Make America Hate Again

I’ve kept my mouth shut about President Trump since he was elected in early November.

I figured there were other things to focus on where I could have an impact and so I did that.

But friday’s executive orders are too much for me.

Trump is institutionalizing hatred, bigotry, and racism with these orders.

They have absolutely nothing to do with policy.

They were not even vetted by the relevant governmental organizations who will have to implement them.

Make no mistake about this. These orders are not policy. They are politics. They are the politics of hate.

And we must rise up as a country against them.

The ACLU has already succeeded in obtaining a stay of deportations of immigrants and refugees trapped in airports and I suspect and hope that they are just getting started.

So I’ve just become a member of the ACLU. I’ve never been tempted to join this organization before, but Trump pushed me there and I’m glad he did.

Every month, I will be donating a nice chunk of change to the ACLU so they can fight the institutionalized hatred, racism, and bigotry that this administration is foisting upon us.

I hope you will join me in taking this action. You can do so here.

And I’m done with keeping my mouth shut too.

Update: Brad, Amy, Joanne and I are doing at $20,000 ACLU match offer today and plan to do another one every month for all of 2017. You can read about the details of the match here.

Second Update: Our $20,000 ACLU match offer filled up in about an hour. So Patrick Collison picked it up and he’s doing a match offer now. You can tweet your ACLU receipt to Patrick here until he maxes out.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Chris O'Donnell

    I set up a monthly re-occurring donation to the ACLU immediately after Trump was elected.

  2. Ben Rometsch

    Your portfolio company, Disqus, powers the comments on the Breitbart website. There’s a start right there.

    1. fredwilson

      on it

      1. Ben Rometsch

        Thank you, Fred.

      2. Christopher

        Double thumbs up.

      3. Yezin Al-Qaysi

        Fred, drives around 23% of the 15.6% referral traffic that goes to With 70M+ visits per month, they can help stem the spread of hate and misinformation spewing from Bannon and Co.

        1. markslater

          this is the true danger behind the danger. this man is an unelected, unhinged christofacist and he’s the author of the order signed on friday.

          1. awaldstein

            right on. truly scary.

          2. Scott Avid

            3 months of increased vetting. Fuck. I’m horrified.

          3. b.macintosh

            No the true danger is that you either work for a soros funded non profit or you’ve been brainwashed by corporate lies. They simply want to take advantage of people they perceive to be meeker about wages and rights. They’re wrong about that of course, but they’re inherently racist. Aol owns Huffington Post, half the people on their board of directors are also on the board of CNN.Haven’t you questioned how it is that your “beliefs” are exactly the same as the multimillionaire corporate heads?

      4. jason wright

        So if Twitter continues to host Trump you will divest yourself of your Twitter stock?Have you thought this through?

        1. LE

          That’s a fascinating question and dilemma.I could argue either side of that issue.But let’s take it one step further. What is the difference between Fred divesting of his holdings in twitter and others deserting twitter for the same reason?

          1. jason wright

            by continuing to hold his stock Fred could be seen to be profiting financially from a service that hosts “hate”.others may be using Twitter to promote their values of ‘love’. Fred could continue to do the same, and to challenge Trump.It’s complicated. Oscar Schindler is an example.

          2. LE

            Financial benefit is not the only type of benefit.People benefit by using twitter and in fact by the network effect the more that do will allow twitter to be more valuable and actually is the reason that Trump is on twitter, right?We don’t benefit financially by commenting here at AVC but we do benefit (emotionally let’s say). The owner of the blog (Fred) also benefits because the more comments that appear the more relevant the blog appears to be (network effect?).The point is, if we comment on the blog of an objectionable person who we thought spread hate (as only one example) can we get away with commenting (morally) simply because we don’t benefit ‘financially’? So financial benefit is not the dividing line between what is right and what is wrong.

          3. jason wright

            I think Trump chose Twitter to evade the MSM’s undue influence over the outcome of elections. He would have been ‘neutralised’ in elections prior to Twitter’s existence. The Fourth Estate is in tatters.the credibility of a moral argument may suffer if there’s a perception that a contradiction is attached to the argument’s proponent. There are circumstances when it is better to allow others to voice the argument so as not to damage the power of its message.

          4. DataMatters

            Of course that is why he did it and continues to do it. There is no way for a message to reach the people through the media anymore. They have completely surrendered their credibility in the name of Karl Marx.

        2. Philippe Platon

          This is a completely different issue. Whilst Breitbart is a media actively promoting hate speech, Twitter is a loosely (if at all) moderated free-speech arena. Twitter is hosting Trum,p Trumpists and Trumpbots, but it is also a precious platform for resistance.

          1. Dave Pinsen

            Breitbart isn’t “actively promoting hate speech” any more than Trump is. That Fred and others here are willing to politicize Disqus is reason for President Trump to have the DOJ look into regulating and breaking up big tech monopolies.

          2. ShanaC

            read the comments. they call jewish people the k word and black people the n word there.

          3. PhilipSugar

            I’ll give you one of your questions back. It seems it would be very easy for disqus to delete and suspend and account that uses certain words?

          4. ShanaC

            so they will go underground linguistically and come up with code words instead of the k word and n word to talk about the same thing. using disqus. They’ll never stop battling it.We’ve actually seen this before as an example problem with the pro-anorexia community, and it is an ongoing nlp-type problem in how to get ahead of them. The only real difference is that if you catch the pro-anorexia changes and collections as they happen, you actually can save a life. These guys, you don’t get that option

          5. PhilipSugar

            I’ll grant you….sad.

          6. ShanaC

            there is a cure or 2, but you need massive amounts of people basically going after each commentator individually, making them feel loved and welcome in a community, and in that community have people who are different than them and include the people who they were using said words. Over time, it helps erode said beliefs and the love plus serious discussion around what is being said on places like brietbart and how not only is afactual but how it is hurtful plus realizing the love comes from real people that that person knows, tends to turn the person around.It is a serious uphill battle, and it doesn’t work with everyone, and it is NOT Disqus’s responsibility. It also is very hard on the people doing this sort of emotional labor for these people, because you are asking them to sacrifice themselves and give love to people who may hate them on a very fundamental level one by one.The other option, and why disqus leaving actually might be a good idea if they can band with other media companies, particuarly UGC based onesIf we basically changed what media they are exposed to, and also what comments and thoughts artificially in their network (make it seem like family and friends and the news media that said people share, the commentators they read on places like breitbart, etc) actually says only the opposing point of view, they’ll eventually switch from sheer exposure. It is basically the Goebbels’s* strategy. Again, doesn’t work on everyone (though it does work on a lot of people). It has to be personalized as well to their OCEAN characteristics (because what parts of messaging matters when you are exposing people to media in order to inoculate them to get a response). Faking/semi-faking this I could imagine could become bloody expensive quickly considering the amount of people we are talking about.But again, doable.*He was evil. He was also a master marketer and pr person.

          7. DataMatters

            You realize what you are saying suggests that there is only one “correct” way of thinking, yes? And you realize that you are also suggesting that people need to be reprogrammed away from ideas that you disagree with? Do you see no danger in that way of thinking? Is it not the same thing communists do?

          8. Adrian Bye

            Exactly. This is good vs evil. The left is good, the right is evil.

          9. Randy MacLeod

            There isn’t one correct way of thinking but there are limits to behaviour and speech in most if not all societies. I believe that the US doesn’t have any laws against hate speech, right? Canada and some EU countries do. Yes, there’s danger in limiting public discussions but there can also be a benefit. Where to draw the line is what we need to figure out.

          10. b.macintosh

            Wow. You actually own and control people’s thoughts. God must be jealous of you.

          11. Donna Brewington White

            I don’t think I will read the comments. Thanks for the heads up. Occasionally someone will send me a link and if I click (which I am not sure I have done yet) I will tread with care. (As you may have picked up on FB I have a wide range of acquaintances.)

          12. DataMatters

            So what? The only response to speech you don’t like is more speech.

          13. I_loathe_disqus

            Bull—-t. Comments are moderated at Breitbart (I had a comment put on hold because I used “s**t” spelled out in full, and racial slurs do not get through. If someone uses a “clever” misspelling to post a slur so it’s not caught, then that’s not Breitbart’s fault (no auto mod system is perfect), and it’s up to the users to report it.

          14. Joliphant

            Lady there aren’t words foul enough to describe would be thought police.

          15. b.macintosh

            Why would breitbart readers use those words? Who do you think writes breitbart???? You all live in a false reality, fed constant lies by the corporate liars.

          16. ShanaC

            do you think brietbart is a corporation? (curiosity, indulge me)

          17. b.macintosh

            Breitbart is a collection of people, jews and muslims and blacks and whites. It’s complete insanity to accuse them of being racist against themselves. Andrew Breitbart’s very name should have been the immediate tip off. But then intelligence has no place in the progressive tool bix.

          18. ShanaC

            So brietbart is a collection of people.Next set of questions: does said collection of people have a bank account in order to take in advertising money? Or to pay people as individuals in their collection of people? Do they report on this activity to the IRS? Or to take out loans to expand to Great Britain? Are the people who are part of this collection who are exposed to the risk shielded in a specific format as defined by the local state they operate in, as well as by the federal government? do they enter contracts with other individuals and companies?Next set of questions: Does the church you go to (or the church someone you know goes to, since you may not go to a church) also include a set of people. do they have a bank account. Do they fundraise and put money in that bank account, and then report to the irs that they fund raised and that the money is in said bank account Could they take out money as a loan to fund their church related operating expenses, and then raise money to pay that loan back? Do they pay the pastor?The answer to all of these questions is YES. The reason the answer is yes is because both a church and Brietbart are corporations. They are different types of Corporations (Breitbart is a Limited Liability Corporation, they mention it in their terms of service… ; most churches in the US are usually 501(c)(3) corporations, a type of private nonprofit). They do different activities as corporations. They have different charters and rules based on what kind of coproation they are and thier goals. And I’m fine with that.So when you are complaining about corporate manipulation and the media, that ALSO is true of Breitbart. Since they are ALSO a corporation, and open to that manipulation.In fact, they are even MORE open to it because of the type of business model they run. Traditionally, most media companies run a “chinese wall” between the business side and the the news side, with VERY few people who are allowed to cross that wall (i’ve worked in one of the few departments, audience development, that doing data analysis in an organization that only did local news.)On the news side, there are usually a team of fact checkers , ect, who are in charge with making sure reports are true and furthermore, not overly partisan and evenhanded (when it comes to national coverage in national media). In my book, they are annoying, because, frankly, partisan headlines full of half truths tend to get clicks and get read. Similarly, that kind of writing tends to get shared. (I’ve done analyses on this kind of article). If you make money off of ad revenue and ad revenue alone the way Brietbart does, being as partisan and as loose with the truth as you can get away with for partisan reasons will make you money.On the other hand, this now makes me appreciate being told ,that despite all the data analysis I’ve done, that I can’t recommend copying many of brietbart’s tactic (not all. Some are fine. Like what they do with periscope) Truth is a nice, yet expensive thing to have, especially in a world where many of us are forgetting what a corporation is.

          19. b.macintosh

            Why on earth you would choose to work from the position that I think all corporations are bad is not puzzling. It’s simple, easy and lazy thinking on your part. Throwing as little as you have into that wall of text doesn’t disguise that factor. The people who make up Breitbart are of every persuasion. Demonizing them as racists is preposterous. Incorporating them into the higher echelons of the corporate mafia that has been manipulating Washington, wars, and refugee crises to influence currency valuations is tripe.

          20. ShanaC

            EasyWhy would breitbart readers use those words? Who do you think writes breitbart???? You all live in a false reality, fed constant lies by the corporate liars.That is your comment, quoted in full, linked back.You’ve set up the conditions where:1) Brietbart is part of the corporate liars because it is a media company and a type of corporation.2) Brietbart and Mainstream Media are not liars, because they are full of people (again, your conception, based on the comment I am replying to right now, not mine)3) There is some other conception by which we should trust a media outlet, which you have not stated.If you are going to choose 3 – what is your basis for choosing 3. How does Brietbart fit into your conception, how does Mainstream Media not? Be really clear and intellectually consistent for your own sake. You deserve hearing the truth. So you might as well outline for yourself the strict criteria why you trust media outlet a over media outlet b.

          21. b.macintosh

            WTH do you mean “for my own sake”?? You’re a perfect example of the Dunning Kreuger effect. Pontificating, pretentious, didactic and the bearer of a very long internal stick. Phony intellectualism is nauseating, it is inauthentic and sadly laughable. Soros “crew” member, paid to post perhaps, and you’re just trying to earn another nickel? Forget you.

          22. Sam

            Breitbart and Trump are actively creating the conditions that enable hate speech to rise to the surface and flourish. That they control enforcement of our laws through the executive branch only emboldens racists who have checked themselves in the past. Do you really not see that?

          23. Irma Grese

            Thank you!

          24. JamesHRH

            But the left have the correct beliefs, so its OK.

          25. b.macintosh

            They disagree with you and that’s a sin apparently. You are dangerous.

          26. jason wright

            Twitter wants the gain but not the pain.Ditto Facebook.

        3. ShanaC

          it also hosts the people against trump. problem there

          1. jason wright

            Against… in response to Trump’s tweets. Twitter gave him a platform.Journalists had no legal obligation to attend his campaign events or report his speeches.Nothing is truly neutral. Everything has a subjectivity.

        4. fredwilson

          of course not. and yes i have thought this through

          1. jason wright

            Without Trump on Twitter its stock price would be lower. Perhaps you should divest the marginal gain and hand it to the ACLU et al.

          2. Gregory Magarshak

            I have a lot of thoughts regarding Trump’s bootleg authoritarian style of governance. The problem is with the way the man goes about everything. Suffice it to say that we need to fight for American values. Donating to the ACLU is excellent because they can do something. The Judicial branch is the best defense against the Executive.Having said that, I want to caution about navel gazing. Making sure Disqus doesn’t power Breitbart comments doesn’t make the problem go away. It simply signals that your hosted software won’t be used for it. Banning the Craigslist hookers section didn’t reduce human trafficking. It drove it underground.Ironically, Disqus actually has more power to do something positive if they continue powering Breitbart comments, than if Breitbart switches eg to an open source system. For example they can attract more Liberals and Libertarians to it.More generally, all this is a symptom of a problem we let get out of hand for too long. Our *technological platforms* have a *social* responsibility. They should have been built from day 1 to help dissipate echo chambers before they get entrenched. They should lower the cost of dissent. Instead, facebook etc. get rich by doing the opposite.Instead of having Disqus cut off Breitbart I’d recommend asking them to build in features to bring together people from disparate political domains to comment on each other’s threads. Make a newsfeed that isn’t an echo chamber. Make it attractive. I believe that is a far better *systematic* solution, tha a *reactionary* one. Look where reactionary things have gotten us.

      5. Frank W. Miller

        Wow. So you’re going to go force your portfolio company to drop a user of their product based on your politcal beliefs?I’m the mgmt at Disqus. I get a call from one of my investors directing me to do something with one of my customers. Boy, that VC money is just getting more and more expensive as the days go by…

        1. fredwilson

          frank, i did not say i was going to force anyone to do anything. for one, i can’t do that. we are minority investors. second, i wouldn’t.”on it” means i am going to talk to them about it.

          1. pointsnfigures

            Measuring my words carefully here so I am not accused of being a racist. I am pro-immigration (and know our current system of immigration is terribly broken). I am also for strong borders. There are social costs to immigration along with social benefits. I know that in the Middle East, there are terrorists. I don’t want them here. If I can statistically figure out who they are before they come, shouldn’t I? If I cannot statistically figure it out-then how many deaths am I willing to accept because they most assuredly will happen (and already have). Ben Franklin famously said that when you have a free society you have to accept the costs of having that society without fear.If you are outraged about a 120 day review of immigration policies wait until we have a debate about school choice and vouchers. Wait until the federal bureaucracy is dismantled.There are certainly things that are unsettling to me about Trump, but there are many things where I think he was better than the alternative. Republicans I talk to say they have gotten sand kicked in their face for the last 8 years-and they are sick of it. We have made the executive powers of the Presidency so strong and I disagree with that no matter who is there. Obama’s leaning on private industry was just as bad as Trump’s cozying up with it. Both leave me unsettled.A lot of people I know have become unhinged. I saw many Republicans become unhinged too-and I have been there some times myself.The comment from Ben about Breitbart and Disqus is disturbing to me. As a Conservative in a blue bubble, I have to mind my Ps and Q’s. It is getting tougher and tougher to be “out of the closet”. I am seeing more and more censorship all over the place. Should we have “Conservative Disqus”? LIberal only YouTube? Conservative Facebook? Liberal Twitter? Is there a test to make sure my political beliefs align? I am not on board with that. I have been actively discriminated against simply for being Republican. I don’t like it, but there is really nothing I can do about it.I have seen people say, “I want to be more informed”-so they subscribe to the NYT, WaPo, and watch CNN and it drives them even deeper in their bubble. One advantage for me on Fred’s blog is I know I am a minority. There are ways to respectfully disagree and there are ways to find compromise, but on some issues there isn’t a compromise. I think it would have been smarter for Trump to try and find one here-but politics today isn’t about doing what’s best for people it’s about winning, or losing.I read a link that a liberal Democrat tweeted today, and read one that a conservative law prof from Cornell tweeted. I can find a few inconsistencies that I perceive in both. But, I don’t think it’s time for Democrats to go to the mattresses. But, they are already there.

          2. PhilipSugar

            I don’t think it is a political issue. I agree with you there has been way too much executive power. I’ll say it started with the first Iraq War, continued to the Patriot Act, so I’ll lay the blame at the Bush’s. But that did not get anybody to curb it or not use it. And then the ass kicking boot goes on the other foot, and people get un-hinged.

          3. awaldstein

            Describe what ‘unhinged’ means if you care to.I’m not getting this.I see crazy shit that I don’t participate in as I believe in focused goals.But i saw thousands in the park outside my building this weekend and to me this is exactly what people should do.

          4. PhilipSugar

            Unhinged means hosing me up at the airport. Means throwing rocks at the police.

          5. awaldstein

            agree with that and not me.

          6. PhilipSugar

            I agree.

          7. Donna Brewington White

            Reminds me of a book I just ordered from Amazon at Mark Suster’s recommendation on Twitter. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion…

          8. Donna Brewington White

            Thanks, Girish. Appreciate this , as the book has been staring at me for a few days now and I have not had time to read it.

          9. lauraglu

            The chance of an American being killed in a terrorist attack committed by a refugee was 1 in 3.64 billion a year. The annual chance of being murdered by somebody other than a foreign-born terrorist was 252.9 times greater than the chance of dying in a terrorist attack committed by a foreign-born terrorist.

          10. Donna Brewington White

            I think we are in the era of a type of warfare that is rapidly changing and for which we do not have much precedent. I hope these odds from CATO remain static or lessen, but I am not convinced that they will. Well, without intervention.

          11. DataMatters

            Don’t be so over the top–it’s not even about warfare. The US has 93 million unemployed people. $20 trillion in debt. It seems like we should be trying to fix some of our problems before welcoming more needy people into the mix.

          12. Donna Brewington White

            My understanding is the the EO was about national security.

          13. PhilipSugar

            Why quote wrong?? Here is the quote: “the chance of an American perishing in a terrorist attack on U.S. soil that was committed by a foreigner over the 41-year period studied here is 1 in 3.6 million per year. “This actually goes way up over the last twenty years. (Like 1 in million)That is from your article.Still really really infinitesimal. But this is as bad as Breietbart.

          14. pointsnfigures

            I agree with Cato and love their research. We can throw facts around like crazy. It’s safer to fly in a plane than it is to drive-but when something happens it’s often fatal. One thing I haven’t seen anyone say is that we are at war with the radicals. It’s a very different kind of way of fighting. One we never have had to deal with. I don’t think we were letting Nazi’s freely immigrate here between 1939-1945. But, we let some (but unfortunately not enough) refugees come here. Shouldn’t we have a good handle on who is a potential enemy and who is truly a refugee?Here is another way to look at it. It might be smarter and more efficient for the US to pay a country like Jordan to take refugees in. Suppose we totaled up the cost of bringing in X amount of refugees from Syria, Libya and other broken Middle East states-and paid that amount to a country like Jordan where they are naturally settling? A Coase bargain might work better.Instead of thinking outside the box we are thinking black and white.

