lies and foolhardy certainties. They’re diabolically skilled at winning converts and reinforcing their biases with hand-picked news (or invented news) designed to keep their precious narratives alive.

Those polarized narratives have finally crossed the hazy boundary between political grievance and paranoid hallucination:

Obama gave a conciliatory speech at Hiroshima? A week before Memorial Day? Sacrilege! What else can you expect from a socialist black Muslim Antichrist who wants to steal our guns and destroy America!

A columnist for the campus newspaper questioned whether the Black Lives Matter movement has gone too far? Defund the paper! Report the columnist to the Bias Response Team and give him a one-way ticket to the “re-education” camp!

Meanwhile, is there anyone left who can see both sides of an issue? Anyone who can chuck the obligatory script, find the nuances, and understand why some of our fellow Americans might put a different spin on our pet narratives?

The abortion controversy has at least two legitimate sides… so do taxation, immigration, automation, the wealth gap, race relations, the size of government, military intervention, healthcare, welfare, transgender bathroom (and locker room) rights, God, guns and free trade.

Do we have the patience to tease out the threads of truth on each side? Can we discuss these matters without resorting to mutual ridicule, flame wars, threats, and silly one-sided memes on Facebook? Preaching to the choir only entrenches our biases and makes us more likely to hate those who think differently. It’s time to step out of the choir and back into the real world.

Polarization has made at least two separate nations of us: sniffish white progressives and their minority allies on one team… obstinate lower-middle class and rural whites on the other. Eventually, as progressives mingle only with progressives and conservatives with conservatives, we might evolve into two separate and reproductively incompatible species. Wouldn’t that be an achievement!

This isn’t Mr. Buist’s America. Some will celebrate the passing of the old values and virtues. I don’t. I wish my old neighbor (and millions more like him) were still here, breathing their decency, friendliness and common sense into the communal atmosphere.

Do we believe in the primacy of the individual or the community? It should hardly matter. To men and women of good will, decent individuals will make a decent community. And decent individuals who think and work together toward noble purposes can reunite this fractured republic of ours.

 

Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate.

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252 Comments leave one →
  1. roberta swanson permalink
    May 31, 2016 4:34 pm

    we are two different species and the two party system stranglehold has exaggerated this…what is needed is a multitude of parties reflecting nuances…the electoral college has got to go too…

    • May 31, 2016 5:56 pm

      Roberta,

      Are you suggesting that we move to a Parliamentary system? As far as I can see, that does nothing but force multiple elections and force parties into short term and dangerous alliances.

      • June 1, 2016 12:04 pm

        So true, JB. Americans are very lucky to have a 2 party system ,rather than the multi-party mess that exists in most other democratic countries these days.

        And the idea that Democrats and Republicans can’t work together is a political construct. I have served on lord knows how many committees and boards, and worked with people with whom I vehemently disagreed, and we were able to come up with some decent solutions to whatever had to get done.

        We’re all the same species. Although, after all of the outcry over the shooting of Harambe, maybe some of us think not.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 1, 2016 10:03 pm

      If you get rid of the electoral college – no presidential candidate will leave the big cities.
      No presidential candidate will care about any issues outside those of the major cities in this country.

      There is a reason that our founders setup our political structure as it is.
      The choice to make each state equal in the senate was very important.
      The choice to elect the president by state votes is equally important.

      We are not and never were intended to be a democracy.
      Our founders knew democracies fail and they understood how.
      They become tyranies of the majority.

      To that end they deliberately empowered minorities.

      We misunderstand and have dismembered alot of the wise impediments to government power that they created.

      Eliminating the electoral college is idiocy.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 1, 2016 10:07 pm

      So go to

      https://www.isidewith.com/political-quiz

      and vote for the candidate whose views most closely correspond to your own.

  2. May 31, 2016 5:41 pm

    “Some will celebrate the passing of the old values and virtues. I don’t. I wish my old neighbor (and millions more like him) were still here, breathing their decency, friendliness and common sense into the communal atmosphere.”

    I don’t think old values and virtues from this standpoint have really passed in the larger percentage of Americans. Yes, we have pockets of indecency which is front and center on social media and in the press, but those people have been around for decades. They just did not have the medium to make their voice heard like today.

    I don’t think you can say Americans are anything like the majority of politicians that are elected and go to Washington. At the lower house, we have local politicians that met the needs of those with money in their community and the money flowed to them for their house elections, As they continued to support the influencial’s from their district, the money kept flowing. Many of them then ran for the senate and the money followed. So anyone with a moderate position was left out of the support group and their moderate ideals were left out also.

    At the presidential level, the same hold true. Do the majority of Americans really have the same value system as the two people we seem to have picked? There are way too many examples I could give that are way off the spectrum of acceptable behaviors that these two individuals have demonstrated and that is why we have to pick between Evil 1 and Evil 2.

    I think we have a good representation to the real values that Americans possess that comment to your articles. We don’t always agree, we argue and sometimes it is like children in the play ground calling each other names, but I doubt any one of us would want to do harm to another with our actions. I can not say the same for those running for president today.

    One has demonstrated she will do anything to protect her husband from allegations of wrong doing while the other demonstrates daily his desired to harm vast numbers of people with his rhetoric.

  3. May 31, 2016 5:57 pm

    “while the other demonstrates daily his desired to harm vast numbers of people with his rhetoric..”

    Such as?

    • May 31, 2016 11:39 pm

      I think most readers will understand who I was referring to.

    • June 1, 2016 8:50 am

      I don’t think Trump wants to harm people at all. But he’s used to being an aggressive a**hole to get what he wants, and he’s using those rhetorical tactics now. To great effect, actually. I never would have believed that he could get away with 1/10th of what he’s said.

      I have a lot of problems with Trump (although I will very likely vote for him), but I don’t think he has indicated that he wants to harm groups of people. Hurt their feelings, maybe.

      • Roby permalink
        June 1, 2016 10:16 am

        Of course he won’t harm them, he has servants to do stuff like that.

      • June 1, 2016 12:23 pm

        So what is he doing to the Hispanic population in this country when he calls Hispanic immigrants rapists and murders. There are almost 12 million LEGAL Mexican immigrants in the country. There are 55 million people in the country of Hispanic descent.

        Can you distinguish between an third or fourth generation Hispanic from an illegal Hispanic if they are walking down the street? I can’t

        Same for Muslims. 3 million in America.

        Sorry but I believe racism harms people.

      • June 1, 2016 12:41 pm

        Well, of course, I agree that racism harms people. But I don’t believe that Trump is a racist. As far as “Mexicans are rapists thing,” I was under the impression that what he said was something along the lines of Mexico not sending us their best people, but rather their drug dealers, gang bangers, rapists, murderers, etc. I mean, that was a stupid, impolitic thing to say, but not racist. Although it was certainly framed that way by the press. And, he did, at one point say that maybe we should halt all Muslim immigration until we could vet those coming in. I thought it was a stupid thing to say, but Trump is not known for his carefully thought through statements.

        Anyway, he certainly says way too much that can be mistaken for racism, and that’s pretty bad in its own right. And, if he loses the presidency, it’s going to be because of that. But I don’t think he’s a racist.

      • June 1, 2016 1:07 pm

        OK, so he said Mexico has been sending rapist, druggies, gang member, etc. Wow, with 12 million of these illegal people in the country I am amazed that law enforcement can control them like they have. (Sarcasm)

        ….”I thought it was a stupid thing to say, but Trump is not known for his carefully thought through statements.” When people are openly racist, they do not pick their words carefully. There are many people that are racist and keep that very secret. One only needs to look at the history of the southern white democrats that ran the states in the 60’s and compare Trumps words to some of the things they have said about blacks and there is similarities to both.

        Sorry, I believe he is a racist. If he is not, then he is about as dumb as a door knob for what he does say.

      • June 1, 2016 1:23 pm

        I think the racism charge fits the narrative of those who oppose him. He is not politically correct so he must be a racist. The left has become experts at finding a narrative, any narrative, to paint any GOP candidate as a racist. “code words” etc… You wouldn’t know that Lincoln was a Republican or that the civil rights bill had much more support from the GOP in congress then the left from hearing these race baiters sell their message

        He has zero support from me, and he certainly makes it easy to give those predisposed to seeing racism ammunition. I think it’s a coin toss as too which one of these clowns (Hillary or Trump) is the lesser evil.

        Sorry I just don’t buy the left when they shout racism in their crowded theaters.

      • June 1, 2016 4:46 pm

        This will be one of the rare times that I completely disagree with you, Ron. If you were arguing that many racists support Trump, then I would say you had a case to make. If you were arguing that the meaning of racism had changed from “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race” (Merriam-Webster) to a more open and looser definition based on populist nationalism, then, well, I would still disagree somewhat, but concede that you had a point. But, I have paid pretty close attention to Trump and the things that he has said since the very start of his campaign, and I don’t think that he is stupid or racist.

        After one of the GOP debates, he came under heavy fire for having said that he would try and negotiate an Israeli-Palestinian agreement as a neutral broker. He was widely criticized as an anti-Semite for not saying that he would support our ally Israel. This probably came as a surprise to his Orthodox Jewish son-in-law, and his daughter Ivanka, who converted to Judaism upon her marriage and is raising Trump’s grandchildren in a kosher home.

        Yet, he never apologized for making the statement about being a neutral broker, nor used the fact that his daughter is Jewish as a shield against his accusers. I don’t think that Trump apologizes, ever. I think that it is part of his personality and his persona. Not necessarily a good part, but that’s how I see it.

        And his remarks about Mexico, which has absolutely encouraged the violation of US immigration law, don’t offend me in the least. Many Mexicans trying to come here for a better life have been victimized by the same criminal elements that Trump has spoken out against. I’m not offended by that at all, and I am not a racist either.

      • Roby permalink
        June 2, 2016 3:21 pm

        Racist and racism are words that are impossible to strictly define, there are so many shades from pure color/culture blindness to KKK types. I’m with Ron, what he said about Trump, Trump is using race and attracting the votes of disgruntled, er as Priscilla said vulgar elements. Its harmful. I don’t think he is a KKK sympathizer but there is a good reason why blatant racists and White Power Barbie are finding him so attractive. She is explicit about linking Trump with her beloved crusade to protect the white race, amazingly explicit. Why?

        I think that on the personal level he would be just as happy to be a pig to a woman of any race or color, “hot piece of ass” wise. Not very biased there in the little head department most likely. The big head…. At the very least he is making it so easy to tie him into that narrative as someone said. He will likely do very badly with demographic groups that care. I have a hard time believing that he can poll higher than Romney while doing that. But what do I know? Someone be kind enough to tell me how it all came out sometime in Nov.

      • June 2, 2016 5:06 pm

        Roby, I agree with you completely when you say racist and racism are hard to strickly define.

        But I know it when I see it at some level. When you continue to pound on this issue, like the following link, then race has become part and parcel with the candidate. No one can convince me that this man was not a racist that he would be saying anything about this judges heritage. He sounds to me like a modern day George Wallace from the 60’s, just substituting Mexican for N>>>>>.

        http://www.westernjournalism.com/rncs-director-of-hispanic-media-resigns-over-trump-comments-toward-latinos/

      • June 2, 2016 5:41 pm

        Well, to be rigorous about it, hispanics are caucasian and not a race. That said, I think many (most?) Americans are simply appalled at the way Obama flaunts the law whenever he wants to and that is doubly true when it comes to the southern border.

        I think it likely that Trump wouldn’t raise a ruckus about the Wall but he knows it is a hot button. Moreover, every time one of these turds burns an American flag or gives the camera the finger, Trunp gets another 1000 voters (IMHO).

        When the press posts a story of an illegal who murdered someone, he gets 2000 more.

        The left plays the grievance/privilege card, Trump wants to build a wall.

        I will take the wall any day over 4 years of that crook Clinton.

      • June 2, 2016 5:44 pm

        To be rigorous, hispanics are caucasians, hence, the Donald would not be called a racist in this case, even if he doesn’t like hispanics.

        As far as I can see, he doesn’t like illegal hispanics, and in this regard, I agree with him. I am not a racist, as I clearly like many hispanics that have come here legally. It is an easily made distinction.

        I suspect the Wall is the issue, because the Donald knows it resonates with voters who are tired of the whole issue.

      • June 2, 2016 6:33 pm

        OK, so I am wrong. He is not a racist. He is a bigot. He is intolerant of anyone of Hispanic heritage, illegal or legal, old or young, born in America or in a foreign country from the vast numbers of countries of Hispanic blood.

        comment about Jeb’s wife..” @realDonaldTrump #JebBush has to like the Mexican Illegals because of his wife.”….Jeb’s wife is Hispanic.

        Comment about judge presiding over Trump University case..””There is a hostility toward me by the judge — tremendous hostility, beyond belief,” Trump told a crowd at a rally in Arkansas. “I believe he happens to be Spanish, which is fine. He’s Hispanic, which is fine. We haven’t asked for a recusal, which we may do.”………….Now why would he say something about a recusal based on him being Spanish, Hispanic or whatever?

        So I leave it at that since this will just be something we will never agree on. You will never convince me he is not a bigot, racist or whatever you call a person that is against all people that come from specific countries. Just like the people in the northeast that hated the Irish. Whatever you call them, that’s what Trump is. And I will never convince you that he is a bigot because you are able to find ways of separating his comments between legal and illegal Mexicans or Hispanics

      • June 2, 2016 7:20 pm

        I am not trying to convince you of anything, Ron. He may, or he may not be. I was pointing out he is not a racist, based on what I have read about him.

        That said, I suspect Mrs Clinton of that, and a bit more.

        I am still voting for whoever gets the GOP nod, even if I have to hold my nose (which I have done on more than one occasion).

      • June 2, 2016 7:30 pm

        I can not believe we have the choices we have. Over the years we have had one or another of the candidates that those in one party or the other have had to plug their nose when they voted for the candidate of their parties choice. Most times, the independents had someone they could support. But even when the candidate was not the best, they were far superior to Clinton/Trump. I think Johnson/Weld make a much more attractive ticket and most likely would work well with congress on all issues for the betterment of the country, but too few people think the way I do.

        With these two, there is no “good” choice in my mind, only the least worse of the two. We have survived 8 years of Obama and we can survive the next president. I most likely will vote for Trump as Clinton’s SCOTUS appointments scare me more since the are long term and I don’t want anything long term on either side.

        And like I said, maybe we can get the truth about Area 51 if Trump is elected.

      • June 2, 2016 7:33 pm

        I am with you, Ron. My hope is that Trump’s bluster is more bluster than real. I hope so.

      • June 2, 2016 4:24 pm

        I can tell you exactly why he’s polling higher than Romney (and you may recall that I liked Romney a lot, still do. I consider him to be a man of high character, and the only time that I ever became even the tiniest bit peeved at Rick for anything he wrote, was when he bought, hook,line,and sinker the fiction that Romney was an uncaring, fat cat, Mr. Moneybags).

        Romney had everything it took to be a great POTUS, except for one thing. He allowed the media to make mincemeat out of him, without ever putting up a fight. Similar to the Bush’s, he has a patrician’s distaste for responding to “underhanded” attacks, thinking that it will give them credence. Something that Democrats have no problem taking full advantage of, along with their willing media allies.

        Trump is about as patrician as a pit bull, punches back twice as hard when he’s hit, and lifts the morale of many conservatives, who have long felt that the GOP candidates have always gone down without a fight. A good example would be the 2nd and 3rd presidential debates in 2012. After mopping the floor with Obama in the first debate, Romney allowed Candy Crowley to highjack the 2nd debate in Obama’s favor, with her “testimony” that Obama had called the Benghazi attack an act of terror. Which he hadn’t, but Romney never even fought back, or said something along the lines of “Shut up Candy, you stupid hack. And, by the way, why do you even have a paper copy of Obama’s talking points?” Then, in the 3rd debate, Obama openly mocked Romney’s calling Russia our geopolitical foe (“The 80’s called and want their foreign policy back”), and Romney could have said “I doubt that you know what a “geopolitical” foe is, if you are ignorant enough to make that stupid joke.” But he said nothing.

        Unfortunately, Trump’s faults will likely far outweigh his toughness. But I have no doubt that his willingness to push back against political correctness and media bias has energized a portion of the population that has felt pretty beaten down for many years. Right or wrong, that’s why they love him.

        Also, he’s running against Hillary, who ain’t exactly Barack “the lightbringer” Obama……

      • June 2, 2016 5:23 pm

        Donald Trump is Trump’s best friend and Trump’s worst enemy. He brings into play the voters that have been disenfranchised with his tough man attitude and his willingness to take on anyone anytime. He loses many who are turned off by his attitude toward all Mexicans and the way he tries to make good state leaders of both parties look bad.

        The way to handle a bully is the way Susan Martinez handled him. Her office released a statement which the entirety was basically limited to “Governor Martinez doesn’t care about what Donald Trump says about her,”

        Trump scares the hell out of me. I can not imagine Trump not speaking up about briefings the candidates get while they are running, let alone keeping secrets after he is elected. The only benefit of his big mouth will be getting the true facts on Area 51 and finally finding out about alien life.

      • June 2, 2016 5:46 pm

        On the other hand, he won’t likely run everything through his private email account (including his cell phone).

        Secrets, what secrets?

      • June 2, 2016 5:34 pm

        As always, spot on.

  4. Roby permalink
    June 1, 2016 8:37 am

    Great post Rick, a 10.

    Continuing my typically liberal form of communication a bumper sticker for America. Let the reader decide which state we are in:

  5. dhlii permalink
    June 1, 2016 9:48 am

    Rick;

    Take a chill pill.

    This rose colored nostaglia is NONSENSE.

    Today we have Black Lives Matters whigging out because our colleges are not spending enough indoctrinating white students about race in college.
    In the 1930’s they were still lynching blacks, burning crosses, and blowing up churches.

    In the Thirties we had Father Coughlin.
    We had capone Running chicago and gangsters througout the country.

    Polls in 1940 made clear that but for the war in europe americans would have voted for Wilke as president.

    In 1968 the third party candidate for President was George Wallace and he got 13.5% of the vote, and 46 electoral votes.

    Today we have Trump and Clinton. While I can not stand either – neither is George Wallace.
    The third party candidate today is Gary Johnson.

    The turmoil and conflict that bothers you is the direct consequence of the fact that we are a diverse country.

    Things have not gone to hell. Commity is not dead. Partisanship is no different than the past.

    Do you really think that the US congress was a collegial place of cordiality in the decades leading to the civil war ? You must have had early 19th century US history ?

