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Taking a Knee for Polarization

September 29, 2017


We live in a viral age. When a sound bite, an internet meme, a cat video or a symbolic gesture captures the public imagination, legions of copycats help it spread like some fashionable latter-day plague.

Colin Kaepernick, the biracial journeyman quarterback whose refusal to stand for The Star-Spangled Banner catapulted him to fame and infamy last season, has unleashed a delayed virus among NFL football players and other pro athletes this fall. Suddenly, with the start of the new football season, refusing to stand for the national anthem has become a thing — a rapidly spreading contagion — a potent new tool in the ongoing polarization of America.

Few of us, with the exception of congenital miscreants like President Trump, would deny Kaepernick or his former colleagues their right to protest. But what exactly are they protesting? Why all the knees bent in sullen solidarity while the traditionalists among us still stand and strain to hit those nearly unattainable high notes?

It all started as a statement about the killing of unarmed black men by mostly white police officers. We know that several of those killings were plainly unjustified: think of Walter Scott, shot in the back while running from the North Charleston cop who stopped him for a broken tail-light, or 12-year-old Tamir Rice, fatally wounded without ever having been given a chance to drop his toy weapon. Others, like the much-lamented Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri, almost seemed to be asking for it: the “gentle giant” reportedly assaulted officer Darren Wilson, attempted to grab his gun, walked away, then made the fatal decision to turn around and charge the officer again. There’s innocence and guilt to be found on both sides.

Do American cops use their guns too freely? Afraid so — at least a trigger-happy minority of them. Do they too often manage to elude proper punishment for their actions? Yes again. Our urban cops risk their lives daily, but they need to be trained more effectively in subduing suspects without killing them. Nobody deserves to die over a broken tail-light. Do the cops have a special vendetta against African American males? Here’s where it gets complicated.

Take a look at this FBI statistic and try to digest it: in 2015, an American cop was 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male was likely to be killed by a cop. And then this: black males, who account for six percent of the U.S. population, represent 42 percent of all cop killers over the past decade. Could it be that urban police officers have learned to develop hair-trigger reflexes when they confront uncooperative black suspects? Surprisingly not. American cops killed just 16 unarmed black men last year from coast to coast — 16 too many, but still a microscopic percentage of black homicide victims, 93 percent of whom were killed by other blacks.

And yet we all know the prevailing narrative promoted by left-leaning media outlets and advanced with such righteous vigor by Black Lives Matter: racist white cops routinely (and almost exclusively) shoot unarmed black men. Yes, it happens… yes, it’s sad… and yes, it’s too often unjust and avoidable. But as the statistics above point out, it’s hardly an everyday occurrence — and, just as important, it’s hardly the whole story.

The banner headlines and week-long TV coverage granted to every unarmed African American shot by a cop conceal the fact that our police kill roughly twice as many whites as blacks. Surprised? Why, you might ask, don’t the media reveal this relevant statistic? It’s almost as if they want us to go on believing that black people are perpetual victims of racist white people — a narrative both insulting to whites and patronizing to blacks. Unfortunately, narratives catch on. They sell. They go viral.

Much of Middle America seemed to reject that narrative after watching seemingly endless waves of pro footballers drop a knee to the ground during the playing of The Star-Spangled Banner. The kneeling looked almost reverential, but they knew that reverence had nothing to do with it. They wondered why these pampered young millionaires would disrespect the national anthem and the American flag (our anthem, our flag!) over the actions of a few rogue cops. Were these predominantly black athletes using the overpublicized killings to vent their hatred for America in general and white people in particular? Come on, hadn’t Middle America swallowed enough black resentment over the past half-century? Why should these upright folks — only a minority of whom are virulent racists — have to suffer the slings and arrows of mandatory guilt? (And indeed, why should they?)

Just as African Americans grew angry and alienated over their perceived vulnerability on the streets, white conservatives (and yes, even moderates) were growing alienated by the almost compulsory need to kowtow to every black grievance, legitimate or not. The compulsory nature of this kowtowing, as usual, was heavily promoted by the mostly white progressive media. (Some white progressives seem to enjoy wallowing in masochistic guilt; others exempt themselves and cast aspersions on those other white folks — the dimwitted “deplorables” in flyover country.)

The end result of all this racially tinged pushing and pulling? More tribalism. More “us against them.” More tit for tat. In short, more polarization.

We Americans are already polarized to a degree unseen since the Civil War. We’ve endured three consecutive polarizing presidencies. We’ve effectively evolved into two separate and mutually loathing sub-nations: the red and the blue, the conservative diehards and the leftist wavemakers.

Whatever happened to the sensible middle? Beats me. We’re out there, but nobody wants to hear us. These days, the world belongs to the polarizers — and the polarizers are driving us toward an irreparable rift.

President Trump is a prime specimen. Never one to mince words when a sledgehammer will do, he brayed that when a football player disrespects our flag, he’d like to see the team owner shout, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now — he’s fired!” (Note that he didn’t actually call for the firing of disrespectful players, but the damage was done.)

More outrage on the left. More patriotic whoops on the right. More kneeling by Kaepernick’s disciples. More dueling insults on Internet message boards. Still more polarization, thanks to our president. Maybe Trump should stick to what he does best: threatening North Korea and the world with nuclear war.


Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate. He’s the author of Extremely Dark Chocolates and Lifestyles of the Doomed, available wherever e-books are sold.

1,262 Comments leave one →
  1. September 29, 2017 12:27 pm

    Rick, Excellent comments. You just left out one important tidbit of information that started this whole kneeling situation.

    How can one take another serious when he sides with an individual that has done more damage to human rights than most any other individual on earth? But you don’t hear anything in the news about this because it does not fit their narrative.

    I would also dispute your claim about us being more divided today than anytime since the civil war. I think the 60’s showed we were much more divided then than now, it just was not communicated as well then than it is today. (Watts Riot?) Remember, it was not until the 60’s that blacks became accepted in white southern colleges. That is why they had black colleges. Charlie Scott was the first black basketball player at UNC in 1967. Tom Payne was the first at Kentucy in 1969.

    But yes, we have a president that is doing all he can to perpetuate the division. Jay will say “Trump hasta go!”. Maybe he will in 2020 if the democrats will come to their senses and run a moderate and stop their perpetuating the division. It takes two to tango.

    • September 30, 2017 11:29 am

      Thanks, Ron. Well do I remember the polarization during the peak of the Vietnam era; I was in college then. Student rebels and black militants threatened revolution, so in a way the anger was even more strident, but (unlike now) the whole country hadn’t taken sides. We don’t really have a silent majority these days; in the internet age, everybody can sound off — and unfortunately, most of the public seems to be choosing me team or the other. Very few of us “Yes, but…” thinkers in the middle. I’ve said this before, but I don’t think our country can survive another polarizing presidency in one piece. We need somebody the vast majority can support.

      • September 30, 2017 11:30 am

        That’s “ONE team or the other.”

      • dhlii permalink
        October 1, 2017 5:20 am

        Trump is a symptom of the polarization in the nation – not the other way around.
        Trump was elected BECAUSE of the polarization.

        And sorry the root cause of that polarization is the Left.

        There is alot wrong with the political right, but they are not seeking to impose their thought on all of us by force.

        I would also note that both the left and right evolve.
        The left today and the left of the 60’s or the 90’s are NOT the same.
        The right today and the right of the 80’s or 2000 are not the same.

        Some – many of the people are the same.
        Bot the left and right of the present trace themselves back to their anti-cedents.

        We are fighting about race today – as we were in the 60’s but in a radically different way.

        More so that ever before the left is anti-freedom.

        Antifa is not an existential threat to the country. The fact that nearly all of Antifa’s values except the speed with which Antifa will resort to violence are shared by atleast 25% of the country. – that is the threat.

        Divisions in the 60’s correlated better to age.
        Today our left right divisions are more geographic – the blue parts of the country – the cities are deep blue – 70% or more progressive.

        Further those on the left have so demonized everyone not on the left, they have no idea what others think.

        That is even evident here – and those posters here on the left are not as deep in the bubble as the left as a whole.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 1, 2017 5:31 am

        I have noted something else, Rick,

        You are less and less favorable to the left.
        I have in the past identified you as a closet lefty.

        I do not think that is true now.
        Partly because you are less friendly to the left,
        Partly because the “left” is fracturing.
        They are no longer making an effort to appeal to or even respect the middle.

        My point is not about you. I do not think you have changed so much as the left has alienated you more.

      • October 2, 2017 11:09 am

        Dave: You nailed it: I’m less sympathetic to the left these days, not because my views have changed, but because their extremism has alienated me. See my longer comment under Roby’s post below.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 2, 2017 5:16 pm

        I get alot of complaints about the volume and frequency of my comments here.

        But these are a form of thinking out loud.
        Sometimes you can argue something 50 ways before finding the way that is succinct and to the point.

        Roy Moore’s election scares the crap out of me. As does the prospect of electing Arpiao

        It is not specifically Moore and Arpiao that bother me, but what they mean for the nation.

        When Trump was elected I argued that if he grows the economy republicans will do well in 2018 and Trump will be re-elected in 2020.

        But Trump was elected on more than the economic failure of the past 16 years.

        He was elected for much the same reasons as you are shifting right – because the left is alienating you.

        The polls were wrong for Brexit, there have been doing badly in european elections, they were wrong in our election,

        I think the left is expecting a blowout in 2018, and that could happen and it will not end the world. But I think the opposite is possible. Democrats are moving left.
        The “great sorting” is nearly complete. I am not sure than congressional districts are not close to baked in. Based on demographics, Republicans are still short Senate Seats and likely to pick up in this election.

        I am not a big fan of one party rule. I am mostly happy that it is difficult to get things through congress. I just wish that difficulty had stopped TARP, ARRA and PPACA.

        I also use you as a sort of canary in the coal mine.
        I disagree with you on many issues.
        But your views on many issues are strongly reflective of “middle america”.
        And right now I think that the left has lost middle america and does not grasp it.

        Republicans – even Trump tend to be easier to vote for, because outside of a few issues, republicans are not much of a threat. Republicans are not going to imposse single payer on us all, or other massive government programs. As a voter you can disagree with a republican and still know that electing them will not change the status quo much.

        The point is the more extreme the left gets the easier it gets to voter for republicans – even bad ones.

    • dduck12 permalink
      September 30, 2017 2:42 pm

      RonP said it right. 60’s and I’m sure other periods have been worse than now (so far).
      The media and the “muddia” (social, internet, blogs) routinely vie for any story or trend, and blow it up like the giant blow-up rat you can rent for your next protest or strike.
      (Kids down in stricken PR now have to be taught how to play.)

  2. roberta swanson permalink
    September 29, 2017 1:28 pm

    just can’t be moderate when it comes to innocents killed by police…it is not sufficient to say it isn’t an “everyday occurrence”…no one who is not a lethal threat should ever die at the hands of the police….unless you agree to be a police state under martial law…which we are apparently…
    and “progressives wallowing in masochistic guilt” is quite biased…describing the two sides and “conservative and leftist” also shows your bias…the two sides are the duopoly and the rest of the populace…

    • dhlii permalink
      September 29, 2017 4:09 pm

      You are correct – but that is not a racial issue.

      Further, it is one that have been improving for decades.

      We are more conscious of many of these issues at the moment because of the widespread prevalence of smart phones among poor people.

      We see today what we did not see 40 years ago.

      Anyway, there are many, many issues we need to address regarding law, crime and policing. Racism is among the least important, and the least likely to garner sympathy.

      A part of the message of Trump’s election is that a large swath of the citizenry is quite tired of being called “hateful, hating haters”, racist, mysoginist, homophobes etc.

      The left has developed this religion of intersectionality and much of the country is ignoring them.

    • dduck12 permalink
      September 30, 2017 3:26 pm

      @RS. You are absolutely correct, we can’t ignore those killed, including 146 law enforcement personnel in 2016, 63 by gunfire. The count for 2017 is up to 98 with 34 due to gunfire.
      Still ignoring even one unnecessary death doesn’t help. Fewer deaths of black people would lead to fewer deaths of law enforcement personnel after a while in my opinion.
      Yes, better training should help.

  3. September 29, 2017 2:47 pm

    Rick, I think I have made this comment long ago and forgot to include it in the first comment I made concerning this issue. There is a huge problem in many parts of the country that results in rogue officers killing unarmed men and our kids being educated in a less than desirable environment. When we look at the people that are the most important people in our lives, other than our doctors, ministers and parents come those that protect us and those that educate us.

    We are not paying the people that educate our kids or the people that protect us at a level that attracts the most qualified for either of these positions. Both of these professionals have starting salaries somewhere between 7% and 10% less than the average starting salary of college graduates in all fields, and that includes the liberal arts degrees that have lower pay than police and teachers.

    So maybe we need to look at where our tax dollars are going. I have said for along time that teachers, police and firemen need to be paid at the level commensurate with the importance and difficulty of the jobs they perform. Maybe then we would eliminate some of the “bubba’s” that want to kill black kids and maybe a few more black kids in the projects would get a better education so they could escape the violence that surrounds.them.

    But what the left needs to stop doing is blaming “the police”. That includes all police personnel and only a few are bad apples. And maybe the right needs to stop looking at all blacks as bad apples as most blacks are good people. And maybe those that are demonstrating need to look back at what MLK did and copy his plan to bring the races back together. Rosa Parks, the Greesboro five and all the other blacks that demonstrated in some manner took on the issue directly. Parks sat in the bus where she was forbidden. The Greesboro five sat at the Woolworth lunch counter where they were forbidden. How does demonstrating against the flag and anthem tie into police brutality?

    • Hieronymus permalink
      September 29, 2017 8:09 pm

      You are making sense Ron. Wish more people were.

    • September 30, 2017 2:29 pm

      All good points, Ron. It would be a better world if everyone would see individuals with distinct personalities rather than interchangeable representatives of a “tribe.” We definitely need to work on getting poor black kids through school with a decent education. And yes, one of my complaints about the football protests is the disconnect between what they’re protesting and their chosen method of protesting it. I think blacks should realize that the flag belongs to all of us, not just white folks.

      • Nia Lorre permalink
        October 20, 2017 2:35 pm

        Rick, you speak of small fractions causing discord for the greater good, then make a horrible generalization about blacks. I have to call you out on this for two reasons.

        You do not speak for black people.
        Statements like this fuel division.

        Try to picture how that statement reads to a black person, regardless of the protests.

        I’ll give you a hint: Thanks, but no thanks for lumping us all together into a single ignorant group.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 20, 2017 4:45 pm

        I had to reread Rick’s entire post because of your comment.

        I could not find anything that I would have called “a horrible generalization about black people”
        I could not find anywhere Rick chose to speak for black people as a distinct group.

        However, much more accurately than you Rick did identify what is fueling our division.

        This country is not perfect on matters of race. But many of us here were alive during the riots in the 60’s. We know how far the country has come.
        And we now that the failures of the left and the failures of govenrment have far more to do with the problems of minorities today than things that happened 200 years ago, or than police violence to minorities.

        Most of these police killings are occuring in cities with democratic and often minority governments.
        The cure is not more of the hair of the fog that bit you.

        What is creating division in this country today is the social justice warriors telling us all that we are hatefull hating haters.

        You do not speak for all non-black people.
        Try to picture how your statements come off to people who are not black ?

        Race is one of the least of the problems in this country today.

        But go ahead and fixate on race, and you can make it more important.

      • October 20, 2017 4:53 pm

        Nia, I am going to take up for Rick on this one as his comment was in reply to one I made. I think if you re-read his comment, I don’t believe he was lumping ALL black kids into one group when he said ” We definitely need to work on getting poor black kids through school with a decent education.” His point is spot on when you look at all the information on line concerning the division between the education that suburban White kids get compared to the inner city poor Black kids. There are many reason for this division and when Rick said what he did, it did not preclude any child from any background getting a good education, but the statistics show from pre-school all the way through high school, there are differences in the educational opportunities of Black children. We had segregated schools, then we had busing and then we went to “school choice” in most all areas where parents could choose the school they wanted their kids to attend. In the suburbs, parents have the time and money to take their kids clean across town everyday to get the best education. I ask you, do the inner city kids have those same resources.

        Can you truly say you believe a child for a poor family in the inner city of Detroit, NYC, Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta or any other big city is getting the same quality education as one from the suburbs surrounding those same cities?

      • dhlii permalink
        October 21, 2017 1:41 am

        Our beliefs on education are both self contradictory – though in a plausible way and have nothing to do with racism.

        I do not think ANY of us think that poor black inner city children should get a crappy education, or an inferior education.
        Any disagreement on that is purely about how to accomplish the goal of providing the best education possible to all.

        At the same time I have never met a parent that did not want the best possible education for THEIR child. I do not know a parent that would not take most any opportunity available to them to improve their kids education. And that includes paying or acting to get their kid a better education than other kids.

        Those on the left historically leave the cities and start shifting right when:
        They get married
        Have kids
        and start those kids in school.

        At the top of nearly every parent of school age kids criteria for home shopping is the quality of the school district. We will pay more to live where the schools are better.
        We will do it whether we are white or black, republican or democrat, conservative or progressive.

        Young adults on the left will decry anything that moves funds from traditional inner city schools to anything else. Until they have kids in school of their own.
        Then suddenly like all the rest of us the needs of THEIR child come first.
        Some of us are better able to afford advantaging our kids educationally.
        But none of us are going to refuse to do whatever we can afford to give our kids a better education.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 1, 2017 5:55 am

      I am sorry Ron, but I have to disagree on some things.

      Many things are not zero sum – but some are.

      Employment and jobs are one of those.

      One of the reasons government should have little role in the economy is we do nto want government deciding whether police or teachers are more needed than doctors. and engineers.

      From a given population we have only some many highly qualified people.
      If you through whatever means manage to get better teachers and police – you will have diminished something else.

      Further, I am sorry – police and teachers are important. My grandmother was a teacher, and I have enormous numbers of friends who are police. They are not professionals.
      We should not treat them as such and we should not expect them to be.
      One of our problems with police today is that we think of them as professionals and they think of themselves as professionals – and they are not.

      You also repeat the myth that throwing money at problems somehow solves them.
      Government has been doing that for decades with no success.
      Teachers are paid better today than 50 years ago. The cost of education has more than doubled, while the quality declined.

      The problem is not a shortage of money, nor wages that are too low.

      Much of our public discussion is polluted with this nonsensical myth that we want the best people for the job.

      No we don’t – we want the best people for those jobs that have the greatest impact on all of us. We flip out today over the fabulous wealth of the top 1%.
      But the fact is that a very small portion of us are responsible for creating the future, and making sure it is better than the present. That is where we want the best and brighest
      Past that we have a larger layer in the pyramid – these are the builders. They are not necescarily the people who are going to change the future – atleast not in a big way.
      But they are going to build it, our highways, our homes, our bridges, our networks. our hospitials. These are the “professionals” – doctors, engineers,

      And we can build ever larger layers as we move down the pyramid, and each layer down we are looking for less and less skill – until we hit burger flippers at McD’s.

      No one would think – we need to treat the fry cook at McD’s like a professional and pay them as such. It would be bad for us all to have people who should have been doctors and engineers flipping burgers.

      This is also why we do not want to central plan things.

      If we keep government out – we will get people distributed through the pyramid just about right.

      Further, though I have described a layered pyramid – we do not want that layering perfect.
      We want a few of our better people that should have been in upper layers, to choose to work in lower ones, because these are the people who drive up the quality of the rest of us – whether doctors, or engineers, or teachers or police.

      • October 1, 2017 11:17 am

        Dave, your comments about what people are paid, that teachers and police are not “professionals” and they have very little impact on the future of this country is total and complete bull shit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Tell me someone who sits in the ivory tower in a health system that spends most of their time politicking with local business or spends the other time in wasteful meetings making 2 million a year is more important than a teacher.

        I am not saying teachers should be paid 2 million, but the “good ‘ol boyz” network takes care of those that are true examples of the Peter Principle, while the ones that make a difference are being left behind.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 1, 2017 3:50 pm

        I think you are getting offended about teachers or police and missing my points.

        We have to make a society with the people we have. Not the ones we wish we had.
        This is a factor in nearly every issue we debate here.
        I get accused of being utopian – because I want a govenrment that can work with the people we have.

        Whenever you say – things would work better if we only had better teachers, police, politicians …… You are being utopian.
        We do not have those things and possibly can not at all. But if we can, it would only be at the expense of other things.

        We have a system that matches up what we want with what we have. It is called the free market. It does not work perfectly – because the world is not perfect.
        But if left truly free it does better than anything else at assuring the best allocation of resources – including skilled people to various undertakings.

        We need parents to pay for education – because that is what will assure that teachers are paid what they are worth. It is also what will assure that teachers are worth what they are paid. And when I say teachers are paid what they are worth – that includes each of us deciding how important the education of our children is compared to all our other wants and needs. There is an approximate answer to what teachers should be paid – it is what the market settles on. And it can change over time.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 1, 2017 3:52 pm

        The fact that our highly government regulated health system might be more screwed up than our government run education system – is not an argument for either.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 1, 2017 3:57 pm

        The price of anything – including teachers, is what a willing buyer and a willing seller freely agree on.

        That is the only real price there is of anything. That is the only means that allows buyers and selloers to independently weigh all their other wants and needs.

        The lack of such a price system is what Russian and Chinese socialism failed.
        And why Venezuella is failing right now.

        Price controls always fail because they destroy that arrangement.

        It is this system that translates how important things are, and the resources we have to purchase them into prices for each and every thing.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 1, 2017 6:05 am

      We do not want the best and brightest teachers and police we can get.

      But we do want to structure teaching and policing to make use of the people that we actually have.

      If we quit thinking of police as professionals, we will seek to figure out how to alter their job so that the people we have can do it and do it well.

      This BTW applies throughout the market.

      I am a software developer. I am extremely good at it. Much better than most.
      But we have far more software tasks that we need people like me, than we have people like me. The challenge of software – and this has been true much of my life, has been how to best use the people like me, and how to use the rest of software developers to do tasks that should be done by far more skilled people.

      Nor is this unique to software.

      The point is we must make the world work with the people we have.

      50% of the population has an IQ below 100 (by definition).
      16% has an IQ below 90.
      16% has an IQ above 110

  4. dhlii permalink
    September 29, 2017 4:02 pm

    Excellent, Rick. I agree with almost everything.

    I would counter on two points.

    First my normal:

    “Doing the right thing” does not always mean doing the middle thing or compromise.

    The entire racism and policing issue is multifaceted.

    Racism is not dead in the US and never will be, we will always be freindlier to those at less distance.

    We will favor our neighbors of the next community. Those in the same church over those not. Those in the same profession of others. those in our nation over those not.
    and those of our race over those not.

    But the strength of that favoritism regarding race has become much weaker.

    There is racism in policing, but it is not sufficiently strong to be evident except in rare cases.

    Our most racist policies – such as those in the war on drugs, were initially advanced by minority leaders.

    We have myriads of problems with our policing.
    The militarization of police increases violence.
    The policing for profit as in ferguson is vile – whether it is racist or not.
    Asset forfeiture which was supposed to be a tool to bring down drug kingpins,
    is now a means for the police to profit off the poor.

    We have lots and lots of issues with policing. And we should address those,
    When we frame those issues as racial issues, 3/4 of the country no longer cares.

    At the same time we should recognize that aside from recent spikes in a few major cities overall violence is way down – and has been trending down for 40 years.

    I am not so sure that is specifically attributable to policing, as that trend is global, and aside from a large spike in the US in the 60’s it is part of a global trend that is millenia long.

    In the past couple of centuries human violence has reduced by 1/2 with each century.

    That is a good thing and we should celebrate.

    We do have a problem with those at the bottom.
    Though again we have to start by being honest.
    The standard of living of the bottom quintile has doubled in the past 50 years.

    Regardless, the past 50 years have also reflected the destruction of myriads of institutions and norms. What is sometimes being called the bourgeoisie virtues.
    Many of these changes are legitimate responses to problems.
    Women should not have to remain married to spouses that beat them.

    Regardless, the destruction of families and family values, has harmed the future prosepects of many particularly those in the bottom.

    If you are born poor, get an education avoid involvement in crime, do not marry until you are ready, maintain a stable relationship with your spouse, do not have children until you are ready, your future is far far far brighter than those who do not do so.
    Life is not perfect. We make mistakes.

    It is outside the role or the ability of the state to save us from the impact of our own mistakes, and a poor idea for it to do so.

    • September 30, 2017 2:47 pm

      Dave: Thanks, and I couldn’t find anything in your comments that I’d disagree with. There’s been a very recent spike in crime due to police exercising more caution post-Ferguson, but it’s probably not a long-term trend. As for inner-city blacks (and all poor people, for that matter), someone — can’t remember who — advanced the idea that if young people want to avoid disaster, they must follow these four steps in this order: education, job, marriage, children. The theory (and I agree) is that changing the sequence in any way is a recipe for failure. (Of course, they’re free to omit the last two steps.)

      • Hieronymus permalink
        September 30, 2017 3:36 pm

        I liked that one of Dave’s too. WHEN Dave isn’t arguing with someone and posts only occasionally I have about a 50/50 chance of agreeing with his points. That falls to about 2% when he gets going on an argument or produces a deluge.

  5. dhlii permalink
    September 29, 2017 4:17 pm

    This guy is fairly effectively presenting the “trump” side of this issue.
    I do not agree with him entirely.

    But being wrong on a few issues is not being racist, and does not mean he is not right on many others. Further calling him a racist MIGHT shut him up, it will not change his vote.

  6. dhlii permalink
    September 29, 2017 4:20 pm

    Yes, Russia sought to interfere in our country.
    No it did not favor Trump.
    No there is not much of anything that can or should be done about it.

  7. September 29, 2017 4:45 pm

    Rick trying to stick to your ” division” theme of this article and not all the other crap that has ben discussed to the limit on your previous article.

    This ties into my comment about qualified people in positions of importance. When did Dr. Seuss become racist and why wasn’t it racist when Michele Obama read from his books?

    There is as much hate on the left as theremis on the right, but the right gets 75% of the credit.

    • Hieronymus permalink
      September 29, 2017 8:15 pm

      God, yes, you are right again! My beloved Dr. Seuss a racist? Such stupid, stupid people. This makes me ill, its disgusting. The Alabama right wing nut election makes me ill and the Loony left makes me ill. If I pay any attention to the news I am guaranteed to be ill.

      Politics is a cesspool.

      • September 30, 2017 2:35 pm

        That’s precisely why we moderates need to bump the extremists’ heads together and make them look ridiculous while (somehow) we start building bridges. But yes, sometimes I just throw up my hands and ask myself, “Why bother? Western civilization is in its death throes.” Is it worth delaying the inevitable, or should we just let history take its course?

    • Hieronymus permalink
      September 29, 2017 8:48 pm

      I am waiting for National Review to have at that wretched Seuss-bashing librarian, but good. Conservatives actually miss really using all the golden opportunities to really put a dent in PC. Maybe they will catch the wave this time and ride it. Instead of persistently going after things like the Dartmouth BLM riot, the Middlebury Murray riot and now this foul PC librarian with endurance and stamina, they jump right off these kinds of things after a short run and find other stories that show that they are just as bad, finding their inner Coulters, Bannons, and Yiannopouloses. One set of idiots at war with another.

      • September 30, 2017 2:39 pm

        Totally agree. We need to express more honest outrage without pushing a mean-spirited agenda.

  8. dhlii permalink
    September 29, 2017 4:52 pm

    Those unhappy with the creeping socialism in our nation have given up on moderates right or left as the means to restore sanity and an increasing number are electing bomb throwers to send a message.

    I consistently make the argument that you may not infringe on the rights of a minority without consequence – merely because you can get the support of a majority of voters.

    “bomb throwing” is one of the tools available to minorities when they are otherwise powerless.

    The Tea Party gained power and prominence because it quickly made it clear that it was prepared to challenge establishment republicans who were unwilling to take a strong stand against creeping socialism. The Tea Party was prepared to see republicans lose, and democrats win, if it could not get republicans that supported its values.
    That threat gave the Tea Party a great deal of power.
    The Tea Party has lost cohesion since 2009, but the insurgency against creeping socialism has not.
    Trump is not Tea Party, but he is the penultimate bomb throwing insurgent.
    But as the election of Roy Moore in Alabama demonstrates, Trump does not own the insurgency.
    This insurgency answers to no one – not even Trump.

    • September 29, 2017 8:36 pm

      And this addresses polarization, police brutality and disrespect of national symbols HOW?

  9. dhlii permalink
    September 29, 2017 7:04 pm

  10. dhlii permalink
    September 29, 2017 7:11 pm

  11. dhlii permalink
    September 29, 2017 7:43 pm

  12. dhlii permalink
    September 29, 2017 7:54 pm

    What is wrong with malthusian apocalyptic thinking – whether that of the left or the right.

  13. Jay permalink
    September 29, 2017 8:39 pm

    America The … Inept.

    • September 29, 2017 10:08 pm

      And I ask you also, how does this apply to Ricks article ?

      • Jay permalink
        October 3, 2017 6:10 pm

        I thought I was posting to the previous thread: didn’t realize this new one had been posted until a few minutes ago…

  14. Hieronymus permalink
    September 29, 2017 8:44 pm

    Well, it was bound to happen someday. I’d give this one a 2.5/5 Rick. Those people are protesting something, its not something you get, but its something real. I agree with Ron that they are doing it in a way that hurts their cause, but they do have a cause, statistics or no.

    I prefer Mona Charen’s take on this. An excerpt:

    “…You think it’s easy to maintain national cohesion? It isn’t. That’s why demagogues since time began conjure external enemies and scapegoat minorities — which is not to say that enemies are always imaginary. In our time, the things that divide us are all too obvious. We are increasingly self-segregating by income and education. Due in part to choice and in part to history’s overhang, we continue to live in racially distinct enclaves. Democrats and Republicans despise one another to the point where they avoid living in the same neighborhoods or dating each other. Many parents now frown on their children marrying “outside the faith” — by which they mean not Catholic or Protestant, but Republican or Democrat. And speaking of faith, in actual houses of worship, things haven’t changed much since Martin Luther King Jr. called 11 a.m. Sunday morning “the most segregated hour” in American life.

    So it would seem downright reckless to tamper with football — the one cultural touchstone that unites us, however tenuously.

    Reckless is our president’s calling card. Or perhaps that’s too generous. He didn’t just suggest that the black players who knelt during the national anthem be fired, he called them “sons of b*****es.” Football had some troubles before, but now we have a national concussion. Who could blame people for noticing that when it came to Tiki-torch neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Trump strained to stress that some were very fine people, but black athletes who protest police brutality get this treatment?…”

    This from a Mona Charen, a person of impeccable conservative credentials. I try to hang on to the little bits of sanity that appear as ship wreckage floating in this sea of madness, bits of stuff that once were a culture that more of less worked I thought, hoping that someday they will congeal and form a new political continent.

    Read more at:

    • September 30, 2017 11:13 pm

      (Sniff)… sorry to have fallen short in your estimation — and you know I respect your opinion. Mona Charen focused on Trump’s follies (no argument there). I focused on the prevailing narrative about the virtual genocide of unarmed black men by thug cops. Why? I was startled by the stats I came across — from reliable sources like the FBI and even the Washington Post — that practically demolished the BLM narrative. I’ve long thought it was a distorted narrative, but I had no idea just how far off base it was. (I only used a few of the stats in my column.) So I might have come across as unsympathetic — although I made sure to mention a few individual police shootings that were indefensible. Where black people really get a raw deal is inside the criminal justice system: the arrests for minor offenses, and the irreparable harm to their post-prison lives. But that’s the subject of a future column.

      • Hieronymus permalink
        October 1, 2017 10:08 am

        Rick, everyone here has had their turn at not agreeing with one of your essays. You have written so many and so many are appreciated and praised. Its natural that no one can please all of the people all of the time. I just never have agreed with you on race. I am the outlier here on this subject.

        You did a fine job on the statistics of the body count. But its not the body count, its the entirety of the experience of blacks in America, not one thing, not just the shootings of innocents by the police. That total weight of experience does lead black Americans to react with sadness and anger to every killing of an innocent black person by the law. That is what generated BLM, which is not the entirely violent and sadistic movement some see it as. It has its violent sadistic gonzo element who have now become its face to many white (and some black) people.

        I have the idea that you have been badly battered in conversations with unreasonable black extremists, Mumia abdu Jamal types, and you have just had it with the whole issue of the black complaints with their experiences in America.

        Every cultural group feels that they have been treated unfairly, even the ones that have had it the best. Even animals have a well developed sense of fair treatment, there are some damned funny videos on line on their reactions to being slighted. A people that has been subjected to abduction, murder, slavery, treated as animals and property, whipped beaten separated from their families, lynched, segregated, sent to the back of the bus, disproportionately wound up in poverty and inner city ghettos, subjected to racial profiling, had their Dr. King hounded by the FBI and then assassinated, and on and on has got some deep reasons to take that normal human characteristic of feeling abused pretty deep and far. Its not necessarily helpful or productive in 2017 when things have changed in many ways, but I don’t blame them.

        If you ask a large number of normal, hardworking, non impoverished blacks how they feel about this you may be surprised by how deep the anger and resentment runs, even in people who have managed to escape from the worst of the race related indignities and hazards. I do get the sense, over time, not just this post, that your are not much believing that they have reason to feel like a distinct subculture that is still foreign and not accepted by many that faces discrimination and prejudice. Why don’t they just relax and count their blessings, its 2017, seems to be the majority conservative view on this. We liberals see it differently. Its probably the main reason I still call myself a liberal. My family history taught me to be something of a chip off the old liberal activists peace marching block and to be pretty sympathetic to black feelings of general disrespect. It’s a family tradition and it goes back far and deep. By no means have all my experiences with blacks been pleasant, I met the militants when we moved to Princeton in my senior year and had a fight once. But then, I also worked in a chemical factory where I was one of two whites and that blew up many of my fears and replaced them with an image of decent normal kind people who wanted to be accepted as such.

        Well, this is one of those “fatburgers” that as dduck notes take up a lot of space, but some things are too complex to express in a few words, at least for me.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 1, 2017 2:28 pm

        The “body count” contradicts a central thesis being pushed by race warriors today – that of systemic racism by police.

        Further that thesis and those pushing it alienate the rest of us.

        You want my sympathy at the killing of innocent blacks, fine, but those are quite rare, and then you owe sympathy at the killing of innocent whites.

        Further police shootings are an extremely rare event. Like mass killings – which you also fixate on. When you elevate lightning strikes to sufficient importance to drive policy, you get bad outcomes.

        When you fixate on lightning strikes you make yourself indistinguishable from the extremists that you claim to disown.

        When you fixate on lightning strikes you blind yourself to the real causes and real problems.

        When you posit racism as the root cause of everything, when you posit that america is inherently racist – you alienate those who might otherwise agree with you.

        You say that policing is systemically racist. Maybe some of us MIGHT be willing to buy that in rural alabama. But these deaths are in Chicago, Baltimore, Atlanta, NYC – major american cities. Blue bastions. Minority majority political districts, with blue minority governments.

        You are trying to sell the rest of us that the police and the country are systemically racist yet the evidence you true to use is present if not clearly at its worst, where minorities control the cities and the police.

        We have many problems with our policing – problems that you and I could agree on, if you were not trying to argue they were all about race.

        We have many problems with our justice system – again that we could agree on, if you were not trying to argue they were all about race.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 1, 2017 2:36 pm

        Toddlers have a well developed sense of fairness – and every wise parent on the planet will avoid making family decisions based on the toddlers perceptions of fairness.

        Our subjective conception of fairness has been historically the most bloody force in human history.

        The US revolution was deliberately rooted in liberty. The french in fairness, and resulted in the guilotine and blood through the street.

        From each according to their ability to each according to their need is the core guiding principle of marxism, or communism, of all forms of socialism. It has ended in blood pretty much everywhere it has been tried. If you are incapable of seeing the failures of socialism in the past – you can look at Venezuela today.

        Elsewhere I cited Freidman.

        A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither.
        A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high of both.

        That simply states the past 250 years of world history.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 1, 2017 2:52 pm

        You are right that issues of race in this country are complex.

        Complexity is not an excuse for egregious error.

        Worse still, and at the core of the current failure of the left,
        Co-opting the feelings of inequity of different groups, lying to them about the causes, blaming their plight on spurious notions of hatred by “others”,
        using that false notion as the mortar to build a hopefully winning political coalition rooted in greivance and anger, and hatred for those who do not hate you,

        is divisive and destructive.
        It creates hate where it does not exist.
        It creates division where it did not exist.
        It creates racism where it did not exist.

        You want to claim the what the left is doing is laudable – but for a few extremists.

        It is evil and the extremists are just the logical end of the path you have started down.

        Donald Trump is a creation of the left.

        The inevitable consequence of labeling everyone that disagrees with you as “hateful, hating haters” was that eventually that label who have no impact.

        It was inevitable that someone would create a persona around the carciture that you attacked, endure your slings and arrows proving them ineffective and false and shouting back for those tired of being called racist, homophobes, mysoginists, ….

      • dhlii permalink
        October 1, 2017 3:16 pm

        Get real Roby;

        Wow, you worked at a mostly black chemical plant.

        Few of us today live a life of cultural and racial homogeneity.

        Most of us live in a world of different races and cultures.

        Most of the people in my life are minorities of one form or another.

        The last place I was employed, I was one of two whites in a division of mexicans, and blacks, and indians.

        I might be the only straight person in my church. I am certainly one of only a few pasty white males.

        Further we have cultures beyond race and sexual orientation.

        My children are internationally adopted – one of the things I have learned from that is we have created our own knew culture. My kids and my family do not identify with chinese or koreans, but with other mixed families. Our problems and our shared experiences do not come from the race of my children but from the mixed cultural nature of my family.

        Further, though I do not want to pretend to be an expert on race, and I do not know your circumstances that well, but I would be shocked if your intimacy with people of other races and cultures is a fraction of my own.

        One of the earliest things I noticed after coming home from China with my daughter, was that minorities treated me differently in public when she was with me.

        If I went grocery shopping without her, people of other races did not meet eyes, did not smile at me, did not casually engage me in public. I was the white male, the other.
        But when my daughter was with me, these same people would meet my eyes, smile, exchange pleasantries. because I was no longer potentially dangerous.

        That change in relationship with the rest of the world goes beyond race. Even other groups says as gays and lesbians are more comfortable and open with mixed race families.

        Today the overwhelming majority of people in my life are NOT straight or white. Almost everywhere I go – I am the minority – except not really. Because I am not the unknown straight white man potentially invading their space, but atleast in some ways one of them.

        Some of these relationships are shallow – we can not be friends or best friends with everyone, but some are extremely deep. My families closets friend from long before we adopted, from relationships with her mother, is black. We have raised each others kids, vacationed together, been there for each other through deaths, and illness, and disease and other conflicts.

      • October 2, 2017 11:03 am

        H. and Dave: Yes, I’ve gotten into some heated discussions with black friends and their friends. Although the tone is always civil, they keep throwing white privilege in my face — that it’s my white privilege that keeps me from agreeing with their insistence that all whites are privileged. It drives me nuts. I try to argue that class privilege today is more of a factor than white privilege — for example, that a white boy raised in a trailer park is less privileged than the black daughter of a doctor who gains preferential admission to Yale. But they won’t hear it.

        I tried to convince them to see us all as individuals, but the collective mentality always seems to prevail. It must be their Marxist view of society — individuals matter less than the collective. Good grief, I’ve even drawn criticism when I sympathized with blacks after the church shooting in Charleston. (A black acquaintance who never interacts with me online unless he spies some remark on race chastised me for being “patronizing.”) And of course, the totalitarian nature of some of those BLM and antifa demonstrations — not to mention extreme PC nutjobs like that anti-Seuss librarian — has driven me a little more to the right on social and cultural issues. I feel obligated to balance the tipping boat.

        Do I think black people enjoy complete equality today? It’s complicated. Inner-city culture is clearly dysfunctional, so they start with a few strikes against them. Blacks still get a raw deal in the criminal justice system — and too often in real estate and banking. Inner city schools are mostly hellholes (although disruptive black students have a lot to do with that). On the other hand, blacks benefit from all those diversity initiatives and the one-way street of racial dialogue today. Blacks are allowed and even encouraged to criticize whites, blame them collectively, and defame white heroes from the past; they control the conversation. White people aren’t allowed to say boo in return — or they find themselves quickly expelled from polite society. I’m a stickler for fairness, and this is clearly a double standard.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 2, 2017 4:33 pm


        I do not end up in heated discussions with minorities.
        In a few specific instances I will not dicuss certain topics arround specific people.
        That is as often whites as minorities, but even when it is minorities – my reaction is no different from others in those groups – including other minorities.

        When I end up in conflict over politics – particularly race – it is with progressive whites.

        With respect to “white priviledge”.

        We are NOT EQUAL. Get over it. Absolutely being born white and male and middle class give you a leg up in the world. Just as merely being born in the US also gives you a leg up.

        I can have a small amount of sympathy for Colin Keapernick as he was born black.
        He was also born with far more physical talent than I, and has transformed that into a multi-million dollar career.

        We are not equally smart, or equally talented or pretty much actually equal in anyway.
        That is life – get over it.

        I can be grateful for the benefits I have, try to make the best use of them, grasp that some of my success (or failures) are the result of my own efforts, and still grasp that I have benefited from talent, place of birth and even race.

        None of that changes what I must do to succeed, nor does it create a duty that government can impose by force upon me.

        What I owe to others for my own privilege is between me and my god.

        In 1820 race was a major factor with respect to the prospects of a person born in the US.
        In 2017 it is a very small one.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 2, 2017 4:47 pm


        Heather MacDonald has done an excellent job of demonstrating that end to end our justice system is NOT racially biased.

        While there is racial disparity, it is because there are racial differences in crime.
        Asians commit crimes at 1/2 the rate of whites. While blacks commit them at about double.

        This is true of crimes where there are subjective factors, and crimes where there are none.
        Murder statistics are particularly useful, because dead is dead. We are not covering up thousands of white on white murders. We are not manufacturing fake black murders.

        Through most of the justice system there is little disparity in the handling of murder.
        It is unlikely that the criminal justice system is more racist elsewhere.

        Further crime reporting tracks investigations, arrests and convictions.
        Where we have more crime reported, we have more investigations, more arrests and more convictions.

        Unless you beleive that blacks are more likely to report black people for committing serious crimes, there is no racial consequential dispartity in criminal justice.

        Further the racial demographic patterns in the US hold true in other countries.
        Asians are less likely to commit crimes – wherever they live, and hispanics and blacks more – wherever they live.

        There are many things wrong with our criminal justice system.
        And there is some racism. But that is small compared to many other issues that need addressed.

        Issues with respect to lending and banks track class, not race.

        If you are in the bottom quintile you are going to have a difficult time getting a loan.
        White black or whatever.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 2, 2017 4:54 pm

        I have addressed schools before.

        If anything we are spending more on inner-city schools than suburban white ones.
        And they are still disasterous – though education quality has declined even in white suburban schools.

        But we actually know some things that work.

        Charters work. I know alot about cyber charters – my kids each spent a decade in cyber charters.

        These are a godsend to poor minority students.
        Minority kids do not typically do well in cyber charters. But they do far better than they did in their brick and mortar schools.
        BTW a for profit cyber charter costs about 75% of what a traditional school does.

        They are not the answer for everyone. There really is not a single answer to education, and in fact any single answer is inherently the worst choice.

        What we need in education is exactly that – choices. Partly because one size does nto fit all, and partly because competition drives improvement and lack of competition leads to failure.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 2, 2017 4:59 pm


        I would pay attention to what Rick is saying – not so much because it is the truth – though I agree with much of it.

        But because I think Rick if he had made the same remarks 10 years ago would have shaded them much more to the left.

        My point is that the rhetoric of the left is driving people right.

        All of us are not becoming as Jay would put it “Trumpanzee’s”,
        but anger at the left is rising.
        It is not the consequence of Trump getting his message out and understood,
        it is the consequence of the left alienating people.

        The modern left made or atleast severely amplified the division in the country.
        Trump merely recognized it and capitalizes on it.

  15. dhlii permalink
    September 30, 2017 2:15 am

    This is long but it covers such an incredible number of issues.
    Further it is Rubin interviewing Candice Owen and Rubin is excellent at addressing controversy in a polite and respectful way.

  16. dhlii permalink
    September 30, 2017 3:23 am

    Rent control – still has not worked for any city ever anywhere.
    Latest fail – toronto

  17. dhlii permalink
    September 30, 2017 3:25 am


  18. dduck12 permalink
    September 30, 2017 3:06 pm

    Rick I loved your kneeling piece, and glad to see alert readers have put some icing on the cake.
    I watched Bill Maher last night and for me John Heilermann said it all: the owners, players fans were saying f—- you Trump. I can’t find the actual quote but you get the idea.

    In order to be politically correct, nowadays, you have to half kneel, place your right hand between your stomach and heart and link your left arm with some other schmuck.

    Trump sure knows how to Make America Great Again- circa the 60’s.

    BTW, even with a two day old thread, it is like swimming in the old East River trying to get through the verbal fatbergers with a comment.

    • September 30, 2017 10:50 pm

      Thanks, dduck! I’ve grown so weary of racial strife that it’s turning me into a curmudgeon. (Of course, the folks on the left would just call me a racist for questioning the holy narrative, and I’m fed up with that, too.) And, for that matter, I’m fed up with Trump. I used to go to bat for him occasionally because he was under constant attack from CNN and other righteous liberal media outlets. But the man brings it on himself… I really think he’s a sociopath.

      As for the density of comments here, I’d just scroll straight to the bottom and hope for the best — unless you’re really determined to respond to other people’s comments.

  19. dhlii permalink
    September 30, 2017 3:12 pm

    I love Glenn Greenwald. He is strongly on the left. But he has integrity.
    When he opposed something during the Bush administration, he remained opposed as Obama continued doing it.

    Greenwald is heavily involved in the Snowden story. He is among the most knowledgeable journalists on tech issues.

    While Greenwald is not ready to assert there is nothing to the Russia/Collusion story.
    He is strongly stating that most of it is made up.

    Aside from the fact that even the attempts to hack voting machines is now going down the tubes, Greenwald points out that the Twitter stories are all being sourced from newly formed anti-time neocon groups – not established cyber security people.
    And that these groups are deliberately obfuscating their methods and sources.
    i.e. They do not identify the accounts they claim were “russian bots” so no one can verify their story.

    I have a different objection to the FB/Twitter stories memes – and that is that unless you are going to convert the internet into a US walled garden you can not stop what you are claiming happened – and you should not.