          15. ShanaC

            If Jordan wants to take them in with us support, or Iceland, or Japan, I’m perfectly fine by that.None of that explains this flow chart…There are 10 different background or interview security checks.6 steps actually are just copies. Why is that? (Alongside fingerprinting 3 times).And now we added another ban of time, where in 120 days, TBD we might get a repeat executive order. Meanwhile the really long process above seems hyper-repetitive for little to no reason. I’m actually concerned that beyond that our refugee process is killing people, we’ve also turned it into a make-work process for unnecessary government employees.Like why is trump even talking about extreme vetting and not smart, cost concious vetting if we could do the same thing, get the same level of knowledge out of people we want to resettlement, and not repeat steps unless there is a really good reason

          16. pointsnfigures

            Yesterday, 350k entered the US. 190 were detained. That’s .0005%. I don’t know what the process is currently. My guess is in 120 days, we will know it’s sufficient, or it will change. For what it’s worth I think the executive order was handled poorly (not vetted inside the govt to get support) and was written poorly-more like a business than legal document. Empathize with the make-work thing. Homeland Security and lots of government entities seem to have a lot of make work attached to them.

          17. ShanaC

            We’ve known we’ve overdone it for a while from a policy standpoint. That article is from 2015. It was written at a time when house Republicans wanted to make that process even more “strict” after the Paris bombing ( Senate Democrats blocked them), which is how it even became a “trump idea” in the first place. However, to be blunt, in parts of this country it is ok to be anti-muslim, even if you’ve never met someone Muslim. We do it as an appeasement to those people. We’ve made people who translated for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan go through this process. Those people are vetted in order to WORK with our troops and then we re-vetted them, because, politics of trying to explain that this guy who’s never been to America is a patriot to someone scared and whipped up by Father Coughlin like talking post 9/11 is futile.People are in the streets because father Coughlin was bad enough for America in the 1930s. We don’t need a guy who paraphrased him running the country. That’s just attacking the soul of the Constitution.( in case you are wondering how I know it is ok to be anti-muslim in parts of this country: you’d be shocked what I heard at home at times, and the only other people I know who grew up post 9/11 and/or heard in thier media were evangelical Christians from the middle of the country, who grew up in ways sociologically very similar. All of these people come from voting households who occasionally write to thier Congress people. Having a long process that wastes money heads them off usually. This election changed that calculus)

          18. pointsnfigures

  … Here is the WSJ take on it-and I agree with it. Trump made several unforced errors. Here is the salient points if you are not a subscriber:The airwaves were suddenly full of stories of scientists, business travelers and even approved visa holders detained at the airport and denied entry to the U.S. Tech companies immediately recalled employees for fear that they may not be able to return.Even some green-card holders—who have permanent legal residence in the U.S.—were swept up in the border confusion. The White House scrambled Sunday to say green-card holders are exempt from the order, but that should have been made clear from the start.The White House legal review was also slipshod. The President has wide discretion over refugee policies, and the overall Trump order is no doubt legal. But surely someone in the executive branch knew that anyone who touches down on U.S. soil is entitled to some due process before summary removal.Opponents of the policy pounced to sue in several jurisdictions, and no fewer than four judges have rebuked the order in some way. One government lawyer who had to defend the White House position couldn’t explain why those detained were a security threat or why they weren’t at risk if they were sent back to their native countries.The larger problem with the order is its breadth. Contrary to much bad media coverage, the order is not a “Muslim ban.” But by suspending all entries from seven Muslim-majority nations, it lets the jihadists portray the order as applying to all Muslims even though it does not. The smarter play would have been simply to order more diligent screening without a blanket ban.The order does say the government should “prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion” in that country.That could apply to Christians, whom the Obama Administration neglected in its refugee admissions despite their persecution in much of the Middle East. But it could also apply to minority Sunni Muslims in Iraq who have fought with the U.S. Yet that wasn’t explained, and in an interview with a Christian broadcast network Mr. Trump stressed a preference for Christian refugees.The order also fails to make explicit exceptions for Iraqis, Afghans and others who have fought side by side with Americans. These include translators and others who helped save American lives and whose own lives may now be at risk for assisting GIs. The U.S. will fight wars in foreign lands in the future, and we will need local allies who will be watching how we treat Iraqis, Kurds and other battle comrades now.The U.S. is in a long war with jihadists that is as much ideological as military. The U.S. needs Muslim allies, while the jihadists want to portray America as the enemy of all Muslims. Overly broad orders send the wrong signal to millions of Muslims who aren’t jihadists but who might be vulnerable to recruitment if they conclude the U.S. is at war with Islam, rather than with Islamist radicals.The reaction to the refugee order is also a warning that controversial policy changes can’t merely be dropped on the public like a stun grenade. They need their own extreme internal vetting to make sure everyone knows what’s going on. They need to be sold and explained to the public—again and again.Mr. Trump is right that the government needs shaking up, but the danger of moving too fast without careful preparation and competent execution is that he is building up formidable political forces in opposition. The danger isn’t so much that any single change could be swept away by bipartisan opposition, but that he will alienate the friends and allies at home and abroad he needs to succeed. Political disruption has its uses but not if it consumes your Presidency in the process.So, yes Trump fumbled badly in the execution. He should redo it, now.

          19. JamesHRH

            Well done.

          20. Donna Brewington White

            I’d feel better if you were one of his advisors.

          21. pointsnfigures

            If the Democrats would quit stalling on confirmation hearings, one of my buddies will be an advisor.

          22. ShanaC

            So why isn’t Saudi Arabia on that list. If this was really about Jihad, we’d go to the source, consequences be damned.9 of the 11 hijackers of 9/11 were Saudis. Saudi Arabia is the intellectual home of wahabihism, which is what fuels jihadi’s religious politics. Hell, they have minority support from within the House of Saud itself – which should surprise no one since the Bin Laden family is among the closest confidants of the House of Saud.The only thing that has really changed this paradigm is ironically Saudi arabia becoming scared of what it did in recent years. Good. They should be. Either they start ejecting from their midsts what started this mess or we should stop talking to them. AKA they should be on that list. So why are they not there?

          23. Stephen Howard-Sarin

            If the EO was just for a 30-day review of visa-screening practices, no one would be in the streets. The offensive and immoral part of the Order is the presumption of guilt, the blanket harm done to lawful visitors, residents and friends. It’s disingenuous to suggest that this Order is about improving the process.

          24. JamesHRH

            the extra 90 days is that offensive?

          25. Stephen Howard-Sarin

            As policy “Ready. Fire. Aim.” seems like a bad approach. And on a personal note, I have an Iranian friend whose mother now fears she will lose her home in Tehran because she cannot visit the country of her birth to sell the unoccupied house. (It works that way in some places.)

          26. JamesHRH

            I agree that this is a bit of political theatre. I disagree that it is disingenuous to say it is about improving the process. It is. It may not work, but it is.

          27. JamesHRH

            Anecdotes are not a good basis for foreign policy. Sorry about your friend, but it’s true.

          28. ShanaC

            Based on comments by Rudy Guiliani and other leaks from the administration, I’d believe that this is a ban, that he is going to renew the executive order as a way of getting what he wants.While it might be 190 people we’ve detained right now who had visas who were in transit, it isn’t the 190 that are really concerning – it is the people in the process of applying, or even that we should just encourage to apply to save their necks, that aren’t. We’ve just cut those people off by the knees, abandoned one of the true fundamental American values that exist, and gave a GREAT pr moment for ISIS in the process because of what? We gain literally nothing from this.

          29. BillPosters

            Irrelevant. It’s not about the odds of being “murdered by a terrorist vs somebody else”, because when a terrorist goes postal, he/she kills a lot of people and the impact on the community is greater than isolated murders from robberies gone wrong etc. Mass murder is horrific to the point of communities standing up and saying “no, we do not want this”. Mass murder on religious grounds, from people affiliated with foreign groups and ideologies, is something your country does not need on top of an already alarming problem with mass shootings. The last thing you need is Islamic terror on top of your domestic issues.I find it bizarre that so many of you are so opposed to action being taken against terrorism. “Doing nothing” doesn’t work. Millions voted for Trump because they want something done. It’s time to make tough calls. That’s what you’ll get from Trump. Also, his policies gives you a chance to come out of the woodwork and do something for what you believe in, so maybe his elected position is a blessing in disguise. It motivated the author of this article to open his mouth which was previously shut, so there you go. Look at all the viral good will echoing around. A tough president is bringing out the best in you, and rallying all that latte-fueled activism in support of Muslims. Personally I believe the environment to be a greater cause to fight for than displaced peoples seeking a piece of the American dream, but that’s just my opinion. Good luck.

          30. DataMatters

            Sure, but to me the issue is more along the lines of “killed by a drunk driving illegal immigrant.” That’s a story that happens dozens of times a week all over America. It’s the micro-level crimes that are taking away our quality of life, not the big terror attacks.

          31. ShanaC

            For the record I am very thankful to have you here. I think you are a great person who puts his money where his mouth is about many liberal values like funding diversity and then, ironically, doesn’t talk about it. You’ve shown me personally nothing but kindness, and you;ve shown many people who I know factually you disagree with politically nothing but kindness.These fears are legitimate. I don’t there should be a political belief test.I do sometimes think we should have a are we talking about problems and policy and are we minding our ps and qs test. And I think thats the problem. I think people confuse politics, policy, facts, and who we are as people sometimes, and this leads to people thinking the other person is evil and/or wronghead and/or stupid. I know factually you’re not evil, wrongheaded, or stupid. You have a different worldview than me. (and not even all the time) That’s it.We’ve gotten too far from talking about facts, from talking about how to be polite, from talking about what we have in common. Now we want to just kill each other verbally. I wish we could go back and start yelling at each other about how to talk to fix the problem or something.

          32. JamesHRH

            Difference is conservatives say ‘that is stupid but I will defend your right to be a moron.’ while liberals say ‘your beliefs offend me and you should not think those things.’Why do Conservatives never hold marches? That’s why.

          33. ShanaC

            conservatives hold marches. Marches as a tactic are not a liberal nor conservative thing. Right to life groups had one less than a week after the women’s march.As for a claim that conservatives are more likely to believe ‘that is stupid but I will defend your right to be a moron.’ , I’d note that the ACLU, which is considered an overall liberal organization, defends the rights of conservatives to be morons on a regular basis as part of their mission to defend the 1st amendment. They probably should hype that fact up among conservative groups, but they don’t. Odd, I know.

          34. JamesHRH

            Richard Florida – ‘Creative Class’ social economic theorist, Dean of Rotman bizSchool @ UofToronto – tweeted why he doesn’t want to work w Dems: ‘All they want to do is emote.’2 states have Dem Gov & House ( OR & CA ). 1089 elected Democrats have lost elections since 2009.The Clintons took over & ran the Democratic Party like a banana republic dictator. It will take a generation to fix. Marches won’t fix it.

          35. Salt Shaker

            Curious how many people understand the depth of the vetting process that is currently in place. I think there’s a huge disconnect between perception and reality. There is absolutely no data to suggest the current system isn’t working. Yes, like anything else, there’s always room for improvement but at what expense (and I’m hardly speaking in economic terms)? Removing civil liberties comes w/ a price too. It’s a big one as it’s at the cornerstone of our country’s system of beliefs and values.

          36. ShanaC

            I agree with you more than you agree with yourself.I actually also agree with @pointsnfigures:disqus , but not for the reasons he thinks. I was talking with a friend of mine tonight, former military from Iraq and Afghanistan, about the muslim ban. There was a specific set of people he was angry about: namely Iraqi and Afghani translators who worked with the US, are still be targeted as collaborators even after all this time, and who we never set up enough visas for and who we insisted still needed to wait even more and go through essentially what was already “extreme vetting” under the previous administration, despite having put their lives on the line, in some cases in battles for our troops.I think these people need green cards with a special status that allows them to become citizens very quickly if that is what they want. They deserve it.____And therein lays the problem. We’re spending upwards of 6 months vetting people who helped our troops while they are being targeted for having helped our troops even previously to the immigration ban. We do similar things to families fleeing Assad who are basically “boring” people like accountants who eat kibbeh. We do it for iranians who research cancer for us! We don’t do it to a guy from England, even if the guy from England is muslim, despite the fact that the muslim guy from england is statistically more likely to blow us up. Even odder, the group most likely to complete a terrorist attack on american soil is white, native born, and identify as christian. He’s most likely to do it with a gun. And still that’s relatively low probability.In a reasonable, policy oriented world, I could totally have a conversation about respecting second amendment rights, what that means, what that doesn’t mean from a bunch of different policy standpoints (liberal, conservative, libertarian, communist, whathaveyou), and have a serious conversation about what above means in terms of facts in relationship to said policy standpoints.Instead we can’t do that for some reason. why is that?

          37. JamesHRH

            I am offended that you would lead a comment with that phrase.That’s a really shitty thing to do.

          38. ShanaC


          39. JamesHRH

            Because its the catchphrase of a patron who no longer comes here.

          40. ShanaC

            he’s welcome back any time under previously stated conditions, and he knows it.There is no actual block as far as I know (and I could check), just a lot of angry people

          41. JamesHRH

            He was singled out and publicly shamed. There wasn’t any debate or discussion about his behaviour. It was authorized, kicked off by and encouraged by the person in power.That’s ‘state sponsored’ mob behaviour.Any team leader knows that you criticize privately and praise publicly. If Fred was pissed, he should have reached out directly, not through a post. It was public, it was poor form of the highest order and its a small black mark on Fred’s online reputation.There is no way anyone worth his salt would come back. He’ll never darken the door of this salon, which was better for his attendence. It’s sure pretty boring now.So, its poor form to use any of the phrases that he brought to the discourse here.

          42. Alex Murphy

            We all learn from each other, including compelling and good phrases. I agree with you more than you agree with you is such a great phrase, maybe the best phrase, it is the greatest. Words and phrases are not owned and are intended to be shared.

          43. JamesHRH

            I never knew that. Thanks for the information. Maybe you would like to google the word Trademark.Using the catchphrase is totally your choice. I doubt the person who coined it cares at all. It’s not like he’s a participant here or ever will be.Using it given the circumstances is a shitty thing to do – that should be obvious. I am shocked Shana would – do not know you, so….Respect is both earned and given. Anyone using that phrase here, loses my respect.

          44. pointsnfigures

            I agree with you 100%

          45. frahs

            There’s a difference between Republican and Alt-right. Every community should take an active stand against many opinions held by the alt-right community — things like racism and sexismThe fact that you’re not acknowledging the huge difference between republican and alt-right is concerning. I think if you look at this with common sense, it’s pretty obvious what the intention is here.Here’s a statement by a “republican” about the muslim ban. Hopefully that’s a source you trust more (frankly, it’s the best comment on this I’ve seen so far):http://www.mccain.senate.go

          46. Donna Brewington White

            Yes, well done. Thank you for sharing.Although you don’t have to be alt-right to be racist or sexist. You can even be liberal. But I understand what you are saying about it being part of the tenets of a community.

          47. awaldstein

            You are a friend but need to say.A company deciding not to supply products to a bigoted hate mongering news site is not censorship, it is a choice. And rightfully so.I wouldn’t and I don’t do business with people or companies I consider morally corrupt. My right and nothing to do with censorship.I am amongst the unhinged then in your opinion?

          48. pointsnfigures

            Let’s flip this. I was certainly a bit unhinged at a lot of the things Obama did. It took me a long time. I had prior experience with Obama and Bill Ayers-and knew he totally lied about that relationship.I didn’t agree with Obama’s world view but I don’t think he is a racist Nazi comparable to Hitler. I also didn’t march in the street at the drop of a hat. I supported candidates and spoke out for causes. Republicans won the Senate, House, most governorships and state legislatures. Trump was my least favorite of every Republican candidate but he won.When I see the women’s march, when I see protest marches, it seems only anger that they lost. They lost an election. It happens. The world isn’t going to end. The US will survive Trump just like it survived Obama.Democrats I know consistently say that people just don’t get it. I give people a lot of credit for being smart. I think they do get it and most of the Democratic platform has been rejected nationwide.If someone uses Hitler as your filter on every single candidate who is in the opposition, it eventually becomes useless. I have heard, Reagan, Bush 1, Bush 2, Romney, McCain and other Republicans compared to Hitler all the time. (Seen Obama compared too). I don’t think we have seen anything truly scary out of Trump yet-although I have seen a lot of speculation that can be scary.I also have a fair amount of friends that are stridently knee jerk hard left wingers. They are truly unhinged. If Trump made minimum wage $20/hr via executive order they’d find something wrong with it. They will spend 4-8 years wanting to kill themselves.You have to pick the battles that you want to fight. For example, the stimulus package in 2009 was worth fighting against. It was worthless.Trump has only been in office for 10 days. My Twitter and Facebook has exploded in outrage. Certainly I understand people being ticked off. Their candidates didn’t win. But, their happiness isn’t determined by who’s in office. If your life and happiness only revolves around who is in office, you have issues.If you only do business with people that are in your party, it’s going to cost you money. Gary Becker showed that discrimination costs you (His research was on the Jim Crow South). I am seeing a lot of discrimination from the left. A lot. Could be it’s because of where I live.

          49. awaldstein

            We live in completely different worlds.There is no anger over not winning. There is anger and fear and collective community over fighting the injustice of hate.From my side you are simply not listening. At least not well enough.Done with this and going to donate to causes that push to bring down the hate monger, and get some work done and go to the gym.

          50. ShanaC

            The idea that you both live in different world’s worries me. If that sounds true, the republic might actually fall, because we will divided enough to allow it.

          51. awaldstein

            Jeff is my friend. A smart guy morally and ethically a better person than I.He sees everything that is going on as anger against loosing. That is not the reality in any way. That is gone.This is mobilization to protect and change and move forward.Two very different points of view.I have no answers for how to bridge this but those are dramatically different views of one world.

          52. Philip M Shearer

            Be certain that the republic will fall if these fascists stay in power, because fascists are not into republics.What more evidence of 1930s era fascism do you need than what’s already on the table?I’m a recent immigrant, and i think Americans don’t understand fascism – they don’t understand the process of the fascist coming to power, what that feels like.By the time the population understands that it IS fascism that’s upon us, it will be way too late.It always is.

          53. ShanaC

            i’m not someone you need to convince

          54. Philip M Shearer

            Hello Shana,I was trying to convey that the republic falling is not an “if” it’s a “when”.Unless the GOP moves on impeachment immediately, which is unlikely because the Republicans (and a bunch of Democrats!) are either:1- scared of potentially violent retaliation from Trump, Bannon and Co.2- thinking that after all, this lawless totalitarian thing is pretty cool in comparison with having to answer to the Constitution, the People, etc.It all came much faster than i expected.It’s clearly the result of the education system, which is a 20-year fix assuming we start now – well, a lot more than 20 if these fascists stay in power!

          55. pointsnfigures

            How can I listen better? I see fear, but I don’t see hate.

          56. awaldstein

            Do you really believe that the millions of women all over the world from Antartica to Charlotte were marching cause they are angry they lost?That the thousands outside my building yesterday are protesting because they are sour grapes?I’m second generation NY Jewish immigrant.I’m pissed off and focused on the hateful, dangerous stupidity and working to stop it.That is what the tone is and the meaning of it.

          57. JamesHRH

            Delineate the dangerous stupidity and hate. When people do, it falls apart.Women marched because they hate Trump because they believe he’s a pig…..too many “Pussy Bites Back” signs for it to be about right and community.

          58. ShanaC

            what if it is true, he actually IS a pig with a short temper. Then what? Are they wrong to worry?

          59. JamesHRH

            His business exploits show that he is not, that his ‘outbursts’ are based on negotiating principles or self interest. Take the ‘extemporaneous Schwarzenegger insult’ from today. If you are talking Apprentice, he is winning. Extemporaneous, yes, random outburst, no fucking way. People hate to admit it, but he operates on on a higher level than any fascist general who executes a crude coup d’etat.

          60. Alex Murphy

            There are many examples in business where he displayed a quick decision based on his own ego. From his water line Trump Water to his education brand, Trump University. Act, then think. And the Act was always tied to ego. Whatever will put Trump up front, and in the spotlight. He is an attention seeking sociopath.And in business, that is just fine. It often is the “edge” that drives success.But, in politics, and leading the entirety of the nation, it does not.The words on the Statue of Liberty are about the best of America. To be the beacon of light around the world. Trump is turning the light off, and this is a path toward very very dark days, not just for the US, for the entire world.

          61. DataMatters

            But what you don’t realize is that you are being used as a pawn to promote a collectivist agenda. Read some history–read about Hungary, Czechoslovakia, the Baltics! Stop identifying with communists!

