As the pervnado turns

I’m a libertarian who tried to stop Donald Trump with my vote in the PA primaries – even changed party registration to do it. But Trump’s opponents may make me unto a Trump supporter yet.

From Harvey Weinstein’s casting couch through John Conyers being the guy every female reporter in DC knew not to get on an elevator with to a remote-control lock on Matt Lauer’s office rape room at NBC. These are the people who lecture me about sexism and racism and global warming and deviant-minority-of-the-week rights and want to confiscate my guns because they propose my morality can’t be trusted? Well, fuck them and the high horse they rode in on.

I have more and more sympathy these days for the Trump voters who said, in effect, “Burn it all down.” Smash the media. Destroy Hollywood. Drain the DC swamp. We’ve all long suspected these institutions are corrupt. What better proof do we need than their systematic enabling of rape monsters?

As a tribune of the people Trump is deeply flawed. Some of his policy ideas are toxic. His personal style is tacky, ugly, and awful. But increasingly I am wondering if any of that matters. Because if he is good for nothing else, he is good for exposing the corruption, incompetence, and fecklessness of the elites – or, rather, in their desperation to take him down before he breaks their rice bowls, they expose themselves.

Yeah. Is there anyone who thinks all these rocks would be turning over if Hillary the serial rape enabler were in the White House? Nope. With her, or any establishment Republican, it’d be cronyism all they way down, because they’d feel a need to keep the corrupt elites on side. Not Trump – his great virtue, perhaps overriding every flaw, is that he doesn’t give a fuck for elite approval.

Maybe Trump’s voters aren’t angry enough yet. It’s not just a large number of women our elites have raped and victimized, it’s our entire country. Our infrastructure is crumbling, our debt is astronomical, our universities increasingly resemble insane asylums, our largest inner cities are free-fire zones terrorized by a permanent criminal underclass. And what’s the elite response? Oh, look, a squirrel – where the squirrel of the week is carbon emissions, or transgender rights, or railing at “white privilege”, or whatever other form of virtue signaling might serve to hide the fact that, oh, look, they put remote-controlled locks on their rape dungeons.

It’s long past time for a cleansing fire.

302 thoughts on “As the pervnado turns

  1. “I’m a libertarian who tried to stop Donald Trump with my vote in the PA primaries….”

    Well, shame on you.

  2. Well, Eric isn’t a NeverTrump like many of the establishment Republican. Trump is considered to be an uppity outsider who needs to be put in his place. At least our host is open to give Trump a chance. It’s just Trump’s deranged opponents (which is pretty much all of the media) is just so far insane that Trump looks positively normal by comparison.

    • I couldn’t bring myself to vote for Trump as the Evil of Two Lessers, so instead I voted for the least-bad option, Gary Johnson. And make no mistake, he was bad. Given his track record as Governor, I was confident that in the unlikely event he won, he’d be a competent POTUS.

      But while I disagreed with the Trumpers, I think I fully understood them . One of my friends in cyberspace understood better than most, calling him the “F**k You” Candidate. A few days before the election, Michael Moore of all people expressed similar thoughts, warning that Herself did not in fact have it in the bag.

      I too have grown to appreciate those who just want to burn it all down and toast marshmallows over the bonfire. And the more people attack Trump over BS, the more I find myself “defending him” (or more accurately, defending truth and objective standards. There are plenty of things he’s advocated that need to be opposed, but rather than confining themselves to those legitimate topics, they literally make crap up to try to paint him and all of his supporters as sub-human garbage.

      The more they do this, the more likely people like me (and apparently ESR) are to join the Trump Train, if for no other reason than to piss off all the right people.

    • I’m NeverTrump, not because of any love for the Republican establishment, but because I see him as being such a thoroughly damaged individual that trusting him with power is like the proverbial “handing whiskey and car keys to teenage boys”. He’s vain, narcissistic, deeply insecure, totally clueless about most policy issues, ignorant of and apathetic towards the actual mechanisms of governance, intolerant of serious policy discussion, and mostly operates on the principle of “If it feels good, do it”. The closest historical analogue I can think of is Kaiser Wilhelm II, whose bombastic idiocy was the primary cause of WW1.

        • that’s most of the problem, though, isn’t it? that nobody seems to be able to put up a credible opposition to Donald Fucking Trump.

          i didn’t vote for him; i take the principled stance that i never vote strategically “against” any candidate, i only vote for candidates i want to support and see in office, and if no candidate can pass that threshold then i turn in a blank ballot. (it’s hard to believe how much flak i catch for this stance, incidentally.)

          i didn’t vote for Clinton, either, for the same reason; she may have been the lesser evil in the running, but i don’t vote for evils so she didn’t get my vote. but still, i fully expected her to win anyway, even if narrowly — she was the other major party’s candidate, and how hard can it really be for any major political party to beat Donald Fucking Trump in an election for president of the USA?!

          too hard for the Democratic party, apparently. and that, i still believe, really says more about the Democratic party than it does about Trump.

        • I hear that a lot from Trump supporters, but I really don’t see it. They can all make coherently discuss a single topic without free associating, they can all accept a bit of mockery without lashing out like a child, and they can all discuss at least some policy issues in depth. Trump can’t. He just can’t. He seems to be trying, but he’s failing, because he’s terrible at his job. His marketing and branding skills are there, in a circus barker sort of way, but his actual ability to manage the largest bureaucracy on the planet simply doesn’t exist.

          • They can all make coherently discuss a single topic without free associating,

            And we see not being scripted. We are tired of focus grouping.

            they can all accept a bit of mockery without lashing out like a child,

            He gets mockery, and throws it right back with interest. The problem here is that all the politicians on the right have been trying the “Be the Better Man” strategy for decades. The result is that the left has had free reign to over the top mock and ridicule with impunity, barely getting a hard word in return. The Republican base has been BEGGING for someone to grow a spine.

            and they can all discuss at least some policy issues in depth. Trump can’t.

            Maybe not. As positively disposed to him as I am I still often wince when he talks policy. But his actions tell a very different story.

  3. the entire establishment has been covering for each other. No wonder liberal women think there is a rape culture in this country. IN the liberal establishment there absolutely is.

    • They claim to be compassionate yet slaughter millions of the unborn.

      They say I am a danger having lived my life by the rules and want to take my firearms, but preside over the lawless killing fields of Detroit, Chicago and Baltimore where firearm charges are routinely dismissed.

      They claim to support women then abuse them in private.

      They claim to support minorities then they keep them locked in failing systems reinforcing poverty and welfare over the generations.

      Everything they accuse others of they are themselves in spades. Democrats, liberals, progressives, are hypocrites, every stinking last one of them.

      Let it all burn.

    • My God. You just gave the best response to the “rape culture” crap: “I’m not a liberal. Rape culture doesn’t exist in my neck of the woods.”

  4. Apparently, remote controlled locks are standard equipment for network higher-ups, as a “security measure” against, one presumes, peasants and proles with pitchforks and torches.

    I’m not going to welcome you to the Trump camp, because I understand all too well your reluctance. I don’t like to think of myself as member either, although I did vote for him.

    It’s a sign of just how sick the Washington establishment is that the Republicans couldn’t find someone sane to run against the hideously corrupt Clinton Dems.

      • As noted by others below, it turns out that locks work both ways–but having a remote lock on your door is not automatic evidence your office is a happyfun rape dungeon.

    • > I did vote for him.

      I didn’t vote *for* him. I voted *against* Hillary.

      I had assumed that while biased, the press would at least be a reasonable brake on any excesses.

      Turns out he, or at least the people he’s hired to advise him, are more conscious of the constitution and the proper role of the executive than the last few administrations, and that brake doesn’t appear to be needed.

      Because the press has absolutely lost it’s collective (collectivist?) mind and shows no signs of rationalizing.

      Psychoanalyzing the First Lady on the basis of freaking CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS?

      RLY?

    • It’s more of an issue in my view that the republicans followed their own rules. That’s why they ultimately ended up with Trump. On the other hand the Democrats hand picked Hillary since they didn’t want to follow their established rules.

  5. I thought central task of the last election was “Choose the form of the destroyer”. You could have had Hilary, who would have provoked a portion of the country into talks about secession or civil war, bankrupted us, and declared war on Christianity. Or you could have Trump who had a chance of just burning everything to the ground, good and bad, and making the worst and most authoritarian elites lose their damn minds, and possibly get us into a hot war with Iran or North Korea. Neither was a particularly good choice, and I couldn’t make myself vote for either. I can’t say I’m happy Trump won, but I’m certainly glad Hilary lost.

    Though, if the republicans actually get HR 38 passed, Trump’s presidency might actually do something positive.

    • >Though, if the republicans actually get HR 38 passed, Trump’s presidency might actually do something positive.

      Is HR38 the tax reform or national concealed-carry reciprocity?

      • Concealed carry reciprocity. Passed committee yesterday and is going for a general floor vote in the House.

        It’s imperfect, and will still screw people over that bring, say, 16 round magazine into NJ, NY, or CA, but it’s a huge step in the right direction, but doesn’t turn driving over the border with any CCW handgun into an instant felony.

        • I’d argue that’s about as far as a CCW reciprocity law should go. As with driver’s licenses, someone with a WA license is still going to have to abide by CA’s laws when driving on CA roads. While it’s tempting to to use the Fed to override BS magazine capacity laws, IMO, that establishes the precedent that the Fed has any business saying how many rounds can or cannot be in a magazine. I consider that precedent too dangerous to be allowed to exist.

          • I agree with you in theory, but not in practice.

            First, the right to keep and bear arms is enshrined in the constitution as guaranteed to all citizens. Driving is not.

            Second, laws regulating what kinds of cars you can drive aren’t so different from state to state. NJ has wierd-ass laws, like those involving hollowpoint ammo. You can purchase, own, and use hollowpoints, but even with a carry permit, you can only transport them between legitimate destinations, such as between your home and the range. Each round you have is potentially 3-10 years in prison. You also can’t carry more than one gun on your person.

            California has a roster of allowed handguns, and very few handguns designed past 2006 are on the roster.

            Illinois has an FOID card system — you can’t possess a firearm without one, which is a separate issue from carry.

            In NYC, if you possess an unopened box of ammo and a firearm capable of firing those rounds, and they are in the same physical space (apartment, car, home, etc.), the gun is legally considered loaded. In NY state, you can have up to a 10 round magazine, but outside of a range, you can only have it loaded up to 7 rounds. So having a Glock 26, loaded to 7 rounds, but a box of ammo in your bag, and you’re screwed.

            If there is no teeth allowing you to possess weapons you can in your home state, many people will still be charged with felonies and lose their 2A rights forever, because they didn’t sufficiently research the laws where they were travelling.

            Air travel and layovers makes all of this even worse.

    • “You could have had Hilary, who would have provoked a portion of the country into talks about secession or civil war, bankrupted us, and declared war on Christianity.”

      If you still have to talk about Hillary after one year of Trump, you know that Trump is a failure. That is it. Every time you need to bring up Hillary, you admit your candidate is a total failure.

      And indeed, Trump is a total failure on every point. He is played like a child by every foreign leader.

      Now your other points:
      – Secession and civil war. People are still talking about secession and civil war. You survived Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. How could Hillary have been worse? But Trump? We see it every day.

      – Bankrupted us. Really, you dare say this after the current tax revision plans. Since WWII, it were been the GOP presidents that squandered the budget and the Democrats that restored it. Remember, Bill ran a budget surplus that was squandered by GWB in the shortest possible time.

      – Declared war on Christianity. Any proof that Democrats have fought a war against Christianity? Kennedy? Johnson? Carter? Bill? Barack? Anyone? How about a war against non-christians?

  6. I feel like the common implication in Lauer discussions that “Remote control door locks are for rapists” without actually knowing much about security for executives is kind of like saying “Guns are for murder,” when the fact it that you can use guns for all sorts of fun activities including, but not limited to, murder. It seems entirely possible that Lauer had the lock installed for extremely sound security reasons, and only later discovered it was handy for rape.

    I mean, it seems to me like the real problem was that Lauer was a predator, and that he was protected and enabled by his establishment. Also, he had a fancy lock on his office, but I sort of suspect that wouldn’t have mattered so much if not for the first 2 things. And maybe he wouldn’t have been able to rape so many women without a fancy lock, but then again maybe he just would have worked harder at it. He strikes me as a fairly capable guy.

    • remote door lock buttons and panic buttons are standard stuff for executives with very high profiles. They also happen to be useful for creating a rape dungeon. But throwing them out because of that is, as you suggest, the wrong answer. The right answer is cleansing fire in the liberal media rape culture that currently exists.

      • There’s a very simply solution to the remote control lock problem. Have it lock the door from the outside, but not the inside.

        • I’m surprised that the fire department didn’t insist that all locks can be opened from the inside.

          • Building code does in fact require that, but many modifications are made illegally (largely because the code enforcement/inspection regime is such a PITA).

            In any case, it hardly matters if that particular lock allowed for physical escape. He was relying on personal power to keep his victims under control, both in the room and out. The lock was to keep people from walking in unexpectedly.

  7. The interesting thing about this cleansing fire to burn down DC and Hollywood, is that the pinko commie liberals started it themselves.

    They’re not just like toddlers with their screeching tantrums, they’re like toddlers with matches too.

    Obama’s 2011 Dear Colleague letter to Universities demanding the elimination of due process for men accused of harassment was the spark. The constant screaming of the Anti-Trump liberal elites provided the oxygen that’s causing this blaze.

    The left just never thought in a million years they’d get burned. After all, they’re the ones for the “greater good”, right?

    • Like I said earlier in the comments …. no wonder the liberal folks think there is a rape culture … in Media, Hollywood, Congress there absolutely is one. The part of the country that us normals inhabit, not so much. Which is why we look at them like they are stupid everytime they scream about “rape culture”

    • ‘The left just never thought in a million years they’d get burned. After all, they’re the ones for the “greater good”, right?’

      Oddly enough, the left is setting most of the fires.

  8. The only connection I see is that Trump has stirred up enough rage with his pussy-grabbin’ ways for many women to go public with their own stories as a way of fighting back; he showed people that the system really is as bad as their worst fears by himself being a living embodiment of the corruption, winning, and then rubbing our collective faces in his shit storm of a presidency. That the allegations are against (among other groups, like Republicans) Democrats is incidental.

    What a delusional viewpoint it is to attribute something positive to him for it. It’s like embracing the Nazis because they spawned a resistance that happened to target people you don’t like.

    • >The only connection I see is that Trump has stirred up enough rage with his pussy-grabbin’ ways

      Nah. I don’t think anybody was actually that outraged by Trump’s “pussy-grabbing antics”; a lot of people pretended to be, but any adult with three brain cells working knows that kind of thing is going to happen when a vulgarian like Trump is surrounded by the kind of women who gravitate to vulgarians like Trump. Trump is not wrong to point out that there’s a rough kind of consent at play there. Yes, as he says, they will let you – I’ve been just famous enough to know that’s true, though out of more prudence than Trump owns I myself make a point of not grabbing any pussy until directly and explicitly invited to do so.

      Weinstein’s behavior is what broke the dam, because unlike Trump, there was a strong element of coercion and a creepifying element of paraphilia about it. Trump wants sexual attention and uses the ancient strategies of the alpha male to attract it; he’s crass and crude, but not twisted. Weinstein was twisted – he clearly wanted to shock, disgust, and dominate as much ore more than he wanted actual sex. Look back at the chronology – all the Trump “scandals” did was spawn predictable political posturing and a lot of jokes. Pervnado began with Weinstein.

      • but any adult with three brain cells working knows that kind of thing is going to happen when a vulgarian like Trump is surrounded by the kind of women who gravitate to vulgarians like Trump.

        IOW, to be crude, Trump was saying “groupies put out”. I don’t think there’s many people that would deny that.

      • I disagree. People weren’t really surprised, but I think a fair amount of outrage is genuine. The status quo can be outrageous.

        A great degree of the outrage is the extent to which people (disproportionately women, but not exclusively so) did not feel free to say “no” without career-ending side-effects. Models attempting to “make it big” on Trump’s TV show weren’t “groupies” in the standard sense. They were attempting to further their career and simply tolerated otherwise unwanted touching because speaking out would be career suicide.

        Modern society no longer generally accepts that sort of coercion as productive of valid consent. (Although it definitely once did, and may still in some groups.)

        I believe that the reason Trump’s behaviour didn’t “break the dam” is simply because it’s less outrageous than Weinstein, and Weinstein is “less physically admirable”. Many people admire Trump for a variety of reasons, so they were willing to tolerate a bit of rapeyness. Weinstein did not have the widespread admiration, and his physical appearance does not lead people who don’t know him to assume that women would consent with him, so he feels much creepier. If Trump scored a 6 for “rapeyness”, Weinstein scored an 8.

    • Note that Trump did not claim to *have* grabbed women by the crotch, but rather that they *let* you. I suspect most men (usually somewhere in that space between boyhood and manhood) have, at one time or another mis-read the signals being given off, and stepped across a line. Trump seems to particularly not care much about that line, which I believe is a YUGE blindspot, and a character defect.