    Further I do NOT want Twitter and FaceBook policing their accounts. I have accounts on both FB and Twitter and other places that are not “verified”.

    The Supreme court long ago decided that the right to free speach included the right to speak anonymously. That government could not require the identity of a speaker.

    Facebook and Twitter are free to do as they please.
    But Government is NOT permitted to force them to do as government wishes.

    Some here are rightly upset about Trump’s suggestion to the NFL that players who kneel be fired.
    Senators demanding that FB and Twitter investigate Russian interferance and shutdown accounts is WORSE. Trump does not have the power to compel firing players.
    Congress can Compel FB and Twitter – multiple ways.

    Letting the free market work these things out on its own – means not putting your fingers on the scales.
    If Twitters customers want these types of accounts “investigated” and eliminated, they will be. And those of us that have a problem with that will move elsewhere.

    But the internet (or anything else) should not work as govenrment wishes it to, but as consumers choose.

  20. dhlii permalink
    October 1, 2017 4:04 am

  21. dhlii permalink
    October 1, 2017 4:05 am

  22. dhlii permalink
    October 1, 2017 4:10 am

  23. dhlii permalink
    October 1, 2017 4:11 am

  24. dhlii permalink
    October 1, 2017 4:12 am

  25. dduck12 permalink
    October 1, 2017 3:24 pm

    Go Milt.

  26. dduck12 permalink
    October 1, 2017 4:55 pm

    You can pollute a small body of water even faster than a small one.

  27. October 2, 2017 1:31 am

    SNL taking on the PC millennials straight on.

  28. October 2, 2017 10:24 am

    “My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!” (Trump)

    Hopefully this is all he will say about this tragic event. There will be enough people dividing this country even more after this took place that they will not need his help furthering the crusade.

    • Hieronymus permalink
      October 2, 2017 10:53 am

      Ron, One of my first thoughts this morning was to just pray that the shooter belonged to no ideology so that this could not be used to further divide Americans.

      In the internet era there will be no shortage of people trying to use this for their own purposes, I don’t even need to read the news to find that fake news, hoaxes, conspiracies, etc. are in full swing this morning.

      I cannot do anything about a nut committing a massacre somewhere, any more than I can do anything about a model getting a tattoo on her eyeball and suffering the consequences or a woman electing to die of cancer to have her baby and then the baby dies as well. I cannot do anything about any of these news events. I will send my modem away for the day, in my wife’s car as she goes to work. There is so much for me to do today other than obsess with news and politics.

      I can only try to be as positive in my real life as possible and have good interactions with people. If anything can dilute the misery that comes in the news each day in some form its common sense and common decency. Good people living the most positive lives they can, not getting sucked into the madness.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 2, 2017 4:06 pm

        The vast majority of violence that gets blamed on ideology – is just violence.
        Broken people lashing out.

        In a world with 7.5B people that is going to happen occasionally.
        Someday maybe we will become much better at dealing with mental health issues.
        We are not today.

        Still these events are extremely rare. they are not ordinary life and that is why they are reported. It will only take a month for Chicago to rack up a matching toll and that will not get much attention.

        What is normal – even violence goes unreported, What is unusual makes the medias attention.

        Whatever attention you direct to the media will be rewarded with reports of something going badly wrong somewhere – because there is always something going badly wrong somewhere. The media’s role is to deliver misery. They will not change unless we change what we want from them. While the world as a whole is constantly improving.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 2, 2017 4:20 pm

        Our divisions are real. They are not manufactured.

        But I would ask you to make a list of the top 10 problems we have today.
        Which of those is not better now than a decade or two ago ?

        If you are honest with your self, you will note that if there is anything on your list that has actually gotten worse in the past couple of decades, it is a government failure.

        Whatever you wish to say about racism – it is better today than a decade ago, and certainly then the 60’s.

        The same is true of every other form of discrimination.
        People still went to jail – in San Franciso, when I was young, for being gay.
        Now they are marrying and adopting.

        I can think of nothing that is not intrinsically tied to government that is worse today than in the past.

        What has declined ?

        Our GOVERNMENT is rushing towards a fiscal cliff, it is still in the distance, but we are doing nothing about it.

        Our economy is stagnant. That is either the new norm, or another government failure.

        Our educational system is in decline. We are neither educating people to be productive or to tolerate dissenting views. We are not teaching the classical liberal views that produced the society we have today, that the rest of the world has sought to emulate.

        Maybe we can do better – but nothing in the agenda of modern progressives addresses something that has gotten worse.

        We are facing a massive meltdown and hissy fit on the part of the left – why ?
        Because at worst Trump is going to move the country in a progressive direction more slowly ?

        If all the lefts problems with Trump were true, it still would not amount to anything.

  29. Anonymous permalink
    October 2, 2017 4:55 pm

    American Moderates Should be American Nationalists.
    In this note I’m going to attempt to explain why American Moderates should be American Nationalists. I don’t mean White Nationalists – they’re racists and bigots; I mean ALL American citizens! To use an analogy, we’re not all in our own little boat, that either floats or sinks by itself; we’re in one big boat that either floats or sinks. In the Vietnam War, the race or creed of our foot soldiers didn’t matter; they either protected one another or they died. In this increasingly competitive world, if all Americans don’t work together, our nation and its people aren’t going to survive and prosper. To help our country survive, American Moderates need to accept that they also need to be American Nationalists. Social Nationalism that fosters mutual tolerance is not enough! Economic Nationalism that saves our jobs and provides more economic equality is necessary, Manufacturing jobs are almost ‘magic;’ they provide our individual communities to buy the necessities that we don’t produce locally. As it’s been said, we can’t make a living cutting one another’s hair. We need economic treaties that protect our jobs. Also when manufacturers want to export our jobs and factories, they need to file an ‘Economic Impact Statement’ justifying the move (e.g., they will go bankrupt otherwise). In summary the altruistic and pragmatic approach for American Moderates is for them also be American Nationalists!

    • dhlii permalink
      October 2, 2017 5:46 pm

      Humans are tribal, and out tribes work outward from the family. Race, nation, class, national origen, religion are all just larger tribes we are part of.
      All other things being equal we will favor our tribe.
      This is just ordinary human behavior.
      Even the left is not looking to extend AFDC to China.

      All that said – economic nationalism is total complete bunk.
      Please read Adam Smith’s “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” it is not only free, but there are several really good condensed free versions, including one written by PJ ORourke.

      Free Trade is a win-win. Even unfree trade ALWAYS favors the nation with the LOWEST trade barriers. The arguments for free trade are so compelling that nations should shift to free trade unilaterally.

      To the extent that some modern trade deals have been problematic – that is OUR fault.
      US politicians and US businesses have used trade legislation to mangle our laws in their favor – treaties do nto require approval by the house of representatives.

      The US used to have the most reasonable copyright laws in the world. Today we have the worst. Our industries – particularly the entertainment industry have used the treaty process to force our country to adopt the most protectionist copyright practices in the world.
      We have borrowed every bad idea from the rest of the world.

      With respect to jobs – particularly manufacturing jobs.
      It is neither the role of government or the economy to “produce jobs”.

      Standard of living rises when more value is produce for less human cost.

      The nature of a free market is to constantly reduce the human labor necescary to produce anything. In other words to make people more productive and to use fewer people to produce ever more.

      Just as the early weaving machines replaced spinning wheels and later machines replaced earlier ones, with each step resulting in fewer and fewer people needed to produce the same value. So it is today and always will be.

      The destruction of jobs that is a natural function of the market , frees labor to be used for more valueable purposes.

      More simply in an actual free market there will always be plenty of jobs.

      Unemployment beyond a small portion necescary to keep the labor market from seizing, is a function of government drags on the economy – such as regulation.

      The US BTW manufactures more today than ever before in history by a long shot. ‘
      It just does so with a few high paying jobs, not alot of low paying ones

      You can win the emotional war on economic nationalism, just are roby can win the war on ObamaCare, on the basis of emotion. You can not win it on the basis of fact.

      And like the left, you seem to think that you have the ability to dictate the laws of nature and economics.

      Creating barriers to preclude companies from outsources, always fails catastrophically.

      Have we learned nothing from Smoot-Hawley ?

  30. October 2, 2017 5:52 pm

    Donald J. Trump ✔@realDonaldTrump
    “The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump.”
    7:19 AM – Sep 30, 2017

    Donald J. Trump ✔@realDonaldTrump
    “…Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They….”
    7:26 AM – Sep 30, 2017

    (Finishing the previous tweet)
    Donald J. Trump ✔@realDonaldTrump
    “…want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job.”
    7:29 AM – Sep 30, 2017

    Donald Trump can not stand anyone getting more attention than he gets, so even if the attention he promotes is negative attention, he is happy with that. He is #1 in the news.

    He can not understand that this is further dividing an already hugely divided country and is doing much more damage than even a marshmellow brained liberal SCOTUS judge would do.

    Jimmy Carter has to be thankful for Obama and Trump. He will no longer even be considered for the worst president in history, And GW Bush can rest easy. It took him 6 years for his Katrina. It only took Trump 8 months for his. Now they can reference Maria and the aftermath when talking about piss poor administration responses to catastrophes.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 2, 2017 8:21 pm

      With respect to Puerto Rico – there is alot of good and bad information.

      Here is some feedback from a Naval expert in this type of operation.

      The gist is:
      The navy had much of what made sense in place BEFORE the storm.
      The Hospital ships are an extremely poor choice – this is not a mission they are suited for.
      Ships already on the scene are far better suited.

      Puerto Rico’s infrastructure was in a significant state of disrepair prior to this hurricane,
      and therefore easily damaged and unlikely to be quickly repairable no matter what.

      The military is already doing most of what can be done,

      Elsewhere the military is airlifting in food and water for approx. 1.4M people every day.
      That is a bit short of current needs – about 1.5M but is about all that can be delivered by air.
      One of the big deals – which should start to be resolved is clearing the ports because ships are able to deal far more material than an airlift.

      There is alot of conflicting stories about the Mayor of San Juan. What appears to be certain is that drawing any conclusions requires more than here input.

      • October 2, 2017 8:42 pm

        Dave, you seem to be incapable of comprehending what others post. My comment had nothing to do with what was right and wong with PR news. My commet had nothing to do with the actions of our government in the recovery. No one can argue with what Trump tweeted unless they claim his account was hacked.

        My comment was directly related to polarization in the country and the impact Trump is having with his need to be the leading news no matter if that is positive or negative.

        Stay on subject or start a new comment when it does not address the subject at hand. Trump tweeted negative comments about the mayor and I addressed that issue.

        So whats yourbtake on that. Is he helping to cure the divide with these words orpromoting the divide.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 2, 2017 9:05 pm


        Just because your post has one point, does not mean I can not make a different one in response.

        Absolutely Trump seeks the spotlight. That is not new, he has been that way his entire life.
        We knew that when we elected him.

        Frankly that is ALSO true of most of those who attack him.

        The San Juan Mayor aparently had time for 5 media interviews but none to meet with FEMA.

        Politicians stand infront of cameras all the time and say things they hope will make the news. To the extent Trump is different, he has gotten elected president and bypassed the
        media filters and just tweets at us all directly, and the media must respond.

        A brilliant – if very narcisistic tactic.

        Regardless, since your point is polarization:

        SORRY, our polarization is not caused by individuals. It is caused by groups.

        Trump or even a few in the media or the democratic party acting badly would not polarize the nation.

        Our polarization is the direct result of the fact that the nations is itself divided on big issues.

        Those divisons predate Trump. At most he used them to get elected.
        He did not create them.

        It is an undisputable fact those divisions predate Trump.

        To the extent there is an argument – it would be what caused them.

        My argument is that it is the overreach and radicalization of the left, combined with their bullying approach to all who disagree.

        again all of that significantly predates Trump.

        Lots of us do not like Trump’s style, many of us like Obama’s style.

        But in terms of substance – Obama has some real culpability in creating our divisions.
        Trump does not.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 2, 2017 9:17 pm

        The divide is not going to be cured by words.
        The divide was not caused mostly by words – though the bullying of the left did nto help.

        Frankly the divide dates atleast back to Woodrow Wilson, but it grows and shrinks.

        The divide is over the extent to which govenrment should dictate our lives.

        It can be cured only one of two ways:

        A huge increase int eh number of people willing to tolerate significant governemnt involvement in daily life.
        Advocates for more government backing down.

        Ultimately the latter is the only viable approach.
        Unless miraculously future government interventions succeed far better than PPACA.

        But back to my response.

        Saying the right things is a step – but only if followed by doing the right things.
        The left is not saying the right things, and they are the ones who have been both saying and doing things that have failed.

        Trump is frequently saying the right things – in the most inflamatory way possible.
        He is also to a much lessor extent doing some of the right things – often to the ranting and raving of the left.

        But Trump could have a heart attack tomorrow, and we would likely recreate him or someone like him. Because that is necescary to balance the bullying of the left.

        Trump is not responsible for the fact that Berkeley Burned last year when Milo Yanopolis tried to speak there. He is not responsible for the fact that it cost 600K to provide security for Ben Shapiro. He is not responsible for the fact that a number of relatively begnign – and even sometimes left leaning academics such as Haidt, Peterson, Summers, and Murphy are being shutdown by hecklers veto’s.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 2, 2017 8:28 pm


      Absolutely Trump is a publicity seeker.

      He made a relatively big Show of dealing with Texas,

      But for the most part he has been relatively quiet about FL and PR – until he was attacked for purportedly botching them.

      I am more concerned about REAL issues in PR rather than Trump or the media and the left engaged in a sparring contest.

      This is likely to turn into a windfall for PR. The island has been horribly mismanaged for decades, and is teetering on Bankruptcy. Puerto Rico’s power has been crap for years.
      It is my understanding that daily long outages were common throughout the island prior to the huricane. Regardless, PR is likely to get a shiny new electrical system curtesy of the rest of us. Disaster aid – if not thoroughly wasted could be sufficient to significantly address much of PR’s fiscal problems.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 2, 2017 8:42 pm

      Carter was actually a pretty good president overall.

      We frequently get confused by party labels.

      Nixon as an example was incredibly progressive, the Bushes were relatively Progressive, while Carter and Clinton were actually conservative.

      Carter got hit with some specific problems, mostly not of his making – the oil crisis and the Iran hostage situation.

      The first he actually handled admirably – but it was outside his power to do better than he did, the 2nd he managed relatively badly.

      Carter nearly ended Amtrak, deregulated freight rail, deregulated trucking, deregulated air travel – all other deregulation in US history combined is less than what Carter did, and all of it worked out well. We went from near bankrupt railroads of all kinds, to the best, cheapest and most profitable Freight rail system – that almost entirely subsidizes Amtrak infrustructure. Trucking changed in pretty much the same way.
      Airtravel has gone from something mostly only business could afford to cheaper than any other means of transporting humans long distances.

      Carter is responsible for making Volker Fed Chair.
      Further Carter endorsed Volkers radical program to bring inflation, unemployment and interest rates back under control, despite the fact that Carter knew it would cause a serious recession and would likely prevent his re-election.
      Reagan is typically given credit for this – and Reagan was wise enough to continue what Carter started, but Reagan’s presidency is a continuation of Carters with 3 specific exceptions:
      Star Wars/Defense spending – Carter aggressively cut defense spending.
      Reagan was aggressive about confronting (and negotiating) with the USSR.
      Reagan cut taxes and simplified the tax code.

      Reagan also accomplished much of that with a democratic congress.
      Carter was actually at odds with a democratic congress.

      Regardless, Carter gets little credit – and his handling of the Iran Hostage Crisis was poor,
      but otherwise he was actually a great president.

      Obama was a far better Orator. He would never have delivered Carter’s “malaise” speach.
      But he was a pretty bad president.

  31. October 3, 2017 12:28 am

    “If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs will ever do the right thing, I’m actually not even sympathetic bc country music fans are often republican gun toters.” Hayley Geftman-Gold CBS Vice President

    Good example of polarization. One can make up their own mind as to how many others think like this well educated attorney in NYC.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 3, 2017 12:57 am

      Kristoff proposed 8 things that should be done in response to this.

      Yet, not one of the 8 would have had any effect on this event.

      Here are the gun death rates for various countriess per 100K or population.

      Aa we learn more something may change but thus far this event is inexplicable.
      The killer was wealthy, not in apparently financial difficulty, no record of mental health issues, no criminal record, no record of violence. Not even a record of gun ownership until recently. No strong religious ties we know of.

      It is however disturbing that it took Police more than an hour to stop this.
      On the one hand the scenario the shooter created pretty much ensured that no one was going to shoot back.
      On the other, this was a near perfect arrangement for a SWAT team – a shooter completely separated from innocent people making it easy for them to go in.

      I would also note, this is only the 2nd time ever that a SWAT time has ended an active Shooter incident. The other is SandyHook. In both instances the shooter killed themselves when a SWAT response was inevitable.
      At columbine 5 SWAT teams were on site and never went in.
      Yet SWAT teams are used every day over 200 times to serve drug warrants.
      More than 1/3 of SWAT raids find NOTHING.
      The justification for SWAT is that the person being searched might have a gun – less than 1/3 actually do.

      BTW you are more likely to get killed by a police officer than by an active shooter.
      That is not an indictment of police officers, just noting that both events are rare.

  32. Anonymous permalink
    October 3, 2017 12:36 am

    American Moderates Should Be American Nationalists.
    In this note I’m going to attempt to explain why American Moderates should also be American Nationalists; I don’t mean White Nationalists – they’re racists and bigots – I mean a Nationalism that protects ALL American citizens! To use an analogy, we’re not all in our own little boat, that either floats or sinks by itself; we’re in one big boat that either floats or sinks. In the Vietnam War, the race or creed of our foot soldiers didn’t matter; they either protected one another or they died. In this increasingly competitive world, if all Americans don’t work together, our nation and its people aren’t going to survive and prosper. To help our country survive, American Moderates need to accept that they also need to be American Nationalists. Social Nationalism that fosters mutual tolerance is not enough! Economic Nationalism that saves our jobs and provides more economic equality is necessary, Manufacturing jobs are almost ‘magic;’ they allow our individual communities to buy the necessities that we don’t produce locally. As it’s been said, we can’t make a living cutting one another’s hair. We need economic treaties that protect our jobs. Also when manufacturers want to export our jobs and factories, they need to file an ‘Economic Impact Statement’ justifying the move (e.g., they will go bankrupt otherwise). Globalization is the opposite of Nationalism. Economic Globalization (the favorite of the conservatives) and Social Globalization (the favorite of the liberals) both result in lost American manufacturing jobs and increased US economic inequality. In summary the altruistic and pragmatic approach for American Moderates is for them to become American Nationalists!

  33. Anonymous permalink
    October 3, 2017 2:48 am

    I find myself planning to start pontificating at about 1:30am here in Texas. What could possibly go wrong? What does the NFL sell that makes so much advertising revenue? It sells the second most popular entertainment attractions in the nation. The first most popular attractions is sex. Sex sells everything, but whatever the opposite of “monopoly” is, that is how spread out sex is in the market place, toothpaste, car washes, hamburgers, all advertised with undertones of sex. So, moving on to number two, violence. Violence is the number one attraction to the NFL, the smashing hits, overpowering opponents, speed velocity, impact. A monopoly on violence? Certainly not, but dare I say, the NFL has a heavy share of the market. So if you would compare sex to violence, just for a moment, if some adult entertainers refused to stand during the playing of the national anthem before a show, how many people would give up watching porn, in protest? – Mike Hatcher

    • dhlii permalink
      October 3, 2017 3:50 am

      I am not sure what you intended, but I think you capture things perfectly.

      Maybe people would give up porn if adult entertainers refused to stand during the national anthem, maybe they would not.

      Regardless, the consumers of adult entertainment get to decide what they expect out of entertainers, and entertainers get to decide whether they will do that for what the are paid.

      The NFL is no different.

      Nor is Chick-a-filet.

      I am not a big proponent of the bill of rights. I think that the anti-federalists were correct, the bill of rights leaves the presumption that those are the only rights we have.
      Worse still we have lost many of those.

      We have free speach – not because of the constitution, but because it is a natural right and prohibiting it is extremely costly and dangerous.
      But free speach, like all of our other rights, does not mean that everyone else must quietly go along. It only means that it can not be infringed on by force.
      Nothing prohibits responding non-violently to the free speach (or any other freedom) of others.

      If you are sufficiently angry about players kneeling – do not attend or watch games.
      If you feel compelled to express solidarity and support for players – watch or attend games.
      You can also write the NFL or advertisers. But I would bet they are paying much more attention to what you do than what anyone says.

  34. Priscilla permalink
    October 3, 2017 9:32 am

    Good column, Rick. I think that the NFL controversy has been a political win for Trump ~ that doesn’t mean that it’s been a win for the country, but the fact that the NFL players chose to disrespect the flag and the national anthem, just to protest something that Trump said, shows the level to which they ~ and so many others ~ have given in to the notion that “resistance” is somehow more effective than reasoned opposition.

    “But Trump could have a heart attack tomorrow, and we would likely recreate him or someone like him. Because that is necescary to balance the bullying of the left.” ~Dave

    I agree with this. For some time, I’ve wondered why it is that many people, often including me, are willing to put up with Trump’s often belligerent Twitter storms and impolitic, sometimes rude, remarks. And I think that Dave has identified the reason.

    For many years now, really since the second half of the Bush administration, the left has used its near monolithic control of the media and academia to openly mock and slander conservatives and Republicans, in a way that has become increasingly detached from, not only decency, but truth. Show business awards shows have become parades of beautiful millionaires, accepting statuettes from their peers, deriding half of the country, in the name of “speaking truth to power,” when, in reality, many of them are an ill-educated, entitled bunch of ignoramuses, who use their spotlight to bully people, from presidents on down to voters. Most of the news networks routinely feature panel discussions of “experts” who explain conservative policies as racist, homophobic, Islamaphobic, misogynistic, and other deplorable adjectives, with not an iota of evidence to support those slanderous charges, and often in the face of evidence that indicates that the truth is exactly the opposite. Universities are quickly becoming indoctrination factories, charging small fortunes for the privilege of having one’s child taught that America is a racist country. And now we have the sports media, once an island of respite from the politicization of damn near everything, pushing the nonsensical premise that because a largely washed-up quarterback, who wears socks depicting cops as pigs, and tee shirts proclaiming his admiration of Che Guevara, sits and/or kneels in disrespect for the most important symbols of unity and patriotism that this country has, he is a hero of sorts, and an example to be followed.

    So, when Trump says ~ and I’m very glad that you pointed out that he never “demanded” that anyone be fired, simply expressed the view of many that, in most other jobs, this sort of thing would be grounds for immediate dismissal ~ that players like Kaepernick should be fired, he was expressing what many “normal” Americans believe, but do not have the pedestal from which to say it. He is, in short, using his bully pulpit to bully the bullies.

    So, when Trump said, after his election, that he was the voice of the “forgotten men and women of America,” this is what he meant. And it’s the reason why his supporters stick with him ~ they believe that, if they turn on him simply because he is rude, they’ll no longer have any powerful champion at all.

    • Priscilla permalink
      October 3, 2017 12:11 pm

      Obama did much the same thing as Trump is doing, when he routinely attacked Fox News and said things like “if I had a son he would look like Trayvon.”

      In most ways, Obama governed as a moderate ~ an unconstitutional moderate to be sure, but still. Yet, he never missed a chance to consolidate his base, by using what could be called dog whistles to the left, the black community and other minority identity groups. He never did much to actually help them (and a good case could be made that blacks are worse off because of his policies), but he existed as proof that they could win the presidency, and he was much smoother and snarkier than Trump, who is rude and bombastic, but both of them are masters at throwing red meat to the base, and exemplary culture warriors…..

      • dhlii permalink
        October 3, 2017 4:18 pm

        The most disturbing aspect of the war on Trump has been the revelations of egregious political corruption within the Obama administration.

        Fast & Furious, the VA, BenGhazi, are all relatively ordinary examples of government failure. To the extent they are corrupt, they are either bad policy or coverup.

        They do not represent the use of the power of government for specific political advantage or to punish ones political adversaries.

        The IRS scandal was the exception. The IRS scandal did not get the attention it deserved, nor develop leggs, because it appeared to stop with Louis Lehner – or atleast no serious effort was made to follow it into the whitehouse and DOJ.

        The handling of the Clinton investigation, the tarmac meetings, the president publicly exhonerating Clinton, the unmasking, the wiretaps, the FBI involvement in the Steele Dossier, the clearly political and poorly done claims regarding Russian interferance in the election, and the political leaks of classified intelligence – as well as the false leaks, all represent political corruption. Further they have the strong appearance of organized systemic political corruption. Each of these feeds and interacts with others.

        A conspiracy is often one of the most difficult things to prove. But the more independent peices there are and the more they all move towards the same goals and are interdependent for success to more probability shifts from random and unrelated to organized and coordinated.

        Through 2016 my views of Obama were favorable – even if I disagree with most of his policies. I am increasingly of the view that his administration may reflect the worst political corruption we have ever seen.

        We have not seen or heard everything yet. Aside from the IRS issue the evidence of political corruption has been focussed on Trump and Clinton.

        But there are claims of unmasking and political spying going back to 2010.

        There are senators who have stated they have seen evidence that they were spied on.
        Nor does this appear to be confined to republicans.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 3, 2017 4:21 pm

        Calling Obama a moderate is only a reflection of how far left progressives have gone.

        Obama is absolutely a strong progressive statist.
        ObamaCare may not have been as socialist as Single Payer, but it certainly not Moderate.

        On policy after Policy Obama is at best half left of center, rather than lunatic fringe.
        He is not moderate.

    • dduck12 permalink
      October 3, 2017 2:42 pm

      Priscilla: If muddying the political waters is a victory, then Trump had a “win”.
      I will go with what John Heilemann said (paraphrased): the players, owners and fans said f—– you Trump.
      He was put down.
      P.S. I don’t agree with Kap’s knee, but it is a free knee unless management says don’t do it.
      So I am saying the U.S. won this one.
      And, I don’t think Obama did much of the same thing. Apples and kumquats.

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 3, 2017 3:06 pm

        I hear you dd12, but that’s not exactly what I meant.

        Personally, I did not think that Trump should have inserted himself into the kneeling controversy. My opinion was based on the fact that he is the president, and I don’t think that presidents should pick one group of citizens against another, particularly when it comes to issues like this.

        It’s the same way that I felt about Obama when he openly supported BLM, by inviting its leaders to the WH, and praising them, despite the fact that they were openly advocating against the police. He also openly sided with Occupy Wall St, against the very banks and large corporations that his administration had bailed out.

        I don’t like it when either side does it, but that’s the way that the political game is played these days, and that’s why I said that Trump won politically, even though the country lost.

        Trump’s poll numbers have gone up, the NFL’s ratings have tanked, and 95% of the players are now standing for the anthem again, because they realize that they alienated the majority of Americans. There is no doubt that it was an F— you to Trump, but what did it get them? A bunch of people burning their jersey’s and booing them? Big win……

        As long as we continue to allow politics to divide us to the extent that it does now, there will be no stopping this….Because it HELPS the politicians to consolidate their base. As long as we cannot discuss our political differences calmly, or even listen to people who have a different opinion than our own, the “debate” will rage on, like Groundhog Day, everyone saying the same thing over and over again, and nothing changing, except the names of the politicians.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 3, 2017 4:34 pm

        Politics only divides us for TWO reasons:

        We are far apart,

        The results of political choices are the use of force.

        You can want a traditional colonial saltbox house, and I can want to live in a Phillip Johnson glass box. That is unlikely to cause conflict – because as far apart as we are, no force is involved and we are each free to strive for what we want.

        When government steps into something – like healthcare, there is going to be a winner and a loser, even compromise is still one solution for all.

        The larger government gets the more frequent conflict will be. That is inevitable.
        The more diverse our country is the more frequent conflict will be.

        This is also why I say the left is responsible for Trump.
        It is the left that seeks bigger govenrment, and to do ever more by force.
        Backlash is inevitable.

      • October 3, 2017 4:54 pm

        ” Trump’s poll numbers have gone up, the NFL’s ratings have tanked, and 95% of the players are now standing for the anthem again, because they realize that they alienated the majority of Americans.”

        I offer another alternative for them now standing. They share 50-50 in the revenues generated by the league. The revenues received each year determine the salary cap for the following year. Each year players sign contracts for millions more than the previous year and those escalate each year of the contract, with singing bonuses where cash is paid out this year prorated over the course of the contract. Even when the player is cut, that bonus goes against the total salaries paid for the year it covers. So now they see their actions are impeding TV viewership and TV viewership drives commercial revenues. Already DirectTV has given refunds for the NFL package and when viewership is known after a couple more weeks, most likely the NFL will be sending refunds to vendors based on guaranteed “eyes” on the games.

        So with the huge contracts based on projected revenues in the future, when those revenues do not pan out, the next group to renegotiate contracts get screwed because the previous group is taking “their money”.

        So are they standing because the American people do not agree with their positions or are they standing because they see kneeling hitting themselves directly in the pocket? If it were not the 50-50 split, i think they would be doing more.

        And why is everyone so upset with Kaepernick and kneeling, but nothing comes of his love of Castro?

      • dhlii permalink
        October 3, 2017 6:14 pm


        Are you saying this is the state of current NFL contracts ?

        If it is, I am surprised that players are not pressuring other players to stand.

        Players and owners can negotiate whatever contracts they wish.
        But contracts that mean players have “Skin in the game” are likely to have a strong impact on player conduct. Not merely in this, but in anything that impacts their paycheck.

      • October 3, 2017 7:28 pm

        Dave I think this explains the salary structure better than I can. It is basically what I said except whoever said on one of the sports talkvshow that it was 50-50, this says its about 2/3rds to tha players. Knowing contractual language it could be either or between the two once all the figuring is done.

        But yes, the players have skin in the game. What the article does not cover is TV contract with multiple gaurantees which always includes “eyes” watching, no matter which sport it is.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 3, 2017 7:35 pm

        Thank you.

        I was unaware of this.
        I am not sure how much the details matter.

        But the general structure – the fact that the players have significant skin in the game, means that the players are essentially part of ownership.
        They will likely be pressuring their own.

        So in addition to a lesson in how the free market works one way.
        We may be getting a lesson is capitalism.
        And players self interest as producers rather than as “employees”

      • dhlii permalink
        October 3, 2017 4:25 pm

        Obama and Trump have radically different style.
        But both of them were elected atleast partly because of their style.

        No matter the outcome the NFL issue was a win for Trump.

        It shored up his position with his supporters immediately after he had taken several steps that were outside their expectations.

        It made his opponents look bad.

        Even if this remains unresolved and seeths till 2020, it is still a Win for Trump.

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 3, 2017 9:26 pm

        Ron, I agree that it’s absolutely because of the threat to their very lucrative NFL contracts. When I said that they were standing because they realized that most Americans disagreed with them, I didn’t mean that they regretted the error of their ways, but that they realized that it was not in their best financial interest to figuratively spit in the face of their fan base .

        When Marshawn Lynch showed up with an “Everybody vs. Trump” tee shirt, and subsequently sat for the anthem, a small army of Raiders staff surrounded him, so that photographers couldn’t get a good picture of him. The rest of the team stood.

        I don’t think these guys are anti-American, they’re just anti-Trump, and many of them have bought into the false BLM narrative that there is an epidemic of racist police shootings. There are plenty of ways that they could have protested Trump without disrespecting our national symbols of patriotism and unity, but they stupidly chose to insult the country because they don’t like the president.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 3, 2017 3:15 pm

      The left’s control of the media goes back farther than Bush.
      The media leaned left when I was in elementary school.
      It has just slowly moved farther left.

      Academia has also leaned left for a long time, but it has shifted ever further left to the point where outside of STEM fields academia is essentially marxist.

      The attacks are not limited to conservatives and republicans, but anyone – including moderates, and those not sufficiently left. The internecine campus conflicts we have seen on campus has been lunatic left students eviscerating left wing professors for not extreme enough.

      So much of modern life resembles. Alice in wonderland, Brave new world, 1984, the Matrix and other dystopia’s where we are all expected to believe an enormous collection of things that are demonstrably not true. Everyone has taken the blue pill and is living in a leftist dream world oblivious of the constant incongruity and cognitive dissonance.

      The classical liberalism I present here, should not be the least controversial. While aspects date back to the greeks atleast – or possibly further in China, this is the philosophy, economics, politics that created the west, and ultimately the United States.
      The past 200 years conclusively demonstrates that it works.
      Yet, the prevailing cultural political philosophy is has failed everytime and everywhere it has been tried. Further it can not work. Those workship the state, or even moderate agnostic statists, can not answer when is the state large enough. A constantly growing state will always reach one or another of the known forms of statis failure.

      But these views are controversial and must be assailed with tremendous vitriol.

      Trump and Trumpism are NOT conservatism, or republicanism (or libertarian).
      Trumpism is the rejection of leftist wonderland.

      Trump must be destroyed because too many people are taking the red pill.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 3, 2017 4:03 pm

      I would also not that though alot is made of Trump’s “errors”, that an awful lot of the purported “errors” are nothing more than demands for false precision from a Tweet.

      As an example – thus far it does not appear that Trump was “wiretapped”, but clearly his campaign was. And it is near certain that Trump was recorded as a consequence of those wiretaps.

  35. dhlii permalink
    October 3, 2017 4:35 pm

    • Jay permalink
      October 3, 2017 7:59 pm

      Another dumb comparison observation.

      See if you can figure out why.

      (hint: what do all highly addictive high profit drugs have in common?)

      • dhlii permalink
        October 4, 2017 4:43 am

        “Another dumb comparison observation.

        See if you can figure out why.

        (hint: what do all highly addictive high profit drugs have in common?)”

        Nope, a perfectly apt comparision.

        Banning things that people want, does not make them go away.
        It did not work for alcohol,
        it does not work for drugs,
        it does not work for prostitution.

        The average street drug dealer makes less than minimum wage.
        I would not call that “high profit”.

        Marijuana is by far the most common illegal drug, it is neither highly addictive nor high profit.

  36. dhlii permalink
    October 3, 2017 4:36 pm

  37. dhlii permalink
    October 3, 2017 4:36 pm

  38. dhlii permalink
    October 3, 2017 4:37 pm

    • Jay permalink
      October 3, 2017 7:52 pm

      This is a silly picayune observation to criticize the media.
      Wounded knee was the site of a battlefield massacre, by 500 US Cavalrymen.

      This IS the largest mass terrorist shooting by an individual (or individuals) in American History. Your dumb post trivializes the Las Vegas victims.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 4, 2017 4:38 am

        Wounded Knee – battlefield right.
        Comparing the Las Vegas shooting to wounded Knee trivializes Las Vegas Victims ?
        I am sure the Lakota concur.

        Regardless, if you add enough qualifiers you will eventually be able to make it unique.

        We can add Waco – our Government killed more people than at Las Vegas – was that a “battlefield” ?

        Or OKC if you wish, or WTC, no guns lots of dead people.

        Las Vegas is horrible, not trying to “trivialize” it, but lots of horrible things have happened.
        They are rare.

        1,260 people have been killed in “encounters” with police thus far in 2017.

        We can mourn Las Vegas without pretending it changes anything.

  39. dhlii permalink
    October 3, 2017 4:44 pm

    This is an older article, but it is rooted in myriads of studies.
    The first part of the article notes that conservatives are significantly happier overall than “liberals”.

    But midway through the article it confronts, the issue of extreme vs. Moderate – and counter intuitively extremists are happier than moderates.

  40. dhlii permalink
    October 3, 2017 4:45 pm

  41. dhlii permalink
    October 3, 2017 5:02 pm

    This travel nonsense should be resolveable.

    It should be possible to establish rules for the use of private or government aircraft by ranking government officials.

    There are clearly conditions that warrant it, and clearly those that do not.

    Even rules that are imperfect, still provide guidance and bright lines.

    We should not be arguing over who is more of a spendthrift – Price or Pelosi, or which administration flew private jets more frequently.

    We should be arguing who Broke the rules.

    BTW apparently Obama’s vacations cost over $1M

  42. dhlii permalink
    October 3, 2017 5:07 pm

  43. dhlii permalink
    October 3, 2017 5:48 pm

    This sort of came up in the Clinton email server mess.
    Most federal laws – including criminal laws do not have a Mens Rea Requirement – i.e. they have no requirement that you know what you were doing was wrong (not the same as knowing it was a crime).

    Sen. Paul and Sen. Hatch among others have been trying to add a Mens rea requirement to all federal law where there is ambiguity regarding intent.

    Interestingly this does NOT apply to 18cfr793(f) – one of the laws Hillary violated.
    As that law explicitly adopts a negligence/recklessness standard.
    If Clinton had actually had intent, she would have been guilty of violating 18cfr793(e).

    Comey’s claim that Clinton did not violate the law because she had no intent was the same as saying 18cfr793(f) does not exist.

    Until modern times Intent, guilty mind, Mens Rea was ALWAYS a requirement for a crime.
    One of the distinctions between criminal law and Tort law is mens rea.

    If you are merely reckless or negligent and the consequence is harm – it used to be that was a tort. but if you intended harm – that is a crime.

  44. dhlii permalink
    October 3, 2017 5:49 pm

  45. dhlii permalink
    October 3, 2017 5:55 pm

    State efforts to end discrimination and oppression result in more discrimination and oppression – the results of studies in India.

    Freed from british rule, India adopted a socialist government model with the expressed intention of wiping out the caste system and discrimination. The result was more discrimination – albeit with a patina of friendly paternalism.
    India subsequently moved to a more free market model, following China’s early successes and this radically reduced discrimination and oppression in india and expanded opportunity for the oppressed.

  46. dhlii permalink
    October 3, 2017 5:56 pm

    • Jay permalink
      October 3, 2017 9:41 pm

      Does the First Amendment say anything about ‘a well regulated Press?’
      But those who owned guns were supposed to be well regulated.
      It certainly is Constitutional to regulate the use of guns, not used for militia purpose.
      Doesn’t a literalist like you agrees with that.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 4, 2017 5:31 am

        We have had this stupid debate before. It is no better this time.

        Here is the text.
        “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

        Now change the text to
        “The sun rising in the east, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”

        Does not change a thing.

        The first clause doe not constrain the 2nd. That is a simple matter of grammar.

        BTW there is a great deal of history to this – during the constitutional convention.

        The language was actually deliberately deceptive.

        The south explicitly wanted a right to armed militias,
        and the north and west were looking for an individual right to arms.
        The language was fought over several times.

        The final language left with south with the fig leaf that the right was about militias.

        That happens quite commonly in legislation. We often get deliberately deceptively written laws so that the left can claim the law means one thing and the right that it means something else. While those passing the law – right and left knew when they passed it that it was unclear – because it could nto have passed if it was clear.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 4, 2017 5:34 am

        The right word is not literalist – though that would do.

        In this context the correct word would be textualist.

        Regardless, litterally or textually, the first clause is a justification.
        It does not in any way constrain the second.

        To the extent it might have meaning at all, it could be construed to require militias as well as providing an individual right to arms.

        If you wish to change things – amend the constitution, then you can write whatever language you want.

  47. Hieronymus permalink
    October 3, 2017 6:01 pm

    Believing that trump and his movement are an effective answer to protecting us from “the left”, PC, the media, etc. is magical thinking. Sure, politics is going to end with this administration, game over, trump and the right won. Right.

    The idea seems to be that the way to beat a bad idea is to be its mirror reflection. Bzzt. Wrong!

    Seriously, trump and all his enablers are only breeding the next generation of super virulent PC, media, academia, etc. Everything you guys hate is only going to be more powerful in the not very distant future. Yeah, you all are “doing something” about PC all right by supporting trump; you are guaranteeing that the next round of everything you hate from the left will be worse.

    In time it will be clear that trump and his version of the GOP was the best thing that ever happened to the loony left. At some point the Seuss hating crowd will discover that Monty Python was sexist and racist, the Beatles were misogynist, and blah blah blah and they will have far more power than they have today. This will be 1) because they are idiots and 2) because the absurd excesses of cultural depravity under trumpism pissed off the upcoming generations of voters and set them on the path to being the opposite of trump and his followers in turn, with a vengeance.

    Since I have as much interest in seeing a super PC world as I do in having all my teeth removed without anesthesia all I can say to the superbly naive people who think that supporting trump is the answer to PC and the other excesses of the left is thanks, thanks so much, may you all live long enough to see what the pendulum swing back looks like. And have fleas.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 3, 2017 6:52 pm

      Can you please stop trying to decide what I think, believe or feel ?

      I have said little or nothing about whether Trump is an “effective” response to the left.

      There is a great deal of ground between Trump is a natural consequence of Left, and Trump is a good or effective thing.

      I think it is near automatic that the response to a strong stupid shift one direction, is an equally strong stupid shift in a different direction.

      Trump is not a “good thing” but he is a counterbalance of sorts. Not a perfect counterbalance.

      Nor have I claimed that Trump is somehow the end of politics.

      But one way or the other the left must change. Not because I want them too,
      but because the left is failing.
      It has alienated voters, and as it is currently constructed will continue to alienate voters.
      Progressivism is proving a self destructive ideology.
      To paraphrase a theme from MacBeth and the Arthurian legends
      Progressivism bears the seeds of its own destruction.

      You keep trying to make this about Trump.
      It is not. The things that created Trump significantly predate Trump.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 3, 2017 7:00 pm

      “Seriously, trump and all his enablers are only breeding the next generation of super virulent PC, media, academia, etc.”

      You have to be joking ?

      It took more than a century to transform Academia in the the post-modern marxist domain it is today.

      We could replace 50% of academia with Ann Coulter Clones and it would still lean left.
      The media is at best less extremist than academia.

      Regardless, you still seem to think that our choices are between some mythical homogenous conservatism that even Trump does not reflect and Progressivism.

      I am not a moderate – in the sense that I think the answer is some kind of compromise.
      But the answer is something different from what any faction of the right, and the monolithic left are offering.

      The answer is freedom. They answer is that we we can not get nearly all of us to agree, then we can not act through force/government – regardless of the issue. Regardless of whether we are talking right policies of left.

      The “private sector” is the voluntary sector and the “public sector” is that of force.
      We must have super majority support to use force.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 3, 2017 7:15 pm

      We will see what Time brings.

      I honestly do not know.
      I think the evidence of the past few years suggests that polling is not showing us very well where the people are. That its binary nature does not reveal the relative strength of views, nor how they compare in importance to others.

      My sense is that not merely the US but the world is shifting away from the left.

      I do not know whether it is shifting towards something authoritarian, which is the danger, or towards something libertarian. Both threads are present.

      One can cheer Trump on when he shits in the left’s catherderal’s without supporting him.

      I do not think that Trump represents the future. He is merely the millstone that is destroying the left.

      • Hieronymus permalink
        October 3, 2017 8:02 pm

        “I do not think that Trump represents the future. He is merely the millstone that is destroying the left.”

        As the years goes on, you will find that the left has not been the least bit “destroyed.” You are believing your own fantasies. Which is just part of your wiring issues, so I can’t even blame you for it, I simply can watch your wondrous naivete in amazement. Others without your particular wiring issues are also being similarly naive, they think these reverse PC antics are going to defeat “the left” in the long term. I’m not sure of many things in politics, but I am sure that all the lefty things that trump is supposedly sending to the grave are very much alive and well and that he is a sort of super fertilizer for all that.

        I wish the loony far left really Would be made powerless, I see zero sign of it. Bernieism is rising.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 4, 2017 4:51 am

        To some extent you are correct.

        We have 100M deaths in the 20th century at the hands of collectivists.
        No real example of a working collective society that does not significantly underperform a freer one. And few that do not degenerate into bloodshed and totalitarianism.

        Yet after that history the left can still seriously talk about more collectivism as if it is not the most revolting ideology that has ever existed.

        But at the moment the left is engaged in seppuku, and hopefully it will be a while before it rebounds again.

        My “wiring” is facts, logic, reason – atleast with respect to the use of force.

        What I find amazing is that there are so many like you that actually beleive nonsense that we know to be untrue.

        And yes, the left will likely return – for exactly that reason. Progressivism is like Crystal Meth, no matter how badly it F’s people up, they keep coming back for more.

        Sanders is one the rise – at the expense of the democratic party as a whole.
        That is what happens when you move every further left.

        The right has fought similar issues, but is less homogenous then the left, so it is harder for it to go for ideological purity.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 3, 2017 7:17 pm

      The assumption that the pendulum will swing back presumes there are two poles.

      The swing towards “the left” has past, where the pendulm will go as it returns to the center and beyond is not clear.

  48. dhlii permalink
    October 3, 2017 6:06 pm

    I accept that there is a small amount of racism in our policing. The tribalism of human nature will always result in atleast minor racism.

    I do not accept the claims that our policing today is systemically racist.

    But I do accept that it is unjust.
    This is the natural consequence of giving people power without accountability, and of giving them power and an impossibly large task.

    The following is just an example. It is a minor offense, and yet, the officer clearly lied.

    I do not beleive our legal system is systemically racist, but it is systemically corrupt.
    This incident is not unusual.

  49. dduck12 permalink
    October 3, 2017 7:15 pm

    Ok, Mr. Fatberger, now that you have gummed up this four-day old thread with your endless comments, some of which are even intelligent if one is masochistic enough to wade through the sewer to read them. Yes, this is a personal attack and I am not discussing an issue with you so feel free to whine about that and how crass critics of your hogging the chow line are as you cruise down the highway weaving from lane to lane.

    No, Trump did not win me or any of my moderate rep friends who just cringe at his non-linear, spastic attacks on anything that moves or has a pulse even his own cabinet members (ask Tillerson). And that includes denigrating politicians of all stripes and parties. Obama at least was just backing his race most of the time. Trump is all over the place and should have a broken arm from patting himself on the back.
    I think some of his more moderate “base” will think twice before voting for him or another clown like him, and I hope it will occur BEFORE he ruins the economy.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 3, 2017 7:31 pm

      Until americans are serious about third party candidates,
      we will have only two choices each november.

      Trump does not need everyone to love him to win. In 2020 he will have the power of incumbancy and presuming he manages to bring the economy to 3% he will near certainly win, and likely big. Conversely if the economy is still at 2% he will almost certainly lose.

      The rest of your rant is a critique of Trump’s style. Fine, lots of us do not like his style.

      Trump fired Price. I do not hear you ranting about that.
      Obama fired no one of consequence – and there were lots of serious errors that required someone fired.

      Trump is difficult and demanding of his staff – including his cabinet.
      I do not have a problem with that.
      I would be surprised if any CEO of any significant enterprise was not the same.