    Mr. Buist fought for freedom – not cordiality or commity.

    Freedom people are quite often mean and nasty. Free does not mean pleasant.

    For the past six years it has been nearly impossible for congress to pass new laws – I beleive that is a VERY GOOD THING. Given that the mess that congress made in 2009 is still a millstone arround the countries neck.

    My regret is that has emboldened our president to act outside the law.
    And it is very difficult to push the genie of expanded executive power back in the bottle once it has escaped.

    You continuously fixate on government as the solution to our problems.
    Government is the problem – not the solution.

    We are the solution. Free people are this nation.

    I do not mostly care that many – left and right are intollerant angry bullies.

    I only care that they wish to put the power of govenrment behind their intolerance.
    And I am seriously bothered because all too often I feel the same about you.

    We have enormous problems today – some such as the implosion of the social safetynet ponzi scheme scare the hell out of me.

    But most do not.
    Abortion is far less bitter today than in the past. Cheap birth control is readily available, as are Plan B type options. It is likely the right will nearly eliminate abortions after 20 weeks in many states. They are succeeding because the broad based public support is there.
    Not a perfect solution – but not the end of the world either. They They can not go further without a radical shift in the values of the population which is not happening.

    Whether we have a republican president and congress or not will effect whether Planned Parenthood gets funded, not whether abortion is legal. Frankly PP is better off without government support.

    I am amazed – 40 years after I graduated high school, men can marry men and women can marry women, and they can kiss and walk down the streets hand in hand.
    I never would have beleived we could come that far this fast.
    I am straight and watching two men kiss creeps me out. But other peoples freedom is not constrained by my visceral reactions.

    To the extent I am disappointed it is that homosexuals now feel compelled to persecute others uncomfortable with their choices. IF a baker does nto want to make you a cake – go elsewhere. Who really wants the flaming homophobe as the wedding photographer for their gay wedding ?
    If you want others to tolerate those things that make you different – respect those of others – even if you do not like them.

    We need to chill out about bathrooms and lockers. I strongly suspect that we are going unisex – possibly much sooner than I would have expected.
    BUT NOT TOMOROW.

    • June 1, 2016 9:51 am

      Great comment, Dave.

    • Roby permalink
      June 1, 2016 10:27 am

      “You continuously fixate on government as the solution to our problems.
      Government is the problem – not the solution.
      We are the solution. Free people are this nation.
      I do not mostly care that many – left and right are intollerant angry bullies.
      I only care that they wish to put the power of govenrment behind their intolerance.
      And I am seriously bothered because all too often I feel the same about you.”

      Rick said nothing about government fixing this sad state of affairs (which is real enough), nothing at all. You are fixating on Rick fixating on something he is not fixating on. (And I am fixating on you fixating on Rick fixating on something he is not fixating on.) Your usual method, never let the actual words someone used interfere with a pointy libertarian criticism you wish to make of what you wish that they believed so you can argue against it followed by a speech about the wonders of Libertarianism like a vacuum cleaner salesman looking for any conceivable chance to get his foot in your door.

      Take that Chill pill yourself.

      • June 1, 2016 12:10 pm

        Well, now I feel bad. I think Rick’s column was excellent. But I liked Dave’s comment, and thought it was really good too. Does that make me a libertarian?

        Speaking of which, Gary Johnson was asked the other day if the US should have entered WWII, and his answer was “I don’t know.” What an idiotic response. I’m never going to vote for any politician who hasn’t figured that one out at this stage of his career. Say yes or say no, but don’t waffle on something like that…….

        So, I guess I’m not a libertarian.

      • Roby permalink
        June 1, 2016 1:35 pm

        Well, there is a sensible part of Dave’s comment before he did his usual putting of words that he wished someone would say but didn’t into Ricks mouth. Its good not to create a nonsense about the good old days, he’s right.

        But Ricks comment is right on about what has been lost. Something has been lost, we all know it. An Eisenhower or Kennedy or even a Ford or Dole seem unimaginable in today’s politics. The political commentary of my youth is a far cry from what is printed today. It matters.

        You know, every decade or so you are a totally new person even though you resemble your old self, ever cell, every molecule has changed. Your memories hold it together, provide continuity but you are not the same person. Same with our country and our culture. We still the same old USA, bet we aren’t some changes along with technology, something about our culture is not the same. Even though the good old days were not so good at the time, there still was something there in the culture that has changed along with the cultural reference points, music, issues, movies, journalism politics. Some things are better, somethings have changed for the worse.

      • June 1, 2016 5:07 pm

        No, I do agree with you, Roby. But I’m happy to be reminded that this is not, by a long shot, the first era to be beset by tribal hatred and strife. I think that the value of both Rick’s column and Dave’s comment is to keep us aware, as moderates, that we can’t give in to the temptation to be divided by political tactics, no matter how righteous and/or virtuous
        they might make us feel……

      • dhlii permalink
        June 1, 2016 6:39 pm

        Rob;

        This is Risk’s blog.

        Yes, Rick has often not said precisely the things I sort of attribute to him.

        But there is a theme that runs through his entire Blog.

        Reading him is like listening to Eeyore from winney the pooh.

        Rick:

        Everything is going to hell.
        The left and right they are all intolerant fools incapable of compromise.
        The answer to most every problem is somewhere between the left and right.
        Everything would be fine if we could all just get along like we used to.
        Government should be our friend and should work smoothly.

        Dave:

        Sorry – pretty much all of that is universally not true.
        I can respect Rick – and still think he is mostly wrong about everything.
        Not wrong like Bernie Sanders is wrong – enthusiastically and honestly on totally the wrong side of nearly every issue.
        But wrong in that the world is not going to hell.
        That we are not all going to just get along.
        That disagreement is fine so long as we are not killing each other.
        That when compromise is the answer – we can work that out on our own as individuals. When government steps in – no matter what it does, it prevents us from working it out on our own.

        There are times government MUST step in – when we are killing each other as an example.
        But most of the time, government is not needed.
        Less government will NOT result in perfection – nothing will.
        But the results will be better than when government does step in.

        Finally, I do not “hate” Rick. But “Its his Blog”, and I am deliberately using him to make my arguments.

        If he thinks I am mischaraterizing him – he can say so.
        I am pretty sure he is here. I am pretty sure he can defend himself quite well.

        If he actually thinks I am being abusive or misrepresenting him and is offended enough – he can ban me – “Its his blog”

        Remember that libertarian thing. People have rights – like free speech – but rights are mostly with respect to the government.

        I can not come to Rick’s home (or Ricks blog) and say whatever I damn well please, whenever I please however I please.

        This is again why we need to kick as much as possible outside the sphere of government. Most of us understand government should not come into our homes and tell us what we can and can not say or what we must let others say in our homes.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 1, 2016 6:43 pm

        Roby;

        I agree. Though I do not think I am misrepresenting Rick’s positions.

        I deliberately address those portions of his argument I care about to make my point.

        Just as he decides what he wishes to write about when he makes these blog entries.

        He is free to say whatever he wants about whatever he wants.
        And I am free to focus on whatever parts of what he says that I want.

        BTW everyone here does exactly the same. And there is nothing wrong with it.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2016 2:42 pm

        Priscilla;

        Do all republicans agree on everything ? Democrats ?
        Why would you expect libertarians to ?

        If think of yourself as socially liberal and fiscally conservative – you hold as much claim to libertarian as anyone else.
        There is no Litmus test beyond valuing liberty.

        There is no libertarian position on abortion, or WW II, or myriads of other issues. There are plenty of libertarians that support some regulation.

        Cass Sunstein considers himself libertarian.

        There is a blog of prominent “bleeding heart libertarians”

        http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/

        “Given that so many lives were lost [during WWII] and we were at war, and this brought an end [to the conflict], I certainly don’t want to engage in second guessing,” Johnson told CNN. “And no, given the time that this occurred, I certainly would not be giving an apology [to the Japanese].”

        I can draft a long list of issue that I disagree with Johnson or Weld over.
        But I have a far far longer list of issues for Hillary, The Donald and Bernie.

        Ron Paul recently attacked the libertarian party as becoming a bunch of war mongers that would join Cruz in carpet bombing ISIS.

        The Johnson/Weld ticket is a deliberate effort by the majority of libertarians to shake of the image as juvenile teenage boys.

        LOTS of Johnson/Weld positions are more “moderate”. Johnson may be less “libertarian” than Rand Paul, he certainly less than Ron Paul who is still a republican.

        I doubt the LP is going to get the Koch funding they are begging for.
        I doubt they are going to get into the debates.

        But I do expect Johnson/Weld to do far better than 2012.

        Regardless, they have provided a palletable alternative to Clinton and Trump if you want to cast a protest vote.

        “Be libertarian with me. One time. If we find we don’t like peace, prosperity and freedom, we can always vote tyranny back in.”

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2016 2:50 pm

        I beleive the Johnson WW II question was asked at the libertarian debates at the convention.

        One should not forget that Even Gary Johnson is a politician.

        Though he was the leading contender – libertarian delegates are not bound at all, and alot of them are very religious about some views – like War.

        And Johnson’s opposition was all to what you would call the extreme libertarian side of him.

        The LP nominated Johnson in 2012 and Johnson/Weld in 2016 for a few reasons:

        They are angling heavily for a high profile and willing to soften many views to get into the big leagues.

        They are after Koch and Super PAC money that they hope will get them into the polls and maybe into the debates.

        But Johnson had to appeal to more hard core libertarians to lock the nomination.

        Just as republican and democratic candidates chase their base in the primaries and chase the electorate in the general – so do libertarians.

        Also to be clear I am libertarian not Libertarian. I am not a registered libertarian.

        I do not vote based on Party.

  6. dhlii permalink
    June 1, 2016 10:07 am

    Recent polls show that when ideology is identified by values rather than lables that 27% of us are nominally libertarian – the largest single political group – larger than conservatives or liberals.

    I think that is amazing and bodes well for the nation.

    I think the odds of Gary Johnson and William Weld making the national presidential debates is near nil. But I do think a huge number of disatisfied voters are going to atleast think about something else before pulling the R or D lever.

    I am disappointed that Trump has won the GOP nomination – Republicans are the party most likely to be influended by libertarian values.

    Many of those “bomb throwers” that Rick rants about in congress are members of the “liberty caucus”

    I did not Expect quasi libertarian Rand Paul to win but I had hoped he would be taken more seriously.

    But even Cruz – despite his pandering to social conservatives and neo-cons is more libertarian than any republican contender since Reagan.

    Regardless, EVERY gop candidate – even Trump has adopted a form of Libertarian non-interventionism. The only Neo-con in the entire presidential field is Hillary.
    No one else is arguing this America as policemen to the world, or premptive war bunk.

    Things are changing Rick.

    They are changing mostly for the BETTER!!!

    The political hissing, eye gouging back biting and nastiness, is part of the process – and it is nothing new.

    In the election of 1800
    Thomas Jefferson’s campaign called John Adams
    “hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.”
    And Adam’s people responded calling Jefferson
    “a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father.”

    • Roby permalink
      June 1, 2016 10:37 am

      “Thomas Jefferson’s campaign called John Adams
      “hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.”
      And Adam’s people responded calling Jefferson
      “a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father.””

      OK, sometimes I enjoy something you post.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 1, 2016 6:16 pm

        Political vitriol has been with us forever.

        My guess is that the early greeks were no politically kinder than today.

        What amazes me is that the more you find out about our founders as people – rather than gods, the more amazing what they accomplished is.

        Jefferson is the epitomy of “do as I say, not as I do”,
        Franklin was aparently pretty dispicable in his private life.
        Martha Washington gets Kudo’s for freeing slaves after George died.
        The Truth appears to be she was scared to death not to.

        Regardless, these were men – just like our leaders today.
        Many of them did some despicable things – just as our leaders today.
        We should not idolyze them or justify their transgressions.
        But we should grasp that despite those failings they accomplished something amazing – and we are no different.

    • June 1, 2016 12:32 pm

      Ah the election of 1800, back when people told the truth and said what they meant. And now we have Trump and people wonder why he has captured the interest of so many. Along with Bernie, truthfulness might be what people are looking for these days.

      • June 1, 2016 6:30 pm

        I think you are assuming a lot about the 1800s. I wasn’t there, but I suspect politicians were no saints back then either.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 1, 2016 8:32 pm

        Adams was a hermaphrodite ?
        And Jefferson was the son of a mulatto and an indian sqaw ?

  7. Roby permalink
    June 1, 2016 10:33 am

    • Roby permalink
      June 1, 2016 10:47 am

      But that is only relative:

      Photo from a Libertarian convention:

      Time for yardwork my work is done here for now.

    • June 1, 2016 6:18 pm

      There more than a sufficient number of crazy libertarians.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 1, 2016 10:22 pm

        The republicans have offered – Trump,
        The democrats are trying to decide between Clinton and Sanders,
        And the Libertarian ticket has Johnson/Weld – two 2 term governors – each alone with more experience than either Trump or Clinton,

        I have no expectation that Johnson will win.
        I do not think he has a chance of getting the 15% in 5 polls needed to make the debates.

        Thus far Johnson/Weld seems to be hurting Clinton more than Trump.

        Regardless, I am not voting for the lessor of two evils.
        I am not even sure it is possible to figure out which of Trump/Clinton that is.

        Regardless, Roby’s bumper sticker has it right.

        Even John MacAfee seems sane compared to what the Democrats and Republicans are offering.

  8. Roby permalink
    June 1, 2016 10:34 am

    • Roby permalink
      June 1, 2016 10:35 am

      A phrase Dave has pounded into my skull with obsessive persistence. How stupid of me not to know what I am.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 1, 2016 6:23 pm

        Don’t let me tell you what you are.

        Think about your own values and start demanding that the party you associate with start reflecting those better.

        One of the most important things the Tea Party did was start primarying GOP candidates.

        You can not change things unless you are prepared to lose – to see them get worse first.

        That is actually important. It is one of the problems I have with Rick and moderates.

        Compromise solutions are often MORE evil than either alternative.
        It is usually easy to fix truly bad laws.
        It is nearly impossible to do much about compromises.

        Compromise legislation is rarely a step in the right direction, it is more often a concrete barrier to further change.

        Fight, lose, let the wrong thing happen. If it is truly bad – changing it should not be hard. If it is not – then you have lost and should have.

        But a compromise could be with you forever.

      • June 2, 2016 7:27 am

        Not in agreement with your low opinion of compromise, Dave It’s so much more complicated than that. Plus, “letting wrong things happen” is often so much worse than compromising. Because that could also be with you forever. Getting 80% of what you want, by compromising on 20%, usually turns out ok. It’s when you get 20% by compromising on 80% that things don’t…….

      • June 2, 2016 7:59 am

        Honor dies, where interest lies!

  9. Roby permalink
    June 1, 2016 10:42 am

    Imagine Trump got the GOP nomination rather than Ron Paul

    • dhlii permalink
      June 1, 2016 6:24 pm

      Ron Paul was not running.
      Rand was.
      I hope Rand goes far. But he neither has the past baggage that his father has, nor the charisma.

      • June 2, 2016 12:31 pm

        I like him and he is not going anywhere.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2016 3:15 pm

        JB

        See things we can agree on.

        I Like Rand alot,

        But I do not know how he managed to win his Senate Race,
        He just does not have the “fire in his belly” necessary to be a successful politician.
        He is a wonderful person, but he is not his Father.

  10. June 1, 2016 6:28 pm

    As I understand it (I am no Trump fan) he wants to build a wall between Mexico and the US. I completely agree.

    As I understand it, the current fence doesn’t work. If the wall will work (works in other countries I am told) then by all means, let’s switch to something that works.

    Let’s fix the problem or stop whining about it. We all know illegal immigration brings all kinds of issues with it, so let’s stop pretending all the illegals are like those we see on TV dramas.

    I don’t know how many illegals are murderers and rapists. They could all be nuns for all I care. The fact is that they didn’t follow the rules, which makes them, well, illegal and that is a problem for me. I don’t care that they bring their children and use them as anchors The kids are also illegal when they come here. Fruit of the poison tree. Send them all home and seal the damn border, as I am so sick of hearing about this.

    Criminals, homeless, jobless, illness and disease, whatever it is, it can remain in Mexico, where that stupid-ass government can either deal with it or not.

    Let’s be clear: Mexico’s best and brightest are not risking their life to come here. Do we really need/want to continue? IF so, why? Would you like them to squat on your lawn simply because they really really want to be here?

    Next up: “Yes, we SHOULD monitor Muslims who immigrate to the US.” For how long? For as long as that particular sect leads the world in mayhem and murder.

    Yes, I know, I am heartless and without a soul and will burn in hell for my callousness. So be it!

    • dhlii permalink
      June 2, 2016 8:46 am

      JB

      So many false assumptions.

      At the top of the list – both Trumps and yours, is that immigrants are a liability to this country rather than an asset. I would suggest reading Julian Simon’s “The Ultimate Resource”
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ultimate_Resource
      The wikipedia page does not understand the book very well – but that can be fixed easily.
      The Ultimate Resource is people – Malthus was wrong.
      There are several pre-requisites for a rising standard of living, none alone is sufficient.
      One of the more important is people, and the more of us there are the better off we are likely to be.

      You want to keep out Syrian Refugees – as they might be Terrorists.
      Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian Refugee. There is some odd humor in the fact that his company is refusing to crack the iphone of one of the San Bernadino killers.

      I can not promise you that in the next 100,000 syrian refugees one will have a son that will be the next Steve Jobs. But I can assure you that they will form a pyramid of contributions to this country – with a few great and many slightly less. Maybe we will only get a better way to insulate our homes or a more efficient battery, or …

      Regardless, more people strongly tends to make us all better off – particularly where the other elements necescary for rising standards of living are also present – and in the US they are.

      Immigrants do not take they give.

      —-

      The term “illegal immigrant” is nonsensical. There is no such thing as a legal or illegal immigrant. This fixation on “the rules” is idiocy. We do not actually make the rules for the world, The US has no jurisdiction outside our borders, immigrants are not subject to our laws until the are inside our borders. The term is also a way of trying to bypass the real issue which is your desire to be able to pick and choose who you allow in and who you do not. If this debate were merely about legal vs. illegal, open the equivalent of Ellis Island in Texas or Arizona, process anyone who wants in, you can send back all those who are criminals, traitors, or unhealthy, but then let the rest in.

      Fiscal conservatives seem to think – correctly, we have too many “rules” as it is.

