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An Open Letter to Moderates

May 31, 2017


Dear Moderates:

Extremists to the right of us, extremists to the left of us! Hold the center, friends! We’re all that stands between the angry, embattled white conservatives and the angry, militant multiculti leftists. They’re intent on obliterating each other, and they won’t make life especially agreeable for us, either.

Of course, we moderates have always been a buffer between the right and left. That’s our lot. But the extremist camps have been swelling with angry partisans while the sane center has been deteriorating like a middle-class retiree’s investment portfolio.

When the bipartisan group No Labels asks us to grade President Trump on his weekly performance, roughly half the country gives him an A or a B, the other half gives him an F, and less than 2% grant him a more nuanced C or D grade. That’s polarization for you.

It seems like ancient history now, but I remember a time when the majority of Americans classified themselves as moderates. There actually used to be moderate Republicans and moderate Democrats dwelling among us. Who can believe it today? And what happened?

Seduced by willfully slanted cable news, identity politics and online amen corners, Americans have spent the new millennium splitting into opposing and mutually hostile factions. The left rages against Trump, white privilege, patriarchy, evangelical Christianity, heteronormalcy (there’s a new buzzword for you) and the burgeoning fortunes of the 1%. The right rages against immigrants, Muslims, political correctness and the left’s ongoing mockery of right-wing ignorance and spelling. (No wonder so many working-class white folks are duped into voting for rich Republicans; they hate those snooty Democrats even more.)

The divide is social as well as political: progressives tend to socialize only with other progressives, while garden-variety conservatives typically hang out together at backyard barbecues and country music concerts. Eventually, as I’ve observed before, I’m afraid the two cultures could evolve into strange new (and reproductively incompatible) species.

What can we do as moderates to reverse this lamentable trend? First of all, we need to reclaim our turf and protect it from erosion. Too long have we been caricatured as timid, vanilla, noncommittal milquetoasts, incapable of taking a stand. Too long have we watched in silence as both the right and left generated the kind of moral heat that radicalizes and fanaticizes their followers. We need to generate moral heat ourselves – the right kind of moral heat – the kind that shuns hatred and appeals to our better angels.

When I started this blog, I believed that moderates could be every bit as impassioned and politically active as the partisans – without their rancor or their myopic focus on their own narrow interests. I enjoyed taking potshots at the extremists in both camps, and I still do. But as the nation descends into a long and potentially violent cold war between American conservatives and progressives, it’s more important for us to build bridges.

Classic moderates believe there are at least two legitimate sides to most issues. Unlike the partisans, we believe it’s both unwise and unfair to embrace one side before considering the other. We might eventually take sides, but we’ve done our homework. More often, we seek and find grounds for compromise.

Take abortion, that perennial hot-button issue. Is it solely about a woman’s right to choose what she does with her body? Progressives insist it is. Conservatives will tell you it’s murder. So who’s right? At the very least, abortion terminates a potential human life – a life that’s genetically distinct from the body that carries it. On the other hand, it’s unreasonable for the state to force a woman to carry an unwanted baby to term. The solution lies somewhere in the middle — for example, a ban on abortions after the midpoint of the pregnancy, with exceptions made for cases of rape, incest or health complications. It’s an imperfect solution, but it’s a balanced one.

When we’re willing to look at both sides of an issue, we reject the rigidity of partisan thinking. With care and insight, we can hammer out nuanced solutions that might not satisfy either camp but won’t provoke bloodshed, either. That’s the essence of moderate politics, and it probably explains why we find it harder to attract warm bodies in a polarized climate. Polarized minds love absolute certainty, and we offer complexity. We don’t have an ideology; we simply have ideas.

So how do we become a political force again? It would help if we had our own influential media outlets and our own political party, but we don’t have the time or means to build a centrist establishment. (Besides, trying to organize independent-thinking moderates is like the proverbial herding of cats. We’re not accustomed to marching in lockstep.)

I talked earlier about the need to generate moral heat – not the kind of heat that incites anger and division, but impassioned appeals to common sense,  common values and old-fashioned decency.

Yes, we moderates need to show our backbone more often and more publicly. That means being unafraid to speak up when the extremists go overboard (even at the risk of being “unfriended” on Facebook). It means fighting for reason, fairness and balance – assertively and fearlessly. It means taking back the two-party system by running successful moderate candidates and marginalizing the extreme partisans. (Already there’s talk of “neo-moderates” working to save the soul of the GOP.)

Above all – and this is our toughest challenge – it means convincing the extremists that we’re all neighbors here… that we should stop listening to those who sow discord… that we can’t continue to segregate ourselves according to race, gender, sexuality, class, religion or other arbitrary categories that turn us into snarling foes.

We’re fellow humans — clever, stupid, vulnerable and longing for a happy life. If we live in the United States, we’re all Americans. E pluribus unum, remember? Together our people shot for the moon and succeeded. Surely, with a little effort and moderation, we can get along here on earth.

Thank you,

The New Moderate


Rick Bayan is founder/editor of The New Moderate and the author of the recently published Lifestyles of the Doomed, available wherever e-books are sold.

617 Comments leave one →
  1. Joyce Judy permalink
    May 31, 2017 9:36 pm

    Rick haven’t heard from you in awhile. While I agree with most of what you say, I’m not sure how we achieve it. Jon Ossiff in Georgia is too moderate for Bernie, but it’s what we need in red states.

    Abortion isn’t just about life versus death. Its about birth control in general.

    With some of the things I am seeing and hearing from the right, I’m not sure how moderates can keep from fighting against them. I have talked to both sides and neither seems willing to budge on their ideology.

  2. May 31, 2017 11:44 pm

    ” It means taking back the two-party system by running successful moderate candidates and marginalizing the extreme partisans.”

    Easier said than done until those with money begin backing some moderate candidates and are willing to lose that money until the moderate voices are heard once again. Then their investment will begin to pay off.

  3. Judy Frey permalink
    June 1, 2017 12:07 am

    I don’t understand how anyone could possibly disagree with a single sentence written here. People who wear their “liberal” or “conservative” title as some sort of badge of honor generally lack the ability to be critical thinkers. They’re the undoing of civility. Thank you for providing such sensible reminders that there are other like minded moderate creatures out there.

  4. Anonymous permalink
    June 1, 2017 12:43 am

    Why wring your hands about abortion when we have war staring us in the face all over the globe. SO tired, so very, very tired of hearing about banning abortions and bantering about the “murder” accusation when we have men who are ready and willing to suck off of the taxpayers for careers in the military…and who don’t care who they kill if they’re asked to kill. SO TIRED of the hypocrisy.

    • June 1, 2017 12:19 pm

      Anonymous, was not Rick using this as an example only how the divide has caused problems and there could be compromise positions where no one is completely happy, but the outcome is better than no outcome other than continued arguing?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 1, 2017 3:17 pm


        I have sort of ignored the abortion argument.

        Though it does reflect the fact that compromise is NOT the answer.

        Though the answer is not what either party advocates.

        The right to absolute and total control of ones body is inviolable.
        It does nto matter whether a fetus is human or not.

        Government can not compel us to give – or even loan parts of our bodies to others.
        Even if they will die if we do not.

        When death is the natural consequence of justified conduct – it is not murder.

        That said. The fetus is NOT the woman’s body – it is dependent on the womans body.
        Those are not the same.

        The woman can insist that the fetus be removed – in the safest way for her possible,
        if that results in the fetus’s death – so be it. That is her right.
        But she does not have the right to kill the fetus – only to remove it.

        If states or the federal government want to pass laws that say that without increasing the risk to the woman, abortion clinics must make every effort to save the life of the fetus after removal – they can.

        Further just as a man can be required to support a child they sired, a woman can be required to support a child they aborted that lived.

        The above conforms to centuries of common law on our rights to our bodies.
        It also conforms to our laws regarding killing and murder.
        It does not run afoul of changes in science of medical technology.

        It is unlikely to make either side happy.
        It is NOT a compromise.
        It is actually what is legally, morally and ethically right.

        The value of late abortion as a form of birth control becomes radically diminished.
        The rights of women to control their bodies is fully respected.
        The remained of our law regarding the obligations of biological parents is fully respected.

      • June 6, 2017 7:31 pm

        Thanks, Ron. You summarized my point better than I could.

  5. dhlii permalink
    June 1, 2017 2:24 am


    Once in a while I tend to think that maybe you are moderate.
    But for the most part you are just a milquetoast lefty.

    I will absolutely agree that the left has gone bonkers – and you are NOT part of the modern bonkers left.

    I have a nephew – who is very smart – reads plato in Greek, is working on a doctorate in philosophy.

    Since going to college he has changed to make Moogie appear like a right wing nut.
    He talks sincerely of the coming revolution of executing or jailing “the rich”.

    He is only where he is as a result of an upper middle class upbringing, and he is way to smart to buy this kind of nonsense.

    And way too many on the left are not that far from him.

    I have zero problem with protests – and there is alot in Trump worth protesting.
    But post election the left is not just engaged in constructive protest.
    They are talking themselves into and often acting violently. They are justifying violence,
    and much of the protest is complete lunacy.

    In ordinary speech I overliberally use explictives, it is a trait I need to wind down. I got it from my Public defender wife. Unfortunately she can turn it off at whim I can not.

    But the DNC chairmen – and the leading lights of the left make my speech look like that of a choir boy.

    BTW it is not the expletives that bother me, it is the HATE.

    We just went through and election where the left fed us 24×7 the indentitiy politics that anyone not on the left was a hateful, hating hater – and somehow they were surprised when the electorate did not like them ?

    So at the end of this election where the left’s big meme is the evil of hatred – the left has taken total ownership of hate. Aparently it is acceptable to absolutely despise half the country – if you can first label them racist, mysoginist, homophobes.

    Anyway, while I can not take you seriously as a moderate – the left has gone off so batshit crazy that whatever you are – that is not it.

    • June 10, 2017 9:48 am

      I find it hilarious that you think I am “far left”…the truth is, you, like so many on the right, are so far right and so inflexible that anyone who doesn’t agree with you is a communist. (Actually, socialist is the term that they are using now, since communism is no longer valid anywhere in the world).

      Let’s look at abortion. I’ve probably said before that in my neighborhood, most are one issue voters, and if a baked potato said it would outlaw abortion they would vote for it. And I have had so many discussions on promoting PREVENTION with these same folks, and the many things we could do to prevent unplanned pregnancy – which is the cause of abortion. To NO avail. They would rather wait until young women reach the clinic doors, already pregnant, before they do anything. Who is really being extremist? And Dave, your “solution” would be extremely expensive, medically speaking.

      And you labeling me as an extremist lefty is just plain ridiculous. I live so far out I cannot join any protests or bomb anything, even if I supported such stupidity. I have NEVER said “death to the rich”. The most I have time or money for is writing letters to the editor of my county newspaper. And my focus, always and for the most part only, is on better pay for the working class. Because I see absolutely no other way to a robust economy other than making sure most people have a living wage. I have NEVER said pay them $50/hr or any other such nonsense. But the secret to a strong middle class, and therefore a strong society, is good wages. The money is NOT trickling down, and we are more and more damaged by this everyday.

      You of course, disparage all my notions because of long indoctrinations by conservative “media”. They have convinced so many people that there are hoards of lazy folks in this nation. They have convinced you of the value of “cheap labor” and “free markets” being the solution to all problems…even though it should be glaringly obvious by now that without some rules/laws that the money all shifts to the top. It has been doing so for 37 years.

      I consider myself extremely practical & sensible. Not left or right (which is why I started reading this column) We need a party of the “Practicals” or the “Sensibles” IMHO.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2017 2:04 pm


        First – the primary target of my ire are those who seek to use government reduce the liberty of individuals.

        I really do not care what label you give to that.

        Sometimes the threat to liberty comes from the right. More often though it is from the left.
        At this moment the largest threat to liberty is from the left

        And that includes you.

        For many labels like communism or socialism are epitaphs hurled as ad hominem.

        I do not use them that way. Communism is an economic system.
        It is an incredibly appealing system.
        But it has two significant flaws:
        it runs counter to human nature
        It not only does nto work but fails more spectacularly the more seriously it is tried.

        Socialism is another economic system – similar but not identical to communism.
        It is overall less appealing,
        It has the same flaws as communism though on a smaller scale.

        In fact every statist economic scheme shares those same problems.

        I do not recall whether I labeled you as a socialist – I think that your remarks make it self evident that you are.

        But the label does nto matter – whatever name you wish to give to your approach to pretty much everything – it ALWAYS means more government, and less individual liberty.

        And THAT is why it will always fail.
        It will fail – no matter what name it is given.
        It will fail – whether the approach is from the right or the left.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2017 3:43 pm

        Lets look at abortion.

        I have no idea what you think “my solution” is.

        The only “solution” I have ever proposed is to properly respect the rights of individuals.

        That BTW is ALWAYS by far the CHEAPEST “solution”.
        More importantly it imposes costs where they belong – on people based on their values.

        Values have a price – it is by increasing efficiency – producing more value with less human effort that we drive prices down – and can afford more.

        A women has an absolute right to total control of her own body short of activily using her body to harm others.

        Whether a pregnancy is a ferilized cell or a human being, does not matter.
        There is no actual right to life.
        Life is something we struggle to sustain everyday.
        There is no right to anything that places a positive burden on others – a burden to act.

        This is also why respecting individuals rights is nearly always the cheapest solution to any problem. Because everything else forces action – usually government action, but often action by others.

        All that said, a womens control of her own body does not grant her the same absolute right of control over the pregnancy – again whether you think it is human or not.

        She has the absolute right to demand its removal from her body and to end its dependence on her.

        But that is all. She has the right to take actions to remove it that may well result in its death.
        But she does not actually have the right to kill it.

        A woman can have a pregancy removed from her body – in the manner safest for her at any point prior to birth that she wishes.
        If the consequence of that removal is the death of the pregnancy – so be it.

        That said, it is within the power of society through government to demand that so long as that does nto increase the risk to the woman, they the pregnancy is removed by the means most likely to assure its survival.

        I think it is unlikely the state will do this. But it is still free to do so – that is a legitimate societal decision that we can make through government.

        The expense depends on the decision,

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2017 3:46 pm


        Aside from the purely legal aspect, I do not beleive that government should be involved in abortion – or most any other nonviolent choices you make in your life.

        Government should not be funding sex ed.
        It should not be funding birth control.
        It should not be funding abortion.

        It should not be funding PP.

        Conversely – what PP, or your church or your family or any other voluntary arrangement that might exist chooses on their own – that is fine with me.

        The ONLY problem I found with the PP Selling baby parts videos’ was that our government is funding PP.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2017 3:55 pm


        You keep pushing this idiotic “Conservative media” meme.

        The position I have espoused on abortion is:
        Consistent with that of 300+ years of common law.

        I first read in Lawrence Tribes text book on Constitutional law.
        Tribe was considered too “liberal” for Obama to appoint to the supreme court.
        Has separately been advocated independently by Walter Block – a pre-eminent Anarcho-Capitalist – definintely NOT a “conservative”.

        Is fully consistent with our natural rights.

        And finally has far more in common with the position of the left than the right

        I have never seen anyone on Fox push it.

        But then again I do not see very much Fox.

        Being influenced by the “right wing media” would require me to pay the slightest attention to the right wing media.

        I do not watch broadcast TV AT ALL.

        I read a number of sources ONLINE.

        New York Times,
        US News,
        and many many others.
        Including sites like the federalist and NRO as well as TPM, DailyKOS and Think Progress.

        But my primary influences in terms of “ideology” would be John Locke, Adam Smith, Thomas Paine, or more modern ones,
        James Buchannon (the nobel economist not the president), Ronald Coases, …..

        These are people whose thoughts and ideas have held up to the test of time.

        Most of these people were called “liberal” in their time.
        And are called Classical Liberal today.

        In other words they are trhe equivalent of modern libertarains.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2017 4:38 pm


        I disparage your notions because they are not merely fallacious – but were established as fallacious more than a century ago.

        Adm Smith “has convinced me”, David Ricardo, Fredrick Bastiat, John Say, ….. have convinced me.

        If you are the slightest familiar with most of the right – they are NOT “free market”
        Trump is peddling economic nonsense regarding trade and immigration – and many on both the left and right are buying it.
        Regardless the right has not been a particularly friendly home for free markets.
        At best they are less bad than the left.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2017 4:45 pm


        I do not care much about money – I care about wealth and standard of living.

        You are entirely fixated on something stupid.

        The vast majority of the money of the top 10% is invested.
        The operation of the economy – in any arrangement requires that money to be invested.

        In theory – if it could actually be done workably it does not matter much whether that money is invested by private people or the governmnet.
        In practice even Larry Summers has noted that government is a lousy investor.

        Those of yo0u on they left do not wish to move that money for private investment to government investment – you want to move it to consumption.
        History and economics tells us that has always proven disasterous.

        You get more ability to consume – a higher standard of living by investing for the future – not by spending more now.

        You pretend this about the distribution of income – but what you want is to increase consumption – without the investment needed to produce more.

        While it does matter who does the investing. It matters even more that investing is done – and done well.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2017 4:47 pm


        Within your own life – I do not care what you do.

        But when you decide that you can steal what is others, or infringe on individual rights – you are NOT practical, nor sensible – you are tyranical.
        Aside from being evil, that is an arrangement that does nto work.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2017 4:50 pm

        We do not “need” a party of anything.

        We need to adhere to the constitution we have – as written.
        We need to take on the difficult task of amending it when we beleive it is wrong.

        The ideas that you claim are practicle and sensible need to win out in the market place of ideas.

        Nor win meaning become accepted by the majority – which they really aren’t.
        But win by persuading nearly everyone.

        It is immoral and unethical for even a majority to impose its will on others by force absent real justification.

  6. dhlii permalink
    June 1, 2017 2:32 am


    You have to know that I am going to respond to idolyzing compromise by noting it is a tool not a value.

    Sometimes the right answer is in the middle – though your examples do not reflect that.

    But the answer is wherever it is, True is True, false is false.
    Even when we can not find absolute truth – we can tell better from worse.

    In the 60’s 70’s 80’s and 90’s I could honestly say that you can find the right answers – by agreeing with the left on issues of individual rights and the right on fiscal issues.

    But the left is no longer anywhere close to liberal. It is increasingly hard to find much of anything that the left is not just totally wrong on.

    While that does not make the right “right” – it does make them – even Trump less batshit crazy.

    Regardless, my POINT is that far more often than by compromise the best answers are found – by agreeing with the right on some issues and the left on others.
    Compromise usually is WORSE than either extreme.

  7. dhlii permalink
    June 1, 2017 3:12 am


    I have argued repeatedly that our politics are no more partisan than those of our founders.

    I still mostly beleive that.

    Our faith in govenrment is at a nadir. But that is a GOOD thing.

    “If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”
    John Adams.

    We must never forget that government is made of men – the same fallable men as are in the top 1% are CEO’s are the ones we do not trust in other contexts.
    Worse still men in govenrment hove power that men do not have elsewhere.

    George Washington may not have said
    “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force. Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”
    but it is still true.

    If you do not like Trump – and there are perfectly legitimate reasons to not like Trump.
    Remember he was elected president – as Pres. Obama said elections have consequences.

    I have no problem with the constitution functioning as a straight jacket to protect us from Trumpism – but I expect it to be the same straightjacket for what any other ideology that manages to get their candidate elected.

    The left laid foundations and built to the shingles the framework for excessive executive power. We suffered than – and we suffer from Trump now.

    The phrase “elections have consequences” shoudl be a reason ALL of us should want government shackled and limited. Better that it is incredibly hard to use it for our favorite idea of good, than to also allow it to be used for evil.

    But as much as I want to use the current situation as an example of why limited government is good. Why The left should be excoriated for killing the filibuster.

    Is there any moderate here who would said that pulling the nuclear trigger was worth it for democrats ?

    As much as I want to rail that partisanship is not that unusual and not inherently bad.

    I am concerned that we are teetering on the verge of something much more dangerous.

    The left has the absolute right to oppose in any legitimate way the efforts of Donald Trump and the GOP – just as republicans did from 2009 through 2016.
    I see that as GOOD not bad – though I am pretty sure Rick and many here disagree.

    But we are going past legitimate opposition and into lunacy and violence.

    Immediately after the election we got these nazi’s are taking the election as an excuse to bash heads. These stories all proved “fake news”.
    There is no more right wing violence than ever.
    But the left has become violent once again.
    And lunatic.

    While there are myriads more examples than this – I keep following the Trump Russia Collusion story. At times I actually hope for proof – a smoking gun.
    That would end this. The presence of real credible proof would silence Trump supporters.
    Trump would be removed – one legitimate way or another. We would have the unanswered question that Trump’s supporters voted for a swamp clearing – and that must either continue somehow or removing Trump becomes a coup.

    But I have never thought that hope was realistic. The Trump/Russia/Collusion story never made sense – and it has gotten no better with age.
    Instead what is increasingly apparent is that the left and the media are conspiring to remove a president – because they do not like him. Because they are angry. Because they can not understand why they lost. Because they do not understand that they are on the political extreme. Because they think that removing Trump would make the political wave that elected him somehow unreal.

    You can beleive that Trump is a bad person – one I would prefer not to have as president AND beleive that the swamp that is washington needs drained, AND that govenrment needs deconstructed.

    Whatever you beleive about Trump – what is most scarry about the left at the moment, is they STILL do not understand that he was elected because the left FAILED.
    That whether Trump is our president – much of what he stands for is what those who elected him want and have a right to expect.

    Slowly anger appears to be building on the right.

    The left has already moved past partisan bickering and legitimate political obstruction into violence and lies.

    Conversely though the right is not violent – yet, they increasingly have growing legitimate reason to be.
    Hillary overtly expressed with her “deplorables” remark what most on the left beleive. Now none are being overt about it. The current left hates Trump and the right more than they falsely accused the right of hating Obama – obstruction is not hate. But now we are seeing real hate.

    Anyway I am growing increasingly fearful.
    The left is full of rage and out of control.
    The right is a giant that is starting to toss in its sleep.

    I celebrate parisanship, gridlock, obstruction.

    Violence and hatred are something different, and I am increasingly affraid we are in trouble,

    I would further note that this is not that much about policy. It is not about ideas.
    Increasingly policy and ideas are just the weapons.
    This is about power.
    The left thought it had some right to permanent political power – and that has been taken away.

  8. June 1, 2017 6:24 pm


    It’s a nice call to action. But you need to offer us an ‘action’ to fulfill.

    Part of the problem is that we live with ideologies; one answer fits all problems: free markets, Constitutional guarantees, government activism, Christianity, tolerance of everyone (including people who are intolerant of us, so intolerant they will kills us?)

    The two sides (or many sides if you go to Europe) counter one ideology with another ideology, never considering that maybe the problem is ideological thinking.

    Philosophers have a hard time with Edmund Burke, the man who gave us the word ‘conservatism’ (although not the current meaning of it). The reason they struggle with him, is that philosophy is about ideology, and Burke was about pragmatism. He predicted the American Revolution would be a success, and the French Revolution would be a disaster. Pragmatism: not insisting we should be pro- or con- revolution, but arguing that the success of revolution — and really, of everything — depends on the context, and the particulars.

    So that is part of the ‘action’ I would suggest: we need to introduce an anti-ideological, pro-pragmatic vocabulary into the debate. That may help people reconsider their entrenched positions.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 1, 2017 8:08 pm

      If you are going to be anti-ideology – does that mean that you will be anti-physics or anti-psychology or anti-engineering ?

      You can label anything an “ideology”.
      Being “anti-ideology” is an ideology.

      Let me offer you something different.

      Let us limit government to only the most uncontroversial things.
      Let our disagreements be purely at a personal level, where we are each free to pursue our own “ideology” as we wish in our own lives.

      Alternatively – lts limit government to only those things we actually know work.
      Again leaving those where we do not have high degrees of certainty to our individual lives.

      Ideology has become a label that allows us to discount what others are saying without ever listening.

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 2, 2017 9:37 am

      Bookscrounger makes a point that I have tried to make in the past, which is that “conservatism” is not strictly an ideology, at least not in the sense that liberalism, progressivism, socialism, etc, are. Perhaps conservatives are not always pragmatic in the strictest sense, but it conservatism is a POV based on what has gone before, and on understanding history in a pragmatic sense. So, in that sense it is more pragmatic and more rational, than the more emotional beliefs associated with liberalism.

      We can name specific positions of liberals, even if they are moderate liberals: support of government action to promote social welfare and opportunity; government regulation of the economy to blunt the effects of “corporate greed”; gun control; abortion; amnesty; government healthcare.

      Conservative positions tend to be more universal than specific: free markets; adherence to the rule of law; importance of tradition; belief in a higher power; incremental change, etc. But, when asked what specific proposals they support, conservatives often go off in many directions, like a proverbial herd of cats.

      Dave says “Ideology has become a label that allows us to discount what others are saying without ever listening.” I agree.

      I agree that we need to stop discussing solutions in ideological terms. It immediately places people in “enemy camps,” and reinforces political beliefs that, for the most part, are not based in reality (for example, there are as many, if not more, rich Democrats as there are rich Republicans, both within and outside of Washington D.C., and there are many working class whites who made a clear decision to vote for Trump, recognizing his many flaws, and were not duped into doing so).

      If we begin from a position that we all want a better world for our children, rather than from a position that demonizes the opposition, we might be able to crawl out of our entrenchments and come up with solutions. That pre-supposes that we are not already too deeply entrenched. Not sure whether I believe that……

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 2, 2017 11:08 am

        An example of what I mean: David French, a fervent NeverTrumper and conservative critic of the President to this day, wrote about Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate treaty:

        “Simply put, before any president attempts to bind the United States to an enduring multinational accord, it’s his duty to convince the American people — through constitutional processes — that the agreement is in the best interests of the United States. Barack Obama failed to do this in 2015. Trump is right to reject his actions today.”

        French places the importance of the Constitution above any beliefs that he may or may not have regarding the importance of the international agreement, or even of climate change in general. The Constitution, i.e. the rule of law, is the guiding principle, and trumps any individual issue, even one that some believe to be one of extreme urgency.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 2, 2017 3:08 pm

        What you are seeing from French is much more common among republicans.

        Republicans do NOT demand ideological purity – despite rhetoric to the contrary,
        It is the nature of conservatism – which as you note is not really an ideology to be maleable.

        Democrats de demand ideological purity. Which is why when those like Alan Derschowitz or Glenn Greenwald stick to principles – even when they are at odds with the current progressive dogman that is impressive.

        Nearly The entirety of Obama’s presidency is being dismembered quite easily – because it was done with the pen and the phone rather than constitutionally.

        Frankly I think Trump had a much easier way to deal with Both Paris and Iran.

        Submit them to the senate for ratification. There is no way either would have passed, and he could have then declared them void.

        I do find it odd though.

        The president can unilaterally bind the US to reduce CO2 emissions, but he can not unilaterally increase the vetting of terrorists.

        BTW I think there are several other Choices Trump has on his EO that should be considered:

        Put it to congress as a law.
        Rewrite the EO as a suspension of ALL immigration from ALL countries – subject to DHS waiver for ANY country DHS deems does sufficient vetting.

        I remain a proponent of open boarders and oppose Trump on this issue.
        But I am not frothing at the mouth over an EO that is constitutional, and in the broad context minor.

        Regardless, I keep looking at the logic and law the left has used to block the EO and say that has got to come back and bite them in the ass.

        The Robart court accepted third party economic harm as a basis for standing.
        That is practically a return to pre New Deal Lochner.

        And what would have happened in the PPACA cases if Candidate Obama’s “you can keep your …..” election rhetoric was treated as compelling evidence of intent ?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 2, 2017 3:12 pm

        Paris was nonsense.

        It was non-binding.
        It was meaningless.
        If you accept at face value every single CAGW claim of impending disaster the full and complete implimentation of Paris would have cost trillions and prevented 0.027C of temperature rise.

        I think the entire warmist argument collapsed long ago.

        Regardless, assuming arguendo that warmists are right Paris is still meaningless nonsennse and our reseach needs to focus on how to live in a warmer world.
        Because reducing CO2 is just not going to happen.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 2, 2017 2:10 pm

        Excellent observations.

        Burkean conservatism and US conservatism have also never been the same.

        Nor is modern conservatism and that of Buckley.

        George Will and many others used to call themselves conservative but are not more frequently either identifying or hinting at being libertarian.

        US conservatism has ALWAYS been more libertarian than the rest of the world.

        The US left – sans progressives has ALSO historically been relatively libertarian.

        One of the New Deal resortings was that democratic liberals became republicans.

        Progressives have always been authoritarian, statist, and often socialist.
        Note they are ALWAYS authoritarian and statist.

        At this time “ideology” barely applies to any group outside the left.

        The modern right has several major and even more minor phenotypes.

        And Trump really fits none of those.

        The modern left has pretty close to zero intellectual and philosophical foundations for anything. The central premise of the left today appears to be that feels right – government should impose it on everyone by force.
        The consequence of this is a self contradictory morass.

        The left is also starting to eat its own as evidenced by the nonsense at Evergreen.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 2, 2017 2:53 pm

        We get to make our own choices for our own reasons.

        But a sugestion to consider is to look at ideas as neither left right or whatever and to then evaluate the ideas on their merits.

        We are still ultimately going to apply our own further criteria.

        I would also note that sometimes these “labels” serve useful purposes – especially where they are used accurately.

        If I trust you to accurately label something “free market” or “socialist” that communicates a huge amount of information – so long as the label is accurate.

        This also ties to my rant about the importance – in factual debate of carefully and accurately using words.

        Moogies like most of the left tosses arround words – like capitalist, corporate, free market, conservative, income inequality as epitaphs rather than with any regard to their meaning.

        Free Market means valuing individual choices in exchange highly.
        There are other ways to define it but they are end up with that same meaning
        It does nto mean corporatocracy.

        I beleive based on solid real world evidence that free markets are ANTI-Corporatocracy.
        Many of the rest of you here believe (without evidence) that free markets are pro-corporatocracy.
        Regardless, in all cases those are possible side effects NOT synonyms for free markets.

        When we agree on the meaning of words – and we share the same views on the side effects, then we can communicate alot of information in a few words.

        When we do not agree, it requires paragraphs to convey the same information.

        When we deliberately mangle the meaning of words we make communications extremely difficult.

        I find it extremely reveiling that the left constantly accuses the right of engaging in dog whistles – which virtually every utterance of the left is coded speach.

        Some of this shows up with respect to the attacks on Trump.

        There are alot of bad things that can be said of Trump, but he is not an actual low IQ knuckle dragging KKK neo-nazi skin head.

        In the over the top attacks on Trump the left has destroyed the meaning of the malignant terms they have lobbed.

        I do not as an example understand the “racist” meme – in any context beyond a desire to win – and a poor one at that.

        Calling Trump and nearly all republicans racist – whatever the truth may be, assures that those who can not distinguish their own thoughts and conduct on race from that candidate will not vote for you.

        TNM talks alot about polarization.
        This past election in particular was very polarizing – but not in the traditional sense.

        This election split the left not the country. I would strongly suggest that the democrats and Clinton did BETTER than they would have otherwise – because Trump was a poor candidate. I think many who voted for Clinton would not have given almost any other choice besides Trump.

        I think this is evident post election in the increasing extremism on the left.
        The inability to let go.

        I beleive I linked to the Debate & Switch video’s.
        Though not their intent, the producers have demostrated that Clinton actually lost “fair and square”

        When the debates are re-enacted as accurately as possible – down to gestures and body language. With the candidates played by other people of opposite gender, the “Trump” candidate does Better and the Clinton candidate does worse.

        Essentially the left succeeded in this election in hanging a bigger millstone arround Trumps neck, than he deserved relative to Clinton and STILL lost.

      • June 10, 2017 10:48 am

        Priscilla: (liberals)support of government action to promote social welfare and opportunity; government regulation of the economy to blunt the effects of “corporate greed”; gun control; abortion; amnesty; government healthcare.

        The problem with Priscilla’s definition of the liberal camp is that maybe she (and definitely Dave) assume maximum government interference on every level – because THAT is what the right has told them the left wants!!

        We cannot even get any basic gun control because the right says that ANY gun control equals taking away your guns!!! Who’s the extremist here?? (I believe recently gun rights were restored to some people that didn’t need them, but can’t find the story)

        I don’t think I’ve read about any bills calling for outlawing of guns. Republicans all over the country calling for outlawing abortion, something like 200 a year. Who is extreme?

        For 40 years production has been going up, the people at the top have been keeping more & more profits and not letting it “trickle down” as they tell us is supposed to happen. Our economy has been sucking for over 10 years…for over 30 if you are working class…but still no signs of increasing pay for working people.

        Every.Single.Other.Civilized.Nation has some form of universal healthcare…but the right fights it in this country with every ounce of strength.

        I’m sorry people…but its the right keeps things extreme.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2017 4:54 pm


        Sorry, but you do not get to call yourself whatever you want.
        You can expect that if you identify yourself as a “liberal” I will take you to task.

        You loathe the ideas of John Locke, or Adam Smith or David Hume, or John Stuart Mills, or two centuries of actual liberals.

        You do not prize individual liberty – in fact nearly any whim is sufficient to steal from one group to screw another.

        You are not a liberal.

        You may pick whatever label you wish that is actually consistent with what you say.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2017 5:09 pm

        Government is responsible to:

        bar the initiation of force or fraud by others.
        Compell us to keep the agreements we make.
        Compell us to make whole those we actually harm

        That is the ONLY justifiable uses of force.

        Stealing from Bob to give to Joe – is still stealing, whether Bob is rich or Bob is poor.

        Government exists to prevent theft, not to institutionalize it.

        Government is there to bar the actual theft you advocate, rather than encourage it,
        because where theft is rampant there is little incentive to produce.
        And without production standard of living drops.

        There is no “promoting social welfare” beyond the specifics I addressed above.

        You keep talking about “corporate greed” as if it is a huge problem.
        Government wastes more on “social welfare” in a month – than Bill Gates entire fortune.

        The combined total net life time max worth of the entire forbes 400 is just a tiny bit more than the federal budget for one year, and only about half of total US spending per year.

        Yet, Bill gates alone has done more good – not through his charity – but by his “corporate greed” in improving our standard of living, increasing our wealth creating opportunity than all government social programs ever.

        You are under this idiotic delusion that money is everything.

        Money is a means – it is not an end. It is a tool and a measure. It is not the thing being measured. You can not each money.

        As Adam Smith noted – “all money is a matter of belief”.

        Actual value – is whatever you decide it is.
        For me it is whatever I decide it is.

        The world improves – not because we have ever more money.
        But because we have more and more of what we value.

        Re-arranging money – does nto raise or standard of living – it diminishes it.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2017 5:18 pm


        I assume that the effects of government are what they are.

        WE have a clear record over the past 50 years (and even longer) of the changes in prices in those markets that were highly regulated, and the changes in prices in those that were not.

        The differences are dramatic.

        We see them in both the long term and the short term.

        Housing pricees skyrocketed and then crashed – when government interfered in the housing market.

        Government has involved itself ever more heavily in education – and at every level the real cost of education has doubled, and the value declined.

        Healthcare has always been a highly regulated disaster – but even so PPACA is imploding as we speak.

        Yet those areas of the economy – even specific areas with minimal government have done quite well.

        Our freight rail system has gone from highly regulated and bankrupt to profitable and the envy of the world – and costs have gone DOWN.

        Everything outside the heavily regulated markets is atleast half the cost it was 50 years ago in real dollars.

        We have essentially had Government healthcare for most of my life – it has been an incredible failure.

        I do not need right wing pundits to see that your government as part of the economy has been a very expensive disaster, I just need my eyes.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2017 5:26 pm


        There are 300m guns in the US. If you are going to anthropomorphize them – as you are doing when you regulate guns rather than humans.
        Then presumably the overwhelming majority of those guns are killing people all the time.
        But clearly that is not true.
        Just a few days ago Terrorists in London wreacked havoc on the city – with a van and knives.

        Guns do not kill – people do.

        I recently read that in just about every single mass killing we have had over the past 3 decades – even those that are acts of terror, one of the most common threads is broken families – absent fathers.

        There are more guns in the US than cars – there are far more car deaths than gun deaths.
        Yet Cars are highly regulated.

        If there was an iota of evidence that “gun control” was anything more than left wing nut emotional efforts to feel like they had done something about a problem – rather than actually face the problem. I would be more inclined to take you seriously.

        Yet the most violent places in the US are those with the lowest per capita guns and the highest regulations.

        If you want to be taken serious – provide evidence that your approach works.

        US rates of violence – by ethnicity – are the same as those of the rest of the world even that tightly gun controlled europe. The US has higher overall rates of violence because it has larger proportions of violent minorities.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2017 5:35 pm

        Production has gone up for 40 years – and the lions share of gains due to increased productivity have gone to labor. While the cause of the largest portion of gains in productivity has been capital.

        Though there is one important difference – gains associated with capital tend to get re-invested, while gains going to labor are spent today.

        It should therefore be no surprise that the wealth of those who invest has increased faster than the rest of us.

        Would you want it any other way ?

        Profits overall have NOT been increasing over the long run. aside from some minor volatitily from 3 year cycles, profits over the long run are fixed by risk.

        Walmart makes on average 1.5% on sales and has stayed pretty constant with that rate for decades.
        I would challenge you to identify a single thing that has a higher rate of profit than it did 50 years ago.

        Return on investment is nearly flat over the long run.
        This is pretty much the opposite of what you beleive, but it actually has to be true – the economy could not work otherwise.

        You see money “money’ in the hands of the “top” – because we produce far far more wealth. Wealth that is in the posession of you and I.

        The Truth is the rich as a whole can not get richer – unless all of us get richer.
        It is a mathematical impossibility.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2017 6:18 pm


        Nearly every other nations “claims” to have “universal healthcare”.

        Even Somalia.
        In most cases that is rhetoric not fact.

        India as an example has a tiny non-functional government operated system and a thriving private system that nearly everyone uses.

        Prices are way way below that of the west – though much of western healthcare is available in india if you wish to pay for it (and it is still cheaper than the west).

        But as India – and most of the world demonstrate – the level of healthcare necescary to have a life expectance of 80 – is quite low.
        It is the basics of Healthcare in the 50’s more rigorously followed from cradle to grave.

        That is household cleanliness, the elimination of wood, coal, dung, or peat as heat and cooking sources, antibiotics, decent wound care, and on rare occasions saline.

        That is all the healthcare you need – if done rigorously from birth to death to have an average national life expectance of 80.

        That is of course presuming you do not have high levels of suicide, automobile accidents, or violence.

        The left is not arguing that people have a right to the actual basics of healthcare.
        While there is no such right, and in fact NOTHING that creates a positive duty on others can be a right or sustainable, even if there were such a thing – we would not be obligated to provide everyone on the planet (or the country) with cutting edge cancer care.

        In point of fact to get 98% of modern developed nations life expectances – is pretty cheap.

        This BTW is why I keep telling you that “health insurance is about financial security, Not healthcare outcomes” and that there is no noticeable change in Life Expectance trend lines from PPACA or pretty much anthing we have done in healthcare in decades.

        All the low hanging fruit with respect to actual life or death issues has been picked.
        Barring a disruptive change which has not yet occurred, advances in healthcare add days or weeks to average life expectance.

        You are fighting over something that each of us perceives as significant – but in the real world rarely is.

        But once again – the left has zero interest in the world as it is.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2017 6:55 pm


        Your remarks beautifully reflect the “postmodern” view from the article I provided in a prior post.

        What fundamentally distinguishes us is that you have no concept of true or false.
        Reality is whatever you choose to make it.
        The lack of absolute truth is improperly taken by you as all views, ideologies oppinions being equal – or if not, that what is most “True” is the narative of those who can claim the most oppression points.

        I note that I an others here constantly present you with actual facts to contradict the naratives you offer.

        You never bother to check these. You never bother to check your own.
        What you say is true to you – merely because you have said it.

        Sometimes a demand for facts silences you briefly – but after a short respite – you are back making the same fallacious arguments as before.

        This meme – “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth” pervades the left today.

        I listened to the Comey testimony – after the fact.

        What I heard was the Former FBI director expressing that he did not trust the president.
        That is fine – James Comey the man is free to not trust the president.
        James Comey the FBI director must either trust the president or resign.
        Comey did neither – that challenges his integrity – not Trumps.

        What I heard was the Former FBI Director Accuse the President of lying about his firing.

        Yet, both the facts and the rest of Comey’s testimony confirmed the reasons for the firing.
        Raising multiple different non-contradictory reasons for firing Comey is NOT lying.

        You can have many reasons for doing something.
        One of those can be “the straw that broke the camels back”,
        but that does not make the others false.

        Trump can have fired Comey as a result of the Deputy AG report AND have decided that he was going to fire him, at some time before.
        These are not in conflict.

        At the same time Trump made several requests of Comey.
        Comey characterized them as orders.
        None where unconstitutional, or illegal.
        Comey did not do any over them.
        In fact he testified at great length that he did not do what he claims the president demanded.

        That is “being a loose cannon, being out of control”.

        Comey testified that the Obama administration made requests of him that were far more questionable than Trumps. Oddly Comey actually obeyed some of these requests.

        As best as I can tell Comey’s logic is

        Trump is a liar (because I say so) therefore I need not listen to him.

        Obama and Lynch have integrity – therefore when they ask me to do something clearly improper and probably illegal – I will do it.

        Comey also confirmed what I beleived with regard to Comey’s service in the Obama administration – that he was leveraging the ethical quagmire created by the Clinton Scandals to essentially blackmail the AG and the PResident into expanding his power and protecting his job.

        Another pundit noted that Comey has “ex post facto integrity”
        I thought that was excellent.

        He talked alot about integrity – but he never had any integrity that was not somehow self serving.

        After spending a year in the Clinton email fiasco.
        Comey acknowledges leaking his memo’s of his communications with the president.

        He says he did so to get a special prosecutor.

        How is it that a Fired FBI director has a direct voice in public policy?

        Regardless we can fight over the details of his memo’s
        But it is clearly arguable that the work product of a government employee belongs to the government.
        It is clearly arguable that conversations with the president are classified at atleast the confidential level.

        Further Comey was the FBI director tasked with hunting down and prosecuting leaks.
        So arguably he knows that providing his memos to another is atleast arguable as a federal fellony ?

        I do nto think I hear Trump saying to the next FBI Directory – “Comey is a good man, I hope you can leave this alone”

        Comey should get exactly the lenience he was prepared to show Flynn after the President asked him to let go.

        Finally, Comey begins by frothing over the President “lying’ while going on to testify that pretty much everything Trump has been saying for months it TRUE.

        Trump did ask Comey 3 times to publicly repeat what he had told Trump privately – that Trump was not under investigation.

        Comey confirmed that through the day of his firing there was no investigation of Trump.
        Comey confirmed that the stories in the media published regarding the Trump campaign collusions with Russia were FALSE.

        Frankly Trump should have fired Comey earlier – Trump got more from Comey as a fired FBI director trying to cover his own ass, than he ever did as actual FBI director.

        But still today – this nonsense from the left continues.
        It is as if the left only heard the parts of comeys testimony they wanted – and even those they compartmentalized so they would not have to confront the fact that some aspects were seriously self contradictory.

        And finally it is appearing that the actual timeline of events suggests that Comey provided the committee perjured testimony.

        That the date Comey provided he memo to a law professor occured AFTER the appointment of the special prosecutor.

        Again Comey should expect the same consideration he gave Flynn.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 10, 2017 6:57 pm


        Here is what Christ said about profits.

  9. Anonymous permalink
    June 1, 2017 6:51 pm

    Anyone that say’s you are not a “moderate” lends credence to the fact that you are one, whatever that is. We have waltzed around “what is a moderate” for years on this blog. Frankly I don’t give a rat’s a— what anyone calls you, with thousands of words, or me with a bunch of condescending, but fewer words, as if they weigh more on the scale of intelligence, versus actions. Liberals are often wrong, conservatives are often wrong and those we call moderates are also often wrong, but I think moderates aren’t as Pavlovian as the other two major tribal groups, and try and see the opposite side of an idea which allows them to jump across no-man’s land more readily.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 1, 2017 8:13 pm

      More recently the left has gone so far round the bend that it is increasingly hard to label Rick and others here as on the left.

      That said I have found no evidence here that “moderates” aren’t as “Pavalovian” as those on the right and left.

      Finally I would remind you that I am not “moderate” nor am I part of either of the two major tribal groups.

      • Anonymous permalink
        June 1, 2017 8:43 pm

        I’m sure those two groups appreciate it too.
        “That said I have found no evidence here that “moderates” aren’t as “Pavalovian” as those on the right and left.” Whew, nothing like evidence to prove your point.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 2, 2017 12:41 pm

        Thats right – there is no evidence that moderates are more rational than conservatives, more likely to actually listen to others.
        In the distant past I would have said they were also no different from the left – but the left has been becoming ever more extreme in the past 20 years and have fallen of the edge of the earth into batshit crazy.

        I noted in another post that I have constantly called Rick left rather than moderate.
        He has not changed. He still buys the same nonense that used to be left wing.
        But the left has galloped so much further to the left that he is no longer in the same space.

        Left in the time of Bill Clinton and left int he time of Hillary are not close tot he same thing.

  10. dhlii permalink
    June 2, 2017 9:48 am

    Here is an article on what I have been calling subscription health care.

    I think this looks interesting and could prove fix alot of what is wrong with our healthcare system.

    But I am more interested in addressing a bigger point:

    The objective is NOT to pick what each of us thinks is the best idea from the set of currently known ideas and impose it by force on all.

    It is to create the environment where ideas will flourish compete, succeded, fail, be improved.

    Numerous places in this article rules and regulations are references that impede experiments with DPC.

    That is the biggest problem with regulation – it prevents us from trying, contemplating or often even conceiving of ideas that are outside the constraints of the rules regulations.

    This is a massive problem. How do we know – because we can not see the harms that come from things that never happen ?
    We know because we know the differences between what occurs in unregulated and lightly regulated markets and what happens in heavily regulated markets.

    Everywhere in this article where there are References to state of federal regulations that should be changed to make DPC’s more feasible – those are demonstrations that such regulations should not exist.

    Worse still those on the left such as moogie rant about the power of big business.
    These regulations are a manifestation of that power.

    DPC’s are a somewhat new idea. They have a higher risk because they are untried or lightly tried. It will take experimentation to get a model that delivers services well and compensates doctors well enough. Someone is going to have to gamble a fair amount of money – that is called “investing” that they may loose to try this.

    At the same time if it works well – and it may not, it will be a serious threat to the exiting model. There is excellent reason for other healthcare businesses to vigorously oppose DPC’s. Fighting them in the marketplace is beneficial to all of us. Fighting them in congress and courts harms us.
    Given that rules and regulations already exist that make DPC’s difficult or impossible, we should fully expect the entities that would be threatened by DPC’s to vigorously oppose changing those regulations.

    And that is as it should be – our laws, rules and regulations should be stable and change slowly if at all.
    Anyone ever who is arguing that we should pass some law or regulation – because if it has problems – we can fix them latter is pushing lawlessness. If a new law is necescary it is necescary as written if that is not the case – it should not be imposed.
    Enacting and revising laws and rules and regulations is supposed to be very difficult.
    They are not only infringements on our rights and freedoms they are restrictions on our future.

  11. June 2, 2017 6:55 pm

    Priscilla, this is in response to your Paris agreement comment and some that followed. WordPress is at it again and for some reason I am receiving some e-mail notifications and some post I am not. 1/2 of the ones from the “Letter to Moderates” have not come through as an e-mail notification, so I am catching up.

    I am in the camp that the primary responsibility of the President is foreign relations. All domestic responsibility lies with congress, with the senate ratifying treaties. When Obama agreed to sign the Paris Agreement which was non-binding, he thought he could then come back and through E.O’s he could meet those requirements with the EPA issuing regulations. This was slap in the face of congress, the constitution and the people. Only countries with dictators have leaders any more powerful and people any more at their mercy.

    So I believe Trump did the right thing. And if he achieves any better deal, then that NEEDS to be approved by the senate or he is no better than Obama in regard to circumventing the constitution. As for Paris, it was a f’ed up agreement. We cut 25% of CO2 by 2025, china is allowed to continue increasing pollutants until 2030, thus offsetting most of what we cut, then they level off and then begin reducing. And between now and 2030, they take more of our industry because it costs less to produce a product under environmental standards much less rigid than ours.

    Liberals, conservatives and moderates can all contribute to cutting greenhouse gases by doing one simple thing. And in doing this, each can find reasons that support their positions. Reduced pollution, job creation in America, etc. When we go into a store to buy something, simply look at the “Made In” label or tag. If it says “China” put it down and continue shopping until one with “Made in America, Mexico, Canada, Viet Nam or some other country is listed. All of these countries pollute less than china today. Buying less china crap reduces the demand for their products, which reduces their industrial output which reduces demand for electricity which reduces demand for coal at their electric generation plants which reduces pollution.

    And in the end, people will probably get a better product so they won’t have to replace it in a few short months, thus giving them more to spend on other things.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 4, 2017 9:33 am

      While I agree mostly, there is a more fundimental issue.

      Whatever the powers and limits of the presidency there is nothing one president can do unilaterally that another can not undo.

      The broader the support for some action – the more difficult it is to undo.
      If Obama had wanted Paris to be more difficult to reverse – he should have submitted ti to congress.

      Frankly I am not sure why Trump did not kick the can sort of and say something like:
      I do not agree with this – but I am submitting it to congress and unless they reatify it as a treaty – it is dead. That would have allowed him to blame congress AND establish that treaties have to be ratified.

      There is also a misunderstanding by many of an executive order.

      The president can direct the executive within the constraints of the constitution and the lass passed by congress. An EO is just one form of such direction.

      It is essentially the direction of a boss to his employees. It is NOT LAW.
      If you are a government employee you can be fired for violating an EO, you can not be fined of jailed.

      Trump’s immigration EO must conform to his constitutional and statutory powers.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 4, 2017 9:38 am

      The “Sky is falling” rhetoric over Trump is nonsense.

      Whether the Immigration EO is a good idea or a bad one – it is SMALL.
      It is certainly not Koramatzu. And that was issued by a progressive.

      Whether we are facing a climate disaster or not – Paris is small.
      By its zealots estimates it will lower global temperatures by something like 0.027C by 2100
      If everyone conforms – and no one is complying.

      The climate debate is over for two reasons.
      Warmists are wrong and the planet has not conformed its behaviors to the models.

      By warmists own theories it is too late – quarter measures will accomplish nothing.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 4, 2017 9:45 am

      I fully agree that each of us can make our own choices.

      I do not agree that your recomended choices are even good – much less the best.

      But outside of the narrow area of those things we MUST use force – therefore government for, all choices should be made by individuals.

      When you choose to not buy goods made in china – for whatever reason that you think is somehow good. The consequences of your decision rest on your.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 4, 2017 10:06 am

      I find this argument that the things we buy from China are junk a bit odd.
      We made the same argument regarding Japan – until the Japanese started making cars in the US.

      I know this is more about national pride or ego, than ideology. But it is odd.

      I actually pay alot of attention to differences between China and the US – partly because of my children – partly because of my field.

      As a rule – but not an absolute one, The US is far better at creativity and innovation that the rest of the world. The ideas that redefine the world come from the US. On those occaisions when world changing people arrise elsewhere – they typically end up in the US.

      I beleive that is BECAUSE of our diversity and BECAUSE of our freedom.

      Those of you pushing the regulatory state should consider that in doing so you destroy everything that makes the US exceptional.

      I do beleive in american exceptionalism. But it does not come from our genes, or our resources or our race. It comes from our values – and specifically the high value we place on individual freedom.

      As we reduce our freedom we destroy what makes us exceptional.

      Unlike most forms of nationalism americans exceptionalism is not about conflict.
      It does not say we are better than you. It says doe as we do and you too can be exceptional. Either by coming here or by transforming your own country.

      Anyway that is our edge over the world – nothing else.

      Contra Ron, China does not produce junk – atleast not at a significantly different rate than we do. In many instances foreign quality control is supperior to that here.

      What is different is that China does not produce things flexibly.

      I keep noting that the lefts conception of economics is refuted by the grocery store cereal aisle (or starbucks, or ….).

      First we produce as much of the same thing as cheaply as possible, but then we look to produce customized versions to suit each persons needs.
      China in particular does nto do that well. The US does.

      The labor cost advantage of China in manufactured cost is down to about 15% (on the total manufactured cost of the product). We are increasingly competitive with China on manufacturing.

      But ultimately the question will become what do WE wish to make.

      Moogie (and Ron) want wages to rise. That can only happen if we produce more value.

      I can buy ordinary T shirts for $3 each – that is their value today. Should americans be producing textiles or plastic cups, or should we produce those goods with the highest value ?

      You are not going to raise the US standard of living producing T shirts.
      But you will raise the standard of living of Bangeledesch if thye get to make T shirts.

      • June 4, 2017 12:04 pm

        Dave, I don’t know what world you live in, but in the world I live in most all Chinese crap is crap. Buy a CFL light bulb and it says it last x number of hours. Put it in and it last about 25% of the listed hours. Buy a Chinese hand power tool product and it barely gets past the guarantee period before it stops working. Buy the same type product made in Mexico and it last much longer, and when it stops working you can find parts on line to fix it (if you are mechanically inclined), were the Chinese product you are S^&% out of luck. You have to buy a new one of their crappy products. ( Example, Just check the reviews on Ryobi products and try finding parts for that stuff)

        And as for the $3.99 t-shirt, if that is from China, (colored t-shirt)wash it a couple times and see how it fits then. I have stopped buying that crap since I can get XXL, the length is below my butt cheeks, I wash it a couple times (not in hot water!), and I can barely tuck the damn thing into my pants since it shrinks and is to short. Pay a few buck more for a L shirt produced in most any other country and the material is of much higher quality and they do not shrink. They stay an “L”.

        Sorry, I can’t buy your China quality thoughts. The value that you so eloquently support is completely lacking in Chinese products.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 4, 2017 2:48 pm

        Yup, CFL’s do not last as long as they say – frankly no light bulb lasts as long as they say.

        Further we were pushed into CFL’s by stupid Green Nazi’s before CFL’s were really ready.
        The fundimental problems with CFL’s aren’t “manufacutring”, it is that they are much more complex than an incandescent light bullb, they only exist because modern technology makes it possible to make them competive with incandescenst – and only then in a country like China.