          62. Philip M Shearer

            Venture capital is the very essence of capitalism. So i’m not certain how many communists read Fred Wilson. But regardless;You have to go back further than the 20th century.Go back to the 19th century: Karl Marx and Adam Smith.1- Marx: Americans think of Marx as just a Communist; but he was the one to DEFINE capitalism in “Das Kapital”, and argue that capitalism eventually devolves into communism specifically *because* the people who run capitalism eventually push the exploitation of labor TOO FAR – the wealthy owners simply can’t help themselves. Marx didn’t agree with Lenin that there should be a “revolution” to go straight into communism; he told Lenin “chill out, go with the flow, capitalism will turn into communism naturally *anyway*”. Lenin had other ideas… But Marx was 100% correct.2- Smith: Americans think of Smith as the “father of free market economics” and certainly LOVE his magical “invisible hand” concept; but here again we suffer from *not doing enough research*, because Smith wrote “The Wealth of Nations” to operate within the context of an ETHICAL FRAMEWORK he wrote called “The Theory of Moral Sentiments.” And if you read both those books by Smith, it’s pretty clear that yes, the free market and self-interest, but also, behave in an ethical manner in *everything you do*. So Wall Street got the part about the “invisible hand” magic, but they didn’t get the part about the ethical behavior.Conclusion: Marx was right, Smith was right, but as Americans we just read the summary and so we got both of them completely wrong.Remember that 20th century Communism was always fighting Fascism much more than it was fighting Capitalism. It’s the capitalists who just didn’t get it at all.Now let’s go to the 20th century; before the fascists of the 1930s, there were the “roaring twenties” during which industrialized countries were a plutocracy, which is EXACTLY what Trump and Bannon and Co are championing – loosely defined as at least 98% of the wealth controlled by no more than 2% of the population.The fascists rose to power because the plutocracy reduced people to a form of indentured servitude.Ok now the 21st century:…And Citigroup was already preaching this gospel back in 2005, so you can be sure Trump and Bannon are ALL ABOUT IT.12 years of plutocracy between 2005 and 2017, a decade of straight excess just like the roaring twenties, a major economic crisis, and now a misogynistic, racist, ultra-aggressive tax-evading lying demagogue who governs like a fascist, supported by white supremacists, neo-nazis, and just in general people who simply haven’t done the math on the astronomical economic cost of discrimination.Any more doubts on what’s about to happen?No matter who you read out of Marx and Smith, what’s for sure is that NOTHING IS WORSE than fascism – nothing. Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill knew it, set aside their own enormous differences to defeat it, and 60 years later it seems we’ve completely forgotten about it.

          63. DataMatters

            In my opinion, CNN is bigoted and produces a passel of outright lies on a daily basis.

          64. JamesHRH

            You are wrong about Brietbart. Its anti-everything.

          65. DataMatters

            If I were you, and basically I am, I would suggest you not hide out from these people nor worry about the charges of racism. The danger of a leftist revolution is apparently very real and I for one will not allow it to go on unopposed. I owe it to my children to prevent the kind of pain and suffering they would go through under such a system if I can. I’ll lay down my life if I must. As anyone from Eastern Europe who lived through the Soviet years understands, the left is incredibly destructive and driven only by the madness of collectivism.

          66. Philip M Shearer

            But for all the madness of collectivism and communism, they still defeated fascism in 1945.What if the USSR hadn’t stopped Hitler?I have nothing good to say about Putin, but what if it were Hitler instead?The fascists killed more people faster than anyone else, and it’s kinda dumb to compare who was “more insane”… but Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Ultra-nationalist Japan… those regimes destroyed everything and everyone in their path, and blindingly quickly, with highly elaborate “scientific theories” to justify all of it.That’s the problem with Trump and Bannon: either they’ve never read a History book, OR they’re truly bloodthirsty.Either way, if they stick around, we’re screwed.

          67. JamesHRH

            Isn’t that nice? You mind your P&Q’s in the 2nd largest city of the Home of the Free?The liberal minded folks need to sit down, have a glass of vino and think about what they are doing here.

          68. Matt Hames

            This is a thoughtful article. I don’t want to live in a world where anyone has to measure their opinion. We should all have opinions without labelling each other jerks. That said, I take issue with the word “they”You are a Trump supporter, so you’ve probably heard that one about Trump supporters all being racist. It is a ridiculous generalization meant to stifle debate. Indeed, anytime someone says “they’re all racist idiots,” the goal is to stifle debate and conversation.I happen to think hearing people’s opinions are important. I’m somewhat shocked that our President adheres to the “they” and name-calling – without actually listening to the substance of the ideas. But I hold out hope that people will not take their cues from the President, and instead listen to people, don’t generalize based on listening, and have genuine conversations.

          69. pointsnfigures

            Agree that you cannot classify everyone by a “they”. Ironically, I didn’t vote for Trump. I didn’t vote for Hillary either. I didn’t want Trump to get the nomination, but he did.I am a bit out of step with the mainstream Republicans. There are policies that Trump will forward (I hope) that I certainly like; school choice, low corporate/personal tax rates, pension reform, social sec reform, deregulation-which should lead to significantly smaller govt and less corporate/union/entrenched special interest power. But, I differ with him on trade. I differ with him on immigration.Republicans like Orrin Hatch, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, John Cornyn, Mitch McConnell are not my cup of tea. I like Rand Paul.I am noticing that Republicans are failing to show any backbone. For example, if they are in a state with a Republican governor, and a Republican dominated legislature-why aren’t they enacting school choice? Why aren’t they doing pension reform/tax reform/workman’s comp reform?A lot of them are all hat and no cattle.

          70. Frank W. Miller

            s/direct/talk/ 😉

      6. Helen Kurukulasuriya

        Hi Fred, has Disqus comments from what I can tell.

      7. ShanaC

        I’ve wanted to say this for months. THANK YOU THANK YOU

      8. Robert Franks

        Besides providing comment software to Breitbart Disqus pays Breitbart by giving them advertising money from ads embedded in comments. So Disqus is fueling Breitbart with advertising dollars. I wonder if your ACLU donation is more or less than the revenue Breitbart gets from Disqus?

      9. Ela Madej

        Not using disqus to empower breitbart sounds like a good move — and likely is. I hate what they stand for (and what it’s used for) but I wonder if there’s risk in creating absolute silos and more chance for closed-door conversation with absolutely no “common space” to talk.

      10. Dave Pinsen

        When Ron Unz launched his site and developed his own comment system, I suggested he consider using Disqus instead. I bet now he’s glad he didn’t.

        1. Joliphant

          If you look how well it works on Redstate you’d think they have been deliberately sabotaging the site.

      11. Scott Avid

        Are you sure that’s legal?

      12. Philip M Shearer

        The ultimate danger in this type of situation is that if you isolate the extremists, they will find other ways to distribute the hate.And those other ways may well include forming alliances with other extremist groups worldwide.So are you better off knowing what the extremists are doing because they’re literally giving you the dataORStopping the flow of hate knowing that this invites extremist technologists worldwide to create alternative means of distribution that now you’ll have a very difficult time finding out even exist, and where extremism can roam free, completely undetected until it’s too late? (which is almost the exact story of this past election, when you think about it)

    2. LIAD

      Why isn’t this an anti-free speech slippery slope.

      1. Ben Rometsch

        I’m not suggesting Breitbart don’t have comments. Just that they are not powered by a company Fred has a stake in. No one is being denied freedom of speech, regardless of the fact that the comments on that site are infested with fascism, racism and anti-Semitism.

      2. Les Orchard

        If Disqus refused service to Breitbart, Breitbart would still be free to host their own comment services or find another vendor. Disqus offers many convenient ways to export the content.

        1. todd

          Still, the statement is important to make, as frequently as possible. Your argument is that if you take away the knife of an aggressor, they can just go find another knife? OK but it’s a start, so can you recommend the next step?

          1. Les Orchard

            I don’t have any further recommendations. The only argument I’m making is that this isn’t anti-free speech. If I have a soap box in my yard and you have something to say – that doesn’t mean you have a claim on my soap box to stand & shout. One party’s right to free speech doesn’t compel another party to host it.

        2. Berry Enloe

          Right and if I don’t want to make a cake or design a dress for right wing Christian people I shouldn’t have to. Not if they don’t share my views and values,

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I would say not, in Constitutional, civil rights terms. That’s because religion is one of the protected areas. You have the right to refuse service to someone wearing a “F*CKING MACHINE” shirt, or someone carrying a sign inciting people to violence, or someone who has covered themselves in poop.But, it’s not ok to refuse service to someone based upon their race, gender, sexual orientation or religion. These are protected. It’s gets trickier with religion, granted. Because what if our person covered in poop claims to be a member of the Poop Religion? Luckily that almost never happens and falls under solving for edge cases. And common sense tells us that it’s wrong to refuse service to someone because we find their religious apparel (like a head covering) offensive.How would you know someone was a right wing Christian coming into your wedding dress shop, anyway? If they are carrying a sign that reads, “God hates homosexuals,” then you have a right to not serve them .

          2. Berry Enloe

            Alright if they think God hates homosexuals and they are wearing a shirt that says so, then I don’t have to serve them. Got it.

      3. Kirsten Lambertsen

        The government shutting down Breitbart would be a free speech issue. One company choosing not to do business with another is just business.

        1. PhilipSugar

          Totally agree but see my comment to Fred Wilf’s well thought out comment.

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Yes, I think you make very good points. At the end of the day, it’ll be Disqus’s decision about with whom they want to do business. I think it also depends upon where on the timeline this happens.At this point, it will bolster Disqus’s business with the resistance. It’ll also bolster the Breitbart faithful in their belief that they’re the persecuted… but I really don’t think there’s anything anyone can do to change those people’s minds, anyway. So no loss there. It will def inconvenience Breitbart, and that’s ok with me 😉

          2. PhilipSugar

            I see your argument: haters gonna hate why not just make it tougher.As I said its up to Disqus, but if it hits mainstream media…watch out.As for Twitter well that will make the mainstream media and that will be a mess.Heck as LE pointed out the only reason I ever even went to Breitbart was after Twitter expelled that crazy guy Milos something.

          3. LE

            Yes, Streisand effect:…Would be good for disqus a total win in terms of increased attention and recognition. People against it for other reasons would generally look the other way and give them a pass or rationalize the action. [1][1] You know like ‘dad kills rapist in a rage by hunting him down..’

          4. PhilipSugar

            Good point you are probably be right. I really am kind of unsure on disqus business model.But I will quote Bernard Shaw: “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it”So the unintended consequences for disqus might be unforeseen as well.

          5. LE

            “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it”I think the thing that people are failing to take into account with regards to Trump and his personality is exemplified by that Shaw quote.He likes getting dirty. He feeds off of this. He is not only not afraid of what happens he enjoys it. That’s why at least some of the approach is wrong with someone like him. All of the derision, all of the negative comments, just make him more likely to do what people hate not less likely. He can take a world class amount of abuse. He is like the kid in school who likes getting beat up.I dated a woman once whose son (was maybe 11 at the time irrc) suffered from a syndrome where he didn’t feel pain. You could wack and wack this kid (I was allowed to by both parents it was that bad) and he just laughed it off. I hurt myself a few times. He just didn’t feel pain really strange. Not only that but later it would be like nothing happened. He would continue to do what he did and just would not stop. (Like some people in prison who don’t respond to normal tactics that control most normal people).So the point is the strategy is wrong here with Trump for sure.Look at the Japanese. Took 2 fucking bombs to get them to surrender. One was not enough what does that tell you?PHL is all tied up with protests I see.

          6. PhilipSugar

            I have a guy stuck literally right now trying to get in PHL right now to take the 5:55pm AA1901 to MSP. He left early enough to get dinner and now if he makes the flight is going to be hungry.Literally he just called me to ask what the hell is going on and he might miss his flight. Then I start getting calls from MN because I made a huge exception to send him on Friday for an emergency.He is pissed. Going to MSP this time of year is like a punishment.Now he is in this crap. He just wants to get on his flight and make his meeting.And I am getting my Sunday night which is precious to me because I spend less than half of them at home interrupted.I had the same problem when I was in Minneapolis and the Black Lives Matter Protest would not let me walk across the street, and make me late for a meeting.I finally got a series of cops and went across.Protest great, no problem.Be such a Me Me that you are willing to hurt my life? You have not furthered your cause. I know people are going to say civil unrest is the answer, but the first word is civil.I am really pissed right now.I have tried to explain to people that Trump and his supporters feed off of your hate just like you feed off of theirs.Oh well.It’s called pain aggression. I do not believe in ever touching a child or dog but certain breeds of dogs have it in them.I had an American Bulldog that felt no pain. Eat a nest of hornets? Get madder as they stung her. Get kicked by a horse? Came back twice as strong. My son used to hold her tail wear socks and “water ski” in our living room. I had told him completely unacceptable. Finally I put him in the corner for 30min. The dog sat in his lap while he cried and complained about his situation. I think the dog was happier when I let him get up.I had to send her to a farm. (A real farm) because she was unmanageable. (two trainers quit and the vet that gave her a physical got 20 stitches in his hand)

          7. LE

            Looks like MSP is in the shit as well with protests. And now the entire system is screwed with the inevitable reverberations.Flightaware says it’s still scheduled on time but I would think that there will be a delay since everyone is in the same boat getting on the plane.

          8. PhilipSugar

            Got off on time and looks like he will be early. They took it off and it was sparse he said.We had kids in the office for our Lego League team (more than a quarter that do not speak english at home) and he had not eaten.He was looking forward to a relaxing meal here: https://www.legalseafoods.c…They know me by name there and can associate those that have eaten with me there. I have my usual spot in the back. You will get great, great service.He said he just made the plane.

          9. LE

            They know me by name there and can associate those that have eaten with me there.Wow. (What kind of tips are you leaving them?)I am the opposite. I get recognized at some places and it actually bothers me for some reason.When we were out in CA we stayed near a breakfast place that David Spade ate every morning. The first morning we went there (Beverly Hills) I asked for a booth in the back and they said I couldn’t have it it was reserved. So they gave me the 4top next to the booth. Next thing David Spade sits down by himself and starts talking into his recorder. My wife said she would throw a fit if I interrupted him. I had already went after a guy from the band Nite Rider (Sister Christian song) and he gladly posed for a selfie and was happy to do so.Anyway on the way out I said to the guy who was at the front that I wanted to reserve for the next day. So I asked for Spades booth. He says to me ‘oh that’s reserved for Mr. Spade (just like that) every day’!. Like as if he was proud of that. ‘Mr. Spade’ sat by himself. And he didn’t order much either and paid cash. So we reserved the booth next to him.My wife didn’t want us to go there. She was afraid I would say something to him. That’s why she is an employee and not a business owner. She thinks like that. Who cares what he thinks? As long as I get the picture or maybe I could pitch him on something who knows.

          10. PhilipSugar

            I go there often I tip well, I have a very unique name, but most importantly I genuinely like the people. I have stopped abuse (verbal) on several occasions. (people get drunk, they are mad at the airline, they are apprehensive of flying, they don’t understand prices are higher because of the venue)I sit in the same spot which is kind of hard to get to (you have to go past people and it’s hidden. I go with many different employees. I always say this is so and so I’d love it if you can treat them well like you always do me.He says they refer to him as Sugar’s friend. It’s just small stuff like a cup of chowder, an extra oyster, or topping off a beer, but it makes you feel nice and special especially at the airport.

          11. Vasudev Ram

            I’ve been to Legal Seafoods but in Boston. Liked the place. Good food and ambience.

          12. PhilipSugar

            Yes it is very good at that airport as well, they have two there. What impresses me is the food is really pretty much identical to their stores not in the airport. That is hard to do. First you have to get it through security, then you have to cook it in a cramped kitchen, and then you have to dish it out fast because people have flights to catch.

          13. Vasudev Ram

            Oh okay. I didn’t eat at the ones at the airport. I had been to the one in downtown Boston, I think it was somewhere near Boston Park Plaza Hotel and maybe near the Radisson Hotel too. A few colleagues and I were there on business. Nice city and great restaurants. Our hosts treated us to a diverse range of cuisines while there. Explored some on my own too, on the weekends.

          14. PhilipSugar

            Same thing and that’s why I am impressed. They all are just about the same and that’s tough to do with good food. Yours probably had more options than the airport one especially if it was in Boston where they started.

          15. Vasudev Ram

            >They all are just about the same and that’s tough to do with good food.Yes, good point.

          16. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Yeah, I agree there’re lots of corners to this one.I just think it would be hard to fit “If I’d stopped doing business with Breitbart it would have brought them more attention,” on my gravestone 😉 I’d rather just not enable bigots, knowingly.But I do see your points, truly.

        2. Anne Libby

          Yessss.I hope that America emerges on the other side of this entire thing with more Americans who have a factual understanding of what “free speech” actually means.We both love Twitter! Sad that their mantra that “we’re the free speech wing of the free speech party” has been one of many factors that have muddied these waters.

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I hadn’t had a strong opinion on whether or not to suspend Jaba the Trump from Twitter until last week, when someone made the case that he is using it to endanger specific people and specific news media, putting them in harm’s way. He is indeed yelling “fire” in a crowded theater.

          2. Twain Twain

            Grounds for Twitter to ban @realDonaldTrump without running into the free speech issue:*

        3. Berry Enloe

          Like so this only applies when the business refusing to do business with another business matches your views right?

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Not according to the Constitution and case law. Unless I missed something.Not sure why you’re coming after me personally. If you disagree, make your case. We try to keep it not personal here.

          2. Berry Enloe

            I’m just asking- when is it ok for a business to choose not to do business with another business?

          3. Kirsten Lambertsen

            If I went to take out an ad on Breitbart calling Trump and Bannon fascist, racist, misogynist war mongers, it wouldn’t be violation of free speech for Breitbart to turn down my money.That help?

      4. awaldstein

        You are correct of course and smart to be sensitive to this.But personally and business wise we all can and do decide to do business with whomever we want to.Would it be incorrect in your opinion, to create a campaign on a global basis to call for all companies to no longer do business in any of his hotels because of the philosophy and beliefs of their owner?I personally think this should be done. I already am.

        1. LE

          to create a campaign on a global basis to call for all companies to no longer do business in any of his hotels because of the philosophy and beliefs of their owner?I am 100% not in favor of anything that smacks of this type of pressure on companies.The reason is there are innocent people that are employees, vendors and so on that have no control over what Trump says or does that will be harmed as a result of any boycott. This issue comes up frequently with companies and public pressure. I just don’t like it, period because of the collateral damage and innocents that are hurt. I understand it’s a form of protest.The person working at the hotel that is living hand to mouth is not going to go toe to toe with a billionaire and not be able to feed his family. Unless there is a safety net for those hurt I am never in favor of this type of protest.That said the brand has a negative image no question about that. It’s already been pretty much irreparably damaged.

      5. Craig McDonald

        Because it is not.Consider when South Africa was ‘banned’ from participating in international sport due to the horrors of aparthid. Only it wasn’t. It was just boycotted and thrown out of organisations (which had that right under law to decide their own rules). If they could find other ways to play international sport, then they could (and sometimes did).If fires Brietbart as a customer, it does nothing whatsoever to curtail their freedom of speech. It simply requires them to use a different comments system, of which there are many. Even if the licence of every single comments system precludes Brietbart from using it, that still doesn’t curtail their freedom of speech. They can write their own.

    3. Fred Wilf

      Fred, please don’t ask Disqus to refuse to provide services to Breitbart, or any other company or organization you don’t like. The ACLU argues — and I agree and wholeheartedly endorse — that the best response to bad speech is more speech, preferably good speech.Hatred does not disappear when you beat it down or suppress it; rather it becomes darker, and more secretive, and can lead to worse outcomes. Instead, let’s drag hatred out of the shadows and shine a light on it. it’s too late to stop the hate-mongers from taking office, but it’s never too late to battle hatred, and it’s never a war that is ever over because there’s no end to hatred. The price of democracy is eternal vigilence; and the price went up because democratic vigilence wasn’t good enough when Trump ran for president.To be clear, this is not a Democrat/Republican issue; I did not see the same issues when Romney or McCain ran for president, and their recent comments — while not condemning Trump’s actions as strongly as I would like — nevertheless at least McCain has been on the record opposing some of Trump’s more egregious policies in a measured way.

      1. MicaFairy

        Free speech goes both ways. Not doing business with another business is a form of free speech.

        1. DataMatters

          Sure, just be ready when competitors arrive who will support conservative organizations and don’t be surprised when those gain more traction and take further market share away from those who have closed their minds to all but a leftist worldview.

      2. Brandon Kessler

        Completely agree, and happily I auto-paid the ACLU. Censorship is against the point of this post @fredwilson

        1. Anne Libby

          Deciding whom you’ll do business with is not censorship. It’s a business decision. It’s a brand decision. It’s a values decision. (If you own a company that employs people, it’s an employee retention decision, too.)As an individual and business owner, I have my own list of companies I buy from. And as a business owner, a list of companies I want to sell to, based on my values.