      There is no right to be Sec. State. Deliver or get fired.
      Thus far I think Tillerson is doing a good job.

      Unlike you I also think Trump gets the credit and the blame for his administration as a whole. Price not merely embarrassed himself, he embarrassed Trump. He is gone.

      I also think that Tillerson and Trump has a good cop/bad cop thing going on with the world.
      And I think it is working.

      I have zero problems with denigrating politicians. I can only think of a few that do not deserve it.

      I am not that interested in Obama’s style or sympathies.
      I care about his corruption, and his failure.
      I wish I could say I care about his success and observance of the rule of law, but those did not happen.

      I think Trump will ultimately be judged based on his success (or failure) not his style.

      Regardless Trump is not an end. The weakening of the left is an end, and one that I think the left is acheiving on their own.

      • dduck12 permalink
        October 3, 2017 7:46 pm

        Style? LMAO.
        You have a “style”, too.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 4, 2017 4:25 am

        Yes, I do have a “style” as do you.

        With respect to the president, you might prefer one style over the other, but it has nothing to do with effectiveness.

        I am not enamoured of Trump’s style.
        But I am more concerned with what he does than what he says or how he says it.

      • Jay permalink
        October 3, 2017 9:43 pm

        “economy to 3% he will near certainly win, and likely big. Conversely if the economy is still at 2% he will almost certainly lose.”


      • dhlii permalink
        October 4, 2017 5:49 am

        If Trump manages sustained 3% growth my 2020 he will be canonized.

        mean growth since 2000 has been 20%. That is compared to 3.5% for the 20th century.

        I keep telling you that an increase in growth of 1% sustained for a generation will have more impact on those at the bottom than all social safety-net programs ever.

        I do not know it Trump can sustain 3% growth.
        Obama has several quarter of 3% growth, but he could not sustain it.

        I expect that Trump will do better than Obama.
        Though he could do better still.
        Actually Killing PPACA would have helped – economists estimate that is atleast a .8% drag on the economy.
        Tax reform might help if they get it anywhere close to right.
        I am not hopefull.

        If the GOP really nailed things sustained 5% growth is possible.
        But there is no way you are getting the changes needed to do that through congress.

        During the 19th century average growth was about 7.5%

        Every 10% of GDP that government spends reduces growth by about 1% – that is robust accross the US, the OECD, the EU and the world,
        It is robust accross the past 50 years.
        and to the extent we have data it appears to be robust through the 19th century.

        Of developed nations the growth maximizing scale of government is under 20% of GDP.
        Based on 19th century data – the optimal size of govenrment is more likely about 3% of GDP.

  50. Jay permalink
    October 3, 2017 8:06 pm

    There won’t be any meaningful gun control legislation Coming out of this massacre.

    If it didn’t happy after all those children were killed at Sandyhook, it won’t happen in our lifetime. Or our children’s.

    • Hieronymus permalink
      October 3, 2017 8:40 pm

      Not likely in ours, Jay. But in our children’s it is very possible that American exceptionalism on this issue may finally make some concessions to sanity. Lets hope.

      Silencers! (they Would be a win for the left, all those who don’t like to hear guns wouldn’t have to! <– little joke) Armour piercing rounds! The NRA-GOP were going to try for that level of idiocy. Now they are not.

      • Jay permalink
        October 3, 2017 8:58 pm

        Hope you’re right.. but not optimistic…

      • dhlii permalink
        October 4, 2017 5:18 am

        God, no, not the stupid hillary Silencer remark.

        Outside of the movies silencers are primarily used in single shot situations.

        The best silencers “burn themselves out” and do not work after a shot or two,
        The rest at best take a few db off the sound level.
        And you can not silence an automatic weapon.

        Silencers are most effective with subsonic rounds – i.e. NOT rifles.

        Had Paddock used subsonic rounds – ignoring all the other problems,
        at the range he was shooting he probably would not have killed anyone.

        A supersonic round is going to have a “sonic boom” just like a supersonic jet.
        It will arrive AFTER the bullet, but it will still arrive.

        Ultimately you are dealing with a problem of physics.
        Sound is a form of energy.
        In a gun sound energy is created two ways – by the firing of the cartridge and by the passage of the bullet through the air.
        You can not silence the later,
        Silencing the former requires converting the sound energy to some other form.
        The most likely would be heat, so after a few shots you are going to have a tremendous amount of heat to do something with.

        I can find no data on the number of people killed by silenced weapons in the US per year.
        Probably because it is so terribly small as to be meaningless.

        Anyway, can we get past stupid ?

    • October 4, 2017 12:33 am

      Jay, if the 113th senate would not pass assault weapons ban in spring of 2014 after the Sandy Hook shooting, it will be years before it ever happens. 15 democrats voted against the ban, so the vote was 40 yea, 60 no. To pass would require the exact opposite.

      One thing about this, it is bipartisan that gun control will not pass.

      But it would be nice to have an honest discussion on how any proposals to change existing laws and make them tighter would have changed one thing with this shooting. He had illegal guns already. How did the law banning fully automatic weapons not stop this from happening. And when you ban certain products used in this type of shooting, how do you stop them from hitting the streets coming in from Mexico? Once it becomes illegal, the Mexican cartels take over the market.

      I want to know how to change the environment that creates the need for people to buy more guns. I have a (forgotten by intelligent family members) brother-in-law that anytime something comes up about weapon bans he is at the gun store buying whatever they propose to ban. And there are many just like him doing the same thing. WHY??? Other than saying “no jack booted government thug is going to take my _________ (fill in the blank) from me without a fight, why else do they feel compelled to continue buying guns for protection. One or two yes, but why an arsenal?

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 4, 2017 1:34 am

        One big problem is that gun control is always brought up by liberals immediately after a horrific shooting, and before the bodies of the dead are cold. They try and inflame emotions that are already raw, and it’s obvious that they are exploiting tragedy, so gun rights advocates become immediately defensive, and for good reason. Other people, who may be relatively agnostic on gun laws, also wonder why the gun-banners are so quick out of the gate to want to take guns from law abiders, before they’ve even discovered the motive/motives of the criminal.

        Another thing is that reasonable people know that doing something just for the sake of doing something often leads to doing something pointless or stupid. And that many of the politicians who start spouting off about gun control are only doing it to virtue signal and rile up their base. When the initial shock of a mass murder is over, those politicians do nothing to further the conversation.

        Finally, the death toll from the Las Vegas massacre was about the same as September’s gun death total in Chicago (57)….except that, in the case of Chicago, it happens every single month (year-to-date more than 500 killed), and none of the Democrat politicians say a word.

        So, yeah, it would be great to have a discussion about gun violence. An honest one.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 4, 2017 6:33 am

        One of the problems with discussions of “gun violence” is the false presumption that it is about guns.

        Austrailia famously banned guns almost completely.
        They have had almost no mass shootings since then.

        But the homocide rate is unchanged, and the deaths from Mass Killings are unchanged.
        Though mass killings from Arson went up.

        In the US more than half of all homocides are committed by blacks.

        If you compare homocide rates in the US by race to those in the EU by race, we are about the same as they are – even though much of the EU bans guns.

        In scottland – nearly all white, the homocide rate is higher than the US – in scottland murders are committed with knives.

        The 9/11 terrorists did not use guns.
        Nor did Timothy McVeigh.
        Nor did the Weathermen or the red brigades.
        Even the IRA mostly used bombs.

        Mr. Paddock appears to have planned this, and sought to kill a large number of people.
        That is pretty common among mass killers, though Paddock seems to have thought this out better than most. Shooting into a crowd of 20000 from the 32nd floor of a hotel is well planned. No matter how well armed people in the crowd are or how good the security is, they are just not shooting back.
        Mr. Paddock was not being stopped until the police stormed his room, and he knew that.
        What is surprising is that it took them a full hour to do so.

        Had Mr. Paddock tried going into a country music crowd with even an automatic weapon, he would have been pinned down and killed fairly quickly.

        Further much of what is known thus far sugests that Paddock was not experienced with guns. This was a means of compensating for that. Accuracy is not needed firing into a crowd.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 4, 2017 6:05 am

        This guy had something like 20 Guns – oh my god!!!!

        I was the executor for a friends estate. He had 3 guns that needed to be sold.
        We sold them to the mayor. This is the mayor of a town of about 100,000, in a county with nearly 1M people. In his basement our mayor (I do not actually live in the city) had almost 20,000 guns.

        Elsewhere he has about a dozen cannons. In fact his cannons are featured in most every revolutionary or civil war movie made int he past several decades.
        For 35 years he and some friends provided over 20 cannons for the 1812 overture for the Fourth of July celebration.

        Boston has a couple of howitzers from the military.

        My city has had 20 revolutionary and civil war cannons for the past 35 years.

        The so called “kentucky rifle” was created by a gunsmith whose workshop still exists, about 2M from where I grew up. The middle school I went to was named after him.

        The pennsylvania rifle was the “ar-15” of the revolutionary war.
        When our founders said that people had the right to bear arms – they were talking about “military arms” the longest range and most powerful sniper rifle of the time.
        Also good for hunting deer.

        “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.”
        – Thomas Jefferson,

    • October 4, 2017 1:12 am

      Jay, according the various sources that use extrapolated data from company data, government data and other available data, there were 3,750,000 assault rifles in the hands of Americans in 2011. Due to increasing calls for government to legislate tighter controls on weapons, assault rifle sales rose 50.4% in 2012 to a level of 500,000 to 700,00 per year and has held steady though 2016. Using the 500,000 level for 2012 to 2016, that means an additional 3.5 million assault rifles were added to the 3.7 million in 2011 for a total of over 7 million. No one knows the exact numbers since once they are sold they are not tracked and 2017 data is not available yet, but given this latest call for tighter laws, one can assume gun sales will surge again through the end of the year.

      My point? How do you control the movement of this many weapons even if you can ban the sale of new ones. Once you ban the sale of new ones, the price for the old ones sky rockets, making the black market larger for existing weapons and ones coming in illegally. And all of this holds true for large magazines which I did not research. I doubt there is any info available on how many are in use today.

      I view any laws that may come to pass will be as effective as prohibition during the 20’s and 30’s.

      • October 4, 2017 1:13 am

        That was 2.5 million added not 3.5 million. TYPO!

      • dhlii permalink
        October 4, 2017 6:15 am

        In 2014 – the most recent year I can get broken down data from the FBI for,
        there were 8,124 homicides by gun.
        Of those 248 were by rifles – including all assault weapons, and 262 by shotgun.

        Further the long gun deaths have been trending down for a long long time.

        Outside of Miami Vice rifles are extremely uncommon in crime.
        In my city in my lifetime only 3 “assault weapons” have ever been used in crimes – no one was killed, they were used in the same crime, and all the perpitrators went to jail for a very long time.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 4, 2017 6:20 am

        The right to bear arms was not for hunting.
        It was because an armed populace was viewed as an important balance against potential tyranny. Hamiliton explicitly addresses that in the Federalist papers.

        You can find founders from Madison, Washington, Lee, Henry, Paine, Mason, Franklin and Jefferson asserting that americans bear arms for protection against govenrment.

        We have obliterated the 4th amendment, but early 4th amendment cases required law enforcement to visit a home during normal hours and to knock first.
        Because an officer breaking in could get shot by a homeowner defending their home.

        Today if you shoot a cop who breaks into your home at 2am with a no knock warrant, if you are lucky enough to live, you are going to jail.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 4, 2017 5:02 am

      That would be good.

      Because there is not a single possible proposal for gun control that would have had any effect on this.

      Everytime something like this happens, the left whigs out and recycles stupid ideas.

      From what I understand Paddock had 1 fully automatic weapon – those are already not legal. and 3 semi-automatic weapons with bump stocks – not only legal but impossible to stop.

      You can currently buy from Distributed Defense, the Ghost Gunner for about $1000 that will allow you to make an AR-15 receiver – that is the part with the serial # that the BATF tracks. The “ghost gunner” is merely a convenient package – if you want you can buy an ordinary CNC machine and do it all completely yourself.
      Are you planning to ban CNC machines ?

      Distributed defense deliberately avoided modifying the AR-15 receiver for Fully automatic operation, but it is pretty simple to do.

      Further there is no reason that they could not provide an M16 Receiver or any actual fully automated weapon.

      We are well past the point where govenrment can control guns.

      Here is the effect of the Australian near total gun bun on both gun deaths and homocides.

      Typical left wing nut – something happens you do not like, and government must do something about it.

      Should we ban tornado’s lightning, huricanes, volcanos, floods, and earthquakes while we are at it ?

    • dhlii permalink
      October 4, 2017 5:03 am

      It is unlikely to happen ever, because it is a stupid idea that will not change anything.

      • dduck12 permalink
        October 4, 2017 7:31 pm

        “But even many Democrats are hesitant to pass legislation to restrict access to guns. In 2013, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., famously pulled consideration of a gun bill, and said the Senate needed to take a “pause” on the legislation. Reid said the Senate would return to the bill, but never did.”
        What’s Harry saying now?

  51. Jay permalink
    October 3, 2017 8:56 pm

    Moderate Dem Schaffer For Prez

    • Jay permalink
      October 3, 2017 8:56 pm

      That’s Schiff

      • October 4, 2017 12:09 am

        Jay, your kidding right???? Schiff is ranked 401 out of 449 by govtrack in political positioning. #1 is most conservative, so there were only 39 members more liberal than this goofball. (440 because individuals like Sessions was included and his replacement was also included).

        really??How MODERATE is that?

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 4, 2017 1:14 am

        Heh. I suppose that Schiff is a moderate by California standards. And he makes Hillary look like a dynamo.

    • dduck12 permalink
      October 3, 2017 10:47 pm

      Schiff: boring and dry as a week old piece of toast.
      Rep or Dem, you need charisma, for want of a better word, to win.

      • Jay permalink
        October 4, 2017 9:51 am

        Toast better than arsenic.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 4, 2017 5:20 am

      God, noi, Schiff is a partisan idiot flacking for Obama.

      He has seriously interfered with the investigations into unmasking.
      He is only able to see red and blue. Not facts.

      • Jay permalink
        October 4, 2017 9:53 am

        Are you stuck in another time warp?

  52. Hieronymus permalink
    October 4, 2017 8:43 am

    How to defeat the loony left: We will let Elizabeth Warren be its symbol.

    Elect her. That will be the end of the loony left, she will be terrible and all the progressive plans will be rolled out and die one by one like trump care, as they get analyzed. Progressive will go back to running some Ralph Nadar every so often and the dem party can be freed from them.

    The answer to defeating the loony left never was having trump F up the country.

    • October 4, 2017 10:26 am

      Elect Warren and the looney left will die with all her proposals dieing?

      Except with Trump destroying his tepid moderate support who may well set out the next election or vote democrat, she could well have the same support as did Obama and get her socialist!ust programs passed. Remember how many GOP members voted for Obamacare.

      • Hieronymus permalink
        October 4, 2017 10:40 am

        Ron, I don’t believe it, the country is evenly divided. 2008 was a fluke due to the costs in blood and money of the Iraq war and the financial crisis that put a party in nearly complete power that did not actually have the support of the country demographically. As well, I am being tongue in cheek when I say elect Warren because I agree with Rick that the country can’t afford another in this series of divisive presidents and a loony left president would preside over dysfunction and rebellion of the red districts. We can’t afford it.

        All the same, I Am being serious when I say that actually electing a loony lefty is the one thing that would do the loony left in as a political force. That benefit would come at a huge cost, so I hope to hell that the trump effect does not result in an actual replay of 2008. I want a moderate dem or GOP president (ha, ha) and a split congress.

        Its very likely that some time in the future there will be a loony left POTUS, in my kids lifetime.

      • October 4, 2017 11:51 am

        What I find so interesting today is the number of times we hear a conservative mention JFK’s name when in support of some program, and not just tax relief. Given his response to the Cuban missile crisis and a few other things, he is mentioned much more now than just a few years ago. JFK would have a hard time getting the nomination in this day and age since he would be more in line with a Joe Manchin and that is not what the democrats are looking for. And I know I will get backlash on this statement, but I do not really think RR would ever get the GOP nomination since his form of conservative politics are no where near the conservative level of politics today. Just look at the last candidates standing for the GOP nomination this past primary season and one can see how the rigid right has consumed the Republican Party.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 4, 2017 3:31 pm

        This is not about Warren or Trump.

        The fundimental issue is that democrats response to the 2016 loss has been to move further left and to go into full bull moose loon mode over Trump.

        To some extent they are succeeding in making Trump’s relationship with the middle worse. But they ruin their own relationship at the same time.

        If 2020 becomes another contest over who is the least evil. Trump will win.
        Particularly if the economy is stronger.

        The question is not whether democrats will run Warren in 2020.
        It is if they will move towards or away from the center.

        I think it is highly unlikely that democrats will see the opportunity they had in 2009 any time soon. But in the unlikely event they did, should they push more social garbage they will just bankrupt us faster, and destroy themselves.

        The estimate for Bernies SP plan is a cost of 32T/decade. That is almost as much as the entire current federal budget.

        Vermont dabbled with SP and could not make it work fiscally.
        California did so recently to the same effect.

        Why anyone is even discussing such stupidity is beyond me.
        It can not be made to work, and it will cost almost as much as the entire federal budget. That is just not happening.

        What does it take to get truly stupid ideas to die ?
        But then the left remains committed to socialism.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 4, 2017 3:20 pm

      Strange answer.

      You do not seem to be able to distinguish between what is planned and what happens naturally.

      The left is destroying itself. I doubt they are doing so deliberately, It is the natural consequence of the flaws in the ideology.

      Trump is not a planned scheme to destroy the left.
      Just as the left’s shift even further left is not a planned scheme to destroy the left.

      But both are still working towards that end.

      Regardless, there is more than one way for the left to self destruct, just as there is more than one way for it to recover.

      I have no idea whether electing Warren would destroy the left.

      There is no single Elizabeth Warren. How she would run as a presidential candidate, how she would govern if elected are not necescarily the same as her persona.

      Nor is the issue who Warren might be.

      The issue is that democrats seem to think that moving even further left is the root to recovery.

    • dduck12 permalink
      October 4, 2017 7:35 pm

      EW, yup, that would show them.

  53. Hieronymus permalink
    October 4, 2017 9:06 am

    The issues of easy access to all kinds of guns and the resulting violence in America are obviously as complex as anything can be and may or may not be an insoluble problem. Any “solution” would be partial, slow, and consist of many many different approaches of which some form of gun control is only the most obvious. But, All too many on the right do not even believe there is a problem with easy access to too many types of guns and the ensuing violence. So, I’ll have to go with the dreaded left in this case, who at least think that there is a problem, even if they are naive about solutions.

    Of all the urgent business that needed to be done for America in this congress why was anyone even considering introducing a bill or bills on silencers and armour piercing rounds? Because the GOP depends on NRA fanatics like the dem party depends on its single issue fanatics. Sure as night follows day someone here, or two someones, will deny that hotly. How could I possibly believe such a wild idea.

    If Adam Lanza had not had access to those guns he would have burned down the school instead? Really? If Sandy hook had not occurred America would not be a better place? Really?

    When Muslim extremists commit an atrocity members of the right are not making emotional arguments before the bodies are cold? Really? Then they have at those who believe in gun control after Sandy hook type slaughters?

    These sad post massacre moments in America are the ones that reinforce in me that I am still a liberal. My disgust with the right overwhelms my disgust with the left.

    The problem will never be be faced while conservatives protect the NRA-GOP vote getting machine. If the problem is ever faced it will be because society changes little by little. I believe there is a chance of that.

    “Caleb Keeter, a guitarist with the Josh Abbott Band that performed at the Las Vegas country music festival targeted in a mass shooting on Sunday night, said Monday that he has changed his position on gun control following the attack that left 58 people dead and over 500 others injured.

    “I’ve been a proponent of the 2nd Amendment my entire life. Until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was,” he tweeted on Monday. “We actually have members of our crew with CHL [concealed handgun licenses], and legal firearms on the bus. They were useless.”

    Keeter said his fellow band members didn’t dare take out their weapons in self-defense as bullets rained down on the crowd “for fear police might think we were part of the massacre and shoot us.”

    “A small group (or one man) laid waste to a city with dedicated, fearless police officers desperately trying to help, because of access to an insane amount of fire power,” Keeter wrote. “Enough is enough.”

    One mind at a time.

    • October 4, 2017 10:31 am

      Roby, I agree we have a problem in this country. I am not sure its the number of guns. But find and read my response to Jay about just the number of semi automatic weapons already in the public and tell me how any law will change anything.

      • Hieronymus permalink
        October 4, 2017 10:47 am

        Ron, I read your response and I do not argue that you have put your finger on the most difficult point. Over the period of my kids lifetimes I believe that things could slowly change.

        Things won’t change by pretending there is no problem or by throwing up our hands and saying that working to improve the situation on many fronts is just futile.

        You are not one of those who pretends there is no problem, so, as usual, I consider your point of view sane and thoughtful. Would that you were the model of the conservative point of view.

    • Priscilla permalink
      October 4, 2017 12:34 pm

      Roby, you are correct, there is a problem with gun violence.

      But the problem is much more complex than the anti-gun people would make us believe. For example, about 2/3 of gun violence deaths in this country are suicides, many of them middle-aged white men.

      The questions we can ask about this fact ~ and it is a fact: ~ include the following:

      1. Would these people have killed themselves if not for guns? Did they purchase guns for the purpose of suicide, or did they happen to be gun owners to begin with?

      2.Had these people been diagnosed with any mental illness or substance abuse issues prior to killing themselves? And if so, how did they obtain firearms?

      3. Did these people have access to mental health care prior to shooting themselves, and if not, why not?

      3. Are the rates of suicide rising in any other demographic group, or in general, and is this related to gun sales?

      Perhaps new or different gun laws would reduce the numbers of suicides…perhaps not. But, we need to look at the facts on the ground, and determine what our priorities should, rather than rely on knee-jerk reactions to acts of mass murder. And right now, we don’t know what the motives of the Las Vegas killer were. It is clear that he was mentally ill in some sense ~ certainly no normal person would do such a thing ~ but was this an act of terror? Of vengeance? Was Paddock psychotic, and, if so, how was he able to legally purchase any guns? Had he been radicalized in some way? Did he have accomplices before, during or after the shootings?

      My point is that calling for “something” to be done, in the heat of high emotion and in the chaos of tragedy’s aftermath seems irresponsible.

      • Hieronymus permalink
        October 4, 2017 1:24 pm

        “Roby, you are correct, there is a problem with gun violence.
        But the problem is much more complex than the anti-gun people would make us believe. For example, about 2/3 of gun violence deaths in this country are suicides, many of them middle-aged white men.”

        This is not the issue that “anti-gun” people have on their minds this morning. The issue is mass shootings, large and small, and easy access to far too much fire power for the legitimate purposes of hunting or self defence.

        “My point is that calling for “something” to be done, in the heat of high emotion and in the chaos of tragedy’s aftermath seems irresponsible.”

        Well, how about a call for nothing to be done? Is that responsible? Seriously, I am going to continue to believe that somehow in the future, 5 years, 10 years, 50 years, from now there is going to be progress towards an America in which getting one’s hands on a high capacity magazine is damned, damned difficult along with its matching weapon.

        When exactly IS one supposed to be allowed to press for removing “access to an insane amount of fire power,” as country musician and former 2nd amendment believer Keeter wrote. “Enough is enough.” According to the GOP-NRA alliance, never, never is the time when one is supposed to talk about such things. And if someone does, they are met with derision by a conservative hecking squad. Perhaps the NRA can send a crack brainwashing squad to get Keeter to recant on his apostasy.

        Seriously, this Onion piece seems to be close to the actual viewpoint of the NRA.

        “Americans Hopeful This Will Be Last Mass Shooting Before They Stop On Their Own For No Reason

        WASHINGTON—Expressing a sense of guarded optimism that the latest incident of gun violence that left 58 dead and 500 injured in Las Vegas would be a turning point for the nation, Americans across the country confirmed Monday they were hopeful this would be the last mass shooting before all such occurrences stopped on their own for no reason at all. “After something as horrific as what happened in Las Vegas, we’re all just hoping that now these terrible shootings will stop once and for all without circumstances changing in any way or any of us taking even the slightest amount of action in response,” said Harrisburg, PA resident David Snyder, echoing the sentiments of tens of millions of citizens from coast to coast who told reporters they were confident that, after living through the most deadly mass shooting in modern American history and taking no material steps to change gun laws, reevaluate safety standards, increase access to mental health care, or even have a national conversation about how mass shootings could be avoided in the future, tragedies of this kind would at long last come to an end. “Having seen acts of violence like this happen over and over again for years now, I’m really holding out hope that, despite every single factor that allowed them to occur remaining exactly the same, we won’t have to live through another day like today. I know everyone’s praying this will finally be the time this issue just disappears forever entirely by itself without anyone doing anything.” At press time, Americans nationwide agreed that years of taking no measures whatsoever to prevent mass shootings may finally be paying off.”

        I’ll go with the liberals and sensible people of all ideologies on this one, when Madison put the bill of rights through, a gun fired one bullet at a time, after which one reloaded manually. That is the firearms they had in mind.

      • October 4, 2017 2:58 pm

        Roby, I will accept your position on changes to the second amendment when changes to the first amendment are also included in that change, and I would want this made as an amendment to the constitution and not some law that could be changed by whim of the congress whatever way the wind was blowing. Just look at the silencer bill and cross state carry permit laws that have been tabled because the wind is not blowing in the right direction.

        Lets do it the right way and change the constitution like they did with prohibition. One made the drug illegal, another made it legal..

        Now when I say amend both the 1st and 2nd amendments, they are both tied together. One creates death and injury. The other is a major element that creates the environment that allows the first to happen. Guns are only the tools used by psychotic people to carry out their goals. Free speech is the environmental element that creates much of the psychosis.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 4, 2017 4:11 pm

        Why can’t people commit suicide if they want to ?

        In many instances I hope people do not. I hope they get help, I hope they can come to want to live and live a good life.

        But it is still your life, and your choice. I think all of us would be happy if Mr. Paddock had committed suicide alone a couple of days ago.

        Regardless, in many many instances suicide is a reasonable choice, or atleast one we should not interfere with.

        In my community recently a elderly man took his wife who had alzheimers and in her few lucid moments begged him to kill her, home for an afternoon. put them both in the car in the garage and started the engine.
        When he did not return to the “home” as schedule the police were sent. They found the couple, managed to revive the man who spent two weeks in intensive care. He has subsequently been tried and convicted and will spend the rest of his life in jail.

        I have watched my parents, inlaws and other relatives die. I can live with dying as most of them did. But some of their deaths were tortuous and cruel. If I have the slightest choice, I would end my own life before dying that way. I would end my wife’s life if that was her choice and hope she would do the same for me.

      • Jay permalink
        October 4, 2017 6:27 pm

        I agree. Rational adults should be able to legally take their own lives.

        How many suicides and attempted suicides are committed by rational people?
        Are people with severe treatable depression rational?
        What about children/minors? Should they be able to kill themselves?

        Some stats:

        “In 2015 (latest available data), there were 44,193 reported suicide deaths.
        Currently, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
        A person dies by suicide about every 11.9 minutes in the United States.
        Every day, approximately 121 Americans take their own life.
        Ninety percent of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death.
        There are 3.5 male suicides for every female suicide, but three times as many females as males attempt suicide.
        494,169 people visited a hospital for injuries due to self-harm, suggesting that approximately 12 people harm themselves for every reported death by suicide.
        Suicide was the second leading cause of death for adults between the ages of 10 and 34 years in the United States.


        25 million Americans suffer from depression each year.

        Over 50 percent of all people who die by suicide suffer from major depression. If one includes alcoholics who are depressed, this figure rises to over 75 percent.
        Depression affects nearly 5-8 percent of Americans ages 18 and over in a given year.
        More Americans suffer from depression than coronary heart disease, cancer, and HIV/AIDS.
        Depression is among the most treatable of psychiatric illnesses. Between 80 percent and 90 percent of people with depression respond positively to treatment, and almost all patients gain some relief from their symptoms.”

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 4, 2017 6:17 pm

        I think that there are definitely times when doing nothing is better than doing something. Bad law is often worse than no law. We can debate that if you like.

        It’s already illegal to own automatic weapons, and it should be illegal to manufacture and sell anything that allows a semi-auto to be converted into a automatic-firing machine gun. I think it probably is in most states, maybe federal law needs to be changed, if it isn’t in all. But, I don’t think that it would prevent mass murders. And it wouldn’t prevent prevent people from coming up with illegal modifications, just like it doesn’t stop people from buying guns illegally.

        I think that Ron is correct in saying that the only way to make any significant changes to the current gun laws would be to amend the Constitution. And, I recall from our last thread on gun control, that I said that I think it would be a good idea for anti-gun politicians to pursue that, because it IS the only way, and it would show, once and for all, who means what they say about guns and who is just showboating for political gain.

        I know that you are genuine in your desire to limit gun ownership for the purpose of protecting people from madmen. But asking when is the “right time” is like asking when is the right time to outlaw anything ~ the right time is when you know it’s the right thing to do, and you are willing to take the political hit that might come from doing it the right way (I’m referring to legislators of course, not you personally). Just standing on the graves of victims of high profile mass murders and screaming “Do Something Now!” is not the way.

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 4, 2017 8:10 pm

        I note that Jay and Dave have agreed on something, and discussed it in a calm and rational way. Huzzah.

        I don’t know how I feel about suicide. I’m not in favor of allowing people to blow their brains out with guns. But using a lethal drug cocktail? I don’t know….maybe.

        And euthanasia is a whole other ethical question. My daughter was in a serious relationship with a young man who was hit by a car while riding his bicycle. He was 25. He suffered catastrophic brain damage, and ended up in a vegetative state…after a year and a half, he contracted pneumonia and died. It seemed a blessing, since he might possibly have lived in that state for many years, and it was awful. I might be in favor of euthanasia in extreme cases like that. But I think it’s a dangerous and slippery slope.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 4, 2017 10:33 pm


        Given that we have decided that there is no rational reason to commit suicide, I am not surprised that we find that everyone who commits suicide has a psychiatric disorder.

        I do not have the answer to every question.
        Kids are always a problem for nearly every issue.
        And they remain a problem no matter how you choose.
        If you decide kids can choose for themselves – they make poor choices.
        If you decide parents can choose for them – we have lots of bad parents.
        If you decide government can choose for kids – the results of that have been atleast as bad as parents or kids choosing for themselves.

        Walter Block – and actually pretty extreme libertarian, wants kids choosing for themselves. I can not go that far.
        Mostly I think parents get to make choices for kids.
        But I will accept SOME government oversight in that.
        But I think the conduct of parents has to be incredibly egregious for the state to step in – because the states record as a parent is worse than abusive parents. Charles Manson is the product of state parenting.

        But skipping kids. For the rest of us.
        No I do not think that the state gets to step in and decide if your decisions to kill yourself is rational.

        The fact that men succeed when they try strongly sugests they are serious – the mean it. The fact that women don’t suggests they aren’t.

        Just as I think you are free to commit suicide I think you are free to fail.

        Further with extremely few exceptions we are very bad at treating mental health issues.

        I do not have a problem with people being perscribed mind altering drugs.
        Nor do I have a problem if they choose not to take them.

        My mental health is excellent. In my entire life I have only very rarely experienced serious anxiety or depression. But I have in very rare instances had each. Even so – I think many people have had worse anxiety and depression. I can feel very sorry for that.

        About 2 years ago as a result of the only serious bout of anxiety I have had in my life – one that had very legitimate causes, my doctor perscribed an SSRI. I took that for a week. That was the worse week in my life.
        I very quickly found that my anxiety could get far worse.
        I am told if you can get through a couple of weeks to a month they work.
        Nothing would make me take an SSRI for a month.

        My point is that if others have mental health problems and they do not want to take the drugs they are told will help – I think that is their free choice.

        I would prefer that people made choices like drugs and suicide and …. by some perfectly rational standard – but they do not.

        I have no right to dictate how you live your own life – so long as you do not harm others.
        I do not have a right because you are anxious or depressed.

        I do not beleive in utopia. Life is not perfect, and it is not the same for each of us. Others are allowed to make choices I do not like – so long as they do not harm me.

        I would do all kinds of things short of force to prevent those with depression from killing themselves. But in the end their depression, and my perception that their choice is not rational does not allow me to force them to follow my will, rather than their own.

        Further I am consistent on this through other things.
        I have never used an “illegal drug” in my life.
        But no drug should be illegal.
        If you wish to smoke pot, drink alcohol, or shoot heroin – I may think that is a poor choice, but it is yours and not my business until you harm others.

        I do not expect that legal prostitution, suicide, or drugs, or… will make the world into utopia. The evidence is that it will have absolutely no effect on the underlying problems. But it will have major effects on crime.
        And it will result in less government, and less government doing things that are not its business.

        I understand that others feel differently.
        I even understand that some of have been rescued from suicide attempts have subsequently lead full and happy lives and regret having done so.
        But I do not have the right to intervene by force in the life of another merely because they might regret their choice later.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 4, 2017 11:00 pm


        The freedom of people to do what they wish with their own life – provided they do not use force to actually harm others does not presume a position on the choices others make for those who can not make their own choices.

        I do not think that mental retardation, or mental health issues should take from us the right to make our own life choices.

        But committing suicide is NOT the same as the rest of us chosing to terminate life support for someone in paid who is unable to make choices for themselves.

        The most agonizing thing I have had to do in my life is stand in for my father as he became increasingly less able as a result of frequent strokes and TIA’s. The standards for making choices for others – when they absolutely can not make them for themselves is quite different from the freedom we have to chose for ourselves.

        My father was sufficiently cognatively impaired that he needed a legal guardian a full year before he died. His impairment started atleast 3 years before that. But a year before he died was the point at which he could no longer manage his own affairs. And his mental abilities declined rapidly even from there.

        A few months before he died he had a massive bleed that nearly killed him.
        His doctors told us that he needed a transfusion or he would die within the next few months – of course with the transfusion he could still die in the next few months, or maybe live a few more.

        While he was still cognatively able to Dad made it clear that to the greatest extent possible he wanted his medical treatment to focus on preventing mental deteriation. When the issue of the blood Transfusion came up, he adamantly refused. But legally at the time the choice was mine and my sisters. We chose to do as he wished. That was one of the hardest choices I have ever made. My family had problems before, but that decision tore the family apart. One brother and sister on the west coast were convinced there was nothing serious wrong with him – despite being provided copious medical records otherwise, and convinced we were killing him for our own benefit. Ultimately the courts became involved, and the District Attorney and police and the office of aging and nasty allegations.
        My father was removed from his home by force kicking and screaming against his will. He experience more harm from the state intervening to look after his interests, then he ever did in our care. Things still ended up a mess because even after my sister and I were removed as his POA/MPOA the doctors and hospitals refused to force on him the care he did not want even though the court and the office of aging and my other siblings were trying to force it. And exactly a month after the court took Dad from his home (one that he had designed – he was an architect) and put him into a home, he got pneumonia and died.
        My sister and I did not fight the court intervention – because we knew he would not live long enough for it to matter.

        I have since paid more and more attention to other similar instances.
        I eventually concluded that in most instances – even instances where relatives were actually stealing from the incompetent elderly people they were caring for, we were better off keeping the state out of it.

        There was a local case where a woman went to jail for embezzling 150K from her invalid mother, over the course of 5 years. The care the older woman got would have cost much more without her daughter stealing from her. This woman went to jail and had to repay everything she took – which ultimately went to a nursing home. I do not see the world as better off.

        Regardless, the state is extremely bad at the jobs that only the state can do. The jobs that are purportedly its bread and butter. we should not keep expanding what we expect of it.

        I can assure those on the left that whatever they intend, they can be absolutely certain that is NOT what they will get.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 4, 2017 3:58 pm


      The problem is quite simple.

      Guns do not kill people – people do.

      There are myriads of ways to kill people. There will always be.

      Sure you can reduce gun deaths – though even australia did not manage all that well in that.

      I do not know about you, but I do not care all that much about the specific method used to kill others.

      We have seen in Europe that Terrorists can find other ways to kill people.

      Mr. Paddock could have rented a large truck and driven through the concert and done about as much carnage.

      Or loaded it with explosives.

      Are you planning on banning fertilizer ?

      Yes, really if Lanza did not have access to guns, he would have done something else.
      That is precisely what happened in Austrailia – where mass shootings declined, but mass killings remained the same – mass killers shifted to arson.

      I can think of a half a dozen ways that do not involve guns to kill and main large numbers of people. McVeigh did fine, as did Kazinsky and Rudolph.
      The IRA managed to terrorize England for almost a century.

      Most of the mass killings in Europe do not involve guns.

      Regardless, the argument you are making is deceitful and stupid

      It is entirely possible that some combination of laws would have resulted in Lanza choosing a different method or target. There is no law that you could pass that would magically transform Lanza into someone who did not wish to kill alot of people to live in infamy.

      Absolutely Mr. Paddock picked a method of killing that minimized the value of defensive handguns. Had he tried to stride through a country music concert with an automatic weapon he would have been killed the moment he had to reload.

      I would also note that he very effectively forestalled the police from acting.
      It took over an hour for the police to find Paddock.

      The amount of firepower Paddock had was not a factor in preventing Police from acting.

      Paddock confined himself to a room. The moment the police identified the room, he would have been stopped as he would have had to switch to defending his entrance rather than attacking the crowd.

      Further Paddock could easily have been taken out relatively quickly by a single trained police sniper. Even if he was not taken out, he could have been driven back from the windows.

      We have innumerable SWAT teams in the US that are purportedly for exactly this type of event – yet they were useless.

      The reason that no one took out their handguns in this was not because the police would have shot them, but because a handgun is useless at 300yd. Even trying to use one was more likely to kill innocent people in the Mandalay.

      Paddock planned this quite well. He was not skilled with weapons, but he found a scenario where his skill did not matter, and neutralizing many of the advantages of those trying to stop him.

      If he was smart enough to do that – why do you think he would not be smart enough to thwart whatever crazy laws you concoct.

      The NRA BTW is a bit player. Planned Parenthood makes more political contributions in one year than the NRA does in a decade.

      • Jay permalink
        October 4, 2017 6:52 pm

        “Guns don’t kill people… “

      • dhlii permalink
        October 4, 2017 10:07 pm


        Are you saying that the North Korean Nukes are going to launch themselves ?

        I think most of us are worried about Kim Un Il with nukes, not nukes.

      • Jay permalink
        October 4, 2017 10:29 pm

        Are you daft?

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 4, 2017 10:37 pm

        That little détente didn’t last long, lol.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 4, 2017 11:11 pm


        Putin has nukes, Theresa May has nukes, Pakistan has Nukes, India has nukes, China has nukes. France has nukes, Israel probably has nukes.
        Iran has or soon will have nukes.

        Thus far only the US has used a nuclear weapon in anger.

        I am from the duck and cover generation. I never expected to live this long.

        I certainly never expected to experience serious nuclear anxiety a second time.

        Regardless, the problem is WHO has nukes.

        In fact one serious school of thought is that the sole purpose of NK’s nukes is to forestall US action when NK eventually attacks SK.

        Even if Kim un Il does nto suck us into a nuclear war there is a very high probability that something else very very bad will occur.

        It is not the nukes that are evil. It is not the thousands of artillary barrels that are evil. It is Kin un Il.

        Mr. Paddock killed and injured alot of people.
        He alone is responsible.

  54. dhlii permalink
    October 4, 2017 4:18 pm

    I think there are a number of errors in this article, but the central point is true.

    If the left continues to call Trump a racist, he will likely win in 2020,
    because in doing so they are calling those who share Trump’s views if not his rhetoric racist also.

  55. dhlii permalink
    October 4, 2017 5:32 pm

    This is an assessment for the NYT. that practically makes it like reading DailyKos.

    Still it raises some of the issues facing democrats.

    Bruni may be right that Moore means the GOP might be more prone to nominate unelectable candidates.
    But he also may be wrong. Trump was supposed to be an unelectable candidate.
    Republicans may well win in 2018 with candidates even less palatable to democrats.

    I tire of the constant gerrymandering nonsense. Real credible computer simulations are indicating that absent deliberate gerrymandering to favor democrats, that there is less than 4 congressional seats nationwide that might have changed as a result of gerrymandering.

    34 states have republican governors – that is more than double the states with democratic governors, it is reasonable to presume that Republicans would have the lions share of senators and representatives from those states.

    The article notes that Democratic proposals – such as free college are a non-starter – because the moment costs are discussed support evaporates.
    Just as in 2016 democrats have a serious campaign problem.
    They have no issues. No means to inspire voters.

    The problems that the country faces, that will be on the minds of voters, will be issues that tend to favor republicans. Fiscal issues, reigning in government.
    These are issues that bring republicans out to vote, and do not bring out democrats.

    It is likely that democrats will make the election a referendum on Trump.
    That might be a winning strategy, but it also might not.
    Trump’s current approval is above what it was on election day.
    Republicans have won the special elections thus far – despite the Trump strategy.

    I am sure that Roby and Jay will tell me that Trump is so hated that Republicans are going down in flames. That is entirely possible.
    But by the same logic Trump was supposed to lose by 50 points.

    My sense is that the electoral anger that elected Trump in the first place is still out there and still strong, and that democrats and the media continue to fan it.
    Moores nomination reinforces that.

    Democrats continuing as they have the past year is unlikely to play well.
    The anti-Trump rhetoric is wearing thin.
    Democrats have to be about more than AntiTrump.

  56. Jay permalink
    October 4, 2017 7:12 pm

    • dhlii permalink
      October 4, 2017 10:05 pm

      I will be happy to watch his movies, but the video is stupid.

      How many places in the country have you seen sink holes large enough to swallow 5 or six cars. A clue that you are being played should have been that the cars were from the 50’s. We have more than several hundred thousand bridges in this country – when was the last time one collapsed that was not an earthquake.

      There are 194 democratic members of the house – nearly all of them come from districts that are 70% or more democratic.

      Do you really expect that Berkeley, DC, or almost anywhere in NYC is ever going to elect a democrat to congress ? Is it gerrymandering that the people who chose to live in ubran areas are 73% democrats ?

      Would it be politically wise to move democratic voters from urban districts into suburban and rural districts where their interests and the interests of voters in those districts are at odds ?

      There is no such thing as a “non-partisan” redistricting commission. This is just a load of crap. We have the same problem when we kick close elections and recounts into our courts. The very last thing we want is to create more purportedly non-partisan political jobs for people who are going to be subject to intense partisan forces.

      BTW there are two different ways to “gerrymander”.
      You can create safe seats or you can try to increase your parties majority.

      You can not do both. Whichever you increase they other automatically decreases.

      If as is claimed Republicans in Wisconsin have artificially increased their majority in the Wisconsin house and senate, they do so by risking that a very small swing in voting will put democrats in near total control of everything.

      So get a clue:

      You are never ever going to remove politics from districting.

      There is no “fair” or right way to create districts.

      Any set of rules you create have two effects.
      They can be gamed
      They have winners and losers.

      In noted that many democratic districts have in excess of 70% of voters as democrats.
      These tend to be urban districts.

      Is it “fair” to spray these voters into rural and suburban districts where voters have completely different values and interests – or visa versa ?

      If the voters in a given square mile of the US are 70% one party and 30% the other, then they should be part of a district that is also approximately 70/30.

      We should not be trying to pretend that people are interchangeable that they choice of wear to live does not matter, that a congressmen can as easily represent the interests of ranchers as urban apartment dwellers.

      Rather than have our courts decide what the rules for districts must be,
      people should decide where they want to live.

  57. Jay permalink
    October 4, 2017 8:20 pm

    This Vegas massacre is troubling.
    So far, the only explanation I have for the shooter’s actions – he possessed by evil spirits.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 4, 2017 9:41 pm

      Who knows what will turn up.
      No matter what one side or the other will spin it.

      But virtually all of these are mentally disturbed people.

      It is extremely difficult to stop a fairly intelligent seriously disturbed person intent on violence.

      We can want to be able to stop it, but that does not mean we are able to.

    • Priscilla permalink
      October 4, 2017 10:35 pm

      Jay, it really is strange. I’m sure that much, much more will come out. I’m somewhat fascinated by a couple of things: 1) the fact that this guy’s father was once on the FBI’s Most Wanted list, his sons didn’t know that he was a psychopath and a bank robber, until he was finally captured in Vegas. 2) The fact that there were 2 windows broken out in his Mandalay Bay suite…they are theorizing that he wanted to shoot from 2 different angles,and maybe he did, but, at that height, would it have made much difference?

  58. dhlii permalink
    October 4, 2017 9:39 pm

    Even the ACLU is aparently too conservative to speak on campus

  59. dduck12 permalink
    October 4, 2017 10:01 pm

    Thanks for the link.
    Colleges should only invite mimes to satisfy both types of snowflakes and sensitives, right and left..

  60. dhlii permalink
    October 4, 2017 11:13 pm

  61. dhlii permalink
    October 4, 2017 11:14 pm

    • October 4, 2017 11:24 pm

      that meme reminds me of when I was in college and the road leading around the college had speed bumps. They did not put in any barrier in the dirt on each side of the street, so instead of the 25 mph (and slower over the bumps), it was 35+ on the road and on the dirt around the bumps.

      Make a law, many people will find a way to break it. Most people will only break the ones that they do not believe endanger others.

  62. dhlii permalink
    October 4, 2017 11:15 pm

    • October 4, 2017 11:37 pm

      Dave, thought you might be interested in this. Bet they don’t mess with anyone in this restaurant!!! I bet they don’t mess with many in that town. Interesting map of the USA with all the green where open carry is allowed without a permit. Did not know that, Goes with the stats you shared.

      Bet MSNBC would not do this piece today and if they did they would be attacking the need for open carry.

  63. dhlii permalink
    October 4, 2017 11:15 pm

    • October 4, 2017 11:38 pm

      I don’t know who posted this, but whoever designed it and posted it on the internet has about as sick a mind as the person pulling the trigger.

      Is there any laws that one could be charged with for being “brain dead”

  64. dhlii permalink
    October 4, 2017 11:33 pm

    I would note that certain aspects of Trump’s ideal economy – regulated trade, protectionism, the political if not actual nationalization of industries,
    are ideas that originated with the LEFT.