        A US made CFL today would likely cost 3-5 times that of a Chinese one and not be of any better quality.

        I would say that we are fixing the CFL problems over time – which we are – except that mostly we are switching to LED’s – which have similar problems. but are more efficient still and have greater potential – once we solve the manufacturing problems.

        Regardless the fact is that the average CFL that you buy from China today – for almost all its faults – is a better deal than past Incandescents.
        The two exceptions would be color – which LED’s will solve and Dimming – which LED’s will solve.

        They do not last as long as they ought – particularly when mounted upside down as they frequently are, and when air circulation is not good.

        Anyway, I do not personally care where you buy products from.
        While I think that the facts confirm that you are wrong about the overall quality of Chinese products – that is still no skin off my nose.

        So Long as YOU and I are both free to buy from wherever we wish.

        In an actual free market – if China was producing cheap crap of little value, we would cease buying it very shortly.

        I used to buy Duracell Flashlights at CostCo – 3 for $10 with batteries.
        They are made in china – by a US company – they are well made – but for one thing – trying to power an LED flaslight with AAA batteries in these plastic battery packs is fraught with problems.

        I am now buying cheap Chinese LED flashlights that use rechargeable 18650 Cells (you can buy them or get them from used laptop batteries) and they are so cheap they are nearly throw away after use – except they work BETTER than the duracells – because there is a single rechargeable battery and only 2 battery contacts – instead of the 8 the the ones from CostCo had.

        I can buy a Beagle Bone Black TI SBC – a really nice tiny computer for $65.
        They are probably the best made credit card computer.

        But I can also buy an Orange Pi Zero for $6.88 that is faster than the BBB and works as well or better for most applications.

        That is almost a factor of 10 cost difference. Absolutely the BBB is better than the OPI – but not 10 times better.

        And there are about 20 permutations of the OPI runing up to about 1/2 the cost of the BBB with far MORE features and value than the BBB.

        But my point is not about the relative value of tiny SBC’s it is that we are all free to make the choices we want.

        If China or anywhere else really does nto deliver value – then no one buys from them.

        As to the T-Shirt – I doubt it is from China – even China can not competitively make textiles anymore.

        As to your shrink test – no I am not having that problem, nor would it be meaningful.
        No one is to my knowledge making T shirts at any price in the US anymore.
        It can not be done cost competitively.

        I have no idea where it is you think you are getting “quality” t shirts, but for most textiles anymore – they are nearly all made in the same few countries and the difference between the cheap ones and the expensive ones is packaging and branding, not quality.

        Much of the electronic gear I buy from china is litterally the same equipment I would pay more from a US branded vendor – if you pop the stuff out of the packaging they are the SAME.

        IF US packaging makes you think you are getting more value – great – go for it.

        Anyway I am not forcing you to buy chinese goods – though they are pretty much impossible to avoid, and even when you think you are – you typically are not.

        There are areas the US is reclaiming the lead in manufacturing – but our primary value adds are High customization, high automation and the ability to produce high quality and low prices in short runs.

        I expect to see more of that.

        Regardless, I do not WANT the US to produce everything – that is just plain stupid.

        I want americans to produce those things that have the highest value – and therefore raise standard of living the most.

        That is not cheap flashlights and T shirts.

        You seem to like Mexico – I have had to deal directly with mexican manufacturing and there are ways it is superior to China – and ways it is worse.

        I am far less likely to get kidnapped and held for ransom if I have to spend a week in China working on a manufacturing problem.

        Regardless, AGAIN the objective of the US should be to produce the greatest value for the least human effort.

        That means desigin iPhones in the US, and selling them primarily in the US, but manufacturing them in China.

        Are you claiming that iPhones are cheap Chinese junk ?

    • dhlii permalink
      June 4, 2017 10:07 am

      Pollution is reduced as our standard of living arises.

  12. Anonymous permalink
    June 2, 2017 7:28 pm

    @Ron P. Actually, I believe on a per capita basis, the U.S. produces more CO2 than China, and most other countries as least for 2013:

    When it comes to methane which is 30 times as bad as CO2, we may be beating out some other countries that produce enteric fermentation gases with our own sloppy regulations and greedy producers abusing fracking.

    • June 3, 2017 12:37 am

      Anonymous, figures don’t lie, but the use of figures can support many lies. Yes, we may be producing more per capita, but one just has to look at the population of America at 321 million compared to China’s 1.375 billion. Only 15% of Americans live in rural areas, where 49% of the Chinese people live in China’s rural areas and when we say rural in china, that is grossly more rural than in this country. And 49% of china’s population is twice the total population of America.That is one reason that the Chinese have the ability to continue increasing their total output until 2030 when they believe there rural areas will be more up to date like our rural areas. How many Americans live without electricity compared to China’s rural population.

      But the issue is not per capita!!!!!!!!!!! Global warming could care less about per capita. If the Chinese can continue to grow pollutants and increase the total world wide output by 2030 even with our cutbacks, then the seas will rise, storms will get worse, temperatures will increase so they are growing tomatoes in Michigan in December and Miami will be underwater. And with that, China will have improved their lot in life considerably, while the Americans will have felt the impact of increased electrical cost, more business moving overseas due to high production costs, and other government infringement on consumers pushing crap that consumers don’t want, but have to buy since their wants are no longer produced like crappy dim Chinese produced CFL light bulbs compared to the old 100 watt bulb that actually lit your house so you could see to read.

      I have ranted about unfair agreements that the USA signs that ends up a major benefit to foreign countries, while disadvantaging America. Mostly trade agreements. But this one is in that same vein. We cut 1%, everyone in the group that represents the top 75% of polluters cuts 1%. No special crap because they have special needs like China needing to develop certain things before they begin to cut. Same thing with trade. We open our borders, you open yours. If you tack on a 10% import fee, we tack on a 10% import fee on your products coming into America. Equal treatment of all concerned with any agreement.

      I am not completely convinced that if we were to decrease our output by 50% tomorrow and everyone else did what they agreed to do that it would have any significant impact on global warming. One only needs to look at global temperatures for the millions of years the earth has existed to find times when man was only a twinkle in gods eye that the global temperatures were warmer than today. And there have been other times where the temperature significantly reduced (ice age and little ice age) and then went back up with little human activity. Reducing pollution is not a bad idea, I just don’t think it is the golden bullet all the greenies think it will be.

      • Anonymous permalink
        June 3, 2017 6:25 pm

        Ron P, of course it is total crap put in the air and WATER that ultimately counts and pushes the Earth to the brink. I know that, I just wanted to interrupt your anti-China rant. BTE, Ivanka’s shoes will be manufactured outside of China soon since it it is cheaper.
        On methane and and the enormous amounts of water needed and then polluted, the U.S. may be a bigger culprit. Before the ocean waters start licking our coastal feet, we may not have enough potable water.
        ***This is a complex matter, and only a genius like Trump can figure it all out (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

      • June 4, 2017 12:36 am

        DDUCK, this was an excellent opinion written in the NY Times three years before Obama signed that ridiculous agreement. What was he really doing with facts like this are well known. Other than catering to his liberal base and pulling the wool over their eyes to make them think something positive would come of it, there was absolutely nothing good about it.

        Trump might be a total incompetent, egotistical asshole with the ability of a brain dead roach, but at least he knows a bad agreement when he sees it. We need to cut pollution before it is too late, but we start with the largest polluters and china is number one. If they don’t cut, nothing else means anything.

        Please note all the facts after the issue of the person nominated has been discussed as that was not what I was using the article for support. Down about 1/2 way is where the facts about China’s output and its impact are discussed.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 4, 2017 11:04 am

        “Trump might be a total incompetent, egotistical asshole with the ability of a brain dead roach”

        Trump is definitely egotistical. And an asshole.

        But thus far as president it appears he has done BETTER than his prior two predecessors.
        He certainly is no worse.

        Much of the attacks on Trump are “I do not like his style” .

        I do not either. But so far it has been effective.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 4, 2017 11:00 am

        The earth is on the brink of WHAT ?

        I get really tired of this malthusian nonsense.

        Please tell me which of these stupid left wing nut malthusian prognositications has ever proven true ?

        The CAGW one is possibly the worst.

        The media hype and the actual IPCC projections are several orders of magnitude out of whack. If you hear CO2 “the sky is falling” story on the news – it is just complete crap with no real support – not even from the lunatic fringe of the warmist scientist community.

        Warmist scientists do not for the most part correct bad news stories because the left believes that scaring people for a good cause is acceptable.

        But then we come to the actual science.
        Thus far it has proven WRONG.

        There is about zero possibility that the 4C TCS values that Hansen was floating in the 90’s are correct, Extremist climate scientists are starting to settle on a max of about 1.6C, with more rational scientists at numbers below 1C and more conservative scientists at numbers closer to .25C,

        The science itself is just wrong – that is what it means when a hypothesis fails to be confirmed by reality.

        The EPA in their “endangerment” finding had to disregard the normal scientific process used by govenrment – and instead rely on literature surveys.
        They had to use completely bogus discount values to arrive at an actually negative cost for CO2.

        It is pretty trivial to demonstrate that rising CO2 is net BENEFICIAL to humans and the planet.

        The entire CAGW nonsense is based on the idiocy that the planet is somehow static and any change is inherently evil.

        Get a clue – the constant of the universe is change.

        Should the planet opt for cooling THEN we would be in deep shit.
        A warmer world is something we should be luck to get.

        Since 1975 we have experienced about .42C of warming.
        Since 1900 we have experiences just under 1C
        Since 1750 we have experienced just about 2C.

        Why exactly would whatever made up quess you have for the increase prior to 2100 be worse that what has occured ?

        Why if the change from 1750 to the present has not produced cataclysm are we going to have a disaster in the next 80 years ?

        Why do you beleive the Planet has some “optimal” temperature ?
        Why do you beleive it is lower rather than higher then the present ?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 4, 2017 10:30 am


        First CO2 is not a pollutant so I really could care less how much we produce.
        Even methane is arguably not a pollutant.

        That said I think the data cited is crap. It is from the UN.

        BTW I do NOT have some serious problem with China polluting more than the US.
        They will work through those problems as their standard of living rises.

        New per capita real pollution inversely correlates to standard of living.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 4, 2017 10:20 am

      While I actually find the claim that the US CO2 per capita is higher than the rest of the world extremely dubious – the US figures are based on UN figures and the UN is driven by politics.

      Most of the world burns dung, wood, peat, charcoal, or coal for heat.
      This is bad for health, and bad for the environment.

      Further CO2 is not a pollutant. It is an essential element of life.
      We know that even now that agricutural production has increased as a consequence of higher CO2.

      Many economists have argued that even if the IPCC preductions came true – we would be better off because not only does CO2 in crease agriculture, but a warmer earth is on net in most ways GOOD for humans (and other living things).

      The largest global source of Methane is natural – wetlands 22%.
      Oil and Gas are responsible for about 20% of global methane – the rest is either natural, or agricultural in some form or another.

  13. Roby permalink
    June 4, 2017 8:30 am

    Of course I love it RIck. Thanks!

    Moderates are such a quirky and mysterious force. They behave according to no predictable rules. That’s because they don’t exist as an actual thing, an ideological flavor or set of beliefs. They are all the people who aren’t two other things, (in my view): ideologues or partisans. They are the agnostics in a world of a religious war between the catholics and protestants. My idealized moderates also very importantly believe that one should have a deep knowledge of the details of an issue before going to political war and that issues are complex and difficult and a forceful viewpoint should be taken with caution because it can easily produce a nightmare of unintended consequences. Again, this is my view, others have their own view of what moderates are. I guess in one view a moderate can be an ideologue or a partisan if they are simply not as crazy as the craziest ideologues and partisans. That is a broader view, a pretty dismal one for my tastes. Anyhow, “moderates” are never going to act in concert to push for their views any more than agnostics are going to build a church. At general election time they sometimes mysteriously align helpfully. But because of a number of issues, most of all safe districts, they probably have no candidate to support for congress, so even their faint quasi-existence is pretty meaningless. Thus, moderation is never going to be the force I once dreamed of. We see that very clearly these days.

    I think I am giving up on this moderate dream I had. The moderate that Rick is describing is the ideal moderate, the passionate and energized moderate. That is a rare beast, getting rarer.

    To the extent that our politics have any moderate flavor its due to the extremes being fairly well balanced and of course due to the blueprint of the Constitution, and not because there is any actual appreciable moderate force with any power that wants common sense and common decency in politics. I am not saying that there is no yearning for those things in people in general but partisans and ideologues get so taken over by their crusades that they lose themselves and those things, though they don’t perceive it and would deny it hotly. Those are the people who are an organized political force. My ideal moderates can’t compete with them.

    • June 6, 2017 2:00 am

      Thanks for the appreciation, Roby. I’ve been at it here for nearly a decade now and haven’t made a ripple in the political pond, so I sometimes wonder if there’s any point in persevering. Then I have to remind myself that the goal of all this work isn’t necessarily to prevail — it’s to be the voice of reason between the battling extremists.

      If I can help intelligent political misfits feel that they’ve found a home, I’d be delighted. If I can help build a bridge between the right and the left so they can recognize their common humsnity, so much the better. But I think I’d write my columns even if nobody read them because 1) somebody has to do it, 2) I enjoy aiming my verbal missiles at such tempting targets, and 3) it’s fun to be right all the time (well, a good part of the time).

      You’re right that moderates building an ideologically consistent party or philosophy would be like agnostics building their own church. What I’d like to see is a ratcheting-down of extremist rhetoric and more influence emanating from the center. I’d like to see moderates steer our economy a little to the left of its present plutocratic stranglehold. At the same time, I’d love to see us loosen the left’s stranglehold on academia and culture. Big dreams… but for me the important thing is to stand up against polarized thinking and show the world that there’s life in the middle.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 6, 2017 11:06 am

        If the democrats keep shifting left – something MUST happen.

        The US is unlikely to move to single party rule. Either some party must rise to challenge whatever party dominates – or power must shift between existing parties.

        That has always been a factor in US politics – particularly modern politics.

        2008 is increasingly obviously an election driven by events – the financial crisis and its close proximity to the election.

        Democrats took that as a sign of permanent political dominance – and made enormous political errors as a result.

        Those errors, the fact that while Republicans got blamed for 2008 because they were in power, the causes were bipartisan and people do understand that, and that anger fades quickly.

        The result was the GOP backlash from 2009-2016.

        While I do beleive that if the economy is strong in 2018 the GOP will do better than expected.

        I also beleive that Democrats and the media are doing everything possible right now to assure that the GOP does well in 2018. Democrats have bet the party on this Trump is the antichrist nonsense. If they can not maintain intensity, if they can not continue to find new evidence or information the backlash will be against Democrat.
        I do not see the media and the left maintaining peoples interest in this nonsense through 2018. Not without alot more than they have.

        But the NORM would be to see the GOP loose ground in 2018.

  14. Roby permalink
    June 4, 2017 8:57 am

    This picture captures the life of a moderate:

    • June 6, 2017 7:25 pm

      That photo (assuming it isn’t photoshopped) is destined to become a classic.

  15. Priscilla permalink
    June 4, 2017 2:16 pm

    The Mayor of London blasted Trump yesterday for withdrawing from an essentially worthless treaty, and called climate change “one of the biggest risks to humanity.” This is from a guy whose city has seen three terror attacks in as many months, with dozens dead and many more severely injured, many of them young girls who were attending a pop concert. This guy says that there is no reason to become alarmed, but that Londoners need to realize that terror has become ““part and parcel of living in a big city.”

    But he apparently thinks that Londoners SHOULD be alarmed that many Americans, including the American president, want to prioritize the fight against Islamic jihad, over a climate treaty that will pretty much do nothing to reduce global warming over the 21st century.

    This, to my mind, is utterly bizarre thinking. Accept the bloody massacre of innocents, all over the world, but rail against air pollution as the greater threat?

    The long term sustainability of the earth is of critical importance, but what is the sense of worrying about that when there is an imminent threat to civilization?

    Attacking Trump for his view that wiping out ISIS should be a higher priority than wiping out the American coal industry won’t win the hearts and minds of the average US voter. Globalism is not taking hold in America, and for good reason ~ most Americans believe that rest of the globe doesn’t care about us. In fact, much of the globe would like to see us go down. Trump got this early on, and he’s been able to overcome enormous opposition because no one else will say it.

    • Roby permalink
      June 4, 2017 2:45 pm

      So lets see, as long as there are armed nuts in the world, (in other words life continuing as it has for all of history) we need to put mass extinctions, agricultural failures, and killer storms not so far in the future due to our greenhouse gas pollution out of our minds. Its as wise as saying that as long as rap music exists I should not have to worry about cleaning my teeth, or as wise as connecting any two other unconnected things. Just fucking stupid. Chalk on a blackboard. Who puts these idiot propaganda logics together? The daily nonsense.

      Climate change is a real thing, whether one likes Al Gore or not, its a real thing and the consequences will not be at all mild.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 4, 2017 6:50 pm

        That’s not what I said, Roby. I said that common sense generally indicates that if there is an immediate danger, it should be prioritized over a potential long-term one.

        Overuse of antibiotics is creating superbugs that may kill us all, and long before the climate does. Nevertheless, I doubt that any of us would advocate that we should refrain from taking antibiotics that might cure deadly infections. You fight the immediate danger.

        Not to mention, that the Paris treaty was never ratified by the Senate, because Obama never presented it for ratification. Why? I assume because it would not have been ratified. So, Obama took matters into his own hands, leaving the agreement vulnerable to being negated by the next president. American presidents do not have the power to enter into international treaties without ratification.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2017 12:11 am

        Paris is crap. Even the voluntary agreements – which will not happen would have inconsequential effect.

        Paris is proof that even the left does not actually believe in the CAGW religion.
        If CAGW is a real problem – Paris is just a meaningless feel good measure.
        The objective of Paris was to transfer about 100B in wealth from rich nations to poor ones. That is all.
        Given how abysmally that has gone in the past – we have provided $1T+ in aid to africa over the past 40 years with no improvement and possibly making things WORSE.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 4, 2017 11:31 pm

        The other thing that flummoxes me is the idea that the Manchester bombing and/or the London attacks were carried out by “armed nuts,” as opposed to religious extremists who believe that they are fulfilling the wishes of a vengeful prophet.

        It’s not necessarily that I disagree that these people are nuts, or that they arm themselves. But I think that it’s indisputable that they believe that they are carrying out a war, a jihad, against the freedom and liberty of people like us, and that their belief is not the result of individual pathology, but of deep-seated religious faith.

        Treating fanatics who believe in a crusade against infidels as if they are mentally ill or as if they are victims of religious bias is nuts.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2017 12:51 am

        If I am looking for someone to sing the Blues – I am probably not looking in the Hamptons.
        If I am looking for a stock broker – I am probably not looking in Fergussen.

        The left whigs out over “profiling”, but it is a fact of life – we look for things where they are more likely to be found. There are not alot of college baskeball scouts randomly checking out teams in Centralia.

        All muslims are not terrorists. Most muslims are not terrorists.
        Historically most terrorists have not been muslims.
        Today they are.
        The IRA is inactive – and when they were – they targeted the british – not the swedes, the US, the French, …. Further the IRA did not hijack airplanes and did not ever strike the US.

        If we are seeking to stop Drugs from entering the US – we should look to our southern borders. That is not where all drugs come in – but it is where most come in and where our efforts should be prioritized – presuming we are intent on continuing the war on drugs.

        There are not numerous canadian or mexican, or chinese terrorists.

        If we are looking to protect ourselves from Terror today – we should focus on those people most likely to engage in terrorism. That would not be 80 year old swedish grandmothers.

        Focusing our attention where we are most likely to find terrorists does NOT mean we get to violate peoples actual rights.

        If you are here legally – you have nearly the same rights as citizens. If you are not here legally – you still have some rights. If you are not a citizen, not a green card or visa hold and not here – you have no US constitutional rights.
        Our country does not OWE you anything. We are not obligated to protect you in your own country should someone else to do you harm.

        While I strongly beleive that we should accept most anyone who wishes to come here – that accepting immigrants is good for us, and good for them, that does nto create a right to come here.

        I oppose Trumps Immigration EO because I think it is in our interests to allow immigrants in.
        Even with poor vetting. But I understand that comes at a risk.
        But I also understand that the US constitution leaves most of immigration to the executive.
        And that has Trumps actions got the Immigration EO is minor – more symbolic than practical.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2017 12:56 am

        Left, Right, moderate – we can disagree regarding what needs to be done regarding terrorism – but only the left seems to be arguing that nothing should be done.
        Apparently it is acceptable to the left to hasten the arrival of those who would kill all of us if they could.

        I can disagree with others here on the most effective means of preserving our safety AND preserving our rights. But I am not arguing that doine both is not an obligation of our government.

        I will be happy to discuss better ideas than those of Trump – with those who have ideas.

        The left’s idea of how to deal with terrorism is signing Kumbaya
        That has not proven effective.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 5, 2017 12:05 am

        So let me see it is more important to spend 100B/year to redistribute wealth globally and reduce global temperatures by maybe 0.027C by 2100 – aka NOTHING, rather than deal with real problems ?

        We can fight over the CAGW malthusian chicken little nonsense,
        I have no idea how an intelligent person can buy such crap.

        But clearly many do – mostly the same ones who bought peak oil, silent spring, the population bomb, ….

        But even if you are a CAGW true beleiver – Paris is Zippo, NADA, nixnuts,

        If climate actually is going to hell – the paris agreement is not even a speed bump.

        As to your actual arguments
        If you really really want to debate CAGW – I will do so – grudgingly, because sorry – the argument is over – warmists have lost. No warmist temperature prediction thus far has been within 2.5 std dev of reality – in REAL SCIENCE, they call that falsified.
        There just is not valid argument after that.
        I have been arguing about CAGW since 2003 when belief in CAGW was atleast plausible for an intelligent person. It is not anymore.

        What mass extinctions ? Please there is NO RELIABLE DATA on the number of species in existance, current rates of evolution, or current rates of extinction, or any relationship between any of the above and the earth’s temperature.
        Historically past mass extinction events that do not correspond to asteroid impacts, correspond to COLD not heat.
        Historically there has been MORE species and MORE life at temperatures far warmer than today.

        Why exactly do you beleive that if we are so lucky as to get a warmer rather than colder future that it will be the opposite of past warm periods ?

        Why is it that you expect rational people to beleive you when you are just plain making it up.

        More CO2 AND/OR more heat will mean MORE agricultural production not less.
        Not only that it will mean LESS deserts not more.
        But one wonders why even bother trying to explain these things.
        Regardless, please cite a past time when a warmer earth was dryer or less agriculturally productive

        Even Warmist climate theory requires that a warmer earth will have MORE clouds and more rainfall.

        And Last and definitely least – killer storms.
        I am pretty sure I already linked to tropical cyclone data – it is DECLINING.
        Which it does as the climate warms – again even warmist CAGW theory concludes that are warmer planet is likely to have more stable weather – less violent storms etc.

        This violent weath nonsense is more warmist agitprop to scare people.
        If they run the models 100 times variations and can come up with one that produces violent weather – that becomes a NYT headline.

        You do know that warmists scientists have openly admitted to lying about the effects of warming to scare people – because the truth is not scary enough to get people to act.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 4, 2017 3:57 pm

      This moment is so deeply incongruous.

      Trump has been elected.
      Yet the sky is not falling.

      Today elites all over the world are spewing CO2 out of their private jets to tell us The world is going to bake because Trump failed to stay in a climate deal that by their own measures is meaningless and ineffectual.

      London is hit by another terror attack – yet Trump is the villian for not sticking to an agreement that was bad – even if you beleive the climate nazi’s.
      We are supposed to stick to an agreement that will do nothing, beyond redistribute about 100B/year of wealth because it will “feel” like we are doing something about a problem ?

      I am pondering who the real terrorists are ? Isn’t it a form of terrorism to constantly threaten the world with environmental holocaust if we do not put the lunatic left into power ?

      What is most disturbing is that many of these people are among our purported best and brightest.
      I honestly do not know how you can claim to be a scientist and buy CAGW. But if you do, then how do you reconcile that paris will not change with the IPCC predicts by any consequential amount. Reality refusese to conform to what the IPCC predicts, and the Media would call the IPCC projects deranged conservative denier lunacy – if they had a clue.

      Where is there sanity ?

      Cathy Griffith apologizes for beheading Trump – I really do not care.
      I am not offended. I am sure Trump is – so what. Some of Griffith sponsors are – that too is OK and HER problem. But I watched her appology on Youtube.
      3sec of I was wrong – which I could care less about, followed by minutes of I am a persecuted victim of white males and the President.

      That does offend me. I have ZERO problem with people ridiculing the president – any president. I am not all together happy with Trumps “its not fair” whinnings,. It is not. Life is not, get over it. Same Message to Trump and Griffith.

      Regardless, the left is past polarization and into total hysterical meltdown.

      I am question how anyone – even left wing nuts, can actually see the left as credible ?

      For those of you who buy this Trump/Putin nonsense – why is that any more credible than the hysteria over Paris ?

      All you have to do is say “Trump” and you can get a gagle of left journalists cackling about how whatever he did last was unprecedented evil. Asking other countries in NATO to pay their fair share is ghastly and disrespectful and will end the world as we know it ?

      You can dislike much even all of what Trump has done – and if you have the slightest objectivity left in your bones grasp he has not unsealed the 4 horseman of the appocolypse.

      So far
      he has NOT actually instituted a “muslim bann”. A 90 day moratorium on 6 countries and a 120 day one on refugees is NOT the end of the world.
      He has NOT started a trade war.
      He has NOT started a war with Iran – or North Korea, or China, or Russia, or sold the US out to Russia, or ….

      He has put in a cabinet – mostly of outsiders who increasingly appear to be pretty competent.

      Every day I here he is the most incompetent President ever – but most of what I can see that he is doing, is getting the left completely frothing at the mouth.

      There is nothing he has done that is inconsistent with what he promised to do if elected.
      Yet, at the same time he has NOT done most of the stupid things he promised while campaigning.

      Apparently the Hillary – “it was somebody else’s fault” apology tour has started. There are rumours that she is trying to keep the field clear for 2020. How stupid are democrats ?
      I am fully expecting Trump to run and win in 2020. But if democrats wish to be certain of losing in 2020 – their BEST possible way of assuring that is to have Hilary as their candidate.

  16. Anonymous permalink
    June 4, 2017 6:45 pm

    Will you put this on your Facebook page Rick?

    • June 6, 2017 1:28 am

      I didn’t post it on my personal FB page, but it’s on The Rick Bayan Page — my author’s nook on Facebook. It’s where I link to my New Moderate columns and promote my recent e-books so I don’t have to be an obnoxious huckster in front of my Facebook friends. I also don’t want to be too overtly political on my personal FB page. We get more than enough of that already.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 6, 2017 10:54 am

        I have separate facebook accounts for my personal, business and political activities.

        I see nothing wrong with using FaceBook as a platform for communicating political values.

        I think that the increase in personal political communication and involvement is a GOOD thing.

        But it is unwise to have people who are searching for information on you for business reasons to encounter ANY strong viewpoints on most anything. Not even strongly moderate views – unless your business is politics.

      • June 6, 2017 7:23 pm

        Dave, I have a separate (if barely active) website for my advertising and other professional creative services; in fact, I go by “Richard” Bayan there to keep my identities separate. As for politics on Facebook — it seemed like a good idea; the problem is that about 95% of the political posts I see are slanted to the “amen corners” on the right and left. The progressives respond only the progressive opinions, and the conservatives respond only the conservative opinions. (I tend to make a pest of myself by trying to balance some of the more extreme posts that I see.) Overall, I think this kind of ideological self-segregation intensifies already polarized thinking. Some of my progressive FB friends were actually calling for the execution of Trump and the key players in his administration.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2017 1:56 am

        I keep reporting even here – that I am increasingly afraid.

        For the most part I have not bought the political polarization arguments you have made in the past.

        I am only very mildly concerned about the “right” or about Trump supporters, and only if they legitimately feel that their demand to “drain the swamp” which they worked hard for and are legitimatly entitled to see attempted is thwarted – not by ordinary political obstruction – which I have repeatedly said I find legitimate – even when used against things I support, but via the equivalent of a coup.

        I mostly think that is unlikely.

        But as unlikely as I think that is – a substantial segment of the left, and much of the media has gone completely unhinged.

        We are beyond political polarization, we are past obstructionism.

        The left is openly lying, and dancing arround violence.
        Openly saying things that are just plain crazy.

        I am also concerned because it is increasingly difficult for them to back down

        It is extremely hard for people to admit – even to themselves – that they are wrong.

        I beleive this is a major factor with Global Warming – we are well past the point at which pretty much everyone with any intelligence should say – whatever I may beleive regarding the science, the earth has voted NO. But we can not admit that we might be wrong – even to ourselves.

        And we are facing the same with Trump right now.

        As this all keeps getting amplified, if Trump is anything less than the antichrist – the left looks nutty to ITSELF – and that can not happen.

  17. Roby permalink
    June 5, 2017 2:36 pm

    The new face of the nationalist right, a “hero” of the so-called “free speech movement” which choose the scene of his murders as the obvious spot to hold a free speech protest and brought their weapons. Nice touch! Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos, were probably proud. Various righteous ******** are doing their best to drag the very concept of free speech down into the shit.

    Armed nuts motivated by ideology and hate ready to kill come in all flavors. trumps movement is based on the idea that the violence of only one of those flavors is of real concern. IF we are in a war with the Islamists, we are in a war as well with the Jeremy Christians, Dylann Roofs, Cop Killers motivated by BLM rhetoric, the black clad fascist “antifascists,” et al.and all of their twisted ideas. Yes, each killer or social saboteur is a nut. They don’t exist in a vacuum, they get their ideas from the irresponsible rhetoric of ideological and religious movements. Those movements all have blood on their hands.

    All of which has precisely nothing to do with the Paris climate accord. Global warming stands completely on its own as an issue that will have devastating consequences and needs to be faced honestly ASAP, unless some organized group of idiots proposes diverting money from the war on ISIS to fighting greenhouse gas pollution. Which one would believe has already happened from the latest round of warped right-wing propaganda.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 5, 2017 5:13 pm


      You have been “punked” by fake news.

      If you actually bother to look into Jeremy Christian he is NOT a white supremist or republican. In the primary he voted for Sanders.

      The left and media makes stupid presumptions every time one of these instances happens.

      To the extent he is political at all – he is on the LEFT not right.
      He is certainly not a republican.

      His face book page and assorted posts are available.
      He specifically says he voted for Hillary

      Further the witness testimony makes clear this had nothing to do with race.
      He was a random nut, Though he was highly offensive – and had apparently been so on other occasians. Even in this instance – though those who were killed and injured by him did nothing actually wrong. They appear to have falsely presumed he was taking aggressive action when he was walking away, triggering his explosion of violence.

      There has been LOTS of this nonsense – both before and since the election.

      There is no evidence of any increase in “right wing violence” – if anything it has significantly decreased.

      There are as always a small number of mentally disturbed people who resort to violence.
      Most of them spew ideological jabber into their violence – as commonly left jabber as right and often mixed. But these are disturbed people who were dancing on the edge of violence regardless of ideology. On occasion some of what is blamed on immigrants falls better into the catagory of mental illness.

      But unless you consider left leaning ideology a mental illness pretty much ALL the recent violence and hate has come from the left.

      Trying to paint Jeremy Christian as some kind of poster boy for Trump is a perfect example of the cluelessness of the left right now.

      IF you can not even tell the difference between a mentally disturbed person – whose politics to the extent they exist at all are LEFT rather than right, from a Trump supporter and a Neo-Nazi – then how can you be taken credibly ?

      Roby, you are being lied to by the media. And the lies are primarily coming from the left not the right.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 6, 2017 10:35 am

        To the extent that I lose hope in the idea that Americans of different opinions and ideologies will ever come together again, to try and reach some level of understanding and tolerance, find solutions, and put aside their hatred for those of other groups, this story is one that reinforces my hopelessness.

        It is also the reason why I have lost trust in the journalistic media, which have become, for the most part, overtly and overly partisan, as well as shockingly dishonest.

        Jeremy Christian appears to be a severely mentally ill person, who, if he has any true political ideology, identifies with the left. As far as I can tell, from reading about him, he is not a member of any organized right-wing militia ~ no “white nationalist ISIS” or anything similar. His friends believed him to be mentally ill, and his erratic and heinous actions are consistent with a psychotic break of some sort, certainly not of any support for Trump. He has spent a great deal of time in prison, for various offenses, and will now likely rot there, if there is any justice in this world.

        Yet, a pro-Trump free speech rally was cancelled, because of his insane racist rants and two young men died when they tried to stop him from harassing a couple of teenage girls.

        “The new face of the nationalist right, a “hero” of the so-called “free speech movement” which choose the scene of his murders as the obvious spot to hold a free speech protest and brought their weapons.”

        Roby, to the extent that we allow the mentally ill to live and rant on the streets, and spew their angry, discombobulated thoughts at strangers, I suppose you could use the term “free speech” to designate their rights.

        But, to say that this evil whack-job represents a “so-called free-speech movement”, merely because a leftist mayor chose to cancel a free-speech rally, based on his heinous actions, or to assert that he is any sort of hero to anyone on the right, is just flat out wrong.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 6, 2017 11:18 am

        Jeremey Christian looks alot like many of my clients.

        These people pose a serious problem for our system that no one has an answer for.
        We have institutionalized them – and had all kinds of abuses from that.
        We have released them – and many end up homeless or near homeless.
        And a few like Jeremy end up committing violent crimes – though most typically against each other.
        And we have incarcerated them.

        I will be happy if someone has a solution, But neither the left, nor the right, nor even libertarains, have an answer for mental illness.

        Frankly psychology remains an infant field with little success in dealing with many many mental health problems.
        We have looked at lots of answers – nonen work.

        Worse still the existance of mentally ill people who are less likely to conform their conduct to norms OR respond to traditional threats like jail undermines the freedom of all of the rest of us.

        Regardless, I have a great deal fo sympathy for Both Christian and his victims.

        But I have nothing but disgust at those who would try to foist ideological motives on the mentally ill.

        BTW from what I have been able to determine Christian did NOT make “racist” or similar remarks. He was beligerant, threatening, But what he asked for was to be left alone.
        He misperceived everything as an act of agression and a threat – even though his conduct was the most agressive.

        It even appears that the “trigger” for his violence was his perception of a threat when one of his victims stepped up to protect a woman he was not longer threatening.

        Regardless, the point is you can not draw rational conclusions from the conduct of people with serious mental health issues.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 6, 2017 11:27 am


        Jeremey Christian is mentally ill. Absolutely we do not know how to deal with the mentally ill. Only a small portion of the mentally ill turn violent as Christian did – but that still makes up a large portion of violence.

        But these people are not evil.

        I have no sympathy for those who slaughter others in the name of “god”.

        I can still have sympathy for Mr, Christian.

        We incarcerate people for several reasons:

        First – because some conduct requires consequences.
        Some portion of the population – particularly sociopaths only responds to the serious threat of force as a means of conforming behavior.

        second – to keep us all safe. Mr. Christian needs removed from society – not because he is evil, but because we need to be safe.

        Third – rehabilitation. The hope is that when faced with consequences people will quickly or slowly change to be better people.

        The first and third do not apply to mr. Christian.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 5, 2017 5:28 pm

      Should people on Trains and subways be cautious when they encounter scruffy people who are talking a bit crazy – absolutely.
      Is it their fault if they fail to do so ? No.

      Do I expect the police to pay more attention to the vagrant wandering and muttering than the Wall Street Commuter – absolutely.

      Just as I expect them to assume that the 30 year old with the islamic garb and beard outside a synagogue is more suspicious than the 8 year old on a bicycle.

      In all instances I expect law enforcement to perform their job respecting the rights of even those who MIGHT be paranoid schitzophrenics, or jihadi’s – because they probably are not.

      But I do not expect them to be searching Grandma’s depend’s in some excercise in social conscious political correctness so that we do not hurt the feelings of islam or paranoids.

      There is a YUGE difference between looking for problems where they have the highest probability of being found, and presuming that all muslims are terrorists.

      I personally sponsored a muslim immigrant family when none of the christian churches in my community would take them.

      There is a great deal fo difference between welcoming strangers and looking for terrorists where they will likely be found rather than where they will not.

      Yianopolis seems to have faded from the scenes. Though personally I found him exciting – Seriously an alt-right white Jewish Gay male queen with a preference for black lovers ?
      That is just deliciously perverse.
      And I have watched many of his clips and it is unfortunate that he is gone.
      He is far more defensible than his detractors.

      Coulter is not nearly so interesting. But the fact that I do not like her and am unlikely to defend here does not make her totally wrong. She makes alot of valid points in with the political nonsense. My biggest problem with coulter is that she pretends to some intelectual ideological purity, but she seems perfectly happy with whatever right wing candidate can get elected.
      But that makes her no different from Clinton voters.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 5, 2017 5:35 pm


      Actual nuts – are just that – nuts.

      Have you read the unibombers manifesto ? Or Jared Loughners writings ? Or that of Andrew Stack ?

      These are broken people. Ideology has nothing to do with their violence.

      As to holding people accountable for their rhetoric.

      Those people who actually speak out advocating the murder of doctors who perform abortions deserve the same moral condemnation as those people who advocate the killing of cops.

      Most of those on the Pro-Life side of the debate – are uniformly prolife – they also oppose the death penalty. These are not the people advocating shooting doctors.

      I suspect that BLM is not uniformly cheering on cop killers.
      Still far too many are.

      Regardless, those who do – whether it is advocating for the killing of abortion doctors or Police officers should be held MORALLY accountable by all of us.

      There is a huge difference between respecting someone else’s right to free speach and agreeing with it.

      But you seem unable to grasp the difference.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 5, 2017 5:43 pm

      You are correct that Global warming is an independent issue.

      It is just one more – possibly the largest, left wing nut manipulation of science to idiocy.
      It has been refuted soundly – not be me or by skeptics, but by the planet.
      But you are not paying any attention.

      There are not even devastating consequences if the left honestly accepted their own corrupt science.

      Please name a single disasterous prediction that would justify impoverishing us all by trillions of dollars that is in the science sections of the IPCC AR5 report – I am deliberately excluding only ONE section – the “summary” for policiy makers – written by non-scientists for non-scientists and having nothing to do with science.

      I think IPCC AR5 is hogwash. But even it predicts a world in 2100 that will be arguably BETTER than today.

      All the appocolyptic crap is not a part of science -it is just the hysterical rantings of the left.

      Even so – the actual science that tepidly asserts the earth will be warmer is demonstrably wrong.

      So you are selling hype on top of fallacious science and expect buyers ?

      I will be happy to advocate for taking ALL government money away from “climate science”.
      Frankly I will take all money away from government research.

      If we are going to have politicized science – lets atleast have the politicos pay for it.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 5, 2017 5:46 pm

      Certainly the right engages in propoganda – but it is rank amateur compared tot he left.

      This is part of the incredulity of the Russia stole the election nonsense.

      How so ? What is the false narative that the Russians snuck into the media that some voters who actually would have otherwise voted for Clinton bought ?

    • dhlii permalink
      June 5, 2017 5:52 pm

      I want to take the Russia Trump theme even further.

      Derschowitz – not some righty has been fairly vocal in asserting there is no crime here.
      That even if there was collusion it is not a crime.

      I found that shocking – I personally think if Trump actually colluded with the Russians that is a huge problem. I think the evidence of that does nto exist.

      That said – lots of evidence does exist of other politicians colluding – often overtly.
      Ted Kennedy Appealed to the USSR to help defeat Carter.

      Obama was caught on an open mike telling the russians he could be more flexible after the election – how is that not exactly what Trump is being accused of ? You scratch my back I will scratch yours ?

      But lets go further.

      Did voters have a gun to their heads on Nov. 8. 2016 ?

      Was anything they were lead to beleive about Clinton actually False ?

      So what is Clinton and the left’s arguement here ?

      That Trump won the election because the Russians helped him spread the truth about her and democrats ?

      Or is the claim that ordinary voters are too stupid to vote for themselves ?

  18. June 6, 2017 2:16 am

    Sorry if I’ve been AWOL until now, folks. I’ve been insanely busy arranging the details of an Alaskan cruise (we need to apply for expedited passports because it embarks from Vancouver) — along with multiple chores like planting the garden and dealing with a broken-down washing machine. I’m happy to be spared the continual 24/7 news crisis cycle, and if I had the time I’d weigh in on the recent wave of terrorism. (Short answer: if we round up and/or kill terrorists, they’ll hate us even more and wage jihad; if we tolerate them in our midst, they’ll perceive it as weakness and wage jihad. The secret might be to kidnap radical imams and replace them with moderate imams.)

    Anyway, please continue the conversation. I’ll try to reply to some of your comments when I can grab a few moments.

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 6, 2017 11:21 am

      Rick, your suggestion to “kidnap radical imams” make sense ~ I’d be more in favor of just drone-killing them, Obama-style, but that drone business is notoriously inaccurate at targeting the right folks….plus, it probably makes sense to take them alive, and get information on the terror networks that they advise and support. Ah, we can dream, can’t we?

      Jim Geraghty of National Review published an article today that takes up this question from a different perspective ~ “At What Point is Islamist Rhetoric a Crime?” In it, he quotes a BBC study that says of a certain British imam :

      “Perhaps more than any other radical cluster, the network around [British extremist Anjem] Choudary has been linked to scores of attacks, both at home and abroad, and dozens of foreign fighters joining IS in Syria.”

      Geraghty goes on to discuss the problems and conflicts involved in stopping terrorists before they act, and comes to this conclusion:

      “There’s an old cliché in cop films, when a really bad guy is under suspicion, the lieutenant tells the cops, “If he so much as spits on the sidewalk, book him.” Perhaps a possible solution is for Western countries to take our ludicrously complicated criminal codes and stop applying them to little kids selling lemonade on the street corner and throw them at those touting Islamist rhetoric. Finally, the nanny state could be good for something useful.”

      Protecting the free speech of our enemies, i.e. those who actively organize and advocate for attacks upon the western world, does seem insane. And, speaking of insane, it dovetails with my objections to Roby’s conclusion that ISIS jihadis are not much different than the mentally ill. Both may be evil, but the Islamist jihadi is following a well-organized, well- financed, and truly ideological movement. Random murderous lunatics may or may not believe that they are acting out of a political ideology, but they are certainly not part of a coherent, global movement; a movement that possesses clear goals and effective strategies.

      To say that they are the same would be like saying that Charles Manson and Adolph Hitler posed similar threats to the world.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 6, 2017 12:55 pm

        By the way, Roby, I did not mean to suggest that YOU are insane! Far from it, you are quite sanely moderate most of the time. I simply meant to say that you attribute many terrorist attacks to insanity rather than a well-organized extremist movement, with a clear ideology.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2017 1:36 am

        While I can concur on your criticism of Roby, I am not in agreement on anything else.

        Kathy Griffith posted a video beheading Trump – that is free speech.
        She lost her job and many sponsors as a consequence – I am Ok with that too.
        She received all kinds of hate emails that left her distraught.

        While I think those sending the hate emails might wish to think first before hitting send.

        How can someone post a video of a beheading and complain because she got violent emails in response not the most preposterous hypocracy that you have ever heard of ?

        I am near absolutist on Free speech. I fully support Kathy’s right to poset really nasty video’s. At the same time i FULLY support the right of anyone who might hire her – to say no, and anyone who thinks that sending her emails as violent as her video is a good idea.

        If there are imams preaching violence – the right answer is more speech, not killing them, or silencing them – however hateful they may be.

        Despite being progressive justice Brandeis got this.
        John Stuart Mills got it.

        No idea or concept is so true that all opposition needs silenced.

        The most rights any of us can possibly be sure of are the least rights we allow those we hate the most.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 7, 2017 7:59 am

        I wasn’t talking about Kathy Griffin, though. She is an American citizen, and her right to free speech is guaranteed. Her beheading “gag” was unfunny, but protected.

        What I’m talking about is the free speech of anti-Western imams, who advocate, organize and incite terror. While I am not amused by Ms. Griffin, I support her right to be unfunny. I am not supportive of our Constitution being used to protect actual terrorists.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 7, 2017 11:29 am

        Griffin’s speech is no more protected than those of imam’s. As heinous as theirs may be,

        Our government does Guarantee Griffin’s free speech, but the right – however insecure precedes the guarantee.

        Citizenship at most requires the US government to “secure” that right. Citizenship is not the grant of that right.

        This Trump immigration EO conflict is providing a civics lesson for all of us.

        Rights including those of non-citizen’s and foreigner’s residing outside of the US are inalienable – they are natural, or endowed by god if you will. They are not created by government. Every person in the world shares the same rights.

        The US govenrment does not create rights for its citizens, it “secures” them.

        The “social contract” that empowers the government to use force, and justifies its very existence, is that government will SECURE the rights of its citizen’s.

        The US government is not required to protect the rights of non-us-person’s.
        It is obligated to respect those of everyone.

        We may not kill non-citizen’s in foreign countries because we do not like what they say.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 8, 2017 9:57 am

        We’ll have to agree to disagree on this point, Dave. I’m of the opinion that the Espionage Act prevents these imams from organizing terror and insurrection as part of a “war.” Assuming that one believes that ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other Islamist groups believe that they are waging jihad, i.e. a holy war, I think that the Espionage Act ahould be used to stop them.

        As it is now, we wait for these self-described jihadis to commit acts of terror and violence and then arrest them. Stopping them before they act, whenever possible, should be the greater priority.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 8, 2017 10:12 pm

        You raise about issue – I really do not gave a damn what “terrorists” think they are doing.

        Actual War is something different. These people are criminals – not soldiers.

        We get into this nonsense all the time – we label something a “war” and we think that makes it somehow different
        The War on Crime
        The War on Drugs
        The War on Science
        The War on Women
        The War on Terror

        All – Not Wars.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 8, 2017 10:15 pm

        Stopping people before they act – sounds good in the abstract – but it ALWAYS means violating peoples rights.

        It also typically means assuming we can read peoples minds.
        EVen when someone says things – telegraphing what they believe and what they will do – we can not actually know they will do it – until they do.

        Even god does not punish our thoughts and intentions – but only our actions.

  19. dhlii permalink
    June 7, 2017 1:24 am

    For those of you who have some faith in government, the department of justice, the obama administration, our system of justice, any faith in regulation, or beleive that because someone has been indicted or settled with the government.

    This is the story of The DOJ’s 5 year prosecution of Howard Root and Vascular Solutions.
    This is long – but if you give a dam about justice in the US you should watch it.

    I would also suggest thinking about the fact that Howard Root was indicted on a “strict liability” offense. There is no need to prove knowledge or complicity.
    All that is necescary is for the jury to beleive that a very minor misrepresentation of a medical product was made by some sales representative, and that even though the CEO did not know about it that somehow they could prevent it.

    There is ZERO requirement of Intent.

    The DOJ and FBI under Lynch/Yates and Comey had no problem prosecuting Howard Root, yet they were not even willing to indict Hillary Clinton.

  20. dhlii permalink
    June 7, 2017 11:34 am

    I find it interesting, during the Obama administration the issue came up regarding whether President Obama could order a drone strike on a US citizen in the US that was not overtly engaged in an act of terrorism at the moment.

    The administration openly reserved the authority to do so. Neither the left nor the press decried this. I remember because I DID.

    Today President Trump wishes to stall for 90 days the entrance of foreigners from 6 nations that have inadequate or no systems for vetting those immigrants and this is evil, a violation of their rights, and the end of the world as we know it.

    The hypocrisy on the left is incredible.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 7, 2017 11:39 am

      In the same vein President Obama during an election cycle on an accidentally open mike responds to a query from a Russian Ambassador that after the election he will have more flexibility to deal with the russians and that is not inappropriate, collusion, quid pro quo.

      But an assortment of employees of Trump enterprises occasional meetings with Russians for business purposes – when business was clearly being conducted is according to the left clear evidence of improper collusion ?

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 8, 2017 10:08 am

      I don’t intend to watch James Comey’s public testimony today (I’ll see and read about the relevant parts later), but I’ve read his opening statement, and it’s obvious that Trump was 1)angry and desperate to have Comey tell the public what he had told Trump in private, that is that Trump was not under
      investigation and 2) that Trump felt that Mike Flynn had suffered enough from having a perfectly legal conversation with Kislyak, and expressed his hope that Flynn would not suffer any more consequences.

      #2 was probably an inappropriate conversation, but one that did not, in any sense, rise to the level of obstruction. As a former federal prosecutor, Comey was aware of this, or he would have reported it immediately.

      Someone wrote yesterday that “boorishness and cluelessness” are not illegal. That’s pretty much what we have here. The problem is that the American public knew pretty much what they were getting when they voted for Trump. Hie IS boorish, and he IS, in many ways, clueless about the proper behavior of a president. His supporters are not surprised by this, and unless evidence is presented that shows that he broke the law, they will continue to support him, at least for the most part.

      • June 8, 2017 12:53 pm

        Priscilla. Seems like you and I are in the same position concerning watching Comey’s testimony. They say that Fox News has dropped to third place in cable news viewership and many blame dropping Orielly as the reason. I think there are many like us that are sick of the constant rehashing of the same news over and over. How many times can you say the same things in a different manner? I say the reason fox news has lost viewership is due to people like you and me sick of the same news and they have stopped watching anything that has to do with Russia, impeachment, collusion, etc,etc. Only the ones that are gung-ho on getting Trump gone are continuing to watch and that is why MSNBC is doing so much better.

        I have no idea where this is headed and the outcome. But I will give my perspective, (if anyone cares).
        1. After all the damage is done, including the inability to pass healthcare reforms and most likely tax reforms due to the political influence being directed toward taking down Trump, I give Nancy Pelosi a 60% chance of becoming House Speaker in 2019
        2. For the same reasons, I give Chuck Shumer a 50% chance of becoming majority leader.
        3. If Trump has a chance to nominate another SC judge after the election in 2018, his last two years of office, I give his nominees a 0% chance of getting a hearing if #2 takes place.
        4. Trump, should he choose to run in 2020 will get 35%-39% of the votes and carry fewer than 15 states if he is lucky.
        And in all this, there are no winners, the losers in all this is the American public and the only winners are the Russians that have accomplished much more than they ever thought possible. Just like OBL bringing down both twin towers when they probably thought the best they could do was huge damage that would eventually be fixed and a few hundred people die, the Russians were probably thinking the best they could do was disrupt an election and now they have basically neutered an administration for its complete term.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 8, 2017 11:12 pm


        I think your premises are correct – but your conclusions are off 180.

        Democrats are not going to do well in 2018 unless lots of people actually care about this.

        This entire mess is getting WORSE for democrats not better.

        There is no new meat getting added to the Trump russia collusion story – which is the only one that matters with respect to future elections.

        Bill Clinton got hammered for several reasons – because his attempt to take over healthcare was a bridge too far, and because the scandals of the Clinton whitehouse kept building. If one scandal did not have much in the way of leggs. Another followed, and then another.

        Maybe some smoke does nto mean fire – but billowing chocking ever growing smoke to most people does.

        Even Chris Mathews today conceded after Comey’s testimony – there is no “there” there with respect to Trump/Russia

        Oddly by firing Comey Trump has gotten exactly what he wanted – without the problems Comey used as reasons to not do so.

        Comey declared publicly infront of the nation – that not only did he Tell Trump 3 times that he was not the target of any investigation, but that it was true. That through the moment of his firing he had no evidence of anything involving Trump.

        Because EX FBI Directory Comey said that – no one will have a “duty to correct” should that change.

        Anyway, I am not sure what will happen if the mid term was tomorow.

        And absolutely – if the economy goes south – or if more actual evidence actually emerges regarding Trump – then the GOP is toast.

        But if we have 18 more months of “Trrrrrrrrrump!!!!!!!” with no new evidence.
        It is the democrats who are in trouble, not the republicans.

        There is some small chance – that the Democrats can take the house, the normal midterm flip would do it.
        At the same time I think the volatility of past congressional elections is diminishing.
        We have had major issues over the past century as Republicanism shifted from the coasts and New England to the interior and south. While Democrats shifted from Rural to urban areas.
        Those shifts are mostly complete.
        That means LESS volatility in house elections.

        The Senate is even worse. The 2018 deck is staked against democrats.
        Even in a bad year the GOP shoudl pick up seats in this senate map.
        It would take very serious shifts to alter that.

        Finally – aside from the all Trump angst all the time nonsense the Democratic party continues to marginalize itself.

        Its response to the 2016 election has been to shift further left.
        That is not the route to a comeback.

        I am slightly at odds with you on some of the legislation and politics.

        AS I have raised repeatedly here – you should not even need a majority to repeal existing legislation.
        In fact you should not need a majority to act in anyway that increases individual liberty.

        But if you wish to expand government power – you must have a super majority.

        The GOP should Repeal PPACA or let it fail.
        The debate on replacement is independent.
        Further any replacement requires STRONGER support that PPACA had when it passed.

        The GOP shoudl Repeal Dodd-Frank.
        They seem to be trying to do a repeal and replace their too.
        NO! Repeal and then Replace – or not.

        Tax reform is more complex – all tax reduction is freedom enhancing.
        Still while I think our tax system needs significant reform.
        I also think we shoudl not do something just to do something.

        Separately I think Infrastructure stimulus is total stupidity.
        It was when Obama did it. It still is.

        Finally I would note that Trump was elected to “drain the swamp”

        Did you think that the alligators would be happy about that ?

        I am not entirely happy with Trump.
        At times I am terrified by what is going on.
        And I think I have a higher tolerance for political chaos than most here.

        But as much as I would like to see far more “deconstructing govenrment”

        I think that what we are already seeing is historic and good.
        I think there is a good change of 3% growth by 2018.
        And I think that if we have that then the elections of 2018 and 2020 will heavily favor republicans.

        Democrats have created a bunch of expectations that they can not escape.

        They have created the expactation that 3% Growth is not acheivable anymore.
        If that proves false – the left loses.

        They have created the expectation that Trump is both criminal and incompetent.
        That creates an unbeleivably low bar for Trump to look good.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 8, 2017 10:23 pm

        I found Comey’s written statement wierd.

        Trump talked to Comey – Comey responded with what Comey thought was his best advice.
        Trump persisted. Comey ignored him.

        To me that pretty much demonstrates why Comey was fired.