          1. LE

            Deciding whom you’ll do business with is not censorship.Well but there is also discrimination.As a small business owner one can do pretty much what they want. Because they are flying under the radar. But in terms of a larger business or in a visible situation, or when certain groups are involved, that is not the case.For example a retail store would not be able to decide that it didn’t want to sell woman with hijabs or religious jews with black hats (they are often even called ‘black hats’ derogatorily).

          2. Anne Libby

            Right (in most states, lol) but a red herring in terms of this discussion.

          3. Kirsten Lambertsen

            You can’t discriminate against hate speech. You can discriminate against black people, Jews, women, Muslims. See the difference?

          4. Brandon Kessler

            I’d rather undergo a prefrontal lobotomy than to read Breitbart, but I don’t think Disqus picking and choosing whose comments to power is wise unless it goes against their terms of service or company values, which who knows – it might, but I doubt it.But if it does, I don’t see how a (disgusting) Trump administration decision should be the deciding factor to ban a corporation. I imagine some comments on the site speak out against the ban. Why not register your thoughts there?

          5. Anne Libby

            Well, I’ll leave it to you to head over there to test your hypothesis. Let me know how it works out for you.

          6. Brandon Kessler

            Right after you.

          7. Anne Libby


          8. ShanaC

            Disqus term’s allow for immediate cancelation if they violate the basic rules of disqus.…One of the rules is as followsIntimidation of users of the Disqus ServiceBlackmail, extortion, extreme discrimination, and other forms of threatening behavior are prohibited.Appears brietbart is outside of TOScc:@fredwilson:disqus in case they have any fear of a blowback. Technically speaking, since I use disqus, I’m a user as much as a moderator on breitbart. Allowing discussion of “the jewish question” (I can’t believe I am saying that) in their “part” of disqus is a form of discrimination against me who is a user of disqus.So fully justified.

          9. pointsnfigures

            So, if you are religious and don’t want to bake a cake for a gay marriage, you are cool with that? Or, if you hang you shingle in the public square, do you have to do business with everyone no matter what?

          10. Anne Libby

            Yeah, Jeff, not a conversation I’m gonna have online. Glad to chat about this one the next time I see you. Cheers,

        2. fredwilson

          i don’t censor here or anywhere. period.

          1. pointsnfigures

            Thanks for being tolerant. It makes a difference. I don’t censor either.

          2. ShanaC

            i love you for staying with us. I think this must be hard for you right now. I know sometimes we must appear like dicks to you. I’m sorry for that

          3. pointsnfigures

            No, most people aren’t dicks. Especially when you meet them in person. Tolerance is hard sometimes.

          4. Philip M Shearer

            YES, tolerance is VERY hard.It’s also the only way forward.But where does it stop?Would you tolerate Hitler being in power? Because that’s exactly where we’re headed!

          5. pointsnfigures

            Haha. Yes, and playing the Hitler card shows tolerance. I know quite a few Republicans that played the same card with Obama. It totally blows any credibility you have and shuts down active listening.What we have seen since 2001 is a centralization of power in the executive branch of government. I am glad the other side is seeing the danger of it now.

          6. PhilipSugar

            We all censor on things that we own, and you own this. That is ok.If I called people a bigoted word on this blog (not that I would or ever feel I should or was appropriate)I should get kicked off.If I have a dress code in my office that you wear a white shirt, blue or black suit, and red tie. Ok..If you came to my office that would make you laugh so hard you would cry. I haven’t worn shoes, only sandals so far this year. My kids go to a school that controls dress code down to the socks. Wrong color you don’t get in. Former Naval Academy Prep School (I know you love West Point and I go there to judge Senior Projects every year)So disqus can do what they want.I am just a pragmatic business guy, that lives in the “hinterlands” I think how do I accomplish what I want to happen. Being from Texas I think LBJ was just a great big flawed example.I could be totally wrong. And I accept that.

      3. Ben Rometsch

        Breitbart censor comments that do not conform to their views. It’s an interesting point that you raise, and of course Breitbart are free to use an alternative system. If it was my company, I would not want to be associated with that organisation.

      4. rikardlinde

        In Sweden we’ve seen the rise of a cooperative commenting effort called #jagärhär (#iamhere) with sixty thousand members that pinpoint forums similar to Breitbart and flood the discussions with constructive (and often positive) comments. Maybe you could start something similar in the States.

        1. Ben Rometsch

          Breitbart delete/bury comments that oppose their agenda.

          1. SFG


        2. ShanaC

          I’m game

      5. PhilipSugar

        This is a good comment. Some people are arguing that doing this somehow violates free speech, but yours is the right argument.You can refuse to work with companies. I can and I do I refuse to work with any porn, tobacco, or any political parties.The problem with singling one out is that it just gives them more gasoline to stir up their base.It can have the opposite effect that you want.In this case nobody that reads Breitbart is going to stop. And Breitbart is going to point out (more like scream if I remember my one visit) to their base that the very tech elite that they hate are spitting on them.I find almost all news sites comments a cesspool.

        1. LE

          I can and I do I refuse to work with any porn, tobacco, or any political partiesWhy political parties? And as an employee (noting for others that Phil sold his company) are you even able to do that? Is that supported by the company that bought your company? (Curious..)And to what extent and to what degree should a person or a company vet who they sell to or deal with other than in obvious extreme situations? (I don’t consider porn and tobacco extreme assuming that it’s legal by the way). Is this the same for hiring and is it legal to do so?Also isn’t part of this kind of ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ anyway? If a contractor shows up at my house with a nazi sign on their truck I am not going to hire them. [1] But just the same I am not going to research (other than a basic search which I always do) what people’s political beliefs are (or what they do in their spare time) and make decisions based on that. And what’s the time period anyway? What if they were 10 years ago, but claim not to be doing [objectionable activity] now?[1] Otoh if I am broken down in the middle of nowhere and they are the rescue truck I would take their help, right?

          1. PhilipSugar

            It’s actually the parent companies policy as well. Political because if you work with one you stir up hate on the other. Tobacco and Porn. Well if its legal people can do what they want we just don’t really want to promote it. (And I looked into the porn issue, once. Unfortunately my mind cannot un-see some of the things I saw, it’s why I’d never look at comments on Brietbart)But my point is you should have a blanket policy or realize you open yourself up to a bunch of hate.

          2. PhilipSugar

            I stopped going to a barber that was cutting a guys hair that had swastika, ss and death head tattoos on his neck, had gone there for years. Turned around and walked right out.

        2. Terry J Leach

          I would agree with you if Breibart allow alternative views on their forums They can still publish but without the air supply of Disqus. When speech is a weapon you why should any business support it?

          1. PhilipSugar

            I have never been to a Breitbart Forum, and I never will. See my comment below, there are things I’d rather not see because I know can’t un-see them.Do they actively delete alternative views or just viciously shout them down with lots of hate?As I said I can’t go to even local newspaper comments. Makes me want to take a shower.

          2. DataMatters

            So you admit you live within a bubble?

          3. PhilipSugar

            Sure, if you want me to say I find Breitbart foul and won’t go to it. Sure.

      6. kordless

        I would rephrase this to “create no causality based on observation of another’s dissonance”, least it spread to further actions in the aggregate. The “right” choice in response to other’s dissonance is listening to the dissonance and then spending the time and work to create a double bind which breaks it. Entities will create “work arounds” in response to action to block an undesirable outcome if they are not faced with two mutually opposing and supporting outcomes which they do not want for themselves or their desires.

      7. cavepainting

        It can be a slippery slope but political disagreements not the same as hate speech and divisive,bigoted rhetoric. A line has to be drawn somewhere.

      8. Robert Franks

        The issue is deeper than just free speech. Disqus brings advertising dollars to Breitbart by inserting ads into the comments left on Breitbart. This generates income for Breitbart. This means Disqus, like Taboola (that block of click bait on many sites), is providing revenue for sites like Breitbart allowing them to hire writers and publish their material.

      9. ShanaC

        free speech don’t mean disqus has to host it or provide traffic to it. Allowing for speech and spreading said speech is 2 different things in the constitution. they can provide their own commenting service.

      10. obarthelemy

        The issue I have with that, is that I always get banned from The Free Republic when I try to comment there, even though my comments have evolved from advocating a Liberal POV to trying to provide perspective to simply giving less hateful personal experiences.That’s a unbalanced fight then: we give them tools to pew their hate, they won’t even let us get a word edgewise. Making the hate easier for them is a sucker’s bargain.

      11. fredwilson

        i haven’t asked anyone to do anythingbut it is a conversation worth having with management

        1. Brandon Kessler


      12. ShanaC

        I totally disagree with this. Not because of politics, mind you. I absolutely don’t think Disqus should censor based on politics – if tomorrow disqus wanted to cut service from Glenn Beck’s The Blaze for political reasons due to the fact that they are conservative, we’d have problems around the TRAFFICKING of free speech by PRIVATE companies. (note, I don’t think they use disqus). And not for the reason you’d think: I think media companies, particularly ones who rely on user generated content like Disqus, beyond making money, have an ethical duty within the scope of media to host a platform allowing for the competition of ideas. But that ethical duty is limited in scope: it is one thing to allow for various people to talk about the benefits and pitfalls of a liberal policy vs a conservative policy to solve a particular problem vis a vis free speech. It is quite another in a UGC environment to never get those ideas talked about because traffic is taken to a location where people are talking about how a particular group of people are bad, based on some arbitrary factor like skin color or where they were born. The reason: You’re potentially allowing the intellectual equivalent of polio to be spread, and just like some people get polio and are fine, some people die, and some people end up crippled.*However, as a PRIVATE company, Disqus has many more options than say a government entity when it comes to issues in free speech. It’s rights and responsibilities are much more similar to that of a person than the government. In that sense, Disqus isn’t required to work really hard on our behalf to inoculate those who get exposed to polio-idea equivalents. Disqus’s comments are hosted on it’s own servers and/or servers it pays rent for to treat as servers it owns (aka the equivalent of it owning its own house if it were a person). Just like you could create your own quarantine on your own private property if there was a polio outbreak, and just like you ARE NOT required to buy a specific book or host a specific speaker in your house if you find what they are going to say noxious, so to Disqus can act that same way.And while Brietbart can complain about how disqus is “supressing their speech”, in no way is that true – all disqus is doing is not allowing their PRIVATE servers to be used in a way they don’t want to. In no way is this preventing Brietbart from replicating as much of disqus as it possibly can on its own servers, and from there saying what it wants and allow its users to say what they want on those PRIVATE servers that happen to belong to Brietbart.Don’t let Brietbart confuse the issue. They can say what they want, as often as they want, when they want to given enough money/time/resources they put into it. That they want to outsource some piece of that to Disqus, in technical violation of Disqus’s term’s of service, and then complain if Disqus yanks that ability from them, is Brietbart’s own FAULT. Disqus is not required to allow other companies to poo in their service, or give their other users intellectual polio, because Brietbart wants to yell “free speech”(I would add: if either are renting servers from say, amazon, this argument goes to the rental company who owns the servers as well. Brietbart may very well be in violation of its HOST’s and/or other supplier’s TOS.)cc: @fredwilson:disqus @annelibby:disqus @dabeeeenster:disqus @philipsugar:disqus @TJGodel:disqus @le_on_avc:disqus @MicaFairy:disqus @brandonk:disqus @MsPseudolus:disqus @disqus_5kbT13dkHI:disqus @liad:disqus @berry_enloe:disqus @lmorchard:disqus @tomarone:disqus*Note: I should probably add, if you are really curious about the deeper philosophical point:The underlying reason of why is I think the rights of a group of people, including broadly speaking a corporation, which is just a type of group of people who are defining themselves for legal reasons for the sake of carrying risk to do something and interacting with the world, and in particular, the government flow from the rights of the individuals upwards into the group. So just like you the individual can own a house, so can a corporation. And just like you the individual doesn’t have to let someone talk in your house, nor does the corporation. Note that my definition about corporation is broadly defined on purpose: even something like a soup kitchen is a corporation, as it has the risk of being an unsuccessful soup kitchen, it needs to talk about its soup kitcheness to the government for various reasons, etc. The one type of group of people that isn’t included: the government, which has social contract implications. Because a media company is taking on some of those social contract implications at the point of incorporation, it is agreeing to to help them, and therefore, to a limited degree, limit their own rights as a group. However, at the same time, that choice to agree to be limited is itself flowing up from the rights of the individuals into the media corporation as a right by itself. Which means at the point a media company is incorporated (even informally as a common law type, so begins operating), there is a fundamental limit on exactly how much of the social contract implication it took on (because without, the media company is a weird government abrogating the rights of the individuals in it)sometimes I think I think too much about this stuff….

        1. Jayson Cooke

          “The reason: You’re potentially allowing the intellectual equivalent of polio to be spread, and just like some people get polio and are fine, some people die, and some people end up crippled.*” — Well well well, logic is circular. Trump is using the same logic by reducing the potential for spreading disease (mental and physical health veting), and putting in a security system where Obama decided to leave the door wide open with (YOUR) kids playing inside, while his kids are in a room with security cameras and armed guards. Eh no worries, blood comes out of concrete with a little forced water, people will forget San Bernadino or Orlando or Paris or…well they will forget until the next attack…then, it’s Trumps fault because he is the top law enforcement / Commander in Chief. But I’m sure nobody will blame Trump either way after the next attack. If it happens, “Trump caused it with his policy”. If it doesn’t happen “Trump is a fascist!” We know there is no winning with some of you. As for your post Shana, I applaud the logic and common sense.

          1. ShanaC

            To be blunt, if you read the philosophical underpinning section, you would know that isn’t true the way I am constructing the rights of a corporation vs another corporation and/or an individual with respect to free speech and why, because I have a rights flow up point of view, except the group cannot limit the individual from whence the rights flow. My point of view is well grounded in over 300 years of libertarian/liberal philosophy, US law, and british common law including John Locke, who was one of the core people the founders philosophically used to write the constitution and the bill of rights. The line “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness” was lifted nearly entirely from Locke (except his version is life, liberty and property). You also would acknowledge what you are saying already happens under the current visa system vis a vis immigration to this country, which is why even before Trump signed his order, there was a waitlist from these countries.You would also acknowledge your fear. of muslim immigrants, particularly refugees fleeing. To be further blunt, I am not sure what you are afraid of, however, I recognize that fear is a legitimate fear. As the grandchild of people who could have been refugees here right before the holocaust had we had open borders, and knowing that the reason those borders were closed was fear (in fact, the arguments, and language used in those arguments, was nearly the same as yours), I have faith in American people like you to get through fear, because I have seen people like you do courageous things. I think you have potential for compassion, since you probably show it to people in your community who I don’t know in your daily life. Despite your fear, every person here wants to see the constitution preserved for your children and your children’s children. They have compassion for the people in their communities.Prove you share the same values.

          2. Jayson Cooke

            Did you not read the part about a large portion of my family is currently living in Muslim countries? Some of them in countries on the list? Did you not read that THEY understand the logic of Trumps actions? No fear here, I’m married but retain my own beliefs and I can assure you that I have personally donated and sacrificed personally and financially to advance the cause of liberty and “uniting” us. I don’t virtue signal, I walk the walk.

          3. ShanaC

            And so do I. I’m not virtue signaling, whatever that means, since every single time I’ve seen it used, it ends up being a meaningless term. Reminds me of my ex-cofounder, he said the same term to cow me and to hide from from the fact that he too was afraid of connecting with people both emotionally and intellectually while he was abandoning the company to vacation for his now ex and to try and throw me out of the company.You still have yet to answer my question though, which I find interesting: What are you afraid of?Why is the fact that you have family in countries where Islam is the majority religion make you fearful. Is something happening to them there on a daily basis? If so, what is it- you haven’t said. Is it something they are experiencing? Was it one shocking event? Is it something you experienced when you visited them?Otherwise, as far as I know, your family can be living in muslim majority countries, drinking lots of tea, working at whatever they do, raising happy kids who are very smart, and, nothing. Which again would leave me wondering what you are afraid of_______I can tell you, one of best friends has spent significant time in Muslim majority countries in order to gain enough experience to work in DoD. I even for a while knew I was going to be executor of a will of a close high school who did interrogation translation in very unstable muslim majority countries on behalf of the US government (and to this day, he won’t tell me what agency he was working for, just that he did interrogation translation and it was dangerous. he’s since gone back to school for an abnormally peaceful job, shook him up a lot).These people definitely put themselves in purposely unsafe situations, and yet none of them will go to me and say being muslim is bad. They’ll say specific interpretations of islam is bad, and that all religions have crazy fanatics.____So yes, I’d like justification for what you are saying. I’d like justification, because history has heard arguments like yours before.And you want to know what, your exact argument is the argument that killed a guy named Chaim Leibovitz. Chaim Leibovitz was Rae Kushner’s, Jared Kushner’s Grandmother”s, favorite uncle (he’s Jared Kushner’s great uncle)What most people don’t realize is Rae Kushner’s family and extended family was waiting for visas to the US, the US was making arguments like yours in the public sphere thanks to guys like Father Coughlin and Charles Lindbergh, and therefore Chaim Leibovitz died by suicide with his wife co-committing after watching the Nazis killing his children who he was hiding behind a false wall. He didn’t want the Nazis to kill him for trying to save his children’s lives. Rae Kushner not only testified for all of to remember this stuff, she also was pretty explicit about how much she disagreed with US refugee policy at the time and how it basically killed people she knew and loved. Here is the transcript.https://collections.ushmm.o… As a note:Chaim Leibovitz today is memorialized by:Jared Kushner. His name in Hebrew is Yoel Chaim. Ashkenazi Jews name for dead relatives, and most likely middle name Chaim is Chaim Leibowitz. (I have friends who have seen his bar mitzvah grace after meal booklet, which has his name on it.)When you look at the president, and you look at his daughter, her children, remember they have missing family because we made stupid arguments about refugees exactly like yours because we were scared. And that his advisor is named for one of those people, who died horribly for no reason. And remember, that in these muslim majority countries that have never sent us one successful terrorist ever to be afraid of, Particularly Syria, there is some guy walking around who is going to do the same thing when Assad shoots his kids too.Is your fear worth that? Knowing that? Knowing you are responsible for repeating that mistake? Now scale it up. Is it worth knowing that you could have 1000 children’s deaths, children who died in extremely cruel ways because they were sitting ducks for cruel people, on your conscious, let alone the parents’s death? why?

      13. DataMatters

        I agree. So if the conservative position on this matter ends up being the more correct approach, you’re good with that, then, yes? Or are you just going to whine and bitch endlessly? Because I have witnessed an incredible amount of hate emanating from the left in recent weeks. Irrational hate, in fact.

    4. MicaFairy

      Breitbart has become nothing more than a State Media site for Trump.

      1. pointsnfigures

        And MSNBC? And CNN? And other sites? And the NYT?

      2. PhilipSugar

        I didn’t see the appropriations bill paying for it from the U.S.. Can you forward me the link.

    5. jason wright

      So is Fred to get on to Twitter to?Where does it end?

    6. komrath

      typical shallow thinking: “Oh they are remotely connected to something I don’t approve, BURN THEM DOWN AND IMPALE THEIR BABIES”. You’re no better than breitbard with that savage way of thinking.

  3. Alex Murphy

    Amen amen amen

  4. JimHirshfield

    I see lots of litigation to stop his nonsense over the next 4 years. Thank you for contributing.

    1. LE

      Litigation for Trump is actually the ‘get out of jail free’ card for his base. He can claim to be doing what he promised but then point the finger at others for reversing what he does.Politicians already do a version of this. You go visit your local politician and you whine about something that you want. He tells you he agrees with you and he comes up with some bill to give you what you want. Then the bill doesn’t pass but he is able to get credit for taking up your cause and he blames others. He is not going to go down to the wire for what you want (if you are not super important to him) but he will make it appear that he is trying to help you. As a strategy.The question always boils down to what level of effort you will put in to make something you believe in happen. [1][1] I’ve always felt that if you want a spouse to stop some activity that is bad for them you have to stop enabling them and draw a line in the sand with the activity full stop. ‘If you don’t stop smoking I am leaving you..’

      1. Donna Brewington White

        I’ve wondered about that myself. Trump is, afterall, both strategist and pragmatist. But that is a huge political gamble to make.

        1. LE

          Also read this. Part of this is exactly what I am saying. The other part is just obvious to anyone who does a good deal of negotiating and dealing with people:…As far as anchoring it’s universal and not only related to money. You think you are dying from a brain tumor and find out it’s ‘only’ diabetes. Wow you dodged a bullet and are actually happy.

