Touchy Subjects

I got feedback from some in the AVC community that the comments on Wednesday’s post were “ugly.”

As many readers know, we have a comment policy at the top of the comment thread and I’ve worked to make sure people know that we try to keep our discussions civil.

Whenever there is a touchy subject, like we had on Wednesday, the comment section lights up and things can, and do, go south.

I took a run through Wednesday’s comment thread just now and while there were some folks stepping out of bounds, likely newcomers stopping by to do their thing, I feel that by and large we kept it civil. Which makes me very happy.

I did leave a few replies for the newcomers asking them to temper down their language and we will see if that works.

I think it is important that we talk about the issues our country faces right now. I have views on them which I’m happy to share from time to time, certainly not all the time, and I’m happy to let the conversation flow. As long as it is civil and respectful. Understanding where the other side is coming from is incredibly helpful. Fighting with each other and calling names is not.

I’m hoping we have got it about right here at AVC now.


Comments (Archived):

  1. JimHirshfield

    Any new Disqus moderation tools that you’re using?

    1. Pete Griffiths

      Good question

    2. ShanaC

      can I email you about this

      1. JimHirshfield


    3. fredwilson


      1. JimHirshfield

        Old school

  2. jason wright

    but i’m not convinced that the title of your post helped to set the right tone for the ensuing debate. it felt like a Murdoch rag headline looking for controversy, eyeballs, and ad revenues at the expense of reasoned discourse.

    1. Ruhinda Ruganda

      Fred Wilson seeking ad revenue is laughable. The issue isn’t that we aren’t opening speaking, its clearly that we aren’t openly listening. Even debates in high school had rules and decorum.

      1. Jake Baker

        I think it was a comparison to someone seeking ad revenue not implying that Fred was doing so (I believe he has stated before he doesn’t personally collect ad revenue).

      2. jason wright

        my point is to be aware of the gutter press techniques of the malevolent mass media and not mimic them. that you might think i might think that Fred needs the money would be laughable. if Coinbase gets hacked that may change.

    2. JamesHRH

      Fred’s allowed to make his case with some flair.There is certainly a ton of validity to the title – the needed those votes in key counties and they were willing to do things other Republicans have been unwilling to do – Bob Dole comes to mind – to make sure they got them.

  3. Jeff J

    We have forgotten how to have civil discourse, I recall debate team in High School and college. We don’t have to agree, we can even agree to disagree, but we can’t afford to stop speaking.

    1. Pointsandfigures

      They used to educate us about tolerance. We have lost tolerance in America. Certainly, there are some things we shouldn’t tolerate-like the ideas of Nazis-although because of the first amendment we have to tolerate peaceable assembly and their right to free speech. The ACLU has consistently defended horrible organizations like the KKK in order to preserve the first amendment. Every single issue has been transformed into winner take all

      1. gorbachev

        “Every single issue has been transformed into winner take all”Bingo! This is the main reason why our political discourse is what it is. There is no value in compromise, because if you beat “the other guy” into submission, you win. And because we have a two party system, that’s all you have to do.

      2. ShanaC

        it creates crazy ways about how to talk about issues. I hate that there is a politics scorecard of “winning” and not a policy one based on facts (that we agree one, because mutual media and sources of facts), because you know what happens when we don’t have a policy scorecard – everyone loses, even if someone claims they are “winning”

    2. gorbachev

      Debate classes aren’t about life and death.If I had to “debate” with someone who’s trying to kill me or my close ones, or someone who aligns with that person, I’d probably be pretty upset about it. Should I be understanding? Should I welcome their ideas?

  4. JamesHRH

    Fred, what I think is most interesting is the opportunity for people to learn on those days, if their mindset is right.You can still have strong views and an open mind.As one of the more active commenters on those types of days, I am glad to see you are more interested in the topics of the day that matter, outside of tech.Would be interesting to have a Damore discussion one day.Have a great weekend.

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      So what would you say you learned?

      1. JamesHRH

        3 big things:- I deepened my belief that the largest issue in US political discourse is that people struggle to be rational (i.e., not emotional) about topics that threaten them, their loved ones or their futures…- I deepened my understanding and added a ton of nuance to my understanding of being black in America.- I cemented my view that politics absolutely needs to move from being about identity & shame and move to individual responsibility & issue resolution.2 points one a single topic:- communism leads to dictatorship- communism has killed more people than any other sole political ideologyHad to Google up both of those, but they are valid.That’s a pretty damn good day if you are into learning things.

  5. Mario Cantin

    A bright light is being shed on the deep divide — call it a chasm — that has afflicted the US (and the world) for a long time, due to the current political debacle that we’re living through at the moment. Places where one can find civil discussions are scarce and precious.

  6. Pointsandfigures

    It will not be easy. We are on the way to a Civil War again in America. There are huge schisms in each political party so it’s not easy to sum up why. There are no geographical boundaries this time. I thought Prof. Craig Pirrong hit it pretty good on his blog: http://streetwiseprofessor…. He’s been writing about it in other blogs too. Worth your time.

    1. creative group

      Pointsandfigures:Read Professor Craig Pirrong blog and still realize the Civil War is only in the minds of many who read history and were upset with the outcome of the Civil War. The outcome of those who support the Confederacy will have another rude awakening.Still can’t discount the Professors views on how it can occur and the foundation building of that resistance.We truly believe there are still more good people than bad in the United States.

      1. Pointsandfigures

        There is no way shape or form that Craig supports the Confederacy. Not one thing he has ever written has suggested that he supported the Confederacy over the Union.

        1. creative group

          Pointsandfigures:We didn’t infer or allude to such a conclusion you responded too. There are comments on his blog and views that use Professor Craig Pirrong based upon his finance expertise. We have followed him based upon his financial views.We are discussing the Craig Pirrong of the University of Houston.And we are not saying Professor Craig Pirrong ever supported the Confederacy.The economic disparity in the world creates the thought you mentioned.

    2. onowahoo

      no we’re not

    3. Susan Rubinsky

      That blog is very difficult to read due to the patterned background. You have to copy and paste the text into a word document just to be able to see it.

      1. Pointsandfigures

        Hopefully @streetwiseprofessor sees this. He uses the CBOT as his backdrop because he worked on the floor and did his PhD work in commodities, central party clearing and it just so happened he did it in 1987 which was an interesting time to be researching that stuff!

        1. ShanaC

          not unless you share it with him. he’s not tagged

      2. ShanaC

        worthwhile UX comment, It isn’t just me!

  7. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:We are Independent in our Political and world views. There is no way to not call out those who continue to support racism, prejudice, misogynistic viewpoints, etc. and label it as another point of view. No matter how this blog attempts to mask it the same actors will lie, deflect and present opinionated essays as facts.We even accept the attacks when we highlight the obvious financial news on the street that may effect credibility and financial interests of those thought shapers on the blog.Be it Conservative or Progressive we have confronted both sides.The social topics addressed by Fred are usually a view a Conservative could agree in substance but maybe not in application. But the complete denial and deflection by this small group of posters (Alt-Right, wanna be Hannity, Bannon, Ingraham lot) we take exception. The banter is nothing more than lying and deflecting propaganda.Let’s not have facts get in the way when asked how is something obviously racist a racist view or comment. Excellent tacit but futile to those of us who are erudite.”Define the Alt-Right?, You can’t can you”. Deflect, don’t answer but turn the person asking the question into being questioned.UNAPOLOGETICALLYUNEQUIVOCALLYINDEPENDENT

  8. Tom Labus

    It was an extremely disturbing and unsettling day like our current political dilemma.I ask myself, many times a day, what it is that people see in this guy.

    1. creative group

      Tom Labus:People usually support those who share their views.When you start peeling back what makes America good and bad sometimes you realize you are peeling an onion that has the effect of producing tears.America is the best of the best but it isn’t perfect.That imperfection rares it’s ugly head in spades when you least expect it or want it.

      1. Tom Labus

        Plenty of that imperfection right now!!!

    2. Pointsandfigures

      I don’t think a lot of Republicans see a lot in Trump. Put yourself in the shoes of a Republican and see where you would land.There are several factions inside the Republican Party.1. There are the establishment/Corporatists. They are just machine politicians who are looking to enrich themselves and buddies. Next stop is a cushy high paying lobbyist job. When they stop running for office, they won’t move back “home”. Washington DC is home. Some of these Republicans voted for Trump purely to get control of the purse strings. We have them in Illinois. They aren’t any different than Machine Democrats, except they have different masters.2. There are the social conservatives. They voted for Trump because he wasn’t Hillary. He will nominate strict constructionists to the SCOTUS. As a libertarian, a strict constructionist is pretty good because they believe strongly in individual property rights (which are way more important to America than almost anything else)3. Then there are the libertarian/small govt Republicans. They voted for Trump because the Democrats are not anywhere close to a libertarian/small govt party. They’d like to see the bureaucracy crushed. Life is a lot better when you and I can deal with each other without having to turn our heads and ask permission from Washington DC every time.Trump is not a classical conservative by any stretch of the imagination. He also ran a better campaign than Hillary so he won.

      1. Tom Labus

        The absence of logic and any semblance of economic integrity is very concerning.

        1. Pointsandfigures

          I might say the same of Democrats that supported a socialist. I’d also add that Hillary Clinton was no free market economic advocate. She had a home in the far left. There are no more Scoop Jackson’s in the Democratic Party. Hence our divide and if we play winner take all, there will be no winners.

          1. Tom Labus

            We are in a very tough spot. Jamie Dimon is saying the world is laughing at us because we can even address our basic needs. The melt down started before trump but let’s hope it begins to get better post trump.

          2. JLM

            .The world has laughed at the US since WWI.They realized there was a country they could get to do the world’s dirty work and they have been sending their dirty laundry to the USA to be washed, starched, folded, and returned for free since then.World War I — hey, let’s drag the Americans into this war in Europe, why not? What was the US strategic interest in Europe’s endless wars?World War II — hey, let’s let the Arsenal of Democracy provide all the armaments, bullets, naval power, air power, manpower to defeat Hitler — who we let get out of the cradle of the Versailles Treaty and rearm Germany while we were professing “peace for our times.”The Marshal Plan — hey, let’s let the Americans rebuild Europe and feed our people in the post WWII devastation.The Iron Curtain — hey, let’s let the Americans stand up NATO, pay for it, station a million troops in Europe to safeguard us from the Communists.The list goes on and on to include the Somalian pirates. When the world feels a pinch, they let the Americans salve it and solve it.We are the world’s pin cushion.Which is fine with me if the rest of the world would ante up financially.The USA has been the mullet in the room for the world since WWI and they are laughing at us, but, hey we’re still America.That’s why I served in the military. Cause I sort of dig America.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. Tom Labus

            You think this congress could put the Marshal Plan together. Trump has mostly been a branding company for some time now. It’s how he made some cash.

          4. JLM

            .I don’t think any man who ever walked the earth other than George Catlett Marshal could have promulgated, planned, and executed the Marshal Plan.Just for the record, he was a C student at my alma mater, VMI, who Churchill called “the architect of victory” in WWII.The saddest collection of words I have ever read was the description of Churchill standing in the doorway of Marshal’s room at Walter Reed when Marshal died.The guy was the American C o S, 5-star General, Ambassador to China, Sec of Def, Sec of State, head of the American Red Cross.He turned down $1MM advance for his memoir saying, “I did not enter public service to aggrandize my purse.”There was only one such man ever born.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          5. Lawrence Brass

            I don’t believe what I just read was written by you.The “world against us” is Trump talk, and I know it echoes the sentiment of many US citizens. But it is wrong. It is a lie.WW2 was a successful intervention for the USA, perhaps the only one in recent history and it changed the country forever. You got in return technology you didn’t have, key to further developments that made possible the establishment of the superpower.It was geopolitics. It was sucessful and stopping Hitler was not optional.I would love to see a balance sheet of the WW2 from the US view point.

          6. JLM

            .Lawrence –“WW2 was a successful intervention for the USA…”The Japs bombed us at Pearl Harbor. We didn’t intervene, we were attacked.I don’t see the world against us. I see us making very bad deals.Just take the issue of NATO. I served in Germany during the most relevant dangerous times in the 1970s when we thought the Russians were really coming.It was, essentially, a US effort — tanks, artillery, air power while the EU is as big as the US from an economic perspective.The Atlantic Charter requires its signatories to spend 2% of GDP on defense and to treat an attack on one as an attack on all.The Europeans want the mutual defense provision (Art V), but they don’t keep their end of the deal. Is it unfair of us to ask them to keep the agreement? I say “nay.”Perfect example of the Europeans leaning on the US, but, more importantly, we cut a bad deal and never enforced even that bad deal.We just need to square up our accounts.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          7. Lawrence Brass

            I know that. I should change intervention to operation.Perhaps some accounts are not squared, some deals were bad. But other deals were good. Perhaps in these days you will never do deals like buying Alaska, but things are interconnected. The returns don’t always come back from the same deal.I know a loan I have with a chilean bank is indirectly supported by a bond issued in wall street. I know that the chilean company that manages my pension fund was acquired by Metlife. And I know that for this to work my interest rates will be a bit higher for my loans and lower for my funds, compared with what I could get in the US. And, you know? I don’t whine about it.The US being exploited or taken advantage of by the rest of the world is a lie. The world is now connected, and for me that is a good thing.

          8. JLM

            .The US has been asked to do the heavy lifting on defending democracy from Communism, Nazism — pick your favorite -ism.When there were pirates in Somalia, who did they call?Part of “cop to the world” role is self-inflicted, but that is what makes America great. We are the good guys.Take the case of NATO — simple calculus. The EU is huge now. Russia is less than 15% the size of the EU. Why is the USA involved at all?If we are obligated to defend NATO, why isn’t it fair to ask the members to meet THEIR own commitments?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          9. Lawrence Brass

            I think that the world cop role has a business tie with the armament industry that makes things even, or better.I wish I had something like at world level, to prove it to you.Trump at Brussels was another PR failure. I liked him at Paris though, he behaved.

          10. JLM

            .Eisenhower was right when he said to beware the military-industrial complex. The US is the largest arms dealer in the world and the military is a huge US industry.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          11. sigmaalgebra

            I have a non-standard view of the role of NATO: Sure, an attack on one member of NATO is an attack on all members of NATO. But, similarly, an attack by a country in NATO needs agreement of the other countries in NATO, and, in particular, an attack on Russia by any European country in NATO needs the agreement of the US which just ain’t gonna happen!So, net, ballpark half of the reason for NATO is to keep the countries in NATO from attacking anyone, especially Russia.Uh, IIRC, Russia was attacked by France with Napoleon, from Germany with the Kaiser, from Germany with Hitler, and supposedly from Sweden. Since NATO, no one has attacked Russia. If believe the movie Dr. Zhivago, then it was the attack on Russia by the Kaiser in WWI that so weakened the Tsar that the Communists were able to take control.Russia should be thrilled with NATO. Of course, they wouldn’t admit that!Also, IIRC, the years of peace in Europe from NATO have been the longest interval of peace in Europe since …, the end of the last ice age?Europe has been a pot prone to boiling over, having its rivers run red with blood, at least since, what, the Romans. NATO has been a lid on that pot.

          12. JLM

            .Agree with you.The Germans got with the DMark and the Euro everything they could not get with panzers.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          13. JamesHRH

            I am embarrassed that Canada, the USofA’s largest trading partner, has never, repeat never, made the 2% spend level.A stain on our country.

          14. ShanaC

            Wasn’t Article V invoked after 9/11 which is how Prince Harry ended up in Afghanistan?

          15. JLM

            .You are conflating a couple of things. Here’s Article V of the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty:“The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.”What you may be referring to is that the US invoked Art V when we were attacked on 9-11. That is the reason why England sent combat troops (including Prince Harry, helicopter pilot) to A’stan.The US operates under a AUMF — Authorization for the Use of Military Force passed by the US Congress.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          16. ShanaC

            So you said:The Europeans want the mutual defense provision (Art V), but they don’t keep their end of the deal. Is it unfair of us to ask them to keep the agreement? I say “nay.”And now you are saying that I am right about Prince Harry, Great Britain, and Article V. What you may be referring to is that the US invoked Art V when we were attacked on 9-11. That is the reason why England sent combat troops (including Prince Harry, helicopter pilot) to A’stan.Doesn’t this mean at the most fundamental level, the non-US members of NATO are upholding their agreement irrespective of the 2% number via Article V?

          17. JLM

            .@ShanaC:disqusNo, it’s not either/or; it’s both/and.NATO signatories agreed to spend 2% of their GDP on their own army and to abide by Art V. They are two different requirements.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          18. ShanaC

            why is it not either/or?

          19. JLM

            .One does not get to pick which paragraphs in an agreement it wants to avoid.1. Signatories must come to the aid of other signatories when attacked.2. Signatories must spend 2% of GDP on defense.Two different ideas in the same agreement, both required of every signatory.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          20. Girish Mehta

            The proximate events that led to the US entry into WWI were the German bombing of US merchant ships and the more immediate/significant one – the interception of the Zimmermann telegram.

          21. JLM

            .Few people have any idea of what you are talking about when you mention the Zimmerman Cable which is controversial to this date.You have to remember that Woodrow Wilson had authorized the invasion of Veracruz in 1914 (Ypiranga Incident) which forced Mexico to evaluate the outcome of a war with the US.The Mexicans decided they could not defeat the Americans and their military establishment made it well known.You have also to recall there was longstanding bad blood with Mexico over the Pershing military excursion in retaliation for the Pancho Villa border raids.This is the basis for people saying the Zimmerman Cable was a hoax. The Germans had long been trying to keep the US from coming to the aid of Europe by tying down military assets along the US-Mexican border.The Germans sank two US merchant ships shortly after their 1 Feb 1917 announcement of unrestricted submarine warfare.Woodrow Wilson was an interesting and misunderstood guy in US politics. He was a Southerner (Virginian) and a racist who was also the President of Princeton and ran for Governor of New Jersey.On his watch the US income tax was created — a dollar for dollar replacement of tariff income. That’s a decision I wish we could get back.I think Wilson wanted to become more “European” and wanted into the club so he took us to war. We could have sat that one out.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          22. Girish Mehta

            Your very last sentence was the point I wanted to make since I thought you said the US was dragged into WWI.There was no reason to believe that Mexico could have annexed Texas, New Mexico and Arizona as Zimmermann proposed. In fact, the Mexican army had assessed that it was not possible.With WWII, the US was dragged in.But in WWI, the US could have sat it out.Countries go to war. But, in the end and just as much, its people who choose to go to war.