        In particular Trump wanted Comey to state in public that Trump was not a target.
        Comey provided many reasons – and you can even think good reasons not to do that.
        But Trump continued to “direct” him to do that.

        Ulitmately the decision is Trump’s not Comey’s.
        Trump is the president,
        It is not Comey’s job to protect Trump from himself against Trump’s wishes – even if Comey felt Strongly that saying Trump was not a target was a bad idea.

        Comey elaborated on this during the hearing – aparently having discussions with the acting AG and others over whether he should do as Trump asked.

        Why ? There is no, if the AG agrees I do not have to do as the president asks provision in the constitution.

        All the power of the executive vests with the president.

        If the president asks you to do something actually illegal or unconstitutional – you resign.
        Of the president is unwilling to listen to your advice – you may have to resign.

        There is no, I do not have to listen to the president and still get to keep my job in th executive branch clause in the constitution.

        More revealing – was he remarks about the real interferenace during the Obama administration.

        Again Krauthammers description was excellent.

        Comey has ex post facto integrity.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 8, 2017 10:38 pm

        Comey clarified in the hearings that Flynn was tangential to the Russia/Election/Collusion investigation.

        i.e. the investigations of Flynn did not tie to Trump or the Trump campaign

        That means Trump was free to ORDER Comey to end the investigation of Flynn.

        That would not be my interpretation of Trump’s remarks.

        But Comey tried to claim it was his.
        IF so – then continuing to investigate Flynn was by Comey’s own remarks – being a lose cannon.

        Honestly the big loser in the hearings as far as I was concerned was Comey.

        Rather than coming accross as a giant of great integrity, he came accross as someone who was unable to standup to things he beleived were wrong – but was willing to use what he beleived were the wrong doings of the administrations he was a part of to blackmail them into keeping his job.

        One of the senses I had was that Comey continued the investigation of Trump and refused to say what he was asked Because he thought it gave him leverage over Trump.

        Comey repeatedly in his testimony said that he thought Trump would lie about what they had said together.

        Yet in every instance – Trump actually went public with their conversation FIRST, and Comey and his memo’s (aside from spin) ultimately confirmed what Trump had said FIRST.

        I do not know whether the FBI was demoralized under Comey.
        Maybe Trump “lied” about that.

        Hearing Comey’s testimony – they shoudl have been

        Comey actually confirmed most of the insults that Trump hurled at him.

        And I get really tired of this “contradictory stories” from the white house nonsense.

        I really do not give a damn if Sean Spicer and Donald Trump use the same words and the same spin to describe everything every time.

        I do not consider the differences in reasons given for Comey’s termination to be consequential.

        Comey demonstrated why he was fired today.

        He beleived that the FBI was not part of the executive branch.
        And that he could blackmail the president into keeping his job.

        Much of the country will not make much of Comey’s remarks that Trump might lie.

        I do. If you call someone else a liar – you had better be right – and right in an important way. Because you have bet your integrity against theirs and only one of you comes out with their integrity intact.

        Comey;s accusations that Trump did or might lie – all proved hollow.

        I found Comey’s “Lordy. I hope their are Tapes” quite odd.

        aside from meaningless details there is nothing in Comey’s memo’s or testimony regarding Trump’s remarks that Trump has not himself previously stated that he said.

        Trump: I said X to James Comey.

        Comey: Trump is a liar, Trump said X to me.

      • June 8, 2017 11:40 pm

        The problem with this situation at this time is the fact so many people have tuned out. I did not watch it. You did. You have the same comments concerning Comey that some of the the facebook pages I am getting from “friends” who share “friends” comments that I am getting friends to infinity pages. On one hand are the conservatives that find Comey unbelievable. On the other side, the liberals find his statements extremely believable including Trump should be removed since he wanted Comey to stop the investigation. These are the small percentage of individuals that actually watched all or part of the hearings.

        The problem is not only the cable news and the Facebook pages, it is the local news. That is a media outlet viewed more by “uninterested” individuals in national news, but they get exposed to a left leaning report and that is mostly Anti trump. Even our local Fox affiliate is neutral to left of center when it comes to Trump and that is in a mostly conservative viewing area. They have an impact on Trumps approval rating and to many, this is important.

        The idea now is to let the drip,drip,drip continue until the swamp has fills with alligators. One thing for certain, the Liberals do know how to spin a story.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 9, 2017 4:38 pm


        With regard to actual facts – I find Comey completely beleiveable.

        The issues of credibility have nothing to do with “facts”.

        They have to do with oppinions and spin.

        I do not think that there is any disagreement between Trump and Comey – right down to the words spoken.

        Comey want’s a tape – why ? There is no disagreement on what was said.

        Comey;s recollection of the words spoken does NOT to me sound like an order – but a wish, a hope, a suggestion. Not that the suggestions of the President do not carry alot of force.

        I would like to say interpretting Comey’s testimoney in the light most favorable to Comey – but I can not. Because the most favorable spin for Comey is ALSO the most favorable spin for Trump.

        Comey’s testimony – nuanced, spun or whatever you wish to call it as Comey intended, makes Comey look very bad, and still leaves Trump fairly secure.

        That facts as asserted by Comey in the strongest form leave several results.

        Comey by his own admission was Rogue.
        He refused to follow several things he characterized as orders
        He is “troubled” by some of them.
        Others he just thinks are bad decisions.
        But he is unwilling to say either with his words – then, or now, or with his actions then or subsequently that these orders he was given were actually improper.

        If Comey actually beleived – at the time or at any point prior to being fired that Trump’s order’s were illegal, unconstitutional or improper – then he was obligated to say NO – not ignore them, and resign.

        He did not do so. He is still unwilling to say they were illegal improper or unconstitutional.
        But he is also unwilling to say they were not.
        He is defering to others.

        But he was NOT in a position to defer to others.
        The “orders” were given to him.
        He was free to get advice.
        But ultimately he had to decide yes or no himself.
        Further he had the skills and qualifications to do so.

        The game playing now – seem to me much like his refusal to say Trump was not a target.

        It is an effort to drag things out.

        I do not think you are going to very get Comey to say they were illegal, or unconstitutional.
        That has too much personal risk for him.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 9, 2017 4:49 pm


        You can not like Trump or disagree with him on issues, and still think what is going on is nonsense.

        Looking at Comey’s testimoney Frankly I think a serious problem is that Trump was NOT directive or clear enough. He tried to Smooze Comey into doing what he wanted.
        He should have issued actually clear orders.

        Dir Comey – you have one month to proceed with the Flynn investigation.
        At that time you will bring your results to me, and if in consultation with the AG I beleive you have nothing of substance the investigation will be closed.
        Conversely if you determine that Gen. Flynn has committed some actual crime, I will have to determine whether to pardon or prosecute him.

        Dir Comey you have one month to complete the portions of the Russia Election investigations that touch on the involvement of my campaign or anyone affilitated with me.
        You will bring whatever results you have at that time to the AG (or Deputy AG) and I and we will determine whether there is sufficient cause to proceed and if so who you have sufficient evidence to proceed against and who you do not.

        Frankly I would prefer written directives – carefully reviewed by council in the whitehouse and announced publicly. I am just trying to provide some sugguestion of what I think he should have done.

        I think the appointment of the special council should have been done simliarly.

        i.e. This is your scope, this is you time period, anything beyond that has to be formally reviewed.

        BTW I think Trump should be more broadly publicly directive like that.

        Whether issuing formal Executive Orders or just making public memoranda directing that specific things happen in specific time periods.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 8, 2017 10:43 pm

        BTW, Derschowitz has addressed the obstruction of justice claim.

        It is unlikely to impossible that the president can obstruct justice in an investigation that does not involve him.

        That is like saying that a prosecutor who decides that he is not going to prosecute a case is “obstructing justice”

        Trump is the Chief Prosecutor and Chief Law enforcement officer in the US government.
        He actually does get final say on who is prosecuted and who is not.

        Further he has the power to pardon and commute – which is even more significant.

        Derschowitz goes further to say that – even if Trump were not president asking Comey not to prosecute MIGHT be inapproriate – but it would never be obstruction.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 8, 2017 11:23 pm

        I listened a bit to Dershowitz the other night. He makes so much sense, and it’s obvious that he thinks that everyone in D.C. has lost their freaking minds.

        He was listing the situations in which other presidents~ including Bush and Obama ~ have directed the Justice Department to end ongoing investigations, have ended investigations by claiming executive privilege, and have pardoned the targets of ongoing investigations. He said that Trump could have simply pardoned Flynn, he would have been totally within his Constitutional powers, and that would have ended the investigation no matter what Comey thought.

        Comey seems to me an egotistical power player, and I agree with Dave that Comey believed that his refusal to make public the fact that Trump was not under investigation would give him huge leverage over the president ~ he was basically behaving like a two-bit J. Edgar Hoover, trying to let Trump twist slowly in the wind.

        Trump fired him for cause, but he didn’t even need cause.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 9, 2017 3:59 pm

        Comey testified that Trump asked him to do certain things.
        And that Comey advised against those things.
        And that Comey did not do those things.

        I am not accusing Comey of giving the president bad advice.
        Comey may well have beleived his recomendations were the best.
        We can debate whether they were or not.

        But in every instances Comey – not Trump ends up behaving problematically.

        Personally I do not think that any of the “requests” Trump made constitute orders – and that really should not only end the discussion but even end claims of obstruction of justice.

        All that then remains is the debate over why Comey was fired.

        But if as Comey does you characterize those requests as orders.
        EITHER they are Constitional and legal and you obey.
        Or they are not and you must report them and resign.
        The option to just ignore them does not exist.

        The spat over asking Comey to publicly state that Trump was not a target is one of the most damning.

        Comey has confirmed that he told Trump 3 times – he was not the target of an investigation. He has also confirmed that for the time he was FBI director that was the Truth.

        So any question reqarding whether Comey should say that publicly is purely a question of politics, strategy and guesses about what the future might bring.
        There is no moral, ethical, legal or constitutional issue.

        That means that if Comey thought that was an order – he had no legitimate reason to refuse it. And in doing so Trump was justified in firing him.

        Comey also testified that Flynn was peripheral to the Russia hacking the election investigation.

        In other words there was no investigation of Flynn for conduct that could tie back to Trump personally.

        That means there is no possibility of obstruction of Justice with Flynn.

        I have been increasingly disturbed by Comey over time.

        I was unaware he was the lead in the Ashcroft pre-surgery confrontation.
        When I learned of that he had painted himself as a hero.
        Other accounts paint a quite different story.

        Regardless, it is not desputed that he appointed himself acting Attorney general.

        Comey has been A past US Attorney. He is supposed to be very very familiar with the law.
        Yet in myriads of instances he has proven to either know the law poorly or apply the law poorly or duck questions about the law.

        All Comey would have needed to do is characterise Trump’s remarks to him as suggestions – and he ends up mostly looking good, and Trump looking arbitrary capricious and intolerant.

        But by characterizing them as orders – he raises the question of why he did not obey them.
        And while he clearly wants us all to conclude obstruction of justice – he is not willing to go there himself.

        Yet, he has put himself in a position where without saying they were obstruction he is clearly insubordinate.

        Regardless, there seems to be a pattern with Comey going back a long time of beleiving he is a free agent.

  21. June 8, 2017 12:57 pm

    RICK!!!!!! Any idea why my comments act like they are posting, but don’t show up and then when I try reposting the same comment, it says “duplicate comment, looks like you said that already”.

    to get stuff to post, I have to keep trying and changing the first few words until it finally does post.

    Am I on your “Watch List” (-_-)?

    • June 8, 2017 6:21 pm

      Ha… no, this is a free-speech zone. Sometimes there’s a delay; it doesn’t look as if the comment has posted but it actually has. I’ve never had to reword my comments to make them post, though, so I’m at a loss to explain that glitch.

  22. Anonymous permalink
    June 8, 2017 2:38 pm

    Boring hearing this morning; not much new.

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 8, 2017 11:29 pm

      It was just a lot of grandstanding by a lot of Senators, and a rather strange performance by Comey, who called himself “weak” “no Captain Courageous,” and claimed he was so stunned by Trump’s behavior that he couldn’t gather himself sufficiently to tell the president that he believed that their conversation was inappropriate. I mean, seriously….what a tool.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 9, 2017 4:16 pm

        I thought the Stunned remarks were disengenous

        This is not high school,

        We are talking about a US attorney of many years, an FBI director, someone who has testified before congress repeatedly.
        Someone who has maintained presence of mind in very difficult circumstances.

        Sorry I am not buying, stunned, surprised or at a loss for words.

        But lets say somewho – remarks that quite frankly I do not see as troublesome.
        Actually were a problem – was he shocked, and stunned for months ?

        This is a person who felt that legal ethics required him to correct his testimony to the House – months after it took place.

        Are we to conclude that Comey never was able to come to a conclusion or figure out what his ethical responsibilty was ?

        I think the most likely understanding of this is trivial.

        Comey did not take anything Trump said as an order.
        And to the small extent he did, he was just ignoring it anyway.
        I think he did not like what he was being asked.
        I think he thought what Trump wanted was unwise.
        But I do not beleive he thought it was improper, unconstitutional or illegal – until after he was fired.

        I think he was shocked that he was fired. Because he had become enured having used the Obama administrations recklessness with respect to ethics as a means to enhance his own power and security he felt he could do the same with Trump.
        And he guessed wrong.

        BTW I think Trump needs to fire alot more people.
        I think he should go looking for people to fire.

        It enflames the left, but it appeals to his base.

        Regardless it is who he is.

        I think he needs another high profile firing NOW
        So that no one thinks he is cowed by this.

        I do not have someone particular in mind.
        But surely someone can be found.

        I separately think he should institute an investigation of the entire Intelligence Community

        A broad investigation into its larger failures – why it is being used politically, why it is runnign afoul of the FISA court, why is there all this unmasking nonsense.

        I think the investigation should have several purposes.
        Removing politics from the intelligence community.
        Clarifying the rules and conduct of the IC with regard to investigations involving US PErsons.
        And firing alot of people.

        One ot the reasons that Flynn was targetted is because he was expected to do just such a shakeup of the intelligence community.

        There is an underground fight that was going on that cost Flynn his job twice, about what the purpose of the Intelligence community was.

        Flynn was fired because he believed that with the war on Terror the primary objective of the IC was to provide actionable intelligence tot he military.

        While the people to clobbered him twice beleived that the NSA and CIA etc. exist to assist the president and nation in developing policy.

  23. dhlii permalink
    June 8, 2017 7:47 pm

    I just tripped over this and thought that despite a few flaws and over simplifications it is excellent.

    I read the article because it was supposed to be about evergreen.

    But for me it explains pretty much the entire mess that I encounter – particularly from the left – and the changes that have taken place on the left since the 60’s.

    I would note that the author labels “classical liberals” and libertarians – as modernists, and centrists. This is what USED to be called liberalism.

    The author makes an inconsequential error when claiming that the distinction between modernists and post modernists is over objective truth.

    There is no objective Truth – but there is a branch of science – epistemology that allows us to determine “relative truth”.

    The distinction between moderns and post moderns is that post moderns reject any concept of truth – which makes post modernism just so much logical mush.
    While moderns accept (either implicitly or implicitly) that we can establish that somethings are more probably true than others – and that most things are absolutely false.

    I found the section noting that many on the left who are not explicitly post modern and who might reject the fundamental premises of postmodernism are still inherently owned by post modern constructs.

    I would ask those here to once again think about whether what matters most is what you feel about anything or what is true ?

    Post modernism rejects the concept of truth entirely.

    That is eye opening for me. It brings me back to Haidt – if I am arguing facts and data and real science to a postmodern – I am trying to talk to the rider on the elephant – not the elephant.

    At the same time – quite honestly – to those of you that are prepared to make choices for the world and others rooted in emotion rather than facts, logic and reason,

    I do not comprehend your world at all. I do not know how to communicate with you. I do not know how to live in a world in which you excersize power over others.

  24. dhlii permalink
    June 9, 2017 5:06 pm

    I do not normally link to national review as that is inarguably partisan.

    Regardless, this particular article is interesting – it is just a long list of all the media stories and Statements by democratic congressmen that were all refuted by Comey’s testimony yesterday.

    Clearly Trump had a YUGE point about all of this cloud interfering with his ability to govern

  25. June 10, 2017 2:44 pm

    Over the last few days I have seen multiple posts on Facebook where there have been more than 10K likes, comments, shares, whatevers concerning backing out of the Paris agreements or something to do with the hearings about Comey, Russia, etc.

    They either support the administration or they don’t. But what strikes me is the “unknown” websites or Facebook pages these are coming from.

    Years ago one could go to the park or on a street corner and begin “preaching” their point of view. As long as someone was interested, they would stop and listen to what that person had to say. Those people, even though they were seen and were identifiable as someone that was not an expert in their fields, were able to speak their mind and a few people listened. Sometimes they spoke at churches, colleges or other gatherings if enought people knew them, but they were still not experts.

    Now I can go to the web, pay a few dollars for a website, either design it or have someone design it for me, give it a fancy name like “National Scientific Council on Global Warming” (I could not find this as an active organization right now), give it a .org website name and now I am an expert on global warming. I then begin writing all these articles about global warming and its impact and find people dumb enough to follow my articles ad repost them to various social media. And I can provide “who are we” information on the site to make me look even more important than I really am, when I know very little on the subject. I end up with thousands of followers over a very short period of time.

    My point is Facebook, Twitter and all other social media is allowing idiots to become “experts”. How the world views the USA and the elections with Russian interference. How the country views Trump and his connections with Russia. How the administration is profoundly worried about Trump, even though they say they do not worry at all. Any point of view and you are an expert.

    We ended up with trump as president because of so many people following him on social media and if the farther right or the far left can energize their base using “fake news sites” like so much on social media today, many fewer people with any knowledge of what is actually happening will be voting for even worse candidates than we have today.

    Russian hacking is just beginning. Many more “experts” will emerge for future elections to manipulate the voting public into getting the candidate elected the Russians or any other foreign enemy want in office.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 11, 2017 1:58 am

      Ron P;

      Have you ever not had to assess the credibility of your sources ?

      So lets start at the top:

      Deciding that a source – any source is correct – because of the stature of the author – either positive or negative – is a logical fallacy.

      The truth or falsity of something can not be logically determined by who says it.

      Remarks by venutions fruitbats regarding Global Warming could be true.
      Remarks from the IPCC could be false.

      The trust or falsity of a statement is indepedent of the source.
      It is never enough to say – that is from a source I trust – it must be true, or that is from a source I reject – it must be false.

      That said the PROBABILTY of something being true or false can be assessed by the source. But that assesment is personal.

      A implies B
      Therefore B

      The above is a rule of logic called Modus Ponens.
      If you have A implies B and you have A then you ALWAYS have B.
      That is a fact, not an oppinion.

      A logical fallacy is merely a form of argument that claims to produce truth with certainty but does not.
      Appeals to authority MAY produce the PROBABILTY of truth.

      With respect to the real world today.
      I make very little use of Facebook.
      I guess there are reasons to respect some FaceBook sites – but they would not be high on my list of credible sites.

      With specific respect to Global warming – you have to make your own assessments regarding who you trust.

      If you are going to place a high value in specific authorities – you have to set your own criteria for credible authorities.
      I can not determine your criteria for you.

      But I can tell you some things about how I arrive at my own assessments.

      At the top of the list would be is the site advocating a malthusian position.
      Historically these are ALWAYS wrong.

      If Albert Einstein told me the world was coming to an end tomorow – while I would likely treat that oppinion with more respect than if Joe Doe said it.
      I still would not believe – and hence I do not beleive Steven Hawkings to be credible when he asserts that the earth will be like Venus by 2035.

      You want me to beleive you – do not start out selling chicken little.

      My life experience has steeped me in STEM. I have some respect for people working in those areas. At the same time I am well aware of how Science, Engineering and Math come about. I do not have religious faith in scientists.

      It takes little more than considering Galileo to grasp that science can be as political as anything else.
      But if that is not enough for you we have had myriads of modern instances of scientific failure.

      Last Time I was at the smithsonian they were completely redoing the ascent of man exhibit – why ? Because much of what we have beleived to be true for much of my life has more recently been rejected. Why ? Because a single powerful figure dominated Anthropology for much of that time, and it was practically impossible to get published if you controverted him.

      Much the same thing happened in Crystellography.
      We are seeing the same thing in nutrition with respect to both fat and sugar and salt.

      There was a major area of psychology that was more recently completely rebutted by a complete amateur. He was persistent and worked incredibly hard and eventually got a paper through peer reveiw that basically demonstrated that a significant field of modern psychology was rooted in a hoax.

      My point is not that all science is inherently flawed.
      It is that there is a huge difference between giving more weight to scientists, and presuming they are correct about any subject.

      I look for specific traits when I am concerned about a field of science.

      1). Malthusian predictions.
      There are excellent mathematical and philosophical reasons why these are nearly always wrong.
      2). Dominance in the field by one or a few people.
      3). Lack of dissent.
      4). The trappings of religion.
      5). Scientists using science to advocate for a political agenda.
      6). Strong reliance on complex models.
      7). Drawing strong conclusions from weak statistical correlations.
      8). Failure to understand statistics (scientists BTW are for the most part notoriously bad at statistics).

      If you find several of the above elements, you should be suspicious of the conclusions being offered.

      I would note that I am far more likely to trust the statistical judgement of actual statisticians – even on statistics outside their purported field over scientists with no background in statistics.

      • June 11, 2017 9:39 am

        Dave, somehow you miss my points completely when I post them.

        “Have you ever not had to assess the credibility of your sources ?”
        Yes sir, I access them each time they show up. That’s why I know they are unreliable in many respects.

        “But I can tell you some things about how I arrive at my own assessments.”
        And that is exactly why I said what i said. You understand what is happening and who to trust in your own mind. I may or not trust the same people as you do, but at least you have checked them out.

        But like I said and you seem to have mis-interpreted that I trusted all these news sites when I did not, too many people today see something, believe something, without checking out the reliability of the information they get. So they might believe Miami Beach is going to be under water in 2050 or that Donald Trump and his staff are having a cow behind the scene when they are not.

        Or better yet, remember not so long ago, 1975, when Newsweek wrote an article about climate change and the experts were predicting a cooling of the earth ” There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production — with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth.”

        So when I post something, read what I say before responding that I am incapable of checking the facts before believing them and then telling me how to check the facts. I do that. They may not agree with what you believe, but they will be reliable for the most part..

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2017 1:22 pm

        Ron P

        I guess that rhetorical questions do not work well over the internet.

        The question about assessing sources was not meant to imply you had not.
        It was meant to suggest that this is something we ALL must do all the time.

        We are not all equally good at it – but then we are not all equal.

        If you are not comfortable with the assessments and choices of ordinary people then:

        You can not beleive in majoritarian democracy.
        I am not. Nor am I comfortable with the assessments of elites. That is one of the core reasons for very limited scope for government.
        Inside the scope that I have offered is the only morally. philosophically, and practically justified scope of government there is not much room for any group – not elites, not tryanical majorities to infringe on the liberty of others.

        But limiting the scope of government does not alter the fact that in the end we must each make our own assessments for the choices we make in our own lives.

        You may not and should not trust other peoples judgement to make decisions in your life, but you may not morally or ethically preclude them from making judgements and assessments in their own.

        People make choices for myriads of reasons. You can not change that.
        You may respect the way I make choices – or not. But inevitably you know many many people who do not meet your standards for the choices they make.

        My grandmother picked the politician she was going to vote for based on which was more handsome. As troublesome as that is, there is no legitimate right or power to compel her to make choices differently.

        With nearly ever election – both sides are arguing about the stupidity of the voters on the others. The losers in particular.

        And often those making the argument have a valid point. Voters make their choices for lots of reasons.

        Even the current Russian influence arguement – ignoring the claim that voting machines were hacked and votes were altered,

        The gist of the rest of the claim is that some voters voted differently because Russia provided a conduit to get information to voters that may have changed their minds.

        Assuming that is actually true – why is it an issue ?

        If the New York Times is allowed to try to influence voters – then why not RT ?

        In the worst case – the Russians influenced our election by providing disinformation – that is atmost a justification for better diligence in the future – not to BLOCK russian disinformation, but to counter it.

        The entire left argument about Russian influence ultimately is little different from the nonsense going on on college campuses today.
        It is a claim that some viewpoints can legitimately be suppressed.
        That it is legitimate to control what people see and hear.

        I am arguing that even if Russia did manage to push information that changed votes into our public discussion, and even if that information was FALSE, that there is still no legitimate recourse besides trusting that in the free market of ideas – that voters will get enough good information and that their judgements on the whole will be right – and that even if they are not – our recourse is ONLY to limit the scope of government.

        We do not have the right to interfere with the free choices of others.
        Not bad choices, not choices made as the result of bad influences.

        The left has a very funny idea about self government.

        On the one hand – government must reflect the will of the majority.
        The left constantly argues for pure democracy.
        On the other the left also constantly argues for vast control of the process – because people are too stupid to make choices on their own.

        My final question regarding whatever happened in the 2016 election would be:

        What wide spread and influential information about Clinton, that changed peoples votes was circulated that was false ?

        There are 100,000 reasons clinton lost. In arguably slightly less bad press might have tipped the election the other way – though the converse is also true – the election could easily have been a Trump landslide without the Access Hollywood tape.
        What if NV, NH, and MN – all within 2% or less had gone for Trump ?

        There are no false reasons of consequence Clinton lost.

        The email server was damaging. The DNC leaks were damaging.

        But each of these confirmed what many many voters have beleived anyway.
        That Hillary Clinton is “crooked” – not to be trusted.
        Even many on the left who voted for her fell that way.

        I did not vote for either of these two.

        I have zero problem beleiving that BOTH of them should have lost.
        But that was not going to happen

        One way or the other we were going to get a president who the majority felt was LESS reprehensible.

        Clinton lost because voters decided that was Trump.

        Maybe less self inflicted wounds would have helped.
        But Clinton has no one else to blame than herself for the stories about her own bad conduct.

        If the Access Hollywood tape had proven Trumps downfall – could he legitimately claim that the election was stolen from him because NBC released that tape ?

      • June 11, 2017 7:37 pm

        Dave, i agree with much of what you said here. And I guess rhetorical questions don’t play well on the internet.

        My point in my comment goes with your comments about your grandmother making a selection based on the good looking one. Well I would say your grandmother had a good reason for making her selection, even though it may not make a difference in their policy outcomes. But today people are making choices based on information that is complete falsehoods thinking they are true.

        The internet makes it very easy for some doofus with an agenda to become an expert and social media allows that doofus to “liked” by millions, thus impacting elections based on false information.

        Yes this happened before, but it was not as easy for the information to spread as it is today. An it is very easy for foreign countries to do the same, not by actually changing votes that were cast or blocking votes that were cast, but by spreading false information about the candidate they like least and by posting outstanding information on those they like the most. And they can make them look so professions by using key words like “National” “Scientific”, “US Division”, etc in their websites and thousands more Doofuses will believe their crap.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2017 9:21 pm


        If you vote – you have to have some reason fo0r the choice you make.

        At the moment I do not consider New York Times a credible source – so how can I piss over someone who choses to beleive some other outlet.

        Further, some people are going to work hard to decide what is true and what is not.
        And some people are not.

        In the end most people are going to believe what they want to believe.

        The left likes to claim the right is a bunch of badly informed hillbilly yokels, but it is increasingly obvious that the vast majority of the mainstream media is entirely clueless.

        I watch and assortment of pundits post the Comey testimony – and it is as if there were two different hearings.

        I thought Comey’s testimony was a win for Trump.

        But I can find left talking heads who are certain that Comey provided the smoking gun needed for impeachment on obstruction grounds.

        To me it is just proof that people hear what they want to hear.

        I am quite conscious that is something I need to worry about in myself.
        I will not claim to police myself perfectly – but I actually try.

        And I am shocked that so many others do not.

        I have been publicly accused of criminal misconduct that did not occur and found that it is impossible to get out from false allegations.

        I have also found myself having to make allegations of misconduct against others.

        Oddly when others are accusing you – somehow the fact that their allegations are false never turns to bite them.
        But when you make a clalm against someone else – there is this fear that no matter how compelling the evidence – that if it is not enough – it is you whose credibilty is lost.

        I am just trying to point out that we must always question what we think we know.
        But most of us do not.

        We have danced arround Global Warming here.

        I am extremely conscious of the fact that I have bet my personal reputation that there will not be some cataclysm in the future as a consequence of human CO2.

        To be clear – I am not saying that temperatures may not rise – only that whatever happens will not be catastrophic.

        If I am wrong about that – it will discredit much of what I have said in my life.

        But I would note that the same is or should be true of those who claim that we are facing catastrophe.

        If someone is claiming that the sky is falling – and I do not care which sky is falling claim we are talking about, and they prove wrong – then their credibility should be shot for good.

        I am not saying that science is not allowed to make mistakes – that happens all the time.
        But doubling and trippling down on error in the face of contrary evidence and demanding that the world change – that is beyond scientific error, that is religious and ideological error posing as science and those who offer it should lose whatever credibility they ever had.

      • June 12, 2017 12:30 am

        Dave, last comment on this subject.
        “If you vote – you have to have some reason fo0r the choice you make.”

        I don’t give a rats ass what reason someone votes or does not vote for a candidate. That is their choice.

        But when we have all these half wits that can not function without a cell phone in their hands and do not function without reading something on those 23 hours a day, then the reason they vote and stick us with the asinine candidates we get lately is a concern of mine since most of the information they are reading is wrong or mostly wrong and they are making decisions based on that data.

        The internet makes it too easy to spread inaccurate data and have millions accept that data as fact.

        Remember “if its on the internet it has to be right, right?”
        To many believe this crap.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 12, 2017 10:51 am


        You do not seem to get it. If people have the right to make their own choices, they have the right to do so for whatever stupid asinine reasons they choose.

        Equally important – if you can not say that people must be male, or white, or pass a literacy test to vote. Then you can not say they can not vote because they have been influence by some web site that you think is fringe or inaccurate.

        Unless you actually beleive that people were forced to vote in a specific way, or that there votes were altered after the fact – you have nothing here.

        Personally I find the meme that Russia alter the election using RT Clickbait idiotic.

        Does anyone really believe that HRC lost because of some Clickbait that she looked like some desiccated vegetable ? Or some story that she was really a martian ?
        Further if you do beleive some people were influenced by such nonsense – what is your idea of how to fix that ? Total media control so that no one reads any stories that YOU do not approve ?

        One of the things I find most annoying about the “fake news” meme, is that in this election cycle and right through the present The purported pinnacles of media accuracy and integrity ar proving to be LESS accurate than Donald Trump’s Tweets.
        In that environment – you want to squelch media outlets with purportedly LESS credibility ?

        In many instances it is the very media sources that the left is most maligning that are our first or primary sources for the stories they refused to cover or the stories proving they were in error.

        Absolutely each of us must make our own assessments of the credibility of the sources we use to influence our decisions.
        And we get to criticize those used by others.
        But we do NOT get to control them.

        As an example – while I personally do not beleive the story that the Russian government – or hackers under russian government control were responsible for feeding wikileaks.

        Ultimately I DON’T CARE.
        First because the information provided was true.
        But even more importantly because utlimately it was still about persuasion and we were still free to weigh its credibility.

        If the Russians actually hacked our voting machines – then we have a problem.

        Criticising voters – which is ultimately what you are doing – may be even criticising them correctly – is still meaningless.

        If you are going to have a meaningful electoral process you must accept that voters are all different and do not vote based on the same means of weighing choices you do.

        One can legitimately criticise the poor quality of information that many Trump voters used to form their opinions.
        And one can equally legitimately criticise that of many HRC voters.

        I do beleive strongly in neutral ways of making voting difficult. Basically the opposite of what we have been doing in the past 40 years.

        Require people to register a year ahead. Have registration expire every 5 years so you have to physically register again.
        Require in person registration.
        Require ID to vote.
        Severely limit absentee voting to demonstrable good cause.
        Require in person voting only on election day.

        But I do NOT support any effort to limit the sources of information – good or bad that might influence peoples votes.

        In 2008 the entire election was massively influenced by the financial crisis.
        Had the timing of the crisis been shifted a month or two either way, it is likely that Obama would have lost. Clearly people voted emotionally.

        But that is a part of how elections work. We can not change the circumstances or influences of voters.

        We can prevent litteral corruption – dead people voting, or ballot box stuffing or anything that actually changes peoples votes after they have been cast.

        We can not constriant the influences that persuade people to vote one way or another.
        Not Russian, Not money, not the financial crisis, not which candidate is more handsome,
        Not whether people are racist or sexist or ….

        The one last thing we can do is

        Constrain the power of government such that it does not matter who is elected.

        That is a what limited govenrment means.
        That is why government may not do whatever the voters want.
        That is why we have rights as individuals – that can not be infringed on – not even for the good of the majority.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 12, 2017 11:13 am

        Another interesting consequence of the recent election is that those on the left are actually MORE prone to the nonsense that they have accused the right of.

        Low information voters prone to conspiracy theories are purportedly a right wing phenomena.

        The right fixated on Obama’s place of birth, and such things.

        The right had all kinds of conspiracy theories – oddly many of which appear to be true.

        The IRS was targeting conservative groups.
        The State Department was lying about Benghazi to avoid losing an election.
        The Obama administration was illegally spying on US citizens – apparently politicians on the left and right.

        On the opposite site we have this russia meme.

        You talk about crazy stories.
        With respect to Russia/Trump collusion –

        The stories that get printed in the Washington Post and New York Times are being called mostly false – by James Comey – after he was fired by Trump.

        FAR more elaborate conspiracy theories are being offered by people who we would not otherwise consider to be fruitcakes and being eaten up by those on the left.

        There are stories running that Trump was actually being paid off by the russians through shell companies and phoney Russian realestate purchases in Florida.

        What this election has made self evident is that even well educated lefties will buy ludicrous conspiracy theories rather than accept that voters have soundly rejected their world view.

        Trump is being excoriate by the left – pretty much universally because he is SHRINKING the role of government in our lives.

        He is being called a lunatic authoritarian because he is about as ANTI-AUTHORITARIAN as you can be.

        Do not get me wrong I worry about his controlling personality.

        Still nearly everything that is driving the left to scream “fascism” is the rejection of facism.

        Not only that – but there is not a single way that Trump is limiting government – that those on the left can not accomplish anyway on their own voluntarily.

        We have withdrawn from the paris accords – but if you are personally convinced of the perilous nature of CO2. Reduce your own production fo CO2 and persuade others to do so.

        All that Trump has done in most everything he has done is prevented you from using force to get your way.
        He has not hindered in the slightest the lefts ability to accomplish whatever they wish through persuasion.

        And that is again why govenrment must be limited.

        Not the sources of information available to voters – not even ones many of us think are false.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2017 9:40 pm


        I am far less concerned with “doofus’s” with an agenda.

        What you would call fringe sites are not doing appreciably worse than the New York Times.

        How can we piss all over fringe sites, when the mainstream sites have horribly discredited themselves.

        I think we are watching right now the self destruction of the traditional media.

        I actually think much the opposite of you here.

        I am not saying there are not doofuses with a domain spewing nonsense.

        What I am saying is that far too many of the sources that many of us have come to trust – have soiled themselves so that they are no more credible than “doofus”.

        And I think that is a GOOD thing.

        In the end we must personally assess what and who we beleive.
        As we have less trust in experts – I do not really think that overall means we suddenly have great trust for “doofus”. In think it means we more and more find ourselves having to determine trust ourselves.

        I do not honestly beleive that less traditional media negatively impacted this election.
        To the extent they did have an impact – I think on net it was positive.

        In general I think the explosion of sources that constitutes the internet is GOOD not bad.

        Moogie posts economic nonsense here. At the same time, inarguably there are alot of people who beleive the same. Much of the traditonal media echo’s significant portions of what she says. 40 years ago there would have only been a few lone voices in the wilderness claiming she was nuts.

        Yet, if you bother to learn anything about economics – and today I can directly access both the papers and blogs of nobel prize winning economists,
        You find that those lone voices in the wilderness 40 years ago – evebn THEN represented the norms of economists.

        40 years ago most of us heard what Huntley, Brinkley or Cronkite told us.

        Today everything is available to us – if we want it.

        So long as there is real freedom – so long as whatever voices we want to find are readily available to us – I do not personally care if many are lies.

        I am worried right now with respect to the left – because as I see it on issue after issue the left has bet everything on the next roll coming up snake eyes.

        If that does not happen – the consequences are self inflicted and MOSTLY I am not concerned.

        If the traditional media tanks, or is forced into serious changes. If the democrats shift left leaves them powerless – those are the natural free market consequences of error.

        What I am worried about is that we are dancing arround the left using force as it is ever more discredited.

        I linked to that article in quillette on evergreen and post modernism.

        That was incredibly scary for me.

        How can you deal with a significant movement where truth and logic are subordinate to memes, victimization, and oppression.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 11, 2017 1:26 pm


        I did read what you say.

        My argument was NOT that YOU make poor choices.

        it was three fold.

        there are ways to improve the quality of your choices.

        People individuals are ultimately free to make their choices however the please.

        People – societally are NOT ultimately free to impose majoritarian choices on others.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 11, 2017 2:21 am

      I noted that I do not go looking for science on facebook.

      I really do not go looking on facebook for much of anything – except maybe actual friends.

      That said when we shift from science to politics,

      I am having some trouble understanding why you have such a problem with broader sources ?

      Trump has used Social media incredibly effectively.
      That is a good thing – not a bad one.

      Myriads of posters here bemoan the influence of money on politics.

      Trump spent just a small amount more than half of what Clinton did – and won.
      and something close to 1/5 of Trumps election was self funded.
      Further he had a very large pool of small donations.

      If you beleive that less money in a political campaign means less political debts to political money men – then Trump would be your candidate.

      I think alot of What Trump said in his campaign is stupid crap.
      But I think that alot of what Hillary said was stupid crap too.

      You complain about fake news – I just put a post up recently with a LONG list of media stories that were absolutely falsified by Comey’s testimony Thursday.

      These are stories from NYT, WaPo, CNN, …..

      These stories claim to have been based on leaks by credible sources.
      And these stories ran in the most reputable news organizations in the country.

      Essentially the purportedly “fake news” is not noticably worse than the purported real news.

      Trump has made a number of factual errors – but thus far he is MORE credible that the New York Times.

      Trump has gone to alot of trouble to find a way to get his message out – bypassing the ordinary sources. That has proven not only good for him – but good for all of us.

      Trump has talked more recently of just ending the practice of press conferences.

      I am not sure that is not a good idea. I can not think of a good reason why it is necescary today to run a story through the traditional media anymore.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 11, 2017 2:24 am

      One of the other issues that Comey brought to the forefront is

      This is the administration of Donald Trump.

      Congress is allowed to worry about the president.
      The american people are allowed to worry about the president.
      The media is allowed to worry about the president.

      The “administration” is not.

      Their role is to advise and to act as directed.
      If they can not do so – for whatever reason they must resign.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 11, 2017 2:40 am

      What is this “manipulate the election” nonsense.

      The goal of the Russians was never to alter the outcome of our elections – that is actually beyond their ability. It was to undermine our sense of legitimacy in the elections.

      Several Obama administration Ranking Intelleigence community members – the same ones claiming that Russia did “hack the election” have also claimed:

      There is no evidence that a single vote was altered.

      The same people have testified that they are unaware of actual evidence of collusion.

      While I think they are wrong about many of the things that they think they are right about.

      In the end Russia got exactly what it wanted – and the left delivered it to them with a gold ribbon.

      If you are worried about voting machines being hacked.
      While I think a broad conspiracy to do so is unsustainable – not even by the Russians.
      At the same time I think our computerized voting machines are a mistake.
      In fact I think voting machines are a mistake.

      But that is trivial to fix.

  26. dhlii permalink
    June 10, 2017 8:30 pm

    I would note that this is a LEFT leaning media outleft that is finding the LEFT has gone totally bonkers.

    There are numerous things I could take issue with in this article – mostly that it does nto go far enough. Still that article is unbeleivably damning to the left.
    They have become totally unhinged.

    I do not really beleive the left is less prone to beleive nonsense or confirmation biases.
    I just beleive they are better at covering it up.

    The left has come to own academia and the media and therefore can often wrap its garbage in a mantle of science.

    I think the part of the Cuomo quote “Look, they write their message with crayons. We use fine-point quills.” is true. The left is generally better as messaging.
    That does NOT inherently make them more accurate.
    Frankly I think it is because the right is actually more uncomfortable with lying – and therefore they are just not as good at it.

    After all left leaning posters he are constantly pushing meme’s that are just completely contradicted by the facts.

    How many times and how many ways do I have to demonstrate that the standard of living in both the US and the world has DOUBLED over the past 40 years – before we can kill this – things are getting worse – it all started going downhill with Reagan – complete bunk.

    There are moments I have to re-read Mills so that I do not join the left wing nut snowflakes in claiming that some things are just so stupid and obviously wrong that you should not be allowed to say them.

    Regardless, if you wish me to acknowledge that the rate of improvement tanked starting with Bush II and continued through Obama – I will agree.
    Growth since then has been 2% or less and in the US between population and demographic issues that 2% may me little or no noticable change for most of us.
    But that is still in the past 17 years – not 40.
    And arguably things have co0ntinued to improve just much more slowly.

  27. dhlii permalink
    June 10, 2017 9:29 pm

    Again an NRO article – and one I do not entirely agree with. Still it makes many valid points,
    And it echos some memes repeated here.

    I think that “federalism” – devolving the federal govenrment back to core national objectives – national defense, national security, foreign relations, and letting states deal with these other things themselves.

  28. June 11, 2017 11:55 am

    Not fake news. Just another reason why some old farts don’t believe the scientific community when the subject of climate change comes up. According to this, we should almost be starving (or freezing in June) had the scientist been correct just a few years ago.

    Click to access the-cooling-world-newsweek-april-28-1975.pdf

    • dhlii permalink
      June 11, 2017 1:47 pm


      Real Science is going to be wrong ALOT.

      This is how it should be and why science is inherently skeptical.

      There is nothing wrong with making hypothesis, there is nothing wrong with being wrong.
      There is nothing wrong with models.

      There is something very wrong – when MOST of the time we are not finding that science is wrong.

      There is something very wrong when science is transformed from the struggle to get it right, to the struggle to force a particular conclusion on everyone.

      There is something very wrong when sciences starts to make value judgements.

      One of the most trivial demonstrations of the serious problems in climate science is that even if the global climate models are correct. In real science – all outcomes are neutral.
      Scientists are their to tell us what the laws of science are and what their best guesses at to what the future will be. Not to tell us that one future is good and another bad.

      I do not honestly beleive that the earth will be 4C warmer in 2100.

      But if that actually were the case the decision as to whether that is good or bad and whether we should do something about it is actually POLITICAL – not scientific.

      One of the most serious problems with nearly all environmental science today is that there is a premise that there are good outcomes and bad outcomes – and that deviations in anyway from the conditions of the moment are BAD.

      Our world is constantly changing. Change is the constant of the universe.

      We argue here about polution. There is an inherent presumption in that argument that nature on its own produces ZERO pollution.

      That bears do not shit in the woods – that nature is somehow clean.

      Yet all of human history – and all of the improvement in our life expectance has been the effort to DEFEAT the uncleanliness of nature.

      It has taken us 150,000 years to be able to live more than 3 decades in “clean unpoluted nature”. For all of that time – eating food, drinking water, breathing the air – could mean death. For all of that time – an injury almost certainly meant infection – and infection often meant death.

      All the things we died of for 150,000 years – were natural pollution.

      The next leading problem was that those things we have done to overcome the uncleanliness and hostility of nature – themselves are not perfect.

      In much of the world man needs heat, to survive – either to keep from freezing or to cook – which is primarily to kill the things in our food that would kill us.

      But our sources of heat – through today – burning wood, burning dung, burning coal, burning peat – are themselves threats to our lives.

      Fire allowed us to reach past 40 years of life rather than 20-30.
      But it still kills us.

      Oil and Gas – even coal were initially CLEAN fuels – meaning vast improvements over what preceded them.

      And one of the big things that the left misses is that with each quantum leap in REDUCING polution – we are able to increase polulation density and the total human population.

      I have noted before that Cars were a vast reduction in the polluton that horses produced.

      The less polution we produce the larger and more concentrated out populations become the more pollution we produce.

      We have never needed government to produce less pollution – it is a 150,000 year human survival trait, and we are quite good at it.

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 15, 2017 9:05 am

      Ron, we here know nothing about old farts!

      Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth” predicted that parts of major cities, including lower Manhattan, would be underwater, due to ice melt.

      Eleven years later, he says that it’s still gonna happen, just more slowly…….

      I’m not denying climate change. I’m saying that climate change hyperbole and hysteria has nearly destroyed its own case.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 15, 2017 10:16 am

        The 2nd year of an Artic study of Global Warming had to be delayed a month.
        Because unprecidented heavy SUMMER ICE has required the use of the ice breakers to be used by scientists for the study to be transfered to the task of rescuing people who are trapped by the ice,

        And the scientists claim WOW Climate change is proceding faster than thought.

      • June 15, 2017 10:54 am

        What I find so amazing is the fact there were some reactionaries that were trying to figure out how to cover the ice shields with something dark so the heat would met it and allow the temperatures to climb back up. And that was less than 50 years ago this thinking was around.

        I also believe in climate change. After the initial cooling billions of years ago, it has changed up and down for millions of years and will continue to do so regardless of Gore or any other environmentalist over reaction.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 15, 2017 11:09 am

        Below are 5 key points relative to the climate debate.
        They are ordered from scientific to economic.

        ALL must be true to even think about government action.

        1) global warming is occurring, will continue to occur, and will have dangerous consequences

        2) the warming is mostly, if not totally, caused by our CO2 emissions

        3) there are no benefits to our CO2 emissions, either direct (biological) or indirect (economic)

        4) we can reduce our CO2 emissions to a level that we avoid a substantial amount of the expected damage

        5) the cost of reducing CO2 emissions is low enough to make it worthwhile (e.g. mandating much more wind, solar, etc.)

        In my view

        1). The planet has steadily warmed since the end of the little ice age in approx. 1750.
        There is a slightly greater probability that warming will continue at some rate than anything else. But the probability of being able to reliably predict future climate is very very low.

        All climate change will have significant positive and negative consequences.

        2). The scale of human contribution is indeterminate the fact of human contribution is not.
        The significance of Human CO2 as compared to other human impacts is also debateable.
        Personally I think that Roger Pielke Sr’s argument that human land use changes are the largest human factor and that they have peaked is compelling.
        Separately the half life of atmospheric CO2 is relatively short – and even if Human CO2 were a factor at our current rate of emmissions with the known-half life of CO2 most of the effect of Human CO2 is likely passed.
        Finally the TCR – Total Climate Response to CO2 is unknown. The estimate vary greatly.
        There is no scientifically certain value and the margin of error is enormous.

        3). This is just total nonsense and we know better. There is a very compelling argument that even if the worst predictions of warmists prove true the planet on NET would be BETTER off – because both a warmer planet and more CO2 are NET POSITIVE for humans (and most other life).

        4). Probably not, and certainly not without imposing a totalitarian state and very significant negative impacts on standard of living.

        5). I have little doubt that in the very long run Coal, and Oil will substantially diminish as fuels. It is possible that some unforseen development will make this transformation abrupt.
        But there is no predictable reason to expect that.
        Progress on alternatives has been abysmally slow. This is due to several factors:

        Government – the worst way to advance is through government subsides and mandates.
        These actually destroy economic incentives and discipline.

        People are generally satisfied with the current energy economy.

        Too much of the work necescary to replace existing energy sources is better science – rather than better engineering.

        Alternate energy sources are unreliable and all direct to electric systems require massive energy storage capabilities which we do not and will not have any time soon.

        Few alternative energy sources have the power density of current sources.
        That means it takes either more volume or more mass or both to store the same energy.

        Regardless, my critical point is that we are no where near close to all 5 points being true

  29. June 13, 2017 12:51 am

    Watched some of the local news and they covered an apparent cabinet meeting that Trump held today.

    Instead of a meeting, it reminded me of movies where the Pharaohs where his followers praised the ruler regardless of his actions.

    I just wondered when watching some of the cabinet members being manipulated like a marionette if they would tell the king if he had no cloths.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 13, 2017 6:00 am

      I can find no coverage of this “cabinet meeting”.

      Thus far Trump’s cabinet members have proven for the most part to be relatively aligned with his goals, as well as strong and independent.

      Much of what has occured while the media has focused on this nonsense about Russia,
      I support and I am impressed by.

      These accomplishments have occured inspite of the constant attacks of the media, and the left, and even some republicans.

      Regardless, Those Trump has placed in his cabinet are not yes men (or women),
      They are people who get things done.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 13, 2017 6:18 am

      After Comey’s testimony, my concern is that Trump will not take the victory he has acheived and move on.

      Comey’s testimoney confirmed nearly everything Trump has been asserting.

      There is very little disagreement between Comey’s version of events and Trump’s.

      In those few areas where they are at odds – Comey’s version of events is NOT that harmful to Trump.

      Yet, Trump is now offering to testify.

      That is a YUGE mistake.

      A congressional hearing under oath is NOT his world. It is not one he is likely to come off well.

      Trump does NOT have the credibility that he needs to go toe to toe with Comey in a legal contest where the ultimate question is who do you beleive.

      Worse still Comey can lose – and Trump can still lose.

      It is becoming increasingly clear that Comey’s testimony was very harmful to the left.

      More so than ever there is no “There, There”.

      The things Trump asked Comey with respect to Russia – was to say in public what he was saying in private and to move quickly. Trump was prepared to see his own people prosecuted – if that is where things lead.

      Unless you beleive that Gen. Flynn is the key to unraveling some great election fraud scheme, there is nothing in Comey’s testimony that implicates Trump.

      In fact quite oddly Comey testifies to being pressured regarding the Clinton probe – capitulating and not keeping records – yet after his manipulation by the Obama administration – he starts his relations with Trump with the PRESUMPTION that Trump is a liar and that he must keep records.
      Yet so far the major “lie” he is upset about, is the reasons that he was fired.
      And his own testimony supports Trump.

      Comey is clearly a free agent who by his own testimony disregarded what he considered the directives of the president. Directives that were not unconstitutional, illegal or even improper. That at best might be poor politics.

      Comey’s testimony left me the impression that the FBI under him leaked like a sieve, that it was lacking leadership. That it was pressured by the AG.

      After listening to Comey’s testimony – would you hire him ?

    • dhlii permalink
      June 13, 2017 6:24 am

      Comey chastises himself in his testimony for NOT being “captain courageous”.
      Yet, his reputation is built on the myth that he is exactly that.
      That it was He who stood up to Pres. Bush and Gonzales in the Ashcroft “matter”.

      Yet, when AG Lynch directed him to misreprsent the FBI investigation into Clinton – he had no backbone.

      When he claims that Trump “directed” him to end the prosecution of Flynn – he did nothing – except take a memo. When directed by Trump to state publicly what he was saying in private he made a memo.

      Through his own testimony he does not look like the mythical James Comey who confronted the Bush administration.

      He looks like someone who will do most anything to keep his job.

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 14, 2017 8:08 am

      I did see the coverage of the cabinet meeting. My take was that, as the full cabinet was meeting for the first time, Trump asked each to speak briefly. They each expressed their pride and gratitude for being asked to serve their country as members of the president’s team, and, given the regular negative drumbeat of Trump coverage, it was unusual to hear people like James Mattis, John Kelly, etc. give effusive praise to the president who is uniformly called a clown and/or a devil by the press.

      Of course, the press made it sound as if Trump forced them to praise him. James Mattis, really? I doubt it. Every public meeting that I have seen chaired by Trump has involved the members of the meeting speaking to the press at some point.

      This week, a Pennsylvania coal mine was opened, the outline of the infrastructure plan was explained, and Trump traveled, with Ivanka, to Wisconsin, where they spoke about workforce training and development, along with Scott Walker. It was quite interesting, and received next to no coverage in the Russia-obsessed press.

      It was interesting to see the entire cabinet together for the first time. The snarky coverage of it was unfortunate. I suppose people thought it was like the time Bill Clinton had members of his cabinet go before the media and claim that they knew nothing about Monica Lewinsky……

      • June 15, 2017 11:06 am

        Priscilla, I watched a small part of this on Fox, so it was not the media trying to make it look like the cabinet was forced.

        But what I found interesting was no other presidents that I can remember had meetings like this and had them covered live by TV for all to come “praise the king”.

        I want Trump to be president, to do presidential things and to keep his big fat ego out of the limelight. I want his administration to succeed. But as long as he keeps his mouth in gear and his brain sleeping, that will never happen.

        Who thinks JFK, RR, 41 or a host of other presidents would have done this? Right now he is acting more like Nixon.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 15, 2017 6:16 pm

        Every president is different – and frankly we do not know nearly so much as we go further back in time. Presidents had far more privacy.

        The Press was not querying FDR about 20 things that happened today – every day.

        Trump has his own style.

        I do not like it. But it is merely a style.

        Somewhere I read something about Trumps use of language.
        It essentially claimed that he is mostly speaking to Blue Collar workers in close to their language – and they get what he is saying.
        He is not speaking in the language of the press or of more educated people.

        I would also note that particularly for politiians ;language is often a choice.

        Bush’s vernacular that often infuriated the press, and the left – was purportedly practiced.
        Obama’s was most definitely carefully cultivated.
        I am not as sure about Trump.

        Though I am far more inclined to beleive we underestimate him than over estimate him.
        Though one must be careful not to presume that everything he does is some machiavellian plot.

        The language issue is also relevant with respect to Trump in a different way.

        Paul Ryan touched on it – though he got it wrong.

        He essentially said that Trump gets in trouble sometimes because he does nto talk like a politician, and that he will learn.

        I think Ryan is correct – but I do not think Trump has any intention of learning – and I do not think we want him too.

        I think this also plays out with respect to peoples assessments.

        Comey came accross as more credible than Trump – to people who pay no attention to the facts, but focus on the language, delivery and style – WHEN those people share the same rough background as Comey.
        Conversely if the listener’s background is blue collar – Comey came of as pretentious and Trump as honest.

        This is also why Sessions testimony was important. While he testified in his southern Drawl, he was still a senator for 20 years and the AG and a former US Attorney, and a politician.

        Sessions and Comey both bet their integrity that the other is a liar.
        Only one comes out standing.