      Of course, given the choice between a guy who doesn’t know how to flirt, and someone who will sell their country out for a cash donation to their charity…

  9. esr
    or any establishment Republican, it’d be cronyism all they way down

    say hello to Bitch McConnell’s little pedophile friend, Dennis Hastert. oh, and Bitch doesn’t seem to have had much of a problem with Bawney Fwank’s underage homo prostitution ring either.

    i wonder why that is? so confusing. it’s almost like Bitch himself is a never-Trumper.

    witness the current Reeeeeeeepukelican willingness to maneuver themselves into a government shutdown.

    remember when we had to pass an emergency appropriations bill last year, in order to prevent a shut down?

    yeah, so accidental.

    esr
    But Trump’s opponents may make me unto a Trump supporter yet.

    as i pointed out to Vox back when his skiffy wars were just kicking off, he doesn’t really have to do that much.

    as the various neuro-deviants on the other side expose their various pathologies, it’s going to Black Pill the fuck out of the NormieFags. like you.

    a society which permits Cluster B personalities free rein can be nothing other than utter chaos.

    best hie thee to a DSM III so you can figure out what these idiots are up too.

    • I’m not sure if you making comments about mental illness is deeply ironic, or if you’re just still in highschool.

    • “underage homo prostitution ring ”

      Underage? I don’t remember that detail. I do remember how the Dems circled the wagons and let fwank pretend that he didn’t know what was happening in his own apartment, though.

  10. > …witness the current Reeeeeeeepukelican willingness to maneuver themselves into a government shutdown.

    Hey, they may wind up doing something right after all. Purely by accident, you understand.

  11. > As a tribune of the people Trump is deeply flawed.

    Most of us are.

    > His personal style is tacky, ugly, and awful.

    Yes. And I suspect that is what many of us are reacting to.

    I was much more a fan of Scott Walker (of the possibilities. Personally I’d prefer the reanimated corpse of AuH20)

    > Some of his policy ideas are toxic.

    Which ones? And by asking that, please don’t go by what CNN tells you his policy ideas are, nor what he posits in his his tweets. Rather what he has actually put on paper and is /doing/.

    Trump isn’t a “normal” politician. He’s a street magician with a LOT in common with a pickpocket:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-dWSIUNF10
    or
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNO4R4i2y60

    He’s misdirecting the attention of the fourth estate he’s undoing a LOT of government.

    > I’m a libertarian who tried to stop Donald Trump with my vote in the PA primaries

    Again, go look at what he’s done as opposed to what people are saying about him.

    • >Which ones? And by asking that, please don’t go by what CNN tells you his policy ideas are, nor what he posits in his his tweets.

      The big one that sticks out for me is the trade protectionism. Yes, there is a case that his voters are helped by immigration restrictions, but no case at all that they’re helped by trade barriers – the price-push effects of those are going to more than cancel out any minor boost in domestic activity, and the impact will be worst on the poor and those on fixed incomes.

      • Is that a policy, or the stated opening position in a trade negotiation?

        For the record I agree with you that trade protectionism is generally not good for a country and that in the few areas that it probably is (you need some indigenous heavy industry for military equipment, and some small industry to support them for example. And it would be nice if there were some high end networking gear made in the US that we could certify “clean”).

        • Not to mention that being putatively pro-tariff may have helped to give him the cover to axe the deeply flawed TPP.

        • And it would be nice if there were some high end networking gear made in the US that we could certify “clean”

          I’m not sure I’d trust US made gear anymore than Chinese gear….

          • Since learning most CPUs made after 2008 have hardware backdoors, I’m not that worried about backdoored routers any more.

        • > networking gear made in the US that we could certify “clean”

          You’d do better to have it made in Iceland or something. There’s no way the US government will ever stop itself from meddling, but a small enough country won’t have the bureaucracy to make it happen.

          • I was mostly thinking about routers and switches on defense networks carrying classified traffic (SIPR net and higher). In those cases I don’t worry so much about USG meddling.

        • Is that a policy, or the stated opening position in a trade negotiation?

          It is often suggested that this or that extreme position taken by Trump may just be an attempt to frame the negotiation, and in general there may be some merit to the theory. But certain things are, or should be, part of our national DNA, and even pretending that they are negotiable is damaging; less-informed voters may believe it. Free trade is one of these.

      • The jury has already returned … free trade has been a disaster for the West. Jerry Pournelle and Vox Day have explained it all very well.

        Exactly what sort of trade protectionism ought to be put in place, I dunno. But what we’re doing is a trainwreck. At least let’s get on the brakes and then think it through.

        • >Jerry Pournelle and Vox Day have explained it all very well.

          I’ve read Vox Day’s “explanation”. He fails econ 101.

          I haven’t seen Pournelle’s. Link?

          • I think you’re wrong to dismiss Vox so quickly, his arguments are persuasive and deserve answers.

            I don’t know if JP has it all in one easy to read piece. Here’s some starts:

            https://www.jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/back-to-normal-beginning-a-discussion-of-free-trade/

            https://www.jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/capitalism-conservatism-and-free-trade/

            Found these by googling for ‘jerry pournelle free trade’:
            https://www.google.com/search?q=jerry+pournelle+free+trade&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1

            • At risk of over doing it … Some of Vox’s bio:

              He wrote a book on economics:
              The Return of the Great Depression (2009) ISBN 978-1-935071-18-1

              Contributed to another:
              On the Question of Free Trade (2016), James D. Miller, ASIN B01ETKDAXK

              Studied econ at university:
              “He graduated from Bucknell University in 1990,[3] where he studied economics, history, and Japanese,”

              https://infogalactic.com/info/Vox_Day#Bibliography

            • >I don’t know if JP has it all in one easy to read piece. Here’s some starts:

              I was hoping for a better argument from Pournelle. I didn’t get one.

              There are many fatal problems with arguments against free trade – which are actually arguments for tariffs and trade barriers. One that immediately leaps to mind is that trade barriers trigger rent-seeking and gaming. You might think that it would be possible, in theory, to tune a tariff barrier so that it achieves some kind of optimal balance between the bad effect of raising domestic prices and the good effect of keeping jobs in the country, but it never works out that way. Once you start down that road the domestic producers have a concentrated interest in pushing both tariffs and price levels into nosebleed territory, with the result that the purchasing power of the people you’re “protecting” actually declines.

              Also look into the general concept of deadweight loss. Trade barriers increase it – in fact I believe that’s the historical context in which the concept was first identified.

              A trade barrier is kind of coerced wealth transfer from people who would otherwise pay lower free-trade prices for imported goods to government. This is particularly indefensible when it’s a staple good and the people being hit are poor to begin with – don’t think wines and perfume, think clothing.

              • Don’t take this the wrong way, but do you have any evidence to back up your position, or are you arguing from logic? Because we went from pilgrims to global monopower and massive creditor under a trade policy that can best be described as protectionism, and from global monopower to massive debtor and food importer under “free trade”.

                Or are you perhaps using “free trade” as a platonic ideal and lamenting that what we’ve been calling by that name isn’t actually what you consider to be free?

                • >Because we went from pilgrims to global monopower and massive creditor under a trade policy that can best be described as protectionism, and from global monopower to massive debtor and food importer under “free trade”.

                  That’s a very strange reading of history. The national debt is barely even coupled to trade deficits; it’s what you get when your government spends too much money. And you have at least one major fact wrong; the U.S. is a net exporter of food – I’m not sure how far back that goes but probably from before 1900.

                  • I didn’t say that we were a net importer of food, but a massive one. As of 2013 we were still exporting slightly more food than we import. Not a pretty comparison to the 1940s when American farmers almost single-handedly kept three continents fed. I think that Americans today would be shocked if they understood how much of their produce is from Mexico instead of California, how much of their baked goods are from Mexico instead of the midwest, and how much of their seafood is from China instead of Maine.

                    There is more to our debt than just what our government owes. A nation that imports 43 billion more dollars worth of stuff than it exports is not a nation living within its means. In this case, the debt is actually a good thing – imagine the unemployment if we had exported 8 trillion dollars worth of our factories and productive machinery above and beyond what we’ve already exported! And imagine how much worse our current deficits would be if we had to import the products currently being made by that equipment.

                    We are obviously a massive debtor today, and it has nothing to do with the actual debt, government or otherwise. If all debt on the planet was wiped out in an instant, we’d be in debt to foreign countries again before the clock ticked – both government and personal (consumer).

                    But this is all just avoiding the question.

          • No link handy, but here’s what I recall JEP saying, more or less: you can have free trade, or you can have OSHA and similar regulations, but if you have both you won’t have jobs.

            • >No link handy, but here’s what I recall JEP saying, more or less: you can have free trade, or you can have OSHA and similar regulations, but if you have both you won’t have jobs.

              That is true, and a point I intended to bring up. Trade barriers are poor and poisonous substitute for lowering the cost of labor by reducing the cut government takes out of salaries and the employee-related costs it imposes on business.

              • Trade barriers are poor and poisonous substitute for lowering the cost of labor by reducing the cut government takes out of salaries and the employee-related costs it imposes on business.

                A good point. but reducing the government bite is way insufficient to even begin to erase the difference between a $1/hr far eastern worker and a $15/hr first world worker. You still mostly end up at the same place.

                • Protectionists really need to figure out which story they want to go with and stick with it. You can have workers from poor countries dominating those from rich countries due to their lower cost. Or you can have rich ones dominating poor ones by their higher productivity.

                  Not both.

                  Of course the Millennials seem to be so work adverse that they give the French a run for their money. They won’t be outcompeting anyone.

              • Both labor and capital are markets. If you’re going to have free trade, then these must move freely. That means you’ve got companies packing up whole american factories and shipping them, in the thousands, to china. You’ve got Mexican labor crossing the border to work American jobs.

                What happens when you increase the supply of something and demand stays constant? You get a price drop because demand exceeds supply. Regular laborers in America can’t find work because they have to compete with the influx.

                And what happens when you add a trade barrier preventing this? What happened here:

                http://dailycaller.com/2017/07/13/shortage-of-foreign-labor-forces-maine-businesses-to-hire-local-workers/

          • “I’ve read Vox Day’s “explanation”. He fails econ 101.”

            Could you explain?

            I recently listened to a debate between Vox Day and no-less-an-Austrian-economist than Robert Murphy (hosted by no-less-a-Libertarian than Tom Woods). Throughout the whole affair everyone kept talking about how much respect there was between them.

            It just seems a priori unlikely that Earth’s leading exponent of Austrianism and the greatest living defender of liberty would waste time with someone so easily dismissed.

          • it’s unlikely that Vox “fails econ 101”, given that he has a college degree in it, from a top 50 US university. do you?

            in debates with Steve Keen and other publicly known, professional economists, he holds his own. do you?

            coming at this from another direction, although i don’t know if this is a case you’ve made, Free Trade was never a ‘principle’ of the Founding Fathers. originally, almost the entire funding of the Federal gov was … tariffs.

            nor was the Republican Party founded on the concept of Free Trade. Lincoln himself campaigned on raising tariffs.

            now, perhaps Free Trade SHOULD become a principle of these United States … or even just the Republican Party. but, if we were to go about this honestly, that’s a question which should have been put to the People of the nation.

            somehow, Free Trade has become a foundational principle of the nation and both major parties … and i don’t ever recall there being much debate about it.

            how did that happen?

            this is also the same United States which closed practically all immigration in the 1920s
            AND
            which implemented Operation Wetback ( actual name ) in the 1950s.

            but now it’s a “Foundational Principle enshrined in Law by the Judiciary” that we cannot effectually limit or constrain immigration.

            how did that happen?

            • it’s unlikely that Vox “fails econ 101”, given that he has a college degree in it

              You got that backwards, having a college degree means very little nowadays in general. And for economics it means a high likelihood that whatever potential the person had to understand economics has been burned with molten lead and paved with Keynesian sewer water.

              In particular going against Comparative Advantage puts you on the same circle of hell as the Flat Earthers. And you almost have to do that to reject Free Trade.

              * note: I’m using “Free Trade” as “Leave people alone”, not “Let’s all have 10 million page trade deals”. Orwell would be proud.

              • Among other things, VD makes the same criticism against Ricardo that I find extremely compelling: Free trade arguments usually ignore the massive transition costs involved, and they also assume that all of the butter churners can become gunsmiths. In the generations it may take for the transition to happen, lots of people can get seriously hurt.

                • But this is true of all economic activity. Anyone making this argument had better be prepared to stand by it and advocate for Amishism as the state religion.

                  And if they get it? Well they can feel virtuous about all the people who won’t have to transition while millions die of starvation. Whether that is from lack of technological development, or from the gulag that will be necessary to control it is of little consequence.

                  But they are wrong anyway: the kind of economic devastation they are (rightly) concerned about is a consequence of poverty. Not of the individuals, but of the civilization they are a part of. The only exception is when an economically bankrupt system is propped up for decades past its obsoletion date, which has the same effect as making a heroin addict with a $1000 a day habit quit cold turkey. Unfortunate, agonizing, and horrifying to watch. But necessary.

                  • But this is true of all economic activity. Anyone making this argument had better be prepared to stand by it and advocate for Amishism as the state religion.

                    And if they get it? Well they can feel virtuous about all the people who won’t have to transition while millions die of starvation. Whether that is from lack of technological development, or from the gulag that will be necessary to control it is of little consequence.

                    Congratulations. You win the award for the most non sequiturs. Nothing you said is a consequence or requirement for eschewing free trade.

                    But they are wrong anyway: the kind of economic devastation they are (rightly) concerned about is a consequence of poverty. Not of the individuals, but of the civilization they are a part of. The only exception is when an economically bankrupt system is propped up for decades past its obsoletion date, which has the same effect as making a heroin addict with a $1000 a day habit quit cold turkey. Unfortunate, agonizing, and horrifying to watch. But necessary.

                    You just described exactly what we’ve been doing with our elite’s fetish for free trade.

                    • Congratulations. You win the award for the most non sequiturs. Nothing you said is a consequence or requirement for eschewing free trade.

                      Allow me to unpack my previous statements, as they contained more hyperbole than was necessary.

                      Economics is about getting things people want from a set of scarce resources that have alternative uses. Because we do not live in a static universe the nature of those resources – and how they can be used – is always changing.

                      Because of that, if you try to force One True Way of doing things you will eventually end up burning resources not to produce what people want, but to produce something that was once wanted. Or to produce something in a way that is inefficient.

                      When you do this is a rich society it is closer to an inconvenience: people are not as wealthy as they could be (though even here there are possible consequences in lives). They can eat this year’s seed corn and have enough left over for another 10 years. When you do this in a poor society people die: there isn’t enough margin to eat the seed corn this year without starving next year.

                      The Amish come into it because their reason for rejecting most technology is that it must not upset the established social order. To assert that economic transitions are unacceptable is different only in scale. And if economics disturbing the social order is unacceptable then one must adopt a relatively low tech level, aka, a poor society.

                      The gulag comes into it because someone has to force everyone in society to not adopt a better product. This creates a prohibition arms race which can lead to either moral collapse of the state (CURRENT_YEAR America), 1920s gangsters, or the camps. Which it is depends on the relative power and ideology of the government. Enforcement costs also worsen the previously mentioned problem of wasting resources.

                      You just described exactly what we’ve been doing with our elite’s fetish for free trade.

                      In another post I said that Orwell would be proud. What the elites call Free Trade is much like the thing they call a Free Market: endless regulations to benefit the company with the biggest lawyer pool, crushing anyone small enough to be a threat to them.

                    • Evidently the ‘Reply’ button goes away below a certain level.

                      if you try to force One True Way of doing things

                      Not a necessary requirement or consequence of less than free trade.

                      The Amish come into it

                      This has nothing to do with anything.

                      The gulag comes into it because someone has to force everyone..

                      Not a necessary requirement or consequence of less than free trade.

                      I don’t know what point(s) you’re trying to make. Because you’re arguing against something no-one has said.

                • > In the generations it may take for the transition to happen, lots of people can get seriously hurt.

                  You ever read Anthem by Ayn Rand? It’s as preachy as all her other work(though thankfully much shorter), but as with most Rand it’s very good at mocking the left’s bad ideas, even if it’s not that good at advancing the right’s good ideas. The government’s refusal to allow light bulbs because of the damage it would do to candle-makers seems like it’s the exact same argument as you’re making here.

              • You got that backwards, having a college degree means very little nowadays in general.

                the QUALITY of the education wasn’t relevant to the assertion.

                Vox has demonstrably not only NOT failed Econ 101, he’s gone far beyond that.

                it means a high likelihood that whatever potential the person had to understand economics has been burned with molten lead and paved with Keynesian sewer water.

                *drums fingers on table*

                if you’re so damn ignorant that you would assert that Vox is a Keynesian
                OR
                that Keynes wasn’t in favor of Free Trade

                you’re not tall enough for this ride.

                oh, also?

                Free Trade ( like the current mania for universal democracy ) is a Marxist ideal straight out of the Manifesto.

                Marx claims that international trade was displacing local craftsman from their jobs and turning them into Proletarians.