          23. JLM

            .Wars get started in incredibly stupid ways, mostly by governments.I have sat at the Battery in Charleston SC and looked out at Fort Sumter and wondered what might have happened if those South Carolinians had not shelled Fort Sumter.The Civil War set the US back a century or more.I trust nobody on the issue of war who has not been in one or who has not had to tell a mother her son is dead.The most odious thing I ever did in the military was to act as notification officer. When you look into a mother’s eyes and pronounce the name of her son and tell her he is dead, you will never be the man you were five seconds earlier.I said those same words to a Texas Gov before he became President and it stopped the convo.Wars are the stupidest form of diplomacy.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          24. LE

            And that’s the funny thing about the entire ‘world needs to respect us’ argument. The world is like my cat. The cat doesn’t respect me he needs me. If I feed him he rubs against my leg. If my wife or stepkids feed him he likes them. If I go into your house and feed your dog (if you have one) he will like me. If the world loves us it’s because of what we do financially for the world (or how we protect them). And also because they want to come and live here. That’s the core of it in a nutshell. There are other things but those things are a long tail that means zip.As a businessman certainly you have run into situations where you are dealing with a salesman or in a situation where someone wants money, or an order, or your business. You know that you can literally do anything and everything and they will still smile and act like they like you and that they are your friend. [1][1] And I am not saying that 100% of situations like that people aren’t being genuine and that they wouldn’t like you and be your friend if they didn’t stand to make money from you. But you have to admit you are able to get away with vastly more shit when you have some gold which they get vs. when you do not.

          25. JLM

            .I would change the word “respect” to “value” and sign it.Nations have interests. When they are in common, they become allies. The Russians were great allies in WWII.When their interests diverge, alliances fall apart.Even the “special relationship” with England is able to be stretched until it loses its elasticity when they think we are unable to keep a secret — fair play to them.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          26. sigmaalgebra

            Supposedly a pet cat rubs you to put his scent on you as their property!

      2. JamesHRH

        I don’t think Trump sees a lot in Republicans.He’s going to roast the current crop and recruit younger dudes who get things done.Not a supporter, just guessing at the strategy.

    3. onowahoo

      I think Trump is an idiot, but I would chose Trump over Hillary any day.With regards to the post at hand, sometimes internet discussions can get uncivil and unproductive. The anonymity of the internet has positive and negative consequences. If people have horrible things that go through their mind and they decide to post it online, you can delete it, but I think we should leave it up. Even the craziest troll’s comment will ring true to some outsider radical people. Should we just pretend that people don’t think like that? If we don’t acknowledge that there are actual Nazis, then we’re just pushing a problem down the road.

      1. JLM

        .Curious — @disqus_5CjaUq8kFf:disqusHave you ever built a 100-story building? Know how to build one?The guy is a lot of things. Idiot? No, that is not one of them.The guy got elected President with no political experience. He beat the 16 dwarfs, the Bushes, the Clintons, the GOPe, the DEMe, HRC, the MSM, the media, the pundits, and the pollsters.Karl Rove and Pres Obama both said he could not win.Is that your definition of an idiot?There is plenty of substantial matters with which to differ with President Trump, but calling him an idiot is not one of them.Have you ever met an American Nazi, a member of the KKK, a skinhead, a self-avowed white supremacist, a member of Antifa, a member of BLM?I have been taking an informal poll amongst my subcontractors as I grapple with a kitchen and bathroom remodeling project. Thus far, only one guy from Bonham, Texas has ever been able to say “yes” to any of that.Food for thought.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. sigmaalgebra

          I have it on good authority, e.g., the NYT, that to Trump the Nazis, MS-13, ISIS, and the mafia are all morally equivalent to the Sisters of Charity because last Saturday, in the middle of a riot, he didn’t denounce, renounce, criticize any of them! Since on last Saturday Trump didn’t denounce ISIS, he must be a leader of ISIS.Moreover, I’ve been told that everyday the front page of the NYT has photographs and biographical details of at least a dozen vicious Nazis. It takes some talent and practice to see them.Now, you see, according to the NYT, MSM, and propaganda media, during a riot, with one person killed, 20 more injured, a leader should not be trying to calm the situation and stop the violence and killing but pick side A of the riot and criticize, denounce, and blame them in order to encourage opposing side B to attack and kill side A. In this way, we can finally be rid of offensive side A, that is, have fast, complete justice on the streets! That’s what the streets and clubs, ropes and trees, etc. are for, right? On this, let me confirm with Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman as at… and get back with you!

      2. Pointsandfigures

        I think there are actual Nazi’s today. I just don’t think there are that many of them. I also think the media machine fans the flames to make things bigger than they really are. Don’t forget the media has their own agenda and biases and they are on full display today.

      3. sigmaalgebra

        > I think Trump is an idiotThat’s a major part of the thrust of the propaganda media, but you gave no evidence, and I can’t find any.E.g., his business success is not the work of an idiot. And to have a lot of that success, or any success, in Manhattan real estate speaks well for his abilities quite generally.Heck, my SAT scores and peer-reviewed published papers say that I have some math talent. Some of my computer software says I have some computing talent. Then there’s my astounding ability totally to piss off nearly everyone as I praise, say, apple pie and motherhood. One of my great business advantages is that from my Web site (code running but site not live yet) people will see only my Web site and nothing about me! So, I can remain safely anonymous! Trump, however, was long very successful as a very public person, real estate, TV show, public awards, etc. “Idiot”? I don’t think so!If you have something solid and seriously wrong about Trump, I’m all ears. But so far for 2+ years the best the totally hostile propaganda media has on Trump is something about two scoops of ice cream. In this way, the media has, no doubt unintentionally, given Trump very high praise from totally empty damnation. Since the worst is two scoops of ice cream, Trump is close to, what, angelic?A nice question, then, is just how do so many people, and you are awash in company, especially in NYC, SF, and DC, that Trump is an idiot, a racist, a sexist, a sexual predator, a Nazi, a white supremacist, a xenophobe, an Islamophobe, a narcissist, a … in a long list all from just gossip, wild accusations, bitterly negative personal opinions, and no real data at all? We are letting the propaganda media lead us around by the nose based on just zip, zilch, and zero from reality. No enemies of the US could possibly hope better to sabotage the US. Yet, people are falling for it.”Where’s the beef?” What’s he done wrong? Where’s the evidence? Gossip? Yup, lots of gossip. The View? Sure. “Blow up the White House” Madonna? For her age, she is still an astoundingly beautiful woman. And those knitted hats were cute! Rosie O’Donnell? She seems to go along with Madonna and Megyn Kelly. Hysteria? Lots of that. But we’re totally missing evidence.The specter that the news media could so attack a person based on absolutely 0.00 is scary. We need to ignore such media, insist on actual evidence, and not be so manipulated.

    4. JLM

      .@TomLabus:disqusI can tell you exactly what people see in Pres Trump if you are willing to consider it with an open mind. They see better policy from someone who is not a politician.They like his policies on: SCOTUS picks, judicial appointments, the economy, jobs, military affairs, the credibility of American military power (Syria), ISIS (they are just about done), trade, energy, the Veterans Admin, taxes, his Cabinet, his National Security staff, immigration, his reduction of regulation, and his dismantling of the revolving lobbyisthttp://themusingsofthebigre…Let me take some fairly obscure issues with which I have a lot of familiarity.1. The prior admin’s Veterans Admin was sending more than half of its Suicide Hotline calls to voice mail before Trump took office. Fewer than 30% of those calls were ever returned.Yet, we all “love” our veterans, right? We just don’t take care of them.Today, less than 1% of Suicide Hotline calls are not ANSWERED by the third ring. Less than 1% are bounced to a second call center.As a vet and aware of the 22 vets/day suicide rate, I applaud that change. It happened because Pres Trump put the right guy in charge of the VA, set a clear objective, gave him the resources, and held him accountable.2. The Trump admin enacted a tariff on Canadian softwoods lumber.http://themusingsofthebigre…The Canadians threatened to retaliate. They did not. The tariff stands and lumber production in the US is ramping up nicely creating jobs in the US. These are the kind of jobs which detractors said would never return.There are several critical foreign policy issues — Syria, N Korea, Russia, China, Iran — which were kicked down the road by prior admins going back to Geo HW Bush. Pres Trump has picked up the can and is dealing with it.3. Point of order: Pres Trump’s credibility on the military front as a result of the Syria raid which took out 20% of Syria’s air force has gotten us a deal with the Russians in Syria and has Kim Jung Un deciding not to hit Guam.Hugely popular development in ……………………….. Guam.4. Immigration at the border in Texas is down dramatically. Pres Trump is delivering on his promise to deport illegal alien criminals, tackle sanctuary cities failing to comply with ICE detainers, stopping border crossers and sending them back immediately, and hitting immigrant gangs like MS-13.I can see the difference in Texas and in the attitude of ICE, et al.5. He has assembled the best national security apparatus (Mad Dog, Pompeo, McMaster, Kelly) in my life time. His Cabinet is first rate.Trump is not a Republican, a conservative, a politician, an establishmentarian — he is the manifestation of the anger of America and the growing rebellion of the little people.Back in the day, I said to watch the 2014 elections as they were a sign of a growing anger in places which never had any control over their own fate. I said it here countless times and folks here said I was nuts.Then, when everybody said Trump would never get the nomination, I said, “Whoa, Nelly. He could get the nomination.”Then, I said he would.Then, everybody said he would never win the election.Then, I said, “Whoa, Nellie. He could win it with a certain coalition which would require him turning a couple of traditionally Dem states to his.”Then, I said, “He will win.”I recall catching a lot of shit on that score.The guy re-invented political communication and beat the 16 dwarfs, the GOPe, the DEMe, the Bushes, the Clintons, HRC, the MSM, the media, the pundits, and the pollsters.How? [Not the Russians, sorry.]By harnessing the anger in the electorate.Let me wrap it up.Do you think the anger about Civil War monuments is going to inure to his benefit or his detriment? How about wanting to rid the country of everything named “Washington”?He will get a vastly greater number of Southern votes in 2020. The attack on the slave owning Founding Fathers will flood the entire country, not just the South.This is an identity politics schism which he will mine just like energy, coal, jobs, unions.Everybody is talking louder about silly stuff. But, on the policy front, Pres Trump is forging forward and those policies will take root, drive results, and earn votes. He will get the economy growing at 3-5% before the mid-term elections.Pres Trump’s predecessor had the same intellectual opportunity to fix the VA. He did not. Trump did. That is real and people are starting to get those comparisons.In the end, only results count.Whoa, Nellie!JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Tom Labus

        If the economy hits 5%, you can thank President Obama for doing all the set up. He pitched 8 innings. Trump is along for the ride at this point. I do recall you saying that Clinton’s economic run was based on all Reagan hard work.

        1. JLM

          .@TomLabus:disqusTom, go wash your mouth out with bar soap. What total nonsense. Pres Obama did nothing to grow our economy. Nothing.The man smothered it with unnecessary regulation such as the EPA’s navigable waters nonsense which said that W Texas stock tanks were under EPA control because they drained into navigable waters.Clinton — sexual pervert that he was — did some really good stuff such as reforming welfare and working with the Newt Gingrich Congress to attempt to balance the budget.He also killed HillaryCare which was a prescient action.For those things, he gets full and undiluted credit.I doubt I ever said he was set up by Reagan as his predecessor was Geo HW Bush, not Reagan. If you can find my words saying that, I will buy you a steak.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Tom Labus

            We’ll split the steak but I do recall that argument.

          2. JLM

            .Hell, I’ll buy you a steak for general principle.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. JamesHRH

            Yes, Trump taking massive credit for the stock run up is partially bogus. These returns are mostly US multinationals generating massive profits in developing countries (i.e., not Europe and not US).Do a dive on Catepillar.The argument that deregulation and threatening tariffs will drive jobs and infrastructure spend here is valid.He is making the US attractive to massive capital investment again.I mean, I don’t think Thailand or China’s version of the EPA has a stranglehold on development.

        2. awaldstein

          Agree with this Tom and thanks for brining it up.

          1. JLM

            .OK, so what policy initiatives are you suggesting Pres Obama enacted?Steel, coal, energy, timber, unions, regulations?Under Obama the Labor Force Participation Rate went down. Under Pres Trump the LFPR has begun to climb. Big change.What Obama policies is Pres Trump reaping the benefit of that made the LFPR go up?Trump — bad.Obama – good to great.Just policies, Arnold.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. Tom Labus

            We have Obamacare.

          3. JLM

            .I don’t and if that is the only thing you can come up with — easily the worst policy ever enacted by a single party in Congress in the history of the US — God help us all.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. Tom Labus

            I was just having some fun

          5. JLM

            .Mois aussi.Cause face it, you and I are a couple of fun guys. Even when we disagree, we have fun.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          6. ShanaC

            So, odd factoid, the program that funded solyndra is actually profitable, and there is a famous company you’ve heard of that took their money:Tesla unless Tesla goes bankrupt soon, they will fully pay back the loan with interest)

          7. JamesHRH

            That’s not that sure a bet, yet. Model 3 is THE deal breaker.

        3. JamesHRH

          Tom, I think that is oversimplified.Confidence and lack of regulatory hurdles make a huge difference (I am not quite where @jlm is at however).In Canada, the premier of Saskatchewan just resigned. He is a business first conservative. Energy investment has flowed into SK in the last 18 months, as oil industry in particular evens out.Next door, in Alberta (Canada’s Texas, home of the 2nd largest # of head office in the country), a centrist socialist premier who ran on the carbon tax and $15 minimum wage and lots of industry oversight….watches multinationals sell out and pull investment. A home grown billionaire, Murray Edwards, moved to London when his personal tax rate exceeded 50% ( not that he said that in public).Direction and ‘ business friendly’ make a huge difference.Obama was high regulation and interventionist – capital hates those things.

          1. Tom Labus

            Read Bernanke’s statement the day after he was no longer Fed Chair and a private citizen. You think the crash happened because of over regs!!!!

          2. JamesHRH

            No, I know that large multinational companies worry about risk & return: privatization is a risk, changing economic ratios from operatiosl due to things like Sarbannes Oxley or interventionist governments is a risk; they send capital to jurisdictions that are consistent, liquid & economically efficient.A book by British economic reporter Allan Beattie really opened my eyes on his issue: False Economies. It basically states that the list I gave you is more important than corruption levels, natural resources and democracy for generating consistently increased GNP.Sudharto was corrupt in Indonesia for decades, but he was consistent and the economics were palatable ( i.e., you knew every year you had to grease the customs guys 5%).If you can bake it into a spreadsheet, it will fly.Allan is top shelf.

