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America’s Mass Shooting Madness Deconstructed

August 13, 2019

America, we have a problem. Too many of our citizens have been releasing their pent-up furies by gunning down multiple strangers in public places. Just as alarmingly, these warped souls favor weapons specifically designed to gun down multiple strangers —20, 40, 60 or 100 fellow humans in as many seconds.

When three deranged mass shooters murdered 34 Americans within the space of a week earlier this month, we all started clucking at one another. As usual, our social media went haywire. (I can personally vouch for this, having triggered a Facebook firestorm that eventually gathered over a hundred comments.)

Who was to blame for our gun sickness? How would we solve it? Were guns themselves the problem, or could we point to the bubbling anger and fear that grip so much of America these days? How about the white supremacists, whose presence seems to be looming larger on the national landscape? Could we just blame the crazies among us? Or could it be something else, like the splitting of our country into progressive urban elitists and proletarian white reactionaries – two myopic and mutually hostile tribes? (Aren’t elitists supposed to be conservative while proletarians are socialist? Not in America!)

Of course, Trump emerged as a prime suspect, having allegedly incited the El Paso killer with his anti-Mexican rhetoric. Just a few weeks earlier, he had been skewered by the left for his “racist” putdown of the “Squad” – the four young Democratic Congresswomen who had been shifting their party’s goalposts sharply leftward. (Polite society apparently deems it racist if white people criticize individual people of color for any reason – Bill Cosby and a few other reprobates excepted.)

Trump knows how to rouse his base and alienate everyone else; he’s our divider-in-chief. The president might or might not be a racist himself, but he’s notorious for his “dog whistles” – those ill-disguised appeals to the racial resentments of working-class whites – especially the menfolk — who feel as if they’re being displaced and disrespected. If blacks, Latinos, gays and women can engage in strident identity politics, disparaging white males as perennial oppressors, it makes sense that some of those devalued white males would respond with identity politics of their own.

And yet… relatively few American mass shootings seem to be motivated by white supremacist politics, even if most of the shooters are white. In fact, the Dayton shooter was a leftist who endorsed Elizabeth Warren. (Did anyone blame her for inciting his rampage?) More typically, the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooter simply announced that he was “really angry” as he shot random strangers before being cut down by the police.

What about those brutal “assault weapons,” then? Semi-automatic handguns and rifles — those with the capacity to fire a dozen, two dozen or more shots without reloading — have accounted for 24 of the 25 deadliest U.S. mass shootings over the past 70 years. And yet they’re perfectly legal and easily obtained. Even Walmart sells them.

Righteous liberals and moderates have called for semi-automatics to be banned or even confiscated. The latter scheme worked in Australia, where gun deaths promptly plummeted. (Of course, the U.S. isn’t Australia; half our population seems to venerate guns as if they were stone idols.)

It’s too late to confiscate semi-automatics on these shores. Guns actually outnumber people in our ever-rambunctious republic — and at least half those guns are semi-automatics. We can’t seize them (or even ban sales of new ones) without the possibility of triggering a right-wing insurrection, so I’m convinced we should try a third option: ban private ownership of magazines that hold more than six rounds of ammunition. Seems sensible, right? Does anyone not intent on mass murder really need 100 rounds to bring down a pheasant or an armed robber?

Of course, the National Rifle Association has no intention of letting our legislators create bothersome obstacles to gun ownership, even though NRA members overwhelmingly support stricter gun laws. As long as so many of our elected representatives are sponsored by the gun lobby, it looks as if “thoughts and prayers” will have to suffice –- at least until the American people resolve to drive the lobbyists out of Washington.

What about all the madmen lurking among us? Aren’t they the problem? We rarely confine them to institutions these days, so they’re free to express their florid revenge fantasies by acting them out in public.

But here’s the rub: every country has its share of mental illness, yet the U.S. leads all “developed” nations in gun deaths by a whopping margin. Are mentally ill Americans crazier than mentally ill Europeans or East Asians? Probably not, but they have easier access to guns.

Seventeen states have passed some form of “red flag” laws designed to separate mentally ill people from firearms, at least while they’re judged to pose a threat. That means 33 states have no laws on the books regulating gun ownership among unstable individuals.

Opponents of such laws cite the unfairness of punishing anyone for potential crimes, and in fact, only a small minority of mass shooters are clinically insane. Angry, yes. Maladjusted, certainly. But do we really want to enact laws that isolate and discriminate against neurotics? Tough call.

Let’s round up some other suspects behind our mass-shooting epidemic. For one, Americans still worship success. American men, especially, are pressured to win big, and those who fall short can ferment in their frustration until they snap. (This isn’t a problem in more egalitarian cultures.)

We’re also a culture that worships fame; celebrities are our royalty. Any nitwit with a semi-automatic and a grudge can immortalize his name by mowing down multiple people in an orgy of gunfire.

Bullying looms large among younger shooters as a rampage motivator. “I’ll show them!” cries the poor ungainly nerd whose self-esteem has been shredded by his tormentors. And show them he does, even if he picks out his victims at random. Even if it costs him his life.

And let’s not forget the copycat factor, which probably played a role in the three successive mass shootings earlier this month. Someone on the brink of disintegration hears about a gun massacre, and an evil bulb flashes inside his seething brain.

Finally, we can always blame the media, certainly among the most polarizing influences in our dangerously polarized culture. Partisan TV networks, websites and radio stations are in the business of creating tribes; they crank out slanted stories guaranteed to raise the hackles of the faithful and confirm their belief that the other tribe embodies pure evil.

Regardless of whether Trump deserves his nightly pummeling on CNN and MSNBC, agenda-driven news is a destructive force; its purpose is to generate anger and division as well as tribal loyalty. It might not be fake news, but it’s willfully distorted news that cherry-picks the stories and angles most likely to inflame its chosen audience.

I can almost believe that the Russians have been infiltrating our media to divide us and drive us mad –- all the better to destroy American civilization and win Cold War II. But let’s face it: we’re already an angry nation –-  an angry nation with tons of guns and millions of alienated souls. If we keep encouraging anger and division, we have only ourselves to blame when some of our more volatile citizens lash out in deadly public rampages.

 

Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate. You can find his three collections of darkly humorous essays in e-book form on Amazon for only $2.99 each. (Just search under “Rick Bayan.”)

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267 Comments leave one →
  1. August 13, 2019 3:19 pm

    Good comments.But what is happening today in America is very different than what happens in foreign countries. Most of our issues rest in the trust in government, which began with the revolutionary war.

    We can blame anyone, but we need to only blame our government. NRA? Just read the history of the NRA and they supported 99% of governments efforts to make guns safe. They supported almost every gun control measure until the 70’s. It was not until government got so big, began using force through legislation and divided the country did the NRA begin opposing any gun legislation. Trust in government began to collapse in the late 60’s with Johnson’s complete and total lies about Viet Nam. Then the FBI raided the apt.of Ken Bellew in 1971, shooting him during the raid. To this day, the evidence used to support the raid is questionable. Ruby Ridge was another issue.But that Bellew raid changed the positions of the NRA resulting in Charlton Heston to say “You can have my guns when you pry them from my cold damn hands”. They have only become much less a supporter of our government and much more radicalized in the support of the wording in the constitution.

    Today one can look at the graph of peoples positions on the political scale. Up until the 90’s, it looked like a bell curve. Few at each end, with many in the moderate middle. Today, there are many more at each end, with the moderate middle a deep valley between two extreme mountain peaks on both sides. The left peak accepts and trust government completely, the right peak rejects and has little trust of government. This graph allows one to choose different years to see the changes over time.
    https://www.people-press.org/2014/06/12/section-1-growing-ideological-consistency/

    This is not a situation that is easily fixed especially with such divisive candidates
    for President in Trump, Warren and Sanders. Biden could be exposed as being mentally unable to be president, but even he has adopted the extreme lefts agenda.

    And gun control? These wackos will find many ways to kill multiple people. Just take a few minutes each time thinking about how one could kill many when you are in different environments. Its not that hard without a gun. Actually it is much easier if one justs thinks of the alternatives.

    • August 16, 2019 3:48 pm

      Ron: I guess the NRA has radicalized along with the right. And of course, the left has radicalized, too, leaving that crater in the middle. The biggest challenge for me, as a moderate, is to appeal to the more reasonable people (traditional liberals and conservatives) so they don’t latch on to the extremists’ world-view. We need to marginalize the intolerant ideologues at both ends of the spectrum.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 16, 2019 4:55 pm

        I am not a member of the NRA, I do not care what the NRA’s oppinion is.

        The FACTS – and everyone – including everyone here knows this, is that no proposed gun laws are going to do anything except make us “feel better”.

        I oppose ALL stupid laws that are just an effort to make people “feel better”.

        I do not know what the NRA’s position on “red flag” laws are – but in the past they have supported laws that bar specific people from gun ownership because of status such as mental health.

        There are myriads of reasons that this is a ridiculously bad idea – and at times int he past even the left was smart enough to understand that reducing the rights of people with mental health issues, would pretty much guarantee that people with mental health issues would not seek help.

        But the proposed Red Flag laws are worse. They would allow the police and others to screw over peoples rights subject to an incredibly low burden.

        I have no problem denying a person who was CONVICTED of a crime of some of their rights – like voting and gun ownership. Though we do need to be careful because quite often reducing the rights of convicted criminals increases crime.

        Regardless. there is not a principled issue.

        I would not take the right to free speach from a person with a mental health problem without meeting a very very high standard – what the courts call “strict scrutiny”.

        I would not take the right to self defense on a lower standard than I would use for free speach.

        The 2nd amendment is little more than a reiteration that we have the right to self defense.

        As with other rights you can not say – well you have the right to free speech – but you can not advertise on Television.

        And none of this view comes from the NRA.

        One of the reasons that I often characterize you as on the left, is you are constantly making this stupid argument that everything is about money or political clout.

        NO, It is about RIGHT and WRONG.

        When you target a group such as the NRA because they purportedly have influence you MAKE the issue whether they have influence, and not whether they are RIGHT.

        If Adolf Hilter contributed $1B to political action to support individual rights – I would praise him for it.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 16, 2019 5:06 pm

        “The biggest challenge for me, as a moderate, is to appeal to the more reasonable people (traditional liberals and conservatives) so they don’t latch on to the extremists’ world-view. We need to marginalize the intolerant ideologues at both ends of the spectrum.”

        What does this mean ?

        If you want to boycott Chik-a-filet – go to it.

        Though I strongly suggest that you take great care to be correct when you morally condemn others – because if you are wrong – I am going to be standing here morally condemning you.

        We are free to do lots of things that are stupid and make up look like fools.
        Wise people think before acting.

        Regardless, you are free to engage in persuasion – but you are NOT free to restrict the freedom of “extremists” to try to persuade too.

        One of the other problems that I have about this nonsenical idea that there is some moral virtue inherent to “centrism” or compromise, or the middle – is that history does not support that.

        Slavery was wrong, opposition to it was right. Those in the middle were morally compromised.

        I get really tired of hearing words like “extremist” used as a means to discredit and ignore someone. And can not make your use of “marginalized” into persuade using facts, logic reason.

        I do not care if a position is left, right, center, moderate, extreme, ….

        I care whether it is right or wrong.

        Do not tell me that you wish to silence someone because they are extreme.

        Do not tell me you wish to silence or “marginalize” someone.

        Tell me how you are going to carry the debate – with facts, logic, reason.
        Tell me how your view is correct – using facts, logic reason.

        I have little interest in where is falls in the spectrum of politics.

        I care whether it is right or wrong.

        Our founders were “extremists”, abolitionists were extremists, sufferagettes were extremists.
        those advocating for equal rights for women, minorities, homosexusals were extremists.
        They were also right.

      • August 16, 2019 5:18 pm

        Dave, there’s a huge difference between silencing and marginalizing bad ideas. Right now the extremists control the conversation, which only leads to more and more polarization. (We can agree that polarization is not in the country’s best interest, right?)

        As for my role as a moderate, I’ve explained this before: I don’t necessarily favor a middle course on every issue. I’m a boat balancer: when SJWs collectively blame white males for all the world’s ills and fling the word “racist” at every opportunity, they’re tipping the boat dangerously to one side; I aim to tip it back upright. Same with my opposition to extremist right-wing views.

        Am I more of a “statist” than you? Of course — you’re a libertarian, and I’m not. That doesn’t mean I’m in favor of the government running our lives. I believe in a sane balance between reckless extremes.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 17, 2019 12:07 am

        “Dave, there’s a huge difference between silencing and marginalizing bad ideas.”
        If government is doing it – then absolutely not. There is no difference at all.
        Subtle infirngement on rights is more dangerous.

        One of the reasons I do not like Justice Kennedy AT ALL, and one of the reasons I am not ever going to buy compromise as a principle, is because quite often compromise is WORSE than bad decisions.

        Bad decisions tend to fail bigger and tend to result in backlash – and we learn.
        Bad decisions are easier to reverse.

        Compromises are near impossible to get out of when we find they do not work as expected – and they rarely do.

        I would rather that you and the left openly try to ban all guns ourtright – then we can have the real debate over the issue. Your faux “common sense gun laws” approach is far more dangerous. It ultimately ends in the same place, but without ever having to have the real debate about the constitution and rights.

        “Right now the extremists control the conversation”
        False premise – you remain as free as always to speak.
        Regardless – Then do not listen.

        You are litterally making the same arguments that others here were making to try to silence me. That somehow the frequency of speech by one party imposes any limit on the speach of others.

        “which only leads to more and more polarization. (We can agree that polarization is not in the country’s best interest, right?)”

        The polarization is NOT being caused by our speech.

        Again you are not paying attention to posts here.

        I can go anywhere in this country. I can go to a grocery store, I can go to a mall, to work, to a concert, to a ball game …. pretty much anything, and not encounter polarization or division.
        Even on private things we sometimes fight about bitterly – like sports.
        With very few exceptions – we are not going to shoot each other, or ban relatives from Thanksgiving.

        There is only one issue that actually polarizes us. That is when one group of us – right or left seeks to impose their will on all of us using the force of government.

        That is it. That is the ONLY place we are seriously polarized.

        And the moment you grasp that is the problem – and it quite obviously is.
        Then you also grasp that at this moment the problem is not with Trump or the Right.
        It is solely with the left.

        If you doubt that – listen to the democratic debates.

        They are falling over themselves talking about how when elected they are going to impose their will on all of us by force. Trump comes up, but constantly things come up that have nothing to do with Trump.

        You say you want gun registration and restrictions on semi automatic weapons.
        Almost every candidate has demanded MUCH more. Several intend to acomplish that throudh exectutive order – despite the fact that Executives orders can only be used to:

        Direct those in GOVERNMENT, and then only as to how an existing law or an existing executive power is to be carried out.

        Regardless, we will have ‘polarization” – no matter who is president – we were highly polarized under Obama, as well as Bush and Clinton. Yes, it is getting worse.

        But regardless of when it was, the root was always the same – some of us trying to use government to impose their will on all of us by force.

        Nothing else polarizes us to that extent.

        And yes that polarization is dangerous.

        Ultimately when words and elections fail as the means of stopping one group from imposing its will on the other by force, what follows is violence. That was how we got to the revolutionary war. It was also how we got to the french revolution, and the civil war.

        So yes I am concerned – about the CAUSE of our polarization.

        I do not give a rats ass whether we agree on things politically.
        I would prefer a presidency that was calm and quiet – but NOT at the expense of diminished liberty.

        And that is the problem. the SOLE problem, the DANGEROUS problem.
        Not Trump, Not mythical white supremecy or inconsequential racism.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 17, 2019 12:47 am

        I do not care what SJW’s SAY. Bad or stupid speech – whether from the left or right is not the issue.

        It is what SJW’s etc DO that is the problem. Barring speakers from campus, heckling them until they leave. Demanding that force be used to not only prevent them from hearing ideas they see as unpleasant but to prevent ANYONE from hearing those ideas.

        I do not care how load you are. I do not care how much you speak.

        I care what you DO.

        No one is tipping the boat over with their words.

        It is with their actions or the actions that they intend to take if they ever get the power to do so.

        While I have problems with the screetching “racism” at everything. The problem is that it is false and it is backed by the demand that you be silenced.

        Calling Trump or anyone racist – is meaningless, if there is no expectation that the allegation results in action.

        Slurring someone is a prelude to violence. against them. It is the violence that is wrong.

        “Am I more of a “statist” than you?”
        This is not about comparisons, nor about labels.

        Labels are usefull when they efficiently communicate.

        But they are a problem when they are an excuse not to listen.

        It is irelevant which of us is more of what label.

        What is relevant is what works and what does not.

        I am libertarian because the older I get and the more experience I have the more I realize how incredibly rare success on the part of government is.

        Even those things that I – the libertarian think are actually the job of govenrment – government does badly. I can not think of a single example of anything ever that can be accomplished without government that is not far worse when done by government.

        You want me to share your views – to become more “statist”.
        Then PERSUADE me – using facts, logic, and reason that I am wrong.
        that the things you wish government to do – will actually work, will not on net be WORSE than doing nothing.

        If you can not do so – then government can not act on your wish.

        That is not libertarian – that is just the only moral way to act.

        Compromise, balance – all the other words you use – they are nice words.
        But they are just words. They are NOT principles.

        Compromise can be good or bad, Balance can be good or bad.

        Saying Compromise or balance answers no questions.

        There are situations where compromise or balance are a solution – sometimes the correct solution. But that is determine by the facts, by logic, and reason and by principles.
        Saying that something is a compromise does not add information. Nor does saying balance.

        Libertarianism does not give us the answers. It provides principles to help evaluate the facts and logic.

        But 95% of the issues can be resolved without a single libertarian principle – through simple utilitarianism.

        I am not personally utilitarian. I think utilitarianism is dangerous. I think that if the only principle you have is the greatest good, it is very easy to act immorally. I think that there are some instances where the greatest good is the WRONG answer.

        But the debate between utilitarianism and libertarianism (or anything else). is only relevant when what you seek to do can atleast meet utilitarian constraints.

        If you seek to do something where you do not KNOW that you are going to accomplish the greatest good – then you had better have a damned good principled argument for what you wish to do. Atleast 95% of the time pure utilitarianism gets us the right result.

        BTW I think utilitarianism is much like compromise, balance and your idea of moderate – it is a tool not a principle. But it has an advantage over compromise, balance, … it provides/demands measurable results, and if a utilitarian approach does NOT deliver the greatest good – that would be because you made a logic or factual error.

        One of the other reasons I am not utilitarian is that factual and logic errors are extremely common. Utilitarina approaches combined with bad facts or logic will produce bad results.

        But atleast utilitarianism should be self correcting – if you do not deliver the greatest good – you must correct your error.

        So I will make a very utilitarian proposal to you – and the entire left.

        I will agree to pretty much any law that the left or you wish to pass
        If and only if,

        That law includes explicity utilitarian provisions to measure its success – that I agree to.
        AND a reversal clause – and by reversal, I do not mean simply repeal.

        I will as an example allow you to impose whatever gun control laws you wish.
        But after 10 years the data MUST show a reduction in violent deaths AND overall crime in excess of existing trends. Merely continuing current trends is not sufficient. We get that by doing nothing. Merely reducing mass shootings is not sufficient – if the number of people killed in home invasions or other crimes rises more.
        If you do not get that result – then we are going to use the current law as a baseline and we are going to go the OPOSITE direction – just as far as you went.
        If you expand background checks and fail – we eliminate background checks.

        Regardless, the law YOU pass, must specify what you will do, a measureable beneficial NET benefit – not an artifact – it is not sufficient to reduce mass shootings, it is not sufficient to reduce gun deaths, you MUST reduce deaths from violent crimes. The law must also specify NOW exactly what happens when it fails – and that must happen automatically and must be allowed the same time to demonstrate success using the same terms.

        So tell me why that is not “moderate”, “Compromise”, “reasonable”.

        I will make a further prediction – if we had something similar as a requirement for all laws, we would pass almost no laws.

        I think that you know that gun control laws are not going to work, and you are not going to be willing to bet that they will where you have “skin in the game” where there is a consequence if you are wrong.

        “reckless extremes” – putting two words next to each other does not make a true assertion.

        Sometimes the extreme is reckless, sometimes it isnt.
        Sometimes it is reckless NOT to do the extreme.

  2. dhlii permalink
    August 13, 2019 6:21 pm

    As we go batshit crazy over “white supremacy”, I found this TED talk by a black man who essentially went “undercover” within the “alt-right” and discovered …. people, not all that different from himself, experiencing the same problems as he had.

    We will have assorted ism’s with us through to the end of humanity.
    But if we can not grasp that we are WAY past there being significant problems we are blind to reality.

    Every time I post
    “facts, logic, reason”
    What I am stating is that you can do anything you wish entirely inside your own domain.
    inject heroin, commit suicide – I may care, but it is not my right to interfere with your choices – even bad choices, so long and your stupidity does not cause actual harm to others.

    But when you seek to use force to constrain others – at the very least you need to be right.

    You can not use force against others to impose “your truth” on them.
    The only “truth” you are ever free to impose on others by force is THE TRUTH.
    One that is completely consistent with
    Facts logic reason.

    Approximately 4000 people were lynched in the United states from after the Civil war through to 1981 when the last lynching occured. There were only a handful of lynchings from the 50’s through to 1981.

    In the 60’s we had race riots in major cities in this country. The last of those was in 1992 after Rodney king.

    Numerous studies have demonstrated that institutional racism no longer exists in the US.
    And racism in any form has inconsequential impacts on minorities.

    When adjusting for all other factors – education, family structure, class,
    the data shows that race plays no measureable part in anyone’s success in this country today.

    You will do poorly – if you do not stay in school. White or black.
    You will do poorly – if you commit crimes. White or black.
    You will do poorly – if you get pregnant before you get married. White or black.
    …..

    There are numerous factors like these – all of which are inside our control, that have 1000 times the measureable impact of “racism” today.

    Yet the public discourse is a fevered swamp of accusations of racism. Everywhere I turn one group is denouncing the other has “hateful, hating haters”.

    To listen to the media, you would think that there is 20 lynchings happening a day,
    that blacks have to ride in the back of the bus.

    Again!!!

    Facts, logic, reason.

    If the world does not ACTUALLY match the picture being painted for you,
    something is seriously wrong. and you should not trust those painting that distorted picture.

    Elsewhere I just read that a single year in college increases the overall oppinion that students have of those on the opposite side of politics by almost 10%.

    Righties with a single year of college increase their respect for those on the left by 8%, and lefties increase their respect for those on the right by 8%.

    To the extent this is accomplished it is because college forces us out of our bubble and exposes us to people whose views differ from our own.
    Or atleast it used to.

    Regardless, if you are ranting about rampant racism, about some purported surge in white nationalism, or white supremecy, you are out there with tinfoil on your head ranting about “the grassy knoll”.

    What is disturbing is that such a large portion of people today are suffering from this delusion that at a time when the US is the least racist it has ever been that race and white supremecy are somehow our most pressing problem.

    This is a problem that should not even be on our radar.

    • August 13, 2019 7:35 pm

      “What is disturbing is that such a large portion of people today are suffering from this delusion that at a time when the US is the least racist it has ever been that race and white supremecy are somehow our most pressing problem.”

      I accept the fact America is less racist today than ever before, but why does Trump use language and create situations that stoke those that have these views, specifically anti immigrant situations.

      There are ways to say things and not create the backlash that he creates. He may not be racist, but you sure could not prove it by me. Not because hemay be racist, but because he sounds much like the red neck bubba’s at the local pool bars that do nothing but talk about what the n=gg@rs and wetbacks did at work or some other situation.

      When one talks like a racist to generate the support of that group, one should not be surprised when you are identified as a member of that group.

      Ronald Reagan could have held the same political positions as Trump and he would never have been identified like Trump is identified because he talked and acted like a leader, unlike Trump that talks and acts likea ignorant, uneducated, obnoxious thug.

      It is not a dilusion. It is real because Trump makes it real. He feeds the left wing with sound bites daily and then when they use his exact words, he calls it fake news. The good news generated by his policies are being completely hampered by his tweets and spur of the moment news conferences.

      That is why he is going to lose by a fairly large margin. And we will be stuck with something 10 times worse than Obama given Trump will take down enough senators with him to put Shumer in charge. The onky benefit there is maybe McConnell will decide to retire before next election.

      • August 13, 2019 9:37 pm

        Ron, this is an honest question: What exactly has Trump said that is or sounds racist? Exactly how has he aligned himself with white supremacist groups? Because I read and hear a lot about his “dog whistles” and “white supremacist” language, yet, despite keeping very current on the things that Trump says and tweets, I have not heard him say or tweet anything that I would label as racist. Am I missing something?

        I remember when Obama inserted himself into the Trayvon Martin case by saying that, if he had had a son, that son would have looked like Trayvon. That, to me was a divisive and racially charged remark, which made it pretty clear that Obama was implying that Martin was the innocent victim of a racist cop. Is there a similar comment that Trump has made?

        Or are we just being spoonfed a lot of BS by an anti-Trump media?

      • dhlii permalink
        August 14, 2019 12:49 am

        I read the El Passo Shooters “manifesto”.

        While I has seen some on the right characterize it as an Eco Terrorist manifesto,
        That is an exageration.

        But it is true that the manfesto while more “right” leaning than left, is still a mishmash of right and left.

        I do not agree with almost anything in it. At the same time, it is not obviously “racist” or “white Supremist”

        Though I do not agree with the thoughts he expressed, they are not “way out there” – except that he was willing to murder for them

        This was NOT a KKK manifesto. In some places he expressed sympathy for illegal immigrants. He merely did not want them in the US and was prepared to kill to accomplish that.

        What disturbed me most about his “manifesto” is that, unlike that of the unibomber or Holmes, despite the political blending of ideas from the left and right (similar to the blending of Joseph Stack). it did not sound like the rantings of a paranoid schitzophrenic, and most of this young white male mass killers are paranoid schitzs.

        I strongly suspect we will find that the El Passo Shooter is deeply mentally disturbed.

        I suspect the same of the Dayton Shooter. Despite that shooter being practically Antifa – and no political confusion at all, AGAIN the reality is these guys are NUTS.

        We are not going to make any progress – if progress is even possible until we grasp that we are dealing with people who are:

        Near universally significantly above average in intelligence.
        They are going to figure out how to work around whatever obstacles you put in their way.

        Near universally mentally disturbed.

        The media and the left have made a big deal about the large number of mass killings.

        Most of these are NOT nuts. But those rarely make the news.

        These are instances of people who know each other – often intimately,
        they are tied to bitter divorces or personal conflicts like that.
        and they become mass shootings – because the place the shooter knows they can find the person they wish to kill is a mall, or a church or some place like that.

        But those stories do not make the national news – well except to identify the body count thus far this year and to have the media reassure us that all these deaths are the responsibility of guns, the NRA, republicans, racism, and Trump.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 14, 2019 1:08 am

        Trump is not “presidential” – he is not even trying.

        Obama on occasions was un presidential, but he did actually try.

        If the criteria is “presidential” Trump does not come close to any prior president.

        The relevant question is – does that matter ?

        Before Trump took office I would have said it did.
        I did not like it when Obama stepped outside the constraints of being presidential.
        Which he did not do that often, but still enough to annoy me and get my criticism.

        But Trump is almost never “presidential”

        So how much does that matter ?

        We each get a vote on that every 4 years in November.

        Personally, I am learning that it is much less important than I thought.

        I used to wish our president were faithful to their spouses and did not have sex with interns in the oval office.

        Clinton pretty much ended that fantasy.

        I still think lying under oath – even about sex is a really big deal.

        Nor am I happy with Trump’s past treatment of women – though he does not hold a candle to Clinton. Regardless, that was probably the key factor precluding me from voting for him in 2016. And may remain so in 2020.

        But that is a choice I get to make.

        I do not have a problem with the media – left right or otherwise – digging up dirt on candidates. I want them to vet them to find all the dirt their is.

        What I do not want is for them to transition from telling me about Clinton’s dealings with U1 and the Russians, and Trump’s conduct with women to telling me who I should vote for.

        To quite Sgt Joe Friday from Dragnet “just the facts Maam”.

        I get to decide how those facts effect my vote.
        Save the editorials for the editorial page.

      • August 14, 2019 7:49 am

        After the most recent mass shootings, Trump addressed the nation, calling for unity, condemning in very specific terms, white supremacy and other racist ideologies, and stated clearly his intention to seek and to support legislation that might keep guns out of the hands of those who might commit these atrocities. It was quite presidential, but it was ignored, in the frantic rush to blame him for the El Paso shooting, and the usual cacophony of voices claiming that confiscating guns from law abiding citizens will stop deranged killers. So my answer to the question of if it would matter if he were more “ presidential,” is no. Not in the least. He could deliver a latter day Gettysburg Address, mouth phony platitudes, and turn the other cheek when he’s attacked. None of it would matter.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 14, 2019 1:20 pm

        You make valid points.

        The press does not Treat Trump or his administration “fairly”.

        Each of us is individually the arbiter of what is “fair”.

        I do not personally care alot what the press says – because I no longer consider most of it neutral and accurate reporters of fact.

        I have little more respect for NYT or WaPo than for InfoWars.

        I am not for the most part ‘happy” with Trump’s “presidential demeanor”

        but Trump was inevitable. If he did not exist, he would have had to be created.

        Trump has grasped that under the right circumstances it is possible to take on those who “buy ink by the barrel”. That the press has gotten so overtly biased that it is possible to go toe to toe with them and prevail.

        I am not happy with the constant public combat between Trump and the press.
        But the answer is not for Trump to retreat quietly to the Oval Office and let the press smear him constantly.

        The press and the left has created a war, and the deciding factor in the war is ultimately going to be CREDIBILITY.

        The press and the left constantly claim that “Trump lies”.

        Yet Trump has been completely anally probed by the left, the press, the democrats, the FBI/DOJ and Mueller – and no one has found anything beyond the natural anger of someone forceably given a colonoscopy.

        This is important. It is critical for those on the left to beleive that somehow something was missed. It is critical – because if that is not so – they have been lying for several years.

        As I have said many times here. You can get past accusing someone of error.
        But if you accuse someone of moral failure – of lying, of crime, then either you prove your case or YOUR credibility is shot. We can easily forgive people for errors about facts.
        We can not forgive them for false moral slurs.

        Nor is Trump/Russia the only area this is true.

        I have also repeatedly said that ideas are important – and all of this exemplifies why, and it demonstrates why the LEFT is SOLELY responsible for the current bitter divisions.

        The concept of “Your Truth” vs. “The Truth”, The idea that everything is an oppinion and that all oppinons have equal merit, or that the actual truth is racist or hateful – all of this and more originates SOLELY from the left.

        Democrats as a whole may not grasp the fact that the philosophy and ideology that underpins the modern left drives the bitterness and failure that we face – but they are on the train none the less.

        Ideas matter.

        Absolute relativism leads to bitter conflict chaos destruction.

        It is not accidental that so much of what we think we know to be true – so much of what we are taught – in school, by the press, by professors, is FALSE.
        It is the direct consequence of the rise of an ideology and philosophy that subordinates facts to feelings and opinions.

        We battle here over gun control – even Trump is not pushing “common sense” “red flag laws”.

        Which are neither common sense nor will they be effective.

        There are legitimate questions regarding the statistical data we have on guns.
        It is arguable that OVERALL they make us safer – but it is not proveable to any high degree of probability. But the inability to prove that guns make us safer is NOT the same as proof that guns make us less safe. The data on that is pretty incontrovertable. From the absolute prohibition of guns, through to an assortment of restrictions there is no evidence at all that gun control in any form makes us safer.

        So why is this even an issue ? Why are we discussing doing things that we know ahead of time with certainty will have no positive benefit ?

        Because we live in a “post truth” society, because facts are just “my truth” – “your truth” is different. in the world of “your truth” “my facts” can be rejected, and substituted by “your facts”.

        It does not matter whether the issue is global population, gun control, climate change, or any of an infinite number of things that – some “consensus” – often of highly educated people all agree on. What the facts tell us what the data says – that is irrelevant – because it is at odds with the “truth” of some group of elitists.

        I have a great deal of respect for intellect, and I have objective measures like SAT’s and IQ that place me at 1 in 1000, yet I find more evidence of basic intelligence in the so called “deplorables”.

        I do not see actual evidence that “white supremecy” is on the rise.
        But even if it actually were – as wrong as white supremecy is – even it is by the evidence of history far less dangerous than views held by your average college professor.

      • August 14, 2019 12:11 pm

        Priscilla,
        First, I was critical of Obama on many things he said and if one could go back on this site, you would see how I addressed certain issues. But to list a few.

        1.Obama responded to the Henry Louis Gates arrest in Cambridge by saying “I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that. But I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home, and, number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there’s a long history in this country of African Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately.” The first two comments were fine, but the comment about African Americans and Latinos should have remained between himself and anyone investigating the issue and not made public.

        2.You have already address the Trayvon Martin comments and how race was brought into that discussion.

        3. After Ferguson and the policeman was not charged due to evidence showing how the incidence rally went down, Obama stated “I want my children to be seen as the individuals that they are, and I want them to be judged by the content of their character, I’m being pretty explicit about my concern. I’m being pretty explicit about the fact that this is a systemic problem,” Here again he brings race into the discussion which just fanned the right wing anti Obama rhetoric.