  65. dhlii permalink
    October 4, 2017 11:37 pm

    • October 5, 2017 12:03 am

      “It was written to protect your right to shoot tyrants if they take over the government”

      Well just another example of our crappy educational system. Only nine states as of 2012 required civics or some form of American government education, those being Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. It was found in a recent study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, the Washington, D.C.-based educational think tank found that 28 states failed completely in teaching the content and rigor” and “clarity and specificity” of basic American governmental systems and American history. Anyone surprised that most believe the right to own guns is based on hunting and not what it was really put there for in the first place.

      Their comment: ““No wonder so many Americans know so little about our nation’s past,”

      And this is a huge problem. If you do not know the failures of the past, you are doomed to repeat them.

      I would also add that most anyone asked about the constitution can not answer even the most basic question that everyone should know. I also wonder if you asked one of the kneeling football players some 9th grade civics questions taught in those states that still require civics if those football players could answer any of them. I have my doubts.

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 5, 2017 9:06 am

        I read or heard somewhere that only 40% of students, when asked, were able to identify all 3 branches of the federal government.

  66. dhlii permalink
    October 4, 2017 11:49 pm

    I have not heard a credible 2nd amendment argument for silencers.
    But then I am not fixated on constitutional rights.
    Rights come from nature, not paper.

    But the left’s silencer argument is fascinating in its stupidity.

    We have been buying ever more silencers recently – and Clinton’s tweet has near certainly driven the purchases of silencers through the roof.

    But silencer have never played a role in any mass shooting.
    I have never heard of a silencer being used in a homicide.
    They feature only in spy and crime novels where they tend to behave magically.
    Though I beleive that Clancy covered making a silencer in greate detail in one of his novels. Pointing out that an effective silencer works ONCE, for a single bullet and then is useless.

    Regardless, the left is up in arms demanding legislation on silencers – because people have died and we must do something.

    We need not do something that would have prevented this.
    We need not do something that would have prevented any mass murder ever.
    We need not do something that would have prevented any killing ever.

    But we must do SOMETHING. We must be able to stand up at the funerals of the victims in Las Vegas and pledge to do something completely fruitless to show that we care.

    Why should anyone take the left credibly ?
    Either clinton and those supporting her are:
    Extremely under informed – in which case it is goof that she lost the election, because we certainly do not want a president who waxes eloquently about things she knows nothing about.
    Know that what they are proposing will do nothing, in which case they are duplicitous and pandering.
    or finally, just stupid.

    Either way, we dodged a bullet in the 2016 election.

    • October 5, 2017 12:18 am

      Dave I believe you will find that suppressors are very effective for multiple shots. Most states allow suppressors after an individual passes a background check and pays for the permit. I believe 8 “liberal” states ban them and two additional will not allow them for hunting purposes. I understand the need for a suppressor for an avid hunter for hunting wildlife like deer, bear, elk, and other big game where a large rifle is required for both the hunter and any partners with them during the hunt. You can not wear hearing protection like at a shooting range when hunting big game.

      This is a states rights issue and what the f— the feds are getting involved with it for is beyond acceptable standards from my point of view. If this crap keeps up, we might as well do away with “states” and just call this America and eliminate “The United States of”.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 5, 2017 1:01 am


        The primary purpose of most “supressors” today is to protect the hearing of the shooter – as you noted.

        I do not think mass killers are likely to care.

        The effect of any suppressor on a supersonic bullet – which is most rifle bullets is close to non-existant at a distance.
        A supressed AR-15 is still as loud as a jackhammer.

        I do not really want to get into a technical debate over supressors.
        My primary point is that even our existing laws regarding them are just stupid.

        There is no evidence that even an outright ban would have any effect at all on homicides, mass murders, suicides, domestic violence, gang killings.

        To the extent there would be any effect at all – some hunters might lose their hearing.

        Why should we pass laws that accomplish nothing just to feel good ?

        The WaPo article I linked to elsewhere is pretty damning a wapo/538 statistician, part of a team researching ALL of the 33,000 gun deaths last year found that no proposed law would have any effect. They further found that in places like the UK and Australia where assorted gun laws had been imposed – they had no effect. Austrailia had very low rates of mass murder and gun deaths before and after – similarly with the UK.

        The WaPo article does not note that, but I beleive that the Australia law did result in a small decline in suicides.

        Experiences arround the world demonstrate that rates of violence are declining and have been nearly everywhere. But that does not mean that every place has the same rates of violence.

        The strongest factor correlating to rates of violence is race.
        Asians with by far the lowest rates, and blacks with the highest.

        You can approximate the homicide rate in nearly any country in the world by knowing the racial demography.

        The racial link probably has a strong cultural component.
        Asians have the longest continuous organized society.
        Regardless, the same declining trend is universal across all races.
        With occasional speed bumps – such as the US in the 60’s and the countertrend rates in big cities in the US today.

        The left likes to claim that they are better educated, more scientific – but they are near universally proposing solutions for every single issue, that do nothing but make them feel good.

        I am not a gun nut. I own one gun – a .25 rifle that my wifes father got from his father for not smoking until after he was 16. We have no bullets for it, and it probably would not fire if we did.

        I know a fair amount about guns – because I read stephen hunter novels, I can google, alot of my friends are in law enforcement, and because about 1/3 of my work over the past 20 years has involved the military.
        When I have to hang arround the military or even defense contractors,
        I go to the barber and get a #8 buzz, and bone up on weapons.
        I am not an expert – but I know how different kinds of silencers are made.
        The really effective ones are for handguns, and destroy themselves after one or two rounds. The vast majority are primarily to reduce the noise level a small amount for the shooter. They have minimal effect at a distance.

        They may even make the gun louder – at a distance, by redirecting sound away from the shooter.

        Regardless the law of energy conservation in immutable.
        You can redirect energy, you can transform it from one form to another.
        But you can not destroy it.

  67. Jay permalink
    October 5, 2017 12:58 am

    “Just 3 percent of American adults own half of the nation’s firearms, according to the results of a Harvard-Northeastern survey of 4,000 gun owners.

    The survey’s findings support other research showing that as overall rates of gun ownership has declined, the number of firearms in circulation has skyrocketed. The implication is that there are more guns in fewer hands than ever before. The top 3 percent of American adults own, on average, 17 guns apiece, according to the survey’s estimates.

    The survey is particularly useful to researchers because it asked respondents not just whether they own guns, but how many and what types of guns they own. This makes for one of the clearest pictures yet of American gun ownership, showing the concentration of most guns in the hands of a small fraction of American adults.

    The study found that 22 percent of American adults say they personally own a firearm. This is lower than the percentages reported in some other recent surveys, such as those by the Pew Research Center (31 percent) and Gallup (28 percent).”

  68. dhlii permalink
    October 5, 2017 1:54 am

  69. dhlii permalink
    October 5, 2017 2:06 am

    So a question for Jay and Roby.

    Would you want Trump’s policies to drag the US into a recession if that would get progressives elected and result in progressive policies – even if that meant lots of people out of jobs ?

    Or would you be happy because more people have jobs, and and are wealthier if Trump’s policies resulted in strong growth and his re-election and an even more republican congress ?

    Put more simply, do you want americans to be better off, or do you want your tribe to win ?

    The economy is complex, and I thought that a recession was nearly baked in in 2016 regardless of who was elected. Many of the critical problems that might cause that remain and may be outside the presidents or governments ability to avoid.

    Still Trump is doing many of the right things economically (not all).
    It is appearing that what he is doing is sufficient to overcome the strong head winds I beleive we continue to face.

    But it is still possible for the economy to falter – either because Trump does something stupid, or because we have spent 20 years making such egregious mistakes than a year of semi-economic sanity is not enough to overcome those.

    That said it is about as close to certainty as you can get in economics, that if growth continues to strengthen it is the consequence of Trump’s policies.

    Thus far Trump has not yet accomplished something Obama did not – Obama did have short periods of strong growth. But the current growth reversed a downward trend immediately after the election, and has strengthened since.

  70. dhlii permalink
    October 5, 2017 2:12 am

    Isn’t govenrment wonderful

  71. October 5, 2017 12:07 pm

    Well a couple of interesting items in the news this morning that relate to these discussions.
    1. After Cam Newton raises a clinched fist after a touchdown Sunday and states it was in unity for the inequality treatment of blacks (or something to that effect), a female sports reporter who covers the Carolina Panthers for the local Charlotte newspaper ask him a question Wednesday concerning the physicality of routes run by his receiver. His comment “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes like — it’s funny.”…………Guess its fine to treat females different than men who would never get this answer to that question (“It’s funny to hear a male talk about routes like — it’s funny.”), but it is not fine to treat races different.

    2. GOP is on board to ban bump stops for semi automatic weapons. Now I could care less if they have them or not, but this is a “see we did something” bill that will do nothing! I am not one that is good with metal, but I can make most anything out of wood short of whittling a sculpture. So looking at a picture of a semi, If I had one and wanted to make it rapid fire, I could do it in very short period of time and easily done with a few pieces of scrape material. Make a cam shaft type insert to fit into the trigger mechanism, secure and place a handle on the end of the cam and turn. Now it is rapid fire. Kind of like the old Gatling gun from the 1860’s.

    Unless people are ruled by tyranny, the smart people understand whenever there is one person who comes up with a rule or regulation, there are 10 people making a living off ways to get around that rule and regulation.

    More gun control will NEVER solve these killings. It is like a doctor who finds a cancerous tumor in your body after you report feeling pain. He provides pain medication, but does not remove the tumor, so eventually you end up dying from the cancer, but pain free for most of the time it continues growing.

    The discussion has to be on hate and hate speech dividing this country. This is the cancer that is causing the pain (mass murders)!

    • Hieronymus permalink
      October 5, 2017 1:06 pm

      Here we are at the point every side says that the other side’s remedies are useless. Your remedy also has its weak points: no amount of talking will reach mentally disturbed people and they are the ones who lose it and commit these crimes. If you mean political ideas by hate speech, then I am going to have to quote Dave: Most of these acts are due to broken people and are not political. Mass murders (mass shootings) in their most unrestrictive definition mean:

      ‘A mass shooting is an incident involving multiple victims of firearms-related violence.[1] The United States’ Congressional Research Service acknowledges that there is not a broadly accepted definition, and defines a “public mass shooting”[2] as one in which four or more people selected indiscriminately, not including the perpetrator, are killed, echoing the FBI definition[3][4] of the term “mass murder”. Another unofficial definition of a mass shooting is an event involving the shooting (not necessarily resulting in death) of four or more people with no cooling-off period.[5] Related terms include school shooting and massacre. ”

      The causes of such killings are drug deals, bad marriages, bullying at school, work-related stress, and on and on. I’d love to believe that we can talk about hate and fix all that but…

      Better than just dismissing remedies out of hand would be to think of as many reasonable partial ones as possible and give them all a shot together. You can make a more lethal weapon, you are handy. Not every nut job who suddenly becomes enraged at something and goes postal is handy. So, banning bumper stocks may well stop some, if not all such acts. Will your world really be worse in some way if congress Were to ban bumper stocks?

      • dhlii permalink
        October 5, 2017 7:11 pm

        Sorry Roby,

        But there is no parity here.
        I am not proposing a remedy. Only you are.

        Every problem does not have an answer – a remedy.
        The fact that the world is imperfect does not mean we can use force to screw it up differently.

        Even those problems that might have solutions – rarely is the solution the use of force.

        Regardless, you are the one seeking to use force. You are the one that needs to demonstrate that what you wish to do will do more good than harm and is moral, and justified.

        There is absolutely nothing wrong with dismissing an inneffective remedy.
        There is no requirement that just because you want to do something stupid to solve what may well be an unsolveable problem that I have to bang my head against a wall to come up with a better way.

        Often doing nothing is the best choice.
        When the use of force is involved NEARLY ALWAYS doing nothing is the best choice.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 5, 2017 7:28 pm

        What does it take to stop you from chasing false or unknown assumptions.

        “The causes of such killings are drug deals, bad marriages, bullying at school, work-related stress, and on and on. I’d love to believe that we can talk about hate and fix all that but…”

        Sorry, Roby, but NO!!!.

        Paddock is thus far proving to be an enigma. He so far fits absoltuely no prior pattern.

        But aside from a small number of usually religiously motivated mass killings – and even these still usually fit the pattern,
        these high profile mass killings are by individuals with serious mental health problems.

        Not Work Stress, not bullying. not bad marraiges, not drug deals, ….
        These are broken people.
        A significant portion of them are paranoid schizophrenics.
        This is a problem we are almost certain is biological, and though we have some poor treatment, there is no cure.
        Worse still – paranoid schizophrenics are only about twice as likely to be violent as ordinary people – the vast majority of paranoid schizophrenics are not dangerous. And only a tiny portion of them become mass killers.

        There are other mental disorders that increase rates of violence, and correlate heavily to specific crimes. All or most serial killers are sociopaths. But again only a tiny portion of sociopaths are serial killers or even violent.

        Regardless, I can not think of a single mass killing where the killer comes even close to fitting your profile.

        Mass killings are particularly problematic because:
        They are very very rare.
        The perpetrators tend to be very disturbed and smart.

        While they have often come to the attention of psychiatrists, or police or … before, those encounters are not noteworthy.
        As I noted – just identifying that someone is a paranoid schizoprenic does nto make them a mass murderer – anymore than identifying someone as a sociopath makes them a serial killer.

        The fact that all or nearly all are paranoid schizophrenics does not get us anywhere closer to preventing or reducing mass killings.

        You want an answer where there isn’t one.

        You keep accusing me of seeking Utopia – but that is false.
        The world libertarians seek is not utopia, bad things still happen.
        It is just a better place than is created by your incessant desire to find a state remedy for every problem.

        I do not have an equally bad remedy.
        I have no remedy at all. I am not going to do something to accomplish nothing except make the state larger more intrusive and costly.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 5, 2017 6:50 pm

      It seems impossible to get through to so many, that this kind of regulation is stupid.

      Ban Bump stocks and they are going to show up as something you can 3D print.

      I do not personally see them as having much value – from what I can tell, they increase the rate of fire at substantial cost to accuracy.

      But we are arguing different world views.
      The left seems to beleive we are all clones of each other. That we are not allowed to have unique wants, desires and values. That is a natural consequence of trying to convert false constructs like equality and fairness into values or principles.

      We are not equal – that is just how it is. We can consciously decide to structure our society to act as if we are equal – in extremely narrow ways – we can as an example be equal with regard to the law. But even that requires substantial effort and always falls short – which is essentially what those protesting police shootings are arguing.
      But the more ways in which we try to pretend that we are equal the more we are using force to try to make the world different from what it is.
      Expanding equality has two significantly negative impacts:
      More equality mean more use of force.
      More equality means less resources devoted to increasing the quality of life for all.

      Do I really need to explain that efforts to more equality must mean lower quality of life ?

      The competing value to equality is freedom. they are antipodal.
      Humans are not ants. Free humans are different – unequal, and it is our differences that make the human world rich and wondrous. But those differences are diminished as we drive towards equality.

      Freedom means living in a world where everything is permitted – except those very few things we choose to deny.
      Quality of life requires keeping what is not permitted to a minimum,
      because denying requires the use of force and force is not free,
      and because denying – is denying – it means that some good things never happen.

      In the scheme of things in the world bump stocks are inconsequential.

      But regulating them is a huge demonstration of the stupidity of the left.
      Because fundimentally they are unregulatable.
      Because this is a pointless gesture to feel like we have done something.

      Elsewhere I noted that Austrialia gun ban had an effect on suicides.
      Well this event has resulting in lots and lots of the studies of Austrialia surfacing.
      and aparently even that is not true The rate of gun suicides dropped in Austrialia post the ban, but the rate of non-gun suicides dropped by even more. The conclusion of statisticians is that the decrease in gun suicides is part of a trend in reduced suicides and has no relation to the ban.

      I keep asking those of you who are pro government everything to find examples where some law or regulation showed an impact in a trend.
      The australian suicide claim is an example of why we must look at changes in trends rather than absolute changes.
      Because in almost everyway our lives are actually improving all the time.
      If we pass a law and lo and behold a few years later suicides are down – it is easy to credit the law. But if that law did not change the trend, then the law is not the cause of the benefit – the law was actually ineffective.

      Further in the instance of Australia we have something close to a control.
      Austrailia and New Zealand are culturally extremely simple.
      When Austrailia banned guns – New Zealand did not.
      Yet there are no differences in trends between Australia and New Zealand.

      So the positive effects of Austrailia’s gun ban was – nothing.

      It is also now coming out that there is a pronounced negative impact.
      Austrailia is experiencing an explosion of destructive “varments”
      because they are not being shot and other ways of reducing their population are ineffective.

      So congress prepares to ban bump stocks which will accomplish exactly nothing.
      The left will celebrate a meaningless victory,
      and those who actually want bump stocks will get them.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 5, 2017 6:58 pm

      Stories of Jim Crow and Civil Rights are coming out as a result of all of this.

      Rosa Parks related that meetings of Civil Rights leaders at her home involved large numbers of handguns on the table.

      That well armed blacks with multiple shotguns were responsible for protecting witnesses to the trial for the murder of medger evers.

      That civil rights workers int he south often had thompson sub machine guns under their beds, or loaded shotguns propped in each corner of their bedroom.

      One of the reasons for recent SCOTUS victories regarding guns – is not the legislative history of the 2nd amendment, but that of the 14th.

      When the 14th amendment was drafted its authors discussed and specifically intended that the equal rights of all people – particularly blacks included the right to guns.

      Gun rights for blacks was a critical reason for the success of blacks in the south in the decade immediately following the Civil War.

      The birth of Jim Crow occurred when Grant looking to end the occupation of the south by federal soldiers, turned a blind eye to disarming blacks as the soldiers left.
      The early gains of blacks disappeared quickly.

      • October 5, 2017 8:58 pm

        Dave, the key to this, and I believe you would agree, is the fact blacks were freed by 13th amendment. Women got the vote by 19th amendment. 18 year olds got the vote by 16th amendment. Congress can not give itself a pay raise due to the 27th amendment. (Congress can vote for increase pay for following congresses, but not the current one in session when the vote is taken. And the 22nd amendment makes it almost impossible for a party to allow their president to set for more than two terms. Just think, with a super majority like Obama had, they could have changed a law in 2009 and Obama could still be president had the 22nd never been passed.

        All of these happened because those in congress at the time did not want a future congress coming back and changing the law, so they amended the constitution to make it damn near impossible to change what they voted in and the states ratified.

        Now if they want to ban bump stops fine. That is a weapons accessory, just like a suppressor is an accessory. And I do not see any congress coming up with the idea to change an existing law to allow machine guns again. But when you get into the weapons that hunters use for hunting (semi-automatic .22 to .27), basically a high powered 22 rifle that shoot multiple bullets for larger game, then you are getting into the weeds between the supporters of the 2nd amendment and the opposition of that same amendment.

        So in order that some congress can not come back in the future and with a super majority and a setting president of the same party, reverse whatever they come up with today, pass the 28th amendment and let the states ratify. Then its concrete, can not be changed based on the direction of the wind in D.C. and almost an act of God will be needed to repeal and reinstate the 2nd amendment.

  72. Hieronymus permalink
    October 5, 2017 12:48 pm

    Ron, You can have as many civics classes as you like. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights have practically no unambiguous meaning, they are brought into reality by court decisions. Someone who wants to have a truly informed opinion of the 2nd amendment or pretty much any part of basis of our law, would have to read more than 200 years of legal opinions and court decisions along with that civics class. Not to mention a truly deep reading of history. That level of understanding is not feasible for any but a very few people. Even those few are divided into camps, left, right, and other. I have done enough reading on the 2nd amendment this morning to be satisfied that an intelligent person, armed with actual facts could take many very different stands on what it means and claim loudly to be in possession of the absolute unambiguous truth. Which is obviously the issue and the reason we have a court system and a supreme court.

    At this point Dave will tell me that I am wrong and there is only one literal way the Constitution and Bill of Rights and 2nd amendment can be read. Sorry, that view has its adherents, but the existence of the court system itself makes it obvious that this simplistic view is not practical and has not triumphed.

    The fact that there is semi reasonable discussion today on banning bumper stocks and the fact that there are many gun control laws on the books, state and federal, give me hope that as time goes on we may disarm. The fact that nearly everyone (and everyone I would call sane) has recognized that automatic weapons have been legally banned tells me that there is still some common sense left.

    The idea that in today’s world private citizens with firearms are going to reign in a tyrannical US government sounds more like a call for any loon with his own views to assassinate, say, trump, or take over a federal facility like the Bundys, or blow up a federal building like McVeigh. When I hear people talking about using weapons on the government in this day in age I think exclusively of bad actors. You do get people like trump and Rand Paul and other politicians, in every case I have heard of, conservative ones, threatening a 2nd amendment remedy if they don’t win.

    Maybe they never had that civics class?

    Here is a liberal point of view on this, I like it:

    “In 2008, the Supreme Court recognized–for the first time in American history–the “right to bear arms” as a personal, individual right, permitting law-abiding citizens to possess handguns in their home for their personal protection. Two years later, it held that both state and federal governments must observe this newly discovered right.

    Curiously enough, the far-right responded to these radical victories as if the sky had fallen. During hearings on the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions direly warned that the two gun cases–Heller v. District of Columbia and McDonald v. City of Chicago–were 5-4 decisions. “Our Second Amendment rights are hanging by a thread,” he said. The idea that the rights of ordinary gun owners are in danger is a fallacy.

    A second, and more pernicious, fallacy is embodied by this quotation from Thomas Jefferson, America’s third president:

    When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
    Wait a minute, Epps! Who could argue with Jefferson? Well, not me, to be sure. But there’s a problem with this quote, as there is with so much of the rhetoric about the Second Amendment.

    It’s false.

    If good government actually came from a violent, armed population, then Afghanistan and Somalia would be the two best-governed places on earth
    As far as scholars can tell, Jefferson never said it., the official website of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, says, “We have not found any evidence that Thomas Jefferson said or wrote, ‘When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny,’ or any of its listed variations.” The quotation (which has also been misattributed to Samuel Adams, Thomas Paine, and The Federalist), actually was apparently said in 1914 by the eminent person-no-one’s-ever-heard-of John Basil Barnhill, during a debate in St. Louis.

    As bogus as the quote is the idea that the purpose of the Second Amendment was to create a citizenry able to intimidate the government, and that America would be a better place if government officials were to live in constant fear of gun violence. If good government actually came from a violent, armed population, then Afghanistan and Somalia would be the two best-governed places on earth. As we saw from the 2010 shootings in Tucson, Arizona, the consequences for democracy of guns in private hands, without reasonable regulation, can be dire–a society where a member of Congress cannot meet constituents without suffering traumatic brain injury, and where a federal judge cannot stop by a meeting on his way back from Mass without being shot dead.

    But that image of a Mad Max republic lives on in the fringes of the national imagination. It is what authors Joshua Horwitz and Casey Anderson call “the insurrectionist idea,” the notion that the Constitution enshrines an individual right to nullify laws an armed citizen objects to. Its most prominent recent expression came from Senate candidate Sharon Angle, who predicted that if she was unable to defeat Democratic Sen. Harry Reid at the ballot box (which she couldn’t), citizens would turn to “Second Amendment remedies”–in essence, assassination. Rand Paul also likes to hint that the remedy for rejection of his libertarian policies may be hot lead. quotes him as saying, “Some citizens are holding out hope that the upcoming elections will better things. We’ll wait and see. Lots of us believe that maybe that’s an unreliable considering that the Fabian progressive socialists have been chipping at our foundations for well over 100 years. Regardless, the founders made sure we had Plan B: the Second Amendment….”

    In other words, right-wing politicians implying that gun violence could be an acceptable political weapon in the US is a real thing. This is how the 2nd amendment can be abused, by the right, and is. And many doing it probably Had those civics classes and took them damned seriously.

    • Jay permalink
      October 5, 2017 1:15 pm

      “The idea that in today’s world private citizens with firearms are going to reign in a tyrannical US government sounds more like a call for any loon with his own views to assassinate…”

      Yes, when I boil down Conservative reasoning on this point it’s that we have to remain armed to be able to shoot US Soldiers.

      • October 5, 2017 2:14 pm

        OK one more time and if ya’all can’t understand what I am saying, then I do not know how to say it any differently.

        1. Define in current technological terms what is and is not a right of the American people to own and possess in the terms of firearms.

        2. Pass that as the 28th amendment to the constitution and send to the states for ratification.

        3. Include in the wording
        Section 1. “The second article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.”
        Section 2. Define the rights included for arms ownership, (if any)
        Section 3. State the requirement that 2/3rds of the states will require ratification before it becomes effective.

        Its that simple and it eliminates all the liberal and conservative crap that always happens when someone decides to propose legislation that impacts a basic right defined in the bill of rights.

        This bump stop bill is just a game that congress always plays to satiate the appetite to do something after some catastrophic event. It will have absolutely no affect on anything going forward other than on a handful of law abiding citizens that would want to use one at a firing range.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 5, 2017 10:30 pm

        There are 350M guns in the US.
        There are 1.2M active military, and 800K reserves.
        Between federal, local and state there are about 1M law enforcement personel.

        No, the new york militia is not going to overthrow the government or resist a military coup.

        At the same time 350M weapons – possibly as many as 10M semi-automatic weapons is more than sufficient to constrain a tyranical government.

        This will always be a relative question – as it should be.

        The more tyranical government becomes, the more impetus there will be to resist.

        As an example if you decide to impose an Austrialia style gun ban.

        Do you think that all guns are going to be turned in ?

        Lets say 1% of people refuse to turn in weapons – that is 3.5M weapons that will remain – that is 3.5M people who you have made criminals.

        Now you need to send the police to confiscate those 3.5M weapons.
        Lets say 1% of the people who refused to turn over their weapons voluntarily, choose to resist your demand to seize them by force.
        that is 35,000 ARMED violent conflicts you are going to have with the police.

        Get a clue. Just a few days of that and all the police are quitting.

        Going back to resisting tryany.

        It is unlikely that people are going march armed to DC and start killing soldiers.

        You seem to understand resisting Tyranny backwards.

        Should we get to that it will be millions of people with guns saying
        The govenrment is not coming into my home.

        You MIGHT be able to persuade the police and military to break down peoples doors to enforce tyranical and broadly opposed laws – if there is no shooting.

        You are not getting soldiers and police to use force generally against an armed population.

        The importance of an armed populace to resist Tyranny is self evident.

        Almost no one on the left is actually willing to propose actual gun bans.
        Because they are not so stupid as to believe that what was done in Austrialia can be repeated int he US without killing 10’s of thousands of people.

        That is the power of the 2nd amendment.

        Government is force. The presence of a large dormant force in the general public in the form of guns, is a constraint on government merely moving toward tyranny.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 5, 2017 10:38 pm


        The requirements for ratification are in the constitution.
        Requirements in an amendment can not be effective until after the amendment is ratified – that is a catch 22.

        Though this would not effect a proposed 28th amendment,
        the reason that SCOTUS has flipped on 2nd Amendment in the past decade is because of 14th amendment scholarship.

        The history of the 14th amendment made it perfectly clear that it was specifically intended to extent an individual right to firearms to southern negros as the means for them to defend the rest of their rights against white southerners.

        While textually the “militia clause” of the 2nd amendment is merely a justification, and therefore carries no extra meaning.
        the 14th amendment made it clear that the right to bear arms was individual applied to the states and had nothing to do with militias.

        Further the 14th amendment was passed in close enough proximity to the founding to imply a better understanding of our founders, and far enough away that we had accepted standing armies and the concept of self defense by militia had passed.

    • October 5, 2017 1:57 pm

      Roby, sorry I can not side with the liberal positions on disarming. When you look at history in this country, things people want will not keep them from getting them. Drugs. Easier to get off the street than getting a prescription from your doctor. Alcohol, made illegal in the 20’s, how’d that work out. many other things I could add, but too wordy.

      I am not trying to be part of the rigid right that will not give on anything like Dave. So fine, ban bump stops and someone like me will figure out a way to make something cheap and easy and post it on You Tube. Someone like the Las Vegas shooter would figure out how to make his gun rapid fire. With the technological background kids have today, they will be able to make things much better than their parents and grandparents who bought everything.

      So we ban guns today. 100 years from now there may be a country almost free of guns. But how many mass murders take place in that 100 years if we do not address the real cause of this problem? And with technology moving like it is, guns may not be the weapon of choice in a few short years. I have no idea what it might be, but anyone who would have said cars would be driving themselves across country 20-25 years ago would have been looked at somewhat funny. The internet was just getting started for the average American. And then we had the dial up modem to even connect.

      Now, if you and anyone else wants the guns removed from society, then the way to do it is through an amendment to repeal the second amendment and update it with current technological information, especially with the screwed up SCOTUS we have today. Just look at the gerrymandering case. 4 rigid supporter of Wisconsin, 4 rigid supporters for the liberasl in Wisconsin and all the hours of arguments aimed at one Justice, that being Kennedy.

      And at the same time we repeal and replace the 2nd amendment, the 1st amendment needs to be included to put a muzzle on people and what they can and can not say in the press and on the internet. Hate speech driving (in some cases) marginal nut cases to mass murder should also be banned, but that also needs to be an amendment and not a law based on some political parties whim.

      I am not against doing something, but I want it done the right way and not by a severely divided government that today passes a law and then 4-8 years later the other party has a super majority and reverses those laws. Or better yet, they decide to let the law have a sunset provision like so many, even past gun laws, and then the new party does not extend existing law.

      • Hieronymus permalink
        October 5, 2017 2:12 pm

        I do not believe that I have any wishes about regulating guns and their accessories that would involve repealing the 2nd amendment. The ban on bumper stocks may occur under the 2nd amendment, as well as that on automatic weapons. I see no chance of a repeal of the 2nd amendment unless society changes really radically somewhere in the far off future. Nor does someone like me want it. I do want some restrictions on things that are obviously dangerous, like that musician who was in the middle of the shooting whose quote about changing his mind on the guns is now in the headlines. I doubt he meant to repeal it, just to work within it to get the absurd level of firepower down to to a dull roar.

      • October 5, 2017 2:22 pm

        Roby, interesting article. Not too long and I found it to have information that i was unaware of, like these are actually used for hunting and the caliber is small, not large like I thought they were. Would you allow these or not in your ” world” if you wrote the new law?

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 5, 2017 2:53 pm

        Roby, I think you are saying something similar to something I heard today: “Cars are legal, but it’s not legal to drive them at 100 mph”

        What we’re debating is the “speed limit” for firearms. Obviously, the analogy is not perfect, but there are varying points of view as to what constitutes going over the speed limit. And, as we all know, many of not most people go over the speed limit anyway.

        The problem is that there ARE people on the left who want to confiscate and ban guns, but they want to do it in such a way that they appear to be simply banning extremely powerful military-style automatic weapons, when, in reality, their goal is to redefine popular legal weapons as such things – hence, the “assault weapons” bans that have been repeatedly overturned in courts.

        Once one side is convinced that the other side will not rest until it has achieved unconditional surrender, that side will fight often to the death. And that’s where we are.

        It’s indisputable that the Constitution guarantees the right to own guns. No amount of incrementalism is going to be successful until that right is abridged or repealed.

        But there is room for reasoned discussion about limits, and that’s why I say that the time to have that discussion is anytime OTHER than the highly emotional period following a mass murder. But no one listens to me… 😦

      • October 5, 2017 6:30 pm

        Priscilla, I am listening. And that is why I proposed an amended constitution. In preparing that amendment, to pass 2/3 rds of the states it would have to be acceptable to a wide range of thinking. It could not be the Pelosi/Shumer legislation and it could not be the Ryan/McConnell legislation. It could not be a reactionary action to some catastrophe because it might take up to seven years to get ratified and much can change in seven years.

        To make something that future congresses can not change without courts getting involved with challenges to legislation, it takes an amendment. In addition, each state have their own gun laws. An amendment over rules those laws, but statez will not complain since 2/3rds backed it.

        Otherwise, we will argue this issue and be divided for years to come.

      • Hieronymus permalink
        October 5, 2017 3:13 pm

        Basically the rifle I used in the Army, without the automatic feature of the M16. Would I allow into my “ideal” world? Maybe not. Am I dreaming about a ban on it now, no, not as things stand. I am not naive.

        I bought a .22 rifle, from a private person when I first moved to rural vermont, for protection. I do not even know what make it was. I paid like $85 for it, it had a scope as well. Rounds were loaded into a long tube parallel to the barrel, something like 20 of them. It could be fired quite fast, I could have emptied it in ten seconds or less. Very accurate at say 200-300 feet, I could hit an egg sized object most times. Sold it with an ad in the paper when I realized I did not need it. So, I know that mundane firearms exist that will send a lot of rounds downrange quickly and accurately. I am not naive, they are not going anywhere.

        Lets say that the bumper stocks are outlawed. We will never know if there was some person whose impulse to commit mayhem was derailed by lack of easy availability of that item. Mass murders that Didn’t happen are invisible. I am willing to support some things that may prevent something, something we will never know didn’t happen. Perhaps that something would be another Sandy hook. Ya gotta try, can’t just leave it to fate.

      • Hieronymus permalink
        October 5, 2017 5:20 pm

        The cars and speed limit analogy works for me and I can’t argue with anything you said Priscilla, other than “that’s why I say that the time to have that discussion is anytime OTHER than the highly emotional period following a mass murder.” After a slaughter is the time to talk about gun control, while the NRA is in hiding and people in general still have not just accepted this, as they will in a few weeks or sooner.

      • Jay permalink
        October 5, 2017 7:15 pm

        Most people I talk with about gun control, Ron, don’t want to eliinate Guns, they only want to reduce/limit automatic-type weapons that shoot a lot of bullets fast, and they generally want to keep guns out of the hands of those with too many loose marbles rattling in their heads. The goal isn’t to reduce crime, but to reduce mass shootings.

        Australia accomplished that. Overall crime rates stayed about the same, but they haven’t had any mass shootings since they banned certain classes of guns. And it doesn’t appear that home robberies increased as a result. Citizens still own guns for self protection – but not high powered multi shot weapons.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 6, 2017 5:16 pm

        “I do not believe that I have any wishes about regulating guns and their accessories that would involve repealing the 2nd amendment.”

        Oh ?

        Does the first amendment right to free excercise of religion, allow govenrment to ban islam – that is a more dangerous religion ?
        Or ban services on Saturday – that is merely an accessory function ?

        A right is something that govenrment can not interfere with.
        Otherwise the concept of right is meaningless.

        Not interfere, means not interfere.
        It does not mean interfere a little.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 6, 2017 5:40 pm


        “Most people I talk with about gun control, Ron, don’t want to eliinate Guns, they only want to reduce/limit ..”

        “Most people I talk with about birth control, Ron, don’t want to eliminate birth control. they only want to reduce/limit …”

        No matter what it is about CONTROL of other peoples lives.

        You may use force against others:
        To punish their initiation of force
        You may punish people who shoot guns at people,
        not people who own guns.
        To compel them to keep agreements.
        To compel them to make whole those they harmed.

        That is it. there is no instance of banning things that falls into one of the justified uses of force.

        You just plain do not get,
        There is no limit to our desire or beleif that we know best how others should live. While man revolted against monarchs to gain control of their own lives, the evidence is that self governing people are more inclined to dictate how others must live than kings.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 5, 2017 8:27 pm

      “You can have as many civics classes as you like. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights have practically no unambiguous meaning, they are brought into reality by court decisions.”

      You are confusing the stupid mess that the left has made of our courts and law with the actual rule of law.

      i.e. you are absolutely wrong.

      Law by definition means what it says.
      The fact that words change meaning over time, does not mean that law changes meaning over time.
      We change the meaning of law, by changing the law. It is quite simple.

      The role of judges in “interpretting” constitutions and laws, is essentially that of historical grammarians and textualists.

      To the extent that law changes or evolves or meaning changes, it is because legislatures change the law.

      It is true that legal precedents play a role – but all that means is that absent strong evidence that past judges (or lower courts) misunderstood the law, we should defer to the analysis done by those closer to the crafting of the law and hopefully more familiar with the law at the time.

      This is actually the system of stautory and constitutional interpretation that is mostly used throughout the country and in state and local courts.

      It is a centuries old tradition.

      It is the only judicial approach that conforms to the rule of law.

      And the left has broken it – possibly unfixably.

      Your approach – that the law or constitution means whatever the consensus of 9 justices say it means, is lawless. It is the rule of man, not law.
      It results in a mess that is near impossible to repair.

      We do not need to agree on regulation, to agree that a great deal of the regulation that we have is crap. Farm subsidies as an example have never worked – not during the depression, not in Europe, not in india, not anywhere. They have always ultimately worked to produce exactly the opposite result as desired, they have always ultimately become tools of the strong and big to oppress the weak.
      Ted Turner is receiving farm subsidies

      This is a problem that is now nearly or actually impossible to fix.
      Every single regulation ever passed has winners and losers.
      Once passed the winners nearly always fight forcefully to avoid any roll back.
      Often they fight to expand something that is failing.
      Regulations pretty much always sound good – they pretty much always are sold as remedies to some serious problem. While they never turn out to be remedies they always turn out to benefit someone.

      It is damn near impossible to get congress to repeal something with diffuse costs and concentrated benefits.

      But our constitution prohibited government interference in contracts – and all regulation is interferance in contracts. For 130 years that significantly choked federal and state regulation. but the damn having been broken, it is impossible to go back.

      Even Scalia were he alive would not return us to the Locherner era – nor will Gorsuch.
      Not because of stare decisis. Not because of rules of constitutional interpretation.

      But because no supreme court justice – no matter how seriously they take the text of the constitution, is going to declare overnight that nearly all regulation since 1930 is unconstitutional and that nearly every govenrment agency is primarily involved in unconstitutional work.

      Even simpler issues – the constitution reserves SOLEY to congress all legislative – regulatory authority. The EPA has no constitutional authority to make law, draft regulations, ….. The executive branch of government is there to EXECUTE the law, not to create it. Creating law is solely the job of congress according to the constitution.

      But it is unlikely that you will get SCOTUS to enforce those provisions of the constitution.
      Because the change would be too “disruptive”.

      None of this is about how the constitution is “interpretted”.
      It is merely a reflection of the fact that SCOTUS is not going to rule disruptively.
      Or atleast not in a way that disrupts government.

      Ultimately your approach means that you have a near one way ratched to ever growing government. Which means you are on the slow train to catastrophic failure.

      If we can not restore the rule of law through the courts and there is no principled way to do that without disruption, then we will get there ar different way – either we will have revolution, or we will have collapse.

      The only question is when.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 5, 2017 8:53 pm


      While it is my understanding that you do not claim to be steeped in political philosophy,
      much of what you are arguing is litterally neo-post-modern marxist bunk.

      It is premised on the idiocy that somehow all ideas are equal.

      You correctly note that I am going to attack your claim regarding constitutional interpretation.

      But you fail to grasp several issues with your argument.
      First – using your own nonsense – my approach is equally valid as yours.

      But there is a much more fundimental argument.
      While I can give a good legal and philosophical argument for the “originalist” approach.

      There is a much simpler argument – nothing else actually works.

      You and I get into this battle all the time.

      We are debating “bump stocks” now. I do nto care much about bump stocks.
      The world will not end if bump stocks are regulated.
      Still foreseably there will be only bad consequences.

      As Ron noted he is pretty sure he can whittle one himself.
      They can also be fabricated with rudimentary metal working skills.
      And certainly they can be easily 3D printed,

      There will absolutely be a black market. You will not have eliminated bump stocks.
      Those you are most intent on denying access will still have them available to them.

      Worse still (atleast for the left) you will push even more into black markets, and drive even more of things like 3D printing, ….

      Bump stocks themselves are nothing more than a legal innovation to allow people who want something that you have decided must be illegal to get what they want anyway.

      Aside from black markets in bump stocks, you are likely to increase the black market in automatic weapons. Which again only exists because of your laws.

      Outside of the movies we have had very very few instances where automatic weapons were used in crimes – mostly rare instances during prohibition.
      Which should give you even more clues as to why your approach will not work.

      Regardless, maybe we do get less bump stocks. One gun expert one the news indicated that Bump Stocks were kind of stupid, because they are expensive and significantly decrease a guns accuracy, and just about any semi automatic weapon can be modified for full automatic operation in 4-5 minutes using information readily available to anyone on the internet.

      So instead of bump stocks – those who desparately want full auto, will modify AR-15’s and other semi-automatic weapons.

      Anyway, my actual point is bad ideas fail – they do not work.
      You can dislike what I claim about constitutional interpretation,
      But the alternatives self evidently do not work.

      Presumably you agree that there is much bad legislation out their.
      I would hope you are not going to try to defend farm subsidies as an example.

      Well almost a century of experience with alternate schemes of constitutional interpretation has produced no means of terminating farm subsidies.

      It is pretty much inarguable that our founders never would have supported such nonsense.

      To summarize:

      The fact that the we may have many ideas, many views, does nto make all views equal.
      There are many ways to argue competing views to determine which are more true than others – we do not need some concept of absolute truth.
      We can demonstrate – in theory, by logic, by principle, and in practice which ideas are better than others.

      Not liking an idea is not a basis to reject it.
      But its not working – particularly its predictably not working is.

      The ideas of the left not only predictably do not work, but historically they do not work.

      We are not in a binary situation.

      • Hieronymus permalink
        October 6, 2017 9:40 am

        While it is my understanding that you do not claim to be steeped in political philosophy,
        much of what you are arguing is litterally neo-post-modern marxist bunk.”

        Dave, this as your Aspergers talking.

        A.) You have understood the meaning of next to nothing I said correctly. That is Aspergers when done to the level you have done it for years.

        B) I have told you many times that I am not interested by now in the harangues and lectures you address to me and that find you an extremely poor source, not worth my time to read when you go over the edge and start haranguing. I recently told you that when you get into your harangue mode I am going to bring up your Aspergers issues, but you have not processed that information. Asperger’s minds are never wrong and are not the least bit truly interested or respectful of other people’s points of view. To you, other people’s thoughts are only interesting as a starting point for one of your fanatical lectures.

        Its not your fault you have that kind of mind, but I am not interested in your lectures.

        C) Black and white thinking, you seem to see almost no distinction between Stalin, Mao, and an article in the Atlantic. 100 million killed by the left! one of your posts informed us. Which is relevant in the US how? Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot have nothing to do with the US democratic/liberal voters and politicians.

        There are numerous other hallmarks of Aspergers that your torrent of nonsense exemplifies.

        Now, I can elaborate, I can get into it good and serious about the relationship between Asperger’s behaviors and your extreme libertarian philosophy (your own words) and your extreme posting pattern. Or I can spare everyone the spectacle of your becoming increasingly agitated and incoherent and going even further into right field than merely accusing me of “neo-post-modern marxist bunk”. My choice is that I’ll leave you to your harangues and beat feet outa here till Ricks next post. It will be interesting to look in now and then and observe how long you can continue this particular harangue about my supposed marxist views without any response from me.

        I’ve bet myself a slice of cheese cake on the issue of how long you can continue haranguing my recent posts. Please don’t let me down!

      • dhlii permalink
        October 6, 2017 4:51 pm


        Back to this stupid internet diagnostic nonsense.

        Do not have autism. Do not have aspbergers – a form of autism.

        You seem to be confused, because much of the time I take you fairly literally.

        That is deliberate. We are discussing law and govenrment, not fiction and poetry.

        When you are discussing the use of force you are obligated to do so unambigously – clearly. You should expect that your arguments, and words will be taken fairly litterally.

        We would not want a law establishing that Bears were an endangered species to be taken to mean men with an abundance of body hair.

        If you wish to have a discussion of poetry, art, music, then you can complain when I read your words litterally and precisely.
        We are not discussing Beethovens 9th we are disussing the 2nd amendment.
        We are discussing government, and the justified use of force.
        Do you want force to be used indiscriminantly ?

        This is not about aspbergers, and your deflection to it is either stupid or vile.

        Regardless, it is an effort to escape the failure of your own arguments.

        Mao, killed more than Stalin, Stalin more than Hitler, Hitler more than Pol Pot, Pol Pot more than Castro ….

        It is still all statists. Some examples of statism have resulted in less copious blood than others.

        The left is not the only form of statism, nor are all incarnations of the left equally bloody. Blood does sometimes source outside the left.

        None of this changes the ultimately murderous nature of the left.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 6, 2017 5:02 pm


        Still responding to argument with ad homimen.

        While your response is erroneous – no aspbergers here.

        It would not matter if true.

        An argument is not disproven or a valid counter argument made by disparaging the person.

        Labeling the person autistic, diagnosing them with aspbergers, or even labeling the argument as haranguing – are all fallacious.

        They are all stupid or repugnant.

        TNM is for the most part a pretty civil place.

        You are not civil. You confuse insult with argument.

        Since you seem to get into psychology, in Transactional analysis, that is called a crossed transaction. It is a game, it is about an emotional payoff, not knowledge. It is a deliberate effort to derail logic and reason and transform discusion to emotion, or judgement.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 5, 2017 9:02 pm


      Government must be simple – otherwise it fails.

      One of our fundimental principles is that “ignorance of the law is no excuse”
      Inseparable from that principle is the requirement that the law must either be intuitive or
      simple – or both.

      Govenrment must also be simple because government is tripley expensive.

      Government is by defintion the restriction by force of what we can do.

      Not being able to do things is a COST.
      For a few things – not being able to murder others, it is a cost that has significantly net positive benefits.
      But for most things it is merely a cost.
      So we pay once for all laws in what we do not have as a result of them.
      But we pay a second time – because government is force, and we have to pay to impose law by force.
      We pay a third time because of all the things we lose, because we had to pay for govenrment.

      Every law, every regulation that we pass slowly reduces our future.

      Absent constraint, failure is inevitable, and likely extremely disruptive.

      You pretend I am naive because I tell you government must be simple.
      That should be self evident.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 5, 2017 9:23 pm


      I would strongly encourage studying history – not just of the 2nd amendment, but of many other things.

      But you have a bizzare way of understanding history.

      You do not seem to have any interest in what worked and what did not,
      and are more interested in what past approaches appeal to you and which did not.

      I do not disagree that the constitution is a “living” document.
      It must be changed when we find it is not working.

      I do not think either of us, or anyone else disagree on that.
      The only question is how.

      We have tried a number of approaches.

      Hopefully you would agree that an approach that results in multiple possible concurrent meanings is deeply flawed. The more possible results an approach provides the more political the judiciary becomes.
      Do you believe that our courts should be deciding based on politics ?

      Exploring history and discovering that the supreme court has shifted all over on some issue does not mean that the result was always right – was Dred Scott decided right ?
      Was Plessey v. Fergusson ?

      Noting that historically the court has been all over the place on some issue, just means it has often been wrong. We can learn from what is wrong.
      One of the things we should learn is how to avoid being wrong in the future.