        4. sigmaalgebra

          If have the patient on their back for eight years, when they finally start to sit up maybe can say that they are “well rested”?The Crash of 2008 was due to the bursting of the housing bubble, and that bubble was due heavily to Fanny/Freddie backing still wet, used toilet paper as home mortgages. We can name lots of names, but the top one was Bush 43.As apparently usual, if burst a big financial bubble, then shoot the financial system between the eyes. My guess is that the burst bubble drained the oil from the crankcase of the economic engine: Or, the effect was to wipe out a lot of the huge fraction of the money supply that does not come from Fort Knox or the Federal Reserve but from the “multiplier effect” of “fractional reserve” banking. So, in effect, much less money supply. Less oil. Slower engine.It happened in 1929. It happened again in 2008. I forget the date it happened as J. P. Morgan personally bailed out the US, but that, IIRC, was before the US Federal Reserve and, some say, a big reason for the Federal Reserve.So, for the 1929 crash, again, we dried up a huge fraction of the money supply from fractional reserve banking. With less money chasing the same production capacity, we got lower prices, that is, deflation. Then, due to the deflation and slower economic activity, people who had borrowed money couldn’t even remotely hope to pay it back. Then fractional reserve banking took another shot in the gut. Down the US economy went in a spiral. We had massive problems in loss of financial, physical, social, psychological, cultural capital we are not out of even yet — very much, literally true. A farmer who owned his land and had no loans had a shot: He couldn’t buy anymore iron or steel tools, but he could keep using the ones he had. His house and farm buildings didn’t immediately fall down. He could continue with his garden, canning, root cellar, row crops, and livestock. He couldn’t buy new clothes, but he could keep wearing what he already had and maybe he could buy bolts of cloth and sew some new clothes. Nearly everyone else was in deep, dark brown, reeking, sticky stuff: They weren’t depending on the land and livestock; instead they were depending on the economy, of specialization, exchange, and money, and it failed.That situation went on for about 12 years. Since our economy was sick, we were not buying from other economies, and they went into same sticky stuff. We got a military dictator in Germany who took control, ran a “command economy”, and got that economy going again; much the same in Japan. Yes, that statement is true, but, yes, more is true, most of which is among the ugliest in all of history, and considering some of history that is saying a lot. Then, on 12/7/1941 we had, as in the movie, “Tora, Tora, Tora”, and soon afterward the US was at war with both Japan and Germany. Killed 50 million, 100 million, some such, people in Asia, Western, Central, and Eastern Europe, Russia, US soldiers, merchant marine, …, and much more.Now, by 12/7/1941, we’d been in the brown, sticky stuff of the Great Depression for about 12 years. I suggest we keep that 12 in mind. Then, presto, bingo, we got out of the Great Depression, with 1, 2, 3 jobs for everyone, in ballpark, flat, 90 days. So, 12 years and then 90 days.Magic? Nope. Heck what to do was clear enough, was described often enough and well enough, was in news, policy papers, fictional stories, even at least one Betty Boop cartoon — literally. We could have stopped the Great Depression in the same 90 days anytime we wanted to. But we didn’t until people started shooting at us. We could have gotten out right away, maybe before the end of 1929, really, never fallen into it, and have likely [history does not clearly reveal its alternatives] never gotten into it. Saved 50 million, 100 million lives. Saved the financial, physical, social, …, capital destruction. But we didn’t. Not until people started shooting at us. We should have learned our lesson. May if WWII had killed 200 million people, would you believe 300 million people, we would have learned the lesson? Naw. The dead people didn’t say anything, and the live ones were still alive and didn’t care enough to learn.But, now, we were talking about Obama: Well, we were in the Great Recession of 2008 for eight years. Let’s see, remembering the 12 from above, the eight years is 2/3rds as long as the 12 years. Or, Obama let the US economy be on its back from the crash of 2008 for eight years. Bummer. Big, sick-o, horrible, highly destructive bummer.We could have gotten out in 90 days. TARP? Pork and a political payoff, not really to get us out of the Great Recession.Trump? In effect, he is doing well getting us out of the Great Recession considering (A) he is not using techniques of a “command economy” or what the US did in 90 days after 12//7/1941; (B) he isn’t getting much help from Congress (same political body that didn’t mind our being in the Great Depression for 12 years); (C) he has much more in mind, clearly explained over and over, in his campaign and since, but has Paul Ryan, John McCain, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, etc. sitting on their voluminous back sides doing a great big nothing for just silly, trivial reasons.If people were actually, seriously shooting at us (they are shooting and want to launch nukes at us but haven’t yet launched the nukes or yet shot at us … well if we don’t compare 9/11 with 12/7/1941, …), then Congress might wake up. Else we need to take some 2 x 4s, better 2 x 6s, and break them over the backs of the sitting Congress-persons to see if they are asleep or really dead.I blame Bush 43 for letting the bubble expand and Obama for leaving us in the resulting Great Recession for eight years.I credit Trump for finally doing what can be done with a sleepy Congress to get us out of the Great Recession and for having really good campaign plans for getting us the rest of the way to heck out of this nonsense and back on our feet, economically, etc.To be clear, I have off the tops of the charts contempt for Bush 43 and profoundly, bitterly negative views of Obama. But, I don’t want to debate more about Bush 41 or Obama because we can’t change history.At this point all we can do, and what we must do, is to start doing things that are good, smart, and important now. We have a very long way to go and can have us in very much better shape, much better shape we have forgotten about, never seen, or don’t imagine.But I’m so disappointed in how dumb we have been, how slow we are to do good things, how willing we are, astoundingly, to let the horribly destructive propaganda of the NYT, etc. media sabotage our country, etc. that I’m plenty willing just to give up, turn my back, pursue my startup, and forget about being a responsible citizen.If my startup works, then I may just buy a big chunk of land, put a fence on the border, stock up on supplies, and forget about what’s outside. What the propaganda media did about last weekend is a good example; I’ve totally lost patience.

          1. Tom Labus

            That was 1907 when Morgan bailed the banking system. You may want to take a peek at the big banks balance sheets with their CDO portfolios. You can’t be leveraged out at 100x because you think there is no downside in housing without the capital to do so

      2. falicon

        You aren’t wrong.However, in my book, the ends don’t always justify the means…there *is* a right way and a wrong way to get results…and character counts too. Massively.I’ll be honest and admit that I don’t know that much about any of the policy stuff you highlight – so I can’t argue or dispute them…and in fact, I’ll even admit that there are plenty of policies/moves that Trump has been trying to push that wouldn’t be half bad (at least in the short term; I’m still *very* worried about the long term affects of much of his agenda)Still – I’m simply not willing to trade or compromise on character when it comes to leadership (and I strongly believe we are in our current state/arguments directly because of a lack of character many voters are/were willing to ignore).So I believe we’ll continue to be on opposite sides of this topic, not because we want different things or even disagree on that many of the ‘big’ points…we are simply unable to make the same compromises, and so we will always see each issue/event from a different lens and then speak about/debate it with a different base language…

        1. JLM

          .Character is important in Popes. If we were electing a Pope, I would not vote for Donald J Trump.I give credit to Pres Clinton for blowing off HillaryCare, for reforming welfare, for tightening the Federal budget and, yet, he was a guy who preyed upon young women, no?You have to focus on the big picture.Not pretty. Not the way I would like to see things, but the way it is.I want our country to be great. I want your life and that of your family to be far more than you ever expected possible. That is going to require changes in policy.Focus on the policy. On policy, I like the guy. All the rest of it, he’s a punk.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. gorbachev

            “Focus on the policy. On policy, I like the guy. All the rest of it, he’s a punk.”Which policy? The one today or the one he comes up on the spot while arguing with a journalist?Additionally, that’s easy for you to say not being a woman, LGBT, a journalist, African American, Mexican or any other group/class of people he’s attacked and disrespected for his entire life.

          2. JLM

            .@gorbachev:disqusI enumerated the policies I liked in writing. Fight fair, you Russian monster. You put the guy in office.http://themusingsofthebigre…JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. gorbachev

            The fact that he changes his policy on a whim doesn’t bother you? It bothers me.

          4. JLM

            .What policy?I have enumerated the ones I care about to which you can add the removal of the Chinese prohibition against importing US beef.Let’s be clear — Pres Trump has made a lot of mistakes. He is guilty of faux pas, foot faults, and more, but on policy — real policy — I like his policy.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          5. JamesHRH

            I think, here, in a forum devoted to innovation, you would think this process would be easier to grasp.He’s doing policy like a lean startup: float it, check results; tweak it and test it, check results; adopt and execute when traction attained.

          6. gorbachev

            That’s not why or how he’s doing it.What he’s doing instead is the following.He hears what he thinks is a good idea. He then (optionally) tweets about it. The following week he makes policy based on it, and this is the important part, without figuring out the full impact of the policy.As an example you could just look at the first version of the muslim ban. He didn’t even know it would prevent legal residents from entering the country. Nor did he bother figuring out whether or not it was constitutional before hand.When the result of a “lean” policy is violations of people’s constitutional rights, I think it’s the wrong way to go about making policy.What boggles my mind about that particular example was that he had, what, about a year to formulate how the campaign slogan would become policy, but he never bothered.

          7. JamesHRH

            You are talking about specific policies and I was unclear: I am talking about the structure, attitude, style and team in the WH.Find @jlm’s fast learner posts with the list of people he fires as he learns what he needs and then upgrades.The one thing I found in most startup founders was that they were quick to abandon ideas but slow to abandon people. Most of the jobs I had in startups that were struggling, basically, started with talking to the team and then making a list of people who had to go. Not people who were OK, people who had no idea what to do, had no track record of doing the job they were in and were killing the company by being there.One guy was VP of Sales, had never held a sales job of any kind, let alone done sales & marketing strategy work or manage people or high end complex selling (which this was), did not know what a sales pipeline was, and was pulling down $120,000 while the founders took nothing out, had a personal guarantee on their funding and were under 60 days of runway.That type of person.Trump’s a hyper competent doer of things. He knows more about going from project to success than any entrepreneur and likely most VCs (who know a shit ton about going from traction to success). He’s done it in RE, media, a ton of consumer businesses (many small and failures, but still), transportation, sports and now politics.He’s a sociopathic narcissist while being a mondo builder of things.

          8. falicon

            I believe our country was already great (and remains so)…my life was and is already filled with far more than I ever expected possible. Seriously.But I understand and appreciate that I’ve been *very* lucky. That “my day”, “my life”, and “my world” is not the norm. for so much of the rest of the country.So what I want ‘leadership’ as well as policy to address is not that of ‘my life’ but that of ‘our future’…and honestly, not just for our country, but for all of humanity.I want the opportunities for the world as a whole to continue to grow and evolve as the planet itself evolves.I believe to attain those sorts of ideals and goals, we need strong character, compassion, understanding, empathy (to name just a few) from our leadership…not just for a specific issue or group, but for the planet as a whole.idealistic I know…but when we talk of Kings, Queens, and Presidents…the leaders that define our history and our humanity…I must admit I strive for, and expect more. Even in 2017.

          9. JamesHRH

            Life is great in every major urban center in America.Everywhere else its pretty rough.My wife got taken to facilities as part of her new role here in Houston. Her colleagues used a term she had never heard before: ‘ Nafta town .’Its a town that had 2,3 or 4 US manufacturers in it pre-NAFTA and has none now.We all live in bubbles. Steve Bannon just popped most of them.Go look through Chris Arnade’s Twitter feed through 2016. Its scary.

          10. JLM

            .Wait until you go to the Rio Grande Valley and get a whiff of the maquiladoras and the empty facilities on the US side.The rest of the country thinks the border, illegal immigration, NAFTA, maquiladoras are Disney rides — they are real in Texas.We have Dems trying to prevent the deportation of criminal illegal aliens — not just illegally in the country, but having committed violent crimes in the US. That’s nuts.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          11. falicon

            I grew up in a small town outside of Erie, PA – manufacturing was the primary source of jobs, but almost all of that is gone now (though many of the people and families remain)…I now live in a small town outside of New York (our economics are basically lumped in with/considered the same as NY). So I’ve personally lived in, and continue to directly experience, what I would call somewhere close to both ends of these extremes.So I love, and empathize with viewpoints of, people from both worlds. There are no simple solutions that will result in happiness for all parties involved…but there still is a lot more common ground, thinking, and desires than what the internet (or much of the media) would lead us to believe…

          12. ShanaC

            My Fiance grew up in a town/small city (depending how you define city.ha) that could have gone in that direction. It didn’t, and now Seagate, GE, Terralux, Micron Technology and Western Digital. It’s previous biggest employers was a sugar refinery (for sugar beets, that grew nearby).it reshaped itself by taking advantage of a number of odd state policies and county policies around water rights, and planned for the future.Most towns do this badly. Most people running towns have small time ideas about how to run a town, which creates problems – they don’t think about how they can plan for the futureThere is actually a whole nonprofit/think tank around this idea. reading on the site:… )

          13. JamesHRH

            Is he from N or S Dakota?Cool stuff.

          14. ShanaC

            Neither, Colorado

          15. JamesHRH

            Nuts. You say sugar beats, the Dakotas are such a good bet. Never thought of the Colorado.Have a great weekend.

          16. LE

            While there is no doubt that many people would reject Trump or any republican just on policy, there is also no doubt that what Trump acts like and also the extreme to which he does that act is what is causing a problem. I think you would admit that.Let’s look at it this way. Say your daughter wants to marry a guy who has a tremendous amount of features and benefits all things that you approve of and like. Money. Good family. Good career. Good education. Treats here like gold. Healthy. Good looking but not to good looking (would cheat?). I will leave it up to you to decide what those are but let’s go with the list I created. Now there is one thing he doesn’t do which is treat you, your wife, your friends with respect. I don’t know about you but I would probably react negatively to that to the point where I wouldn’t think my daughter should marry such a person. [1] I mean also treats you bad in an extreme way not trivially. I think that that is what people are reacting to with Trump. The absolute extreme of what appears to be a wackiness that they just can’t get beyond.Look people make decisions on emotions. That is why houses are staged and cars are shined sitting in the showroom. Features and benefits, and once again assuming you even agree with those, have a super hard time overcoming emotions.[1] And I know this depends greatly on exact details but it’s a general point I am making.

          17. Salt Shaker

            “Character is important in Popes.”The prosecution rests totally on that statement alone. Thank you! Nothing could be further from the truth. Character is a huge part of the job. It exemplifies leadership, trust, fairness, respect, morality, confidence, trustworthiness, perception, etc., all important Presidential qualities. With respect to policy, Trump should be primarily judged on his stated campaign objectives: healthcare, infrastructure, tax reform, immigration, etc. Those are the big ticket items. With Trump it’s a moving target.If only he could read from a TelePrompTer each and every time he opened his mouth. That’s when he’s been most Presidential. When he ad libs is when he’s dangerous and divisive (we’ll put inarticulate aside for now), yet with no sense of character and the nuances of the job, he fails to understand the consequences and meaning his words have for many, which are often hurtful. Character, not just policy, matters bigly.

          18. JLM

            .If you are going to use campaign promises as your marker, you will not make your case, counselor. The guy is ticking them off one by one.I agree with you that character is important, but if I had to choose between effective policy and character — please pass the policy.Trump — bad.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          19. awaldstein

            Nicely said.

          20. JamesHRH

            Scott Adams did a periscope cast this AM that was really provocative (he can be a pill, but his PoV is out of the box).He said paraphrasing wildly here: ‘At what point did Trump ever campaign on providing the service of moral leadership? He never did. He does not think it is part of the job of President.’Its a valid point.This type of completely different framework creates massive cognitive dissonance. The accepted norms under Trump are irrelvant.It likely behooves us all to watch what he does and evaluate it without context.So, his media bating improv on moral topics is like lighting the fuse on the clash of frameworks.We will see which one blows up.

          21. Salt Shaker

            “He does not think it is part of the job of President.”It’s irrelevant to Trump, but not the masses, nor for that matter Congress, including increasingly the GOP. Pandering to his base will not get it done. There are already cracks in the veneer in Congress and among his less ardent supporters.”At what point did Trump ever campaign on providing the service of moral leadership?”Moral leadership isn’t a platform, it’s a prerequisite.Come on James, this is not sustainable, regardless of who he surrounds himself with.

          22. Donna Brewington White

            Moral leadership isn’t a platform, it’s a prerequisite.I wish it was a prerequisite. It seems more like a luxury.

          23. PhilipSugar

            I agree. A big part of leading lots of people is staying on script.In his debate especially the first one he was both unprepared and could not stay on script.His tweets….not on script.Now this works in a family run totally dominated by you company.Does not work leading the free world.As for character, sadly I think almost every politician is seriously flawed. You have to be to want the job.

        2. JLM

          .BTW, I think you are right as to character and the voters. Those conflicted voters made a conscious decision to pick one or the other based on a comparison of relative character.HRC was no walk in the park as evidenced by her campaign long email squeeze.I do think James Comey torpedoed her chances — twice.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. falicon

            Quite possibly, the toughest election choice in history really.I know many ‘feminists’ who just couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Hilary. I know many ‘strong liberals’ who just couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Hilary. The list goes on and on really.Personally I believe she was over-qualified for the job, and that anyone with a lifetime of public service (especially at the levels she has served) is going to have a lot of bad choices/moves on their public record (in hindsight)…but even still, I can’t say I loved having to vote for her.Truth is, regardless of who won, we were heading for some form of troubles…our country (and the world) is slowly transitioning from the industrial revolution to the knowledge economy…and there’s no way around the fact that it’s going to be a rough and bumpy ride throughout the transition (but we do NEED to make that transition).

          2. PhilipSugar

            I don’t know where this meme of she was the most qualified, she had the most public service: She amassed more than $240mm being a “public servant”…Joe Biden really only has his house https://www.washingtonpost…. you know how he got that?? It was a dirty deal trade with an MBNA exec… return for?? The bankruptcy law that he pushed through which dramatically helped who??? Credit card companies. Who else did it help??? SallieMae. Try and get rid of your student debt. Where is their HQ??? Right here in DE.So I don’t know what dirty deeds Hillary has done, but I do know that it must be close to $240mm worth.

          3. PhilipSugar

            And note for all of you that think this is in support of Trump. I did not say a word about him. And I like Joe Biden have a picture with him on election day posted that here. It is all a relative thing. It’s how much I can tolerate.

          4. JamesHRH

            Foundations should be illegal for holders of high office.The Clintons live like billionaires, as the Foundation has $470M in assets and pays, I don’t know, lets say 80% of their expenses.In Canada, PM Selfie has followed the progressive globalist politician plan, with the extra, odious ethical twist that of the $150M that seeded the PE Trudeau Foundation (of which he was Chair until he became PM and where he will go immediately after he retires), $120M of it came from a department of the CDN federal govt (Industry Canada). Surreal.If you want to question Barrack Obama’s judgement, hiring Rahm Emmanuel to twist arms Old School style (after promoting a new way and having Chris Hughes on staff ) and the Obama Foundation are bookend embarrassments to his stylish run in the WH.

          5. falicon

            Public service does not mean charitable service.I don’t love that the back room deals get done and that so much of our ‘policy’ and ‘law’ is based on lobbyists and related ‘favors’…in fact I wish it was outlawed…but I understand it is what it is right now.My point about ‘over qualified’ though is based on the fact that she knew how the system worked, who the players are/were, what all of it means on the global scale, and more specifically how pulling each tiny lever on any given topic creates a specific ripple effect…so it was my belief she would be more ‘calculated’ in her words, actions, and reactions. She would simply ‘think through the potential consequences’ because of past experience and scars…more so than most anyone else, simply because they had not seen/dealt with the public (and it’s irrational reactions) as much as she has throughout her career.

          6. PhilipSugar

            She knew how to get people to give her, her husband, and the foundation money.Qualified? Yes in not representing my interests but representing hers, which in a representative democracy is evil.She knew how the system worked, who the players were and what it meant at a global scale (think of the Middle East money she made)You are right, that is why she lost. Trump didn’t win she lost. Not my words but Obama and Biden’s

          7. JLM

            .The second she didn’t win, the money dried up completely. Go figure!JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          8. PhilipSugar

            Yes……go figure. I was born, but not yesterday.