      You can have rules for becoming a citizen – and I think that should be difficult, not easier.
      You can have rules for receiving government benefits – while I would eliminate those entirely, if we are going to have them – then we can not open ourselves up to supporting anyone who crosses our borders.
      You can send people back who break our laws.

      But this fixation over some non-existant distinction between “legal” and “illegal” immigration is nonsense. The primary difference between “legal” and “illegal” immigrants, is we stupidly only want to allow a tiny fraction of those who want to come here in, and the “illegals” are those who never would have been able to get in otherwise.

      —–

      The Wall has been a political metaphor for decades.

      I do beleive that Trump will put up a better “fence” along the border, and that will has a small positive impact.

      There is no such thing as a wall that will work.

      You fail to grasp that you/we are setting ourselves up for a classic dilema.
      Where there are a large number of people who seek something and are prepared to risk their lives to get it, stopping them requires the use of force. If there determination is high enough, it requires killing them to stop them

      The Berlin Wall sort of worked – it did reduce the outflow of East Germans, but at tremendous cost, both moral and capital. Are you prepared to kill hispanics trying to cross the border to get into this country ? Unless you are – nothing will work.

      Several years ago NRO looked into the rampant crime among hispanic immigrants meme – and sought out data to prove it true. What they found was exactly the opposite, fortunately they were honest enough to publish their results. If only those on the left were sufficiently open to inconvenient real world facts.

      There are no differences between modern hispanic immigrants and prior waves of Jews, Slaves, irish, Italians, Germans, Nords, ….

      They are as open and as insular, they are as well and as poorly behaved, they are as successful and as much of a burden – again they are just not different.

      The US is the only nation in the world that has “birth right” citizenship.
      This is one of many reasons why there is far less crime and terrorism among US immigrants than in Europe.

      You are upset that “illegal” immigrants “use” their children, to allow them to stay in this country. An immigrant to the US is assured that their children born here can remain and grow up to be americans. That inextricably ties them to this country. Our interests are their interests. They want to contribute – for their own children’s future.

      In Europe immigrants are frequently Ghettoized. Their children may know no other country, but they are not citizens of the country they were born in. They are there to work. They remain disconnected from the country they live in. They have few if any rights, It is surprising that even more of them do not turn to terrorism and violence.

      Immigrants in europe are only slightly better off than 18th century slaves in the US.

      • June 2, 2016 8:58 am

        More libertarian clap trap. Thanks Dave, you never disappoint.
        It is simple, we either have the rule of law or we do not.

      • June 2, 2016 10:31 am

        No, Dave, the assumption is not that “immigrants are a liability to this country.” That statement is nonsensical, as you like to say.

        Sovereign nations have the right to make laws, and if those laws set border restrictions and immigration policies, particularly if those restrictions and policies are for the protection of the citizens of said sovereign nation, then that is within the rightful scope of the government.

        No one is making the blanket statement that immigration is bad, and you continually imply that they are. Stop that, and I, for one, will take your arguments more seriously (yes, I hear you now, you don’t care if I take you seriously).

        And I agree with you that, if the US government were not setting up a welfare state, the issues associated with illegal immigration would be lessened. They would be lessened if we legalized drugs, as well. They would be lessened if Islamist terrorism were to be decisively ended.

        But, we’ve got a loooong way to go before those issues are resolved, if they ever are. Are you saying that open borders is still a good thing, regardless?

      • June 2, 2016 10:44 am

        Yes, legal immigration is in full force. The details are open to a policy conversation.

        Enforce the law or admit the country can be invaded by anyone at any time.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2016 12:59 pm

        Why do you presume a net cost of “illegals” ?

        Lets say you built that wall and completely prevented immigration.

        If the demand for goods that can only profitably be filled by low cost labor remains – the businesses will move to mexico or China.

        So called illegals pay substantial taxes – and are to a very large extent unable to collect benefits.
        Yes, they attend our schools, but they either pay property taxes on their homes – or their land lord does, and I can assure you that anything a landlord must pay is covered by rents.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2016 3:35 pm

        Priscilla;

        First – no I do not really beleive Soveriegn nations can make whatever laws they wish. I think out constitution gives government far too much power – but even it was a list of specific enumerated powers – not whatever can be enacted into law.

        Next, “protection of citizens” is a pretext. Every law or regulation conceivable can be argued to “protect citizens”, The Nazi’s rounded up and executed Jews for the protection of citizens.

        If you accept that immigration is not net bad (and even if you do not), then the only question that remains is what is the limited legitimatge role of government.

        Obviously our government should stop another army from crossing our borders.

        We can debate whether we can or should keep out criminals, terrorists, the unhealthy, and a host of other filters that would cull a tiny portion of immigrants.

        Those are not the BIG questions.

        If we could relatively easily (and we can) cull 95% of the criminals, terrorists and others that likely constitute a serious threat – remembering that trying to acheive perfection is both costly and impossible, are you prepared to accept that ?

        Say we Build JB/Trumps wall. Say it is successful in funneling all hispanic imigrants through a filter that lets us Cull those listed above.

        Are you now prepared to allow the rest in ?

        Maybe you are. Maybe not.

        But the overwhelming majority of those purportedly for only “legal” immigration are for severely limited immigration. The arguments about terrorists, criminals, etc are all pretexts.

        They want a tiny amount of legal immigration and screw the rest.

        So long as this truly is the “land of opportunity”,
        those huddled masses yearning to breath free will strive to come here.
        And you are not stopping some short of killing them.
        Plenty still die trying to come here for the crappiest of jobs.

        If you really want to end illegal immigration – just keep limiting our freedom and ruining the economy. Soon enough the problem will be emmigration.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 2, 2016 8:54 am

      “Mexico’s best and brightest are not risking their lives to come here. ”

      It would be more Mexico’s affluent and connected – and no they are not risking their lives.
      It is relatively easy for them to come here.
      For several years about half my co-workers were Mexican embedded software developers.
      They BTW liked it here, but were less certain about staying. Their plans were to work here are higher wages than Mexico for several years and then return with their savings to a lower cost of living.

      Regardless, the “best and brightest” are not typically distributed by social affluence and class. Certainly some of Mexico’s “Best and Brightest” are among “illegal” immigrants.

      The US is famous for Rags to Riches stories. Jobs among them.
      As I noted before there are many factors for rising standard of living – they are found in the US more so than elsewhere. Some of those dirt poor mexican immigrants are going to be amoung OUR best and brightest – unless you wall them out. In which case not only will we – but possibly the world will be deprived of their benefit.

      • June 2, 2016 9:00 am

        To be very clear, no one is reading your lectures, Dave. Get out a mirror.

      • Roby permalink
        June 2, 2016 3:08 pm

        “To be very clear, no one is reading your lectures, Dave.”

        Oddly enough, I am reading some of them. The point will come in a day or so when I will tune out Dave centered discussions but I am not there yet, there have been some good points made on both sides. A good bit of what he says I agree with thoroughly and then there are the just silly things, e.g., there is no such thing as illegal or legal immigration.

        It is obvious that only in a truly libertarian world can we just have an open border, a country must have some control over who comes in and out, 100% control would be ideal but unrealistic.

        I can easily find not just a middle ground but a good middle ground based on Dave’s best idealistic arguments and defence of immigrants and their contributions and natures, and JBs best practical issue real world arguments about the downside. There really are both down and upsides to the flow of large numbers of people across our border, even illegally. Dave and JB make it all pretty black and white.

        Its a damn shame that this issue has been turned into a classic left vs. right.

        Moderate for me is common sense and common decency and this issue sorely needs people to stop hyperventilating and think objectively, which Dave is doing until he falls off the edge of the world with Libertarian ideology that does not match the real world.

      • June 2, 2016 8:46 pm

        Thank you, Roby, for putting it so clearly.

        Dave, you make so much sense, until you don’t.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 3, 2016 5:02 pm

        Roby;

        You say you can find a good middle ground – really ?

        I think you will find that far harder than you think.

        Not only is 100% control unrealistic. But even control sufficient to have predictable outcomes is unrealistic.

        Many classical liberal argument end up relatively extreme because the knowledge does not exist to excercizes control.
        One of the reasons that we leave as much as possible free, is because we can not fully know ahead of time the outcome of many of our actions, much less the 2ndary and teriary responses.

        Though we can rest assured that where there is freedom, actions with net negative outcomes will not continue – though sometimes it takes time.

        Law and govenrment do not work that way. Laws are difficult to enact, blunt instruments, not subject to fine tuning, with little consequential feedback.

        We rarely get to see the alternative result had their been no law.

        What I have described above is the “knowledge problem”.

        It is why few narrow laws with clear consequences, trump complex and broad laws. It is why govenrment control is more often a bad thing that an good thing.

        Like many of the tasks of government – there is very little control of the border we actually need. Government taking more than is needed is a mistake.
        Government can not have enough knowledge to control large complex problems, and government is inflexible inadaptable, and with little feedback.

      • Roby permalink
        June 4, 2016 8:57 am

        “You say you can find a good middle ground – really ?
        I think you will find that far harder than you think.”

        Well, good is perhaps a faulty word, no matter what choice one makes here it will have a big downside, lets say that I can find a middle ground that is more reasonable than the rather black and white choices that your arguments with JB present. Two extremes.

        I am not a believer in the wall. I am also not a believer in an unrestricted border.

        With a length of 2000 miles, mostly barren and uninhabitable, it is going to be damn near impossible to have strict control of the US-Mexican border. Nor do I think it would be worth it. A dispassionate examination of the real problems caused by illegal immigration/lack of complete border control would be great. According to you, almost no problems occur, according to JB and Trump and Trumps followers, a huge and culturally devastating series of problems occur. I think it is quite safe to say that the truth actually is in the middle. Even if somehow a nice dry and quite thorough analysis were made of the real level of problems that go with illegal and not utterly restrictable movements across this border were made it will be useless unless Americans as a group read it and process it without interference of their ideological lenses. I can say with 100% assurance, sadly, that that will not happen. People on either side of this argument will hold exaggerated and minimized views of the level of problems. It will be an ideological pawn.

        “Not only is 100% control unrealistic. But even control sufficient to have predictable outcomes is unrealistic.”

        I probably agree with this. Unlike many people here I believe that social problems are difficult, even insanely difficult. We call our government officials every name in the book and they often deserve it, but the problems that they try to solve are insanely difficult. It does not mean giving up or rejecting government as a tool. It just means being much more realistic about how difficult these things are. As well give some credit. Has one terrorist act resulted from the Mexican (or Canadian, not many miles from my house) border? If not then perhaps somehow someone is doing something that is effective and we need to see the good news too.

        “Though we can rest assured that where there is freedom, actions with net negative outcomes will not continue – though sometimes it takes time.”

        This is simply absurd, radical libertarian theory, just as esoteric as big bang or quantum theory without being as founded in hard experiments. Given your freedom, for example, various Islamic groups would blow stuff up right and left and create chaos and that is just one example. There is some kind of balance between too much and too little freedom.

        Its 100% predictable. You will launch into lengthy argument with me to justify this completely silly drastic over generalization using cherry picked examples. I’m not going there. Won’t reply. While I do enjoy some of the points you bring up early in a discussion and some of the factual material you provide, when you begin to dig in your heels in defence of bluntly nonsensical ideas its time for a person to remember how much yardwork they have to do and abstain from beating their head against the wall of Libertarian theory, or an extreme form of it.

        Specific to the border and the wall, Ron had an idea that appears very thoughtful to me: really come down hard on employment of illegals, that removes the incentive. I am sure that just like any other response, this would not be as simple as it sounds and would have a downside. It seems to me to be the best of the alternatives. Much better than the wall. When the wall turns out to be an expensive failure, what will the next step be, having spent insane money on the nuclear option only to have it fail? The cost of the wall is being underestimated by proponents every bit as much as the cost of the Iraq and Afghan wars were. An honest estimate of the cost and an honest estimate of the benefits would provide the basis for a cost/benefit analysis, without which no one should build that wall.

        Anchor babies are a flash point of frustration. Like most Americans who are not either very liberal or very libertarian I would be happy to see this issue somehow resolved to eliminate giving automatic citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants, I don’t think anyone intended or really foresaw that when they wrote the 14th amendment.

        Here is a reasonable discussion of the 14th amendment in the context of Trumps claim that many fine legal scholars don’t believe that the 14th amendment has mandated that anchor babies be given citizenship. It gives the claim a half true rating.

        http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/aug/25/donald-trump/trump-many-scholars-say-anchor-babies-arent-covere/

      • June 4, 2016 9:24 am

        The estimates are that there are 12-20M illegals in the US right now. In the history of immigration law in the US, another 6M have already been granted amnesty.

        So, how many “problems” may have been averted with good border control?

        I don’t know, Roby, do you?

      • June 4, 2016 9:40 am

        I don’t know that any of us think that social problems are easily resolved, Roby I think that there are some problems that have clear common sense solutions that get ignored in the firestorms of righteous indignation over manufactured crises. Like the bathroom thing, for example.

        I’m fine with birthright citizenship, as long as we do something about chain immigration. As it is now, one baby can clear the path for literally dozens of “family members” to come in on reunification visas, and never leave. And then they have babies, and the process continues….it’s insanity.

      • June 4, 2016 9:45 am

        According to Dave, this presents no problem at all.

        Hogwash.

      • Roby permalink
        June 4, 2016 9:35 am

        I won’t claim that this a serious or accurate analysis of the up and down sides of the Wall, after all it perpetrator is a comedian, but at least it is funny and does have some actual facts as well.

        “The Congressional Budget Office estimates that wall maintenance costs will exceed the initial construction costs within seven years,” Oliver said. “It’s a big, dumb thing that only gets more expensive over time. It’s like getting a pet walrus: You think it’s stupid now, wait until you learn what a bucket of sea cucumbers costs — you’ve not prepared for that.”

        Oliver then compares the proposal to George W Bush’s border fence in 2006 where the federal government was forced to sue hundreds of US families who owned land across the border. He then says that building the barrier will not stop folks from overstaying their visas. (Note from me, this is a silly argument by Oliver).

        “A wall can’t stop that,” Oliver said. “It’s like wearing a condom to protect against head lice. You could do that, but that’s not really how you keep the thing you’re worried about from happening.” (Note from me, this is a silly argument by Oliver, well, he is a comedian not a wonk).

        By the end of his segment, Oliver said that it would be smarter — and two dollars cheaper — to instead buy every American a $75 electric waffle iron.

        “I know what you’re thinking: ‘John, this is a stupid idea.’ But is it? Is it, really? Yes, obviously, it is,” Oliver said. “But is it significantly stupider than Donald Trump’s wall? Because this waffle iron plan will cost less, it’ll do nearly as much to keep out immigrants and drugs, it won’t harm our relationship with our third-largest trading partner, if it is racist it’s only toward Belgians, and, unlike Donald Trump’s wall, this makes f***ing waffles.”

      • June 4, 2016 9:37 am

        You are right, he is a comedian. Not very funny one, either.

      • Roby permalink
        June 4, 2016 9:49 am

        “I don’t know, Roby, do you?”

        Exactly my point. A dry thorough non-ideological analysis would be great, but few would read it or process it.

        The real initial cost of the wall seems to be in the 25 billion neighborhood with much more in maintenance. That might be worth it if it solved some a problem that is even more expensive, I’d like to know how much damage the illegals do (as well they provide benefits so its a question of the net positive -negative balance.) Lacking a believe estimate of the net cost of having illegals why should I or anyone support the wall? (Ironically one real cost is that of converting low energy consumption/greenhouse gas producing 3rd world citizens into high energy use 1st world citizens but neither you nor Dave will accept greenhouse gas arguments!).

        If there are 12 billion illegals do they stimulate the economy or drain it? You will be quick to mention all the areas that cost money but what about the work they do and the benefits they provide. What is the net cost? Is it positive or negative? Do you know? I don’t. I’m not sure the passionate liberals and conservatives really want to know, they might have to change their opinion if they did.

      • June 4, 2016 10:03 am

        When someone squats on you land without permission, do you do a cost/benefit analysis or do you call the police? Do you expect them removed or can they stay if the cut the lawn for you?

        If they steal your car, do you figure if it will cost more to prosecute them than to just eat the loss? Net/net, you might save “society” money by just getting another car. No fuss, no muss. Why bother the police, they are busy!

        The cost of law enforcement is tied to the benefit of having laws, ALL laws. If we waive that law, then I will simply feel free to not obey the tax laws. Shouldn’t be an issue, because, well think how much it would cost to catch tax cheats.

        Yet, we do that everyday, don’t we?

        PS-when one of these low lifes kills your wife, will you do a cost/benefit?

      • Roby permalink
        June 4, 2016 9:53 am

        “I’m fine with birthright citizenship, as long as we do something about chain immigration. As it is now, one baby can clear the path for literally dozens of “family members” to come in on reunification visas, and never leave. And then they have babies, and the process continues….it’s insanity.”

        Totally agree. You have to be really liberal or perversely Libertarian to think otherwise.

        Tennis time for me, carry on guys! (Dave will be here soon, I’m running away to get fresh air and exercise.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2016 12:44 pm

        Roby;

        Too much of the discussion of virtually everything starts with the presumption that government must do something.

        Bzzt, Wrong False.

        With respect to immigration, walls and all the rest of this nonsense.

        I have a solution, you have one, Trump has one. Myriads of others do.

        But as YOU correctly note we do not really know the outcome of any of those.

        So why does government have to act ?
        I would like to see open borders – but I am not stupid. As an excellent rule of thumb greater freedom means greater prosperity.
        But all increases in freedom do not have the same effects and very often deregulating one thing REQUIRES deregulating another or the results will be bad not good.

        A decade ago CA deregulated wholesale electric power without deregulating retail electric. The results were predictable and disasterous.

        I strongly suspect that open borders would work out net positive even withou our welfare state. But there is a serious danger that the conflict with welfare state law and regulation would produce a net negative outcome – or more likely a net positive result but with some glaring severe negatives.

        We do not have to build a wall. Nor did Obama have to ignore existing laws.
        We can continue the status quo for a long time – possibly forever.
        Or atleast until we have a better idea how to do the right thing properly.

        Though the above mostly still presumes this is a government problem.

        Most of the problems we demand answers from government are not problems that require government action.

        Most problems in the world are solved at best temporarily by a combination of trial and error and creative genious, and they are solved by people without government.

      • June 5, 2016 12:53 pm

        “Too much of the discussion of virtually everything starts with the presumption that government must do something.