      You argument on so many things seems to boil down to, “there are many ways to do something, so mine is as good as any other”.
      That is post modern neo-marxism. It is also obviously wrong.

      The presence of many ideas does not make all ideas equal, It does not make them all work.

      If you wish to demonstrate that there is an approach to statutory interpretation that does a better job that historical textualism of delivering “the rule of law, not man”
      that is means of interpretation that delivers the same answer consistently
      Regardless of who the parties are, regardless or the emotions involved, regardless of the party or beleifs of the justices in question – then by all means offer it.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 5, 2017 9:34 pm


      Austrailia has disarmed.

      There has been no change in any relevant trends – except that now people are less able to effectively deal with pest animals.

      That is it.
      Your future aspiration is to disrupt the country for no benefit.

      This is a major part of what is wrong with the left.

      It is enough for you that you feel god about what you do.
      It is entirely irrelevant whether you actually do good.

      I beleive that it is stupid for the federal govenrment to ban bump stocks.
      Frankly I beleive it is stupid to ban automatic weapons
      First Paddock managed to get one anyway,
      and second laws that are easily circumvented just mean restrictions on the freedom of those who are not a problem and no effect on those who are.

      I do not believe the 2nd amendment prevents regulating bump stocks.
      I do being the constitution does.

      What you are calling “being reasonable” is just being stupid over something small.

      I do not understand why we have to go through demonstrating to those on the left over and over how their attempts to regulate things to make us safer obviously fail, every time emotions are high.

      I have made the arguments against not merely gun control but all regulation over and over again.

      Specifically with respect to gun control the data is so compelling that only idiots beleive gun control has value.

      And yet, you still aspire to the day when magically we will all agree with you and fart rainbows and “disarm”.

      Your selling a religion.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 5, 2017 10:06 pm

      BTW the Bundy’s have been in court over all those incidents that you seem to fully comprehend.

      They have been consistently winning.

      Much of what you get from the media is distorted.

      As an example the “federal facility” they took over, was private property improperly confiscated by government.

      The feds have repeatedly charged ranchers with “arson” for backburning to confine existing forest fires. They are universally losing these cases.
      But claims that someone is an “arsonist” when all they are is a property owner trying to protect their own property – often from fires the result of government mismanagement.

      Regardless, it is extremely unwise to base your sense of something occuring in nevada or Utah on what reporters from New York City say.

      The Bundy’s do appear to be pretty conservative mormons.

      But federal courts are tending to find them right about the law.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 5, 2017 10:55 pm

      What you think about the deterent effect of an armed population is irrelevant.

      No it is not about angry loons assassinating Trump.

      Do you beleive that a miliary of at most 2M and a police force of another 1M
      are going to be willing to follow orders and engage in armed conflict with large numbers of armed citizens ?

      The question is not who will prevail – though frankly no matter how good the military is and how prolific the weapons are, they can not deal with a population with 350M guns.

      How well did the british do in 1776 ?

      That is closer to what we are talking about.
      Lexington and concorde occurred when the british tried to confiscate the locals guns.

      It took 8 years for the colonists to figure out how to stand up as an Army and successfully battle the British Army toe-toe.

      But Franklin noted from the begining that the outcome was inevitable.

      No military can control a country where the populace is armed and even as little as 1/3 is hostlile.

      Race has come to the forefront at the moment.
      It is wise to really look at the history of race in the US.
      Partly because that will reveal how far we have come, and partly because it should allow you to grasp how difficult it is to deal with an armed hostile population.

      The Civil war was bloody and disasterous – but it did NOT end the issue, as it often contended. The north had to occupy the south militarily for a decade.
      A very expensive proposition.
      Eventually they gave up, and the soldiers left.
      The consequence was nearly a century of Jim Crow.

      Southerners were wrong about slaves, slavery and blacks.
      and it still took more than a century to work past that

      The US Military is constitutionally barred from engaging US citizens on US soil.
      But tryanny presupposes the constitution does nto mean anything anymore.

      It is unlikely that a few million soldiers are going to be willing to use force against unarmed americans absent a strong faith in the righteousness of the government they are following.
      Put arms int he hands of the people and that calculus becomes even more lopsided.

      It is hard to get the military to kill people over something it does nto beleive.
      It is even harder when they are shooting back.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 5, 2017 11:12 pm

      Your citing Garrett Epps as a constitutional scholar ?

      He has been on the wrong(losing) side of nearly every constitutional conflict in the past several decades.

      What quote of Jefferson’s is “fake” there are so many jefferson quotes about guns.

      Are you going to try to claim that the federalist papers are “fake” ?
      Try federalist 46 to start.

      Here is a different Jefferson paragraph on an armed citizenry – right from his papers at montecello – hopefully we can dispense with claims that is “fake”

      An armed populace is not a guarantee of good government. It is merely a bar to a military tyranny.

      Somalia and Afghanistan prove exactly that point.

      Good government must come from the people – it can not be imposed externally.
      The somalis and Afghans do not appear able to govern themselves.
      But they are still quite able to drive out foreign tyrants.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 5, 2017 11:22 pm


      Can you terminate the stupid straw man arguments.

      I am not aware of anyone – except left wing nuts that has thought
      “Second amendment remedies” meant assassination.

      It means a refusal to accept a tyrant, and a willingness to resist tryanny by force.

      That can be as little as being willing to shoot anyone trying to come to your home to take your gun.

      There are many “fake quotes” by our founders. About many topics.

      Regardless there is zero problems finding extremely well documented quotes from nearly every founder about the virtue of firearms.

      While the declaration does nto explicitly mention King George confiscating citizens firearms that was the event that triggered armed conflict.

      The federalist papers do mention arms repeatedly – unless you think that Madison, Jay and Hamilton expected the populace to resist tyranny with sticks that means GUNS.

      Disproving some particular quote here and there does absolutley nothing – because there are hundreds of quotes.

      Are you saying the 2nd amendment itself is fake ?

      Further we know their actions.

      • October 6, 2017 12:06 am

        Dave “I am not aware of anyone – except left wing nuts that has thought
        “Second amendment remedies” meant assassination.”

        They could be referring to the flippant remark I made about removing Trump by hiring an assassin when Jay kept his “Trump Must Go” theme when I said that was the only way he was going to leave office before 2020.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 5, 2017 11:39 pm


      Are you saying that it would be acceptable if the federal government passed laws enslaving you, breaking up your family. executing you, and that if it chose to do these that you would just sit there and take it ?

      To all but an idiot the “2nd amendment” is a legitimate response to government tyrany.
      The only debate is the degree of tryany required to justify gun violence as a response.

      With the exception of McVeigh – who did not use guns, the near universal extreme right militia response – the “2nd amendment solution” is to wait for the tryanical government to come after them and then resist with force.

      At Ruby Ridge – Randy Weaver and his family – pretty right wing extremists, did not resort to guns until fired on by the government.

      An attempt was made to prosecute an FBI agent for murder, but government protected its own and the federal government prevented the state government from prosecuting.

      At Waco – Koresch and his followers responders to an armed government attack.

      I can not think of a real world example of a “2nd amendment response” that was not armed defense.

      You are so deluded about guns that you are incapable of grasping that they serve both offensive and defensive purposes.

      The NAP – non-agression principle is the formal first principle of most libertarians, and atleast informally accepted by the rest.

      I have NEVER heard a single libertarain ever advocate for the use of force of any kind EXCEPT as a response to FORCE.

      Libertarians are the most consistently anti-war of all parties and ideologies.
      We are constantly misrepresented as pacifists or isolationists.

      We are non-interventionists.

      The use of force is only justified in defense against the use of force.

      The “2nd amendment remedy” might well involve a great deal of gun violence.
      But it will be triggered by actual FORCE used against others.

      The prohibition against the initiation of force is the core libertarain principle.

      No libertarian i assassinating anyone.

  73. dduck12 permalink
    October 5, 2017 6:15 pm

    @Priscilla; “It’s indisputable that the Constitution guarantees the right to own guns.”
    No it’s not. No law made by humans is. The only law that is indisputable is the one from a “higher power”, and some of those are under attack.
    This is not a good time to talk about this as it is an emotional issue. Right?
    No, wrong. You don’t “discuss”when your house is on fire, do you. Or go on line to check for symptoms when your spouse is lying in bed shaking with the chills or keels over into his oatmeal. You call an ambulance!
    And as soon as someone proposes a law that infringes on your right to fire as rapidly as possible or as quietly as possible or checks for mental illness, you immediately attack and say we need more mental testing you don’t wait unless you are Harry Reid.
    No equivalency. Yeah, I get that, but both left and right love to push things they don’t like under the rug. Don’t make it right though.
    BTW, automatic weapons are against current federal laws. I don’t don’t think they intended that it is OK to fix a gun at home for automatic fire and NOT be covered by that law.
    Just like pressure cooker bombs are illegal as hand grenades at our kids graduation party.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 5, 2017 9:49 pm

      You confuse “indisputable” with unchangeable.

      Priscilla is correct and you are wrong, and your problem with with the meaning of words.
      Humans wrote the constitution, and they can change what they wrote.

      They can not change what those who did write it meant.
      We can not alter the past. only the future.

      “And as soon as someone proposes a law that infringes on your right to fire as rapidly as possible or as quietly as possible or checks for mental illness, you immediately attack and say we need more mental testing you don’t wait unless you are Harry Reid.”

      As soon as someone proposes a law that infringes on a right – should be the and of legislative discussion. Does not matter whether we are talking about guns or any other right.

      If you are proposing a law that infringes on a constitutional right – you must first change the constitution. Regardless of whether we are talking about guns or birth control.

      Next, even when no actual right is at issue – which is pretty much never,
      there is no reason to contemplate laws that demonstrably will not work.

      Should we pass laws banning floods ? Earthquakes ? Mental Illness ?

      We do not pass laws “when the house is on fire”.

      If you have time to legislate – then you have time to discus.

      Regardless, your argument seems to be “I am highly emotional damnit, let me do whatever stupid thing I want”

      Your right – there is no equivalency.
      Stupid is stupid.
      Unfortunately this will not be the last stupid thing we do.

      BTW private ownership of automatic weapons:
      Was permitted for a long long time.
      Was somewhat restricted from the 40’s through 86,
      is still legal but highly restricted.

      Before, in the middle and after there was never some tidal wave of people seeking automatic weapons.

      Many civil rights leaders in the south in the 50’s and 60’s had and needed Tommy Guns – those are machine guns.

      People were not in the streets mowing each other down by the hundreds.

      • dduck12 permalink
        October 5, 2017 10:49 pm

        Ahem, indisputable: in·dis·put·a·ble
        adjective: indisputable
        unable to be challenged or denied.”
        Despite your retort, all man made laws can be disputed, as you would probably vehemently defend, being a libertarian.

        Aside from the earthquakes and floods, which operate under higher laws- that of nature, you like to bandy about, a law that bans automatic weapons is already on the books and another law really isn’t necessary, but if it gets the bumps stocks and other alterations to semis off the market, then so be it.

        And, hollering that it won’t work is OK, but perhaps we should try it out.
        You supporters of “gun rights” must go back in time and tell us what the writer of the 2nd really meant. Until we can do that you will continue to interpret it your own way: unfettered access and possession of all weapons, and the other sides more realistic interpretation. I will not waste pixels as this debate has been going on for a long time. So don’t dredge it up and waste time. Suffice it to say that there are at least two views, that are “disputable”.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 6, 2017 4:34 pm


        Again you are still making confusing meaning.

        The second amendment says what it says.

        You are conflating challenging a law, with disputing it, that is a misuse of the word.

        Unless you are claiming that the actual words of the 2nd amendment are different than those published, then you are either challenging the 2nd amendment or engaged in that nonsense that words really have no meaning so everything is disputable.

        a part of your problem is conflating statutory interpretation with fiction and poetry.
        Law must be clear and unambiguous. You can not have the rule of law any other way. You can not have the social contract any other way.
        We are not dealing with poetry.
        There are rules for statutory interpretation that go back centuries (and are generally disregarded by the left particularly with respect to the constitution). Those rules are deliberately narrow. The objective is that a law should be understood as narrowly (regarding prohibitions) as possible,
        and as unambiguously as possible.
        Where the meaning of words has changed, then the meaning of a word is what those who ratified it would have expected.

        You can “dispute this” but in doing so, you become lawless.
        That is what it means when you decide that the meaning of law is determined by means hearts or politics or feeling, rather than by its text.

        We can change text, and when we do so long as the same rules of understanding apply, we can know what that changed text unambigously means.

        Once you say legal meaning is determined subjectively by a person, you end up with an endless Matryoshka doll.

        Ginsberg says the 2nd amendment says X, I say that what ginsberg says is Y, you say that what I say that ginsberg says is Z.

        That is lawless – the law of man. Not the rule of law.

    • Priscilla permalink
      October 5, 2017 11:32 pm

      dd12, laws of the land are based on the US Constitution and judged accordingly. That’s essentially what I meant. I get that inalienable rights are those that are not dependent on any government or law, and those are life liberty and the pursuit of happiness (or property, if you want to be an Lockeian originalist) But it’s pretty indisputable that there have been governments that have taken away peoples’ lives, liberty AND happiness/property.

      The Second Amendment, as Dave has correctly noted, was put into the Constitution to essentially guarantee that bearing arms, i.e. owning guns would not be the exclusive privilege and power of the government, in order to prevent the government from using that power in oppressive and tyrannical ways. It guarantees citizens of the US the right to own guns. It just does. Like Ron says, you have to repeal that Amendment, if you want to outlaw all guns.

      I also get what you and Roby (and I presume Jay) are saying about discussing this after a mass shooting…but I disagree. People don’t make good decisions when they’re emotional, angry and upset. They just don’t.

      I actually think we’ve been having a pretty good discussion on the gun control, but I personally think it would be better if we weren’t focusing so much on the Las Vegas massacre. We all wish that we could find a way to eliminate all mass murders, but, as far as I know, it’s not possible, unless we can somehow eliminate human hate and evil. Eliminating guns is not going to do it. And emotional appeals that say basically ” If you don’t ban guns NOW, the next mass killing is gonna be on YOU!” is counterproductive. For one thing, what if the next mass murder is a bombing, as it was in the Boston Marathon massacre?

      Appeals to emotion tend to overlook facts, that’s my point.

      • dduck12 permalink
        October 6, 2017 12:22 pm

        @Priscilla. Do you think that the law banning automatic weapons (1935) was constitutional? The second does not say anything about them, it only says arms. So why was it constitutional, an auto or a flame thrower are arms, and so on.
        When we follow an old out of date provision in the Constitution without applying current circumstances we get where we are. Did the slaves have the right to bear arms, perish the thought. The old rich farmers wrote this thing, and I think it is a wonderful document- for it’s time-, as were the Magma Carter, Pax Romana and Hammurabi’s Law along with all the Christian/Judaeo/Islamic rules and regulations.
        I would like to repeal the second, but if that is not feasible, then at least consider that it may have meant something else at the time.

        Sorry for the rant, but words like indisputable push my buttons.

      • Jay permalink
        October 6, 2017 2:32 pm

        Good points, DDuck…
        Laws limiting weapon types are constitutional.

      • Anonymous permalink
        October 6, 2017 3:57 pm


        Was the law banning automatic weapons unconstitutional ?


        At the time of the revolution, ordinary people could and did own the Pennsylvania rifle – roughly the AR-15 of its day.
        There were not all that many of them, but they were probably instrumental – particularly in new england, we colonials were chased all over new england by british troops, but stayed out of range of british guns and sniped away at the british.

        Quite quickly the revolutionary war shifted to the British controlling cities – particularly ports and colonials controlling everywhere else.

        Regardless at the time of the revolution private citizens could and did own warships, and armies. I do not think our founders would have had a problem allowing private ownership of machine guns.

        Further, machine guns were not absolutely banned in 1935,
        They still aren’t.

        There are civil rights leaders that had tommy guns under their beds when they traveled through the south.

        Aside from a spike during prohibition in US history the use of automatic weapons in crimes is near non-existant.

        There are not alot of things a heavy machine gun is useful for. ‘
        Crime is rarely one of those.
        You only see bad guys spraying the world with machine guns in miami vice.

        I am not actively looking to strike the laws banning automatic weapons today, because regardless of what our founders intended, and regardless of the fact that the impact would be nonexistant. that is not likely to fly today.
        We really like to ban “scary things”. We do not need actual evidence that they actually cause real harm. It is enough that they are scary.

        There is not much reason to fight for machine guns – because I can not think of a use for them. Even Criminals do not find them useful – except in the movies.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 6, 2017 4:12 pm


        “Laws limiting weapons types are constitutional” ?

        You might not. Mostly I do not focus on the constitution – for much this reason.

        Liberty is liberty. We are free to do as we please short of actually harming others.

        Govenrment should NEVER be banning “things”.
        Laws target harmful ACTIONS.

        If I murder someone I should be jailed.
        Whether I did so with a machine gun or a bedroom slipper.

        The anti-federalists objected to the Bill of Rights – not because they had a problem with the rights in it, but because they correctly noted that because specific rights were listed those would become our ONLY rights.

        The constitution is about govenrment – not rights.
        It dictates the specific powers of govenrment.
        Those powers should be construed narrowly.
        Powers that are not enumerated in the constitution do not belong to govenrment. The 9th and 10th amendments make that clear.

        The courts went to a great deal of trouble to find a right to privacy.
        They shouldn’t have needed to.
        There is no enumerated power of govenrment to violate privacy.

        I see nothing in the constitution empowering government to ban anything.

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 6, 2017 5:18 pm

        I mean, when people start arguing that the 2nd Amendment is only about muskets, I wonder….do you also think that the First Amendment doesn’t apply to radio and TV, because those didn’t exist in the 18th century? Does it only apply to the spoken word and documents published on printing presses?

        Historically speaking (and as Anon has pointed out), there WERE assault weapons in existence before the Constitution was written, if, by assault weapons, we are talking about rapid firing guns with large ammunition capacities. And the framers didn’t exclude them, so the “musket” argument just makes no sense to me. I also assume that Ben and the boys had some cognizance of the fact that technological advances would continue after their time. I believe that they based the writing of the Constitution on more timeless principles, and on enlightenment philosophies.

        I think that the disagreement here is that some of us believe that our government could become tyrannical and some of us don’t. Thomas Jefferson, who was somewhat instrumental in the founding, believed that “experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government, those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”

        There are those who think that it’s paranoid to believe that our government could ever incrementally become tyrannical and take our rights away.

        And there are also those who think that our rights are already being incrementally infringed upon.

        The debate will not be over any time soon. On the other hand, that doesn’t mean we should give up and stop debating.

  74. dhlii permalink
    October 5, 2017 9:57 pm


    I would suggest that you actually take a seriously look at the results in Austrialia.

    The positive effect is essentially ZILCH.

    Austrailia had almost no mass shootings before. they had almost none after.
    These are very rare events.

    HOWEVER the mass killing rate in austrailia remained constant – arsons went up.

    For sometime I had heard that the gun suicide rate went down – which it did,
    but the overall suicide rate went down more – part of a longer term trend.

    Further Austrailia can be compared to New Zealand as a control.
    Their culture, populations, ethnicities, and rates of vioelnce are almost identical.
    But NZ did not ban guns.

    There is no difference in trends in any kind of violence between the two.

    Bottomline Austrailia accomplished nothing.

    Except they are now having a problem with large animal pests.

  75. dhlii permalink
    October 5, 2017 11:53 pm

  76. dhlii permalink
    October 5, 2017 11:56 pm

  77. dhlii permalink
    October 5, 2017 11:57 pm

  78. dhlii permalink
    October 5, 2017 11:58 pm

  79. dhlii permalink
    October 5, 2017 11:58 pm

  80. dhlii permalink
    October 6, 2017 12:00 am

  81. dhlii permalink
    October 6, 2017 12:35 am

    This is a dissent on a 9th circuit 2nd amendment case that was eventually reversed by SCOTUS – i.e. SCOTUS agreed with the dissent.

    It is not that long and better than I it covers most of the nonsense Roby spews.
    Either we have constitutional rights or we dont.
    Either they are all broad or they are all narrow.

    The 2nd amendment serves two critical purposes.
    There is no right to free speach or anything else, if you can not use force to protect your rights against the force of others.

    The 2nd amendment is the remedy when all else goes to hell.
    When the rule of law has failed.
    It is not for when we do not like the outcome of the last election, but when government is not holding elections,
    It is a right that must be protected while free, because it is only the wide distribution of guns among a free people that gives any hope to resist tyrants when all freedom is gone and what hope remains are those guns not yet confiscated.
    The jews resisting the SS in warsaw would have taken any weapons they could get – including bump stocks.

    KOZINSKI, Circuit Judge, dissenting from denial of rehear-
    ing en banc:
    Judges know very well how to read the Constitution
    broadly when they are sympathetic to the right being asserted.
    We have held, without much ado, that “speech, or . . . the
    press” also means the Internet, see Reno v. ACLU, 521 U.S.
    844 (1997), and that “persons, houses, papers, and effects”
    also means public telephone booths, see Katz v. United States,
    389 U.S. 347 (1967). When a particular right comports espe-
    cially well with our notions of good social policy, we build
    magnificent legal edifices on elliptical constitutional phrases
    —or even the white spaces between lines of constitutional
    text. See, e.g., Compassion in Dying v. Washington, 79 F.3d
    790 (9th Cir. 1996) (en banc), rev’d sub nom. Washington v.
    Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702 (1997). But, as the panel amply
    demonstrates, when we’re none too keen on a particular con-
    stitutional guarantee, we can be equally ingenious in burying
    language that is incontrovertibly there.
    It is wrong to use some constitutional provisions as spring-
    boards for major social change while treating others like
    senile relatives to be cooped up in a nursing home until they
    quit annoying us. As guardians of the Constitution, we must
    be consistent in interpreting its provisions. If we adopt a juris-
    prudence sympathetic to individual rights, we must give broad
    compass to all constitutional provisions that protect individu-
    als from tyranny. If we take a more statist approach, we must
    give all such provisions narrow scope. Expanding some to
    gargantuan proportions while discarding others like a crum-
    pled gum wrapper is not faithfully applying the Constitution;
    it’s using our power as federal judges to constitutionalize our
    personal preferences.
    The able judges of the panel majority are usually very sym-
    pathetic to individual rights, but they have succumbed to the
    temptation to pick and choose. Had they brought the same
    generous approach to the Second Amendment that they rou-
    tinely bring to the First, Fourth and selected portions of the
    Fifth, they would have had no trouble finding an individual
    right to bear arms. Indeed, to conclude otherwise, they had to
    ignore binding precedent. United States v. Miller, 307 U.S.
    174 (1939), did not hold that the defendants lacked standing
    to raise a Second Amendment defense, even though the gov-
    ernment argued the collective rights theory in its brief. See
    Kleinfeld Dissent at 6011-12; see also Brannon P. Denning &
    Glenn H. Reynolds, Telling Miller’s Tale: A Reply to David
    Yassky, 65 Law & Contemp. Probs. 113, 117-18 (2002). The
    Supreme Court reached the Second Amendment claim and
    rejected it on the merits after finding no evidence that Miller’s
    weapon—a sawed-off shotgun—was reasonably susceptible
    to militia use. See Miller, 307 U.S. at 178. We are bound not
    only by the outcome of Miller but also by its rationale. If Mil-
    ler’s claim was dead on arrival because it was raised by a per-
    son rather than a state, why would the Court have bothered
    discussing whether a sawed-off shotgun was suitable for mili-
    tia use? The panel majority not only ignores Miller’s test; it
    renders most of the opinion wholly superfluous. As an inferior
    court, we may not tell the Supreme Court it was out to lunch
    when it last visited a constitutional provision.
    The majority falls prey to the delusion—popular in some
    circles—that ordinary people are too careless and stupid to
    own guns, and we would be far better off leaving all weapons
    in the hands of professionals on the government payroll. But
    the simple truth—born of experience—is that tyranny thrives
    best where government need not fear the wrath of an armed
    people. Our own sorry history bears this out: Disarmament
    was the tool of choice for subjugating both slaves and free
    blacks in the South. In Florida, patrols searched blacks’
    homes for weapons, confiscated those found and punished
    their owners without judicial process. See Robert J. Cottrol &
    Raymond T. Diamond, The Second Amendment: Toward an
    Afro-Americanist Reconsideration, 80 Geo. L.J. 309, 338
    (1991). In the North, by contrast, blacks exercised their right
    to bear arms to defend against racial mob violence. Id. at 341-
    42. As Chief Justice Taney well appreciated, the institution of
    slavery required a class of people who lacked the means to
    resist. See Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393,
    417 (1857) (finding black citizenship unthinkable because it
    would give blacks the right to “keep and carry arms wherever
    they went”). A revolt by Nat Turner and a few dozen other
    armed blacks could be put down without much difficulty; one
    by four million armed blacks would have meant big trouble.
    All too many of the other great tragedies of history—
    Stalin’s atrocities, the killing fields of Cambodia, the Holo-
    caust, to name but a few—were perpetrated by armed troops
    against unarmed populations. Many could well have been
    avoided or mitigated, had the perpetrators known their
    intended victims were equipped with a rifle and twenty bullets
    apiece, as the Militia Act required here. See Kleinfeld Dissent
    at 5997-99. If a few hundred Jewish fighters in the Warsaw
    Ghetto could hold off the Wehrmacht for almost a month with
    only a handful of weapons, six million Jews armed with rifles
    could not so easily have been herded into cattle cars.
    My excellent colleagues have forgotten these bitter lessons
    of history. The prospect of tyranny may not grab the headlines
    the way vivid stories of gun crime routinely do. But few saw
    the Third Reich coming until it was too late. The Second
    Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those
    exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have
    failed—where the government refuses to stand for reelection
    and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the
    courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees.
    However improbable these contingencies may seem today,
    facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make
    only once.
    Fortunately, the Framers were wise enough to entrench the
    right of the people to keep and bear arms within our constitu-
    tional structure. The purpose and importance of that right was
    still fresh in their minds, and they spelled it out clearly so it
    would not be forgotten. Despite the panel’s mighty struggle
    to erase these words, they remain, and the people themselves
    can read what they say plainly enough:
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the
    security of a free State, the right of the people to
    keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
    The sheer ponderousness of the panel’s opinion—the moun-
    tain of verbiage it must deploy to explain away these fourteen
    short words of constitutional text—refutes its thesis far more
    convincingly than anything I might say. The panel’s labored
    effort to smother the Second Amendment by sheer body
    weight has all the grace of a sumo wrestler trying to kill a rat-
    tlesnake by sitting on it—and is just as likely to succeed.

  82. dhlii permalink
    October 6, 2017 12:56 am

  83. dhlii permalink
    October 6, 2017 12:58 am

    In the UK they are now banning acid – because acid has been used in attacks

    The UK should be the poster child against gun laws.
    More and more and more gets banned in the UK
    and still bad things keep happening.

    • October 6, 2017 10:03 am

      Dave and don’t forget many years ago it was made illegal to carry a knife in public without good reason, unless it has a folding blade with a cutting edge 3 inches long or less. Guess they won’t have anyone carrying a butcher knife to stab someone since it is illegal. Do a search “stabbings in UK” and not one article will appear (not).

      And the ban on transporting anything corrosive in public will sure stop ISIS and radical Islamist’s from throwing that on people in public.

      So lets get rid of all those guns because that will stop all gun violence in America!!!!!!

      • Jay permalink
        October 6, 2017 2:14 pm

        Let’s get rid of the kind of guns capable of causing the kind of death and mayhem we just saw in Vegas.

        Think of this kind of ban like highway speed limit laws: they don’t prevent all speeding accidents, but they surely reduce a significant percent, without causing traffic to stop flowing.

        For example, how would your life be affected negatively if our gun laws were similar to Australia’s?

        How would your life significantly be effected if citizens were only allowed to own two guns each, for home security use?

      • dhlii permalink
        October 6, 2017 3:40 pm


        Oh, do you know that speed limits actually reduce traffic accidents ?

        We actually know that you are three times as likely to be in an accident if you are 5 mph below the average speed of drivers, than if you are 15mph above.

        We also know that we have more problems when people are all traveling the same speed. That everything works better when there are variations in peoples speed.

        Regardless, the fundimental point is that not only do you not know – either about the effect of laws on guns or cars, but you are often wrong.

        We now have very good data on the results of Australia.
        And the answer is that they confiscation of weapons and tough gun laws had no discernable effect.

        Guns do not cause mayhem – people do.

        I can think of alot of ways that Paddock could have killed alot more people without using a gun.

        Austrailia has the same number of mass killings as before.
        Few – because they are rare – even in the US.

        I do not as an example care about bump stocks, and I care very little about silencers.

        But I care alot about stupidity in government.
        I care alot about doing stupid and ineffectual things just to “feel good”.

        Banning bump stocks will change nothing – except perhaps:
        making bump stocks unavailable to ordinary people.
        Apparently Obama approved them because they are useful for people with disabilities. I do not know. I do not care. We should not be banning things just to feel good.
        We will end up with a few people in jail for owning or selling bump stocks.
        If a criminal wants them they will have no trouble getting them.
        There will be no change in mass shootings.

        If you do not wish to be called stupid – quit pushing stuff that is false.

        Most of what claims to be “common sense” is the substitution of feelings for reason, and frequently wrong.

        Almost everything the left disagrees with others about – the left is wrong about.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 6, 2017 3:43 pm

        I can create a poison gas that kill kill many people with stuff I can find in your laundry.

        You home is full of things that can cause the death and mayhem we saw in las vegas.

        For $15 I can build a flame thrower from parts I can buy at an autozone.

        Potent explosives are pretty trivial.
        Starting fires in crowed buildings and beating the fire detection supressions systems is not that hard.

  84. dhlii permalink
    October 6, 2017 1:03 am

    We are going to ban bump stocks and legalize sex work ?

    • October 6, 2017 10:08 am

      Dave, if there is anyone in America that does not think sex for sale was not legalized years ago, they are nuts. The numbers game was illegal until it became the lottery. Prostitution was illegal until it became “escort service”.

      But I know I will get killed for making this statement and the comments will fill up this blog. Why is prostitution illegal to start with? Other than religious groups thinking sex for sale should be illegal, it is a crime with no victims.

      • Jay permalink
        October 6, 2017 2:25 pm

        Prostitution should not be illegal…
        Should it be a legitimate medical tax deduction, like other physical therapy expenses? 😼😇

      • dhlii permalink
        October 6, 2017 3:17 pm

        The internet has made prostitution in the US less dangerous.
        But it remains illegal.

        Kamela Harris was one of the big DA’s going after Backpage.

        I beleive she was part of driving adds off of Craigslist.

        Regardless, the data is in.
        criminalizing prostitution causes all the problems we associate with prostitution – like violence, abuse, explotation, slavery.

        these problems decline to the extent that prostitution is legalized.
        But all regulation of prostitution drives towards abuse.
        The nordic model is only better than that of the US.
        Taxing and regulating – still results in lots of blackmarket prostitution – because most prostitutes can not afford meet the regulations

        No prostitution should not be tax deductible – NOTHING should be tax deductible.

        Flat tax, no deductions.

  85. dhlii permalink
    October 6, 2017 4:19 am

    What happened when England went from an entirely free college system to one of the most expensive in the world.
    Basically the exact opposite of what Bernie wants.

  86. dhlii permalink
    October 6, 2017 4:24 am

    To know what people really think, pay regard to what they do, rather than what they say. – René Descartes

  87. dhlii permalink
    October 6, 2017 5:03 am

    No there is no reason to worry about slippery slopes!

    • October 6, 2017 10:14 am

      Dave, I made the same suggestion a few comments back. No one bit when I said control speech when they control guns.

      I can guarantee the liberals would have no problem with this since they want to ban free speech now given the demonstrations that have occurred on campuses across this nation.

      Gods help us when the millennials really get into positions of control!!!

      • dhlii permalink
        October 6, 2017 3:07 pm

        Millenials are politically wierd.

        First, the accute anti-speach stuff is littlerally the current crop of college students. Haidt and several other profs noted that campus’s have been drifting left for a long time, but did not go nuts until about 2013.

        Millenials lean more heavily left than prior age cohorts – but only specific ways.

        They have favorable impressions of socialism but they do not really understand what it is, and they have almost no historical knowledge of its unbelievable record of failure.

        They also have more libertarian friendly positions than prior cohorts.

        They have a bizarre sense of entitlement, but tat the same time they are LESS concerned about the poor and more likely to beleive that people should help themselves.

        They are more narcisist than prior cohorts.

        I would also note that every cohort shifts right as it ages.
        And the largest shift starts when they enter the job market.

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 6, 2017 5:47 pm

        Millenials have been brainwashed in many ways. They’ve been marinated in social justice, but never taught to critically analyze it.

  88. dhlii permalink
    October 6, 2017 5:11 am

    But modern states would not shoot there own people merely because of they way they were voting ?

    What happened in Catalonia is unlikely in the US. Because we are armed.

    • October 6, 2017 10:17 am

      OH my Dave. Do you really think we would shoot people to control them here if we disarmed them? Heavens no, we would not do that. (Said the Sander/Warrens of the world)

      • dhlii permalink
        October 6, 2017 2:59 pm

        BLM certainly thinks otherwise.

        I think that we already live in a totalitarian police state. Just not a structured or ideological one.

        There is almost no possibility of ending the war on drugs – because that would leave 1/3 of our police and 1/3 of our prison guards unemployed.

        I do not beleive the police are inherently evil.
        I do beleive that they reflect the rule of man not law. That they do as they please, and that we let them so long as they only rarely infringe on those who are powerful.

        While I beleive that aspects of policing – such as shootings, and violence are declining – atleast partly as a result of smart phones and body cams,
        we still have militarized and hormonalized our policing.

        Policing like many other aspects of our state suffer heavily from a lack of accountability.

        Jay an Roby Rant about Trump tweets and other meaningless nonsense.
        My beefs with Trump would be that he ran on ratchetting down the drug war, and Sessions is ratchetting it up. He ran on rolling back asset forfeture and it is going up.
        He reversed Obama’s tepid steps to reign in police militarization – do the police really need APC’s, 50 Cal machine guns, grenades and bayonetts ?

        Mass shootings are near the top of the list of justifications for SWAT.
        The only mass shooting that was impacted by SWAT was sandy hook – Lanza killed himself when SWAT showed up.
        At columbine there were 6 SWAT teams present – none went in for hours.

        One thing that could have impacted Paddock would have been a couple of police snipers. Paddock was unskilled with guns, but his perch meant only someone skilled could interfere with his shooting.

        A few shots at him that even came close would have forced him to back off.

        We still do not know the details but maybe he was stopped by a SWAT team – 70 min after he started. What did they do, bring them in from DC ?

        Trump, said he was winning in afghanistan – or getting out.
        We are now doing neither.

        Regardless, I am judging the president by what he does, not what he says, and by that standard, he is doing better than Obama – mostly, but still bad on many things.

  89. Jay permalink
    October 6, 2017 2:29 pm


    After Rick posted this new thread, the problems I was having with the blog have stopped. No more disconnects and drop outs.

    • Ron P permalink
      October 6, 2017 3:42 pm

      Jay, Rick is only at 289 comments. 1000 is just a couple days away. Then it will start again.

  90. dduck12 permalink
    October 6, 2017 2:52 pm

    JJ, agree with your last four posts.
    I tempted to use the speed limit argument, but feared a fatburger attack.
    BTW: “Federal Definition of a Machine Gun
    For purposes of federal law, a machine gun is defined as:
    [A]ny weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manually reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, and any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.16
    To me that sounds like a law already exists.

    • Priscilla permalink
      October 6, 2017 5:32 pm

      Not sure what a Fatburger attack is, but I used the speed limit analogy a bit further up in this thread.

      The courts have been quite clear in interpreting the 2nd Amendment, particularly in the Heller decision, in which SCOTUS said that Americans have the right to own guns for personal self-defense. The Court has also said that machine guns, i.e. fully automatic guns are NOT protected by the 2nd, because they are dangerous and unusual. And this year, the high court will hear a challenge on concealed carry restrictions.

      Why is it that you are not ok with the Court interpreting the Constitution? Isn’t that its constitutional role? Circular logic there, I know, but what’s up with “we can never ever overturn Roe v. Wade, because the Court found a constitutional right to abortion”, but “We must overturn Heller, because the Court reaffirmed the right to own guns?”

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 6, 2017 5:36 pm

        dd12, I didn’t mean that you have said anything about Roe v. Wade, but Jay has, and many liberals go all stare decicis on Roe, but then pooh-pooh Heller….

      • Jay permalink
        October 6, 2017 7:12 pm

        Heller was a 5–4 decision, decided by the Scalia Conservatives.

        And it narrowly decided that a complete ban of handguns within a defined city’s environs was unconstitutional.

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 7, 2017 12:24 am

        Jay, you might want to check out the Heller decision a it more closely. It was a landmark 2nd Amendment case, not narrow at all, and endorsed gun ownership as part of an inherent personal right to self-defense. The overturning of the DC handgun ban was the issue at hand, but the holding of the court was pretty broad.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 7, 2017 3:11 pm

        Miranda was 5-4
        NYT v Sulivan was 5-4
        Bakke was 5-4
        Kelo 5-4
        Obergefell 5-4
        Fischer V TX 4-3

    • dhlii permalink
      October 6, 2017 6:19 pm

      If you are suggesting that the definition includes bump stocks, that would be wrong.

      The bump stock works by essentially vibrating your finger.
      It is still one trigger pull per bullet, you just can pull the trigger faster with help.

      • dduck12 permalink
        October 6, 2017 6:50 pm

        dhlii: LMAO, like my vibrating finger is OK to those shot quickly instead of slowly. Please!
        Priscilla: What did I ever do to you that you would insult me by calling me a liberal. 🙂
        That should have been fatberg: I have been using that term here, probably too much, to describe the blockage on this blog.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 7, 2017 8:02 am

        “dhlii: LMAO, like my vibrating finger is OK to those shot quickly instead of slowly. Please!”

        Your argument is that bump stocks fit the current definition of an automatic weapon.

        They don’t. It is just that simple.

        Dead people do not wish to be dead.
        They do no wish to be shot slowly, or quickly or stabbed with a knife.

        Killing people is a crime.
        It is a crime done slowly,.
        with a knife,
        with a mouse, in a house on the roof.

        If Paddock killed these people with a rock – still murder.

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 7, 2017 9:57 am

        dd12, sorry about calling you a liberal! What was I thinking?! 😉

  91. dhlii permalink
    October 6, 2017 6:21 pm

  92. dhlii permalink
    October 6, 2017 6:27 pm

    Laws must be enforced. There is no reason to believe your must have excellent serves the people well law will turn out any better than any of the others.

  93. dduck12 permalink
    October 6, 2017 8:26 pm

    Ok, so I have the right to defend myself, so says the Supreme Court. Well, I need at least two guns for my left and right hands. So, two long guns (no cutting down the barrel illegally unless you use black powder- hello founding fathers) and two hand guns. So that’s four now.
    Oh, but I may want to hunt ducks (bastards) so OK on a shotgun. A rifle for Bambi’s decedents, and a varmint rifle. Through in one for target practice on the cheap, say a .22 makes it eight. Would I mind, assuming I’m not a collector, with an exemptoion,

    • dhlii permalink
      October 7, 2017 5:38 am

      The right to defend yourself comes from natural law, not the supreme court.
      The right to bear arms comes from the constitution.

      Where in the constitution does the federal govenrment get the power to decide barrel length ?

      While you are confused about what constitutes a right and why they exist, you are atleast paying lip service to their existance.

      Do you understand what a right is ? It is a freedom that government can not infringe upon – not even with the consent of the majority.
      When the constitution says “congress shall make no law” – that is what a right means.

      Something can be both a right and illegal – that just means that congress has infringed unconstitutionally on your right.

      If you permit government to decide what constitutes arms – by saying that it can restrict barrel length, then why can’t it restrict further ?
      If congress can say that the barrel length must be X, then why can’t it say that guns can not have triggers, and can not fire bullets.

      If you have a right to something – it can not be regulated AT ALL.
      OR if you must use the more relaxed standards of the supreme court
      it can only be regulated when there is a crystal clear compelling societal benefit.
      and where that regulation is done in the most neutral and non-intrusive way possible.

      Once you say that government can dictate the number of firearms you may have, the type, their use, the design, …. you no longer have a right to them, and the words in the constitution are entirely meaningless.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 7, 2017 5:42 am

      If something is a right – it does nto matter if you mind.
      That is the entire point.

      Free speach is not only that speach others find acceptable.
      There is only a right to free speach if you can say what most people find unacceptable.

      We are currently directly confronting this with the left’s nonsense about “hate speach”.

      To the extent hate speach exists, it is EXACTLY what the right to free speach protects.
      We do not need a right to say things that no one is bothered by.

      A right means that you may do something even if others mind strongly.

    • Priscilla permalink
      October 7, 2017 10:31 am

      dd12, the problem with regulating the numbers of guns that a person owns gets tricky, both from a constitutional and a practical standpoint.

      Once the government says that you can only own one, or two, or ten guns, it becomes incumbent on it to come up with a plan to set up a registry for all guns and confiscate the rest. I imagine that a buy-back, similar to what Australia did, would be the least objectionable way to do this. But, 1) Australia does not have a 2nd Amendment type protection for the right to own firearms and 2) Americans own many, many more guns per capita than Australians ever did. and 3) Australians are still buying guns legally ~ they have to provide a reason, and be licensed for each gun, and they can’t legally own semi-automatics, unless you are a “professional shooter.”

      The cultural and legal differences are significant. 1) If the buy-back is voluntary, how does the government find out who has not relinquished their guns? 2) what would be the penalty for non-compliance? Are we prepared to put otherwise law-abiding gun owners in prison? 3) Would we establish a door-to-door program of home invasions by ATF agents, searching for guns? 4) What good would all of this do, if criminals who possess illegal guns are the only ones left with them? 5) When a state inevitably files suit over the 10th Amendment violation, what if SCOTUS rules that the whole thing is unconstitutional?

      • October 7, 2017 11:55 am

        Well here goes the lame Libertarian again. Limiting the number of guns one could own is just one more step in whittling away rights so people do not see whats happening and then one day they say “you can not have that one gun we have let you have since 2075. (Between now and 2075 they reduced from no limit to one in my example, could be more years, could be less)

        We have lost rights as a nation and let government dictate what we can and can not do and we are like the frog in the pot of water that did not realize it was dinner when it slowly went from cold to hot. There are too many example to provide on most any subject, but I can give you one that was in our morning paper.

        Since the early 90’s, there has been a beltway proposed for this area. Over the years it has changed and since the early 2000’s the state provided a “map” for all new road construction. If your property was in that corridor, you were not able to do much with your property because 1. the state did not want people building more structures on it or increasing the value of the property so they had to pay more when they bought it and 2. no one was going to buy a house or property that the state was going to confiscate in a few years. Delays, funding, court challenges, Environmental challenges, etc have delayed this road and it still is not need built. Some houses were bought in 2007, but the majority of the properties are still in the “map”. Finally in 2016, a court ruled that the state had to buy the houses because the properties were encumbered (or some legal mumble) and the state appealed. The appeal is still in the courts to be ruled. So for over 17 years, people have owned properties they can’t do anything with except pay taxes and live in it, even if they want to move. Most people don’t have the money to leave one house empty and move to another.

        Don’t ask me why this has never made it to the supreme court. Has to be some issue with going through the state courts first, but to me this is a prime example of how government has whittled away at the 4th amendment to allow unreasonable seizure of properties or the 5th amendment where private property is taken for public use, without just compensation. In my mind, encumbering properties for more than a decade is unreasonable seizure, but to those in government, it is just protecting the state from much higher costs in the future when the roads are actually built.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 7, 2017 2:39 pm

        Should government decide how many cars I need ?
        How many computers ?
        Steak Knives ?
        Children ?

        If you decide that you are only allowed so many of something – then government must keep track of what you have. Don’t we have government keeping far too much information on us as it is ?

      • Jay permalink
        October 7, 2017 7:08 pm

        Should the government NOT DECIDE how many nuclear weapons you need?
        They HAVE DECIDED you SHOULD NOT drive your car on the sidewalk. You have a problem with that?

        Stop making dumb rationalizations.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 8, 2017 7:58 am

        IF government did not prohibit private ownership of nuclear weapons – do you think everyone would have one ? Do you think anyone would ?

        You seem to think we need laws to prevent things that no one would do.

        BTW I am not sure that we actually have laws prohibiting private ownership of nuclear weapons.

        There is no need for law prohibiting driving on a sidewalk.

        If you can miraculously manage to drive on a sidewalk without damaging anything or harming anyone that is all that is required.

        And again – I am no so sure their are laws against driving on a sidewalk.
        More likely there are laws against hitting pedestrians.

        Regardless, your back pretending I am an anarchist.
        Limited govenrment is no NO government.

        I am not opposed to laws against murder.
        Though I do not think we need separate laws against murder with a gun and murder with a knife.
        I do not have a problem with deadly weapons enhancements – but again
        you are punishing an act of violence – after the fact.

        I am not making rationalizations, though even if I were, all that would matter was that they were valid.

        Your feelings do not make my arguments dumb.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 8, 2017 8:00 am

        BTW, I have driven up on to a sidewalk to avoid being a part of an accident.
        The officers who investigated did not cite me, they congradulated me.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 7, 2017 2:47 pm

        Austrialia’s gun control did not work.

        We have been fighting over gun control for a long time.
        As a consequence both sides have been seeking the holy grail of proof that gun control has a noticeable consequence – good or bad.

        We have found very very little.

        Absolutely gun control reduces gun crimes – though often not nearly as much as expected. But it does NOT reduce violent crimes.

        I had thought that there was evidence that it reduced suicides.
        But apparently more thorough analysis of Australian data suggests even that effect is spurious.

        We are talking about guns at the moment.

        But we are really just dealing with a central issue of regulation.

        That is that there are very few if any examples of ANY regulation having a positive change on a trend.

        I raise this constantly.

        Many of you respond that I am just an idiot.
        But no one has provided an example of any regulation at all that has demonstrably positively shifted an existing improving trend.

        Believing in things without evidence is religion.

      • Jay permalink
        October 7, 2017 4:20 pm

        As usual, you summarize conclusions that are full of crap. Stop distorting the truth with your narrow focus. The main purpose of the law was to cut down on mass shooting. And it ACCOMPLISHED THAT! Plus it’s cut down other gun related crime and deaths.