        However Sessions spoke to completely differnet people than Trump does.

        What we really need to do is ignore the style and look at the facts.

        In terms of facts:
        Comey confirmed nearly everything that Trump has been saying for months – while at the same time calling Trump a liar. That is really odd.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 15, 2017 2:22 pm

        Well, I would disagree that he’s acting like Nixon, but would agree that he is far too ego-driven, and doesn’t listen to good advice and get off Twitter. I’ve said before that he is too often his own worst enemy. Having his cabinet praise him may have been his way of saying “See, these are pretty impressive people, and they like me!” It clearly backfired with many people.

        The attempt to destroy Nixon looks like child’s play compared to what Trump has had to deal with since the day he was elected. This never-ending Russia-Russia-Russia bullshit, and now the attempt to make it look like he obstructed an investigation that never was, has dominated the headlines to the point that anything positive that has thus far been accomplished by his administration has been totally overshadowed by what is, essentially, a sham.

        And the idea that Donald Trump is “a clear and present danger,” “a traitor,” “a thief,” or any of the other things that he has been called in the media and which can inspire and justify extremists like this assassin who attacked the GOP baseball team, with the intent of killing them all (after all, Republicans are all racists, misogynists, homophobes, xenophobes and other deplorables, right?) is truly the clear and present danger that we face. Everybody needs to dial it down about 5 notches.

        Oppose Trump on policy, debate his ideas, criticize his demeanor ~ these are all things that Democrats can and should do. But what they are trying to do is demonize and criminalize him, and, by extension, the entire Republican Party.

      • June 15, 2017 5:56 pm

        You left out the 150+ members of congress who have taken him on due to the emoluments clause.

        I always asked for years why could we not get people in business to run for office and bring new ideas to Washington. Why did we always have to have political science majors and attorneys, with a few doctors thrown in running for different offices.

        I clearly understand now why that is. If I were a businessman seeing what Trump is going through, I would stay clear of politics myself, even if I were drafted by a party and ask by the Pope and Archbishop of Canterbury to run for office.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 16, 2017 12:57 am

        The constitution has a completely different meaning to those on the left that to anyone else.

        The ludicrous interpretation of the emoluments clause given the left makes it impossible for anyone who has any business interests at all to serve in government.

        That was never what was intended. The practice of placing ones property in blind trusts is extremely modern. Certainly washington, Jefferson and their cabinets did not do so.

        Thought even that is not really the issue. We see this even with this nonsense occuring in the courts regarding the Immigration EO.

        The left is incapable of distinguishing between – “I do not like something” and “that is not constitutional”.

        I find the entire mess over the immigration EO nonsensical.
        “I do not like the immigration EO”.

        But SCOTUS has not even reversed Koramatsu.
        Why would anyone think they are not going to uphold this ?

        Non-US persons do not have US constitutional rights.
        Statements made during campaigns are not admissible in court.
        US persons do not have their US constitutional rights violated by restrictions on immigration.
        And finally – and we see this repeatedly from the left,
        any law that is facially constitutional – i.e. does not in its language violate the constitution, can not be subject to an independent “intent” test.

        “Intent” applies ONLY to “as applied”.
        “as applied” unconstitutionality – only applies to the specific case being argued.

        The challenge to Trump’s EO and to several states Voter ID laws is “facial”,
        I.e. they are unconstitutional as written.

        That analysis can only be done on the language of the law – not bizarre arguments about the intentions of its authors.

        The argument that “intention” matters with respect to whether a law is “facially constitutional” is nonsense. It litterally means the very same law can be constitutional or unconstitutional depneding on precisely who imposed it.

        And we litterally have that situation with respect to voter ID laws.
        The same model voter ID law which is in place in the majority of states, has been rejected by federal courts in some states – because purportedly those states – and not other states with the same law, are intentionallly discriminating.

        This is also odd because historically minority turnout has RISEN after voter ID laws passed, and Minorities overwhelmingly support voter ID laws.

        And we have this same nonsense with the Trump EO.

        The 9th circuit has essentially said – the EO is unconstitutional – because Donald Trump issued it. That it would be likely constitutional if Barack Obama had issued it.

        This is precisely what Adam’s was opposing when he said we are a nation of laws not men.

        Men impose laws on other men. They do so through processes that like it or not are personal.

        But the laws themselves are either true or false, valid or invalid constitutional or unconstitutional regardless of the intentions of those who passed them.

        Further the law are imposed, regulate and sanction ACTS, not intents.

        An act is legal or not – regardless of intent.

        To have it any other way is to have the rule of man not law.

        It is to have different law for different people.
        It is to have exactly the opposite of “equal protection”

        Intention can matter in the application of a law.

        If an officer, or state agent applies a law discriminatorily – then that application is unconstitutional. That does not make the law unconstitutional, it only makes the specific instance being addressed unconstitutional.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 15, 2017 6:37 pm

        I can not even find this story – clearly the places I follow did not think it was important.

        That said I am highly DISinclined to suggest that Trump should change.

        While there are a few things I think he should do differently – mostly those are to go back to being more like himself.

        I think he needs to nearly shutdown the whitehouse press office.

        I think he should get his message out directly as much as possible rather than through the media.
        I do not think he should give a damn that the media rants and raves about him.
        They did that through the entire election – and he won.
        He does not need the press and should quit pretending he does.

        That does nto mean that other cabinet departments etc. should cease holding press conferences. But the white house message should go out via Trump.

        There is really not all that much that needs said by the whitehouse every day.

        And Trump does fine when CNN etc say they could nto get anything from the whitehouse and then Trump sends out a Tweet.

        I think too many of us make too big a deal over minor discrepancies between Trump’s message and say Spicer’s or ….
        I do not care if they are in perfect sync in everything they say.

        Overall I am far more interested in what gets done than what gets said.

        I think Trump should also try to shift coverage back to him doing things – rather than responding to things that are happening.

        The foreign trip went well for him – even though the press covered it badly.

        He also ran a campaign style stadium stop about a month ago – he should do more of those – I think he enjoys them.

        I also think he should get out of DC most of the time.
        He has better control of the message when he is not in DC.

        Finally, I think he needs to take MORE control in those places he can – though he needs to do it publicly.

        Trump claims he did not tell Comey in person that he hoped he would let Flynn slide.
        But I am virtually certain he said that publicly.

        It is far harder for the press to spin what Trump say to everyone.

        Trump tweeted a couple of times that Comey had told him privately that he was not the target of an investigation.

        I think that immediately prior to one of Comey’s hearings before congress that Trump should have ORDERED Comey to PUBLICLY answer that question at the hearing.

        Trump could have handled the Flynn issue in the same way and specifically and publicly ORDERED Comey to terminate the investigation of Flynn.
        Probably that would need to be carefully worded to leave open investigating any alleged Flynn ties to Russia specifically related to the election.

        As even Comey noted – there is no obstruction of justice unless there is a personal benefit.

        I think that Trump should PUBLICLY ORDER an investigation into the unmasking,
        Into the DOJ interference in the Clinton investigation
        Into the leaks
        Into the NSA/CIA/FBI spying on US persons.

        These investigations are likely already going on.
        But Trump needs to call attention to the fact that they exist.
        I think he should demand PUBLIC reports on their progress.

        Essentially I am saying he needs to turn this fight arround.

        Right now he LOOKS like he is the target of everything.

        If that stays that way – ultimately he is done.
        He will die a death of a thousand papercuts – and it really does not matter if most of them are lies.

        Oh, and he needs to fire more people – atleast 1 a month.

        It is practically his trademark.

        He needs to look strong, in contrl as if he is going about his business,

        And not as if he is embattled and fixated on these stories.

        I also think he should disengage with congress.

        The budget is their problem. PPACA is their problem.

        There is plenty he can accomplish without them.

      • June 15, 2017 11:38 pm

        Everyone, this was not a story!!!!! It was Fox News covering his meeting with his cabinet. Like all his meetings where he wants to be the center of attention, he had reporters invited into the room while they were all going around praising the king. Once the praise was over, the reporters had to leave so they could carry on with their regular scheduled work.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 16, 2017 10:37 am

        Adn it matters Why ?

      • June 16, 2017 1:14 pm

        Because you said you looked for it and could not find it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        You have your extreme right anti government positions and I have what I consider a moderate right libertarian position. I was expressing my thoughts and my thoughts only as to how this looked to the average moderate intelligent voter who may not like what Trump is depicting.

        And I say I think I am moderate right libertarian, but compared to your positions on most everything, if it were not for Moogie and Roby posting here on an irregular basis, I would be the Bernie Sanders liberal resident wacko.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 16, 2017 4:42 pm

        I do not consider you a Bernie Sanders resident liberal whacko.

        I do not dispute your self identification.
        Whatever significance it has I am more prepared to accept you as moderate than Rick.

        I do not inherently consider moderate – especially as it is defined here to be a good thing.

        I am more extreme on many positions that you or most anyone else here.

        Though I am not “right” or “left”.

        Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.
        Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue;

        I would prefer it is compromise of “moderate” positions actually worked.
        Most of the time they do not. Nor are they intellecually defensible and they ultimately end up being the road to socialism at a snails pace
        Doing the wrong thing slowly is not the same as doing the right thing.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 16, 2017 4:43 pm

        Bill Clinton and Bernie Sanders are nearly as far apart as you can get and still both be called democrats.

        Are you saying one is not ?

      • June 16, 2017 6:18 pm

        Well both are democrats, but it is very hard to find a democrat today that is anywhere near what Bill Clinton believed in when he was elected. Joe Manchin is one, but that is the only one I know of, although there might be one or two more.

        And I would not have found it hard to vote for Bill Clinton had it not been he was running against 41 and I did not find any reason not to support Bush at that time. If Bill Clinton was running against Trump and Johnson today and still held the same views as he did in the 92 election, i would vote for him. He did call Obamacare “the craziest thing in the world” in October, so he still had some moderate views even with his wife supporting the leftest agenda.

        By the way McCain, Trump and Paul are all “Republicans”. Same as calling Sanders and B Clinton Democrats. And in reality, Sanders is an “independent” since the Democrats did not seem to be far left enough for him when he first ran for the senate.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 17, 2017 2:41 am

        My point was that there is wide range to what constitutes a democrat (or republican),

        That you and I do not share identical views does not make you not “libertarian”.

        Hell even Cass Sunstein sometimes calls himself a left libertarain
        And I am at odds with him alot.

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 14, 2017 8:15 am

      I did try to watch some coverage of the news on TV last night. There was a terrible building fire in London ~ people jumping from windows and firefighters risking their lives. I wanted to find out more about it.

      I turned to Fox and CNN. Nothing but Sessions coverage. Fox defending and CNN insisting that the former 3 term Senator and AG was a useless liar, and that Trump should be impeached for something.

      I recalled then why I had stopped watching TV news.

  30. dhlii permalink
    June 15, 2017 10:47 am

    After Yesterday’s shooting we are seeing an effort by politicians on both sides to moderate their voices.

    I neither expect this to last nor want it to.

    I am a near absolutist on Free speach.

    But I keep trying to note in issue after issue, there is a gulf between our individual morals and our legal obligations and rights.

    Moogie is absolutely correct that we all share an obligation to help our brother – particularly those in need. That obligation is echoed in some form in nearly every religion in the world.

    But even Christ made clear that our obligations to Ceasar and those to god and our fellow man are independent.

    At one time the much of the left fought AGAINST legislating morality.

    WE should unviersally condemn the actions that lead to yesterday’s baseball shootings.
    We should also condemn the rhetoric that raises the odds of these events.

    But we must distinguish between public condemnation and government sanctioning.

    Mr. Hodgkinson is unusual among the perpatrators of this kind of violence.

    The overwhelming majority tend to be young men – usually in their 20’s with strong evidence of mental disorder – nearly always particular disorders.

    When an event like this happens the media tends to quickly try to blame politics – and unsually that of the right as the cause for the violence. And often jumps to the conclusion of right inspired violence before the evidence is in – as in the Portland stabbings.
    Most often these younger disturbed violent men appear to be motivated by ideology – but their personal ideology usually ends up being confusing and self contradictory.
    Loughner as an example had left and right elements to his ideology, as well as a grammatical crusade – should we blame English teachers for Giffords shooting ?

    Hodgkinson is older was for much of his life moderately successful, appears to have had some mild problems with alcohol, as well as a past history of low levels of violence.
    But he does not fit the typical profile for mass killers.

    Unlike the Loughner’s and unibombers and … he did have a clear ideology. He was actively involved in the progressive left.

    He appears to be far more driven by ideology than by mental disorder.

    Hodgkinson reflects my concerns with respect to what is going on with the modern left.
    Fortunately for the moment the left has backed off. No one appears to be supporting or justifying Hodgkinsons actions.

    But I have no expectation of this lasting.

    We spent the past 8 years accusing Republicans of being hateful hating haters.
    They were purportedly racists who would take Pres. Obama out to the nearest Tree and string him up given the chance (never mind that lynchings were and exclusively progressive democrat endeavor). Yet during the entire Obama presidency there was not a fraction of the political violence that has occurred in the first few months of Trump’s.

    I would further note that serious calls to violence have been made by fairly prominent people on the left.

  31. Priscilla permalink
    June 16, 2017 8:12 am

    There was a press conference, after the baseball field shooting, held by one GOP Congressman and one Democratic one ~ I think they were the team captains or something.

    Anyway, they were both, understandably, very shaken by what had happened, and talked of their belief that Washington, and by extension, the country, had become much a much more dangerous place. They, of course, stressed the need for civility.

    This is something that we have talked about before, many times, but it bears repeating. Republicans and Democrats need to stop inciting their bases by implying that the other side is dangerous or evil. Although there has always been some of this in politics, the major party leaders need to police their ranks, and not glorify those who go beyond the pale with vitriolic and angry rhetoric. The Democrats, in my opinion, have utterly failed at this type of leadership.

    Trump is the result of this incivility, not the cause. His base admires his willingness to give as good as he gets, because most of them are sick of being referred to as reprobates and villains. They heard the “basket of deplorables” comment that Hillary made, to uproarious laughter and applause, and knew that she was talking about them, despite the fact that the vast majority of them are not “racists, homophobes, xenopobes” etc. They appreciated that Trump shoved that right back at her, and made it a campaign issue, just as the Democrats had made Mitt Romney’s 47% an issue in 2012.

    Anger is not a pretty emotion, but it is powerful. Republicans have been angry for the past 8 years, and they showed it by voting in a GOP congress and president. And, now it is the Democrats that are angry, believing, thanks to their own political leaders, that they have a right to resist the duly elected president, because he is a “traitor” and a “criminal” This emboldens crazies like this baseball assassin….would not most people agree that assassinating Hitler in 1936 would have been a good thing. By equating Trump with Hitler, Democrats morally justify violence against him and his followers.

    They are free to do so. But that kind of speech has consequences.

    • Roby permalink
      June 16, 2017 9:39 am

      “The Democrats, in my opinion, have utterly failed at this type of leadership.”

      As usual, right on cue here comes the partisan “blame the other side” routine. Right, the Throw Hillary in Jail” themed convention was a stellar example of kindness, thoughtful civility, and warmth! Have you forgotten Gabby Giffords? Have you forgotten the Palin bullseye on her? Have you forgotten the trump campaign itself with its uncontrolled rhetoric turned on everything in sight? Have you forgotten the recent Portland killings by a poisoned anti-muslim fanatic? The meme that one side has a near monopoly on poisonous rhetoric that predictably leads some of the nuts among us to take the next step makes me ill.

      I spoke of this poisonous rhetoric here the other day, and I blasted the right good and proper, with reason behind my words, but I blasted BLM and everyone else using irresponsible rhetoric as well. Which is because I believe what I say, all sides, every side other than Quakers, Mennonites, and Buddhists are engaging in this. Yes, I particularly dislike the conservative version of this disease, with all of its racist overtones and drunken confederate flag numbskulls and their shotguns etc. But they are not alone, there are perspectiveless BLM activists, there are Bernie Bros, there is the campus left, there are progressive loons who have lost all perspective and demonize the other side day and night.

      Partisans who buy into the “my side is the true victim here” point of view are what leads to leaders who follow that potent vote-getting thinking and amplify it at the professional level. Oh, I know, you didn’t really say what I think you said. Well, yes, you did, its exactly the point of what you wrote in all of its predictable one-sided partiality. You are a true believer that your side is the real victim, it comes across with complete clarity, year after year. There is no mistaking or misunderstanding your message.

      You are doing this Priscilla, you times several tens of millions of convinced resentful partisans on both sides are the fuel that is taking this political anger and rhetoric to a higher than average historical level, spreading their resentful memes of being relative innocents who been done wrong, seemingly with little history behind it that could put it in another perspective.

      You could stop doing it? If tens of millions of wound-up partisan people suddenly become thoughtful and turn this behavior off, stop believing that their side is the truly right and offended one, start actually seeing the perspective of the other side and the many ugly and dangerous offences that their own side has perpetrated, then something could change.

      But, as we know, the addiction to one-sided partisan explanations of every political event and blindness to the severity of the behaviors of one’s own team is far too strong to expect that miracle. As well, the professional partisan writers/inciters will not let that happen, they have their audiences under their spell and are not going to give up lucrative careers.

      I’m saying this to you Priscilla, but it goes for Dave too, who is so far into his obsessively one sided over the top anti anything liberal, progressive, or left campaign that there is no point of even engaging him. Ron, as a conservative/libertarian who is all the same pretty even handed in his remarks/ideas, despite his own conservative leaning, will most likely get my point. So I would suspect will dduck, except that he/she has disappeared from this Dave filled up place. That will leave you and Dave to do what I expect you to do in the face of my comment, continue your war on the other side in all offended earnestness, with 100% serious explanations of why it really is the other side that is to blame for our rancid political atmosphere, much as you are both even handed and fair and objective by nature and don’t like to cast blame.

      So, carry on.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 16, 2017 12:32 pm


        You are clueless.

        Jeremy Christian – the Portland Stabber – was a nutjob. He is likely a paranoid schitz.
        Christian was drunk at the time. Christian was actually recorded by someone on the train the day before ranting about muslims, christians and jews.

        Further the facts are misrepresented. Christian got onto the train engaged in is normal ranting, the women who were purportedly targets moved away from him and Christian made no move to persue.

        A third party – not the “heros” tried to calm Christian down and failed.

        Christian then lunged at one of his victims NOT the girls,
        One of the “victims” stood up – defending HIMSELF not the girls.
        a verbal confrontation started and another of the “defenders” stepped in.
        Then a physical confrontation started and a third male stepped in (and was murdered).

        The truth is Christian was a beligerant drunk psychotic, and the altercation that resulted had nothing to do with girls or islam.

        Finally Christian was NOT a white supremist – or even a republican.
        Christian was a Sanders supporter – again psychotics do nto need to be consistent as chrisitan was also an anti-semite.

        Christian hated Trump and Clinton, but he particularly loathed Trump who he accused of trying to “Make america white again”
        Christian opposed the DAPL.,
        Stood with the indians. Liked Malcolm X, disliked MLK,
        Christian attacked HRC for anti-imigrant actions in hondurus, and for allegedly supressing BLM.
        Christian identified Trump supporters and “Nazi F’ers”.

        Christian said he “can’t wait for Jeff Sessions to be assassinated for his unamerican hate speech,”

        So to the extent that Christian is politically anything – he is vaguely close to a Sanders supporter – interesting as Hodgkinson was also a Sanders supporter and the politics most strongly affiliated with violence is socialism.

        And Roby – Nixon was a quaker.

        Please get a clue.

        The right is imperfect. But competitive political metaphors are not even close to “incitement to violence”. They are not when done by the right or the left.

        Nor are the actions of the mentally disturbed in any way reflective of the snippets of various ideologies that they might mutter.

        Actual speach about violence is in my oppinion still constitutionally protected.
        But that does not preclude me from holding those who engage in it morally accountable.

        And those speaking about ACTUAL violence are entirely or nearly entirely on the left.

        In point of fact the Left actually accuses the right of violent motives – such as Obama’s Clinging to guns and bibles rhetoric, but the actual violent speach, the actual spewing of hate come from the left. and the actual violence is from the left.

        There is little or no equivalent on the right.

        But I am concerned that if this nonsense continues -= there will be.

        And violence is a justifiable response to violence, and it is justifiable when there is true lawlessness.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 16, 2017 3:01 pm

        You say you particularly dislike the conservative version of this disease

        Purportedly because of the racism.

        So what evidence do you have that those on the right are more racist than those on the left ?

        This is a big deal – we have had been through several election cycles with this relentless Republicans are racist meme.

        What is your evidence that republicans or conservatives are more racist that those on the left ?

        Your bent out of shape over confederate flags. Whoppy. They are a symbol. For some they are a symbol of racism. For others they are a symbol of rebellion – particularly against an affluent northern elite.

        According to the Southern Poverty Law Center – the Gadsen flag is racist

        All of us are “racist” to some extent. I have not seen evidence that the left is less so that the right. In terms of effect – the policies of the left have inarguable wreaked havoc on minorities.

        Regardless, there is a really significant issue here.

        A major factor in the loss of the recent election is this polarizing identity politics.

        The left has increasingly made each subsequent election about rich vs. poor, black vs. white, men vs. women. Anyone not on the far left is a racist, mysoginist homophobe, and a hating hateful hater.

        Get a clue – this is why democrats lost.

        Trump has lots of faults. He is coarse. But even Camile Paglia thinks that Bill Clinton is far far more preditory than Trump.

        But when the left attacks Trump – alot of blue collar americans see those attacks as aimed at them.

        Do you think that large numbers of people in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin are racist ?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 16, 2017 3:54 pm


        You are correct – I am pretty one sided on this.

        Why ? Because with respect to most of this republicans are pretty benign.

        You can disagree with them on issues – and they are often wrong on them.
        They might be a political problem, they might be a legislative problem, they might be a policy problem, but they are not and have not been advocating violence, not today, not during Obama’s presidency.

        I have noted repeatedly – I absolutely support the democrats effort to legitimately obstruct Trump. I do so even when I agree with Trump and disagree with democrats

        I beleive that they have made some strategic and tactical mistakes – but there is no question that I fully support the efforts of any minority in government to obstruct the efforts of the majority to infringe on peoples rights.

        But the opposite is EQUALLY true – the republacans had the same support in their efforts to legitimately oppose Obama’s expansion of the executive and govervnment.

        There is nothing “racist”, “mysoginist”, hateful, about the minority in congress throwing sand in the gears.
        That is fair play, that is consistent with the rule of law, whether that minority is republican or democrat and whether I support or oppose them.

        The entirety of the left’s idiotic claims that republicans are racist, mysoginst evil haters is rooted in the false premise that minorities in congress can not legitimately impede the majority – that is CRAP plain and simple.

        Further with respect to the actual consequences of policies imposed – the left wins the sweepsteaks for screwing over “The most vulnerable among us”.

        Nor is the claim of positive motives all that credible. The very policies modern progressives push are the same ones that progressives of the past pushed – only then they were openly admitting they intended to F over minorities.

        Are republicans competitive – sure. But we are not talking about one team wanting to win.

        What we are not talking about metaphors.

        We are talking about actual calls to actual violence, we are talking about actual fantasies of violence, and we are talking about actual violence.

        These are rare to non-existant on the right, and quite common on the left.

        Democrats are far far better than republicans in the war of words. Like the post moderns in the quillette article they tend not to let truth of facts get in the way.

        But at the same time the left is responsible for far more of the actual harm that has been done. Whether it is the blood int he streets during the french revolution or the genocide of the sandinistas or the mess that has been made in Venezuela.

        Further as noted before the respect of the left for the truth is poor.

        In your post you reference the Chritisans train assault in portland as white supremist motivated. Either you are ill informed or deliberately deceptive.
        Regardless YOU have two huge problems.

        The first is that you instantly beleived it was white supremist violence.
        You claim I am one sided – but the entire left here violence and PRESUMES it is right wing nuts. You start talking about it as if it is – before bothering to learn the facts.

        This is not limited to YOU roby – this is true of the media and the entire left.

        When you push false meme’s you destroy your own credibilty.

        Christians is a mentally disturbed drunk. He said lots of stupid ideological stuff, but to the extent he can actually be identified by a single ideology – it would be the left.
        He was about as far from a white supremist as possible.

        The right has not tried to blame Christian on the left.
        There were no false stories floating arround that he was a bernie supporter – because he WAS a berine supporter.

        Regardless, the right started with the DEFAULT – that he was just another off his rocker NUTCASE.

        The left presumed he was a white supremist.

        We had the same thing immediatly after the election – we were bombarded with stories of gangs of white supremists attacking blacks, jews, women, muslims.

        All these proved false.

        During the campaign we have democrats on video sending people to trump rallies with instructions to provoke fights.

        The left makes a very very common mistake. They judge their oponents as evil and that justifies doing evil to them FIRST – because of course whatever dirty trick democrats engage in – republicans must after all have also done – they are republicans you know!.

        I can not think of an instance of violence in this country in my lifetime that was committed by someone even arguably on the right – that was not diagnosably severely mentially ill.

        In fact in all cases that I can think of that the perpitrator was identified as leaning right, they all resembled Loughner or Christian – nut jobs spewing idological nonsense more from the left than right.

        I know of no right wing rioters throwing bricks and carrying baseball bats.
        I know of no right wingers tossing molotov cocktails.

        Actually violent political rhetoric – as opposed to the metaphorical talk one would find in any sports locker room comes only from the left.

        Actual violence from people whose brains are not thoroughly scrambled comes exclusively from the left.

        So yes – there is a reason to be one sided.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 16, 2017 4:05 pm


        YOU seek to make this “team red vs, team blue”.

        It is not. I am not on Team red, and I do not think Priscilla is either.

        Possibly alone here I hold Republicans and democrats to the same standards.

        I had zero problems with Republican obstructionism for the past 8 years.
        I fully support democrats engaging in the same obstructionism.

        A republican congress investigated a Democratic executive far less than it appears was necescary. Regardless they did so.
        They took their shots – and they were measured by the electorate at each election.
        If Republicans had overstepped – they would have paid for it politically. In the judgement of the american people they did not.

        Democrats are in the same position now. as republicans in 2009.
        They can do the same things – and in 2018 voters will get to hold them accountable – positively or negatively.

        I might disagree with “team red” or “team blue” policies and oppose them.
        But that is independent of their legitimate right to try and obstruct.

        You are the one that sees republican obstruction as a war on women, as racism. and democratic obstruction as good.

        How does not trust your judgement on other things when you the same conduct by republicans receives your oprobriuum and democrats your congradulation.

        You are unable to distinguish between policy differences and evil.

        Republicans are evil – because they disagree with you.
        Democrats are good – because they agree.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 16, 2017 4:08 pm


        You are unwilling to hold the left to the same standards you hold the right.

        If you did all of this would be easy.

        The right is not perfect.

        But on issues of actual conduct, morality and ethics the contest is lopsided.
        The left does not know what morality and ethics are.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 16, 2017 6:06 pm

        I may not say things that you wish I would say, Roby, but I call things as I see them, and not out of partisanship.

        There simply is no comparison between the GOP and Democrat leadership when it comes to incivility and extreme language. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are both on record as saying that Republicans oppose Obamacare because they want to “take healthcare away from people.” They have both said that Republicans support the 2nd Amendment because they are owned by the NRA. Bernie Sanders has said that Republicans want income inequality so that their rich friends benefit. Maxine Waters, has been traversing around the country calling Trump a traitor, calling for his impeachment, and saying the “he is not my president.” Elizabeth Warren has said that the evidence-free “Russian collusion” is worse than Watergate.

        These people are the top leadership of the Democrat Party. Name anything that Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Steve Scalise, and even the much maligned Ted Cruz have said about Obama, Clinton or Democrats in general, that even compares in incivility. Even Trump, who called for Hillary to be indicted, did so based on evidence, and was downright courtly towards her after his victory.

        Cable news hosts on both sides ratchet up the rhetoric, but that is for ratings. I’m talking about our federal government leadership. We can debate/discuss this, but I want to stay on the same page.

        This country is in a “cold” civil war. The attempted assassination of GOP congressmen yesterday has turned it warmer. A Democratic strategist in my great blue state of NJ has begun the hashtags #huntRepublicans and #huntRepublicancongressman

        You and I are on the same side ~ maybe not politically, but as Americans and as human beings. Forcing a constitutional crisis in a highly charged political environment, which many Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans are doing, is going to make things worse not better. They do not care about us.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 17, 2017 2:20 am


        I am going to disagree somewhat.
        I think that the congressional democratic leadership is despicable.
        And a fair number of democrats below leadership.

        But I am not all that enamoured of republican leadership either.

        I might be prepared to say that republicans leadership is less repugnant – though I would not bet much on it.

        Republican politicians are less well studies in Alynsky,
        They are poorer at messaging.

        But the big differences between the left and right are outside the realm of those elected.

        Moogie seems to feel that the lightest interest in business is a character flaw.

        To some extent I once thought so too.
        I have read Marx, and Hegel and E.F. Schumacher and Tolstoy.

        When I grew up my mothers role was the financial record keeper and manager for the various family businesses. She pushed me into that role – against my wishes.

        Through College I wanted little less than to deal with finances, accounting, business management.

        After college and many attempts to evolve others into my mothers role it eventually became obvious that She would trust no one but me.

        I learned my own way to fill that role.
        I also learned something else. Something I have said here that most of you dispute.
        Eventually I found it actually written in economics texts, but I learned it on my own.

        Business is inherently the most ethical and moral profession in existance.

        Free exchange occurs when a buyer and seller do something neither is obligated to do.
        Each gives something they have in return doe something they want more.
        Both are better off.

        But because the exchange is voluntary, it does nto occur without trust.

        Moogie thinks that the world will somehow be better if people have more money.
        The government wrecked the economy by doing pretty much that.
        Interest rates are the price of money. But the price of money is directly tied to something else – Credit. And credit means TRUST.

        There are lots of things that go into success in business – but trust is one of the more important.

        The left likes to point out failures of trust among business people – and some of those are even real. But they are also rare – that is why they make the news.

        The left does not understand Trust – or morality. The article I linked to on Political correctness had some interesting thoughts on that.

        The left thinks that what constitutes morality and virtue is fixed and completely defined.

        They can not conceive of the fact that in business trustworthyness means doing what you promised to do. It does not mean conforming to some arbitrary ideological view of morality.
        Integrity also means respecting the freedom of others – restrictions on freedom are shackless in business – binding bother buyers and sellers customers and producers.

        Do what you promised, and respect the freedom of others – that is the core morality of business.
        There is no safe spaces, or virtue signalling.

        After years in business, I find the most disreputable and immoral people on the planet are politicians. There job is to make promises to enough people to get themselves elected.
        While keeping as few as possible – because keeping promises actually interferes with making conflicting promises.

        It is why it does nto surprise me that Trump has striven to keep the promises he made during the election – though maybe not “literally”
        It is what he beleives is expected of him.
        It is also what will get him re-elected.

        I continue to repeat that absent some stupid mistake that leades even republicans to move to impeach him, 2018 and 2020 will be determined by the economy – not all this nonsense in DC.

        At the moment – unemployment is continuing to fall – but that occured under Obama too.
        But the number of new jobs each month has risen significantly – and that was not true before. Labor for Participation is rising – U6 – and alternate measure of unemployment which was high under Obama is declining.

        Small businesses are hiring. That has not happened since 2008.

        Lower real unemployment means more competion for workers, means higher wages – and wages are starting to rise.

        Economies – particularly at 2% growth are incredibly fragile – and we still have many many things wrong.

        But increased employment means that businesses – particularly small businesses are betting strongly on the future.

        There is lots of talk about historic patterns of politics.
        But the past decade is one gigantic political anomally.

        The democratic coalition of the ascendent – demographics is destiny meme is ripping itself to shreds

        By most political predictors Trump should not have won.

        The left has bet their souls on the destruction of Donald Trump – if he survives – and the economy grows – conventional political wisdom is unlikely to prove true.

      • Roby permalink
        June 16, 2017 8:27 pm

        “Bernie Sanders has said that Republicans want income inequality so that their rich friends benefit. ”

        That is as stupid as the idea that W declared war in Iraq so that his rich oil friends could get richer. Actually, the oil angle in the Iraq war was that he was protecting, if anyone, the little guy from the effects of unstable oil prices.

        The other comments you mentioned as excessive I agree with, some technically and some in spirit. Yes, by definition the people voting for the GOP health ins. plan want to take healthcare away from people, at least technically speaking if not because they are heartless, but because healthcare has to be paid for and is rationed just like anything else.

        You have decided that the the trump investigation is entirely without merit. I have no idea how you have reached that conclusion; you must think you have magic powers. Aspects of what trump seems to have done ARE worse than watergate according to my sensibilities. There is an investigation and I do not believe it is unwarranted. Time will tell.

        I want to make one thing clear. I like you. We have been at this quite a while, I respect your sincerity and decency. Its your politics that I never will get or like and I dislike Moogies and Dave’s just as much as I dislike yours. I am not trying to pick on you, although it must look that way, simply you have a conception of how things are and that does not intersect with my political universe except as an example with what is wrong with being a loyal party believer. You are much like many people who I have as friends in the real world in your level of partisan ire, except that my real world friends almost all do their wild partisan thing from the left.

        The hunting on republicans thing hashtag is repulsive and sick. He is described as an operative. I’d like to know what that means, what does he do really, is he an official, a consultant, a gung ho member of the progressive base? He should be cut from any position of responsibility if he is actually in one and his language condemned. He sounds nuts, disgusting.

        But I will have no trouble equaling him among conservative operatives, texas alone has its share of provocateurs who are easily in the same league. Palins cross hairs on Gabby Giffords were sick, sick, sick. I promise you I can find a sick example of something a republican operative or politician has said to match anything you come up with from a democrat. A search of Bachmans comments will equal anything Maxine has to say. Two nuts.

        This behavior is a symptom of the bile and tribalism inherent in party politics going back at least to the Jefferson-Adams battle in 1800. 1824 was another example. And politicians did literally kill each other over it. I completely disagree that one party behaves better or worse, that is a stable partisan article of belief among the tens of millions afflicted with party loyalty.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 17, 2017 3:16 pm


        You can not take from someone something that is not theirs.

        There is no right to healthcare.

        Your observation that healthcare has to be paid for and rationed like everything else is a quasi accurate distortion.

        The free market is a self regulating arrangement that matches what we want and need, weighted by the strength of our want and need and by what we have produced and therefore have available to exchange for what we want and need – to what others have produced. FURTHER it communicates those wants and needs and their strength from consumers to producers.

        Whatever we consume is paid for from what we produce.
        If we consume some amount of healthcare – that comes ALWAYS at the expense of something else we could have consumed.

        That is great – if INDIVIDUALLY we chose healthcare over that other thing.
        It is immoral if it was done by others and is at odds with the choice we would have made for ourselves.

        Markets are not “rationed” systems, they are bottom up self organizing systems – the allocation of scarcity is ONE of the functions they perform.

        Further the communicative aspect of free markets is incredibly important.
        When you purchase an insurance policy – or do NOT purchase a policy – at some price that convey’s information to the producers of insurance.
        That information is how they determine – what people want, what they are willing to pay for it and how much of it is wanted.

        But it goes FAR beyond that, communicated through the market by each decision to purchase or not is information abotu how many doctors and nurses will be needed in the future and what they can be paid. and what medicines and medical equipment is needed and what will be paid for it.

        It is this information that results in the effort to make a scarce resource that is in demand – abundant, AND to take resources away from abundant products that are not in demand.

        While the principles of free markets are all relatively simple – the operation of them is incredibly complex. That communication is the most important part.

        When an outside force steps in – communication is muddled.
        The exact consequences are not predictable, but what is predictable is that we will NET get less of whatever we want and need AND we will get it less efficiently.

        i.e. We will be less well off.

        When we here people in congress – or people individually debating querying examining analyzing what people want from healthcare or health insurance.

        They are trying to manipulate an arrangment that always outperforms any other arrangment at providing us with the most of ALL that we want that can aquire based on what we have produced.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 17, 2017 4:20 pm


        With respect to the Trump investigation.

        This is not about what I have decided.

        This is AGAIN about the rule of law.

        Far to many here seem to think that some public curiosity entitles government exploration.

        Do you honestly want government inquiring into whatever the politicians and bureucrats wish ?

        With respect to the Trump investigation – this is all simple as far as I am concerned.

        There is very very little that law enforcement – government is entitled to do without evidence of an actual crime.

        An allegation is NOT evidence.

        An allegation – is a justification for SOME investigation,
        The extent of that investigation depends on the strength of the allegation.

        Thus far the allegations we have are “anonymous” – that is the same as WEAK.
        And to the extent they have been specific they have proven mostly wrong.

        That is pretty much the opposite of what you need for a growing investigation.

        You do not seem to grasp – we do not investigate whatever we want.

        If the local police get an anonymous tip that you have been buggering chihuahua’s in your basement – and the police conduct an investigation – they do those things they can do without a warrant wand without violating your or anyone else’s rights,

        And they can find now evidence that you have anything to do with chihuahua’s

        What in your mind is the next legitimate step ?

        Drop the investigation – atleast until more evidence comes in, or
        get a warrant to tear your house apart looking for evidence of this alleged crime ?

        What I am trying to get through to you is:

        It does not matter what my oppinion is
        or yours,
        or 100m others.

        We follow the rules.

        Can you tell me a single thing that is known about this russia Trump nonsense, that you beleive would reach the standard necescary to compell a person to testify ?
        To get a warrant and conduct a search ?

        Remembering that whatever standard you establish – must apply to everyone equally – that is what equal protection of the law means.

        If you decide that the basis that we currently have for investigating Trump – which thus fas seems to be a dossier that was paid for politically by the Bush and Clinton campaigns, and that was constructed using input from actual KGB agents, as well as a bunch of anonymous leaks and rumors that have for the most part proven false.
        if that is a good enough basis,

        Then it is also a good enough basis to investigate anyone else.

        We keep geting into these bizarre Tit-for-tat discussions over fillbusters and nuclear options and all kinds of other things that are truly political.

        When we start talking about law – tit-for-tat is not politics, it is how things MUST be.
        Whatever standard you impose on Trump you must expect the same to apply to ALL criminal investigations.

        There is enough evidence in this to do very specific things, Those things have long ago been done – or should have.
        If they had produced any basis to persue further – we would know.

        So as an example – what evidence can you cite – that is actual evidence – not rumor or allegation, that is sufficient to know that a crime has actually been committed ?

        It is extremely rare that we allow an investigation where we do not even know there has been a crime, and when we do allow one without knowing with certainty that a crime was commited – the investigation is severely limited.

        What evidence can you cite that would meet the requirements to issue a subpeona, or get a warrant ?

        You seem to think the law enforcement can use any allegation to investigate until they prove the allegation is false.

        Lets put this into a personal context.

        I send an anonymous message to the DOJ claiming that you have taken money from your IRA without paying taxes on it.

        Is DOJ allowed to investigate you – and if so what can they do and what can’t they ?

        Can they demand your tax return ? Your Bank Statements ? Can they search your house ?

        What if my anonymous allegation adds – that you used the money from your IRA to buy a new car.

        Does that change anything ?

        What if you did just buy a new car ?

        My point and question for you is how far can you go on an anonymous allegation ?

        How far shoudl law enforcement be allowed to go when investigating you ?

        I am also asking this because I have read recently about a number of the “investigations” over the past decade – many of which Mueller and/or Comey have been involved in.

        Comey as an example is responsible for jailing martha stewart.
        I would be happy to see Martha go to jail.
        Based on the evidence I heard – Martha tried really really hard to engage in “insider trading” – and failed. Comey had a problem – because trying and failing to commit a crime is not a crime. Ultimately he got her for a form of obstruction – essentially for failing to timely notify her own shareholders of the investigation into herself that found no crime.

        This is a really really huge pet peeve of mine.

        IF you are investigated for some specific crime – and either you are not found guilty of that crime, then any possible ancillary charges that are dependent on the initial crime must also DIE. You can not obstruct justice – by impeding an investigation into a non-crime.

        The same thing happened with the Fitzgerald investigation.
        Valerie Plame was outed by Richard Armitrage at the state department – the media knew that, the FBI knew that the special prosecutor new that,
        But Robert Novak refused to provide his source, and the Special Prosecutor did nto persue that all too vigorously – because arguably the outing of Plame did not actually violate the law – she he4ld a public role prior to her being outed and therefore had actually already been outed. i.e. there was no actual crime.

        But the objective of the investigation was to get Dick Cheney – because it was likely that Plame was outed because Cheney was pissed over the story by her husband Wilson.

        Scooter Libby got caught in the middle of this and after multiple FBI interviews they find some realtively inconsequential difference between his statements and those of others.
        and they charged and convicted him of lying to the FBI – again about something entirely peripheral to their investigation.

        I am also finding that Mueller was a key player in both Ruby Ridge and later Waco.
        And I have to say those BOTH disturb me greatly.
        At Ruby Ridge Agents without a warrant snuck onto Randy Weavers property, were exposed, shot his dog, then his friend, and ultimately killed most of his family.

        Waco Ruby Ridge were the justifications and motivations that McVeigh used for the OKC bombing.

        There are a number of other incidents that Mueller and/or Comey were involved with that similarly trouble me.

        The critical issue is that a prosecutor – whether special or not, must end an investigation when they have persued all legitimate and legally justifiable avenues and not found sufficient basis to proceed further.

        In instance after instance Mueller and Comey have conducted investigations that reached that point – and engaged in machinations to do an end run arround that requirement.

        Either there is sufficient to justify an investigation of Trump or Trump surrogates and if the allegations being investigated do not pan out this dies IMMEDIATELY – and I think that is actually where we are right now.

        Or proceeding is actually lawless.

        If this proceeds for 2 years and the result is something like Kushner pleading guilty to tax evasion for misreporting expenses for a trip to Russia in 2013.

        Then as far as I am concerned – Mueller – Comey and the entire rest of those seeking to prosecute this should be in jail for abuse of power.

        We have an allegation – the objective of an investigation is to determine if sufficient evidence of that allegation exists to prosecute.

        The objective is NOT to “get Trump” or his associates, by whatever means necescary.
        If you are looking to conduct a political vendeta – you do that in the house and senate – where there are political consequences for being wrong.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 17, 2017 4:34 pm


        It is a tautology that one party behaves better than the other.

        The odds that they behave identically bad as infinitessimally small.

        Further it is near certain that the relative misconduct of each party varies over time.

        At the moment the part behaving by far the worst is the democrats.

        It is further important what you consider misbehaving.

        Political obstruction – the use of constitutional and traditional rules to enhance the power of the minority to impede the infringement of the majority on the liberty of individuals is not misconduct.

        It is not when done by democrats – nor by republicans.

        I think that democrats are generally worse at that that republicans – meaning Republicans are better at legitimate obstruction.
        But that has nothing to do with misconduct.

        I also think that political competition – metaphorical adds targeting competition are equally legitimate.

        I think actual political misrepresentation is morally wrong – but must be punished by the electorate – not the law.

        I think that actual incitement to real violence – not metaphorical references are morally wrong – but are not and should not be against the law.

        At this time the actual violence is on the left. That is not merely morally wrong but also illegal.

        At this time the actual incitement to violence is on the left.
        While there has been past incitement by both parties – it has been way on the fringe and rare. Today the breadth of the invitement and the proximity to the political mainstream is unusual and scary – and that is on the left.

        Even the Southern Poverty Law Center was Stunned by Hodgkinson.
        Because although they had been anticipating and warning of left political violence atleast since the election, Hodgkinson is much closer to the mainstream and much closer to a normal person than they expected.
        Hodgkinson was not an Eric Rudolph or Ted Kazinsky type.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 17, 2017 4:45 pm


        You are reflecting one of the serious problems I have with compromise or morates as defined here.

        The Middle is NOT where the truth lies on all issues.

        There is not “both sides are equally wrong” when one side is engaged in genocide.
        Most of us understand that whatever misconduct might have been done by the allies or by the jews – the Nazi Genocide was just wrong.

        We do nto require people to be Mother Theresa before they can make allegations about the conduct of others.

        There are issues that we have to deal with where the turth or best answer is found somewhere near the middle.

        But that is not actually that common.

        Further the middle is not even a stable well defined place. The political middle is significantly farther to the left than when I was young.

        What is right and what is wrong have not changed.

        We can condemn bad conduct on the part of the left – without having to play this idiotic balancing game with respect to the right.

        On many issues that we deal with one party or the other is either right or far closer to it than the other. The answer is not in the middle or compromise.
        It is not always the same party that is closer to right.

        Regardless, compromise is a tool, one that can be used for good or evil.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 16, 2017 11:07 am

      The country is becoming more dangerous.

      Not because we disagree. Not because we do not compromise.
      Not because we call each other names.

      It is more dangerous because SOME members of ONE ideology are increasingly willing to resort to violence.

      Hodgkinson may or may not be significant. It is very disturbing that he does NOT fit the traditional profile for this type of activity.

      He may be unstable – but he was mostly coherently political and coherently politically active. In otherwords he was not your typical violent paranoid schitz or psychoitic.

      He was a frustrated, unstable person who equated his failure in life with what ideology controlled government and determined to alter that through violence.

      He is the natural extension of the brick throwing and molatov cocktail tossing, and rioting.

      Hopefully we will see no more like him.

      Unfortunately I doubt that.

      The left is currently deliberately attempting to delegitimize the election.

      They have one important point. It is actually of critical importance that we have faith int he results of an election. It does not matter so much whether our candidate won.
      So long as we beleive that the results are legitimate. That they followed the rule of law.

      All thast said the Left is not looking to explore or rectify the one potentially legitimate greivance they have – partly because they do not have a handle on that greivance.

      For the left the election is illegitimate – because Trump won. Therefore their MUST be some explanation that is corrupt.

      The russian hacking and colusion claim is merely something to hang their hat on.
      The left does NOT want to look at that carefully – for fear it will fall apart.

      Remember the election is illegitimate because Trump won – and that is not allowed to be possible, QED there MUST be some form of corruption and there is no need to prove it or fix it.

      Regardless, the widespread beleif that the results of an election are corrupt is EXTREMELY dangerous. Our government is only legitimate – because it has the consent of the governed – sometimes grudging consent, but consent nonetheless.

      The violent overthrow of government is actually legitimate – if that government does not have the consent of thegoverned – actually read the declaration of independence.

      It is a legal justification for revolution and quite early it asserts

      “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, ”

      If our elections were actually seriously corrupt – Hodgkinson’s actions would actually be justified.

      The fundimental problem and the reason for significant danger relates to that Quillette article on post modernism that that I linked to much earlier.

      The philiosophy of the modern left subordinates facts to feelings.

      To the left the results of the election feel illegitimate – therefore they ARE illegitimate and therefore violence is necescary.

      This is not only dangeerous – because the left is becoming unjustifiably violent.

      It is dangerous because should they succeed that would be ACTUALLY illegitimate and the right would be JUSTIFIABLE in resorting to violence.

      The left has worried about right wing violence since Obama was elected.

      The right has responded agressively WITHIN the system.

      The right has figured out how to win elections. Taking control of the house, the senate, the state legislatures, and governorships and ultimately the whitehouse are all reflections of this.

      The right has channeled its efforts – whether driven by anger, or hatred or whatever reason the left may wish to assign into getting what it wants through the legitimate political process.

      The right has NOT resorted to violence.

      If those who elected Donald Trump are illegitimately deprived of work they accomplished through the legitimately political process over the past eight years – they will LEGITIMATELY entitled to use violence.

      If a few fringe members of the left start shooting congressmen – what stops a few angry members of the right from doing the same ?

      Hodgkins is different because he is not a nutcase with garbled thought that happens to include ideological notes. He is an ideologue what has resorted to violence.

      • June 16, 2017 1:34 pm

        “It is more dangerous because SOME members of ONE ideology are increasingly willing to resort to violence.”

        It is not “SOME members of ONE ideology” that are resorting to violence.

        It is “some members of both extremes resorting to violence.” And this has been increasing for the past few years or becoming more identifiable with political positions than before.

        I usually do not find this site to be very reliable in reporting, but in this case I believe they have done a fairly good job at reporting the facts. Now I know one can look up any number of other sites and find information that can find fault with the facts given here, but not all of them can be debunked no matter how hard one might try. And there are many other actions that can be found to support my position that violence occurs on both extremes.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 16, 2017 4:51 pm

        Did the Tea Party march on Washington toss bricks through windows, lobb molotov cocktails, burn cars ?

        Who on the right said that Obama was felating another world leader ?

        How many times have those on the right jumped the gun on an act of violence claiming it was an example of lunatic left violence only to discover it was just some nut job ?

        I am sorry Ron – but the actual violence is lopsided,

        The left accuses the right of violence thousands of times more than the right accuses the left – but in terms of actual acts – it is pretty close to all left.

        This is again one of the problems I have with the left.

        If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.

      • June 16, 2017 6:25 pm

        Dave “Did the Tea Party march on Washington toss bricks through windows, lobb molotov cocktails, burn cars ?”

        Not the Tea Party, but I guess I forgot to include the link I was referring to that provided ten violent acts by right wing extremist. I see no difference between right wing and left wing extremism when it ends with dead bodies or people in hospitals.

        I am not being picky when I look at violence on others when it is tied to any political positions. Hating Trump and the conservative agenda that leads to injuries and death are no different to me than hating liberal policies like abortion that lead to death of innocent individuals.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 17, 2017 2:50 am

        Someone already provided that link – maybe you maybe robby.

        I responded.

        Almost none of those top 10 fit the argument being made.

        Some like Joe Stack – make the entire list foolish.
        Stack’s manifesto is as much left as right.
        While Abortion is increasingly a left right thing – that was not always so.

        I have serious problems with those who kill others over abortion.
        But the issue is religious not political.

        Historically the KKK and white supremist groups started with progressives.

        The KKK and white supremists groups are really the only ones from the list that are actually “political”. Most of the rest are loaners – they have their own personal ideology disconnected from the left and right – though sometimes sharing elements.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 16, 2017 6:07 pm

        It is not a question of “debunking” Ron.

        But most of these are “misrepresentations”.

        One of the issues is that the left seems to think it gets to decide what conservative or right means.

        Anti-abortion started somewhat bipartisan.
        Immigration was similar – meaning you could find many republicans and democrats on either side.

        It has taken a long time for abortion to become a red/blue issue.
        It is not arguably a left/right issue.
        The same on immigration.

        We can argue about where the KKK and white supremists fall on the political spectrum today. But they were born into the democratic and progressive movements.

        The KKK and white supremists have not changed over time.

        Regardless if we must identify the KKK and neo nazis with the right – then can we identify islamic terrorists with the left ?

        The inclusion of Joseph stack is also pretty telling.
        I do not know what Stack’s ideology is.
        Anyone claiming to fully understand it probably needs a shrink.

        Now lets look at the Left.

        We have the Weather Underground and its members – inarguably political and inarguably violent.
        The Symbionese liberation army.

        Inarguably all of these groups are left and all are political and all violent.

        More recently

        I would note that while the KKK has a history of violence whatever you say about the militia and survivalist movements politically, these are groups that just want to be left alone.
        that outside of McVeigh they have never initiated violence.

        McVeigh justified his actions by the actions of the FBI at Ruby Ridge, and Waco (BTW those both involved Mueller).

        Even white supremists for the most part just want to be left alone.

        The left brings violence too you.

        Political violence experts at Southern Poverty Law Center have been expressing concern for rising left political violence since Trump’s election.
        They were suprised by Hodghinson – because he was not really that far to the extreme left and definitely political.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 16, 2017 11:16 am


      The left has the right to resist Trump.

      They do not have the right to do so OUTSIDE the legitimate process.

      Far too much of what is going on right now – with people who should know better looks like the kangaroo courts of the USSR and other communist regimes.
      The crimal has been identified – the real crime is defying their ideology, all that is subsequenctly necescary is to make up a crime that enough people will buy.

      I beleive as an example it was a strategic mistake for democrats to fillibuster Gorsuch.
      But it was a legitimate if bad choice.

      I have zero problems with Democratic efforts to through sand int he gears in the congress.

      The only issue I have there is philosophical – that increasing the power of government requires supermajorities, but decreasing it only requires the loss of super majority support.

      i.e. a minority should be sufficient to undo a law that mo longer enjoys supermajority support.

      But democratic obstruction is legitimate. It will either cost them or benefit them at the next election. That is how that works.

      But using the media and executive that is nearly entirely made of those Trump was elected to disempower to concoct fake crimes and attempt to sell them to people to justify a coup is not legitimate. It is very dangerous.

  32. Roby permalink
    June 16, 2017 10:46 am

    I am dumbfounded. My hat is off to Ted Nugent. Bravo!

    “The Motor City Madman is now talking like a hippie.

    Ted Nugent, the right-wing rocker who once called President Obama a “piece of s–t” and said Hillary Clinton should be hanged for treason for the Benghazi attack, said he’s done inciting violence with his supercharged rhetoric and now says his “battle cry for America” is “zero violence!”

    “At the tender age of 69, my wife has convinced me that I can’t use those harsh terms,” Nugent told WABC radio hosts Curtis Sliwa and Eboni Williams. “We have got to be civil to each other.”

    “I will avoid anything that can be interpreted as condoning or referencing violence,” Nugent continued. “I condemn violence. I am 100% against any harm to any human beings, particularly my brothers here in America.”

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 16, 2017 8:05 pm

      I commend him as well. And there are those on the liberal side who have made similar pledges. Eboni Williams (liberal) and Curtis Sliwa (conservative) are both quite civil ~ and I don’t even mean “civil for talk show hosts,” I mean actuall civil.

      Now , if we could just get our elected leaders to follow suit……..

  33. Priscilla permalink
    June 17, 2017 1:15 am

    “Trump’s most zealous defenders are sure he’s innocent. Yet there exists sufficient evidence to investigate his conduct. Trump’s most zealous foes are sure he’s guilty. Yet there exists insufficient evidence to impeach, much less to prosecute. As the investigation proceeds, the danger is acute. Ask any honest lawyer how much he or she relishes defending a client who has a casual relationship with the truth and who won’t stop talking. Trump’s lack of discipline and his impulsive use of his considerable powers represent ticking time bombs. Only Trump can defuse himself.”

    Roby, I would say that this quote, and this article best describe my current opinion on the Trump investigation. While I believe that it is, in many ways, a witch hunt, it’s one that has been aided and abetted by the possible “witch”. I understand why Trump believes he has to fight for his political life ~ I’m just not sure his strategy will save him. I understand why his enemies believe that they will prevail, but I hope that they’re wrong.