                Marx advocated every means of driving the growth of the Proletariat so that they could more effectively genocide the Bourgeois, as well as arguing that the Bourgeois would create the societal conditions that would lead to their own destruction.

                if you haven’t read the Manifesto, you should. it’s rather shocking to realize that Marx was calling for two sociological genocides ( he hypothesized that the Bourgeois would genocide the Aristocracy and advocates that the Proletariat should ally with them in this effort … because he didn’t think the total war against the Bourgeois could begin until the Aristos had been eliminated ) in 1848.

                once you realize that every truly Marxist state engages genocide only because they are doing exactly what Marx told them to do, Pol Pot becomes understandable.

                every Marxist who has read the Manifesto desires the Genocide of the Bourgeois.

                • the QUALITY of the education wasn’t relevant to the assertion.

                  It is when having that education is presented as evidence that he knows what he is talking about. Unless you were using that in a technical sense of him passing the class regardless of it’s value, which would make your statement meaningless.

                  *drums fingers on table*

                  if you’re so damn ignorant that you would assert that Vox is a Keynesian
                  OR
                  that Keynes wasn’t in favor of Free Trade

                  I do not know if Vox is Keynesian or not, that is one of the common results of college econ. Another is Marxism.

                  Free Trade ( like the current mania for universal democracy ) is a Marxist ideal straight out of the Manifesto.[…]

                  I just re-read the manifesto to make certain of this. To get support of Free Trade from Marx requires a level of confusion only properly described by Babbage:

                  On two occasions I have been asked, — “Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?” In one case a member of the Upper, and in the other a member of the Lower, House put this question. I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.

                  Marx’s position on Free Trade is that it was one of the horrors imposed by the bourgeoisie upon the world. The only way in which he could be said to support it is in the sense of its abuse creating the proletariat who would smash all the tools of the bourgeoisie.

                  […]every Marxist who has read the Manifesto desires the Genocide of the Bourgeois.

                  Yes. Communism equals genocide, this is not news to anyone who’s head is not under several feet of sand. The last century has shown the ideology to be drenched in a magnitude of blood that is inconceivable.

                  I do know know what this has to do with your point.

                  • I do know know what this has to do with your point.

                    esr asserts that Vox would fail an Econ 101 course.

                    i point out that not only has Vox passed an Econ 101 course, he has a degree in Economics.

                    you don’t understand the relevance of that refutation either.

                    To get support of Free Trade from Marx requires a level of confusion only properly described by Babbage:

                    you’ve already demonstrated that your Language Comprehension is insufficient to follow a simple exchange between esr and an internet shitpoaster.

                    the likelihood that you can accurately comprehend Marx or Babbage or Vox is nil.

                    • esr asserts that Vox would fail an Econ 101 course.

                      The statement “so-and-so would fail X 101” is as often used as a general “he doesn’t know what he is talking about” as it is in the literal meaning of the words. Such is the curse of a language that humans actually use.

                      you’ve already demonstrated that your Language Comprehension is insufficient to follow a simple exchange between esr and an internet shitpoaster.

                      Um…. It is you that failed to language comprehend in your original post.

                      the likelihood that you can accurately comprehend Marx or Babbage or Vox is nil.

                      The Communist Manifesto is public domain. You can find a copy on gutenberg.org. Post the quotes that support your position or shut up.

                      As an aside, though it has no bearing on your ideas it is amusing that you claim this superiority when your grammar is even worse than mine.

        • I suspect that “Free Trade” has not been a disaster for the West as much as that the way it’s been implemented by a State Department and an Executive branch that sees part of their job as transferring wealth to lesser developed nations.

          And honestly, if they’d have been more careful in how they did that (the transfer) I wouldn’t even mind. We (Americans) are extremely wealthy, and I have been only mildly put off at only having three or four computers (there’s 5, including my Galaxy Note and a Rasberry Pi on my desk) instead of the (takes off shoes to count…) that I own.

          We *have* gotten a much richer world because of it, and while I don’t really care all that much about little babies in Africa, I’d rather see them well fed, clothed and properly educated than not.

          Which is rather the problem I have–our current mix of “free” trade treaties and foreign aid have done only a little to help the poor, while enriching the living shit out of the politically well connected corruptocrats.

          That China has “most favored nation” trading status is a f*king joke.

          Yes, Free Trade will move jobs around, but protectionism just props up bad companies and makes our own people poorer.

        • free trade has been a disaster for the West.

          That was bullshit when Alexander Hamilton was selling it, it was bullshit when we let the government impose the Smoot-Hawley tariff, and it’s still bullshit today. Shame on you for promulgating it.

    • Yes Trump is a crass, tacky hopeless vulgarian. I grew up in NYC, we knew about the tacky decades before the rest of you.

      So what?

      I am reminded of David Brooks getting aroused by the impeccable creases in Obama’s pants.

      FFS, if that’s how you’re going to make decisions stfd and stfu while the grownups are talking.

      How much do you care about appearances, how much do you care about substance, and are you capable of distinguishing one from the other?

  12. @esr: These are the people who lecture me about sexism and racism and global warming and deviant-minority-of-the-week rights and want to confiscate my guns because they propose my morality can’t be trusted?
    (emphasis mine above)

    I fear the emphasized part of that statement is the real underlying core of your concern.

    Political scientists have the notion of “single issue constituencies” – people for whom one issue is the overriding concern, and everything else runs at best a distant second. Those constituencies are the thorniest political problems in a system like ours, which relies on a majority having more than one concern they wish addressed. For some folks on the religious Right, that single issue is abortion. For you, it appears to be your right to own and bear arms.

    If it were possible to address all the other issues you mention and have them go away, with the only loss being your ownership of firearms, would you agree, or would you insist that your right to gun ownership was paramount, even if everything else went to ruin in the process?

    >Dennis

    • >For you, it appears to be your right to own and bear arms.

      Not quite. I can answer this on either of two levels: first, by pointing out the elite positions that I find toxic that have nothing to do with 2A, and second by explaining why I think 2A rights are an issue about more than the weapons themselves.

      Even if my 2A rights weren’t in question, I would violently reject the present elite view that subordinates pretty much everything else in politics to identity politics. I resent being lectured about sexism and racism because the subtext of those lectures is that individual liberty and the right to be left the fuck alone is less important than social-engineering compensatory “justice” for the victim group of the week.

      It’s to the point now that I regret having supported gay marriage on libertarian grounds. I wouldn’t have if I’d known that Christian bakers would be sued into oblivion for refusing to service gay weddings. I don’t have to like Christianity to fear the consequences of deploying “anti-hate” as a universal solvent to corrode away peoples’ right to make their own choices on their own property.

      As to firearms rights: I view a politician’s (or anyone else’s) position about those as a reliable proxy for their basic moral stance about individual liberty versus collective power. It’s not the guns themselves I’m attached to such as the principle that an individual’s agency and power are prior to – and more important than – the will of the collective. Once you deny that, it’s a short path to the gulag and the extermination camp.

      • I resent being lectured about sexism and racism because the subtext of those lectures is that individual liberty and the right to be left the fuck alone is less important than social-engineering compensatory “justice” for the victim group of the week.

        I second this. My absolutism on the right to keep and bear arms emanates from my desire to be “left the fuck alone”.

      • @esr “I regret having supported gay marriage on libertarian grounds.”

        On what possible grounds would a libertarian concede to Leviathan the moral authority to define marriage?

        • >On what possible grounds would a libertarian concede to Leviathan the moral authority to define marriage?

          Sorry. Should have been “I now regret having, on libertarian grounds, supported gay marriage.”

          For anyone who missed my earlier comment, it is because given that inch, the proponents of legalizing gay marriage instantly took a mile – they recruited the power of the state to commit greater harm against liberty.

      • I was arguing the wedding cake matter with a gay friend of mine recently, and I asked him the following: suppose you ran a bakery, and some Westboro Baptist Church asshole handed you the money and demanded that you make a cake and write “god hates fags” on it. Should you be allowed to refuse? After all, it’s his religion, he’s a minority, etc, etc. What if an ISIS jihadi wants a cake that depicts a homosexual being thrown from a high building?

      • “It’s to the point now that I regret having supported gay marriage on libertarian grounds. I wouldn’t have if I’d known that Christian bakers would be sued into oblivion for refusing to service gay weddings”
        You regret helping to end discrimination by the state against a whole part of your population because some individuals are suing bakeries?

        • >You regret helping to end discrimination by the state against a whole part of your population because some individuals are suing bakeries?

          Yes. Yes, I do. My goal in these situations is always a net increase in individual liberty and a net decrease in the power and willingness of the State to meddle. It does not seem to me that we have achieved that here: instead, new burdens are being placed on liberty by the very same “victims” who loudly demanded it last week.

          I feel betrayed and used, like my good intentions were taken advantage of by gay activists who, it now seems, intended to be repressive thugs all along.

          I’ve felt this way ever since the mobbing of Brendan Eich. And it keeps getting worse, not better.

          • “My goal in these situations is always a net increase in individual liberty and a net decrease in the power and willingness of the State to meddle.”
            Yes, and a lot of people gained the same rights as everybody else.

            ‘It does not seem to me that we have achieved that here: instead, new burdens are being placed on liberty by the very same “victims” who loudly demanded it last week.’
            LBGT people where (and are) victims – no need for quotes here – of a state discriminating against them.

            “I feel betrayed and used, like my good intentions were taken advantage of by gay activists who, it seems, intended to be repressive thugs all along.”
            I’m sorry you feel that way, but how does this change the issue you voted on? People should have liberty and equality as long as you like them?

            • >People should have liberty and equality as long as you like them?

              I am unwilling to campaign for the liberty of people who, it seems, intend to aggressively infringe on the liberty of others.

              • Well I’m sorry to inform you that there are pro gun advocates that try to infringe on the liberties of women, black people, non-religious people etc etc

                If every group of people is to be held accountable to the actions of a few individuals you’re going to have a very tech-centered blog

                • >Well I’m sorry to inform you that there are pro gun advocates that try to infringe on the liberties of women, black people, non-religious people etc etc

                  That would only be relevant if 2A advocates were invoking the law to penalize people with anti-2A views. Please stop trolling now, I’m not impressed.

          • Looking from the outside, the problem seems to be in a dysfunctional legal system more than in the legalization of gay marriage.

            Why sending homosexuals back into the 1950s just because your legal system is unable to do anything sensible? An outright majority of the population of the US supports gay marriage. This has little to do with the legal shenanigans about cakes.

            • To be fair, I’m not sure what (I think are) our shared laws here in .nl would make of it.
              We had the whole “weigerambtenaren” thing (though they of course where state employees or people with power invested in them by the state) but I can’t remember a case about a company refusing service to individuals because of their gender/sexuality/religion etc.

              • ” but I can’t remember a case about a company refusing service to individuals because of their gender/sexuality/religion etc.”

                Neither do I. And these refusing civil servants were treated with the utmost care. Moreover, schools are still allowed to refuse homosexual teachers. And students that differ from the norm still do have problems getting internships.

          • “new burdens are being placed on liberty by the very same “victims” who loudly demanded it last week.”

            On second thoughts, I do remember that there was a time that the people in the US were free *not* to serve black people in shops and restaurants, *not* to house them, *not* to employ them, and *not* to teach them.

            This is generally not seen as a time of greater freedom. To me, this looks a lot like history repeating itself as a farce here.

    • >If it were possible to address all the other issues you mention and have them go away, with the only loss being your ownership of firearms, would you agree, or would you insist that your right to gun ownership was paramount, even if everything else went to ruin in the process?

      I meant to answer this. I don’t think this case could occur, because a society in which I lose RKBA is a society in which the prevailing view of the proper relationship between individual and state power is hostile to my liberty and eventually hostile to all human flourishing.

      • >I meant to answer this. I don’t think this case could occur, because a society in which I lose RKBA is a society in which the prevailing view of the proper relationship between individual and state power is hostile to my liberty and eventually hostile to all human flourishing.

        I think this says it better than your entire original post.

      • Put differently, the people who want to take your guns from you want to take quite a bit more than that, but they know they’d better start with the guns, or they won’t be able to take the rest.

        RKBA goes straight to the heart of the theory of government. The traditional view is either some sort of “Divine Right of Kings” or “Vox Populi/Vox Dei”, whereas the Declaration of Independence squarely identifies inalienable human rights as the goal that can justify the existence government to protect those rights, and when a government turns out to be “destructive of these ends”, the people have the right to alter or abolish it. For the very institution created to protect rights (including life and liberty) to deny us the liberty to defend our lives damns that institution as unworthy of existence. And when they decided to alter or abolish the government of the British Crown over the colonies, they damned well needed guns to do that.

    • > right to bear arms

      That’s an enumerated right in the Constitution. The same document that recognizes you as a person, and prohibits me from clonking you over the head, putting you in shackles, and making you my yard slave.

      The Constitution is all one piece; you can’t claim rights under one part while denying rights under another.

      • I’d disagree with this. The constitution enumerates rights, but isn’t the source of all of those rights.

        There are plenty of states without written constitutions that give it’s citizens the rights not to be captured as yard slaves. And at a time, our constitution didn’t grant that right to a large number of people.

        • Correction: no state creates our rights, and the US constitution makes no such presumption. At best, they protect our right not to be captured as yard slaves, and the reason that we create governments is to secure our rights.

          • I’d further refine that by separating rights into natural and granted rights. The right to self defense is a natural right that emanates from our right to exist.

            Our right to propose ballot initiatives is a granted right by the states who grant it. You could argue that that is derived from the right to consent to be ruled, but the specific form and rules for the way that works are granted by the state. Even the right to vote I’d declare as granted, because even given a right to liberty, one could attain liberty in a form of government that doesn’t allow voting, and universal suffrage is procedural, rather than strictly necessary precondition to liberty.

            For instance, if you live in a theoretical unincorporated territory that has no de jure government, and there’s only a couple of families there with you, and you decide collectively to a live-and-let-live rule, and no ballot was tallied and no regular elections are held, you still have liberty, sans any sort of right to vote.

  13. “As a tribune of the people Trump is deeply flawed.”

    Naw, he’s a good statesman / politician… You’re analyzing strongly yet looking at it wrong giving false results.

    “Some of his policy ideas are toxic. His personal style is tacky, ugly, and awful. But increasingly I am wondering if any of that matters.”

    St. Trump he ain’t. And that’s OK, and why I voted for him. I voted for a good leader not a Pope or saint. Sort of a Patton-like figure. What’s become obsolete is the concept of statesman as saint. What’s coming out about the absolute human monsters on the left, shows the left gave up on “statesman as saint” generations ago. Electing R party politicians who kiss up to the left is a losing strategy. No one wants Jeb anymore.

    The modern left is the modernized medieval Catholic church. Purchase your indulgence by complaining about nazis and white privilege and the gender pay gap, then you too can rape women and boys at will with all the other monsters covering for you. You don’t have to like Martin Luther the man, to like the result of his nailing of the thesis on the church door. Trump is the modern Luther. Note that half of Europe hated Luther and wanted him dead and were willing to die trying; the more things change the more they stay the same.

    WRT influence, Trump’s the man of the Century, so far….

    • > Electing R party politicians who kiss up to the left is a losing strategy. No one wants Jeb anymore.

      It’s really hilarious that you think a lifelong Republican kisses up to the Democrats more than a guy who’s spent decades of his life as a Democrat(and not his teens, either – he was a Democrat at age 62).

      • Counter example: John McCain.
        Counter example: Olympia Snow
        Counter example: Lindsey Graham

        Jeb Bush is a center *left* politician who just happens to run as an (R) because that’s what Daddy was.

        Hell, GW Bush was centrist in most things (Medicare Part D anyone?), and George the Elder was a internationalist progressive in many ways.

        Trump is *not* a Conservative, but he’s also clearly not a leftist progressive.

        • He’s a businessman turned politician. It seems to me that many of what the MSM takes as policy statements are opening negotiation statements no less outrageous than those from the other side.

  14. I frickin’ hate Trump but Dennis Miller was onto something when he called Trump the jeweler’s loupe we use to see the fine cut on the Washington bullshit zirconium. He’s a boorish lout, power-mad, and doubtless has some closet skeletons that have yet to be properly aired out. But when you compare him to these other Washington assclowns, he really doesn’t come up so different after all, despite the self-righteous mouthing of the assclowns. Literally clowns sometimes — Franken was a comedian before becoming a politician, and the moral destitution of the right was perhaps the most common target of his satirical writing. And if your heroes in Washington look more like Trump than they do you and their other working-stiff constituents — it’s a sobering wake-up call for the rank-and-file left.

    • >Dennis Miller was onto something when he called Trump the jeweler’s loupe we use to see the fine cut on the Washington bullshit zirconium.

      I. Love. That. Line.

      • Wow. Miller’s career is littered with explosive zingers, but that one is in a thermonuclear class of its own.

        Hat is well & truly tipped.

    • > …power-mad…

      Given his behavior so far, no, he’s not.

      His administration is in the process of devolving power back from the Executive Branch to the Legislative Branch in many areas.

      Heck, would the FCC have thrown Net Neutrality at Congress if Trump wanted to be King Of Everthing?