        So now we have Trump. He may not be racist, but his language and tweets say something else when they are all put together. And he gives the liberal media something almost daily, while they can ignore the fact that the Dayton shooter was a Warren supporter and very liberal.( I have seen little to nothing in the liberal press about that)

        1. Trump addresses the issue with Trump university and in that interview he states “Let me just tell you, I’ve had horrible rulings, I’ve been treated very unfairly by this judge. Now, this judge is of Mexican heritage.” And I can’t cut and paste his whole diatribe, but he goes on and on about the judge being Hispanic and belonging to some social club.

        2. He then has an issue with the Khan family and the wife is standing behind her husband like so many politicians wives who say nothing when the politician speaks. Trump addresses this issue by saying “I saw him, he was very emotional and probably looked like a nice guy to me. His wife, if you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me,”. So here again the first part is fine, but why bring up the issue of the wife not saying anything with the history of him being considered anti-muslim. Why bring up the fact that those anti Muslims believe women are for sex and nothing else in the Muslim world and not to be heard from?

        3. Finally the last example. Baltimore. Is Trump the president of the United States or president of the Conservative States of America? His comments about Baltimore were way off target. He could make a point concerning the conditions and how the democrats have run down Baltimore over the years without describing it like he would the “shit hole” countries he described in earlier tweets. When he said “His Baltimore district is far worse and more dangerous. His district is considered the worst in the USA, Cumming’s District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place.” In itself, this comment may not have been unacceptable, but put together with the multitude of negative comments Trump has made for years concerning immigrants, Muslims, blacks and Hispanics, it just was one more comments to build on the racist book. Describing Baltimore in this manner just gives the liberal press more gas for the fire.

        If I had large amounts of money to bet, I would be betting it today on a significant Trump defeat. I can not see Trump capturing WS, PN or OH and I can see him losing FL and NC. And in any state where a senator like NC is running, I would wager money on the democrat defeating the incumbent GOP senator due to the anti Trump vote. We already saw that in NC local elections in 2018 with democrat sheriffs taking offices in counties that have not had democrat sheriffs in 20+ years.

      • August 14, 2019 12:41 pm

        Ron, I wasn’t implying that you haven’t been equally critical of Democrats, like Obama and others. If anything, you have been more critical of them, and I think that they deserve it.

        My point in contrasting the Trayvon Martin comment by Obama and the rat-infested Baltimore district represented by Cummings comment by Trump, is that Trump’s comment was in direct response to Cummings’ remarks about the conditions at the border ~ remarks in which Cummings specifically blamed Trump for those conditions. Trump responded that conditions in Cummings’ district were worse, and he is right.

        Extreme overcrowding at the border has been caused and exacerbated by multiple factors, but Trump’s neglect of the situation is not one of them. On the other hand, it is fair to say that Cummings has been in a position to have billions of dollars spent on Baltimore, yet conditions have worsened. So, I don’t consider Trump’s comments racist in anyway, merely because he pointed out that a rich and powerful black congressman has soent more time getting rich and powerful than he has representing his own district.

        The press which went crazy over Trump’s comments, never pointed out that Cummings’ comments came first, and were direct attacks on the president for a situation that is largely the fault of Congress.

        I don’t deny that Trump fights divisiveness with his own divisiveness. But that is not the same as racism or white supremacy, which is what he is accused of.

        There is no doubt in my mind that the forces arrayed against Trump’s reelection will be massive, and may well be successful.

        I’m simply suggesting that Trump is not guilty of the worst charges against him, and that we will be far worse off with any of the Democrats who seek to put the final nails in the coffin of American unity.

      • August 14, 2019 12:45 pm

        Priscilla, the issues with Trump are more his stupidity in running his mouth and saying the first thing that comes to mind than actually being a racist. After you stick your hand in the fire, it would seem like one would learn to keep it out. Trump has his base, always will. It is those in the middle that voted for him that may sit out the election and not vote at all this time that will lead to his demise.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 14, 2019 4:52 pm

        Lots of us are bothered by Trumps language. But I think it is wrong to presume that what he is doing is out of stupidity.

        It is a mistake to presume that people who have been as successful in as many different ways as Trump has are acting out of stupidity rather than intentionally.

        If the response of those in the middle is to sit out the election – Trump will win.
        Trumps committed base – despite the media is more than 50% larger than the committed base of the Warren’s or Sanders.

        Hillary lost because more people would NOT vote for her than would not vote for Trump.

        There is alot of evidence already that democrats have exactly the same problem they had with McGovern and Mondale and Dukakis.

        Absolutely the far left of the country is energized. Democrats can count on 25% of the country coming out to vote no matter what.
        But Trump can count on 40%.

        At the same time HALF of democrats are uninspired and are unlikely to vote.
        You can phone poll forever, what matters is who will get out of their chair, into their car, drive to the poll, wait in line and vote.

        Further I see the enthusiasm gap tilting even more to the GOP as the election approaches.
        Democrats have gone too far left.
        They are fighting with themselves. Trump is doing everything in his power to encourage that.

        Not only has Trump/Russia faded – but more and more the forces driving the story will favor Trump – the investigation of the investigation is on.

        The more time that passes the more the impact of the Mueller investigation will help Trump and harm Democrats.

        Trump must keep the economy afloat for another year, avoid a bloody war, and not have a health crisis. If he manages that – he wins – “biggly”.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 14, 2019 3:19 pm

        It is not racist to make a factually true statement EVER.

        If the facts do not produce the results that conform to “your truth” it is “your truth” that is wrong.

        It does not matter if we are talking left or right.

        I will be happy to see a serious discussion of how to better address immigration – particularly issues at the southern boarder.

        I do not precisely share anyone’s views. To the extent there is a “right” answer at the southern border there is not a chance in hell either side is going to head that way.

        In the meantime we enforce the law – AS IT IS TODAY, the actual law. Not the right spin or the left spin, not what we wish the law was, not by changing it with the phone and the pen.

        Trump appears to be doing that.

        If I or you or the left or the right do not like the law as it is,
        it is WRONG to demand that Trump not follow the law.
        We get our way by changing the law, and if we can not do that – then we enforce the law as it is – no matter how flawed.

        Regardless, it is not “racist” to enforce the law as it is.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 14, 2019 1:50 pm

        Here is Trump’s approval vs. Obama’s over the same point in their presidencies.

        http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/prez_track_aug14

        You read the tea leaves differently than I do.

        Absolutely there are plenty of bits and peices of data to suggest a massive defeat for Trump and the GOP.
        But there are as many data points to suggest a landslide for Trump.

        All of us care intently so we are desparately trying to predict the future, but it still remains to early to tell.

        Except that I would bet – that despite polls, if the election were actually held today Trump would win, and that is likely to improve over the next year plus.

        Trump will win because the devil you know is better than the one you don’t.
        Because we do not jump ship in a good economy,
        Because Biden is just Trump-Lite – as Romeny was Obama-lite – why take an immitation when you can have the real thing.

        Because no matter how crazy the left tries to paint Trump,
        he is the actual president and he has not actually done anything crazy – no matter how you characterize what he has said.

        Because if the contest is about Crazy – Trump has incredibly effectively inspired Democrats to jump off the left edge of the planet.

        Because every historical instance of the democrats going left has resulted in a republican landslide.

        To beleive Trump is going to lose big – you have to:
        Beleive that historic patterns will not hold – that is possible, but the burden of proof rests with you.
        Beleive the press – something increasingly hard to do.

        Finally, I am not worried about an anti-trump disaster.

        The bad part if it occurs is that I am 61 and will have to live through 4 years of warren or harris or ….

        But a Trump defeat will just mean the backlash against the following democrat will be all the greater.

        How do you think 2024 will go if democrats wipe the floor with the GOP in 2020, and can not deliver 3% growth ?

        I am not inclined to give Trump high marks for the economy – this is just an average economy.
        But I think it is established beyond any doubt at all that the socialist lite approaches of Obama and Bush will leave the economy performing about 1% lower. 4 years of that will be soul crushing.

        I am sure you can find rafts of experts who will tell us that Trump’s economy is really Obama’s creation or that things will not return to sub 2% under democrats.
        But these are mostly the same people who told us that we could not do better than 2%.

        When our model of how the world works – politics, climate, economics, ….. does not track reality – it is not reality that must yeild.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 14, 2019 2:10 pm

        Much of the evidence you cite – is both true and was inevitable.

        I beleive every single place in the south that you note flipping red to blue is an area that has experienced dramatic influxes of people from elsewhere – mostly the north.

        We are in the midst of a sort of reverse great migration. Those red southern states that have become very prosperous, have also attracted masses of democrats to move in from the north.

        But I would note that Republicans did extremely well in Florida in 2018 – which was otherwise purportedly a good year for Dems. Much of what I am reading is suggesting that FL is flipping from a battle ground to a red state.

        And yes, I can absolutely see Trump winning the same – and more rust belts states he did in 2016.

        There is absolutely no possibility that republicans are going to take California. But the current evidence suggests that they are likely to recoup all or most of their house losses in California.

        There is a fair amount of evidence that 2020 will be a slaughter for democratic house moderates. They were elected on promises that they have been completely unable to keep.

        Trump is running a massive campaign financial jugernaut, he is collecting more than all democrats combined. More importantly something like 63% of his donations are from individuals contributing less than $250. Even Sanders can not match that.

        If everyone who has made a small donation to Trump votes for him – Trump has already won.

        I do not think money is nearly as important in elections as the left things.
        But I do think that small donations are a method of gauging ACTUAL support.

        Like every election this one will be determined by independents and those in the middle.

        But Trump has an absolutely rock solid base of about 40% of the country that he can count on no matter what. And not just for their vote, but for money, and to volunteer and to recruit others.

        Democrats have a similar rock solid core – but because they have gone hard left – that core is only 25%. That 25% has massive press support, and has a voice that dominates everything.
        But it is a shrill voice that alienates people, and it has zero effect on Trump’s base.

        And I speak specifically of Trump’s base – because that is NOT the same as the GOP conservative base – though there is some overlap.

        Democrats have done absolutely nothing to attract the democrats who voted for Trump in 2016. In fact they have further alienated them. it would take a miracle for Trump to lose most of the democrats who flipped in 2016.

        I would also say that with respect to the middle – Trump has not done nearly the job of alienating the middle as the left.

        Trump faces any democratic candidate with a larger and more solid base.

        I suspect that polls probably give democrats an advantage outside those two base groups.

        But those outside those groups must choose to vote.

        Democrats have tried to make 2020 an oportunity to vote against Trump.

        But they have not given us any sane reason to vote FOR any democrat.

        That means people stay home.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 13, 2019 11:23 pm

        I am not personally happy with Trump’s language, but I am atleast as upset with the nonsense claims that Trump “stokes” racism.

        In fact that is absolutely false. Sure there are possibly two people in the country who are wingnut nazi/kkk white supremecists – who exactly like those on the left think that Trump is sending them coded messages. But the reality is that almost no one sane in the entire country thinks that Trump is telling THEM to go out and beat up black people, or muslims, or ….. And in fact hate crimes are on the DECLINE statistically – they have been for a long time, and Trump has not altered the trend. If Trump is “stoking” racism – ordinary non-racist people – i.e. 99.99% of the country have missed that “dog whistle” – because it is not there.

        What Trump IS doing is “bear baiting”.

        Trump is deliberately saying things that most people – and particularly most of the people who are likely to vote for him, either say themselves, or would say themselves if they did not know they would be called racist, things that are NOT racist, but things that he knows that left wing nuts will claim are racist.

        Every single time that Trump says something and the left whigs out and screams “racist, racist, racist” and many of us listen to what he said and say not just “that is not racist”, but that is something I could or did say, Trump gains thousands of votes and the left loses them.

        And the loses them point is really important – because the left loses those votes – even if the republican candidate is not Trump.

        When the left screams “racist, racist, racist” in response to Trumps remarks, and lots of people think “they could mean me” – the left loses those people FOREVER.

        You can not call someone a racist and ever expect them to vote for you.
        You alienate them for ever.

        You can argue with people, you can tell them they are wrong.

        But when you move to telling people they are stupid, liars, racists, immoral, evil,
        You lose them forever.

        What Trump does is NOT issue dog whistles to white supremecists.
        He issues “wolf whistles” to the left. He dares them to attack him.

        Everytime that they attack Trump is a way that many many people can easily say “they mean me”, they left alienates more and more voters and empowers trump.

        I would point something else out.

        Trump attacked Cummings and called Balitmore rat infested. The left whigged out, and spent days ranting “racist, racist, racist”.

        But a bunch of Trump supporters got together and went into baltimore and started cleaning up. They gave their time, they improved many city blocks, and got rid of 14 dumpsters full of trash.

        Does not sound to me like Trump was spraying racist messages to his followers.

        The left is making huge mistakes in their personal attacks on Trump and his followers.

        When the left and the media called Trump racist for saying Baltimore was rat infested and full of garbage they were:

        Boldy asserting that reality is racist.
        Attacking people who want to “make america great again” and are ready to volunteer their own time to pick up trash in Baltimore, to improve a part of the country that may not appreciate what they have done and may hate them.

        I do not have to like Trump to grasp that:
        Trump is not the problem – the left is.
        That the problem predates trump by more than a decade,
        That the only thing Trump does is bear bait the left which is stupid enough to take the bait.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 13, 2019 11:25 pm

        Apparently you have missed the recent stories criticising Ronald Reagan as a racist.

        Reagan might have behaved differently as president if he were president today.
        But he would face the same attacks.
        The problem is not with Trump.

      • August 14, 2019 12:20 pm

        What they say about Reagan today is beside the point. The point is he was not accused of being racist while president.

        You can defend Trump all you want. But I define stupidity the same way Einstein defined insanity. Trump keeps making ignorant comments about situations and uses language the liberal press can jump on as racist and then expects a different outcome. He is not going to get it.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 14, 2019 2:19 pm

        This is not about “defending Trump”.

        I personally disagree with Trump on more issues than you do.

        We are not fighting over policies.

        We are debating our different views into the crystal ball.

        While I think I am right – I have zero problem admitting that this is all reading tea leaves and ouija boards. We are not mostly arguing about actual facts.

        We are arguing about how people will vote in secret in a little over a year.

        No this is not about how Reagan was treated as president.

        It is NOT 1980. The democrats of 1980 were completely different people than today.

        If Reagan or his clone was running today they would be treated EXACTLY like trump.

        There are actual real world differences between Trump and Reagan.
        But not a single differences that would protect Reagan from exactly the same attacks by the left as Trump experiences.

        My point – over and over is – it is not Trump or the right that is creating our political divisiveness. It is the left – entirely.

        At this moment democrats are actually turning on Obama. They are turning on Clinton.
        Even Biden is facing many of the same attacks FROM THE LEFT as Trump.

        The drum beat of racist, hateful hating hater are going to be present and LOUD no matter who is the republican candidate.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 14, 2019 2:25 pm

        I completely agree with you that Trump is continually saying the things you are saying he is.

        But I think he is doing so deliberately. And I think that it is not insanity.

        It worked in 2016, and I think it actually works better over time.

        Trump is giving the media and the left every possible oportunity to call him racist and deplorable.

        That will doom him – if the overwhelming majority of people – not just those on the left and in the press beleive his remarks are racist.

        But every single time that someone says “they mean me” when the press is talking about racists – the left loses a vote – FOREVER. You can not accuse someone of racism and expect their vote. Trump is very deliberately trying to bait the press and the left into insulting him in ways that alot of ordinary people think apply to them too.

        While I think that Democrats are SOLELY responsible for the divisiveness of public life today.

        Trump is absolutely taking political advantage of their mistakes.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 13, 2019 11:39 pm

        “Trump feeds the left wing”

        ABSOLUTELY – on that we completely agree.

        Trump is doing several things – deliberately.
        Not one of which is sending coded racist messages to white supremecists.

        He is DELIBERATELY baiting the left, and they are taking the bait.

        I do not claim to have a perfect crystal ball, but D’s took the house in 2018 on the promise that they would be sane and moderate.
        Trump has played AOC and the squad like a fiddle. He has driven Pelosi into the left wing of her own parties arms. He has left the democratic house looking impotent, hyper partisan and on the left fringe.
        Further the democratic candidates for president are falling all over themselves to move further and further left.

        Every republican that has ever successfully painted their democratic opponent as far left has won in a landslide.

        Democrats are bending over backwards to paint themselves as left wing nuts.

        I do not know about you, but come November 2020, as voters enter the privacy of the polls, I think you are going to find a large number saying:

        I really do not like Trump,
        But the economy is good.
        We are not at war.
        If I stay off the internet my world seems peaceful and good,
        and Trump’s opponent – Warren, Harris, Biden, Sanders, …. They are just completely nuts and it is just too dangerous to elect them.
        And things are better than during the 8 years of Obama.
        The best I can hope for from a democrat is 4 more years of Obama.

        Except it is worse than that – democratic candidates are actually attacking Obama now.

        I know that everyone here is fixated on Trump.
        But what I see is a colossal train wreck on the left.

        And just to be clear – that is NOT what I want.

        I do not think that an insane democratic house that is fixated on Trump’s taxes and impeaching him by hook or crook is an effective check on Trump should he actually get out of control.

        I am seeing something that is virtually unprecedented in my lifetime, possibly in this countries history. The destruction of a political party.

        You can come back from being too far left or right.
        You can come back from being wrong.

        But if you call voters stupid, racist, hateful hating haters, if you have not lost them forever, you have lost them for a long long time.

      • August 14, 2019 12:25 pm

        I guess it comes down to how well the GOP can motivate their extreme and the numbers in that group that wlll vote compared to how well the democrats do in motivating their extreme and the number that vote in that group.

        Because there sure is nothing left for a sane moderate centrist positioned voter to vote for.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 14, 2019 2:37 pm

        Trump is not on the extreme of the GOP.

        A significant portion of his “loyal base” is NOT traditional republicans.
        They are “the deplorables”, they are the blue collar people of the rust belt who traditionally voted democrat – and Trump owns them. They are not merely for Trump – they are enthusiastically for Trump.

        There is about 40% of the country that will support trump NO MATTER WHAT.
        Democrats can only count on about 15%.

        I would further note that while it has taken time, Trump has taken ownership of the GOP.

        The never Trumpers are mostly gone – or atleast gone quiet.

        Who comes out to vote in 2020 will matter alot.

        Trump is way ahead on the votes that he can absolutely positively count on no matter what.

        Trump is in a position to make a POSITIVE appeal to the center.

        You can make 10,000 criticisms of Trump – but his message to the middle is still going to be:

        You do not need to like me. You do not need to like the current political conflict,
        All you need to ask is – do you like the economy, do you like the fact that we are not shedding blood all over the world. Trump will have many many things that he promises to deliver on that will keep or improve our lives. And Trump will be beleived – because more than any other president EVER he has delivered on promises.

        While Democrats will be asking us to vote FOR some democrat who has spent the past 4 years making themselves look lije and extreme left wing nut, not becuase you are FOR the democrat – but because you hate Trump.

        That is a lousy strategy.

        I absolutely agree with you on what Trump is doing.

        The question is whether it is stupid or brilliant.

        I do not disagree that it is unpresidential and annoying.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 13, 2019 11:59 pm

        People know the “good news”.

        We do not need the press to carp on the economy, it speaks for itself.
        Trump does NOT need to message on his accomplishements – though I am sure he will brag about them. All he must do is not screw them up.

        Trump is playing an incredible game of chicken with China.
        At its core I think he is doing everything WRONG.

        But I am watching the data, and so far the risk of the same kind of disaster as Smoot Hawley seems remote.

        The global economy we have today means that if Chinese by goods elsewhere rather than from the US, then other countries have to buy those same goods – from us.

        Supply on a global scale is not elastic enough to meet China’s needs without creating a whole somewhere else.

        Further China just devalued their currency – that is a HUGE deal. That will completely mitigate the effect of Trump’s tarrifs on US consumers, BUT it will increase the damage to the chinese. They will be able to sell more goods in the US – but for the same total amount of money as when they sold less. Americans will pay less.

        It will make it harder for americans to sell into China, but it will do so by screwing the chinese people.

        We are watching as Hong Kong goes slowly to hell.
        We have some cognizance of the political factors – but most of us are unaware that there are economic factors. Growth in Hong Kong has weakened.

        There appears to be a serious danger of another asian economic melt down like we had in the late 90’s – except lead by china. China has a very serious debt problem. It is hard for us to measure because of the closed nature of the chinese society. But it is estimated to be 300% of GDP If true that is a big deal. Further China has been financing this economic war with China, and it is not far from running out of money to do so.
        China has been a global lender for a long time, they could be about to shift to becoming a borrower, and given their levels of debt they may not get good terms.

        China appears to be trying to stall until 2020 in the hope of getting a democrat.

        There are even stories that the chinese are actually trying to do on social media what Russia purportedly did in 2016.

        All that Trump needs right now is enough wind behind stories suggesting China is trying to beat Trump in 2020, and voters are going to flee democrats.

        Lots of this is speculation – based on stories and data I am seeing.

        I am not prepared to bet my IRA on it.

        But I am betting Trump gets a deal with China before 2020.
        China appears to have more to lose than Trump

        Look, I am opposed to this type of brinksmanship – even if it works.

        But that does nto alter the fact that if this works and does not blow up in his face, it will make it far harder for D’s to nail trump in 2020.

        In fact, it does not have to work. All that must happen is for it to not blow up in Trump’s face.

        Trump will benefit politically from a trade war with China, that does not noticeably negatively impact the economy.

        It does not matter if it is a wise move.

        Among other things it will impress people like YOU.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 14, 2019 12:30 am

        McConnell is not retiring,
        and Trump is not going to lose.
        I think he is likely to win in an actual landslide.
        I think republicans will gain alot in the house, and maybe take it back.
        I am less sure of what will happen in the senate.

        Trump has received record numbers of SMALL donations – that is abnormal for republicans.
        He is receiving more donations below $250 than any prior candidate.

        It is highly likely these donors are voting for Trump.

        BTW after Castro Doxed GOP donors in texas GOP donations spiked.

        That is my crystal ball

      • August 14, 2019 12:28 pm

        If you ever get to central NC after the election or I get to PN, the loser either provides me a Philly Cheesesteak or I provide some western NC pork BBQ because I don’t see Trump coming close to winning another term.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 14, 2019 3:05 pm

        I will be happy to by you a cheesesteak – no matter who wins in 2020.

        I will be happy to celebrate that it is over.

        though no matter what the fights will begin again the next day.

        I am not tied into NC politics. Though I am aware that NC is likely shifting from red to pink or even purple.

        There are an assortment of trends like that throughout the country.
        As I noted Florida appears to be moving from purple to pink or even red.

        There are many red states that are moving towards Pink, and many purple states that are also moving towards pink.

        I do not think local changes mean much nationally – though they mean a great deal for the people living in that state.

        PA and the rust belt went for Trump in 2016. that was unexpected.
        But Democrats have done absolutely ZERO to change that.
        These states did not flip because Hillary did not campaign there much – though she might have eked out a win had she done so. They flipped because Trump is speaking LOUDLY to voters there – and not republican voters. And that has not changed.

        There are going to be shifts throughout the country.

        Though I think Trump will win – and in a landslide.
        That will not have a huge impact on the congress.

        I think republicans will gain in the house – not because of Trump’s coattails, but because democrats failed to deliver on the promise of 2018. They thought people wanted impeachment. What they wanted was good divided government. I think moderate democrats are going to get massacred – because they did not live up to their promises.

        I do not know what will happen in the Senate.

        One thing we should grasp is that red, pink, purple, blue – each election for each office is individual. the GOP did very well in the senate in 2018 – and came very very close to doing incredibly well – while getting mascred in the house.

  3. dhlii permalink
    August 13, 2019 8:26 pm

    Dog Whistles ? Honestly Rick ?

    This crap is boring and tiring.

    Absolutely Trump talks to his base.
    But he does not use “code”. He speaks to it directly.

    Regardless, the “dog whistle claim is jut more stupid nonsensical effort to censor speach.

    If Trump was speaking to his base in “dog whistles” – by definition – you and the left would not recognize it. If you do, or think you do – then it is not a “dog whistle”.

    Regardless, Trump does not need to speak in code. What he says quite up front is perfectly clear.

    Whether we are talking about “dog whistles” or all kinds of other stupid claims to be able to read the minds of other people – and that is all that a “dog whistle” claim is – the belief that you can listen to what Trump (or anyone else) says and grasp the secret encode message that is being passed back and forth.

    BUNK!!!

    It is immoral to attribute to someone things they did not actually say, because you beleive that is what they wanted to say or what they thought.

    You can not know the mind of another person.

    When judging another person you FIRST and foremost judge them by they ACTIONS.
    Even the Christian God who purportedly knows each persons heart, divides the sheep from the goats based on what they have done.

    Not what they have thought, not what they have said, not what they intended to do.

    Any claim you or anyone else has to being a good person, or a bad one is rooted solely in your ACTIONS, not your thoughts.

    I do not care if like Jimmy Carter you lusted for other women in your heart.
    What have you actually done.

    Nor is this specifically about Trump.

    I do not care whether you are making nonsensical claims that you hear and understand dog whistles, or know the intentions of another. I do not care who you claim to know more intimately than you possibly can.

    You are deep into Orwellian territory.

    Our public discourse is right out of 1984 with claims of thought crimes.

    For that is precisely what you are claiming when you assert that you hear and understand “dog whistles”

    A great deal of what is wrong with our public discourse, a great deal of what divides us is that much of out conflict is over things that no one has said or done.

    There is plenty of room for public debate over what has actually been said and done.
    It is nonsense to presume to fight over the idiocy that we know what other people intend, or are somehow saying in code.

    • August 16, 2019 4:08 pm

      Of course the left-leaning media brand Trump as a racist. (I challenge that view; I think Trump just likes successful people better than unsuccessful people.) But I still think it’s fair to say that his utterances, while not overtly racist, embolden racist sentiments that his supporters might have suppressed in the past. This isn’t entirely a bad thing: for too long we’ve been coerced into believing that any criticism of any person of color, for any reason, is racist. (That’s what CNN did to Trump when he criticized the “Squad” — every mention of his statement was preceded by the word “racist.”)

      On the other hand, we have to be careful that Trump’s freewheeling approach to racial issues doesn’t trigger a real rise in white supremacist radicalism. Like you, I think the reports so far have been greatly exaggerated (there’s far more anti-white rhetoric out there than anti-POC these days). But Trump needs to watch his tendency to mouth off irresponsibly. We need out president to ratchet down the rhetoric.

      By the way, I agree that Obama blew his chance to be a uniter. Here was an intelligent, judicious biracial man perfectly positioned to de-escalate the racial tensions that arose during his administration. Instead, he reflexively took the distorted Black Lives Matter position on every incident.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 16, 2019 10:24 pm

        I think it is a really really bad idea to presume that you know what other people are thinking.
        Whether that is presuming that Trump, or those on the left or …. are thinking something different from what they are actually saying.

        It might be true that they are saying one thing and thinking another.
        But there is still no way to KNOW anything except what they are saying.

        That problem becomes infinitely more complex when you claim to know what someone is thinking based on what they heard someone else say.
        Especially when there is no clear direction.

        If we are going to presume that Trump’s remarks trigger white supremecists then we have to presume the rhetoric of those on the left also triggers people.

        I would further note that generally people are more likely to be motivated to act by the words of those the DO NOT like that those the like.

        Cuomo nearly punched some guy out for calling him Fredo.
        A significant factor in Trump’s victory in 2016 is backlash of voters tired of being called racist hateful hating haters.

        If you go down this “triggering” road, you should be prepared – it leads to hell and the inability to speak.

        Between dictating that people can not say something because it might inspire some nut job to do something stupid, and saying that you can not say something because it might make someone angry and then retailiate against you or yours, ultimately you can not speak.

        Finally you just plain can not try to attribute rationality to the conduct of irrational people.

        If Trump “inspired” the El Passo Shooter as an example – then so did AOC, and Dr. Suess.
        While I do not accept the characterization of him as an eco terrorists – there is an awful lot in his manifesto that is right our of Paul Ehrlich (population bomb) AOC – Green New Deal, and Dr. Suess – the Lorax.

        Should we ban the Lorax now ?

        If you are going to game things and try to say – hear is someone who did bad things – and he gave his reasons – and I am going to focus on the reasons that justify my attacks on ideologies I do not like – but completely disregard those that reflect badly on my ideology – you are drowning in confirmation bias and cherry picking.

        We do not “NEED” the president to ratchet down his rhetoric – we WANT the president to ratchet down his rhetoric. They are NOT the same.

        I WANT Trump to ratchet down his rhetoric – atleast sometimes.
        There are times I get secret pleasure from his thrashing someone or group that I think deserves it, and who has no problem berating the rest of us.

        Regardless, I would prefer a president who projected calm and chose words carefully.

        I would also prefer a president who got government out of the way so that growth was above 2%.

        It appears that we do not get to choose a president who can BOTH behave calm and considered AND get government out of the way of the economy.

        Both Bill Clinton and Trump leave alot to be desired as persons, and their personal conduct as president was less than exemplary. But both are so far presiding over strongish economies. Conversely both Bush and Obama were softspoken and calming in their rhetoric. And both presided over weak economies.

        My point is “You cant always get what you want”.

        We get to pick – we can have Trump’s rhetoric along with the strongish economy,
        the radically diminished participation in foreign wars, Or we can have a weak economy with a president whose speach does not offend our ears.

        Or more accurately – when we vote – we are not going to get a choice that is what we want.
        No matter what. We get to pick among what is offered and we are always essentially chosing the lessor evil.

        If you think that is Biden – or Harris or Sanders – that is your choice.
        My vote is almost certainly going to the libertarian candidate – even if it is John McAffee – and he is crazy. But if I was forced to pick only between Trump and the democratic candidates, there might be one or two who are polling at zero that I could pick over Trump – but not a chance I am picking one of the leaders.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 16, 2019 10:30 pm

        In innumerable issues what bothers me most about Obama is not BLM or stuff like that,
        it is that he did NOT do any of the things that he actually could have done something about.

        This entire immigration mess was resolveable – in 2009 in any way democrats wanted, or after 2010 by compromising with republicans – and there was plenty of room for compromise.

        Prison and sentence reform should have been Obama’s issue. Instead Trump has taken ownership – what Trump has done is too little. But Obama did nothing.

        There was a real possibility for necescary reforms to policing in the US under Obama.
        But instead of noting that mostly our police are good people, but there is room for improvement, he jumped into Martin and Brown and end up on the wrong side of the facts.
        He actually made making progress harder.

        Furgesson (and my community) has a real problem – there is massive policing for the purpose of taxing the poor to fund government – that is a problem that there are facts to back up. that is something that Obama could have done something about.
        Instead he fixated on Martin and Brown and find that he had backed the bad guys and therefore could not accomplish anything.

  4. dhlii permalink
    August 13, 2019 8:44 pm

    Addressing “Dog whistles further”.

    Approximately 65m people voted for Trump.
    If we assume that somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 did so reluctantly – deciding that Trump was the lessor evil. that still leaves about 40M voters who actually voted for Trump because they wanted him as president. That BTW squares reasonably well with the portion of his support that is unshakeable.

    When you talk about “dog whistles”, when you say that Trump is engaged in wink and nod racism, you are saying that 40M americans are white supremist, racist xenophobes.

    There is a twitter storm over “Fredo” right now. As someone apparently called Chris Cuomo “Fredo”. Skipping the fact that Cuomo has called himself and others “fredo” on the air – including Donald Trump Jr.. And ignoring the fact that Cuomo threaten to beat the shit out of the person who said it.

    Fredo has now magically become an ethnic slur – akin to calling a black person the “n word”.

    I have zero doubt that the person who called Cuomo “Fredo” intended to insult Cuomo.

    But now “Fredo” is coded speach for “racism” – despite the fact this was a white person calling another white person “Fredo”.

    All this pretence that you know what other people really mean when they speak, is akin to calling 40M americans “racist”.

    You complain about the divisions in this country. Calling 40M people racist does a pretty damn good job of dividing the country.

    If Democrats wish to win the presidency, it should be crystal clear they are going to have to win in the rust belt.

    Ranting about “dog whistles” and calling every white american in the midwest who shares Trump’s views on immigration or trade a racist, hateful, hating hater/xenophobe is NOT going to win their vote.

    I am told that 2020 is going to be close. I highly doubt it. I think Democrats and the media are doing everything possible to alienate as much of the country as possible.

    Purportedly the MAJORITY of registered democrats, are NOT keen on the long list of freebies that all the democratic candidates are throwing arround like candy.

    Alienating democrats is not the road to victory.

    Calling 1/2 or even 1/3 of the country white supremecist racists – is not the road to victory.

    Regardless, claims about coded messages, dog whistles and racism say more about the people making those claims than they do about Trump or his supporters.

    I am not a big fan of the average voter, but calling them all racists, or white supremecists, or deplorables, or russian stooges is not going to get their vote.

  5. dhlii permalink
    August 14, 2019 12:56 am

  6. August 14, 2019 9:00 am

    Rick, your treatment of the intractable gun debate is eminently fair, reasonable and moderate.

    The problem is that the “debate” itself is phony. There really is no genuine debate. Those on the left want to remove all guns from the hands of citizens. They don’t give a good goddamn if those citizens are good guys, bad guys, or crazy-as-a-loon guys. They simply want a compliant populace, which will accept their rule, and, then, when that populace realizes that the leftist rule has destroyed their prosperity and taken away their rights and liberties…well, they won’t be able to do much about it.