    My fear is that, if this witch hunt is successful, i.e. if Robert Mueller is able to prosecute or produce evidence for impeachment, it will be at great cost to our democracy. Millions of Trump’s defenders will never accept the legitimacy of his removal, just as millions of his foes have never accepted his election.

    I just don’t think it will be worth the cost to the nation, in the long run.

    • Roby permalink
      June 17, 2017 9:19 am

      I’d call that rational and fair.

      Just remember, we went through this with Clinton (Bill). He is a dirt bag, like trump, they are much alike, but was it worth it? DId we survive? What id we gain what did we lose by the impeachment? He was an actually popular president, who was doing well in his job according to most. This partisan accusation process goes back to the very beginning of the presidency.

      trump cannot be impeached unless he truly loses the support of conservatives/GOP. That some millions of people may hang on, disillusioned with democracy and bitter is a fact. It can’t be the only fact.

      IF we don’t survive it this time, its because of a new factor, the internet. Cut lose now from the common news media, CBS, NBC, ABC etc. that once was a unifying American experience we have become Italian, this is opera, we are all screaming at each other all the time.

      In my time we have survived Vietnam, Iraq, 9/11, the slaughter of a first grade class. We are not innocents, but the will to survive is strong. America is a very large flywheel and people need to work and eat.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 17, 2017 5:03 pm

        The Clinton investigations are a great parallel.

        From what I have read from Starr. Pretty much through to the Blue dress Starr’s investigation was highly productive – against Hillary. But came up with nothing involving Bill. Until the blue dress demonstrated that he had lied under oath.

        Starr ultimately decided not to indict Hillary – he thought it would look to political, and he doubted he could get a DC grand jury to indict regardless of the strength of the case.

        and because he did not think it was really inside his mandate to go after Hillary.

        The big mistake in the clinton presidency was by SCOTUS.

        I was not a big Bill Clinton fan at the time.
        But I found the SCOTUS decision to allow the Paula Jones case to proceed, to be wrong.
        I do not beleive the president should be subject to civil suit for conduct prior to taking office. I think that his election should toll the statute of limitations.

        I think Clinton’s conduct towards these women was reprehensible.
        But the president is different from the man.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 17, 2017 9:22 pm

        “We are not innocents, but the will to survive is strong. America is a very large flywheel and people need to work and eat.”

        I certainly want to believe that. I think I do.

    • June 17, 2017 12:36 pm

      “My fear is that, if this witch hunt is successful, i.e. if Robert Mueller is able to prosecute or produce evidence for impeachment, it will be at great cost to our democracy. ”

      Exactly what the Russians were trying to do. They must be celebrating at the Kremlin on the impact they had so far.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 17, 2017 1:20 pm

        Very true, Ron. The investigation so far has focused on a collusion which almost certainly did not take place, but which Hillary and the Democrats have insisted led to her loss.

        It has now moved on to investigating whether or not the lawful exercise of a president’s constitutional powers, i.e. directing and/or firing the FBI Director with or without cause (in this case, with) is grounds for impeachment, if a significant number of bureaucrats and politicians say it is.

        Obama, and to a lesser degree, Bush, were able to unconstitutionally expand presidential powers without interference ~ now Trump is being hounded for exercising powers that are clearly his (look at the travel ban as well). The message is that the Constitution is subject to political interference and explication. It is not, but no one seems to care.

        The vodka must be flowing…….

      • dhlii permalink
        June 17, 2017 5:09 pm


        I do not think there has been all that much investigation.

        There is not that much to investigate.

        Frankly, I think Comey was stalling deliberately.
        The existance of the investigation provided him leverage.

        Trump fired Preet Bharara. Despite claims by Preet that Trump promised to retain him.

        I think Comey new he was gone the moment the investigation ended

        Frankly I think Trump asked Comey to state publicly he was not a target – because as soon as he did he could have fired him with less political reprurcussions.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 17, 2017 4:49 pm

      I do not at this time see sufficient evidence to do more investigation than has already been done.

      Some evidence does exist – it is weak. It therefore justifies very little.

      We have done far more investigation than the evidence we have merits.

      In an investigation of an actual crime – further investigation leads to further evidence.
      When it dos not – it is time to stop.

      Dislike of Trump – does not change the law.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 17, 2017 4:56 pm

      There are three likely outcomes to the special prosecutors investigation.

      1). Trump implodes.
      2). Mueller successfully prosecutes some functionary for some inconsequential act on the side.
      3). The investigation itself actually goes no where, but it drags out forever consuming all the energy in the Trump administration and influencing subsequent elections.

      Is there anyone who actually beleives the investigation stands the slighest changes of proving collusion with Russia ?

      With respect to the possible outcomes above.

      While the hope is that we elected a president that will not come unglued under scrutiny.
      At the same time I have a problem with blame the victim here.
      When you subject someone to a huge criminal investigation – if you do not find anything – the consequences belong to YOU – not the person you investigate.

      If 2) is the outcome – why are we doing this ?

      3) is not a legitimate outcome. Congress can politically impede the administration.
      Law enforcement is not supposed to be used for political purposes.

  34. dhlii permalink
    June 17, 2017 1:40 am

    An interesting essay on modern public and private colleges.

  35. Anonymous permalink
    June 17, 2017 1:05 pm

    Since Trump is well approaching the size of Stan Laurel, I believe Trump should make new baseball hats with this slogan:

  36. June 17, 2017 11:53 pm

    Moogie, if your there, read this. This is what is happening with minimum wage laws going into affect in various states

    What people don’t realize is the companies that have their names on the restaurant are not the ones paying the wages. They are being paid by the franchisees that can own a few stores or many stores. The company with the name is getting revenues from the rent or fees they charge the franchisee, not from the food they sell. McDonalds is more of a real estate company than a restaurant company. The restaurant owner clears about 6% profit margin with labor cost representing about 20% of their total cost. Every 1% increase in wages reduces the profit margin. There current wage is around $10.00 and going to $15.00 represents a 50% increase.

    To offset this increase and maintain a 6% profit margin, each restaurant owner would have to increase their menu prices by 10%.

    How many people that feed a family of 4 could withstand a 10% increase in costs? Moogie, if you can afford it now, could you afford it with a 10% increase or would you be demanding a cost of living increase through your teachers union? And what good did the wage increase do? If you got your COLA, then taxes would go up to cover those costs and the people working at McDonalds would be no better off since all their costs increased.

    We need jobs coming back to America. We need people demanding American made goods to make that happen. Energies put to increasing wages are wasted energies, while energies put to demanding better trade agreements and buying American as much as possible are not.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 18, 2017 1:57 am

      Moogie – like most are clueless about profits.

      The profit of a business, is much like the Interest on your IRA, or statement savings account.

      If McD’s or some other company fails to produce that profit.

      Shareholders will receive less return on their investment.
      BTW those shareholders could well be your IRA or pension, your life insurancce or even the short term investment of your health insurance premium.

      Regardless, if McD’s fails to perform – to profit as expected, investors will pull out,
      When that occurs branches will have to close and people will be laid off.

      Minimum wage laws are just another price control – and we have several milenia of experience with the failures of price controls – going all the way back to the pharoh’s.

      Much of the problem with our heatlh care system is the myriads of different forms of direct and indirect price controls it is subject to.

      My point is there are myriads of responses that businesses can make to changes in minium wages. Decreasing profits more than temporarily is NOT one of those.

      The left seems to think that profits are theirs for the taking. That they are not “earned”.

      Are you going to keep your money in your IRA if thour financial advisor comes back to you and says – things are tough you have to live with 20% less return on your IRA forever.
      While at the same time your neighbor – whose IRA is not invested in McD;’s or any other businesses that have significant MW employment is still geting a higher Return ?

      Get a clue – Total US invested retirement assests are $26T
      The entire combined net worth of the entire forbes 400 is less than 1/10 of that.

      This should also burst this 5 people own most of the world’s wealth of similar nonsense.

      US Retirement assets alone make up about 1/8 of the total global wealth.

      • June 18, 2017 12:58 pm

        Dave “If McD’s or some other company fails to produce that profit.
        Shareholders will receive less return on their investment.”

        What the local McDonalds pays its employees has nothing to do with the amount of money shareholders of McDonalds stock earn. Franchisees pay the same rent or franchisee fees to McDonalds regardless of their local wage rates.

        The franchisees for McDonalds are privately owned businesses for the most part or at the most closed corporate entities where 100% of the stock is owned by just a few people. You can see in most every McDonalds a sign that states “This restaurant (or McDonalds) owned and operatied by XYZ”.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 18, 2017 1:13 pm


        About 1/3 of McD’s locations are corporately owned.

        Regardless, you are correct that I skimmed over the details.

        In fact the consequences of a labor cost increase that does not include a productivity increase are many and wide spread and nearly all negative.

        What I described was just one, and a special case at that.

        But not all that special.

        If a Franchisee’s profits go down – fewer people buy franchises, and there is more preasure on McD;s to cut franchise fees.

        Further McD’s sells the raw materials to Franchisee’s

        If Burger prices go up – fewer people buy burgers – so McD’s – both the franchise and corporate get less – and again as profitrs go down – shareholders exit.

        The laws of supply and demand are immutable.

        The minimum wage is just another price control and these ALWAYS fail.

        But they do not always fail in precisely the same way.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 18, 2017 1:17 pm

        How Is the fact that most McD’s are franchises going to change the fact that reduced return on investment means reduced investment.

        Do you think that if McD’s franchises have a 20% drop in profits – there will be zero impact on McD’s stock ? And your IRA if it is invested in anything that is significantly impacted by the wages of low skill workers ?

  37. Phil Weatherford permalink
    June 18, 2017 12:05 pm

    I like your direction but I think it is a cop out. We do have to organize and put in the real work for those of us that know there truly is another way. Moderates have to have a way to come together. I’m interested in participating and helping. Let’s do something. When’s the first meeting?

  38. dhlii permalink
    June 19, 2017 10:24 am

    A few reasons why regulation is unnecescary and counterproductive.
    Tamny misses the fact that pollution is just another word for waste, and producing more value with less human effort means less waste.

  39. Priscilla permalink
    June 20, 2017 9:27 am

    Read an interesting piece by, of all people, the country singer Charlie Daniels, in which he calls the current political atmosphere in this nation “unsustainable.” I think this is what we are all saying, in one way or another. Politics has always been blood sport, but sue to the reach of mass media, politics has begun to intrude on the everyday lives of people who are not politically active ~ even those who may prefer to be politically apathetic.

    ““A lot is said about resistance these days. Resistance denotes something that goes beyond political discourse and disagreements. It denotes belligerence, intractability, unwillingness to compromise, a militant demeanor willing to go outside the lines of decency and lawfulness….Resistance is what the French and other European countries practiced during Nazi occupation, a justifiable and noble posture to take, considering that their countries were occupied by an evil and overwhelming force that could only be bitten off in small clandestine chunks in whatever covert actions they were able to mount.”

    So much is out of whack. We see activists on the right acting like lefties, and storming the stage of a play that they don’t like. These are the same people who condemn the left for shutting down conservative speakers. It’s wrong, and it’s being tolerated on both sides.

    A young 22 year old man was tortured and murdered at the hands of the North Korean regime. There are still 3 Americans being held by NK ~ assuming they are still alive. We should hall be demanding that the Trump administration do what the Obama administration would not, that is, demand the return of our fellow citizens. The media should be leading this demand ~ instead, they are obsessing over whether or not an assistant AG will recuse himself from an investigation that has become a political vendetta.

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 20, 2017 9:50 am

      Speaking of the media, this is just appalling, and speaks to the lack of sanity and balance that is animating our political discourse:

      “Watch whiteness work. He wasn”t a “kid” or “innocent” you can’t go to another country and try to steal from them. Respect their laws.” (excerpted in NR, from Affinity Magazine

      Again, the people that write of “white privilege” are the same people that support sanctuary cities, but they apparently do not see the irony in claiming that Otto Warmbier deserved to die for supposedly stealing a poster, while simultaneously claiming that illegal immigrants should not be prosecuted or deported for sneaking into our country, and accepting taxpayer benefits.

      I was somewhat heartened today to read the SCOTUS has reaffirmed the right of free speech as written in the First Amendment (8-0, Gorsuch did not participate) in a decision that stated that offensive and/or hateful speech is protected by the Constitution.

      • June 20, 2017 12:32 pm

        Priscilla, I am appalled by the treatment of this young man and what happened to him and the lack of support from our country to get him and others back when they were jailed.

        But I am just as appalled by the stupidity of Americans that travel to North Korea, Iran, Venezuela and other countries where the dictators hate America and will do things like this to make us look bad and get at America. In that respect, I can not feel all that bad since he made the choice to travel to this country knowing what was possible.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 20, 2017 3:49 pm

        You can feel bad, and still note stupid behavior.

        Texting while driving does not mean you deserve to die. But it still could be the result.

      • Roby permalink
        June 20, 2017 1:20 pm

        “But I am just as appalled by the stupidity of Americans that travel to North Korea, Iran, Venezuela and other countries where the dictators hate America and will do things like this to make us look bad and get at America.”

        I 110% agree. If someone is stupid and reckless enough to go to N. Korea, then I have other, actually more worthy, people to spend my sympathy on, the many many people who experience tragedy without doing anything wrong.

        Travelling to N. Korea where you can easily be kidnapped and used politically just puts American lives and objectives at risk. Iran and Syria too.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 20, 2017 7:28 pm

        Otto is no hero.

        He is a stupid kid who made a small mistake with horrible consequences.

        Absolutely it is unwise to go to north korea.

        But we have to be a bit careful about the blame the victim stuff.

        He did not torture himself.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 20, 2017 3:47 pm

        Warmbler was a stupid kid. But he did not deserve to die.

        Forget the stealing smart people do not go to north korea.

        My son is Traveling to Japan this summer. IT nearly took violence to get him to fly west rather than east – through Turkey.

        In all probability he would have passed through the airport in istanbul unharmed.

        But who choses to fly through one of the most dangerous airports in the world – when there are easy alternatives.

      • Roby permalink
        June 20, 2017 7:58 pm

        “Again, the people that write of “white privilege” are the same people that support sanctuary cities, but they apparently do not see the irony in claiming that Otto Warmbier deserved to die for supposedly stealing a poster, while simultaneously claiming that illegal immigrants should not be prosecuted or deported for sneaking into our country, and accepting taxpayer benefits.”

        The “they are all the same as the worst example” argument.

        I doubt that 0.01% of even campus lefties believe that Otto deserved to die. One idiot said that, a few other idiots probably agreed. Now its all the white-privileged rhetoric people (i.e., the campus left) who think that. I know those people, I find their rhetoric stupid and obnoxious. I find them stupid and obnoxious too. But the idea that they all believe that Otto deserved to die is also grotesque.

        And you were angered for example by the Dem argument that GOP legislators want to take people’s healthcare away.

        You do the same gross misrepresentation trick every chance you get. And it gets me going in turn every time. We can go on like this forever. (this comment has been edited to be less pointy).

      • dhlii permalink
        June 21, 2017 12:41 am


        It is not one idiot that is saying these things.

        This is the point I am trying to make to you about your nonsense of some kind of moral equivalence.

        Mr. Hodgkinson is not the same as some actual white supremist.
        Though honestly it is getting ever harder to find good examples of white supremist violence and harder to call white supremists “right”.

        Regardless, Hogkinson is particularly scary because he was not way on the fringes of the left.

        Larry Wilmore is not Terry Jones. Salon is not the West Minster Baptist Church.
        The Huffington post is not the KKK.

        I have no doubt that for every bit of left wing idiocy you can find a matching bit purportedly on the right.

        But you have to go to the far far far right – to people no one has ever heard of, or at most are famous solely because they are on the far far far right and relibaly do stupid things,

        Those spewing nonsense and hate on the left are quite often mainstream, prominent, policy makers and celebrities.

        BTW how is the Demo argument that GOP legislators want to take away peoples healthcare EXACTLY the same thing ?

        Your counter example is not COUNTER.

        It is just another example of the idiocy and extremism of even the purportedly moderate left.

        PPACA costs us about 1.6T/decade. It has done nothing to alter healthcare outcomes.
        We have been through that debate before. In ADDITION to costing 1.6T it has also raised healthcare and health insurance costs – sort of a double whammy.

        If there was a magic wand to give people free healthcare at no actual cost – no one would oppose it.

        But there is not.

        All choices come at a cost. PPACA is all cost and no actual benefit.

        The argument of the left is exactly the same on health insurance – it is that if you are one of those who were hurt by PPACA – then shut up – unless you are a minority or interest group.
        Otherwise suck it up and pay to do nothing of any benefit for others while being screwed yourself.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 21, 2017 12:48 am

        Lots of people on both sides of politics are making false representations about immigrants and about free trade.

        I challenge those misrepresentations whether they are coming from the right or the left – moogie or Trump – who are oddly frequently spouting the same economic nonsense.

        Stupid is not limited to one political party.

        But too many of your arguments are either of the form

        REpublicans are stupid about X, Democrats are entitled to be Stupid about Y.

        Or The Left(or right) position on some issue is stupid, therefor the right(or left) position must also be stupid and we should compromise.

        Absolute truth may not be knowable – but truth with an extremely high probability quite often is.

        It is possible to reject the poor policies of each party, make wise choices – and not ever pick a compromise position.

        One many issues we either know or can know the wrong answers.

      • Roby permalink
        June 21, 2017 9:11 am

        “It is not one idiot that is saying these things.
        This is the point I am trying to make to you about your nonsense of some kind of moral equivalence.”

        Dave, there are some subjects on which I may read something you wrote because it might be interesting and not wildly off. But, on the subject of left and right, rest assured that you are free to write an entire encyclopedia and I will not get past the first sentence or two of one or two of your multitude of posts as I skim over everyone’s posts.

        Your opinion on the left is of zero interest to me, you have an extreme phobia of anything left, whether its the extreme left or mildly liberal, you are simply hysterical about any form of left and ready to believe anything about us. Priscilla has this phobia too, so you two can have a joint anti-left party as much as you want, but you guys have no chance of persuading me to join you in believing that the left in any form is one big moral and practical disaster that must be and will be stopped. We need both the left and the right, they continue to exist in various forms over human history because they are based on deep human needs. That is my stable conviction and you are not going to change it.

        You say you fear the right too but its very rare to find you passionately angry with even actions from the right that go completely against the principles you have articulated here. You think the right is going to deconstruct government so they get a pass on your anger and commentary. I just consider your opinions on left and right as being warped, extreme, and uninteresting by this point.

        I know, you are writing for your own pleasure. You may as well just address your own self explicitly in your post address to me, because you are the audience.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 21, 2017 11:23 am


        You make my point.

        You see the left and right as somehow approximately equivalent – or the right as worse.

        Yet, there are no moral equivalences.
        I expect that both the left and the right will be held accountable.
        That they will be held accountable by the law – where appropriate,
        or by our moral condemnation where the law does not apply

        You are unwilling to do either regarding the left.
        You are not in the real world.

        And another 100,000 words is not going to change that.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 21, 2017 11:53 am

        It should be self evident that I am a proponent of limited government. That morality rests on individual liberty and that government beyond a few justifiable purposes is immoral.

        My major criticism of the right would be that off and on they pay lip service to those principles.

        The right is an untrustworthy ally to libertarians. The right relies on libertarians for much of their intellectual arguments. But ultimately republicans will find nearly any excuse to not do the right thing.

        Conversely there is no argument with regard to the left. They will just plain flat out do the wrong thing – pretty much always. Even when they approach issues – such as the actual rights of minorities – they are completely driven to persue the right goal int he most totally wrong destructive, illogical, immoral way possible.

        Trump is a tremendous conundrum to me.
        In the event that Rand Paul or Gary Johnson had somehow miraculously been elected in 2016 – I do not think either would have as effectively been able to take steps to reign in government as Trump has. Trump doesn’t even pretend to be libertarian.
        But to the extent that it is politically possible for libertarains to get what they want from the federal government – Trump may well be the best that is actually possible.

        If he continues to slash the federal government in the way that he has started, he may prove to be the most deregulatory president ever. That may not be near what I want. But it is still the best I am likely to get.

        I have further noted – that Trump is also the closest thing that I have seen in my lifetime to a president that actually tries to keep the promises that he made in the campaign.

        We have those like you, the media, the left, democrats – constantly going “Liar, Liar, Liar”
        To the only president in my lifetime to make anything close to a serious effort to do as he promised.

        So who has integrity – the person who keeps their commitments – even the ones you wish they did not ? Or those who feel our pain, and do nothing they promised – and mostly do not even try ?

        You keep telling me how untrustworthy business is, and how trustworthy government is.
        Yet Trump is quite clearly demonstrating that the opposite is true.

        I still do not like Donald Trump. But increasingly I trust him. Not necescarily to do what I want. But to do what he says he will do. That makes him a unicorn among politicians.

        What is it that I am supposed to be afraid of with respect to Trump or republicans that is worse than Democrats ?

        I think this republican PPACA replacement is a stupid disaster.
        But it is a less stupid disaster than PPACA.
        I still hope it fails – and that we either repeal PPACA and start over (or do nothing),
        or let PPACA fail and then repeal it.

        But I can not see the passage of the GOP plan to be near is evil as PPACA.

        So how is it that I am supposed to judge the right harshly ?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 21, 2017 11:56 am

        Since you insist on playing this bizarre moral equivalence game

        How about telling me what harmful actions of the right are actually in the same scale as those of the left ?

    • June 20, 2017 12:55 pm

      Priscilla, One thing that I think would go along way to help with the political discourse we are now witnessing is for SCOTUS to rule against states that have gerrymandered their districts to insure party reelection. In North Carolina it started in the early 90’s when the 12th district was created due to one new member being added.(The 12th has since changed but is still minority) Based on Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act that prohibited the dilution of voting power of minorities by distributing them among districts so that they could never elect candidates of their choice, this district (and one other) was created. It meandered from Charlotte to Durham (almost 100 miles) following Interstate 85 and in some places was no wider than interstate 85 so the areas of population was contiguous. What that began, as in other states that did the same thing, was to create much more liberal districts and conservative districts while eliminating the “moderates” from each party from running since they no longer could attract voters from each party to win.

      Since the early 90’s when this began as a way to offer minorities a voice in congress, parties have become much more adept at drawing lines for both state and federal districts which has led to a much more far left or far right representation in all areas of government.

      If SCOTUS will rule (which I doubt they will with the makeup of the court now) against the states and come back with a ruling that supports much more justifiable lines for districts where roads or natural geographical divides create the districts, then that would create more moderate districts where moderate candidates would be elected and over the years a much more moderate leadership would come to pass.

      It is not hard to create a computer program that divides the states into a specific number of districts where the population is divided somewhat equally and the lines must be a given length that would end up creating much more “block: like districts. What is hard is for parties to create districts based on racial makeup and try to include enough individuals from another race to make it look like they were doing something other than what they were doing.

      • Roby permalink
        June 20, 2017 1:24 pm

        Triple Amen. A sweet dream for moderates. Safe districts are a disaster for democracy. There are going to be some, of course, but our extreme situation is ridiculous and destructive.

        (17 unread posts from Dave later, which should take him a day or so, I will still agree with you on gerrymandering).

      • dhlii permalink
        June 20, 2017 7:44 pm


        You do realize that safe districts and a larger majority two goals of Gerrymandering that are mathematically incompatible ?

        You can do one – but not both ?

        If you want me to rail against the creation of safe districts – OK. Got that. It is wrong.
        It is corrupt,

        It also relatively self punishing – it diminishes the influence of the party in return for the safety of a few.
        IT also increases the number of districts that will end up represented by centrists – regardless of party.

        And finally it is a problem whose cure is worse than the disease.

        If you do not trust legislators to construct districts – why do you trust some other group that is somehow politically constructed.

        I get into this debate with my wife all the time regarding elected judges.

        Our judiciary today – at all levels from local courts through to the supreme court – is crap.
        Very few of these people are qualified to be district magistrates.

        Some states elect judges – this politicizes judges and tends to result in judges more right of center – not necescarily good right of center judges.

        Some states have panels of candidates prequalified by the bar presented to the governor, and often confirmed by the state legislature.
        This tends to get much more left leaning judges. But it does not improve the overall quality of the judges.

        If you come up with an actual means to redistrict that is actually neutral and non-partisan – great. I will beleive it when I see it.

        I have not seen any evidence that so called non-partisan or bipartisan commisions do anything any better than politicians.

        Worse they remove a later of accountability.

        While I oppose regulation in general – I beleive that the delegation of the authority to regulate from congress to the executive is unconstitutional.

        Whatever our laws – they must be enacted by the legislature. It is the legislature that is responsible for them. It is the legislature that is accountable for them.
        They can get advice from others – but legally binding decisions can not be delegated.

        The same is true of redistricting.

        If you beleive your legislature is corrupt – vote them out.

        Delegated power is not less corrupt, it is just less accountable.

        With respect to gerrymandering to gain a larger majority.

        Again self punishing.
        That will result in alternating wave elections were congress is changing hands constantly.

        The mere fact that one party has managed to maintain long term control almost uninterupted means that type of gerrymandering is NOT occuring – atleast not in consequence.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 20, 2017 7:45 pm

        Here is a recent study of gerrymandering by u of mich

      • dhlii permalink
        June 20, 2017 4:11 pm

        God not the ignorant gerrymandering nonsense again.

        First lets address the facts:

        The red/blue distribution of the house as well as statehouses is primarily the consequence of two things:

        The massive concentration of democrats in urban areas, and the legal requirement to create majority minority districts.

        In a bizarre coalition – Thomas plus the justices on the left, every case of race based redistricting has been struck down by the current Supreme court.

        I am not sure that is really what the left intended, but it is definitiely what Thomas intended.

        The results of those decisions will be a long term decrease in minority representation in congress and a very small increase in democrats.

        The free choice of democrats to concentrate in the cities is NOT something that SCOTUS should interfere with.

        As a consequence of their own concentration they control nearly all the urban centers of this country. That is reasonable. If you like the the policies of democrats – move to areas they control – like urban areas.

        I live in a realtively rural area and I get offended by democrats who move here for our low cost of living, low taxes and all the other amenities of our area, and then become politically active trying to change the very nature of the place they moved to.
        If you want the conditions of urban life – live in the city.

        Beyond those two factors, all other gerry mandering falls into two completely incompatible modes.

        Creating safe seats for the party elite. For most of US history even through today, this has been the predominant form of gerrymandering.
        With respect to the argument being made – the effect of this is to REDUCE party control of the house. Creating a safe seat for one member generally has two further consequences.
        It also creates safe seats for the other party, and then creates a few bitterly contested seats that could swing in every election.

        The other form of Gerrymandering – that is more recent and extremely dangerous, is trying to increase your parties majority.
        First you must have a majority to do it.
        Further the tradeoff for a larger majority is WEAKER majorities in each district.

        Moderates should actually favor that. Which would your prefer 200 solidly republican seats, 200 solidly democrat seats and 35 bitterly contested seats that typically yeild centrists regardless of party, or 100 solidly republicans seats, 100 solidly democratic seats and 235 seats that one party or the other has a 1-2 point advantage.

        That latter arrangement also produces the high probability of unstable wave elections where control fo congress swings radically from one election to the next.

        Regardless, MY point is that gerrymandering is mathematically constrained.
        It can not accomplish what you fear.

        It can not create a non-existant strong majority for a party that does nto have popular support greater than their majority. That is mathematically impossible.

        The recent left courts elimination of the race based preferences that they created, will likely allow us to return to the court mostly staying out of districting.

        No good can be served by further politicizing our courts.
        The elimination of racial prferences means the courts can return to the prior principles

        Requiring districts that strive to follow natural boundaries, that conform to political divisions within the population, and that are physically compact.

        Those are the only rules we need.

      • June 20, 2017 5:32 pm

        Dave, please tell me what this is if not Gerrymandering.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 21, 2017 12:01 am


        Did you actually read any of the link you sent ?

        Here is the political makeup of North Carolina in the past.

        Through to 2013 – the North Carolina house and senate w2ere controlled by DEMOCRATS.

        Your link merely notes the long disgusting history of race based redistricting.

        Through to atleast 2010 through out the US Race based rediistricting has been challenged by REPUBLICANS and supported by DOJ and DEMOCRATS.

        When Republicans slowly (and inevitably) started to gain control of souther state legislatures and governorships – suddenly we find the DOJ and DEMOCRATS – challenging the very gerrymandered districts they set up.

        What is most interesting is that suddenly when nearly the same districts are being challenged by the left instead of the right – the votes on the supreme court flip.
        EXCEPT ONE – Clarence Thomas, who has been consistently opposed to race based redistricting since joining the court.

      • Ron P permalink
        June 21, 2017 2:41 pm

        Dave, we have a complete failure to communicate. We both say things and it completely goes over our heads or we are not paying attention.

        “Through to 2013 – the North Carolina house and senate w2ere controlled by DEMOCRATS.”

        That was the WHOLE point of my comment!. As long as it is done in the name of racial representation, it is fine. Once the GOP does it, it is gerrymandering.

        That is why I am in favor of all states using unbiased companies with programs that do not take race into consideration when dividing up the population of a state and having them do the redistricting.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 21, 2017 3:21 pm


        I do not want to get into the democrat republican thing – except that we here have once again a left double standard.

        The left and DOJ fought for exactly the racially discriminatory redistricting that they are now fighting against.

        Republicans and conservatives are far from perfect,
        but this nonsense about – something is bad, or hateful or …. only if Republicans do it, completely destroys the lefts credibility.

        How is the exchange below not far from what the left HOPES they can find Trump having said to the Russians ?

        As he was leaning toward Medvedev in Seoul, Obama was overheard asking for time — “particularly with missile defense” — until he is in a better position politically to resolve such issues.

        “I understand your message about space,” replied Medvedev, who will hand over the presidency to Putin in May.

        “This is my last election … After my election I have more flexibility,” Obama said, expressing confidence that he would win a second term.

        “I will transmit this information to Vladimir,” said Medvedev, Putin’s protégé and long considered number two in Moscow’s power structure.

        The exchange, parts of it inaudible, was monitored by a White House pool of television journalists as well as Russian reporters listening live from their press center.

        Aparently there are several instances in 2016 in which Pres. Obama publicly stated that Clinton had not done anything wrong.

        Below is one.

        “I continue to believe [Hillary Clinton] has not jeopardized America’s national security,” the president said. “There’s a carelessness in terms of managing emails that she has owned and she recognizes. But I also think it is important to keep this in perspective.” (Associated Press)

        In atleast one instance the FBI was extrermely upset – because they were in the middle of the investigation and had not determined any such thing yet.
        The FBI considered Obama’s statements as deliberate interferance in their job.

        So again how is Trump’s purported remarks to Comey worse ?


        The Clinton investigation started in July of 2015, and aside from the Weiner sideshow was completed by June 2016.

        The Trump investigation was underway in July of 2016 though we do not know how far along. It is June 2017.

        The Clinton investigation was more difficult – there fas far more to go through, and there was alot actually found.

        The Trump investigation is really quite simple – did Trump and or surogates meet at the times that The Steele Dossier or other allegations report.

        We already know that most of those alleged meetings did not take place – the parties involved were obviously somewhere other than where they were alleged to be when the alleged meetings allegedly took place.

        Either the FBI has found a connect of substance – or they should be way past done.
        Even if they found some contact – it should be far easier to check out a meeting or two than something over 100,000 emails.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 21, 2017 3:25 pm

        How is it you plan on hiring this “magical” unbiased company ?

        And what criteria are you going to provide this algorithm.
        Because I can take any criteria you come up with and argue pro or con on it.

        There is no objective criteria.

        The left is actually celebrating the recent NC redistricting case – because they beleive that they can now argue that redistricting mus be completely neutral with regard to party.

        i.e. that is a state is 60/40 that every single district must be 60/40.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 21, 2017 12:22 am

        The question is not whether it is gerrymandering.
        Of course it is.

        The question is whether it is legal/constitutional.

        If you read your own link the entire debate is about RACIAL gerrymandering.
        Since the VRA the DOJ and SCOTUS have not merely supported – but required those engaged in redistricting to create minority majority districts.
        Sometimes this is not hard. Sometimes it is quite difficult.
        It is particularly difficult if you have multiple minority majority districts to craft.

        Through to just recently SCOTUS has vascilated between permitting and requiring racially gerrymandered districts.

        Today is it increasingly evident to the left that racial gerrymandering probably costs democrats a handful of seats in the house.

        That fact has caused the justices on the left to flip on Racial Gerrymandering.

        If you actually read the decisions in the cases cited in your article – you will find 30+ years of the left justices – such as Stevens supporting Racial Gerrymandering.

        Today, a majority was made OPPOSING racial gerrymandering – from the left justices plus Thomas.

        Hopefully this is the end of racial gerrymandering.

        As to gerrymandering to get safe seats – I oppose that.
        Or to gain larger majorities at the cost of making more seats competitive – I oppose that too.

        But greater than my opposition to either of those – is my opposition to giving the courts a significant role in redistricting.

        That is destructive to the courts themselves.
        And it fixes nothing.

        There is no concrete definition of what “fair” is in redistricting (or anything else).

        I can concoct a computer programs that will impliment my personal definition of “fair” or non-partisan.

        But others will have no problem challenging it.

        Democrats STILL concentrate heavily in the cities.
        This gives them near total control of urban governments accross the US.
        But that control and concentration comes at a cost – it means that they are less likely to control the state house, senate and the majority of the state congressional seats in purple pink or red states.

        There are myriads of reasons why carving districts out that are a mix of urban/suburban/rural to purportedly more evently divide the political power of the state is arguably WRONG.

        Voters in different areas within the state do NOT share the same concerns.

        You are upset because of the ludicrously uncompact natures of the NC 12th.

        Why are compact districts a good thing ?

        Is it important that we group together all the trees in a state ?

        Essentially what is the real basis for any rules regarding redisticting ?

        Why should districts be compact ? Do we really care what political maps look like ?
        Why should districts be conform to geographic boundaries – are ridges and rocks and rivers important ?

        The entire basis for any constraints on redisticting is PEOPLE.
        The reason for all of the rules is the hope to get people with shared values and interests together.

        Otherwise – why have districts at all ?

      • June 21, 2017 2:44 pm

        And reading the first 1/2 of your post, is that not what I said about NC creating a couple minority districts in the early 90’s and insuring that 10 others were safe GOP seats, where in the past that was not the case for some of them and more moderate candidates had to run to get elected.?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 21, 2017 3:39 pm

        I am trying to make sense of your response.

        The GOP did not take over the NC house and senate until 2013 I beleive.

        Whatever was done in 1990 was done by democrats.

        Regardless – if party X controls the state 51/49 and gets to redistrict.
        And there are say – 25 seats, and it creates 10 “safe seats” – say 60/40 is safe.
        It the remainder of the population is evenly split by party, the remaining 15 seats will be 55/45 AGAINST party Y

        basically for every safe seat Party Y creates it LOOSES 1.5 seats
        The safer it makes the seats the greater the imbalance.

        The only way to “restore” the situation is to create 10 safe seats for the other party.

        No matter what you do Safe seats MUST do one of two things – create a large number of either moderate seats or seats for the other party.

        Alternately the party in power can try to maximize its control of seats.
        In theory – if it allocated all districts 51/49 it might win all 25 seats.

        But if the day before the election the president – a member of Party Y was caught with has pants down in the oval – then a 2% swing would throw the entire state to the other party.

        Ultimately there is absolutely no arragement of 25 seats in any state with any party ration that I can not argue is “gerrymandered”.

        Every single means of allocating favors something.
        There is no “correct” arrangement.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 20, 2017 4:24 pm

        The computer program you immagine has been created in many permutations.

        Using the one additional constraint of requiring minority majority districts – which the right has sought for decades to end and the left has finally struck down, these programs did not result in districts with significantly different outcomes.

        There have been studies that have been able to produce different outcomes – though not very large differences.
        These require, disregarding natural boundaries, disregarding distinctions such as urban, suburban, and rural, disregarding contiguity and minimizing boundaries.

        When you do all of the above you can possibly swing the house 14 seats nationwide.

        Regardless, the last thing we want is the court blessing a specific computer program.

        I would note that redistricting is going to be a politically corrupt process NO MATTER WHAT.

        While I have no problems with states having independent commissions – that is not a solution either.

        Districting is going to be heavily politically charged.

        The good news is that the objective of creating safe seats for powerful representatives, is at odds with the goal of increasing ones majority.

        And the goal of increasing one’s majority creates large amounts of political volatility.

        Regardless, we want non-politicians – particularly our courts to have as little involvement in this politically corrupting process as possible.

        This is little different from court involvment in recounts.

        We have tried using the courts and election officials to handle recounts.
        Regardless of whether you agree with the outcome or not the process is corupt and corrupting.

        Many states require a runnoff when the vote is withing the margin of error – rather than a recount. That is a far better solution.

    • Roby permalink
      June 20, 2017 1:11 pm

      “The media should be leading this demand ~ instead, they are obsessing over whether or not an assistant AG will recuse himself from an investigation that has become a political vendetta.”

      After the “throw her in jail convention” no conservative can credibly complain about political vendettas. Or, they can complain, but will find sympathy only from other conservative true believers from the conservative fact universe. In my universe I say what goes around comes around.

      Who says the media can’t cover both Korea and the assistant AG? Its a false dilemma. You don’t like the investigation and want it to evaporate for any reason. Its not going to happen. trump created this, only trump can stop it. The media coverage of the assistant AG comes because the POTUS is pathologically addicted to insanely childish tweeting, including on this issue. So its a story. Have it out with trump, he fuels it all.

      Political vendettas are business as normal, take, for example the perpetual inquisition of the Clintons. Yes, they deserved a lot of it, sure. ANd trump deserves his as well. You just don’t happen to like this one. It would be fine with you if it were directed at a democrat.

      I agree wholeheartedly with the idea that things are getting ugly and out of hand but if Daniels singled out the resistance to trump without noting the new low natured and disgusting behaviors that trump, his followers, and the “throw her in jail convention” brought to us, then he is just complaining one sidedly and thus, participating, which is not actually helping. So I call would hypocrisy and yawn if the resistance is his target.

      Speaking, for the lack of anyone else here to do it, as a sort for representative of the liberal world, sure, some of us would like to play much nicer, more cooperatively. We’ll be glad to start when your side, whose behavior has been incredibly obnoxious and unhelpful for many years, starts playing nice. Yes, there are sides, have been forever. Trying to find some kind of moral high ground from which to shut down criticism of trump is a failure from the get go. There is no way in hell that the right has the moral high ground. Both teams constantly play nasty. Would that it were a different world. This is what democracy looks like, its ugly. In Russia they shut it down, worse in China and worse still in N. Korea. I’ll live with our mess knowing the alternative is authoritarian govt. Which or POTUS does seem to be an odd fan of.

      I cannot say this strongly enough: the idea that one team is better behaved than the other is pure bullshit and is actually just one of the expected weapons in the continuation of the perpetual war. This absurd idea is far from being a white flag of truce and an attempt to parlay.

      Despite that, I am sure that you are absolutely sincerely sick of the present state of affairs, as am I.

      You know how I will know that some side is sincere about wanting a true change in behaviors? When they do what Ted Nugent did, confess their own sins and promise to change. If the Dems and Reps. ever do that en masse we might have something. The usual routine of pointing at the other side and complaining is the opposite of helpful. Yes, I see the irony as I write this, didn’t I just do that (complaining about the other side) energetically myself above, I am not disarming unilaterally. Human nature.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 20, 2017 5:52 pm

        I find it odd that as far as you are concerned all political disagreements are somehow equal.

        Clinton committed a crime. That is not in dispute – even Comey confirmed that.

        We can argue whether it was a prosecutable crime or how serious it was.
        Ask Deutch or Petreaus wether careless handling of classified information is serious or not.

        The solution to the Clinton issue was trivial – she should not have run for office.

        I do not think I could have voted for Sanders, but there are many other democrats I could have voted for over Trump.

        With respect to Trump – I still do not like him.
        But whether I like him or not is not relevant.

        There is thus far unsupported allegations of misconduct that is arguably not criminal .

        There is legitimate grounds for a counterintelligence investigation of Russia’s involvement in the election.
        That is something that we should be doing constantly.
        But the same IC that tells us that it occured, has also told us that it was nto unusual and did not alter the outcome of the election.

        There is substantial reasons for doubting the Intelligence communities.
        But the dubious aspects do not change anything of consequence.

        Thus far there are allegations that people who had legitimate reasons to be meeting with Russians met with Russians over a 10 year period, that very few of those meetings were immediately prior to the election, and that most of the alleged meetings did not occur.

        That appears to be the entirety of any substance to any of this.

        Interestingly Comey in his testimony came very close to clearly stating that thus far in the investigation they have nothing.

        Further as this investigation has continued we have:
        Several Key Obama administration officials identified as participants in the unmasking of US persons – that has another name – spying on US persons – without a warrant.
        We have the Obama Administration violating even the tissue think FISA court constraints regarding searches of US persons thousands of times each year since 2012.
        We have The Obama administration bypassing the US Intelligence community to use foreign intelligence services to spy on US persons. An accusation that Trump apologized for making and then was subsequently proven true.
        We have AG Lynch coordinating the FBI investigation with the Clinton Campaign messaging. We have FBI Directory Comey holding his nose but cooperating.
        We have numerous leaks from Obama appointees that are either currently still serving or did serve, that are either false or violations of the law – and most likely a combination of the above.

        We do not in all instances know WHO committted a crime – I do not think we know who leaked the conversation between Kislyak and Flynn – but that clearly was an illegal release of classified information – signals intelligence is always highly classified.
        We have either a lie or a leak of the communications between Trump and Kislyak in the oval office. Presuming it was a leak – again this revealed classified information.

        We have an enormous amount to investigate – but none of it has anything to do with Trump.
        We have numerous actual crimes – that we are absolutely clear are crimes, even if we do not know who committed them.

        So how is this comparable to Clinton ?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 20, 2017 6:12 pm

        The clinton’s could trivially avoid political inquistion – their problems are driven by their conduct.
        Even Camile Paglia finds Bill Clinton’s orders of magnitude more mysoginist than Trump.

        Clinton operatives in the DNC did not need to sabatoge the Sanders campaign.
        Clinton did not have to run a pay for play scheme using the Clinton foundation and the US state department.
        She did not need to destroy evidence
        She did not need to violate the law and try to hide her actions from FOIA requiests.
        Neither she nor her husband needed to lie under oath.
        She did not need to push publicly a story about Benghazi that she knew was a lie at the time.
        She did not need to use her influence to assure that some nobody was imprisoned for producing a video no one saw that insulted muslims.
        She did not need to send and receive classified information over the internet – BTW this is not so trivial as it is portrayed. Classified information is not supposed to leave a SCIF.
        Computers on public networks are not allowed in SCIF’s

        Even had Clinton not used a private email server and transmitted these classified documents – often to uncleared parties using a .gov address – it STILL would have been a violation of national security laws.
        To send Classified documents over the internet they must be copied in some way from a secure system and removed from the SCIF – which is illegal.
        And that is all that Deutch and Petreaus did.

        The left is constantly accusing the rest of us of hating Obama – because he is black.
        I can only speak for myself.
        I like Pres. Obama personally – or atleast I did until after this election as I start to learn more about how corrupt his administration is – corruption typically flows from the head.

        Regardless, for the most part I opposed his policies and ideology – not all of them, but many.

        Even Bill Clinton – though I find his conduct towards women repugnant I mostly find likeable.

        But Hillary is a crook – and always has been.
        While there are debates about details of her misconduct during the Nixon impeachment – it is clear that even then there were DEMOCRATS very unhappy with Hillaries ethics.

        The Starr investigation drug on forever, primarily because Starr had no problems finding misconduct on the part of Hillary but until the blue dress had nothing on Bill Clinton.

        If the Clinton’s are broadly hated – they – particularly Hillary have asked for it.
        Even among democrats she has a reputation for being vengeful and holding long grudges.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 20, 2017 6:29 pm


        I am hard pressed to beleive there is an actual investigation.
        All there appears to be is a never ending news story that over time adds no substance to claims about Trump and at the same time comes up with ever more current and past misconduct by obama administration.

        I honestly do not want it to “go away”.

        I want it brought out into the light.

        What I do not want – which is what the left does want, is for it to drag our for years while never finding anything – because there is nothing there.

        Can you please tell me what part of this investigation is so hard that it was not over long ago.

        The NSA monitors all communications with Russian operatives that it is able to.
        Do you honestly beleive Clinton’s assertion that the Trump Campaign mastermined Russia’s handling of the information they found so as to maximize the damage – without leaving any traces that NSA has records of ?
        Do you beleive that the russians and Trump campaign were so adept at espionage – that even though they could not keep Flynn – the former head of the DIA from getting caught talking to Kislyak, that they managed to plot and plan with Putin for some 18months leaving no fingerprints at all ?

        Given that it is pretty evident at this time that Trump himself had no direct communications with Russians, do you beleive that however many others were involved they managed to plan and execute this grand conspiracy without leaving any fingerprints anywhere ?
        Do you beleive there is no a secretary or staffer who did not overhear something or plae a phone call or observe some suspicious conduct that would not have come forward by now ?

        It would be one thing if this just materialized yesterday. But it did not.

        The FBI, NSA, & CIA have been following Russia for ever. They have been following them with respect to this campaign for atleast 18 months.

        We have had lots and lots of leaks. The investigation leaks like a seive.
        But the leaks add nothing of substance – and most frequently turn out to be completely bogus.

        My view of this is simple – put up or shutup.

        I personally do not see any need for Mueller.
        But he is there – so be it.
        We now have half of Clinton’s lawyers investigating Trump.

        Give them 3 months to come up with something concrete or get closed down.

        Frankly I would not give them that, Because if there actually is anything – it should have long ago turned up.

        At the same time, I do want to know that real investigations are going on into the actual crimes that we know did occur.

        Thus far judged by what we hear our justice department is ignoring actual crimes and fixated on alleged crimes absent any evidence.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 20, 2017 6:32 pm

        So you tell me – given that the FBI has purportedly been on this for 18 months.

        What is it that Mueller is supposed to investigate that has not been investigated to death already ?

        When is it that the left is finally prepared to call it quits, give up the wishfull thinking and grasp that whatever other vile deed you may be certain Trump has done the evidence just is not there for this ?

        How long is it that you think the government should be able to investigate anything – without evidence ?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 20, 2017 6:40 pm


        What is wrong with asking to throw a criminal in jail ?

        You keep trying to sell this moral equivalence.

        Even Comey enumerated in detail Clinton’s criminal conduct.
        He merely declined to prosecute because he did not beleive she had the intent to commit a crime that does nto require intent – even though even the intent was self evident and Comey knows better.

        I find it out that James Comey is able to find criminal intention in Trump’s wishes, that something that Trump could have legally ordered, and yet finds no intention when Clinton’s own emails state that the purpose of the private mail server was to remove her government communications from the possession and control of government so they would not be subject to FOIA requests.
        That constitutes criminal intention.

        Why are you selling these ludicrously false moral equivalences.

        In october of 2016 polls found 53% of americans thought that the FBI should have indicted Clinton, and 70% of americans thought her handling of her government email was a factor they were going to weigh in their vote.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 20, 2017 6:51 pm

        How sanctimonious.

        Do you want those who violate your bizarre concept of moral purity to go to re-educatiuon camps and walk the streets engaged in self criticism ?

        Hopefully I have been clear in all of this that I am near absolute on Free Speach.

        I can ask those whose speach offends me to change – but I have no right to expect that to occur. Nor do I expect repentence from most of them. Whether left or right that is unlikely because most of them do not beleive they did anything wrong.
        And they did not do anything legally wrong – but some have certainly done things morally wrong.

        I will however judge people myself based on what they say – and how accurate it has been.
        And I will judge those who speak violence based on the degree to which what they say constitutes advocating violence and to the extent what they say is justifiable.

        Our founding fathers are famous for their rhetoric inciting violence.

        Are you condemning them ?
        I do not expect so. Why not ? Because their calls to violence were justified.

        It is not the use of violence in language that is immoral.
        It is the unjustified use.

        What is the justification of those on the left ?

        If there is an argument for the violent overthrow of our govenrment – make it.
        If there is an argument for a coup – make it.

        If you can not cite a compelling justification then I condemn your morality in direct proportion to the strength of your calls to violence.

        BTW I also find false moral equivalences morally repugnant too.

        If you beleive them – that brings your judgement into question.
        If you do not that brings your integrity into question.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 20, 2017 7:26 pm


        I doubt anyone is asking you to unilaterally disarm.

        I am asking you to look at the real world.
        To cease the false moral equivalences.

        To hold people responsible for their conduct – regardless of party.

        You want to impeach Trump ?
        Make the case to do so ?
        Again I have zero problems with House and Senate investigations.
        I have seen nothing criminal, and the political is decided by congress – as they answer to the voters for their conduct.

        I think the left wants a special prosecutor (and even to a lessor extent the right), to get them off the hook in the 2018 election.

        Sorry, absent credible evidence of a crime – no special prosecutor, and it is time to close down most of the FBI investigation.

        You keep trying to make this equivalence to Clinton.

        Here is James Comey’s statement in July 2016 regarding Clinton’s conduct.

        So you tell me – is this a “nothing burger” ?

        If Tillis is doing the same things as Clinton – is that ok with you ?
        Should we pardon the Petty officer who shared pictures of his steam plant with other sailors ? Or Deutch or Petreaus ? Or many others we have jailed for less ?

        I do not beleive that Clinton’s conduct regarding the DNC and Sander’s is criminal – but it is reprehensible – is that OK with you ?

        So how is a bunch of unsubstantiated allegations that are slowing being proven false the moral equivalent ?

        And why are you even arguing such nonsense.

        This is not and should not be my tribe/your tribe.

        This is not and should not be moral equivalences.

        absolutely Johnson likely engaged in similar conduct to Nixon.
        So what ? A burglary was committed – no one disputes that. And Nixon arranged to buy the silence of those arrested. That is actual obstruction of justice.
        There is no doubt about the facts.

        There is no tit for tat. No moral equivalences.

        A crime is a crime – whether committed by a democrat or a republican.

        Get a clue – Hillary does not get off, because Collin powell used an AOL account for half a dozen emails and did not get caught.
        She violated 18cfr793(f) and likely 18cfr793(e) as well as several other codes.
        (f) requires carelessness – not intent. If you do not like that – change the law.
        In the meantime it is a crime and many people have been convicted of it.

        Trump does not get off – because of Hillary.
        But you want me to convict him or his people of something.
        Bring me an actual crime and evidence.
        Thus far you have neither.

        There is no moral equivalence.

        Finally – my disagreement with Obama is over his policies – not with him personally.
        That is not hate.
        I disagree with some of Trump’s policies – fortunately mostly ones that are small or blocked or not being persued.
        I like Obama, I dislike Trump. But I probably agree with Trump on more than Obama.
        You and the left do not seem to be capable of that kind of discernment.

        I think the Left beleives Obama was hated – because there is no difference on the left between a dispute over policy and hatred.

        Inarguably the left hates Trump – I do not think most of them are even denying it.

        A guest on NPR today explained how Trump was a racist – why ? Because he advocated for a bunch of policies – most of which I agree with.
        Apparently believing that our govenrment must be color blind – that that is what equal protection of the law means – is racist. ‘

    • dhlii permalink
      June 20, 2017 3:40 pm

      Those who protested the Anti-Trump play in NYC were arrested.

      It is called civil disobediance and it is legitimate – presuming that you are willing to accept the consequences.

      The violence of the french resistance was in response to a lawless – meaning outside the realm of justifiable law, the Nazi’s were nothing if not copius lawmakers – regime that violently reduced individual liberty.

      Should Trump actually seriously infringe on our natural rights without recourse – the left (or anyone else) would be justified in responding with violence.

      The illegitmacy of the violence of the left today is for two independent reasons.
      Legitimate recourse exists
      Trump’s actions are not reducing individual liberty, they are arguably increasing it.

      That does not mean I am not wary of Trump. I did not vote for him, and I am deeply concerned by his authoritarian streak. But so long as it bends towards “deconstructing government” I will caustiously support it.

      Again the lefts efforts to impede trump – through the legislative and process are legitimate.
      I may not personally agree with them, but they are how our system was designed, and my only fault is that it should take super majorities to restrict freedom, and the mere absence of supermajorities to unrestrict freedom. But that is a structural design issue and I can not fault the left for exploiting every legitimate means of obstructing they can – even when I disagree,

      I have stated here repeatedly that legislative obstruction is legitimate.
      It is no less legitimate when done by democrats.
      In fact I count on democrats and some republicans to reign Trump in should that authoritarian streak turn towards reducing rather than increasing liberty.

      Nor do I have problems with people or congressmen contemplating impeachment.
      That is a political process. Congress can remove the president essentially for whatever reason it wishes – just as the President can remove the FBI director – or Special Prosecutor.

      Regardless those in congress talking impeachment – will be rewarded or punished by the electorate in 2018. That is the check on that.

      But the same conduct inside the executive is improper – and in most instances illegal.
      You need not like Trump to hold a job in the administration. But you are obligated to perform your jobs as directed. If you disagree with what the administration is doing:

      write congress

      What you may not do is impede. Only congress and the judiciary can legitimately do that, and only congress can do so politically.

      The final issue is the violence.

      Violent rhetoric concerns me because it tends to precede violent action.
      Regardless, I support free speach, but that does not mean I will not speak against the speach of another. Nor does it mean I am unafraid.

      I am also concerned about the actions and violence of the left, because unjustified violence has consequences.

      I think Black Live Matter (and the Obama administration), had the opportunity to improve policing in the US. There was some support on the right for reigning in many things. But they made the mistake on focusing on race to the exclusion of all other issues and of resorting to violence. They made things worse not better.

      The left risks the same more generally right now.

      Illegitimate violence justifies legitimate violence.

      And I worry that is where we are headed.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 20, 2017 3:42 pm

      I wish Trump well in dealing with North Korea. As I wished Obama well.

      He has done better in foreign policy by far than I would have guessed – and maybe the outcome you and I wish to see will occur.

      I suspect strongly that is more a question of negotiating skill than of ideology.