        Bzzt, Wrong False.

        With respect to immigration, walls and all the rest of this nonsense.

        I have a solution, you have one, Trump has one. Myriads of others do.

        But as YOU correctly note we do not really know the outcome of any of those.”

        Actually, Dave, we never know the outcome of anything we do. That is called life. That said, should you sit in your room when the house is on fire. Perhaps, you might go outside, just on the chance it might help?

        “As an excellent rule of thumb greater freedom means greater prosperity.”

        OK, Dave, we will close all the prisons tomorrow. After all, these free convicts will generate greater prosperity, right?

        More dogma.

        “But all increases in freedom do not have the same effects and very often deregulating one thing REQUIRES deregulating another or the results will be bad not good.”

        No, shit Harry.

        .

        I” strongly suspect that open borders would work out net positive even without our welfare state. But there is a serious danger that the conflict with welfare state law and regulation would produce a net negative outcome – or more likely a net positive result but with some glaring severe negatives.”

        Again, wonderful insight, usable for nothing.

        “We do not have to build a wall. Nor did Obama have to ignore existing laws.
        We can continue the status quo for a long time – possibly forever.
        Or at least until we have a better idea how to do the right thing properly.”

        You are right Dave, we can continue on for another 50 years. I assume that is what you are proposing.

        “Though the above mostly still presumes this is a government problem.”

        If not the Feds, who do you expect will enforce Federal laws, the tooth fairly?

        “Most of the problems we demand answers from government are not problems that require government action.”

        More dogma. If this isn’t a federal issue, what is?

        “Most problems in the world are solved at best temporarily by a combination of trial and error and creative genious, and they are solved by people without government.”

        More dogma. We are not dealing with MOST PROBLEMS!

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2016 12:54 pm

        Roby;

        I do not know is a reason government should NOT act.

        And why even bother to bring up Global Warming ?

        Recent article in Nature finally concedes that the Antartic – and southern
        hemisphere are not warming – and probably will not for hundreds – possibly a thousand years – because there is such a massive amount of deep ocean water that is not warming and is not going to warm for centuries.

        The artic is warming because most ocean surface currents dump warm water at the north pole.
        The antartic is not because it is a SOURCE for cold water rising from the deep, not a destination for warm water.

        While that is a realitively simplistic picture, it still explains alot – without CO2.

        There may be a connection between burning fossil fuels and arctic warming – but it is more likely to be the change in albedo of the arctic as a result of soot from china rather than CO2.

        The developing world will almost certainly shift slowly from dirty to cleaner energy as people prosper – just as the developed world did.

        Not because of CO2 are CAGW nonsense, but because people value cleaner air. We have been increasing air quality for centuries without government.
        China will inevitably opt for cleaner air – because its people want it.
        Government will likely and unnecescarily participate, but cleaner air will result regardless.

      • Roby permalink
        June 5, 2016 2:29 pm

        “I strongly suspect that open borders would work out net positive even without our welfare state. ”

        As usual Dave its interesting talking with you for a little while, as long as one has the sense to stop after a day or so when you get into this mode. You have convinced yourself that government should not act if it does not know the outcome,(and it can never know the outcome precisely) in this case the argument is that we should just try the experiment and let people come and go as they please across American borders. You won’t convince anyone else here. I have now officially tuned you back out. I did enjoy that Adams and Jefferson story.

        See you on the next thread for a day or so.

        Below just substitute the word libertarian for encyclopedia for the feeling on my side of your persistent sales push for something I am not going to buy:

      • June 5, 2016 3:35 pm

        Dave is the reason why those of us who prefer personal freedom and question government action get a bad name. He has one one speed (loonie and extreme) and cannot fathom being wrong (his words). In many ways, he is Bernie Sanders in reverse.

        Dave, hits the bricks and get some help. Failing that, just hit the bricks.

      • Roby permalink
        June 5, 2016 4:12 pm

        ” In many ways, he is Bernie Sanders in reverse.”

        That is pretty apt, but he’ll be proud of it and miss the point.

        You might note JB that I am probably more testy (well, sometimes) with posters (e.g. Susan) who make a bad case for my own “side” of the spectrum than those from the other “side” of the spectrum. Its painful to watch someone make a mess of one’s own basic principles by exaggerating them to the point of absurdity. Same thing is happening to you with Dave, because he is a more extreme form of you regarding government size and scope. My sympathies.

      • June 5, 2016 5:00 pm

        I would say that Dave is ardently dogmatic and it kills his credibility. He has no flexibility and cannot discern nuance. I suspect I am not the first to point that out to him and I won’t be the last.

        While I share his low opinion of government, that does not mean I think we need NO government. Rule of law and being able to rely on said rule is one of the cornerstones of freedom. Moreover, if we are to have government, we NEED to keep the pressure on them to perform and not simply shrug our shoulders and suggest that net/net, we are better off.

        Net/net we are all going to die. Pointing that out is of little consolation.

        Dave conveniently forgets that quite often.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 2, 2016 9:14 am

      Should we monitor muslims who enter the US ?

      Great question.

      Conformance to law works one of two ways:

      The overwhelming majority of us follow the law instinctively. We do not need to know the letter of the law. We know the basic principles – which are the same principle I “rant” about constantly.

      You may not initiate violence against others.
      You must keep your agreements.
      You must make whole those you harm.

      We all know those things. If we follow those, we are highly unlikely to run afoul of “the law” – atleast reasonable law.

      A tiny portion of us are not going to follow those principles if they think it is to their advantage. These are the “Real” criminals. These are the primary reason governments exist.
      Many – not all WILL follow the law – given a high probability of being caught and punished.
      Even sociopaths tend to conform their behavior if they know they will not get away with it.

      Government is force – it is the force that keeps that small portion of us that would not otherwise follow those basic principles, in line.
      The use of force to manage those who would not otherwise behave is very expensive and inefficient. But we do so primarily as a deterent.

      As we expand our laws the cost of imposing them by force increases exponentially.
      There are many reasons why the USSR and other totalitarian states fail – but a major one is cost. Maintianing the enforcement power necescary to compel compliance is very costly – and government is very inefficient.

      So you want to monitor Muslims in the US.
      How much are you willing to spend to do so ?
      What about other dangerous groups ?
      Should we increase our monitoring of released criminals ?
      Do we need more monitors to check that we are properly recycling ?

      Law out side those principles above is quite expensive – because we do not conform to it intuitively.

      So how large of a government do you want ?

      If you are free to decide we must monitor muslims in the US – I beleive there are 2.75M, so that is going to be expensive, can others decide we need more trash cops – because you have not been diligent about your recycling ?

      There always seems to be a reason we need more laws.
      But few consider the costs of those laws.
      Outside those core principles we do not automatically follow the law – because we do not know it intuitively, and most of us do not spend our evenings reading the federal register.

      What tends to happen in the US is that we pass laws – lots of them, and do not enforce them – because that is too expensive.
      But that means when you piss off a bureaucrat they almost certainly will be able to find some law to make your life miserable over.

      Is that the America you want ?

      • June 2, 2016 10:21 am

        Blah, blah, blah. Get back to me when the muslims stop slaughtering people in the name of allah.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 3, 2016 4:51 pm

        Most muslims are not slaughtering people in the name of Allah. Very few are.

        Those that do here – should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

        Our law is not supposed to be about what fear. About our worry about what our neighbor might do.

        Punish individuals for what they have done.

  11. June 1, 2016 6:33 pm

    I like to imagine what a Reagan/JFK debate might have looked like. Both had class and a great sense of humor. Both has a great command of the language and a fine intellect.

    ‘Tis a pity!
    .

    • dhlii permalink
      June 2, 2016 9:45 am

      What this demonstrates to me is that trying to fit everything into the context of law is stupid and expensive.

  12. dhlii permalink
    June 2, 2016 9:16 am

    JB
    “To be very clear, no one is reading your lectures, Dave. Get out a mirror.”

    1). So you are omnisient and know what others are doing ?
    2). So what ?
    3). Clearly they are annoying you or you would not feel compelled to respond.

    • June 2, 2016 10:22 am

      Yes, you are annoying, but I doubt you needed me to tell you that.

  13. June 2, 2016 12:01 pm

    Dave …”Compromise legislation is rarely a step in the right direction, it is more often a concrete barrier to further change.”

    I would have to question this statement since I believe more effective and lasting legislation gets done when there is split government and the two parties come together for the good of the country.

    Examples:Reagan and Tip agreeing to entitlement reform of Social Security that raised the full retirement age over a period of years. Since both parties bought in and designed the new law, neither could attack the other when the elections came about.

    Clinton and Gingrich..Welfare reform. Clinton refused in his first term to sign off on reforms. Then the contract with America took place. Clinton signed legislation and changed the welfare program. Neither could attack the other since both had input into legislation.

    And there are many other “compromise” legislative acts that have occurred over the years that have lasted and been positive to the country.

    Where government is at its worst is one party rule. The ACA is the best example of failure. Obama got everything he wanted. Now people are not guaranteed their doctor will remain in the health insurances they are covered by, they have rising premiums and the deductibles are staggering.

    The problem we have today is a President that refuses to negotiate anything and expects the minions in congress to snap to attention whenever he speaks. Instead of discussing, he lectures. When they will not do what he wants 100%, he goes the E.O. route and dares anyone to challenge that order. He knows congress has no “standing” in most cases, so someone else or some other organization has to challenge the order in court that does have standing. With this type of president. this congress has been willing to pass legislation that benefits the president because they do not want to have negative feedback and impact the next elections. So we either have bad major legislation or no major legislation passed at all. That is compromise at its worst. And really, that is not compromise, that is surrendering to the enemy.

    If the president was willing, I believe we could have had compromise tax reform, entitlement reform and spending reforms that would have had lasting positive impacts on the economy, but due to his positions, we are stuck with what we have or something worse when this congress buckles to his demands.

    • June 2, 2016 12:13 pm

      “The problem we have today is a President that refuses to negotiate anything and expects the minions in congress to snap to attention whenever he speaks. Instead of discussing, he lectures. When they will not do what he wants 100%, he goes the E.O. route and dares anyone to challenge that order. He knows congress has no “standing” in most cases, so someone else or some other organization has to challenge the order in court that does have standing. With this type of president. this congress has been willing to pass legislation that benefits the president because they do not want to have negative feedback and impact the next elections. So we either have bad major legislation or no major legislation passed at all. That is compromise at its worst. And really, that is not compromise, that is surrendering to the enemy.”

      Amen, and Amen on that score. The worst POTUS in my lifetime (and that is saying much).

      • June 2, 2016 4:48 pm

        Jimmy Carter is home in Georgia yelling as loud as he can “THANK YOU BARRACK OBAMA!!!!”

      • June 2, 2016 5:35 pm

        Assuming he can stand up. Yes, even ole’ Jimmy rates higher in my modest opinion.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 3, 2016 4:46 pm

        Sorry, the problem is that he is lawless.

        He was elected. He is entitled to excercise the actual powers he has as he sees fit – WITHIN THE LAW.
        Lecture, listen, compromise, negotiate, don’t – all free choices of the president.

        What he is NOT free to do is to do as he pleases merely because he can not get congress to act as he wishes.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 3, 2016 4:43 pm

      I have said many times:

      Compromise is a tool not a value, or a principle.

      I make many of my arguments in near absolute fashion. Partly for effect, partly because the beneficial exceptions are often so rare that their existance does not really alter the argument.

      The Nazi’s figured out ways to gain benefits from genocide. Aside from using hair for socks and insulation, much of our medical data on hypothermia comes from medical experiments done by the Nazi’s.

      Does the fact that Genocide had some positive results make it a moral good ?

      The Federal Government as an example spends $4T every year. No one – not even me, claims that nothing beneficial at all comes from $4T in spending. Only that we do nto get anywhere close to $4T in value for that spending.

      The same is true of compromise.

      Compromise is not inherently evil. It is also not inherently good. Some compromises do have net positive results. many do not. Coming up with examples of comprises that proved positive – even if I agree with that does nothing beyond prove that every compromise is not inherently bad.

      One of my Peeves with TNM is that “moderates” perceive compromise as a principle not a tool. That is false and leads to very bad choices.

      Should we have compromised with the Nazi’s and let them kill only half the Jews ?
      Nor is compromise good merely because the results are net positive.

      Net positive results do not overcome immoral means or sacrifices of principle.
      Can we kill one innocent person – if in doing so we save 3 others ?

      So called “moderates” here are unwilling to look at the principles involved, and often not even the outcome. Compromise is just presumed to be inherently good.
      All competing viewpoints should always compromise – atleast that is the message on TNM.
      And that is not even close to the truth.
      A more valid expression would be “all compromises are not inherently evil”

    • dhlii permalink
      June 2, 2016 9:00 pm

      I have zero disagreement with Sowell that this administration is acting lawlessly.

      We can all debate what the law should be. But the President has sworn to uphold the laws as they are – not as he wishes them to be. Not as I wish they were, nor as JB wishes they were.

      The executive has been increasinly Lawless since atleast Wilson. But Obama is the hands on champion of lawlessness.
      I do not think any administration has lost so frequently with SCOTUS. No administration has so many 9-0 decisions against it.

      As to Sowells tirade regarding “anchor babies”.

      There is no such thing as a law that can not be abused. This argument is normally the kind of nonsense one would expect from the left, not Sowell.

      The text of the citizenship clause in the 14th amendment is

      “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

      If we are going to get into nonsensical interpretations that significantly depart from the plain meaning of the words – then we might as well surrender to the left’s living constitution argument. The meaning of the constitution is changeable – BY AMENDMENT, not by twisting the meaning of the words.

      I am unfamiliar with the prof. that Sowell cites but Birth Right Citizenship has a long long legal tradition in the US – that significantly predates the 14th amendment and traces centuries back to english common law.

      Numerous supreme court decisions address the issue – including such infamous ones as Dred Scott. There is significant 19th century discussion of the issue.
      Even prior to the 14th amendment it was decided that the children of Free negros born in the US were citizens – BY BIRTH.

      If we do not like this – amend the constitution.
      Though I would note again that there is no law that can not be gamed.

      The real problem here is that you – and in this instance Sowell have decided that there is something “unfair” here.

      Again Sowell should no much better. There is no such thing as fair.
      We can respect liberty in law – and when we do we tend to maximize “equality” and most peoples concept of fairness. Or we can strive for “fairness” in law – and get neither equality nor liberty, because “fair” is a horribly arbitrary standard.

      I really could personally care about “anchor babies” as I would have few restrictions on immigration – beyond that if you come here you are responsible to support yourself, a standard I would impose equally on “natural born citizens”.

      Regardless, even from a wing nut perspective, you are addressing the wrong problem.

      The problem is NOT that children born here become citizens automatically,
      it is that other laws – not the constitution, create that anchor that offends you.

      So if this really bothers you – cut the anchor chain.
      Though I think that laws that allow the relatives of citizens to come to the US are good laws.
      They are still nothing more than laws.
      Rather than do something dangerous and stupid – like amend the constitution over this issue,
      rewrite the law. There is no constitutional reason that the citizenship of a baby confers any special rights or priviledges on parents, or relatives.

      Again, I think the laws that do so are good laws – even if you think they are being abused.
      But you are free to differ.

      Finally I would ask what is all the angst about ?

      First you want to build walls and shoot people at the borders.

      Now you are whigged out because the parents and relatives of babies born here might not be trivially deported.

      Honestly I do not grasp what the great injustive you are trying to fix is.

      That people who are desparate to come to america – are succeeding and being allowed to stay ?

      You went on this rant about “illegal immigrants”.

      Well children born in the US are citizens – far more clearly than foreigners who step over a line are criminals.
      The babies are not violating any laws.
      And the families that are being admitted because of them – are also legal – by the same laws that you are so deeply committed to.

      Regardless, make up your mind what your argument is.

      Does the law matter or not ?
      If you are going with the law is the law – right or wrong – you are stuck with anchor babies, and their consequences.

      If you are arguing that the law is wrong – then I would agree – people who cross an invisible line are not criminals.

      Regardless, if you engage in the same hypocracy the left does, you enable them.

      • June 2, 2016 9:37 pm

        This is an interesting and fairly objective legal analysis of the 14th Amendment. It was written before the death of Antonin Scalia, so we’ll never know how he would have ruled, had he be given the opportunity……

        http://www.nationalreview.com/article/422894/birthright-citizenship-fourteenth-amendment-constitution-supreme-court

      • June 2, 2016 11:56 pm

        One has to wonder if Scalia would have supported a case coming to SCOTUS since United States v. Wong Kim Ark was already settled before 1900. He was one that believed in tradition and the strict interpretation of the constitution and since one case was already ruled on, then all cases were ruled on. If we get to the point that every ruling will be reviewed by liberals that don;t like conservative ruling or conservative courts that don’t like liberal rulings, hey will never get anything ruled on that is new.

        And since he was one for strict interpretation of the constitution, I suspect he would have ruled those born in the USA are covered by laws of that jurisdiction, regardless of their parents status. If a baby is not covered by those laws, then what would preclude a mother from killing the baby if she decided she did not want the child. If the child did not have legal standing, how could she be tried? To be a little less dramatic, if the laws state every newborn should be provided adequate care including medications for survival, then if the child was not covered by the laws of the state and they needed some high cost drugs that could cure an illness but they would die if not given those drugs, could the doctor or hospital refuse to provide the drugs based on cost when legally the hospital would have to provide the drug to any citizen under the laws of the state.

      • June 2, 2016 10:29 pm

        Happy now? I didn’t read a word. You have to consider the source.

      • June 3, 2016 9:53 am

        Ron, I think that Scalia would have considered a case brought forward on different grounds than Wong Kim Ark, and I think that there certainly exists ample circumstances to pass new naturalization laws that would result in that case being brought forward.

        The idea that parents can sneak into a country, in violation of its laws, and for the express purpose of establishing a citizenship “anchor” by giving birth to a child on American soil, is bizarre. It was one thing when families of slaves were being brought here under duress, or when Chinese parents were legally living in the US and doing business in California (as in the Wong Kim Ark decision), but we now have chain immigration that is specifically tied to the violation of our borders by people who, in many cases have every intention of using taxpayer funded welfare programs and public services, without the intention of going through the legal naturalization process. And it’s costing the country billions of dollars and creating a huge political rift.

        I have no doubt that birthright citizenship was never intended to be abused in this way, and that it is politicians, on both sides of the aisle, that have allowed this situation to reach a point where anyone who questions it, such a Donald Trump, is immediately called a racist. (I know that that is not why you think he’s a racist, but the fact remains that his successful run for the GOP nomination began with his support of a WALL, and the protesters that appear at his every rally carry signs that say “The United States of Mexico).