    Those on the right, who are constantly blamed for the fact that there are “too many guns” in America, are always on the defensive, and long ago learned that giving an inch will result in the left taking a mile. They are dug in.

    It’s like a football game, one team always on offense, the other always on defense, and the vast majority of Americans playing the part of the football.

    Do I think that there is something drastically wrong in our society, and that, whatever it is, it is causing young men to fall into nihilistic insanity, violence, and despair? Yes, I do. Do I think that this is happening because they have too-easy access to guns, or that reducing that access will solve the problem? No, I do not.

    Moreover, the more that the left insists that guns are the problem, the more I believe that this is a cynical strategy, meant to move the football down the field. And the more I sympathize with those on the right who, in addition to bearing the brunt of never ending blood libel, have come to believe, not unreasonably, that they will be the victims of government force, should the left ever get its way.

    • August 14, 2019 12:33 pm

      Has anyone ever heard the liberals blame the gun when a white police officer shoots a black man?

      • dhlii permalink
        August 14, 2019 3:12 pm

        Both Harris and Warren have come out and accused Officer Williams of murdering Micheal Brown.

        I think there is alot wrong with Williams conduct. A lone officer in a cruiser should NOT be seeking out confrontation over jay walking.

        But there is a gigantic gulf between Williams made mistakes and Williams was a racist murderer.

        I want the rules changed regarding policing. I want the police to be less driven to resort to weapons. I want police officers fired when there are questions about their conduct.

        Williams is not a murderer or criminal.

        He is just someone who should not be a police officer.
        There are alot of those.

      • August 14, 2019 8:24 pm

        You made my point that I asked in reply to Prescilla where she discussed guns in reply to Ricks article.

        Warren and Harris were not the knly dems to blame Williams. In every police shooting by a white policeman on black violator, its the policeman that caused to death. But whenever a shooter takes out multiple individuals, it is the gun that caused the problem and not the shooter. The first thing that come up is gun control.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 14, 2019 9:49 pm

        There is video from Hong Kong right now of protestors waiving the American Flag, singing our national anthem and demanding a bill of rights and specifically a 2nd amendment.

      • August 14, 2019 10:31 pm

        China will crush this. They cant afford letting it go on and spreading to the main land. It does not fit their 30 year plan, just like any trade deal does not fit their long term plan.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 15, 2019 2:19 am

        I expect they will – I beleive they have already cleared the airport.

        Regardless, doing so comes at a cost. We both are old enough to remember first Poland, and then later the collapse of the entire USSR.

        These things take time. There were several Solidarity uprisings in Poland that were shutdown, before progress was made. there were unsucessful revolts in Hungary and Checkloovakia. First Poland and then the USSR.

        I do not expect China to remain authoritarian for the rest of my life.
        But I can not tell if the transition will occur today or in 20 years.

        I find myself once again recommending Coases’s “How China became Capitalist”.
        It is a wonderful, book, easy to read, teaching economic and political concurrently.
        Coase ends by nothing that economic freedom alone can only take China so far, and that there really is not some distinction between economic, political and other forms of freedom.
        That China is close to peaked unless they improve political freedom.

        I was in China in 1998 to adopt my daughter – china is MORE totalitarian today than it was in 1998.

        We do not know enough about China to know for sure – but I think that Trump has china in a terrible bind. Devaluing its currency was a very bad sign (for China), It is a sign of serious economic weakness.

        Again we do not know enough – but do not rule out things like Poland and Solidarity, or even The Fall of Honecker. Today is probably not that day – but it is coming.

        Further Hong Kong is a big deal. At Tienamen square the protestors knew they were unhappy but did not know what they wanted. They had know understanding of western government, democracy or any of that. They had no exposure to those things.

        Hong Kong was a british protectorate. The people in Hong Kong are not nearly so censored and deprived of political constructs as those on the mainland.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 15, 2019 2:20 am

        The chinese governments long term plan is SURVIVIAL.

        And I would suggest that is far less assured than most of us perceive.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 14, 2019 1:30 pm

      This is not about “giving an inch”.

      Whether your “solution” is tiny or draconian, you are obligated to prove it will have a significant net positive effect before you may impose it by force.

      That alone is NOT sufficient, but it is still necessary.

      The data does not exist to support claims that ANY gun control laws are net positive.

      That should be the end of the debate.

      Nor is gun control unique.

      Pretty much everything the elites you chastize propose – has no net positive effect.

      I have constantly attacked the nonsense that is climate change.
      But even if we accepted the climate change religion as absolute fact,
      NOTHING that the left proposes would have a consequential net benefit.

      If the claims of warmists are true – we will be 4C warmer by 2100 – NO MATTER WHAT.
      If we implimented their schemes – most of which are litterally impossible – we would still be 4C warmer in 2100.

      Just like Gun Control – we manufacture a problem – one that real or imagined has no actual remedy, and use that to justify doing things that will not help with the alleged problem.

      What does it take before we cease beleiving people who have been wrong – Always and about everything ?

      And these are the people calling Trump a liar, and half the country racists ?

    • August 16, 2019 4:56 pm

      Priscilla: I don’t think anyone but a lefty extremist would suggest that we ban all guns; the argument has always been centered over two things: background checks and semi-automatic (i.e., “assault”) weapons. The Second Amendment notwithstanding, we don’t allow private citizens to own functioning cannons, flame-throwers and other military hardware; reasonable gun control advocates would simply add assault weapons to that list. My own proposal was to ban high-capacity magazines that enable crackpot shooters to mow down dozens of people within a minute.

      Will gun control solve everything? No, of course not. (That’s why I listed so many issues behind America’s mass shooting epidemic.) But if it prevents five or six mass shootings each year, it will have been worth it.

      I don’t remember if you saw the lengthy comment thread on my Facebook page when I railed against semi-automatics. One of my conservative friends expressed a viewpoint that struck me as a perfect vicious circle of almost paranoid reasoning: “the government is coming for our guns, so we need our guns to fight back.” Aside from the fact that 1) nobody is coming for their guns and 2) their guns would be relatively useless against Army tanks and drones, it seems like a pretty poor excuse for hoarding assault weapons. If they didn’t have those guns to begin with, there would be no need for them to use those guns to defend themselves.

      On most other matters, I believe that conservatives have taken it on the chin for much too long. But not on this one. There’s no need to fear a slippery slope scenario in which the government confiscates all guns; they’d have to repeal the Second Amendment, which would require the approval of 3/4 of the states. It won’t happen.

      • August 16, 2019 5:40 pm

        Rick is this Facebook page a personal page for personal friends or one where you make brief comments on current issues and followers can comment like on a open page? If so, what is the page name. I like Facebook as it limits the lenght of comments most people make. Ron

      • Rick Bayan permalink
        August 16, 2019 6:43 pm

        Ron: It was my personal FB page, which I use mainly to post photos of my walks. (Whenever I post anything on politics, it usually ignites a flame war between my conservative and leftist friends.) But I also have a New Moderate page on Facebook — really just a portal to this site.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 16, 2019 10:47 pm

        “The argument has always been centered over two things: background checks and semi-automatic (i.e., “assault”) weapons.”

        No Rick, the argument has not been centered on that.

        First those are bad ideas – we know they do not work.

        The Clinton era AWB accomplished nothing.
        And adopting “assault weapon” rhetoric just proves what you DO NOT KNOW.

        Nearly all handguns in the US are “semi-automatic”.
        All semi automatic means is that the fire one bullet every time you pull the trigger and you can pull the trigger several times without having to reload.

        Just about every gun in the country except bolt action rifles is “semi-automatic”

        The fundimental differences between say a Glock-17 and an AR-15 is that the Glock fires a heavier projectile – but at a much lower speed – because the barrel is shorter.

        But beyond that, the NRA and gun enthusiasts have made it perfectly clear they beleive the left has ZERO interest is “common sense” gun regulation – and it is absolutely clear they are correct.

        Listen to every single current democratic candidate. They are all after far more than re-instating the stupid and meaningless AWB and implimenting better background checks.
        BTW I do not think that a single gun used in a Mass Shooting was obtained without a “background check”

        Regardless, the AWB did not work. A stronger AWB will not work.
        Background checks will not work.

        There will be as many gun deaths before as after any “common sense” law you propose.

        Everyone knows that. Are you honestly going to argue otherwise ?

        Unless you are prepared to make an argument for whatever gun laws you propose based on FACTS – and evidence. All you are doing is acting on feelings.

        I do not want any laws about anything made on the basis of feelings. – not gun laws, not speech laws.

        After you manage to pass whatever stupid laws you want. There will be more mass shootings, and we will have this entire debate all over again – and we all know where it ends – with gun bans. It took almost 60 years to destroy our healthcare system incrementally.
        And we are still trying to bit by bit work our way to government provided healthcare – despite the fact that REAL DATA demonstrates conclusively that the less government the better and cheaper our healthcare will be.

        Progressivism is CANCER – eating away at liberty in small bits. Slowing making everything it touched sick, and using that sickness as justification for more poison.

        THIS STUFF DOES NOT WORK.

        I do not care what the problem is. When you have a government solution that you can prove works – we can talk about making it into law.
        Until they LEAVE THINGS ALONE.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 16, 2019 10:52 pm

        Aparently you are NOT following the posts here.

        TODAY (and for all of US history), it is perfectly legal for a private citizen to own:

        A cannon – I know someone who owns about a dozen, and several other people who own one or two.

        A flame thrower – infact you can buy a TF-19 Flame Throwing Drone.

        Additional – you can own a Gatling gun – that was an immediate predecesor to the machine gun. It is perfectly legal as long as you do not attach a motor to the crank.

        Despite the fact that people can own all of these weapons of war – I have not heard of a mass shooting with a cannon, or a gatling gun, or a flame thrower.

        But if you make AR-15’s illegal – I suspect I will hear about them.

      • August 17, 2019 1:26 am

        It all comes down to weapon of choice. Young white males use assault rifles. Muslim terrorist use pressure cooker bombs. Anti-government zealots use truck bombs. In Germany and Canada they use trucks driven into crowds. I believe that was also used in NYC on a bike path.

        Just look around and anyone with one cell of brain material could find a way to kill multiple people, and in many case many more much easier than toting in rifles and multiple clips.

        Ban the assault rifle and bombs will replace them, or a vehicle. In Charlottesville 1 died and 28 were injured. Had that been moving at a rate much faster than 25 MPH, more than 1 would have died.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 16, 2019 11:00 pm

        “But if it prevents five or six mass shootings each year, it will have been worth it.”

        There is no “if” – either you can demonstrate that it will, or you should be done.

        We can not morally infringe on liberty if we can not at the very least PROVE that we will have a positive outcome.

        Mass Shootings in Austraila, did drop (to zero) after Austrialia confiscated nearly all guns.
        But mass killing deaths remain near constant, nut jobs shifted to arson.

        Hope is not enough.

        BTW even proving that you will reduce the number of mass killings is NOT actually sufficient – not even using a pure utilitarian justification.

        You have to PROVE that net deaths will drop.

        If whatever law you propose completely eliminates ever mass killing death in the US – average of about 29/yr over the lang run, but increases the number of people who are killed in home invasions by more than 29 – that you are actually proposing to change the law not merely to infringe on liberty but to actually make us LESS SAFE, and to increase the number of people killed – merely changing how they are killed.

        I find the entire gun debate not merely tiresome but evidence of the fact that so many have stupid knee jerk emotion driven reaction that they then pretend are somehow rational.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 16, 2019 11:19 pm

        “Aside from the fact that 1) nobody is coming for their guns”

        Rick – that would be called misrepresentation – hopefully willful blindness – the entire purpose of the laws that you seek to pass is to prevent ANYONE even law abiding people from having guns that you have decided they should not be allowed to have.

        Absolutely you are “coming for their guns”. Further unless you are deaf – you can watch the democratic debates – the democratic candidates are falling all over themselves to “come after your guns”. YOU might personally at this moment not be “coming after their guns” – atleast not the ones they already own. But you are blind and deaf if you are pretending no one is, or that nearly the entire democratic party isn’t. Further, quite honestly because you are unable to get past emotion and address the problem with facts – you are not to be trusted – not on guns, not on anything. We have myriads of examples where government infringed on our liberty – what it did failed – because it pretty much always does, and so government came back and infringed on liberty more.
        There will be mass killings probably from now till the end of time. They will continue NO MATTER WHAT LAWS YOU PASS. But if you are going to pass laws based purely on emotion – not facts, all that will happen is we will get new stupid laws incrementally until there is nothing left of whatever right you started to infringe on.

        “2) their guns would be relatively useless against Army tanks and drones”
        In Philadelphia a few days ago – they proved VERY effective against the police.
        If Criminals are capable of using guns effectively against government – why do you beleive citizens are not ?
        Regardless, it is YOUR argument that is flawed.

        If the citizens of HK had AR-15’s right now – do you think the police would be bothering them ?
        Do you think the Chinese military would be thinking Twice about coming into HK ?

        The purpose of an armed populace is NOT to directly confront the miltary in a set peice battle. It is to intimidate government, and to assure that government understands that if it goes too far there is a cost to pay.

        Regardless the purpose of an armed populace is to threaten POLITICIANS not the military.

        The purpose is to make sure that those who are holding weapons AND likely to be willing to use them, are the people not the government. While it is not impossible, it is damn hard (and unconstitutional) to use the US military against the US people.
        But then if the 2nd amendment is not worth the paper it was written on – why should we beleive that the restictions on the use of the military as a police force are going to hold ?

      • August 16, 2019 11:39 pm

        Fact: 24 of the 25 worst mass shootings over the past 70 years involved the use of semi-automatic weapons. How is it “emotional” to conclude that just maybe these weapons don’t belong in private hands? We don’t allow bazookas and tanks in private hands, so how is it a violation of the 2nd Amendment to ban gadgets designed to facilitate mass murder? (By the way, I don’t think you noticed that I favor banning high-capacity magazines, not the guns themselves.)

        As for the usefulness of assault weapons in fighting a tyrannical government… the Philadelphia police could have bombed that house, but they wisely chose to use restraint. (They didn’t want a repeat of the notorious MOVE bombing.) The government would probably respond differently if there were an armed insurrection.

        By the way, who among the Democratic candidates favors confiscating all guns? I’d be interested in finding out.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 17, 2019 4:58 am

        Fact: just about every mass shooting ever was committed by a male.
        Fact: 99% were commited by males under the age of 30
        Fact: pretty much all of them had mental health problems.
        Fact: a very large percentage have been diagnosed as paranoid Schozophrenics.

        Every one of those facts – and then some have Actual significance.
        You claim is merely correlation.

        Fact: Mass killings in Austrailia did NOT decline after AU confiscated all guns.
        Fact: The trends for Violent Crimes in AU from the gun ban to the present is indistinguishable from the same Trend in nearby and demographically identical NZ.

        Fact: there is no statistically significant correlation between a decline in violent crimes of any kind at all and any gun law of any kind – anyplace ever. No gun law ever implimented ever has had any impact on any trend.

        This should not be surprising because I do not beleive there is an example of ANY law ever successfully altering the trend it was implimented to “fix”.

        So yes, belief that “this time will be different” is an EMOTIONAL response not a factual one.

        Fact: 24 of the 25 worst mass shootings over the past 70 years involved the use of semi-automatic weapons.

        Unless you are going to call hand guns Semi automatic weapons (which they are) then your “Fact” is false”, Semi-automatic Long Guns are only present in about have of Mass Shootings. The Columbine killers had handguns – semi-automatic, because pretty much all handguns are semi-automatic, And an italian carbine No semi-automatic rifle.

        The Va Tech Shooter had only Handguns.

        BTW you have autmoatically skewed your statics by starting with “”mass shootings”.
        OKC involved no guns.
        9/11 involved no guns.
        Alone those two account for more “mass killings” than the rest of the entire last 100 years.
        Prior to OKC and 9/11 the worst mass killing in the US was in the early 20th century, it was at a school and it involved Bombs.

        “How is it “emotional” to conclude that just maybe these weapons don’t belong in private hands? ”
        Because there are approximately 350Million guns in private hands in the US – and more people die from poisoning from the things you find under your sink.

        Based on the numbers Guns – are SAFER than cars.

        “We don’t allow bazookas and tanks in private hands, so how is it a violation of the 2nd Amendment to ban gadgets designed to facilitate mass murder?”

        I have no idea whether we allow Bazooka;s and neither do you.
        I do know that we allow CANNONS, and FLAME THROWERS.
        I also know that even if we banned flame throwers you can make one from $15 in parts from Autozone.

        I know that the overwhelming majority of “mass shooters” share several traits two of which are: Smart, and Nuts.

        Do you really think that if you confiscated every gun in the US, that would stop them ?

        Mass killing is a rare crime. It has no effective counter of consequence. It is near impossible to identify the perpatrators ahead of time – despite the patterns there. Are you p-repared to lock up everyone showing paranoid schizophrenic symptoms in the US ?
        Diagnosed paranoid Schizes are only twice as likely to commit violent crimes as the rest of us – yet they make up about 50% of mass shooters – atleast the ones that are not estranged husbands killing wives and families – often in church – because church is a place that family anihilators know that they can find their victims.

        We know alot about mass killings. We do not know anything that will help us prevent them.

        Nothing. Banning guns is pissing into the wind. Columbine happened during the prior AWB.

        As I haver said repeatedly – which you just keep ignoring. No gun law ever has had a demonstrable beneficial effect on a crime trend.

        Expecting that “this time will be different” is substituting emotion for fact – and you know it.

        You do not honestly expect that any Gun Control laws will work – not if you are honest with yourself. You are hoping against hope. You are chosing to act in the only way that seems possible in the futile hope that just maybe it will work.

        But now some facts the other way. AR-15’s are used several times every year to successfully defend homes against multiple home invaders. Handguns are used hundreds of times a year to actively thwart crimes in progress. Home invasion rates are significantly higher in areas where criminals know there will not be guns.

        “By the way, I don’t think you noticed that I favor banning high-capacity magazines, not the guns themselves.”

        More ineffectual nonsense. No one is confiscating existing “high capacity magazines”.
        We saw the effect of that stupidity during the prior AWB too. There were inumerable ways arround the high capacity magazine ban and millions were sold.
        Both high capacity magazines and “semi-automatic” rifles sold in higher numbers after the ban.

        And your ability to interfere is getting less every single year.

        I have not tried to buy guns or high capacity magazines over the internet – but I doubt it is difficult. US Customs does not have the capability of searching every single package (or a tiny fraction) coming into the US. I have zero doubt that if you make something illegal in this country – you will be able to get it over the internet.

        When RU-486 was banned in the US – women were buying it from France over the internet.

        You can find the gcodes to build a perfect Colt 1911 on the internet – complete, no serial number. The equipment to make one costs about 1200, and you can make as many as you want. the same equipment will allow you to make the lower receiver for an AR-15 – that is the part that ATF licenses – every other part is readily available for purchase.
        An M16 lower receiver is just as easy to make as an AR-15. I do not know that the gcodes for an M16 are available. But I would be shocked if they are not.

        With a $100 3d printer you can make a one shot plastic pistol.

        And none of this addresses the fact that you will always be able to buy guns from criminals.

        There is not a law in all of existance that has EVER stopped a criminal from committing a crime. Someone who is going to murder alot of people does not give a flying fig about the laws you pass.

        Maybe they will build their own AR-15 (or M16). Maybe they will buy one from a criminal.
        Or myriads of other ways. Maybe they will build a flame thrower. Or use Bombs.

        The Anarchist’s cookbook is readily available on the internet for free. I have a print copy that I received from a friend who was a bit squirrely 20 years ago.

        What every law you pass – will absolutely guaranteed has a small but noticeable NEGATIVE impact on the safety of actual law abiding private citizens. It will have ZERO effect on mass killings and probably none on mass shootings.
        And you either know that or you are willfully blind. It is not like the actual facts have not been readily available for a long time.

        While the only documented beneficial effect EVER of gun control – is a slight reduction in GUN Suicides – over the long term the suicide trend is undisturbed, there are numerous documented negative impacts. Obama commissined the CDC to report on guns – hoping for a CDC report that would provide “ammunition” for gun control laws. But the CDC actually did a good jobs and found that the evidence strongly suggested that guns were actively used to thwart more crimes than were committed using guns. That more burglaries are thwarted by homeowners with a gun that all gun crimes put together. And the CDC estimated that the PASSIVE effect was about 3 times larger – that is the deterent effect on burglars who avoided homes and communities where guns were likely in homes.

        “As for the usefulness of assault weapons in fighting a tyrannical government… the Philadelphia police could have bombed that house, but they wisely chose to use restraint. (They didn’t want a repeat of the notorious MOVE bombing.) The government would probably respond differently if there were an armed insurrection.”

        Do you read what you write ? I thought I was the one who was presumed to be nuts here ?

        The Philadelphia incident was an extremely rare event – a drug arrest where the drug dealer actually decides to shoot it out. That almost never happens – even though we have over 200 swat raids in the US every day. It only qualified as a “mass shooting” because 4 or more people were shot. It had nothing to do with most of what we call mass shootings.

        Regardless, it is the job of police officers to arrest criminals. That is sometimes risky – as happened in Phila. Though Policing barely makes the top 10 riskiest jobs and is far less risky than fishing or farming. It is what police sign up for. It is their job. I expect them to do it.
        I expect that they will do it without killing innocent people – as they did at Waco and Ruby Ridge – and as you note Move. I expect them to do it if possible without killing the criminals.
        I have no problem with police working to keep themselves safe – But the sagety of the rest of us comes FIRST.

        If you can’t deal with that – and I personally could not, then do not become a police officer.

        “By the way, who among the Democratic candidates favors confiscating all guns? I’d be interested in finding out.”

        Its the internet – do you really think I can not find plenty of examples of that ?

        “Confiscation could be an option,” Cuomo opined. “Mandatory sale to the state could be an option.”

        Poughkeepsie mayor John Tkazyik wrote an op-ed in which he claims Michael Bloomberg’s gun control organization MAIG (Mayors Against Illegal Guns) “intended to promote confiscation of guns from law-abiding citizens.”

        Following a Senate Budget Committee hearing, a hot-mic caught several New Jersey state senators disparaging gun owners.

        “All they want to do is have their little guns and do whatever they want with them,” one Senator said. “They don’t care about the bad guys.”

        Another stated that the Senate “needed a bill that was going to confiscate, confiscate, confiscate.”

        Steve McLaughlin introduced a wish list for Senate Democrats that included plans to confiscate so-called “assault weapons,” confiscate ten-round clips, and set up a database for every gun in the state.

        Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, the front-runner in the Democratic race, said he would create a gun buyback program and remove military-style rifles from people’s possession once the weapons are banned.

        “They should be illegal, period,” Mr. Biden said on CNN. “Look, the Second Amendment doesn’t say you can’t restrict the kinds of weapons people can own. You can’t buy a bazooka. You can’t have a flame thrower.”

        Sen. Kamala D. Harris said she was open to a mandatory gun buyback program. She also suggested that she was fine with police knocking on doors and taking away weapons. When she was California attorney general, she said, authorities took guns from felons and people deemed dangerous to themselves or others.
        Kamala Harris has previously stated that if she were elected president, she would use executive action to enact control, including banning entire classes of weapons she and liberals think look scary.

        Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas said he was willing to impose an Australian-style mandatory gun buyback and national gun licensing programs.

        Early in the Democratic race, Rep. Eric Swalwell of California presented himself as a leading gun control voice and was the first candidate to propose a mandatory buyback program.

        The federal government must ban assault weapons and implement a buyback program to get assault weapons off the streets. – Sander Tweet.

        BTW gun buyback programs have been extensively studied – they probably make things worse. They are alot like “cash for Klunkers” – and that worked so well.
        Generally damaged, defective old guns get turned in and bought back and far to often the money is used to buy new better guns.

        Honestly Rick I do not know why any debate on this issue remains.

        There are zero actual facts in favor of gun control – even the UK with its draconian gun laws has LESS gun deaths before its gun laws – that was a long time ago.

      • August 17, 2019 1:03 pm

        Dave..Rick

        If I am looking at the statistics correctly for Australia, from 1971 to 1994, a 24 year period, Australia had 20 mass murders for a total of 120 people.

        From 1995 to 2019, a comparative 24 year period, Australia has had 26 mass muders and a total of 128 dead

        !971-1995 averaged 5 dead per murder
        1996- 2019 averaged 6 dead per murder
        No significant change in the numbers per murder.
        (Source wiki)

        They find other means!

      • dhlii permalink
        August 17, 2019 3:27 pm

        Ron,

        I have thrown out lots of statistics – and particularly statistics about Austrailia – BECAUSE we had a nearly controlled experiment with Austrailia. For 2 decades AU switched to draconian gun laws while NZ with identical demographics did not.

        It is extremely rare that we have direct comparisons that require so few adjustments.

        At the same time we must be careful with statistics. We must make sure the statistics we are looking at actually measure what we want to look at.

        As an example AU’s gun laws DID reduce – even eliminate “mass shootings”.
        It did not however have a statistically significant effect on mass killings.

        What is your goal ? To stop killing people with guns ? or to stop killing people ?

        Scottland which is very white, has draconian gun laws, and almost zero gun violence.
        But the homocide and violent crime rates are slightly higher than caucasions in the US.
        The scotts kill people with knives.

        What do you want to stop – killing, or killing with guns ?

        AU did have a brief significant decline in suicides. It also had a sustained decline in gun suicides. But over the long run the suicide rate reverted to the trend – people just found other ways to kill themselves.

        I am making arguments about guns here.

        BUT my core argument is NOT about guns. I really do not care alot about guns.

        I do care about the steady errosion of our rates through feel good laws that DO NOT WORK.

        In another post I addressed childrens car seats – same problem. We do not care whether the law actually does any good. We know – atleast some of us that we have a costly law with no benefit but we are not going to do anything about it. Because that is the way government works. We make laws that do not (and can not work) in order to “feel good”, and then we ignore it when they fail.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 17, 2019 5:39 am

        Fact: – in all mass shootings since 1982 there were 141 handguns, 53 rifles, and 30 shotguns used. BTW all the rifles were NOT semi-automatic. I have not been able to separate out the semi-automatic rifles yet, But I know there were ZERO semi-automatic rifles at columbine.
        There were handguns a shotgun and an italian carbine.

        https://www.statista.com/statistics/476409/mass-shootings-in-the-us-by-weapon-types-used/

      • dhlii permalink
        August 17, 2019 6:05 am

        The most deadly US mass shooting remains Las Vegas – 58 dead.
        In Nice the same year 86 people were killed by a truck.
        Since 1982 there have been 434K gun homocides.
        Mass shooting make 0.2% of that total. Mass shootings over more than 40 years total about 1/4 the number who were killed at 9/11. Assault weapon deaths by mass shooting are 0.06% of the total.

        Your odds of being killed in a mass shooting are just under 1:400K

        The NRA estimates that there are about 5M AR-15’s in the US – that is a bit more than 1% of all guns. Politifact puts it at 6-10M.
        The odds of being killed by an assault rifle in a mass shooting are less than 1:1,000,000

        Since you like “facts”

        Twice as many mass shootings have taken place in Blue states than red states.
        Though “swing” states edge out blue states by a little.

        8 States and DC still have State assault rifle bans that are stronger than the Clinton era AWB. All of these are still in place. 31% of all states have not had a mass shooting.
        Only 1 state with an AWB has not had a mass shooting.

        Only 14% of states have had a mass shooting involving an “assault rifle”.

        Clinton purportedly ran an oped recently praising his AWB.

        Depending on how you slice the data you can in SOME permutations claim that there was a decline in mass shooting during the AWB – the deviation is very small.

        However the frequency of assault weapon use was unchanged.

        Further since the AWB expired almost 50% of the Assault weapon fatalities in mass shootings have been police – there have been several mass shootings specifically targetting police and these have used assault rifles.

        The narrative that “assault rifles” have been used in nearly all mass shooting is FALSE.
        The semi-automatic weapons claim is spurious – nearly all guns are “semi-automatic” but only a tiny portion of semi-automatic weapons are rifles. In fact I beleive 100% of all handguns are “semi-automatic”.

      • August 17, 2019 1:28 pm

        If there are 5 million people that own 5-10 million AR15’s, are they the ones that would trust government, or are they the ones more like the red neck bubba’s, four wheel raised oversized tire truck owners, western ranch owners and other rural conservative gun owners? Would they line up at the doors of the BAF waiting to hand over their AR15’s.

        My brother -in-law is in that rural gun owner category. Has 3 AR’15s. Has them stored in different places. He would be like Charlton Heston. You would have to pry them from his dead damn hands before turning them in. And if a democrat wins, I bet he will be buying more.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 17, 2019 4:20 pm

        If merely 1% of AR-15 owners resist violently having their guns taken away there are only two possible outcomes.

        Government turning a blind eye to AR-15 ownership and not enforcing the law.
        Gun violence far greater than all mass shootings.

        The police will enforce the law – against very small numbers of AR-15 owners. They will likely tolerate it if police deaths in the line of duty double – to 250/year. But more than that – and they are just plain NOT going to enforce the law. Police are NOT going to send SWAT teams to the homes of known AR-15 owners where there is a 1% chance of a shootout resulting in POLICE casualties, if there is no other reason to target that person than because they have an AR-15.

        Which is another issue we should not EVER make laws that law enforcement is not going to enforce, or that it is going to excercise very large discretion in enforcing.

        WE do not want a situation where large numbers of americans are “criminals”, but we are not going to try to prosecute them. That actually increases crime. When you label an otherwise law abiding citizen a fellon, you decrease the constraints stopping them from committing other crimes.

      • August 17, 2019 1:33 am

        Dave you left out that DC already came for their guns and a conservative court ruled against them. Had it been a liberal democrat court, no one in DC would be owning a hand gun (legally) and all others would be worthless because they would have to be unloaded and locked up. Hand Heller V DC been upheld, don’t you think DC would have banned assulat rifles along with many other states?

      • dhlii permalink
        August 17, 2019 5:20 am

        Here is a graph of the murder rate in DC with the implimentation of DC’s draconian gun laws marked as well as their being struck down.

        It took some time after the laws were implimented for the murder rate to spike, and the murder rate was already declining when the law was struck down.

        I can try to argue that the law made DC more violent – it would be a weak argument.

        But there is absolutely no way that you can argue that gun laws made DC safer – it clearly did not.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 16, 2019 11:21 pm

        “If they didn’t have those guns to begin with, there would be no need for them to use those guns to defend themselves.”

        If you were not trying to take their guns – there would be no need for them to use those guns to defend themselves.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 16, 2019 11:30 pm

        This is not a conservative issue. I am not a conservative.

        Aside from proving that what you wish to do will be NET better – something you can not do.
        You must do one other thing that you can not succeed at.

        Amend the constitution. We do not wish the constitution and its amendments away because they interfere with passing the laws that some of us want at the moment.

        The constitution is much weaker than it needs to be in protecting our rights,
        but at the very least we should not make it weaker by ignoring it when it is inconvenient.

        If you wish to infringe on the right to own guns – then you must amend the constitution.
        And BTW in doing so you must revise TWO amendments – the 2nd and the 14th.

        No matter how hard you try to pretend the 2nd does not say what it plainly says – the legislative history of the 14th amendment is absolutely clear. The intention of the 14th amendment was to assure that newly freed negroes would have the right to own guns.
        It was beyond the ability of northern occupation forces to protect negroes – and the post civil war history makes that abundantly clear, The reconstruction congress passed the 14th amendment to permanetly secure the right of individuals, regardless of race to own guns for the purpose of protecting themselves against the majority.

        If you think that the founders and the ratifiers of the 14th amendment were wrong, or that the need has passed – while I disagree, you can resolve the matter by amending the constitution.

        That is hard. It is supposed to be hard. It should be completely impossible to infringe on a right.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 16, 2019 11:34 pm

        So let me summarize your argument:

        We should do something that there is no evidence will work – to make us feel better.
        We should do it despite the fact that we are infinging on the natural right to self defense, the constitutional right in the 2nd and 14th amendment.

        We should not amend the constitution – because that is too hard. and you have no problem with ignoring impediments to infringing on rights. So long as those are rights that are not important to you personally.

        Rick -I understand the emotional appeal of passing a law in the hope of fixing some scary problem. It is precisely BECAUSE that appeal is so strong that we MUST have strong impediments.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 16, 2019 11:45 pm

        Why do you not need to repeal the 2nd amendment to do what you wish to do, but you would be stopped by the 2nd amendment if you tried to go farther ?

        Any argument you make, can be made for further infringment.

        If we do not need 15 round magazines for rifles – we have even less need for them in hand guns.

        If you are going to ban “semi-automatic” weapons that is pretty much everything but bolt action rifles and maybe pump shotguns. It is absolutely every gun that holds more than 1 bullet and can fire more than once by pulling the trigger another time.

        Any argument that an AR-15 is not covered by the 2nd amendment – makes almost all firearms unprotected by the 2nd amendment.

        If you try to pretend that the militia clause is limiting clause rather than a justification – then there is no individual right to own any weapon.

        And all of this requires completely ignoring the 14th amendment.

        You are essentially saying that white southerners we free to confiscate weapons from Blacks in the south – knowing they would end up getting killed.