  40. Priscilla permalink
    June 20, 2017 10:54 pm

    I did read everyone’s replies, but I’m starting a new thread, because there’s no logical place for me to put my reply(ies)

    Roby, I grant you that both sides have contributed to the toxic political environment. And the “put her in jail” chant during the election campaign was less than civil. But Hillary remains out of jail, despite the President having the power to order an investigation of her.

    I criticized the shutting down of the anti-Trump play in Central Park by protesters. Peaceful protest is one thing, storming the stage is another. I don’t want to see the right sink to the level of the left, in terms of shutting down free expression. But in no way do I think that the right has been as guilty as the left in this regard. Paul Krugman can speak anywhere he wants ~ Charles Murray, not so much.

    As far as Warmbier: He was a college kid, who joined others on trip, run by an American company that promised to take them to places that most people never would have the opportunity to see. Did he make a bad decision in going to NK? Yes, but why did we allow companies to market themselves to young adventure seekers? The man who roomed with him in North Korea says that he does not think that Warmbier stole a poster or banner ~ certainly not at the direction of the American government, which is what he was forced to confess to. He says that Warmbier was a nice, polite kid. I doubt that he did anything. He was essentially abducted to be used as a political hostage.

    Ron, the gerrymandering situation is one that I don’t really understand. I need to read more about it, but I do know that it has become a significant problem, especially in some states.

    “Yes, I see the irony as I write this, didn’t I just do that (complaining about the other side) energetically myself above, I am not disarming unilaterally. Human nature.”

    Yep ~ human nature. We here are all very opinionated and often quite right. And often quite wrong. All of us.

    And, good heavens, don’t unilaterally disarm 😉

    • June 20, 2017 11:52 pm

      Priscilla, I can not address the total issue of redistricting since each state has its own issues. i have a friend that is a solid democrat that lives in Fresno California in the surrounding area. Every time they redistrict in California, he complains loudly because they keep carving out Fresno with a higher number of minority voters and put them in a district held by the incumbent since 1993. He lives just outside the city and that is where more conservative voters are represented and democrats have no chance to win, so they don’t even field a candidate in many elections.. If they used geographic lines, roads or countries, more conservative voters would be moved into fresno and the incumbent might not be so safe and the democrats might just get a moderate democrat elected (If there were moderate dems in CA).

      In North Carolina, the districts were basically counties lumped together until the early 90’s. With requirements of the voting rights act when NC gained a 12th district, the democrats in the state legislature decided to give minorities a better chance to gain representation in the house, so they identified much of the minority residential areas and created the “snake” that was hugely black. And it had been that way until the past elections without any complaints from anyone.

      In 2010, the GOP rewrote the districts and they became much more like those in the early 80’s. The 12th district was shifted down toward Charlotte, the areas running up through to Durham became parts of existing conservative districts and the democrats did not like the change, so they went to court and proved that the changes were due in part to race and it violated the voting rights act.

      My point: As long as the democrats did the gerrymandering in the 90’s, everything was fine. When the GOP tried to put some logic into the district, they had a cow.
      (Both the 1990’s 12th NC federal district and the 2010 district can be found by doing a search to see the difference).

      Take a look at Texas. Look at the districts that are represented by Democrats They make no sense at all. 9th, 15th, 18th, 25th, 29th, 33rd and 34th have no logical borders other than race.

      Now Dave will come back with multiple reasons why they make sense and how liberal voters moving to cities has created the redistricting we see, but I call BS on that given the way these districts snake all over the states. They are created the way they are for one reason only, and that is to give the ruling party more votes and isolate the minority party where more of their voters impact fewer districts.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 21, 2017 1:09 am


        The requirement for minority majority districts came from DOJ and SCOTUS’s interpretation of the VRA.

        While you are absolutely correct that Republicans after fighting that for decades finally did as they were told – and are now called racist because of that.

        To be clear the problem is not with republicans.
        It is with the left.

        The requirement to treat race as a factor in congressional districts came from the VRA, DOJ and SCOTUS – not republicans.

        I am happy to agree with you that the recent decision rejecting Racially defined districts is proper, and a long time in coming.

        I just find it hillarious that the sides have essentially flipped – except for Thomas.

        I have not read the decision. But I am concerned because I suspect it is NOT an outright repudiation of race based redistricting – Thomas did not JOIN – he concurred.

        If not this mess is not over.

        It is well past time for the courts to require that government choices must be made racially BLIND.

        Just to be clear I support private affirmative action.

        MEANING, I support the freedom of institutions that are not govenrment to make their decisions on any basis they wish.

        If a private college wishes to favor minorities – fine. If it wishes to discriminate against minorities – then protest it. That is the remedy.

        Nor do I limit this to race.

        The equal protection clause of the 14th amendment require the equal protection of the law.
        Our LAWS can not discriminate. Our government can not.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 21, 2017 1:25 am


        You are not very good at guessing my arguments.

        There is no such thing as “makes sense” regarding political districts.

        I would personally argue that districts should group similar people – though I would note that grouping rural people together is hard to distinguish from grouping minorities together.

        You make some geographic arguments. On the surface those make some sense.
        But more deeply – WHY ?

        Why does a river, road, some rocks determine the edge of a political district.

        Why even is compactness important ?

        I am not arguing for some specific basis for redistricting.

        I am arguing that there isn’t some constitutional or meaningful criteria for determining districts.

        There are no provisions in the constitution directing how congressional districts are to be layed out – beyond that each shoudl be roughly equal in population.

        I would argue that therefor the federal government and courts have no jurisdiction on that decision – beyond confirming the populations are about equal.

        I think there are bad ways to apportion districts – and better ways – but no right way, and no basis for the people of one state to impose their will on another in this regard.

        Though I do not think the effects of Gerrymandering are significant – and reputable studies have found the same.

        Gerrymandering does occur. But there is no way to remove politics from redistricting.

        Therefore my objective would be to see the redistricting done by the politicians who are then answerable to the people – rather than pretend there is some less political or less corrupt way of doing things.

        I accept that government is going to be corrupt – and seek to limit its power.

        You seem to beleive that perfection in government is acheivable.

        Regardless, if you actually want to impose some criteria on redisticting – amend the constitution.

        I would probably have no objection to a small set of fixed criteria.

      • June 21, 2017 2:57 pm

        “You seem to beleive that perfection in government is acheivable.”

        You must be out of your mind!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Government can not even pee their pants without filling them with #2. That is the reason that so much of what is happening today is so messed (I wanted to say something else) up.

        If most anyone was told to take their state and divide the population into geographic areas with about 700K people per district, (more or less depending on the states allocation based on total population), I bet that the districts would be much more “block” like areas and not snakes running through the state over 100 miles long and 10 miles wide.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 21, 2017 3:45 pm

        I will agree that if I was told to carve districts from my state of bout 720K people they would be blocks.

        But nowhere in the constitution does it say – districts should be blocks – or anything else about them.

        There is no constitutional right to a blocky district.

        There is no objectively correct criteria.

        I completely agree with SCOTUS’s rejection of Race – hopefully that will and the requirement for minorty majority districts.

        I think it is clearly unconstitutional to use any other 15th amemdment criteria.
        That is it.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 21, 2017 12:55 am


      I do not care much about Civil.

      Clinton should have been indicted in 2015.
      That would have been best for both parties and the country.

      I likely would have prefered almost any other republican but Trump.
      That does nto make most of them good choices.

      But we ended up with a choice between Trump and Clinton.

      And I have no problem with people chanting “put her in jail”.

      I have argued – and I do beleive that post election Obama should have pardoned her – and her staff, and having failed to do so that Trump should have.

      That would have been an effort to move on.

      But that did not occur – though as best as I can tell the Clinton investigation was not re-opened.

      At this point – if she wishes to continue to fan this ludicrous conspiracy theory.
      Then prosecute her.

      Nixon was smart enough to get out of the public Eye.
      Clinton should have learned from that.

      And the left shoudl have accepted LONG AGO – there is no there, there in this russia nonsense and let go.

      That has not happened. Nearly all those failures – are on the LEFT.

      There is no moral equivalence here.

    • dhlii permalink
      June 21, 2017 12:58 am


      No Gerrymandering is not a significant problem, pretty much anywhere.

      The paper I linked used computer models to demonstrate that given the rules the courts have imposed on redistircting, it is extremely hard for any state to shift its representation in the house by more than 1 vote, that in all likelyhood that has not happened in more than a handful of states and that on the whole democratic and republican adds balance or nearly do.

      The only significant gerrymandering issue – which was initiated by the left, and now finally ended by the left which hopefully has been finally put to bed.

    • Roby permalink
      June 21, 2017 9:19 am

      Priscilla, thanks for telling your story about your kids, its brave and it sheds light.

      Now, just consider that the lefty campus PC kids are in the same stage of semi-development where they have not as yet discovered their brains, and are rebels with or without a cause.

      They grow out of it, except a few don’t and become English or sociology professors and preach to the next generations. They behave like ill bred jackasses yes, its a stage. Give them the same room you give Otto or your son to be young and stupid and stop taking them so seriously.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 21, 2017 12:12 pm

        To a large extent I agree with you regarding youth on campus.

        But there are consequences to deciding that 20 somethings are immature and in a phase that they hopefully will grow out of.

        They are legally adults – they are treated as adults, they have the same rights as adults, the same powers and priviledges as adults and the same responsibilities as adults.

        And yet as you note – they are not really adults yet.

        Today they can vote – fortunately few do. I have a problem with the lefts constant – low information voters argument. But I do not think my kids were qualified to vote at 15.
        And I am pretty sure that those on our college campuses are not adequetely mature to vote at their current age.

        They have power on campus. Without the maturity to make decisions they are imposing the decisions that make on educational institutions.

        I expected the kind of conduct I see on college campus’s from my kids – when they were toddlers – and they were told – life is not fair – get over it.

        They certainly did not get molly coddled and given what they wanted.

        Who is doing that today ?

        I do not beleive that students on campus (or in public schools) are being taught the liberal western philosophy that is responsible for the dramatic increase in prosperity and standard of living for the world.

        Regardless. it the argument is that students on campus are still children – then they should have the power and rights or children.

        I see college as among other things a “safe space” to become an adult.
        That means having the freedom to engage in some of the debate that we are seeing.
        But it also means not controlling the outcome.

        I have no problems with protests against offensive speach on campus.
        I have problems with protestestors getting an actual veto of speakers.

        And I have a problem with protestors engaging in violence.

  41. dhlii permalink
    June 20, 2017 11:39 pm

    Some more on Warmbier and the left.

    I hope and expect we are not going to war over Otto.

    I hope and expect parents are telling their children the perils of minor infractions with totalitarian regimes.

    Scarier advice that I give my on children with regard to encounters with police –
    be respectful – even if they are not.
    Do as they direct you.
    But do not answer questions
    Ask for a lawyer repeatedly,
    And ask if you are free to go repeatedly.

    Rarely encounters with Police in the US end as Warmbier;s encounter with the DPRK.
    Ask Philando Castille – but you can’t.

    I am not looking to excuse Warmbier for the mistake of under estimating a totalitarian regime. But the consequence is not supposed to be death.
    Philando Castille under estimating his encounter with a all powerful police – with the same results.

    To the left – Otto is responsible for his own fate – after all he is a priviledged white male.
    While Castille bears no blame for his failure to anticipate the response of a police officer to the revelation that he legitimately had a gun.

    to the left one is a cause, the other a clown, both are dead. For the same reason.
    Both could have in a perfect world excercised better judgement.
    Neither asked to be killed.

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 21, 2017 8:15 am

      Dave, I think about myself at 20-21 years of age, which is how old Otto Warmbier was when his parents paid for his side trip to NK that he would take, before continuing to Hong Kong, where he planned to study abroad. At 21, I was a complete idiot, despite being “smart,” and made quite a few really bad choices that I somehow survived without getting killed, arrested or suffering some other really bad result. I had a couple of bad scares that convinced me to grow the hell up ( although, to tell the truth, I really didn’t “grow up” uintil I had became a parent).

      Twenty year-olds may be physically mature, but in our society, most of them are still “kids.” If I blame anyone for Warmbier’s ill-considered trip, it’s his parents, but I’m sure that they received assurances from Young Pioneers (the travel organization), that the 4 day trip to NK would be carefully managed and safe.

      I would like to think that I would never have allowed my kids to travel to NK, but, of my 3 children, two were extremely headstrong and persuasive, and may have convinced me. Although I doubt that they would have convinced my husband.

      In any case, I do not hold the Warmbier’s at fault for the fact that their son was abducted and killed ~ I pity them for being naive enough to believe that it couldn’t happen.

      By the way, you and your wife are very wise to have taught your kids how to behave with police. We did not, and when my youngest ~ a “rebel without a cause” as an adolescent ~was arrested at 22, he made things worse for himself, by resisting arrest, calling the cop who arrested him a m-f’er, and generally behaving like an ill-bred jackass. We got him a good lawyer, he avoided going to jail, spent many months at home in deep reflection, and has turned out to be a very mature, successful adult.

      Re: Philando Castile: I am shocked at the aquittal. My take is that the cop was very scared, and panicked. He didn’t intend to kill Castile, but he did, and some sort of conviction would have seemed inevitable. Castile even did the right thing by telling this guy that he had a gun and a permit. But, it didn’t save his life……….

      • dhlii permalink
        June 21, 2017 10:34 am


        I am not shocked at the Castille acquital.

        It is nearly impossible to criminally convict a police officer.

        Honestly I do not think that I could do so myself on a jury.

        That does not mean we do not have a problem, nor does it mean there are not solutions.

        While it may be impossible to convict a police officer of a crime for what is essentially the equivalent of criminally negligent homicide.

        It should not be nearly so hard to fire them.
        Nor should we have to wait for them to kill people.

        There enormous facets of all this.

        One is that crime on the whole (as of the “fergusseon effect” must qualifiy – outside of major cities) is declining – and has been for some time.
        Police violence is declining.

        We are becoming more sensitive to it because of the advent of massive public video recording that smart phones have enabled.

        The fact that it is declining – should not prevent us from addressing it.
        The fat that we now see what we could not befor should not prevent us from grasping that things are improving.

        Regarldess it needs to be much easier to terminate government employees for misconduct – teachers, police ….

        In my communitee we are constantly sending teachers to jail for consencual sex crimes with students.

        This is total nonsense. A 25 year old teacher having relations with a 17 year old student is a reason to FIRE them – not jail them.

        But it is actually easier to arrest convict and jail a teacher for such things then to fire them.

        To a lessor extent the same occurs with respect to Police.

        My wife defended an officer for some sexual misconduct charge – that he was near certainly not guilty of. But the officer was really being prosecuted for having bungled a case that received national attention.
        Regardless, the officer was not a “good guy”, there are lots of reasons he should have been terminated long ago, and possibly some reasons he should have been jailed – but not the one he was charged and convicted of.

        Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
        Who watches the watchers ?

        We are not likely to convict police of wrong doing.

        But we need to atleast be able to fire the bad apples.

        One of the things about firing people – is that there need not be a presumption of innocence.
        We can fire someone because they MIGHT not be a good officer.
        We can not jail them over what MIGHT be true.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 21, 2017 11:13 am


        Sorry about your son.

        Your son may have been entirely in the wrong. It is also possible that he just bumped into one of the far too numerous officers who will screw over anyone who does not kowtow and give them the respect they demand whether they deserve it or not.

        While in law school my wife interviewed a local police chief – a retired captain from the Phila police, on police chases.

        He was older and fairly talkative and the interview went fairly far afield.

        But he gave us much the same advice as we now give our kids.

        Essentially he said that if you piss off a police officer – and they are human like the rest of us, some are good, some are bad, some are just having a bad day.
        That every officer can take any police encounter are ratchet it up to an assault charge it they want to.

        If the officer shoves you – and you shove back – that is resisting.
        It is also simple assault if they want to be difficult.
        In my state there is no such thing as simple assault of a police officer – so shove a cop back at a traffic stop and you are now facing an aggrevated assault charge – that is a very serious felony.

        I definitely worry about that with regard to my kids.

        I would also note – these are not things we should have to teach our kids.
        The police are not supposed to be the threat to our lives and future.
        They are there to serve us.

        In every police encounter – the officer is supposed to be the trained professional – with experience. The ‘civilian” is in a high stress situation that is very unusual for them – that they have no experience in. It should be expected that people who are innocent – or not guilty of anything consequential are not necescarily going to be at their best.

        Getting pulled over for speeding should result in a speeding ticket – not aggrevated assault charges.

        I would further note – that if your child was a minority the odds of the offense getting escalated are even higher.

        Police are very important to us. They do an extremely necescary job. I have lots of friends who are police or who are involved in policing. They are good people – but they make mistakes too – and when a police officer makes a mistake – even small ones – other people suffer.

        I hope the best for your son. BTW telling your kids all of this is no guarantee either.
        It is just about all that we can do as parents.

        I also worry about my kids because of my own example.

        I am libertarian – I have been temperamentally libertarian my entire life without knowing it.
        I am hardwired to respond negatively to imposed authority.
        I have had my own encounters with police – as a young adult and even now.

        I only managed to get out of my 20;s without your son’s problems because:
        I have a very widely known reputation as someone who would never do anything wrong.
        I was a young pasty white male stereotypical nerd wimp
        I wore dress clothes most of the time when I was young.
        It was quite obvious I was upper middle class at the time.

        Absent these things – I likely would be in your sons shoes.

        Even today it is beyond my ability to grasp that you can not win an argument with a police officer.
        The good news today is that:
        I am still a white male.
        I am now in my late 50’s with gray hair.
        Had I known how huge the effect of gray hair was on police – I would have dyed grey streaks into my hair in my 30’s.

        Now I do not get to argue with the police much.

        They pull me over and tell me to slow down and let me off with a warning before I get to open my mouth.

        My kids have seen me successfully stand up to police officers when they were wrong.

        While there are good parts to that message – there are also bad ones.
        It is unlikely my 18 year old Korean son would be able to do the same.

        I can get angry and remain articulate – though people do not notice that you are making good arguments when you are angry – but I am completely NOT physically threatening.
        Both in my manner and just my physique.

        My son is a black belt in marshall arts and looks it.
        While he is not physical – he looks more physically threatening than I do.

        And these things do matter. The shouldn’t, but they do.

        And I know other parents who have provided their kids the same advice my wife and I have – and their kids have ended up in worse conditions than yours.

        This is one of the problems with life – it applies to many of the arguments I make here.

        Life is not perfect. It is not fair. There is lots of randomness.

        Whether it is police encounters or free markets – there is alot that you can do to weigh conditions to get the most favorable outcome – and MOSTLY that works.
        And sometimes an angel pees int he barrel of your gun.

        Bad things happen to good people. Merit, hard work, responsibilty, honesty matter.
        Mostly they work. But sometimes random chance screws you over.
        You get pulled over by the truly bad cop – who is having an extra bad day.

        And sometimes random chance works the other way.

        Random chance does NOT change the rules or principles that we should operate by.

        But it does mean that you can not expect perfection – even if you do everything right.

        Probably what scares us most about our kids – is wondering how we got out of youth ourselves without ending up in jail, or dead.

    • June 21, 2017 2:58 pm

      Yep, and we would be the brain dead millennials instead of the ones today.

  42. dhlii permalink
    June 21, 2017 1:59 am

    These are examples of just tiny benoficial inovations that have occured with the smallest amount of additional freedom is a tightly regulated market

  43. dhlii permalink
    June 21, 2017 2:00 am

    Some news to cheer Moogie up

    Wages are finally starting to rise – twice as fast as during the Obama administration.

  44. dhlii permalink
    June 21, 2017 2:03 am

    Some examples of why outsourcing just does not work as you think it does.

  45. dhlii permalink
    June 21, 2017 2:05 am

    More on the wonders of regulation

  46. dhlii permalink
    June 23, 2017 2:37 pm


    The FBI has just pronounced that Hodgkinson

    Acted alone
    was not politically motivated,
    was not a terrorist
    did not target republicans
    and did not act with premeditation.

    Given that even the media has conceded most of these points – doesn;t this bother you ?

    As a practical matter – Hodgkinson is dead and the event is over. The FBI investigation and conclusions are near meaningless.

    That said the willingness of the FBI to engage in this kind of willfull blindness should raise huge questions about the FBI, and federal law enforcement and investigation.

    It should be obvious from these conclusions – why there is/was no serious investigation of any wrong doing during or by the Obama administration.

    Louis Lerhner, Samantha Powers, Susan Rice and anyone else engaged in left motivated misconduct is safe from prosecution – because the FBI is willfully blind to anything on the left.

    This result should explain why the Clinton investigation was always proforma and never any serious threat to democrats.

    With Republicans in control of the house, the senate, and the whitehouse the left still controls so much of the government that the election of republicans is nearly meaningless.

    You wish to say that somehow things are equal
    The FBI has no problems identifying terrorists – if they are not on the left.

    The FBI did everything to whitewash Hodgkinson – short of finding him innocent and charging the capitol police with his murder.

    Now can you understand why many in this country see systemic bias against them and their political views.

    There are bad things done by those on the left and the right.

    But there is no balance. The left, the press and the government can not even recognize most misconduct on the left.

  47. dhlii permalink
    June 23, 2017 3:03 pm

    Here is an excellent article on what is wrong with PPACA – and the Republican replacement.

    To those here who like PPACA – the most fundimental flaw is that it is designed to fail – as is the Republican plan.

    All purchasing decisions require making difficult choices. Whether those decisions are made individually – or by the government for you.
    There is no free lunch. The only magical arrangement EVER that has consistently provided more value at consistently lower costs – is free markets. Nothing else has EVER done so. But even in markets people still have to make tough decisions.

    As Williamsone notes – the swiss – and every other developed country in the world that delivers “universal” healthcare – does so using rigid rules that have teeth – and most of those rules affect the people NOT the health care industry.

    Obama introduced the concept of magic to health insurance.
    Republicans though reducing the necescary levels of magic are still sticking to the “magic” expectance.

    There is no magic.

  48. dhlii permalink
    June 25, 2017 3:05 am

    The left is so obviously clear thinking, tolerant and never jumps to conclusions without evidence.

  49. dhlii permalink
    June 25, 2017 5:22 pm

    Nearly if not ever allegation regarding the Trump/Russia collusion comes from the Steele Dosier.

    The article below is a fairly complete examination of it.

    I have zero problems with Clinton or Bush or Trump or whoever conducting Oposition research.
    I do not care if the Steele Dossier is a fraud. The veracity of Opo research – and the consequences of using fabricated Opo research fall on the private actors seeking it.

    I do not care if the media stupidly relies on an repeats such nonsense.

    Where this becomes a major problem is when the Federal government starts paying for and relying on Opo Research. The fact that the FBI may have paid for the Steele dossier, and that it circulated inside government as intelligence is damning of the prior administration.

    Lets put this into a clearer context.

    When Obama was running for re-election,
    could he use NSA, CIA, …. to conduct Opo Research on Romney ?

    Could his campaign have hired an outside firm to do so ?
    Could his campaign feed information to CIA, FBI, NSA ?
    Could CIA, NSA. … have paid for Opo research initially funded by the Obama Campaign ?
    I can go on from here – but hopefully there are none here who think that interactions between Obama Campaign conducted oposition research and government investigative bodies is appropriate. In fact it is criminal.

    Even Nixon kept his political shenanigans mostly divorced from government.

    Nothing changes if Obama is president and Clinton is running for president.

    Roby – you want to say the left and right are somehow the same.

    Please find an example – since watergate where political campaign oposition research became entangled with federal investigation ?

  50. dhlii permalink
    June 27, 2017 4:14 am

    Maybe the motives for some of this are different than we imagine ?

    File under “Don’t F with the FBI unless you are president – and maybe not then”

    Regardless, the FBI is starting to smell pretty bad.

    • Ron P permalink
      June 27, 2017 11:02 am

      Another un-named, un-identifed source. The only news anyone should read or pay attention to these days is those stories that report proven, undeniable reports where multiple witnesses have testified and little facts against them are available to lend question to the truth of the matter, much like that found in a court of law.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 27, 2017 1:26 pm


        Much of the evidence against Obama executives is actual known facts – not unnamed sources.

        McCabe is the target of an EEOC claim of sexual harrasment.
        Flynn did write a reference letter for the woman filing the claim.

        All that is not proven is whether McCabe’s animus towards Flynn affected his judgement.

        Minimally he should have recused himself from anything having anything to do with Flynn.
        He did not.

        Sessions has recused himself for being in the same room with a Russian ambassador.
        If that is the standard – then Mueller, Comey, and McCabe can not (and could not) be part of this investigation.

        There is no “I trust me, but not you” standard for recusal.

        But I will agree with you – there is no proof that McCabe engaged in a vendeta.
        But there is evidence sufficient that he should have had no part of the investigation.

      • June 27, 2017 3:38 pm

        Page 7 of the article
        “The bureau employees, who spoke only on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, said they did not know the reason for McCabe’s displeasure with Flynn, but that it made them uncomfortable as the Russia probe began to unfold and pressure built to investigate Flynn. One employee even consulted a private lawyer.”

        When they prove that McCabe is “engaged in a vendetta” and that is reported in the press as a proven fact, then I will pay attention. Until then people speaking “on condition of anonymity” are no more worthy of listening to than a politician or used car salesman.

        Right now this is all noise just like all the other crap about Flynn, Russia, collusion and obstruction.

        Had you not posted this article and had it been in the newspaper, on social media, the internet or cable news, i would have ignored it like everything else that is being reported today.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 27, 2017 7:35 pm

        Ron please check the Circa post and video.

        It is ABSOLUTELY TRUE that Critz filed a sexual Harrassment complaint with the EEOC against McCabe. That is a matter of record.

        It is ABSOLUTELY TRUE that Flynn provided a written character reference for Gritz and that he was prepared to testify for her and that McCabe has attempted to block Flynn from testifying.

        It is ABSOLUTELY true that McCabe opened an internal investigation into Gritz AFTER she made it clear she was filing a harrasment complaint.

        You are correct there is alot we do not know. But none of the above is from unnamed sources.

        The above alone is sufficient that McCabe should recuse himself from matters involving Flynn.

        The “leaks” from unnamed FBI agents are icing – if you beleive them – which you need not, we go from A reason McCabe should recuse himself to potential abuse of power under color of authority – a VERY serious problem.

        I would also note that McCabe was the agent leading the Clinton foundation inquiry, and is the agent whose wife received 500,000 campaign contributions from a clinton ally MacCaullfie and it is also known that he failed to properly provide this and several other required information on his required financial disclosure forms.

        Separately as disclosed by debuty AG Rosenstein McCabe is under “investigation” by the IG’s office for something with regard to his handling of the Clinton Email investigation.

        Without the “leaks” there is alot of reason that McCabe needs to be out of this.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 29, 2017 8:57 pm

        More on the McCabe thing.

        Given that McCabe is being investigated by the EEOC for sexual harrassment, and that Flynn is a witness against him.
        Do you not see it as a conflict of interest for McCabe to have been part of the Flynn investigation must less run it ?

      • June 29, 2017 9:02 pm

        Dave, I have TUNED OUT. I am sick of Trump, Flynn, Russia, collusion, election rigging and everything else that has been in the news for close to 8 months now, and some longer.

        When something happens that is FINAL, then I will pay attention again. Until that time, I am happy being ignorant of anything happening with this crap.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 30, 2017 3:00 am

        I can understand that.

        So has much of the country.

        I am close to that myself.

  51. dhlii permalink
    June 28, 2017 12:48 am

    CNN reporters are getting fired/quiting over fake trump stories and Project Veritas gets a CNN producer on tape calling their own Trump stories buillshit and mostly about ratings.

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 28, 2017 8:13 am

      I honestly can’t believe the absolute garbage that passes for “journalism” anymore.

      My son (the one who got arrested and then finally grew up) has done some freelance video work for Project Veritas. He says that James O’Keefe is an amazing guy ~ only in his early 30’s, looks even younger, but runs his organization as a very tight ship. No laws are ever broken, no deceptive editing is permitted, even if it would further the story. His journalists, (and that’s what he calls them) are well prepared when they embed themselves in a situation, and know exactly what they can legally and ethically do to get the story. Sometimes they spend an enormous amount of time pursuing a potential blockbuster exposé, and come up empty. In those situations ~ which are many~ Q’Keefe pulls the plug on the story, and no one ever hears of it.

      Regardless of what one thinks of O’Keefe and his agenda ~ he is an unapologetic muckraker ~ he is much more of a journalist than any of the so-called news organizations that shun his work.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 28, 2017 12:19 pm

        OKeefe has his own political axe to grind.

        But he does not hide it.

        His journalistic techniques are exactly the same as those used by 60 minutes – or atleast they used to be.

        What is different is that he chooses his targets using one set of political values – and 60 minutes uses a different set.

        We need both.

        BTW the 9th circuit court of appeals just dropped 14 of 15 charges against the PV workers who did the PP video. And I beleive the remanded the remaining one for further inquiry.

        This was a huge victory for PV. PP and the left was trying to turn investigative under cover journalism into crime – if it did not pass ideological muster.
        Amazingly the 9th circuit grasped that.

        I do not care if CNN has low standards and will run rumors as news.

        I beleive in freedom. I also beleive the rest of use are free to make our decisions regarding what news sources we find credible.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 28, 2017 12:22 pm

        I would also note that OKeeffe
        managed to get Democratic operatives recorded:
        Sending people to Trump rallies with the explicit directions to start altercations.
        Bussing people from one state to another to vote illegally.

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 28, 2017 8:40 am

      This is what we hear on the news:’

      Evening newscast May 17th – June 20th:
      353 minutes on Russia & Comey
      47 minutes on climate change
      29 minutes on fighting terrorism
      5 minutes on the economy/jobs
      5 minutes on trade
      <1 minute on tax reform

      I'm sure that, in the past week, the minutes on healthcare reform have moved up the chart, especially since the narrative is that the GOP is blowing their chance to do what its voters want. That may well be true. But most of what I hear is that Republicans want poor people to die, Medicare is going to be gutted, people with pre-exisiting conditions will never get insurance again, etc. No real intelligent or balanced debate on what is actually necessary to improve access to healthcare.

      • June 28, 2017 12:32 pm

        Priscilla, thanks for your update on what has been in the news. Since I am not watching the news any longer, this confirms my reasons for doing so.

        As for the healthcare bill, one has to remember on critical political law. Once you give something to the citizens, it is almost impossible to take it away. It is like feeding the animals in the wild. Once you do so, you can not remove it or they will die from starvation. That is how liberals view anything the government has begun providing, just like the Medicaid expansion in 30 states. If you take it away from young able bodied individuals that can work, then they die from healthcare issues not getting treated.

        And there is another political law that is somewhat more concealed, but readily identifiable and that is the law of reelection. You can see that very clearly from the senator from Nevada. That law states “Do nothing that will have a negative impact on your vote in the next election regardless as to its positive impact on the current and future generations and the country”.

        As for the healthcare law as it is now written in the senate, there is a lot wrong with that law. There is something for everyone to dislike. As I have heard or there has been no mention, there is no across state sales of insurance, there is a reduction in the amount spent on Medicaid, there is no mandate to purchase insurance or provide coverage, there is no requirements as to what is in the insurance coverage and many more incidental issues.

        ***********Now before anyone begins a dissertation on my comments about healthcare reform, those are not my values and positions!!!!!!!!! They are the ones being used by politicians as to why they will not vote for the bill.*************

        The only way anything will get done with healthcare is to tone down the rhetoric, take much of the election year politics out of the equation and begin whittling away at the law one stipulation at a time. One, allow for across state sales in a bill, like a funding bill for veterans or education and tack it on as an amendment. Then in another bill, tack on an amendment that does something else to change the current law. Put the amendments on bills that the democrats will have a hard time voting against and if they do, their vote becomes an albatross around their neck in the next election.

        One large repeal and replace will never pass!

      • dhlii permalink
        June 28, 2017 3:59 pm

        I have not watched news on TV in probably a decade.

        While I do follow many blogs and a couple of aggregators – like Real Clear Politics.

        I get to choose what I will read and listen to.

        I deliberately try to read sources from all sides.
        I read as much on DailyKoss or TPM or TNR or NYT or WaPo
        as NRO the Federalist or the like.

        I am more interested in sites that do think peices – right or left than sites that spin news – right or left – like BreitBart or MSNBC.

        But those are my choices.

        We all get to make our own.
        That is part of what is wonderful today
        I can curate my own news.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 28, 2017 4:10 pm

        I think your political rule is too broad.

        PPACA violates other rules regarding government programs.
        Politically successful programs should concentrate benefits and difuse costs.

        And that is actually why they are typically a very bad idea.

        PPACA attempts to diffuse benefits and concentrate costs.

        I do think the republicans are making a huge mistake with “repeal and replace”.

        Republicans quite stupidly bought the Democratic narative that you had to offer an alternative.

        That is false.

        There has never been more than a few moments since it was passed that PPACA has had a plurality of support. Most of the time it was negative – often by as much as 1/3.

        The GOP plan has much the same problem – for much the same reasons.

        One size does not fit all.
        And we may all agree that something needs done
        But we are not even close to agreeing on what needs done.

        First repeal. And then try to come up with reform that both parties participate in.
        And if nothing happens – so be it.

        What we had was bad. PPACA was worse.

        I would also advise Senators to look at the polls CLOSELY.

        Every single thing that purportedly has BROAD support, only has that support if it has ZERO cost.

        Everyone wants pre-existing condition coverage.
        But almost no one wants it if their OWN costs will go up – even a little.

        This is also why we use markets to resolve these issues.

        What people want is complex – far more so than polls and politicians can capture.

        We constantly fail to grasp that the PRIMARY function of the free market is to communicate information.
        Buyer communicate not merely their wants and needs – but the relative strengths of those wants and needs/
        Sellors communicate the ease in which they can do different things.

      • June 28, 2017 7:16 pm

        “First repeal. And then try to come up with reform that both parties participate in.
        And if nothing happens – so be it.”

        Never happen. My political law trumps doing something positive and worthwhile.

        Just think of all the TV ads that would pop up about all the people who died, had bad health outcomes or #1, babies that ended up with lifelong deformities or handicaps because “the GOP took away your healthcare”

      • dhlii permalink
        June 29, 2017 12:06 pm

        I do not disagree that much of what you say will happen.

        But I think you overstate the impact of the media and political advertisements.

        Clinton spent something like 1.6B wallpapering the country with negative adds.
        Trump spent half what Clinton did.

        Most of the Adds you fret about – have already been run – relentlessly.

        Every republican that has been elected in the past 7 years has been relentlessly attacked as a baby killer out to steal your healthcare.

        And still they have been elected.

        The consequences of PPACA’s failure – will fall on democrats.

        I say let it fail.

        Republicans should vote for full repeal. That is what they were elected to do.

        I do not beleive they can manage that with the rules as they are.

        I beleive that they should change those rules. But I doubt they will.

        That is fine with me. Then just wait for failure.

        The big impetus for this GOP bill is that without it tax reform becomes nearly impossible.

        While I would like to see tax reform – that too can wait.

        Trumps’ executive efforts to “deconstruct government” are a good start, that can be done in the political environment of today.

        Republicans should focus on 2018. And that means the economy.

        PPACA was an enormous political mistake for democrats.
        Republicans should not repeat the same mistake.

        Republicans can afford to fail to repeal.

        They can not afford to impose PPACA lite on the country.

      • June 29, 2017 8:58 pm

        Dave. Dow up over 21,000. Unemployment at 4.5% or there abouts. Profits about at record levels.

        So if the PPACA is so bad for business, why these results. And that is with all the regulation and red tape from legislation like Dodd-Frank and other bank regulations.

        So my thinking is the GOP stops all this BS, concentrates on tax reform (especially reform of foreign profits and getting that back to the USA) and other economic improvements and let the ACA continue to die until most people, even liberals, are screaming for something to change.

        For people like myself who worked in an industry for 40 years that was closely aligned with healthcare insurance, there are many things in the current law I agree with. There are many things I do not agree with.

        Due to my history with insurance, repeal is not an option for me to support. Not unless other laws regulating an industry that is only out to screw the public is put into effect. Had it not been for their underhanded and immoral actions in many cases, Obamacare would never had been needed.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 29, 2017 9:45 pm

        Economic growth through the 20th century was 3.5%/year
        Through the 19th is was 7%/year.
        For the last 8 years it is just under 2%.

        That is a BAD economy not a good one.

        While it is not a recession – it is nothing to celebrate.

        Record profits are because business is not investing.
        And because even if growth is low – so long as there is growth profits will be atleast slightly higher than the prior year.

        Low unemployment has until recently come with low labor force participation.
        That is starting to turn arround – just int he past two months.,
        But not any time earlier.

        Finally – put most any millstone you want arround “the engine of the world” – that would be the free market, and it will strive if possible to pull it – albeit slower than before.

        We have had almost two decades of low growth.

        That is a huge deal. A 1% increase in growth over that time would have done more for the least well off that all existing social programs.

        ObamaCare has not destroyed our economy, it has just slowed it down.
        But still at great cost to all of us.

        I am not saying PPACA is bad for business, I am saying it is bad for US – the people.
        Never forget the end of the entire economy is US.
        When the economy is weak WE are worse off.

        Yes, PPACA is not the only millstone arround our necks -it probably is not even the largest.
        Sarbox has been disasterous, nearly stopping the upward migraion of larger private companies to small public companies.

        Dodd-Frank is another millstone.

        And there are hundreds of thousands of smaller ones.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 29, 2017 9:49 pm

        One of the places that we part company is that you can agree or not with the healthcare law.

        The problem is not with the ideas. It is with the fact that they are law.

        It is neither wise, effective or moral to enshrine what one thinks as “good ideas” into law.

        the quality of ideas is tested by markets. Making them into law, makes them immune from testing, and immune from change.

        Even the best ideas MUST change over time.

        Your experience in the health industry likely makes it more difficult for you.
        You may well be right or atleast close on many many issues.
        But you are fundimentally wrong about atleast two things.
        You can not impose even right ideas by force.
        The world is dynamic not static, and law is static not dynamic.

      • June 30, 2017 12:05 am

        Dave there is no way we are ever going to even agree even 5% on regulation and laws concerning the healthcare insurance industry.

        You are one that believes man will almost always do right and when they do not, they will go broke. I am one that believes many men and women in some industries will find ways to do very close to unethical things, immoral things that would be illegal in some industries. In those cases, I believe government plays a role in regulating what can and can not take place. The healthcare insurance industry is one of those that lead the way in finding ways of screwing customers.

        Give you an example. Son-in-law has insurance through employer plan that covers illness, including maternity, mental illness and prescriptions. He was going through a difficult time at work due to management and boss issues and went to their employee health clinic. The doctor said he would try Adderall (ADD medication) that he said would allow him to concentrate better on his work while things worked out in the job. He received a notification from the insurance company a couple weeks later that his insurance was going up $30.00 per month since he was “diagnosed” with “mental illness” and was on medication. The doctor at the health clinic wrote a letter refuting that claim and my SIL went to a private physician that certified he was not ADD and that he was not on a maintenance routine of this drug. The insurance company responded that he could file the information in 12 months and they would review his record, but now if he changes jobs there is a “preexisting condition” of “mental illness” and now he has the higher premiums for 12 months based on 10 tablets given to him by the employee health doctor.

        Example #2, Insurance companies tracked patients that had been admitted to hospital and when there were diagnosis that appeared to be one that indicated extended care, they assigned individuals to monitor that individuals account. After missing a payment (because they were in the hospital), insurance company cancelled coverage and patient became self pay. So hospital assigned one employee to monitor these same patients and insure their payments had been made. If they were not, either due to the patient “forgetting”, not having someone taking care of their financial affairs or they did not have the money due to not working to pay the premium, the hospital paid the premium until the patient was back to work. That might not be illegal, but in my book what the insurance companies do is immoral and close to unethical. And for the hospital, paying a few hundred dollars of premium to receive thousands back on long term care patients was a no-brainer.

        Your position on unregulated markets says this is fine. I find this unacceptable since that is what insurance is being paid for and should not create a situation where premiums rise for a few pills given to an employee or insurance coverage cancelled due to hospitalization and being unable to pay for one reason or another.. And my SIL has no alternative since this is a deal between the insurance company and the employer who only provides one company for coverage. He has no other choice other than one plan under Obamacare that is thousands more for coverage.

        I do not find the ACA acceptable with all the requirements, but government does play a role to insure people get what they think they are paying for.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 30, 2017 3:43 am

        No Ron, you mischaracterize me.

        I have no doubt that some humans can do stupid and evil things.

        What I have said is that in a free market – the incentives strongly work against that, so it is less common than otherwise.

        Conversely in government the incentives work towards stupidity and evil.

        I am as worried about human misconduct as you are. I just worry more about it where I see it as far more dangerous.

        With respect to actual private bad behavior – our law, that “common law” with is very close to the 3 principles I keep beating on, is pretty much all we need.

        Can you name a single form of likely misconduct – in business or otherwise, that is not covered by laws that are atleast a century old ?

        If someone initiates force against others – in business or otherwise. I am opposed and our criminal law prohibits that.

        If one engages in fraud – that too has been illegal for centuries.

        And finally we have had tort law for several centuries.
        If someone causes you actual harm – even innocently, then you can petition government to be made whole by them.

        What more is it that you think is needed ?

        What misconduct that someone in business can engage in is not covered by that ?

        In most instances we are covered MORE effectively by that.

        One of the huge problems with torts today is that if you conform to government regulations – that is quite often an affirmative defense.

        You really do not grasp that businesses – particularly big businesses buy protection from government – often in the form of regulation.

        I would finally note – that we do not have the government resources to properly enforce the laws of a century ago – or just my 3 core principles – atleast not without excercising borad discretion. Law administration and enforcement is quite expensive – and it comes entirely at the expense of our standard of living – and sometimes Twice.

        You note that health insurance has a unique propensity for screwing customers.
        That is FALSE. Health insurance screws the insured. In most cases those are NOT the customers, and that is a major part of the problem.

        Health insurance in particular due to our current abysmal structure has myriads of vectors for moral hazard. On the one hand the insured ar mostly disconnected from the cost of the healthcare they receive so they have no reason to make cost constrained choices – and cost is ALWAYS a factor. If it ever is not the system is broke. From the opposite direction doctors and hospitals are paid by insurance companies (or government) not patients, and insurance companies are mostly paid by employers – not the insured.

        In all the above the problem is that those using the service and those paying are not the same and patients will screw insurance companies, and insurance companies will screw patients. Because neither has reason to deal with the other in good faith. The incentives are wrong.

        That is one of the reasons I think subscription medicine could take off.

        I have no doubt the first example you gave occured.
        At the same time – even if the employee was diagnosed with ADD – it would not be a pre-existing condition.

        But we do not fix this nonsense – partly because of the factors I noted above – the insurance company has no reason to want to make the employee happy – he is NOT their customer.

        But there is another reason – that I am surprised you did not note – that applies specifically to your example.

        Employer paid insurance is regulated by ERISA. The employee can not sue. The only remedey the employee has is through an ERISA process that takes over a year or more.
        Insurance companies are not stupid – they know that few people can afford to fight for a year or more over $30.
        But again this problem is caused by the bad incentives of employer mandated insurance and bad regulation.

        I am sure you can come up with myriads of other real world examples – but we do not have a free market in health insurance and have not in my lifetime.

        Even back to your example – why does insurance cover routine medicine ?
        That is insane. The rough equivalent of what used to be called a major medical plan is still very cheap today.

        Why in gods name would you want the doctor to write you a perscription, that a pharmacy fills – and collects a co-pay from you, bills the insurance company which then pays for it out of premiums it collects from your employer, who treats those premiums as part of your pay.

        How can you possibly expect that to be an efficient way of delivering medical service ?

        And how can you expect medical prices to drop – ever, if the govenrment requires you to bill them at the lowest price you give anyone else – or potentially go to jail.

        With respect to your example #2 – that could not have been employer paid insurance.
        Even so, normal contract law would say that if you paid for fire insurance, and there is a fire, and AFTER the fire you quite paying premiums, the insurance company can cancel your insurance, but it still has to repair the damage from the fire.
        I beleive that is typical for “claims made” insurance, which is most insurance.
        It basically means if you are insured at the time the claim is made – you are covered.

        Regardless, your examples are all of circumstances that would have been covered by ordinary law that existed 100 years ago.

        If as you say – and I beleive you, the insurance companies are violating my core principles – which have been codified in the law for centuries and getting away with it. Why is a regulation going to fix things ?

        I had this problem with the civil rights act and the voting rights act and spousal abuse laws and ……

        How does making something that is already illegal and making it illegal AGAIN change anything ?

        I have never said the law should not be enforced. But between the self regulating nature of actual free market transactions, and the LEGITIMATE law based on the principles I keep beating on, we have more than enough to cover anything you think should be “regulated”.

        You seem to want to solve a lack of enforcement problem by passing more laws.

        How is that supposed to work ?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 30, 2017 3:46 am

        Just to be clear – both of your examples would be illegal under law that has been arround for centuries and rests on the 3 principles I keep thumping.

        I am sure both are illegal – multiple ways today. And yet you claim they are happening.

        That is a law enforcement problem not a lack of law or regulation problem.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 30, 2017 3:51 am

        Further on your examples.

        I have not had the experience with health insurance that you have.
        But I have been the employer’s side of negotiating employee insurance for 22 years – though not in the past decade.

        During that time I NEVER saw a policy that did not run for a full year – without rate changes. During the time I have been insured through emplyer provided plans I did not negotiate – I have NEVER seen a rate change – outside the renewal of the policy.

        I have had my own difficult experiences with insurance companies.
        And I know that quite often they will take positions that violate both their policy and the law – again ancient law, not just recent regulations.

        Again we have an enforcement problem – not a regulation problem.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 29, 2017 9:59 pm

        I would be happy to see alot of other regulations ripped out.
        Frankly ALL healthcare and health insurance regulations.

        Just to be clear I am not advocating anarchy or the abandoment of ordinary law.
        It should always be a crime to initiate force against another. It should always be a crime to engage in fraud.
        The government is supposed to enforce agreements – without that free exchange is not possible.
        And where we actually harm others we are obligated to make them whole.

        Those things are ALWAYS governments role.

        But nothing more.

        I am not pretending repeal is a good thing.
        Just less bad. than what we have.

        That is pretty much inarguably true.

        PPACA admittedly costs atleast 1.6T/decade.
        It has not altered trends in life expecatance – the claims of people being saved by the law or dying if it is repealed are bunk.

        That does not mean there will be no hardship.

        I doubt it is possible to spend 1.6T with absolutely no possitive benefits.

        We can argue about some – there are real benfits to PPACA – but nothing worth 1/10th of what was spent.

        AFTER repeal – which is what Republicans ACTUALLY promised and what their voters want. Then the discussion of what to do next proceeds.
        And ALL of us are free to participate.

        I would personally like to see far more repealed.

        I would like to see all employment benefits taxed – so that the difference between an emplyer provided benefit and one you buy for yourself is non-existant.

        There are reasons not to forcibly end employer provided insurance.
        Group insurance is the best way to address pre-existing conditions.
        But we should be permitted to form groups outside out employment too.

        Note the language – why do we even have to ask to be “permitted” ?

      • dhlii permalink
        June 30, 2017 2:59 am

        Separately as things stand I do not think that Republicans can manage legislation.

        The Health care mess at the moment demonstrates that their margins are too small to accomplish anything that is actually needed and half measures are worse than nothing.

        I would love to see tax reform – but we need REAL tax reform, not twidlling at the edges.

        There is not likely to be a second bite at tax reform for another decade.

        Right now there better off doing small things that are possible. There is a long list of small measures that are not likely to be viewed as controversial enough that Republicans can not pass them on their own that would increase the ability to reign in the administrative state.

        There are some that might get democratic support. There is substantial talk among democrats all of a sudden regarding “federalism” – returning powers of the federal government back to states.

        If Trump can manage to pull growth off the 2% peg its has been on for 2 decades – republicans will do well in 2018. If he can not then republicans should not do well.

        Tax reform would help alot but there is a catch-22 to get the political will to do tax reform properly – republicans need to succeed and build credibility.

        They should repeal PPACA or atleast bring a straight repeal to a vote in the house and senate. That is what the promised. They never should have promised more.

        Talk of further reform can happen AFTER that.

        I would also note I am less afraid of Trump as the head of the executive acting unilaterally within the constraints and powers of the executive.

        I am not too happy with him as the leader of the GOP pushing legislation.

        With respect to Congress he seems more interested in scoring points – passing something, than in passing what is needed.

        Think about that as you think about how much you value compromise.

        With few exceptions as an administrator Trump seems to be “doing the right thing”.
        He has put mostly good people in place. He sometimes buts heads with them, but ultimately he appears to have vetted them well and is leaving them to do their job their way.

        Regardless, there is alot he can accomplish. Right now the economy is improving – or appears to be. Given that I have heard a years worth of predictions of coming recession, that is pretty amazing.

      • June 30, 2017 10:52 am

        Dave, “If Trump can manage to pull growth off the 2% peg its has been on for 2 decades – republicans will do well in 2018. If he can not then republicans should not do well.”

        First, I think this administration is showing that the President does not have much influence in Washington when the party is not aligned with the presidents agenda. And I suspect that future GOP presidents will have the same problem as Trump given the fact the Democrats are of two mind sets, liberal and socialist, while the GOP is a multi headed monster where they are unable to come to “compromises” within the party to get anything done. Where the Democrats are all aligned like ducks crossing the street, the GOP is like a group of chickens scattering every which way possible when anything comes up. (Worse than herding cats!)

        As for your comments about economic growth, one thing that is mentioned occasionally, but not by the conservative mouth pieces, since they want growth as their talking points, is the changing demographics in the country.
        1. The baby boomers that fired up this economy for decades are aging, they are no longer buying big ticket items, they are downsizing and their money is now going to leisure and healthcare.
        2. The housing boom of the 90’s will most likely never be seen again like it had been. Why? The cost of new housing. And much of that is due to land cost. Where land could be purchased for a few thousand per acre when housing boomed and houses could be put on postage sized lots, land now cost up to, and sometimes over 6 figures per acre. Then add to it the growing regulations where communities require lots to be of a certain size, and the land alone has added thousands to a cost of housing construction.
        3. The millennials, the next largest demographic group are now starting families and they are now finding they have to pay for things themselves. They no longer are living with mommy and find that what she paid for the past few years is really expensive. They also are finding they have to pay off high student debt that resulted in a somewhat do nothing degree so, due to these reasons and some others, they do not have the money for big ticket items.
        4. The millennials also do not want to start out small like their parents did in housing. They grew up in large homes with spacious yards and that is what they want. So the small starter homes are not being built, this generation is living in rental property and that also reduces large ticket purchases, like appliances.
        5. The growth in the Hispanic population. One of the fastest growing demographics is the Hispanic population. It will take some time for this group to achieve the standard of living that middle class America enjoys for a number of reasons.. They do not have the money to spend on large items, but their money goes to basic needs.
        6. And my last comment, the changing job markets. Over the long run, it is estimated that 40% of all jobs by 2050 (just 30 years from now) will be gone and taken over by robots. Cabbies, Uber drivers, truck drivers, railroad employees, restaurant workers, most warehouse workers and most all manufacturing left in America will be done by robots. This leaves healthcare and service workers, like plumbers, electricians, etc as the major employers in America. (They say technology will drive jobs, but I believe all of those will be overseas and not in America). So as we move toward this 40% reduction which is happening now, people will experience a down turn in income also impacting economic growth.

        I think 1-2% is the new normal.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 1, 2017 3:02 am


        You are fixated on legislation and congress.

        I am not. Frankly I am glad that Trump/GOP is having trouble legislating.
        They can do far more damage through legislation and the odds of doing good are much smaller.
        Yes, thre is legisaltion I would like to see that will not likely come about.
        I can wait.

        Within the executive – despite the executive being overrun by the resistance.
        Trump is making real progress.
        While not as much as we need.
        Still more than I think Rand Paul would have been able to do as president.

        I am not looking for compromises.
        Do it right – or don’t do it at all.
        In most cases compromises are WORSE than nothing.

        I would also note the Republican majorities are quite small.
        and there are no democrats looking to support republican proposals.
        The left could count on support from a few republicans.

        1). I would strongly suggest you look at the size of each year over year cohort.
        We have a very short term demographic problem because AFTER the baby boomers births dropped for a while. But ultimately they came back to boom levels and exceeded them.

        I would note that Labor Force Participation is rising – which according to the arguments you are repeating – was not possible.

        2). I hate regulation and land use, zoning, building codes etc. have made out homes more expensive.

        But you are still wrong about housing. We are still working through the mess fromt he bursting of the housing bubble.

        But Buffet just made a huge housing move.

        The key housing issue – which is different from yours – is that the rate of home ownership in a free market is either fixed or at best rises very slowly and it is incredibly dangerous to manipulate it.

        3,4). Millenials ARE starting to move out. And there FIRST home purchases are big and expensive. Millenials are skipping starter homes.
        They have suddenly started leaving cities – which is going to totally disrupt the economy – and politics. their consumption is suddenly spiking.
        They did live in rentals in the City.
        But they have recently started moving out – in a big way.

        The migration of millenials from the cities is a very big deal.

        Millenials are already a very odd political generation – they are far less wedded to parties.
        They are concurrently more socialist and more libertarian. They are possibly the most ideologically ignorant generation ever.

        Regardless, we know from every other cohort that as these groups marry, have kids and move out the the city they become less progressive.
        Millenials are a very large powerful cohort and they are moving right slowly.

        5). Hispanics are not monolithic. They are the least progressive by far of any minority. They are heavily catholic and more religious than the average, and like all groups they move right as their standard of living rises.

        6). Absolutely jobs will be automated out of existance. But look up luddites.
        Jobs are destroyed, jobs are created. Jobs are not even the objective. Creating millions of jobs is trivial. If automation was going to impoverish the lower class – it would have done so 200 years ago. Nothing has changed.

        FDR idiotically beleived that Tractors caused the great depression.
        This is just bad economics.
        We have nothing to fear from automation. There will always be work for humans.
        There is an infinite number of things humans can do.

        This is also why outsourcing and off shoring and …. do not actually kill jobs overall – they do clearly kill specific jobs.

        Ford as an example is moving its focus production to China.
        So that US workers can much SUV’s and Trucks – which are more customized and higher profit margins. It is my understanding there are no layoffs.

        The downturn in income (from the causes you are asserting) is actually impossible.