          9. JLM

            .”I was born at night, just not last night.”The wholesale drying up of the CGI and CF $$$ speaks volumes.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          10. PhilipSugar

            Could not be more fitting. I will tell you if Trump or Sessions weren’t so worried about the ramifications there were be some prosecution. I don’t think the left could take it so I give them credit they are letting it go just to keep the peace which is not right but expedient, which is what business people sometimes do.But you and I know that money doesn’t come without serious dirty deeds.How much did Saudi give the Clintons? Well over $10mm according to the NYT:…It was much more if you account for Bill’s contract. Hmmmmm. $115B arms deal? I wonder what Lockheed paid. That is a pittance. Except for the fact that she is supposed to represent ME.Don’t tell me she is a public servant. That is why she lost. She lost. Trump didn’t win. She and cronies lost. Again not my words but Biden’s. Obama did the same type of dirty deal with trading property. I suppose I can take. Pigs get fat, Hogs get slaughtered.Then we let them purchase jets we used to never let them buy because of Israel…….and she is Secretary of State.Hmmmmmm

          11. JamesHRH

            These are great comments. If I had a US vote, I could not have cast it for Hillary. I honestly believe she and Bill are a scourge on democracy in America.Glad I did not face the choice.I should add that voting for either PM Selfie or a tired, shrivelled and politically bankrupt Stephen Harper was no picnic.

        3. creative group

          falicon:The majority of posters and Contributors will not research an essay written with deflecting factual information to make a insubstantial point that has nothing to do with the actual comments or questions. It is deflect, deflect, ask the questioner a question, lie, lie and deflect some more. The playbook is O’Reilly and Bannon.After researching and confirming we acknowledged facts were presented that only set the reader up for opinions that support the manure you originally questioned that went unanswered but addressed other issues from set talking points.Needless to say after discovering the intentional lies that entity was blocked.Hopefully the educated will discover the pattern.UNAPOLOGETICALLYUNEQUIVOCALLYINDEPENDENT

        4. Donna Brewington White

          It is so refreshing to hear this concern about character and I would have expected no less from you.We have been on a slippery slope in terms of character for quite some time.One of the issues raised during the election was presidential demeanor. This to me was a focus on style over substance. Politicians focus on cultivating demeanor. Trump is not a politician. Although, a political strategist.We have had presidents with character and demeanor but low effectiveness.I am enough of an idealist to believe we can have all three.But will we demand this?Many who are anti-Trump and complaining about his character would have been satisfied with Hillary Clinton and with having Bill accompany her to the White House. This seems hypocritical to me. So much more honest to admit that the dissatisfaction with Trump is not so much about character but political leanings. (Not directing this last sentence at you.)

          1. PhilipSugar

            It saddens me to think we have two Presidents that have done things that would have gotten me rightfully fired.As for demeanor that is a really important trait. I can take if you don’t act like a politician I can take if you posture and come off as a bit crazy. I cannot take thrashing around and not staying on point. That scares me.All of that being said: He is now the President. I watched some news on Sunday, I wanted to see why people here are hating on the media so bad.If you dropped me in from a desert island and told me the major media like ABC are impartial I’d have to say the guy is a card carrying member of the KKK and a Nazi and his fellow members do in fact comprise a majority of his base meaning there are 30mm members of these organizations. His main goal and intent is to destroy the country.I mean come on people. I get you hate the guy. But can we have a shred of balance? They ave lost all credibility. But it is worse than that. I don’t understand the goal. If you don’t want him re-elected I get it, but you aren’t changing anybody’s mind. Sure you are preaching to the choir, but you are seriously energizing his base. You are making it so they will vote for him no matter what.Biden will run. I think he would have walked away with the election last time purely because he appeals to a large part of the base that Trump won.If Biden won would be saying they are KKK members? I think we are hardening people’s hearts so they might vote for him no matter what because they think the establishment hates him just like they hate them.Come on. Is it his fault that they managed to gather less than 100 shitheads from all over? Literally I saw the guy he was proud he had people from all over and as far from Canada.Could he have done better? No doubt.But the media seemed to be saying those poor people that came with clubs, mace, and bags of urine are hero’s. Sorry we cannot have a society that works like that.

          2. Donna Brewington White


      3. ErikSchwartz

        This reminds me of Mussolini making “the trains run on time”A) It’s a myth. Mussolini claimed the trains ran on time after he took over, but it was not true. Very Trumpian.B) Even if it was true… On time trains are not worth your soul or your morals.

        1. JLM

          .@ErikSchwartz:disqusBit of high minded morality and concern for our souls is a good thing. About 95% of Sundays I am in church, praying for a two headed coin for the ultimate coin flip, but there is a world out there that doesn’t give a rat’s ass about morality. I do not intend to impose mine on them.One might argue the vast majority of them are politicians — fair play to that.A real world thing is something like the Chinese prohibition on the importation of US beef.This was put into place in 2003 on the heels of a supposed mad cow scare. The mad cow scare turned out to be bogus, says those in the testing arena.Nonetheless, US beef did not make it into China until June of 2017 when Commerce Sec Wilbur Ross cut a deal with the Chinese to begin importing US beef again.Huge market for American ranchers. Big win. No coverage.…Through the Bush and Obama administrations, nothing happened. In that period of time, the Chinese market demand for beef exploded — 10X.President Trump made that happen and opened a huge new market for US beef — something important to my state, Texas, and a lot of others.Has nothing to do with trains.It is a policy triumph. Policy.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. LE

            but there is a world out there that doesn’t give a rat’s ass about moralityThere is also a world of people out there who actually like the fact that someone so rich and in such a powerful position can be flawed, not sanitized and have faults. It makes them feel better about themselves and I don’t mean that in a belittling way.This is somewhat similar to what used to be written about Sam Walton ‘drives pickup truck to work and drinks coffee at local shop’ and Oprah (whose weight gains actually endeared her to her audience). And there is plenty of reality tv centered around rich people (Real Housewives series) and their flaws and foibles.Also look at Fred and AVC. The humbleness and vulnerability juxtaposed against the wealth is, I am sure, what attracts some people to read this blog. “Wow he makes mistakes just like I do”.

          2. JLM

            .I once rode with Sam in his pickup.He had a matched set of English Purdey over-and-under shotguns worth four times the first house I ever owned.I called him out on them and he laughed.Sam Walton was one shrewd SOB.BTW, he let me heft his guns, but not in the parking lot. I have never held so perfectly balanced a shotgun as those Purdeys.JLM

          3. LE

            Walton, like the protagonist of this post, also had a seat of the pants feeling for how the common man thought and made decisions.This is not something you learn in school (I am on my high horse now puffing my chest a bit) but something that you learn from interacting on an everyday basis with those people and/or observing and thinking about them and what makes them tick.

          4. sigmaalgebra

            SHOULD be able to learn it in school. Being able to figure it out on your own out of school is surprising and commendable, but be careful: Correct social science is tough to do, and getting correct results without the help of the techniques of science is much tougher. Eventually, after long paying “full tuition” (@JLM), medical science learned this lesson. Some of the results of mistakes in poorly done social science have been grim. At times, some schools teach such stuff, maybe even the lessons you are explaining. Start: Look at selected courses in psychology. Then look at some of the material on social psychology and clinical psychology. I’d ask my brother, Ph.D., polysci, MS, BS psychology, but he’s not available now.

          5. PhilipSugar

            Yes I knew the Wright Brothers who were his right hand men. Wesley told me Sam made him return a Lincoln after his wife just went and bought it.I said but Wesley did he let you drive this Ford F350 Diesel Duelly? That must be worth twice the price of the Lincoln. “that is a pickup truck Wharton boy”

          6. LE

            That Ford F350 is a nice sounding machine btw.It hits all the right notes.You know there are studies done on this topic (I guess that’s obvious) a guy actually made money consulting (can’t remember off the top his name was on a PBS special) that told the car makers to design even more grit into them to appeal to primal instincts in buyers.Ok here it is Clotaire Rapaille:…They are too cortex, which means that they think too much, and then they ask people to think and to tell them what they think. Now, my experience is that most of the time, people have no idea why they’re doing what they’re doing. They have no idea, so they’re going to try to make up something that makes sense. Why do you need a Hummer to go shopping? “Well, you see, because in case there is a snowstorm.” No. Why [do] you buy four wheel drive? “Well, you know, in case I need to go off-road.” Well, you live in Manhattan; why do you need four wheel drive in Manhattan? “Well, you know, sometime[s] I go out, and I go — ” You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand that this is disconnected. This is nothing to do with what the real reason is for people to do what they do. So there are many limits in traditional market research.I love the Wharton boy stuff. My cousin worked for my dad and used to make fun of me because I worked in the a/c office and he ‘did the man’s work in the warehouse’. Today he is still running the warehouse and his brother (my other cousin) is running the office and controls vastly more of the company than he does. Calls the shots, travels all over the world.Sam made him return a Lincoln after his wife just went and bought it.This is similar to Gates flying coach iirc. Some business owners will cut their nose to spite their face in order to put more money in their pockets long run. So you have to set the example of being cheap yourself. It’s similar I guess to trying to be in the office first thing. If you live and show luxury then people get jealous and if you are running a company everything costs you more all your costs go up.I remember when I bought a nice car in my first business. Never parked it in front and let employees see it. All I thought was ‘they will be in asking for raises if they think I am making enough to buy this car’.

          7. sigmaalgebra

            Why a Ford F350? Uh, “A truck is a tool. I don’t skimp on tools.”, right, once used in an ad for blue jeans! Or, “I want what I depend on to be much more capable than what I need — belt, suspenders, and much more in everything.” “If my server computer needs three cooling fans, then I want at least 8.” “Of the things I need, from pantry, to medicine cabinet, to work shop, to clothes closet and much more, I don’t want to run out so stock up and have lots of extra.” Those are some of the rationalizations.Some of those thoughts are valid at times, e.g., for much of aircraft design and engineering. E.g., supposedly the Boeing 747 has four independent hydraulic systems and can fly safely on just any one of the four.

          8. JamesHRH

            Come on? You own Sam Walton’s shotguns?

          9. JLM

            .No, I held them in Bentonville.I had a chance to buy a matched set of Purdeys in the 1970s but didn’t want to fork over the $$$. In 1970 they would have cost $5K. Today worth $250K.I do have a 1938 Belgian Browning over-under which I use to shoot birds.Now that you live in Texas, you will have to become a bird hunter.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          10. JamesHRH

            My son has the dog and the desire. We’ll see.Handled firearms as a kid, as did my father in law.Seems a non-Houston thing to do.Ouch on the Purdys.

          11. Donna Brewington White

            You’re living in Texas? Oh that’s poetic.During a road trip with my husband, my son’s spent a few days this summer on a ranch outside of Dallas shooting rifles and riding ATVs. I may lose one of them to Texas.

          12. ErikSchwartz

            The beef story is exactly the kind of myth making I am talking about.USDA says in 2015 that the entire value of the US beef industry is $60B (incidentally that doubled since 2008). Apple computer, a single company, did that in Q4 of 2016.

          13. JLM

            .You sort of make my point, Erik.Apple employed a lot of Chinese in making their products, no? Great for China.American beef is raised on American ranches by Americans — the kind of jobs which everyone said were never coming back to the US.More importantly, the change in policy was the result of leadership. That’s all a White House and a Cabinet can do — promulgate and lead by policy.I don’t think there are any silver bullets or master strokes, but you have to ask yourself, “If the Trump admin could do that so easily — reverse a 14 year prohibition against US beef being exported to China — why didn’t Bush or Obama do it?”It’s leadership and policy.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          14. ErikSchwartz

            My point is that you are not going to meaningfully increase the US economy (certainly not to 4%) via agriculture or timber.It’s myth making. It makes a great story. It won’t change anything for the Trump voter.

          15. JLM

            .As I said, “I don’t think there are any silver bullets or master strokes…” but it is not correct to focus solely on the revenue numbers.Timber and lumber is a huge industry in the US with more than 11MM private timber landowners, driving more than 650 sawmills, employing directly 100,000 sawmill employees and more than 300,000 support jobs (truck drivers, sales people).Timber and lumber support home building which employs even more people.These jobs are in places where trees grow, so they represent jobs where jobs are desperately needed and they are, exactly, the kind of jobs which the pundits said would never return.These folks are likely to be Trump voters.Agriculture is even bigger. Taking just the issue of American beef — this is a direct impact on Trump country as it is rural and in fly over country.The cumulative impact of this will drive the economy and it is already evident. I can tell you that in cow country there are a lot of smiles.This is neither an economic nor political myth.Oh, yeah, these are both sustainable and renewable industries which are great stewards of the environment (well, except for the feedlots in Lubbock and Amarillo when the wind is from the wrong direction).JLM http://www.themusingsofthebigredca...

          16. ErikSchwartz

            Who works in slaughterhouses? Illegal immigrants from central America.Being an ex-Mainer I know a bit about the timber and pulp industries. Before we had those nasty regulations those industries nearly destroyed the rivers in Maine. Given the state of newspapers and the USPS I do not see paper as a big growth industry (pulp, not lumber is a big chunk of the timber industry.Time will tell.

          17. JLM

            .I was addressing solely lumber. Timber is paper (pulp), chips, pellets, lumber. It is even bigger.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          18. ErikSchwartz

            19th century industries will not solve 21st century economies.

          19. JLM

            .We are producing cement the same way the Romans did.We use cement — with sand, rock, water — to make concrete.We use concrete and reinforcing steel to build infrastructure.Carpenters set forms. Truck drivers deliver rebar and concrete.We use hand labor to finish concrete.We are contemplating a trillion dollar infrastructure program.Not everything requires code.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          20. JLM

            .”No, we are not…” what?I was working with those kind of trucks, literally, half a century ago.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          21. LE

            One thing though those industrial age changes took place on a much slower time frame and pace than some of the changes today that force people out of jobs.

          22. Lawrence Brass

            Without code it is very probable that you couldn’t wake up in the morning!BRC may be the only thing you own without code in it. 🙂

          23. JLM

            .How about my guns?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          24. ShanaC

            that’s going to change soon. NJ is a very interesting state, and it could become illegal to own a gun without code (so that only you, or someone you authorize, can shoot it)

          25. PhilipSugar

            You are smoking crack Shana on this. I’ll bet you NJ will outlaw abortion before this happens. Have you ever been to South NJ…..the Pinelands? I’m sure you know North NJ……You know how many guns they will collect from South Jersey? None Zero, zip.North? Well I am sure the thugs from Newark will line up.In Texas? Just your post means you never ever in your lifetime can be elected in TX, NM, AZ, OK, AR, MS, AL, GA, FL, CO, MT, WY, ID ND, SD and a ton of other states.

          26. ShanaC

            No I’m not. There is a law on the books in NJ that as soon as a smart gun in sold anywhere in the country, all guns sold in NJ need to be smart guns…Weirdly, there is pressure to change the law to allow smart guns to be sold. Because apparently this law is preventing the sale of smart guns – there is a lot of pressure in NJ to change the law!(and as soon as the law changes, they’ll go to market)

          27. PhilipSugar

            Shana….sorry, it is like outlawing abortion. Not going to happen. Both sides need to to get to the realization…..not going to happen.

          28. PhilipSugar

            I looked it up you are partially right. See below. But what did it do? Prevent gunmakers from making them. And more importantly it does not outlaw them, you can still have them, just can’t buy them.But it made it so every single manufacturer knew that the second they made one single one they would go out of business because they would be shunned by every gun owner across the nation.It also made reasonable people oppose reasonable regulation because they see what people really want. People like me.I think it should be almost impossible to get concealed carry (it is in my state)To just buy you should have to take a test (you do), you get fingerprinted (you have to), you get background checked each time (yes) Now this is not the same for each state.If you get to Delaware I give you an open invite to go to the state owned range with me where I go with my son twice a week and understand exactly the what, how, and why about handguns. There are 50% women using that range. All you need are glasses and an government id. I will supply everything else, and provide a lesson and supervision, I’ll even pay the $4 lane fee :-).The range officers there have a nickname for people they know well and my son is simply named “the boy” He is better than 95% of the people including me. When I first took him the senior range officer (Korean War Vet) asked me if he could show him the rules not me. I said no problem. As they went over operations my son proceeded to show him how it worked when the RO was having trouble and it’s history. The RO said we just want to get rounds safely down the lane. My son then proceeded to hit 5 in the 10 ring (size of a quarter) and the other 5 in the 8 ring (size of a silver dollar) The RO turned to me and said well we now know who is the best on the range right now, can you shoot like this? No. As the other RO’s watched him the Senior said “the boy” gets his own lane. At this point they will put him in a lane far away from me but I prefer to be next to him.”For reasons that are subject to argument, efforts by a couple of gun manufacturers to perform research into smartgun technology 15-plus years ago were met with negative responses. More recently, and more significantly, a well intentioned but poorly conceived 2002 law enacted by the state of New Jersey outlawed the sale of conventional guns in the state once smartgun technology is available. This provided a strong incentive for those involved in the firearms business not to develop smartguns and led to boycott pressure against anyone who wanted to produce or sell smartguns. Why would gun manufacturers invest significant sums in order to create a product that would cause their flagship offerings to become unsellable?The New Jersey law also created a fear that other states or the federal government might follow suit, and ended up having the opposite effect of its desired impact. Thankfully, the state is in the process of modifying its smartgun mandate to simply require that gun stores selling conventional weapons also carry at least one smartgun.”

          29. ShanaC

            There is a move in NJ to repeal. The original sponsor would put a bill forward to repeal if she could get a promise from the nra not to stop people who want to sell smartguns from doing so. So far, the NRA has declined, because they are in the pockets of current gun manufacturers (and they don’t really represent the political views of the vast majority of people who actually own and shoot guns)I actually tried to shoot previously. Either I had a really bad teacher or I’m just bad. (hard to tell, it was my ex, whose national scores before he got super serious in college was just short of qualifying for the US Olympic team for rifle shooting – and in many cases, people that good make terrible teachers since they know and feel all of the complex stuff around whatever they are teaching) I do know my fiance will be buying a gun soon-ish for pheasant hunting.That said, he agrees with the one regulation I really want – police can take away your gun for 24hrs and fine you if you carry your gun while intoxicated. (and possibly have the ability to take it away from you/notify the fbi to do it if you keep carrying your gun while intoxicated). people have poor reaction times and often have heightened emotions while intoxicated, which is why we have drunk driving laws. Why should guns be any different – people who can’t respect them shouldn’t have them on their persons, and that means no intoxication and guns at the same time.