      Boorish? Oh yeah.
      Loutish? Probably.
      Skellingtons in the closet? Probably not–he’s had people after him for DECADES. Thing is that his supporters would have to give a f*k about them, and they don’t. Given what Clinton got away with (rape and serial sexual assaults), and what Democrat politicians ROUTINELY get away with–starting with King Kennedy of Camelot, proceeding through Gary Studds, and on to the present day (Gore, Wiener, Robert Kennedy, etc.) the folks on the R side really don’t care.

      Their perception is that he REALLY wants to help them, not just give them handouts.

      You know what would be awesome? If someone *REALLY* did blow up D.C. Not literally (with Nukes/Explosives), but by decentralizing government. Move the Department of Agriculture to Lincoln Nebraska. Put the Department of Defense down in Joplin Mo. Department of Education to some place in North Dakota. Etc. Move it all over everywhere.

      Have Congress “In Session” for four weeks a year. The last two weeks in April, and the last two weeks in September. Everything else could be done better remotely.

      REALLY spread the wealth around, and at the same time make our government more difficult to attack.

      • > Have Congress “In Session” for four weeks a year. The last two weeks in April, and the last two weeks in September. Everything else could be done better remotely.

        Nah. Last two weeks in July, first two weeks in August. With the air conditioners turned off.

        • We have to have a government of some sort and, programmers aside, people are social creatures who want to meet each other in the flesh and look each other in the eye, it’s probably more useful if we have them do it when they won’t want to bugger (no pun intended, given the subject of OP) off to a private facility somewhere.

          Besides, summer is the high travel season, and airline rates are higher.

          • Washington, DC is built on malarial swamp. It was considered a diplomatic hardship post well after the US had become a significant player on the world stage due to climate and health concerns.

            The buildup of the deep state in Washington is directly linkable to Mr. Carrier’s little cooler. Remove the AC, make everybody show up only in mid-summer.

      • I’d rather return the House of Representatives to the original citizen-to-representative ratio of 30,000 to 1, and repeal the 17th Amendment.

        Want to bribe a congressman? Have fun with that, there are ~10,000 of them, they live in their districts, and never meet in person. Want a senator? Their state legislature can recall them and nullify your “investment” as soon as they vote against the interests of their state.

        • Yes! The 17th turned Senators from representatives of the states’ interests to another two representatives.

          • And it upset the crucial counterbalance of the Supremacy Clause, which was that Congress couldn’t pass any laws to take precedence over state laws without the consent of the states’ representatives in the first place, nor could a President appoint someone to the Supreme Court who could rule the way they did in Wickard v. Filburn and hope to have him confirmed by a Senate thus constituted.

        • Yes, the 17th Amendment was one of the three horrors of the annus horribilis, 1913.

          By the way, it was “ratified” unconstitutionally, as it falls afoul of the “no state shall be deprived of equal representation without its consent” clause. So any State that didn’t ratify it should appoint their own Senators.

      • Regarding Dems getting away with shit, I really have to wonder what Gary Hart did that made the press decide to scuttle him. He cheated on his wife with that whore Donna Rice (who went on to try and re-invent herself as an anti-porn crusader), but there’s no indication that she wasn’t willing. So Hart gets torpedoed by the press to clear the way for Bubba Clinton the rapist to get the nomination. I would bet pretty long odds that Bubba made a deal for that.

        • >Regarding Dems getting away with shit, I really have to wonder what Gary Hart did that made the press decide to scuttle him.

          The safe default assumption in cases where you can’t find any specific reason is that he wasn’t left-wing enough for the Gramscians.

      • While I kind of like the idea, a caveat to such decentralization occurred to me this morning. What prevents the various departments from becoming captive to local interest? If the Department of Agriculture is in Lincoln, Nebraska, odds are, a lot of the people staffing it will be people local to Lincoln, Nebraska. Their attitudes and outlook will be in part shaped by local conditions, and thus the DoA’s policies and implementation thereof will likely be similarly shaped.

        Local conditions and attitudes shaping policy and its implementation is great when it’s local policy being so shaped; IMO, that’s the way it should be. But what’s good for Lincoln, Nebraska might not be what’s best for the rest of the nation when it comes to agricultural policy. If I’m recalling my middle-school and high-school government classes correctly, that was the reason for having Washing DC be its own federal district. It is a part of no state, and therefore beholden to no state any more so than any other state — thus preventing favoritism or local capture.

        On the flip side, there is the risk of D.C. becoming simply beholden to none of the states at all, and being better and above them all, kind of like what we have now. I don’t have an easy answer for that.

        Although, now that I think about it, it seems to me that many states and/or regions have their own specialties and things they contribute to the wider Union. This can be a source of local pride, but I’m not sure the local contributions to the Union are always explicit and known outside of that region. Perhaps a degree of local capture by those regions that are well adapted to specializing in those government functions would be worth it if such made each region’s contributions more explicit. Perhaps such would help stem the attitude that the coastal metroplexes are where the real and important stuff in the Real America happens, and that flyover country is where those poor welfare parasites who are always trying to drag the rest of the country into their backwards culture live.

        • What prevents the various departments from becoming captive to local interest?

          Not much, IMO. To be honest, the preventive pressure will probably be from non-local interests with deep enough pockets to send a lobbying group. But consider the current alternative: that department is HQed in DC. Now not only is it captured by local interests and lobbies, but so are all the other domains HQed in DC – which lends economies of scale to local interests and any lobbies that have cross-domain concerns. If DepAg is in Lincoln and DepJustice is in Colorado Springs and DepInterior is in Mariposa and DepEnergy is in Los Alamos, then the best any local interest is going to get is one department.

          I think the people here advocating moving each department’s headquarters are generally inclined, on principle, to see that as a first step. They’d then go for solving the problems you mention, such as Lincoln’s agricultural policies not working as well for the California valley or NC’s pig farms and so on. So you split DepAg even further.

          The trick is to do it without losing whatever benefits derive from having a single federal department. To a first approximation, I’d classify federal benefits as mostly being in the information brokerage area – a federal department in such a framework would mostly just coordinate information sharing between all of its state subs. Possibly starting with information about possible nationwide threats (epidemics, statewide famines, terrorist activity, trade embargoes, etc.).

  15. SJW movement has normalized crazy enough, so that even items like the recent Texas State paper article “Your DNA is an abomination” has defenders…
    https://i.redd.it/d05amt2h0y001.jpg
    Yes, it is a real article, google it….
    I used to think ESR was a little off for his Communism meme claims, I apologize.

    • >SJW movement has normalized crazy enough, so that even items like the recent Texas State paper article “Your DNA is an abomination” has defenders…

      Dennis: If you still wonder why I called out identity politics as my major non-2A issue, see above.

      • I pretty much agree, except I’d expand it a bit – the whole progressive culture war is the major issue, and gun control partly overlaps with that. Identity politics is only part of it, but all of it is aimed at deconstructing our culture so that the progs can create their ideal state – where wise, altruistic progs make everything work fine for us… Camelot, unicorns, Pol Pot…

        The war on religious life is part of that. The sanctification of all sexual varieties is part of that. The sexual rules are part of that. “Safe Spaces” and all the other delusions serve that purpose.

    • >I used to think ESR was a little off for his Communism meme claims, I apologize.

      I wonder when the rest of the world will clue in. It’s not like the evidence is any secret; you just have to be paying attention.

      • I wouldn’t know any actual statistics, but I get the impression that most of Gamergate knows it.

        Over the last year or two that I’ve been paying attention, the acceptability of the phrase “cultural marxism” was never low, and seems to have reached full.

      • Jordan Peterson has been sounding this alarm for over 20 or so years.
        The first 5 minutes or thereabouts of this video will give you the meat of his argument, and some insight to how strongly he feels about post-modernist cryptomarxism:

  16. @ESR
    I have more and more sympathy these days for the Trump voters who said, in effect, “Burn it all down.” Smash the media. Destroy Hollywood. Drain the DC swamp.

    This.

    I had too way too many arguments with proper Conservatives before the election who wanted someone more (nasal pronunciation) Presidential.

    Forget that. When I hire someone to demolition a wreck of a house, I don’t want some pantywaist. I want someone with a big hammer, tattoos, and rolled-up sleeves.

    Go Trump! Smash it to bits!!!

    (Now if I could only be sure he’d actually do that, so far a mixed bag for certain.)

    But as others have pointed out. Trump is ultimately irrelevant. He’s just the opening salvo in what promises to be a long war.

    • Forget that. When I hire someone to demolition a wreck of a house, I don’t want some pantywaist. I want someone with a big hammer, tattoos, and rolled-up sleeves.

      This is exactly true. I don’t where Trump is nearly as crass as people make him out to be, but I wouldn’t care if he was. The crassness quotient is positively correlated with the triggering quotient.

      He’s just the opening salvo in what promises to be a long war.

      No. The opening salvos happened long, long ago. This is people finally bothering to counterattack.

      • This is people finally bothering to counterattack.

        Yes, that’s what I meant. This is our opening salvo. They’ve been saturation bombing us for decades.

  17. I’ve basically moved the same direction. After the James Demore and related issues, I’m planning on voting for Trump out of pure spite. To the point that I hope he’s as bad as people claim he’ll be.

    I’m tired of the condescension and the lack of the intellectual rigor that the Left have directed towards me and others who don’t tow the Party Line. Hell, as an atheist I get more respect from the members of the clergy in my circles than I do as a libertarian in the left-wing circles.

    • It is not an accident that a Progressive writer was found to write a book about how libertarians were Nazis. Which is on its face completely ridiculous, but they went there.

  18. Oh, and one more thing I love.

    Trump is playing Good Cop, Bad Cop with N. Korea[1].

    And he’s got Gen. J. Mattis as the GOOD COP.

    Freaken Mad Dog Mattis.

    [1] He’s playing a dangerous game, but the last….6 or 7 presidents and their administrations, appeased, paid off and kicked the can down the road. Now something has to be done, and what didn’t work in the past won’t work now.

    • Mattis is playing good cop only because he sees he needs time to rebuild the DoD into a capable military, not a social engineering club. The Navy had demonstrated that they are perilously close to incompetent now. It will take years to retrain. Worse, the incompetence demonstrated in shiphandling almost certainly extends into maintenance. That means our ships and their crews only look ready for war and ready to defend themselves. Recovering from bad maintenance will take at least a decade. The Air Force is short nearly 2000 pilots. They’re recalling many, but they can’t recall 2,000. It will take years to recruit, train pilots and give them enough flight time to become competent in combat. The Air Force also has a maintenance problem. The Army is having problems retaining the good soldiers at all ranks. I don’t know about their equipment maintenance. Obama did great harm to our military.

  19. As for Trump’s personal style, I am increasingly convinced that it is, to a large degree, an act. Partly it’s a form of political persuasion, as Scott Adams has explained at length. Partly it’s that Trump is a student of Sun Tzu, and a lot of his “thin-skinned” and “inappropriate” comments seem to be a form of misdirection. Some writers on Twitter (notably @ThomasWictor, @Imperator_Rex3, and @drawandstrike) have been making the case for many months that Trump and Sessions are long-term planners, building federal cases against Antifa, and that Mueller will end up indicting many Democrats, up to and including Hillary. In this view, Mueller is actually Trump’s man, and that Trump lured the Democrats into their “Russia collusion” hysteria and demand for a Special Counsel, knowing that there was no Trump/Russia collusion but that the Clinton Foundation, the Podesta Group, etc., were up to their necks in it regarding Uranium One, Bill’s speaking fees, etc.

    If this is true, I’d expect it to break sometime before the November 2018 midterms.

    • I really doubt that that is all true. But if it were to prove true, it would be one of the greatest political moves in all of history.

      • A related argument is this: Trump is a showman, an experienced entertainer. He knows that an early part of every epic drama has the protagonist in great difficulty. Thus, all the “White House is in chaos” stories serve to both deceive his enemies a la Sun Tzu (“Appear strong where you are weak, and weak where you are strong”) and make his ultimate triumph all the more memorable and satisfying.

        I know, I am not entirely sold, either. But Trump thinks long-term: he trademarked “Make America Great Again” in 2012, right after Romney lost. He regularly punked the media and the Clinton campaign (but I repeat myself) during the campaign. I think there’s a good chance something like this is going on, and the possibility is so delicious that it’s fun to consider.

        • I know people like Trump. I have worked for people like that. He made a career of building things. That is a very very tough neighborhood, and you don’t survive, let alone prosper unless you are smart. It takes years to build a building.
          His abiding disdain for bureaucrats and petty politicians is a plus.
          The media is systematically dismantling itself. Finally Republicans in Congress are seeing his daily outrages as cover for them to pass legislation.
          By the way, no matter who you are, if you sell your body for money or position or promotions, your character is clear, the only negotiable is the price.

          • 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”

          • Have you read “Art of the Deal”? Especially the part about the ice skating rink?

            That part in particular could have been written by Hank Rearden.

            But in fact Trump has said that his favorite Rand hero was Howard Roark.

            What a surprise?

  20. Welcome aboard.

    Reflect on the latest Trump drama:

    Trump reposted some videos, depicting religiously motivated Muslims doing evil things for religious reasons. These videos were accurate and relevant – the actions were real, really were evil, and the evildoers perceived themselves, and were perceived by other Muslims,as holy, were generally supported by the Muslim community. Hence a good reason for not importing seven hundred million brown rapeugees and dumping them on marginal electorates in flyover country, irrespective of the genetic propensities of brown people. These videos are one hundred percent about evil culture, not about degenerate genes.

    At some point in the chain of repostings leading up to Trump posting them, a “racist” had posted them. Oh the horror. Never mind that what Trump posted was true, relevant, and important.

    • . These videos were accurate and relevant

      No, they weren’t. Trump and his faithful Trumpalos don’t care. Like postmodernists, they don’t even recognize that there’s such a thing as truth, let alone that it matters. But honest people do care, and this discredits the entire mindless “Muzz are evil” brigade. Unfortunately it also discredits those sane and sober people who are trying to focus people’s attention on the genuine Islam problem. It proves “Islamophobia” to be a real and toxic thing rather than the paranoid leftist myth we wish it were, and thus conveniently lets everyone who warns of the genuine Islam problem be swept under that rug.

        • There is this thing called Pyrophobia.

          Am I a Pyrophobe because I have a couple fire extinguishers, and prefer to pile the logs IN the fire place before lighting them, rather than on the floor of the living room?

          Is it unreasonable to not smoke a cigarette[1] around a couple gallons of gasoline puddled up on the ground?

          EVERY SINGLE POLL I’ve seen since the early 2000s has at least tacit support for violent jihad against the west at over 20 percent of polled muslims.

          Now, I happen to believe that the actual islamic terrorists are much like our gang bangers, school shooters, the guy who shot up the movie theater in Aurora–people who, if it were not for Islam–would still be violent social problems.

          But Islam gives their crazy focus, it gives them a support network of other crazies, it gives them access to money from marginally less crazy types who want the west (it’s not just America) to fall to Islam.

          Islam has a *stated goal* of taking over the world. It has, as part of it’s core creed, statements that it is ok to rape and kill those not of Islam.

          Somewhere between .5 and 2 percent of the population are sociopaths. Poorly adjusted sociopaths, when given focus and approval of their beliefs are very, very dangerous.

          Saying that you want to keep large numbers of muslims out of your country because of the behavior of 2-3 percent is like saying you don’t want drive drunk because you have a 2-3 percent HIGHER chance of getting in an accident.

          It’s not phobia, it’s reasonable.

          [1] Ok, it’s NEVER unreasonable not to smoke a cigarette, but the point…

    • The problem is that you can find videos of some member of any ground doing something bad. Do I want to be mean to Rednecks? Cardiologists? Hungarians? I guarantee you that I can find relevant material to impeach any one of them. But am I a politician? Do I want to start a hate movement against someone? Do I want to solidify my credentials with some portion of the electorate? The videos were pure scumminess on Trump’s part. (And mainly he needed a distraction from Mueller/Flynn.)

  21. > I have more and more sympathy these days for the Trump voters who said, in effect, “Burn it all down.” Smash the media. Destroy Hollywood. Drain the DC swamp.

    To what extent does this “burn it all down” align with “We have to eject postmodern leftism from our universities, transnational progressivism from our politics, and volk-Marxism from our media”?

    • I’d say that’s pretty much 100% alignment. Either they get their Marxism and boots on our necks or we stop them.

      This battle is joined and I don’t think the neo-marxists are smart enough to stand down.

    • >To what extent does this “burn it all down” align with “We have to eject postmodern leftism from our universities, transnational progressivism from our politics, and volk-Marxism from our media”?

      Considerably. Trump voters in general don’t have the historical awareness to understand how our institutions have been corrupted and our discourse poisoned. But they’ve smelled the stench and they’re fed up. Good for them.

      • ESR, I like you a lot and have followed you for years. But please drop the yankee habit of assuming all of us red state Trump supporters are dumb history ignorant rednecks that only agree on some political issues with you by coincidence. That underestimation is for the left.