  5. Brian Allman

    Fred Wilson, card carrying Member of ACLU; welcome! We must all speak up.

  6. gregorylent

    trump’s contribution to the evolution of usa will be in what is created in opposition to him and his teamthis is a good thing

    1. obarthelemy

      I’m most worried about Trump’s puppet masters. The ridiculously floundering about election fraud is, really, about more upcoming voter exclusion. There’s a fearsome cadre that has already managed to lock up the Supreme Court, local elections… they’re going for the final step now.

  7. William Mougayar

    This is not going to be an easy presidency for sure. Lots of headwinds.

    1. awaldstein

      What is a headwind in this instance Willam?This is hate pure and simple. Antidote is to fight, block and remove him.This is not academic in the most remote way.

      1. Susan Rubinsky

        Problem is that Pence is worse. We’ve got to focus on midterm elections and 2020. As my friend Jen said to me the other day, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

        1. awaldstein

          Disagree in one respect.Pence is in my mind whacked out in his beliefs. Trump is a hate mongering madman. You make a choice.As Sat Nite Live skit mouthed, ‘you can’t impeach me cause then you get Pence.Yes we can potentially.

          1. Susan Rubinsky

            These are the times where the best satirists emerge.Both Trump and Pence are deeply deplorable but Pence actually scares me more due to being a chrstofascist.

          2. awaldstein

            agree at my core but need to move forward and waiting four years is not an option.

          3. Susan Rubinsky

            Oh, I totally agree. I’m involved in organizing here in CT. I went to DC for the Women’s March. I’m signed up for a workshop this week on becoming a leader in Action Together Connecticut. I also will be working on an election campaign team in NY state and potentially another one here in CT (was approached to lead marcom). But we also need to be thinking strategically about the long term. In some cases it is key to stand back and try to get a better understanding of the big picture before deciding what action to take.

        2. Kirsten Lambertsen

          I’m curious why you see Pence as *worse*. To me the only thing that could be worse is if Steve Bannon had been elected president (which, in effect, he has).I think ousting Trump would put weenie Pence on notice. And being an actual politician, he’d try to appease in order to keep power. But it wouldn’t work, and we’d elect someone better in 2020.

          1. Susan Rubinsky

            Pence is a Christofascist. Trump is just an egomaniac who is a puppet for the Alt Right. (That’s the nutshell version).Here is an interesting read about the Christofascist movement –

          2. bsoist

            We were talking about this at home today. We disagree strongly with Pence’s ideology, but I don’t think he has whatever it takes (bravado, ego, ?) to actually push his agenda in the way Trump does. It’s a tough call, but after this first week, I think we would be better off with @annelibby:disqus @MsPseudolus:disqus

          3. Anne Libby

            Yes. At least he can hold it together. His team would probably be more experienced and able to work the system — for better and not.Less likely to get us into a war because he feels ego-threatened? Priceless.

          4. Susan Rubinsky

            May I suggest you do some reading about the Christofascist movement in the United States. It will be enlightening (and horrifically disturbing).

          5. bsoist

            I am very well aware of the movement, having grown up in it and still being surrounded by many sympathetic to it. Make no mistake, we don’t want a Pence administration, but I just think he won’t make progress on his agenda. Like I wrote, though, it really is a tough call in my opinion.

          6. Susan Rubinsky

            Oh, yes, it is a tough call. Very complex situation.

          7. ShanaC


          8. Susan Rubinsky

            This is good opinion piece by a someone who was raised to be a minion in the army of god –

          9. ShanaC

            oh, THOSE PEOPLE. why didn’t you say that?

          10. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Right now, I’m inclined to believe that this entire nightmare is the continuing work of the dudes who once made up the Project for a New American Century. Trump, Pence, even Bannon are just tools.If we recall, PNAC also had the goal of shrinking the U.S. government down to the size of something you could ‘drown in the bathtub,’ all in service of their business/wealth interests, much of which is of course in oil and the war machine. They need the end of government in order to enable the privatization of everything.

          11. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Do you think Pence would have implemented all these same executive orders that Trump has in the first handful of days? Serious question 🙂

          12. Susan Rubinsky

            Pence would be far more subversive which means a lot of covert stuff would take us longer to find out about.

          13. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Food for thought. But not sure where it leaves us, in terms of what to do.

          14. Susan Rubinsky

            Agreed. It is a moment for resistance on the obvious and time for reflection and consideration on the more complex. As Sun Tzu said, “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

          15. Susan Rubinsky

            And as we all know, the Democratic party had the wrong strategy in this past election and we still need to work on understanding how to create the right strategy for proceeding. (As a liberal progressive — and an Independent — who was a reluctant Hillary supporter, I am thinking the Democratic party lost it’s ability to gauge the pulse of many Americans. And we better damn fix that BEFORE we start jumping behind causes without understanding the consequences.)

          16. Anne Libby

            Who would he be trying to appease? Not the center-left, to be sure.I’m not saying that DJT shouldn’t go. (I give him less than a year.) Pence has some pretty anti-woman history, among other known issues…

          17. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Yeah, don’t get me wrong. Pence is a nightmare. But once he has that presidency, he doesn’t want to get impeached, too. He’s a politician. For all their flaws, politicians’ motives can be understood and manipulated.

          18. Anne Libby

            Yes, it’s the system.

          19. LE

            Trump would put weenie PenceKirsten I am not a Pence fan but also not in favor of calling someone a weenie.And being an actual politician, he’d try to appease in order to keep power.Actual politician. Exactly. (Which is why he doesn’t need to be put on notice, it’s baked in already..)

          20. Kirsten Lambertsen

            My friend, I’m using the term weenie factually here. Those without spines are weenies. Pence is a weenie! Sycophant. Weenie. Take yer pick.

      2. William Mougayar

        Push backs from the ACLU & others.

  8. awaldstein

    I’m in with a monthly.

  9. Mike Zamansky

    Wife and I joined recently and set up monthly donations. Encouraging others to do the same and working on more ways to be actively involved.

  10. JimHirshfield

    I just donated and tweeted at Albert and Sacca for their matching donations.

  11. TejDhawan

    I too had taken my civil liberties for granted- first as a f1 student, then as a green card holder, and finally as a US citizen. The EFF and ACLU will probably be largest recipients of my funding, irrespective of tax deductibility.

  12. Howard Mann

    Just set up a monthly donation as well. Thank you Fred for speaking out!

  13. John Pepper


  14. rich caccappolo

    I’m in. We all have to do what we can. This is one such action. What other ideas can this community propose?

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Support:Independent journalism (I chose Democracy Now for starters)CAIR — they too have lawsuits in — lawsuit over emoluments clauseAnd you can read this https://www.resistancemanua

  15. Heather Fields

    I’m in too. We need the ACLU to be strong for this unprecedented time and to support the new generation of movement-makers. I watched my son rush out to the airport last night, finally overwhelmed by the need to show up and lend his voice and to be reassured by the many others he hoped to find there too.

  16. ewchaikin

    Bravo. My admiration for you was high and has just risen. We can attempt to stay nonpartisan by calling out that which is simply “ineffective”. But it is immoral not to act against that which is purely indecent.

  17. Gregg Freishtat

    just joined. give to ThinkProgress as well. Thanks Fred

  18. Ric Fulop

    Thank you Fred

  19. Maia Heymann

    Made ACLU contribution yesterday. Will now sign-up for monthly contributions… predictable source of funds will fund a sustainable fight.

  20. DaveGoulden

    Thanks Fred. We joined yesterday too. Here’s another good post on why we all need to fight now.

  21. Lisa Lorimer

    Set myself up as a monthly donor last week. Thank you for posting this.

  22. ErikSchwartz

    What is even more offensive about Trump’s actions is that Afghans and Iraqis who risked their lives to help the US military as translators are included in the ban.Why should anyone ever help us again?

    1. PhilipSugar

      Misguided. Called somebody high up. They are in so fast you don’t even understand. They aren’t even flying commercial.


    Great. I am a long time ACLU member who will go in bigger. To those who want other ideas, look at the website of the Democratic Governors Association, and the Unrig The Map project, for an smart approach to the next electoral cycle.

  24. Tariq

    Thanks Fred. We need your help now more than ever. We need everyone’s help to stop this madness.”He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

  25. Maurya Couvares

    Thank you for posting this Fred and for speaking out. I hope that the tech industry can come together to stop help stop this insanity and it’s so, so important to have leaders speak out. THANK YOU.

  26. angiekeefer

    Thank you. As an artist, not someone involved in the tech or VC industries, I’ve followed your blog for years because the conversation interests me; it provides a window into other ways of thinking about problems and possibilities from outside my native culture industry bubble. I often recommend avc, but I’ve never felt compelled to comment publicly before now. Publicly, then: I’m grateful to you for speaking out. This is no time to be silent. Thank you, thank you, thank you for deciding to use your influence. You will inspire others to stand up, stand together, and do the same.

  27. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I’m so very glad to see you put it on the line for what’s right. I would have understood if you had wanted to keep it off the blog.Yesterday was horrifying and inspiring all at once. But it confirmed what I’ve believed for a long time, that we’re in good hands if those hands are the younger generations. These people know how to organize, and they are willing to show up every single time.Few politicians are actually leaders. They’re followers. We all have to suit up now and show them where we want to go. The Dems were woefully quiet and absent yesterday (save for a few like Casey, Booker, Warren, etc.). Those weenies aren’t going to have the courage to do what’s right unless we make it clear they aren’t going to have a job otherwise. (Side note: we won’t be getting any ‘fresh talent’ in there if we don’t tackle vote suppression immediately, before mid-terms.)The drumbeat has to get louder and be relentless every single day. The ACLU, alone, cannot save us from Steve Bannon’s sick vision of a war without end (I’ve made my monthly pledge,though!). We have to call our congress people *daily*.It was just a matter of time before the U.S. got its own authoritarian regime. We’re really not that exceptional, any more. But maybe we can get some of that magic back by how we respond to this moment.

  28. Salt Shaker

    Dictatorship or democracy, which are we? It’s time Congressional GOP leaders stepped in and recognized they’re Americans first, not Republicans. Values matter. Trump was elected President (sort of), but that doesn’t mean everything he stood for or believes in should be policy. You don’t get to cherry pick which parts of the Constitution you will abide by. This isn’t the salad bar at Trump Tower.

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Right on. Just because you invite a thief into your house doesn’t mean he’s allowed to steal all the silver. This crowd has got to go.

  29. Luann Abrams

    Thank you for speaking out! I also donated to ACLU last night for the first time in my life. I may go broke supporting Planned Parenthood and the ACLU over the next 4 years, but it will be worth it.

  30. kidmercury

    There is a policy connection. Opposite side: http://www.judicialwatch.or…The whole terrorism stuff is way, way, way overblown and sensationalized, but saying this is not related to policy and is just racist is simply false. Calling everything one doesn’t like racist simply fuels antagonism from the growing number of people who are tired of making every issue about race or some kind of artificial human classification system.

    1. Jordan Thaeler

      +1 this

    2. rick gregory

      Except it is racist. The bans are from countries whose citizens have caused zero US terror deaths. Conspicuously absent are the countries whose citizens DID cause US deaths.The White House is also defending not mentioning Jews on Holocaust Remembrance Day. And over the weekend Trump moved the DNI and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs off the NSC… and a white supremacist, Bannon, on to it.At some point refusing to acknowledge this is moves from sticking your head in the sand to being complicit it the choices.

      1. Amar

        @kidmercury:disqus I agree with you that if the left starts tagging everything uncomfortable as ‘racist’ – we are not going to find common ground. At the same time – if this is truly about policy and correction .. we got to get people like Steve Bannon out of the national security council. He with his vitriolic past is a complete distraction if this WH wants to get real work done

        1. Donna Brewington White

          Admittedly, I find it it hard to understand that choice (Bannon). I keep thinking there must be something more to it than meets the eye.

      2. Donna Brewington White

        I don’t think we can look backward to determine the present threat. The war on terrorism is a moving target. And if selecting the seven countries was an act of racism, then this comes from the Obama Administration that isolated these particular countries as posing a threat. There are valid criticisms that can be leveled at the EO, but I don’t see racism as one of them.I just take racism too seriously to misuse the term.

        1. rick gregory

          So we’re tossing out historical precedent and just winging it? These countries might someday produce a threat so lets ban them now? Oh but let’s NOT restrict travel from countries whose citizens HAVE actually harmed the US? And it’s purely coincidence that Trump has interests in those countries? There’s this bridge for sale… interested?

          1. Donna Brewington White

            No not coincidence. These are the countries that well-trained and intelligent members of the Obama administration identified. Trump acted on their conclusions.Didn’t you see Obama speaking seriously to Trump at the inauguration. He was saying, “Donny, I’ve given you what you need. Now go to it, man.” Didn’t your read his lips?

          2. cavepainting

            Donna, Sorry to step in again, but this is false. The comparisons between Obama’s actions and Trump’s actions are not correct and have been proven to be wrong. The Post gave it a three Pinnachios in their detailed analysis. https://www.washingtonpost….

          3. Donna Brewington White

            I couldn’t be stalked by a nicer guy. :)We are referring to two separate but related things. You are focused on the current president’s actions. my comment focused on why he chose a particular group of people as the focus of those actions.CNN: The seven Muslim-majority countries targeted in President Trump’s executive order on immigration were initially identified as “countries of concern” under the Obama administration.

          4. cavepainting

            Hah. Got it. Good that you clarified. Yes, these are two different things. The problem is that the administration employs illusionists who deliberately mix up this stuff and obfuscate things with the goal of normalizing their actions. (Yeah, What President Trump is doing is the same as what previous Presidents have done).

        2. cavepainting

          Isolating a collection of people as unworthy and dangerous demeans them. When you pass actions specifically against a group – be it by race, country or religion- it is tantamount to treating them with contempt and condescension. Whatever you call it, any violation of human dignity at the level of a specific identifiable group with a common attribute is in the same bracket as racism.When this happens, the people at the receiving end feel hard done by. And over time it engenders resentment, anger and hatred. History is littered with examples across geographies and times.Also, your comparison with Obama admin actions is a false one. Banning ALL people from the countries not the same as identifying the countries as needing tougher vetting procedures. “We cannot look backward to assess the current threat” is the same argument used to get into Iraq. Over-reacting and making something far more than what it is makes problems worse, not better.

          1. Donna Brewington White

            So we should never go to war?

          2. cavepainting

            Only when the cause is just and justified. Only when it is not driven by hysterical exaggeration of threats to the homeland that are inconsistent with reality. The US participation in the first and second world wars were based on a direct threat to the world order and protecting our strategic interests. Our intervention in Bosnia was to stop the genocide of an evil dictator. On the other hand, Iraq was war mongering based on flawed intelligence. It was a misguided adventure targeted at the wrong party who was not responsible for 9/11 and who had no real ability to hurt us. A certain ex-President who won the Nobel prize spoke eloquently about how a just war is sometimes necessary to maintain the peace.

          3. Donna Brewington White

            But even a just war results in:”Isolating a collection of people as unworthy and dangerous demeans them. When you pass actions specifically against a group – be it by race, country or religion- it is tantamount to treating them with contempt and condescension. Whatever you call it, any violation of human dignity at the level of a specific identifiable group with a common attribute is in the same bracket as racism.”

          4. cavepainting

            Yes, war does result in oppression and human rights violations, which is why it needs to be a last resort when there is no other way to resolve a conflict. But, there are certain evils that cannot be defeated through dialog. Hitler’s armies would have killed millions more if the Allies had not defeated them.My point was made in the context of things like the Trump ban on immigration on seven countries. These are things that are blatantly denigrating of specific sects of people and not justified on the current level of threat. There have been ZERO attacks from anyone from one of these countries on US soil. Put yourself in the shoes of the Iranian student who was going to MIT do do research and got turned back or the 12 year old girl from Yemen who was going to join her parents in California but could not board the flight.

          5. Donna Brewington White

            Here we are cavepainting creating a long thread resulting from my lack of discipline in not restraining myself from responding to an actually rather silly comment.Of all the smarter comments made, you chose me to respond to. You must have just wanted to have a conversation with me. :)So we both agree that sometimes a larger good (or evil) warrants actions that impose upon the dignity of the individual human and that sometimes that individual human belongs to a larger group that must be opposed, possibly to the detriment of the individual.And we both agree that human dignity is an important thing.First of all, I am not here to defend the president’s actions. There were people who were treated terribly this weekend and did not need to be to accomplish his objective. Faulty execution.I am not going to argue the meaning of the word “racist” because you have access to a dictionary.You also responded to my taking issue with what I considered to be a myopic (and amateur) assessment as to what does or does not constitute a threat to national security. I probably responded because I have heard the same argument over and over again. It does not make sense, plain and simple. We are talking about terrorism. Its unpredictability is part of its danger.Terrorist warfare is not subject to anything that makes rational or logical sense to us. It is asinine to assume that we can speculate. This drives me crazy, I admit.Lastly, you objected to my comment that Trump acted on the selections made by the Obama administration. My only point was that if selecting these 7 countries was “racist” then this racism did not originate with this administration. That was my only point in this regard.

          6. cavepainting

            I just wanted to have a conversation with you :-)I had just gotten off a somewhat tortuous discussion with JLM on the same topic where he was justifying the ban using Obama’s actions as precedent. That is false and has been covered extensively by the Post and others. When I saw a similar line of reasoning,I couldn’t resist responding.But I understand and appreciate your perspective and as you said, we mostly agree.

          7. Donna Brewington White

            I called the guy’s comment “silly” and that wasn’t nice. Seems that he was hurt that the White House ignored “National Holocaust Day” and I empathize with his disappointment. Ironically, this administration is much more sympathetic with Israel than the last.

      3. kidmercury

        the list of countries on the list is the same list that the obama administration had a temporary restriction on issuing visas to. both administrations deemed these countries to be harboring is bannon a white supremacist? lol ya’ll just toss out these allegations like it’s nbd.

        1. rick gregory

          Go read breitbart. Read Bannon’s own words. Of course, if you LIKE breitbart then perhaps you’re with him.

          1. kidmercury

            i don’t really find those articles persuasive. the one actual thing there is that bannon’s ex-wife said he didn’t want his kids going to school with lots of jews, or something to that effect. he denied saying that. if he denies it, and if the only evidence is testimony from one person, i have a hard time automatically believing he’s for the audience of breitbart, i don’t blame the publisher for the audience that is attracted. i think a lot of people with unfortunate views can share common political beliefs with those who don’t have such unfortunate views. i don’t believe the immorality is transferable.

          2. rick gregory

            Ah yes, you want your OWN facts. /bye

    3. Donna Brewington White

      I am weary of the whole race thing too. Racism is alive and well, and must be combatted but the real fight against racism gets diluted by the ability to throw that word around without real meaning.Surprised to hear you say that terrorism is overblown and sensationalized. Seems like it is a very real threat and all the more concerning because it is so covert. Which then causes sweeping actions to combat the unseen enemy.

      1. Cam MacRae

        It’s absolutely overblown and sensationalised. I quite rationally fear death every time I visit your country but it ain’t because of islamists.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          The thing is, do we really know if it is overblown and sensationalized?In my community, you have to look out for mountain lions and rattlesnakes (among other dangerous wildlife — I have been stalked by a coyote at least twice which is actually unusual and probably not truly threatening). I can’t live in fear, but I must be alert. I know the things you are supposed to do if encountering a mountain lion. I admit that in the case of mountain lions I get a little freaked out and don’t go on trails alone anymore. My husband thinks I’m being overly cautious but he cannot deny that the danger is real. He has actually happened upon a lion and her cubs. That could have been the end of him, but he was back on the trail the next day.We do not all have the same risk tolerance for danger or threat.

          1. Cam MacRae

            Fairly confident we do know, but it’s easy enough to verify by opening the newspaper to the obits. The American lifestyle is a phenomenal killer. As is the American automobile. And the American firearm. But terrorists? Nah, not unless they’re homegrown.”Yes!”, you might say, “That is because our security services are doing a stellar job.” Indeed. In which case the travel restrictions are fatuous and unnecessary. Instead they are rooted in the extreme xenophobia of your new administration.That said, there are a lot of bad guys from Trump’s 7. A little caution seems both pragmatic and reasonable.However, one does need to question why the Saudis were omitted from the list. And the Pakistanis. I’d probably add the Emiratis for good measure. After all, these are the well funded guys who have actually managed to kill Americans on American soil, are they not? But of course they can be omitted because your security services are doing a stellar job and additional travel restrictions are fatuous and unnecessary. These restrictions are rooted in the extreme xenophobia of your new administration and are perfectly aligned with the business ambitions of the plutocrat elected to run the show.There is a wonderful yet often misquoted passage in Gustave Gilbert’s journal of his conversations with Hermann Goering at Nuremberg. Soak it up, let stew some, and let’s check back with each other in 4 years.We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction. “Why, of course, the people don’t want war,” Goering shrugged. “Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.” “There is one difference,” I pointed out. “In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.” “Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”I love pit vipers. Truly magnificent creatures. I run with an extraordinarily bright head lamp so I don’t step on one. So far so good!