        If SCOTUS felt that it was appropriate to decide gay marriage, they should certainly feel the same about birthright citizenship. And if Hillary is elected, she will appoint a leftist justice, the Court will grant certiorari right away, and decide 5-4 in favor of the naturalization and fast track citizenship of all illegals.

      • June 3, 2016 10:00 am

        I say, let’s build that wall and build it now! I volunteer to lay the first brick!

      • June 3, 2016 12:45 pm

        Before you lay the brick, you need to lay the steel reinforced 5 ft thick, 10ft deep foundation with vibration detectors before the first brick can be laid. If they can walk through it or go over it, they will go under it. And by the way, before they spend a dime on it and I would even consider supporting more wall, I want to see the design. The current walls in many parts of Texas and other areas are built like ladders with steel beams running parallel to each other, kind of like how pallets are made. perfect for climbing over.

        I have an idea to offer. a law that would (1) make all employment subject to E-verify (2) $25,000 fine for each violation found for hiring an illegal (3) increased us of ICE in and around construction sites for random checks of citizenship of workers as well as other known employment sites where illegals are employed and (4) no state or federal program support for illegal individuals or families.

        I think if you make employment so difficult and the fines great enough that employers will think twice before hiring an illegal, most would return to their native countries or never come in the first place.Then if that did not work, the planning for a wall that would be finished could be put into motion and the Wall started.

      • June 3, 2016 12:54 pm

        I bet we could do both and we may need to if we really want to make this work. The problem with dumping on the employers is they would need a readily available and reliable way to check legal status.

        They would also be subject to forged documents, etc.

        In the end, I am not sure why it is the employer’s role to help the government do its job.

      • June 3, 2016 12:31 pm

        Two things….”I have no doubt that birthright citizenship was never intended to be abused in this way, and that it is politicians, on both sides of the aisle, that have allowed this situation to reach a point where anyone who questions it”…………..(1)It is not the responsibility of SCOTUS to make laws, but to interpret the laws on the books. But if Hillary gets in, that is what they will be doing when her appointments take their seats. And when they make the law, the president does not have veto power like he does with congress nor does congress have the ability to override the veto.

        “It was one thing when families of slaves were being brought here under duress, or when Chinese parents were legally living in the US and doing business in California”….(2) Congress, not SCOTUS should decide who and who not can be here legally and who is a citizen and who is not. That would be done through an amendment to the Constitution.

        I still believe the way Scalia looked at the Constitution and how he felt toward strict interpretation that he would have ruled those babies are covered by the state and federal laws and given the protection of those laws under the “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” section of that amendment.

        Remember, Indians did not gain American citizenship until 1924 and until that time they were covered by tribal laws, not federal laws. That is one reason that terminology was added to the amendment. Had it not been for that phrase being added, Indians would have been granted citizenship and at that time thee was too much hatred for Indians due to the wars with them to allow that to happen. Anyone else born at that time was covered by the laws and therefore citizens.

      • June 3, 2016 12:44 pm

        I totally agree with your points, Ron. But SCOTUS can reconsider any issue, if a new law is passed, and that new law raises different constitutional concerns that those raised in the past.

        So, to that point, the Wong Kim Ark decision dealt with the citizenship of children whose parents were not citizens.

        But if a state were to pass a law specifically forbidding the granting of legal status to the families of citizen babies (that does sound silly, doesn’t it?), the Court could choose to hear that case, once the Federal Circuit and Appellate Courts had ruled. Or not. That would not be legislating, it would be interpreting new legislation.

        Sorry, I don’t think I was very clear in my previous comment……my last point was that, in a Democrat administration, a 5-4 Court (once the 5th liberal justice was confirmed) would be anxious to rule on any such case, knowing that their pro-chain immigration opinion would prevail.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 3, 2016 4:01 pm

        Priscilla – while the NRO argument is interesting and there are points I might agree with.

        Like some conservatives – even Scalia I beleive, I am not interested in the legislative history.

        Nor am I greatly interested in past supreme court decisions.
        I am only a weak fan of Stare Decisis.

        What matters is the plain language of the law.
        Beyond that I would value the PRIOR legal history

        There is a common law tradition of “jus soli” – BEFORE the 14th amendment.

        SCOTUS has gone against the plain language of many parts of the constitution – or construed one vague part of the constitution far beyond any meaning, and written off other far clearer clauses, on many occasions.

        I am not going to sell a specific theory of interpretation – beyond that we have lost the rule of law the more subjective the process becomes.
        We can fix it where we discover what our laws or constitution does, does not work – we can rewrite or amend. Law becomes meaningless the more subjective interpretation becomes.

        Pretending there is some credible interpretation that vitiates “Jus Soli” is nonsense.

        If you do not like it – amend the constitution. If you try to interpret it away you are giving your impramatur to the lawless interpretation of the left.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 3, 2016 4:20 pm

        JB

        It should NEVER be the role of employers to serve the interests of government.

        I do not care how easy you make it for an employer to verify some government assigned status, it still is not and should nto ever be made their job.

        Every employer today reports the names wages and SS# of everyone that works for them quarterly.
        Frankly I have a major problem with that.
        Regarldess, both the state, and federal government have all the information they then need to act as they wish.
        The enforcement of the law is the business of government not of employers.

        Separately addressing the reporting requirements,

        If you want jobs, the last thing you want to do is make hiring people harder.
        If you wish to know why unemployment is highest for those at the bottom – look at our laws.

        Minimum wage laws, are a ceiling for the unskilled – not a floor.
        Those who first conceived of MW laws fully understood this and drafted them specifically to deprive poor blacks of jobs. They succeeded.

        All the assorted employment burdens thrust on employers prevent employement.

        I ran payroll systems for 55 person firms, and 15 person firms and 3 person firms and 1 person firms.

        The cost of government regulation to big business is negligable.
        The cost of even simple government requirements for small employers, reduces or eliminates hiring.

        I am self employed. It is impractical for me to hire anyone until I can afford to hire 3-5 people. The additional government reporting requirements for 1 employee mean I end up with alot more work I hate in return for letting someone else to a small amount of the work I like.
        Why is that ever a good deal ?

        Nearly every political season has “nanny scandals”. Why ?

        Why should we be upset that someone hired somebody else to help in their house or to care for their kids ?

        Do we really want a country where to get someone to mow your grass, or baby sit your child or clean your house, you have to be fabulously wealthy so that you can afford accountants to keep everything straight ?

        Right now my workload is very low – so I will do everything – including the law myself. But if I get a big project – why shouldn’t I hire someone to clean my gutters, mow my grass, clean my home, do my shopping – whatever allows me to do more of what I want.

        If I can not afford to or will not pay much for that job – why does that matter ?
        I am not holding a gun to anyones head to take the work. No one is – and that is the point.

        Even this right wing nonsense, barring immigration, or outsourcing or free trade, is essentially premised on the miconception that there is some form of coercion or “unfairness”.

        We should always be deeply suspicious – probably just outright reject any argument that is rooted in fairness. Life is not fair – get over it.

        I have many many advantages others do not. I also come with a set of disabilities, and limitations. That is just how it is. We are not equal.
        I am not entitled to a job I can not perform, or that someone else can do better. It is irrelevant whether they are better because they are smarter, more productive, or because they are equally productive and cheaper.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 2, 2016 9:09 pm

      I have heard rumours that Putin is trying to figure out what to do.

      That the Kremlin has thousands of Clinton Emails that it could easily provide the FBI.
      But it is trying to decide what is in its best interests.

      Some time ago a reported on the NSA beat cited an unnamed NSA source to the effect of
      if there was a significant foreign security agency that had NOT hacked Clinton’s email server, that heads should be rolling in that security agency. That it was highly unlikely that no foreign nations had hacked Clinton’s server.

      Another thing people do not get – and Clinton spins well, is that it is irrelevant whether the material in her emails might also be available from unclassified sources.

      If MSNBC reports that the US is willing to make some concession in a negotiation from an unnamed source, or that the US had done something, or whatever, that has a completely different meaning than if you get the same information from the Secretary of States private emails.

      Merely knowing what the Secretary fo State is contemplating is a significant strategic advantage to any adversary. Reading it in Clinton’s email has far more serious security implications than reading it in the NYT.

      Classified documents frequently contain information that is available from unclassified sources. IT is still illegal to provide a classified document. Where the infomation came from is often more significant than what it says.

      • June 3, 2016 10:06 am

        Interesting. I still think that this will all result in President Biden.

      • June 3, 2016 10:29 am

        Oh, God, please nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

      • June 3, 2016 12:51 pm

        I agree with Dave. I think the Dem’s are secretly looking for a way out of Hillary. The Democrat leadership may even be secretly meeting with POTUS to find ways to insure an DOJ indictment, thus providing the cover to bring in Joe/Elizabeth. And that my friends is a landslide victory in November,

      • June 3, 2016 12:55 pm

        Don;t put your money on that ticket just yet. The Clintons have a way of worming their way out of things. Moreover, I don’t see Joe Biden as all that much of a threat.

        Pocahontas? Please, give me a break.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 3, 2016 3:44 pm

        I do not even want to begin to guess what the Democrats might actually be up to, or how things might play out.

        Except that Regardless of what some polls might say, Someone other than Clinton stepping in on the Democratic side at this late date is not likely to work well. Not Biden, Not Sanders, not Warren.

        Democrats have a problem – Hillary is seriously damaged goods, but it is way to late to replace her.

  14. June 3, 2016 11:45 am

    Just a little bit of a conflict of interest. Bigot, who is the bigot? It is hard to tell these days.

    http://theamericanfreedomparty.us/?p=16119

    • June 3, 2016 1:13 pm

      Well crap.So now he may not be a bigot, but now I find he is dumber than I thought. He just picks things our of his a$$ and spouts off partial comments arousing those that have a bones to pick with certain groups and leaves it there. Then you have to dig for the true story on the internet to find out why he may say what he said.

      The more I see and hear what he says and acts, the less inclined I am to vote for him and more inclined to vote for Johnson to give them one more vote of support, even though they will go nowhere. Only if Hillary carries NC by one vote and those electoral votes throw her the election will I take responsibility for Clintons election.

  15. June 4, 2016 10:12 am

    Wow! Over 100 comments in the four days since I posted this piece. I’ve been busy the last few days, and I’ll be busy again today. But I’ll see if I can add a few comments to the conversation here and there. Meanwhile, let me offer an appreciative nod to Roby for defending the fort against the inevitable assault from our libertarian friend. (No offense, Dave… we need your ideas, too — in moderation, of course.)

    • June 4, 2016 12:42 pm

      Rick, no one can say that your site is not representative of America today. And along with the the vast differences in views, especially concerning immigrants, we also find how our elected government officials have split this country into factions. There is a lot of truth to “divide and conquer” and it is playing out well for the liberal movement in this case since changing demographics are increasing their support faster than the conservative movement.

      Yes, there is a middle ground that would solve the immigrant issues. The solution is probably already known by both the left and the right. They just won’t offer that solution and keeping America divided is promoting their party and their agendas.

      Our elected officials are doing everything they can for America except moving it “Toward and More United United States”

    • Roby permalink
      June 4, 2016 3:51 pm

      Ah Shucks. Thanks Rick right back at you for all your work promoting moderation and thoughtful commentary. I broke my “no comments to Dave” rule, but the pattern is that he posts good factual interesting stuff at the beginning of these discussions before he loses it. That good stuff is worth thinking about if one can separate it from the dogma that inevitably follows.

      • June 4, 2016 3:59 pm

        And indeed, it is dogma.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2016 1:51 pm

        Sorry, JB and Robby, the Dogma is yours.

        Most of the time I am quite careful about making arguments I KNOW I can back up with facts.

        I used to watch Milton Freedman videos and watch him eviscerate left wing nuts, and wondered how he could manage to know so much and always have an answer.

        Until I started trying to do the same thing myself.

        This nonsense – whether on the left of right, is so chock full of self contradictory crap, the difficult part is deciding what argument to use.

        Regardless, though my intellectual history has brought me through most every perspective at one time or another in my life, I arrived at this “hard libertarian” perspective primarily pragmatically, not ideologically.

        If you want facts and data, some places I would start – would be “the skeptical environmentalist” and “The Ultimate Resource Book”.
        Ignoring the “ideological” portions of this massive tomes, which I do not completely agree with, more importantly both authors compile and provide verifiable sources for a broad spectrum of data, on a wide variety of topics.

        NONE of the long term trends in ANYTHING contradict what you would a classical liberal would expect.
        Please tell me any other ideology that is actually congruent to real world data – even half the time.

        JB seems to think that Fox noting that ICE has cooked the books on Recidivism is somehow damning. But there are so many problems:
        ICE cooking the books is unsurprising.
        ICE is not a standard source for data on criminality.
        I have never said that immigrants are less likely to be criminals than those who have been here for generations.
        What I have said is that Mexican (or Hispanic) immigrants are no more or less engaged in crime than prior waves of immigrants.

        Crime is no more (or less) a justification for deporting mexicans, than it was decades ago for deporting italians or the Irish.

        To be clear – I accept that if we allow 1,000,000 syrians into the US that we will increase the number of future acts of domestic terrorism.
        Regardless, the net benefits will still outweigh the losses.
        How many Steve Jobs are you prepared to trade for fewer San Bernadino killers ? Nor is it just a Jobs/ Farook tradeoff. But the myriads of other more and less productive immigrants in between.

      • June 5, 2016 3:32 pm

        “To be clear – I accept that if we allow 1,000,000 syrians into the US that we will increase the number of future acts of domestic terrorism.
        Regardless, the net benefits will still outweigh the losses.”

        Prove this statement or shut up. You are wasting space on this board, and perhaps, on this planet (the latter statement cannot be proven).

    • dhlii permalink
      June 5, 2016 2:13 pm

      Rick;

      Language matters. I have said this before, but most of us think in words. Misuse of languge deliberately or otherwise distorts our thought.

      I have never in my life “assaulted” anyone.

      I am not saying this because I am taking great offense at your language.
      I have thick skin.

      I am noting this because when you use “assualt” is both exposes and shapes your own thinking.

      I deal with progressive who constantly claim I am trying to “force” my values on them.

      Not even close. There is only one system in which each of us are free to beleive whatever we please and run our OWN lives as we please – and that is the lockean social contract.

      If you want to concoct a private voluntary commune – more power to you.
      Any way of relating that works best in a voluntary arrangement will ultimately be adopted by all. If communism or socialism or …. worked, they would not need force.

      I part ways with progressives, conservatives and “moderates” because you wish to go beyond having the freedom to prove you have a better approach, and impose it by force on everyone else.

      “Assault” is the attempt to impose your will on others by force.

      That is absolutely completely entirely what I am opposed to.

      • June 8, 2016 3:27 pm

        Dave: I use “assault” in the figurative sense. I don’t mean to imply that you’re trying to force your ideas on me. You just have a habit of attacking nearly all of mine. I’ve come to expect it.

  16. June 4, 2016 4:12 pm

    The lawless POTUS just keep giving and the Congress sits on its hands.

    • June 4, 2016 5:06 pm

      They won’t do what he wants, he acts, GOP congressional elected officials are afraid of vetos and negative press, they sit on the a$$es and do nothing, They are more interested in getting reelected and doing nothing for a few more years than doing something good for the country, but risking reelection.

      • June 4, 2016 5:43 pm

        Agreed. If they moved on him, the R word would come out in a NY minute.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 5, 2016 1:26 pm

      JB

      How is it you think this alters my arguments ?

      Wow ICE has been cooking the books.
      DO I trust the VA numbers either ?

      Regardless, the prior arguments I made are not tied to ICE data.
      They were tied to long term measures of the incarceration of various ethnic populations.

      You are engagining in the same nonsense the left does constantly.

      I am sure I can find a couple of studies screaching that the sky is falling and The West antartic shelf is going to break of melt down and raise sea levels by a mile.

      But Antarctica is not overall warming. It is almost certainly gaining ice – and has been for millenia, the faster flow of Antarctica glaciers is because of the increasing mass behind them.
      Declining glaciers recede they do not advance.

      Regardless, my point – which some of the time you are in agreement with is that it is ALWAYS possible to find some study result or dataset that contradicts the rest.
      That is one of the great difficulties in understanding the world, the economy, climate and immigration.
      There are ALWAYS ways that things are getting worse, and always ways they are getting better. There is ALWAYS bad data.

      One of many reasons I am libertarian – classical liberal, is because most everything ties together logically.

      Classical liberal political economics make assertions that conform to the vast majority of the data we have. Further the positions or trade are consistent with those on immigration, on regulation, on issue after issue.

      While conservatism (borrowing heavily from classical liberalism) has far fewer inconsistencies than progressivism, both are internally logically inconsistent, and both require vast amounts of data cherry picking and stuborn refusal to accept the overwhelming and building mass of data we have.

      I nearly died laughing when the VA came out recently and said people did not care about wait times at Disney world – they were more interested in the experience.

      Disney goes to incredible effort to track wait times, to make them public to encourgage and provide tools for visitors to structure their time at Disney world to minimize waits and to engage in enjoyable activity while they wait.

      Because wait times ARE part of the overall experience.
      Because actors in the free market know that torturing their clients is a long term losing proposition.

      So to loop back to your immigrants are criminals argument.

      NRO (and many others) looking at decades of data, comparing hispanics to other immigrant groups in the past found no statistically significant difference between hispanics and prior large immigrants groups – such as germans, and poles, and irish and italians, with respedct to many metrics – including rates of assymilation and rates of criminality.

      It is true that 1st (and 2nd) generation immigrants are more likely to be criminals.
      But it is NOT true that first generation Mexican immigrants are more likely to be criminals than 1st generation Irish or Italians.

      There is one way in which hispanic immigrants appear to be unique.
      That is that they assimilate rapidly not merely into the dominant white culture,
      but also other cultures. Large scale hispanic immigration in the US is accelerating the abhysmally slow rate of assimilation of blacks in this country.

  17. dhlii permalink
    June 5, 2016 1:03 pm

    I recently watched BREXIT the movie – linked below.

    It was quite interesting in a number of ways. It offers an excellent counter to much of the lefts nonsense about what made Europe great (and whether it is great).

    But it was also an interesting foil to what is going on in the US.