        • That’s not what he is saying. He is saying that they don’t generally understand how the corruption has been accomplished, which I think is true. But he is also saying that they do understand that it exists, which is more important.

            • I see the problem.

              It is statistically close enough to true that NO voters have the historical awareness to know how the corruption came about, how discourse was poisoned, etc etc.

              When you talk specifically of Trump voters lacking that knowledge, it sounds like you are implying they are somehow unique in that lack. Which is far from the case.

              The rest what Steve said. At least Trump voters can tell the difference between rain and being pissed on, which puts them far ahead of the other side in oh so many ways.

              • >When you talk specifically of Trump voters lacking that knowledge, it sounds like you are implying they are somehow unique in that lack. Which is far from the case.

                Indeed. I’m not gonna say our educational system is purposively designed to prevent people from cluing in about this, but I also can’t imagine how it would be any different if it were.

      • I think Americans have lost the ability to separate ideology from reason and morals.

        It seems that the idea that someone can have different political views and still be a decent person seems to elude the collective thinking power of the people of the USA. Obviously, for anyone looking at the USA from abroad, you are all Americans and the differences are rather insignificant.

        (I know that only holds for the views expressed in public. The Americans I have spoken in person all were very reasonable people. On the other hand, I might only meet the reasonable Americans)

  22. I don’t think the remote door lock is obviously wrong. I don’t really think it’s for security, either. There is a time where it’s not convenient to get up and lock the door: when you’re on the phone. Especially if it’s one with a cord.

    For someone who makes and takes a lot of phone calls, I can see a remote door lock being very convenient. For example, when a sensitive call comes in. You don’t need to interrupt your workflow at all. Stay at your desk, answer the phone, and remotely lock the door to ensure privacy during the call. After the call is done, you can remotely unlock the door and keep working.

    Now, obviously Lauer abused the remote lock, but just because a tech can be abused doesn’t make its existence innately wrong or evidence of abuse. I think the remote door lock was just a minor convenience or perk given to people who normally made a lot of phone calls, such as most senior executives.

    • What you’re saying is objectively correct, but this kind of naive rationalization is what provokes over-reaction in feminists and other extreme moralists. They will interpret your analysis as being deliberately dodgy and an attempt to run cover for the celebrity pervert. You will be viewed as an enabling fanboy or useful idiot rather than a voice of reason. Lauer has effectively admitted to being a pervert, so the rational for installing the lock should properly be viewed in the worst light.

  23. Way back in the early 00’s, the North Carolina State University was rocked by a scandal when a guy dressed as a pirate ran for and was elected student body president. At the time there was much consternation about the farce of a candidate, the disrespect for the sanctity of the position and so on and so forth. And still the pirate was elected. Turns out when most of your electorate thinks the election and political process is a joke, they will elect a joke.

    Trump is the national pirate candidate. Elected because for 30+ years the left has insisted that everyone’s life is getting worse (stagnating wages, skyrocketing health care, skyrocketing college costs etc), while the right has promised and failed to reel in the government. And both parties have continued to enrich themselves at the expense of the electorate, all while lecturing their electorate about how terrible they are for wanting to enrich themselves. Well, when you spend 30 years convincing people that the government isn’t listening to them, doesn’t care about them and is going to continue making your life miserable, and then you nominate another member of one of the two families that has been at the front and center of that same government for the last 30 years, people get the idea that it’s all a joke. And as long as it’s a joke, they might as well vote for the joke candidate.

    Perhaps if the government hadn’t spent the last 30+ years destroying any sense of respect the people have for the government and the presidency in particular, the people might be more concerned about having someone who has no respect in the office.

    • “Turns out when most of your electorate thinks the election and political process is a joke, they will elect a joke.”

      Jesse Ventura. Arnold Schwartznegger. Al Franken.

      Now, Roy Moore.

      Look, I am a big believer in the notion that “character counts”. But I don’t believe that “character TRUMPS”. Jimmy Carter seemed to have a more virtuous character than, say, LBJ. Neither advanced policies I would have preferred. But LBJ — the rat bast*rd — was a more effective voice and arm for his party’s position than Carter.

  24. Eric: who has the most skin in the game regarding trade policy?

    You make reasonable theoretic arguments against trade barriers, but if you’re wrong it won’t put you out on the street starving.

    Shipping industry workers don’t care if the goods are flowing out or in. Financial services workers move funds internationally with zero friction.

    But the Wisconsin machinist who spent a decade on his apprenticeship, developing advanced psychomotor lathe skills and intuition for what processes work best to achieve certain attributes of finished products?

    Zero tariffs, combined with free movement of capital, puts him in direct competition with Indian and Chinese machinists. And the playing field is tilted HARD against him: higher energy costs in Wisconsin (save the planet with wind power), OSHA safety (buy all this extra gear and stop using effective chemicals), and HR bullshit (why haven’t you brought on a black lesbian as an apprentice?) all conspire to handicap him in that international marketplace.

    Job training, you say? Really? Can they rewind his biological clock to his early teens, with the neuroplasticity, energy, and fearlessness of males at that age? Can they support him and his family obligations while starting over again from essentially scratch?

    Imagine someone eliminating every opportunity for you to apply your systems software development skills/judgement/experience, justifying that by offering you “job training” for a new career as a mail carrier (out on the street walking 20 miles a day).

    That’s why Trump won Wisconsin.

    • >And the playing field is tilted HARD against him: higher energy costs in Wisconsin (save the planet with wind power), OSHA safety (buy all this extra gear and stop using effective chemicals), and HR bullshit (why haven’t you brought on a black lesbian as an apprentice?) all conspire to handicap him in that international marketplace.

      So, the right answer isn’t tariffs but getting rid of that bullshit. It’s not a low of nature that American labor has to be expensive – in fact our per-capita productivity is the highest in the world. We’d leave Indonesians and Taiwanese in the dust if not for the bullshit.

      I am well aware that “job training” is, in this context, a sick joke.

      • …which is precisely what Trump is doing. c.f. https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2017-07-20/trump-cutting-hundreds-of-planned-regulations .

        Flyover America tried politely to throw off Federal burdens. Ever heard of the Taxed Enough Already movement?

        Polite didn’t work.

        Establishment Republicans cried inability to oppose Obama without the House and Senate.

        Empowering the so-called opposition party didn’t work.

        Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States of America.

      • OSHA safety (buy all this extra gear and stop using effective chemicals)

        If the chemicals pose a danger to humans and the environment, we should stop using them. The Montreal Protocol is considered, by all but the most radical and least informed of libertarians, to be an enormous success: banning CFCs across the board has reversed the trend of ozone depletion. Other successful examples include banning the use of lead in gasoline, and of asbestos.

        This — and not some socialist conspiracy to derail the economy — is why there is a push to end or curtail greenhouse-gas emissions. It’s because government regulation has been shown to work in controlling the release of dangerous chemicals into the environment, in situations where free markets fail to achieve that goal.

        • It’s because government regulation has been shown to work in controlling the release of dangerous chemicals into the environment, in situations where free markets fail to achieve that goal.

          All of this in a world where at the start of the industrial revolution governments nullified the right to sue someone for pollution in many cases because the industry was in the public interest.

          Sorry, no dice.

      • But some of it isn’t “bullshit”. Chinese producers don’t need to clean up their pollution, license the intellectual property they use, or if they’ve got the right connections, even pay their workers – just get some slave labor from the laogai. Lots of externalities they’re dumping on the commons. What possible “free trade” can be had with that partner?

        (Starting to think “free trade” is like a “free market” – neither I, nor anyone on this board, ever has or ever will seen any instance of either, beyond the trivial).

        • What possible “free trade” can be had with that partner?

          The same as with any. None of that is any of the consumer’s business.

        • If the slavery is a problem, the locals can address that via their political mechanisms. Or we can bomb them into freedom. But a library full of expensive-to-follow regulations isn’t expanding freedom.

      • “So, the right answer isn’t tariffs but getting rid of that bullshit.”

        Sure, and the moment you say that, the Left accuses you of wanting to get rid of all regulation and have chaos and go back to the horrible days they vaguely remember reading about in The Jungle back in high school.

  25. There was a time when leadership was earned through great deeds, and Eric is certainly an exemplar of that. Why are so many of the opinion influencers in our current society so lacking in character and accomplishment? If anything, they are the antithesis of honorable, intelligent, and productive. How did we get to this point in our specie’s evolution, where the sheeple among us now idolize (or turn a blind eye) to such monstrous behavior?

    At some point, we must figure out how we got here or the rest of us will be swept away in the raging current of a degrading culture.

    • Politics is downstream of Culture. Who’s been driving the cultural zeitgeist for the past decades?

      • It’s not just a matter of who (or even a specified cabal of bad actors). The social-economic environment has changed radically over the past few centuries as a result of industrialization, technology, and an explosion of affluence derived therefrom. The hardship gauntlet of our evolutionary past is nearly extinct now and selection is no longer being driven by existential fitness criteria. Cultural depravity exists because it is the consequence of recent social evolutionary forces. Affluence begets sloth, dependence, and conformity; which then begets power players like Weinstein and Lauer.

  26. The current wave of sex abuse accusations strikes me as a witch hunt.
    The main motivation for accusers is being able to successfully sue for
    more money than they could earn in a lifetime. Another motivation is
    bringing down hated politicians. I can sympathize, as I don’t like
    most of those people myself, but I value truth above all else.

    To its credit The Washington Post managed to debunk one recent
    accuser, Jaime Phillips.

    I could never support Trump, as he spoke approvingly of torturing
    people suspected — not even convicted — of terrorism. If torture
    isn’t wrong, nothing is wrong. And as he claimed that the police are
    the most oppressed group in the US, and needs more power. A cop can
    break into your home without a warrant right now, massacre your whole
    family, and lie about it under oath, and even if the whole thing is
    caught on video the only penalty will be “retraining.” The police can
    even firebomb their own city, as happened in Philadelphia. What would
    it even *mean* to give them even more power? Nuclear weapons?

    I voted for the Libertarian last year. It was my first-ever election,
    as I had been denied the right to vote ever since my wrongful
    conviction 40 years ago. To his credit, Virginia’s governor (a
    Democrat) restored the voting rights of every Virginia “felon” who had
    completed their sentences — more than 200,000 people. Republicans
    opposed this. I will never vote for someone who wants to permanently
    deny me my vote.everyone is unemployed.

    As for jobs, I’m unimpressed with “comparative advantage” arguments.
    As automation advances, there will be fewer and fewer jobs, until
    everyone is unemployed. I don’t need to know whether people are
    better at competing with computers at doing arithmetic or at competing
    with steam turbines at generating electricity to know that nobody can
    make a living wage doing either. Increasingly, the same will become
    true of all other tasks.

    • As automation advances, there will be fewer and fewer jobs, until everyone is unemployed.

      Well of course. This is the (very) long term goal after all.

      But that is a long way away. Innovation breeds new types of work that were unthinkable before, consider “youtuber”.

      • The problem is that at some point the rate of change starts to happen faster than people can adapt.

        We will have to solve this problem, or we WILL see the masses rise up and demand some sort of guaranteed annual stipend.

  27. Jobs that need protection shouldn’t exist. Their existence is inherently a bad thing, and we should be happy that they’re destroyed, and should oppose doing anything to preserve them even if it costs us nothing. If their former occupants can’t find something else to do, then they should be unemployed. Let them live on charity, let them beg on the streets if necessary; it’s not our problem. But I’ll bend as far as establishing a welfare program to pay them a living wage, in return for their sitting in a rubber room all day, not allowed to do anything except apply for jobs, or train for those jobs.

    • So when a machinist’s factory is packed up and shipped to China he should just learn Mandarin, sell his home, pack everything into a uHaul, leave family, friends, and community behind, and move to Beijing so he can compete with the local labor for his old job

      • So when a machinist’s factory is packed up and shipped to China (likely either because his union has pushed the cost of his labor higher than it’s value, or the factory is being taxed for some do-gooder’s moral vanity) everyone else in the country should just be held at gunpoint and forced to not buy the double-plus-ungood machines at a double-plus-ungood price that makes their lives better?

        • So your response to the machinist in this situation is “tough beans, I avoided a worse problem loser.”

              • There is a large difference between “don’t care”, and “not interested in a fake solution that is morally repugnant and everyone is incentivized to route around”.

                I didn’t mention other solutions because they would have been a distraction from the main point.

                Just one example of a solution with historical precedence: In the past Clubs and Societies functioned as a local insurance network. If a member lost his job for reasons that weren’t his fault (like being a drunk) he and his family would be helped to get back on their feet by the other members. This is a very elegant system: the people giving charity are also in a position to know who is worthy and who is a deadbeat. Since they have to pay for it they will tend to choose methods of help that get the impoverished back to being a functional member of civilization instead of a drain on the world.

                This informal system is one of the many that were wiped out by the introduction of the welfare state, yet another crime tallied to its bill.

                There is a trap here for the unthinking. I am interested to see who will spring it.

                • >There is a large difference between “don’t care”, and “not interested in a fake solution that is morally repugnant and everyone is incentivized to route around”.

                  That reminds me of my eldest brother’s characterization of those of us who oppose raising the minimum wage (or in my case want it abolished altogether): “You don’t care about poor people.” Bullshit. I do care about them, which is why I oppose a law that prices their labor out of the market, leaving many of them unemployed that would otherwise have jobs. Just because someone virtue-signals about how damned much they “care” doesn’t make their policy prescriptions one iota less harmful.

      • I don’t care. Economies exist for the benefit of consumers, not producers. In Adam Smith’s words, consumers are the general interest, and producers are special interests (did he coin that term?), which it’s the duty of government to ignore in favor of the general interest.

        If they’re starving and nobody is willing to support them out of simple human charity, then I’m willing to compromise and have the taxpayers support them, but the burden must fall equally on all taxpayers, not just on those who buy the product that they used to make.

        • Since pretty much everyone does both producing and consuming, the only coherent way I can make sense of this is to recognize that you’ve taken a passage from Marx and replaced Bourgeoisie with Producer and Proletariat with Consumer and then tried to disguise the stink a bit by pretending that Libertarian made you do it.

      • No, he should pivot and move to the service industry. Where there’s a huge demand for competent machinists to make bespoke spares for infrastructure. And North American trained machinists are generally considered the best in the world, especially in the field (where the well-trained Europeans generally are less comfortable).

        It’s VERY enlightening to look at all the skilled trade options that are outside the factory. You can’t fix locomotives, ships or drill rigs in China, even if you can build them there.

  28. Y’know, Eric, it’s funny you should hold the Dems to task for their sexual crimes and yet come to the defense of Roy Moore.

    But I’ve been thinking about this from a Jordan Peterson perspective, and I think I understand what’s happening. It’s known that liberals are, on average, much higher on the Agreeableness personality trait — so it’s much more likely that when a conservative is accused of sexual misconduct he will go into full Viking (or samurai, or Klingon) defend-his-honor fight mode — as Moore did. Whereas if a liberal were so accused he is more likely to become upset at the prospect that his deeds, intentional or not, might have hurt someone and say “I never meant to do anything inappropriate, but if I did I’m sorry.” And as soon as he does he’s lost the game because the conservatives will close ranks and go “AHA! You see? He admits to being a dirty pervert! Hang him! Off with his head!” And they do this because they are using the groundwork laid by liberals, to get back at liberals. They are using the standards established by Anita Hill and the feminists to count coup against the feminists and those who side with them.

    And you combine that with a hothouse like Hollywood, where the primary currency isn’t dollars or some blockchain thing — it’s attention. If you’re not out there, making a spectacle of yourself and grabbing headlines, then it has a negative effect on your ability to work in that town. And this brings me to another concept Peterson opened my eyes to. He was talking about how Hitler became Hitler, and how he was actually watching his audience when he got up to speak publicly and give them more of what they wanted. Which in the case of a bunch of bitter, angry Germans, meant slowly bringing in more horrid and more monstrous ideas — “going there” in modern parlance, of course once you actually get there you have to go somewhere else: further down the rabbithole until you’re talking about gassing Jews by the millions. And Peterson compared it to little kids when they were being interviewed by cops during the great Satanic Ritual Abuse scare of the 80s — how the kids didn’t really know what they were saying, but the more nightmarish the scenarios they concocted, the more the nice police officers who were asking them questions became interested.

    So say you’re a washed-up, has-been, forty-something actress (or actor), and you see that Ashley Judd and whoever else came out against Harvey Weinstein. And you think to yourself “Ashley Judd? That BITCH! If I had half the publicity that tarted up, Botox’d cunt had, maybe I wouldn’t be stuck doing laundry detergent commercials.” But of course it’s been years, so you don’t remember all too well, but there probably was a casting-couch incident that, now you think on it, seemed kind of dubious, so when ET and TMZ come around to get your thoughts on the scandal, maybe you make the story a little bit more sensational than you would have otherwise. It may not be a false accusation per se — you may not be like that Duke University girl, out to hurt people, You just add a little color to a juicy story.

    And that piques their interest. Not only do you have attention again, you have sympathy. You’re a Courageous Victim, a Sexual Assault Survivor. So you double down on your lurid story. And whoever that producer or director was, well, they’re now just another name on the new Hollywood blacklist.