          30. leigh

            That’s true but softwood lumber as a broad example as to the overall success of economic policy is a weak argument. And remember, we have the water. Trudeau is trying to avoid controversy right now for his own political reasons (he went back on election reform at the time of those negotiations) but that will not be the case for long.I am curious about your example on ISIS though. Trumps ban is likely hurting and helping recruitment more than it’s solving any problem so going back to your original post about why he is liked – feeding into the fear isn’t the same thing as policy actually working.

          31. JLM

            .I like the US tariff on Canadian softwood lumber. That’s all I was saying. Not sure why that utterance is an “argument.”It is good policy as it shifts lumber production from Canada to the US — currently operating at less than 60% of capacity. This shifts jobs and that is what Pres Trump promised to do.”We have the water.” <<< Don’t get what this means.As to ISIS, we are slowly destroying them. The Trump Pentagon is running 10X daily sorties v its predecessor. Territory is being recaptured at an accelerating rate.The Iraqis have retaken Mosul and the Kurds, et al, are circling in on Raqqa. This is going to be over soon.From a professional military perspective, ISIS has lost the initiative and gone over to a purely defensive posture.They have lost their sources of revenue — we have knocked out the refineries which the previous admin had been reluctant to hit.We have taken out every bit of rolling stock which appears.They are struggling to make up combat losses — personnel losses cannot be replaced. This is the proof of their recruiting success.They are burdened with a growing population of wounded fighters who are more expensive to care for than a rifleman.They are struggling to replace combat losses of weapons and equipment.They are struggling to supply ammunition to a myriad of different weapons from artillery to rifles.Their communication systems are jammed and can only work when we let them. We can listen in on every word they speak.They are a failing military force with a detached leadership.This is what defeat looks like.They will not last more than 12 months.Recruiting is a product of the above. When they were perceived as “winning” they had some people flow. Now, they don’t.The greatest deterrent to recruiting is the wailing and lamentations of mothers who have to bury their sons.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          32. leigh

            I see the term argument bc your comment was in response to disagreeing with someone and presenting a different opinion. This to me is the definition of presenting an argument.I reference water bc while you have won on softwood lumber for now, the US will more and more need our water into the future. Good relationships will be important.Finally while you may believe you are winning with ISIS many people who I have listened to who are experts in middle eastern studies or live in places like Kabul tell me the exact opposite. That they are getting stronger and their tentacles are spreading deeper and further (I’m not simply talking Isis here but rather jihadist movements that include them).What we can both agree on is that cutting off their funding sources is absolutely key and again anyone who I speak to says that funding centres around Saudi Arabia a country who the current government in the whitehouse actively supports.

          33. JLM

            .Fair play to you. I would categorize an exchange of views as a discussion, but I get it could be one “arguing” their view also. No foul.I don’t get the US-Canada water issue. Where we have common access to the Great Lakes; there is no short term or projected water shortage in that portion of the US. Demographic trends in the US have those areas thinning out while the South continues to densify. Simple migration patterns. More than 20% of the surface water in the world is in those lakes and the US has joint access.As to ISIS, the facts are the facts. “I” am not winning v ISIS. They are losing.Universally, within their self-declared Caliphate, they are on the run and fighting a losing defensive battle. The coalitions against them are growing. ISIS combat power is contracting. Their former territorial gains are evaporating. Their leadership is MIA.This is the pattern of a classic military defeat and the KPIs I noted is how wars are scored within the military science.Intercepted messages paint a clear picture — ISIS cannot make up their battlefield losses with recruits. They cannot maintain their training facilities to deliver trained recruits. They are unable to arm and supply their forces.When combat units are decimated by action and then make up their losses with recruits (which ISIS has not been able to do), the resulting unit is woefully compromised in its combat power because they are inexperienced, untrained, and unseasoned. This leads to even more casualties which reinforces the cycle of failure.They have a revenue problem and we have finally interdicted their supply lines. We are destroying countless supply channels bringing in a smaller number of trucks. This is where the 10X US sorties is being felt.As to A’stan and Kabul, that is the wrong place to stick the thermometer in if you are trying to take the temperature of ISIS. Other than a tiny training foothold in eastern they are not a factor.We went to A’stan because the Taliban had hosted Al Qaeda training camps. When we eliminated the AQ camps, we then took on the Taliban.We beat them and then allowed them to regain their footing. There is a long story as to how we did that, but it was a tactical failure and had a lot to do with the A’stan gov’t.In my view, right now, the Taliban is winning in great part because we pulled out too soon.What we are calling “IS in A’stan” is really a splinter group which came from the Taliban tree. When they went anti-Taliban, they affiliated with IS. This is important to know as they are not “core” ISIS and are not indicative of the spread of that cancer. They are home grown and, as of yet, have been militarily insignificant.Here is a good article from a Brookings pub which touches on the issues.…There is no question that the funding of the most hateful jihadi groups is still coming from the places, including Saudi Arabia, where the variant of Islam advocates the most robust definition of jihad.The neo-Salafi/Wahhabi sect is where the well spring of intellectual support for violence lies today and, unfortunately, there is a lot of money supporting this madness.I doubt we will ever win the intellectual debate with Islam over jihad in much the same way there will always be stupid people who will don Nazi and KKK regalia and appear in public.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          34. Rob Underwood

            No one is ever an “ex-Mainer”. Gets in your bones for life. One of the greatest places in the world (along with Brooklyn, Hawaii, and Kyoto of course)

          35. ErikSchwartz

            Yeah, we kept the house. I intend to retire there 🙂

          36. LE

            Who works in slaughterhouses? Illegal immigrants from central America.Will add that it’s common for people to repeat that ‘Americans don’t want to do those jobs’.They truth is Americans will not do those jobs for the same wages that are paid to people who have different life experiences or circumstances. If the pay were higher, more Americans would do those jobs. There are plenty of jobs that are dangerous, dirty, un-glamorous and undesirable that Americans do because they pay a great deal of money. Garbage men in NYC I think make $90k per year. And like the protagonist in Pink Houses (Mellencamp) they think they got it so good.Tim Cook of Apple has stated that the iphone assembly jobs can’t be done in the US because there aren’t enough skilled workers to do those jobs here. That’s because there are people in China who have different economics and circumstances that will do those jobs for a lower wage. However if the wages increased in the US people could be trained and would do those jobs. That would either raise the cost of the goods or would lower Apple’s profit.Americans, including myself and even Warren Buffet (when it comes to higher taxes) are very juvenile about things like this. Most of us say we are willing to pay more (or in Warren’s case more taxes) but only if everyone were required to pay more or a law were passed. Otherwise we are happy to simply buy things as cheaply as possible without regards to any other consequences.

          37. ShanaC

            @JLM:disqus @le_on_avc:disqus My first “techy-type” job actually was in non-profit journalism, and I had to cover the ICE raid of Agriprocessors / Rubashkin in Postville, Iowa*. At the time, I was seeing someone very seriously who also happened to be the son of man who basically created the first “industrial scale” kosher slaughterhouse.This was a huge crisis of faith for me (long story) but it caused huge problems that never have been fully fixed in the Orthodox community around food.If you look at this video from Hornell from the 1950s’ll see this very mechanized process with all of this union style safety procedures keeping people away from equipment. Getting illegal/temporary workers turned out to be safer than maintain hyper-safe equipment and procedures.*Outside of the initial slaughter, examination of the lungs, and the salting/rinsing process, kosher chicken and beef is processed the same way as not kosher chicken and beef. In fact, only about 1/4 of the meat that enters the kosher slaugher process ends up certified kosher, and the rest is sold as non-kosher, usually under other brand labels, the way beef/chicken normally show up at a supermarket in those Styrofoam things. That’s happening in a kosher meat packing plant.

          38. DJL

            Let’s not forget Mr. Obama and the “shovel ready” jobs. The stimulus payout never had a chance of creating a single job – but the media bought it and Obama was a hero.

          39. sigmaalgebra

            > Let’s not forget Mr. ObamaI have a much, much, much, Much, MUCH, MUCH better idea: Let’s DO “forget Mr. Obama”.

          40. ShanaC

            Yes it did. I passed by them all the time walking around NYC.In fact, one of my ex’s got a job through the stimulus package…Brooklyn Bridge Rehabilitation. He’s a civil engineer who specializes in underground and large scale construction, and last time I spoke he was doing project management that was spurred by the stimulus fund and the fact that the brooklyn bridge was/is way overdue for rehabilitation.That’s before the weird extra unemployment insurance program that NY State created to create entrepreneurs (they allowed a special extension if you qualified for unemployment if you were starting a company as long as you had a viable business plan and were getting specific types of mentorship. ) I have no idea how many companies came of that, but I do know that in the past few years, upstate opened way too many interesting food startups by a lot of ex-city folk/people from other parts of the country, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this program was part of the reason.Oh, and I personally benefited from this program…I actually can talk to my doctors now irrespective of institution, and they are finally starting to coordinate care correctly. This is huge, because EMRs use standards based on technology from 1989 (thanks mom)

          41. DJL

            Shana – I’m glad you had that experience. Unfortunately, you were in a small minority. It is well known that most of the “stimulus” spending (over $600 b) was paying off the debt of Labor Unions (ie. Democrat Voters.) It was essentially a money-laundering operation from the American people to Obama’s supporters. Tragic and crooked.

          42. sigmaalgebra

            Change things? Watch the most recent Trump rally in West Virginia. Old coal mines opened. A new mine, for coke, opened. The audience was ecstatic — THEY were really happy. New factories from Toyota, Mazda, Foxconn, and more. The people will line up for miles to apply. THEY will see a change.We have ballpark 94 million Americans out of the labor force. Any of those who can go back to work will be ecstatic. THEY will see the change.You want to mention value. Okay: There may be 3+ billion people on the Internet, with, due heavily from Apple’s devices and versions from Google, etc., that number growing.So, look at those 3+ billion people and find an unsolved problem they all have where the first good solution will be regarded as a must-have. Then, take the 1 billion or so of those people in the more industrialized counties where can get paid well from Web site ads. Build a Web site that has the must have solution, scalable, defensible. E.g., how many computer programmers can prove that a continuous function of a measurable function is measurable? How many even know what a measurable function is? And how many can execute or even guess the role of a measurable function for the must have, first good solution to that problem? Answer: Not many. Hint: For a collection of sets in the range of a function, the sigma algebra of the inverse image of the collection is the same as the inverse image of the sigma algebra of the collection. Don’t tell W. Rudin or H. Royden because apparently they didn’t know that. Did I mention defensible? Oh, the continuous function is on an abstract topological space, and the measurable function is on an abstract measurable space.Suppose that on average each of the 1 billion people uses the must-have solution once a day. [I have it on good authority that the software can be done quite well, fast, scalable, in 24,000 programming language statements in Microsoft’s Visual Basic .NET.] The 1 people use the solution on average, it’s interactive, a little like a game, to get 10 Web pages, and each page has one banner ad and on average 4 other ads, 5 ads per page, 10 pages, and 50 ads. Assume a market capitalization of 30 times annual pre-tax earnings. With the role of cheap computing and Internet data rates, assume that the revenue is 90% of pre-tax earnings — “Machines should work; people should think.”. With really good ad targeting, natural but unique for the solution, assume ad revenue of $8 per 1000 ads displayed. Then to find the market capitalization from simple arithmetic we just do365 * 10^9 * 50 * 8 * 0.90 * 30 / 1000 = 3,942,000,000,000dollars. Let’s keep it simple and round that off to, say, $4 T. Makes your example of Apple look like chump change.Still, I’m thrilled to US workers getting back to work, doing well at family formation, raising and selling beef to China, mining coal, fracking, selling natural gas, making cars and gasoline, building roads, tunnels, bridges, and airports, building new, better housing, building maybe even passenger trains, having a lot of really happy, healthy children with stay at home moms, etc. Thrilled.We should do both, high tech and low tech. Since we live in a democracy and there are a lot of low tech workers, only a few high tech workers, and only one worker, really, way, way above mere “high tech,” who can do the $4 T thingy, the elected representatives should concentrate on the low tech workers.For little Apple, Jobs was a funny guy, right?

          43. JamesHRH

            Hmmm, quick question:- how many US based jobs in the US beef industry v. US job @ Apple?

          44. JLM

            .There is a little windage to that answer — the folks at Apple are “new economy” workers and likely to have no problem finding jobs while the ranch hands, cowboys in the beef industry are a different kind of worker.Everybody said those jobs would never return to the US. Same people said Trump would never get the nomination.Both wrong.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          45. johnmccarthy

            Nice tryWASHINGTON, Sept. 22, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today issued the following statement:”I welcome the announcement from China’s Ministry of Agriculture that it has lifted its ban on U.S. beef following a recently concluded review of the U.S. supply system. This announcement is a critical first step to restore market access for U.S. beef and beef products. We look forward to prompt engagement by the relevant authorities for further technical discussions on the specific conditions that will allow trade to resume. True access to China’s beef market—consistent with science-based, international standards for trade—remains a top priority for the United States. The United States produces the highest-quality beef in the world, and China’s 1.3 billion consumers are an important market for U.S. producers. The Obama Administration and USDA will continue to press trading partners to eliminate unfair barriers to trade that hamper American farmers and ranchers.”

          46. JLM

            .Point being?The actual arrangement was negotiated by the Trump admin. It was never concluded by the Obama admin. Just like the JOBS Act.That announcement was from the Chinese perspective. They never negotiated the rules.During the Bush admin — remember he was from Texas — they had two similar head fakes.Not a pound of beef was sent to China until about a month ago. I have intimate knowledge of that industry on the provider side of things.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          47. ShanaC

            Wasn’t the Chinese beef trade deal started by Obama Ad and didn’t the first pilot exports (for safety, mad cow/prions) happen under the Obama administration? So isn’t this a rubber stamp by Trump?…As part of the deal, Ross told reporters that China has agreed to accept U.S. beef imports by July 16, which would be nearly a year after Beijing said it would start buying beef again under the Obama administration.Is this Trump or the fact that there have been crises about the safety of the food supply in China among the Chinese since 2003, not including this year’s avian flu mass culling.I don’t see how this is a policy triumph considering it was in the works and China has food supply chain trust problems easily solved by imports.

          48. JLM

            .From your own article:”China and the U.S. had previously committed to more market access on most of these trade issues over the years but implementation had been repeatedly delayed.”Wilbur Ross is the guy who broke the log jam. Wilbur Ross is Trump’s Sec of Commerce.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          49. ShanaC

            Well, why was there a delay? especially if beef was technically being sold in china in 2016?

          50. JLM

            .The deal Wilbur Ross cut included several different trade issues. Some of them were critical to China. Where they get their beef (Australia, New Zealand) is not important to them.It is important to American and Texas ranchers.Whenever a trade arrangement is made, it has to be codified in enabling rules and implementation rules.As an example, the JOBS Act was signed into law on 5 April 2012, but the US Securities and Exchange Commission — which hated the law — didn’t finish its implementation rules for crowdfunding until Jan 2016 (effective date).Let’s be clear — the US SEC Deep State screwed the Obama admin, but he did nothing to penalize them. I would have fired the head of the US SEC and put someone in who could get it done in 90 days — like Wilbur Ross?We have had trade cases on steel dumping on the books for more than 6 years. The Trump admin just took the first steps to make the existing laws work. And US Steel just authorized the hiring of 10,000 workers.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          51. PhilipSugar

            Look up Chicken from the Delmarva Pennisula

          52. JLM

            .I am familiar with the avian flu cooked v broiler chicken controversy. I expect the second round to be: “OK, if cooked Chinese chicken is allowed into the US, then broilers should be allowed into China.”These trade disputes have been around for a long time. What Wilbur Ross did in twenty days takes 10 years sometimes.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          53. cavepainting

            this is a slippery slope and one we do not want to be on. Policy can make incremental impact and it can be debated till the cows come come. But.. a President with weak moral character can unlock demons and vitriol that can be very hard to control.I just returned from a trip to the LAMOTH (Holocaust Museum in LA). Hitler was elected with less than 1/3 of the vote and people said some of the same things at the time he became chancellor (He will get things done, bring back German glory, etc…).Your argument is a poor one, JLM, and I can only hope that he exits office without destroying the moral fabric of the nation.