    Here we have blue collar workers revolting and demanding protectionism.
    While in the UK the argument for truly free trade is being made by the blue collar workers who jobs are being killed by regulation and the EU’s protectionism.

  18. June 5, 2016 4:14 pm

    Aaaargh! Dave, there are times when I feel that the other commenters around here are too hard on you.

    But then, you say something like this : “Priscilla, First – no I do not really beleive Soveriegn nations can make whatever laws they wish. I think out constitution gives government far too much power – but even it was a list of specific enumerated powers – not whatever can be enacted into law.”

    I never said anything like that. What I said (and I’ll cut and paste for your convenience) was:

    “Sovereign nations have the right to make laws, and if those laws set border restrictions and immigration policies, particularly if those restrictions and policies are for the protection of the citizens of said sovereign nation, then that is within the rightful scope of the government.”

    You are often quite dishonest in your arguments that way. If I meant that sovereign nations could make WHATEVER laws they wished, I would have said that. You are far too prone to twisting and misquoting others in order to make your points.

    Here are 3 questions for you. Simple yes or no will suffice for the first two, a brief definition for the third:

    Do you believe that there are such things as sovereign nations?

    If so, do you believe that those sovereign nations have the right to enforce borders and make laws (NOTE: not “any laws they wish”, just laws)?

    If not, how do you define a sovereign nation?

    Obviously, if your first answer is “no”, it is not necessary to answer the other two.

    • June 5, 2016 5:02 pm

      To pile on to our Dear Dave, as far as I know EVERY developed country in the WORLD has immigration laws and some level of border regulation. So, the nirvana that Dave seeks is a pipe dream.

      Of course, that is not the only pipe dream Dave has, as we have seen ad naseum.

  19. June 5, 2016 6:35 pm

    Rick, a well-written and fitting post for Memorial Day, from its beautiful, reasonable title, “Toward a More UNITED United States” (and who can argue with that direction?) to an important call to action:

    “And decent individuals who think and work together toward noble purposes can reunite this fractured republic of ours.”

    Yes!

  20. June 6, 2016 2:20 pm

    Dave is SURE illegals are net/net a benefit.

    Right!

    http://hypeline.org/california-passes-bill-extending-obamacare-to-illegal-immigrants/

  21. June 6, 2016 8:39 pm

    I was having a discussion with a Trump supporter today, and the topic of the “Mexican” judge came up. I said that I did not think that Trump was a racist, but that I believed it had been very foolish for him to give the media a reason to call him one. I said that he should have called out the judge for being a member of LaRaza, which is openly supportive of illegal immigration and openly anti-Trump, but not called him out for having a Mexican heritage, because that made him SOUND racist.

    My friend – who is a super smart guy, and just happens to be of Hispanic heritage, although not Mexican – said that he was not surprised at the flack that Trump was taking over this, but that he thought that the whole incident betrayed the gross double standard that the media uses when discussing race and racism.

    He said that, almost since the day that Obama was elected, his supporters have accused anyone who criticized him or his policies of racism, and that the word has become meaningless, used now only as a political tool to berate white conservatives.

    He said that there is every reason to believe that this judge is a member of La Raza because he is of Mexican heritage, and that Trump has every right to question whether he might be biased. Judges are not immune to bias and that’s why they recuse themselves in certain cases. In other words, he said that Trump was not a racist, but that he might be accusing the judge of being influenced by a political group that advocates racial animus.

    So, my question is this – and it goes to the heart of Rick’s post, really : what really constitutes racism in this day and age? And is it realistic to believe that we can ever overcome the racial divisions that modern politics have reinforced? Obama was supposed to be the post-racial president, and he has made things worse. So, could someone like Trump actually help the cause of unity by speaking bluntly and opening up a real discussion? Or are we just going to beat him into submission and continue on as we are?

    • Roby permalink
      June 6, 2016 11:13 pm

      “So, could someone like Trump actually help the cause of unity by speaking bluntly and opening up a real discussion?”

      No. (real discussions have not been helping the cause of unity for quite some time, if ever)

      I’ve seen enough to form my opinion that Trump is a bigot. Just a disaster for race relations/American unity. Can I prove it? Well, to Who should I prove it? Lacking a KKK uniform in the closet or an outright declaration of white supremacy beliefs no one can be conclusively proven to be a bigot, not even white power barbie or Rush L. Some of us will believe that Trump is a bigot, others won’t. It will affect the election and quite possibly the future of the GOP.

      I don’t see how he possible could be helpful, he and his campaign and many of his followers make PC seems downright justifiable. Not a winner for common sense or common decency. Bleh!

    • June 7, 2016 12:03 am

      Priscilla, we commented earlier on this subject the day after it happened and before all the poop hit the fan when the media jumped all over it. At that time you said you did not think he was a racist and someone else commented that Hispanics were not a race but actually an ethnicity, I did not nor have I checked this, but I think that is correct and if so Trump would not be a racist.

      But Trump is a bigot. Webster dictionary defines Bigot as “a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance. And this defines Trump 100% in my opinion.

      Trump scares the holy hell out of me. I dislike the entitled bitch, but she does not scare me like Trump does. I dislike he policies, but if we can maintain at least control of the house, she can be held in check. Can we afford to elect a person that is so unstable that he would go off on a judge during a period when he could be building support for his cause and building support for his election? If someone crosses him after he is elected and something important happens internationally, would he focus his lasers on the issue at home or aboard? His campaign staff can not get him focused on the election issues, so how can we trust his cabinet or advisers could keep him focused on the important issues as opposed to someone who crosses his path? Even Gingrich came out against his actions and he has been one of Trumps strong supporters. He was even mentioned as a leading candidate for VP, but with the way Trump goes after anyone who takes a differing opinion I think you can count him as being crossed off Trumps list.

      As for Trumps VP, it will have to be someone like a Gingrich or Palin whose political career is closed or close tp being at its end. I can not see any Republican who wants to continue in politics accepting that position. It is the kiss of death. It is going to take the GOP another 4 years to recover from the damage Trump is doing to the party and alienating so many people is demographic groups any party needs to win a national election.

      I waffled between voting for him or not. After his reported call where he told his minions to support his comments he said, “Take that order and throw it the hell out” He then followed up by saying “Are there any other stupid letters that were sent to you folks?” Trump said. “That’s one of the reasons I want to have this call, because you guys are getting sometimes stupid information from people that aren’t so smart.”

      What was said by his staffer was “Erica Freeman, who told surrogates that “they’re not authorized to discuss matters concerning the Trump Organization including corporate news such as the Trump University case.The best possible response is ‘the case will be tried in the courtroom in front of a jury—not in the media,’” she added.

      It appears to me she was the sane one in this conversation and Trump was the one going ballistic because someone would not make the same bigoted statements that he was making.

      One form of mental illness is Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It is defined medically as “the person has an extreme feeling of self-importance, a sense of entitlement, and a need to be admired. He is envious of others and expects them to be the same of him. He lacks empathy and readily exploits others to achieve his aims. To others, he may seem self-absorbed, controlling, intolerant, selfish, or insensitive. If he feels obstructed or ridiculed, he can fly into a fit of destructive anger and revenge. Such a reaction is sometimes called ‘narcissistic rage’, and can have disastrous consequences for all those involved.” The next to last and last sentence describes Trump 100% in my mind.

      I am voting for the only sane people running for president this time. It is not the entitled bitch and it is not the narcissistic intolerant self absorbed ass. It is Johnson/Weld, two former GOP governors that won election in a swing state and a true blue state. They may not winn, but I can always say I did not vote for the one that does and then totally screws up the country as I think that both “D” and “H” will do just that.

      • Roby permalink
        June 7, 2016 12:41 am

        Hitler apparently came by his incredibly powerful sense of self importance by being hypnotized while he was having an episode of hysterical blindness after WWI. A therapist hypnotized him and instilled the idea that he was going to do something great for Germany, so he needed to recover. Somewhere I read that Trump kept a book of Hitler’s speeches by his bed. Just creepy. He must not win. You have hit the nail on the head as to many of the reasons. I’m waiting for the military people to speak up, and wall street, neither should feel comfortable with an unstable irrational and generally dangerous president.

        BTW, One of the biggest bigots I have ever met was my former department chair who hired me to teach for one year, she was both a Catholic and a left-wing nut. One half of her brain was always trying to choke the other half. One of the most miserable people I have ever met and a thorough, unashamed, self-righteous bigot. Most of her bigotry was directed at conservatives, but she had no lack of targets.

      • June 7, 2016 7:48 am

        Don’t you believe everything you read about Trump, or anyone for that matter, The media picks its winners and then tries to destroy the other side.

        I will evaluate Trump after he gets the nomination. I have not heard him attack Hispanics per se, but he is down on illegal immigrants, most of which are Hispanic. I don’t think he is responsible for that.

        I agree with him. Does that make me a bigot? If so, I can live with it. If most of the illegals were from Denmark, I would be down on the Danes.

        It is about the law for me and I suggest, for most people.

        I have lunch regularly with two faculty members who are naturalized citizens. They are down on illegal immigrants. Does that make them bigots as well?

        Let me know, so that I can stop having lunch with them, or they, with me.

      • Roby permalink
        June 7, 2016 8:31 am

        “Don’t you believe everything you read about Trump, or anyone for that matter, The media picks its winners and then tries to destroy the other side.”

        Right Trump is fine, a gentleman and a model of tolerance, The Media (a monolith, as is well known) is simply out to get him.

        Denial, that mighty river.

      • June 7, 2016 8:35 am

        Yeah, and I did not say, nor even imply that.

      • Roby permalink
        June 7, 2016 9:05 am

        “Yeah, and I did not say, nor even imply that.”

        Really, my sarcastic exaggeration aside, you are defending Trump.

        “I will evaluate Trump after he gets the nomination. I have not heard him attack Hispanics per se…

        Oh, BS, purely unbelievable, you haven’t evaluated him yet? I would think that you must be dizzy from bending yourself into a pretzel defending Trump while not defending him.

        “Yes, ’n’ how many times can a man turn his head
        Pretending he just doesn’t see?
        The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
        The answer is blowin’ in the wind

        How many times must a man look up
        Before he can see the sky?”

        Just the relevant excerpt for the sake of clarity.

      • June 7, 2016 10:43 am

        You have lost your cool. No need to attack me. I have said repeatedly that I will vote for him over the Dem. If that is defending him, so be it.

        I also corrected the claim that he is a racist. He may or may not be a bigot. I agree with him on illegal immigration and that is pretty much all I have said about his policy stances.

        So, take your shorts out of the knot they are in and back off! There is no need to attack me because you don’t like Donald Trump. I am not looking for a new best friend, just a POTUS that doesn’t make up laws as he feels like it.

        That is what we have now.

        Bob Dillon will be expecting royalties from you.

      • June 7, 2016 11:22 am

        Also, can we please stay near the bottom of the thread, instead of replying to two different ones. I lose my place, and I think we all get confused as to who is answering who ~ WordPress is a pain that way.

        If I am being a bossy female, I apologize.

    • June 7, 2016 1:02 am

      Priscilla, Joe Biden is wondering why his “put you back in chains” comment was so bad now.
      This is absolutely unacceptable for anyone running for President. One minute in you will hear the comment.

      • June 7, 2016 7:57 am

        Biden proudly boasts that he graduated law school with the worst GPA. This is quite obvious the minute he opens his mouth. The man is dumb as dirt.

      • Roby permalink
        June 7, 2016 8:34 am

        Ron’s post was not about Biden. You are deflecting. Stay on the subject of Ron’s post, why not, unless of course it is not convenient to address the issue of his post.

      • June 7, 2016 8:43 am

        Just to be really clear, I am no Trump fan nor apologist. I would suggest two things:

        1-Trump is simply preferable to a serial liar and in my opinion, yet to be convicted felon, H. Clinton.

        2-I prefer a politician who is NOT opaque. Whatever Clinton says is most likely not what she is thinking or will plan to do. Trump is much more likely to let us know what’s actually going on his head, even if you don’t like what that is.

        Yeah, I know, he is stupid right? Yet, here he is with the nomination and all of the other GOP candidates are sitting home and sulking.

        Again, not a fan, but facts, are facts.

      • June 7, 2016 11:09 am

        Biden suffered no political ill effect from his remark, other than in the conservative press. How does that compare to the incoming that Trump has gotten?

        And speaking of incoming, let’s not form a circular firing squad here, ok?

  22. June 6, 2016 11:12 pm

    A very honest post, Priscilla, per usual, and a reasonable question. Unfortunately, so much of the discussion in our mass media (not all, but much) regarding race, racism, prejudice and cultural tendencies, etc. is downright immature and over-sensitive and alarmist and taboo and shallow and dishonest. Of course we all know that deeper, honest discussions are often done in secret from all “sides,” some by extremists, some by reasonable moderates, some by shallow drones, some by intelligent people seeing what they see. Then there are the comedians who are permitted to capitalize on cultural tendencies, often in a raw and semi-nasty way, but it’s ok because it’s done under the cloud of comedy.

    Unfortunately I believe the mass media will continue to drown out deeper more honest discussions. We see Trump is a wild card breaking through some of the taboos and barriers, but unfortunately he does it too haphazardly. He has rough and despicable traits and poor diction wrapped around his bluntness, and so the mass media will be able to make most of it look bad and tasteless, which some of it is, while other portions should be able to be talked about honestly without getting all the over-sensitive people up in arms.

    All of the above is my humble opinion of course.

    • June 7, 2016 9:09 am

      My question was not meant to be a defense of Trump or his comments. It was a question for discussion. I think that Trump’s remarks about the judge have clearly been racially toxic. I’m asking whether his remarks reveal that he is racist, and whether political correctness has helped us overcome the divisions of racism.

      When a woman asks her husband, “Does my a** look big in this outfit?”, and he thinks it does, what answer should he give? The truthful answer, will get him in trouble, or the “maritally correct” answer which will keep the peace? Which answer do you think that the wife wants?

      A week or two ago, SCOTUS overturned the sentence of a death row killer, based on the fact that the jury was all white and the killer was black. Clarence Thomas was the only dissenting justice. The trial occurred in Georgia, the victim in the case was white, and there was clear evidence that an attempt was made to keep black jurors off of the trial. Keep in mind that the verdict was not overturned, just the death sentence. However, now the lawyers for the killer say that he deserves a new trial, and many think that he is likely to get one, despite the fact that no one currently disputes his guilt. So, are we heading toward a society where criminals can be judged only by members of their own race?

      The judge at the center of the Trump controversy belongs to an organization that supports and rewards people who have violated federal immigration laws. Does this disqualify him from the bench, or make anyone who suggests that it does, a bigot?

      • June 7, 2016 9:14 am

        I unintentionally oversimplified the decision in the SCOTUS case. The jury was clearly picked to be all white. Black jurors were intentionally excluded. But it still gets to the question of whether the racial makeup of a jury matters.

      • Roby permalink
        June 7, 2016 9:35 am

        “Does this disqualify him from the bench, or make anyone who suggests that it does, a bigot?”

        Anyone? No, not just anyone. But for those many bigots who do exist among us it is a great excuse to come out of the woodwork.

        As to overturning that verdict, in a 7-1 decision there must be some actual legal principle involved.

        Oh, the rule of law, which gets bent every time I hit the highway, 65 mph my ass, no one believes it. Probably, I broke environmental laws when I built my pond. I don’t report my under the table music income, etc., etc.. And I am in general pretty law abiding and believe in the rule of law.

        Illegals have a pretty shitty life but its better than the one they get where they were born. I don’t want to get on the left bandwagon about privilege but I was lucky enough to be born in a great country, they were unlucky enough to be born in a shithole. So, they are doing the natural thing that anyone does, trying to have a better, if still shitty, situation to live in. They are not destroying the country. If I lived at the border in Texas I might feel under siege, but I don’t, so I don’t.

        I see the downside of the illegals quite clearly, but I also understand their situation. If this were an easy problem it would have been solved long ago. Trump is a demagogue who is using this issue as his main tool, appealing much more to emotions than to logic or analysis. He is making it that much harder to find some way to live with this situation. Quite possibly he is blowing up the GOP at the same time. Lose-lose.

      • June 7, 2016 10:45 am

        Why do you want to “live with the situation. You don’t feel that controlling legal immigration is important?

      • June 7, 2016 9:55 am

        Fair enough on all points, Roby, although I think that people are quick to label the “bigots who do exist among us” without really knowing which are actual bigots, and which may be making a valid point. We all have our biases, some are racial, some are not. But having a bias does not make one an intolerant bigot I don’t like to throw around pejoratives, and I think that calling someone a bigot for pointing out the bias of another may be just that ( I’m not saying that you did that, simply that it is common to do so these days).

        And, I won’t say that local traffic laws are not equivalent to federal immigration statutes, but I don’t think that they are. On the other hand, if we are to be a nation of laws, I should get a ticket for going over 55 mph, and illegals should be deported. Either that, or change the laws.

        Trump is absolutely blowing up the GOP – I don’t think that is even in question at this point. And he is using many of the techniques of a demagogue, so perhaps he is one.

      • June 7, 2016 10:48 am

        Every politician is full of hot air. They all make promises they know they can’t possibly keep and have no intention of keeping.

        Trump is NOT special in that way, he is simply more crude and has more bombast than most. Would you prefer to be lied to with smooth talk?

        Vote for Clinton, the lawyer who lies keep coming.

    • June 8, 2016 1:27 pm

      Sometimes I still have to wonder if Trump was a Clinton “plant” to sow discord among Republicans in this election. He and Hillary are/were friends, after all. I doubt if he’d be saying all these awful things about her unless it’s part of the act. Who knows… he might deliberately take a dive during the campaign so Hillary wins… or, egotist that he is, maybe he actually relishes the attention and power that came with his planted candidacy. It would make a fascinating movie — a political version of “The Producers.” Here “Springtime for Trump” turns out to be a surprise hit.

  23. June 7, 2016 7:56 am

    A question for our libertarian buddy Dave, who asserted that illegals net/net are a benefit and that they pay taxes. No proof was provided, as there is none to provide.

    What we can say is that the only way that illegals can pay federal income taxes, social security and medicare taxes is to commit another crime and obtain a SS number fraudulently.

    https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10096.html

    So, according to Dave’s logic, these fine folks are to be applauded for breaking another federal law in their process of becoming model citizens.

    Yes, net/net, these are the kind of folks we want coming into the country. Hey, if we are lucky, one can bring the Zika virus along with them. Wouldn’t that be fun?