        Moogie constantly makes the point that if workers had more money – they would buy more.
        The problem is that she confuses an implication with equality – a common keynesian failure.
        Many economic equations are one way.
        i.e. more cows mean more milk – but more milk does not mean more cows.

        So long as we produce we can consume. Production is not going to tank from any of this.
        This meme has historically failed ALWAYS. It is not a new fallacy.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 1, 2017 3:15 am

        During the industrial revolution – every decade or so “automation” took the work of six people or so – and replaced it with one person and a machine, and a decade later those machines were replace by new machines that again reduced jobs by a factor of 6.

        During this same time period – US growth averaged 7%
        During this period of time – the US had open borders and the sized of the nation increased 50^ from immigration.

        During this time labor costs in BRITAIN were lower than the US – driving immigration from the UK to the US, yet despite this the US had no problem competing with the UK.

        Only certain aspects of technology are moving out of the US.

        I deliberately decided 15 years ago to go into embedded software and to stay out of web developement – because there were russian web developers that would work for $2.50 an hour and I could not compete.

        Today americans with minimal professional training are landing web development jobs for 60K, and qualified people are getting 100K and up.

        There are far more high paying web development jobs at this moment than embedded software jobs. That is despite the fact that embedded software is much harder.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 1, 2017 3:19 am

        Historically economic growth corresponds incredibly strongly to two things.
        Economic freedom, and the inverse of government spending.

        Historically no socialist government has been able to sustain the growth of similarly situated non socialist governments.
        Further socialsim lite outperformed greater socialism

        But there is no correlation between technological advance and reduced growth.
        In fact there is the opposite.

      • July 1, 2017 12:31 pm

        Dave, is it not a fact that up until the most recent years technology has actually increased the number of jobs. Did we not increase jobs when we went from wagons to cars? When went from storing ice under ground and putting perishables in underground basements to ice boxers and then to refrigerated units. From radios to TV’s. And I could list many more. But is it not a fact that technology now is different? It is replacing workers and not outdated products?

        I am not saying you are wrong about productivity since that has been the engine that drove income. More cars sold = more auto workers hired = increased income.

        Now what I see is more technology = more robots = fewer jobs = decreased income.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 1, 2017 2:50 pm

        Technology does not increase jobs – it decreases them.

        Throughout history Technological advance has ALWAYS required less human effort to produce the same thing.

        i.e. Technology usually increases our standard of living. by decreasing jobs – the effort needed to produce something.

        That said a higher standard of living always means more ability to afford the things we want that we could not afford before.

        Displacing workers from textiles do to automation – does not mean more jobs in textiles.

        It means more jobs somewhere else – because cheaper clothes leave us more money to buy something we could not afford before.

        Technology ALWAYS decreases employment.

        Rising Standard of living ALWAYS increases employment.

        The effect of the former is ALWAYS larger than the effect of the latter.

        Nothing has changed.

        You are seeing robots replacing humans – because that is what you are focusing on.
        And because it is true – robots are replacing humans.
        Just as better weaving machines replaced ever more humans 200 years ago.

        The process has not changed, the laws of economics have not changed.
        Technology reduces jobs.

        But more goods for less cost always means more ability to purchase even more goods.
        And that means more jobs.

        Read Bastiat – it is an old but excellent explanation – and it goes much further than jobs and technology.

        It is about confusing the immediate visible effects for the whole of all effects.

        This is at the core of probably everything you and I disagree about.

      • July 1, 2017 3:05 pm

        Dave “But more goods for less cost always means more ability to purchase even more goods.
        And that means more jobs.”

        That is 100% true as long as one job (textile worker) is replaced by another job (manufacturing of textile machine production with higher pay or carriage worker replaced by auto worker.)

        But when it gets to a point where every time new technology eliminates one or more jobs and one or more new jobs do not take its place, where is income generated?

        So tell me specifically, you can use any current technological advance you want (not the cotton gin or any other pre 1970’s advance because that is not the technology I am referring to), how eliminating a job creates income. If you eliminate all restaurant workers, how does that increase income? If you eliminate truck drivers with autonomous trucks, how does that increase income. If you eliminate warehouse workers, same question. Or pick one of your own.

        But use current technology, not something that created a good higher paying job when it eliminated lower income jobs.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 1, 2017 7:58 pm


        The laws of human conduct or economics have not changed since the cotton gin.

        The luddites were making the exact same arguments are you 200 years ago.

        They were false then and false now.

        It is hypothetically possible that at some future time robots will produce everything – including managing themselves and humans will have no productive purpose – no job.
        But we are far far far from that point – and argably it is not possible to reach – because there is always additional uses for human effort, and more human effort nearly always raises standard of living.

        But absent that hypothetical:

        All automation releases human labor – it destroys jobs.
        All automation increases human standard of living – it produces greater value with less human effort.

        All increases in standard of living drive new wants and needs – and create new jobs.

        Remember the definition of increased standard of living INHERENTLY includes both the destruction and recreation of more jobs.

        You keep fixating on income – income is just the conveyor belt that moves what we produce to what we consume.

        There has never been a time where the destruction of jobs from automation has not resulted in the production of other jobs.

        Fluctuations in the labor market are driven by other factors – such as the collapse of the housing bubble, the perception of employers regarding the future.

        When employers beleive that future consumption will increase – they hire.
        When they beleive it will not they lay off.

        Consequential changes in unemployment are not driven by automation.
        Though the converse is sometimes true.

        Seattle has been rapidly and significantly rising it minimum wage.
        As a consequence employers are doing many things – including automating.
        Automation AND other things are reducing employment.

        But the cause is the minimum wage not the automation.

        FDR beleived the tractor caused the great depression – do you ?
        Do you know a single economist in the world that beleives that. ?

        The argument is the same as the one you are making.
        It presumes there is some tipping point.
        There likely is not, and iff there is it is far far from where we are.

        Unemployment will fluctuate – primarily driven by bad government fiscal and economic policy. Not by automation.

      • July 1, 2017 11:55 pm

        Dave, “FDR believed the tractor caused the great depression – do you ?
        Do you know a single economist in the world that believes that. ?”

        You might want to check some facts. Did Roosevelt really think the tractor caused the depression or was the extreme fall in farm income due to over production due to the tractor? Remember, until the tractor was invented, the amount of land that could be farmed by one person was limited since they used a horse and single plow. With the tractor, they significantly increased the amount of land they could farm, they produced way more than what was needed at the time and the prices tumble. Wheat went from somewhere in the mid $2.00 a bushel to pennies for the same amount. It had little to do with the depression and all to do with farm support programs to limit production that multi-billion dollar agra businesses use now to make millions more.

        And once again, this is old industrial changes where farmers who were replaced by tractors could get work (had it not been for the depression) working to produce tractors.

        I still do not see any jobs being created to take the place of the 40% of the jobs we will be out of in 2030. With this type of outlook, we will need some socialist UBI program so people can survive.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 2, 2017 1:26 am

        With respect to FDR – distinction without a difference – both are economic nonsense.

        Food costs as a portion of family income are a fraction of what they were prior to the great depression.
        If over production caused the depression – why no depression now ?

        Further, low farm prices were an issue throughout the 20’s. But they did not result in depression of bankruptcies. Serious far bankruptcies did not start until AFTER the stock market collapsed.

        The pre-WWI inflation adjusted wheat price was $1/bushel.
        WWI drove the price to $2.50 – where is fluctuated until 1920.
        In 1921 there was a short depression and wheat prices dropped back to $1/bushel.
        By 1925 they had risen to $1.50/bushel.
        At the crash in 1929 they had dropped back to $1/bushel.

        They continued to drop during the depression – it was a depression after all, to .35.bushel in 1933,

      • dhlii permalink
        July 2, 2017 1:30 am

        Slowly declining prices are the NORM for a free market – absent a central bank.
        Even those of wheat.
        Free markets are inherently mildly deflationary.

        Central banks try to terrify us with fears of deflation – rapid deflation – like rapid inflation is very bad. Mild deflation is goof, mild inflation is mildly bad.
        But there is no mechanism for central banks to excercise market control in a deflationary economy – so they paint mild deflation as a boogey monster.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 2, 2017 1:34 am

        If farmers displaced by tractors were fully balanced by employment making tractors – there would be no economic gain.
        That would require the cost of a tractor to be higher than the value of the labor it replaced.
        That would HARM standard of living.

        So long as standard of living rises, the economy is always capable of absorbing that part of the workforce released by improved productivity.
        There is no limit to the ability to use human labor – only a limit on our ability to pay for it.
        For the pay must come from the value we produce.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 2, 2017 1:38 am

        It does not matter whether you see jobs.
        There is a great deal of difference between knowing that something will happen and knowing how it will happen.

        The iPhone would never have come about – had we not had the prosperity to be able to afford it. The myriads of jobs created by it would not have happened but for our ability to afford iphones.

        That ability came SOLE from producing greater value with less human effort.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 1, 2017 8:09 pm

        Just to be clear – I am not arguing about income.

        Both jobs and income are means – not ends.

        The end is a higher standard of living.

        As noted repeatedly – standard of living rises when more value is produced with less human effort.

        Automated trucks produce greater value with less human effort.

        Autmoated trucks will increase quality, and safety and speed, and reduce costs – if they fo not they will not happen.
        That clearly means – greater value for less human effort – higher standard of living.

        If as an example – the cost of all groceries drops by 5% because shipping costs decline.
        We will have the same value – all our food, at less cost – we will have more available to purchase more wealth. That wealth MUST be over and above all existing wealth and someone must produce it – now that there is a demand.

        Just to be clear – this is distinct from demand side keynesian stimulus.
        This is not more money chasing the same goods,
        This is the same total money – chasing even more goods.
        And those goods must be produced – so people must be hired to produce them.
        Those people – must be currently unemployed – because the rest of us have a job.

        A higher standard of living requires the use of whatever slack labor their is.

        I used Truckers – that was your example – but sthe same is true of all reductions in labor due to any from of increased productivity.

        BTW we are using automation here – but ANY change that results in more value produces with less human effort – that would include immigration, offshoring and outsourcing. worse the same.

      • July 2, 2017 12:01 am

        Dave, “As noted repeatedly – standard of living rises when more value is produced with less human effort.”

        What a life. Boss walks in, tells me I am fired and being replaced by a machine and my income actually rises because the machine produces more than I do.

        I want to live in your world where being out of a job is a good thing, increased production by machines increases my income without me needing to work and I can live a nice middle class life with no debt, no job and all the leisure time I can stand.

        We need to start teaching this concept in college today to prepare our future generations for a “no job high income” existence.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 2, 2017 1:58 am

        If you are fired tomorow – are you never going to work again ?

        Regardless, lets take the worst case – it does not ever happen that badly scenario.

        You are fired – replaced by a machine. Briefly your employer makes a tiny bit more, but ultimately he must compete and prices drop.
        The same amount is produced but people have to pay less for it.

        The standard of living of lots of people goes up a bit.
        Your personal standard of living tanks.

        The net is still positive.

        Free markets can be cruel – but on the whole we are all still better off.

        But now lets change this just a tiny bit.
        After getting fired you take a minimum wage job at McD’s,.

        You are still worse off – but the world is MUCH better off, not only do they have what you formerly produced at lower cost – but there is all this new value you produced as you are working at McD’s.

        But you are not happy working at McD’s you only took the job because you had to pay your mortgage,

        So after a few months there you finally land a job at 95% of your former income.
        Now you are a little worse off but the world is ALOT better off.

        And in a year or so you get a raise – because your productivity in this new job has improved – you are as well off as originally, and the world is far better off.

        And those are the bad scenarious.

        Have you ever left a job – by choice or not and found another that paid MORE ?

        Free markets have a process called “creative destruction”
        That is what automation is.

        It frees misallocated resources so that they can be used better.

        Automation is one of the milder forms.
        Business bankruptcies are more dramatic ones.

        Resources freed by creative destruction are:
        Not currently well used – it is better for a machine to do your job than you.
        Available after being freed for other uses.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 2, 2017 2:00 am

        Do not over emphasize the importance of income.

        Income is just the converyor belt that moves what you produce to others and what you want to consume to you.

        what matters is what is produced.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 1, 2017 8:10 pm

        All past and present instances of automation destroy a large body of low paying jobs and replace them with a much smaller body of higher paying jobs.

        1800 or 2017 – it does not matter.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 1, 2017 3:20 am

        And if you are right – republicans will loose power soon and democrats will take over.
        But if I am right they reverse it likely.

    • June 29, 2017 10:48 am

      Dave. Just an example of what i am referring to when I listed my two political laws and then commented on all the ads and stories about people dying, bad health outcomes, etc.

      • dhlii permalink
        June 29, 2017 12:08 pm

        If the political attack adds that you are so concerned about were as effective as you fear – there would be no republicans in congress today.

        Currently Trump has very low approval – but his approval is nearly double that of the media and democrats and congress.

  52. dhlii permalink
    June 29, 2017 12:19 pm

    I read an editorial recently.

    It basically stated there is a jihad going on between the President and the Intelligence Community.

    Most of us would accept that.

    But the editorial noted that an armistice was inevitable.


    The intelligence community is part of the executive branch. They do not exist but for the president, and absent actually catching him in real malfeasance there are limits to how far they can go.

    The IC can not act without the president. They can not set policy without the president.

    That short of actually staging a coup – and we are not going to have a real coup that the longer this continues the more irrelevant they become.

    That ultimately they must seek a truce.

    Conversely while the president needs the IC – he does not depend on them in the same way they depend on him.

    The president has authority and power, he is the executive branch of government.
    The IC is a tool – at current a broken tool or his.

    Trump’s greatest danger would be a 9/11 event while this conflict continues.

    To a large part he is covered on that. It is so clear at the moment that the courts and “deep state” seek to thwart him on security that he will not get the lionshare of the blame.

    Absent such an event Trump can sit and wait. He can allow the deep state to lose through attrition.

    Anyway purportedly it is near certain that the IC in particular will come to heel – as they actually need him more than he needs them.

    That will have TWO effects. The first is disempowering and discrediting Trumps enemies outside the IC and making them look even crazier. The second is he will be able to institute substantial IC and deep state reforms.

  53. Priscilla permalink
    June 30, 2017 9:06 am

    Taking a break from the Deep State War against Trump and Trump’s self-defeating tweets (I don’t recall the press being this obsessed with Bill Clinton’s self-defeating affairs, but whatever….at least Russia is off the front pages for a day), Ted Cruz is pushing a compromise healthcare bill that I think could pass.

    It allows insurance companies to sell non-Obamacare compliant plans as long as they offer at least one Obamacare compliant one. The Obamacare compliant plans would still be eligible for state subsidies, as they have been under the ACA,

    Since the GOP is essentially working with only 2 votes to spare, and Cruz, Lee and Paul would likely get on board with this plan, this could push the reform over the finish line. It may ultimately lead us to a permanent two tiered healthcare insurance market, but it will remove the mandate, the bulk of the taxes and the fast-track to single payer that we currently have.

    Ted Cruz is starting to grow on me. He’s certainly showing himself to be a great senator.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 1, 2017 2:24 am

      If you really want something to work,

      You must create enough space in the market that solutions that you have not even thought of are not blocked.

      It is not enough to make space for ONE alternative.
      You need space for all alternatives – even the ones no one thought of yet.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 1, 2017 2:27 am

      Alot depends on the details.

      But if what Cruz’s plan does is essentaily make PPACA optional – it will actually destroy it.
      There will not be “two tiers”

      There will be incredibly expensive plans that no one can afford to buy,
      and the ones people actually buy.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 1, 2017 2:29 am

      Cruz is incredibly smart, but he is not as politically adept as Bill Clinton or Donald Trump.
      He also does not have very think skin. Trump does.

      Cruz also does nto come accross as nice. He is not someone you want to go out to dinner with.

  54. June 30, 2017 4:09 pm

    I hope other folks are reading Dave’s posts…I’m just skimming. I happened to catch where he said some of the following BS, paraphrased:

    – gains in productivity have largely been shared with labor (ie, there is no Income Inequality or wage loss over the last 40 years)

    – No Gerrymandering is not a significant problem, pretty much anywhere.

    – Racism is no worse on the right than on the left.

    As long as Dave continues to dominate this thread with his right-wing lies, there is not much use in the rest of us participating. I have to work and go to school, I don’t have time for his long-winded “replies”. He writes so much it is difficult for the rest of us to participate.

    Rick, he needs to go.

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 30, 2017 5:14 pm

      Baloney, Moogie. No one stops you from writing anything that you want to write. And no one forces you to read anything that Dave writes.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 1, 2017 3:39 am

        Thank you

    • June 30, 2017 7:50 pm

      Moogie, if you don’t want to read what he post, when you see the email notification that he wrote something, delete it. Don’t read it! I skim what he says and read the first few comments and then move on. For something like healthcare reform, I got into long comments with him. If you and others want to read fine, if not then please delete the email notifications without reading.

      Sorry, but this seems like another liberal wanting to stop free speech when the subject matter does not agree with that persons thinking.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 1, 2017 3:43 am

        You can also turn off email notifications.

        I am not familar with the details but I think that you can use wordpress accounts to block users – so you will not get one users posts.

        Or you can filter them in your email.

        I am not away of an email client that can not automatically delete emails matching some pattern.

        I uses an email filter to sort all my incoming email from about a dozen accounts into a variety of folders.
        I ignore the TNM folder when I am busy. and get back to it when I am not.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 1, 2017 3:33 am

      Do not paraphrase me – when you do it, it becomes misrepresentation. ‘

      Productivity gains come from two sources. Increases in labor productivity – which has always been passed back to labor though sometimes with a short lag.
      Increases due to capital investment. These are PARTLY shared with labor.
      Why would you expect otherwise ? If Warren buffet invests in new equipment for a factory – should the workers get all the gains from the new equipment ?

      BTW there are very solid statistics for all of the above from places like the federal reserve, BLS, NBER.

      I did not say gerrymandering did not occur.
      I said there is no objectively correct means of setting up representation.
      Any scheme that you come up with that you claim is “fair” by your subjective values – someone else can just as credibly claim is NOT fair from their subjective values.

      What I am saying is there is no such thing as NO gerrymandering.

      SEPARATELY, I am saying that the actual effects of gerrymandering are very small.
      Actually I am not saying it – the people who studied it have – I linked to the studies.

      There are also good statistics on racism right/left. And yes there is no difference.

      There are differences between the values of those on the left and those on the right and those result in the appearance of greater racism.

      As an example those on the right are more likely to attribute low income to lack of effort.
      That those on the left.
      As a result those on the right judge poor minorities harshly.
      As a result of some racism – they judge poor whits slightly less harshly.

      Conversely progressives do not judge the poor as harshly as the right.
      But they still judge minority poor more harshly than minority whites – even though they judge both higher than those on the right.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 1, 2017 3:38 am


      Still not on the right.

      How exactly do my posts reduce your ability to post ?

      IF I were replaced by 100 Trumpkins – that would shift the comments far to the right.
      But it would not alter your ability to post.

      This is Rick’s blog and he can do as he pleases.

      But why is it that you think that it is good for you or anyone else to live in an ideological walled garden ?

      Recently I was reading something – I am going to have to find it,
      but it found that those on the left can not even articulate their own positions very well on average today. It concluded that was because they are used to being surrounded by people with the same views. Because they do not have to defend their views – they do not know them

    • dhlii permalink
      July 1, 2017 3:47 am


      If healthcare is a right – why isn’t blog commenting a right ?

      Why according to your own value scheme shouldn’t you be forced to pay me for the service in posting I provide ?

      Alternately why can’t I atleast be subsidized ?

      It is easy moogie to create stupid and fallacious arguments for anything you want if you only look at first order effects, or if you abandon logic entirely.

      My arguments about – and many more I could make like them are obvious fallacies.

      Just like all other arguments of similar form.

    • July 3, 2017 4:45 pm

      Moogie, I get it. I’ve found that I’m less inclined to participate here because Dave dominates the show with his looong posts — and I just don’t have the time to read them. (I already spend too much time online.)

      That said, I’d never boot Dave off the board unless he became a troll (which he isn’t). He has a right to express his views, even if they’re rigidly libertarian, and I’ve found many of his posts to be informative and insightful even if he hardly qualifies as a moderate. My advice to Dave would be “Brevity has its virtues.” If his comments were more concise, I might read them more often.

      • July 3, 2017 9:58 pm

        Wow, Rick jumping in after over 300 comments. I use to watch a cartoon called “Underdog” where shoe-shine boy would turn into a hero, provided someone called for help, and of course the other condition is he had to consume the right medications. Good to see you Rick.

  55. dhlii permalink
    July 1, 2017 1:18 pm

    Here is a proposal that would work and even Moogie might be able to buy.

    • July 1, 2017 2:51 pm

      Dave, sometimes I think your positions on stuff are way out of bounds, but this one is so far foul it sets a new standard.

      And I bet you would want to do this with no government oversight or regulations to insure that roads, bridges, federal parks and federal buildings were maintained at a level that allowed for safe travel, visitation and occupancy. If someone died from a bridge collapsing, a car severely damaged by unsafe pavement or some other adverse occurrence, then people “just would not use that road” and the company would go broke. Hey, and another idea, lets get the insurance companies to buy a lot of this stuff and put their leadership in charge. That will insure everything is kept up to snuff!

      Alaska’s program is much different. They receive revenue from a natural resource that is sold and then that revenue is distributed. They are not selling permanent assets that have to maintained!

      I once thought of myself as a Libertarian, but you are quickly changing my view of myself. I am now looking for an identity.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 1, 2017 6:21 pm

        What I provided was not “my position” it was a proposal for a means of implimenting a universal basic income.

        UBI is something that has floated in libertarian and other quarters for a very very long time.

        Nearly all economists think it is a far far wiser way of providing a social safety net than anything else we currently have.

        I would note that the person proposing this is a Nobel Economics prize winner.
        This is not some lame brained scheme.

        Generally Libertarains are conflicted over UBI – on the one hand a UBI entirely obliterates far far worse social safety net schemes that have incredibly bad incentives and are unbeleivably harmful.

        On the other UBI’s must be funded – and doing so through normal taxes violates other libertarian principles.

        Often libertarains hold their nose and support a UBI because it is the lessor evil.

        But Smith’s form of UBI appears to get arround the libertarian objection, possibly making a UBI – in this form, libertarain compatible.

        Constitutionally – and in libertarian ideology – government may not own property that it does not have a specific need for – and yes that is in the US constitution.

        That is because our founders – and wise people understand that government is the worst possible steward of our assets.

        Anyway there is nothing anti-libertarian to govenrment selling the property it owns.
        Further the proceeds of that sale legitimately belong to all of us.
        Invert the proceeds and pay a dividend to each person based on the results of the investment, are completely consistent wiith even relatively radical libertarainsim.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 1, 2017 6:33 pm

        With respect to your claim about regulations

        Still unecesscary.

        If you own a bridge and allow others to use it and they are harmed – they have a tort claim against you.

        If you charge them to use it and they are harmed they have a contractual claim against you.

        If you are sufficiently negligent there is a criminal claim against you.

        You continually seem to think that without regulations – nothing would be illegal – there would be anarchy.

        I have never seen a regulation whose purpose was not to prevent something that is already illegal. The fundimental difference is that regulations a priori preclude doing things that Might cause harm. Legitimate law holds people accountable for the actual harm they caused.

        I have repeated the three core responsibilities of government so many times – everyone should know them by now.

        A posteriori laws regarding the initiation of violence and fraud, breach of contract and recompense for actual harm are legitimate. And they have been since the time of Hamurabi.

        In simplified form – if you act and your action harms others, you may be punished AFTER THE FACT for that harm.

        Regulation is a priori. Regulation dictates to people that they may not do something because it MIGHT cause harm.

        The law as an example does nto ban cutting people with a knife – because surgeons do that. It barrs causing serious bodiliy harm

      • dhlii permalink
        July 1, 2017 6:36 pm

        There is no requirement to maintain any asset.

        We maintain assets – because we use them and gain value from them. and maintaining them assures they will continue to give us value.

        We are (or should) not be obligated to maintain.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 1, 2017 6:40 pm

        There are lots of kinds of libertarain.
        Do not presume that because you do not agree with me or someone else you are not libertarain.

        At the same time I would ask you to think about Mr. Smith’s proposal.

        While it is unlikely. That does not make it implausible or a bad idea.

        As outside your norm as it may sound – it is still well thought out and rational.
        It is also the work of an economics nobel winner.
        So I would not discount it out right.

  56. July 1, 2017 3:13 pm

    Dave, please note ending comments about productivity and income. Also note they make no comment about the 40% of jobs being eliminated and where and how those 40% of workers are going to be making a living.

    You look back on past “technology” advances and expect the same outcomes with income.
    I am looking forward knowing with technology today the past most likely will not be duplicated and ask where is income going to be generated?

  57. July 1, 2017 3:15 pm

    Dave, forgot the link

    Please note ending comments about productivity and income. Also note they make no comment about the 40% of jobs being eliminated and where and how those 40% of workers are going to be making a living.

    You look back on past “technology” advances and expect the same outcomes with income.
    I am looking forward knowing with technology today the past most likely will not be duplicated and ask where is income going to be generated?

    • dhlii permalink
      July 1, 2017 8:25 pm


      I have no problem with your fortune article.
      I have no problem with any of the figures for job losses to automation.

      The problem is that is where the analysis STOPS.
      But the economy never stops.

      Higher productivity means higher profits – in the short run,
      but ALWAYS lower prices in the long run.

      Regardless, it means more value produced at less human effort.

      At the point at which the article stops – there are millions of people whose current demands have been fully met, who NOW have the resources available to consume even MORE,
      And you have an available labor pool of workers that can produce that MORE.

      That is the unseen – but homestly it does not stop there – it is a virtuous circle that continually builds on itself.

      Look at unemployment over the long haul.

      It is trivial to find fluctuations in unemployment due to poor monetary policy.
      It is not too hard to find them due to poor fiscal policy.

      There is no correlation between automation and jobs.

      Though there is a corelation between regulation and lost jobs.

      Note the difference – increased regulation -reduces productivity and often causes job loss.

      But it does not increase the value produced. Regulation is inarguably economically destructive. While automation is inarguably constructive.
      Even when regulation increases jobs – it does not increase value produced – we are POORER – because we are using more effort to produce less value.

  58. dhlii permalink
    July 2, 2017 3:50 pm

    I thought this was a pretty good story on myraids of levels about how things are changing.

    It echoes – perhaps more eloquently many of the things I have said.

    I have been more recently and remain though not so strongly concerned of the equivalent of a coup or the rise of left violence and the possible legitimate blowback.

    I am NOT concerned about the rhetorical conflict.

    I am a firm beleiver ”
    There is only an up or down. Up to man’s age-old dream—the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order—or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism”
    and we should pick freedom – even when it is nasty and messy.

    Unlike the author I do not beleive that NYT was ever “straight”
    I am not sure that its being overtly slanted is a bad thing.

    I think we are better off when the biases of journalists are overt.
    I think it is more dishonest for a reporter to pretend to be balanced when they can not be, than to be openly biased so we can measure.

    • Priscilla permalink
      July 2, 2017 9:06 pm

      “I think it is more dishonest for a reporter to pretend to be balanced when they can not be, than to be openly biased so we can measure.”

      I agree, in part. I certainly agree that it’s extremely dishonest for a reporter to try and push an agenda, whether it be pro-Trump or anti-Trump, while pretending that s/he is trying to do straight, fact-based reporting. I have no problem with opinion journalism when it’s labeled as such ~ that is, the kind that Sean Hannity or Chris Matthews practice. Both of them are clearly on one “team,” and spin the facts to make their team look good.

      The reporters that I have a problem with are ones like Jake Tapper, who put themselves out there as straight news reporters, but are really more like Hannity and Matthews. I will say that Tapper has been a lot worse since Trump was elected, as have most of the people at CNN, so it might have to do with a decision on the part of CNN’s management to go all out anti-Trump for ratings, even if it means leaving all journalistic ethics and standards behind.

      So, I guess my point is that I’d like to see reporters try and cover the facts of a story, using reputable sources. Writing stories based on anonymous leaks from god-knows-who has become the norm at most of the networks, and has resulted in them losing most, if not all, of their credibility.

      There will always be editorial bias in journalism, but what we have now, from most of the mainstream news media, is not fact-based journalism at all, but propaganda.

      • July 2, 2017 11:55 pm

        Problems with word press again, so this could be a duplicate.

        Priscilla, I heard something recently that one of the issues with reporters preparing and delivering stories like the ones on CNN that have had to be retracted is due to the cut backs that all journalism has been impacted by in recent years.

        Where years ago when Bernstein and Woodward reported on Watergate, there were layers of editors that had to approve their stories. And most all TV and written journalism was like that. Now, those same reporters may only have one person to clear a story and that one person has many more reporters to clear in a day than years before. So the stories are not getting the reviews that are needed, leading the current reporters to do their own thing and it gets on paper or on the air. The “editors” are not fully vetting the “unnamed sources” of their reporters are using and just asking “is this person creditable?” So what’s the answer if you used them to base a story?

        Can’t remember the person or the program I was watching, but their comment was there was a lot of slanted news written in years past, it was just the editors stopped those stories before anyone ever read them or viewed them.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 3, 2017 1:12 pm

        Why is the press cutting back ?

        Because the market is changing.

        While I agree with your assessment – sort of.
        I think that fact checking and editing is poorer than in the past.
        A part of that is that bias pervades the entire journalism field.

        We now have numerous “fact check” we sites.
        Yet the analysis on those is incredibly biased – and they quite often write out the basis of their evaluations and it is clear how heavily they are influenced by their underlying values.

        Avoiding confirmation bias is one of the hardest things humans have to do.

        Every ideology, and every person – myself included has problems with it.

        Neither left, nor right, nor libertarians are immune.

        At this moment in time the group with by far the thickest rose colored glasses, seeing only what they want to see – is the left.

        That does not make the rest of us immune to confirmation bias, it just makes it far less common.

        I think there is also a more recent issue with the left because the left has over time been working towards ideological purity – with odd results.

        There is far less ideological homogenity on the right today.

        Trump as an example could have been a democrat in the past.
        In many ways he is difficult to distinguish from Bill Clinton.

        But he could not possibly be a democrat today.

        At the same time there are a bazillion flavors of republican – and he has created a new one.

        Republicans have to cope with (and are tolerant of) a far wider array of views on different issues. That weakens confirmation bias in republicans.

        You can jump into the middle of a political conversation involving solely republicans and here completely disparate views on taxes, regulation, immigration, social welfare, ….

        Republicans may argue but they are not going to be cast out of the church as heretics because they hold one view different from the norm.

        Within democratic circles the only debate is over which group is more disadvantaged and therefore is at the top of the intersectional pyramid.
        Hold the wrong view on an issue and you are a pariah and cast out.

        This deprives democrats of challenges to their viewpoint it raises confirmation bias and it decreases their understanding of even their own values.
        You can find much of this in JS Mills on liberty – supressing free expression harms the dominant perspective – even if it is right.

        I would also note demographics play a factor.

        There are very few areas of this country that are more than 60/40 red. While there are many places that are 70/30 or more blue.

        Republicans are the majority in much of the country – but not a strong majority.
        That encourages tolerance, the expression of alternate views and diminished confirmation bias. Conversely democrats dominate most of the areas they control – and therefore those with alternate views keep quiet.

        Just to be clear – the argument about is structural and demographic.

        I am not arguing that democrats are more homogenous, more intolerant and more likely to have confirmation bias because they are intellectually inferior. But because some other factors have caused us to sort the enhance conforation bias on the left and diminish it on the right.

        I also think that is worse now than in the past.

        The left was not nearly as homogenous when I was younger.

        As to libertarians – we are not in a majority anywhere.
        We are constantly exposed to people who do not think the same as we do.
        We are constantly required to defend our views to hostile groups.
        Sometimes those attacking are intellectual midgets.
        But sometimes they are intelligent and make strong arguments.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 3, 2017 12:48 pm

        I would like to see journalism as free as possible.

        Then each of us can make our choices – and the market will sort it out.

        You have expressed what you want – in a free market for journalism – you would get what you want – or a close approximation, if enough people shared your values.

        what I have the most problems with is dishonesty about biases.

        I think the recent open hostility of the Press is great.
        There is little pretence that reporting is unbiased facts.

        While I think reporting the facts untainted by oppinion is a wonderful ideal – I do not think it is even close to reachable.

        While I was a child in the 60’s the media had a strong left bias.
        And that was a period where it was purportedly the most objective – and certainly far more than today.

        I think the pretense of objectivity in an ever left shifting press that we had in the past was WORSE than an openly biased press.

        Smart people take Breitbart with a grain of salt – now we take CNN with the same grain of salt. That is an improvement and is appropriate.

        We will have to see what the market decides – at the moment the completely off the rails left media is doing very well in the ratings.

        If that sustains itself – then the media will look much as it does right now into the future.

        Personally I think the headwinds against this all evil Trump all the time nonsense will eventually cause it to burn out.

        The left as a whole – the media included has chosen to shoot the moon with respect to Trump. They could win, some new fact could emerge that would undercut Trump support such that no one will stand beside him.
        But absent that – this will eventually wear thin – and the ratings of the hyper left will tank
        and that will require a great re-evaluation within the media.

        The left is riding a wave – but the wave is not the ocean.
        The wave will eventually come to shore.

      • dduck12 permalink
        July 3, 2017 12:48 pm

        Agree on Tapper.

  59. Mike Hatcher permalink
    July 3, 2017 10:28 pm

    I am going to start with a trivia question, the answer I plan to embed in the bottom of what I expect will be a long-winded post. How is it that restaurants such as Hooters can avoid violating anti-discrimination laws when only hiring young, “fit” ladies to take your food orders? Now, my issue is whether or not automation, robots, and the like, increase unemployment, decrease it, or have no effect. My gut reaction is that it tends to increase unemployment, but I have no facts that I know of to back that up. However, there is also a side of me that believes in a strong power in nature and humans to balance things regardless of the good or bad of said balance. For example, the better snakes become at catching rats, the more snakes, the fewer rats, snakes then die of starvation and balance occurs. So to, I believe to some extent, the more imbalanced wealth becomes, the more the wealthy need to hire lawyers and/or soldiers to protect the masses from taking their wealth, thus, even if they attempted to horde it all, the more they horde, the more they lose it. Of course, my point is not to diminish in anyway my firm belief that producers can create wealth and we can all be richer from the efforts of some. To take it to an extreme, is it possible that say, if robots someday could build nearly perfect houses in a day, that all that added wealth would open up more jobs in say, sports? More people getting paid to play soccer, hopscotch, tidily winks? Who knows? I certainly don’t know. Which brings me to the answer to my trivia question, the way some restaurants avoid discrimination laws in hiring, is there is an exemption for Entertainment. That’s it, ask anyone bringing your meal at such an establishment and they all know that they are NOT waitresses, they are entertainers. You see, you can’t force a movie producer to hire a white male to play the role of Harriet Tubman in their movie about the Underground Railroad, now can you? That is the exemption that was built in the law, for said reason.

    • July 4, 2017 1:16 am

      Mike, this debate has been discussed from a different angle and multiple reasons given for why automation does not increase unemployment. I finally found an article that supports my thoughts, and yours, on automation increasing unemployment now.

      This is new and will have to be proven over a number of years, but like any economic development, it will have some impact. But on this issue now, I find the multiplier impact interesting.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 4, 2017 4:15 am

        Of course automation will cause some people to lose their jobs.

        In fact pretty much everything that raises our standard of living MUST result in some loss of jobs.

        AGAIN increased standard of ling means
        produce more value with less human effort.

        i.e. LESS JOBS.

        This is not knew. There is zero difference between an automated car and a 1780 weaving machine that does the job of 6 people.

        But that is merely the first order effect – “that which is seen”.

        Creating more value with less human effort ALSO means
        we will have more,
        we will have more to spend – even after we have purchased all that we could possibly have purchased before automation.

        So will will have readily available the two key ingredients for even more growth

        available labor.

        So what has changed from 1780 ?

        To some extent this problem was addressed even By Adam Smith.

        This argument is nothing new. It has been made for 250 years.
        There is not some magical way automation is different today than what it was 250 years ago.
        There is not some magical way the economy is different.
        If anything the greater freedom and lower friction in the modern economy
        moves us from the initial primary first order effects to the second and third and … order effects more quickly.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 4, 2017 4:25 am

        With respect to the forbes argument:

        We have had exponential growth patterns in the past.
        We have had exponential increasing in automation in the past.
        The entire industrial revolution was a gigantic “knee” with a change to a near vertical slope in growth.

        Misunderstanding of exponential growth is an extremely common – usually left fallacy – there are myriads of chicken little the sky is falling “limits to growth” tomes in existance.

        BTW McAffees claim does not work mathematically.
        To maintain the specific knee and vertical growth pattern the forsees has a huge chicken egg problem – to be sustainable – robots would have to design products made by other robots and purchased by robots. Absent a complete robot circle – by his and your own argument – the process must essentially stop itself.

        While my argument above is actually fallacious – it is fallacious for exactly the same reason is it can not happen. The entire purpose of the economy is meeting the wants and needs of humans.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 4, 2017 4:33 am

        I would note one further things – I am glad that McAffee is arguing that growth will occur faster in the future – though I think there are fundimental limits to the economy that make sustained growth above 10% unatainable – McAffee is atleast arguing for higher future growth.

        Most of the left, and an awful lot of economists are claiming that we have reached the limits of growth – there is a huge fight today over whether we can even get above 2% growth.

        I do not beleive that argument is any more valid than that we are approaching a new knee.

        Absent a breakthrough the equivalent of the discovery and utilization of electricity that occurred over the past 2 centuries, We have no means of increasing growth by that much.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 4, 2017 4:41 am

      There is no compelling reason that entertainment is special.

      Actually you can force a movie producer to hire a white man to play harriet tubman.
      And infact the rough equivalent has been done in the past.

      Further – you can just not make movies about harriet tubman.
      In fact you do not need to make movies at all.

      There are only a few things that are absolute necescities to life – food, water, air.
      Even those are merely the difference between a longer life and a shorter one.

      All regulation results in things that would have happened not happening.
      Because you can force a movie producer to hire a white male to play harriet tubman – or more likely you can use force to create regulations that make it so movie producers will not even try to make movies about harriet tubman.

      Worse – were that to happen – very few people would be on the street protesting because there are no movies of harriet tubman.

      We do not notice the things that never happen because of regulation

      • Mike Hatcher permalink
        July 4, 2017 11:12 am

        I have no problem with your argument. However, I would like to qualify what I meant. I meant, under today’s U.S.laws, an employer is legally bound to not discriminate in hiring for things such as age, race, and such, with an exception made for the entertainment industry. The Harriet Tubman reference was to give some context of what lawmakers where thinking when they created that exemption. And as I suspect clarification may be needed to my clarification, I am in no way claiming to know what lawmakers were actually thinking while they passed said exemption, perhaps they were thinking of purple llamas, but rather, I refer to commentary made about previously mentioned exemption.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 4, 2017 1:18 pm

        I am arguing that “entertainment” is not “different” – just as “healthcare” is not different.

        I am not arguing with you so much as with the law as it is.

        The 14th amendment applies to government – the state may not discriminate against us. We are entitled to equal protection of the law.
        There is not supposed to be white law, or womens law, or poor peoples law.
        Just law blind to each of us and our circumstances.

        That is NOT true outside of govenrment. If I choose to give to a homeless person, I am not obligated to be blind to anything.

        I can give to addicts and drunks who will use what I give to get more alcohol and drugs.
        I can focus on those I think will most benefit.
        I can pick a single individual and choose to help them.
        I can do nothing.

        I can choose who I will let into my home.

        And I can choose who I will hire or fire.

        I would prefer that people made choices – whether in their charity or who they left into their home or who they engaged in free exchange with based on the same constraints imposed on government.

        But so long as no force or fraud are involve, agreements are kept, and no actual harm occurs to another – our choices are outside the interference of government.

        That does not make them outside the criticism of our fellow man.

        If you do not like some aspect of the way your local baker does business – protest, picket, boycott.

        I know this is not how things are. But it is how things should be.

        The pretense that entertainment is different – is stupid.

      • July 4, 2017 5:21 pm

        Actually the “Hooters Girls” are not allowed under any entertainment clause of any law. They are covered under the bona fide occupational qualification clause of another act.

        Just as a police department can age discriminate and say an officer has to be between the ages of X and Y and a 60 year applying for a position can be turned down, Hooters can discriminate against men as being wait staff since there is a requirement for a certain body type to fill that position.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 4, 2017 6:19 pm


        I am not looking to get into a dispute over the details of laws that allow or prohibit various forms of private discrimination.

        My point is that they are stupid.

        I would further note that with respect to individuals particularly in the US the rule is all is permitted – except what is specifically prohibited.

        My guess would be there is little or no legislation regarding hooters, but there is caselaw.
        But I am not interested in looking it up or debating it.

        If I care about hooters hiring criteria, I can:
        eat elsewhere.
        The same with groceries, movie companies, stock brokers and escort services, or anything else.

  60. dhlii permalink
    July 4, 2017 3:58 am

    Trump Deja Vu

    • dhlii permalink
      July 4, 2017 4:01 am

      Try link again

      • Priscilla permalink
        July 5, 2017 8:46 am

        Thanks for posting that video, Dave. Trump haters easily forget that Obama ~ and to a lesser extent, Bush before him ~ were guilty of unconstitutional power grabs.

        I think that Trump supporters have to be careful not to become so defensive over the outrageous attacks on the president that they defend him even when he is wrong.

        Without a credible news media, the two warring sides have no center around which to spin off……..

      • dhlii permalink
        July 5, 2017 3:18 pm

        I liked the video because it was attacking the left and the right concurrently.

        I post alot – here and elsewhere, and quite often people confuse me for some extreme right wing nut – or atleast a conservative.

        I do on occasion get the opportunity to confront those on the right.
        But it is more rare. Not because the right is somehow correct and the left always wrong.

        But because more recently the left has been more of a problem that the right.

        Also because quite often the recent failures of the right – are the same as those of the left.

        I keep repeating that “I did not vote for Trump”.
        But I have also said that I support – or atleast do not strongly oppose much of what he has done as president.

        But that does not mean I do not worry. I just think I am less worried than I would be if Clinton was elected.

        I would love to see a vast reduction in the power of the executive.
        Congress should take back the legislative power it delegated.

        There was a recent court decisions staying some of Scott Pruits actions at EPA.

        And I am like – how is it that the court can decide there is a specific procedural set of requirements that the executive must follow to repeal the excercise of a power that the executive does not have.

        I would love a court decision that congress can not delegate its constitutional powers.
        But that is not going to happen.

        Thus far MOST of Trump’s authoritarain actions have been to diminish the power of the executive.

        I firmly beleive that increasing the use of forcing in govenrment should be incredibly hard and decreasing it should be easy.
        It is only on that basis that I am not upset about Trump.

  61. Mike Hatcher permalink
    July 4, 2017 6:47 pm

    Dave, you may not care to debate Ron on what the law is, but you are not the only one in this conversation. I made the point that there is a legal exemption because of entertainment, Ron is saying there is an exemption but not for the reason I am stating. Thus the “fight” is between me and Ron on this particular point, and in my opinion, between Ron and I, I have the burden of proof, which I will go attempt to back up with a link to something. –Now, on what I consider a separate issue of what should or should not be,…let me pose to you, Dave, a question this way: I want to hire an office clerk for my accounting firm, I assume you would rather the government not stop me from advertising that only white males need apply, you might personally boycott my business for my unfair hiring practices, but you would not want the government to stop me. I believe I understand you correctly on that, yes?

    • Mike Hatcher permalink
      July 4, 2017 8:20 pm




      General principles.


      Sex as a bona fide occupational qualification.


      Separate lines of progression and seniority systems.


      Discrimination against married women.


      Job opportunities advertising.


      Employment agencies.


      Pre-employment inquiries as to sex.


      Relationship of title VII to the Equal Pay Act.


      Fringe benefits.


      Employment policies relating to pregnancy and childbirth.


      Sexual harassment.

      Appendix to Part 1604—Questions and Answers on the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Public Law 95-555, 92 Stat. 2076 (1978)


      Sec. 713(b), 78 Stat. 265, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-12.


      37 FR 6836, April 5, 1972, unless otherwise noted.

      § 1604.1 General principles.
      (a) References to “employer” or “employers” in this part 1604 state principles that are applicable not only to employers but also to labor organizations and to employment agencies insofar as their action or inaction may adversely affect employment opportunities.

      (b) To the extent that the views expressed in prior Commission pronouncements are inconsistent with the views expressed herein, such prior views are hereby overruled.

      (c) The Commission will continue to consider particular problems relating to sex discrimination on a case-by-case basis.

      § 1604.2 Sex as a bona fide occupational qualification.
      (a) The commission believes that the bona fide occupational qualification exception as to sex should be interpreted narrowly. Label—“Men’s jobs” and “Women’s jobs”—tend to deny employment opportunities unnecessarily to one sex or the other.

      (1) The Commission will find that the following situations do not warrant the application of the bona fide occupational qualification exception:

      (i) The refusal to hire a woman because of her sex based on assumptions of the comparative employment characteristics of women in general. For example, the assumption that the turnover rate among women is higher than among men.

      (ii) The refusal to hire an individual based on stereotyped characterizations of the sexes. Such stereotypes include, for example, that men are less capable of assembling intricate equipment: that women are less capable of aggressive salesmanship. The principle of nondiscrimination requires that individuals be considered on the basis of individual capacities and not on the basis of any characteristics generally attributed to the group.

      (iii) The refusal to hire an individual because of the preferences of coworkers, the employer, clients or customers except as covered specifically in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

      (2) Where it is necessary for the purpose of authenticity or genuineness, the Commission will consider sex to be a bona fide occupational qualification, e.g., an actor or actress.

      • Mike Hatcher permalink
        July 4, 2017 8:35 pm

        Ok, the EEOC guidelines which I paste in part, in the above post, does not specifically use the word “entertainment” , it is as Ron said, part of a discussion of Bona Fide Occupational Qualifications (BFOQ) which Ron mentioned. So if I had to judge in a zero-sum game, I would declare Ron the winner. However, I would point out that these EEOC guidelines explicitly mention actor or actress, for purposes of authenticity, which is where restaurants such as Hooters are ready to go to should there ever be a case decided on such an issue. What I also discovered in my research is there has been no case law, as of yet, deciding on the value of that defense, all such discrimination cases related to my “entertainment” proposition have as of now, been settled out of court. One practical application I challenge anyone on, is to go to any of these “Breastaurant” type establishments and I assure you, every food server there has been well educated that they are NOT wait staff, they are Entertainers. Probe them further as to why the distinction is made, I personally have not found any that had a clue as to why the business made that distinction.

      • July 4, 2017 11:33 pm

        Mike, I think this is a draw. But the question is a very interesting one and i am going to go to a source tat may well be able to give us some Hooters management insight. As my son was moving through management at various restaurants, he was the GM at the local Winston Salem Hooters for about a year before his now district manager position with 5 Guys.

        So I will ask him the question about wait staff or entertainers and see if he has heard this or if it is more a regional thing with the establishments. could be state and not federal issue.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 5, 2017 2:11 am

        Ignoring all the other idiocies of the code you cite.

        We should never pass laws that are difficult or impossible to enforce.

        I have hired and fired many people.

        I have typically had to deal with about 25-30 applicants for each job.
        less than 1/4 of those get bassed reading their application.
        about half the remainder are dropped after phone interviews.
        The remainder have in person interviews.

        In the world even when I can tell you why I hired John over Jim. the reasons are rarely clean or clear cut. I just liked John better, or ….

        It does not take too many hires before you grasp several things:

        You are not going to pick the best person for the job – there probably is no such thing.
        The objective is primarily not to pick someone who is going to fail.

        That unless you blatantly document stupid reasons for your hire, no one is ever going to know why you picked John over Jim – probably not even you.

        I have personally sought out among prospects those who were reaching. Who for some reason or other felt they were being given a chance rather than that they were entitled.

        This often included women, minorities, gays, or disabled people.
        Because I could pay them less, because they would work harder, because they would be more loyal.

        Is that discrimination that should be illegal ?

        Moogie will probably tell you I should be forced to hire the same people – but pay them the same as I would straight white men.

        Hiring is complex. But normally I did NOT hire the most qualified person for the job.

        There is not a single criteria for hiring – there are many.
        Sometimes it is the best choice to hire a less qualified and cheaper person.

        So my question to Moogie would be – if you want me to hire the most qualified person and pay any hire the same – I am probably going to hire far less, minorities.

        Regardless, the only way you can prove any of the assorted forms of illegal discrimination in the law you are citing – is if the person hiring is stupid enough to document it.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 5, 2017 2:20 am

        Ron, Mike;

        Have you ever hired someone ?
        If you have – do you really want them to have had to read through digest and attempt to do their job based on this kind of nonsense.

        Do you even think most people who hire have read or thought about any of this ?

        All this rot does is sets up a minefield for people doing hiring (or any other thing that government can turn into illegal discrimination).

        I do not understand how either of you can look at these regaulations – and then remember that there are state and sometimes local versions of the same – and often permutations through other govenrment agenicies.

        And still argue that regulation is some positive thing.

        Few people have a clue about the vast majority of the regulations that apply to their job.

        Regulations are not guides – they are landmines.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 5, 2017 1:46 am

      You all seem to think I consume all the air here.

      And on an issue that I have no interest in debating – you are insisting I must ?

      If you are Ron wish to argue about various laws, their exceptions, case law, ….
      Go ahead. It could be interesting. But I am not jumping in.

      The argument I care to make is that government may not interfere with non-violent private discrimination. Not against people without shirts or shoes, not against men, not against gays.

      Government may not discriminate. It may not use force to discriminate through private actors. Private actors may not use force, but they can discriminate on whatever basis they please.

      What you do not like – you can protest, pickett or boycott.

      I would note that outside of “public accomidation laws” which were unconstitutional until the 30’s, unlimited private discrimination remains legal.

      You are free to discriminate as you please with respect to your own home and personal life.

      You are unfortunately not free to conduct that aspect of your private life that involves free exchange with the same freedom.

      We make an artificial distinction regarding “commerce” as if commerce is separable from the rest of our lives.

      The public is what govenrment does. Everything else it private.

      The tail of all chains of free exchange is nearly always something entirely private.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 5, 2017 1:55 am

      I do not believe that people should take drugs, hire prostitutes, or gamble.
      I think all of these are bad conduct. But none of these should be illegal.

      I have stated over and over again the three areas of legitimate government.
      All three share one common thread – they are exercises of force to secure our rights,

      Every other thing that I or anyone else thinks is wrong – should not be illegal.

      All the below are quotes from Milton Friedman

      “The man who exercises discrimination pays a price for doing so. He is, as it were, “buying” what he regards as a “product.” It is hard to see that discrimination can have any meaning other than a “taste” of others that one does not share. We do not regard it as “discrimination” — or at least not in the same invidious sense — if an individual is willing to pay a higher price to listen to one singer than to another, although we do if he is willing to pay a higher price to have services rendered to him by a person of one color than by a person of another. The difference between the two cases is that in the one case we share the taste, and in the other we do not.”

      “We have already seen how a free market separates economic efficiency from irrelevant characteristics. As noted in chapter i, the purchaser of bread does not know whether it was made from wheat grown by a white man or a Negro, by a Christian or a Jew. In consequence, the producer of wheat is in a position to use resources as effectively as he can, regardless of what the attitudes of the community may be toward the color, the religion, or other characteristics of the people he hires.”

      “It is a striking historical fact that the development of capitalism has been accompanied by a major reduction in the extent to which particular religious, racial, or social groups have operated under special handicaps in respect of their economic activities; have, as the saying goes, been discriminated against.”

  62. Priscilla permalink
    July 5, 2017 11:26 am

    Regarding the Hooters/Hollywood entertainment “discrimination” loophole….

    1) I think that we here would all agree that, if casting “Romeo and Juliet,” it would be a bona fide occupational qualification for Romeo to be played by a male and Juliet by a woman. Of course, in today’s topsy-turvy world, we might need to re-establish that the bona-fide qualification is that the person playing Romeo exhibit the cultural characteristics of a man and s/he playing Juliet exhibit those of a woman.

    2) There might be a similar qualification for a Hooters servers. If people were to find out, however, that Hooters was employing drag queens or surgically modified transgenders, it might likely affect the business ~ that is, many of the natural-born men who patronize Hooters want their waitresses to be natural-born women, who may or may not have large secondary sex characteristics that are unnaturally acquired. If the patrons of Hooters were to demand this, would it be a bona fide qualification, or would it be hate speech?

    3) Hollywood, and the entertainment industry in general, is rampantly hypocritical on this issue, as it is on guns. Think of all of the closeted male actors who live in fear of being outed, and never again being cast in a leading man role.

    • July 5, 2017 11:55 am

      Priscilla, ” There might be a similar qualification for a Hooters servers.”

      As Mike has pointed out, my son confirms that the servers at Hooters are hired as entertainers and not servers.

      Now for the clincher that also precludes very thin, model shaped women or over weight women, or other shaped women from filling a Hooters girl position. Hooters has a limited number of sizes for their uniforms that the servers have to fit and one of the qualifications is the server has to fit that uniform where it is not loose or overly tight (which seems to be somewhat vague). And he did bring up the court case and the fact that they used the BFOQ clause as an entertainer to support their hiring of only women, but also the fact that a certain uniform size is required supported that requirement.

      As for a drag queen and Hooters girl, I doubt they would fit into the uniform and fill it out properly. Where lumps are required, there would be none. Where lumps should not show, they would exist.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 5, 2017 3:25 pm

        And the point I am trying to make is that our government our law should not be making these distincitions.

        The Indigo girls did an all female Jesus Christ Superstar.

        Where a position – in entertainment or construction or healthcare or anything has an inherent biological components or ethnic, or … is up to those making the choice.

        If you do not want government making ALL or the decisions in life – you had better figure out how to define some limits to government – and you had better expect that if you stick to those limits – you are going to get outcomes that do not make you happy some time.

        An increasingly large number of us probably a majority by now, grasp that the war on drugs has been an incredible failure.

        But ending it will not make the drug problem go away. It will only end much of the crime problem that criminalizing drugs causes.

        We will still see people who should not have – die from overdoses.

        Governments efforts to fix things rarely fix anything.