        If you are saying we are past that now – that similar situations will never arrise – then change the 2nd and 14th amendment.

        But if you claim that you can do what you want without infringing. but that the 2nd amendment will ultimately prevent government from going further – that is crap.

        Either it is sufficient to stop you here and now, or it is never sufficient to stop anyone whose heart is ahead of their brain from acting stupid but with purportedly good intentions.

        I say purportedly – because I do not accept good intentions EVER as a justification for bad acts. If you act badly – that is the end of it.

  7. Savannah Jordan permalink
    August 14, 2019 3:35 pm

    I am almost finished reading Chernow’s “Grant”, the biography of Ulysses S. Grant. The war was of course the most violent era in American History but the period after the war was probably the second most violent era. Our current polarized society pales in comparison to the Reconstruction Era. It truly is amazing that our democracy survived. Although that society had even more anger and polarization than our current society, there were not instances of one gunmen killing 20, 40, 60, 100 people almost simultaneously. The difference is that we have allowed people to own weapons of mass destruction. I do not see why we cannot ban the sale of these guns and buy back those already in circulation. 70% of voters want a ban on assault weapons but the Congress is controlled by powerful minority who care nothing for the security and safety of our society. You don’t need an assault weapon to take down an intruder, in fact, an assailant using an assault weapons negates the ability of a victim to defend themselves. Even if the victim has an assault weapon by the time they realize what is happening the assailant has already fired 20 shorts or more. As I said this small powerful minority care nothing for the safety and security of this country. They are driven by the euphoria of power which they experience when they feel these weapons of mass destruction pulsating in their hands. We are watching our children slaughtered in their schools so that these people can experience their orgiastic high.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 14, 2019 6:24 pm

      I have not read Chernow’s grant.

      But you are wrong about the differences between society today and then.

      In the debate leading to the 14th amendment it was ABSOLUTELY clear that the priviledges and immunites clause was explicitly intended to guarantee the right of BLACKS to own GUNS. That was probably the most important factor in tipping the scales when Heller was decided.

      Further the history of the period you are referencing is tied strongly to GUNS.

      Immediately post civil war and for almost 10 years, the south was occupied by norther armies, and black ownership of guns was HIGH, those two factors resulted in the governments of many southern states being overwhelmingly black, with numerous federal representatives and senators being southern blacks.
      This came to an end when Grant pulled troops from the south with a part of that deal being the confiscation of the guns of blacks, and that was followed by the first great period of southern violence and lynchings.

      I would further note that even during the civil war – available personal weapons were more capable than the military weapons of the government. That persisted even into the indian wars were custers defeat was as attributable to inferior weapons as most anything else.

      Easy to load multiple shot revolvers were PERSONAL weapons in the Civil War,
      Repeating rifles were PERSONAL weapons in the Civil war.

      Even in the 20th century – serious guns and rifles were a fixture within the civil rights movement.

      BTW actual assault weapons are already banned. No automatic weapon has been used outside of the military in a crime since tommy guns during prohibition.

      As to need: There are numerous instances every year – many times the number of mass shootings, were someone with an AR-15 or similar weapon successfully defends their home against multiple criminals – so yes there are real world scenarios were such weapons are necescary. Obama commissioned the CDC to study the issue, and even the CDC found that the DOCUMENTED evidence demonstrated that guns were USED MANY more times in the US to prevent or limit crimes than gun deaths, and that the deterent effect was likely an order of magnitude greater.

      Further we have evidence from Austrailia of exactly how the program that you propose would work. The answer is that it did not.

      Mass Shootings dropped to zero. Mass killings remained constant, Arson’s spiked, briefly suicides by gun declined but there was overall no statistically significant effect of Austrialias heinous gun laws.

      The UK actually had less gun violence BEFORE implimenting its modern gun laws.
      London has banned knives – because if people want to kill people – they will find a weapon.
      The rate of murder and violent death in scottland is a bit more than 1/2 that of the US – sounds promising – but Scotts who can not own guns murder more of their fellow scotts than any other caucasion group in the world. In the US about 50% of all gun deaths involve black shooters – in fact the rates of violence throughout the world vary very very little – by race.
      All differences in rates of violence between countries can be entirely derived by the ethnic makeup of the population – not the laws – that is WORLD WIDE.

      But lets go farther.

      More people are killed each year by lighting in the US than in mass shootings.
      More people are killed each month in Chicago than in a year by mass shootings.

      4 times more people die of drug overdoses than all gun deaths – including suicides.
      3 times as many from accidental falls, and 3 times as many from automobile accidents.

      in 2016 374 people were killed by long guns in all forms – that is shotguns, and rifles as well as AR-15’s. I beleive about 15% of long gun deaths are attributable to “assault weapons”,
      And long guns make up less than 10% of all gun deaths. There were 3700 murders using knives at the same time. according to the FBI.

      A “good guy with a gun” stops a potential mass shooting – it happens about 10 times a year, thought it pretty much never makes national news.
      But it is rarer than it would be otherwise – because mass shootings occur almost exclusively in “gun free” zones – which is precisely why mass shooters target those areas.
      Further concealed carry is severely restricted in most of the country.

      But inside of homes guns are used many times every day to stop crimes as noted above in the CDC’s work.

      Post Christchurch NZ – finally capitulated and imposed draconian gun control and buy back.
      Problem ? New Zealanders are NOT cooperating. Despite the fact that it is a crime, they are not turning in their guns.

      In the US there are about 350M guns. Do you understand what the cost to buy those back would be ?

      Do you understand how much violence will occur if you try to ?

      Lets say 1% of all gun owners decide to keep their guns – even though doing so makes them criminals – in NZ right now that is running close to 50% not 1%.

      So now you have to send in law enforcement to confiscate their weapons.
      That is 3.5M raids by swat teams. If 1% of those raids turn violent, that is 35K violent raids.

      Is that an improvement over 1 or 2 mass shootings a year ?

      Do your really want 35K gun battles between otherwise law abiding citizens and police swat teams using automatic weapons ?

      When ever you propose a law – ANY LAW, you should always factor in the cost – in $ and blood of enforcing that law. NYC’s laws barring the sale of loose cigarettes ended with Eric Garner losing his life. If you pass a law – some small portion of otherwise law abiding citizens will decide – they are not going to obey – and they are going to do so right up to the point where law enforcement must use deadly force.

      If you want to ensure that the current conflict between the left and the right becomes violent and involves weapons – pass restrictive gun control laws.

      Are you not old enough to remember Ruby Ridge or Wacco ?

      The entire justification that McVeigh used for the OKC bombing was driven by government efforts to crush militias and confiscate guns.

      Even the mass murders that you are attempting to thwart will now have a bigger and better cause.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 14, 2019 6:34 pm

      I am not an expert in “gun culture” – but it is pretty clear that you are not either.

      Criminals pretty much never have weapons like AR-15’s. These are not useful weapons for burglaries, or most crimes.
      Even Mass Shooters do not typically use “assault weapons” – the majority of deaths in mass shootings are from handguns.

      Different weapons are more useful for different circumstances.

      Burglars as an example – are NOT typically armed – atleast not with guns.
      ANY gun is a deterent to most burglars, there is plenty of data that burglars avoid:
      Homes with dogs,
      Homes where there is a probability that residents are armed.

      But handguns are ineffective in dealing with multiple attackers.
      Handguns are close range weapons, not area defense or denial weapons.

      As to “small powerful minorities” – 42% of americans have one of more gun in their home.

      That is a powerful minority – it is NOT a small one.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 14, 2019 6:38 pm

      “They are driven by the euphoria of power which they experience when they feel these weapons of mass destruction pulsating in their hands. ”

      Really – so you are expert on the motivations and feelings of other people ?

      When you make an argument presuming to know what others think and feel – you are with near certainty WRONG.

      Even the christian god judges us on our ACTIONS not our thoughts.

      Christ did not ask – when I was hungry did you think about feeding me, or did you feel bad about my hunger.

      When you presume to know more about other people that there are facts to support – you have lost your argument.

      Worse still you are dangerous.

      It is possible to justify anything if you get to presume that your assessment of the motivations and feelings of others are correct.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 14, 2019 6:44 pm

      “We are watching our children slaughtered in their schools so that these people can experience their orgiastic high.”

      The leading cause of death for children under 12 is automobile accidents.

      If you put your kind in the car or on a bus – they are about 1000 times more likely to be killed than by a mass shooter at school – pursuing some “orgiastic high”.

      More children die each year in hot cars than mass shootings.

      About 100 times more kids are killed each year – by things under their kitchen sink than by mass shooters.

      If you are worried about kids – worry about actual threats, not unicorns.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 14, 2019 6:45 pm

      BTW – welcome.

      Despite the criticism, new voices are welcom.

    • August 14, 2019 8:41 pm

      Savannah, it is not the issue of banning certain types of weapons. If you look at the history of the NRA you will find they supported almost every gun control legislation until 1971. That is when the FBI raided Ken Bellews appt and shot him based on very weak information. He was an NRA member and was reported to have stockpiled weapons which were not found. That changed Charlton Hestons position on the government and since that time they yave opposed every law proposed.

      It is trust in government. You trust government to stop with the assault weapons ban. I think an assault weapon is useless for the average American, but I have little trust in government. I believe once they ban assualt weapons, then any pistols used in murders will be banned. Unlike government in the past (ie 1930’s ban on machine guns and nothing further), today the ban on one weapon is the key to unlocking bans on multiple weapons.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 14, 2019 10:05 pm

        The 2nd amendment serves many purposes.

        Our founders intended that it guarantee the right of settlers to hunt for food,
        The authors of the 14th amendment explicitly intended that negros in the south would be able to have guns to defend against southern whites.
        The right to self defense is nearly universally recognized – and like the right to free speech you can not restrict a right by infringing on the necescities of that right.

        Put simply if the 2nd amendment merely said that we all have the right to self defense, the government would STILL be barred from banning guns.

        There are other purposes to the 2nd amendment – but one other that is true is it is there to ensure the right of the people to stand up to government. To revolt if necescary, but even short of revolt just to remind the government that their power is not unlimited that at some point citizens will take up arms. Our declaration of independence makes it clear that it is absolutely justified to take up arms against an oppresive government.

        The US government does not meet that threshold today. Hopefully it never will.
        But americans are entitled to own weapons specifically to prepare for that possibility.

        To those who keep playing this nonsensical game that our founders did not mean weapons of war – military weapons.

        The Pennsylvania long rifle, was the high tech M16 of its day – actually it was MORE state of the art for the time. While it served many purposes. it proved to be the near perfect weapon for american irregulars early in the war. While it took 3 times as long to load and fire, it also had 3 times the range. In myriads of engagements throughout new england, colonists unleashed vollies against the english from outside the range of british weapons and then separated to reload and prepare for the next strike.
        Throughout the war it was impossible for the british to move troops in much of the country because the could not survive clashes with colonists in the woods where revolutionary forces could strike and retreat repeatedly without ever getting in the range of the british.

        In fact the Pennsylvania rifle remained in use in the US until near the end of the 19th century.

        Put simply ordinary americans at the time of the revolution owned weapons supperior to the british military.

        Further during the revolution – all kinds of other weapons – like warships and artilery were owned by ordinary people.
        Even today – you can not own an M16 – but you can own a cannon.

  8. August 14, 2019 8:52 pm

    True moral conservatives (there are few remaining) will fight to replace Trump with a suitable human candidate.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 14, 2019 10:15 pm

      And we continue the long long line of posts that argue:

      Trump is unfit – because I do not like him.

      Is there any argument here beyond – Walsh must be right because he is saying things I agree with ?

      I would be happy to have a real discussion – facts, logic, reason, regarding Trump’s fitness to be president.

      There are plenty of legitimate fact based arguments that can be made, and some I might agree with. Though I will point out that the same can be said of every president in my lifetime – even if the reasons might differ.

      Ultimately outside the provisions of the constitution and the actual 25th amendment fitness to be president is determined by voters on election day, and like it or not Trump won that argument. You get to try again in 2020.

      I have no problem with someone challenging Trump – whether from the right or left.

      I am absolutely certain I can pick 100 people that I would prefer as president to Trump.
      Unfortunately not a single one is a plausible contender for either party.

      George Will has repeatedly criticised Trump – and except that Trump remains the lessor evil of the choices we have had – I would otherwise mostly agree with Will.

      But again there is not a single president elected during my lifetime – that I could not pick someone I think would be better.

  9. dhlii permalink
    August 15, 2019 2:34 pm

    “Go into the London Stock Exchange – a more respectable place than many a court – and you will see representatives from all nations gathered together for the utility of men. Here Jew, Mohammedan and Christian deal with each other as though they were all of the same faith, and only apply the word infidel to people who go bankrupt. Here the Presbyterian trusts the Anabaptist and the Anglican accepts a promise from the Quaker. On leaving these peaceful and free assemblies some go to the Synagogue and others for a drink, this one goes to be baptized in a great bath in the name of Father, Son and Holy Ghost, that one has his son’s foreskin cut and has some Hebrew words he doesn’t understand mumbled over the child, others go to heir church and await the inspiration of God with their hats on, and everybody is happy.”
    Voltaire.

    We bemoan the conflict and division of modern public discourse. But entirely miss that conflict is ultimately about only one thing – attempts to accomplish by force what we could not accomplish by persuasion.

    In everything that we are prohibited from using force – we get along extremely well.

    I can walk down the streets of Berkeley or Montgomery Alabama, and engage with most anyone, and so long as I those interactions have nothing to do with what government should compel, conflicts will be few and cordial.

    • August 15, 2019 8:32 pm

      Dave, how true your comment “We bemoan the conflict and division of modern public discourse. But entirely miss that conflict is ultimately about only one thing – attempts to accomplish by force what we could not accomplish by persuasion.”

      Since most have left this site for places unknown to me, I have been searching for a site where one can comment and not be torn apart by those that have differing views. Once again, after years of not visiting that other “moderate” site that calls itself moderate, I visited their site today and began reading their post and the comments that followed. Lord have mercy, if they posted anything that was not anti-Trump, hell would freeze over. And occasionally there will be someone comment about a subject that does not fit their political thinking and the poor person it riddled with personal attacks by those commenting instead of a debate between the two taking place.

      Basically there, as well as other sites, force those commenting to adhere to their agenda, or they are forced out. Unlike here where the many that leave do so on their own accord because they can not force those that stay to their way of thinking.

      • August 15, 2019 9:43 pm

        I seem to recall that it was during the Bush 43 administration, that people started talking about “Bush Derangement Syndrome.” And that seemed
        like a good term for people who were calling Bush and Cheney “war criminals and the like.

        But it was nothing like Trump Derangement Syndrome, which I have begun to believe is an actual mental disorder, brought on by intense hatred, mob mentality and mass hysteria.

        I’m not claiming that everyone who opposes Trump suffers from TDS, but millions of them do. I’ve seen people who I know to have been reasonable, often thoughtful, liberals, turn into raving, angry Trump haters, who talk about what a filthy, disgusting human he is, how unfit he is to be president, and how ashamed anyone should be to support him. And, if you can get a word in edgewise, and have the nerve to ask what exactly makes them hate the man so much, they can usually only talk about the fact that he is a racist, that he separates children from their families, and that he doesn’t respect women. If you bring up people like Kellyanne Conway or Nikki Haley, even Sarah Sanders, they scoff at you, as if those women don’t count.

        It’s scary to see this kind of hate, from otherwise normal people, directed at the duly elected president. I mean, I don’t expect all people to like him ~ I didn’t like Obama at all…could barely stand to listen to him, by the end of his term. But it didn’t define me, or affect my life in any negative way. I just think that TDS is different from anything I’ve seen in my lifetime.

        Am I wrong about this?

      • August 15, 2019 10:40 pm

        Priscilla, no you are not wrong. You know I am not fond of Trump, not because of anything the left says, but because of what he says. As Dave comments, he may be doing this out of character, acting, and manipulating his opponents much like Mohammad Ali did with George Foreman and “rope-a-dope”.

        But with those s on the left, you can nit debate anything Trump does. They go ballistic if you question their anti-Trump positions.

        I support his trade positions. Not because tariffs are good, but changing the Chinese trade policies from a position of strength.
        I support his new immigration policies. No benefits before citizenship. The left can moan about how hard hearted that is and what the statue of liberty stands for, but when that was constructed and immigrants came throughbEllis Island, there were no government handout to be had like today.
        I support.his healthcare positions, his choices for SCOTUS and his deregulation.

        But damn, it seems like every day he says something that is a total turnoff and I think,” did he really say that” and sure enough he did.

        But like dave also said, once in the voting booth, I may gag and vote for him to be one vote agaist the democrat. Even if NC is not really.key to a presidential election.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 16, 2019 2:51 am

        I do not agree with you or Trump on ANY of the positions you support Trump on.

        But I have no doubt that you and I can have a civilized debate over those issues.

        I am going to relentlessly argue my position with “facts, logic, reason” – millions of mind numbing pages of it. It is highly unlikely I will persuade you. There might be a few times that I call some idea stupid or moronic, but I am not going to insult you as the means to win the argument. You may call some of my arguments stupid. You are not likely to be persuaded,
        But you are not going to insult me as a means to win the argument.

        Our disagreement is not going to preclude my buying you a Cheese Steak if I ever get to NC.

        When you call people racists, haters, liars, cheaters, it is near impossible to come back.
        Once you do that further debate is nearly impossible.

        We have seen that with Bush, with McCain, with Palin, with Romney and with Trump.
        And we have seen that here.

        When you resort to slurs, you create TWO walls between you.
        The first is to return to reason your opponent must forgive you.
        The second is that you must get past your own shame at making a false accusation.

        The latter is harder than the former.

        Once you call someone a racist – or similar Slurs, there is no coming back.
        They will never forgive you.
        And the likelyhood of your ever admiting even to yourself to having falsely accused someone of being a racist is about zero.

        Once you call someone a racist – in your mind, they must be a racist forever.
        Being wrong, is being immoral yourself.

        This is what is dividing our country.

      • August 16, 2019 2:29 pm

        OK, so lets start with this You say “I do not agree with you or Trump on ANY of the positions you support Trump on.”. So in a few words if possible please explain as will I. Nothing long, just pertinent thoughts on what drives my positions.

        1. I understand your trade positions and you believe that open trade at any cost is good trade. And I support that up to a point. If a country in Africa can produce jeans with the same quality as American produced jeans and they sell in America for the same price as the American produced jeans or less, that is fine. We are helping build up a poor economy. But I will never accept a car company being owned 50%+ by the Chinese , producing that car, sending it here without a tariff while our cars are taxed 25% going to China. China is not a developing economy, it is the #2 ranked economy and #1 by purchasing power. And Buick is not selling that car any cheaper than a competitor model made in America, so the buyer is not getting any break.
        2. Immigration and not giving benefits to immigrants. I support immigrants coming to this country legally, but I do not support them living off the government once they get here. Find a job, work and build up your life, don’t sponge off those that do.
        3. Eliminating the ACA is going to be near impossible, so doing the next best thing, eliminating much of the force within the legislation works for me. I would rather have that than beating my head against the wall, complaining about all the things like the penalty included and not doing away with those parts the can be eliminated.
        4. I think Trump has made some good appointments to SCOTUS. I would like to see some more like Kennedy and O’Conner, but the last two have not been as bad as Sotomayor and Kagan.

        Your turn, and Priscilla please jump in if you have comments!

      • dhlii permalink
        August 16, 2019 4:21 pm

        “I do not agree with you or Trump on ANY of the positions you support Trump on.”
        Sorry, that is a misstatement. I beleive I meant “MANY”.

        Regardless, the point was we do not agree, but we are capable of civil debate.
        One of the reasons for that is that we stick close to facts and arguments, and not slurs and invective.

        I second point was that I am far from a “trump supporter”.
        But there is not some manditory binary – you each support Trump on EVERYTHING, or on NOTHING.

        Apparently Trump was inquiring about the possibility of buying Greenland from Denmark.
        And the left has gone balistic.

        Why ? Denmark appears uninterested – that’s fine. But the idea is not evil, racist, stupid, ….
        It is just one that does not interest the danes.

        If it became serious. I might ponder whether I think it is a good idea or a bad idea.
        But it is not an evil idea or an immoral idea, or a racist idea.

        I have no problem with addressing our differences on trade and immigration and …
        But I think we have hashed them to death.

        I do not think there is a place for government in free exchange beyond enforcing agreements and baring the actual use of force.
        Buying something from your neighbor, from the neighboring city, from the neighboring state, from the neighboring country from the neighboring planet – if it ever comes to that, changes nothing.

        The historical evidence is the deeper government in free exchange distorts markets, and decreases efficiency – and that means we are less prosperous than we would be otherwise.

        And it does not matter at all WHY government is interfering.

        With respect to your arguments such as those about quality.

        Absolutely – as the buy you get to decide whether you will pay the asked price for the quality of product offered – whether it is from Ohio, Africa, or China.

        I have absolutely ZERO problem with your preferences – EXCEPT that you wish to force them to be my preferences too.

        If I find the price/quality of African Jeans acceptable – I should be free to buy them.
        If you do not- you are free not to buy them.
        There is no role for government.

        If you want to help build a poor country – you are free to adjust your purchasing choices.
        If you do not want to help China – again you are free to not do so.

        But you are NOT free to decide for me.

        I have zero problems with “buy local” or “buy american” campaigns.
        There is absolutely nothing wrong with engaging in persuasion.
        Even if I think what you are seeking to persuade me regarding is a bad idea.

        There is no right to control any more of the market than your OWN choices.
        There is no right to buy at the price you want, or to be able to sell – not in the US or china.

        It is wrong for China to tarrif incoming products – and they should not do that.
        But the real harm is to their own people. There is no right for US sellors to sell to chinese customers.

        BTW this is actually much the same as immigration.

        I am still trying to work somethings out.
        But most of the immigration debate does NOT involve rights.

        There is no right to come to the US.
        I think immigration is so obviously a net good, that we should do whatever it takes to impliment open borders – but that requires eliminating our entitlement system.

        But so long as there is no right involved, the argument is utilitarian not principled.

        Apparently there is a big war at the moment because Kuccinelli quoted the plaque in front of the Statute of liberty – that Plaque includes a paraphrase of the Emma Lazarus poem that includes “public charge”. Kuccinelli was berated for misquoting “the new collusus” – but he wasn’t quoting that.

        Regardless, I fully agree with the “public charge” construction – though for the most part I would impliment it inversely.

        I do not care who comes – but you will not receive government aide.

        I have told you before – I think we could solve the immigration debate trivially by getting government mostly out of the decision making.

        Just say that ANYONE can come to the US if they have a sponsor. But make sponsorship meaningful. If you sponsor someone YOU are responsible for them. You are essentially committing to be their “safetynet”.

        If YOU wish to sponsor chinese, or guatamalan’s or hatians or nigerians, or muslims – that is up to you. The government need not “vet” people, need not set quota’s,

        You get in if you have a sponsor, and you don’t if you can not get one.

        I would let anyone, any organzation, any business, any church sponsor people.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 16, 2019 4:34 pm

        The ACA is in almost all ways nearly gone already. What is “impossible” is turning reality into an expressed decision.

        What is harder and necescary is getting government out of healthcare.

        There is a chart floating arround showing long terms price trends of various things.

        The ONLY things that have a long term inflation adjusted trend of price increases are those things heavily controlled by government – healthcare, education.

        Everything else has become cheaper and better.

        If you want Healthcare even more F’d up – keep trying to have govenrment fix it.

        I am still on the fence over Kavanaugh – and Gorsuch occasionally F’s up.
        But despite that Gorsuch is on track to becoming the most significant justice of the 21st century.

        Kennedy is a disasterously bad justice. OConner was better and better still after leaving the court. But both had the same problem – they sought to compromise over issues of principle.

        That NEVER works out well, It just leaves us fighting forever.

        It is often better to gets something dead wrong, then to fudge in the middle.

        I think Kennedy was a good person but a lousy justice.
        But I have more problmes with Roberts.
        Roberts seems to think the fundimental role of a supreme court justice is to prevent the court from being controlversial.

        That is absolutely 180 degrees wrong.

        The most important work of the court is saying NO when all of government and most people think the answer is yes. SCOTUS is there to protect our individual rights. Everything else it does is small potatos. And protection of individual rights matters most when those rights are not popular.

        The Skokie decision is in my view one of the greatest decisions of the court.
        They said no to government when nearly everyone wanted them to say yes, to protect the rights of people who few of us think deserve rights.

        That is the highest purpose of the courts.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 16, 2019 4:38 pm

        With few exceptions I find it harder to trash specific justices.

        Many of Sotomayor’s or Kagan’s decisions are absolute garbage.

        But SCOTUS sometimes gets things right through unlikely coalitions.

        Sotomayor and Kagan and others on the left have on rare occsion been on the right side of 5-4 decisions

        I have more problems with Roberts particularly as he keeps being the 5th vote on a bad decisions and then writes an oppinion that essentially says “I am actually wrong and I know it, but we are going to decide this specific case this way because doing otherwise would make the court look too political”.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 16, 2019 2:36 am

        Our bitter divisions are NOT about Trump.

        They are unequivocally about politics, ideology.

        They are about the use of force to accomplish what we were not able to accomplish through persuasion.

        If Ted Cruz had been elected – or Mario Rubio – we would still be at war.
        The tactics might be different, but the issues would be the same.

        Many of us have observed that if Democrats wish to beat Trump – they need a moderate, not Warren, Harris, Sanders – or pretty much any of the 20 dwarves.

        But democrats are not going to run a “moderate”.

        All the PC nonsense is tactics, it is not the objective.

        The objective is to use government to force all of us to live as they wish, without having to do the work of persuading us that their preferences for us are our best choice.

        The violently “anti-trump” forces are not even really anti-trump.
        They are anti not getting their way – by force if necescary.

        If Trump could manage as Ron says and many of us would wish, to act presidential, to quit saying things that provoke the left – that would change nothing.

        Trump – or any other republican – any other person who was president who did not give them what they wanted, would be decried as a racist, hateful hating hater.

        That has been the tactic for decades, certainly it was the tactic against Bush, and McCain – Sarah Palin’s treatment was immoral. and Romney.
        I do not think any of those republicans were or would have made good presidents.
        But they were not racist hateful hating haters.

        The slurs and insults are to avoid having to debate the issues.
        We have seen EXACTLY the same thing HERE.

        Do not debate the issues – attack the person.

        In a real debate over the issues – the PERSONS on either side of the argument DO NOT MATTER, What matters is the facts and the arguments.

        I agree with Trump on somethings and not on others.
        I agree with Trump on more than Obama – but Obama was not wrong on everything.

        Regardless, while there were exceptions – the debate during the obama presidency was primarily about ISSUES, not personality.

        The objective and the core of the bitterness and divisiveness, is that way too many of us are trying to get our way on issues – to force others to live as we wish, and the tools we are using are NOT, facts, or arguments, but slurs and insults.

        Is it any wonder we are deeply divided ?

        If we substitute some “president X” for Trump and pretend that this President X is the same as Trump in policies, but somehow manages to be presidential, and respectful, that President X does not have a racist, hateful bone in their body – but still makes the same policy choices as Trump – the media and the left would be doing EXACTLY the same things they are doing now.

        The real conflict is NOT over Trump or his demeanor, or racism, or intolerance.
        It is over the inability of the left to continue to impose its polices on the rest of us by force.

        There is not a snowballs chance in hell of a moderate democrat being the Democrats candidate – because the very people who are most bitterly attacking Trump – do not want a moderate.

        What is wrong, what is dividing us, is the effort to win a debate on policies, by slur rather than facts, argument or actual persuasion.

        Ron fears – and what the left and the media beleive, is that they have so poisoned the well with Trump, that few will vote for him. They believe they have made Trump LOOK so bad that they are going to win no matter what. They are therefore intent on nominating the most left wing candidate they can.

        The left is doubling down on the failed strategy of 2016.

        Ron is deathly afraid that is going to work.

        History shows that it will backfire BADLY.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 16, 2019 1:58 am

        Thank you.

        I would stress again. The divisions in this country right now are pretty much entirely about politics. Pretty much completely about accomplishing by force what can not be accomplished by persuasion.

        Everyday americans work together, shop together, buy things from each others, go to the grocery store together, church together, ball games together – without the vitriole.

        We come together at holidays – and do not disown each other over football, or whose mash potatoes are better. Sometimes we clash over things – but rarely with the bitterness of politics, where fathers and sons, brothers and sisters can refuse to sit down and eat together.

        The country is not divided. We do not agree over absolutely everything. But we do not need to agree. We can tolerate our differences and move one. Except in the domain of politics.

        What distinguishes politics from everything is – is that politics is about government, about the use of force. And our disagreements – ALL OF THEM, are about attempting to use force to get what we could not through persuasion.

        Despite my often bitter attacks on the left – I am a “lefty” – in the sense that I favor diversity. I think this country and people as individuals are better off with greater tolerance and greater diversity.

        I part with the left over only two things – but those things are critical.
        Facts, and the use of force.

        I am not free to use force to compel you to live as I wish – even if I am right about how you should live. I have defended the right of Master Cake and myriads of others to do things that I find offensive. I will be happy to join people in protesting and picketting master cake.
        But I absolutely totally completely oppose the use of force (government) to make Master Cake do what I beleive to be right.

        If you judged demographics by my friends – the country is 70% homosexual. I have supported my friends right to marry who they please, to share equally in all the rights that the rest of us have. I have supported gay rights since the late 70’s – when I first understood what being gay was, and that no matter how much it personally disturbed me, that gay people felt the same love for their partners that I did.

        But it has hurt me, torn me apart to watch people who are my friends, on acheiving there own freedom to live as they wished, to start actively trying to deprive others of the same rights. I fully agree that no god that I know would turn their back on others – gay or straight.

        But we are NOT free to use force to compel others to do what we believe to be right.

        And we should not be surprised when we try to do so and find our social fabric rent and our divisions large and bitter.

        There is only one route to healing our divisions – those who seek to use force to do what they beleive to be good, must stop. It does not matter whether you are right. You may not impose your will by force.

        At different times and on different issues, it is sometimes the left, and sometimes the right that seeks to get their way through force.

        At this time, the primary advocates of force are on the left,
        and that is where our problem is.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 16, 2019 2:02 am

        I frequently post here.

        https://jonathanturley.org/

        Prof. Turley is an old school liberal – a civil libertarian. I do not always agree with him, though I do alot. The comment section has plenty of nut jobs – on both sides, and plenty of vitriole.

        I would not call it a moderate site. Though it is a site where those on the left and the right manage to coexist – often very immoderately.

        Overall I found the nastiness of the comments – less than those here.
        That does not mean that there was not lots of sniping.

  10. dhlii permalink
    August 15, 2019 2:43 pm

  11. dhlii permalink
    August 15, 2019 2:51 pm

    Woodstock at 50

    https://www.cato.org/blog/woodstock-50

  12. August 15, 2019 11:59 pm

    Well Dave I have to say you were right on this one. Notice paragraph #3.

    According to the left wing news, the sky is falling.
    https://www.oann.com/poll-farmers-support-tariffs-on-china/

    • dhlii permalink
      August 16, 2019 3:40 am

      I am highly dubious of claims that americans are being hurt by Trump’s tarrifs.

      Just to be clear – I am talking about facts, I am not talking about what is right.

      I remain vigorously opposed to tariffs. Trade wars are very dangerous.

      But all that said:

      Trump’s rhetoric is tremdously anti-globalist (though we have to be careful about what “globalist” means), but the incredibly global nature of the economy means that China’s efforts to retaliate against us – and our targeting of China have little effect on americans.

      If China buys Soy for Brazil instead of the US – whoever bought brazilian Soy before, needs Soy.

      The effect of China’s retaliation against the US has been almost without impact.
      Pull up the production figures for the crops the Chinese are not buying from the US – and there is barely a blip on the production curve.

      The vast majority of what the US exports generally – and specifically to china is comodities.
      The chinese can buy those goods elsewhere and we can sell ours elsewhere. Supply is NOT sufficiently elastic in Soy or produce. Musical chairs with no one pulling out a chair.

      But the converse is not true. What the US does not buy from China – china is not going to sell. The rest of the global market does not have enough demand to make up for US purchases.

      There were forces driving production from China BEFORE this spat.
      As Chinese labor costs rise – as they have been for decades, either US automated production becomes attractive or less developed countries with cheaper labor become attractive. china was losing textiles before the trade war, and losing manufacturing to the US before the trade war. Absent the trade war that would have been a problem and would have required adjustments, but would not have been a huge problem for China.
      This trade war has accelerated the exodus of production from China. Companies are moving production from China to other parts of Asia. China is facing severe problems with capital flight – that is negatively impacting investment. Despite the fact that americans view China as the lendor buying our debt – china has massive debt itself. We have poor information on that, but there are estimates that Chinese debt may exceed 300% of GDP. China has managed that enormous debt from the money provided by its trade surplus with the US that is dwindling and other factors are eating away rapidly at chinese surplus capital.

      Hong Kong is happening concurrently with this. China is threatening force. And they may resort to force. But the price to pay will be enormous.
      When Russia invaded Crimea 80B in foreign capital left Russia in a few weeks. The Russian economy has not recovered from that loss of investment. That capital flight preceded and was independent of sanctions.