    And that brings me to a psychological concept that I haven’t heard Dr. Peterson mention yet, but it’s characteristic of disorders like borderline personality disorder. It’s called splitting. It’s a binary separation into “all good” and “all bad”. And if you’re not all good, then you must be all bad, which is why people who split, such as those with borderline personality disorder, choose the borderliniest of cases to test others with. (Huh, maybe that’s where the name came from.) If you are married to someone with BPD, then you can do whatever you like. Set your cellphone calendar to remind you of their birthday, your anniversary, Valentine’s Day. Buy them gifts and flowers, take them to romantic dinners. Be there with a warm hug when they’re feeling blue. Whatever, you can be the nicest spouse in the world, but if you’re five minutes late coming home from work, it’s obviously because you’ve been getting head in the car from that trollop/boytoy of a personal trainer you’re seeing, don’t you give me that excuse, I can tell just by the look on your sorry face, you disgusting cheating pig/whore. In fact, all those nice things you did now become evidence against you because obviously you were just doing them in order to throw your spouse off the scent.

    This, by the way, is why when SJWs want to pick out who is a transphobe, they don’t go by your feelings about, say, Wendy Carlos, who is a) a nice person; b) talented in her field to a legendary extent; c) relatively convincingly feminine. They will pick someone like “Danielle” Muscato, an overweight, unemployed, homeless man in a dress who hasn’t had bottom surgery, hasn’t started hormone treatment, and, despite insisting that he is a woman for years, used to go around in suits and a full beard until recently — like this year. And boy, if you don’t call Muscato by her preferred pronouns and acknowledge her womanhood simply on her say so, then you are literally Hitler. And yes, I realize I failed to do so just now, but I don’t think Muscato deserves the benefit of the doubt, as he is an odious person. Like literally, you cannot draw a more cartoonish caricature of everything bad about SJWs — and people have tried. Millie Tant used to be an egregious parody; now she doesn’t even surpass the average humanities graduate in extremeness.

    Muscato, by the way, actually got admittance into a women’s shelter. A women’s shelter. This is like, every conservative’s transgender-bathroom nightmare come true right here. Even if you accept the fact that “Danielle” is a woman in the body of a fat beardo with a penis, if you’re a battered woman on the run from your abusive husband/boyfriend, that’s the last thing you want to see up in your business and it can be terrifying and traumatizing. You have to make a conscious decision to see “Danielle” as a woman; the fear that grips the heart of a battered person happens well below conscious level. If a dog or cat was beaten regularly by a man, it will develop a hostile reaction to all men; and humans are the same way. I’ve seen a woman burst into tears instantly because of some innocuous gesture that triggered a memory of some dark experience she had. That’s why we build women’s shelters; to give these poor women a place where they can begin to handle and come to grips with their fears without being retriggered. But this particular women’s shelter was subjected to the ultimate dilemma: be seen as failing to protect the women already admitted, or be seen as failing to admit a woman in need when she comes in the most dubious of guises. And so here we are.

    So what does this have to do with Hollywood and politics and sexual harassment? Well, the SJWs — actually it’s not just SJWs, let’s call them the Liberal Moral Crusaders or LMCs — they have to do an IFF (Identify Friend or Foe) on just about everyone they interact with. Because they can’t be seen to be associating with rapists, people who support rapists, people who support people who support rapists, etc. Solidarity and sisterhood and being an “ally” and all that. So to determine who is an ally, they use borderline cases. So, not Harvey Weinstein, but, say, John Lasseter, who (as of yet) hasn’t been accused of much more than hugging a bit too aggressively and making ribald remarks about women’s physical charms. Okay, fine, those are things that he shouldn’t have done but what does that warrant in the scheme of things? A glass of ice water in the face, maybe?

    (In the United States, depending on jurisdiction, hugging too aggressively can land you on the sex offender registry. It’s worse if you were that one weird kid in elementary school who tried to hug all the girls because now you have committed a sexual offense against a victim under 12. That’s going on your record for the rest of your life. Pipe down, Winter — a smug, satisfied “this never happens in my post-historical paradise” isn’t particularly helpful when you’re trying to figure out why it happens here.)

    John Lasseter is taking a “six month hiatus”, but I think it will turn out to be permanent. The tut-tutting has already begun on Hackernews. “I should have known he would turn out to be one of those people.” It will be the Lasseters of the world, not the Weinsteins, that will be used as a litmus test to determine who is on the side of the downtrodden. Denouncing Weinstein is easy. Denouncing Lasseter, who’s actually moved the needle on advancing not just technical animation prowess, but complex, morally grounded, and engaging narrative inside Disney, is much harder, but if you do it, it shows your commitment to the cause — to protecting women who may come to harm in the Hollywood power meatgrinder — above all else. And of course, Lasseter’s achievements will be stricken from the record, and now we have to recontextualize all of Disney and Pixar’s phenomenal movies over the past two decades or so, because they have been tainted by his toxic influence — which means that for Frozen 2, Elsa will shave her head, go around in tank tops, a septum ring, and a barbed-wire tattoo, and strike up a relationship with Ariel.

    I don’t know where this will end up. Men make mistakes, but now those mistakes are understood as serious crimes. And it becomes difficult, especially with he-said-she-said testimony, difficult-to-obtain physical evidence, and sometimes a span of decades since the incident, to differentiate between an honest mistake and a truly egregious violation and assault. It could be that the only safe Schelling point is to re-establish Victorian sexual norms. Except you can’t acknowledge you’re doing that! I got modded down on Hackernews for suggesting that Mike Pence’s policy of never dining alone with a woman other than his wife was “good opsec”. Because how dare I suggest that a conservative do things for reasons other than some twisted religious zealotry, or racism, or xenophobia, or some combo platter of those. If you talk about the problem, then you are the problem. You become one of those creepy MGTOWs. “Creepy” basically means “sex offender who hasn’t been charged yet”. How is an MGTOW creepy? They dislike women enough to by and large avoid them altogether. That should be like Christmas to a feminist. There was a guy named Andy Reyes — he had the wispy pencil moustache, Coke-bottle lenses, terrible fashion sense, dead-end job — all things that did scream “loser” and should have screamed “creep”. But girls would regularly and routinely visit his apartment — alone — and cook him meals and things like that. He was so preoccupied with his video game waifus that his female visitors were totally confident he posed no threat. I’m not saying he was particularly mentally healthy, just (as far as I can tell) harmless. And MGTOWs are harmless, so why not congratulate them on their brave decision to remove themselves from the gene pool and bake them a cake or something?

    So where am I going with all this? I don’t really know. I really have no answers. We can’t go back to the way things were, where men were free to make mistakes and women, by and large, honestly kept them in check. As an example — catcalling has been recontextualized as “street harassment”. There’s a YouTube video going around of a rich white girl walking through New York and the instances of her being whistled at or hollered at are tallied up on the screen. “One little microaggression, two little microaggressions…” For contrast, imagine the ghettoest black girl you can. She’s got a weave down to her ass, and that ass is squeezed into the tightest booty shorts imaginable, and she’s rocking stiletto heels. And now have her walk down the street. Those same guys are going to whistle and catcall, but even louder. And the girl — she’s not going to be like Whitina McTrustfund in the video, looking ramrod straight, strutting as fast as her legs can carry her to gtfo all while pretending (unconvincingly) that she doesn’t know the guys are even there. Instead the ghetto girl will acknowledge them — somehow. She may flick her hand dismissively, or giggle, or do something that says either “I’m not interested”, or “I may be interested, but slow your roll a little”. And the boys will, in almost every case, respect whatever wish her response communicates — even if they’re drunk. I’ve seen it happen. This is because to the boys, and to the ghetto girl, catcalling isn’t harassment; it’s an opening offer in a language of flirtation that’s understood by everyone in the ghetto. Which puts Whitina McTrustfund in a pickle because she doubtless claims to be worried about the plight of People of Color, but when she actually encounters some she interprets their gestures and actions through her rich white gender-studies-educated lens. But we can’t go back to the world of subtle languages of flirtation where overshoot is rewarded with a boop on the nose instead of you know, jail time, or becoming a pariah. Because first of all the Whitinas are setting the standards for all of society. And social opprobrium is powerful — it’s law unto itself. Even if you won’t be jailed for doing something that meets with social disapproval — you’re not very free if no one will employ you, for instance. And secondly, again, it can be very hard to distinguish, in some cases, between rape and regrettable sex, between assault and being too friendly, between harassment and flirtation — especially if you weren’t there and have only the oral testimony of those involved to go on. I used to be full-throatedly in favor of “playing it safe” and assuming the worst, because failure to assume the worst has led to distressingly low rates of conviction for rapists and abusers. But real, lasting moral and psychological harm can be done by playing it safe — and it’s something feminists should definitely be worried about. Most of the people caught up in the Satanic Ritual Abuse scare were women — middle-aged women working at daycare centers. The FBI even created a special category — “late-onset female sex offender” — to deal with these supposed cases. And a good portion of those are probably still in jail serving out multiple consecutive life sentences because in America, to quote Unzen from Medaka Box, “it isn’t justice unless you go overboard!”

    Brace yourselves, folks, the pervnado isn’t over yet. It’ll tear up the Frankens and Conyers of the world — deservedly so — and then lesser heads will roll as the LMCs test their resolve on more and more marginal cases. Louis C.K.’s behavior was arguably consensual (if gross), but becomes egregiously unacceptable when you take into account the principle that a large enough power differential can negate consent. Which would, really, call the majority of sexual encounters of every power player into question.

    And yes, I realize that Jordan Peterson is basically the Freud of the alt-right. But he is a powerful speaker and a deep thinker, pulling in aspects of history, psychology, mythology and religion in a very scholarly fashion, and is worth listening to by people across the political spectrum, if with a critical ear.

    • “And they do this because they are using the groundwork laid by liberals, to get back at liberals. They are using the standards established by Anita Hill and the feminists to count coup against the feminists and those who side with them.”

      The delicious part is that this basic strategy and much more is straight from Alinsky.
      Rule 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

      “And yes, I realize that Jordan Peterson is basically the Freud of the alt-right.”

      Nah, he’s basically a Jungian, with many more years of data to draw on and some less mysticism. Certainly less mysticism than the Jungians I knew of in the 70s.

      • Nah, he’s basically a Jungian, with many more years of data to draw on and some less mysticism. Certainly less mysticism than the Jungians I knew of in the 70s.

        I was referring more to his popularity and the authority with which he is quoted, not his perspective on psychology.

        • Peterson is popular with ‘the right” (which is to say everyone other than the hard left, including self-described liberals like Dave Rubin [who I suspect is rather more of a classical liberal aka libertarian]) because he had the testicular fortitude to stand up to a frontal assault on free speech, and the intellectual tools to win any honest debate on the subject. (Which is why, rather than debating him honestly, the SJW thugs come to events where he is to speak with bullhorns and disrupt them, such as by screaming “racist, sexist piece of shit!” repeatedly, mere inches from his ears.)

    • So where am I going with all this? I don’t really know. I really have no answers. We can’t go back to the way things were, where men were free to make mistakes and women, by and large, honestly kept them in check.

      But we can’t go back to the world of subtle languages of flirtation where overshoot is rewarded with a boop on the nose instead of you know, jail time, or becoming a pariah.

      We’re going to have to figure out how to go back there, somehow, because we’ve got tens of thousands of years of culture that got us to about a decade ago, and since then things have gotten nuts.

      It’s not really my problem–I’m not likely to get unmarried and while I’ve got a potty mouth, but not in a sexual way. Oh, and it’s pretty clear that, as (I think) the philosopher Tom Kratman once said “I don’t do Microaggressions”. I can’t find that quote, but this one gets the gist:

      I do wonder why anyone should settle for microaggressions when, with just a little thought and effort, you can offend the motherfuckers into catatonia. Note: They seem to need the offense, desperately, hence offending them is the Christian thing to do.

      I mean, I try to be polite, but when inquiring about someone’s life is an *aggression*, fuck it.

      There used to be, at least in Internet Developer circles the notion of “Be Liberal in what you accept, be Conservative in what you send”. For non-political values of each.

      This is a REALLY good rule if you really want to have a diverse culture.

      But that’s not what the Left in this country really wants. They want a philosophical and ideological mono-culture.

      • There used to be, at least in Internet Developer circles the notion of “Be Liberal in what you accept, be Conservative in what you send”. For non-political values of each.

        It’s called Postel’s law or Postel’s principle. These days it’s generally considered harmful. It is, for example, why until recently, it wass so hard to get cross-browser compatibility unless you fall back to HTML 3.2 — the last standard the major vendors could come anywhere close to agreeing on. HTML5 is so wildly successful because it is the exact antithesis of Postel’s law. Strict, rigorously defined standards with extensive compliance tests are the way to go. Part of the reason for this is that we have a working internet and an open source culture, so implementations are no longer developed in isolation as they were in the old days, and it’s possible (and generally expected) for vendors to collaborate, and to open-source the specs and the compliance test suites.

        And this is why we have Codes of Conduct. Some people just can’t deal with the enormous ambiguity and implicit standards behind statements like “be polite” or “don’t be a dick”. So standards of what is acceptable or unacceptable behavior must be codified, so that when it comes time to discipline someone, everybody agrees which rule was broken and what the penalties are.

        • So standards of what is acceptable or unacceptable behavior must be codified, so that when it comes time to discipline someone, everybody agrees which rule was broken and what the penalties are.

          Except that every Code of Conduct I’ve ever seen (and I’ve looked at a lot) is the equivalent of saying “accept only well-formed HTML” without ever defining what “well-formed” means. On purpose.

    • Also:

      > …yet come to the defense of Roy Moore.

      Where did ESR do that?

      Moore’s douchebaggery is more that he’s an opportunistic parasite who cares about as much about the constitution as our previous president than he’s got a fondness for women on the edge of adulthood.

      He shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a government building unless he’s in handcuffs, or has a lawyer with him to stop him from being stupid.

        • >”Where did ESR do that?” “On his G+”

          That’s an invidious claim. I think Roy Moore an is an awful person, the very embodiment of every the bad things liberals think conservatives are. I don’t “support” him in any meaningful sense; I would be much happier if he were far away from politics.

          But I’m opposed to even werewolves being smeared by political hit jobs, and it seems obvious to me from the flimsiness of the evidence and the players around it that this is one – as bogus as the Trump/Russia dossier, and possibly invented by some of the same people.

          • I don’t agree with Moore on anything much.

            But this smear job is right out of the Alinsky playbook.

            Any accusations of misconduct that come out right before an election, have no independent verification, and are more than a year old, should be instantly disregarded by everyone.

            • Yes, I was pretty convinced that Moore had a thang for young women in his 30s but that it could be greatly exaggerated by political skulduggery. I’m no fan of Moore either, but I notice he has a good chance of winning so it looks like many of the people of Alabama think there is dirty work involved.

    • @Jeff Read
      “Pipe down, Winter — a smug, satisfied “this never happens in my post-historical paradise” isn’t particularly helpful when you’re trying to figure out why it happens here.”

      I do not know what you mean here. This happens everywhere. It is rocking Eiropean countries. It only depends on power differences. It is just that not every country has a legal system as disfunctonal as that of the US.

  29. Fair echo chamber here.

    Eric – you must understand how fucking crazy this sounds to your readers who don’t live in Murica.

    Trump is an idiot. His supporters – more so.

    I understand that there are some who really want to “burn it all down”. People globally are disengaged and have been let down by a political process which operates to the benefit of the 1% and the disbenefit of the rest of us.

    But as an honest, intelligent citizen of the world capable of reflecting on such matters from a non-partisan perspective with the interests of others in mind – what is your proposal for change?

    • >But as an honest, intelligent citizen of the world capable of reflecting on such matters from a non-partisan perspective with the interests of others in mind – what is your proposal for change?

      Short term or long term?

      Short term, I’m not seeing a better alternative than supporting Trump’s movement as it smashes the institutions that produce Weinsteins and Lauers and puts fear of the common man’s wrath into the deep state. Yes, it bothers the shit out of me that I don’t see a better alternative.

      • Cut it out, ESR.

        With a sidearm on your side, you are in charge of you. Without a sidearm, but with the ability to carry a sidearm, you are still in charge of you. You’re just not carrying today.

        2A is _EVERYTHING_, it’s what makes it our lives, and not someone else’s. 2A is the beginning and the end of liberty. You want a single-aspect voter?

        Here I am. 2A is all.

        • I think L. Neil Smith nailed it with his essay, “Why Did It Have to Be … Guns?” at http://www.lneilsmith.org/whyguns.html

          “If he makes excuses about obeying a law he’s sworn to uphold and defend — the highest law of the land, the Bill of Rights — do you want to entrust him with anything?

          If he ignores you, sneers at you, complains about you, or defames you, if he calls you names only he thinks are evil — like “Constitutionalist” — when you insist that he account for himself, hasn’t he betrayed his oath, isn’t he unfit to hold office, and doesn’t he really belong in jail?”

      • Congratulations–now you’re really starting to think like a Libertarian.