          54. JLM

            .”Slippery slope” — I was talking about US beef exports to China.You went to your typical “Trump bad” meme. In the future, just type “TB” and save us time.You are quite wrong as to how Hitler came to power. It is a shame more people don’t know history.The German election of 1932 was held in the midst of unemployment rising from 8% to 30%. The anger at the failing economy was blamed on the Versailles Treaty. That single fact, unemployment plus the Versailles Treaty anger, is probably the most overlooked fact as it relates to the rise of Hitler.In 1932, Hitler ran for President against an 84 year old von Hindenberg who was in deteriorating health — the incumbent whose arm was twisted to run against Hitler. Had he not run against Hitler, Hitler would have been elected President.Hitler’s party (of which he had been the leader since 1921) gained 123 seats in the 1932 Reichstag elections to arrive at 230 (305 is a majority). The SPD, a possible ally, lost 10 seats, but still held 133. KPD, an opposing force held 89 seats.The significance of this is that a coalition between the Nazis and SPD had a majority in the Reichstag.The Presidential race had two elections as nobody won a majority the first time around.In the first election, von Hindenberg won 49.6% of the votes. Hitler took 30.1% in a field of five candidates.In the second election von Hindenberg won 53% and Hitler won 36.8%.At the end of the election, von Hindenberg was anointed President, but the Nazis (in a coalition with SPD) had control of the Reichstag.The Reichstag was going to determine how Germany got out of its Great Depression and addressed the growing awareness of the crippling impact of the Versailles Treaty.In return for electoral support, von Hindenberg dismissed his Chancellor (Bruning) and appointed Franz von Papen in his place.When von Hindenberg realized he had to deal with Hitler’s control of the Reichstag, he capitulated and appointed Hitler Chancellor and dismissed von Papen. This is how desperate things were in Germany.Von Hindenberg appointed Hitler Chancellor hoping to be able to garner his support with the Reichstag. Hitler was never elected President.Von Hindenberg, under the influence of Hitler many said, issued the infamous Reichstag Fire Decree which destroyed civil liberty in Germany. This was intended to be temporary to allow Germany to recover in the face of civil unrest driven by the economy. It was a desperate measure.As a footnote, the unemployment in Germany was the driving force of dissatisfaction which compelled von Hindenberg to work with Hitler.Von Hindenberg died in 1934 thereby making the Chancellor, Hitler, President. Hitler abolished the position of President, consolidated the Presidency and Chancellor into the Fuhrer und Reichskanzler, a new position of absolute power.This is how Hitler came to power.There was not another free election in Germany until 1949.Once Hitler gained power, there was never any pretense that he intended to rebuild the economy and live peacefully. Germany began to build its military in defiance of the Versailles Treaty and stopped making the WWI reparations payments. They borrowed heavily from the Swiss.Test in the morning.TBJLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          55. cavepainting

            hitler’s party got less than 1/3 of votes in the election and my point was that he was not supported by a majority (similar to trump).Appreciate the comment, but I am very aware of the history and the route he took to power, thanks to repeated readings of william shirer’s epic, the rise and fall of the third reich. It has been at my bedside the last two decades.

          56. JLM

            .Slow reader?Come on, cave, that was funny.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    5. JamesHRH

      They see:- a chance to stop the progressives impact on culture- a reset to Reals over Feels- a focus on Jobs over Symbols- a business approach to government, not a parental approach ( services & costs not succour & support )They hold their noses a lot.Bannon’s the agitator here. He’s the revolutionary in the group. When he goes ( I believe it’s when, not if ), things should level out and move fast.

      1. JLM

        .Bannon was a campaign asset. He is not an operational asset.You called it perfectly right on Bannon and Priebus from the start.One has to remember that DJT was not a politician when he started. He is a very fast learner.He blew through Lewandowski, Manafort, Bannon/Conway, and now he’s got Kelly to run things.Can you imagine what he can accomplish when he gets the handle of this politics stuff?He had better insights into the electorate and the country’s mood than all of the professional politicians combined.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. JLM

        .Dude you called the Bannon shot on the money. He’s OUT. Don’t I win our bet on this one — six months?I guess Gen Kelly is really going to be running things after all.I think Pres Trump will soar now.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. JamesHRH

          Wha?I will settle with a trip to Matt’s El Rancho on your dime.Deal?

          1. JLM

            .Matt’s El Rancho here we come. Side of Green Mesquite.I think that 4-star Marine is in charge. Could be wrong — ask Preibus, the Mooch, Spicer, Bannon?Here come the Marines.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    6. DJL

      If you are getting your “Trump” view from the media, you would wish him to be dead. (Like Mississippi Senator Chappe-Nadel https://www.washingtonpost…. Simply the most despicable person on the planet. Some of us have a different view.

  9. Chimpwithcans

    As a regular from outside the USA, I find those ‘touchy subject’ posts the hardest to engage with.However, it is maybe worth looking through the comments to understand where y’all are coming from, as what happens in the USA affects us all like ripples from a rock thrown into a pool.Today’s blog post has made me more interested in understanding and engaging civilly. Good bartending, Fred.

    1. jason wright

      a bar is probably not the best place to debate such a topic.

    2. Russell

      Thanks for adding to the discussion and adding an international viewpoint. Americans tend to be dismissive of any view from beyond the 50 States. However most of the 7.5 Billion world’s people live “on the outside” and the events in the US do have an international impact.

      1. Pointsandfigures

        The cool thing is that the ideals elucidated in America’s founding documents know no borders. It’s why so many people want to come here.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          Yes, but apparently the reading comprehension level required for those documents is a bit too high for nearly everyone on the planet, sadly, even a large majority of the US!

  10. Rob Underwood

    I was once very hopeful about online discourse and the role it could play in our democracy. I’m not now. My observation is that it’s a lot of shouting and precious little listening (reading). I wonder if minds are ever changed, of if online discourse is just scream therapy. While it’s better here than Twitter or Reddit, a couple thoughts:1. I know our host doesn’t agree, but I still think anonymity has got to go. The topics on this board are rarely if ever so sensitive that there is a compelling reason to allow someone to protect their identify with a pseudonym/handle. If you want to go on ad hominem attacks, say crazy stuff, etc. put your full name to it so your family, friends, colleagues, employers, and clients, can find it. Own your views. Own your vitriol. (Already look at some of the comments today that have come from pseudonym/nickname accounts). The asymmetry that results from some ppl being masked, and others using real names, is a problem.2. Sourcing. I think dialogue would improve a lot if people source facts. This isn’t very hard and cuts off at the pass most, though not all, debates about things that are provable facts. Wednesday I asserted that Maine, my home state, is the “whitest” state in the union. Others disagreed and I responded with the sourced data. Had I just included the link to my source in my original comment, it would have headed off at the pass a debate over something that is either true or not based on census data.On this 2nd point, and this has been discussed a lot, we seem to debate facts a lot online, and not just our assertions, conclusions, and opinions based on those facts. It’s like trying to do geometry w/o first agreeing on the axioms.Personally, as I have said other times here and elsewhere, I put some of the blame on a shift away from teaching and testing for fact based knowledge in schools to a “we just need to teach kids how to think” pedagogy. I think testing for fact knowledge re-enforces to citizen-voters to be that they aren’t entitled to different “opinions” about what, say, the capital of Oregon is, the number of protons in a Nitrogen atom, or who wrote “As I Lay Dying.” A big problem in our discourse, online and offline, is that people feel entitled to pick and choose with facts to believe (climate change and children’s immunization are two topics where this phenomena comes up a lot).No anonymity/pseudonyms and source facts – those are my suggestions.

    1. gorbachev

      re: SourcingThat’s not going to help with anything, because people will source 4chan, if it supports their argument. If you answer with “4chan is not a credible source”, you’ll get an answer of “YES IT IS!!!!!”.Replace 4chan with your favorite conspiracy theory website, or a left-wing/right-wing “think tank” where appropriate.

      1. Rob Underwood

        I disagree. Declaring 4chan as a source doesn’t make it a valid source. It’s not even a secondary source, unless it’s gone into the reporting and research business. It’s just a source of other people’s opinions.This is part of the problem, both online and offline. Every argument can’t devolve into a “What if your blue is my red?”, “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” quasi-existential argument about what’s actually real. Just as in any science, there has to be some basic agreement about what the core axioms are about which theories and assertions are built.If someone insists that 4chan in of itself is a credible source, that speaks to the (lack of) quality to their inherent argument/assertions.

        1. gorbachev

          That wasn’t the point.The point is that you’re “debating” with people who DO think 4chan is a valid source for facts, and no matter what you or anyone else says in response will not change their minds or the minds of the people in his “tribe”. You or I will agree it speaks to the lack of quality of their argument, but nobody who agrees with them does.You can’t debate with people like that. It’s completely pointless. You can cite source after source after source and it means nothing to anyone but people already on your side.

          1. Rob Underwood

            Right. I understood your point. My point is that is someone chooses to use 4chan as a source it’s all that easier to simply dismiss the assertions of the poster as the quality of their “fact” base is not even dubious

          2. sigmaalgebra

            No, you and Gorby are both wrong: The newsies report stuff 24 x 7, stuff, just stuff, no facts, no support, no rationality, grade flat F on common high school term paper writing standards, just out of the rear end gas from whatever, via the NYT, WaPo, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, Politico, and more. Just total sewage, irrational, irresponsible.So, reporting stuff on 4Chan,, Twitter, Reddit, etc., the situation can’t get any worse. And if it so happens that some writer actually is good, e.g., @JLM, that will become clear, also, even on a site deep into the darkest blue of NYT Manhattan!

          3. Rob Underwood

            So Sigma (again, would be nice is we could be symmetrical about who each other is in real life) … just what is a credible source than with which we can establish a baseline of common facts from which we can debate assertions, conclusions, opinion?If I declare that Maine is one of the whitest and more elderly states in the union, may I cite census data, or is that data suspect? What is I were to cite a New York Times article that itself cited census data? Is there any truth or is all relative? Maybe there’s an entire universe living in my thumbnail. Maybe this is all a dream. Maybe I am a fictional character in some giant VR game you are playing.”4Chan,, Twitter, Reddit” are discussion forums — they do not do primary research and reporting. To “report” something that was posted on 4chan is to simply relay an assertion.True story: In college I had a friend named Vaughn. We used to watch Brady Bunch reruns sometimes in the afternoon. As you may know, in the latter seasons there many guest stars. One day, when Joe Namath was on, he said “that’s not Joe Namath, that’s an imposture” I said, “sure that’s Namath, I know what Joe Namath looks like and they credit him as himself in the credits.” He continued on and said “Yes, but how do you know the credits aren’t lying?” He wouldn’t let it go.We can talk in circles, and we surely do a lot of that here, but at some point to have meaningful discourse you have to agree on some common set of facts. If every debate just becomes a debate around whether the sky is blue or red, than I don’t think there is much progress to be made. This is a fundamental reason I am increasingly skeptical about online debate as it seems like more often than not it just devolves into debates on facts rather than debates on interpretations of facts.

          4. sigmaalgebra

            You are partly correct, but where you are correct the usual situation is more complicated.Sure, first cut, we know common high school term paper writing standards. Maybe we know common college freshman physics lab report writing standards. And some of us know standards for Ph.D. dissertations and peer-reviewing. And very little in public meets any of those standards. Hmm.Sure, anonymous posts usually make useless references for further discussion and, thus, do not constitute or build a cumulative body of knowledge. But some writing can to some level of utility stand on its own: E.g., I’ve referenced the Ann Coulter article on last weekend, and what’s there to know about Ann Coulter except for her writing. An anonymous person with the same writing would be essentially as useful. That Coulter column sort of stands on its own, is self-contained, makes arguments from presumably well accepted facts.Sure, can’t reference the NYT or depend on it for anything serious. But, if someone writes something that is essentially self-contained and solid and even the sick-o, junk-o NYT publishes it, then maybe can reference it. But, then could with some meaning reference such a thing if it was published on 4chan, also.We can’t often take things back to Zermalo-Fraenkel set theory. So, we compromise and make do.One point of a reference that agrees with a writer is that it can say that what the writer is saying is not just something to please just the writer. So, that way the writer can start to defeat a claim that they are only serving their own interest.Apparently courts of law have some approaches, on, say, the preponderance of evidence. Sure, that can be total junk. And any prosecutor who has me on a jury likely might as well drop the case or at least be sure he won’t get a unanimous jury.But some humans appear to have good insight and judgment and can tease out the truth from a pile of even the junk in the NYT, WaPo, CBS, etc. It appears to me that Newt Gingrich has such judgment. At least he is good at coming up with plausible explanations I would not think of; I conclude he’s a LOT better at thinking about politics than I am.I formed some really definite opinions about Obama, Hillary, !Jeb, Cruz, Pelosi, and Trump. For most of what I used, I can cite references to what appear to be widely accepted reasonably accurate facts.E.g., I concluded that Obama deeply, profoundly, bitterly hates and long hated the US and took the opportunity he had, basically given to him by others for whatever reasons, to stick it to the US, as much as he could get away with given the MSM for whatever reason that wanted to be a propaganda organization for Obama likely even better than anything Goebbels did for Hitler.I concluded that Hillary is a very angry woman, is still trying to prove to her father that she is as strong, mean, and nasty as a man can be, was fully willing, with no hesitation, to sell out the US, and is in one word a crook, deliberately so, without hesitation or shame. And she is a very good actress, not perfect, has serious gaps at times, but usually on stage is astoundingly effective until look a little deeper.For Trump I concluded that basically he likes the US, for decades there in Manhattan saw just how bad much of US politics is, including to the White House, saw that the politics was so bad that he, just with the skills and smarts he used in his business and TV work, could go directly for POTUS and beat all opponents, media, Democrats, etc. like rented mules (@JLM) or like shooting helpless fish in a barrel. He was fully correct. He single handedly, with the help of the Internet, is pulling down essentially all of the old MSM, NYT down. If you can, short’em. Each day they attack Trump, they look dumber than they did on 11/8/2016. And no wonder: The media is an echo chamber of thoughtless, irrational, raging emotions for another time.He saw that the US needed help, he could provide it, and he is doing that. Or he made money enough, and now he wants to do something much bigger and better. And he wants to leave a much better US to his children and grandchildren. I really like and respect the guy. For people who hate him, I look for reasons, and I find some I can believe.This isn’t as precise as proving Jensen’s inequality on Albert’s blog, but for me it’s something. Maybe I’m getting better at it. But if even 10% of the people were even 10% as pissed at the media as I am, the media’d all be tarred and feathered and run somewhere far away.But, don’t listen to me. Here listen to @JLM. Otherwise consider Newt Gingrich.

          5. ShanaC

            @gorbachev:disqusThe bigger problem is there is no base of people (especially a majority) to support what people consider authoritative.The atlantic just wrote about this…The US (and to some degree, the world) is having a problem defining a fact and from there using it as a basis to create knowledge and arguments. Considering there is currently a divide in western philosophy between analytical and continental and they each have different starting points about epistemology (and western philosophy is barely starting to process how non-western philosophical systems work), we have problems. And we won’t be able to get over these problems until we get through this @twaintwain:disqus

          6. Rob Underwood

            So per my earlier comment, and other comments made here, I really think a contributing factor is when we de-emphasized teaching and testing for facts in schools – the “we just need to teach kids how to think” pedagogy – which rose up in the 70s and 80s, largely advocated by left leaning educators.Not only do I think epiphany is a function of the unconscious pattern matching on facts, but testing for facts, and creating consequences for not mastering them, underlines that there are in fact facts – and that they matter.I understand the impetus – the desire to do more in schools than just rote learning. But I think we overcorrected and that’s regrettable.I remember in 1990 having this debate a lot among my friends and teacher senior year as there was a lot of discussion and debate among both the faculty and students of my high school about how large a role fact and testing for facts should have at our school. My mom and many of my aunts are/were teachers and I remember them having similar debates.Thank you for the Atlantic article — I’ll read it now. Always appreciate your (and @twaintwain’s) comments and thoughts on this topic.

          7. ShanaC

            you’re welcome.I can see our age difference (sorry) – because I don’t see this as a left-leaning/right-leaning thing about teachers, I see this as most kids aren’t stupid and as soon as they figure out the gist of Karl Popper’s definition of Falsifiability (even if “What is Falsifiability?” is never formally explained to them) doesn’t hold up in society in terms of epistemology of what’s around them (again, this might not be formally explained – I guess the best way of describing this would be a kid takes a Standard American History Course and then a kid reads “A People’s History of the United States”), then you break their trust in institutions that provide facts, especially if it happens often enough.AKA -Just because schools may make a kid memorize a fact as fact doesn’t mean they accept it as fact emotionally. They may spit it back out for a test, but they may accept a totally different nonfact as fact – because they don’t trust the system the fact is in since they see it as changeable.I think a biggesr thing to teach is a naive sense of how facts come to exist alongside the fact you are trying to teach, and how mutable or not mutable facts are (and under what circumstances does mutability occur).(but again, I see this as a huge, yet unarticulated crisis, and I credit that article)

          8. Twain Twain

            Get ready for Chinese AI with a Confucian bias:*…Meanwhile, the Google-James Damore situation highlights how the divide in Western philosophy works. Damore argued for the “de-emphasis of empathy” and that things need to be more scientific and logical. https://uploads.disquscdn.c

    2. sigmaalgebra

      If want to talk to a mob, or if your thoughts are even visible to a mob, then the long distance of anonymity is crucial. “Mob?” Yup, there are mobs out there! And also out there, propaganda media newsies less ethical, reasonable, rational, and responsible than a hungry reptile smelling fresh, raw meat. E.g., as at, an anonymous poster still has a history. E.g., people bailed out from Trump’s business advisory committees not because of any facts but just because of (A) lack of anonymity, (B) job responsibility, and (C) mob sentiment made-up, cooked-up, faked-up, stirred-up by the propaganda media. Trump was CEO of a PRIVATE company; Dimon is CEO of a public company with stock value changing second by second. Same for Senator Corker’s recent highly intricate, obscure effort at fence sitting gymnastics — ah, give him a 10 for gymnastics.I predict that the Internet will save us: E.g., last weekend the US got a crash course in the US Constitution, especially freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, right to petition the government for redress of grievances, freedom of the press, due process, and more. So, with that Constitution, some dirt bags can spout really offensive sewage, a lot of dirt bags can form a group, the group can march on government offices, another group can march on that group, the press can report total BS, stimulating anger, inciting violence, and people can get killed with the media reporting with on the scene video in real time.What will happen is people will become more educated and junk the NYT and the rest of the propaganda media.Then on the Internet, new, small media outlets will form. Nearly all of them will flop. Some of them will be successful. Already Newt Gingrich is such a media outlet. And others. Yup, finding those will be a challenge — solution on the way. The result will be a much better country.

      1. Lawrence Brass

        Keeping the internet free is crucial. For the future of democracy, for self-education, for everything. This is the core of net neutrality and if we care for it, indeed, it will save us.You can’t disqualify all the CEOs leaving the committees, they are smart people. Look for a reason.The only real enemy Trump has is himself. He is learning, as @JLM pointed out.