  24. June 7, 2016 12:31 pm

    Priscilla, sorry for the jumping around. so I will just post at the bottom. I usually just click the “reply” link on e-mail and WordPress puts it where it belongs in the discussion forum.

    First, you say Biden did not suffer any ill will other than from the conservative press. I think you missed my point in the video I attached. Who the hell calls a black man “my African american” these days. Good lord almighty, that seems to have left the southern vocabulary of addressing blacks well before they stopped using “N….” and “Boy” to define a black man.

    Once again you ask if Trump is a racist and if political correctness has overcome racism. You asked if the judge should be disqualified due to his association with the liberal Hispanic group. Here is what I think.

    (1)The judge should be disqualified since he does associate with a group that would make it appear he has previously made up his mind concerning anything to do with Trump.
    (2) No Trump is not a racist.
    (3) Why isn’t Trump a racist? Because he is mentally unstable to the point he can not “see straight” when someone goes against him in any way. As I previously posted, a NPD personality “over reacts If he feels obstructed or ridiculed. He can fly into a fit of destructive anger and revenge. Such a reaction is sometimes called ‘narcissistic rage’, and can have disastrous consequences for all those involved”. That person does not need to be Muslim, Hispanic, white, black, red, religious, atheist or whatever to have the Trump rage come down on them.

    I, for one, would rather deal with a sane person with piss poor political positions than an insane person that no one knows what, when or where he will fly into a narcissistic rage over some insignificant issue that he perceives as a personal affront.

    • June 7, 2016 12:43 pm

      Ah, now we’re talking! I agree almost completely with your take on this, Ron. I don’t believe that Trump has NPD – that is a very serious disorder, and I don’t think that he is a psychopath – but he definitely is narcissistic in the more everyday sense, and has an unstable, thin-skinned temperament. Similar to Obama, really, just without the smooth, cool way of getting back at his enemies. Trump is the bull in the china shop.

      As far as the “my African-American,” I actually think that Trump was doing his very clumsy and stupid version of the way that blacks and even some urban white millenials use the term “my nigga” – not as a racist term, but as a friendly call-out. But who knows? My son recently made a video for a mixed race rap group and they were calling him and his white partner “nigga” and “homie” all over Facebook. I think it was in the nature of friendship, not racism.

      But, in any case, the “Mexican” judge is just getting the treatment that all enemies of Trump get. He treats people equally. Equally badly.

      • June 7, 2016 2:33 pm

        And, to be clear, I wish I had different choices. I don’t even like Gary Johnson. But, the truth is, if I thought that Trump were a racist, I would not vote for him. My support for him is as tepid as it gets. But I am so tired of the media narrative burying all of the issues that I care about ~ education, the economy, freedom of speech, etc ~ that I am willing to go with a boorish, Archie Bunker-sounding reality star, over a lawless leftist. God help us all……

      • June 7, 2016 4:30 pm

        I only wish I had your confidence that Trump will bring back the attention on those issues. I have my doubts and believe the media from Fox to MSNBC will be covering who Donald is attacking or what outlandish crap Donald has said this week after he is elected on an ongoing basis. The way Trump covets the coverage and attention from the press, he could be doing the daily press briefings from the White House himself and feeding the press with BS about someone or something on a daily basis. And since he suffers for Alzheimer’s and can not remember what he said one day and then says he did not say it the next day, he could be attacking the same person for a week and not remember he already took them on.

        Never in my lifetime did I ever think we could have a worse president than Carter. Then Obama happened and I said we could not get any worse than Obama and now we have these two idiots that make Obama and Carter look like members of Menza International.;

      • June 7, 2016 6:19 pm

        You have lost it, dude. Take a pill and relax.

    • June 8, 2016 1:15 pm

      I tend to agree with Priscilla here. His callout to “my African-American” was just awkward sounding because he knew he couldn’t say “my nigga” in public. It was meant affectionately; it just came off sounding weird. As for the Mexican judge… if he does identify with La Raza, then of course he’d be biased against Trump. Again, Trump blew it by just singling him out as Mexican when he should have brought up the judge’s radical political affiliation.

      I like Trump’s fearlessness in flouting PC conventions, although he’s undoubtedly attracting hordes of racially resentful white voters as a result. I also like his professed insistence on keeping American jobs from being offshored — any candidate I vote for must take that stand. But aside from his public crassness (and he’s probably the crassest politician since LBJ, who at least used to display his crass side only in private), I get the impression that this guy is winging it. He doesn’t do his homework, he’s proudly ignorant of too many issues, and he’s so egotistic that he probably won’t surround himself with a brain trust of more expert advisors. Some of his statements about curtailing freedom of the press are as scary as anything emanating from the gonzo campus militants these days.

      • June 8, 2016 1:42 pm

        “and he’s so egotistic that he probably won’t surround himself with a brain trust of more expert advisors.”

        One only needs to look back to 1976 when carter brought in all his cronies that were unqualified as advisers. How did that work out?

      • June 8, 2016 1:57 pm

        Liberals still worship Carter.

        BTW-who do you think HC will bring in? No need to respond.

  25. June 8, 2016 8:18 am

    Rick, I suggest you contact the writer referenced in this piece. Clearly, he needs some coaching on how to find middle ground.

    Also, you are a much better writer than this “Pulitzer Prize” winner.

    http://thefederalist.com/2016/06/07/detroit-free-press-editor-calls-for-murder-of-gop-lawmakers/?utm_source=The+Federalist+List&utm_campaign=5d2d3b2a1f-RSS_The_Federalist_Daily_Updates_w_Transom&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cfcb868ceb-5d2d3b2a1f-83789813

    • June 8, 2016 12:58 pm

      I saw this piece. (I read The Federalist, too.) Didn’t read the guy’s actual editorial — just the excerpts — but I’m sure he was exaggerating for comic effect. (Rabid animals in burlap sacks?) It’s the sort of thing H L Mencken might have said to blow off steam.

      Thanks for the nice comment about my writing — it might be worth a try to get published again. (I grew jaded after too many rejections of my essay collection.)

  26. June 8, 2016 5:14 pm

    Any reactions to the manner in which the press suddenly announced Hillary’s nomination the day BEFORE yesterday’s Super Tuesday primaries? I thought it was a blatant attempt to nullify the Sanders campaign before he could do any more damage to the Chosen One. (Who would bother to vote for a loser?) Then I realized that their tactic could have worked both ways: why would Hillary’s people bother to turn out if she already locked up the nomination? Either way, the announcement smelled of behind-the-scenes collusion, probably between the party insiders and their allies in the media.

    • June 8, 2016 5:46 pm

      Well this one I do not find much different than when Trump wrapped up the nomination. It was reported for many days that she was within a few delegates. Over the week end she won Puerto rico’s primary bringing her within 25-27 delegate needed. She got that in other states other than California.

      Now what I find interesting is the press is acting like California was the grand prize and it put her over the top.

      Regardless, I think the Entitled Bitch is going to have a hard time getting the same number of young voters out for her in the general election that Sanders got in the primaries. This is not like 2008 when Obama energized the minorities in both. It could be that many younger Sander voters turned off to politicians might vote for Trump and not some old worn out woman that has the personality of the worst teacher you ever had in school. Younger kids these days can see right through a person and know what they are really like. Is she the neighbor next door that throws your ball back to you when it goes in her yard pr is she the one that constantly yells at the kids for walking on her lawn? I, for one, would not want anyone like Clinton as a neighbor regardless of her position in and government or company.

      • June 8, 2016 6:18 pm

        This is CLASSIC; “Entitled Bitch!”

        I love it!

    • June 8, 2016 6:01 pm

      I think the first explanation (to depress the Bernie vote) makes the most sense. If Bernie had won the California primary, that would have been the huge story coming out of the night, and would have totally overwhelmed the other 2 big stories: “Trump is A Racist!!” and “Hillary is The First Woman to Run for President!!” And, since the Democrat super delegates are not technically pledged to any candidate, but can change their allegiance before the convention, the party powers-that-be had to make sure that there was no chance of them bolting to Bernie on the strength of a good showing.

      The whole Hillary as historic candidate seems so old and busted to me these days. Maybe it’s because she’s been running for President almost since Bill got elected, or maybe it’s just that the Clintons have been around so long, and their corruption is so well-known, but I almost resent the idea of her being the first woman president. I feel like she doesn’t deserve that place in history. Now, granted, I’m not a fan of hers in general, but I DID have a certain feeling of pride when Obama was elected~ and I wasn’t a fan of his either. But, if she wins, despite the fact that she and others will beat it into our heads that this is A VERY BIG DEAL, I think that a lot of people will be more like “Fine. You did it. Now shut up already!”

      • June 8, 2016 6:21 pm

        Curious. Why did you feel a bit of pride when the US elected it’s first half-black, son of a Kenyan father POTUS?

      • June 8, 2016 6:28 pm

        Haha, JB, I knew you would gag when you read that! But I did~ it only lasted a short time (maybe a day or less). So many people felt that it would make a difference to have elected a black man as POTUS. And it did, of course. It made things worse.

        But there was a moment, when it felt like a good thing. (Forgive me)

      • June 8, 2016 6:31 pm

        You never need to ask my permission, my dear Priscilla. I was just curious, that’s all. I have heard others say the same thing, but never could get my arms around the “pride thing.”

        Kind of like gay pride. Why be proud of your sexual proclivities? I am not.

      • June 9, 2016 9:44 am

        That’s because you judge people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin, or whom they choose to sleep with. It’s rare enough these days (MLK must be spinning in his grave)

    • June 8, 2016 6:15 pm

      Rick, how can you be so cynical? We all know that the media is totally unbiased. Clean as the driven snow.

      Time has hardened your heart!

  27. June 8, 2016 5:23 pm

    Dave, Somehow missed this reply to my earlier comment on 6-2. Guess the email notification that WordPress is support to do did not work.

    You stated: “Sorry, the problem is that he is lawless.
    He was elected. He is entitled to exercise the actual powers he has as he sees fit – WITHIN THE LAW.
    Lecture, listen, compromise, negotiate, don’t – all free choices of the president.
    What he is NOT free to do is to do as he pleases merely because he can not get congress to act as he wishes.”

    I am not sure he has done anything that is lawless. So far no one or no entity has been able to prove this at this time. He can only be accused of breaking the law and if no trial is ever held, then that is just a belief or theory by one or more people.

    The problem goes way back further than our current president, the prior president or any recent congress. It goes to each congress that has abdicated a small amount of authority that is vested in congress and was given to presidents by presidents over the years by various means and actions. After a little here and a little there, the president has much more power than ever initially given to them by the founding fathers. And Obama has seized the power that has come though many initiatives by congress and is now using those powers to do the things he is doing.

    It will take a court action to determine if what he is doing is legal or not, just like anyone charged with a crime.

    What if find perplexing is our congress today that acts like two year old brats throwing temper tantrums bitching about this president going beyond his powers and then they do absolutely nothing to take back those powers they think he is using illegally. If you don’t like what he is doing, pass a law that limits his authority and let him veto that law. Then try to get 2/3rds to override.

    But my theory is they want to scream, do nothing and then allow the president of their party to have those same powers that the constitution never included when that person is elected.

    • June 8, 2016 5:27 pm

      Sorry folks, fingers faster than brain. Third para reads in part ” It goes to each congress that has abdicated a small amount of authority that is vested in congress and was given to presidents by presidents over the years by various means and actions”

      Should read ” It goes to each congress that has abdicated a small amount of authority that is vested in congress and was given to presidents by congresses over the years by various means and actions.

    • June 8, 2016 6:17 pm

      A predominately white Congress will not impeach the nation’s first half-black POTUS. There would be no crime he could commit that would result in that action.

    • June 8, 2016 6:20 pm

      The Constitution has given the Congress all that they need to punish a President for unlawful or unconstitutional behavior – impeachment.

      I believe that Obama has done a number of things that were impeachable, but the GOP Congress has not had the courage to act. Honestly, I can’t blame them~ impeaching the first black president would be a tough political call,no matter what he had done.

      I’m hoping that Hillary or The Donald (or whoever!) are not so immune to constitutional sanctions. Because, as it is now, the Congress is not the co-equal branch that it is supposed to be, and our system will not function properly until it is.

      • June 8, 2016 6:22 pm

        Congress has been toothless for 8 yrs. Can’t challenge the Kenyan.

      • June 9, 2016 12:24 am

        Priscilla, JB,,,,,everyone. Guess I was not completely clear. Dave commented that Obama was lawless. I was only trying to pint out that he used every trick in the book and so far no action to charge him for being lawless had been taken against him and so far no crime has been proven.

        Yes, congress might be reluctant to impeach him. That is something else I pointed out, but in a different way. I was not even thinking about impeachment of the first black president and the racist comments that would have resulted.

        But I still believe congress will do nothing to reign in Presidents that use E.O’s to circumvent congressional action or inaction since they want their own president to have these same powers when they are in office with a congress of the opposite party.

        Its called doing whats good for the party and your supporters and to hell with what’s good for the country.

        And I think if Trump is elected, he will make Obama look like an amateur because he is used to running his empire and having them jump when he speaks. The way you do this as President is through E.O’s

      • June 9, 2016 7:15 am

        I don’t view Trump that way. That may change as the election draws near. Iwill actually watch the debates this time and see how i feel then. Either way, it should prove entertaining.

        How many times do you think he can say “felon” in one debate. What about “Benghazi” or “email server” How many references to Wall Street money can he inject?

        How many narcissist jokes will arise from these debates?

        I still won’t change my vote but I might feel better or worse about voting for Trump.

      • June 9, 2016 11:44 am

        I suspect these are going to be the dirtiest 4+ months we have ever seen in American history. I suspect the Clinton campaign is digging up everything in Trump’s closet (like his book on Hitler quotes/speeches that he kept by his bedside when married in his second (?) wife) just like Trumps campaign in digging up all the skeletons in Clinton’s closet. I doubt if we will hear anything substantial in any debate as most of it is going to be crap thrown at each other for 90-120 minutes. And my TV’s mute button is going to get worn out turning off all the negative ads that are going to be run by special interest groups once the conventions are over.

        Like I said earlier, this election sucks just at a time when we need a JFK or RR we get two over the hill egotistical asses that are no more qualified to be president than I am.

    • June 9, 2016 10:04 am

      Ron, I figured you must be getting at something that I wasn’t understanding.

      I think that any POTUS, going forward, is going to be more likely to try and rule by decree, based on the fact that Congress has allowed Obama to get away with it. And Bernie actually says in his stump speech that he would use E.O.’s whenever he felt that Congress was “refusing” to act.

      I don’t think that Congress would be as reluctant to impeach Trump or Hillary as they have been with Obama. Of course, the makeup of Congress will be important, as well as who the VP is (people have long said that Biden was Obama’s impeachment insurance, but, these days, that seems less humorous that it used to).

      • June 9, 2016 11:57 am

        Yes the makeup of congress is very important. I just hope whoever is elected next election that all the talk of impeachment from the far left to the far right stops and that congress begins to address the real problems in the country. They fiddle at the edges with real problems (like the VA health system), but nothing ever gets fixed.

        I just wonder if Chuck Shumer will be someone that promotes legislation or someone like Reid and McConnell who have nothing to write home about with they way they ran the senate….(Yes, I think when Trump loses the senate goes with him)

  28. June 8, 2016 11:24 pm

    https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=usa+today+front+page+hillary+and+trump&view=detailv2&&id=6BF80B28FE4B36A12C15B996D762C3ACAEB4CF55&selectedIndex=41&ccid=5FiCcfPK&simid=608015229513763043&thid=OIP.Me4588271f3ca69c195ae204fb3b5a05bo0&ajaxhist=0

    I hope the above picture is Don and Bill very comfy on the golf course.

    Oh c’mon. Hillary vs. Trump is what “The Cartel” wanted all along. Trump will take a dive as generally scripted, though I think even Trump and the most devious of the propagandists are surprised and having great fun with how retarded Trump is able to be. And they underestimated ‘ole Bernie so they had to keep propping Hillary up prematurely as the “presumptive” with her pledged and super-delegates, etc.

    Disgusting. I wish America could get together and actually boycott the election by the hundreds of millions. Send a statement.

    I’m thinking the Southwest coast of Norway is looking good to me right now.

    –bumblebee in a jar

    • June 9, 2016 7:10 am

      Norway is too cold. And with the price of oil in the thank ……..

      I am thinking Costa Rica.

  29. June 9, 2016 12:49 pm

    Yeah, I am not voting for a pot head. We already have one of those in the WH right now.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jun/7/gary-johnson-promises-to-lay-off-the-weed-as-presi/

    • June 9, 2016 3:26 pm

      Well if there is a choice between someone who uses pot now and then, a crooked lying politician that has escaped prosecution on any number of issues over the years or a narcissistic enraged mentally unstable 70 year old male that appears to have the first stages of Alzheimer’s with his saying something or doing something today and then saying he did not say that or do that the next day, I think I will take my chances on the pot head that has some pretty good ideas on how to get the country moving again. He has addressed tax reform, entitlement reform, foreign policy reform and a number of other issues straight on. He also is honest enough to say he can not do it himself and that he would support congressional action on these items, unlike Mr. Ego and Mrs Entitled Bitch who say they “will do this” and “will do that”. No president can do anything of substance when it comes to taxes, entitlements or economic improvements without congress introducing and passing the legislation.

      Maybe before people can vote we need a ten question test to determine if people understand what each branch of government can and can not do.

      • June 9, 2016 5:56 pm

        Gary Johnson is a politician. Why do you assume that he is honest. All politicians lie, it is a given.

        On your last question, that would likely eliminate every other voter, or more! I like your last idea!

      • June 9, 2016 6:21 pm

        I guess for two reasons. One, he seems to answer every question with factual information, unlike the other two that just spit out their scripted rhetoric. And Two, he says the President can not do anything without congress first acting, therefore he would ask congress to do certain things and if they acted on taxes, entitlements and other issues that cut spending and revenues, then he would sign them.

        Which other candidates tell the about the true powers vested in the President.

      • June 9, 2016 6:28 pm

        Neither. The main difference is that one of those two will get elected.

        And, I don’t like dopers. The fact that Jonson is a doper and a libertarian are related. Sadly, many dopers (Obama) see themselves as above the law.

      • June 9, 2016 11:21 pm

        I’m with you on Gary Johnson, JB. It’s not just the fact that he has zero chance of being elected, or even that he’s a pothead. It’s that he claims to agree with Bernie Sanders 73% of the time, says the he doesn’t know whether the US should have entered WWII, thinks that Jewish bakers should be forced to bake wedding cakes for Nazi weddings (He’s a libertarian?!), supports open borders, and, as governor of NM, inherited a debt of $2B and managed to increase it to almost $5B.