      The Asain financial crisis in the late 90’s that was devestating to much of south east asia, was amplified many many times because at the first signs of trouble hundreds of billions in investment left Asia in weeks. China is highly vulnerable to that.

      I am hoping that Trump’s soft rhetoric regarding Hong Kong is because he knows he does not need to say a thing. Because Xi is not stupid and knows that while no one will retaliate militarily and there might even be no formal sanctions, that using force in Hong Kong will have massive negative economic consequences.

      I hear lots of people talk of China as a rising economic power – and she is. But there is no nation on earth with the economic might of the US. Even if the GDP of China and the US were equal – the US is near invulnerable to capital flight (for now), China is not. No investor in the world is ever going to think of the US economy as having the same level of risk as anywhere else on the planet. China does not and will not have that economic stability for a long long time.

      We are hearing talk that this conflict with China is likely to trigger a recession.
      The probability of a serious economic impact on china is very high – at this point certain.
      Further China’s devaluation of the Yuan will likely save chinese production – but it does so by directly subsidizing US consumers at the expense of the Chinese people.
      It assures that more of the impact will fall on china.

      It is probable that a recession in China will negatively impact the world – but it will not UNIFORMLY negatively impact the world.

      I am not sure of the impact on the rest of asia – there are reasons that weakness in the chinese economy harm the rest of asia, but alot of the capital flight is to other asian countries, and alot of the production flight is to other asian countries.
      I have no idea whether the net will be negative of positive for much of asia

      The European economy has been weak for 50 years. Hiccups anywhere in the world cause problems in the EU.

      A recession in China or Asia or the EU will negatively impact the US. But the scale of the impact in the US will be less than elsewhere.

      We are already seeing stockmarket impacts – but the US stock market has been out of sync with the economy since the financial crisis. Stocks skyrocketed during the obama administration even with a weak economy. There are reasons for that, but they are not relevant here. The important point is that the conflict with china can have large impacts on the US stock market with much much smaller impacts on the economy.

      The big losers will be IRA’s but not MOSTLY the base economy.

      Most of the prediction models I have seen reported, have Trump winning in 2020 if the economy is above 2% growth. But 2% will not produce the landslide I keep predicting – just a Trump win.

      To those who keep saying Trump is stupid.

      Maybe Trump is incredibly lucky. Or maybe he actually knows what he is doing.

      If the conflict between the US and china results in Trump losing in 2020 – I will take that as proof that Trump is as stupid as some people claim. If however the negative impacts on the US are small, I would strongly suggest that all of us consider the possiblity that Trump is as he likes to say “Smart than the generals (or the economy).

      I would also offer that Trump has an Ace up his sleeve or atleast the possibility of one that has greatly improved in the past month with Johnson becoming UK PM.

      A real UK-US free trade deal would be a huge win-win for both the UK and the US.

      It would significantly mitigate any impact of the conflict with China on the US, AND significantly mitigate the impact of Brexit on the UK.
      And a pure free trade deal with the UK is something Trump would have zero trouble selling to his base.

      I would also note that Hong Kong is the 3rd most consequential financial center in the world.
      After NYC and London. Absolutely no matter what HK is going to get kicked in the teeth.
      If the Chinese use military force in HK – a large portion of the financial markets are going to leave en masse. Further China has other large Finacial markets – though not on the scale of HK – they are taking a large hit no matter what.

      One last thing. Trump would have far greater difficultly with this conflict with China had he not boosted the US economy first. Just about every place above where I claim the US has an advantage – that advantage would be MUCH smaller at 2% growth than at 3%.

      Trump can (barely) afford to risk a 1% hit to US growth.
      Obama was absolutely never in a position to do so.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 16, 2019 3:52 am

      Sorry, a few other things.

      There is already evidence that China is trying to meddle in the 2020 election in ways much larger and much less subtle than claimed regarding the Russian in 2020.

      China’s strategy at the moment seems to be to try to make it to 2020 and hope Trump loses.
      And they are doing more than HOPE, they are starting to actively pursue that.

      The impact of China trying to take down Trump in the US election will be absolutely totally devastating to DEMOCRATS. After spending 2 years carping about Trump/Russia the democratic party can not survive even the perception that China is aiding them.

      Not even aiding them against their wishes.

      And there is nothing that the Democrats can do about it.
      Even the democrats attacking China – benefits Trump.

      If you want to question Trump’s character – I will listen.

      But Trump is either the luckiest man to ever live or he is far smarter than we give him credit for.

      And specifically to Ron and those ticked off by alot of what Trump says.

      Absolutely he is capable of pissing off even his supporters.

      But what is the NET effect ? Trump’s war with the left has driven democrats to the left.
      Trump has wreaked havoc on Pelosi’s plans to make the Democrats look good
      Trump has driven Pelosi into bed with the Squad – at the time she was trying to disempower them. Trump has made AOC the face of the entire democratic party.

      I have no idea if Trump really asked Israel to block Ilbran and Presley.
      While the stories are mostly hostile to Trump and Israel,
      All bad press is not as bad as it seems.

      The stories are essentially reading – even if these congressmen are anti-semites plotting to take down israel Netenyahu should have let them in.

      It is not good for Democrats any time any member of the squad gets public attention.

  13. Savannah Jordan permalink
    August 16, 2019 10:33 pm

    There was a ban on assault weapons during the Clinton Administration. The government did not confiscate non-assault weapons. We have rules regarding who can drive a car, how fast we can drive, do we have insurance. That doesn’t mean the government is going to confiscate cars If you distrust the government how is having an assault allay that fear? Are you going to successfully fight a government that can drop a hydrogen bomb on a dissident region? The only function of assault weapons is to kill other citizens. they do not in any way form a defense against a tyrannical government.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 17, 2019 12:53 am

      There was an AWB during the Clinton administration.
      It was entirely cosmetic. It did not effect the number of AR-15’s sold – in fact they went Up dramatically.
      Some of the most Famous US mass shootings happened during the AWB – like Columbine.
      There were no AR-15’s no “assualt rifles” at columbine.

      • August 17, 2019 1:51 am

        Very interesting. Semi automatic handguns with max 10 round clips and a shot gun. And these clips don’t qualify for most of the democrats bans. In reading about that, had the actually read how to make a bomb and have it go off, many more would have died from the bombs in the cafeteria that failed to ignite and the bombs in the cars that failed to explode were many gathered.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 17, 2019 5:36 am

        In terms of the issues we face – mass shootings are essentially noise.

        Each year the police shoot more unarmed people than are killed by mass shooters.
        The largest portion of those are black.

        To build on Rick’s “Fact” theme – 100% of all unarmed people shot by police are …. wait for it, shot by police and unarmed. There is a perfect correlation. And about 80% of them are black.

        I do not want to start a BLM thing going – because police shootings have been on a slow decline for a long time. and even though lots of unarmed blacks are shot by police – they are often shot by black or minority cops. There is no evidence of systemic racism.
        But it is trivial to tell a part of the story and make it seem like there is.

        100% of all mass shootings involve guns – duh.
        100% of automobile fatalities involve cars.

      • August 17, 2019 1:20 pm

        If you want people to believe something,make it a sound bite, say it often, use some fact that is true or not true but makes it sound real and say it for a long period of time. After a period of time, people begin to believe it and will act on it. This DC gun chart shows the opposite of what gun control should show and what proponents say.

        Just like now, the democrats are saying we are going into a recession, they are saying it often, they are using one economic fact (inverted interest rates) and they will be saying it for a long period of time. People will begin believing it is happening, They will cut back on purchases and that will make the democrat lie a reality so the economy is weak in Nov 2020.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 17, 2019 4:13 pm

        I watched a TED Talk recently that started out excellent before going off the rails.

        It started by stating that complex systems – like economics and weather, and particle physics are nearly always governed by very simple rules.

        The problem is that even if you have a simple rule that predicts near perfectly the behavior of a single interaction, when you scale the system to billions, and even trillions of concurrent and continuous interactions, the system is no longer predictable – even if you know all the rules.

        The fundamental rules of economics are relatively simple. The rules of economics are at their core just rules of human behavior. But human behavior in economic exchanges – despite variation is highly predictable – and that is the LAWS of economics – and they are immutable. We just plain can not “nudge” people to behave outside of those LAWS.
        In fact we have found that PREDICTABLY, humans will react to NUDGES to push the entire system back to as close as possible to what would have been without the nudge.
        And that is why the 2nd order effects of all government actions are usually larger than the first order effects. Because people push back and try to restore what was before.

        They do not typically succeed – atleast not completely, and as a result the NET is almost always WORSE. Most laws would work, if humans just did what the law sought to push them into doing. But they do not. Not with environmental laws, gun laws, minimum wage laws, ….

        Back to economics (and everything).

        For any proposition, for any projection, for any hypothesis, there is ALWAYS some statistic or other evidence to support it. The world is just so incredibly complex that there is evidence in that complexity to find a correlation atleast in something to whatever outcome you want.

        Further you can expand that evidence exponentially – if you are willing to muddy the meaning of words. Rick was absolutely correct – semi-automatic weapons were uses in 23 or 24 mass shootings. Almost every single handgun is a “semi-automatic”.
        But Only about 1/2 of all mass shootings involve semi-automatic rifles, and only about 1/4 of all mass shooting deaths are from semi-automatic rifles.

        But even those statistics are highly unstable – atleast in the short run.
        The Las Vegas Shooter used exclusively semi-autmatic rifles and killed 58 people.
        In one instant he doubled the number of deaths from semi-automatic rifles.
        But over time things will regress back to norms.

        Regardless statistics on extremely rare events like mass shootings are almost useless.
        A single event can totally warp the data.

        What it can not do, is change the fact that these are extremely rare events.

        Back to the economy again. There are alot of good reasons to be concerned right now.
        As much as I would like to blame the nay sayers for essentially self fullfilling prophecy.

        As I noted earlier – nudges do not work – including scaring people into recession.

        I want to be careful even about guessing.

        What is going on with China is a BIG deal.

        There is good reason to SUSPECT china is in serious economic trouble.
        But China is such a black box to us, it is hard to be certain.
        But if our best guesses are right – there are serious problems.
        China is heading for recession.
        BTW a recession in china would be very low growth rather than negative growth.
        But the chinese economy MUST have higher growth or there will be serious political unrest.

        Not mentioned in the HK mess is that HK has had weakened economic growth recently.
        People in HK are angry with the chinese – not merely over rights, but also over a weaker economy.

        Problems in China will effect the rest of the world – even the US.

        But the scale of the problem outside of china, and more importantly to us, the impact on the US is harder to assess.

        In the bubble of pure US china relations – China could have a severe recession and have minor negative impact on the US. China SELLS us things, they BUY little from us.
        That is the problem you are upset about. But that means reductions in their buying have little effect on the US. And there is no chance they are going to sell us less.

        I very much do not like the brinksmanship Trump is engaged in (most everywhere)

        But my prediction is that he wins – pretty much all of it, and pretty much all the time.

        China is currently trying to last through 2020 and hope for a democrat president.
        I do not think they can make it.

        I am absolutely certain we are looking at events in HK like those in Poland with Solidarity.
        The only question is how long can Xi and China hang on.
        I do not know that.

        With respect to the US – my guess is that Trump is NOT going to have 3% growth through 2020. But anything about 2% probably gets him re-elected. And I do not think we will see sub 2% growth.

        I would further note recessions are incredibly hard.

        They are always trivial to explain after the fact, but impossible before hand.
        There are a few places I have concerns – our balloning student debt. and the fact that we have not fixed any of the porblems that caused the “great recession”. All the truly evil things in the fincial sector regulation are still present – if anything worse,

        BUT at this moment they do not appear to be causing misplaced exhuberance. or willful blindness regarding risk – and those are the precondictions for recession.

    • August 17, 2019 1:00 am

      Savannah, it is great to see someone here with a new set of views that can be debated I sure hope you stick around. And should I or anyone else here use pronouns like “you”, do not take it to mean “you personally” but “you” as a collective of others with differing views. There are way to many sites where one makes a comment and they get creamed by the opposing side and “you” means “you personally’ I avoid those sites!

      Yes there was a ban on assault weapons during the Clinton administration. And that was legislation that was an outgrowth of Bush 41’s executive order that banned these weapons from being imported from foreign countries. But why our illustrious government put a sunset provision into that legislation and let it sunset in 2004 is beyond my comprehension. We would be much better off had it stayed as the views then were not as radical on each end of the political spectrum as now..

      But I do not believe one can compare driving a car to owning a gun. There is no amendment that guarantees one can drive a car unlike gun ownership. The arguement goes to the words “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The courts have to decide what “infringement” would be and if banning assault weapons would fall until that wording.

      I agree that there is really no useful purpose for anyone to use an assault weapon for protection. I see no purpose for hunting. I have a shot gun and will use it if someone breaks into my home. One shot will blow them away. No need for 50. And I only need to point it in the general direction of the intruder, not aim it to hit what I want to hit. My son carries bank deposits to the night drop from his restaurant and carries a handgun (with a carry permit) It holds enough bullets to protect him.

      But the issue comes back to what I referenced before the FBI began raiding NRA members homes with sketchy evidence in the 70’s. The declining trust in government and the increasing use of force that the government uses to achieve it objective. I call it creeping government where they get one little thing they want and then they take just a little more.That seemed to occur in the 90’s with Washington D.C. banning handguns and requiring others to be store unloaded and securely locked. That case defined “creeping” government and fed the fears that all guns would be banned. SCOTUS ruled in Heller v D.C that the legislation was not legal and went against the 2nd amendment.

      That is what many (maybe not me completely) but most of the people opposing the assault weapon ban believe will happen again if the assault weapons are banned. First the assault weapon, then anything automatic, then 12 bullets, 6 bullets until they ban guns completely. And if SCOTUS becomes liberal, that most likely could happen.

      It is not that having an assault weapon is going to allay a fear that a tyrannical government will take over, it is the fear that we will end up like the UK and other countries where all weapons are banned for the most part.

      Last, in the first part of the 2nd amendment it states ” A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State” the founding fathers defined militia meaning the “citizens” (that were the militia at the time) were guaranteed to keep arms to protect a free state. That also is viewed very differently between liberals and conservatives.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 17, 2019 5:00 am

        I will be happy to compare guns to cars. Gun owners kill fewer people.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 17, 2019 5:13 am

        The history of the 2nd amendment is actually equivocal.

        There is zero doubt that northern and western state absolutley intended an individual uninfringable right to bear arms.

        Southern states had different traditions and different fears. Southern plantation owners were outnumbered by blacks something like 7:1 And southern plantation owners did not have a really great relationship with other southerners – most of who lived in worse conditions than slaves. Regardless the southern states explicitly intended guns to be kept in secure armories.

        The muddy language of the 2nd amendment reflects this. As with many laws even today – it was written so that each side could claim it meant what they wanted it to mean.

        The recent SCOTUS decisions strengthening gun rights DO NOT rest on the 2nd amendment. They rest on the 14th. While the founders were not clear. The authors of the 14th amendment were crystal clear. The “priviledges and immunities clause” of the 14th amendment was explicitly intended to guarantee to newly freed slaves not merely all the rights, but essentially completely equal treatment by the law for negros. Openly disscussed and explicitly intended was the individual right of negros to own firearms.

        There is lots of other history to the “priviledges and immunities” clause – it was explicitly intended as a slap in the face of the supreme court of the time. It was intended to strengthen the 9th and 10th amendments and to make clear that the priviledges and immunities clause in the constitution (not the 14th amendment) was to be given TEETH.

        The authors did not use the term ‘rights” deliberately – priviledges and immunites was intended to remove from the domain of government things that were not generally recognized as “rights”

        Whenever we are discussing “limited government” we should not constrain ourselves to the constitution and bill of rights. The reconstruction amendments were explicitly intended to fix the fact that both state and federal power had grown – with the blessing of the supreme court and the reconstruction amendments were intended to reshackle government.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 17, 2019 5:14 am

        As a matter of grammar the “millitia clause” of the 2nd amendment has no meaning. It is an explanation or justification, it is not a constraint. There is no gramatically valid way to read it as limiting the operative clause.

      • August 17, 2019 1:11 pm

        Dave, Militia may not have meaning as written, but do you REALLY believe Roberts won’t find some way to make it have meaning so the court does not “appear political”. Bush 43 was bad president and this appointment was one of his worst.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 17, 2019 3:37 pm

        Ron.

        Roberts is the proof of my attacks on “moderates”.

        When you try to find the answer in the middle, split the baby, placate everyone,
        When you operate on the principle that if everyone is equally upset with the result you have it right – that would be Roberts. That is “moderate” – atleast as is often defined here.

        I am less hard on OConner as she “repented” after leaving SCOTUS.
        She ultimately decided that her decisions on Religious freedom were wrong – that it trumped our drug laws, that Kelo was decided wrong. …..

        When we get a BAD scotus decision – it is EASIER to fix than these messy “compromises”.

        Roberts seems to actually understand the constitution and rights. His decisions on issues that he does not percieve as threats to the court itself are often quite good.

        But he does nto understand that principles matter MOST in the hard cases.

        And that is also what is wrong with the arguments that get made about “moderate” here.

        In any given issue – for those that have an answer – and many like mass shootings DO NOT have an answer, the right answer is no more likely the moderate one than the left or right one. More simply often the EXTREME is the RIGHT answer. It is wrong – sometimes even immoral to sacrifice right for moderate. It is often even better to lose, to get the WRONG answer than to compromise.

        Just to be clear I am NOT positing a universal rule. I am attacking an existing “moderate” universal rule that is WRONG. Sometimes the MODERATE answer is right. But not ALWAYS. not even most of the time.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 17, 2019 1:11 am

      “We have rules regarding cars”

      Yes, we also have rules that similar apply to guns that no one opposes – like you can not murder people.

      We do not have rules that say you have to get special permission from government to buy a car.
      We do not have rules that say you can not buy a motorcycle or you can not buy a sports car.

      The 2nd and 14th amendments are not generally considered to apply to cars.

      There is actually no state in the US that requires that you have insurance to drive a car.
      Every state has the option to post a bond.

      Do I distrust government – absolutely!
      Does having a gun allay that fear – no, it provides more options should government infringe on our rights too much.

      We have been through this before – read the declaration of independence.

      “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends (securing rather than infringing on our rights), it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,” By force if necescary.

      The history of the world tells us that no government serves its people well forever.
      That all government trends toward abuse ultimately.
      At best some forms move to tyranny more slowly.

      Regardless the question is not whether guns “allay” that fear. It is whether they are an impediment first, and a remedy second to the natural tendency of government toward tyranny. They are.

      The purpose of an armed populace is not PRIMARILY direct conflict with the US military.
      It is as a threat to politicians.

      I am not especially concerned about the US military – do you really beleive that if Trump or Sanders ordered the US Airforce to drop an atomic bomb on Alabama they would do so ?

      Do you really beleive that if some US president ordered Tanks to be used against the people of detroit – that the Army would do so ?

      If government became so tyranical that the people felt compelled to confront it with arms,
      I suspect few in the military would follow orders to oppose.

      Even in East Germany in 1989 – the military refused Honnekers orders to fight the people – and the Berlin Wall collapsed and shortly after the USSR fell.

      That would have occured faster had eastern europeans been as well armed as americans are.

      Or more accurately a situation like the USSR never would have come about.

      Regardless if you argue that the government is likely to drop H-Bombs on people or send in tanks – you have already lost the argument, you have demonstrated that even you beleive that government is dangerous. The good news is I do not beleive governemtn is nearly as dangerous as you. I beleive the danger is sufficiently small that before we get to the point were AR-15’s are insufficient the problem will be resolved.
      In fact I beleive that the existance of an armed population is the reason we will never get to the point were we need to take arms against the government.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 17, 2019 1:30 am

      Actual assault weapons are illegal already.

      Every gun in the US EXCEPT bolt action rifles, and arguably pump action shotguns is a “semi-automatic weapon”
      Every single one of those – something like 350Million, will fire one bullet for each pull of the trigger, for atleast 5 shots before reloading.

      The difference between a Glock and an AR-15 is that:
      The barrel of an AR-15 is much longer and therefore the velocity of SOME AR-15 rounds is significantly higher – therefore they can travel farther and more accurately.

      Pretty much all mass shooters have handguns – usually several. They are far more effective in “killing civilians”. SOME Mass killers also have semi-automatic rifles.
      The have those because – AR-15’s look scary – they are intimidating.
      In most Mass Shootings – they are LESS effective than handguns.
      They do not fire any faster, they are much slower to shift, they are more effective at killing large numbers of people at close range. It is harder to deflect a handgun that an rifle.
      If you get close enough to a mass shooter to reach the tip of the barrel – the gun is useless,
      If you are right in the face of a mass shooter with a handgun – you are still dead.
      You must take a handgun away from a massshooter. All you have to do is get near enough an AR-15 to deflect it.

      The one useful feature of a semi-automatic rifle to a mass killer is that there is no body armour that is protection against a rifle.
      Therefore a rifle will cause the police to proceed slower.
      The most important thing in a mass shooting is the amount of time the shooter has.
      We were very lucky at California, Dayton and El passo in that the shooters targeted places with security and in dayton police already present.
      Most mass shooters seek out places where the police are distance and there is no security.

      If none of their targets have guns – hence the reason they like to target gun free zones,
      they have 3-10 minutes before police arrive. The number of people who are killed is directly proportionate to the time it takes for someone with a gun to arrive.

      The moment there is ANYONE with a gun at a mass shooting – the shooter has to focus on defense. They have to seek cover and move slowly – basically the killing stops.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 17, 2019 1:56 am

      “The only function of assault weapons is to kill other citizens. they do not in any way form a defense against a tyrannical government.”

      Oppinion misstated as fact.

      Have you ever heard of Ruby Ridge ?

      FBI officers without a warrant murdered Randy Weaver’s son, his infant child, his dog, a friend and his wife.

      After murdering the dog and his son, Weaver and the rest of his family held off the FBI for 11 days.

      I think when the government murders your dog and son without a warrant – that is tyranny.
      Even if you think there is some justification – I think Weaver was justified in beleiving it was Tryanny. And after the fact the courts decided that Weavers actions were justified too.

      Or have you heard of Wacco ?

      Five Armed ATF agents tried to break into the home of a religious community and murdered several of the congregations. They were forced to retreat by the davidians weapons.
      That seige lasted 51 days – before the government murdered all the branch davidians – including their children.

      Wacco and Ruby Ridge were Timothy McVeigh’s justification for the OKC bombing.

      I am not sympathetic to McVeigh – meaning the misconduct at Wacco and Ruby Ridge as bad as it was, was not a justification for OKC.

      It did however demonstrate that it is possible to inflict serious harm to a tyranical government.

      The Bundy;s held off the government for weeks in Oregon in protest over BLM illegally confiscating their land.

      In a separate incident in Nevada other members of the Bundy familiy ultimately peacebly ended an armed standoff with BLM and FBI.

      Once again after the courts examined things – the media narrative failed. The FBI had provoked the armed conflict and the Bundy’s remained passive – It was found that the FBI had setup snipers ahead of time targetting the bundy’s

      There were several trials and all ultimately ended up with charges dismissed.
      And the court excoriating law enforcement.

      Our government often acts tyrannically. BLM and FBI have learned that most families in the west are armed and that you need to deal with them respectfully.

      The Bundy’s, Weaver, the Davidian’s are all odd balls. They are religious nutcases.
      But none of them were actually dangeorus – until confronted by armed government agents acting OUTSIDE the law.

      I would suggest reading Radley Balko’s book “The Rise of the Warrior cop”.

      In 1960 law enforcement in the US had revolvers and a few pistols.
      Today there are 3500 Swat teams throughout the US. These teams have body armour, flash bang grenades, and M16’s – that is an ACTUAL “Assault Rifle” – and quite a bit more dangerous than an AR-15, many of them have Armoured personel carriers.

      We just had an incident were a drug dealer got into a gun fight with police who were trying to arrest him.

      That is unbeleiveably rare. To the extent criminals have weapons it is to use against other criminals or against their victims. Criminals almost never use a weapon against a police officer. A drug dealer who looks funny at a gun is dead if the police come to arrest him.
      The mere presence of a gun adds atleast 5 years to their sentences.

      The fact is that police very rarely encounter a criminal prepared to shoot it out with the police.
      There is virtually no need for swat teams. Yet they are legion throughout government.
      Even the Department of Education has a swat team. Can you explain to me why anyone in the Federal government outside of the FBI has a swat team ?

      Why do we want the Department of Education – or HHS having a swat team ?

      So you do not think your govenrment is dangeorus ?

    • dhlii permalink
      August 17, 2019 2:04 am

      Savannah – do not take me at my word.

      I would strongly encourage you to get past tropes that you have heard.
      If this is an issue that you really care about – then learn about it.

      Do not take as gospel what I say. At the same time use the same skepticism for those whose views you seem to have adopted uncritically.

      It is nearly impossible to find “unbiased” sources of information – on pretty much any topic.
      And even if you do, whatever conclusions those sources come to the side whose ox gets gored is going to claim they are biased.

      If you want to learn truth – start with skepticism of your own position – no matter what it is.
      That is hard to do, but it is very difficult to get past confirmation bias. Whatever position you hold you need LOTS of exposure to that of people who do not share your views.
      Preferably to the BEST exponents of the position you disagree with.

      When you have heard what the best of those you disagree with argue. When you have checked their claims and facts, if you still hold to your views – either you have found the truth, or you are beyond hope.

  14. August 17, 2019 11:52 am

    Over the course of my life, I have become a strong believer in gun rights. I also believe that there are reasonable limits that can and should be placed on those rights, and that most of those limits are already codified into law. The fact that these laws are not enforced doesn’t make the right to own a gun any less important.

    What arguments have been convincing to me?

    1) Every American should have the right to defend him/herself and his/her property. It has always disgusted me when elites who have armed bodyguards, tell the rest of us that we should take our chances against those who would do us harm, because guns are “too dangerous.” They are not dangerous to responsible, law-abiding, non-suicidal adults. Virtually all mass shootings could be stopped by armed citizens at the scene. Most mass shootings take place in “gun-free” zones. Women, in particular should be armed, particularly women who live in high crime areas, where they and their children are vulnerable to violent crime.

    Another person’s irresponsibility should not remove my inalienable right to self-defense. It that person chooses to shoot himself or someone else, my rights should not be abridged.

    2) Socialist governments always disarm their citizens, before they rob, imprison, or massacre them. (See Germany, Venezuela. Also, note that protestors in Hong Kong are waving American flags and demanding a 2nd Amendment-style right of their own) Will a semi-automatic handgun or rifle defend against a full-on attack of armored vehicles, nuclear bombs, etc. Of course not. But, had Jews in Germany been armed, putting them in death camps would have been far more difficult, and would have gotten the attention of the rest of the world , perhaps before it was too late. Not too many years ago, I would have scoffed at the idea that any political party or government in the US would attempt to violently oppress or control law-abiding American citizens of a different political persuasion.. Today, I’m not so sure. In fact, I believe that it is eminently possible.

    3) Semi-automatic weapons are not “assault weapons” unless they are used as such. Machine guns are illegal, and have been for decades. Large capacity magazines are standard equipment these days, and there is no correlation between crime and the size of a magazine.

    Enforce the gun laws on the books. Reform our mental health care system. Reform our educational system. Don’t disarm good citizens.

    • August 17, 2019 1:33 pm

      “I would have scoffed at the idea that any political party or government in the US would attempt to violently oppress or control law-abiding American citizens of a different political persuasion.. Today, I’m not so sure. In fact, I believe that it is eminently possible.”

      Careful Priscilla, I have been called “paranoid” and “somewhat nuts” when I mention distrust in government.

      Maybe we could meet when they lock both of us up in the mental ward (-_-).

      • August 20, 2019 10:38 am

        Yes…let’s hope that we don’t get put in the organ donor’s wing!

        “Despite the absence of an organized system of organ donation or allocation, wait times for obtaining vital organs in China are among the shortest in the world—often just weeks for organs such as kidneys, livers, and hearts. This has made it a destination for international transplant tourism and a major venue for tests of pharmaceutical anti-rejection drugs. The commercial trade in human organs has also been a lucrative source of revenue for the Chinese medical, military and public security establishments. Because there is no effective nationwide organ donation or allocation system, hospitals source organs from local brokers, including through their connections to courts, detention centers and prisons.”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organ_harvesting_from_Falun_Gong_practitioners_in_China

      • dhlii permalink
        August 20, 2019 6:28 pm

        The problems with the chinese justice system is completely independent.

        Outside of we know that getting government OUT of organ donations works better than any other approach.

        Much of China’s approach is free market.
        BUT the use of organs from prisoners is clearly GOVERNMENT meddling in the free market.

      • August 20, 2019 6:45 pm

        I can’t agree with you on this, Dave. China is not free market, it’s a centrally controlled and subsidized economy, which has taken advantage of and perverted free market principles in order to become a global economic power. The Chinese government is brutal and authoritarian, and the fact that they slaughter political dissidents in order to sell their organs is the epitome of evil. It is as bad as anything that the Nazis did.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 17, 2019 2:21 pm

      I have held different positions on Guns at different times in my life.

      Even today – though I would still expect that you would change the constitution first, I am open to discuss gun laws THAT ACTUALLY WORK.

      But I have zero interest – whether the issue is guns or healthcare or environmental protection in feel good laws that do not deliver on any promise and have a NET negative impact.

      I went after Rick for reacting emotionally. He responded with an inaccurate fact.
      But Even if his “fact” was correct – it was still a fact standing alone in the air. That fact did not provide a basis one way or the other for effective action.

      100% of all mass shootings – involve people. We could eliminate all mass shootings by eliminating people.

      It is absolutely true that if it was actually possible to eliminate every single “semi-automatic” weapon on the planet – there would be no more mass killings with semi-automatic weapons.
      But that tells us absolutely nothing about the impact on mass killings as a whole.
      Further getting rid of every single semi-automatic weapon on the planet is a ludicrously impossible hypothetical. In the US over 40 years 50 rifles have been used in mass shootings – many of which were not “semi-automatic”. There are between 5 and 10 million AR-15’s in the US today and probably double that in semi-automatic rifles. You are as likely to git rid of all of them as you are to get rid of all the knives in the country.

      It is not happening, and anything short of a massive effort that involves confiscation of hundreds of millions of weapons from hundreds of millions of people will have no effect.
      The very last people you will successfully deprive of guns are criminals.

      In the US efforts to confiscate weapons – will be met by force. It is likely that most of us will gripe and comply – but if only a few thousand people are willing to resist the confiscation of their weapons by force – the number of dead from mass killings will look paltry. If you start sending SWAT teams to confiscate guns – there are going to be thousands of dead police officers and tens of thousands of dead otherwise law abiding citizens.

      New Zealand just implimented Austrailia style gun control and confiscation.
      They have about a 30% non-compliance rate. And New Zealand just did not have a fraction of the gun ownership the US has.

      Further the only difference between this debate over guns and the debate over myriads of other similar laws – is that we have a large vocal contingent of the population resisting gun control.

      I recently tripped over a massive amount of data on Automobile child safety.

      Infant car seats appear to be more effective than alternatives. But the statistical data on Car Safety seats for children 2 and over is that there is no statistically significant difference between the use of car seats and not. Children over 2 on the whole are as safe without a car seat in accidents as they are with them. The information comes from real world data collected from actual accident reports. But very preliminary studies have been done with crash test dummies that is consistent with the real world – though I thought the purpose of testing was to model the real world – not the other way arround.

      Regardless there are some subtle differences – Car Seats are BARELY statistically significantly safer in front end collisions where the child is in the front passenger seat.
      But they fare signifcantly worse in side impacts.

      What is the chance we are going to see car seat laws for kids over two go away ?
      Zero.

      We have the same thing with things like our FDA. I have heard people HERE argue that without the FDA or food and our drugs would not be safe – that people would die.

      Well guess what – people ARE dying. The cost to get a drug through the FDA approval process is heading towards $2B. That means that any drug that can not produce $2B in profits in about 7 years will not get developed. PERIOD. If you have some illness of disease that will not produce $2B in profits – no one is even going to try to help you. You are doomed to suffer – and possibly die.

      We have passed orphan drug laws and expedited processes that are supposed to address this – they do not work. The FDA will not expedite the approval process NO MATTER WHAT, no FDA bureaucrat is going to sign off on a drug that has not had massive testing – because they will get blamed for any deaths. It is ok to preserve the status quo – because we do not count people who would have lived if drugs were allowed to be developed, Nor will drug companies work on orphan drugs – even with orphan drug laws – they know the FDA is not going to cut them slack and they know they too will be held accountable.

      Nor is this confined to drugs – virtually all medical treatment that is under the FDA proceeds abysmally slowly.

      I am really really tired of “feel good laws” that make PREDICTABLY make things worse not better. Not just gun laws – but ALL laws.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 17, 2019 2:53 pm

      I want to address “assault weapons” or more accurately the deliberate destruction of language – 1984 NewSpeak. As Orwell noted – if you control language you control people.

      The deliberately misrepresentative use of words is not confined to guns.

      By the actual definition of the word I am a “liberal” – not a conservative, not a “libertarian” – which is just a newish term because the left has mangled the meaning of the term liberal.

      I am a person for whom individual liberty is a foundation principle – that is a liberal.

      We are tossing about the term “racist” all over the place.