        “For Australia, the NFA seems to have been incredibly successful in terms of lives saved. While 13 gun massacres (the killing of 4 or more people at one time) occurred in Australia in the 18 years before the NFA, resulting in more than one hundred deaths, in the 14 following years (and up to the present), there were no gun massacres.

        The NFA also seems to have reduced firearm homicide outside of mass shootings, as well as firearm suicide. In the seven years before the NFA (1989-1995), the average annual firearm suicide death rate per 100,000 was 2.6 (with a yearly range of 2.2 to 2.9); in the seven years after the buyback was fully implemented (1998-2004), the average annual firearm suicide rate was 1.1 (yearly range 0.8 to 1.4). In the seven years before the NFA, the average annual firearm homicide rate per 100,000 was .43 (range .27 to .60) while for the seven years post NFA, the average annual firearm homicide rate was .25 (range .16 to .33)

        Additional evidence strongly suggests that the buyback causally reduced firearm deaths. First, the drop in firearm deaths was largest among the type of firearms most affected by the buyback. Second, firearm deaths in states with higher buyback rates per capita fell proportionately more than in states with lower buyback rates.”

        Also check out the armed robbery stats, which also decreased. They include home robberies, which according to the NRA deceivers should have spiked up after the gun buyback went into effect.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 8, 2017 7:19 am

        “The main purpose of the law was to cut down on mass shooting.”
        Because you say so ?

        If the law had eliminated mass shooting but resulted in many times more total deaths from Arson – would it be a good law ?

        Regardless “the Purpose” or the law is irrelevant – you are back guessing at intentions.
        What I have documented is “the consequences” of the law.
        That is not a little detail. Good purposes do not justify bad results.
        The use of force can not be justified – even for good purposes, unless at the minimum you accomplish good.

        ” And it ACCOMPLISHED THAT! Plus it’s cut down other gun related crime and deaths.”
        BZZT, Wrong – read the many many articles with statistical data I provided on this.
        Even concluded the law had no statistically significant effect.

        You used force, and you got nothing.
        That is immoral.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 8, 2017 7:29 am

        Your snopes link is contradicted by actual studies.
        What you have done is proven both yourself and Snopes statistically incompetent unreliable and biased. Not a surprise.

        Further it makes the common stupid mistake of ignoring trends.

        Elsewhere her I have posted the graph that demonstrates that in the US as the total guns have increased violent crime has declined.

        It is actually possible that graph demonstrats causation.
        But that is not a conclusion that can be drawn solely from that graphic.

        Why – for exactly the same reason your Snopes australia claims are wrong.

        In BOTH cases, you are trying to determine the effect of some independent variable on a trend.

        In BOTH cases you must detect a deviation to the trend.

        If you do not – then it is actually MORE valid to conclude that in the US increased gun ownership has dramatically reduced gun crime.

        While changes in Trend should be all you need – and there were no changes in Trends in Austrailia. there also were no changes relative to New Zealand.

        All of this stuff has been extensively studied accross the world for decades.

        The real results:

        There is weak evidence that gun control reduces suicides.
        There is weak evidence that higher gun ownership reduces crime rates.

        That is it.

        Absolutely banning guns reduces gun crimes. But it does not reduce violent crimes.

        Are you trying to say that laws making it more likely that you will die from arson than from a bullet are an important public benefit ?

  94. dduck12 permalink
    October 6, 2017 8:35 pm

    ……to be thus limited and backed up by a central registry (alarms are going off)? Probably not, as those like Paddock and others are just gunbergers. And I would have no problem if they have them all locked or plugged. Of course this won’t help much with the spate of kid shootings using granmas’s gun that they found in her purse or a car pocket.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 7, 2017 6:07 am

      Paddock is the perfect example of what is wrong with regulation.
      I do not know what you think a “gunberger” is but Paddock was not.
      As best as is known thus far he showed no interest in guns until recently.
      He was not knowledgeable about guns or skilled with them.
      He was just wealthy.
      He decided for as of yet unknown reasons to do evil. To kill alot of people.

      His wealth was a tool he used to do so. Guns was the method he used.
      But the objective was mass murder. It is highly unlikely he cared much about the how.

      We also are unsure of the moment whether the who mattered.
      Targetting the Country Music concert suggests he might have had a specific who in mind,
      But purportedly he cased venue’s in chicago and boston that leave the impression that the who of this concert might not have been important.

      So all we know is he wanted to kill alot of people.

      He was smart, and not skilled with guns. His choice to attack a crowd from 300 yards away in a perch reflects that. He was not sniping. The bump stocks increased his rate of fire at the expense of accuracy – he did not care about accuracy.
      He was not a “gunberger” whatever that is. He was a mass murderer.

      Further Paddock is a wealthy older male with no history of mental health problems.

      Purportedly he had an actual automatic weapon. I do not know if that is true or if it was legal. But he would have had no problems legally getting an automatic weapon.

      There are no red flags about Paddock that would have drawn him to anyone’s attention as a potential threat.

      There is no regulation that he would not have either legaly been able to comply with – as I noted, he likely could have gotten a permit for an automatic weapon, or that he was not wealthy enough to circumvent.

      We are fighting over North Koreans nuclear and ICBM programs at the moment.

      Jeff Bezo’s, Elon Musk, and Paul Allen are each wealthy enough to acquire rockets capable of getting to the moon and back. I beleive one of Musk’s rockets is more powerful than the Saturn V – probably the most powerful rocket previously built.

      If someone wealthy enough can create their own ICBM why do you think that you are going to be able to regulate someone like Paddock into safety ?

      Paddock does not as of yet fit any profile of mass killers.

      Mass killers in their 60’s are extremely rare, and nearly always religiously, politically or ideology motivated – we have no evidence of that yet. The other possibility at that age is some very specific undiagnosed brain tumors. Which is my guess at the moment.

      Most mass killers are after infamy – and that is why they are nearly always young males with paranoid schizophrenia. People do not wake up with a desire for infamy in their mid 60’s with no prior signs.

      But the other attribute Paddock shares with mass killers is sufficient intelligence and resourcefulness that no law is not going to be an impediment to attaining his goal of killing people.

      You really do not get it.
      Guns do not kill people.
      People kill people.

      One way or another Paddock was going to kill alot of people.
      It is unlikely that even in a totalitarian regime he would be stoppable.

      Stopping him ahead of time would require luck and numerous serious mistakes on his part.

      There is no law that you can pass that would stop him.
      The complete elimination of guns would not stop him.

      • Jay permalink
        October 7, 2017 4:26 pm

        “As best as is known thus far he showed no interest in guns until recently.”

        Wrong. He had previously purchased and owned 14 other weapons before he went on his buying spree – which happened over the last FULL YEAR.

        UNFORTUNITY they don’t track ammunition sales, which could have tipped off authorities (oh right, you don’t think the government should track those kind of sales) that something ominous was in the works.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 8, 2017 7:37 am

        Paddock was 64 – within the last year is RECENT.

        You think that if tracking gun sales is opposed that it is going to be OK to track ammunition ?

        I do not want government tracking my phone calls either.

        I do not want government tracking US citizens without a warrant.
        And I do not want warrants to be issued without specifically identifying what is to be searched for, and that there is probably cause that the person being searched committed an actual crime.

        I do not care whether the issue is guns or what.

        AS an example – I have no problem with the Obama Administration spying on UAE leaders. But absent a warrant the identify of US persons that they interacted with can not be revealed – not even to the rest of government.

        So why do you think I would support spying on someone ammunition purchases ?

        BTW it is also stupid because plenty of resources exist to load your own ammunition.
        Most serious gun people do that, but to save money and control quality.

        Paddock was not a gun person. He was a mass murderer who chose to use guns, and clearly was not that skilled.
        But he was smart and compensated for lack of skill.

  95. dhlii permalink
    October 7, 2017 8:22 am

    We do not have the ability to a priori prevent evil.

    Even a hypothetical society where there is more supervision than action – so that any attempt to do evil is detected before it can occur would be so inefficient that everyone would starve. It would also be incredibly repressive and totalitarian.

    We pay for our survival and improvement with the acceptance that all evil will not be prevented. With the knowledge that the sum harm of all unprevented evil is less than the cost of lost action as a consequence of massive supervision.

    Our most effective by far means of reducing harm is the knowledge that doing harm will have personal consequences. That is the basis for law, and why law is supposed to be a posteriori – we punish acts, rather than attempt to anticipate detect and prevent evil.
    Our justice system, our entire government, our social contract is rooted in the preventive power of punishing actual bad acts.

    This works for two reasons:
    The most important is that absent the threat of force the overwhelming majority of us will not initiate force. This is critical, society can not survive otherwise. If the only impediment to doing evil was punishment the scale of govenrment and law enforcement would be so large as to again drive us to starvation.

    But some of us will do evil if the probability of punishment is not sufficiently high, and the punishment is not sufficient to motivate people to avoid it.

    Those are the things we can deal with. We can not deal with those who would do evil and will not be stopped by the prospect of punishment.

    We do not know alot about Paddock, but we know he was willing to kill alot of people, and willing to die if necescary to do so.
    We do not have the means to prevent those who would do that from doing evil.
    Our protection is that those people are rare, and that they are not “infectuous”.
    They can not lead others to the same place.

    • Jay permalink
      October 7, 2017 4:28 pm

      “We do not have the ability to a priori prevent evil.”

      We do have the ability to a priori prevent the sales of the kind of weapons that killed and wounded ALL THOSE people.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 8, 2017 7:40 am

        Again – very fallacious logic.

        The guns did not kill people – Paddock did.

        Ted Kazinski did not use guns, Timothy McVeigh did not use guns.
        Osama Bin Laden did not use guns.

        You can not stop evil by banning guns.
        You make a trivial logical error, that should be obvious.
        If you do not want to be called stupid, do not make stupid errors or arguments.

        Feelings are not logic.

  96. dhlii permalink
    October 7, 2017 11:42 am

    Diverse countries have substantially higher rates of violence regardless of gun control.

  97. dhlii permalink
    October 7, 2017 11:51 am

    • Jay permalink
      October 7, 2017 1:58 pm

      That includes let those who want abortions have them, right… next

      • dhlii permalink
        October 7, 2017 2:22 pm

        I have no problem with a womans right to control of their own body.

        I have a major problem with forcing the rest of us to pay for what a woman or a man or anyone else might want.

      • October 7, 2017 2:52 pm

        Dave, but that is not the liberals way of thinking. It is their right to have an abortion paid for by tax payer revenues.

        I agree 100% with your statement. Do what you want, but don’t make others pay for it.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 8, 2017 7:05 am

        I have explained my position on abortion many times.
        Jay, clearly has not ever bothered to read it, or he never would have posted his stupid comment.

        But that is an incredibly common problem with those on the left.
        They do not know their own positions.
        The do not know conservative positions.
        The do not know libertarian positions.

        They make nonsenical arguments that misrepresent everything – such as Jay’s recent totally bogus rant about Russia and guns.

        And finally as you note leftist positions are completely inconsistent.

        It is not OK for christians to refuse to provide specific services to gays that represent actual endorsement of conduct that many christians view as immoral.

        But it is acceptable for gays to refuse service to christians – because they are prolife.

        This incident is interesting as:
        The group did not identify themselves. The Coffee house sought to identify them.
        They did not ask for anything that violated the beleifs or values of the owner.

        When the group was identified as prolife, the owner denied them service because he assumed they were anti-gay – while that MIGHT be true, the owner assumed it.

        I have said over and over and over. Anyone should be able to refuse service to anyone for any reason they wish or none at all. That the remedy is boycott’s, protest etc.
        That private discrimination is a self punishing act.

        But if you want public accomidation laws which I beleive are both immoral and unconstitutional, you must atleast apply them uniformly.

        If an owner can not use their religious beliefs to bar Service to a customer,
        That is actually the same as an owner barring a customer for their religious beliefs.

        There are lots of problems with conservatives.
        Trump who is not really conservative is also pretty illogical.
        But the left is just a logical disaster – and they do not care.

        They want to make everything up as they go based on feeling and without any regard for logical consistancy.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 7, 2017 2:23 pm

        You constantly presume that you know what everyone one outside the left beleives – despite constant evidence that you are wrong.

      • Jay permalink
        October 7, 2017 4:35 pm

        Abortion isn’t covered by your federal taxes:

        “Passed by Congress in 1976, the Hyde Amendment excludes abortion from the comprehensive health care services provided to low-income people by the federal government through Medicaid. Congress has made some exceptions to the funding ban, which have varied over the years. At present, the federal Medicaid program mandates abortion funding in cases of rape or incest, as well as when a pregnant woman’s life is endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury.”

        If your State provides funds for abortion, Elect new representatives to change those laws. Isn’t that what Conservative minded voters do?

      • dhlii permalink
        October 8, 2017 7:44 am

        The role of government – state local, federal
        is to provide protection from foreign invaders, to provide police and courts, to enforce contracts and to compel compansation for actual harms.

        These are the only things that we can morally use force to accomplish.

        That is is. Abortion, birth control, …… are not in that.
        You must provide those – as well as things like food, clothes, shelter, for yourself.
        You can not morally force others to provide those.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 8, 2017 7:47 am

        If my representative steals, are you saying the only remedy is to elect another ?

        You keep ranting at me that Trump must be removed for bad style, for taking a position on divisive issues. or just because you do not like him.

        I think we would all agree that he can be removed if he commits a crime.

        Stealling is a crime.

  98. dhlii permalink
    October 7, 2017 11:52 am

    This woman appears to have an attraction for Sexual Predators.

    • Jay permalink
      October 7, 2017 1:56 pm

      This Presidential couple appears to have an affinity for sexual foursomes.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 7, 2017 2:20 pm

        Most of us are not especially happy about Trump’s misogyny.

        But the democratic choice in 2016 was an apologists for actual predator’s.

        Further, the central premise of the left is that
        their values, ideas and people are better than everyone else.

        What is self evident they are not.

        Leftism openly depends on the virtue of leftists.
        Yet, clearly prominent leftists are not virtuous.

        The libertarian premise of limited government accepts that people who want power are not virtuous.

        Given that people – regardless of ideology are similarly prone to corruption,
        which ideology will work better – the one giving more power to government and requiring virtuous leaders, or the one giving less power to government and assuming corrupt leaders.

      • October 7, 2017 2:48 pm

        Dave, “Leftism openly depends on the virtue of leftists.
        Yet, clearly prominent leftists are not virtuous.

        The libertarian premise of limited government accepts that people who want power are not virtuous.”

        OK lets be fair and balanced on this issue.

        “Conservatism openly depends on the virtues of the right”
        Yet clearly the prominent right are not always virtuous.

        It is clear that neither Clinton nor Trump had any virtues. Had she been virtuous, she would have left her husband after the first rape accusation that was swept under the rug. She would not have quoted Tammy Wynette “standing by her man” and would have instead left him so he could have carried on with other women in a more open way. But given her unending desire for power, she found staying married to Bill gave her the inroads to the power she all so much wanted. And power was much more important than virtues.

        And we have had enough conversation about Trump and his virtues (or complete lack of)

        So while the left wants to control how people conduct one part of their life, the right is also just as bad because they want to control the other part of peoples lives.

        I would say that today, the Libertarian premise should be based more on people who want power have to prove they are virtuous before accepting that premise for any politician.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 8, 2017 5:14 am

        at 0:50 we get the effusive praise of Weinstein

        Bill Clinton, Roman Polanski, Harvey Weinstein, Woody Allen

      • dhlii permalink
        October 8, 2017 5:18 am

      • dhlii permalink
        October 8, 2017 5:31 am


        Mostly I agree.

        To those who say that the right has as many Harvey Weinsteins as the left.
        Not looking for a game of count the sexist pigs, more, less, it does not matter much.

        Hypocrisy matters. We out justifiably outraged at the Congressman who opposes abortion pushing his mistress to get an abortion.

        Just as I am more offended by Clinton than Trump

        That does not make Trump a good guy.
        I think the records shows Trump to be more verbally sexist, while his acts are offensive – not on the scale of Weinstein, Polanksi, Clinton, …
        If you differ – So What ?

        Both Trump and Clinton should have been disqualified by voters – but they were not. But lets end the fake outrage that Trump is somehow different.

        But finally – NO!!! The libertarian premise is NOT that we should find more virtuous candidates.
        I have yet to read solzhenitsyn but several source that recomend him claim he dealt the death blow to academic communists in the west by demonstrating intellectually that communist MUST end up shifting to barbaric leaders.

        I do nto think that is limited to communists – as Lord Acton noted – “Power corrupts”

        We should always try to elect the best people.
        But we need a government that will work and survive the worst.
        Because we will get far more of the worst, and we may never get any of the best.

        Libertarianism is putting Madison’s federalist 51 into action.
        “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.”

        Our govenrment must work even with bad people in power.
        That means the power of govenrment must be severely limited.

        While there are many many other compelling reasons for limited government, human imperfection and the lure of power is one of the most potent.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 8, 2017 3:45 pm

      • dhlii permalink
        October 9, 2017 4:49 am

        And the NYT killed the story in 2004

  99. dhlii permalink
    October 7, 2017 11:54 am

    If the armed citizenry in the US is not a deterent to Government tryany than how did this happen ?

  100. dhlii permalink
    October 7, 2017 2:12 pm

  101. Jay permalink
    October 7, 2017 2:39 pm

    Dear 2nd Amendment idiots – I say that affectionately (snide smile) – an armed populace has had no effect whatsoever in modern times preventing or discouraging excessive government force against its own citizenry in any Democratic style government like our own.

    And in all of those other Democratic nations, the citizenry is far less armed than we are. If an armed populace discourages tryrany, those nations with less armed citizens should show signs of rising tryany. Are the citizens in Canada, England, Germany, Japan, Ireland, France, Italy, Finland, Sweden, etc, more threatened by government force than heavily armed America?

    And the flip side of the coin also disproves any relationship between an armed populace with freedom from government suppression. Russia, for instance, issues firearm licenses to citizens over 18 years of age. The licence is for five years and may be renewed. Firearms are allowed for self-defense, hunting, or sports activities. There are more firearms per citizen in Russia than in most of the other nations listed above. Therefor there should be LESS government intervention blocking the freedoms of Russian citizens than those other nations. Are any of you 2nd Amendment knuckleheads (wink wink) claiming that’s true?

    Examples in fact would suffice for those with open eyes and common sense (tho a waste of time with the NRA indoctrinated acolytes spouting gun orthodoxy ).

    • October 7, 2017 3:04 pm

      Jay, why do you take the liberal stance and support legislation that can be changed with the next setting president and congress in any gun legislation. Why will you not even consider a 28th amendment to repeal the second amendment and make the change permanent?

      You might lump me in with the “2nd amendment idiots”. Maybe I am an idiot in accepting the fact that I do not trust our leaders in government, any of them. I would not want my daughters dating one (or son if the politician was female).

      But I am open to the will of the people and if they so choose to amend the constitution, so be it. But just like this site, not one can agree on what the founding fathers meant when they wrote that right into the constitution as it pertains to today. If your liberal, you believe one thing. If your conservative you believe another. And that is what is wrong when trying to legislate changes to rights afforded individuals by the constitution. 1/2 the country will accept those changes and 1/2 of them will not and many will resist in some way by breaking the law.

      • Jay permalink
        October 7, 2017 4:47 pm

        I own two guns, have for decades.
        If anyone tries to break in my house, I’ll shoot them.
        One is a double barrel shotgun.
        The other a hand gun.
        Also have a baseball bat, and a 9-iron near my bed.
        I feel perfectly safe without more or higher power weapons.

        And I never for a second, not even in a moment of mad paranoia, thought putting limits on the number or kind of additional weapons I could buy makes me more vulnerable to government intrusion in my life. Anyone who thinks otherwise is nuts.

      • October 7, 2017 8:43 pm

        Ok on!y took 350 comments this time for problems to start. 2nd attempt.

        Jay, you trust your government, I do not for the most part. I accept the fact you think congress can pass a bill to limit the number and types of weapons you can own and never will a future congress change the legislation to include more weapons and reduce the numbers one can own. Here again I do not.

        But why are you avoiding my question about an amendment to repeal and replace the 2nd amendment that would support your positions. Then no future congress could infringe on the rights that you wanted.

        In support of my thinking I offer Obamacare as an example of what happens to legislation covering “rights”.There are enough holes in that legislation to put all 77,000 Pages of the income tax IRS rules through. Obama issued EO saying employers have to cover birth control, Trump orders EO to reverse what Obama did. People today get paid big bucks to find loopholes in legislation and I would bet big money that millions would change hands finding ways to circumvent any weapons ban.

        I stand by my comment that about amending the constitution and accepting that decision.

      • Jay permalink
        October 7, 2017 10:11 pm

        I don’t think passing an amendment for the 2nd is feasible.
        I do think a law banning multi shot rifles like those banned in Australia is possible. And it should pass Constitutional muster.

        If not, be ready for more and more US gun massacres.

      • October 7, 2017 11:47 pm

        Jay, “I don’t think passing an amendment for the 2nd is feasible.”

        And why is it not feasible?

      • dhlii permalink
        October 8, 2017 8:08 am

        Repealing the 2nd amendment is not feasible – because you can not get the support to do so.

        Banning multishot weapons would clearly run afoul of the constitution.

        If you are going to try to make this ludicrous argument that the constitution does not apply to things that did not exist in 1787, then congress can ban birth control.

        But following the same argument – does that mean I can have a private army ? A frigate ?

        A submarine ? Torpedoes ?

        BTW the fist machine gun – the Puckle gun was invented in 1717.
        It just took a century to catch on. It fired 10 mucker balls per minute.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 8, 2017 7:49 am

        Again more logical stupidity.

        If you have what you think you need – great.
        But you have no voice in what another thinks they need.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 8, 2017 7:13 am

        The determining factor in Heller – and later McDonald, was that the authors of the 14th amendment – not the Founders. had made it crystal clear in debates, that the intent of the equal protection and priviledges and immunities clauses was to guarantee a right to firearms to individual negro’s, and that right was explicitly to extent to the states.
        The founders were significantly less of a factor than the reconstruction republicans.

        This should have been a 9-0 decision.

        If the constitution is amended the new amendment must be taken to mean what those people who ratified it in 20xx meant.

        I would oppose a repeal or modification of the 2nd amendment – but if the left can pass it, they can have it.

        The same should be true of the myriads of other “amendments” to the constitution that were actually accomplished by living constitution interpretation.

        The constitution is a living document – we change what it means by amendment.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 8, 2017 6:40 am

      So The Irish did not make life so miserable for the English that they left ?

      So we are still in Vietnam ?

      So the USSR is still in Afghanistan ?

      How well are we doing in Afghanistan ?

      And you are calling others idiots ?
      There are myriads of examples modern and older of armed populations removing occupiers or tyranical governments.

      Are you saying that tyranical govenrments never arrose in Europe ?
      Sorry Jay, but the Nazi’s were born from one of those european democracies.

      And there are myriads of other examples of governments turning tyranical throughout the world.

      BTW all those european countries are NOT unarmed. The Swiss are heavily armed as an example.

      I would take a look towards Europe right now. There is a strong risk of fascism.

      Regardless, are you saying that Spain’s catalonia issue is not an example of rising tyranny ?

      How well are things going in Venezeula ?

      Regardless, must every unarmed population be in tyranny right now to disprove your non-sense ?

      Myriads of factors discourage Tyranny. An armed population is one of those.

      Hungary and Prague would likely have ended differently had those peoples been armed.

      But ultimately even the totalitarianism of the USSR was not able to check even an unarmed population.

      Because you can not actually make a country work through force alone.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 8, 2017 6:46 am

      With respect to Russia – I do not know where you got your Data but says you are quite wrong.

      Russia is 68 of 178 countries in private gun ownership – which is pretty low.
      It is not even 1/10th of that of the US.

      Americans own more total “assault weapons” than total Russian guns.
      Russia is considered to be highly regulated.
      Russian laws are quite complex, and really ban weapons rather than guns,
      An iron rod with a handle can be considered an illegal weapon in Russia.

      About 1/2 of the few private guns in Russia are registered.
      The rest are illegal

    • dhlii permalink
      October 8, 2017 6:52 am

      You represent one of the more restrictive countries in the world as a free fire zone and expect to be taken credibly.

      Russian gun possession (legal and illegal) are about twice that of the UK – generally considered a near absolute ban country,
      and about half that of France. and 1/4 that of Switzerland.

      Anyway, the bottom line is you are misrepresenting the data so badly that trying to analyze your conclusions is pointless.

  102. dhlii permalink
    October 7, 2017 2:58 pm

    So we find historic preservation and environmental conservation laws lead to environmental destruction and the destruction of historic properties.

    Another regulatory fail.

  103. dhlii permalink
    October 7, 2017 2:59 pm

    How long with it take to get bingo ?

  104. dduck12 permalink
    October 7, 2017 6:14 pm

    Thanks, JJ, for slipping in some facts is our dispute over “gun control”. The arguments, which put the Old Boys very salient 2nd- OK for it’s time, over today’s concern for personal safety. Back then, they did need militias with arms- black powder muskets (you can legally make the barrel as short as you want)- were a good for rich white farmers to use to protect themselves against invading foreign troops or Indians, and as some opine, in case of slave rebellions.
    How nice that we now have a humongous military and police force to take over those potential foreign invaders.
    Could it be that gunbergers know of a threat we don’t know. Whoops, I forgo, they MAY not trust the gumint to do a good job. Or are they just kids that don’t want their BB guns taken away (“you could put someone’s eye out”, mama said).
    I live in NYC, and somehow we exist and don’t feel particularly threatened, but I can’t speak for everyone out there, that may feel their freedom threatened, so buy a musket and saw it down so you can take it to church or the local Starbucks.
    Sleep well kids.
    Yes, this was overly sarcastic, but getting through the fatbergers requires some dispersant; who has time to wade through hundreds of comments to get to the RonPs, Priscillas and JJs.

    • October 7, 2017 11:53 pm

      “…. but getting through the fatbergers requires some dispersant; who has time to wade through hundreds of comments to get to the RonPs, Priscillas and JJs.”

      I must have something others do not have. I don’t wade though anything. Most e-mails I delete with a cursory review. Others I read completely. Can have 25-50 and can get through in 5-7 minutes or less unless I respond. If I were trying to read this stuff from the comment section, i would not be here.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 8, 2017 3:26 am

      This is your idea of “facts” ?

      The “rich white farmers” of new england, were not so rich, and not concerned about indian attack by the late 18th century.

      The western settlers – which were NOT in any way rich white farmers, where those primarily concerned about indians.

      The concerning regarding slave rebellions was not that white owners needed guns to put down revolting slaves, but that guns were secured FROM white slaves. White plantation owners were worried about ARMED slave rebellion.

      This is actually VERY significant and drive the privledges and immunites clause of the 14th amendent.

      The history of the 14th amendment was probably determinative win Heller and MvDonald,
      Because the authors of the 14th amendment made it clear that they were giving freed black slaves the right to firearms, and that the ownership of firearms by individual blacks was necescary to secure their freedom.

      The 14th amendment – long before Heller was part of the argument that the bill of rights applied to – was incorporated, against the states. Because the 14th amendment says that STATES can not infringe on our civil rights.

      You can insult those who are suspicious of government as you wish. Right now that would be 79% of the population including much of the left.

      I find it hypocritical that those who do not trust “gubmint” are clearly dim witted – until they are you.

      In 1787 it was legal for a private person to own and army or a battleship.
      Are you saying that in addition to a musket, I am free to raise a private army ? That I can own my own frigates and cruisers ?

      Regardless, you have the ability to mostly leave without fear of your government, because the prevalence of guns makes that kind of tyranny near impossible.

      Further, as you say you live in NYC – where guns are tightly controlled and few own them.
      You are twice as likely to be killed by a gun than I am. I live in a suburban/rural community were gun ownership is high, and the rates of gun violence are far lower than NYC.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 8, 2017 3:51 am

      The past decade has been a slow growing backlash at elites, pretty specifically because you treat them like dirt. Your post is laced with sarcasm that makes it clear how poorly you think of those whose views differ from yours.

      Guess what ? They know that you look down on them. They know that you are condescending. They also know that you are incredibly badly informed and trapped inside your bubble.

      This would be the rough modern equivalent of the pennsylvania rifle.

      You are even disparaging of our founders. One of many factors in the colonial victory was the colonists superior weaponry – atleast in the area of firearms.
      The Pennsylvania riffle had 3 times the range and far greater accuracy than the british muskets. particularly in New England this allowed colonial irregulars to harrass redcoats – staying out of their range and never directly engaging while slowly picking off the british as they tried to march through new england.

      Further history is repleat with instances were armed citizenry deposed tryancial government. Including several instances where the US was removed as an occupying force.

      Ireland won freedom from England in 1921, in close to the same way the US did in 1776, by making occupation so costly as to be untenable.

      The Afghans successfully took on the British in 1854, the Soviets, and are doing fairly well against the US.

      The north vietnamese successfully evicted US forces in the 70’s.

      But the most important impact of an armed US citizenry is as a deterent.

      Finally, it you actually want to reduce “gun violence” – eliminating suicide and accidents, nearly all the remainder is tied to the drug war – just as gun violence in the US in the 20’s was due to prohibition.

      Legalize drugs and you will vastly reduce both the need for a militariazed police and the large number of gun deaths.

      But you are more interested in doing stupid ineffectual things that you pretend are “common sense”.

      I grasp you live in NYC – and you choose to do so. That you live with very low rates of personal ownership of guns, and that you appear willing to tolerate the violence of the drug war that you can not reign in.
      That you “feel” safer than you are.

      But you are not free to impose your inarguably worse approach on the rest of us by force.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 8, 2017 4:23 am

      I would also question why you are fixated on conflict up to violence over issues that we disagree on an unwilling to address the issues where we might share common ground.

      On innumerable social issues libertarians share vast common ground with those on the left.

      I want government out of “vice”. Drugs, alcohol, prostitution. The record of government on these has been abysmal.

      I do not think the issue of racism in this country looms as large as the left makes it,
      but it is still and issue. Reducing the encounters between police and minorities over vice issues will significantly diminish the racial conflict with police.
      It will return our right to privacy to us – whether we are black or white.

      I support nearly open borders. But that has consequences. Are you prepared to discuss how we can make broad immigration possible ? Large scale immigration has worked well in countries without welfare states and with significant economic freedom. It is disasterous for those with deep welfare states and limited economic freedom.
      All over europe, including the UK, Sweden, Germany and France, social democracies are being torn apart by the consequences of mass immigration intersecting the welfare state with minimal economic freedom.

      I am not afraid of the Alt-Right in the US – there are a tiny and dwindling force.
      But they are emergent in Europe. Europe has a long term risk of a strong fascist shift.
      If we do not figure out how to address immigration in the US we will head the same way.

      So are you prepared to have rational dialogue on the issue ? Are you prepared to try to figure out what changes must be made to absorb large influxes of immigrants with minimal disruption ?

      I will give you one really big clue – you need to substantially boost economic growth,
      because if you can not, you produce a dependent class of immigrants, and a displaced class of natives ripe for fascist appeals.

      Are you prepared to discuss, getting the US out of the role of policeman to the world ?
      That has not worked when democrats have done it. It has not worked when republicans did it.

      There are myriads of areas I am prepared to work with you.
      But I am not going to buy hypocritical ends justify the means approaches that merely favor your particular viewpoints.

      I think the TX building codes used to shut down abortion clinics are repugnant.
      Because restrictive building codes are a bad idea. I do not beleive that government can regulate the crap out of everything EXCEPT the sacred cows of the left.

      A few days ago a Gay Seattle Coffee House owner refused service to prolife customers
      In TX a Karoke bar chased Milo Yanopolis and some Neo-Nazi’s out because “You people are not welcome here”

      So make up your mind. do public accomidation laws apply universally?
      Must gays serve homophobes ? Must Jews serve Nazi’s ? …

      The left is demanding “safe spaces” – all that means is the ability to exclude those whose views you do not like from space you perceive as yours.

      I have no problem with those on the left excluding people whose views offend them from their businesses. But only if everyone is free to do the same.

      I am not interested in hypocrisy.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 8, 2017 5:38 am

      The NRA has come out in favor of Bump Stock regulation.
      Myriads of other gun owners groups still oppose.

      You are flogging the wrong horse.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 8, 2017 5:46 am

        This is also pretty telling regarding what you are up against.

        I would further note that I rejects or inverts another leftist claim.

        That those on the right are stupid and anti-science.

        There are myriads of studies on guns.
        There is none that supports any claim the left makes.

        It is the left that is anti-science, pushing a religious view as a substiture for facts and reality.

  105. Jay permalink
    October 7, 2017 7:30 pm

    Today’s best laff.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 8, 2017 5:39 am

      Somehow this is related

  106. dhlii permalink
    October 8, 2017 5:07 am

    Gun owners are the most law abiding in the country – even exceeding the police.

  107. dhlii permalink
    October 8, 2017 5:10 am

    Quite often our efforts to help people leave them worse off.
    New Orleans suffered from this problem too.

  108. dhlii permalink
    October 8, 2017 5:41 am


  109. dhlii permalink
    October 8, 2017 5:42 am

    End the drug war. End the violence

  110. dhlii permalink
    October 8, 2017 5:43 am

    • Jay permalink
      October 8, 2017 4:23 pm

      Another lie of distortion from Deceptive Dave.
      Taking SOME guns away isn’t taking ALL YOUR guns away.

      And here’s another contradiction to your Deceptive Dingbat assertions, the one where you stated the Las Vegas shooter ‘didn’t know anything’ about guns:

      “A note found in the hotel room of the man who shot into a crowd from his perch in a Las Vegas high-rise included hand-written calculations about where he needed to aim to maximize his accuracy and kill as many people as possible.In an interview airing Sunday on “60 Minutes,” three police officers who stormed Stephen Paddock’s hotel room in the Mandalay Bay hotel tell correspondent Bill Whitaker new details about the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. The officers were the first to see Paddock’s body and the arsenal of weapons and ammunition he had stockpiled.Officer David Newton from the Las Vegas Police Department’s K-9 unit said he noticed a note on the shooter’s nightstand once officers breached the room. He said the note was located near one of the windows that Paddock had smashed with a hammer to fire onto the crowd below with high-powered semi-automatic rifles outfitted to increase their rate of fire.”I could see on it he had written the distance, the elevation he was on, the drop of what his bullet was gonna be for the crowd,” Newton said. “So he had that written down and figured out so he would know where to shoot to hit his targets from there.””

      • dhlii permalink
        October 8, 2017 7:54 pm

        No deception at all. I have argued that I do not think the government can prohibit the private ownership of nuclear weapons – I also do not think such a prohibition is necescary.

        I doubt Bill Gates is going to try to develop a private nuclear weapon.

        Regardless, I am open about ZERO tolerance for restrictions.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 8, 2017 7:57 pm

        Taking SOME of your speach away isn’t taking ALL YOUR speach away.
        Taking SOME of your money away isn’t taking ALL YOUR money away.
        Taking SOME of your home away isn’t taking ALL YOUR home away.
        Taking SOME of your penis away isn’t taking ALL YOUR penis away.

        Words have meaning. A right means either absolutely no restrictions at all, or
        only restictions that can be justified using extremely high standards.
        Among those they must demonstrably work,
        and they must be the least intrusive means of accomplishing the purported goal.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 8, 2017 8:15 pm

        Unless he was actually trying to assassinate a specific person, the note is meaningless.

        The entire point of targetting a crowd of 20,000 from a distance of about 300M
        is to eliminate the need for accuracy.

        The bump stock alone destroyed so much of his accuracy that he was completely unable to aim in all but the most course sense.

        Paddock was essentially trying to hit the broad side of a bark with a pistol from 20′.

        He was not trying to put a bullet through the keyhole.

        Mostly the note means He watched too many episodes of “shooter” and was having delusions of being Bobby Lee Swagger.

        BTW I would strongly recommend reading alot of Stephen Hunter Books if you want to talk intelligently about guns – particularly guns and accuracy.

        Paddock was shooting from about 300M. That is about the limits of the Secret Service protection ring arround the president.

        Why 300M ? Because there are very very few people who can hit what they are aiming for at that distance. And the SS keeps track of them all.
        There are maybe a handful of people in the entire world who using incredibly expensive and finely tuned weapons can hit a person from 1700 yards.
        There are probably a couple of thousand that can do it from 300m,

        Paddock was not one of those. His “notes” are hubris.
        They are like me trying to make a calculation of were to detect a higgs bosun using the large hadron collider. The notes might look impressive. They might even demonstrate alot of research.
        They do not demonstrate the ability to Perform the task.

        Olympic shooting events top out at 50m distances. Accurate shooting at distances from 1200-300m are very difficult require incredible practice.

        As I understand Paddock was shooting standing up with weapons on tripods.
        This is not aimed shooting.

        Trying to be accurate at 300m would mean lying prone with the rifle and your body very well supported with no vibration at all. Even your breathing must be very very careful.
        slight fluctuations in the pull of the trigger will change the trajectory of the bullet.

        Absolutiely none of that matter in Paddock’s shooting.

  111. Priscilla permalink
    October 8, 2017 8:58 am

    dd12, Jay and Roby, my question remains the same:

    If you want the federal government to regulate and limit the number of legal guns that can be purchased by an American citizen, how do you propose that this happen, without repealing the 2nd Amendment, not to mention the 4th and the 10th?

    • dduck12 permalink
      October 8, 2017 1:18 pm

      Some states (NY) do that. Of course it only works partially, but it might save a few lives.

      • October 8, 2017 2:10 pm


        To fix the problem with “mass” killings in America, we need to ban all weapons, not just rapid fire weapons.

        What do most all of these since 1984 have in common?

        One gunman entering an establishment or shooting from outside the building and killing multiple people with one or two guns. Some had large ammo magazines that hold a lot of bullets and are quickly exchanged with a little practice.

        There are a couple that say the killer had 14 guns or some number, but they were not used in the crime. Even Las Vegas where multiple guns were found, not all were used.

        And the only way to ban weapons in the United States is a full repeal of the 2nd amendment. And included in the amendment should be a requirement that anyone found with a weapon after the gun ban is put into place gets a mandatory federal 10 year prison sentence without possibility of parole. Anyone found selling weapons would be a federal 15 year mandatory sentence without parole. If there is not sufficient prison time and it only ends up with a slap on the wrist, the ban will do no good and the red necks from rural America will hide their guns, buy more off the streets or find a “reverse” fast and furious if they have a chance and get them that way. Or the politicians in red neck America would find loopholes in the mandatory sentence if it were not a federal crime, so taking away states rights in this issue would be required.

        Sorry I can not buy into your utopia that a law will eliminate anyone doing this in the future unless the right to own a gun is removed and anyone owning a gun after that is removed from society.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 8, 2017 7:07 pm

        A total ban on guns will likely radically reduce the rate of gun crime.
        It will have no impact on the homicide rate or the crime rate.

        That is what is demonstrated by the results from Australia.

      • Jay permalink
        October 9, 2017 3:44 pm

        “That is what is demonstrated by the results from Australia.”

        That was disputed by MORE RECENT studies(referenced above in another comment response to you).

      • dhlii permalink
        October 8, 2017 7:04 pm

        It might save lives is a constant refrain for the most egregiously restrictive legislation.

        But that never actually happens.

        AGAIN name a single law ever that has positively shifted a meaningful trend line.

        PPACA shifted the trend line of the number insured. It had no impact on actual healthcare outcomes.

    • Jay permalink
      October 8, 2017 4:16 pm

      I don’t understand your reasoning about needing to repeal ANY Amendments to outlaw SOME classes of weapons. The law to outlaw machine guns is Constitutional; why would laws enacted to outlaw certain other kinds of multiple shot weapons be any problem?

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 8, 2017 6:26 pm

        We already have those laws, Jay. That’s the point.

        The Supreme Court has determined that it is not necessary to own a machine gun, in order to protect oneself and one’s property and family. Machine guns are illegal and have been for a long time. You can’t legally own or make a bomb ~ we have laws against that too. Didn’t stop Timothy McVeigh or the Tsarnaev brothers.

        Almost every modern handgun and rifle is semiautomatic to some degree. The Obama administration’s ATF legalized the now infamous bump stock modification , in order to make shooting easier for the disabled, not to turn semi-automatics into machine guns, although that has been an unintended consequence. So, fine, the Trump administration can roll back the Obama regulation on bump stocks.

        Do you seriously think that would stop someone like Stephen Paddock?

        Over the last 10 years, gun ownership has risen in this country, while rates of gun homicide have gone down. How do you square that circle?

        Laws do not stop criminals. If they did, we wouldn’t have criminals.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 9, 2017 1:24 am

        Every murder ever committed has been against the law.

        The purpose of laws is not to prevent ordinary people from committing murder.
        Almost all of us will not commit murder regardless of the law.

        It is not to prevent actual murderer’s from committing murder. Murder was illegal – they did it anyway. Criminals are by definition the people who will not obey the law.

        We pass laws ONLY to impact that very small portion of people who would do something that everyone knows is wrong, but only if they would not get caught and punished.

        That is the purpose and audience of every law ever written.

        There is no further law that can actually reduce mass murders. Because mass murders are already illegal and those committing them already know that and do it anyway.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 8, 2017 7:48 pm

        If you sought to pass laws banning speach about airplanes, or to require that all speach must be in catalonian, or that you could only speak if standing on one foot,
        you would need to repeal the first amendment.

        If you sought to ban islam, or compel jews to eat pig, or prohibit the construction of buddhist temples – you would have to repeal the first amendment.

        If you wish to make similar restrictions on the right to “bear arms” you would have to repeal the second amendment.

        A right means “make no law restricting” it does not mean make laws that I want.

        The law outlawing machine guns is arguably unconstitutional.
        But you are not likely to see it challenged just as the law against incitement to violence is arguably unconstitutional.

        Proponents of gun laws, and proponents of free speach are not likely to challenge laws that are popular and that have incredibly strong viscal responses – because those are what gets us very bad law.

        The conjunction of sex and children has resulted in stupid laws that send 14 year olds to jail for decades for having consensual sex with 12 year olds and then requires them to register for life, to avoid getting within 100 yards of any children.

        Do you think a 36 year old mother should have to register for life, and not be able to go to birthday parties or the park or pick up her kids at school – because she had sex with a 12 year old when she was 14 ?

        Well that is the state of the law.

        We rarely challenge unconstitutional laws when they have strong visceral responses because the results are uniformly bad,

    • dhlii permalink
      October 8, 2017 7:02 pm

      The key aspect of How is that it is supposed to be very difficult to infringe on liberty.

      The most critical aspect of Heller – was that the 2nd amendment was subject to strict scrutiny.

      The problem I have is that if it is not subject to strict scrutiny – then it is not really a right.

      All rights liberties freedoms should be subject to strict scrutiny – even those not mentioned in the bill of rights.

      The anti-federalists got it right. The inclusion of the bull of rights weakened the constitution.
      It altered two things.
      It destroyed the understanding that the constitution defined the limits of the federal govenrment – that all powers not specifically given government were prohibited to government.
      It left the impression that the only rights we have are those enumerated in the bill of rights.

      Regardless, the difficulty amending the constitution is just a reflection that increasing the power of government or decreasing our liberty are supposed to be very difficult.

      One of the biggest flaws in the constitution is that it is not clear that law making is asymmetrical.
      That it does and should require supermajorities to create law, but the destruction of existing law should occur whenever those supermajorities do not continue to persist.

      i.e. While it took 60 votes to enact PPACA, PPACA should not require 60 votes to repeal.
      It should only require 41 – the absence of continued 60 vote support.

  112. dduck12 permalink
    October 8, 2017 2:39 pm

    Speaking only for myself, I just wish to minimize, since at this time eliminating is probably impossible, these shootings and deaths. This is not utopia, but common senseopia fewer guns mean fewer deaths and slower firing rates also mean fewer deaths.
    I don’t care about loop holes, and non-compliance being the reasons to NOT try and minimize gun violence, those are whistling past the graveyard, rationalization and cop outs and keeping your toys from being taken from you by the “gumint”.

    • Jay permalink
      October 8, 2017 4:12 pm

      Your views above pretty much reflect my own.

      I want to restrict as much as feasible the access to military style guns for individual ownership. I see a lot of possible upsides to that, and ZERO downsides.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 8, 2017 7:35 pm

        “I want to restrict as much as feasible the access to birth control for individual ownership. I see a lot of possible upsides to that, and ZERO downsides.”

        What does it take for you to grasp that you are doing nothing but trying to impose your personal preferences on others by force.

        “I want to enslave progressives. I see a lot of possible upsides to that, and ZERO downsides.”

        Your “argument” if it can be called that is

        I want to infringe on someone else’s freedom. Because the infringement I seek does not affect me in a way I care about, it only has benefits and no actual harms

        Worse still, we are talking about a specific infringement that demonstrably has no benefits.
        But you just keep saying it does, as if merely saying so is sufficient.

    • Priscilla permalink
      October 8, 2017 6:45 pm

      Intuitively, I also think that fewer guns mean fewer deaths. But the statistics don’t back up my intuition. So much so that gun ban advocates have had to include suicide in the data on gun deaths.

      Maybe that conversation about gun violence that everyone says we should be having, should be an actual conversation, using actual facts? Maybe the sky high rate of gun deaths in D.C. and Chicago has more to do with gang violence, the numbers of fatherless boys, addiction, and an increase in mental illness?

      • Jay permalink
        October 9, 2017 4:01 pm

        “Maybe the sky high rate of gun deaths in D.C. and Chicago has more to do with gang violence, the numbers of fatherless boys, addiction, and an increase in mental illness?”

        If guns were 10 times more difficult to acquire, are you suggesting those gun deaths wouldn’t diminish drastically?

        I grew up in the warring slums of NYC’s Washington Heights, with frequent gang violence between Italians, Irish, Puerto Rican’s. The were occasional deaths, from stabbing, rocks in slings, steel chains, belts with razor sharp clasps, a zip gun death or two – but no widespread shootings!

        Modern guns are WAY MORE lethal than other easily acquired weapons. Period!

        And this still holds true: “Regions and states with higher rates of gun ownership have significantly higher rates of homicide than states with lower rates of gun ownership.”

        As does this: “For every one person killed with guns, two more are injured… The CDC’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System estimates the number of annual non-fatal firearm injuries based on reports from a sample of hospital emergency departments: over the last five years, there were more than 200 non-fatal firearm injuries each day.”

        The non-fatal statistics may explain the statistical drop in homocides you referred to above: the gun shot fatality rate has dropped from improved emergency response and medical advancements; more gun shot victims survive now (averaging about 80,000 survivals a year).