        Listen, I think Donald Trump is a jerk, but he is not crazy or racist or criminal. He famously has never done drugs or even had a drink of alcohol, and he has raised what appears to be a pretty successful and well-adjusted group of kids. His ex-wives speak well of him, and he has built a successful and famous business brand. He has executed a successful hostile takeover of the Republican party and there is going to be some fall out from that. But honestly, I agree with something I heard today ~ the GOP elite has divorced itself from its base; that is the fiscal conservatives, social conservatives and national security conservatives. The base of the party has embraced Trump, for a number of reasons. It’s a lot easier for the base to choose different leadership than it is for the party leadership to choose another base. If Republicans reject Trump, we get Hillary, who really is going to be an Obama puppet. It’s as simple as that.

        I’m voting Trump.

      • June 10, 2016 7:32 am

        As always, Priscilla, you are dead on!

      • June 9, 2016 11:53 pm

        And Trump and Clinton don’t.
        Trump…
        ..Trump University
        ..Tarla Makaeff,
        ..antitrust violation in 1988, Harry Diduck, Joseph Hardy and members of the Local 95 pension fund ,
        ..1990 He was named as a defendant in 21 lawsuits filed by different businesses and individuals. Several sued him for securities fraud and breach of contract

        Clinton..No need to take up space with all here illegal dealings going way back to the 80-‘s

        They think themselves much above the law. Johnson just smokes a joint now and then. He is no where in the same category as Trump, Clinton and Obama.

      • June 10, 2016 7:34 am

        I am a better candidate than Trump or Clinton. I have the same chance at getting elected as Gary Johnson.

        Perhaps you should write me in?

      • June 9, 2016 11:33 pm

        To be clear, I respect the decision of others to vote third party, not to vote at all, or to vote only down ticket. But, for me, the 2 party system is what we have, it’s how our political system works, and the decision is Clinton vs Trump.

      • June 10, 2016 12:19 am

        Your right on the political system and how it “works”. Using that term on how it is set up and how one gets nominated. Now I would take the opposite position if that were used in the same vain as a clock keeping time (works), a motor running (works) or anything else that performs at the level intended. In this case, the political system that has bestowed Trump and Clinton on the electorate has not “worked”

        Examples: Both parties allow cross over voters or non-aligned voters to vote in some states. So instead of a true republican winning in Michigan, New Hampshire (that set the stage for more primaries) North Carolina, and others that Trump won, had these been closed primaries where only the republicans chose their candidate, as well as the Democrat primaries doing the same, the outcome may have been different in both parties. This to me is “not working” as the Republicans are stuck with a candidate that is democrat lite and a former supporter and contributor to his opponents campaigns, as well as someone you can not believe 1/10th of what he says he will do.

        OK I am done with my rants about Clinton and Trump. I stopped bitching about Obama for the most part after he was reelected as nothing could be done. And I can’t do anything about the choices we are getting crammed down our throats, so I am gong to chill and decide in November if and who I will vote for based on my metal outlook at that time. I might even write in Al Gore if its a hot day.

      • June 10, 2016 8:02 am

        Al Gore on a Hot Day!! Now, there’s a candidate to believe in!

        But, sadly, you are right about how the system “works” Ron. The open primaries are completely ridiculous, and without them, the GOP would not be stuck with Trump right now. But why do state GOP organizations allow it? And , if Trump could figure out how to use the system to his advantage, why couldn’t the Republican poobahs figure it out, if they’re so smart, and he’s so dumb.

        And – no offense, JB (even though I know you’re really a Jersey boy) – but why do we all always have to be stuck with Iowa and NH determining who will make it through the early campaign? I mean, ethanol subsidies get more attention than the majority of national issues during that time. It’s funny, my husband and I went to our town hall this year to re-register as Republicans (yep, I’, a registered Democrat, from way back), when we realized that our primary vote might actually mean something this year. It turned out that we missed the deadline by one day~ but, of course, by the time NJ voted, the GOP primaries were “over.”

        But anyways……it’s true, Ron, that this year is crazy making in politics in a way that we have not seen in our lifetime. And it’s likely to keep on being that way, so I guess we all need to take a deep breath once in a while….

      • June 10, 2016 8:10 am

        I have no idea why Iowa is in this position and even why we have a “caucus.” Actually, for me, it is quite annoying, as I live up the road from where most of this political circus takes place.

        And, don’t get me started on ethanol subsidies. I hate them and sadly for me, I actually tell people that from time to time. Needless to say, they are not happy with me.

        Even the Indycar races is called the Iowa Corn 300.

        Gag!

  30. June 10, 2016 7:58 am

    Can’t we just pass a law and raise the standard of living?

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/06/10/minimum-wage-maximum-mess-in-oregon.html?intcmp=hplnws

  31. June 10, 2016 8:02 am

    I don’t know much about Trump’s policy positions. As far as I can tell he wants to:

    1-Control illegal immigration.

    2-Slow/stop the outsourcing of jobs to other countries.

    3-Fight back against political correctness.

    4-Place a close watch on muslims that immigrate to the US so as to reduce the chance of another terrorist attack.

    5-Restore the US’s relationships with our traditional allies in Europe.

    Is this a BAD platform to run on? What from the above would you not want to happen?

    Now, if I have not related the above correctly, don’t jump on me. I am only reacting to what I have read.

    • June 10, 2016 8:30 am

      Well, as my mom used say, “It’s often not what you say, but how you say it.”

      If Trump were less bombastic, and less shoot-from -the -hip, he might be a better candidate. On the other hand, if he were those things, he wouldn’t have gotten all of the free media attention that he needed to overwhelm the other, more traditional candidates.

      The GOP has been whining about the mainstream media for years. Now it finally has a candidate that has taken on the media and chosen to fight rather than apologize. And, true to its nature, the GOP is out there apologizing for him!

      But your comment illustrates pretty clearly what Trump has said he stands for. If he can stay “on message” as they say, and not get sidetracked by irrelevant issues like the possible ethnic bias of a judge in a civil suit against one of his companies, he might have a shot. It’s a long shot, I’m sure.

      • June 10, 2016 9:39 am

        I agree. He needs to tone it down, stay focused and hit about 6 themes, including the fact that Clinton was arguably the worst SOS in modern times.

        Oh, yeah, and he is a compulsive liar and serial felon.

  32. Roby permalink
    June 10, 2016 10:57 am

    Well, I easily gave up watching the news, much more effortlessly than I expected, so I don’t know whats going on with Cosby, any recent mass shootings, etc. But I still know about the election, although less. So, I still have a few cords to cut to live my dream of not being mentally jerked around by this train wreck/soap opera/Jerry Springer production.

    I would be ecstatic to know nothing, zip, nada about politics at any level, that is my goal. I’ve done my time. I’m not having my golden years soured by this nonsense when there are so many enjoyable and useful ways to spend my time.

    • June 10, 2016 11:22 am

      That’s exactly why I don’t post columns or comment here more often. I feel an obligation — a calling, really — to be a moderating voice in an era of nasty political and cultural warfare. But I don’t want to live in the trenches (or out there in the no-man’s land between the trenches). I still need to spend most of my time in the physical world with its sunshine and simple pleasures.

      • Roby permalink
        June 10, 2016 9:06 pm

        Very wise! Life is beautiful or can be if we have good habits.

    • June 10, 2016 12:59 pm

      Well there are t ways of looking at this.
      1) It really does not matter what you call it as he has endorsed Hillary and he will make sure his justice department does nothing to further any legal action. Why would he stain his legacy by endorsing a candidate and then allowing an indictment what most likely would end in a conviction?
      or:
      2) Once again he jumped out in front of an issue without regard to the ramifications of his actions/comments (like so many racial comments during his administration) and he will be caught between his endorsement and indictment.

      I suspect he had made up his mind months ago and could not find a way to stop the investigation without a lot more poop hitting the fan if he did, so he decided to let it go and then have his justice department announce that she was not guilty of anything they could indict her on, regardless of the level of guilt she actually created.

  33. June 11, 2016 10:29 am

    Interesting piece on Venezuela.

    https://mises.org/blog/what-makes-venezuela-different

  34. June 12, 2016 9:07 am

    Aw, those crazy muslims, just having fun shooting up the place. Why bother to screen and watch them? After all, what is the worst that could happen, right Dave? Maybe net/net, they are a positive cultural change for the US.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/36510272

  35. June 13, 2016 1:49 pm

    So once again we’re squabbling among ourselves in the aftermath of another mass murder of Americans.

    The first thing we need to do to restore unity in this country is form a moderate third party, to return political balance to the center, where it belongs.

    A centrist moderate would recognize both Obama/Clinton and Trump supporters have valid points of view on guns and terrorist Muslim infiltration, and negotiate a congressional trade off to incorporate both those views into law: outlaw all assault-style guns; temporarily ban Immigration from nations under ISIS and Taliban control.

    Both are necessary for our safety. No matter if the Left likes it or not, Islam is a breeding ground for terrorist ideology and anti-Western hatred; no matter if the Right likes it or not, no American private citizen needs more then a shotgun and a bedside revolver for personal protection.

    We need moderate politicians and voters to join together into a political force willing to do both to make us safer.

    • June 13, 2016 2:44 pm

      Welcome back, Jay!

      I think that the problem with gun control comes from a lack of trust. No two sides (or three or four, for that matter) can negotiate without good faith, and many on the left have not shown good faith in this debate, which has made those on the right dig in. Just last week for example, Hillary Clinton would not affirm that the Second Amendment guarantees US citizens the right to bear arms, when asked that as a direct question.

      I would tend to agree with you that the average American doesn’t need more than a shotgun or a revolver for personal protection, but, that is coming from you, a good faith actor. When the government starts telling private citizens what they need and don’t need for protection, it’s different. I mean, as it is now, most states have fairly strict gun control laws. There are just an awful lot of them that aren’t enforced. Very similar to immigration laws, right?

      Plus, the typical gun control discussion is FAR too emotional, as well as lacking in actual knowledge about guns. Until the gun control folks stop acting like every semi-automatic rifle is equivalent to an RPG, it will be impossible for this discussion to move forward. It will just keep going round and round…….

    • June 14, 2016 10:55 am

      Well said, Jay, and welcome back! We desperately need to disabuse both liberals and conservatives of their knee-jerk views on Islam and guns.

    • June 14, 2016 11:18 am

      Jay, I could not agree more with your comments about needing a moderate third party, but this would take years to form a “coalition” in congress and the presidency. It does not make any difference who the president is if they do not have the support in congress or the support of the large money investors in politics. Just last night I heard (have not verified this) that Marteen was on the no-fly list and was still able to purchase two guns legally. This due to congress not passing legislation that would have stopped this from happening.

      So if the investors in the Senators and House members have this much influence that we can not even keep known radicals on the no-fly list or who have been on the no-fly list due to radical positions from purchasing guns, I see little promise anything of substance will happen concerning assault style weapons.

      I would ask though if you would agree there is one additional style weapon citizens should be able to own in addition the to shotgun and a bedside revolver for personal protection. Would any long rifle used for hunting purposes be banned from your list? They may not be for personal protection, but this enters a whole different position on guns if those would not be allowed.

      As Priscilla commented about trust of the government, I just had a long discussion with a friend about gun control in California. He being the good liberal left coaster and me being the Southeastern Republican/Libertarian. After comments about gun control and what needs to happen or not happen, it became very clear what the differences in positions is driven by. He believes government laws can control that actions of criminals. I believe government laws only control the actions of law abiding individuals.

      If you make assault rifles illegal fro the citizenry to own, would you not have the same results as years of the “war on drugs” has had?

      • June 14, 2016 12:28 pm

        Over the years, I have watched and listened to various talking heads, experts and friends discuss the gun issue. I’ve heard the “if it will save one life, we should DO something!” canard more times than I can count, as well as “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.” Both arguments strike me as flawed, but the first one, the progressive refrain, seems wildly emotional and irrational as well. There are so many bans that would “save one life”; we could ban cars, many medications, swimming pools, pressure cookers….well, you get the idea. Actually if you argue it logically, it could be used to support the opposite argument~ namely, that HAVING a gun in a dangerous situation, could save “one life.”

        The other problem with the “one life” argument is this: exactly WHAT should we DO to save that “one life”? Repeal the 2nd Amendment, ban certain types of ammunition, ban semi-automatic weapons, require everyone to own guns? Who gets to carry? Only the bodyguards of the rich and famous? How does any of this save “one life” And are some lives more important than others? These questions rarely get answered.

        Then there is the “we need to make sure that something like this NEVER happens again” refrain, usually brought out after a mass killing. This is also a specious argument. How can we possibly make sure that anything never happens again? It sounds great, but, sadly, it’s just total nonsense.

        But mass shootings in the US have increased. How to explain this, what should we DO? I think that a discussion of stricter gun control is worth having, as soon as we are willing to get serious about screening and treatment for the mentally ill, enforcing current immigration and gun control laws before passing more, and doing something about the glorification of violence in the media and the massive media attention showered on mass murderers and terrorists (“This is, by far, the worst mass killing in American history!” ~ tell me that is not a challenge to the next shooter or jihadist out there).

        We have a gun problem- there is no denying that. But it is not a simple argument of guns or no guns. Nor is it an argument that should be waged between “gun nuts” and “crazy liberals.” Our insistence on making it a debate of extremes is literally killing us.

  36. June 14, 2016 11:11 am

    Knee jerk response on muslims? Man, you must not read the US and global news at all, Rick.

    Moreover, as much as I don’t like guns and don’t own one, I have NO faith in the feds to remotely keep these murderers at bay. I may have to get a gun, just to fool myself into thinking I might be able to response.

    The FBI had this clown in their sights and decided, no, he’s fine. He wasn’t fine and 50 people are dead.

    Obama is simply outing himself as a muslim with his refusal to address murder and islam. It’s always time for ‘us” to do some soul searching. Why? I didn’t shoot 50 people on Sunday.

    Time to get you head out of the sand. These folks don;t need a AR whatever to kill us and they are doing with with increasing frequency.

    • June 14, 2016 11:34 am

      JB..AMEN!!!

      Just search for “How to make a fertilizer bomb” and see what you get.

      But I would like to pint out that this type of violence is not limited to Islam or Muslims. That is just the people involved at this time. Between 1968 and 1998, 3,532 people died and 47.500+ people were injured in the violence between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland. So extremist exist in the name of all religions.

      • June 14, 2016 12:00 pm

        It has, but those people have moved on. These birds are after us, right now.

  37. June 14, 2016 11:12 am

    PS-there is a time for moderation and there is a time to wake up. When are YOU going to wake up. The middle is not ALWAYS the way to go.

    • June 14, 2016 11:39 am

      JB, this is where we have to disagree. Have we really tried the :moderate” of middle way?

      I don’t think so. Seems to me the relaxed way of handling these characters has been the way. We don’t profile, we can’t keep them from buying guns and we refuse to even look at any from of gun control (which I do not believe would work), but it is still off the table.

      Maybe we need to look at some “moderate” solutions to see if they might work.

      • June 14, 2016 11:40 am

        Thats “moderate” OR middle way….

      • June 14, 2016 12:19 pm

        I agree that we do a crappy job on monitoring these threats. I don’t think the data supports your notion that any form of gun control has worked in the US. The cities that have the tightest laws seem to have the most gun deaths.

        Go figure.

      • June 14, 2016 1:44 pm

        And the cities with the most gun deaths have the most guns.

        We have to reduce the number and kinds of guns in circulation, like the Australians did.

        That means outlawing the manufacture and import of those banned weapons.

        That won’t stop criminals from acquiring illegal weapons, but it will make it much harder and more expensive to get them – particularly for inner city gang bangers and wannabes. Now, guns are as cheap and available as mobile phones or LeBron Nikes. The more roadblocks we erect for easy availability to guns, the less drive-by and gang shooting deaths we’ll see, and less mass shootings in public places.

        Look at this weekend’s gun violence in Chicago, and tell me what other way there is to reduced daily shootings like this in the future, other then severely reducing the number of guns in the US.

        http://abc7chicago.com/news/42-people-shot-7-killed-in-chicago-weekend-violence/1383393/

      • June 14, 2016 2:03 pm

        Jay, your saying “We have to reduce the number and kinds of guns in circulation, like the Australians did” is exactly what we don’t need people to be saying.

        I’m not saying that some version of Australia’s solution might not ultimately work someday, but a sweeping statement like that, without any acknowledgement of the fact that Australia has no 2nd Amendment and had, in 1996, majority agreement among the leaders and citizens of its six states that this was a good idea.

        Just ignoring the very logical statement that JB made, that cities with the strictest gun laws have the most gun crime, or countering it by saying that its because they have the most guns (how did that happen, and who has them?) is exactly what makes this argument go nowhere.

      • June 14, 2016 3:47 pm

        Some moderate solutions that could help:

        1. Extend the waiting period for background checks from 3 days to 30 . As it is now, if there is no response from the FBI or ATF in 3 days, the sale can go through, and it is up to the ATF to confiscate the weapon after the fact, if the check reveals a problem. That is a stupid and unrealistic system.

        2. Start prosecuting straw purchasers. Even though it’s a federal crime, it’s usually ignored. Increase the penalties and prosecute in every case where a gun used in a crime has been purchased by someone else who cannot prove that it was stolen.

        3. Come up with a constitutionally viable licensing system for gun purchases. Not only strict and complete background checks, but required firearms training and safety education. If you don’t have a license, you can’t buy a gun, period.

        4. A voluntary buyback program might be of some value. If it’s combined with an amnesty for turning in illegally purchased weapons, maybe more so. Although I haven’t really thought that one through…….

      • June 14, 2016 11:30 pm

        I agree that changes do you suggest have value. Take a look at The Canadian gun law regulations. They reflect your take on background checks and licensing requirements, and offer a model for what weapons to permit, or ban.

  38. June 16, 2016 11:01 am

    How can we become more united when the next presumptive president already says she is going to circumvent congress and use executive orders to govern?

    http://www.businessinsider.com/hillary-clinton-says-she-would-use-executive-action-to-close-a-controversial-tax-loophole-2016-6

  39. June 16, 2016 11:47 am

    There is no solution to the divisiveness destroying the country with our present two party dog eat dog system. No matter who is the Prez, the left & right will pull him/her like one of those Stretch Armstrong toys

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