        Is this a new skepticism about the efficacy of state power to improve society, or have you only been posing as a Libertarian so you can smoke dope and pack heat?

        If it’s not a new skepticism, why hasn’t it bothered you before that our culture has needed a corrective shock for at least a century–ever since the progressives drew the lesson from World War I that collective, Federal action can be a force for good? And that we the people went along with them–removing structural shackles on the Federal government like the appointment of senators by state legislatures, the prohibition on direct taxation, and the mathematical inversion of the commerce clause?

        In other words, celebrate with me that we’re finally seeing the pendulum swing back from where it was shoved HARD for the past 100 years. Or do some serious soul searching about whether you really believe–in your gut and instincts–about the dangers of organized state power.

      • Quoting Eric..

        “Short term, I’m not seeing a better alternative than supporting Trump’s movement as it smashes the institutions that produce Weinsteins and Lauers and puts fear of the common man’s wrath into the deep state. Yes, it bothers the shit out of me that I don’t see a better alternative.”

        Agreed it will smash the current breed of institutions that produce Weinsteins, Lauers and probably a whole lot more. Concede it will put fear of the common man’s wrath into the deep state. I would argue its already there among elites, but it’s buried deep in denial right now. Certainly won’t stay in denial very long once the revolution starts.

        But what about the other consequences? All revolutions are ugly, brutal things that cause change, but also directly or indirectly hurt the masses of humanity caught in the middle. The Trump Tax bill just passed the senate a few hours ago…. who really benefits? If the Trump plan is to tear down the old system, that’s all well and good. But will the cure be a true cure or just a bandage that will fester again in a few years.

        I think a better idea would be to start with mandating term limits for all elected/appointed officials and start holding them accountable to the local electorate. That is, I think, the spirit of Benjamin Franklin’s comment to the lady who asked what sort of government the convention gave to us in 1787.

    • “Eric – you must understand how fucking crazy this sounds to your readers who don’t live in Murica.”

      Not all of us. I’m a Brit, living on the continent, and it mostly makes sense to me – the details are different, and there’s a lot I don’t understand about America, but the chattering classes of the UK and US both have the same mix of contempt and moral horror when the plebs dare to have the Wrong Opinions so we’ve got that in common (cf Trump and Brexit, among other things). And now the professional besserwissers in America turn out to be riddled with pervs? A bit of irritation is excusable.

      (Opinion on Trump: negative. Best feature: calling out journalists. Worst feature: supporting Saudi atrocities in Yemen, which is absolutely disgusting. Proposal for change: devolve power downwards as much as possible. Streamline/dismantle beaurocracies. Instruct the chatterers that name-calling is a bad response to people disagreeing with you, especially on immigration, that’s just storing up trouble.)

    • … you must understand how fucking crazy this sounds to your readers who don’t live in Murica.

      We. Don’t. Care.

    • Eric – you must understand how fucking crazy this sounds to your readers who don’t live in Murica.

      Trump is an idiot. His supporters – more so.

      Look at what the fastest growing parties are in Europe, i.e., National Front, AfD, etc. Also enjoy your Islamic attacks.

      • But most of those “fastest growing parties” in Europe are accepting money from Russia/Putin. (They’re not communist any more, but they’re still a Bear.) The problem with our intelligence services is that we’ve trained them to orient on Commies when they should be trained to orient on Bears.

        • The flip side is whatever Putin is, he’s a Russian first and foremost. his first worry will always be south and east.

          The European populists will happily take funding from him, because he’s low on their list of worries. And they’ll happily turn on him when it’s necessary. Happened before, will happen again.

    • I don’t live in Murica, I think Trump is a genius, and that Eric is more than sane. You prob just live in Europe right? Come down to South Africa sometime, see the sights, see the corruption, degraded infrastructure and hyperactive political correctness(seriously, if you’re white in South Africa, you’re not allowed to have an opinion other than hyperliberal selfhate.), and then get back to me on what you think of Trump.

  30. I wonder if the economists are wrong on that one and maybe trade protectionism is a good idea after all, Ricardian compadv notwithstanding. The best argument against trade protectionism is reductio ad absurdum: if on a country level yes, why not on the city level, why not on the street level, why not on the household level i.e. why not entirely stop all trade?

    So trade protectionism is illogical, yes.

    Yet. The US used it in the era when moved from agricultural economy to industrial economy, Britain used it during industrialization, South Korea and Japan and generally the successful Southeast Asian economies used it when they industrialized.

    Naturally it is not a controlled experiment, we don’t know what would have happened in the absence of it. But there is at least evidence that you can have very high levels of growth even when you have trade protectionism, whether because of it or in the absence of it I don’t know but at least that is empirical evidence that it is not very harmful.

    This is one field where logic and evidence seems to contradict.

    Suppose Ricardo was wrong, the reductio ad absurdum argument is not relevant, and somehow trade protectionism can be a good thing. How so? What could be the logic inside it? What could be the logic of South Korea incubated Samsung and LG up on protectionism? I think it was simply a guaranteed national revenue source to have the company have the money for the necessary investments and R&D to be able to complete globally. They didn’t do it for the jobs but as a form of investment for R&D. Something akin to forcing peasants to buy a corporate bond and then spending it on R&D to have the tech needed for being an international player. And for this reason perhaps it is a better argument to say trade protection for the sake of jobs is bad.

    • > wonder if the economists are wrong

      Half a century ago, a character in one of Mack Reynolds’ books wondered why, if economists actually knew how the economy worked, why weren’t they all rich?

      For some reason, economists as a group not only aren’t rich, they’re mostly academic functionaries.

      • They have VERY secure jobs that pay WAY higher than average wages, reasonably high status, and good retirement packages.

        How is that not “rich”?

      • There are two types of Economists.

        The first are the kind that work for Government, NGOs and Academia. They are mostly theorists and are the kind who publish in journals and/or give presentations to audiences of all stripes (classrooms, press conferences, invited guests, etc…). Many would be considered “left leaning” and are what would be considered “living comfortably”.

        The second are the kind that work for major for-profit financial institutions. My old employer, the Bank of New York Mellon, had a slew of them spread out over the various business groups. They work for a living in the real world dealing with the real world in a non-theoretical manner. What they do publish is for their clients and investors. Most would be considered quite conservative and very interested in maximizing profit. And I assure you, they are generally quite wealthy.

  31. To all who want to argue the theoretical problems with non free trade. Here’s a modest proposal.

    How about we get the US trade deficit down from it’s current HALF TRILLION DOLLARS to … something considerably less.

    Argue theory all you want, your plan isn’t working.

    • And what, pray tell is a trade deficit?

      It is American companies getting product for money, which if never spent (hence the deficit) means that even though the company had to pay for it in a macro sense America got it for free. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

      If you are talking about all the shenanigans with the U.S Government debt, well, that isn’t really about trade is it?

      • And what, pray tell is a trade deficit? It is American companies getting product for money,

        No. It’s wealth leaving the country never to return. Please do argue there’s no long term consequence to this.

        • Wealth is not money. Wealth is not even Gold. The fact that the trade was made consentingly in the first place means that Americans got more wealth than they gave up. Adam Smith got many things right, but his belief in an inherent value theory was not one of them.

          • Wealth is not money. Wealth is not even Gold.

            Tell it to the Chinese. They seem to be doing pretty well for themselves sitting on a pile of treasury notes and gold.

            means that Americans got more wealth than they gave up.

            Do you really, truly want to argue that average Americans are wealthier than when this started? Let me say that differently … when all the poor decisions of sending all our jobs and a great deal of our phony cash overseas has finally born all it’s rotten fruit, do you really think Americans will be better off for it?

            I wish you were right. That would certainly be good news for the millennial and Zyklon generations. They could then cheer that we boomers had it right all along. Not.

            • Do you really, truly want to argue that average Americans are wealthier than when this started?

              Since “this” includes the effects of rampant regulation and taxation strangling the economy, no. We are not better off from “this”.

              Let me say that differently … when all the poor decisions of sending all our jobs

              Just to be clear: you are aware that Americans manufacture (and export!) more than they ever have before right?

              and a great deal of our phony cash

              TILT TILT TILT. Contradiction. If it is phony enough to matter for this discussion then we really did pull the mother of all fast ones on China.

              • Since “this” includes the effects of rampant regulation and taxation strangling the economy, no. We are not better off from “this”.

                Yes. True. But since those who argue for free trade are inevitably arguing for the status quo, I fear it is moot.

                More to the point: Trump is the only one who has even stated that he would like to make the arrangement more favorable to US citizens. He’s the only one who has intimated that it even could be more favorable.

                Just to be clear: you are aware that Americans manufacture (and export!) more than they ever have before right?

                I’ve heard that yes. I don’t actually believe it since such information generally comes from the usual liars.

                But say it’s true. So what? That doesn’t mean our situation wouldn’t be all the better if we’d had a less suicidal trade policy all along. It again argues for the status quo.

                TILT TILT TILT. Contradiction. If it is phony enough to matter for this discussion then we really did pull the mother of all fast ones on China.

                It’s phony not because it’s paper, or FRNs, or credit money, or whatever. It’s phony mostly because it is “backed” by a government that survives only on ever increasing amounts of unpayable debt and will inevitably crash.

              • https://mokita23.wordpress.com/2017/05/14/newtonian-money-in-the-ergosphere/

                Thanks. But I’ll pass. The insult aside, such theoretical discussions are useless. For the same reason economists and economics are largely useless – they seem to always arrive at the wrong conclusion. I can see the results of free trade* with my own eyes.

                * To be more correct, the effects I observe are due to far more than just “free trade”. Deficit spending, unlimited immigration, regulation, the welfare state, the warfare state, etc. are all (possibly bigger) culprits.

                • The insult aside

                  I worded this far more harshly than I should have. I am sorry.

                  Part of the reason I’ve been posting so much today is because debating people – especially where I can make a public fool of myself – is not a skill I am very good at. Need practice. Well, also waiting for a bunch of plumbing repairs to be finished…

                  To be more correct, the effects I observe are due to far more than just “free trade”. Deficit spending, unlimited immigration, regulation, the welfare state, the warfare state, etc. are all (possibly bigger) culprits.

                  You see this, and then you blame trade for it. That doesn’t make sense. The most attacking trade can do is make the problem worse while giving more power to exactly the people must never have it. This is the same kind of error as setting a price ceiling on milk, then instituting milk subsidies because of the milk shortages.

                  No. I’m not supporting the milk subsidy, no matter how glowingly it is described.

                  • Everything takes practice.

                    Don’t conflate no free trade with no trade. The idea is not to prop up bad business, it’s to care for our people first. As a metaphor, you’d make sure your family members don’t sign an extortionist loan for a car right?

                    • Don’t conflate no free trade with no trade.

                      I’m not. Even with trade completely outlawed it still happens. See the old Indian arms trade, or modern drug trade.

                      The idea is not to prop up bad business,

                      This is true. And bad business likes nothing more than to claim protection from the other businesses that are competing so unfairly. The complaint takes two major forms:

                      “My competitor is trying to setup a monopoly! Regulate him for the Good of the People!”

                      “My competitor’s country unfairly out-competes ours! Erect a trade barrier for the Good of the People!”

                      it’s to care for our people first.

                      With the exceptions of small children, the elderly, and the sick, you do not help people by giving them a fish today. Widget makers have no right to win on the international market. Widget makers have no right to impose an inferior product on their countrymen by force of law.

                      As a metaphor, you’d make sure your family members don’t sign an extortionist loan for a car right?

                      I am going to assume you are not talking about truly criminal dealings, that is a matter for the courts. I have several answers depending on the situation:

                      If they have just encountered a bad deal and there are better ones available (also generally): advise them not to take it. But it is and must be their decision to make; I have no right to force them to behave as though they are wise. (I’m also assuming that this isn’t a parentage / guardianship situation)

                      If their credit risk is just that bad: They are facing the cost of the risk. The only thing that can change that is to change the risk profile.

                      If the economy as a whole is in the toilet: Same thing. The costs reflect reality, denying it just makes the problem worse.

                      If a regulation or “anti-corruption” law is mucking up the economy so that lenders are able to collude: Attack the real problem. To do otherwise will only change the form of the problem, not its essence.

                  • You see this, and then you blame trade for it. That doesn’t make sense.
                    It makes sense because those things are all interconnected. And each one does it’s own amount of damage. The topic here is about the damage done by our current “free trade” – and it is extensive.

                    I don’t “blame trade” for it. I blame suicidal trade policies that put the needs of foreigners above the needs of US citizens. I blame globalist policies that enrich the elites while the rest of us watch the economy being sold out from under us.

                    • And I’m saying that trade is not responsible for those problems: American labor is too expensive because the price is forced above its market price by law. Rampant off-shoring is the market correctly interpreting regulation as damage and routing around it.

                      To enact protectionism is to sweep all of that under the rug and slap a “Trade” label on it. But ignoring the dragon just makes it grow, and eventually it will run down the street with your house on its back.

                      It isn’t even like this type of interaction is unusual:

                      Farmers are a minority in the U.S. -> Concentrated Lobbying Group -> Corn Subsidies -> Surplus no one knows what to do with -> Turn it all into syrup that is is put in everything (and out-competes regular sugar because of sugar protectionism) -> Massive Obesity Epidemic.

                      (yes I know there are many other factors, I’m just pulling on one thread here)

                    • Not having a Reply button gets messy.

                      And I’m saying that trade is not responsible for those problems: American labor is too expensive because the price is forced above its market price by law. Rampant off-shoring is the market correctly interpreting regulation as damage and routing around it.

                      I certainly agree such is a big factor.

                      But turning it around to check for predictive value … if we got rid of most of those regulations would the offshoring stop and then wholesale reverse. I think not.

                      (But it would sure be nice if someone would run the experiment.)

                    • But turning it around to check for predictive value … if we got rid of most of those regulations would the offshoring stop and then wholesale reverse.

                      I think you’ve lost sight of your goal. Who cares about off-shoring except for unemployment reasons?

                    • I think you’ve lost sight of your goal. Who cares about off-shoring except for unemployment reasons?

                      Uh. How about the people whose lives and futures are being destroyed by the offshoring.

                    • How about the people whose lives and futures are being destroyed by the offshoring.

                      In what way? Remember this is postulating a world where the usual legal barriers to employment aren’t there: no minimum wage, no affirmative action, no required benefits (even higher minimum wage in disguise), etc. There is always more work to be done, the question is whether it is legal to hire someone for what that work is worth or not.

                      Of course even then some will fall through the cracks, but I submit that they would fall through the cracks of any system short of work gangs as practiced by dictatorships.

                      Unless you mean the mere change itself of a job category moving to a different country. Consistency requires that you answer the question of what happens when a job category, rather than moving, disappears entirely. Must we subsidize the production of {buggy whips, typewriters, geocities administration, whatever} till every {whatever} maker has died?

                      Reality can be brutal at times, you can’t mitigate that by pretending it isn’t just so long as you tax the right person. Working with the grain of reality means everyone has more wealth to mitigate the problems.

                      And there is no such a thing as a right to a job. The denial of this is the hidden premise of protectionism.

                      And finally: protectionism has always existed, but the current form is based on a transient period of history which hopefully will not return. The Industrial Revolution was a chrysalis, designed (to use the term loosely) to end. Where once the primary economic driver was to grow as large as possible and concentrate capital the new primary driver is to eliminate transaction costs.

                      May the Industrial Age Rest in Piece. Long Live the Coasian Age.

                    • Remember this is postulating a world …
                      I’m not interested in “postulating a world”. My concern is for average Americans in the world that currently has been foisted on us. You evidently don’t share that concern.

                      Consistency requires that you answer the question of …You seem to be fond of strawmen.

            • You’re going to have to define wealth in a way that doesn’t mean numbers in a bank account.

              Because yeah, Americans are WAY wealthier that say the early 1960s.

              EVERYTHING–housing, food, medical care, entertainment, automobiles are either WAY cheaper or WAY better.

              • You’re going to have to define wealth in a way that doesn’t mean numbers in a bank account.

                Is it a requirement of posting here that we answer arguments no-one has made?

                Because yeah, Americans are WAY wealthier that say the early 1960s.

                Please tell it to the millennials and Zyklons that they are way better off than us boomers who came along in the 1960s.

            • Wealth is not money. Wealth is not even Gold.

              Tell it to the Chinese. They seem to be doing pretty well for themselves sitting on a pile of treasury notes and gold.

              Really? What good does it do them? They’re sending us goods, and we’re sending them paper. Either they eventually spend that paper with us (or trade it to someone else who spends it with us) which will close the trade deficit, or they sit on it forever, in which case hooray. There are no other possibilities.

        • Michael…. you’re spot on.

          Money parked overseas in a foreign bank with a corporate tax rate applied if it is repatriated is for all intents and purposes useless. If, by some miracle or regulation that money came back to the US banking system, it could be used to lend to consumers / investors / companies for all sorts of purposes. In turn, it is assumed those parties would payback those funds with interest. Everybody profits; everybody wins.

          Parked overseas, those funds are still available – to foreign corporations, divisions of US companies and foreign consumers / governments for their own purposes. We inside the US lose out on those resources.