          2. Donna Brewington White

            Let’s do check back in 4 years. But hopefully will hear from you again before then.And, meanwhile, the type of food for thought I can appreciate. Thank you.

      2. PhilipSugar

        This is a great comment. I am really tired of it as well. You are totally right it exists there is no doubt, no doubt. There is sexism, no doubt, no doubt.But calling racism without basis just makes people weary and dismiss real cases.I held and paid for a funeral at the Delaware Association of Police for my wife’s uncle.… this Friday.Their were officers of all colors, sexes, creeds, and religions. They just want to get home at night. The sad part is so many say I would not have gone in if I knew what it was going to be like now.Two funny pieces:They smoke inside and have slot machines there. What is up with that? I guess nobody is going to arrest you. Drinks are two bucks. They let my wife bring in all of the food.Second a uniformed officer comes in with my nanny who is 25 but looks about 14 because she is so small 4’2″ petite figure (people think my 15 year old daughter is older). I run over to say, she’s actually 24 and she is driving us home. He says I know.He says to everyone this huge black Denali pulls in next to me the door opens my heart is racing and then she steps out, and she says I’m lost I’m looking for the DAP.I thought one of you a-holes was playing a joke on me.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          Phil, it is worth reading the comments just for your stories.At 4′ 2″ how does she even see over the windshield? And hopefully the airbag is turned off.

          1. PhilipSugar

            They make those for women these days. That is the target audience. I would say 9 out of 10 driving those where I live are women. A co-workers wife who is not much bigger drives one.It is not mine, it is my wife’s who is 5’2″.The pedals move the steering wheel moves the seat goes way up high.They actually have a control so I can move it back before I get in because I literally physically cannot get in for either of their settings.Test drive one: Yukon Denali XL. It is HUGE.They both love driving it. I certainly was not the decision maker in the buying process. Dealer was like yup, seeing your wife wants a new car.The Land Cruiser was tougher for the nanny to drive but she could drive it.Driving is like flying. It used to be a physical task but now it is purely mental. Women make up 50% of new pilots. Women can drive big rigs or dump trucks probably better than the men because they don’t take dumb risks.

      3. kidmercury

        i think it is overblown because a very small percent of people die because of terrorism relative to things like heart attack, cancer, or even suicide. poverty also ruins lives and affects millions. all the focus and money on terrorism in my opinion would be better spent on these other factors that are taking and reducing the quality of more lives.

    4. leigh

      Three guys just went into a Mosque in Quebec tonight and shot at 40 people killing at least 5 during evening prayer. Hate begets and drives more hate. Radicalism in any form needs to be combatted regardless of religion or dogma. Man, the world feels like a very hateful place right now.

      1. ShanaC

        oh good lord

  31. todd

    Thanks very much for finally saying something. The retrumplicans are silent I noticed. I hope it will help to carefully stem the polarization tide happening, by carefully and thoughtfully trimming some of the worse abominations of the ‘right’, although the argument that care and sensitivity will not help, is a strong one, but we must never give up hope.

  32. lynnerae

    Thanks, Fred. I just joined too. And while I have also “kept my mouth (relatively) shut”, as a VC managing a Mexico-focused fund, I will do so no longer. This has to stop.

  33. Paul Crockett

    I started my ACLU membership following the election. One of many things like minded folks need to commit to between now and November 6, 2018.

  34. Dorothy Langer

    Thanks for speaking out, Fred. Your words have influence. Besides the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, I also donate to the ADL. It’s also an important organization fighting bigotry and hatred. So, for me, it’s the big 3: ACLU, ADL, and Planned Parenthood.

  35. Marcy Shinder

    Count me in

  36. obarthelemy

    I think there’s one area were we should follow Trump’s lead: use qualifiers before people’s names. He gave us crooked Hillary, I propose:”minority pussy-grabbing President Trump” ?

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Totally agree with this. Not for spite, but because we need to take control of the narrative and stop *reacting*. We need to put that whole cast of characters in a frame that will stick to them til the end of time.I’ve been partial to Jaba the Trump, myself. It captures all the facets of his monstrousness. And it speaks volumes instantly to multiple generations of Star Wars devotees.

    2. rick gregory

      No. Trump is a dangerous, racist hate monger but if we want to reach people who are on the fence and persuade them, that kind of action harms the effort. When right wingers called Obama “Obummer” did it make you take the more seriously? Or less?Call out everything he does. Make his supporters own those policies and give them better alternative solutions to their valid concerns about, say, the economy. Name-calling is childish and counterproductive.

      1. obarthelemy

        1- It’s not name calling. Those are factual, descriptive adjectives, 2 very polite words and the 3rd word, his.2- how’s that reasoned, intelligent, intellectual, unemotional campaign been working for you so far ?

        1. rick gregory

          I like truth. IF it hurts, perhaps people should look at why they’re hurt by it. Perhaps people should consider whether their valid concerns (economic opportunity etc) are best served by getting in bed with someone who promotes hate and bigotry.

  37. kenberger

    I’m an American living in Mexico and Germany for now.And what I notice from both countries: they don’t give us hate back in return.

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      They’ve been to this rodeo before. We haven’t.

      1. kenberger


  38. steve cheney


  39. Karen Cahn

    Fred good for you! I hope you are an inspiration to your Silicon Valley cronies to speak up too!

  40. Dennis Noel

    Donation made to the ACLU.

  41. Vendita Auto

    Kennedy said it best “Ich bin ein Berliner”

  42. Steven Rosenbaum

    Fred – you’ve always been willing to stand up and lead, and this post is further evidence of that. The tech and venture community has been mostly silent, trying to balance the needs of their employees and customers with the portfolio needs of their investors – as a new administration set new priorities. That debate ended this week. Any hope that Trump’s bluster wouldn’t be turned into racist, xenaphobic action is now very much in the rear-view mirror.The good news is – the numbers say that he and his views are in the minority. The bad news is that he’s overriding a Congress (both D’s and R’s) who seem frozen in fear.So the ACLU is certainly part of the solution. So are public actions marches and protests.But voting with our dollars and our tech is perhaps the most powerful voice we have. The Disqus idea is a good one. There are more to be reached out to. And civic tech ideas and teams to support.We’re facing the challenge of our lifetime. And no one can afford to watch from the sidelines.Thank you Fred, for standing up. Who’s next?

  43. Frank

    Thanks Fred. Just donated.

  44. Elliot Goldstein

    Thank you Fred for voicing your opinion and taking action.Wouldn’t it be great if the rest of the VC and PE world joined you and did the same.And wouldn’t it be truly amazing and impactful if the nights around Trumps tech table joined in the public discourse and jointly voiced in unison their dismay at how the Trump / Bannon leadership is taking this country down one dark road!

  45. lisa hickey

    Thanks Fred. It’s really important that people with influence and connections speak out.If you’re wondering the ‘why’s’ behind all this (why would a president continue to roll out policy after policy of hate, week one? Why are National Parks Service employees being seen as unlikely heroes in their quest to preserve climate change data?) — I’d encourage you to read Alex Steffen’s post on the ‘carbon bubble’. You may well be aware of the carbon bubble, but I’d urge you to think about how it might apply to what DJT is doing in office. It’s not just hate, but the possibility of him treating the presidency as a business (and using hate as a means to an ends) that I am most worried about. (link:

    1. Gretchen

      This is so very important Lisa, thank you for sharing.

      1. Lisa Duggan

        This country’s greatness comes from its open borders, minds and hearts. Our diversity IS our superpower, and we owe our history of innovation and entrepreneurship to that open door policy. Given that history, closing our country ideologically & materially is illogical, and therefore suspect. Clearly Trump & Co. pursue their own agenda, one that harms & does not help America, aided by foreign actors. After reading Alex Steffen’s article on the connection to the oil & gas sector & the “carbon bubble”, Tillerson + Putin make sense. Horrible, damning sense but one that gives us a path forward. We’ve been here before, we know the damage incurred when dying industries & sectors hold on long past relevance, through lies & manipulation of the market. Please spread the word to investors to support and enable alternative energy products, services and companies. And yes, Stand Up & Speak Out, to whatever capacity you can, on whatever platform you have been given.

  46. michaelbstrong

    Also joined with a monthly donation. Thanks for catalyzing, Fred

  47. Dorothy Crenshaw

    Thank you. We need people of influence to speak out. It seems like the institutions we take for granted are under imminent threat. I’ve been hoping the comparisons to Nazi Germany are melodramatic but this just seems like a slide into fascism.

  48. Janis Spivack…We were warned, it just didn’t “make sense”. I’ve also been in denial but it’s clear the Exec Office game plan is “go in fast and disrupt Democracy”. The counter-move? Study how the President has conducted business – he intends to run our country in the exact same way. Why? Because it worked. We gave him a tv show and the highest office in the land. So the question is – how do you shut down a business that is a unicorn – but one that is killing the ecosystem and everything that gets in its way?

  49. matthew scranton

    Thank you

  50. Geoff Judge

    Great post Fred. The man wants to be the first dictator of the USA. We cannot let this happen. Making my first sizable donation to ACLU right now

  51. Tom Labus

    What are the legal steps for removing a sitting US president who is mentally unbalanced? Is there something in the Constitution?This needs to be remedied quickly since this administration will not end well and be a nightmare for all of the US/world.

  52. Steven Kane

    I’ve been a proud card carrying member and financial supporter of the ACLU for more than 25 years. I applaud everyone who is discovering this distinctly American organization now! But fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. The ACLU is about civil liberties under the Constitution, not politics and definitely not partisanship. It was the ACLU that successfully defended the American nazi party’s right to parade in Skokie Illinois. American citizen Nazis after all have the same civil liberties as do anyone else. If you are looking for an ally for or against trump or even against so-called “fascists” you will be shocked and disappointed. If on the other hand you are in favor of free speech and the rule of law and equal justice under law – chips falling where they may – you have found a fearless tireless ally in the ACLU

  53. Druce

    Almost seems designed to create maximum chaos and get overturned…maybe it’s battlefield preparation more than a real policy. When they truck-bomb Trump Tower or there’s a Reichstag event, everyone will say the civil liberties and lefty types caused it, lock them all up.…Or maybe Bannon is Cheney with all the crudeness and none of the effectiveness (or minimal respect for liberal democracy).

  54. Ron Pastore

    just joined, thanks for the inspiration.

  55. Dhru Purohit

    Thanks for speaking up

  56. Anne Libby

    Thanks, Fred.

  57. bsoist

    And I’m done with keeping my mouth shut too.Glad to hear that.

  58. Susan Rubinsky

    “Your silence will not protect you.” — Audre LordeReally glad to hear that you are speaking up. If we’ve learned anything from history it is that silence = complicitness. Not only is it key for us all to use our collective voice, but even more importantly for each of us to leverage our personal assets and push for resistance and change in the places we are effective, the places where we have a unique voice.I am glad that someone brought up that Diqus is a tool used by Breitbart. Tech is the place where FW can make a difference.I have been checking in my news feed every day waiting to see when you would say something. It was oddly comforting to see that the regular tech posts were being posted daily. Yet it was also disturbing. Each day I would open my email and scan to the AVC headline hoping for commentary on the white house. Each day, I saw another tech post. I am heartened today. Thank you for all that you do and for speaking up.

  59. John Schroeder

    +1, just joined as well. Great idea, thanks Fred.

  60. Mike Sheppard

    Thanks, Fred. Welcome to the ACLU.

  61. Guy Lepage


  62. oxidegeek

    Knowledge and ability to discover, make new things is the key for survival and progress for humanity. If you alienate the best and the brightest who have been coming to this country for 200+ years and calling it home to forge the future, for the country and the world – guess where that will lead.

  63. Cynthia Savage

    very happy to hear that. about time!

  64. Matthias Kurwig

    It’s time Fred. Just did the same. Thanks for speaking out.

  65. Kirsten Lambertsen

    It’ll be interesting to learn how much the ACLU raised over the weekend, compared to the last 12 months.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Wow! I bet they raised that much and more yesterday alone, too.

    1. fredwilson

      $20mm and rising

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        That’s a lotta wow! Great war chest. So glad. Now like good investors we have to help them in other ways, too 🙂

  66. Frank W. Miller

    Hmm. I hope yours and Brad’s blogs don’t go the way of Facebook and become continuous political discussions. On the other hand, if you want to get rid of me as a commenter, that would be the way to do it. 😉 I’m not here (or there) to comment on politics, just my view of the lopsided power arrangement between VCs and entrepreneurs.

    1. fredwilson

      it is true that entrepreneurs have a lot of power over VCs, but i am not going to let their power over me stop me from saying what i think.

  67. Ben Bear

    Spot on. One clear tell (of many) that policies have everything to do with racism and nothing to do with immigration policy; there is ZERO talk of building a wall to secure the Canadian border. Statistically there are 2X as many Canadians in the US on expired Visas as Mexicans. In addition, Canada is making overtures that they will accept the refugees Trump has just barred as a great danger to US society. If Democrats in Congress ever have the chance to debate funding the wall, they should insist on funding both walls simultaneously or none at all. Doing so will expose this plainly for what it is; racism to distract us from the real story. We must stay laser focused on removing Bannon, exposing conflicts of interest, and direct ties to Russsia.”If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” – Lyndon Banes Johnson

  68. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Y’all, they’re doing a matching pledge over at GothamGal. Be sure to jump on that!

  69. Steven Rosenbaum

    The only revenue on the Breitbart home page is from Taboola. Here’s their Board:… -It’s About Free Speech, Says Tech CEO Cashing In On Breitbart Ads…

  70. Philippe Platon

    Wow. Proud to work at a USV portfolio company.

  71. Kristin LaFollette

    I was waiting for you to do this Fred. Thank you. This is serious hate, led by our now-President. Unprecedented and horrid.

  72. Aruni S. Gunasegaram

    Amen. Agreed. Awesome. I’m donating shortly as well. @aruni

  73. Pete Griffiths

    Couldn’t agree more!!!!

  74. panterosa,

    Donated.Thanks for this Fred, Joanne, Amy and Brad.

  75. Mitch Kline

    Right on Fred!! Great column in the Detroit Free press today from one of my favorite authors- Mitch Albom. The symbol of our country is the statue of Liberty, China is the wall not us….. Read if you have time…

  76. Jayson Cooke

    So Fred, How much $$ Money did you send to VICTIMS of terrorist attacks. Kids that will NEVER see their family again because they were shot or blown up? My bet is a solid ZERO. Much of my extended family are from Muslim countries, they understand and support Trumps decision to protect the citizens he swore an oath to protect to the best of his ability. Putting in a system that more accurately Vets potential danger is security 101. Tonight, I want you to go home and announce to everyone that you meet that you will be leaving your door unlocked and you are unarmed, also, post your address and phone number on the internet and let them know you will be housing any “Refugee” that can make it to your house for free. I’m sure you and your family will feel perfectly safe. This is what you are asking US, the American taxpayer to do, so you do it first — or are you just a hypocrite? My guess is the latter.

    1. obarthelemy

      1- after 9/11, how many people have been killed by immigrant Islamist terrorists in the US ? (not US citizens Islamist but immigrant terrorists)2- how does that compare to other forms of preventable deaths ?

      1. Jayson Cooke

        If you are trying to come to some conclusion about what is more dangerous, you are missing the point. Driving a car kills more people than guns, but I’m sure you are one of those that believes guns should have more restrictions than a Drivers license? So there you go, your point is not relevant to Executive orders and things the President is sworn to do as Commander in Chief.

        1. obarthelemy

          1- Isn’t he mostly sworn to defend the constitution, ie not get money from foreign nationals as he as been doing since day 1 in office ?2- Shouldn’t the President have a clear sense of priorities, and focus on saving the maximum of people’s lives, instead of catering to hysteria ?

          1. Jayson Cooke

            1. conjecture2. Priorities are based on his campaign promises, elected based on a (correctly stated) cherry picked issues. So far, Trump is batting 1,000.

          2. obarthelemy

            1. Fact, his companies receive money not only from foreign nationals, but also from foreign governments. Which is why he is hiding his tax returns (also, he grossly exaggerated his success).2- maybe just 999, Mexico isn’t paying for that wall. or 998, he got plenty of Wall Street types in his team. Or 997, he has neither cancelled nor replaced Obamacare. Or 996, his anti-muslim vetting has been suspended. Or… how much is he batting again ?

          3. Jayson Cooke

            1. Conjecture. Honestly, you need to look up the word and understand what you are doing.2. Carlos Slim’s (who also owns a large stake in the NYTimes) is paying a large portion of it. Week 1, 10 campaign promises. 1,000

          4. obarthelemy

            1- You’re really not aware that a) minority pussy-grabbing Trump has business abroad and b) that foreign nationals pay him for services in the US ?2- Which ones ? He randomly targeted 7 of the tens of Muslim countries (and probably the wrong ones, Bin Laden was… Saudi ) and got subsequently shut down, etc…

          5. obarthelemy

            Just so we’re clear you’re being had, from…- “No person accepted to the United States as a refugee, Syrian or otherwise, has been implicated in a major fatal terrorist attack since the Refugee Act of 1980 set up systematic procedures for accepting refugees into the United States, according to an analysis of terrorism immigration risks by the Cato Institute.” (there has been one non-lethal attack since the end of the study)- “In fact, the primary perpetrators of the major terror attacks have mostly been US-born citizens or permanent legal residents originally from countries not included in the ban.”Minority pussy-grabbing Trump is playing you for a fool, and you’re lapping it up. He solves non-problems with great gusto

      2. Jayson Cooke

        Is 1 persons death that could be prevented worth more than others?

        1. obarthelemy

          That’s exactly my point.Feel free to reflect and answer on my other points too.

          1. Jayson Cooke

            Exactly. Your point is way to broad and philosophical. Lack of a targeted decision solves nothing.

          2. obarthelemy

            I understand you prefer random targeting.

          3. Jayson Cooke

            argumentative, again, solving nothing

          4. obarthelemy

            As opposed to.. not solving, and the wrong problem. I’ll take it !

    2. fredwilson


      1. Jayson Cooke

        I see what you did there. 🙂 FredWilsonTrump, has a nice ring to it.