      • July 5, 2017 5:29 pm

        Dave, “If you do not want government making ALL or the decisions in life – you had better figure out how to define some limits to government – and you had better expect that if you stick to those limits – you are going to get outcomes that do not make you happy some time.”

        I do not want government making ALL of the decisions and I would suspect government would not be making 90% of the decisions that are made if not for the abhorrent decisions that those not involved with government make.

        If it were not for government, non-whites would still be using separate facilities from whites in some parts of the country, non-whites and whites would not be allowed to marry, businesses would be allowed to not hire individuals based on sex, race or some other issue and a host of other issues that are now illegal would be taking place in the name of purity or profit. There are not enough Branch Rickey’s in the world to offset those that do not want to do the right thing.

        Where you believe each action has a reaction and those reactions will insure the proper outcomes becomes reality, I believe that those who make actions happen can also control many of the reactions and therefore a proper outcome will never happen.

        You are much more trusting of your fellow man, where I have a very much lower outlook on those who have enough money, influence and backing that I believe their desirable outcomes are anything but the best for the masses.

        As for government making laws, those same people I have little trust in are the ones that look for every loophole to jump though in any new law and that means government tries to determine what the next loophole might be before the law is passed. Thus the entertainment clause and the BFOQ. The laws may not be written well and may sometimes get in the way, but it beats not having laws and people deciding to take action into their own hands.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 5, 2017 7:36 pm

        Your response to my assertion that govenrment must have limits – appears to be that
        no government at all is bad.

        Shocker – I am still not an anarchist.

        What are the limits of government ? I have made myself clear.
        No one else here has ever.

        You all seem to want the choice to be binary – anarchy or limitless government.

        Why are a bunch of examples of past government discrimination proof that we need laws against private discrimination ?

        Our world is not trifurated – government, business, personal.

        It is bifurcated – government and all else.

        Whatever you are free to do as an individual – no matter how offensive, you are free to do as a business.

        I do not think that people should discriminate for some reasons.
        But I have no right to impose my view of what people should and should not do on others by force.

        “Doing the right thing: – is a terribly dangerous standard to justify the use of force.
        We have myriads of examples of people inside and outside government – often sincerely believing they are doing the right thing – inflicting terrible harm on others.

        Getting government out will not fix most of our problems.
        Does anyone beleive that ending the drug war will make the drug problem go away ?
        Does anyone beleive that continuing it will make it go away.

        Government can not fix most things.

        The absence of government will not produce a proper outcome.
        Nor will its presence.

        I am not the one with the blind trust.

        Why do you beleive those with power – government,
        are more trustworthy than those with money ?

        A “loophole” exists whenever one person thinks the law should have been different.
        While sometimes legislators deliberately craft loopholes.
        The primary issue is that the economy inherently routes arround regulation.
        Absent a one world government totalitarian state it is not possible to craft laws that can not be worked arround, and the problem will get worse with greater globalization, more technology greater freedom.

        “Loopholes” do little more than expose govenrment getting into things it should not.

        The law you refer to is not only not written well but it is NOT better than no law at all.
        That is an assumption on your part.

        Without law against economic discrimination the cost of discriminating is born by those discriminating.

        With them it is born by all of us – particularly government.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 5, 2017 7:38 pm

        One of the problems with economic regulation

        is that you seem to beleive that you can get people to do things your way – that they do not have to do at all.

        What you call a “loophole” is just someone saying – I am free, and you might be able to stop me from doing exactly what I want, but you can not make me do exactly what you want.

  63. dduck12 permalink
    July 5, 2017 7:37 pm

    There aren’t too many Hooters in NYC, but there are plenty of restaurants serving Chinese and Japanese food. I wouldn’t bother to apply for employment there. Most other ethnic food restaurants seem to prefer employees that look like they come from the same region as the food. Just saying.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 5, 2017 7:51 pm

      My kids are both asian. I go to alot of asian resturaunts.

      Not only are most(all) of the employees asian, most typically they are immigrants, probably illegal, and usually with marginal english.

      Almost certainly the employment violates numerous anti-discrimination laws.

      But you can not make people do as you wish, just by making something illegal.

    • July 5, 2017 9:56 pm

      Interesting, same in central NC. And they all seem to be able to speak the language of the countries food they sell. That could be the BFOQ that gets them around the race discrimination issue

    • Mike Hatcher permalink
      July 5, 2017 10:52 pm

      DDuck, Hiring a chef that is French for a French Restaurant is a well established example of when courts accept “open discrimination”. In fact, aside from blatant, essentially iron clad cases of discrimination, the courts have ruled that employers can hire anyone for any dumb reason they want, they can hire unqualified Jed over highly qualified Mike because they think the letter “J” is lucky.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 6, 2017 2:50 am

        The law is similar though somewhat the inverse of what you suggest.

        As an employer – you can in most states hire or fire for no reason.
        or any reason EXCEPT a few specific reasons precluded by law.
        HOWEVER, if you give a reason, and that reason can be proven to be a pretext, or false
        the courts are allowed to conclude – without evidence that your real reason was a prohibited one.

  64. Mike Hatcher permalink
    July 5, 2017 10:17 pm

    There are some political/economic subjects that interest me and many that do not interest me. I have found what interests me more than the actual subject being discussed, is what I consider the social dynamics of those discussing. The primary goal of most of what I say is not to persuade others to change their positions or beliefs, but rather to expand their view, and possibly their tolerance of people with contrary views.

    It was maybe one or two years ago that you “disappeared” from this blog for a relatively long period of time, I remember missing your comments and am glad you came back. In our world of instant connections the saying is: “If you don’t hear back from someone in two minutes, you assume they are either dead or they hate you.” I think that is a funny exaggeration, but I mention it to point out that I do value your comments. My words were not meant to try to reduce the amount of comments you make, I said: “you are not the only one in this conversation” as an attempt to draw your attention that Ron’s comment may not have been directed to you.

    You have often said you pick and choose what interests you. If Ron’s (or my) technical details of the law did not interest you, you simply could have not commented on the details, rather than belabor the point that you neither want to dispute nor debate these details. Those comments of yours, in my opinion, seem to show that you were either unaware that the comment Ron made may have been directed to someone other than you, or that you find a discussion valueless unless it is something that interests you.

    In either case, I fear, that in your strong support of individual choice, you sometimes fail to calculate how others may react to what you say. Perhaps, you may think that since they are free to do or react how they wish, that it should be of no concern to you. I disagree. I believe the message of opposing government’s relentless expansion and diminishing our liberty is more effectively delivered if one shows concern for the feelings of those to whom one delivers that message.

    No, I have never hired anyone. (One day projects excluded)

    • dhlii permalink
      July 6, 2017 2:07 am


      I am not often sarcastic – or atleast not in my posts, sarcasm is almost the default form of communication in my home.

      Regardless, my remarks about volume where tongue in cheek.

      I know that I am incredibly verbose. I know that it decreases the odds of people reading what I write.

      I am quite capable of writing well and tersely – but that requires significant time and effort and my posts are for fun – not profit.

      Moogie is certain I am a paid Koch Brothers Troll – oh. would that were so – I could afford to spend time editing and shortening my posts.

      I have thought about it and I do not know what the primary goal of my posts are.
      Though I am pretty sure I am posting for me.
      Once in a while I think about that.

      Using the Haidt metaphor – I know I am talking to the rider and not the elephant.
      But I do not know how to do otherwise.
      Though once in a while I do try to make an emotional appeal to those on the left, because their model for government screw those they claim to care for.

      Preliminaries on the argument over the MW are coming in from the 2nd phase in seattle – ans thus far they are bad. Not catastrophic, but still bad. The average employee the law applies to is losing $125/month in pay.

      So much for helping the poor.

      I am glad you value my comments. It is nice to know that someone does.
      I would note that I value all the comments of others here.

      Unlike Rick or Ron it should be obvious that I actually read them rather than skim them – but the fact that I sometime respond point by piquionne point.

      At the same time I do have things I actually care about and things I do not.
      I am not always good at avoiding debates over points that I do nto care about.

      I am trying not to do that in this discussion.

      The law regarding private discrimination is WRONG.
      I see little reasons to debate the merits or legitimacy ef exceptions to bad laws.

      Further the brite line individual liberty argument I am making works – whether we are talking about hiring women – or selling wedding cakes to gay couples.

      I have little interest in a religious exception to discrimination or public accomidation laws.
      Because the laws themselves are just wrong.

      I do not care if you refuse to sell wedding cakes to people with yellow tshirts on.
      That may be stupid, but it should not be illegal.

      Law and government are not there to prevent people from making mistakes.
      That is a very dangerous road – Mao, Hiltler, Stallin, FDR, Moogie and Ron each likely have a differetn idea of what mistakes we should prohibit others from making.

      Is there any aspect of the basis for legitimate government that I have repeated ad nauseum that is not nearly universal ?

      Is there not near unanimity that the principles I offer are all legitimate and that any law that conforms to them is legitimate?

      If there is some debate on that – I would love to have hit.

      The debate to the extent anyone will engage in it is whether there is even more govenrment can legitimately do.

      • dduck12 permalink
        July 6, 2017 12:43 pm

        “I am quite capable of writing well and tersely – but that requires significant time and effort and my posts are for fun – not profit.”
        Why is that, I think effective communication is fun and sanctifying.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 6, 2017 2:09 pm

        It does not matter why.

        And you are free to think as you choose.

        You may be right.
        Or you may be right for you.

        But I am still free to do what I think is best for me – even if I am wrong.

      • July 6, 2017 1:23 pm

        So I was reading all the comments this morning and after a few, I thought today would be a nice one to just read and say nothing. Then I came across this statement.

        “Law and government are not there to prevent people from making mistakes.
        That is a very dangerous road – Mao, Hiltler, Stallin, FDR, Moogie and Ron each likely have a different idea of what mistakes we should prohibit others from making.”

        While I don’t mind being mentioned in a comment concerning issues individuals are discussing, I do take exception when I am lumped in with Mao, Hitler and Stalin. Although I do not agree with the politics of FDR or Moogie, they did not kill people (as far as I know) to maintain civil obedience like the other three.

        And Dave , there is a difference in preventing people from making mistakes and purposefully creating actions or products that injure people, either physically, emotionally or financially. One only needs to read or listen to the news occasionally to hear about actions taken by big corporations where they have done something that could have drastic negative effects on people that led to huge settlements and fines to understand a country that does not have consumer protection laws to protect people is the wrong type of government to have. Liberals are way to accepting of laws to regulate everything and controlling of people so they think the government as their “parent”. Libertarians, on the other hand, are way to lenient in allowing for no laws and thinking people will always to good and avoid anything that harms another person. And then there are the huge group in the middle, regardless of political persuasion, that are sane enough to walk the fine line between too many laws and not enough laws that make life better for all others. I fall into that group and I am proud of that fact. That is why you will find me talking out both sides of my mouth on this issue since there are too many times government leans to far liberal or Libertarian depending on who’s in power.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 6, 2017 6:30 pm

        The sentence that offends you does not “lump you together”
        It is crystal clear that it is a list of people with DIFFERENTviews.

        Maybe I should have added mother theressa and Ghandi to the list – would that work better for you ?

        Past that you make a big deal of the difference between preventing people from making mistakes and deliberately harming, and then jump right into your own examples of people making mistakes as examples of deliberate harm.

        Perfect safety does not exist. It is ALWAYS possible for someone – such as your self to prove conclusively that almost anything anyone else did could have been done safer.

        That does not convert it into a deliberate act.
        It does not even make prevention inherently a good thing.

        You also conclude – fallaciously that paying settlements is the same as guilt.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 6, 2017 7:12 pm

        I may have posted this before – but it is relevant to your claims.
        It is long – I am sorry, but that is because the story is horrible.

        The root case also demonstrates many of the other problems with your settlement meme.

        There is no effective means to go after the government for malicious and false prosecutions, much less merely the costs incurred – in otherwords the deck is stacked – if you win, you still lose.

        Government has incentivized this aberant behavior – if you “blow the whistle” on some company – you get 1/4 of any settlement. Maybe that sounds reasonable – until you start to gather that settlements have become a business for the DOJ.

        This is all little different that asset forfeiture which is the means by which law enforcement punishes people for being poor.

        In this case the victims of government corruption – are the very businesses you are complaining about. In otherwords you are celebrating government reping and pillaging for some fake common good.

        In the late 90’s HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo made a huge deal of getting multi-billion dollar settlements from nearly every national home hortgage lender – for failing to write mortgages to enough low income people.

        Given the past 2 decades – can you say with a straight face that those lenders were actually guilty of anything – except not being stupid ?
        Don’t you wish that they had fought Cuomo and won ?

        Get a clue – a settlement is just recognition of the fact that you can not fight the government.

        I have been involved in several “lawsuits” in my life – while these have all been private, and I have been on the winning side of everyone.
        I deeply regret every single one of them.
        It would have been wiser to “settle” every one of them – even at significant loss, than to endure the destruction a protracted lawsuit causes.

        Making money is not easy – but getting back that part of your life wasted in a lawsuit is impossible.

        Regardless, your argument is incredibly shallow.

        If there are these constant settlements occuring and they really represent bad acts – then there should be thousands of people dying from this malfeasance all over
        Where are they ?

        Further you seem to think that law is a magic remedy – pass a law and people cease to do that bad thing. IF so – then why all the settlments ? Clearly people did not stop ?

        Well maybe the law needs to be enforced – to make an example of someone so that people toe the line ?
        But if that were true – then settlements would gradually dwindle.

        The high publicity model of regulatory lawsuits and settments can only work one way.

        The laws are so broad and complex that those subject to them can not possibly know them. Regulators periodically pick some company to go after and then find the regulation to do so – and you get a settlement which makes everyone happy.
        But there is no preventive effect – because there are far too many laws, that are too broad and no means of even being sure that you are complying with them.

        Business far from being the evil actors you portray them as are mostly just clay pigeons waiting to be shot. Hoping they will not be the regulators next victim.

        More evidence ?

        Because these settlments you refer to continue nearly endlessly that inherently means industry compliance does not exist.
        That means one of several things.
        The cost of the settlment is not high enough to be preventive.
        The likelyhood of getting caught is not preventive
        Businesses do not have the capability of complying with the law
        There is no real harm being caused by violations of these laws.

        Regardless, what is certain is the regulations are not working.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 6, 2017 7:17 pm

        Much of the world does not have the consumer protection laws we have.
        Very little of the world outside the EU has the deep and broad regulatory regime we have.

        And yet things like life expectance correlate to standard of living – not level or regulation.

        Ron, I am sorry, but if you ever bother to actually research it there is amble evidence that the regulatory state you celebrate does WORSE than nothing to improve things.

        It is a huge economic drag, it reduces our standard of living and it offers no benefit

      • dhlii permalink
        July 6, 2017 7:27 pm


        I get incredibly tired of this – libertarians are anarchists nonsense.

        I can point you to some real anarcho capitalists if you want – who can credibly argue that we really do not need government at all. But that is not and never has been my argument.

        If you actually harm another – you are obligated to make them whole.

        If the businesses you are sure are so evil are actually harming people – prove it, fine the crap out of them and pay the fines to those harmed.

        That is not what occurs – and you know it.
        Even the stupid Tobacco settlment some years ago
        Something like 200B dollars the tobacco companies paid.

        All protection payment, worthy of the mafia.
        Nobody actually hurt by Cigarettes ever got a dime.
        In many instance the money went to the states who then gave it back to tobacco companies.

        There is no fine line between too many laws and too few.

        A law is either justified or it is not.
        If it is not – then it is lawless.

        There is no fine line here.

        You sued the right word in closing – POWER.

        That is what it is about.
        Law is about POWER.

        Power corrupts.

        You complain about corruption in politics.
        It is inherent to government power.

        The greater the power of government – the worse the corruption.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 6, 2017 7:31 pm

        You do not trust people – I got that. Though my distrust is not so high as yours.
        I do not trust people either.

        But if you do not trust people in voluntary free exchange – where you are free to say no at any time to any thing.

        Why do you trust people in govenrment ?

        If you think that businesses are going to kill you – why do you think that police, judges, bureacrats, policitians are somehow better ?

        Why would you trust someone with power who you would not trust with money ?

        The harm that GE can do is inconsequential compared to govenrment.

        No business on the planet can take everything I own,
        Not one can take my freedom.
        Not one can take my life.

        If you are so mistrustful of people – why do you make an exception for those with power. ?

    • dhlii permalink
      July 6, 2017 2:29 am

      While I did not want to argue the point you and Ron were debating.

      I did want to make a completely different argument about the larger subject.

      If my segway to that was to large or dismissive I apologize.

      With respect to your point on effectiveness.

      While I take slightly more care here not to “offend” people, and this is the only place I post under my real name.

      I am not especially concerned about offending people. I have taken tough stands usually alone all my life.

      I am also not sure how concerned about effective I am.

      I do not think I am going to win this argument as a consequence of debate – but either of necescity or as progress creates freedom faster than government can take it away.

      With respect to necescity – big govenrment is failing. Most of us grasp that.
      Failure brings change.

      Regardless, I expect to be proven right by reality given enough time – just as Seattles MW increases is failing.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 6, 2017 2:46 am

      Just to be clear – I was not trying to insult you regarding hiring people.

      I greatly wish that others – people like Moogie could have some of the experiences I have been fortunate enough to have.

      I have been steeped in small business my entire life.

      Much of what people say about how people in business make choices is unadulterated crap. It is rarely if ever the way people who are in some way seriously answerable make choices.

      The worst discrimination or misconduct I have seen in business has been by employees – either who made demands or who were given responsibility they were not accustomed too.

      If I put it to a vote of our staff many years ago when I was choosing health plans for 55 people – they would have happily terminated 1 or 2 employees that were driving our rates up to get cheaper insurance.

      Most of the people I have had work for me are far harsher with regard to other employees than I was.

      Hiring and firing are absolutely nothing like most people seem to think.

      There is no “the best person for the job” – that is just absolute nonsense.
      And confronted with 25-100 resumes and not much time to get through them,
      it becomes quickly obvious you are not even going to hire the best person among the applicants.

      There are often jokes about dropping all the resumes down the stairs – and the one that travels farthest gets the job.
      I can seriously say that method may work as well as any I have seen.

      Unemployment varies from 4% to a high of 10% during my life.
      Most of the people who do not have a job, do not have a job for a reason.
      Many of them are good people and even hard workers – though all are not.
      When unemployment is low finding even good people is really hard.
      Still the majority of applicants – if they were stellar would have jobs.

      If your looking to hire an ace – you need to be looking at people who currently have a job – and that introduces a different set of problems.
      If someone is prepared to leave their job – why?

  65. Mike Hatcher permalink
    July 5, 2017 11:06 pm

    I think equal employment laws do more good than harm. What Dave says is true in that virtually anyone can get around it that wants to, but remember that a lot of people are hired in the private sector by managers that are not necessarily owners. If I own even a few shares of a giant corporation, I like the fact that they at least have to appear not to discriminate. Also it gives me an argument against any able bodied welfare recipient that tries to say the only reason they aren’t working is discrimination.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 6, 2017 3:06 am

      As a shareholder – you have a voice in how the company works – vote your shares or if that does not work – sell them. Those influences do work.

      You also have influence as a consumer.

      I will also note though there are exceptions – employment discrimination comes from only a couple of sources.

      Though most small businessmen are somewhat paranoid about law and regulation,
      Many are also used to getting their way. That often results in poor choices.

      More comonly discrimination is at the lowest levels of business management.
      Generally people who have risen to the top are very good at hiring people.
      And that is an art. It is very hard to lose a hiring/firing discrimination lawsuit if you hire good people and you fire people who fail.

      while those closer to the bottom of the pyramid tend to not only make poor choices – but they say stupid things about the choices they make.

      The question is not whether employers should be punished for poor choices.
      But who should punish them.

      The punishment for hiring and firing mistakes – is the the people you gain or lose.

      If your predjudices keep you from making good choices your end up with less qualified employees, which means you are less competitive and less profitable.

      It also means the really good people you did not hire because they were gay, black, female end up working for your compeitor. Often for slightly lower wages – which screws YOU twice, you are paying more for the lessor employee.

      I would also note that whenever you hire – someone gets a job.

      Fighting over discrimination is not fighting over whether someone gets a job but over WHO gets it.

      For every single person that does not get a job because of discrimination – someone who would not have gotten a job does.

      • Mike Hatcher permalink
        July 6, 2017 10:33 am

        Dave, thanks for clarifying. Using my phone right now so I tend to spare my words.

      • Mike Hatcher permalink
        July 6, 2017 10:50 am

        Dave, I know you don’t advocate anarchy, but don’t you think that some laws that perhaps only pay lip service to some ideas, may help some people make better choices that otherwise would not? Even ruthless dictators, (have no statistics to back up this statement) seem to know it is better to have rules on the books prohibiting discrimination than not. Isn’t a key reason to have any law at all, to keep people from getting mad and committing violence because they feel like they are being treated unfairly? Discrimination can’t be stopped, nor can violence be stopped, but I believe anti discrimination laws diminish both to some degree.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 6, 2017 1:28 pm


        It is not moral to use force to help others to make better choices.

        Law is force.

        If you want to help others make better choices – I have no problems with that, but you may not use force.

        I would go further though and say it is arrogant to presume that you know better than someone else how to help them make better choices in their life – when they have not asked for your help.

        Laws against private discrimination are inherently stupid.

        Discrimination is just another word for choice, one that we typically impute with negative connotations.

        These are just about the most unenforceable laws that you can possibly have,

        people are not equal, job applicants are not equal,
        As an employer you can choose to assign values to different attributes and use a formula in a spreadsheet to choose who you should hire.
        But there is no good reason to beleive your results will be better than the person who pulls a resume at random from a pile and hires that person.

        Some people do a better job hiring than others – but it is not and can not be a science,
        because people are not only not equal, they are different in millions of ways.

        So anti-discrimination laws mostly boil down to one of two approaches:
        1). So long as you lie about your reasons – you can discriminate.
        2). Your hires must match some statistical distribution specifically related to attributes government identifies as protected classes.

        Neither of these are good approaches.

        Finally anti-discrimination laws attempt to fix problems that are ultimately self correcting.

        Please explain to me how you can discriminate without harming yourself ?

        IF you do not sell to blacks – you reduce your own sales and profits.
        Jim Crow LAWS were put into place because left on their own WHITE BUSINESSES failed to discriminate sufficiently to make law makers happy.

        Think about it – much of the worst discrimination in this country was driven by law.

        That means most people would not do this thing you think is bad without the force of law behind it.

        Discrimination can not be stopped – making choices is like breathing – we must do it.
        We are constantly making complex choices without any clear objective means of establishing externally why a choice was made.

        Laws against discrimination really punish people”s motives – not their actions, and we can not really know people’s motives.

        Laws against discrimination for the most part do not seek to prevent something from happening – exchange hoppens regardliess, hiring and firing happen regardless.
        They seek to alter who exchanges with who, who hires who, who fires who.

        Violence is not ambiguous. We punish acts, not whatever was occuring in someone’s mind. We punish what we know, rather than what we think we know.
        We seek to prevent something from occuring not merely change who it occurs to.

        Finally what you beleive or feel is not sufficient justification for law.

        There is no difference between jim crow laws and supposed anti-discrimination laws.
        Both convert what people beleive and feel into law.

        There is no more or less justification for anti-discrimination laws than for the Nazi anti-jewish laws.

        The only differences are in degree and in your or my emotional conception that the Nazi’s were immoral, and we are not.

        Why are the acts of the Nazi’s wrong ? Find an answer to that, that does nto equally condemn anti-discrimiation laws.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 6, 2017 2:06 pm

        Ultimately all of my arguments are in one way or another going to hinge on one fundimental principle. That free will is the root of all morality. That you can not have morality without free will. That everything you think or feel or beleive about right and wrong, good and evil, what should and should not be pivots on free will.

        Our most fundimental law – those core principles I keep repeating, are rooted in the principle that the only freedom of another that you can legitimately take away is their freedom to restrict the equal freedom of others.

        While I have not expressed myself as well as I might – this is more than a beleif.
        It is the central premise of western thought.

        It is also more than a belief because if you examine your own personal values and princliples – whatever they are, and you do so deeply enough, they can not exist – without free will.

        Absent free will slavery is moral, and human society becomes and ant colony.

        You can not beleive that discrimination (or anything else) is wrong – without free will.


        I have made a deeply principled, philosophical argument.

        But I did not arrive at that through philosophy.
        My root to a fairly simple set of absolute principles came pragmatically.

        It came by honestly observing that the positions that I used to hold – at various times, those of Moogie, Roby, you or Ron or others here – just did not work.

        Laws against discrimination do not prevent discrimination – they merely drive it underground.

        You claim such laws prevent violence – yet we have plenty of white on black violence driven by poor whites who beleive that preferences for blacks have stolen what is theirs from them.

        Possibly the hardest task is to see the world for yourself as it is rather than as people tell you it is.

        I grew up expecting imminent nuclear holocaust – should North Korea launch a nuke tomorrow – that would be inconsequential compared to the world I expected.
        As a teen I did not expect to see 2000, much less 2017.

        Over a very long time I started noting that the things I was told were getting worse, were actually getting better.

        I would note – this seems to be true of both Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell.
        Both started as left leaning economists in government, and each eventually grasped from the data they were seeing that the world was not behaving as the left model predicted, that it was improving where it should be declining and visa versa.

        Liberal Lion Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan ultimately found the same thing – but not as an economist.

        You do not need to take the word of John Locke or Adam Smith or Milton Friedman or Ronald Coase, all you have to do is look arround yourself honestly.

  66. dduck12 permalink
    July 6, 2017 1:55 pm

    If words were like spaghetti, throwing a lot against the wall would produce cogent sentences if one took the time to assemble them. But a few strands at just the right doneness might be easier.

  67. Mike Hatcher permalink
    July 6, 2017 2:46 pm

    There is a story of baseball manager Tommy Lasorda once agreed with an umpire call but for psychological reasons felt his player needed to see him stick up for them. So he ran out to 2nd base acting furious, wagging his head, etc. But rather than saying the umpire was wrong or “blind” and such, he screamed innocuous things like: “last night I had dinner and it was good!” Of course he got thrown out of the game as he intended. To me, your comment about Stalin and Moogie is like what Tommy Lasorda did, analyze the content and the words are harmless, but the presentation, as Ron pointed out, is provacative. I appreciate you sharing your core concept of free will in relationship to morality. It more clearly delineates where I differ from you. I hope to share my view at a later time.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 6, 2017 4:52 pm

      Tommy Lasorta – not the umpire are engaged in the use of force against anyone.

      The entire arrangement is one of freedom – constrained only by their voluntary agreements.

      Absolutely both Lasorta and the umpire wield power – but it is power given to them volunatrily.

      Any individual involved in baseball can fullfill whatever contracts they have – and stop.
      In many instances – they can just stop.

      None of that is true of government.

      The comparisons to Stalin or Mao are extreme – they are also legitimate.
      They are applications of a logical method called reductio ad absurdem.

      Hitler is particularly applicable – while Stalin and Mao actually had broadbased popular support.

      Hitler was litterally the product of democracy. While he climbed the rungs of political power using political minority and pluralistic means – ultimately he was blessed by a german plebecite in which 80% of voters gave him near total power.

      Any claim that majoritarian democracy is somehow self regulating is entirely refuted by Hitler.

      Further we are aghast at much of what Hitler did, but absent core principles which I can get no one to own up to, there is no means of judging Hitler any differently than many of the things you claim to be good.

      I agree with you that Jim Crow was bad – but WHY is that so ?

      We do not determine what is right and wrong based on our feelings.

      The majority of those we oppose were as certain they were right as we are.
      Ones beleif in ones own righteousness is NOT sufficient justification for whatever one wishes to do.

      Hitler truly beleived in exterminating Jews. Not only Germans, but most of europe believed in the inherent inferiority and sub human status of Jews even if they were not prepared to exterminate them. Every German, every official in an occupied country was not inherently complicit in the murder of millions of Jews, but they were all complicit in to some degree or another of depriving jews or bits and pieces of their freedom. And most beleived in what they were doing – even if they did not know nor beleive in what Hitler was doing.

      The point is you can not base your arguments or the foundations of government on your “feelings” about what is right or wrong, what is good or evil.

      You can not do so because feelings have no measure, no anchor, they are both manipulable, and often wrong.

      Absolutely I am being provocative.

      I am asking your to distinguish yourself from Hitler and the Nazi’s.

      The Nazi’s are so clearly extremely wrong that should be easy to do.
      But I do not beleive you can do so – without directly, indirectly or implicitly accepting that fundamental morality is defined by freedom.
      Regardless, you can not do so without finding some principled foundation for morality.

      Otherwise you are left with – Hitler is wrong and evil – because I know that in my heart,
      and my approach is right and good – because I know that in my heart.

      Even if I agree with you – that is NOT sufficient to justify the use of force against others.
      That is not sufficient to justify govenrment.

      I can not force you to present an argument.

      But just saying I am being extreme is not an argument, it is an admission of failure.
      The extreme case should be the easiest for you to argue.

      If you an not distinguish your concept of government action that is good – from the government actions of Nazi’s that they thought was good,
      How can you possibly hope to do so with less clear cases.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 6, 2017 5:17 pm

      With respect to free will there are 4 fundimental philosophical positions based on two key attributes – determinism and free will.

      These result in 4 distinct possibilities with respect to humanity and morality

      Hard determinism, hard incompatiblism, compatiblism and libertarianism.

      It is worth noting that progressivism, conservatism, socialism, …. do not appear on this matrix.

      That is because libertarianism – none-deterministic free will, is a moral and metaphysical position as well as a political and economic one.

      It is the only “ideology” that permeates everything – consistently.

      Conservatism and progressivism in particular are just irrational permutations of libertarianism.

      I am touching thousands of years of philosophy, I am not looking to get into too deeply.
      I suspect a cursory examination of the alternative philosophical perspectives would leave them unappealing – as an example absent free will, slavery is moral.

      The point is that we do not get to just pick and choose our beleifs based on emotional appeal from some menu of choices – though that is likely what most of us do.

      That each beleif that we chose comes with consequences regarding the others.
      Otherwise the validity of any beleif you hold is indistinguishable from its antithesis.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 6, 2017 5:25 pm

      I would love to here from anyone here there rational basis for determining right and wrong.
      The definition of morality is the principles for determining right and wrong.

  68. dhlii permalink
    July 6, 2017 2:52 pm

    Here is a story by Glenn Greenwalt.
    I have followed him for a long time. I beleive he used to write for WaPo.
    Greenwalt is the lead of three reporters that brought the Snowden story to light.

    Greenwalt is pretty far to the left. He was a strong critic of Bush.
    I took particular interest in him when his views and reporting did not change when Obama was elected.

    Greenwalt has extremely high credibility for me – because even though we do not share the same values – he does not bend his principles to reflect the fact that “his team” is in power.

    I would be shocked if Greenwalt voted for Trump. I am sure Greewalt loathes Trump.

    But Greenwalt is well connected and expert on issues of hacking and espionage and Russia. And here Greenwalt is calling bunk to the entire Russia/Trump meme.

    I am not so sure I agree with his argument that tensions are being ratcheted up with a hostile foreign power. I think Russia is quite happy with the Trump/Russia collusion stories.
    Whatever the Russian did their primary aim was to discredit US elections – to make it harder for the US to complain about Russian elections.

  69. dhlii permalink
    July 6, 2017 7:54 pm

    This is a much shorter version of the Howard Root case.

    Watch this and then tell me that the government is out there trying to help you.

  70. dhlii permalink
    July 6, 2017 7:58 pm

    Some libertarian political humor.

  71. dhlii permalink
    July 6, 2017 8:51 pm

    No one wants to listen to me
    so try a nobel prize winner.

  72. Jay permalink
    July 11, 2017 9:01 pm

    As this site has deteriorated from a place reflecting the actual voices of moderates, into a self-agrendizing narcissistic platform for one tedious poster, I though it would be better to temporarily fill the space with useful information that moderates can ‘digest’ without gagging on the Right-slanted content now dominating it. Food recipes will fill that purpose.

    Hot as it is today, here’s a cooling appetizer:

    Moderate Classic Shrimp Cocktail & Sauce

    Serves 2 to 4

    1 cup ketchup
    3 tablespoons horseradish, plus more to taste
    1 teaspoon lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
    1 to 1-1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

    Boil shrimp until they turn pink, takes a few minutes generally.
    Mix together 1st 5 ingredients.
    Chill everything in refrigerator before serving.

    For added enjoyment when eating, viciously bite shrimp while imagining the execution of hated adversaries.

    • dduck12 permalink
      July 12, 2017 2:23 pm

      Too true. 🙂

      • dhlii permalink
        July 13, 2017 1:24 am

        I have repeatedly asked moderates to state what they believe in, and I can get no principles of any kind beyond rubbish such as the truth is in the middle and compromise is good.

        The Truth is SOMETIMES in the middle. When it is it is actually possible to demonstrate that using logic – as an example – anything that fails reductio ad absurdem at both extremes likely is an instance where the truth is in the middle.

        Such as no government fails. Total government fails. Therefore the best scale of government most fall somewhere in the middle – that does not tell us what the optimal size of government is or why some size is optimal. But it does tell us that it is not at the extremes, and that there likely is an optimal – and probably some reason why that specific optimum.

        Compromise is sometimes good – but it is not an inherent good.

        Should we have compromised with the Nazi’s to kill less jews ?

        We have myriads of supreme court cases that are compromises that have created a mess of constitutional law.
        Bad laws, and bad decisions are often much supperior to compromise – as bad choices fail and get superceded.

        If you want to reflect the voice of moderates – what is that voice ?

        Many of you seem to think that voice is not my voice.

        Absolutely my voice and yours are often at odds.

        But far more so than anyone else here – I am clearly not on the left or the right.

        At the same time I am NOT a compromise between left and right.

        I am right on some issues – mostly economic – though there is alot of stupid economics on the rigtht.
        I am left on other issues – mostly social – thought the left more recently has shifted from individual liberty as the argument for social tolerance, to some bizarre hierachy of victimhood that is destructive of liberty.

        Regardless, I represent neither the right nor the left.
        Why are my views not the definition of moderate ?

        Just to be clear, I am asking you to think, to consider what are the underlying principles that reflect moderate to you. I can hope you reach the same conclusions as I do.
        But what I see most strongly lacking is any principles at all.

        If moderates have no principles, then what are they and why are they meaningful ?

      • July 13, 2017 12:21 pm

        Dave, to be as short and concise in this response as possible, one only needs to look at the constitution for the definition of a moderate and compromise. The structure of our government was a compromise between two opposing views, one that said government representation should be based on population and the other saying it should be equal among states. Thus the house with population based membership and the senate with two senators regardless of population. The commerce clause that states the federal government will control interstate commerce based on the Norths wanting state control and the south rejecting that position. The north was manufacturing and the south was agriculture and the south feared tariffs imposed on their products while none on the norths. Thus, the decision to place commerce under the federal government. And one other compromise, the election of the president. Some did not want a president at all. Others wanted one, but feared the population would not be informed, so they wanted one appointed. Others wanted them elected by the population. Thus the electoral college which were chosen by the public and could vote for someone else if the person chosen by the public was considered to be unfit for the position.

        Moderates do have principles. Unlike extreme right republicans, left socialist democrats or Rand Paul style Libertarians that refuse to recognize the vast expanse of political positions and needs in the country, moderates (or those on the far right or left willing to move somewhat) realize that one can not get 100% of what they want, so they are willing to do what the founding fathers did. They will accept some of the oppositions positions in legislation to get what they believe is in the core beliefs and needs for the country.

        One only needs to look toward DC today and the healthcare debate going on. The democrats that want single payer are sitting on the sideline and watching the GOP eat their own while various politicians fight for their agenda and are willing to let Obamacare remain if they don’t get 100%, kind of like the kid with the baseball making up rules and all their friends go home because they won’t play under those rules. What good is the ball if there is no one around to participate?

        I suspect you align with Rand Paul on issues like healthcare and taxes (as well as most other legislation), while I am much more aligned with Ronald Reagan who stated ““If you got seventy-five or eighty percent of what you were asking for, I say, you take it and fight for the rest later, and that’s what I told these radical conservatives who never got used to it.” Seems like he even understood the difference between being a conservative and a “radical conservative”.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 13, 2017 7:56 pm

        Thank you for your response.

        With respect tot he constitution itself – I think you have too small a view of what our founders intended, and you overstate the importance they placed on compromise.
        While the constitution does reflect some compromises – Madisions initial constitution was fundimentally the same as what was adopted.

        Much of what you call compromises were deliberate efforts by Madision to pit interest against interest, power against power, to create a more powerful federal govenrment whose power was very difficult to use.
        Madision did not put all these complications into the constitution solely as political compromises. He used the different competing interests to put chains on the use of government power.

        regardless, if you are arguing that “constitutional” government is a definition of moderate – then what does that mean ?

        The constitution is a framework of govenrment – there are few statements of principle in the constitution – and those are for the most part completely ignored.
        That BTW was in my view deliberate.

        The constitution is a blueprint for govenrment – it tells us how to build a good government.
        It does not tell us WHY the government that results is good.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 13, 2017 8:16 pm


        Your answer confirms exactly what I had said.
        I do not disagree with much of your post.

        But there are no principles.

        A principle is a very strong value – fundimental, that helps us make decisions on specific issues.

        If we beleive in abortion – that would be because some principle such as a woman’s right to control her own body was important to us.
        If we do not – that would be because we do not beleive in killing human life.

        You can ay that either of those principles is wrong – but there are clear principles.

        I still have no evidence that moderates as framed here have any principles.

      • July 13, 2017 11:53 pm

        “Your answer confirms exactly what I had said.
        But there are no principles.”

        Well then let me put it this way. As someone who believes himself to be a moderate, those beliefs are based on principles where my life, financial security and decisions made result from doing what is right for my fellow man (or woman), not spending more money than I make or have income and want to leave my family better off than it was when I entered this world.

        So as a moderate, i am looking (in part) for politicians that do not impose morals on others that result in limiting personal rights that are not harmful to others, will enact regulations that protect the common man from unethical behaviors ( but are not necessarily unlawful actions already covered by state or federal laws), will make decisions that lead to a balanced budget and repayment of debt so future generations are not paying for past generations of spending, who will make spending decisions based on the outcomes of federal programs and not just blanket percent growth funding that allows for decades of spending on useless programs, politicians who will provide realistic regulations to protect the environment and provide for a strong military for national security and one who will establish realistic immigration policies based on current needs. Any politician that will meet these requirements will have to accept both liberal and conservative positions and meld them into legislation. However, none of this will ever happen as there are only a handful of politicians like Joe Manchin that even come close to these qualifications.

        Since a personal principle is a “value” that drives a persons actions, these values can shape actions in slightly different ways based on the environment that may exist at the time the decisions are made. For instance, ones principles may drive a belief that all individuals will be legal immigrants, but in the current environment, the actions one takes to begin moving toward that end may require recognizing that many will be allowed to stay in the country as an illegal alien (like Obama did through executive actions) until everyone has worked though the system to gain legal status.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 14, 2017 3:09 am

        I agree that one should make decisions based on what is right.

        A principle would be something that allows you to discern what is right from what is not.

        You listed many things that I agree with.
        But they are not principles. I can go through your entire list – none are principles.
        Further most of them are at best means not ends.
        Why do we want a strong defense ?
        Why do we want a balanced budget ?
        Why do we want a better environment ?

        I share your concern about government imposing morality on others.
        But Law and government is inextricably tied to morality.

        moral: concerned with the principles of right and wrong

        What I want is for government to confine itself to that core of morality that we are near absolutely certain is true – that you, I an nearly everyone else agree on.
        I do not want our government to be about the morality of the right – or the morality of the left – but the morality shared by nearly all of us.
        Where we do not have near universal agreement – we can not impose our personal or group morality on others – not about our private sexual conduct, not about healthcare, not about free trade.

        Regardless, I do not agree with your complex justification for regulation that starts with morality. But I am not sure that matters – It is pretty proscriptive. I would be surprised if I could find a single regulation that did not run afoul of it.

        But I would address one significant thing first. Government is there to punish acts that are nearly universally deemed as wrong. Acts are things that have already occurred.
        Whether those acts were right or wrong – moral or not can be determined by the outcome – such as the harm that occurred.

        Regulations do not punish wrong acts, they prohibit acts on the assumption that harm might result. Inarguably – sometimes that is true. Inarguably sometimes that is false.
        And that is but one of many reasons that a priori restrictions on freedom are rarely justifiable.

        You and I could reconcile trivially – if you would accept that you can not prohibit an act that is not nearly universally accepted as wrong on its face – but that you can punish acts that are often harmful WHEN THEY RESULT IN ACTUAL HARM.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 14, 2017 3:30 am


        If you are seeking to use force to impose something on others – then is must be more than a personal value.

        principle: a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.

        While I am asking what you and others here personally think are moderate principles.

        I am not asking for personal values – which are not principles.

        I am asking you for something fundimental – something that can provide answers to whether something is right or wrong. I do not want to get into a semantic argument.

        All actions that run counter to balanced budgets – are not inherently wrong.
        All actions that weaken defense – are not inherently wrong.
        All actions that degrade the environment are not inherently wrong.

        Very little is absolutely black and white – including principles.
        At the same time actual principles are very nearly black and white and deviations require justification – by other principles.

        Equally important, we do not want government that lives in the grey areas.

        To me the intended meaning of opposition to government legislating reality really means – we do not want govenrment in the grey areas of morality. In those aspects of morality that are not nearly universally shared.

        Regardless, you have provided a list of values, ones that I mostly share.
        But you can not derive principles from values.
        You can derive values from principles.

  73. Jay permalink
    July 11, 2017 9:07 pm

    Honey Roast Chicken
    · 3 pounds Frying chicken — cut up
    · 1/2 cup Honey
    · 1/4 cup Butter
    · 1/2 squeezed Lemon juice
    · 1/2 teaspoon Salt
    · Hot sauce
    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
    Place chicken in roasting pan. In saucepan, mix honey and butter. Heat until bubbly.
    Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice and salt. Baste chicken and bake in oven 1 to 1-1/2 hours- until golden brown – don’t overcook. Baste with sauce about every half hour.

    For added zest, rip chicken thighs from body by hand when prepping, pretending you’re dislocating the shoulders of Despicable Office Holders.

    • Mike Hatcher permalink
      July 12, 2017 1:18 am

      Do you think substituting margarine for the butter would be a problem? I have not gotten tired of discussing things with Dave, just have invested the recently. Good to hear from you Jay.

      • Mike Hatcher permalink
        July 12, 2017 5:08 pm

        “..just have invested the recently” Wow! Did I ever butcher that sentence. The jist was I wanted to answer some things Dave brought up, but wanted enough time to answer in depth, time which I did not currently want to invest.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 13, 2017 1:27 am

        I would welcome whatever discussion you wish.

        I will also offer to move any discussion that anyone wants off TNM if that is wished.

        my email is

  74. Jay permalink
    July 11, 2017 9:42 pm

    Also literary recommendations may be preferable to boring self serving Left of Center perambulations. To that end I’d like to mention the Inspector Morse novels, written by Colin Dexter, who was one of the best writers of English literary narrative over the last 50 years.

    Most of his 12 novels were written during the 1990s, and I came upon them backwards, so to speak, after watching the Masterpiece TV renditions of his fiction and characters on Amazon and Netflix this year. Those three series were all enjoyable to watch, but reading his novels afterward was pure entertainment joy: listening to an erudite story teller with masterly command of language speaking to you personally at a dinner table, while describing a complex who-done-it puzzle.

    Half the books are available on Kindle & iBooks. The first three as a single purchase for download

    • dduck12 permalink
      July 12, 2017 2:27 pm

      English guys can sure write. For older fiction, I love Bernard Cornwells’s stuff and Robert Harris does a good job fictionalizing ancient Rome, especially his Cicero trilogy.

  75. dhlii permalink
    July 13, 2017 3:03 am

    No one wants to listen to me
    so try a well respected economist on why robots are not the end of jobs.

  76. Priscilla permalink
    July 13, 2017 8:47 am

    Dave is unfailingly civil, posts interesting and educated opinions, which he clearly states as his own, and links to sources that inform those opinions. Can be wordy, but that is allowed here.

    Far more than I can say for some others…..

  77. Anonymous permalink
    July 13, 2017 11:11 am

    On the contrary, Dave has little or no respect for others ideas which he makes very clear with his bluntly pointy remarks. His obsessive tendency to attempt to bury ideas that are not consistent with his own with a 20/1 post ratio and a 50/1 word ratio make an intelligent discussion impossible according to many posters, and many intelligent moderates have departed over the years, citing Dave as the reason. Dave can’t help it and I am not proposing censorship, which would be useless anyhow. Simply, he has ruined TNM for me. Roby, in Montana.

    • Jay permalink
      July 13, 2017 12:40 pm

      When I was young and adventurous I hitchhiked across country, from NY to CA. The absolutely worst part of that trip was a day long ride I hitched with a trucker hauling furniture. Yes, he was nice enough to pick me up, and a friendly kind of guy, but he kept talking NON STOP the entire way, about anything and everything that popped into his mind, which was filled with opinions formulated in some nether universe from tabloid newspapers and Hollywood gossip magazines and informational tidbits he picked up from other drivers at truck stops. America’s wide open spaces had squeezed me in a truck cab, trapped by an unstoppable raconteur who was too self centered to realize how annoying he was.

      That’s the feeling I’ve had when occasionally peeking in here, And seeing the conversation hadn’t widened at all, but in fact had shrunk to a pontificating majority of one.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 13, 2017 8:21 pm

        America’s wide open spaces did not squeeze you into the cab of that Truck.

        Your own choices did.
        You were free to get out.

        As best as I can tell “self-centered” means said things you did not want to hear.

        It is just as arguable that you were self centered.
        You wanted a free ride and peace and quite and not to be disrupted.
        If you want that – you must provide it for yourself.
        Selfcentered to me would be expecting others to give you what you want.

      • Jay permalink
        July 14, 2017 11:55 am

        Do you even realize how silly your ‘own choices’ remark is?

        By that rationalization patrons who go to a movie theater to watch a film and subsequently are killed by lunatics or terrorists are responsible for choosing to buy tickets and attending the theater.

    • dduck12 permalink
      July 13, 2017 4:55 pm

      Except for the banning part, I agree.

      • dduck12 permalink
        July 13, 2017 4:57 pm

        I sense an “intervention” brewing, can that be done? 🙂

    • dhlii permalink
      July 13, 2017 7:30 pm


      I am sorry that you think I have ruined TNM for you.

      I would ask you – what is it that has been ruined ?

      What is it that you have lost ?

      I have asked for and still never gotten from anyone here any definition of moderate that rests on any principles.

      As best as I can tell from your post, you seem to think you are entitled to someplace to post your views on issues – without any fear of serious scrutiny.

      Guess what – I would agree – you are entitled to that if you wish.
      But if that is what you want, you must make it for yourself.

      I have repeatedly stated the truism that TNM is Rick’s space. It is NOT a public forum – government is not involved. Rick can impose whatever rules he wishes – or none at all.
      That is what individual liberty means. He can block people from TNM for any reason – or no reason at all.

      Which means that if Rick chooses to do so – he can block me, or you, or anyone for any reason.

      It also means that you or I can create our own forum – with whatever rules we wish.

      If you want someplace where your particular views can be expressed without serious criticism – persuade Rick to turn TNM into that, or create you own.

      The remainder of your post appears to be premised on the ludicrously stupid premise that all ideas are somehow equal.

      On that I agree with the extreme left today – all ideas are not equal – not even close.
      Many ideas are thoroughly repugnant.

      I depart from the “snowflakes” on the left only in the following ways:

      Censorship and suppression is the wrong response to bad ideas.
      The repugnant ideas getting the most exposure TODAY are mostly the ideas of the snowflake left.

      Regardless, I am with the protests at Berkeley and various college campus’s that all ideas are not equal, that some are very wrong, and that what is wrong should be exposed as wrong.

      Finally, you are wrong that I can not help myself. That is a pretty revolting claim.

      I behave as I do by my own free choice – just as you do.

      Many of my posts are long – because I am lazy. It is easy to pop off a reply than to spend hours reducing an argument to its essence.

      I post on TNM because I enjoy it. If I wanted to convert it to a job I would post less, but more effectively and enjoy it less.

  78. July 14, 2017 12:16 am

    Dave you asked for principles that make for a moderate.
    I think this supports what I said earlier. (And I believe a centrist and moderate is interchangeable in this respect)

    • dhlii permalink
      July 14, 2017 3:38 am

      The problem with the centrist project is that they over values as principles.
      Values that I share, but they are still not principles.
      Not a single item on their list of principles provides a foundation for determining right or wrong.

      I would also note that centrist and moderate semantically share the same problem – they essentially elevate compromise to a principle.
      That does not survive reductio ad absurdem.

      To the extent that the proposition that truth lies in the center has any merit, that is rooted in probability – and not even high probability.

  79. dhlii permalink
    July 14, 2017 3:48 am

    More libertarian political humor

  80. Mike Hatcher permalink
    July 14, 2017 6:51 am

    I have probably shared my core beliefs before, but here they are (again?) particularly written for Dave to explain the role and limits freedom plays in relationship to morals as I see it.

    If you create and own something, do you not have the right to do with that object what you wish?

    If I create a word game, I can make up the rules to the game.

    If I create a sandcastle, as long as I own the sand, I can keep it, enlarge it, or smash it as I see fit.

    I am pretty sure you would agree with these basic premises, however, knowing your history, I would also predict you would find at least one or more nuanced errors to those prior statements.

    I believe in a God that spoke into existence every material thing in the universe. He then took some of the materials that He created and further refined those materials to, among other things, humans. As creator and owner of humans, He gets to make the rules, say what is right or wrong, do as He pleases. He then chose to impart free-will choice on these humans. How He accomplished any of this I have no idea. After giving free will to humans, He then placed the value of that freedom above anything else. Thus, although He may want us to behave in a certain way, He wants and insists that we have freedom, even at the cost of us not doing things His way, even at the cost of our own demise or the demise of others.

    So, in summary, as a believer in the things I have just stated, I believe this God, as creator and owner of me, gets to dictate what is right and wrong, what is moral and immoral. I see my free-will as a gift, and not as a moral compass, my moral compass is God’s will, which He shows, but does not impose upon me.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 14, 2017 4:18 pm

      Thank you.

      I generally agree with your post.

      I would ask how do your principles proscribe the role of government ?

      As an example – I think nearly all of us accept that initiating violence against others is an abridgement of their free will. It is therefore wrong, and prohibiting it is the legitimate domain of government.

      We are also called to love our neighbor. Is that in the domain of government ?

      I think that free will gives us a means of determining the scope of government.
      Principles provide strong input to that – values do not.

      But I would also agree with Ron that all matters of right and wrong – are not the domain of government. The seven deadly sins are pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth.
      Many religions tell us those are wrong. I do not think any of those belongs in the scope of government. Of the seven virtues – only justice belongs in the domain of govenrment.

  81. Jay permalink
    July 14, 2017 11:47 am

    Even Conservative National Review and ultra conservative Krauthammer have ‘moderated’ their views of the unprincipled Trump deceptions about Russia:

    “The evidence is now shown. This is not hearsay, not fake news, not unsourced leaks. This is an e-mail chain released by Donald Trump Jr. himself. A British go-between writes that there’s a Russian government effort to help Trump Sr. win the election, and as part of that effort he proposes a meeting with a “Russian government attorney” possessing damaging information on Hillary Clinton. Moreover, the Kremlin is willing to share troves of incriminating documents from the Crown Prosecutor. (Error: Britain has a Crown Prosecutor. Russia has a State Prosecutor.)”

    “There is no statute against helping a foreign hostile power meddle in an American election. What Donald Jr. — and Kushner and Manafort — did may not be criminal. But it is not merely stupid. It is also deeply wrong, a fundamental violation of any code of civic honor.

    I leave it to the lawyers to adjudicate the legalities of unconsummated collusion. But you don’t need a lawyer to see that the Trump defense — collusion as a desperate Democratic fiction designed to explain away a lost election — is now officially dead.”

    • July 14, 2017 1:24 pm

      Jay, I am with you. If anyone might remember, I said when this thing started there was enough smoke that meant there was some fire in the story.

      Right now, I also agree with you about the statutes and not having this be illegal as we know it now. But I think the GOP has its own Benghazi and e-mail scandal and the story will not go away until Trump goes away, much like Benghazi and Clinton have disappeared from the landscape since the election.

      The far right GOP thought the Clinton e-mail and Benghazi was worth wasting time on just as the far left and Democrats believe the Russia, Russia, Russia is worth wasting time on. Other than election tampering, which could be investigated as a bipartisan effort without political ramifications, these investigations will go no where just like they have in the past.

      The biggest problem in this country today is Moderates have no voice at all in what happens in government today. No one cares about the debt. No one cares about the deficit. No one cares about the kids now 10 years old or younger that will have to pay the debts of their fathers in the future and live in a country much less economically stable than the one today. No one cares about Social Security going broke in less than 20 years and Medicare less than 15 years. And I could continue the “no one cares bit”, but “who cares”.

      Surely not anyone in government today. They just are looking out for their party.

      • Roby permalink
        July 14, 2017 1:31 pm

        Ron, bless you.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 14, 2017 4:56 pm

        Sorry Ron I disagree.

        It does appear that this particular story is gaining small traction with some republcians – and that does matter.

        But there is no substance to it.

        Let’s say that instead of fizzling, the meeting had actually panned out
        Let’s say that Natalia Veselnitskaya was actually well connected – which she is not, and actually came with evidence from the Russian Government of Clinton collusion with Russia – that is what the Goldman emails promised.

        How would that change anything ?

        Are you saying the Trump campaign should not have taken interest in evidence that Clinton was colluding with the Russians ?

        Are you saying that Trump Jr. should have said no to the meeting and called the FBI ?
        That would be the same FBI that found nothing wrong in Clinton’s email server ?

        If this meeting had panned out and Natalia Veselnitskaya had delivered – Trump Jr would likely have gone public with the information shortly thereafter and Clinton’s campaign would have been irrepariably harmed.

        Asside from the “Russia! Russia! Russia!” part of this, and the “Clinton’s shit does not stink” part – what is it that you think is wrong here ?

        Are you saying that it is Treason for Trump Jr. to hope that the Russian government has dirt on Hillary Clinton ?