      • Ron P permalink
        October 9, 2017 4:25 pm

        Jay, if you and those who believe tighter gun laws will make people think twice before trying to buy something illegal, then let the states make them illegal if they so choose and in those states where they do not want those restrictions, then they can choose not to make them illegal. States rights, power retained in states unless given to the federal government by the people of the states.(US Constitution)

        And since you believe people will follow the laws enacted by government, this should fix any problems in the future for gun control nuts.

      • Jay permalink
        October 9, 2017 8:31 pm

        No – certain classes of guns have to be banned NATIONALLY.
        Otherwise, as in Illinois/Chicago where gun laws are strict, those who defy the laws simply buy them in an adjoining state with lax or no restrictions.

      • Ron P permalink
        October 9, 2017 9:06 pm

        Jay, then you have just created another war on drugs and given the cartels a huge revenue source, because if someone is going to break the law in Chicago and buy a gun in Texas, they will do the same by getting it from the black market.

        The Vegas shooter had plenty of resources to find black market weapons. He only needed a few to do what he did, not all twenty plus he had in the room.

      • Jay permalink
        October 9, 2017 9:48 pm

        The illegal gun trade nowhere as widespread or lucrative as narcotics. Costs and logistics prevent it. Yes, organized crime will still be able to afford to buy guns that are banned, but not ghetto kids or petty crooks

      • dhlii permalink
        October 9, 2017 9:59 pm

        That would be because drugs are legal.

        More people own guns than do illegal drugs.
        Regardless, does it matter ?

        Lets say that a total ban on guns only required a violent confrontation to get guns turned in 1% of the time – that would still be 3M violent confrontations.
        Lets say 0.01% of the time – that would be 30K violent confrontations.

        Lets say only 1% of legal gun owners chose in the future to be illegal gun owners,
        That would still be potentially 3M additional people in jail.

        Guns are still a 43B business in the US (NBC 2015).
        1% of that would be 400M I think there would be plenty of illegal guns.

        I think that you could pretty much count on the fact that there would be near zero change in illegal use of guns. that is pretty much what Austraila saw.
        Crimes like robbery and rape went up.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 9, 2017 10:01 pm

        in 1920 there was little or no illegal alcohol trade.
        How did prohibition work ?

      • dhlii permalink
        October 9, 2017 10:05 pm

        No one could afford alcohol during prohibition either.
        Nor drugs during the war on drugs.

        You do understand that most of those petty crooks … are already buying ilegal weapons.

        You know that a bag of heroin costs less than a pack of cigarettes ?

      • October 9, 2017 11:38 pm

        Jay .”Yes, organized crime will still be able to afford to buy guns that are banned, but not ghetto kids or petty crooks”

        I thought we were debating banning assault weapons, not guns used on the street. Guns like the ones Paddock purchased, not handguns that kill people in Chicago. So now your true colors have come out just like all the other liberals that want to ban guns completely. propose one thing with the desired outcome completely different.

        I knew if I kept asking enough questions I would get the answer to the real Jay’s agenda.
        Thank you for fessing up. So now I am even more rigid in my support of 2nd amendment rights and would look at any change being much more devious than before.

        And liberals wonder why conservatives don’t trust them. You gave a perfect example.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 9, 2017 9:17 pm

        No – certain classes of guns have to be banned Globally.
        Otherwise, as in Illinois/Chicago where gun laws are strict, those who defy the laws simply buy them in an adjoining country with lax or no restrictions.

        No – certain classes of guns have to be banned throught the universe.
        Otherwise, as in Illinois/Chicago where gun laws are strict, those who defy the laws simply buy them in an adjoining planet with lax or no restrictions.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 9, 2017 6:09 pm

        You falsely claim deception on the part of others and then overtly engage in it.

        It is highly likely that agressive gun control will result in a reduction of gun deaths.
        And though less than expected the data from Australia actually shows that.

        But there has never been a demonstrated example of gun control reducing homicides.

        All effective gun control would do in DC would do is change how people are killed.
        Alot of effort for no good.

        Even the suicide claims which even advocates of gun rights have generally accepted are proving to be elusive.

        I am not particluarly impressed by the ability of gun control laws to change how people are killed.

        If your objective is to reduce “gun deaths” – go away. Not interested.
        Produce evidence you have reduced homicides below trend.

      • Jay permalink
        October 9, 2017 8:32 pm


      • dhlii permalink
        October 9, 2017 9:18 pm

    • dhlii permalink
      October 8, 2017 7:12 pm

      Aspirations that do not work are by definition utopian.

      There is no difference between reduce and eliminate if neither are possible.
      Or will be accomplished by your proposed method.

      Rates of homicide have been declining for milenia.
      Clearly something works to reduce.

      But the evidence does nto support any claim that law has anything to do with the reduction.

      Further you want to be very careful with unsupported aspirations to reduction.

      These are the same claims that support stop and frisk, manditory minimums and long sentences. Those all BTW actually work. But statististically the effect is very small.

      We have extremely long trends in reducing violence. Almost none of those reductions are attributable to anything government has done.

      • dduck12 permalink
        October 9, 2017 5:45 pm

        “There is no difference between reduce and eliminate if neither are possible.”
        Once again a useless sentence.
        You reduce smoking and second hand smoke and some continue smoking, but the non- or stop- smokers enjoy a healthier life; that’s the “difference”. Well, kiss my sweet patootie, I get to benefit from that taken away freedom.

        Aw, but we have taken away their “rights” under the Construction, I’m sure you will contend in a few hundreds of words.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 9, 2017 7:34 pm

        Logic STILL eludes you.

        AGAIN There is no difference between reduce and eliminate if neither are possible.

        Yes, there is a difference if one is possible. But it is not,
        You do not just get to assume the impossible.

        Gun control is a cost with no benefit. Or more accurately a cost with net negative benefits.
        If you actually care whether you are killed with a knife or a gun or burns in an arson – then maybe there is merit to gun control – though at substantial cost given that dead is still dead. If you do not care much how you died then you have traded freedom for nothing.

        I only argue the constitution – when the issue is the constitution.

        You may not take another persons rights by force – constitution or not, but for very limited instances. Theft is theft, slavery is slavery. Immoral is immoral

      • Jay permalink
        October 9, 2017 8:28 pm

        Blah blah blah.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 8, 2017 7:23 pm

      “I don’t care about loop holes, and non-compliance being the reasons to NOT try and minimize gun violence, those are whistling past the graveyard, rationalization and cop outs and keeping your toys from being taken from you by the “gumint”.”

      Actually you are completely totally ass backwards on this.
      What those “loopholes” and noncompliance mean is that your laws will greatly restrict liberty, but will not make a dent in what you want accomplished.

      Mass shootings are incredibly rare. Even fun homocides are rare compared to gun ownership.

      Banning bump stocks as an example, will absolutely greatly reduce the access of ordinary people (maybe), but it will have zero impact on mass killers.

      Paddock managed to acquire atleast one actual automatic weapon.

      Distributed defense has provided open source information that allows you to make your own AR-15 – no registration, no background check, no serial number.
      You can make it however you want.
      It takes about 4 min or work to modify and AR-15 to fully automatic.
      You do not need a “bump stock”.

      Loopholes and non-compliance mean that the law will only effect those you need NOT worry about.

      Pretty much by definition you can not stop a criminal by making laws.
      A criminal is someone who does not follow the law.

      If you are prepared to kill 50 people regardless of the punishment, is an additional 10 year sentence for using a bump stock going to make the price too high ?

      Regardless passing laws that you are not prepared to ensure full compliance with – it itself hypocritical and destructive of the rule of law.

      When government sometimes turns a blind eye to some violations – that is the rule of man not law. That is lawlessness.

      You are actually acting to bring about anarchy. An infinite number of laws that no one obeys is actually anarchy. A large number of laws arbitrarily enforces is totalitarian.

  113. Jay permalink
    October 8, 2017 4:30 pm

    Guns Don’t Kill People – says Dave

    Watch 60Minutes tonight Dave. They will be showing footage of the Vegas shooter, pointing his arm out the broken window, followed by a steady stream of bullets exiting HIS forefinger!

    Oh wait, I guess BULLETS don’t kill people either. There ya go, right again.

    • Priscilla permalink
      October 8, 2017 6:37 pm

      Why do you figure that there are hundreds of millions of guns out there that haven’t spontaneously risen up and killed people?

      And do you also believe that cars run people over, and matches start forest fires? Or that knives stab people? I recall a murder case in which a man stabbed his wife to death with a screw driver. Do screw drivers kill people?

      Gun banners play word games, but never come up with factual arguments. Poor little Jimmy Kimmel announced that, because he blamed Trump voters for the Las Vegas shootings, he has had to hire extra armed security. And, he apparently doesn’t see the irony in that…

      • dhlii permalink
        October 9, 2017 1:27 am

        Irony meter going completely off scale.

      • Jay permalink
        October 9, 2017 3:41 pm

        This is just silly nonsense from you, Priscilla. Guns and screwdriver are not self activating (unless you’re living in a Horror Movie script). But to posit that someone intent on mayhem with a knife is just as dangerous as someone with a gun, is sappy.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 9, 2017 5:39 pm

        Come on Jay,

        The only silly nonsense is yours.

        We got it – you want to be able to make the world safer.
        We all do. But gun control will not do that.

        Life expectancy for cave men was 22, the most likely cause of death – violence.
        Not a gun in sight.
        The rates of violent death were higher prior to the invention of the gun than after.

        Human violence has been steadily declining since men left caves.

        Absolutely as we have become more affluent we have gained ever more technological power, and far greater ability to kill people in large numbers.

        While by far the largest cause of death by violence in the 20th century was government, still the overall rates of human violence were lower than ever before.

        Get the theme – the greater our ability to kill each other in large numbers, the less we do so. Cause and effect ? Probably not. But the inverse is clearly false. More ability to kill people does not mean more killing, no matter how much you would like that to be true so that you can claim some control over a world that is mostly still outside human control.

        Well atleast you seem to get that humans kill people, not tools.
        Yes, tools amplify our ability to do so.
        More possibility, is NOT the same as more killing.
        We know that, and you should.

        if the left leaning statisticians from 538 can get it, that like it or not gun control does not effect violence. If Sen. Feinstein can grasp that no proposed gun control law ever would have altered Las Vegas, then why can’t you ?

        More importantly because your problem in gun control is the same problem you have everywhere. Why can’t you grasp that over and over the evidence shows that the impact of more regulation is negative and does nothing to actually improve the thing it is supposed to.

      • Jay permalink
        October 9, 2017 8:34 pm


      • dhlii permalink
        October 9, 2017 9:21 pm

      • dhlii permalink
        October 9, 2017 10:07 pm

    • dhlii permalink
      October 8, 2017 8:32 pm

      Guns Don’t Kill People – says Dave

      No says reality.

      I have never seen a bullet aim and fire itself, nor a gun.

      Regardless – we distinguish those things we can dictate by law, from those we can not with HUMANS.

      We can not ban huricanes, or cancer, or earthquakes.

      If guns were actually capable of killing people without human direction – we could not make laws about them.

      Law binds humans, not nature, not things.

      Violence done by humans is a crime subject to law.
      Violence done by nature or things is not.

      If guns actually kill people – then it is outside the ability of govenrment to regulate them.

      Regardless, gun laws – like all regulation is just a stupid redundant effort to make something illegal multiple times.

      Killing people is illegal – with a rifle, with an automatic weapon, with a knife, with a bed room slipper.

      You are not really looking to ban bump stocks. Who really cares about bum stocks.

      What you are looking to do is prevent mass killings.

      You can’t. It is completely out of the ability of humans to do.

      To the extent government has any preventive power at all, it is in the certainty of punishment for initiating violence.

      There is no law in existance that will stop a mass murderer who is willing to die.
      Because he already knows the outcome and is not disuaded.

      I have never smoked marijuana in my life. I would do so atleast once if it was legal.
      I do not because I am not willing to take even the small risk I will be arrested, jailed overnight and possibly convicted and punished.

      That is the only thing stopping me.

      IF I discovered I was going to die of cancer tomorow – NOTHING would stop me.

      I do not want to kill 50 people – or anyone. Most people do not. Most gun owners do not.
      We do not need laws preventing us from killing people.

      Laws ALWAYS work ONLY by preventing those few people who actually want to do the illegal thing, and only choose not to because of fear of punishement.

      If you are passing a law – and you expect it to change the behavior of a large number of people, you are going to fail.

      • dduck12 permalink
        October 8, 2017 9:52 pm

        Look at the gun death rates in some states that have tougher gun laws:

      • dduck12 permalink
        October 9, 2017 5:57 pm

        Cavemen? LMAO, why not chimps, since they raid and kill their neighbors.
        Oh wait, there is a group of primates that don’t do that and they just happen to have strict leaders- but no Constitution.
        Yes, the bonobos, have a matriarchal society.

  114. dhlii permalink
    October 8, 2017 5:57 pm

    This is an excellent piece

    It is impossible to discuss rights without addressing where rights come from.
    The left does not consider this, or when it does pretends that they come from the majority or from government (close to the same thing)
    Either choice instantly means that the Nazi’s Pol Pot, Mao and Stalin are are acceptable.
    Either means that past slavery, discrimination etc were justified.

    If you wish to claim that these things were clearly wrong – you must be able to say WHY they are wrong. Reliance on the will of the majority or on government is insufficient as the past will of the majority was for slavery,

    Rights are by definition limits to the power of government or the majority.

    Once you accept that rights are NOT from government or the will of the majority,
    You are stuck with the fact that they are not fungible,
    That you can not create or destroy rights willy nilly as you please.

    Whether our rights come from free will, god, nature, evolution, they are for the most part discovered not constructed.

    They are like gravity – they have always been there – even when we did not understand them or respect them. Gravity exists – even if you beleive you can float accross the grand canyon. Gravity exists even if you are a cave man who has not conceived much less beleives in it.

    Rights are the same.

    The 2nd amendment is really an abbreviated form of the right to self defense.

    Do you have a right to a gun ? That is not the correct question.
    Do you have the right to defend yourself against an agressor – whether they are a criminal, a gang or a tyranical government ? The answer is yes.
    The right to firearms is merely the right to whatever tools are necescary to be able to defend yourself against any threats.

    Ultimately I am not fixated on rights. Because that inverts the argument.

    The base is not everything is prohibited except that which is allowed.
    It is everything is allowed – except that which is prohibited.

    We are prohibited from infringing on the equal liberty of others.

    You may not kill people because that reduces (eliminates) their liberty.

    The only infringements of liberty you are permitted is those that result in net greater liberty.

    That is why the language in the declaration of independence – Governments are instituted to secure our liberty.

    The purpose of government is to SOLELY protect freedom, not to create it, and not to reduce it.

    • dduck12 permalink
      October 8, 2017 9:53 pm

      And deaths might be even lower if the “Iron Pipeline” could be eliminated or slowed down:

      BTW, if gravity would be fairer, it would rain “stuff”on gun death deniers.
      “Well regulated militia”, my sweet rear end.
      Priscilla, if all we had were screw drivers, which by the way some career criminals do carry to avoid laws against knife laws, the an excess number in a volatile situation, like a gang conflict could lead to more stabbings. Common sense?

      • October 9, 2017 12:22 am

        I am going to go back to Ricks original post concerning the division in the country and address actions of fans at college and professional teams with a Native American name, ie Florida State Seminoles, Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Braves, etc. We have said the same thing almost 10 times concerning guns and gun control and no one has changed their mind.

        Tomahawks were general purpose tools used by Native Americans that were often employed as a hand-to-hand or a thrown weapon.

        Why the hell is it OK for white Americans sitting in a stadium to do the native American chant and swing their arms in a manner that signifies the use of a weapon on another individual. Why do it if it does not apply to their team chopping up the opposing team? And with blacks having a cow over how they are being treated, they are right there with their white friends doing the same.

        People are having a hemorrhage over the Washington Red Skins team name, but not a word about this disparaging action. Another double standard?

      • dhlii permalink
        October 9, 2017 2:33 am

        You pass stupid laws that create black markets and then blame the people who were NOT stupid for the black markets you create ?

        Get a clue. When you ban, reduce the access, create scarity or distort the price of anything – you get black markets – always and everywhere.

        In the USSR between 1/3 and 2/3 of all exchange was in black markets.

        We have the same issues with drug and prostitution laws.
        We see exactly the same thing with cigarettes.

        Sorry dduck12 – you do not get to blame others for the problems you create.

        If you regulate the crap out of something in your city or state YOU are responsible for the fact that black markets arrise. Those states not stupid enough to do as your city or state did owe you no obligation to protect you from your own stupidity.

        You have completely inverted logic.

        This is precisely the outcome we want.

        One one state passes bad laws and another does not – we want the benefit of not having acted stupidly to be with the wise state and the cost with the unwise one.

        This is why elminating the deductibility of state and local taxes is a good aspect of the tax reform being proposed.

        Making state and local taxes deductible from federal taxes relieves high tax states from the public backlash against high taxes.

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 9, 2017 9:33 am

        Ron, there is a saying “if s/he didn’t have double-standards, s/he’s have no standards at all.”

        The hypocrisy of many ~ on the left and the right ~ has become glaringly obvious. To use an example on the right, all we need to do is to look at the fate of the Obamacare repeal, which was promised for 7 years, and was passed in the Congress, so long as Obama was there to veto it, but went down in flames after Trump promised to sign it. And, if you believe the polling on O-Care, as soon as the House passed a repeal/replace bill, all of a sudden, more and more people wanted to keep it. It may be awful, but for many it’s “free,” and taking back free stuff is hard to do, even if it’s cheap, awful free stuff.

        It’s similar with SS and Medicare reform ~ everyone knows (or should know) that entitlements are bankrupting us. But the second that a politician mentions reform, his chances of re-election plummet.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 9, 2017 2:16 pm

        What we do not understand is that the price the least well off among us pay for “free”.

        The bottom 20% of us, have .25 people per household employed full time. The top 20% have 2.5 full time employed per household.

        We would add trillions to our economy if those at the bottom had even crappy low paying jobs at the same rate as those at the top. And better still those at the bottom would be better off.

        Our laws works to keep poor people unemployed.

        Hardly a politician avoids the scandal of having an improperly employed houseworker.

        Why ? It is not like most of these people can not afford to pay employment taxes.
        It is because we make the amount of work necessary to employ one of two people prohibitive.

        We deprive people of the dignity and opportunity that comes from supporting themselves.
        And we do so in ways that destroy the instutions that make us more productive.

  115. October 8, 2017 6:53 pm

    This site needs to be shared with many who are at each others throat in other sites to see what type of discussions people can have on subjects like gun control without going all personal on the issues. What is very clear here is what is happening in congress today.

    While the loony left and the radical right are calling each other names, this site made up of mostly moderate left and moderate right positioning individuals is what congress is tackling today with gun control.

    There are those that favor some forms of limitations on the number of guns and the type of guns one can own. They are the ones that believe criminals will be reluctant to exceed those limits or find ways to obtain restricted firearms. Then there are those that believe no matter what laws are on the books, the criminals will find a way to obtain those firearms. That is what is happening in congress and what is happening across America today. You do not need to be nuts to believe in either position.

    But in this day and age of the internet and drones, one does not need a gun to perform mass murder and the alternative is much safer for the individual committing murder. They can commit the crime, few will realize what happened and the criminal is long gone from where ever they started from. No suicide needed in this case.

    Buy castor bean seeds . Many places on the internet to purchase.. Soak the beans in water, remove the skins and cook them. mash them and then mix with a solvent like alcohol and in short order you have ricin. And I won’t go into any more detail as to how to disburse this from a drone over thousands of people at a concert, but just 1.78mg’s of ricin (less than a pinch worth of salt) breathed in by individuals will kill just as many if not more people than what happened in Vegas. Its all on the internet.

    So this idiot does not support legislative action for multiple reasons. It will not stop one person from doing harm if that is in their heart. They will find the will and the way. I just learned how to do it with ricin in just a few minutes. The problem is people who follow the law find it uncomprehendable how others would be so sick as to find ways to commit these crimes and believe the only way to do it is with a gun. That may have been true a few years back when information was not readily available, but today you can find anything on the internet. Who ever thought a pressure cooker could be used for a bomb until it happened in Boston?

    • dhlii permalink
      October 9, 2017 2:03 am

      The default when we can not agree should be NOT to use force to infringe on peoples rights.

      The left (and sometimes the right) is unwilling to accept that.

      Humans are individuals. we are each unique. We are rarely going to agree.
      So long as we are not using force – that is OK.

      You and I need not agree on my carpet, choice of car, or breakfast cereal.

      But when we are going to empower men with guns to impose the choices we make on others by force, when we can not agree, we must do nothing.

  116. October 9, 2017 12:37 am

    Another new question

    Anyone have any ideas what the blacks that have achieved representation in congress are going to do when the gerrymandered districts to insure minority representation. In North Carolina, ” NC’s 12th congressional district is a congressional district located in the city of Charlotte and surrounding areas in Mecklenburg County. Prior to the 2016 elections, it was a gerrymandered district located in central North Carolina that comprised portions of Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Lexington, Salisbury, Concord, and High Point.
    It was one of two minority-majority Congressional districts created in the state in the 1990s”.

    This was to follow the voting rights law that prohibited diluting minority votes and preventing a minority from getting elected.

    Once these gerrymandered black voters are included with gerrymandered white voters, the number of black representatives is going to drop. Anyone thin the ACLU will have a cow about that?

    • dhlii permalink
      October 9, 2017 3:10 am

      I think that courts stepping into redistricting is dangerous, stupid and corrupting.
      No good can come of it.
      I think purportedly non-partisan commissions are about the stupidest idea in existance.
      Anyone who thinks they will remain non-partisan very long is an idiot – and that is presuming they are ever non-partisan.

      One of the fundimental problems with this issue – is the stupid presumption that there is a “right” way to do this.

      The voter efficiency argument being made, in the unlikely event the court buys it is going to result in far worse than anything we have now.

      The supposed “one person, one vote” “doctrine” that Ginsberg raised in oral arguments, requires districts to have roughly equal population – that is all.

      Neither the constitution nor the supreme court has ever ruled that voters are entitled to have their votes count perfectly equally.
      That is actually impossible.
      The actual proposition reflected in the constitution is that related groups of people are entitled to representation that reflects them. i.e. that Rural voters are entitled to elect representative that reflect the interests of rural voters.
      This is the core of the constitutional scheme for electing house and senate.
      Our founder explicitly rejected “one person, one vote”.

      The change the left is looking for would AGAIN require constitutional amendment.

      Finally, the net impact will depend on exactly how a “voter efficiency” scheme is enacted.
      But if the court maintains the prior requirments such as compact districts – the net result will be ZIPO.

      There are several districts throughout the country that just plane look offensive – most of these are held by democrats.

      Regardless, the traditional form of gerrymandering works to aide incumbents at the expense of their party. It is popular because it usually benefits incumbents of BOTH parties. Democrat and republican incumbents share the desire to have easy elections in districts where the majority of the voters are from their party.

      The claim that one party (or the other) is increasing their control of legislatures or congress by “gerrymandering” presumes that incumbents are willing to significantly increase their risk of re-election – for the good of the party. It also presumes that parties are willing to risk being obliterated in the legislature or congress by a few point change in voting.

      Currently 43% of voters identify as democrats, 39% as republicans.
      If you accepted this voter efficiency argument on a nationwide scale and allocate all districts so they were 43/39 then the house of representatives would likely be entirely democratic. BUT if there was a 5 point swing in voter preference the house would be entirely republicans.

      This is exactly the kind of political instability you do NOT want.

      You do nto want this in the house of representatives, you do not want it in state legislatures.

      If we divided the house and the senate up the same way the electoral college went
      There would be 57 republican senators, and 43 democrats,
      There would be 246 republican representatives, and 187 democrats.
      Interestingly the house currently has 246 republicans and 187 democrats.

      • Ron P permalink
        October 9, 2017 12:34 pm

        Dave agree mostly about independent commissions. I also think “snake districts” or “octopus districts” to insure minority representation is ridiculous. And that gerrymandering became political partisanship gerrymandering.Technology exist today that would allow for allocating population based on a minimal number of requirements that would end up with districts that are more like 5 year old childrens gig saw puzzles instead of ink spot splatters.

        The problem I have is the fact the vote is perceived to be 4-4 beforevwrguements ever begin and everything is directed to one justice.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 9, 2017 2:46 pm


        I do not buy the “technology” argument – most ever.

        What is being done today was possible 100 years ago.
        All that technology does is makes it STILL possible.

        Fundimentally there are only two mutually exclusive things one can accomplish by manipulating redistricting.

        1). Create “safe” districts for incumbents. Mostly that is bipartisan. It is very hard to create a “safe” republican district without also creating a proportionate number of “safe” democratic districts.

        While there are negatives to this – mostly it is not a bad thing. There are very serious dangers to a huge single election swings.

        2). increase the number of districts your party controls.
        But this comes at a cost – it eliminates the safe districts and it significantly increases the odds that a small voter change will flip the entire legislature.

        It is way past time for racial gerrymanding to end.
        But that is mostly a side issue. It is just a special form of #1.

        My fundimental point – which is much like my russia point, is “so what ?”

        If republicans or democrats choose to manipulate their districts such that there are no safe seats but that they get a disproportionate majority of the legislature – let them.
        If they do so and can not deliver better government, a better economy etc. then the next election cycle a small swing in voters will throw them all out of office and give the other party total dominance

        The problem with our outrage over gerrymandering is “there is no free lunch”.

        As I noted the current makeup of the senate has democrats with 6 more seats than the electoral collage results would predict, and the makeup of the house is EXACTLY consistent with the electoral college results.

        The bigger red/blue problem in the country is more the consequence of “the great sorting”

        The former republican north/democratic south division has finally cleared and we have a republican rural, democratic urban division with mostly republican suburban.

        We have a few more southern senate seats to flip to red and the sort will complete.

        The only thing new that Trump did was note that any republican was going to dominate in the south no matter what, and that he could afford to be weak in the south – once he got nominated, if he could pick up northern blue collar votes. And that is what tipped the election. Romney tried the same – everyone know what the “battleground states” were. But Romney never spoke to blue color workers in a way they responded to.

        Regardless, democrats are looking for an explanation for their losses over the past decade. As shakespeare noted “the fault is not in your stars, but in yourself”.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 9, 2017 3:19 am

      Just to be clear Ron, I am not trying to say that districting is currently done in some wonderful moral way.

      I am arguing that it is never going to be done in some impecably “fair” way.
      That there is no such thing, that the process is going to be corrupt no matter how it is done, but that the current scheme incentivizes less offensive and less dangerous corruption than the one being proposed, that we should not grow the number of people who the election process is going to corrupt.

      I have in the past argued against recounts and for runoff elections.
      One reason for that is that recounts corrupt our judiciary.

      Is there anyone that does nto want to hold their nose over the 2000 election ?
      Is there anyone who does not think that Judges from local through the supreme court handled that election badly and biased ?

      With respect to the decision that SCOTUS is faced with now its FIRST priority would be to confine the corruption to the already corrupted.
      We do not want any but the most obviously egregiously offensive instances of “gerrymandering being addressed by the courts.
      We do not want courts determining districts. That will corrupt them.
      We do not want “non-partisan” commissions – that will rapidly be corrupted.

      To the extend I think the courts have any role it should be to say “District X” does nto meet the standards of compactness etc. Go redraw the map.
      Courts should never draw maps themselves, and they should be limited to rejected egregious districts that do not meet the existing criteria.

    • dduck12 permalink
      October 9, 2017 2:26 pm

      Hey Ron, now that you mentioned the ACLU, even they are not safe anymore from left wing extremists:

      • October 9, 2017 2:49 pm

        Wow!! I wonder if these nuts even know who Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and James Monroe are, where they went to school and what they stood for.

  117. dhlii permalink
    October 9, 2017 4:47 am

    Logic is not the forte of the left.

  118. dhlii permalink
    October 9, 2017 4:48 am

    • Priscilla permalink
      October 9, 2017 9:19 am

      I read about this. Unbelievable (or maybe not so much) that a congressman should so casually dismiss the right of his constituents to defend themselves, but assert that a “public servant” deserves armed guards. It’s the same with Hollywood celebrities ~ many of them travel with armed bodyguards ~ which is fine, if there is a need for them, I have no problem with that. But then they demand that the law-abiding plebes be stripped of that right.

      This is exactly the reason why we can’t have a productive debate about gun control. Many legislators are in favor of banning guns, but they do not have the political courage to ask for 2nd Amendment repeal. So, they make a bogeyman out of the NRA, and say that it “controls” the defenders of the amendment.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 9, 2017 2:08 pm

        I am not a “gun person”. I have one rifle, inherited, that does not work.
        I shot a .22 at groundhogs a couple of times as a kid.

        Long ago I thought gun control was a good idea.
        But like those at 538, I can read statistics and understand them.

        Gun control is one of myriads of issues where those on the left want to force all of us to do something that will not do any good, purportedly for our own benefit.
        It is no different from Global Warming, or ObamaCare.

        I get accused of being a really extremist libertarian.
        That is not where I started. When I was in my 20’s I leaned moderately left.
        When Bush II was elected, I was prepared to buy NCLB, and Medicare D and essentially this progressive republicanism. But Iraq and the post 9/11 exploding security state were a problem for me. As was the growing realization that CAGW was a hoax.
        I had no problem with defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan – though our goal should have been the destruction of Al Queda, the destruction of the Taliban and departure.
        As much as Sadam was a clearly bad man, I was very very morally uncomfortable with pre-emptive war.

        I have become ever more libertarian over time, because the evidence is that government does nto work – really pretty much ever.

        I pretty much taunt Roby and Jay asking them for a program that works – because I am so confident that they are not going to be able to find something that ultimately will not be demonstrably bad. I used to be much more careful about what I said. But a decade of checking things out thoroughly before I post has never resulted in any case that required significant adjustment.

        What actually surprises me is that given a government with $4T of programs you would think there were a few examples of something that actually worked.

        That is not to say that government does absolutely no good. Just that I have never encountered anything beyond a test program that was net positive. The norm is much like Section 8. Section 8 evolved from a trial program at chicago’s cabrini green, that carefully selected people to move into better neighborhoods, and provided them with support and resources, the trial was run by the best administrators, and social workers and psychologists and it worked incredibly – though even it left cabrini green worse off by removing those most likely to improve it. But the programs caught attention and was scaled to a nationwide program – and the evidence is that it is a miserable failure.
        Now instead of giving a chance to the most likely to succeed with a bit of help, it is litterally moving drug dealers from the inner cities into working class minority neighborhoods that had successfully broken out, and destroying them.

        Gun control is just the same as all other attempts by statists to control the world and fix it.
        I do not think we are actually better off with 300+m guns. But I do not think we are worse off either. The left is right – people die as a result of the abundance of guns. But they miss the fact that others end up better off too. The net is pretty close to zero. Gun nuts have been looking for the holy grail of proof that guns make us safer, gun control freaks have sought the opposite. Each is capable of finding single statistics that make their case.
        But no gun law has ever disrupted a trend. In other words on net, they do nothing.
        That inherently makes gun laws net negative, because laws reduce freedom, you can not do that with no benefit, they also have a cost to enforce, again you can not do that with no benefit.

        The trend argument I am constantly making is important.

        I keep posting things showing that in innumerable ways (almost all ways) the world is getting better. While most of us have the personal experience to know that. Somehow intuitively we beleive the world is getting worse – despite the evidence of our own eyes.
        Regardless, that constant improvement is the baseline, and it has been going on since the first cave men. But most improving trends have accelerated dramatically in the past 4 centuries, and they have done so primarily staring in the west. This was not a result of technology – nearly all the great western technology was borrowed from elsewhere. China had nearly all of the technology of the west 2000 years before we did. The great driving force was the growing western value of the individual. Martin Luther’s thesis, being one example. The proposition that we each get to decide for ourselves. That started in Germany but reached its zenith in the anglo countries and then in the US.
        That is “american exceptionalism”. It has nothing to do with the geography, or race. It is the value that individuals to the greatest extent possible should control their own lives. That we each not only can but ultimately MUST decide everything for ourselves. That even in a totalitarian state – we are still responsible for our own lives, so we might as well choose freedom.

        Those improving trends in everything are not a few years long, or a few decades, they are centuries, millennia long.

        The driving factor for our improvement in anything is not government – in fact improvements in government are a consequence, not a cause.
        Greater individual freedom means rising standard of living, rising standard of living means we can climb maslow’s hierarchy of needs. When we can not feed ourselves we do not think about child labor, or clean water or clean air. As we become ever better off, we can afford to improve our lives and or world all the more.

        We have students at Berkeley demanding take home tests as a right, and white privilege shaming left professors for expecting them to abide by the same rules as other students.

        We are so used to our affluence we do not understand that it is the product of our effort and that of those who preceded us, it is not a right, and it did not come from government.

  119. dhlii permalink
    October 9, 2017 4:51 am

    You have to be able to laugh at yourself.

  120. dhlii permalink
    October 9, 2017 5:29 am

  121. dhlii permalink
    October 9, 2017 3:46 pm

    Trump (or Obama) is not a threat – because we are free to disparage them.
    Weinstein (or Ailes) are because we are not.

    • Jay permalink
      October 9, 2017 5:27 pm


      “If Sen. Corker’s Congressional colleagues agree with him, they should impeach and convict President Trump

      MAX BOOT OCT 9, 2017 4:39 PM
      It is no longer just President Trump’s critics who are calling him out for his ignorance and ineptitude. His own secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, has apparently called him a “moron,” and now the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Bob Corker, has said, “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center” and warned that Trump may put us on “the path to World War III.” With friends like these . . .

      Corker’s defection — previewed last week when he said, “I think Secretary (Rex) Tillerson, Secretary (Jim) Mattis and Chief of Staff (John) Kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos” — is particularly significant, given that, until recently, he had been one of the mainstream Republicans normalizing Trump.

      Back in April 2016, when Trump was not yet the Republican nominee, Corker gushed that he saw “a great deal of evolution taking place” and that a recent “foreign policy speech was a step in the right direction.” He urged Never-Trump Republicans like me “just to chill” and foresaw “a coming together taking place.”

      In fairness to Corker, he was only one of many Republicans who operated under what might be called the Von Papen Hypothesis. Franz von Papen was the aristocratic military officer who convinced other members of the conservative German establishment to support Adolf Hitler’s appointment as chancellor in 1933 on the assumption that the clownish populist could be controlled by more moderate officials.”

      • dhlii permalink
        October 9, 2017 7:28 pm

        Do you understand that Max Boot is a neocon ?

        A proponent of endless war. That Neocons are people who flipped from being democrats to republicans during the cold war.

        If Democrats want the neocons back – they can have them.

        I have absolutely no interest in anything Max Boot says.

      • Jay permalink
        October 9, 2017 8:25 pm

        Guess you don’t want to hear what Corker says either.
        Or what this guy says..

        Or what anyone with a different opinion from your flat perspective thinks.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 9, 2017 9:12 pm

        You are right, generally I give very little weight to appeals to authority.
        Particularly those from people I do not trust on the most important subject in THEIR lives.

        As to Corker – whatever. Corker and Trump are having a fight over minutia over why Corker chose not to run again.

        The details are not important. Corker would have had a tough fight WITH Trump’s endorsement.
        Do I care which of them is actually right ?

        You also seem to think it is important what Trump says about someone or something, or what Republicans, or Trump cabinet members says about Trump.

        I don’t. I care what people DO!

        I do not know if Tillerson called Trump a moron. Nor do I care.
        I do not know whether Trump threatened to fire him.

        I do know that the accomplishments and failures of the executive branch fall squarely at the presidents feet.

        I think that thus far Foreign policy under Trump has been good – C+/B- That is compared to Obama where it was a D- and Bush where it was a C-.

        Does Tillerson get credit ? – yup. Does Trump ? yup.

        Further Trump picked Tillerson and the rest of his cabinet and most of them are pretty good.

        If there is a bit of back stabbing and name calling – So What ?

        Maybe Tillerson called Trump a moron. Maybe Trump threatened to fire him.
        Maybe Tillerson is quitting in december. Do not know. Do not care.

        I do care about our foreign policy. Thus far the only big mistake is staying in afghanistan.
        Trump puportedly fought against that tooth and nail. Fought Kelly, Fought McMasters, Fought Mattis, Fought Tillerson. I wish he would not have given in.
        But it is Trump’s and Co now – they own it.

        Regardless, there is a big difference between supporting everything Trump does and not hyperventilating over the most recent knee jerk meaningless leak of the day.

        Harvey Weinstein was meeting Barack Obama in the whitehouse personally, possibly more frequently than Michelle.
        Should we impeach Obama ? too late.
        That atleast is something we know is true – they whitehouse has records.

        The rest of this is all unsourced leaks.
        Your freaking out over gossip.

        The problem is you want to freak out.
        You need to beleive that Trump is the anti-christ,
        and that but for youtube, Russia, twitter, …. Clinton would have been elected in a landslide.
        You need to beleive that voters were decieved, that they did not actually say FU to the left.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 9, 2017 7:25 pm

      While much of what has floated re corker is not likely true.

      What is probably true is that he was going to face a difficult primary – one he might have lost.

      You are the left seem to have a very broad concept of when we should impeach the president.

      Here is a long list of the Obama scandal’s

      This ignores the myriads of instances where he acted without the legal authority to do so – such as DACA.

      To be clear – I am not making a threat – just noting that each expansion of the limits that democrats impose comes back to bite them.

      Kennedy engaged in atleast the malfeasance of Nixon. Johnson was the arch criminal president. Yet Nixon was faced with impeachment and as a consequence Clinton was actually impeached, but not convicted.

      Reid went nuclear – and now Gorsuch is a supreme court Justice, and Trump’s appointments have nearly all gotten through the Senate.

      If you impeach Trump because you do not like his style – then you can expect the next democrat to face the same threat.

      I have only had two presidents in my entire life time that I actually liked, Carter and Reagan. The rest were mediocre disappointments.

      Those of you on the left can manage to live until 2020, and apparently current projections suggest you are going to have to make it to 2024.

      regardless, chill out.

      Everyone has gotten that you are hyperventaliting and appoplectic and think this is the worst thing ever.

      Even Oprah recently had a group session with Trump and Clinton voters and found – nothing has changed – except that those on the left have not figured out the election is over.

      I understand you do not like Trump – I do not either. I am very tired of defending him.
      Just because I think your attacks are stupid and rooted in the inability to accept that voters rejected you – this election was MORE a rejection of the left than the election of Trump.
      Get a clue, you are unliked and unwanted. Most of us think you are elitist, snobby and intolerant.

      Pew found we are more divided than ever before.
      But more interesting is what we are divided over.

      The identity politics issues are not what divides us.
      Most of us accept the “culture wars” are over.
      We grasp that racism is still present, but it is as low as it has ever been and not in the top ten of problems impacting minorities.
      We have minor issues to work out – like can a baker refuse to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, or what are we going to do about transgendered bathrooms.

      Despite the uproar these are not issues that are polarizing the country.

      It is actually politics. The left has just gone too far into socilaism and divided the country.

      • Jay permalink
        October 9, 2017 8:26 pm


  122. Jay permalink
    October 9, 2017 9:55 pm

    “LAS VEGAS (AP) — The gunman who killed 58 people in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history targeted aviation fuel tanks..”

    Try and do that with knives…

    • dhlii permalink
      October 9, 2017 10:11 pm

      He hit them several times – even puncturing the tank and nothing happened.
      Things only blow up when you hit them with a bullet in the movies.

      Regardless, there is always a way

      You should be able to find a copy on line somewhere.
      I have a paper copy I bought at a computer show in the 70’s.

      McVeigh did not use a gun. Kazynski did not use a gun.

      If you want to kill alot of people – there is always a way.

  123. dduck12 permalink
    October 9, 2017 9:58 pm

    I knew having a discussion with dhii reminded me of something. It finally popped into my mind:
    Nonsense, wordiness and a total lack of common sense.
    What a waste of time, that’s on me.
    JJ, I wish you well. Don’t get drowned in the wake of fatberger’s silly tsunami of twisted logic and other deniers of a more subtle stripe.
    I’m going to try and wait this one out. No sense fighting the shit tide.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 9, 2017 10:15 pm

      When facts contradict your pretense to commonsense – facts win.

      Yes, you have taken us through the looking glass.
      I took the red pill, you took the blue one.

    • Jay permalink
      October 10, 2017 12:37 am

      Right, time to ‘duck’ for shit storm cover for a while for me too.

      I just got a new toy: an Instant Pot Ultra multi cooker, and I’m going to focus on food, not futile argument.

      Here’s tomorrow’s recipe:

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 10, 2017 8:55 am

        Jay, if you were interested in discussion or in debating points of view other than your own, you wouldn’t get so upset that you couldn’t come up with any factual evidence to back yourself up.

        Advocating policies that don’t work is not a winning hand, and rhetorical bludgeons, meant to beat others into submission are not arguments. Nor are playground-style insults.

        I do agree with you that this discussion is probably over for now, because we’re essentially going over the same territory, again and again.

        Plus, it appears that the media has moved on to covering “more important” stories, such as how many women Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted, and how many people knew about it and stayed silent, in the interests of furthering their own careers and/or getting their hands on some of his money.

      • October 10, 2017 11:03 am

        Priscilla. ” Plus, it appears that the media has moved on to covering “more important” stories, such as how many women Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted, and how many people knew about it and stayed silent”

        I wonder if anyone on the left has questioned why Bill Cosby was charged, why Harvey Weinstein has been accused of so many different instances of sexual misconduct to the point he has been removed from his leadership position, but good ol’ Bill Clinton is still walking around fat dumb and happy.

        And I will also will bring up why nothing has taken place with Hillary and all her illegal activities with her email crap on personal computers.

        I don’t want to reenter the debate if he or she did something wrong or not. My point is I thought politicians were subject to the same laws that private citizens are subjected to.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 10, 2017 7:50 pm

        Nothing has been done about Clinton because we do not have the rule of law.

        The rule of law means that we rule by laws, imposed on all of us, that we make no allowances for who it is who violated the law.

        That whether we think Trump, or Clinton, or Obama or Weinstein or …. did something wrong, that we pursue it with equal vigor, that we pursue it whether the perpitrator is a pauper or a prince.

        Contra Jay and Roby, I do not think that Trump should “get off” if he has committed and actual crime. Not even one that Clinton or Obama committed.
        I merely insist we follow the 4th amendment as written.
        We do not conduct searches and seizures of anyone, absent probable cause that a specific crime has actually been committed.

        We have that with not only Clinton, but much of her staff.
        We need to investigate and prosecute because not merely must clinton be brought to justice – but those who helped her an enabled her and conspired with her to commit her crimes. At the very least – none of these people should ever be in a position of public trust again.

        The same with the misconduct in the Obama administration.

        If we do not do this that means that we only care when the “wrong people” do something bad. that our law only applies to some.

        We have Black Lives Matter arguing there is a different criminal justice system for people of color. I think that while true, they over state the case. The real problem is that we have lost the rule of law. That some people are treated differently than others – maybe because of race, maybe because of class, maybe because of political connections.

        I rail here about the Trump investigations. I do nto care that much about Trump. What I care about is that the rest of us can not count on better treatment than Trump.

        But this works the other way. The failure to pursue not merely Clinton but a raft of others throughout the Obama administration means we can expect even more of the same lawlessness in the future. Maybe by Trump and his cronies, or maybe by the next democrat. It does nto matter.

        This even goes to my arguments for originalist constitutional interpretation.
        If as a judge you can not follow the law as written – not only are you the judge who will rewrite the constitution in an oppinion, but you are also the judge who will hold the black accountable and let the white go free – or visa versa, or jail the republican and not the democrat or visa versa. If you can not apply the law as written regardless of your “feelings” you are corrupt, and dangerous and should not be a judge.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 10, 2017 8:02 pm

        There is absolutely no debate that Clinton broke several laws.

        Comey “rewrote” the law to require intent.
        I beleive intent should be a part of nearly all federal criminal laws – except a very few where the standard is recklessness, or gross negligence.
        That is the case regarding Clinton.

        Because we did not properly pursue one crime we know was committed, we also avoided the myriads of related crimes, by both clinton and surrogates.

        Clinton also inarguably lied in several court filings.
        This a a crime (though not to the level of perjury)

        There is also ample evidence of destruction of evidence – which is a very serious crime, even if we are not exactly sure precisely who was responsible.

        I am not sure there is proof of a “pay for Play” scheme, but there is more than enough evidence for an investigation.

        Menendez appears to be going down for a much smaller one right now.

        I am not sure that the reasons this is not all being pursued are partisan.

        The powers that be protect themselves – even often those on the opposite side of the political fence.

        Even now the FBI seems to be behaving as if Obama is still president.

        I really think Trump needs to fire alot more people.

        Which is another issue here.

        Forget crimes. People in government do not even lose their jobs for egregious misconduct.

        Conservatives have been demanding firing the head of the IRS for years.
        Trump has kept a guy that Congress considered impeaching.
        Because he is a personal friend of Trumps.

        We forget that there is much nepotism between the left and right – even when Trump a purported outsider is president.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 10, 2017 7:15 pm

        Arguing for policies that must be imposed by force that you can not demonstrate have a high probability of being net positive is wrong, it is immoral. It is no different from burglary or rape. It is imposing your will on others by force without justification.
        Appeals to common sense are not arguments. We do not agree on what constitutes common sense, and the concept of the left is shallow. Regardless, facts do not support it.

        There has never been a debate. There almost never is with the left.
        There is “I want”, “I feel” in opposition to facts, logic, reason.

        Before one can infringe on a right more is necessary than demonstrating a net positive outcome – but without a high probability of a net positive outcome any infringement is immoral.

        We are going over the same territory – because there is no new territory.
        We will do this again and again every time some bad thing associated with guns occurs.

        This is the typical Rahm Emanuel “never let a crisis go to waste” evil.
        It is a deliberate effort to drive into a slippery slope.

        If whatever you wish can not be accomplished outside after an emotionally supercharged event – then you are looking to accomplish evil.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 10, 2017 7:31 pm

        The Weinstein story is the story of the hypocrisy of the left.

        There are so many people who knew. Shortly we will likely get into who claims they did not know who must have known.

        Weinstein is also Hillary writ so that we can see her.

        The left tolerates exactly the conduct they excoriate in others, if you support the right causes, or know the right people

        New York Times had this story in 2004 – and killed it.

        Not only should it be self evident that Weinstein is evil,
        but that he could not exist but for the complicity of huge portions of the upper tiers of the left.