    3. ShanaC

      Also, I find it super funny you like to criticize me of all people. I actually nearly got blown up in a bus bombing- the only reason I didn’t was because of a route switch due to construction 2 weeks before I stepped on that particular route line for the first time. it also was my first time on a bus in jerusalem, and it was at the end at the second intafada. (I was there for a year of religious seminary pre-college near beit shean, which is in the middle of nowhere, israel)I had come to down jerusalem and was waiting for this bus to ma’ale adumim in order to make a shiva call for the brother of a close family friend on behalf of my father. The ma’ale adumim buses makes a bunch of stops in jerusalem, due to the fact that despite the fact that ma’ale adumim is in the territories it is basically a huge bedroom community for jerusalem. The buses that service it are kinda like the subway in ny and/or the lirr – lots of commuters, hence why lots of stops in Jerusalem. So there I am standing in the middle of east jeruslem near an underpass by mt scopus and hebrew university bored out of my mind, since I should have been in a seminary class, and instead I had taken one 3 hour bus ride to jerusalem, and was now waiting for another bus. So I call a friend in a different seminary which was actually in Jerusalem – we talked, I explained I was in jerusalem waiting to go to an emergency shiva call. and that I probably would be there all weekend and it would be nice to see her. I hang up when the bus gets there.Suddenly I get this call from my aunt’s sister-in-law, (who I was planning on sleeping over that night after said shiva call). She asks me where I am, and I told her I am on the way to her house to drop of my stuff before going to this shiva call. She then tells me there was a bus bombing in East Jerusalem near Hebrew University at a stop for this bus. And then she goes to me, the route was just moved.Apparently the route was moved something like 2 weeks before due to the completion of some construction and the start of a different construction to a different bus stop in East Jerusalem, to the other side of the overpass near the other side of mt scopus and hebrew univerisity, which is why I didn’t hear it or experience shockwaves when I got on my bus.I call my friend to tell her I was alive – I don’t think I ever scared a friend before as much as that. I then called my mother – she also freaked out.before the wallet I used through israel and most of college got pickpocketed in herald square right before christmas, I used to carry the last of my jerusalem bus ticket to prove I was not afraid of a bomb or a terror attack. If I could miss one bombing by sheer stroke of luck, and then spend the rest of that year taking buses, terror would not get me. Most people, be it jewish or muslims, who I was on a bus with in Jerusalem had the same goal I had – to get somewhere, like to go to the shuk and get fruit at a really good price via haggling.Being afraid of terrorists, of people who actually could blow you up, means you are afraid of people and are afraid of living life (from someone whose actually come that close)

  77. ShanaC

    I’m exhausted of being terrified. (I’ve even given myself a panic attack so bad that I couldn’t sleep one night)But the truth is, I know I have every reason to be scared, and not necessarily just for me.I’m terrified for the Mosque across the street from me and it’s members. They’ve done nothing wrong: They are a model communal institution, and even host free! non-religious!STEM classes for kids on behalf of my community board. And that’s before the fact that they and a local church hold the largest christmas party for the poor in this area of brooklyn. I’m afraid they will wake up one night a victim of arson.I’m terrified that the holocaust remembrance announcement didn’t acknowledge Jewish people, because they thought it needed to acknowledge “all the people who died,” a common ploy to minimize what happened. That allows history’s repetition: making the immigration ban sadly rhyme in history. Now, I’m terrified that the immigration ban will kill refugee children abroad when they need to be kept safe. We’ve seen this before, and those children died before, and they will die again.I’m terrified that the data I’ve given over to health-care companies, in some cases as part of clinical trials to save other people’s lives!, not only will be used against me to deny me care, but be used in some sort of AI driven way to separate out some people from others in order that the government can hurt them.I’m afraid my GBLTQ++ friends might be attacked, hurt, or die if they go to the wrong place at the wrong time. I’m afraid that no one will prosecute on their behalf.I’m afraid of the fact that for some people, the word liberal is a bad word, and is becoming a way to accusing someone of being unamerican. I’m afraid that under this administration, it might become a way to jail someone. If it does, alongside other ways to take away our freedom to be, it will silence us all.I’m afraid that this administration is already trying to bully the press. On top of the alt-right forces trying to scare writers. What happens if they try to jail them? Who will speak truth to power on a mass level for us all? If a large paper can’t survive, how could a lone blogger?I’m afraid of the fact that this administration has tried to stop science from happening (already), including places like the CDC, on top of discrediting their authority, and wanting a commission on vaccines. What is going to stop them from putting together a small local plague, or letting an already existing one grow via discrediting the knowledge we have, and claiming the cause on a group of people the administration dislikes (the muslims) for starting it.I’m afraid of the fact that the government/individuals who support trump and his policies wants lists of what I read, what my friends read. I’d guess they want to track what I say too. I’m afraid of the fact that Cambridga Analytica is targeting that information, not to make the world a better place, not even to sell me a pair of sunglasses, but to divide us and make some of us hate other ones of us.I’ve felt so alone in my fear. I feel alone because in part I’m scared of distancing the people we need to reach out to too, because for whatever the reason, they voted Trump into power. Hard core republicans LOVE HIM, and do not seem to care that all of us, muslim, christian, republican, democrat, might lose freedoms and the very basis of the constitution. I’m also sometimes afraid to come here recently, because it all feels so abnormal to read and try to think aboutFred, thank you for speaking truth to power about what is going on. That’s all.

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      The extreme, nationalist, neo-Nazi right is _not_ the majority. It’s not even the majority of the Republican party. You have to repeat that mantra to yourself every day.What’s happened here is the result of 15+ years of work by a focused collection of interests to gerrymander districts, restrict voter rights, push the Republican party further and further right, and paint the Democratic party as socialist.But it’s not the result of the country, as a whole, becoming majority racist, sexist and religious extremist.Remember: HRC won by just under 3 million votes! She lost the electoral college because of targeted voter suppression efforts that have been working and building all during Obama’s presidency and paid off finally in the presidential cycle. (Trump has practically stated that, himself.)Look at all the people in the streets! Look at the $20+ million raised by the ACLU in 48 hours! THAT’s also unprecedented. The young people in the U.S. are amazing now! (This wouldn’t have been possible in the 80’s or 90’s, trust me.) Most countries find themselves faced with an authoritarian regime at one point or another. We’re so lucky that it hit us at a time when organizing is the easiest it’s ever been and young people aren’t too selfish or cynical to protest. We’re going to fight this like a bad case of the flu and come back stronger for it.And remember, the next president can sign executive orders, too.

      1. ShanaC

        I’m intellectually aware of that. I’m also intellectually aware of Hannah Ardent being right. Even if all of the young people are amazing now, and the ACLU raises unprecedented amounts of money, all it takes is a significantly large enough minority of people to stand aside in large chunks of the country which democrats are not heavily clustered in (due to the fact the democrats do not fund super-downballot races, especially for first timers), especially if they think they should “give him a chance” and “the country still will get better economically”.I’m not even claiming these people are bad. I’m claiming it is easy to want normalcy and to eventually ignore the world around you except for you small town, and to start slowly agreeing with trump as his policies make your small town better, but in reality makes for the vast majority in a city, or for minorities group, shitty.

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          That’s why we all have to keep working to get our narrative out there. We have just as much ability to shape public opinion, but we have to do it intentionally.A loud, busy minority has gotten us where we are. Surely a loud, busy *majority* can get us out of it. The cure for fear is hope. We must have and spread hope.I’m not saying don’t be worried. But I *am* saying don’t despair.You know that saying about a single mosquito’s effect on a room? Now picture a flock of butterflies filling that room. We have to flood the conversation with our message.

  78. Peter Fleckenstein

    People are losing their minds. Keep Calm and Use Your Brain

    1. obarthelemy

      Using one’s brain is not enough. we have to get as good at exciting and manipulating others’ emotions as “they” are.They’ve already got the Supreme Court locked up, Congress, most counties, way too many school boards, now the presidency. How’s your cool working for you ? It *is* time to panic.No Pasaran.

      1. Peter Fleckenstein

        Whose “they”? Please read the link I provided and read the links in the link I provided. Then maybe, just maybe, you can have an intelligent convo with me.

        1. fredwilson

          i read your post and the posts linked in it just now.i read the executive order and a host of legal analysts assessment of it before writing this can argue with my take on itand i can argue with yoursit doesn’t mean i’m not using my brain.

          1. Peter Fleckenstein

            Thanks Fred. I appreciate that you took the time to do so. Maybe I should’ve used “Keep Calm and Be Consistent” as the title of my post.I, as well as millions of many who’ve served in our military, have willfully pledged my life to defend the liberty and freedom of all Americans. As a result of that solemn oath which I still maintain, I have a deeper understanding of what liberty and freedom mean.I’m not bragging, nor do I think I have higher moral authority. It’s just that if one will die for millions for their freedom and liberty then we tend to have read, thought, and discussed it deeper and longer than those who have not.So if you are using your brain then you would realize your inconsistencies and at least mentioned them. Barack Obama and his administration, according to your post, did the exact same thing as Donald Trump did. In fact, they did it longer.So the institutionalized bigotry and racism that you put forth should’ve been addressed in 2011 and in 2015 as I addressed in my post. But it wasn’t. Why? Why weren’t you and others just as or even more outraged as you are now?That’s something I’m suggesting you and others take time to think about.I’ll continue to defend and stand up for your rights as an American, no matter what views you hold.

        2. obarthelemy

          Oh, I see, you want intelligent conversations. I’ll let you have them with your friends, around high or low tea. *We’ll let you know when the actual work has been done.

    2. Donna Brewington White

      I read your post. Thanks Peter. I suppose your title was intentionally provocative as there are some smart people using their brains who are taking great offense at the executive order and maybe even more so it’s execution.But you represent the “smart people” with a different perspective.I personally do not percieve the EO as an act of “hatred, bigotry and racism” even if it is flawed. I am willing to be convinced otherwise but only by watching how this plays out, not by argument.What I am finding is that most people predisposed to disagree with or even hate Trump will find reason to do so and supporters will find reason to reinforce their support.What I have not yet found are many willing to consider from a different perspective and on a case-by-case basis. That is where I have been most disappointed in terms of people “using their brains.”I am aware that the president is privy to knowledge about issues of national security of which I am not. If these countries had not already been identified by the Obama administration as threats I would be more suspicious of ulterior motives.The problem I am having is that there are fewer places to hear alternate viewpoints in discussion with each other — iron sharpening iron.I pretty much know what to expect these days at AVC when the topic turns to politics, so when a few of you brave souls are willing to express a contrarian view — and are not trolls (!) — I take note.

      1. Peter Fleckenstein

        Thanks Donna. I like contrarian views as well and am willing to have good discussions.Do I think that the way President Trump rolled out this EO could have been done in a much better way? Of course I do. Do I think this is a Muslim Ban and a way of institutionalizing racism and bigotry? Absolutely not.Thanks so much for your reply and have a great day!

    3. Salt Shaker

      First, thank you for your service. I read both your post on Medium and your comments below. Although I’m sure it was unintended, I did find, respectfully, the title and tone of your post and comments a tad patronizing and condescending, and I’m hardly thin-skinned. Reasonable people can certainly disagree w/ one another, even among those with limited “brain” power.The notion that Trump’s 7-country ban is consistent w/ what Obama had done previously is simply not true and revisionist history (as outlined in specific detail in the link below):…Moreover, the notion that we don’t know “what the hell is going on” among those seeking refuge in our country, as our current President so eloquently articulated numerous times during the campaign, is equally untrue. There currently is a rigorous vetting process (18-24 months) across numerous gov’t agencies. Unfortunately, the depth and detail of that process has not been adequately communicated, leaving the masses believing entry to our country is as simple as booking a ticket on Expedia. Our President did a deservice by not acknowledging the rigid protocols that are currently in place. Improve them if you may, but don’t dismiss as if all that preceded your Presidency are clueless and incompetent.Civil liberties are still important values we all cherish. A policy of isolationism is short sighted and dangerous, whether that’s Trump’s intentions or not is still not entirely clear, but those unquestionably are the optics he’s projecting.

      1. Peter Fleckenstein

        It was and still is my pleasure and an honor to serve. Thank you. Also thanks for reading my piece on medium and my comments here.As I had communicated to Fred perhaps the title should have been “Keep Calm and Be Consistent” for the reasons I cited in my piece in medium.Reasonable people can disagree but when you start calling something it isn’t, when you project a false sense of fear, when you’re words and actions are clearly because you don’t like a person then that is definitely not being reasonable. That’s what people have done with President Trump and his EO.When you start calling something unconstitutional and it’s not then you have a credibility problem.”U.S. Code 1182: (f) Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”As for the notion that President Trump is consistent with what President Obama did as being false and revisionist history, that is patently false. In the VISA Waiver Program under Obama’s watch, those 7 countries were banned. No where in the EO does it state those 7 countries. It refers to the Obama admins original ban in the VWP. The author in that piece goes through mind-numbing apoplectic mental gymnastics to disprove factual information. Let’s just look at one example: “But this law did not bar anyone from coming to the United States. It only required a relatively small percentage of people to obtain a visa first.”. That statement is patently false and willfully misleading. Here are the ACTUAL requirements:VWP Program RequirementsThat author and site are not interested in having a reasonable discussion. You can see that from additional articles posting false and misleading information there.As for having an already stringent vetting system? Appearances are everything but the devil is in the details. Here’s a question from just one form:”Are you a terrorist?”Why of course, any terrorist would admit that!Let’s start having more reasonable discussions.

        1. cavepainting

          Sir, Obama’s program was very narrow and did not ban ALL people from these seven countries to come into the US. Visa Waiver is a benefit we give to certain countries and withholding that benefit is not the same as a broad ban that does not honor existing visas, stops all new visas, and even prohibits dual citizens from entry.Facts matter so let us not revise history. This is a shameful EO targeted at a specific religious community.

  79. CatoSF

    I know Fred does not personally like Trump, and I get that, but let’s try to take a rational view of things.1) I’m not sure how you can accurately claim that this EO is “racist”. Anti-muslim perhaps, as the ban pertains to 7 predominately muslim countries, which by the way were already recognized during Obama’s presidency as potential terrorist hotbeds…. Yet many tens of muslim countries are not included such as Saudi Arabia. In addition, muslim is not a race and there are many different races from these countries. Throwing out the race card tends to weaken an argument and we do still have real racial issues to deal with in this country.2) There is no legal right to enter this country for any non-citizens. Also, our views on the right levels of immigration and refugee asylum have waxed and waned over time. We are at an almost a historical high right now on the number of foreign born folks living in the USA.… We want people coming to this country to assimilate with our culture, values, constitutional republic form of government and the rule of law, and generally the American way, do we not? Vetting of immigrants has been happening for well over 100 years and should continue to help make sure we are getting potential future citizens that will keep the country strong and growing.3) The white house has now clarified now that this ban does not pertain to existing green card holders (permanent residence status).… However, permanent residence status may be revoked by the Feds for any number of reasons and does not grant unfettered entry in to the USA in any case. One can feel badly for those caught up in the initial interpretation and implementation of this EO, but it looks like some of those issues are already working themselves out.4) You need to understand that Trump understands persuasion. Scott Adams of Dilbert fame has been blogging about this for well over a year. His latest post is pretty interesting.…Finally, let’s make sure we are all understand what this EO really does and does not. Two different sources on different ends of the political spectrum. https://www.theatlantic.comhttps://www.conservativerev

    1. Jayson Cooke

      Well said. These supposedly intelligent people let emotion cloud some very obvious problems with their logic.

    2. ShanaC

      1)he’s specifically going for middle eastern muslims where either the US has no strategic interest (Saudi Arabia) or he has no hotels. Not indonesian muslims, for example. Furthermore, all the countries he listed have NEVER completed a successful terror attack on US soil.… the closest they got was the lockerbee bombing. (really)That saudi arabia mention: it is on purpose – it is the home of wahabiism, the intellectual forbearer to every single actual terror attack on american soil by muslims. 15 of 19 attackers involved in 9/11 were FROM SAUDI ARABIA!!! We have a base there, we keep ships in the gulf. It actually would had been trivally easy to overthrow the house of saud (the sponsors of wahabiism) and put in something else with a really “liberal” read of sharia. We didn’t.Even worse: The vast majority of terror attacks in the US between 2005 and 2015 in the START database ( ) are committed by white nationalist type groups. Aka, imagine the Dylann Roof’s of the US, except affiliated with a group! Why are we wasting time going after nonexistent terrorists who are not succeeding based on where they happen to come from and the religion they believe instead of existing ones which we know are actually succeeding. I mean, doesn’t that bother you – Trump wants to make you LESS SAFE and WASTE YOUR MONEY WHILE DOING IT.2)There is no legal right to enter this country for any non-citizens. Also, our views on the right levels of immigration and refugee asylum have waxed and waned over time. We are at an almost a historical high right now on the number of foreign born folks living in the USA. true, but so what?We are at an almost a historical high right now on the number of foreign born folks living in the USA. Are you a descendant of First Nation/native Americans? because otherwise this is a bit of an odd line in conjunction with specifically quoting pew about hispanic people as opposed to, say, people of Chinese decent. This is especially in light that a) many, though not all, hispanic people both in and out of the US are partially Native American (though they may or may not be of tribes from this part of North America), and could possibly make the claim that unless you do have Native American ancestors, you come from foreign born people.b) Even ignoring that fact, a short look at the history of places involved in the Mexican-American War and the Mexican Cession, the history of Texas, and the history of the Gadsen Purchase should quickly imply to you that there have been hispanic people running across the border as well as Americans running in the opposite direction since before 1845! It is totally possible there are descendants of these people who were considered American then that we now consider Mexican because of where they were born vs where their ancestors were born and who are primarily Spanish speakers.Since I have a deep respect of American History, I respect Hispanic people who have been a part of our history since the beginning. That they happen to be immigrants now is a historical accident. That these people want to work hard is a good thing.We want people coming to this country to assimilate with our culture, values, constitutional republic form of government and the rule of law, and generally the American way, do we not?By this you mean what? Many people who use this line (and I am not assuming you, but many other people who use this line) use it because they don’t want immigration for racist/ethinicist reasons.One of the documents I think more people should read is the letter George Washington on his election, sent to the Touro syngagogue affirming the 1st amendment, and they should read it in light of the fact that the bimah (the place where people pray from and where the torah is read) has an escape hatch built into it due to the fact that many of their congregants came here as former Conversos escaping the Inquisition. They had written him asking, despite ratification, if he really meant as president to uphold it, because they were really THAT afraid they would have to fake being Christian again.This is what George Washington wrote back:It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.The foundation of America and being an American, affirmed by George Washington Himself, is as long as you respect the rights of your fellow man, you can live the life you want in accordance with your beliefs and customs.This is why there are American Born Jewish people (for example) who DON’T celebrate Thanksgiving, for example. It isn’t like they are not proud of being an American. They think the holiday has subtly pagan influences due to its background with the Indians, and due to their interpretation of jewish law, they won’t celebrate anything with pagan influences. They celebrate thanksgiving as a concept on the jewish religious holiday of succot instead (which is also a harvest festival). And as americans, we let them do it, and we don’t go around saying maybe we should kick them out because they are “not integrating into american society” Vetting of immigrants has been happening for well over 100 years and should continue to help make sure we are getting potential future citizens that will keep the country strong and growing.Unless they come with a lot of money already, exactly how do you know who is going to show up and help the country. Furthermore, does this mean The guy who is an immigrant who comes here and starts as a gardener-day laborer isn’t helping the country by being a gardner-day labor? How do you know if in 20 years he won’t have a landscaping company? Or he stays a gardner-day laborer, but raises his American born child who wins a nobel prize?

      1. CatoSF

        Hi Shana, thanks for the “comprehensive” response. I’ll try to respond to most of your comments/questions, but first let me state my own opinion on this EO.I see it as a campaign promise Trump is making good on. I don’t think it will have a material effect on either 1) limiting potential terrorist entry to this country, nor 2) long term immigration to the US. I do think it is prudent that we do our best to to vet any and all immigrants and political refugees we allow into our country as it is in the best long term interests of the country.In addition, my primary reason for commenting at all was to point out the “cognitive dissonance” in the differing views on this EO and Trump in general. The emotional overreaction to this EO is very interesting especially as the precedent for this type of EO was set by Obama in 2011 when he banned all Iraqi entrants for 6 months without much of a peep out of anyone.You have half the electorate literally thinking Trump is “insane”, “a dictator in the making”, “Hitler incarnate”, etc. and you have the other half thinking he is doing what is best for America and exactly what we elected him to do.Logically both of these views can not be true.He’s specifically going for middle eastern muslims where either the US has no strategic interest (Saudi Arabia) or he has no hotels. Not indonesian muslims, for example. The 7 countries have nothing to do with Trump’s hotel holdings, etc, but are already part of the DHS visa waiver program I linked to earlier and identified as states supporting terrorism. In addition, most of these countries are currently in turmoil and do not provide any information sharing or reciprocity with regards to entrants into the USA. I agree, it may be prudent to add Saudi Arabia to this list and this may happen in the coming weeks.Furthermore, all the countries he listed have NEVER completed a successful terror attack on US soil.… the closest they got was the lockerbee bombing. (really)Yes, but should we not protect against potential attacks from countries known to support terrorism? Before 9/11 was Saudi Arabia our biggest worry? Maybe it was, but in any case we should look for potential new threats.Even worse: The vast majority of terror attacks in the US between 2005 and 2015 in the START database ( ) are committed by white nationalist type groups. Aka, imagine the Dylann Roof’s of the US, except affiliated with a group! Is this really true? You also cherry picked the timeframe to ignore 9/11. I did not have time to parse the data at the link you sent, but a quick review of terrorist attacks in USA from Wikipedia seems to not agree in a general sense… but I’m not going to quibble over this.It does seem that Islamic terrorism is a clear winner world-wide over just about any recent timeframes.… All terrorist acts are to be condemned, but I’d prefer we do our best to keep out potential terrorists that have no legal right to be here in the first place unlike the homegrown ones.There is no legal right to enter this country for any non-citizens. Also, our views on the right levels of immigration and refugee asylum have waxed and waned over time. We are at an almost a historical high right now on the number of foreign born folks living in the USA.true, but so what?It was not clear which sentence you are referring to above. My point is simply that our appetite for immigration changes over time and we may be in a waning phase right now.Are you a descendant of First Nation/native Americans? …Not that it matters, but no. My mother’s family came to CT in 1630s from England, my father’s from Scotland via Canada in 1840s. My sole purpose in linking to the Pew data on immigration was to back up my point that our desire for different immigration levels waxes and wanes over time.By this you mean what? I mean literally what I said “We want people coming to this country to assimilate with our culture, values, constitutional republic form of government and the rule of law, and generally the American way.” If you are confused about what our culture and values are than that may be part of the overall problem we are facing in this country. I’d say this list is a good start, but certainly there are other just as valid ways to express these basic concepts:Individual Freedom, Self-Reliance, Equality of Opportunity, Competition, The American Dream, Hard Work It is not about if you celebrate one particular holiday or not. However, every American must love baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, Chevrolet. Well…actually, apple pie is the only real item all Americans should love!Unless they come with a lot of money already, exactly how do you know who is going to show up and help the country.My comment was about buying into the American way or dream and not about if someone is going to be financially successful. As my father used to say, “if you are going to do any job be the best at it you can be, be it a ditch digger, salesman or doctor.” All have value to our society. We need and want these type of immigrants.