      If you are not for open borders – you are a racist. If that is the case – racism has been thoroughly watered down. If you are not for open borders you are not even clearly xenophobic.

      If you oppose immigration from shithole countries you are a racist.
      How is it that white people favoring indian and chinese immigrants over central and south american immigrants is racist ?

      If you are not sure you want your daughter in a womens bathroom or shower with a preoperative MTF trans person – you are transphobic.

      If you think that womens sports should not be for people who have been marinated in testosterone for 15 years of their life – you are intolerate.

      Apparently a normal female has 35% of the upper body strength and 51% of the lower body strength of a normal male. Almost any MTF Trans person is going to be highly competitive with the best in womens sports – women who have trained all their lives.

      Women’s equality may come about very shortly – lead entirely by MTF trans people.
      If that is your idea of equality – MTF Trans people as the leading women in sports and business.

      We have this massive effort to equate speech that we do not like with violence. No one has ever died or been hospitalized by a sharp word. The original “safe space” was a panic room in your home – where people with weapons could not get in to harm you – not a place where you did not have to hear unpleasant words.

      Maybe you can protect yourself from words and ideas that you do not like – but doing so does actual harm to you as a person. You are WORSE off not better off if you retreat to safe spaces and refuse to confront unpleasant ideas. The real world is not especially pleasant.
      You do not have the right to be protected from the world – even just from nature – from rain and snow and huricanes, earthquakes and tornados. Life in nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short as Hobbes noted. You have no right to more. everything beyond that requires human effort – must be earned. The good news is that in thousands of years humans have gotten extremely good at making the quality of our lifes many orders of magnitude better – but that requires effort. Retreating to your “safe space” – ultimately means returning to short, nasty and brutish.

      The point is that getting words right matters. And wherever it is clear that words are being used innacurately – particularly when we are talking about law – and the use of force by government. That is a serious problem. It is near certain that the innaccuracy is NOT a simple lack of precision, but a deliberate effort to hide the actual nature of the issue being debated. Weapons are described as “assault weapons” specifically to conjure in our minds the notion that those who buy those weapons do so with the intention of going out to commit mayhem. We constantly hear – correctly, that no one needs and “assault weapon”.

      Of course we do not. The 10M people who own AR-15’s are not out “assaulting people”.
      They did not buy AR-15’s to “assault” anyone or anything. The term and the language are deliberately in error. Other more accurate phrases for such weapons would be “area defense weapon” – but that denotation does not lend itself to the images that justify infringing on rights.

      We are fixated on “mass shootings” – these are the real world examples of guns being used for the person of “assault” – but given that in 40 years – 50 rifles have been used for “assaults” – out of 10million that pretty much should give the lie to the perception that the purpose of buying these weapons is “assault”. I have zero doubt that in the past year – much less 40 years – more than 50 cars have been used to “assault” people.
      But we do not call cars “assault cars”.

      Language matters – especially when you are using it to justify the use of FORCE.

      If getting it right undermines your arguments – the problem is with your arguments.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 17, 2019 3:16 pm

      I want to challenge your charge to “enforce the laws on the books”.

      While I do not want to add new laws. One of the issues is that we ARE pretty much doing the best we can.

      Some on the gun community WANT Red Flag laws. Or more ability to constrain people with mental health issues.

      I DO NOT. The way to protect one right is NOT to infringe on others.

      There is a much stronger causal relationship between mental health issues and violence than that with weapons. But even there the relationship is correlation not cause.
      schitzophrenics – the most irrationally violent of mental health suffers are on the whole only TWICE as likely to commit acts of violence as normal people.
      While they are radically disproportionately represented in irrational crimes of violence.

      I would absolutely oppose relaxing our contitutional protections for people with mental health problems because they are double the risk of ordinary people for crimes of violence.

      In a different context – across the globe, rates of violence are rigidly tied to ethnicity.

      You can come very close to accurately establishing the rate of violent crime in most any country by knowing the racial mix of the country and the historic rates of violence for each ethnicity. With blacks having the highest rates of violence – about 8 times that of asians who have the least.

      So should we reduce the rights of blacks because they are twice as likely to be involved in violent crimes as whites ? The rate of violence for blacks is about the same as the rate of violence for schizophrencis.

      Should we have be able to go to court and say – he is black, blacks are demonstrably twice as violent – lets deprive him of his rights ?

      Correlation is not enough to infringe on peoples rights.
      Even actual causation is not enough. I think there is little doubt that there is MORE than a correlation between mental health issues and violence. Schizophrenia CAUSES violence.
      But despite near absolute certainty on that, it still does not cause violence 100% of the time. It does not cause violence sufficiently much of the time to justify infringing on the rights of those unfortunate enough to have schitzophrenia.

      Even where we have proof of causation – if the frequency with which that manifests itself is sufficiently low – we STILL have no justification to infringe on rights.

      We have spent centuries addressing mental health.
      We still do not know what the hell we are doing.

      We have instutionalize masses of people – that went really really badly.
      We deinstitutionalized them – and now the mass of permanent homeless in the US are the same people who would have populated our asylums in the past. Further we have turned mental health into a criminal problem – and our prisons are filled with people with serious mental health problems.

      Put simply we have a problem that DOES NOT HAVE AN ANSWER.

      If we made mental health checks manditory and institutionalize every single schizophrenic – assuming we could accurately identify every one. we would cut mass shootings down to almost nothing.

      Are you prepared to do that ? I am not. I will tolerate the small increase in risk to avoid infringing on the rights of a million or so schizophrenics in the US.

      I said that Rick was acting out of emotion. Many many many problems DO NOT HAVE ANSWERS. We do not like that. You can not pass a law to solve a problem that does not have an answer. Maybe sometime in the future we will find an answer to that problem.
      But today we do not have one.

      It is not only acceptable, but the only moral choice for a problem that does not have an answer is not to act blindly to just “do something” to “FEEL” like we have acted.

  15. dhlii permalink
    August 18, 2019 5:34 pm

    Rick,

    You asked for democratic presidential candidates on Guns.

  16. dhlii permalink
    August 18, 2019 5:36 pm

    Wherefore human laws do not forbid all vices, from which the virtuous abstain, but only the more grievous vices, from which it is possible for the majority to abstain; and chiefly those that are to the hurt of others, without the prohibition of which human society could not be maintained: thus human law prohibits murder, theft and such like.

    From his masterpeice – Summa Theologica, Thomas Aquinas

    13th century libertarianism.

  17. August 19, 2019 1:15 pm

    Off the subject of gun control, weapons, killing, etc.

    As has been stated numerious times here, every action has a reaction, many negative. Yesterday they held a farmers market in east Winston Salem, the minority district of town. There were interviews of organizers and customers. Many comments of thanks, need and “food deserts”. One organizer, older lady said years ago minorities lived ” on the wrong side of tracks, in shanty towns, but also houses on small lots”. She went on to say that even though the houses were run down, many with outhouses, the residents also used much of the property to grow vegetables. Some had communities where one person grew tomatoes, one corn, okra, etc, and then everyone shared, canned and preserved crops for winter consumption. Then public housing came, took much of the old homes, people moved into better conditions, but had no way to grow anything. Diets suffered and over the years much public housing today is not much better than the shanty homes due to public housing getting run down by residents who care less because they dont own the house. And with the decline in conditions, grocery stores moved out leaving “food deserts”.

    And she went on about more farmers markets funded by different organizations to provide low cost veggies, but it still does not solve the issue of food deficiencies caused by living conditions and lack of access.

    Basically her words, not mine and before responding, yes the lady was black, not a white middle class white “do gooder” sticking her nose in.

    • August 20, 2019 10:13 am

      That is a very interesting story, Ron. The idea of “public housing” has always been a flawed one. It basically assumes that people want to live in sub-par neighborhoods, ripe for all kinds of crime, and receive their livelihood from the government, rather than be given the opportunity to rise from poverty.

      Billions of dollars get spent on urban housing projects that isolate poor people from those who can afford decent housing, and more billions are spent on the horrible schools to which they are forced to send their kids. Most of the money spent on “education” goes to providing child care and meals for students, and very little~ if any~ on providing adequate teaching of skills and information that students need to get good jobs.

      When Trump said that Elijah Cummings district was rat infested, and that Cummings did nothing to help, Trump was slammed by the media. But people in Cummings’ Baltimore district said that Trump was right, and that they felt trapped in poverty.

      Encouraging the poor to form communities like the one that this woman talked about, where people work together and support each other is something that many politicians don’t want. They want dependence.

      • August 20, 2019 12:01 pm

        Yes, taking away independence in the name of government support results in dependence. Dependence = vote

        Baltimore:
        But, once again, Trump might be right about Baltimore, a few in Baltimore might agree with him, but the assinine way he said what he said turns many voters off. Im almost at the point that I would vote for Sanders just to get this nut case out of the White House. I cant watch any news, even local, without hearing some crap Trump has said or tweeted. that day.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 20, 2019 6:46 pm

        How is Trump’s “way” of talking of Baltimore – assinine – given that Cummings himself described Baltimore residents – not merely the city itself as infested with drug addicted zombies.

        Trump’s remarks might be assinine. But then so are those of just about ever politician ever born.

        I do not like the members of “the squad”. I support Israel’s handling of two of them recently.
        Some of the remarks that they have made ARE Anti-semtic (or more actually anti-jewish, since most arabs are semites)

        But all of them are not.

        I think the cartoon recently tweeted by Ilbran was not funny.
        I am pretty sure that both she and the cartoonist are bigots.
        But the cartoon itself was just bad, not “anti-semetic”.

        I think MOST (not all attacks on Israel) are WRONG.
        But all are not inherently bigoted.
        You can disagree on policy without automatically being a bigot.

        What applies to Israel also applies to immigration.

        It is beyond dispute that Trump is anti-illegal immigration.
        That does not make him racist.

        I do not like Trump’s rhetorical style – but that is all it is, just style.

        If the news angers you – do not watch the news.

        Trump is drawing huge crowds to his rallies.

        They may not be “presidential” but they are not hatefilled.
        Trump’s supporters are having fun.

        On Twitter there is a group called “the deplorable choir”.
        There are a bit stereo type – I am not sure that is not deliberate – young anorectic southern blondes. Regardless, there clips are “funny”.

        I have said many times that Trump is “backlash” against the left – and he is.
        But mostly it is not “violent rhetoric”
        Mostly he and his suporters “make fun” of the left.
        Often by carcituring themselves.

        I am not a fan of “the proud boys” – but if they are the pinnacle of white supremacy, white supremacy is pretty tame.
        The PB went to portland, walked arround a circle and went home, and the left went nuts.

        Alot of “trump supporters” are having fun, the left is not having any fun.

        This is also why Trump is likely to be re-elected.

        https://nypost.com/2019/08/18/why-thousands-of-americans-come-together-to-hear-trump-speak/

      • August 20, 2019 8:13 pm

        Dave, I have said multiple times in multiple ways why I think Trump is an asshole and youvhave failed to understand, even if you disagree. One has to understand before disagreeing.

        There are ways individuals can say something based on the positions they hold. What Cummings says can be in one manner and it is acceptible based on who he is talking to. He is only talking to a small group of individuals in a small area of the country. Trump is president. He is the president of 100% of America. He is president of liberals, conservatives, libertarians, etc. even if they accept it or not.

        There are few people in leadership in government I would refuse to let them in my home.. Hillary Clinton is one, Trump is another. I find him an obnoxious asshole that uses division to achieve his goals. It wont take many like me to shift the election to the “D”. Unlike you, I fully expect all three arms of government to be in democrat hands.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 21, 2019 6:24 pm

        I agree that Trump is an asshole.

        I would prefer a president who was not.
        But I would choose an asshole over a crook.
        I would choose and asshole over an idiot.
        I would choose and asshole over a racist, a mysoginist.

        We should expect our president not to be an asshole.

        But an asshole remains the lessor evil over a number of other factors.

        Further Trump was elected in part BECAUSE he is an asshole.
        Because Trump’s supporters think he is THEIR Asshole – he is the asshole who bitchslaps the people who have been bullying them.
        That is not the only factor – but it is a major factor.

        And it is a part of why I blame out current mess on the left.

        In any consequential way there is only one side demanding to impose their will on all of us by force at this moment.

        I do not have a problem with the existance of media bias.
        I do have a problem with those who can not see the egregious degree of bias that exists.

        I have a problem with those who attack infowars and think it is somehow different from the new york times.

        NYT won 2 pulitzers for 2 years of pushing a fraud. That should be embarrassing.
        And now they are selling racism.

        Why is it that few seem to understand how incredibly dangerous shouting hateful, hating hater at the drop of a hat is ?

        When you say Trump is a racist – for whatever the last remark he made was – you are also saying the 10’s of millions of people who agree with that remark are racist.

        When you make disagreement over policies into moral conflicts – you had damn well better be absolutely right.

        It is far more dangerous than disagreements over facts.

      • August 21, 2019 7:24 pm

        Ok, now that we agree what he is and why he was elected, you left out one significant factor.

        There were few who found Trump and Clinton unacceptible and were willing to vote for something and not agaist the worst like myself. Many found Clinton to be totally unacceptible in swing states and also questioned Trump, but would not vote for Johnson, a much more “average voters candidate”.

        I believe that many of those never Clinton voters are closer to Biden than Trump in their political beliefs. They remember the “moderate Joe”. I think that handful of voters in PN, NC, WS will vote for Joe because their vote for Trump to begin with was weak.

        This was not a case of soccer moms and democrats supporting Reagan. This was a case where the main stream GOP candidates split the mainstream GOP vote, giving Trump a foothold and then capturing the nomination. We will never know if Trump woukd have gone head to head aganst one other “true” republican if Trump woukd have been nominated, but I have my own doudts. But those never Clinton voters are different than Reagan democrats.

        They will come home if there is anyone they trust nominated.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 21, 2019 10:44 pm

        There are almost never single reasons for anything.

        There are a dozen things that could have tanked the election for Trump.

        but there are also a dozen that could have made the victory more lopsided.

        Regardless, the blame is NOT on the voters. It is on the candidates, the parties, and the campaigns.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 21, 2019 10:53 pm

        You have a point regarding “never Clinton voters” and with certainty the pure never clinton voter is not voting for Trump – unless Clinton is nominated again.

        Further post election Trump has alienated neo-conservatives, and is not likely to get them back. Though I am not sure that short of die hards, the remainder of neo-cons have not just evaporated to become something else. Neo-Conservatism is dead – and that is a good thing.

        At the same time Trump is running atleast 10% higher with all minority groups than any republican in decades.
        Further while democratic zealots are energized the democratic base is NOT.
        Trump does not have to get lots of minority votes. He does not have to keep all the never clinton votes. All he needs is for center left moderates of all flavors to stay home – which is highly likely.

        If you wipe the center out, If this election is decided by those who are certain to vote for Trump, and those who are certain to vote for any democrat – Trump wins – in a landslide. \\

        Every election is a complex battle – between holding onto your base, appealing to those freindly to you in the middle, and discouraging those leaning against you.

        Obama won against Romney by getting several million gop leaning voters in the swing states to stay home.

        Anything short of a crappy economy is a huge head wind for any opponent.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 21, 2019 8:16 pm

        If you wish to treat the same remarks by different people differently – for whatever reasons.
        You are free to do so, but it undermines your credibility.

        That is ALOT of my point – it is NOT Trump’s remarks. It is the disparity in different peoples responses.

        Regardless, Facts do not have feelings. Facts are not racist.
        That is important. If facts divide us – the problem is with whoever thinks the facts are divisive.

        Trump does “use” division – the division created by others.

        BTW Trump is as likely to deliberately drive unity – in bad ways strategically.
        Trump has very effectively driven the democratic party and Pelosi to defend “the squad”.
        That was deliberate, it was effective, and it brought people together rather than apart.
        But it brought democrats together when they should have stayed apart.

      • August 21, 2019 8:39 pm

        and how long will our 24 hour brains remember that the dems came together due to the gang.

        Just a few days ago we heard all these reports that Venezuel ians woukd overthrow their government. Now we hear nothing.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2019 12:16 am

        It does not matter what we remember, Pelosi was actively struggling to marginalize “the squad” and to give moderate Dems some accomplishments to campaign on in 2020.

        Trump goaded Pelosi into screwing over moderates.

        Trump does this all the time. He is very very effective at getting the press and the left to rush to defend the most left leaning things he can manage.

        The lefts knee jerk anti-trumpism is self destructive and highly manipulable.

        If Trump came out in favor of Cinderalla – the Left would immediately call it racist.

        And that is not a joke or hyperbolee – and that is sad.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2019 12:18 am

        The odds of Madoru surviving are ZERO.

        Though it does not matter – so long as Venezuella is socialist and a mess the harm is to the left.

        It is actually better for Trump and Republicans for Venezuella to just keep getting worse.

        Every single story about Venezeula is a reminder that is what the left is trying to sell us – THIS CAMPAIGN.

      • August 22, 2019 12:15 pm

        Well duh! Yes, the odds of Maduro surviving is 0%. He could die today from a heart attack. He will be dead of natural causes in 75 years.

        I’m talking about reporting 3 months ago that Guaido would be president in days because the people would overthrow Maduro and cracks in the military support was occuring.

        Nothing in news today, people have moved on, the only constant since 2017 and 2019 is Trumps obnoxious assinine personality that has his approval with women down to 34%. And women elect the president for the most part.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2019 2:17 pm

        The point is that the world is moving towards freedom – while US democrats are embracing venezuelan socialism.

        I do not know how long Madoru will live. But his presidency has very little time left.

      • August 20, 2019 8:19 pm

        Well Dave, I have said multiple times in multiple ways why I think Trump is an asshole and youvhave failed to understand, even if you disagree. One has to understand before disagreeing.

        There are ways individuals can say something based on the positions they hold. What Cummings says can be in one manner and it is acceptible based on who he is talking to. He is only talking to a small group of individuals in a small area of the country. Trump is president. He is the president of 100% of America. He is president of liberals, conservatives, libertarians, etc. even if they accept it or not.

        There are few people in leadership in government I would refuse to let them in my home.. Hillary Clinton is one, Trump is another. I find him an obnoxious asshole that uses division to achieve his goals. It wont take many like me to shift the election to the “D”. Unlike you, I fully expect all three arms of government to be in democrat hands.

      • August 20, 2019 12:02 pm

        Priscilla, Yes, taking away independence in the name of government support results in dependence. Dependence = vote

        Baltimore:
        But, once again, Trump might be right about Baltimore, a few in Baltimore might agree with him, but the assinine way he said what he said turns many voters off. Im almost at the point that I would vote for Sanders just to get this nut case out of the White House. I cant watch any news, even local, without hearing some crap Trump has said or tweeted. that day.

      • August 20, 2019 12:37 pm

        Ron, I do have a lot of friends that feel as you do about Trump. And I worry that he’s turnng off too many people.

        I am much more disturbed by the dishonest media that reports non-stop about whether Chris Cuomo was right to curse and threaten a heckler who called him “Fredo” (a term that he himself has used to refer to Don Jr.) but fails to cover the major cleanup in Baltimore that was organized and carried out by a Trump-supporting GOP group. Or doesn’t call out the outrageous lies of presidential candidates like Harris and Warren, who both said last week that Michael Brown was “murdered” by a cop, when that is blatantly untrue. Or Joe Biden, whose son and brother have become millionaires as a result of sweetheart deals with China, that they got when Biden was VP. Give me Trump’s tweet’s any day over these liars.

        Trump is a bizarre character, that is for sure. And his tweets can be truly cringeworthy, but he almost always turns out to be right. He’s got a sense of humor, and doesn’t take himself as seriously as most politicos, so I can tolerate his tweeting. And he’s been spied on and investigated non-stop, and no one has been able to find anything that he has ever done that was illegal or anti-American. Which is more than I can say for many D.C. politicians.

        I guess, when it comes right down to it, I don’t really care what he tweets, as long as he’s not trying to screw over the people who elected him. But I can sympathize with people like you, who wish that he would give them a reason to support him, or at least stop acting like a reality tv star instead of a president.

      • August 20, 2019 4:15 pm

        Priscilla, we have always had media that picked stories to cover. The reason that Fox exist is due to the MSM becoming a left wing mouth piece, but that is their right. I find what Google, Facebook and Twitter does disturbing, but that is their right. When you have as much money as Zuckerberg, Bezos and others, you have the means to distrubute the informstion you want distributed. (Maybe Warrens elimination of billionaires is not a bad thing!😝😁). If conservatives are so upset with Facebook and Google, put your money where your mouth is, star your own companies and compete by communicating the truth.

        But I want someone in the White House that I would not mind having in my own house. And if the White House called me today and said Trump was going to be in my area and wanted to come into my house, I woukd tell them no F’in way. If I were a member of a team and was invited to the WH for recognition, I would quitely not show up.I want to be miles from this man. He personally stands for everything I despise.

        I dont have any problems with most of Trump’s policies. I have no use for the man. Respect is earned and he does nothing to earn anyone’s respect. I had no respect for H Clinton since the only reason she did not divorce Bill was to promote her own career. I respected Jonhson and that is why I voted for him. He was genuine, you saw what he was and he had executive experience without all the crap that Trump and Clinton brought.

        But this attitude got me in trouble all the way from when I was in the service to the day I retired.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 20, 2019 7:03 pm

        I think this is pretty much where I am at with social media censorship.

        If you censor, you are a publisher and you are responsible for your content.

        It you wish to be a public forum, and have the protections afforded public forums you may not censor

      • dhlii permalink
        August 20, 2019 7:14 pm

        “He personally stands for everything I despise.”

        ??

        I understand that you do not like Trump’s style.

        But the things that YOU “stand for” and those Trump stands for are much closer most any one else posting here.

        There is this claim that Trump is trying to “divide” the country.

        How so ? I do not see that.

        Absolutely he is attacking left wing nuts.

        But left wing nuts are not the country – they have “divided” themselves.
        All Trump does is points out – these people have really nuts ideas.

        If that is “division” – that is fine with me.

        I certainly do NOT want the ideas of the left presumed to be broadly supported.

        How do Trump’s remarks “divide” us ?

        At most they call attention to the fact that it is the left is trying to foist on us things that are bad ideas and most of us do not want.

        AOC, Cummings, etc Attack Trump.

        Trump attacks back. That is politics.

        But when you claim that AOC or Cummings or … can not be criticised because they are black or brown or gay or muslim or ….

        THAT is dividing us.

        When you claim that facts are racist – you are the one looking to divide.

        Cummings AOC etc are free to use whatever tactics they wish.

        What surprises me is that neither you nor those on the left see through them.

        Yet myriads of the unwashed “deplorables” have no problem telling the difference between political tactics and actual racism.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 20, 2019 6:54 pm

        The media is biased. There is nothing wrong with that – so long as we grasp it.

        The person who disturbed Cuomo at a resturant is no better than those on the left who disturb republicans trying to eat.

        Cuomo reacted much worse than Tucker Carlson or Sandra Huckabey.

        I do not care what the media covers – so long as I understand their biases.

        It is not important that I know every goof thing that Trump supporters do.

        It is important that I understand that the media coverage does NOT accurately reflect what is going on in the world.

        Even when the media is not politically biased, they still adhere to the “if it bleeds it leads” approach.

        We will hear about every mass shooting.
        We will not hear about every time a crime is thwarted by someone with a gun.

        I am OK with that. But it is important for me to know that the news is NOT showing me the world as it is.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 20, 2019 6:57 pm

        “Trump is a bizarre character”

        If Trump did not exist – he would have been created.

        The escalating lunacy of the left absolutely ensures that Trump or someone like him was going to emerge.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 20, 2019 7:00 pm

        For the most part Trump does not actually try to “screw over” anyone.

        He does “punch back” twice as hard. But mostly he is not just fixated on his supporters.

        He really is striving to “Make America Great Again”.
        For everyone.

        Many of us do not like what he is doing, and do not beleive that will make america great again. But that is a disagreement on what will work, not on what Trump’s intent is.

      • August 20, 2019 8:25 pm

        Very interesting how we agree on many things and how different we are concerning Trump.
        I support and defend Trump on policy and div orce myself from Trump the person
        You seem to defend Trump the person and divorce yourself from many of his policies.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 21, 2019 8:30 pm

        We agree that Trump is an asshole – that is about personality.

        There is still a difference between asshole and racist.
        The former is supposed to be much more subjective than the other.

        Making moral judgments of others is still dangerous. It is something all of us should do carefully. When you make a false claim of immorality about another – you are immoral.

        Call Trump an Asshole. Few will disagree.

        Call him a racist – and you better have compelling evidence. Subjective judgment is not sufficient. Further Call Trump racist on the basis of expressions that tens of millions of people share – and even if your are right – you have just alienated tens of millions of people.

        Everyone keeps asserting that Trump is divisive.

        The entire ideology of the left is divisive. Divisiveness is inherent ideologically in all permutations of leftism.

        Every time you accuse Trump and transitively tens of millions of people of racism, sexism, homophobia, unless there is perfect overlap – you grow the number of people who will never vote for you. Trump pisses over relatively narrow groups – and infact that is a part of what we are constantly fighting over. Trump says some people on both sides are “good people” and the left transforms that into Trump supports white supremecy. trump says Baltimore is rat infested – and he is racist. Trump says that MS-13 is rapists and criminals – and somehow that is all hispanics are evil.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 20, 2019 6:24 pm

        “Public housing” is one of the better proofs that government can not do anything competently.

        Most public housing is worse than the places provided by “slumlords”. It is dangerous, it is piss poorly maintained.

        And it is “infested” with violent criminals and drug dealers.

        What is not – will be in very short time.

        Everything that government has ever done to address this has failed.

        Big public housing like “cabrini green” have been disasters, smaller complexes like in my town are horrible.

        For a while “section 8” was touted as a great success – and very early it was.
        But after they cherry picked the people who were going to succeed no matter what, “section 8” because a “conveyor belt” to transfer the criminals and drug dealers in public housing complex into functioning working class minority neighborhoods – destroying them.

        Nor is this unique to the US – The UK and EU have see all the same problems.

        It is extremely difficult for private charities to effectively help people.
        Government does far worse.

        While at the same time – we have watched as – without the slightest intention of charity, free markets have taken whole nations out of abject poverty

        We are all cautiously watching China and hong kong right now.

        Hong Kong and Singapore were impoverished fishing villages 75 years ago.
        The standard of living in Sinapore and Hong Kong is HIGHER than the US.

        Watching protests in HK we should remember that aside from their political system and race these people are just like us – maybe even wealthier. We are not watching poor people in the USSR revolting. This is as 1.7M people in NYC decided to protest DeBlassio, or Trump.

        Recently I watched “Hooligan Sparrow” on Netflix. You can watch that just to get an idea of what ordinary life in mainland china is like today. Both in the cities and for farmers.

        In 1973 China was poorer than Africa. Today they are at the bottom of the first world.
        No charity was involved in this. Further it all happened DESPITE a horrible government,
        It all happened because that government choose to turn a blind eye to free markets “At the margins”. again I recommend reading Ronald Coases “how china became capitalist”
        Because it is the story of what works to raise people from abject poverty.

        And the answer is that it happens automatically so long as government stays out of the way.

        The rate of improvement in india has been slower. But much the same has happened in India in the past 50 years.

        Regardless, we know how to fix poverty. The hard part is “letting go”, allowing people to do it themselves, and just staying out of their way.

        Trying to help them does not work.

        In 1938 Black families had the same attributes as white ones.
        There were few single parent families.
        Levels of education were nearly that of whites
        Schools were nearly on par with whites,
        unemployment was Lower than whites.
        Crime rates for blacks were much the same as whites.

        There were problems – many – black and white did not graduate from HS.
        Schools were not particularly good.
        Black Schools had very little resources.
        But the quality of education was still not that different between races.

        Today after all our efforts to “fix” things
        Things are worse.

        Jim Crow was horrible and no one wants to go back.
        But the so called “welfare state” while good intentioned, really is systemically racist.
        If not intentionally so.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 20, 2019 6:25 pm

        If a statement of fact is true – it is not racist. PERIOD.

  18. dhlii permalink
    August 20, 2019 5:24 am

    The majority of people violently killed in the US are murdered by people they know.
    Of those who are killed by strangers 1/3 are killed by police – atleast 3.5/day.
    That is far more than mass killers.

    I saw a recent Tweet of the killings at Kent State, with a caption to the effect of
    We should not trust government with assault weapons.

  19. dhlii permalink
    August 20, 2019 5:34 am

    So Libertarian humor
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ECYzXGtWkAAuhQZ?format=jpg&name=900×900

  20. August 20, 2019 12:08 pm

    Having problems again with Word Press. Hopefully this only show once as it says atuff post, does not and I have to change one word to get it to post. Then a few minutes later they both show up.

    Liberal, Conservative, Libertarian, I think everyone should be concerned as to the power these companies have.

    Yes Dave, I know you have no problem with this and you willbsay no votes were cha nged or influenced by their actions. However, I find this more concerning than a few votes that might get changed in a handful of pricincts.

    • August 20, 2019 7:00 pm

      Ron,I saw this today, and it is really frightening. I was going to post it, but you beat me to it!

      So I’ll post this video by Tim Pool, a independent journalist, who supported Bernie Sanders in 2016, but has become disenchanted with the far left (just as Epstein has become disenchanted with the Clintons), is well worth the 25 minutes it takes to watch the whole thing. Pool himself is being “de-ranked” by You Tube and no longer gets as many views as he once did, despite the fact that he is not a conservative.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 20, 2019 7:30 pm

        The ONLY problem I have with what Google, FB etc are doing – is that they are supposed to be a “neutral public platform”.

        What they are doing is called “persuasion”, and I do not care if the Russians, the Koch’s Sorros, … are doing it. I do not care how much money who is spending,
        I do not care if it is dark money or in the sunlight.

        I would entirely abolish the FEC or limit them exclusively to voter fraud and bribery.

        If Trump’s money is coming from people you do not like – that is the medias job to feret out.

        If Biden’s money is coming from people I do not like – the same thing.

        Neither of us should be allowed to decide who can contribute to who – nor how much.

        IF Google wants to “influence” the election – fine. But if they do so by censoring and filtering, then they are no longer a neutral public forum and should not be treated that way.

        We have repeatedly discusses what the “rules” for TNM should be.

        Those are Rick’s business. If Rick wants to limit long posts, or multiples or links to videos or libertarians, or whatever – that is his right – this is his forum. But no one would then pretend it is a neutral platform.

        This article by Andrew McCarthy is excellent.

        What is increasingly clear is that throughout and after the 2016 election the US and US IC, and Obama knew EXACTLY what Russia was doing.
        They knew damn well it was not unusual.
        They knew they were not CONSEQUENTIALLY and successfully attacking the actual voting institutions.
        They knew that the attempts to “influence” the election were inept and innefective.

        And most importantly long before the election they knew that Trump was NOT colluding with Russia.

        https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2019/08/20/ball_of_collusion_excerpt_all_obamas_anti-trump_loyalists_120039.html

        Right now Social Media is trying to thwart China’s efforts to “sow disinformation” about HK.

        That is BAD not good. I have zero problems with China engaging in their own social media efforts. It is not “social medias” job to police content by supressing what they disagree with.

        It is the job of the press and the citizenry to expose lies – not to supress them.

        Does anyone think that a massive social media campaign by China would significantly change impressions ?

        One of the problems with censorship is that there is a presumption that those doing the censoring know what is true and what is not, and are not biased themselves and that supressing purportedly false is better, and that people are too stupid to know what is true and what is not. If that is the case – then government by the people is not possible.

      • August 20, 2019 8:49 pm

        Dave, I agree with much of what you say, but I do not think that the huge tech platforms like Google, FB, YouTube (same company as Google), and Twitter should be allowed to operate with immunity from defamation liability. If they can’t be sued for the lies and slanders that they encourage, or for the censorship that they clearly use (such as blocking Mitch McConnell for tweeting video of the mob outside of his house threatening to kill him, but allowing the members of the mob to tweet death threats), then they should be regulated or broken up as monopolies.

      • August 20, 2019 11:49 pm

        Priscilla hopefully the Prager U case will take care of it. But who knows with John Roberts being the swing vote on SCOTUS. He may say that he supports Prager U but ruling in their favor would look political and he does not want the court to appear political, so the ruling is 5-4 against PU.

        And breaking them up will never happen. The precedent seems to be set by Microsoft years ago when they almost gave operating systems and software to computer manufacturers and 90% of all computers came out of the factory already loaded with Microsoft programming. They basically ran anyone like companies that made software like Word Perfect and other spreadsheets out of business. Congress investigated to make themselves look like they were doing something, but basically did nothing and Microsoft kept dominating the industry until smart phones came along.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 21, 2019 10:38 pm

        I do not think Prager is going to win, I think the issue will be moot.
        Trump’s recent EO is directing the FTC and FCC to make rules based on the DMCA.

        The rule is trivial. I content provided is entitled to Section 302 protection from liability only if they conform to exactly the same constraints as government with regard to censorship.
        If they do not, then they are a publisher and not a neutral public platform and they are not entitled to section 302 protection.

        I suspect the court will split, but I do not think that SCOTUS will find a problem, and to the extent they do, then they are likely to scuttle section 302.

        There is not an interpretation of the constitution that allows Section 302 to be constitutional, but bars FCC/FTC from putting Section 302 to effect through regulation.

        My preference would be to strike section 302 – but that is not going to happen.