      • Foreign people/company/government uses dollars exported to buy American factories, farms, land, buildings… Is that trade? Since nothing has physically moved, do we count that as trade? Does that activity show up in the balance statistics?

        This is happening today, by the way. So those dollars aren’t remaining unspent. We did not get anything “for free” – we traded our future for it. If the Millennials ever fully grasp what the Boomers have been up to…

    • You are fighting against an argument that no one has made. The national crime rate includes a lot of ground that is not in the category “largest inner cities”.

        • The crime rates also down in the largest inner cities.

          Two data points: 1) In San Francisco, there is an epidemic of car break-ins. Many people no longer report them because the police do nothing. 2) Chicago had a scandal a few years back in which police were caught artificially lowering their homicide statistics. E.g., the body of a woman was found, tied to a chair, with marks of torture. But hey, they couldn’t be positive that it was a homicide, right? So it became a “noncriminal death investigation.”

        • >The crime rates also down in the largest inner cities.

          Crime rates are down overall, but there are large sections of Detroit that a white person best not enter unless he or she craves death. The continuing carnage in Chicago makes citing the national downward trend seem lilke a bad joke – 3,352 shootings this year with 632 outright homicides.

        • Overall crime rates are down everywhere since the 90’s but violent crimes are slightly up the past few years primarily because they’ve spiked in various large inner city areas.

          And in any case now or then, crime rates in inner city areas are enormously higher than outside of inner city areas.

  32. I didn’t have to change my party registration to vote against Trump in the primary. Without question he is a better President than Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.

  33. Eric, I mostly agree with you. Trump vs. Clinton was, quite simply, a gigantic failure of American democracy.

    The sole place I disagree with you is in making it about sexual harassment and The Left. To cure this, Google something like “FOX News sexual harassment” and note who did not get fired. You might also consider Bruce Sterling’s essay on The Centipede.

    That being said, I agree completely; America currently sucks. What to do about it is another matter, but both Democrats and Republicans currently suck. Democrats suck because they have sold out their base to Wall Street and tried to make the base happy by creating relatively cheap, splinter-group-appeasing social change, and done so in very divisive terms.* The Republican suck because they have sold out their base to Wall Street, cooperated with the Russians, and given in to their base’s ugliest urges.

    I favor the Democrats very slightly because my fellow-travelers are saner than the Republican base.

    The question is not “should we overthrow the current system” but “what should we replace it with?”

    * Why do we want to take away White privilege instead of giving Black people privilege equal to White privilege?

  34. I should note, as a general kind of reply, that I have an issue with the Rightwing types who see the Left as being generally anti-Liberty. I also have an issue with the Leftwing types who see the Right as being generally anti-Liberty.

    Both parties are anti-Liberty. Do you believe that drug laws are a good thing? Are you in favor of laws against prostitution? Do you believe that being Gay is a “choice” (which nobody should make?) Then you’re probably a Rightwing type who is against liberty.

    On the other hand, do you believe that regardless of circumstances we should always believe someone who accuses another person of rape? Do you believe that it is OK for Child Protective Services to investigate someone who allows their 10 and 6-year-old children to (horrified gasp!) walk home from the park without parental accompaniment? Do you think it is appropriate to sue a bakery which refused to bake a cake for a Gay wedding? They you’re probably a Leftwing type who is against liberty.

    IMHO, liberty should be maximized for everyone. Gay marriage and Gay wedding cake refusal should both be legal. Both rape and the idea that a University can evolve a rape case against someone where the “victim” insists that she was not raped should be illegal. Etc. If you only believe in the leftwing version of liberty, or only believe in the rightwing version of Liberty, you’re part of the problem.

  35. “Burn it all down.”

    That generally leads to a large fraction of the population dying, as history has shown time and again.

    Anyhow, the pervnado has little to do with ideology. We have Weinstein and Moore from the opposite ends of the political spectrum. You call Hillary an enabler, but Trump was a perpetrator, by his own words and a lot of witnesses.

    My conclusion is that you are a hypocrite. You call out liberals and turn a blind eye towards the GOP right wing. All to divert attention away from the simple fact that powerful men will abuse women when these women have no recourse because everyone will blame the victim. Especially the victim is a woman.

    If you want to do something against harassment and abuse, you have to listen to the victims. Sexual harassment and rape can be difficult crimes to investigate, but that is no reason to just look the other way. And in the cases now in the news, there are more than enough witnesses to build a solid case for or against each of them.

    • >My conclusion is that you are a hypocrite. You call out liberals and turn a blind eye towards the GOP right wing.

      I didn’t say a damn word about left or right.

      My ire was directed at the political/cultural overclass that claims an entitlement to rule over us and preach to us. Both its “left” and “right” wings deserve a burning, and the Trump voters I increasingly sympathize with are not less exercised about establishment Republicans than they are about Democrats.

      That the overclass is presently dominated by left-wing ideologues is true, and tends to color their hypocritical preachments in left-wing ways, but it is not their leftness that is relevant here. It is the combination of elite condescension and elite corruption. As you would understand if you were paying attention to what I actually wrote rather than projecting your prejudices all over it.

      • “Both its “left” and “right” wings deserve a burning, ”

        All your examples were “liberals”.

        • As a Trump voter, let me fill in three of those blanks for you:

          1) Boehner, McConnell and Ryan worrying more about their DC social status and approval by enemy organizations like the Carlos Slim Blog, than by what the constituents wanted–those constituents that got them control of Congress in the first place.

          2) Republicans going along with Big Business’ desire to pay low wages as a natural consequence of “free trade” agreements, rather than by rolling back regulations that raise the cost of domestic labor. Come on guys–no regulation is cost free; if it’s not important enough to offset the cost through tariffs, then it’s not important enough to impose on domestic workers.

          3) Bush’s decision to bail out Wall Street investment bankers. Guess he just couldn’t live with the idea that people he and his family have lived with for decades should be bankrupted due to their risky decisions.

    • I don’t think Eric is a hypocrite, but I do think he weighs rightwing news sources very differently than he weighs leftwing news sources and this throws off his thinking in very ugly ways, plus his obsessive worry about Communism colors his understanding of damn-near everything. But he’s definitely not a hypocrite.

      • “…plus his obsessive worry about Communism colors his understanding of damn-near everything.”

        Communism has a proven history of its lethality (notwithstanding that there are other lethal ideologies [i.e., islam for one more]), in which case there is no reason to limit the amount of worry that it deserves. You damn well better err on the side of excess, many dead people did not, and see where that got them.

  36. “Trump was a perpetrator, by his own words”

    No. His own words were that the women he was talking about *let* you do those things. “Let” implies consent. If there was consent, he was’t a “perpetrator” of any sort.

    As noted by others, the kind of women who voluntarily hang around with guys like Donald Trump do often *expect* to be “grabbed by the pussy”. That’s why they’re there, dude. Gold-digger is a thing that exists. Most of them see themselves as a future Mrs. Trump, or at least as someone who gets a lot of free trips to luxury resorts and expensive gifts.

    What, you think they’re hanging around a seventy year old guy because of his pleasant personality?

    • “No. His own words were that the women he was talking about *let* you do those things”

      He was talking about his personal experiences. Backed up by many witnesses and victims.

      • “He was talking about his personal experiences.”

        Yes.

        “And when you’re a star, they *let you do it*. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”

        What part of “let” do you not understand?

        • “What part of “let” do you not understand?”

          The part about women “letting” Harvey Weinstein et al. get away with his behavior.

  37. This is dumb even for you, Eric. I know you think that you’re real smart, but you’re actually an idiot and a laughingstock.

    • That kind of name-calling is inappropriate. I respect Eric very, very highly when he’s talking about software. I’m currently writing a beginning book on programming and if I ever finish, I will beg Eric to critique it for me, and even pay him if necessary. He is the first and only person I have considered in this capacity.

      On the other hand, when Eric talks about race, religion, or politics he demonstrates many lacks, which I will not record here, but… sigh.

      • >when Eric talks about race, religion, or politics he demonstrates many lacks

        It’s true. I lack any willingness to be taken in by either liberal or conservative bullshit on these topics. If that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.

  38. As supported by others, the sort of ladies who intentionally stick around with folks like Donald Trump do regularly *expect* to be “got by the pussy”. That is the reason they’re there, fella. Gold-digger is a thing that exists. The vast majority of them consider themselves to be a future Mrs. Trump, or if nothing else as somebody who gets a ton of free outings to extravagance resorts and costly blessings.

  39. “Trump was a perpetrator, by his own words”

    Nope, by his own words he could have simply been describing what he had observed that others had done. The English language is wonderfully open to diverse interpretations. Some are more valid than others. Today, it is more often than not, weaponized, everywhere for all reasons. Read with skepticism.

  40. 1. Donald Trump is literally and not hyperbolically a fascist.
    2. Donald Trump probably committed treason and if were living in a sane era would be on death row.
    3. Donald Trump is a white supremacist in the closet with a good sized window.
    4. Donald Trump is ultimately a man who stumbled upon a weird cheat code in United States sociology wherein if you make bold-faced lies and act as if they were true people will forgive you and go along with them.

    • Ladies and gentlemen, here we have the answer to the question: “What are four hyperbolic and shallow misunderstandings of Trump that add nothing to a discussion?”

    • >1. Donald Trump is literally and not hyperbolically a fascist.

      OK, you have now established that you know nothing about actual fascism. This degree of ignorance renders the rest of what you have to have to say of little interest.

      Fascists are state centralists who would never dream of loosening restrictions on civilian weapons.

      Fascists advocate government control of the commanding heights of the economy. They don’t sponsor plans to cut corporate taxes and regulation.

      Fascists build parallel power structures to the government through parties focused on their personal leadership, commonly with paramilitary wings. The hierarchy of what is nominally Trump’s party dislikes him and is trying to sabotage him.

      Fascists mythologize the history of their volk. About all Trump ever mythologizes is his gold-plated plumbing.

      There are plenty of things to criticize Trump for. Hyperbole and historical illiteracy doesn’t help your case.

    • “1. Donald Trump is literally and not hyperbolically a fascist. … etc.”

      Nah, Trump is a psychopath, a narcissistic one. Psychopaths do not do ideologies of any kind. Their only ideology is themselves. But you can be sure that in the end, a psychopath will betray everyone.

      • >Nah, Trump is a psychopath, a narcissistic one.

        Even that is too strong. I have a sister-in-law is an interior decorator in NYC; she’s been a contractor on some of Trump’s projects and dealt with him at length. She doesn’t like him at all, and by her report he is a classic narcissistic borderline personality…but no psychopath.

        • If you’re looking for wisdom and integrity in your elected officials, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.

          The Marxist Left has known and practiced this for years. (c.f. Kennedy(s), Johnson, Carter, Clinton(s), Obama, Pelosi, Schumer, Franken, Conyers, &c.)

          Why should they be surprised when we individual Liberty lovers elect someone with a YUGE ego and narcissistic borderline personality? That kind of person is perfectly suited to fight fire with fire, but this time on our behalf.

          Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America.

        • @esr
          “classic narcissistic borderline personality…but no psychopath”

          Could be, but he does seem to fit a lot of the psychopath profile. His relation with the concept of “truth” and “law”, or better, lack thereof, and his utter lack of any feelings of remorse. On the other hand, he does not seem to be violent, nor prone to substance abuse (as far as we know).

          But I know it is impossible to do a diagnosis from public appearances. I do not know what would be worse for the world, whether he is “just” a narcissist or a a psychopath.

    • Our host has already addressed your first point.

      > 2. Donald Trump probably committed treason and if were living in a sane era would be on death row.

      Umm, no. If you haven’t, go read Section 3 of Article 3 of the US Constitution. If you have, do so again. Article 3 Section 3 explicitly defines what shall constitute the crime of treason. And we are speaking here specifically of a class of crime, as alluded to in your comment about death row, not the more general usage of treason meaning, “a betrayal of trust”. Don’t conflate the two. Trump has neither levied war upon the US, nor given aid and comfort to her enemies.

      > 3. Donald Trump is a white supremacist in the closet with a good sized window.

      I’m not sure what you mean by, “with a good sized window”. The former half of that sentence seems to be the main point; let’s address that. By what metric is Trump a white supremacist? Is it because he’s been endorsed by avowed white supremacists like David Duke and the KKK? IMO, that’s not enough. Trump has disavowed the Duke and the KKK. Nor is any similarity between Trump’s stance on Mexico and the KKK’s. Have you ever heard the phrase “Politics makes strange bedfellows?” Different people whom would otherwise disagree on many other things can support the same thing for different reasons. Here’s an example, one that’s liable to get people pissed at me:

      Black separatist Malcolm X and white nationalist Richard Spencer would disagree on which race was superior, black or white, but both would agree on separating the two races into separate nations. Richard Spencer gets that much closer to his racially pure White ethno-state, and Malcolm X gets his separate country for Blacks where they will have justice and freedom from their rights being trammeled by Whites. By the standard of Trump being a white supremacist because David Duke and Richard Spencer agree with Trump’s policy positions, Malcolm X is also a white supremacist. Hopefully the second half of that sentence makes clear how much the standard described in the first half is bullshit. And said standard is the only standard thus far I’ve seen anyone using, implicitly or explicitly, to deem Trump a white supremacist. Please, show me a better one which doesn’t insult a person’s intelligence.

      > 4. Donald Trump is ultimately a man who stumbled upon a weird cheat code in United States sociology wherein if you make bold-faced lies and act as if they were true people will forgive you and go along with them.

      I will not disagree with you on, “if you make bold-faced lies and act as if they were true people will forgive you and go along with them,” with regard to US politicians. The Red/Blue tribalism in US politics is powerful in this regard. But this is hardly something new in US politics, nor the main cause for Trump’s election. As an example, let’s take Bill Clinton, who stated he “did not have sexual relations” with Monica Lewinsky. And for Clinton supporters, that was that, and the the whole thing was a vast right-wing conspiracy. But then it came out that Clinton actually did have an affair with Lewinsky. Some conspiracy.

      Only time will tell if the various allegations against Trump are true or not. But the vacuousness of some of the arguments being made, and the relative dearth of good ones makes me think time will vindicate Trump. FFS, if you want to argue against Trump, make some good arguments. Doing otherwise makes Trump’s supports look like the smarter ones who are closer to the truth.

    • > Donald Trump is ultimately a man who stumbled upon a weird cheat code in United States sociology wherein if you make bold-faced lies and act as if they were true people will forgive you and go along with them.

      And here we see an example of Clarke’s Corollary, “sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice”. To talk as though Trump were the first bold-faced liar is either the act of an amnesiac who remembers nothing about politics before Trump, or a partisan hack who suppresses the memory of everything about politics before Trump.

      Either way, Tomislav, get bent.

      • > an example of Clarke’s Corollary, “sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice”

        I like this – can I steal it?

        Sort of the other side of the coin from Hanlon’s Razor – “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

  41. I supported Trump for one reason.

    If he won (which looked very unlikely even up to the election), then Hillary Clinton would not be President.

    He has delivered on that.

    By the way, I had no idea that his election would expose such a vast and deep incidence of mental illness in the US, but I’m certainly grateful for that too.

    “TDS: until there’s a cure, at least we can laugh at its willing ‘victims'”.

    • I knew the mental illness was there, have known for a long time.

      But I am utterly shocked at the extent it’s been revealed, and how quickly it’s happened. Just that result alone is enough to be grateful for a Trump presidency. Everything else becomes gravy.

      • You have that just about right, mate. When I saw 538 call it when PA went for Trump, I walked into my bedroom and realized what I felt was intense relief that Hillary had lost. I didn’t really think it was possible. But the insanity since has convinced me that even a year later the left pretty uniformly does not get it, and that would be true of many on the right too. In the 40s Arnold Toynbee said that civilizations fall when the internal proletariat loses confidence in the dominant elite. I think it is very unclear how it will play out, but one thing seems pretty clear – the liberal world order in the West as we have know it since 1945 will never be the same. The dominant elites may try to put Humpty together again, but all the King’s horses and all the King’s men will not suffice.

  42. Just an FYI… The switch to threaded comments with the inherent indentation, makes it extremely difficult to participate in comments from a mobile device.

  43. If anyone here would like to try pervnado forecasting, I’d recommend the site http://www.crazydaysandnights.net, supposedly run by an entertainment lawyer (“Enty”) in Los Angeles. Since 2006 he’s been publishing hundreds of items a month, most of them blind but often later revealed, of Hollywood gossip. His readers were not at all surprised about Weinstein or Spacey, and apparently there’s a lot more where that came from. The comments are essential, because his readers are pretty good about guessing the blinds.

    Much of course is rather trivial (e.g. a reality TV star you’ve probably never heard of is cheating or using drugs), but some is even more depraved than you might expect (e.g. prostitution by big-name models and singers and actresses, incest, child prostitution, blackmail, and murder). And every now and than, some “kindness” a celebrity did without publicity. But overall, he seems to provide evidence for every “depraved Hollywood” charge you’ve ever heard, and make it clear that this is going to continue for a while.

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