        1. ShanaC

          I have the privileged position of having seen the Mausoleum at Majdanek, because I have the “privileged” position of having maternal grandparents who were/are survivors (my grandmother died of cancer a long time ago, my grandfather is still alive). My parents and my maternal grandfather made me go on March on the Living (which I did NOT want to go on, because after 15+ years of yeshvia education where they plenty of holocaust memorial and education work, I felt I had enough). They were right to make me go. Until you see a pile of ashes bigger than a four story house housed in a building where you can look over the horizon of those ashes, and realize there is a mass graveyard behind them, and in both there are the remains of children, you don’t really understand what people are talking about when they talk about Hilter or the Holocaust.The reason people are comparing Trump to Hitler is becausea) frankly, Hitler wasn’t the sharpest tool in the box. he was a mediocre painter, never held a job by 30, and probably hadn’t lost his virginity by then either. If you had met at 30, you would think he was a loser. He was VERY good at getting good people around him, who were either already twisted and/or wanted to be twisted in order to get what they wanted, and he was VERY good at speaking in an “off the cuff” manner that got “normal” people riled up about the losses they had in a world changing around them. and He was brilliant at showing individuals the ideal version of Hitler they needed in order to bring him to power. b) he surrounded himself with people smarter than him, who were more extreme in their worldview, and who were, in a lot of ways, good at manipulating him. Hitler’s cabinet had an incredible amount of internal politics because of this very issue.c) he was incredibly boring and self-consumed no matter what. Guests for dinner report that he would have long boring monologues.Sound familiar?____If trump had been born to a different family, he would be an almost exact copy of hitler (down to the phobias and love of junk food). The big difference is Trump was born of money, and Hitler wasn’t. In fact, I’ve thought about getting one of Hitler’s more famous speeches in english and seeing if I could take out the german specific references, replace them with Trump’s America specific ones, posting it online, and seeing if I could trick people into thinking it was trump’s. The level of linguistic similarity in the way they talk is THAT close. And to me, that is frightening, especially after seeing the ashes of Majdanek.when you add in his actions, and add in the leaks coming from the white house, transition staff, etc, about his reasoning, you realize pretty quickly we’ve been to this rodeo before._______as for the restthe precedent for this type of EO was set by Obama in 2011 when he banned all Iraqi entrants for 6 months without much of a peep out of anyone.Beyond that this policy ACTUALLY was a delay for extra reviewing and Iraqi refugees continued to arrive throughout this period.…As FP put it’s in point 3 3. Grounded in specific threat. The Obama administration’s 2011 review came in response to specific threat information, including the arrest in Kentucky of two Iraqi refugees, still the only terrorism-related arrests out of about 130,000 Iraqi refugees and SIV holders admitted to the United States. Thus far, the Trump administration has provided no evidence, nor even asserted, that any specific information or intelligence led to its draconian order.So basically there was no reason to protest in 2011. And no reason for your comparison.___Is this really true? You also cherry picked the timeframe to ignore 9/11. I did not have time to parse the data at the link you sent, but a quick review of terrorist attacks in USA from Wikipedia seems to not agree in a general sense… but I’m not going to quibble over this.It does seem that Islamic terrorism is a clear winner world-wide over just about any recent timeframes.… All terrorist acts are to be condemned, but I’d prefer we do our best to keep out potential terrorists that have no legal right to be here in the first place unlike the homegrown ones.Yes. Wikipedia’s own page you linked to admit’s it is non-comprehensive. Our World in Data, while a very respectable project, takes data in from a number of sources, and not always the best ones. It is up to you to research what is the best data-source.I linked to the best one based on citations in academic papers about terorism. The second best one is run at the University Chicago by Robert Pape. Both tend to concur although they have slight differences about what they consider a terror attack and how they code them in their respective databases.I chose an arbitrary date period in that it was the most recent 10 year period they had available for the US, which is why it did NOT include 9/11. Being a data professional, even if I included 9/11, I’d still have to drop its data, just as I would about much more mundane data (people clicking on some link) as it is an outlier in the amount of people killed, which means including it would hide the actual risk on a year over year percentage. If one person is overly successful at anything, be it baseball, drinking coke, or committing terror attacks, it doesn’t tell you very much about what the average terror attack, person drinking coke, or person playing baseball looks like.which is why you end up with nearly all experts, including the FBI, (and even bored non-experts who think data is fun and now know there were 190 successful terror attacks in the US between 2005-2015) consider white nationalists a much more important group to watch vis a vis terror in the US. They are more successful at itEven if I were to include 9/11, what I would end up having is more questions than answers about this ban. where is saudi arabia, home of 9 of the 11 terrorists, and home of the primary source of their cash and teachers of their philosophy, wahabiism. Why are they not included?If you were coming to me and saying all Saudi visa holders were going to undergo strict scrutiny, including checking their bank account and cash transfers in and out of said accounts, damn the House of Saud, under the Trump administration, I’d buy it being an anti-terror move. The fact is, that isn’t happening. And there is no way that is happening, based on what the administration is saying both explicitly and based on unconfirmed leaks from the White House.____Yes, but should we not protect against potential attacks from countries known to support terrorism? Before 9/11 was Saudi Arabia our biggest worry? Maybe it was, but in any case we should look for potential new threats.I’ve been asked on behalf of friends to be interviewed for their clearances. We’ve been doing this already to the point of extra redundancy and make-work. Ironically, our new biggest threat is now Trump, since he gave ISIS a huge PR gift. It is really hard to be seen as decent people when you close off refugee visas and are using drones to get rid of their hated dictator which occasionally accidentally may kill your children. It plays directly into ISIS’s hands that the US doesn’t give a damn, and makes it all that much easier to recruit people who previously believed we were trying, however badly.Isn’t that a GREAT First Week as President GIFT – he created MORE TERRORISTS!___<blochquote>I mean literally what I said “We want people coming to this country to assimilate with our culture, values, constitutional republic form of government and the rule of law, and generally the American way.” If you are confused about what our culture and values are than that may be part of the overall problem we are facing in this country. I’d say this list is a good start, but certainly there are other just as valid ways to express these basic concepts:Individual Freedom, Self-Reliance, Equality of Opportunity, Competition, The American Dream, Hard Work It is not about if you celebrate one particular holiday or not. However, every American must love baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, Chevrolet. Well…actually, apple pie is the only real item all Americans should love!Well, see, here is the problem:You can believe American is aboutIndividual Freedom, Self-Reliance, Equality of Opportunity, Competition, The American Dream, Hard WorkBe Proud of Being an AmericanAND think you have a religious or ethnic imperative to otherwise not integrate.In the US, we have TONS of these communities. A religious sikh will come here, work very hard, be very proud to be an american, and I hate to break it to you, never eat apple pie (cinnamon is forbidden in sikhism, because it forbids eating strong spices, and I’ve never seen an apple pie without it), nor a hot dog (meat is also forbidden)How about Old Order Mennonites/the Amish?Right wing Orthodox Jewish people?Muslims?Some buddhist communities?Hindus?Are some of these people “less american” Are we going to put them, even if they are American Born – to a “are you REALLY an American?” test?Based on what you are saying, and to be frank, things that come out of the white house, it makes sense to do so. Doing so goes totally against that letter I quoted by Washington. It goes totally against the whole purpose of the Bill of Rights. The whole point of the ratification of the Bill of Rights was to avoid that sort of litmus test in the first place.Can you therefore set aside such potential folly of asking someone to “integrate” in order to do your duty and defend the constitution and the Bill of Rights, and defend the very social contract this country is founded on.______I have to say this: I feel when I read your comments, that there is something disingenuous about them. Not that you are per say disingenuous, but that the argument you are making, the ideology that it comes from, is disingenuous, because they almost always seem to ask me to set aside a mixture of intellectual rigor and human compassion for a set of post-truth questions designed to poke at the limits of why there is a US in the first place.That I actually am having an argument about a nonpartisan acidemic database’s data, and have to actually quote Washington at you, is shocking. That I have to again go back and again debunk statements because the administration we have is grasping as straws, because we like to forget the facts of history, is also shocking. I’m really bothered by it, both emotionally and intellectually.And that is why people are in the streets. Because it seems we might have an administration that isn’t tied to facts or history or reasoning. We have an administration tied to petty emotions and riling people up. I could live with missing one of the three – at least that person would have a sense of being the president for all of the US and therefore doing stuff, for good or for ill, that doesn’t undermine completely the US’s social contract with itself. That stopped being true. So now what? Does this mean that because the president might have abandoned that social contract, I should?I choose not to.

      2. CatoSF

        Wrote you a response, but Disqus has it blocked as SPAM for some reason.

        1. ShanaC

          choice 1) too many linkschoice 2) your ip addresscan you switch either?

        2. ShanaC

          found it, unspammed you, hold on

  80. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Fascinating to watch the counter points arrive here not long after they’re rolled out on the evening news.

  81. Adam Towvim

    thanks, @fredwilson:disqus for being a great business mind and showing moral leadership here. Just donated.

    1. Jayson Cooke

      So in your “moral” world it’s ok to support discrimination andTAQIYYA (I have Muslim family, you will have to google it), and deny the will of the people that elected our President based on a campaign promise that he actually (gasp) did what he said he would do? I know that is new one to you Obama lovers.

      1. ShanaC

        This has nothing to do with Obama. why do you think that?This has everything to do with protecting the reasons the Constitution was signed and why the Bill of Rights were ratified. This has to do with protecting you, protecting me, protecting every person both of us know.Tonight I’ve apologized to a friend who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. he tried to the right thing for all of us by serving. he wanted to protect our liberties.The thing is, demagogues and populists, people who speak “alternative facts” also can erode our liberties by dividing us, and making us think some people have more rights to certain kind of liberties than others.Yes, Trump won the election, though possibly under suspicious circumstances that may never be proved or disproved, which would be nice of him to clarify. He won the election because of the way the electoral college works, and as a result, he came into office with a significant loss in the popular loss, and losing popularity in polling by the day.Since then, what he has done since taking the oath of office is shocking. He’s undermined the constitution, be it by spirit, and as we are about to litigate with this immigration order, probably in name. And he is doing it by dividing us, by saying some people have more right to the constitution than others. That’s horrifying. It is the death of what the US stands for at its most fundamental. You don’t have to agree with fred, or anyone here. You do have to worry if the president of the United States via statements he makes and actions he takes starts targeting people here for legitimate differences of belief they have about the right policies, the color of their skins, sexuality, where they or their parents were born, what religion they believe in. Because if they go after someone here, what is stopping the president from going after you next? A special person, a special group is only as good as long as they help a demagogue or populist. after that they are trash.Our differences is actually what unites us – it is what shows us why our founders wrote a constitution in the first place. And we failed our soldiers to protect it for them, and furthermore we failed them by letting their service be politicized.

        1. Jayson Cooke

          This has EVERYTHING to do with previous Foreign Policy decisions. Erosion of liberties now, and historically, comes from all directions, not just the one you seem most concerned about while ignoring other sources. While I agree with the sentiment, this conversation started by an admitted Leftist whose political financial contributions are meant to enforce HIS political views, as you so eloquently dismantled.

        2. Scott Avid

          Obama had EO travel/immigration bans on those same countries.

    2. Scott Avid

      Donating $$$ to attorneys is utterly the opposite of moral leadership.

  82. Jayson Cooke

    @fredwilson So $20K+ to ACLU — Plus how much did you lose on HILLARY AND JILL STEIN?

  83. Scott Avid

    Friday’s EO is a continuation of Obama’s policy. Obama picked the same countries, which are active war zones. This is no different.You’re not just overreacting, you’re a complete a idiot.

  84. Lucian

    The best thing was to invent and code it on my own. All this hate talk isn’t present there. Trump would never had won if he was posting on Sublevel.Sublevel isn’t just another social network, it’s about implementing democracy rules in an online medium.

  85. Peter Van Dijck

    Thank you Fred. This extreme right power grab will be taught in the history books, don’t let them win.

  86. Han Solo

    So….wanting to be a sovereign country is hate? Any country should carefully decide who and when they take in immigrants. The US would be total idiots to make the same stupid mistakes the EU is making.And how come five of the wealthiest Muslim countries have taken no Syrian refugees in at all, arguing that doing so would open them up to the risk of terrorism.Simply put, you are a fool.

  87. Bigribguy

    Go back to keeping your mouth shut.

  88. DataMatters

    I disagree. Read what you wrote. “The politics of hate.” Really? So conservative Americans are just haters who are 100% wrong? The media has portrayed each and every person affected by the EO as some kind of PhD student curing cancer. I don’t think that is reality.It doesn’t do your position on the matter any good to ceaselessly accuse everyone you disagree with as being a “hater” or a “bigot” or just call them names.Furthermore, the Obama Administration had some incredibly questionable policies with regard to border security at a time when the US has seen numerous mass casualty attacks within its borders. Combine that with the endless day to day issues caused by people from cultures that do not respect the rule of law, and there is an enormous toll being taken on American citizens (of every color and cultural identity). We don’t want criminals in the US, we don’t want foreign jihadis in the US. It’s not up for debate.The melting pot concept that is the US only works if people integrate into the system we have. I will fight to prevent Sharia Law, Communism, and probably a whole host of other stupid ideas from getting any foothold here.

  89. omar le martien

    today our community found hate graffiti on the wall of our elementary school. feeling sad but you guys give me hope. Thank you.

  90. Bryanlenett

    I never write here, but why are we are having social diarrhea about 7 countries…4 of them boiling hotbeds, other 3 steaming hotbeds. Why in 2011 when Obama put a 6 month ban, no one said anything? The media is something else. Why post this stuff when in reality it has been done before, and the goal is to give the government time to revamp a flawed screening process.

  91. Joseph Burros

    Hats off to you Fred. We don’t know each other, but in addition to being a very decent person with great values, you have the guts to speak out for the things you believe and stand behind them. I admire you for this, and want you to know that you are an inspiration for me to do the same.

  92. MJB


  93. James Billington

    You cannot shun others opinions due to the simple fact that you do not agree with them. The forefathers of america are rolling in their graves. You are given the authority of censorship and take it on as an esteemed “John Galt” move that is best for the people, is that what you romanticize about at night? Stifling opinion that does not align with yours? What a desperate move. In the midst of your panic and toddler-esque fit you assume the only avenue to getting your way is to completely silence the other side. You seem to forget who the true enemy is within all of this, all the while you fall for the propaganda to allow for division, implying you are doing this upon some sort of moral high ground! You would piss away the Constitution If your opposition used it against you. That is how child-like you all are acting.

  94. Harry van der Veen

    Thank you.

  95. Robert Marsanyi

    Welcome to the ACLU. I’ve been donating monthly since the passage of the Patriot Act. They’ve consistently taken on the hard stuff, and won.

  96. fhgsdfhdfh

    make america hate again would be like allowing countries with high amounts of war to move here. america would be apt for hating, i mean those refugees would be american right? its shown in gemany what happens, gemany has a much tougher life now and the cause has not been adressed: fix the countries, if the people wont appropriate better values then why the fuck would you move them to america? does that not seem like not just a bad idea but that some misleading is going on?

  97. DAR

    How is Moslem immigration working in Europe ?

  98. Gringo Gigante

    Dear Fred. I admire you greatly and love your blog but 100% disagree with you on this matter. I am looking for ways to donate money to fight your views as I think they are born from hate. He is not promoting hate, he is enforcing the laws and adding 90 day delay in vetting process, that is not hate. I will tell you what. Lets let in a couple of 100 people from one the 7 countries and put them on your block in NY and see how you like it. Would you risk your children if that happened. All he is saying is lets have a better vetting process. Think about it!!!

  99. rick gregory

    Oh btw for all the Trumpites saying “But Obama did the same thing in ’11!!!!”No. Not close. http://www.chicagotribune.c

    1. Donna Brewington White

      As if things are not divisive enough, now you are creating a new class of people: “Trumpites”This is bigotry.

      1. rick gregory

        You’re amusing. I’m supposed to ignore all of the divisive, bigoted things coming from Trump supporters but you’re offended by ‘trumpites’? For all of the crying conservatives do about liberal safe spaces and snowflakes, you’re all quite thin-skinned.PS: really excellent job totally ignoring the meat of the post, by the way, that the claims that Obama did this in 2011 are lies.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          Not in the least bit offended. Why would I be?To your PS:Did you really want a response? I perceived your comment as a soundbite, not a conversation starter.Plus I didn’t really have anything to add.In general, I try to reserve more thoughtful responses for those times when I see the actual opportunity for discussion or engagement.Name calling signals that real engagement is unlikely.



  101. b.macintosh

    Trump has done nothing the taxpaying voters didn’t ask him to do. Obama stopped iraqi’s from coming in and they were all muslims. No one complained about that. Carter stopped Iranians from coming in. Crickets about that as well. You’re the one who has declared war on American taxpayers. THEY DID NOT VOTE FOR HILLARY, or you.Disqus will be replaced. It’s a minor inconvenience to independent website owners and businesses, but it simply makes replacing the corrupt, politically biased corporations happen quicker.Corporate greed for foreign workers – because they’re percieved as willing to work for less and take more abuse – has allowed this human trafficking to grow to such monstrous proportions that you want to cause a civil war to keep that underpaid workforce coming.The conceit that Islamics are better in your country than an islamic country is nauseating. They deserve to be in a country where their own sharia law, their own customs, and their own way of life is the law, as it is in all the islamic countries that true refugees can go to.This evil of no borders and lawlessness is going to end, whether it ends with violence or not is completely up to the overwrought critics of the taxpaying public who voted for Trump so he can do exactly what he is doing.Using disqus the way AOL executives use their Huffington Post outlet to misrepresent your interests to gullible people who think they’re helping and don’t understand how much they’re hurting refugees is reprehensible.Your corporations had absolutely no criticism of Obama’s bombing people every single day of his presidency. No, you were fully on board with hundreds of thousands of men, women and children being killed. They died every single day.

  102. Westover Leftover

    Thank you so much for being part of the resistance. I hate that my demographic (50-something, white male) is so strongly identified with these immature hate mongers.Yes–I have (and will continue) to donate to the ACLU. Yes, I am speaking out about this. And YES, I am part of the resistance and will never back down.

  103. midogman

    maybe what’s being revealed is what’s long been there. the seething of the demon beast. enjoy.

  104. Biff

    First post on AVC. I have lurked for years. All the outrage for the EO issued by POTUS on extra vetting of refugees from specific countries known to produce terrorist. I have 3 simple questions. 1. Where was the outrage just 14 days ago when the former President banned the 91 Cuban refugees 2 days before the inauguration? He sent them back to Cuba. 2. What about his banning of Iraq refugees for 6 months in 2011? 3. Was it because he was democrat?

    1. Stephen Howard-Sarin

      OK, Biff, I’ll bite:1/ Whether or not one agrees with any visa denial, a specific executive decision about specific people is far better than blanket bans on entire countries.2/ You have bad information. Obama did not ban Iraqi refugees for 6 months; he re-vetted 50-60K refugees and that caused a delay in processing new one. (Here’s the link: http://www.chicagotribune.c…3/ Speaking for myself, no. The difference is that Trump campaigned on an illegal, bigoted proposition — banning 100% of Muslims from the U.S. — and then in his first week in office blocked 10% of Muslims from entering the U.S. An idea that was terrible at 100% is terrible at 10%.

  105. OmegaBlue69 .

    You’re a moron, they consider hate speech to be free speech. If you’re giving money to them to fight hate speech you’re giving money to the people that will make sure it doesn’t got anywhere.They spout that nonsense that the only way to fight hate speech is with talks and debates.

  106. BellesFarm

    I wish you had been more vocal *before* the election.

  107. Sam

    Some people would call it giving a f***.

  108. JamesHRH

    That infects both sides.

  109. Frank W. Miller

    Lol. I’m not really the mgmt of disqus, that was me stepping in that role to illustrate a point.

  110. Donna Brewington White


  111. Philip M Shearer

    This isn’t democracy anymore.It was democracy until January 20th.Now it’s the fast track to fascism.