      2. Rob Underwood

        We’re not going to agree on anonymity and pseudonyms.I think it’s bad form on AVC to not use your real name for numerous reasons, including that our host uses his real name. I know he disagrees with me about anonymity but I believe that so long as our host of the party is saying who he is, it’s responsible and respectful for his guests to do the same.I will also assert an opinion, not a provable fact — generally people who use their real names on forums like Twitter, regardless of political views (and with one very notable exception), are more civil and tempered in their discourse. Again, I acknowledge that this is opinion and a generalization on my part. But I think if you look at the truly crazy, mean, vile, and horrible on Twitter – of which there is a ton – it’s usually from pseudonym accounts (some real people; some bots) where there is no real name associated with the account. Again, that’s just my opinion from what I’ve seen.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          In a way, and from some of your examples, sure, you are correct. Obviously.BUT!! Think of the upside! (1) With anonymity, the dirt bags will more clearly show their dirt and thus be rejected, hoisted on their own petard. (2) With anonymity, some people can say some good things that otherwise would not be said, if only due to mobs of the dirt bags in (1).On Disqus is an anonymous user sigmaalgebra where anyone can find out a lot more about this person relevant to public issues than they ever could from the person who has the password to log in as that user.

    3. Michael Elling

      It goes beyond this. Look at the differences between OSI and TCP/IP in terms of how exchanges develop. Last week I left comments on this issue 2 separate days. Instead of what we consider normal, consider a TCP world of unlimited cocktail parties with no invitations where you get to go and talk loudly at people, abuse them and steal from them. TCP/IP, without settlements serving as price signals providing incentives and disincentives, is a world of one sided risk. Very little for the sender; a lot for the receiver. This asymmetry is felt everywhere and has the opposite effect of what people thought at the beginning of the “settlement-free” internet.

      1. Rob Underwood

        yes, I was thinking of something similar — imagine Fred having a big in-person AVC party (as he has in the past) and half of the folks showing up in Guy Fawkes masks so no one knew who they were. Not a great party.

        1. Michael Elling

          It’s worse. Since those who proclaim to understand networks, don’t; or maybe they do too well. In networks, value grows geometrically and is captured mostly at the core and top of the “informational stack”, while costs grow more or less uniformly and linearly (subject to marginal differences) and are borne at the edge and bottom. This social benefit is captured by a few, while the private cost is borne by many. And the “social costs” are only now becoming very apparent and also borne by the many.Not only does the lack of settlements serving as price signals reduce the potential for rapid and ubiquitous coordinated change (why is IPv6 only 30% penetrated after 20 years, and that mainly because of mobility?) but there is no mechanism to equilibrate these value and cost imbalances. Hence the current economic state of affairs with growing wealth and digital divides. Out of this are born civil wars and revolutions; only the VC and neoliberal elites don’t understand this. Their solution: blockchain and BIG. Pathetic.

          1. Rob Underwood

            So I’m guessing you weren’t a fan of some of Albert’s assertions in… ?

          2. Michael Elling

            Misguided (neo)liberalism. Resulting from either a lack of understanding of cause and effect, or little desire or ability to address and deal with the former. Both issues have to be dealt with simultaneously, and more often than not the balance should be 80/20 or 70/30.First law of networks: they are complex and they interact with each other. Outside influences–exogenous factors, unintended consequences–have huge influences on outcomes. But when we write history we never write about those because we want to believe causation is deliberate and intentioned. All that means going forward is that networks have to be more, not less, powerful and sustainable. That’s only achieved through incentives and disincentives in the ecosystem (and between ecosystems). Decentralization means the opposite happens. If you start with the premise of lack of trust you are doomed.BIG is not a solution in any efficient, practical, scaled or sustainable sense. It is wishful thinking on the part of neoliberals. What few are willing to admit is that 50 years of social welfare and entitlements has only resulted in lack of respect for each other and societal institutions on the one hand and contrived and unjustified senses of of entitlement AND deprivation on the other. Both the poor and rich feel entitled. The voters and politicians, the races, etc… We have not addressed the root causes of inequality and racial divide in our country. The issues have been compounded by a society with policies that promote wealth, cultural, racial and digital divides.

    4. JamesHRH

      People don’t argue, they vent.Social media gives them the perception of an outlet.Life is mostly about emotions: managing yours, tapping into others.Persuasion is emotional, facts are not as powerful, for the reason you list: people will argue facts or make up alternate ones.

  11. TeddyBeingTeddy

    I think the Russians are sending the flea bitten rednecks fake news to enrage them and divide our country. Their fake news got him elected, and they keep reading.

  12. Amar

    I’m hoping we have got it about right here at AVC now.I assure you Fred even if we haven’t got it right *yet*, we are miles ahead of anybody else right now. The alternatives seem to be close minded, invective laden, chest thumping echo chambers. Hold on to hope since you are fighting for a better, more collaborative future. This community will self regulate and (hopefully) people who value hearing their own voice over keeping an open mind will leave for greener pastures.

  13. Pete Griffiths

    +1I think moderators face a difficult challenge because threads can spiral into ‘ugly’ very fast.I don’t know if moderators have the tools to immediately sue press comments but I would favor that.

    1. JLM

      .By all means, suppress comments. Particularly ones with which you do not agree.There is nothing that says adult behavior like a bit of suppression of voices with which one doesn’t agree.We need more of that.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. DJL

        Liberal = Sensor (while acting morally superior). Conservative = Free Speech. (you don’t have to come here!)You can apply it down the line with about 100% accuracy.

      2. Pete Griffiths

        I would hope you are bring as tongue in cheek as you often are.Free speech is not an unqualified universal. And more particularly, not on this forum IF it contravenes clearly articulated policy.I don’t have a problem with disagreement. I do have a problem with insulting others with whom you disagree. I fail to see how that benefits anyone.So take that naughty tongue out if your cheek, man up and confess that you knew that all along and were just winding me up for perverse motives of your own.)

        1. JLM

          .Pete, why would anyone ever take me seriously? You know better than that.I would like to make three points –1. Free speech is free speech. There are no limits under the law. We are, all, responsible for every word we utter.There is skill and craft as to how we use words.2. As to Fred’s blog. It is really quite tame in the greater scheme of things. He is entitled to make whatever rules he desires and he can change them as he sees fit.If one doesn’t like them, leave. I left for a while.I did not think yesterday was even remotely ugly.3. We really need to discuss things with as much candor as possible. Not call names, but discuss things. Exchange facts, explore different explanations, formulate our own opinions, test them by throwing them into the public square, modify them when appropriate.When ideas wrestle, the result is always better and better ideas.One of the problems is that some folks just don’t know the facts. The other day I was talking to a CEO and said, “Read Drucker.””Who’s Drucker?”I bought him a book and he said, “Wow, that guy knows a lot of stuff.”I told him “that guy” would be almost 110 if he were alive today.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Quantella Owens

            i have just popped in for a moment to say “glad to see you are back”.

          2. JLM

            .Where have you been? Thanks.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. Pete Griffiths

            Free speech has limits…Fred is not constrained. His forum his rules. There is no free speech exceptionI’m all for candid debate but not for name calling.Always liked Drucker.

        2. JamesHRH

          Pete free speech is a pillar of democracy, the firewall that protects us from dictatorhship and has only 2 general limitations:- it causes immediate, proximate danger ( yelling fire in a crowded movie theatre )- it is categorized as hate speech (Blood and Soil – disgusting, but No, Jews will not Replace Us – odious, but No.)There are a million way to limit speech without the thought police being brought out.Teas A&M just passed on holding a Richard Spencer rally due to safety concerns. Not even hard.

          1. JamesHRH

            Knew there was a third one I wanted to list but its been a long day – obscenity, which has the lovely definition of ‘know it when I see it.’ Love to know what that constitutes today.The fighting words has never been applied and the others don’t apply to the situation in C’ville.And, to be honest, none of them are ‘broad’.So, I don’t think you’ve made the case: imminent threat, hate, pretty much cover 90% of the limitations.You don’t limit a pillar of democracy.Did you catch Tillerson today on this topic? You should start working on Rex 2020 if you want to Dump Trump.

          2. Pete Griffiths

            Furthermore, all those are only the general exceptions.There are many more specific such e.g. Terms of service, employment contracts etc etcFreedom of speech is a great principal, don’t get me wrong, but it is nothing like as general as you suggest.And yes, it is important to a free society.

    2. ShanaC

      unless we see it, no. You’re asking for an AI moderator, and a really complicated cutting edge one at that.

      1. Pete Griffiths

        Ai moderator – sounds like a plan.

        1. ShanaC

          it isn’t, because fundamentally it probably would have to pass the Turing test.

          1. Pete Griffiths

            Good point

  14. LaVonne Reimer

    Lucky me. I took some care to eat a healthy breakfast and sip a big mug of coffee before checking this out. This means I get the full picture of comments to the comments that inspired this post in the first place. Why is the image of boys fighting over who controls the marbles popping into my head at this moment? That’s not my tender maternal instincts kicking in, in case y’all are wondering. The good news and the bad news of this president is completely unrelated to policy or liberal vs conservative debates. He is bringing out (and/or illuminating) the worst in people. We can recover from skewing SCOTUS toward the social policies of a minority, let me repeat that, a minority of citizens in this country. We can even recover from deliberately sabotaging a “good enough” healthcare framework rather than cooperate to make it better. BUT, coming back from the toxic stew he has exposed will be very hard. Right, I said also the good news. Surfacing barely buried garbage at least allows us to see what that is and presumably address it. That’s what I’ve said in every single lecture or workshop I’ve delivered on diversity over the years. I don’t know about that here. When so much vitriol and filth is given free reign? That’s one massive recovery effort. We will need FEMA for our hearts and minds.

    1. Susan Rubinsky


    2. JamesHRH

      Great opener.Scott Adams has this pegged – Trump operates using a completely different, albeit valid, framework for what government and the Presidency do, i.e., what the job is.He knows threats work best as threats only if you have recently demonstrated a willingness to follow through ( air raid in Syria, huge bomb in Afghanistan, builder threatening to build a wall, etc.).He knows that he has the MSM on the spit – they do have a bias and its apparent now. Any time they come after him, the fact that he is sitting in the WH completely discredits anything they have to say. He lost a bit of that with Bannon pushing him too far this week, but his has tons of reserve.He has the Republican leadership on the spit – they are big spend, do nothing louts and he is going to beat them over the head with Repeal & Replace until he Replaces the GOP leadership with people who will solve the problem. My bet is a young Republican gun brings in universal single payer as the soundest economic solution and Bingo. Done.There is massive cognitive dissonance occurring. Watch David Gergen on CNN. He was unbelievably, incredible on point and insightful on US politics, right up until Trump started to succeed.He has said some outrageous stuff ever since – he called Trump mentally unstable this week. Its mind boggling to watch ( I was a huge Gergen fan, objective, experienced, smart…his entire world is being dismantled….its a public psyche dismemberment…surreal).May you live in interesting times.Again, NASJGTS (Not A Supporter, Just Guessing the Strategy)

      1. PhilipSugar

        Yes I think people are not used to his strategy. Look our trade deal with China sucks. I pay 100% tariffs AND have to have a 51% business partner, plus I deal with the great internet wall of China.Ok. Same deal for you. But no people think that is crazy. But he goes crazy and then he doubles down on crazy.Again NASJGTS but something to think about.

      2. sigmaalgebra

        > He knows that he has the MSM on the spit – they do have a bias and its apparent now. Any time they come after him, the fact that he is sitting in the WH completely discredits anything they have to say.Yup.On healthcare, single payer? Naw. If it were cheap enough, then too many people would complain about the quality.The solution is simple: Some people can pay for healthcare, and some people can’t For the people who can pay, let them buy health insurance, right, whatever coverage they want, low, medium, or high, across state lines, etc. For the rest, we have a lot in place: Hill-Burton hospitals where anyone can walk in, be treated, without regard for ability to pay. Medicaid. Medicare. Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Some hundreds of Federally Funded Community Health Centers, primary care, just walk in.Medicaid might become a block grant back to the states.But there’s a lot in place for people who can’t pay.Trump is correct: For people who can pay, they can get much better care for much less money, less than before ObamaCare and much, much less than after. For people who cannot pay, no doubt we could improve the system, reduce fraud, etc.Meanwhile Schumer is trying to push for single payer.People who can afford a Buick, Cadillac, Lincoln, Mercedes, BMW, etc., should pay for it and have it. For people who need public transportation, they should get that, too. Trump has already said that no one should go without medical care.If force everyone onto public transportation, then the Buick+ drivers will scream. If give everyone a Buick, it will cost too much.So, what’s all the heat, fire, smoke? In one word, politics. People want to use healthcare to get political power.ObamaCare? IMHO it was intended to fail and, then, as Schumer is proposing now, as Barney Frank said long ago, be replaced by single payer.

      3. creative group

        JamesHRH:”Watch David Gergen on CNN. He was unbelievably, incredible on point and insightful on US politics,”David Gergen attributes you cited didn’t fade his not confirming your narrative of Trump has.Same David Gergen on point, insightful and willing to speak the truth.

        1. JamesHRH

          The statement that Trump is mentally unstable will sully Gergen’s reputation permanently. It has no bsais in reality and is an extreme example of cognitive dissonance.I will bet dinner @ Cafe Baulud in NYC, right now, on this call: the Russian collusion scandal amounts to nothing, Mueller dot the Is and crosses Ts and does not lay a finger on the President. Double or noting: if he runs in 2020, he gets re-elected.Before you take me up on that, check the AVC archives. In this forum:- I called Trump someone to watch and not a joke, within days of his announcement.- I called Trump’s suppport wide spread and broad based, and labelled him a contender for the GOP nomination in early 2016 and supported it with independent sources like Chris Arnade’s breath taking twitter feed- I flagged the GOP’s attempt to steal the nomination from Trump as a turning point – I did not predit his victory but called it close~ I called Flynn getting fired and Bannon getting firedIt’s not my narrative, it’s what is happening.NASJPTO ( Not A Supporter, Just Predicting The Outcomes )

          1. creative group

            JamesHRH:We can accept your predictions as factual and have no cause to question any ulterior motives similar to the Hannity, Ingham, Limbaugh and Bannon imitators on this blog.We have viewed more conspiracy theory angles pushed by the Right than the left. We realize the definition of conspiracy theory and detest the mainstream inclusion from the basements of the Appalachian Mountains, etc.Don’t know how we could ever definitively assess David Gergen reputation. Do we turn in to Fox News commentators or analyst’s who defend POTUS by default? Do we use your criteria created on a spreadsheet? How in the world will this unbiased irreparable reputation meter be applied?And we are partial to restaurants Blossom, Dirt Candy, Candle 79 and Seafire Grill. There are a few of us here who are Pescatarian.UNAPOLOGETICALLYUNEQUIVOCALLYINDEPENDENT

      4. obarthelemy

        Bannon said it best: race is misdirection, it’s the economy stupid. As long as Dems don’t come up with a convincing plan *and message* for the low/middle class and retirees. Right now, both parties are just pawns of Wall Street, and the GOP has coopted racism as its… trump… card.

        1. JamesHRH

          He’s overplayed that. You have to govern broadly – you can campaign more narrowly.Race is too true an issue to not deal with directly – the is no other side to leverage or pressure.It need to be fixed, directly, honestly and openly. The President does not need to be Parent in Chief, but he does need to be National Problem Solver in Chief. He needs to lead on key issues.

          1. obarthelemy

            You’re right in theory, but in practice, Trump doesn’t care about leading/fixing the country, but about being (re-)elected, so he’ll do whatever wins elections. It’s the opposition’s job to wise up to that and not get sidetracked even though they and we want to.The stats about what people think of the Charlotesville incidents are unbelievable, and a clear indication that racism as a campaign item is very fraught. You can bundle sexism/LGBTQism/… with that. All those mean”others” to the people who actually vote and are gerrymandered for.

          2. JamesHRH

            That’s a short spring mindset. Over time, being wrong on issues that create fear wears on people.Polling is not he be all.

          3. obarthelemy

            I’d say you’re less right this time: the issue is the economy. People will stop fearing others when they stop fearing for their livelihoods. People will stop fantasizing about job-stealing, preferential treatment, reverse discrimination and the cost of transsexuals when you can live a decent family life (incl. health care and good schooling up to grad) with 1 managerial job or 2 menial ones, not 2 and … 6 ? of those. Income inequality in the US is back to 1920 level:(sorry hit post by mistake, graph on the next reply)

          4. JamesHRH

            I agree totally, if income equality or a 1960’s blue collar lifestyle can be achieved, broadly.I have inarticulately tried to state that you can’t ‘ ‘stick it ‘ to your opponent when governing – the public framework does not have an opponent until an election rolls around.Dick Morris sent Clinton the wrong way by polling his governance performance. It’s useless.Rove didn’t come to DC w W. Too experienced, knew better. He went and worked on midterm campaigns.Plouffe & Axelrod also seasoned enough to not come to DC when Obama won.Bannon was doing the Morris thing, b/c they were both too smart but too inexperienced to learn from the right set of experiences of people who had been in their position.Make more sense?

          5. obarthelemy

            OK, but we can’t get all worked up about racism and other isms to the point we forget that voters vote about money, and that the US system is deeply broken in that regard so a limp status quo won’t energize any one.At some points the Dems must renounce their paymasters and own that wages for good jobs must allow a good life, and that taxation must be redistributive and allow for satisfactory public services. And then sell that setup as not economy-destroying. Both these steps are incredibly hard; and the alt-right is a tool to prevent the dems from getting that work done.