        Not only do I think this will not have a problem with SCOTUS, but I suspect it will be a 7-2 or even a 9-0 decision.

        This is not a “hard choice”. SCOTUS will not be being asked to allow FCC/FTC to decide whether Google or FB can censor. They will be deciding if Social media can both censor and be permitted protection for liability for what they allow published.
        They are not going to get that.

        We have centuries of law regarding what and how the government can censor.
        I do not agree with those – but it is irrelevant – Social Media has acted far outside of them.
        To SCOTUS this is not “punishment”, it is just presenting Social media with a choice – between being a neutral public platform with very very few permissible basis for censorship, or being a publish – where you are free to choose as you wish but have responsibility for what you publish.

        This is not going to be the FTC or FCC deciding, it will be the courts.
        And again they have decades of case law on government censorship to guide them.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 21, 2019 8:36 pm

        We are now getting into “Walter Block” anarchocapitalist areas.

        In a “perfect world” I would just eliminate defamation law.

        People would place less credibility in defamatory remarks if they understood there was no consequence to defamation.

        The existing defamation laws make it easier to beleive false public statements.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 21, 2019 8:38 pm

        My prefered solution to Social Media would be to see people leave google, etc.

        It would not take much for tech giants to reconsider. Small losses in market share are worth billions.

      • August 21, 2019 8:42 pm

        So how does one use something other than Google. My computer just automatically boots up Google Chrome.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2019 2:22 am

        You have to make your own choices as to what constitutes supporting google.

        Brave is an open source browser – it is based on the Chromium Web Rendering engine,
        you can migrate from Chrome to Brave trivially preseving passwords, links and settings.

        Brave has built in ad and tracker blocking. It upgrades connections to secure connections wherever possible.

        But it is still based on the Chrome render engine – which is open source – Google supports it, but it is still open source.

        There are other choices if you do not want anything at all from google.

        I am not looking to run my life google free.
        I am looking to send a message.

        I use Brave – I have also found it to be faster and less of a memory pig – mostly because of the crap it filters out.
        But I can not get streaming services – netflix, amazon, hulu to run on Brave, and for reasons I do not understand at all, I can not get TNM to log me in and keep me logged in properly on anything but chromium, not brave, not chrome, not any other browser.

        Vimeo is an alternative to youtube.
        But it is hard to live without Youtube.
        There are choices other than Vimeo.
        I tried one as was quickly reminded – there are real nutcases out there.
        But the problem with most is they are not popular yet.
        Regardless, I cut back on my use of Youtube, but I have not gone cold turkey.

        DuckDuckgo is an alternative to Google’s search engine
        I have been using it for a couple of years.
        Once in a blue moon – usually only to prove to myself how politically skewed google is, I actually try google again. On the rare occasions I use windows machines I usually end up with Bing by default.

        Except for the political bias – google is still the best search engine.
        But not by enough that I care.
        ddg works fine for me.
        There are other choices too
        but DDG is probably the largest “safe” alternative
        and DDG does not track you.

        You can use proton mail instead of gmail.

        Or if you have web hosting of your own domains – I have about 20 domains.
        You can create as many email accounts as you want in each domain.

        There are several alternatives to facebook and twitter.
        I have accounts on all of them.

        I also have a facebook account in a “fake” name.
        I use that exclusively as a login ID for website all over the place.
        I do not post on face book,
        I do not read things on Face Book.
        The only one who posts on or uses my real facebook account is my wife.

        Twitter is a cesspool. Everynow and then I get back on it briefly.

        But way too many people I know – some personally, many famous post juvenile and stupid stuff on twitter.

        Trump is far from the most offensive person on Twitter,
        He is far from the most offensive famous person on twitter.

        I can live without twitter.

        Anyway, I am slowly increasing my efforts to negatively impact social media giants whose conduct bothers me. I do not do so by leaving them.
        I do so by diminishing my dependence on them.

        will they notice ? Not if I am doing this alone. But the more of us do this, the more they will notice.

        And I will guarantee you even the most liberal hedge fund managers will tell them to stop the censorship if there is even a few percent drop in revenues due to a user reaction to their conduct.

      • August 20, 2019 8:52 pm

        I just saw that you had already posted a Prager video that pretty much says the same thing, so maybe we do agree!

      • dhlii permalink
        August 21, 2019 8:39 pm

        In “libertopia” – Prager is wrong – we should just get rid of defamation laws.

        In the real world – Prager is right.

  21. dhlii permalink
    August 20, 2019 11:46 pm

    The most interesting parts of this are about 2/3 of the way in.

    Spoiler alert – while getting good data on mass shootings in the developing world is nearly impossible. Even doing the job badly – ranks the US 61st in the world in per capita mass shootings – with several european countries – where the data is excellent and where gun control is prevalent with higher – sometimes MUCH higher rates of mas shootings.

    Some developing countries – where data is very difficult to acquire have rates as much as 60 times that of the US – and better data will only increase those numbers.

    • August 21, 2019 12:00 am

      Figures don’t lie but liars can figure. So can statistics!

      But what difference does it make what happens in other countries? To me not a damn thing.

      If we can do one thing that will stop one shooting at a school, mall, etc and it does not trample on rights, I am for it.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 21, 2019 10:40 pm

        “If we can do one thing that will stop one shooting at a school, mall, etc and it does not trample on rights, I am for it.”

        Everyone is in agreement with you on that.

        But we have no evidence that such a thing exists.

      • August 21, 2019 11:10 pm

        Well maybe if every politician would stop pointing fingers and stop using shootings as a way to divide and get elected, maybe one small step at a time can takes place that changes some situations so they dont happen.

        But I dont think anything can come from a compromise of the extreme positions held by both.parties. It is just too good of an issue that generates votes and that is the goal of politicians, not solutions. If you can energize your base using guns as an issue, why would you want the problem solved? If they solved the problem, it might mean some people might not be concerned enough to vote on less divisive issues and that politician may lose their career. And maintaining a career is goal #1.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2019 12:30 am

        Ron.

        There are a few things that might actually reduce mass shootings.
        Not a one of those stands a snowballs chance in hell.

        The odds of getting rid of gun free zones, or board open and concealed carry laws, or teachers being allowed to have guns in schools are about zero.

        The “ideas” of the left have all been tested one place or another.
        They do not work.

        That is not surprising. This is a problem that likely does not have an answer – atleast not today.

        No amount of work by politicians can change it when fixing a problem is beyond the power of government.

        I have criticised Rick for making this about emotion – you are doing the same.

        I am not opposed to looking for answers. I am not fatalist.

        But I do understand that it is damn near impossible for government to fix problems that are actually as small as this.

      • August 22, 2019 12:22 pm

        Hey, maybe all we need is the two sides to set down and talk, show some “friendly conversation” set an example to talk and not be controversial. Maybe one or two kids seeing that might not be moved to grab a gun and settle issues by shooting people. Maybe that would save 10-20 people just by talking. That could be step one without ever having government do anything except talk and show people communication is better than confrontation.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2019 2:28 pm

        Nearly all of the mass shooters that make the news are nuts. Actually mentally disturbed.
        These are not people who will change by sitting down and having a polite conversation.

        There are lots of ideas that could reduce our political divisiveness, none will effect the number of mass shootings.

        There are few places in the US where people rush to settle a dispute by grabbing a gun.
        Those are placed like Chicago and Baltimore.

        Yes, we all need to talk more – and listen more. But government has no role in that.
        And in fact government is a negative influence.
        So long as one side believes that if can impose its will on others through the use of government force – there is no foundation for talking.

        While we do not talk enough. Our most fundimental political problem is that we make all problems political – i.e. problems to be solve by government and force.

        Few problems are actually solved by force. And the more you use force to solve problems the larger the resistance you build.

        Even if not well expressed the current political turmoil – our divisiveness is about limited government. Not Trump. It is not even really about left-right, except that at this moment the proponents of bigger government are primarily on the left.

        Big government is a self defeating proposition. If big government proponents get what they want they automatically create more opposition. They create the divisiveness we are bemoaning.

  22. August 21, 2019 12:45 pm

    I just figured out why Trump is interested in Greenland. There was an article today about scientist working in Greenland in short sleave shirts, walking on ice that formed millions of years ago, how large sections of glaciers the size of some states are bresking off and how warm it has been in Greenland. So Trump, the developer, sees Greenland the next opportunity for development. Another Trump Golf Course, Trump Greenland International.
    (Satire!)

    • August 21, 2019 9:23 pm

      Lol. Trump himself tweeted this (I told you he has a sense of humor about this stuff!)

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2019 2:24 am

        And left wing nuts are going to take him literally,

        Regardless, is this a post from someone who has no sense of humor ?

    • dhlii permalink
      August 21, 2019 10:42 pm

      I think the US should try to buy Greenland.
      I think we will fail.
      I think that we could pay far more than anyone is talking about and it would be a good deal for us.

      But if it does not happen – it does not happen.

      But it is not “crazy”.

      • August 21, 2019 11:22 pm

        Why in the hell would we want a piece of land/ice that would only invigorate the left more than they are when more ice melted. And if the Democrats got control, our EPA could go batvshit crazy issuing regulations on Greenland. We are already $22T in debt. Where is the money coming from? W

        He’s nuts and didn’t have anything else to get his face on the news, so he comes up with this brainfart.

        I can see it now. Trump v Biden. Election 2020 Nuts v Senile.

      • August 22, 2019 8:42 am

        Ron, from Forbes:

        “The US has long considered Greenland to be a strategic location for military purposes. Less than 1,000 miles from the north pole, Thule Air Base on the island’s northwestern coast provides missile warning, space surveillance and space control US authorities.

        The airspace is also of strategic importance both to the military and for commercial flights. Increased Russian activity in the airspace has caused concern back in Denmark.

        But with the melting ice, the island’s vast quantities of metals and energy resources—believed to include iron ore, lead, zinc, diamonds, gold, copper, uranium and oil—are becoming more accessible than ever before. Local politicians want to exploit these resources with an eye on becoming fully independent from Denmark. Given that Denmark still supports Greenland economically to the tune of half its annual budget, the potential value of these resources is clear.

        And that’s exactly why Denmark isn’t going to entertain the idea of letting go of Greenland. That along with the fact that despite the economic reliance on Denmark, the population of 56,000 have a large degree of political autonomy.”
        https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidnikel/2019/08/16/whats-so-great-about-greenland-why-trump-wants-it-and-why-denmark-wont-sell/#32e0fe68f8ed

        So, I don’t think its a crazy idea. The Chinese are trying to build a airport for military planes there themselves. But, as Dave says, it’s unlikely to happen. But that doesn’t mean it’s crazy to try. We did buy the Virgin Islands from Denmark.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2019 2:10 pm

        Trump proposed doing it so its crazy – and it must be racist too.

  23. August 21, 2019 5:04 pm

    Well I wondef id MSNBC, CNN and others will break into their 24 hour coverage of Trump’s immigration policies and give some good news some coverage.

    They are doing about 5-7 surgeries a day on most all parts of the body including eyes for many who have escaped Venezuela.
    https://navaltoday.com/2019/07/09/us-hospital-ship-arrives-in-peru-as-part-of-venezuela-crisis-medical-assistance-mission/

  24. Anonymous permalink
    August 21, 2019 8:03 pm

    RadioFreeTom:
    “Trump has snubbed an ally over some whacked-out fantasy to buy Greenland, told Jews who vote for Democrats that they’re disloyal, and referred to himself as the Chosen One. I eagerly await GOP loyalists saying with a straight face they think this is a stable, normal person.”

    • dhlii permalink
      August 21, 2019 11:06 pm

      Do you honestly beleive the relationship between the US and Denmark has suffered ?

      If you are so nuts that you are actually offended by people offering to trade money for property your not worth listening to.

      The world DEPENDS on that.
      You are not obligated to agree – and the Danes do not wish to sell.
      That is their right – just as we are free to offer.

      Any Dane who is insulted to learn that something of theirs – Greenland is of sufficient value that someone else would make an offer for it – is bat shit.

      I think this has zero consequence with respect to Denmark as an Allie – but if I am wrong – we do not want Denmark as an allie.

      Frankly I remain with George Washington – we should not be forming allegiances,, we should be doing what is in our nations interests, and what is right, and hoping that other nations join us because we are right, not because they are an allie.

      If Putin invades Denmark – do you think that Denmark is going to snub US aide because we offered to buy Greenland ?

      Can you tell me a single example where the US needs Denmarks suppport where the Danes will snub us that is actually a good idea ?

      Are the Danes going to tank NATO over this ?

      This entire line of reasoning is nonsense.

      I expect that Denmark will ALWAYS do what it thinks is in its best interests – whether the Danes like Trump or not. Nor do I want Denmark to do anything different.

      The Danes should NEVER screw their own people – to make the US happy.

      This is more of this nonsense that decisions should be made on emotion and personality not facts, logic and reason.

      “Churchill: “Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?” Socialite: “My goodness, Mr. Churchill… Well, I suppose… we would have to discuss terms, of course… ”
      Churchill: “Would you sleep with me for five pounds?”
      Socialite: “Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!” Churchill: “Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price”

      Do you think that the Danish people would not think twice if Trump offered Denmark $2T for greenland ?

      There is no insult to an offer.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 21, 2019 11:17 pm

      This is Trump’s actual remark.

      “Where has the Democratic Party gone?” “Where have they gone where they are defending these two people over the state of Israel? And I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”

      If there are jews offended by that – I am prepared to listen.
      But unless “anonymous” is jewish – you are doing the same thing Trump is – you are presuming to know the minds of jewish voters.

      Except that I suspect Trump is better at “mind reading” than you are.

      Further Trump’s remarks are far more tame than those of Tlaib – who seems to think that the US government is entralled to “the benjamins”.

      While I disagree with “the Squad” on Israel. I support their freedom to attack Israel.
      I think the members of “the squad” are quite obviously “anti-jewish” not just anti-Israel.
      But many (not all) of their remarks are just anti-Israel, and I am opposed to the “fake” cries of racism when directed at Trump and the “fake” cries of anti-semetism everythime one of the squad says something stupid about Israel.

      As to Trump’s remarks ? Jews are free to vote as they please. But Israel is a very important factor in the lives of many many many jews, and Trump is perfectly correct in noting that if Israel is important to you – you would be stupid to vote democrat.
      And there is absolutely nothing wrong in saying that.

      There is nothing wrong, because it is obviously true.
      But there would actually be nothing wrong if it was false.
      All misstatements of facts are not lies of moral failures.
      Especially when the conclusion that something is a misstatement is ideological itself.

  25. Anonymous permalink
    August 21, 2019 8:05 pm

    Hillary Clinton:
    “In the last 24 hours, the administration has announced:

    – They will seek the power to detain migrant children indefinitely

    – They won’t provide flu shots to families in detention

    Six children have already died, three in part from the flu.

    This is a recipe for more tragedy.”

    • dhlii permalink
      August 21, 2019 11:34 pm

      If you want more illegal immigrants to bring their children – treat them incredibly well.

      The New Colusus does NOT say – “bring me your huddled masses yearning to be free – and I will give them free healthcare, free meals, …”

      Every single family in ICE detention can leave anytime they wish.
      All they have to do is drop an asylum claim that they have less than a 2% chance of winning and ICE will fly them back to their country of origen.

      Contra the left and the press these people are not prisoners.
      They are not free to enter the US, but they are absolutely free to return home.

      We can debate all kinds of aspects of immigration policy, but we do not owe illegal immigrants anything – not flu shots, not food. We did not make them come here.

      We may CHOOSE to give them aide,
      But as a nations we owe ZERO positive obligations to anyone.
      If that were not true – we are done as a nation, positive rights are unsustainable.

      Are YOU entitled to a free flu shot from government ?
      Are you entitled to a bad and food and free healthcare from govenrment ?

      Why do immigrants have more rights than you do ?

      I support very near open boarders.

      I would be 100% behind a law that said anyone who wants can come here – so long as they have a sponsor who will meaningfully commit to supporting them if they need assistance.
      I think most of us would.

      That is ANYONE, no other questions. Let the sponsors do the vetting according to whatever criteria matters to them.

      I would support allowing 10’s of millions to just cross into this country as they please.
      I would revoke the laws that make hiring them a crime.
      I would allow them the same opportunity as the rest of us.
      But I will not support giving even ONE of them a single dime of public money.
      I do not support our government giving citizens public money, why would I support giving non-citizens public money ?

      I would sponsor immigrants myself, and I would give to groups that do.
      But that is MY choice.
      And I could make it as I please.
      I could choose to sponsor immigrants from china – as my daughter is from China, and that matters to me. Would that make me racist ?
      Regardless, you can sponsor whoever you please, and me who I please and Microsoft as it pleases, and churches as they please – my church sponsored several Muslim Burmese families

      But our government should NOT be making such choices.
      It should not be deciding whether Guatemalans or Asians get to come here.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 21, 2019 11:36 pm

      Dragging your family several thousand miles accross treacherous parts of the hemisphere and trusting to human trafickers and drug dealers – that is the recipe for tragedy.

  26. Anonymous permalink
    August 21, 2019 8:09 pm

    Alison Done:
    “Trump is so DESPCIABLE, DISGUSTING, DISGRACEFUL & DESPERATE that the ONLY question really becomes:

    WHY are We The People putting up with THIS???

    The protests in #HongKong should inspire all of us to MARCH NOW.”

    • dhlii permalink
      August 21, 2019 11:46 pm

      If you think Trump is as bad as Xi – why not go to China ?
      If you think Trump is as bad as Putin – why not go to Russia ?
      If you think Trump is as bad as Kim – why not go to North Korea ?
      If you think Trump is as bad as Madoru – why not go to Venezuela ?

      Protest Trump if that is what you want.

      But comparisons to Xi and Hong Kong are idiocy.

      I would note that While Trump’s public support of protestors in hong Kong is weaker than I would desire, He has said more in their support than Obama did of Iranians.

      Further Trump needs to say little about Hong Kong.

      Trump has put to screws to Xi and China.
      He brought the worlds attention to China.
      Trump’s “trade war” with China has served the protestors in Hong Kong AND
      the Protests in Hong Kong serve Trump.

      It is entirely possible that China will resort to the use of force.
      They will pay a very heavy price, if they do.

      I would further note that pretty much anything that happens with China – will help Trump.

      If Xi capitulates – either on trade or on Hong Kong – Trump will get credit.
      If Xi does not – Trump will be vindicated in taking a tough stand with China.

      Trump has been incredibly successful in marginalizing the Chinese government in the past 2 years.

      I have fought here with Ron over some of these issues.
      I think that Trump’s trade related actions are wrong.
      But I am not oblivious to the way they have played out.

      Trump’s handling of Trade is WRONG. But it is benefitijng him anyway.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 21, 2019 11:53 pm

      If you are opposed to Trump – you should be running as hard and as far as you can from China, as it is huge political win from Trump.

      There are inumerable outcomes – whether of the protests or the “trade war” almost all favor Trump.

      Anything short of a global recession that actually hurts the US substantially favors Trump.

      Any response to the protestors – favors Trump.

      To screw up Trump would have to turn his back on the protestors, and negotiate a bad deal with China – Like Obama did in Iran.

      Worse yet – there is evidence, and more important stories, that China is meddling in the 2020 election. That is a huge losing story for democrats.

      You have spent 2 years ranting about Russian interferance in the US election in 2016.

      In doing so you have given Trump a “chinese interferance” story to flog through 2020.

      Meanwhile Russia has its own problems.

      It is about even odds Putin does not survive to 2020.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 22, 2019 12:00 am

      Trump asked a question. It is a valid question.

      It is a question unrelated to immigration – that was just a gigantic “red herring”.

      Lots of jews have been PUBLICLY asking the same question.

      Trump showed up in Pittsburgh.

      Where was Clinton ? Farakahn ? TLaib ? AOC ? Pelosi ? …..

      And can we quit pretending that nuts are actually driven by ideology ?

      Or do I have to point out to you how the Dayton Shooter was falling of the left edge of the planet and murdered his sister along with alot of others ?

      These guys are NUTS.
      You are NUTS if you think their “ideology” matters.
      People have engaged in mass killing for centuries.
      They do it today – throughout the world.

      The US ranks 61st in Mass shootings per capita among 172 nations in the work over the past 40 years. 5 Europearn countries – including Germany, France, Norway and Sweden Rank higher. And those countries have strict gun laws.

      The people doing this are NUTS.

  27. Anonymous permalink
    August 21, 2019 8:14 pm

    Caron Rotz;
    “A reminder that the Tree of Life synagogue shooter murdered 11 Jews on Shabbos because of their congregation’s social justice work and support for immigrant rights. The President’s labeling of liberal Jews as disloyal is a validation of this kind of violence. It’s chilling.”

  28. Anonymous permalink
    August 21, 2019 8:15 pm

    American Footware Association:

    “77% of U.S. apparel, footwear, and home textile imports from China will be hit with Trump’s additional #tariffs on September 1.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 22, 2019 12:10 am

      So make up your mind.

      If you honestly beleive that you should NOT be free to buy footwear at the cheapest possible prices – then why are you opposed to Trump and Tarrifs ?

      Regardless, clothing is moving out of china – and has been for some time.
      There are many other countries that would are happy to produce US footwear cheap.

      And I fully expect that you will tell me that they are evil – just as you have told me the chinese are evil, for doing so.

      I am opposed to Tarrifs. But I am not stupid, or hypocritical.
      Just as Companies can move out of the US – they can move out of China.
      China has devalued the Yuan. That mitigates significantly the negative impact on US consumers. BUT it does so at the expense of the Chinese people.

      Knowing what is going on in China is a black art, but the best guess is that have serious debt problems, and the shadows of a recession that may spark even more broad political unrest.

      The protestors in Hong Kong know well that if Xi crushes them, the world will join Trump in sanctions on China.

      Are you going to be bemoaning the cost of Sneakers if Xi crushed the HK protestors ?

    • dhlii permalink
      August 22, 2019 12:11 am

      Why would anyone seriously opposed to Trump think that China is a good issue to bring up ?

  29. Anonymous permalink
    August 21, 2019 8:20 pm

    Logan Bayroff: “It is dangerous and shameful for President Trump to attack the large majority of the American Jewish community as unintelligent and ‘disloyal.’ But it is no surprise that the president’s racist, disingenuous attacks on progressive women of color in Congress have now transitioned into smears against Jews.”

    • dhlii permalink
      August 22, 2019 1:28 am

      Yes, any statement you do not like is dangerous, and …. racist.

      There are many jewish democrats who have said the same thing,

      Democrats are constantly claiming black voters should not vote republican – and republicans are claiming blacks should not vote democrats.

      It is the same thing. Are you calling those people out ?

      I guess trump’s adminisions to Xi to avoid using force in Hong Kong are … racist.

      Do you understand when you make everything racist – nothing is racist ?

    • dhlii permalink
      August 22, 2019 1:37 am

      “But it is no surprise that the president’s racist, disingenuous attacks on progressive women of color in Congress have now transitioned into smears against Jews.””

      Absolutely – Trump attacks “progressive women of color” – because they are progressives – aka idiots.

      I can find you women of color attacking them too – are they racist too ?

      Regardless, if this is a smear against jews – then the democratic party is a smear against all minorities. Trump is asking for Jews to vote against democrats – because Democrats do not care about Jews. You do not have to like that argument.

      I would further note that he has not “smeared” jews.

      If you are a jew who votes democrat despite the attacks of democrats on Israel.
      That is “disloyal” to israel. And if israel is not important to you as a jew – that is choice, not a smear. The only people that Trump’s argument addresses in any meaningful way is jews that care alot about Israel.

      Regardless, the criteria you are using to call something a “smear” would make all politics impossible.

      No one could ask for anyone else’s votes.

      If there are jews actually offended by Trump’s remarks – then his remark is going to drive them to vote against him.
      They do not need you to tell them to do so.

      Or don’t you think Jewish voters are smart enough to be able to make the decision as to how to weigh Trump’s remark themselves ?

  30. Anonymous permalink
    August 21, 2019 8:23 pm

    Bruce Bartlett:
    “For the zillionth time, Republicans don’t give a shit about the deficit. If they did they wouldn’t have decimated federal revenues with a POS tax cut. All they care about is slashing spending for poor people. Deficits are just an excuse.”

    • dhlii permalink
      August 22, 2019 1:40 am

      Do Republicans care about deficits ?

      NO!

      Are Deficits a problem ?

      Yes!

      If the sole criteria for your vote is deficits and your only choice is a republican or a democrat, which should you vote for ?

      The republican – who really only cares about deficits when democrats are in power ?
      The democrat – who never cares ?

      You are screwed no matter what, but atleast you can shame republicans.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 22, 2019 1:43 am

      Tax cuts and deficits are interrelated and independent.

      I would be happy for a constitutional amendment that limited total taxes to 10% of GDP
      and max aggrate tax rates to 10% of total personal income.

      I would support that even if it ballooned the deficit in the short run.

      The problem – whether it is republicans or democrats is a SPENDING problem.

      It is NOT the governments money.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 22, 2019 1:48 am

      “Spending government money on poor people” has done what Jim Crow failed to do.

      It has made minorities into a dependent class. It has increased minority crime, it has decreased the quality of minority education, it has destroyed the minority family.

      Nothing that any “racist”, KKK member, …. has ever done has been as harmful to minoritues as the very things you are lauding here.

      Please tell me what “spending for poor people” has done them any good ?

      You are advocating for the most racist programs that the US has ever implimented.

      If you gave a damn about poor people you would do something to help rather than to chain them into government dependence and genocide.

  31. Anonymous permalink
    August 21, 2019 8:27 pm

    The IDIOT speaks:

    Donald Trump:
    “Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time….”

    • August 21, 2019 8:52 pm

      Roby, how are you?

    • dhlii permalink
      August 22, 2019 2:01 am

      So ?

      I have no problem with Trump going to Denmark.
      I have no problem with Trump not going to Denmark.

      I can not think of anything of consequence Trump needs to talk to Denmark about – including greenland

      I am sure if the price was high enough – the Danes would sell.
      And if not they are stupid.

      You seem to think there is something here.

      If Trump offered to buy danish office furniture would that be offensive ?

      I guess this is racist too ?

      The Danes must be part of some oppressed racial minority

      After all wasn’t the Dutch West India company instrumental in 17th, and 18th century african slave trade ?

  32. August 21, 2019 9:14 pm

    “The Chinese are currently working on creating monkey-human hybrids, in order to produce organs which would be compatible with humans (nice of them to work on a project that would save the lives of political prisoners, so that they could just rot in prison:

    According to the newspaper, the Spanish-born biologist Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte, who operates a lab at the Salk Institute in California, has been working working with monkey researchers in China to perform the disturbing research.

    Their objective is to create “human-animal chimeras,” in this case monkey embryos to which human cells are added.”

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/614052/scientists-are-making-human-monkey-hybrids-in-china/

    So far, they have only created a hybrid embryo, which they destroyed, but they apparently are still trying to figure out some of the issues that could arise from allowing a human-monkey hybrid to be born. For example, would human cells migrate to the brain, creating a monkey with human consciousness? Could monkey diseases/viruses mutate into ones that could affect humans? And so forth….

    The information comes from a Spanish scientist, who has traveled to China, to work on the project. Seems incredibly dangerous.

  33. Anonymous permalink
    August 21, 2019 10:44 pm

    More intemperate stupidity from the IDIOT:

    “Trump threatens Europe. “We’re holding thousands of ISIS fighters right now. And Europe has to take them. And if Europe doesn’t take them, I’ll have no choice but to release them into the countries from which they came. Which is Germany and France and other places.”

    • August 21, 2019 11:44 pm

      OK Anonymous, instead of just posting sound bites and tweets, how about giving us your thoughts on the issues you address.

      I will offer my thoughts. We captured 1000’s of ISIS fighters. They are now in camps held mostly in Syria.
      1. Do we stay for years and hold them in Syria?
      2. Do we enlarge our efforts in Gitmo and move them there?
      3. Do we bring them to America and hold trials and the ones found guilty placed in prison here?
      4. Do we do with them what we did with former Gitmo prisoners, only to have them back fighting like former Gitmo prisoners?
      5. Do we move them to camps in countries where we have permanent bases, like Germany, France, Japan and hold them there?
      6. Do we identify the country from which they came, return them to those countries and allow those countries to handle them in whatever form they find appropriate?

      Please add any alternatives I have not listed and tell us why you support what you do. I support #6.
      #1 I doubt Syria will want us there for years.
      #2. The left woukd have a shit hemmorrage if we reconstituted Gitmo.
      #3. Thevright woukd have the same reaction if we brought them here.
      #4. I an option, but we need to know we will be fighting them again or msy be their target here.
      # 5. I doubt citizens of developed nations would be willing to take ” our prisoners”.
      So that leaves #6..

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2019 2:44 am

        Ron,

        You beat me too it.
        And my response was more tongue in cheek.

        Regardless, there is pretty much NOTHING Trump can say about what to do with these people that is not going to offend someone.

        Given that apparently many of them came from other countries in Europe, I personally think it is quite reasonable to return them to those countries – essentially they are the problem for those countries.

        But I am open to discussions.

        Maybe we should send them to South Bend Indiana

        I do not have a problem with turning them over to Assad.

        I want us out of Syria – completely.
        We never should have gone there in the first place.

        I want us out of Iraq, and Afghanistan.

        I do not care if that purportedly empowers Putin.

        I can not threaten Trump with not voting for him – because I am not anyway.

        But I wanted us out of these places faster than he has done.

        Defering to “the generals” in Afghanistan was a mistake.

        I am not isolationist. There are sometimes justifications for the use of US military power.
        We were right to take out afghaistan. While we did the job badly, having failed to take out the taliban when we had the chance. We also made a mistake in staying.

        Anytime we are actually justified in removing the government of a country.
        We are equally justified in leaving that country in chaos.

        However we should not have invaded Iraq, or gone to Syria or Libya.

        It is not our job to depose despots.

        It is our job to protect our country and to destroy governments that commit acts of war against us.
        We are not responsible for rebuilding them after wards.

        Further we are not any good at it.

      • August 22, 2019 3:03 pm

        Buy Greenland, and send them there!! 🙂

      • August 22, 2019 4:40 pm

        Well I know what I would do and it is the same, most severe punishment that a traitor receives, especially one that is a member of our military. If its good enough for our citizens that trun on America, its good enough for terrorist from other countries. And I would sleep good after it happened.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2019 7:57 pm

        As I understand it, these people were captured on the battlefield as combatants.
        They are the citizens or legal residents of other countries.

        If they were merely combatants we are obligated to return them to the country they legally reside in – which can figure out what it wants to do with them.

        If they have actually engauged in war crimes then the nation that captured them can address their “war crimes”. If they engauged in “crimes against humanity” then they are the problem of international tribunals.

        Because of the behavior of terrorists – no one really wants them.

        If Germany or France or … takes them back, there is a serious risk of acts of terrorism and hostage taking in an attempt to get them freed. And no one really wants them to be freed.

        In fact many of our european allies would be happy if the US locked them in Gitmo forever.
        That would nearly eliminate the risk of acts of terror targetting their countries as the means of liberating these people, and would allow the peoples and even governments of Europe to protest their encarceration and treatment at GITMO – even though no country really wants these people back on the streets anywhere.

      • August 22, 2019 8:29 pm

        But Roby pointed out the left has its anus all cramped up because Trump said he was going to give them back to their native country. Europe might be happy with them at Gitmo, but our fellow democrats would want them released.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 23, 2019 12:03 am

        What the left wants is Trump’s destruction.
        With respect to issues like these combatants – the only thing they have thought of is – how to paint whatever Trump said as crazy racist, hateful. ….

        They have not actually considered alternatives. If Trump had made a different choice – they would have attacked that.

        No they do not want to release these people.

        They do not even want to think about the actual issue or what should be done about it.
        All thought is about how to paint Trump badly. Nothing else.

        This is true in myriads of areas.

        Just look at the DNC debates. Not a single issue is serious.

        We are not going to forgive all student loan debt or have free college.

        It is just not happening. If any of these democrats were actually elected – and had a congress that would rubber stamp whatever they wanted – they would not do this – because they are not that stupid.

        They are not going to abolish ICE or CBP or decriminalize imllegal immigration.

        And they are also NOT going to talk about actually doing anything about immigration.

        They are opposes to Trump – but they are not for anything.
        They are not even for the status quo.
        To the extent they stand for anything it is “magic” and they are not even prepared to tell anyone the magic they are counting on.

        They are all talking about gun control – eliminating semi-automatic weapons – that is all handguns and nearly all rifles.

        But they are not going to do it. They do not have any real plan – including doing nothing.
        They are going to take meaningless, annoying harrasing and inefective steps incrementally pissing people off further and further – but they are not ever going to do anything.

        They stand for nothing – because their ideology is one gigantic cosmic disasterous self contradiction.

      • August 23, 2019 11:14 am

        Dave, so I am trying to get my hands around Trump’s personality.
        I watched the clip of the “chosen one”. Then I was told he was joking again. Then I watched it again. Well he and those who believe that have a very different view on a joke than I have or he has a sense of humor dryer than the Mojave Desert because I only saw a man talking fast, giving thoughts on issues and this came right out and he kept right on talking. Not a joke to me.

        However Greenland. I am going to say he may be acting like a millioaire businessman who walks in, tells his minions that I wsnt this done, go do it and they all walk out ready to follow instructions all while asking, what the “F” are we doing this for? And many businessmen.operate this way.