        Nor is that whataboutism. The fundamental issue is hypocrisy – and not Weinsteins.

        Finding examples of those on the right who have behaved similarly is not going to defuse this. The right is not championing women. The right is not claiming the moral high ground on the very issues Weinstein was perverting.

        This is almost like discovering that Lincoln had kids to his own negro slaves while in the whitehouse and the entire abolitionist movement knew about it.

        This is not about Weinstein, this is about the cancer in the soul of the left.

        It is about Hilary meeting with and taking massive contributions from Goldman sachs.
        About her having a public persona and a private one.

        It is about Warren being instrumental in saving the ExIm bank – despite it being exactly what she campaigned against.

        It is about the fact that many of the leaders of the left not merely have feet of clay, but do not even beleive what they say.

        It is about the fact that progressivism is quite litterally the rule of man, not law.
        That in the world of the left “who you are determines what you are free to do”.
        It you are powerful – the rules do not apply to you.

      • Anonymous permalink
        October 10, 2017 10:01 pm

        What’s the difference between Donald and Harvey?

        Not much. Grew up in the same part of NY. Same generational sexual fixations. Same attitudes of sexual obnoxiousness. Same sexual preoccupations. Only a moron would read in political implication in their sexual behaviors.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 12, 2017 12:05 am

        What are the differences ?

        The least important one is that as best we can tell:
        Harvey’s misconduct is much more pervasive, and more numerous, and more serious. and closer to coercive.

        Slightly more importantly Harvey is a hypocrite Trump has been openly sexual, he has not pretended otherwise. He has not pretended – atleast not until more recently that there was a standard he was failing to conform to. Harvey violated principles of his ideology.

        But the most important issue has nothing to do with Harvey at all. It has to do with the left.

        The left claims this type of conduct is somehow unique to the right.
        But it is clearly atleast as pervasive on the left.
        Many – particularly many powerful people, people who condemned others for similar conduct, on the left, knew about Harvey and said and did nothing.

        If you publicly condemned Trump or anyone else for this type of conduct while knowing that Harvey was doing it, you are morally bankrupt.

        This conspiracy on the left to hide Weinsteins conduct is by far the worst aspect of this and its perpetrators are NOT Harvey.

        Trump was publicly known for being physical. People could avoid him. To the extent he had some power, you could still pursue your carreer and avoid him. I am not aware of any evidence that if he was rebuffed he punished someone. That anyone had a choice between their carreer and accepting his conduct.
        In fact the opposite is true – atleast one allegation against Trump is inside a consensual relationship while the woman’s husband was suing Trump. Essentially the allegation was an effort to get a better deal.

        Weinstein AND all those who covered for him, left his potential victims with a choice between losing their career or doing as he wished.

        Get the AND. Everyone who covered this up is complicit in what happened to others.

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 10, 2017 10:56 pm

        Meh. I would imagine that, if Donald Trump had assaulted or raped multiple women a la Clinton and Weinstein, it would have come out long ago. If the Access Hollywood tape was the best that his enemies could come up with ~ and I have to believe that it was ~ then Trump is a piker, compared to our 42nd president. Come to think of it, they’re both pikers compared to the sexual behavior of JFK.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 12, 2017 12:10 am

        To my knowledge there is one multiply recycled allegation of rape of a 13 year old, that has very little credibility.
        Almost exactly the same story has been peddled against Clinton.

        Separately there is ONE claim that Trump flew to the caribean on the lolita express.
        The claim is weak, but Trump did know Epstein.
        There are atleast 7 confirmed trips by Bill Clinton on the “lolita express”.
        There are allegations of as many as 20 and many of them recent.

        There is one allegation against Trump of “not here, not now, my husband is downstairs” inside of a consensual relationship. that one is highly credible,

      • Anonymous permalink
        October 11, 2017 6:57 am

        This is what you get from a trump hardass lawyer when you say anything negative about trump:

        “I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we’re in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don’t have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know,” Cohen said. “So I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?”
        “You write a story that has Mr. Trump’s name in it, with the word ‘rape,’ and I’m going to mess your life up… for as long as you’re on this frickin’ planet… you’re going to have judgments against you, so much money, you’ll never know how to get out from underneath it,” he added.
        “Though there’s many literal senses to the word, if you distort it, and you put Mr. Trump’s name there onto it, rest assured, you will suffer the consequences. So you do whatever you want. You want to ruin your life at the age of 20? You do that, and I’ll be happy to serve it right up to you,” he added.
        I think your paper’s a joke, and it’s going to be my absolute pleasure to serve you with a $500 million lawsuit, like I told [you] I did it to Univision,” Cohen continued.

        In spite of that

        • Allegations of unwanted physical contact
        o 3.1Jessica Leeds (1980s)
        o 3.2Kristin Anderson (1990s)
        o 3.3Cathy Heller (1997)
        o 3.4Temple Taggart McDowell (1997)
        o 3.5Karena Virginia (1998)
        o 3.6Mindy McGillivray (2003)
        o 3.7Rachel Crooks (2005)
        o 3.8Natasha Stoynoff (2005)
        o 3.9Jessica Drake (2006)
        o 3.10Ninni Laaksonen (2006)
        o 3.11Summer Zervos (2007)
        o 3.12Burnett’s unnamed friend (2010)
        o 3.13Cassandra Searles (2013)
        • 4Allegations of pageant dressing room visits
        o 4.1Miss Teen USA contestants
        o 4.2Bridget Sullivan (2000)
        o 4.3Tasha Dixon (2001)
        o 4.4Unnamed contestants (2001)
        o 4.5Samantha Holvey (2006)

      • dhlii permalink
        October 12, 2017 12:20 am

        The threat that bothers you so much is only credible if the story is not true.

        If you say you are going to print a story about me that says I raped someone – I am going to say to you much what Mr. Cohn said. I am even likely to do it very loudly and in public.

        If the story is actually true – that is bad conduct, practically extortion.
        If it is not it is righteous indignation.

        If you were disuaded by such courtroom claims – the presumption is your story will not hold up in court.

        Weinstein did not merely threaten to take every dime someone had in court.
        He threatened to assure they never got a job.

        I only checked one of your list.
        This is Cassandra Searles claim.

        This does not sound like took me to a private room where he forced me to give him a blow job.

        But maybe in your world publicly making all contestants in a Beauty pagent parade arround clothed on stage is the same as chocking someone with your penis.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 12, 2017 12:27 am

        Despite the fact that I am dubious about the credibility of your list,

        overall it does not matter. Establish that Trump actually raped someone, and I will join you in impeaching him.

        But that will not alter the fact that the Weinstein story is alot bigger.
        Not because of Weinstein, but because of Hollywoods complicity, and because Trump is not a scion of anything. Even the republican party is distanced from him.
        Weinstein is part of the left, a BIG part.

        Trumps conduct implicates himself. Republicans as not selling virtue. The left is.
        Identity politics is about being more virtuous.

        Weinstein is another demonstration that the pedals of virtue are dirty scum.
        Atleast as bad as the rest of us.

        If you manage to make Trump as bad as Weinstein – you will make me puke and want to impeach him. But you will not alter the slightest my and myriads of others disgust for the left.

      • Anonymous permalink
        October 11, 2017 8:16 am

        The last post on trump’s sex issues was me (Roby). Not the first anonymous, that was someone else.

        Yesterday we saw our wonderful Russian friend. My wife takes pilates from classes from her. (They do it in a church and I’m allowed to go practice my viola in the actual chapel, which has the most wonderful acoustics I have ever met.)

        So, after the class we were talking and our friend got onto world politics. She was very positive on the character of Lil Kim. Clearly, the latest Russian government propaganda. She was down on trump now, unlike last year when she thought he was great. Also the latest putin line of propaganda. This is a brilliant highly educated woman with a heart of gold telling us that Lil Kim is some wonderful unfairly persecuted hero.

        Brainwashing, voluntary victim. Loyalty to her group. Happens all the time. My wife said later, “She is crazy, I love her, but she is crazy. ”

        I’ve seen quite a few polls in the last month in which people were asked, among other things whether trump is dividing or uniting the country. Something like 70% of republicans have consistently been answering that trump is uniting the country. Like him or hate him, but, he is uniting the country? Really? Based on what evidence? Willful withdrawal into another universe, not just an alternate universe , but a false one. Something like 25% of the country, under the influence of party loyalty has departed from reality. And most of them are never coming back. I never like much of their GOP politics but I did not previously believe that they were oblivious to reality en masse. This worries me, its damned unhealthy. Its a new phenomenon in its scale.

        People will believe anything, really Anything!, once they are under the control of a political force or ideology. Normal people, good people, but no longer part of reality.

        Covering for trump on his obvious sexual predator behavior is like thinking that he is uniting the country, it takes being willfully blind. I hated Clinton for his sexual predator nature. Liked his politics, hated him, disgusting sleazy bastard. I believe the allegations against him, they have never been proven in a court of law. So what? I’m not blind. Clinton is a sexual predator.

        Today, the issue is not Clinton its not Kennedy, it is the present POTUS. Who is an utterly disgusting sexual predator. Listening to a rationalizing defence of trump’s behavior towards women just makes me ill. I don’t respect it at all, to put it as uncolorfully as I can here. . Maybe it hasn’t been proven in a court of law, like Clintons assaults were never taken to court. But nothing could be more clear and obvious than the fact that trump is a sexual predator who does exactly what he said, he grabs women first anywhere he feels like it, asks later, or never asks.

        Public disrespect for and disgusting treatment of women is something our POTUS not only has done, he is PROUD of it. Its part of his machismo, his public sales job on his trump product. Powerful men, powerful people can be shits, behind the scenes. We have never had a POTUS who was flat out publically proud of it before, flaunted it, thought it was a plus. For me and many that is a new low and a very sad day for America.

        Denial of all that is absurd and futile and only leads to a loss of credibility. Why should I believe you on any political question if you cannot even face the most obvious reality on trumps predatory behavior towards women that would put any non billionaire with cut throat lawyers on his payroll in deep legal trouble?

      • dhlii permalink
        October 12, 2017 12:46 am

        Trump is not the source of our division.

        Trump is not a uniter. While maybe something desireable, that is not the role of president.

        Our divisions are real, they were not created by Trump, there is a PEW study on this.
        We are more polarized than ever. Oddly it is NOT over issues like race or culture wars issues – that gap is small and has been constant for several decades.

        We are divided over politics.
        Further the gap has widened primarily because the left has moved farther left.
        And this gap arose during Obama’s presidency.
        Obama divided us, not Trump. Trump is just not bringing us together.

        I would also note things have worsened since the election.

        But Trump has not changed. He is no more or less offensive than before.
        If anything though his tweets etc remain in your face, his actions as president are better than expected. Not great, just better than Obama.

        People will beleive anything – you beleive that 100K in facebook adds turned the election.

        There are disturbing comparisons between Clinton and Trump.
        But the credible allegations against Trump are fewer and weaker.

        But again you want Trump impeached – find proof he raped someone.

        I do not think anyone is “covering” for Trump.

        I am just not going to hate everything he does because I hate some of the things he does.
        I am certainly not going to judge him more harshly than Obama or Clinton.

        To the best of my knowledge the current POTUS has not gotten a blow job from an intern in the oval office.

        Your party set that as the floor to sexual misconduct.
        Get more than that and we can talk impeach.

        Right now what you have is talk – no blue dress.

        We got it, your not happy that Trump is president. Neither am I.
        You think that rather than a serial philanderer with roving hands, we should have a rape enabler. I wish that was not the choice we had,
        But it is .

        Regardless, Trump is still president.

        The rest of us had to live through Obama and Clinton.
        Get a grip we will live through Trump.

        And get a clue – do not run some socialist in 2020, and move your party back to where blue colar people do not choke on voting democrat,
        and while your at it quit calling everyone who disagrees with you hateful, hating haters.

        Those are the changes you need to make to have a shot at winning.

        What are you going to do if Trump is re-elected in 2020 ?
        Have an Aneurysm ? You are so hyped up on outrage there is nowhere to go.

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 11, 2017 10:07 am

        You can’t be serious, Roby. You actually think that, if there was clear cut evidence that Trump was an active sexual predator, like Bill Clinton or Harvey Weinstein, there would not now be multiple accusers, backed by the best lawyers money can buy, supported by all of the Hollywood and Washington DC power brokers, and reported daily in every major newspaper and on every TV news station?

        And that the same people who have been frantically digging into Trump’s past for months have only been able to come up with an 11 year old tape of a conversation and a fake dossier, paid for by his political enemies, because Trump is a billionaire?

        I don’t care how much Trump could spend on “cut throat lawyers” ~ it would not be enough to overcome real evidence. The money and power on the other side dwarfs his personal power and wealth.

        Plus, I would guess that almost every person who voted for Trump knew exactly what kind of rude and bombastic guy they were voting for ~ he HAS been extremely famous for decades, after all. Everyone knows the story of how he cheated on his first wife, and married his mistress. Melania has been slandered repeatedly as a hooker, and the nude pictures for which she posed as a young European model, have been splashed all over the tabloids, as she has been condemned by the very same people who, just last week, wrote glowing obituaries about the guy who made nude girlie pics mainstream

        Attack his policies, attack his leadership, even attack his character. But don’t try to float the partisan nonsense that he is worse than those who came before his,

      • dhlii permalink
        October 12, 2017 12:54 am

        We are no longer in the world where Trump’s alleged accusers are helpless facing legal king kongs.

        I would imaging that Weistein would pony up several million in legal fees to get himself off the front page.

        Should someone want to make a claim against Trump now – he would be the underdog.

        Maybe there is an allegation in all this that is more than Cassandra Searles – “he made contestants in a beauty pagent parade arround the stage:”.

        If so prove it. A credible allegation of rape would bring him down.
        It does not matter how big his lawyers are now.

      • Anonymous permalink
        October 11, 2017 10:53 am

        You can’t be serious Priscilla. But, like my Russian friend’s views on Lil Kim, sadly, you are.

        trump may not be worse than Bill Clinton and Weinstein, I think they are exactly the same thing, men using their wealth and power to get away with being sexual predators. Like Cosby got away with it. It caught up with Cosby in the end, and it derailed Clinton. Its one of the many things that is derailing trump.

        Why trumps case is different and worse is a very simple and obvious matter. Kennedy did not rape, as far as I know. Horny as a hound dog but all consensual and well hidden from the public. Clinton, not so well hidden but he did not brag about it in public, he was not using it as a proud selling point. trump is a POTUS who has made being a sexual predator a selling point, proudly, loudly. His voters accept it, lots admire it. That is a first, a milestone in our culture, a terrible one. I never ever expected that conservatives would swallow this, but they have. I’ve lost one of my reasons to respect conservatives, I’m not alone.

        The fact that his voters don’t care is a statement about his voters, not about whether this matters.

        This issue is going to come back on him and on his voters in the long run. Quite likely not in 2018, perhaps not in 2020. No party goes away forever, not even a party as inept as the Dems. They will be back in power some day and the issue of trumps voters and a large part of the GOP party having accepted and even in some cases embraced the trump view of sexual behavior is an issue that I promise you will have long legs far in the future. The outrage is very justified in the opinion of many people. There is not a thing we can to do about this now, but the well-founded outrage is being stored up as in a geological fault. The longer it waits for a release the bigger the quake is going to be.

        In the end you trump voters are likely to get very little of what you wanted out of trump and you will have soiled yourselves accepting all the worst elements of his character and you will have to carry that burden in future campaigns.

        I am 110% sure you would not accept trumps character if he were a democrat, if he were interested in your daughter, if he were the principle of your kids school, etc.

        Now, here comes a giant pile of denial and deflection from dave. I won’t bother reading it, it could write his shpiel myself, heard it a million times. Not going to be impressed this time either. There is a political cost and a cultural cost to the trump character milestone, no amount of denial or piles of words can prevent that from landing on conservative causes, hard, at some point in the future.

        Jeez, I AM wordy. Sorry about that dduck.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 12, 2017 1:00 am

        No one is stopping you from proving an allegation against Trump.

        Seriously. You say you think he is as bad as Weinstein and Clinton.

        I do not think so – but I can be persuaded.

        Weinstein and Clinton threatened the crap out of people – eventually that failed.
        If there is truth to the allegations against Trump – you will prevail.

        But do not just spray them and pretend they have been proven.

        Allegations get made alot. Sometimes they are true, sometimes they are not
        McMartin PreSchool, Duke Lacross, ……

        The public is jaded. Unlike Clinton I do not think that everyone alleging misconduct is entitled to be beleived in court. And I would bet I am much closer to real rape victims than she is.

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 11, 2017 12:49 pm

        Serious question, Roby: other than the tape of a private conversation, taped over a decade ago, during which Trump said ~ to one person~ that rich and famous men can get away with crude and objectionable behavior with women, because the women will put up with it (true enough, that doesn’t make it right, but we all know that Weinstein’s victims stayed silent in the interest of furthering their film careers, and Weinstein is only the latest in a long, long line of powerful Hollywood types who used “casting couch techniques,” shall we say) when has he “loudly and proudly” bragged about sexual assault?? Just one example will do…..

        Do you believe that he is currently molesting 22 year old interns in the Oval Office, as Clinton did? Do you believe that his wife and children know of his supposed victims and are silencing them?

        And no, as far as I know, JFK did not rape ~ and I don’t believe I ever said he did. But he did sleep with dozens of women, including an East German spy, the girlfriend of a Mafia boss and the most famous movie star of the time ~ all while he was president. Does the fact that he pretended to be a faithful husband to his wife mean that he had better character than Trump?

        Sorry. I don’t like boorish behavior and I don’t admire it. But hypocrites and liars are worse than boors, in my book.

        Anyway, we’re not going to find common ground here, I can see that.

        I do find it fascinating though, that the news media is far more interested in who Harvey Weinstein tried to have sex with than in the tax cut plan, or the motives of the Las Vegas shooter. Even though many, if not most Americans, don’t even know who Harvey Weinstein is…….

        The NYT and The National Enquirer aren’t that far apart anymore, in terms of what they consider newsworthy stories.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 12, 2017 1:07 am

        Based on what we know Weinstein is worse than nearly all the allegations against Trump.

        I am prepared to accept otherwise – with some proof.
        But I need more than jumping up and down and stamping feet.

        I do not think there is any doubt that Trump has had roving hands in the past.
        He should not get a pass for that.
        We should not have elected him – for that.
        I did not vote for him – for that.
        But Rape enabler is worse, and that is the choice democrats gave us.

        Regardless, the Weinstein story is still more problems for the left.
        Because it is not just about Weinstein, it is about how the left enabled him.
        And it is about the hypocracy – not of weinstein, but the left.

        The very same people protecting Weinstein were maligning the virtue of half the country.

        Trump can survive everything short of rape.

        Weinstein is incredibly corrosive. It gets democrats right at their core values.
        And it goes well beyond Weinstein.

      • Anonymous permalink
        October 11, 2017 1:48 pm

        I remember when you had a far different reaction to trump and his behavior towards women. That is the fascinating part to me, you, times tens of millions, have drastically changed your values over the last year or so. When the tape came out you threw in the towel, said it was unacceptable, the race was over, you were giving up on him. Prior to that many times you stated that to your nearly personal knowledge that trump IS a pig with women. As in the case of the opinion of the GOP base on the characters of putin and assange, which I never dreamed could be the smallest bit favorable, nearly everything I thought I understood about GOP voters as a statistical group has turned out to be wrong The places I actually admired or agreed with conservatives have been sliding fluidly away. trump IS a pig. Once upon a time you could say that clearly, now you defend him if someone makes the slightest comment about him. Denial went to acceptance. That is what interests me.

        No, no common ground, not here, and not almost anywhere anymore. You seem to have accepted the idea that Clinton was a rapist, and Weinberg too, without any need for a court or formal proof. (I have too) Every sex related accusation made about hillary or bill you are totally on board with, no need for any trial or proof Ah, but trump, here you turn on the defense lawyer mode, all those women who have accused him, its just an unproven nothing berger, there could not be anything there.

        This is pure hypocrisy. The amount of evidence you need totally depends on political side.

        What is more, you are ignoring my main point: the difference this time is that trump has an enormous public history of proudly being a Pig. That is new and wretched. The POTUS is a Pig. Are you going to deny it?

        In a similar vein on the subject of hypocrisy, Dave gleefully wrote all that scatalogical stuff about trump shiting and pissing in the liberal temples, I never heard a complaint from you about disgustng scatalogical attacks on liberals. When he had done it for about the 4th time I threw his scatalogical rhetoric back at him. In you came and saw the whole exchange in the light of me making a disgusting attack on conservatives and gave ME a lecture! Unbelievable! You have not the smallest remnant of objectivity left. The pathetic defense of trumps pussy grabbing by shifting the topic to the clintons is just one of many cases. There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that trump grabbed women by their private parts constantly. He may be taking a holiday from it at present. Will be back at it in the future That is not rape, its sexual assault, which is criminal if one is not rich. Defending it is pathetic.

      • Jay permalink
        October 11, 2017 4:23 pm

        It’s a waste of time conversing with her about 95% of the topics discussed here.

        To me she’s a cross between Edith-Ann (one ringee-dingee) and KellyAnn (ding-batty Alternate-factee). A quaint but destructive combination.

        This is what President ShitHead said today – and it is with certainty #Trumpanzees will rationalize and defend it:

      • October 11, 2017 5:42 pm

        Jay ya’all need to cool your heels and look for something else to complain about. I said the same thing about people who constantly complained about Obama. And he was in office for 8 years. Donald J Trump has screwed himself to a toilet wall and he will never get anything accomplished now that he has pissed off everyone Northeast Maine to Southwest California and everywhere in between. His agenda is DEAD!. He has no influence with congress. And congress is not going to do anything that gives him a win. Obamacare is alive and well. The GOP might gives him a one base hit on tax cuts, but no where near the home run he is asking for. The wall is a dream and will stay that way. And little will happen with infrastructure funding. And that has not even come up.

        What he has doing is solidifying the power of the government as it was intended in the constitution. The President was suppose to be weak, the power was suppose to be centered in the House and the Senate was there to make sure the house did not go off without any oversight. And that is exactly what we have today.

        The house came up with a idiotic repeal of Obamacare bill and the senate rejected it. The house may come up with some other stuff and the senate will reject that also. Trump has been and will continue to be relegated to tweets, campaign trips and late night jokes. He has no influence whatsoever and as this becomes more apparent, his tweets will become more abrasive.

        He will be the target in the 2020 primary and I suspect if he does not drop out, or chooses not to run at all (due to age or other factors), he will spread his potty mouth attacking his opponent, but this time there will be no “little Marco” or “Low Energy Bush”. That person will be ready and loaded with appropriate responses and will cause Trump to finally lose it completely since he can not stand to lose. Dirty campaign, you ain’t seen anything yet.

        Trump will get his 35% base, but with just one chosen replacement by the GOP, they will get the other 60%+ and Trump will only be a bad dream when election time comes around.

        So cool your heels, your only raising your blood pressure for no reason as you can not do a dang thing now to get rid of him.

        “TRUMP HASTA GO” (Or just copy this and paste it whenever you need to say something.)

      • dhlii permalink
        October 12, 2017 1:40 am

        KellyAnne Conway is the first women ever to manage a winning presidential campaign.

        She won. You did not.

        Trump’s remark was about free press not free speach.
        I do not like the remark – any more than
        “They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

        Priscilla is far more rational than you.

        She has not lost her marbles, and gone out of her gourd because a lying fraud, and rape apologist was not elected president.

        Tell me you voted for Stein or Johnson and your outrage is more credible.

        But you can not claim Trump is unqualified and then vote for Hillary with your integrity intact.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 12, 2017 1:20 am

        I do not know if you are after Priscilla or me.
        But what you are saying fits me.

        But I did NOT vote for him.

        You do not grasp that just because Trump does not meet my standards, because Trump is a pig, does not make Hillary not worse.

        I chose not to vote for the lessor evil.
        My candidate lost.

        Trump is president.
        He won without my vote. He won despite being a pig.

        He won because Hillary was worse.

        With respect to Clinton – your right, no court, no formal proof.
        But there is that blue dress and the dna match and the lying under oath and the large settlement to Paula Jones.

        All those are reasons to beleive the other accusers of Clinton.

        With respect to Weinstein – numerous secret settlements.
        His admission that some of this is true.
        And a history going back 4 decades.
        Plus none of the allegations are coming from Gold Diggers.
        These are people who would get destroyed if these allegations prove false.

        Trump – no settlements, few went to court at all.
        Most of the allegations are like Cassandra Searles.

        Look the Access Hollywood tape did it for me – no that is not true. I was probably never going to vote for Trump.

        But he still got elected.

        I am not happy that a many with roaming hands is president.
        But I am happy that someone with more of a clue about the economy and foreign affairs is.
        And Trump is not stellar at either, it is just so long since we have had a C+ president that he actually looks good.

        You are right Trump proudly publicly being a pig makes a difference – it makes Weinstein and the democrats worse.

        No one had to cover up for Trump. No one else is complicit (or atleast very few),
        The elite of the left are complicit in protecting Weinstein.

        The flagship media organisations of the left had this story in 2004 and 2008 – if not far earlier. They killed it. They are complicit.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 12, 2017 1:33 am

        “Dave gleefully wrote all that scatalogical stuff about trump shiting and pissing in the liberal temples,”

        So if I say Weinstein force oral sex on some starlet – I am guilty of something, and should be chastised.

        Trump shitting in the temple is a metaphor – a very powerful one.
        It is also a very true one.
        But it is not litterally true – therefore it is not “scatalogical”.
        And if it actually was litterally true, noting it is not something I should be chastized for.

        The point – as we see a bit of this in the NFL thing is that Trump quite frequently nails things regarding symbols.

        I think the entire NFL thing was cold and calculated.

        A few players were predictably going to take a knee during the anthem.
        Trump could know that was likely months ago.
        He also had an excellent sense to know that fans would be upset,
        and that if he made it a national issue they would be even more upset.

        The whole thing was about symbols.
        Kneeling was symbolic.
        But standing for the anthem is too.
        Trump bet – easily and correctly than the symbol of standing for the anthem was more powerful than the symbol of kneeling for it.
        He bet that what the players were trying to make a positive that he could teurn to a negative.

        And he was right.

        Trump has not nuked anyone yet. He has not really done anything justifying the 24×7 outrage of the left.

        But he has shat in your temple.

        BTW this is exactly the same reason that Berkely whigged out over Milo, and Ben Shapiro, and why UVA went apoplectic over Tiki Torches.

        Had that women not been run down Charlotesville would have come off as a victory for the statue protestors.
        They shat on UVA and Charlottesville and got away with it.

        Milo did not – but he made the left look psychotic.
        Ben Shapiro got away with it – and made the left look bad.

        When you go appolplectic because someone shit in your temple,
        that is because you are a religion.

        We only react as the left is reacting when someone “shits in our temple”.

        Would you be upset if Trump shit in a toilet ?

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 11, 2017 6:13 pm

        Yes, by all means, whatever you say, Jay….

        Roby, I’m going to take one more crack at resolving this with you, because we have a lot of history here, I often find your point of view pretty fair and occasionally we even agree.

        First of all, if you were merely parodying Dave with your “shitting and pissing” diatribe from a few weeks ago, then I owe you an apology. I was really taken aback by the virulence of your comments about conservatives, and especially by your language, which seemed out of character for you (although it also seems out of character for Dave)!

        Truth is, I often go days without reading TNM, and when I come back I sometimes skim many of the posts, if they get too wordy (I can be wordy too, so I forgive anyone who skims mine). So, I must not have read the posts of Dave’s to which you refer, and I did get very huffy there with you. So, I missed your point. And I’m sorry. Really.

        And I will say for probably the thousandth time (ok, maybe an exaggeration) that I often find Trump’s boorishness difficult to accept. Certainly the crude language from the Access Hollywood tape was offensive and upsetting. So, if that is the standard by which we’re calling him a pig, fine, he’s a pig.

        My larger point, which I clearly failed to make, has to do with two things: 1) powerful men throughout history have been known to be misogynists and philanderers ~ it’s nothing new. Many, if not the vast majority of them suffer few if any consequences for their sexual profligacy. This is particularly true of politicians and Hollywood types. There is very little to suggest that, since he became a politician, that Trump has behaved as a misogynist or a sexual deviant. But, no altar boy, true. 2) The news media has great power and great responsibility. When they choose to ignore important stories to focus on gossip and innuendo, they become no better than gossip writers. I don’t mean to minimize the seriousness of accusations by women against powerful men. But I think that, if the media is going to report it, they should make sure that they also report on those people who have enabled it to continue. And give equal time to other, arguably more important, stories.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 12, 2017 2:31 am


        I am sort of sorry if I offended.

        But I think everyone is misreading the metaphor – or taking it to litterally.

        It was very deliberately intended to denote that Trump had deliberately violated something sacred to the left. More than violated. I really do not know how to convey the proper meaning without as Roby says scatology. Because that really is what this is about.

        Am I somewhat gleeful about it ? Yes.

        The left pretends they are not religious – but they absolutely are. We would not have this outrage, if Trump had not defecated all over sacred religious values.

        You do not get this kind of outrage without sacrilege – and more than sacrilege,
        scatalogical sacrellege.

        I got the metaphor I beleive from Prof. Haidt in reference to Charles Murray’s attempt to speak at middlebury.

        Haidt is really really good at picking up on things touching our “moral foundations”

        And he noted that these students do not care if Murray speaks. They care if he speaks on campus. Haidt noted that when the protestors were told Murray was going to speak – but off campus – they were happy.

        The objective was not to silence him but to keep him out of their sacred space.
        The college campus has become the sacred space of the far left.
        They own it, it is a religious shrine not a place of education.

        That is why consrvative speakers are whigging out the left.
        Ben Shapiro and Milo, and Ann and … speak all the time.
        But when they speak on Campus violence explodes.

        They are “shitting in the temple” and that is why the outrage.

        There is also a reason the protestors at charlottesville marched arround UVA with Tiki torches the night before and why even though to some of us it made them look too nazi like, it was still very very effective – UVA is the temple. The Lee Statue is merely a symbol.
        But the protestors wanted the campus angry and out the next day.
        They wanted much of what they got – though they wanted a spin more like Shapiro going to Berkeley. They wanted to be beat up and defending themselves,
        I am not sure they would have gotten that without the dodge killing, but they might have.
        But one twist blew their whole spin.

        Trump too is “shiting in the temple” – though different temples.
        One of the temples he is shitting in is that of the media.

        And Trump is winning this.
        I do not hold a strong view on the NFL issue.
        But that was a beautiful play on his part.
        The players should have capitluated when the fans booed – it was over at that point.
        Regardless, Trump gave red meat to his base, and took an issue the left created and made it so that only the left did not see it his way.

        That was a big win. That energized his base and demoralized the left.

        That was actually the reverse.
        The players kneeling were “shitting in the temple”.
        They did not quite realize that.

        Regardless “shitting in the temple” is very dangerous – as the players are learning.
        But it can be dangerous for both sides.
        Depends on the power of your message and how deeply and broadly held it was.

        Trump is MAGA and MAGA is the flag and the anthem and the veterans, and it is a powerful symbol.

        The players pit BLM against MAGA and found their symbol was way weaker.

        MAGA is probably Trump’s most powerful symbol.
        This speaks to most of us viscerally.
        But it does not speak to most on the left at all.
        It is irreconcilable with greivance politicts with intersectionality, with identity politics.
        and atleast for today MAGA is the more powerful symbol.

    • Priscilla permalink
      October 11, 2017 10:09 am


      • dduck12 permalink
        October 11, 2017 6:02 pm

        Terrific, RonP. Still if Trump is out in 2020, does that mean we will get Pence and some Yahoo for VP? Oh boy, this is still a mess, I don’t see much good coming out of the GOP. 😦

      • October 11, 2017 6:25 pm

        dduck, my crystal ball can’t see who will be the opposition

        However, I really don’t see Pence challenging him because he is Trumps strongest mouthpiece right now and I would think it would take something BIG for him to turn on Trump. I might go as far to say I can image it most likely being a governor from a more centrist wing of the “establishment” that does not have the baggage of congress around his/her neck.

        I would put money on -0- chance of a “do nothing” member of congress is going to accomplish defeating the democrat ion 2010. Its going to take someone with government experience, but from outside Washington for a GOP to even come close in 2020.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 12, 2017 2:47 am

        economic melt down,
        or something really really bad with NK that is largely – i.e. not merely by Jay and Roby, seen as Trump’s fault,
        or proof that Trump raped someone.
        Mueller coming up with something that convinces Republicans in congress to impeach trump

        Trump is going to be the GOP candidate, he is not going to face a strong challenger – if any and he has going to win the election handily.

        The left can not keep the entire country at a high level of outrage forever.
        Remember Clinton’s favorables were very high when he was impeached.

        If you keep people amped up and you can not deliver – you get blamed.

        We have a log way to go to 2020.
        But absent Trump actually damaging himself seriously – that means more than the constant fake outrage has done, he will be the incumbent in 2020.
        And unless the democrats get their act together he is going to face someone that is too far to the left to survive.

        No matter how offensive you think Trump is, in 2020 he will be the status quo.
        He will be the known quantity. Unless something really bad happens – the economy topples, or a war that he is blamed for, he will be seen as the LESS dangerous choice.

        I have also qualified “war” with “war he is blamed for” very specifically.

        The united states has NEVER voted a president out of office during a war – not even Bush.

        I am not sure if Afghanistan counts – but Obama survived 2012.

        If NK became hot, and most americans did not beleive Trump created the problem,
        then Trump gets re-elected.

        My prediction is 2020 looks like nixon/mcgovern or Reagan/mondale.

        The dems are going left, when they should move to the center.

        They can only win, if things go very wrong.

        I would like to see somebody besides Trump on the GOP – that is not happening.
        I would like to see Dems run a moderate – that is not going to happen.

        Hillary would have beaten Trump if she were not so corrupt in 2016.
        But a clean hillary clone will not likely beat Trump in 2020.
        And someone further to the left will lose worse.

      • October 12, 2017 1:03 pm

        Two “crystal balls” Two different predictions. Sure hope your wrong as the handful of centrist voters that swung to Trump could change in a heart beat and we could have Elzabeth Warren as our next real” socialist president.

        You keeo talking about the economy, etc,etc and how Trump will survive, But the past election was way to close for comfort and that fraction of voters that may switch or stay home may make all the difference next election.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 12, 2017 6:55 pm

        I keep talking about the economy – because it is the single most important factor in the coming elections in my view.

        On the one hand I beleive Trump is actually doing most of what can be done by the president unilaterally to improve things.

        One the other I beleive we are overdue for a recession, that the stock market might be a Fed induced bubble, and that the negative consequences of stupid choices we made over the past 8 years may not have been fully mitigated yet.

        There is reason to hope and to fear.

        It is near certain that a strengthening economy is Trump’s fault.
        It is unlikely that a failing one is.

        But Trump and republicans will get the credit or blame regardless.

        I can only guess where the economy is in 2018 and 2020.
        But more than anything else we discuss – I think that will determine those elections.

        In 2020 with a strong economy – any republican will beat any democrat.
        with a weak one any democrat will beat any republican.

        That is for president.

        I beleive that the house and senate are slowly setting in to more stable orientations.
        Almost all blue states have Blue senators
        but many red states still have blue senators. The GOP still has a few senate seats to gain.
        After that the “great sorting” will be complete, and changes in the house and senate will likely be very slow.

        Mostly that is good. It will make it much harder for either party to accomplish anything regardless of who is president.

        I hope we do not get Warren as president – but should that happen, we will live.

        I also do not think the left grasps how badly out of touch they are with the country.

        Though I think Trump will get reelected in 2020. that is not the real issue.
        Democrats have swung too far left.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 12, 2017 2:06 am

        Just reading the tea leaves here.

        This is not the same as reporting on facts.
        If I am wrong it just means my crystal ball is foggy.

        But I would bet that Republicans are going to do well in 2018.
        They will hold the house, They will likely lose some seats but fewer than expected.
        And I think they will be +2-+4 in the senate.

        And in 2020 Trump gets re-elected, probably in a landslide.

        Mueller has to hit big game to harm Trump.
        There is zero evidence he is getting passed Maneforte, and probably not getting him.

        The economy is a key variable. A weak economy and republicans are cruicified.

        Democrats are burning out their base and themselves.
        This 24×7 outrage all the time weakens them and strenghtens enemies.

        Upcoming VA might be a clue. Northam will likely win.
        But Trump lost VA by 6 and Gillespie is down 5.
        Gillespie is not Trump, further he has a reputation as a closer.

        Regardless, unless Gillespie loses by more than Trump did in 2016 that suggest things have not changed much.

        Though there are still local factors, VA is not a referendum on Trump and Gillespie has not tied himself to Trump.

        Regardless, the generic ballot is +7 D, If Gillespie does nto lose by almost 10 that strongly suggests the generic is wrong.

        This is an off off year – that favors republicans, but 2018 is an off year – also favors republicans.

        I would also note that Moore in AL as well as Blackburn in TN suggest R’s are responding to the left shift of D’s and the failures of congress by moving further right.

        That might cause them to lose – but you should also think about what if it doesn’t ?

        What if you get Moore ? Replace Corker with Blackburn.
        Get Arpiao. and probably Ward when McCain dies.

        What are you going to do if the country starts voting more “Trumpanzee’s” into office ?

        How much higher can the left’s outrage go.

        The left is very successfully causing people to hate government.
        But they are not causing them to like the left.

      • October 12, 2017 12:58 pm

        Dave, Va depends on turnout. Usually around 42% vote in the governors race. Could be much closer than one thinks. Real Clear Politics had McAuliff up by 6% and the final was 2.5. Sorry to say the Libertarian swung the vote to Terry, but that the way it goes when voting principle over stink.

        RCP has Northam up 6.8%, so it could come down to getting the Northern Democrats to the polls or this election might be different.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 12, 2017 6:40 pm

        From what little I could tell neither Northam nor Gillispie are horrible choices.

        Your analysis seems good to me.

        Regardless the point is the race will be close.
        That should be foreboding for democrats. If Trump is so politically toxic Gillespie should lose by nearly 10.

        We are mis understanding polls – particularly negatives.
        The polls suggested that Republicans were going to be cruicified over the shutdown – instead they made large gains.

        Trumps negatives were supposed to assure he lost. Yet, he won.

        The left is selling one election distorted by Russia.
        But the GOP has been gaining ground since 2009.
        And they are doing so against what is supposed to be destiny.

        I do not want to say I do not trust the polls.
        It is more than I do not think we correctly understand what they mean.

        Oprah sat down 6 Trump voters and 6 clinton voters recently and interviewed them together. Not only has nothing changed, but the Trump voters are pretty happy with Trump. These are not mostly, the lessor of two evils voters.
        These are people who see Trump as their voice and they have had no voice.

        I really do not think the left understands the breadth or depth of the anger in this country with them. Worse they do not understand that their own anger and refusal to accept the results of the election are making things worse – much worse.

        We keep fighting over this russia nonsense. I can say whatever I want and so can Jay and Roby.

        But ultimately it either bears fruit or dies. Worse it seems to do more than die, it rots and stinks.

        Roby has correctly noted the corrosive and addictive political atmosphere.
        It is like the election continues on and on.
        I think right now growth would be about 1/2% higher but for the political environment.

        But we are going to burn out from all of this. Absent finding substance the big losers are the media and the left.

        I beleive in markets and freedom and one aspect of that is that when you keep trying to sell rotting fruit eventually people quit buying.

      • October 13, 2017 12:05 am

        Dave, I have not said anything about the russia investigation for months. I could care less. When and if something comes of the investigation, then I will comment on the outcome. So far nothing is being revealed.

        You keep talking about the far left supporters and the Trump supporters and nothing has changed since the election with those people. I keep talking about the 35% base that will stick with him regardless. I beleive the ones you reference and the ones I reference is the same.

        But I also keep talking about the handful of voters in a few key states that turn this election. How many of those were not like me who looked at Clinton and Trump and said “no f’ing way” and voted for johnson? many more looked at those two and said “oh crap” and then voted for one or the other. And in those few states more voted for Trump than clinton.

        Point…..Had the Democrats ran a centrist who did not think the government could tax the crap out of everyone and everything and give free healthcare, free education, free child care, free…. or a candidate that thought it was :her time” and she was entitled, I believe fully that Trump would have been defeated. And if they run that type candidate in 2020, that handful of voters might switch back and cause Trumps defeat.

        It not the supporters, its the tepid support from “hes the least worse” who may now thing “no way will I vote for him again”

      • dhlii permalink
        October 13, 2017 5:19 pm

        I appreciate your argument – and it does make sense.

        But everytime I read something in the press where they actually bother to go to flyover country and interview Trump voters, they are happy.

        And I specifically mean the rust belt, union, blue collar democrats who are primarily responsible for electing Trump.

        I do not want to get into a feud over this. Reading tea leaves is not a hill I want to die on.

        But I think that the media, the polls, the left vastly overestimates The magnitude of Trump’s unpopularity.

        We had a version of this during the last government shutdown.

        Polls were near universally against republicans. Yet in elections a year later the GOP did very well.

        But if you looked at the polls, at the same time people were negative about republicans,
        they were also saying bu 75% that the debt limit should not be raised.

        I just tripped over some poll regarding Milenials.

        Something like 65% have a favorable view of socialsim.
        At the same time, in the same polls, 75% beleive that you are only entitled to what you work for.

        The Hillary was a poor choice meme has alot of merit.
        But it has baggage too. It presumes that Hillaries baggage came with no advantages.

        Hillary Clinton remains one of the most significant polliticians in modern history.
        Alot of people could not vote for Crooked Hillary, but for alot Hillary was an institution.

        No rising Democrat will have that stature.
        No rising democrat will be someone you can hold your nose and vote for.
        Neither Warren nor Sanders will reach that status of democratic institution before they die.

        I do not think democrats would have won with Sanders or Warren, or Biden.

        I do not think they had, or have someone in the middle with enough stature and credibility,
        and they are doing nothing that will produce that person in the future.

        I am mostly not interested in regaming 2016. Whatif’s or pure speculation.

        2020 is different.

        I do not think democrats can move to the center – they would have had to start immediately after the election.
        Candidates and their support do not arise from thin air.
        A centrist that could beat Trump would need to be a known person with atleast some stature today.

        In 2020 Trump will be the incumbent.

        All the people who held their noses and voted for him in 2016 will be saying, the world did not end, the economy is doing fine. Go with the devil I know rather than the one I don’t.

  124. dhlii permalink
    October 10, 2017 5:13 am

    “I believe my rights are not derived from the Constitution. My rights are not derived from any government. My rights are not denied by any majority. My rights are because I exist.”
    Sen. Joe Biden

    • Priscilla permalink
      October 10, 2017 8:09 am

      That’s interesting. He’s right, but I wonder if he knows what he means.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 10, 2017 7:04 pm

        His statement is a fundimental distinction between “liberals” and modern progressives.

        With a bit of effort I can probably identify the specific philosopher that “my rights are because I exist” came from.

        If Jay and Roby would merely accept that rights exist outside of govenrment and are not subject to the whim of the majority, the vast majority of the rest of what we argue would disapear.

    • dduck12 permalink
      October 11, 2017 6:40 pm

      Sorry, RonP, I was following the meme that Trump would drop out. Then Pence is going for the pres and who knows.

      • Ron P permalink
        October 11, 2017 8:31 pm

        dduck, if that happened, then you could not believe how fast big tax reform and infrastructure would happen. But death is the onlky way he will leave before 2020.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 12, 2017 3:20 am

        Hopefully infrastructure will NOT happen.

        Do we really need a repeat of the disaster that was ARRA ?
        Stimulus spending does not work.

        What we should do is completely end federal highway spending and end the federal gas tax. Let states impose their own gas tax and make their own highway spending decisions.
        The gas tax provided far more than enough revenue to take care of roads and bridges.

      • October 12, 2017 1:11 pm

        Dave your living under a rock! The gas tax is a dying tax. Each year more and more cars are on the road that do not use gas or use much less gas. So the roads are being damaged at the same rate, but the revenues are not there to provide the funding needed to replace the roads that need replacing. And you will tell me all about the revenues being spent on stuff that are not roads and i get it. But looking forward, the states are going to have to tax cars based on some formula other than gas used. Then we will not have revenues from one states going to another for roads people pay for that they never drive on.

        But whats the solution in states that have many bridges but fewer cars. Interstates where thousands travel through the state and use the bridge, but never spend money in that state? Would you support paying for a bi-annual government list of bridges on interstates listing their probability of collapse so one could make an informed decision on if they wanted to cross that bridge or not?

      • dhlii permalink
        October 12, 2017 7:56 pm

        In two decades federal and state combined gas tax revenues have fallen from 100B/yr to 80B/yr.

        But the fundimental problem is not the decline in revenue, but that gas taxes are quite often NOT used for highways.

        There is a small issue related to electric cars. That may grow over time, but we can find a solution to that.

        Regardless, given that we are likely to continue to have government pay for roads we should look to pay for roads based on use. gas taxes are a reasonable proxy for use.

        Get rid of CAFE standards and let people buy efficient cars if they CHOSE to.

        Highway issues are not linear with miles traveled. The cost to build, and the cost to maintain a road are radically different.
        Cars are also getting lighter and that has a significant reduction in wear.

        But the primary factor wearing roads is trucks and they loads.

        Bridges and roads have a high cost to build, but resurfacing is cheap, and the life expectancy is huge.
        Most of our highway construction is NOT rebuilding end of life roads, but expanding roads – i.e. it is expansion, not end of life replacement.

        Here is reasons highway assessment.
        The short version is slight improvement over time. Things are NOT going to hell.

        We can also tell that historically with that sensitive instrument the Mark I eyeball.

        All the roads I have to deal with everywhere are better than they were 40 years ago.

        If gas taxes need raised – fine, if we need to tax something related to electric cars – fine.

        But if we are going to have government manage roads, we should pay for them with taxes on the use of roads.
        We should not use that money for other things.
        We should not use other money for that.

        The impact of ARRA was actually bad.
        First it pulled alot of labor from elsewhere into road construction and then when ARRA expired the road construction industry tanked.
        We do not want feast and famine, and we do not want roads to be a stupid (and ineffective) form of economic stimulus.

        BTW I am pretty sure Amtrak and other public transportation projects are paid for out of gas taxes. That too is a mistake.
        Public transportation should be paid for by the cost of public transportation.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 12, 2017 7:58 pm

        The worst roads in our country are confined to a handful of states, they are URBAN highways, and very heavily travelled.

        They are not in states with lo