        So I will retreat from my “nuts” position on buying Greenland and there is a reason for it in some way. What that reason is escapes me, as well as millions of Americans because he is doing the same thing with Greenland as he would with his business.

        Many Americans are walking around asking “What the “F” does he want to buy Greenland for, another site for Trump Tower”?. And that is NOT PRESIDENTIAL LEADERSHIP!

      • dhlii permalink
        August 23, 2019 1:35 pm

        So you have watched the clip and still do not think Trump was joking.

        I do not understand how that is your perception.
        But I am not going to argue about your perception.

        I do not think it was “dry”, I think it was obvious. Je was behaving much as he did in the clip from one of his rallies where he does the “I can act presidential, but that would be boring” skit. But I do not think you have to watch alot of Trump to grasp the joke.

        I would further note the Press, ran a few stories on that, and then moved on – even they know it was a joke.

        I would also suggest something else ALWAYS related to Trump stories – though it is a good idea overall. DO NOT trust the media reporting – especially when they tell you what trump said or did, without video or actual quotes or only with small excerpts.

        In nearly all the “Trump did something outrageous” stories, there are paragraphs of discussions of what Trump said – telling us exactly what it meant. But often there is not even a short out of context quote. There is never the full remark, particularly not with context.
        When discussing tweets – we rarely get the actual tweet.

        The press does not beleive we are capable of making judgements on our own.

        Regardless when straight news reporters are telling you what you should think and not telling you what the facts are – things are very wrong.

        If you really think Trump was serious – then the only conclusion I can see is that you must conclude that Trump is delusional – in a way that actually meets the 25th amendment.

        Though I would note – if that is actually true – there is going to be mounting evidence of that – not in offensive remarks, but in actually delusional remarks, and not in small or arguable delusions, but in great ones.

      • August 23, 2019 5:32 pm

        Sorry Dave I watched it again. There was notong humorious in his comments!

      • dhlii permalink
        August 23, 2019 8:00 pm

        Humor “ha Ha” arguably not – though it is not much different from his “boring president” schtick from his ralies, which is definitely funny.

        Humor as in pres baiting – absolutely, and it worked.

        Further the line is delivered in such an obviously and deliberately highlighted way that there really are only two possibiliies.

        He actually thinks god spoke to him.

        Or he is joking.

        There is not some middle ground.
        There is not even just being an arrogant prick – though he was being a bit self important.

        He was quite literally “chosen” to deal with this problem.

        If you really think that Trump thinks he heard the voice of god directing him.
        Then it is time for the 25h amendment as it actually is supposed to work.
        Further if that is the case – there will be lots more examples – not merely of offencsive behavior but of behavior indicating hallucinations.

        Disagreeing with someone, does not make them crazy.

        And the only choices here are crazy or humourus

        I would further not this story did not even last a full news cycle – because most everyone understood it was humor.

        Including those falsely reporting it.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 23, 2019 1:48 pm

        I just do not get the Greenland outrage.

        I am not going to jump onto the “We must buy Greenland” bad wagon.

        But it is NOT a bad idea. Approx. 3-4 times in the past we have tried to buy it before.
        Harry Trump tried to buy it and ended up with the Virgin Islands instead.

        The Danes do not appear to want to sell.
        That is OK too.

        What I do not understand is why the fuss ?

        What is wrong with Trump trying to buy Greenland ?

        Yes, Trump tweeted out the meme somebody put together with the giant golden Trump tower on Greenland. I thought that was brilliant of him, and self efacing.

        The actual reasons for wanting greenland are strategic.

        Alaska is our only connection to the Arctic. Russia has substantial borders on the arctic. They are actively seeking to make it their private domain. Canada and Denmark are not up to standing up to Russia. The US already has more personel in Greenland that the Danes do. Our early warning system for much Russian malfeasance depends on Greenland.

        Further there are indications that Greenland might be a significant source of “rare earths”
        What though not as “rare” as the name implies, are still only found a few places – none of which are in US control, and Rare earths are a strategic resource.

        Yes, there is a little bit of the businessman in Trump.

        Greenland would be an asset to the US – so why not buy it ?

        Harry Truman was a businessman at one Time. so is Trump.

        Trump did what business people (and even ordinary people) do when they want something that someone else owns – he offered to buy it.
        You do that dozens of times a day.

        Governments rarely do that – they generally use guns and try to take it.

        To me this whole greenland thing is a total non-issue.

        We should buy it if we can. But the Danes do not wish to sell.
        Unless they change their mine – end of story.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 23, 2019 1:52 pm

        Businesses do not do things that are “nuts”.

        There are many reasons for the US to buy greenland – but mostly that is just an issue about how much we should be willing to pay.

        Regardless, I do not understand all the outrage over Greenland.
        I do not understand why you or anyone else thinks it is “nuts”.

        If it ever becomes serious, there will be a debate over the “price”.
        Personally I think it is much more valueable to the US than to Denmark.
        But I do not think we are going to have that discussion.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 23, 2019 1:59 pm

        I do not know if the golden Trump tower on Greenland was done by a supporter or Someone on the left. But Trump’s use of it is brilliant.

        If you actually Think Trump wants to put a Trump Tower on Greenland – you are the one who is nuts. I do not think there is a Trump Tower anywhere in the world with less than a million people and I mean in the city it is in. There is not enough high end tourism in all of greenland to support a Trump tower. There is not enough people in all of greenland.

        Greenland is going to be sparsely populated forever. But it does have strategic military value as an outpost on the Arctic, as a means of constraining Russia, as a means of protecting the US. I doubt as an example the Danes would currently allow the US to place ABM’s on greenland, yet it would be an excellent site for ABM’s to protect against Russian ICBM,s

    • dhlii permalink
      August 22, 2019 2:29 am

      Again So ?

      What do you want to do with these people ?

      Send them to Gitmo ?

      Release them into the mideast ?

      Send them to Los Angeles ?

      Execute them ?

    • dhlii permalink
      August 22, 2019 2:49 am

      Speaking of idiocy.

      https://babylonbee.com/news/portland-police-wish-there-were-some-kind-of-organized-armed-force-that-could-fight-back-against-antifa

      Yes, this is a satire site.
      But sometimes the satire is so true.

  34. dhlii permalink
    August 22, 2019 12:59 am

  35. dhlii permalink
    August 22, 2019 3:19 am

  36. dhlii permalink
    August 22, 2019 3:26 am

  37. dhlii permalink
    August 22, 2019 4:50 am

    Wasn’t someone here constantly posting Joe Walsh attacks on Trump ?

  38. dhlii permalink
    August 22, 2019 4:55 am

  39. dhlii permalink
    August 22, 2019 4:08 pm

    An execellent Rubin Report with a Black NRA advocate mostly covering the actual facts regarding guns.

  40. dhlii permalink
    August 22, 2019 4:43 pm

  41. August 22, 2019 7:12 pm

    When I worked. at the hospital, there were many stories about those cominv for treatment, many high on drugs or with mental conditions.

    Had someone wslked in and said they “were the chosen one” cosideration for a complete mental evaluation would have been considered.

    This guy is totally off the wall. Cant wait until tomorrow to hear what he comes up with next.
    Antichrist maybe?

    • Anonymous permalink
      August 22, 2019 8:09 pm

      President Trump yesterday joked about giving himself the Medal of Honor: “I wanted one, but they told me I don’t qualify … I said, ‘Can I give it to myself anyway?’” hill.cm/kZbvIEK

      • August 22, 2019 8:33 pm

        That doesnt count if he ” joked” about that. People, even politicians, say things all the time joking about different things.

        I want the “serious” comments that are off the wall.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2019 11:42 pm

        “I think one thing that should be distinguished here is that the media is always taking Trump literally. It never takes him seriously, but it always takes him literally. … I think a lot of voters who vote for Trump take Trump seriously but not literally, so when they hear things like the Muslim comment or the wall comment, their question is not, ‘Are you going to build a wall like the Great Wall of China?’ or, you know, ‘How exactly are you going to enforce these tests?’ What they hear is we’re going to have a saner, more sensible immigration policy.”
        Peter Theil.

        But others have noted the same thing.

        I would further note that The left did the same with Obama.

        In fact we all tend to take the politicians we like seriously but not litterally.
        And those we do not literally but not seriously.

        Many of the ‘offensive’ remarks of Clinton, Obama, leading democrats were not meant to be taken literally

        Such as the deplorables comment or the clinging to guns and bibles. or taking a gun to a knife fight or punching back twice as hard.

        The problem with the remarks of most democrats – is they are awful whether litteral or merely serious.

        Fundamentally the left hates PEOPLE who do not support the IDEAS, while the right hates IDEAS, and attacks PEOPLE for supporting them.

        Look at the public conversation:

        “Trump is a racist”
        Sometimes followed by some weak evidence to support that.
        Quite often the purported evidence reguires enormous amounts of mind reading to reach a conclusion like racism.
        But it is easy for the left to jump to racism – if you disagree with their ideas you are vile, and presumptively racist.

        The right has gone after Obama, Clinton – Nearly the entire 2020 Democratic lineup for “Socialism”. We can debate how strongly that characterization applies – though many 2020 democratic candidates have openly embraced socialism.

        The world does not fit anything perfectly – and obviously you can find counter examples.
        Still there is a pattern.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 22, 2019 11:43 pm

        Even the article on the Hill grasped that Trump “Joked”.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 22, 2019 8:11 pm

      Watch the actual clip. It comes off entirely different in context.

      Trump was being playful, and he was goading the press.

      To an extent he was suggesting Chosen by god.
      To an extent he was suggesting chosen by voters.
      To an extent he was suggesting – I am the person was was president at the time this problem had to be dealt with.

      Regardless, you can like the way he speaks, or not.
      But he was clearly not delusional.

      • August 22, 2019 8:54 pm

        Dave, there was NOTHING playful in that comment. He was 100% serious. He said it without thinking or hesitation. He believes what he said. And to most people who have just one religious blood cell in their veins amoung millions, “Chosen One” has only one meaning.

        John 15:16 – Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

        Trump truely believes God chose.him to take on China!

        I have called him obnoxious, assinine, asshole and other adjectives, but I am now in the mentally unstable category. Right now Delusions of Grandeur to start.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 23, 2019 12:13 am

        Find and play the clip.
        I did.

        I would also suggest you find clips of Trump’s at his rallies. There is one a couple of minutes long of Trump pantomiming “acting presidential”.

        When you get past the picture of Trump that NYT and MSNBC paint – he is actually having a great deal of fun as president. And Trump clearly does not take himself seriously.

        Sometimes Trump is somewhat Serious. I think what he says and does regarding China is very meaningful. I do not think it is the “truth”. But I think it is very calculated.
        He is saying what he wants whoever his audience is to hear. That audience might be Xi, not the press. Further I think Trump is incredibly good at playing different factions off against each other. He is working Asia incredibly. We were told that if we did not join TPP we were going to be 2nd fiddle in Asia. Trump owns asia, He has the vietnamese eating out of his hand, the Japanese, the South Koreans. He has them all playing against each other and for him. Today the US is the dominant power in Asia – not China, and we are not part of the TPP.

        But at other times he is incredibly playful – Like Reagan’s mcrophone test about nuking the USSR. Only Trump does it all the time.

        Yes, he is absolutely self obsessed – everything is about him. He is the focus of his world.
        But that does not make everything he says serious.
        He is often the jester in his own world.
        Absolutely he loves being in front of the camera and he plays for it.
        but that is exactly it – he plays for it.

        regardless, watch the clip. It is very tongue in cheek.
        He knew exactly what he was doing. He was playing the press.

      • August 23, 2019 11:18 am

        Like I said, I watched it. Not even a flicker.of a smile. Guess I worked for to many egotistical assholes that acted just like Trump that were not joking to find humor in his comments.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 23, 2019 2:06 pm

        People generally do not smile or laugh at their own jokes.

        I do not even think this is a close call. He clearly went “deadpan” – pretty much exactly the shift he does when he does his “Boring presidential Trump” riff in his Rallies.

        Regardless, if you want to try to treat this straight.

        There are two “chosen” options. Chosen by the people – in that sense Every president is the one chosen to have to deal with whatever comes up. That is just a tautology.

        The other is chosen by god. Do you really want to have that discussion ?

        One of the big problems with the left – is they can not distinguish between

        “I disagree” and
        You are …. evil, crazy, racist, delusional, ….

        If you are making moral judgements of another person – regardless of the basis,
        you had better be right, because if you are not the moral cost is yours.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 23, 2019 2:34 pm

        People generally do not smile or laugh at their own jokes.

        I do not even think this is a close call. He clearly went “deadpan” – pretty much exactly the shift he does when he does his “Boring presidential Trump” riff in his Rallies.

        Regardless, if you want to try to treat this straight.

        There are two “chosen” options. Chosen by the people – in that sense Every president is the one chosen to have to deal with whatever comes up. That is just a tautology.

        The other is chosen by god. Do you really want to have that discussion ?

        One of the big problems with the left – is they can not distinguish between

        “I disagree” and
        You are …. evil, crazy, racist, delusional, ….

        If you are making moral judgements of another person – regardless of the basis,
        you had better be right

      • August 23, 2019 8:24 am

        Ron, he was joking! Watch the clip.

      • August 23, 2019 11:26 am

        OK two against one, he was joking. I still dont see it. But like I told Dave I worked much of my career where the CEO’s were much like Trump. I can desribe them, but not worth the time to do that. But after working 35+years in one location with two CEO’s that were sarcastic egotistical idiots that would say they were the ” chosen one” to do something difficult, my views on comments like that is much different than others would vew them.

      • August 23, 2019 12:51 pm

        Haha, didn’t mean to ‘gang up’ on you, Ron. Trump can be an asshole, and his sarcastic style of humor is not really funny.

        I was reading an article last night about how exhausting it is to try and follow the 24 news cycle in the age of Trump, and I completely agree that it is. I have seen many people simply stop following the news entirely, because they can’t stand the constant outrage. Both of my sons, who were very interested in politics, have basically checked out, and I’ve been tempted to do so myself.

        As we have all pointed out, at one time or another, there is plenty of blame on both sides. I was listening to an interview with Piers Morgan the other day, and he made a very good point. (He’s about as neutral as source as you could find these days : a Brit, who knows Trump quite well and likes him ~ he was the winner on the first season of “The Aprentice.”) He thinks that Trump is both sane and smart, but disagrees with him on many issues. Morgan considers himself a liberal, voted against Brexit, but now finds liberals to be completely intolerant and illiberal, both in the US and the UK.

        He said that the death of journalism is almost entirely at fault for the situation that we find ourselves in. He believes that, if Trump got praise when he was right, in addition to condemnation when he was wrong, he would be a very different president, and would, for political reasons, behave in ways that were politically advantageous for him. But, as it is, he is condemned no matter what he says or does, so there is no political upside for him to try and change. The only upside for him lies in fighting back, and condemning his enemies.

        It strikes me that this will be our politics going forward, on both sides, regardless of whether Trump wins or loses in 2020, and it will destroy our political system.

        Now, maybe we’ll survive as a democracy, but it will be a very different democracy than what we have known. And there is a real danger of authoritarianism taking the place of constitutionalism. Already, the Democrats have made it known that, should they win the Senate/House/Presidency, they will end the filibuster entirely, pass whatever laws they want, and pack the Supreme Court with activist justices.

        I don’t realistically see how we come back from that.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 23, 2019 3:40 pm

        Democrats get away with alot more in the way of political stunts than republicans.

        I vigorously oppose all the efforts to erode the senates anti-majoritarian rules that have existed for centuries. I oppose them whether democrats do it or republicans.

        With few exceptions though both parties threaten, Democrats always cross the line first.

        Had presidents been able ot put the justice of their choice on the court with a majority of the senate – SCOTUS would have between 7 and 9 extremely conservative justices.

        But more stupid here.

        The coming election is near certain to be about Turnout.
        SCOTUS is a major turnout issue for Social Conservatives.
        A major factor in Trump’s victory – atleast shoring up his support of social conservatives was his list of prospects and his promise to pick from it.

        Announcing before the election that you are going to change all the rules and stuff the supreme court is less likely to bring democrats to the polls that Republicans.
        And it is going to alienate those in the middle.

        I recently read a 2020 analysis – that I think was overly optomistic for Republicans – but it did make a very very important point. Trump has locked nearly everyone who voted for him in 2016. To the extent he has lost some neo-cons, he has won over many never trumpers.

        Put simply Trump does not have to work very hard to replicate his 2016 results.

        2016 was not the peak voter turnout year – but it was 0.4% shy of the highest voter turn out ever. Current signs are 2020 will NOT be a peak turnout year.

        To win the whitehouse Democrats have to get almost 2% higher turnout than in 2016 – that would blow away the record. Current indications are minority turnout will be lower than any recent presidential election AND that Trump will pick up about 8% more of the minority vote than any prior republican.

        The other big issue for 2020 is that 2016 had the largest 3rd party vote in a long long time.
        about 5%. Nearly all of that was libertarian.

        Contra what the left has claimed – if every stein voter voted for Clinton Trump would still have won.

        To make a difference Clinton would have had to get MORE than half of the libertarian vote – and that is not happening.

        If third party voting drops to historic norms and third party leaning votes split 60:40 republican as they normally do, Trump pick up something like 1.5M votes.

        Trumps biggest area of concern is among white women.
        They have to run out and 10% more have to vote against him than did in 2016

        Regardless, Democrats announcing reasons that republicans should get out and vote is stupid.

      • August 23, 2019 5:27 pm

        Priscilla, I have absolutely no problem with “ganging up” on me from you and Dave since you both address the issues and offer debate. Those that question you personality are the ones I have a problem with. And I dont mean like saying someone is not understanding or not reading/ hearing something said and saying future debate is fruitless, I mean other personal comments like ” if you cant understand x, then I cant help you”

        So to address Trump. Trump called Rubio “little Marco”. Bush “low energy Bush”. Now its “sleepy Joe”. And in my mind he is constantly demeaning people. I retired after working 20 years with a CEO that was about 10 years younger than I was. I was called Ron by everyone at the hospital. Superiors, equals, my employees. Except this ass. Everytime I saw him individually or in meetings, it was ” Well how is Ronnie doing today” or some such demeaning use of my Nick name only my mother ever used. And he did that with Don’s, Jon’s, and women with names he could make child like. It was his way to make others inferior, just like Trump.

        So I have no use for people like that and find no humor in anything they may say unless it is a true joke.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 23, 2019 7:36 pm

        Almost everyone that Trump has “labeled” – including everyone you cited, came after him first.

        I can not think of an instance where Trump has tossed the first insult.

        What distinguishes Trump is that his insults stick.

        I would agree with you that I do not want the president to “punch back twice as hard” – which BTW is a quote from Obama.
        But it is what we have.
        And of all the things I do not want in a president – it is far from the most important.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 23, 2019 7:51 pm

        My name is the same as my fathers.

        I have been called “little david”, “Davie”, “David Jr”. and an asortmet of other things.
        I was never especially happy with them.

        I worked for/with my father. At one point in an office with 50 people 6 were named david.
        That Guaranteed I was getting called “david Jr”. most of the time.

        A very tiny number of people have called me “junior” – aside from a sister who is a sociopath and unfortunately a member of the family, my mother fired all the rest.

        During the conflicts over my fathers estate, we received the some of the communications of the executor. This was a person who had been a freind – if not close. Who had worked for me, and knew that no one called me “junior”.

        Throughout his communications it was “junior” this and “junior” that.

        Mind you this is AFTER my father is dead, and when I am nearly 60 years old.

        Anyway – I am not aware of Trump doing this with freinds or co-workers.

        In fact I am not aware of many successful people who do not go to great efforts to call people who work with them whatever they want. It is a trait of good leaders.
        One I lack. I do not insult or demean people, but I do not remember their names either.

        Tell me that Trump is using these kinds of terms for freinds and subordinates and you have my ear.

        Back to the my executor thing above – After the executor called the police and falsely accused me of stealing, AND he and his lawyer told the court he has done no such thing and AFTER I produced the police report where the officer states that the executor reported to the police that I was stealing, After those things on occasions in court I refered to the executor and his lawyer as liars.

        When someone attacks you – especially falsely, they are no longer entitled to the respect we normally afford people.

        I wish as president that Trump would go there less. But it is still not a moral offense.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 23, 2019 6:38 pm

        How do we come back ?

        The route we are headed is towards a constitutional convention.

        Arguably enough states have asked for that that Congress could call for one now.
        But we are only a few states away from there being no arguably left.

        Anything is possible at a constitutional convention – but the most likely result is a plethora of amendments.
        A few of those could favor the left.
        We could get proposed amendments restricting campaign financing.
        Or trying to reverse CU.

        But the net impact will be positive.

        Term Limits are extremely popular.

        And remember – whatever comes from a constitutional convention must be ratified by the states. It will be easy to gets states to ratify limiting federal power.
        They are not going to agree to limit their own easily.

        I do not think that you can get a constitutional convention to change the rules the house and senate operate under
        But a trivial amendment would be to require that any changes the house or senate make to their own rules can not take effect until the next session. That would get rid of these nonsense attempts to get rid of the fillibuster.

  42. August 23, 2019 11:56 am

    Big, important news stories of the week:

    1)Trump is asked about rumors that he thinks buying Greenland would be a good idea ~ an idea that has been tossed around since the Truman administration~ and answers that he believes it would be, based on strategic military considerations, as well as Greenland’s wealth of natural mineral resources. (The press goes wild, mocking him for such a “stupid” idea)

    2) Trump explains that China became a much worse problem after the previous 3-4 administrations failed to stop Chinese currency manipulation, corporate espionage and intellectual property theft, and the targeting of American industry/jobs through exploitation of NAFTA loopholes. He jokes that he’s the “chosen one” who got stuck with the job. (The press goes wild, mocking him for believing that he is a god)

    3) Sean Spicer is announced as part of the umpteenth season of Dancing With the Stars. The press goes wild, ranting that he will politicize the serious, respected show. (Unlike Tom DeLay, Tucker Carlson, and Rick Perry, who were definitely not political figures)

    Totally unimportant news stories of the week:

    1) Overstock.com CEO gives major interviews on Fox and CNN, alleging that he was asked by the FBI to help get his ex-girlfriend, a Russian agent, into the Trump, Cruz and Rubio 2016 campaigns. Says that Peter Strzok was the agent who communicated with him.

    2) Joe Biden explains that the JFK, MLK and RFK assassinations occurred in the late 1970’s, forcing the Biden campaign to release a statement from his neurosurgeon, claiming that he does not have brain damage.

    4) Anti-Semites Ilhan Omar and Rashida Talib slam Israel for barring them from coming into the country of “Palestine” and promoting the BDS anti-Israel movement. (The press goes wild, praising them for their anti-Semitic bravery, and calls Netanyahu a puppet of Trump)

    • dhlii permalink
      August 23, 2019 3:08 pm

      Naddler just criticised boththe anti-semitism of Trump and “the squad”.

      I really do not like Nadler – but Kudos to him for treating both sides the same.

      In this instance I think he is wrong – but atleast not in a politically biased way.

      It is not anti-semitism to attack Israel. It is not anit-semitism to praise israel.
      It is not anti-semitism to question why jews are loyal to Israel.
      It is not anti-semitism to ask why they are not.

      Just as it is not racism to ask why minorities still support democrats who have F’d them over repeatedly.

      Trump is not anti-semetic – and only in the nonsensicaly world of the left could someone whose CLOSE son-in-law is extremely jewish, and whose daughter converted be “anti-semetic”

      My kids are both asian – if someone accused me of being racist against “yellow people”
      I would be frothing mad.

      “The Squad” is actually stupidly and ill informedly anti-semite, and they are mostly wrong regarding Israel. But those are independent. Attacks on Israel are not anti-semetic -even when they are wrong

  43. Anonymous permalink
    August 23, 2019 2:46 pm

    NBC -“NEW: President Trump tweets that he is “ordering” US companies to look for alternatives to China, though it’s unclear under what authority the president would invoke to force businesses which are not state-run to comply with what he views as an order.”

    Was President A-Hole joking here too

    • Anonymous permalink
      August 23, 2019 2:58 pm

      Word Of The Day:

      BAFFLEGAB

      MEANING:
      1-Messy, wordy jargon
      2-Incomprehensible gibberish
      3-Confusing legal or bureaucratic language

      SYNONYM: Trump-speak

      EXAMPLE: Trump’s American business bafflegab causes stock market tumble:

      • dhlii permalink
        August 23, 2019 7:13 pm

        We are not citing Joe Walsh again ?

        https://www.mic.com/articles/148139/dallas-police-shooting-joe-walsh-racist-tweet

      • dhlii permalink
        August 23, 2019 7:32 pm

        There are much worse Walsh tweets, but that is not the point.

        It is arguable whether many of these examples of Walsh’s remarks are actually racist.

        It is not arguable that Whatever the standard is – Walsh is more racist than Trump.

        It is also not arguable that YOU have associated yourself with someone who make Trump look civil.

        Arguments of the form – “someone else says” – are fallacy. Most are appeals to authority. All are fallacy.

        Regardless, they are a type of fallacy that inextricably weds you to the “authority” you cite.

        Please keep using Joe Walsh to make your arguments.

        How about some Max Boot too ?

        And some Bill Krystol, he was pushing Walsh as a republican challenger to Trump in 2020.

        If you wish to pretend the rest of us have some guilt by association with Trump
        You guilt is worse.

        There are reasons you should make fallacious arguments.

        One of the reasons is that fallacy ultimately leads to natsy bitter debates full of accusations, and recriminations.

        The responsibility for that rests with those who resort to fallacy as their means of argument.

        Put simply – on your own terms, you OWN (or ar OWNED by) those you cite.

        There is a gigantic golf between defending one persons speach – whether good or bad.
        And using that of another to do your bidding.

        I can defend the right of NAZI’s and even Joe Walsh to speak his mind, without defending what they actually say.

        But when you offer someone else’s as an authority on anything – you tie yourself to them much more strongly that if you are merely difending their right to be wrong.

        Saying someone IS right about something weds you to them.
        Saying someone has the right to say something weds you to liberty.

    • August 23, 2019 5:46 pm

      Trump is the GOP reaction to Obama ‘s “Administration by Force”.

      Sanders/Warren etc is the extreme lefts reaction to Trump.

      Hold.on tight for the GOP reaction to socialist force driven politics. Trump will look tame compared to what will come after that fiasco.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 23, 2019 8:04 pm

        Executive orders are limited tin domain to the constitutional powers of the president.
        They are further limited by constitutional laws.
        And they are further limited to the direct conduct of the executive branch.

        Trump can not Order citizens to do anything.
        He can not order Congress or the supreme court.

        The most he can do is order the executive ranch not to do business with companies that do business with china.

        That would be unwise but still within his powers.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 23, 2019 7:07 pm

      “If President Obama had ….”

      President Obama DID do many of those things.

      It is possible to argue that Trump is the most vigorous enforcer of US immigration laws in a century. But even if Trump is #1 Obama is #2. The cages that the left bemoans were built by Obama.

      Trump’s “muslim ban” EO version 1 was nearly word for word the same as a an Obama EO that was mostly ignored by the press.

      The better statement is that if Trump had the FBI, CIA, NSA, DOJ, IRS,…. targetting political oponents – he would already have been impeached.

      Yet there is zero doubt Obama did all of that, and increasing evidence that he did much more. If what the CEO of Overstock is telling us is correct:

      Not only did the Trump intelligence investigation being in 2015 but Rubio and Cruz were targeted TOO, and this was not been directed as normal by field offices of the FBI but entirely from big muckety mucks in the top of DOJ/FBI in DC.

      Please tell me excatly what it is that Trump has DONE that is nearly as egregious as Obama.

      As time moves we are even learning more about the Clinton investigation that is damaging.

      During the entire Clinton Email investigation – no one was obligated to make any statements under penalty of perjury. We now know that not only were Clinton’s emails on a private bathroom email server bas ass naked to the world, but they were echoed to a gmail account.
      We now know that Clinton and her staff were repeatedly told that what they were doing was a massive mishandling of classified information, that it was illegal and that it needed to stop.
      We now know they were taking pictures of information on secure terminals inside the SCIF using ipads and then retyping them into emails. Put simply that means they KNEW they were sending classified information. Everything on a secure terminal is presumed classified, and if you need to take a photo of it to copy it you KNOW you are doing something wrong.
      I do not think we yet know how they got ipads into the SCIF – that is not allowed.
      Merely taking pictures in a SCIF is a crime.

      So please explain to me what the basis is for the obama administration to by spying on Trump, Rubio and Cruz in 2015 ? Steele has not yet raised his ugly head.

      All this appears to be tied to Butina. And what appears to have occured is that people in the top Tier of the FBI/CIA/NSA were using the CEO of Overstock to redirect Butina at political enemies and to provide them a heads up ahead of time so that they could monitor her.

      Eseneitally unbenownced to Butina and the Russians the CIA, NSA and especially thge FBI were “running” her as a foreign agent targeting political enemies for the purpose of gaining political advantage.

      Do you not understand how wrong this is ?

      From what I can tell – nothing Butina was actually doing was improper or illegal.
      She appears to be a pro gun libertarian from Rusia trying to connect like minded people in both the US and Russia.

      The crime is not what she was doing – but what the Obama administration was essentially using her for – The FBI, DOJ, CIA, NSA were being used to create the appearance of campaign related foreign espionage for political purposes where there was none.

      It is pretty much certain that Mueller uncovered this. We know that After telling the country Butina was a major spy, and locking her in solitary for a year, that Mueller ultimately agreed to just deport her.

      It is arguable that silencing Butina was the actual goal, because too deep a lok at Butina exposes the entire Obama administration.

      So is this stuff OK with you ?

      What exactly is it that Trump has done that compares ?

      If you are going to say Obama could not have gotten away with What Trump did – you are going to have to have real examples of something Trump has done that is worse than Obama ?

      Thus far I beleive Trump has lost in the Supreme court 2-3 times. One was a case Obama started that it is arguable Trump deliberatly lost.

      The other two were 5-4 decisons. Obama has lost in the supreme court 9-0 more than all prior presidents combined.

      Surely you are not saying that SCOTUS thinks that Trumps actions thus far have been more lawless than Obamas.

      What are these acts that obama could not have gotten away with ?

      70% of Trump’s presidency has been undoing the extraconstitutional things Obama did.

      THAT is what all these nutjobs thik is outrageous.

    • August 23, 2019 7:50 pm

      China is illegally exporting massive amounts of fentanyl into the US.

      Enough to kill every man, woman and child in this country, and it is the Chinese government that is doing this, using the subterfuge of false packaging and labeling, among other things.

      It is, for all intents and purposes, an act of chemical warfare, and it’s been going on for some time.

      If Trump wants to order American shipping companies to cooperate with our goverment’s efforts to stop a foreign enemy’s attempts to poison and kill our citizens, I’m good with that. And, if you’re not, because you hate Trump? Then you’re seriously deranged.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 23, 2019 8:29 pm

        Turn about is fair play – but Chian should be targeting the UK not the US. It was the british that were adicting the chinese to opiates 200 years ago.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 23, 2019 8:44 pm

        I do not know all the details of this.

        But I am still opposed to Trump directing private companies.

        I am even more strongly opposed to efforts to find ways to filter our shipments.

        I do not want the government to easily eb able to figure out what I am buying from Who.

        If I want to Buy Amoxicillian from Canada, or RU486 from France or whatever from China circumenting our FDA and regulations and drug laws – I think that is fantastic.

        I want all economic regulation to fail because it is beyond govenments ability to enforce.

        If that means more narcotics – so be it.

        Portugal decriminalized everything over 20 years ago. The results have not been perfect. Drug addiction has not disappeared. But many of the negative impacts have disappeared completely.

        I am not a drug user, so I have to trust what I hear. but it is my understanding no one deliberately takes Fentenyl or CarFentynyl. The high is too short and not that good.
        It is becomeing more common because it is cheap – because it is synthetic and opiates are not. And because it is easy to transport because of its incredibly high concentration.

        As I understand it a sheet of paper dipped in carfentinyl provides the equivalent of 10000 hits. The bad news is that an inocent person just touching the paper without gloves can overdose.

        Regardless my understanding is that fentinyl and carfentinyl would likely disappear if you legalized drugs. Their values are low cost and the ability to thwart law enforcement.

        We have lots the war on drugs – just as we did prohibition. It is long past time to admit that.
        It is time to figure out how we can quit trying to deal with drugs as a crime problem.

        I know families that have been destoryed by drugs. I know good people who have become bad people over drugs. I am not pretending this is not a problem.

        I put a great deal of effort into tilting the odds that my kids would not develop drug problems – and whether by effort or luck I have been fortunate so far.

        But I understand that everyone is not.

      • August 23, 2019 8:57 pm

        So, if I gave you a “cookie” and you consumed it, because I told you that it was made of flour and sugar, but it was actually spiked with poison,and I knew that it would kill you, that would be acceptable in your view?

        Why have a government at all, if not to protect us from foreign enemies who seek to harm us?

  44. dhlii permalink
    August 23, 2019 3:43 pm

    IT is so easy to pass a firearms background check that a reporter with a clean record failed TWICE at Walmart

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/reporter-testing-the-availability-of-guns-at-walmart-fails-background-check

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