          6. obarthelemy

            late reply 3: also, this is not normal, an it’s income, not even taking estate into account: https://uploads.disquscdn.c

    3. sigmaalgebra

      > BUT, coming back from the toxic stew he has exposed will be very hard.To me that situation is surprising and was unexpected. I have to suspect, really conclude, that to certain others, the situation was fully expected and planned.Curiously, the situation is much like what I faced on the playground in the first grade; that is, we’re not talking very advanced here! Since I was tall for my age, on the playground the gangs came after me. They would surround me with a circle. I would pick someone on the circle and charge them. They would turn and run, and I’d be outside the circle. After about three times of that, the gang would give up. Then some of the boys asked me to let them join my gang, but I didn’t have a gang!Well, that’s a lot of what’s been happening to Trump!Trump has some enemies, and a lot of them like to gang up:(1) Republican enemies include John McCain and Mitt Romney. Might count Paul Ryan, VP candidate with loser Romney. Might also count some of the 16 that Trump beat in the primaries. Then not in office have to count Bill Kristol.(2) Essentially all the Democrats have so far declared themselves enemies with Trump. Led by Schumer and Pelosi, long the theme was to refuse to cooperate with Trump on anything and have a civil war with everything but gun powder.(3) Somehow the NYT, WaPo, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, Politico, call them appropriately enough the Fake News, and some more throw out insults, outrageous accusations, nasty opinions, distortions, just plain wrong stories, basically just propaganda as from Goebbels (“Repeat a lie often enough and people will believe it”), etc. as fast as they can.Why? IMHO, (A) The newsies are 90% or so Democrat. (B) The Fake News are nearly all in or close to Manhattan and, thus, in the Democrat echo chamber there. (C) The Fake News can still get a big audience, and ad revenue, from Hillary voters who like to hear dirt on their enemy Trump; so the Fake News produces their best at dirt; so far the worst they have with any credibility is something about two scoops of ice cream. (D) As Sharyl Attkisson recently claimed, nearly everything in the media is put there, paid for, by people with money who want to change opinions of the readers. So, there are special interests.(4) Well with the attacks of the Fake News, Trump, as is standard for him, fights back. So, it’s a battle: Trump against the whole Fake News.The Fake News has created in the minds of a lot of people impressions, suspicions, etc. of “toxic stew”.People know it’s Fake News. Maybe they watch it like they used to watch TV Westerns — fake but entertaining. Maybe by standing up to the Fake News, Trump will get more respect and popularity.Look, Trump is POTUS and that means he’s the one and only Big Dog. The Fake News newsies are just nasty, yapping puppies not yet housebroken.A Fake News gang-up, pile-on as in the last few days will blow over in a few more days, and people will forget very quickly.Also the Fake News is seriously hurting their credibility. In the end, voters don’t like lying propaganda attacks on our POTUS.Bill Kristol

      1. Lawrence Brass

        If one eject tons of shit up into the air carelessly (the campaign) it is not surprising that, eventually, you will get back some in the face.It is called.. gravity. ;)For one second I thought you were disclosing your real name.cheers

        1. sigmaalgebra

          For Trump’s campaign, I liked it a lot and saw nothing seriously wrong.He gave a few nicely polished, fully in the style of a statesman, speeches. I should be able to find some in my notes.But he also gave a lot of rallies with thousands of people in the building or arena and thousands more outside listening and watching.For his rallies, he improved over time and polished his responses to protestors. That he encouraged violence is a lie.Well, his rallies were very much not far from the center of the road of populist campaigning. He got his audiences happy and excited. He monitored his audience reactions second by second and adjusted. He was paying very close attention to his audience, what they liked, how they liked it said, etc. He was being a very good salesman.A lot of US politicians have been more bombastic, less polished, more crude, less rational, more emotional, etc.At times did he oversimplify (e.g., “Bomb the shit out of ISIS” — Mattis and Co. are beating ISIS but not exactly that way), exaggerate (e.g., “You will get so tired of winning you will beg me to stop but I won’t stop.”), “Mexico will pay for the wall” (one way or another, say, from tariffs, say, from NAFTA negotiations, he will find some money and claim that that is Mexico paying for the wall), yup.But when get to his campaign promises, I believe he was being quite careful about what was on the list. His descriptions might have exaggerations, but he was careful about the actual list. IMHO, he’s taking that list quite seriously because he wants to beat the usual politicians who make promises during their campaigns and then f’get about them.I believe Trump is terrific. I see a lot of really good stuff and nothing seriously wrong.So far the worst all the highly hostile propaganda hate Trump media newsies have found in 2+ years that has any credibility is something about 2 scoops of ice cream.It’s curious how so many people can have such negative feelings about Trump all from no solid, serious evidence at all.

          1. Lawrence Brass

            The only thing he needs is a professional personal image management team, and stick to their recommendations.This is my amateur recipe:1) First thing in the morning: have a good cup of covfefe2) Second thing, stand in front of the mirror and repeat: “I am the President of the United States of America”, ehxale, inhale. Three times.3) Stop campaigning. You already won. In real politics, campaign promises are optional.4) Do the work or appear as doing the work at the White House, not at the clubs. It is not a monarchy.5) Be civil to the press, not matter what. Resist falling into the journalists traps. Do you recall Fred vs Bloomberg’s Emily Chang? That is how it is done.6) Smile and laugh a bit. No long faces in public.7) Keep tweeting positive stuff, stop being confrontational when it is not needed.8) Dare to go again to the late night shows, smiling: Colbert, Fallon, SNL.9) Fire BannonI have seen flashes of the man he can be, I liked him during his Paris visit, he was relaxed.10) Close eyes, inhale, think: “I am in Paris”, exhale. Three times6%+ up in the polls in 2 months, guaranteed.

          2. sigmaalgebra

            Good that you see that we’re talking “image management” and nothing substantive.Just now Trump’s in Camp David, in some mountains north of DC, to consider Akrapistan.1) First thing in the morning: have some covfefe Did you mean coffee? It would have to be decaf IIRC he doesn’t consume caffeine. 2) Second thing, stand in front of the mirror and repeat: “I am the President of the United States of America”, ehxale, inhale. Three times.Okay, but he is a hard driving guy determined to get stuff done, and there’s lot of stuff to do, domestically, internationally.3) Stop campaigning. Hmm. Looks to me like the campaigning shows his enemies that he has a LOT of supporters. Also in some locations, as he campaigns he can put a lot of pressure on some reluctant Congress-persons.Apparently a good enough model for Congress-persons is a reptile that avoids the old and goes for raw meat. So, use that! That is, principle, rationality, etc. don’t matter. So, if a Member of Congress gets out of line, Trump might have a rally in that Member’s state or district and fire up Trump supporters against the Member. So, then the Member will feel the cold! If the Member works with Trump, then there can be some nice, fresh, raw meat.2) Do the work or appear as doing the work at the White House, not at the clubs. It is not a monarchy. He does mostly work at the White House. He had the China guy to his place in Florida as a better environment to talk to him — likely it worked.For his going to his NJ club in the last few days, that was a big, huge, total nasty propaganda media lie: The White House was having some serious renovations. E.g., I saw a picture of the Oval Office: Everything was out. The carpet was up and out. The floor was bare, and could see the nice floor with nice diagonal wooden planks. So, he went to NJ NOT for a vacation but as a place to work, and he worked there.Then the nasty, lying, propaganda media said he was “going home” to Trump Tower in NYC. That was a distortion; it wasn’t “going home”: Instead he was meeting with several people, e.g., on what to do about infrastructure, needed a meeting place, and used Trump Tower, likely as a convenience for some of the people he had to the meeting.He did explain that he doesn’t like to be at Trump Tower because security blocks off so many streets it makes a big mess out of Manhattan traffic.3) Be civil to the press, not matter what. I believe that the nasty, lying, propaganda media has declared unconditional war on Trump for reasons I’ve explained in posts in this thread.For Trump to be nice to them won’t help him; they will just lose respect for him and attack and insult him for that.If he just minimizes his appearances before the media, then they will attack him for being a hermit, scared, a recluse, a loser, a loner, depressed, etc.Resist falling into the journalist traps. Yup. He’s improving on that. But his point that there was NOTHING he could have said last weekend that would have kept the nasty media of his back was true:The media appeared to want Trump to lash out at some of the dirt bags, but only on one side, not the Antifi side that brought and used the clubs.Well, Trump was correct: At the time of his first response, the details were not available. As Hannity documented recently, four times Obama shot his mouth off too early and was badly wrong.If Trump had castigated the “White Supremacists” and “Neo-Nazis”, then soon the press would have criticized him for a one-sided response (omitting Antifi), for encouraging attacks, more violence, on the groups he criticized, and maybe stimulated more killing, violating our Constitution on rights of free speech, assembly, petitioning the government for redress of grievances, and due process.The media wanted a fight; they had one and wanted a bigger fight and wanted Trump to pour gasoline on the fire instead of water.He could have tried some super tricky, highly obscure and ambiguous, on the fence gymnastics like Senator Corker from Tennessee did, but for Trump that would not have helped, either.Trump was correct right away: There was nothing he could have said that would have pleased the media.Again, it’s a war, a bitter war. The media is driven by some big forces, especially money from ads and from special interests, and is on the way out of business, literally. They are cornered and fighting with their last ounces of strength.With Trump, there can be no real peace with the media short of just victory in the war. It’s not news as usual; instead, the nasty newsies really hate Trump and, hate him or not, need to attack him like their editors and publishers want for the money involved.4) Smile and laugh a bit. No long faces in public. He may have been told that, like Patton, he should look really serious.5) Keep tweeting positive stuff, stop being confrontational when it is not needed. Well, often the confrontational stuff is needed. Tweeting works great for him: He commonly gets 90,000 likes, and the propaganda media doesn’t get to distort, ignore, block, lie, etc. about what he says.6) Dare to go again to the late night shows, smiling: Colbert, SNL. Sure.7) Fire Bannon I have seen flashes of the man he can be, I liked him during his Paris visit, he was relaxed. Well, he did just fire Bannon. Or Chief of Staff General Kelly fired Bannon.Supposedly Bannon didn’t really have specific work responsibilities, and there were concerns that Bannon was (A) going direct to Trump too often, (B) was fighting with others in the White House, fighting for more power and position, e.g., on the National Security Council, (C) was giving interviews with the press where he stated his positions — as an advisor to the POTUS he is supposed to give his input to the POTUS and otherwise shut up in public, (D) trying to build his own image so that he could write books, etc., (E) was claiming a larger role for the Trump victory than appropriate, (F) maybe was a source of leaks. 8) Close eyes, inhale, think: “I am in Paris”, exhale. Three times 6% up in the polls in 2 months, guaranteed.”My guess is that he needs to concentrate on the work, e.g., just now Afghanistan, ISIS, North Korea, infrastructure, health care, taxes, and more. When he has results, he should make those public. For that he can use his press office; the media won’t do much to attack the press office; instead they are after Trump.For the press conference after the infrastructure work, he needed to anticipate that the nasty, propaganda media would go into a shark tank feeding frenzy, all the newsies shouting about the riots, and ignoring the infrastructure work. Apparently he didn’t anticipate this media frenzy. Maybe it still surprises him just how determined the nasty, propaganda media is to have all out war on Trump; rationality, objectivity, the real issues, all are of no interest; the nasty media just wants to fight a war.So, after his little infrastructure presentation with Elaine Chow, etc., he might have just stopped and left. For more, he might have left that to his press office. For more, if he gave a press conference, then he should have refused to answer silly questions about the riots and concentrated on the infrastructure work.Generally, mostly what he should talk about is the work he is getting done. Sure, the nasty, propaganda media would LOVE also just to so distract him that he can’t do his job. He has to realize this.He can also do better managing the media, that is, providing more access to newsies who are objective and denying access to newsies who want a war — that is powerful and traditional stuff for a POTUS.Rude newsies will learn that the White House will just ignore them while objective newsies get interviews, early information, stories, “exclusives,” etc.It will take a while longer for some of the public to fully reject the nasty media. Actually a recent Marist poll indicates that 60+% or some such of the public liked what Trump said on the riots and don’t like Antifi pulling down old statues. By backing Antifi, the nasty media is losing audience respect and audience.The main way to win the war against the media is just by concentrating on the work.But with the propaganda media, it is war; they are determined, cornered, and see no alternative. And they will have to lose, lose their jobs, have the main organizations truncate their news groups and/or just go out of business. E.g., the NYT is on the way out of business. WaPo was sold for about the value of the office furniture. Newsweek was sold for $1 or some such. Time is not far behind. The old, now nasty propaganda media is quite literally going out of business.Trump has been calling them liars, fakes, etc. I believe that he needs to continue doing that. Even as they go out of business, they can stop the war, and by managing them Trump can make life a lot worse for the ones who won’t be objective and want to fight a war. E.g., after the recent NYT article I referenced, Trump should just cut off the NYT.Want an exclusive one on one interview with Trump in the Oval Office? Sure, easy: Just be objective!

          3. Donna Brewington White


    4. jason wright

      this is democracy vs dictatorship, the democracy of an elected representative vs the power of the never elected elites who use the mass media as their proxy ‘liberal’ hammer to push their agenda by means beyond the ballot box. if you truly believe in democracy you must condemn those who do not accept the result of the election and seek to enact a virtual coup d’etat.Trump is not my friend. His enemies employ tactics that come close to constitutional treason. is civil war next?

      1. Donna Brewington White

        is civil war next?Some intelligent minds say “yes” — I hope they are wrong.

    5. LaVonne Reimer

      End of day (yesterday). Read ode to poor bullied Prez not knowing whether to be disheartened or bemused. Opted for sleep. Next day thoughts. Subjects are touchy because they make us deeply uncomfortable. Deep discomfort either leads to sitting in discomfort or changing the subject. Debating policy or who’s best for vets or is Hillary a crook distract us from sitting in discomfort. The concept of lying down with the dogs, coming up with fleas is worthy of its own extended self-reflection and dialog. My humble, if self-serving (cause I’m an older woman and not your typical entrepreneur), thought is the tech industry contributes in its own way to a culture of spoiled brats from its lack of diversity. Fred, you have an amazing bully pulpit and you are using it for a great deal of good. I’d encourage you to double down on posts you’ve written in the past about finding innovation in new places. Diversity, not merely for the equal rights aspect of it, but as a big step toward transforming the tech community into a tapestry all the richer because we sat in our discomfort along the way.

      1. Donna Brewington White

        A smorgasbord of distractions. Meanwhile, status quo continues.

        1. LaVonne Reimer

          And it’s beginning to make my teeth grind.

  15. DJL

    Thanks for letting it fly. Nobody HAS to read the comments.I like what you used to do – at the beginning of a political post, you used to warn people “If you are easily offended – beware.” There is no way to have these discussions without emotion.

    1. Susan Rubinsky

      Actually there is a way. If you are feeling emotional, don’t say anything. Process your emotions then come back to clearly elucidate your thoughts.

      1. DJL

        I agree. That is the correct process (for most good decisions.) Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen in blog world. (or the rest of the world for that matter!) How different would this entire affair (SC ) be if everyone did that?

        1. Susan Rubinsky

          I know it doesn’t always happen. We are human beings. We are imperfect. Owning your mistakes and apologizing, when necessary, would be the correct way to go. I know that doesn’t seem to be happening much these days but I keep talking about it because if just a few people pause and think about how they are going about their interactions, then I am spreading good. It’s just my way of being part of the change.

  16. Mark Annett

    @Fred Wilson, I think you are a hero for taking a moral stand!Trump doesn’t care to listen to voices that don’t praise him but he will at least think twice when the criticism comes from someone like you. So thank you for being our voice, because without people like you speaking out, nothing will get through his echo chamber.

    1. jason wright

      do you think Trump knows of Fred?

      1. Mark Annett

        This isn’t the first time Fred Wilson has publicly voiced his concern so my guess is yes, Trump knows about him and I do think he cares how money people perceive him.…Regardless of whether Trump knows him or not. Fred Wilson has the personal courage that I wished others had as well and I thank him for being my voice!

      2. JamesHRH

        Knows of, sure, Fred’s a deal in the Big Apple – dabbles in restaurants and a little real estate and politics.I would bet lunch at Shake Shack they have never met and I will bet a Coke they have never been in the same room.@fredwilson:disqus ???

        1. ShanaC

          the smart move is not to comment. So I will bet he won’t comment on it

    2. Matt A. Myers

      To be honest, Trump doesn’t even think once about criticism from anyone. He acts like a child when anyone shows a stand if it’s opposed to whatever he’s currently on a rant about, e.g. disbanding his councils because that will prevent other people from being able to make him appear bad.

      1. JamesHRH

        He does act like a child sometimes, at his worst, but an incredibly skilled one.

    3. JamesHRH

      Mark, well put.Full marks for speaking his mind.I just wish Fred was as rational and process driven about the Trump presidency as he is about his professional life.But, most of us are not.FWIW worth, I don’t think Trump has bad morals, I honestly think he is amoral. He knows what would get him places he doesn’t want to be (say, in jail) and he knows where he wants to go……and he does whatever gets him the second while keeping him out of the first.Really odd dude.But, then again, Obama spent two years in self described solitary while in law school and came out of it with the plan to be the first black President. I know, that’s not on the record anywhere, but if you read up on him, the dots connect.

  17. Susan Rubinsky

    Thank you for bringing this up! Talking about how we talk with one another is essential.”Wisdom is to be free from greed, hatred, and ignorance, which are the three root vexations. Compassion is to act with­out opposition. Siding with those who agree with me is greed; opposing those who don’t agree with me and wishing they would go away is hatred; not being able to see this mechanism is ignorance.”This is from Three Poisons (in Buddhism) as it relates to Newtown. However, it is perfectly applicable to where we find ourselves today –

    1. ShanaC

      never thought I would see a buddhist reference on avc

      1. Susan Rubinsky

        The unanticipated is sometimes a path toward a deeper understanding of the world.

  18. Guest

    The subject wasn’t touchy. Reality is the post from Wednesday was idiotic and false, whether you like Trump or not. There are not enough supremacists to elect a President and pandering to supremacists is a LOSING strategy. When your candidate called Trump supporters deplorable and irredeemable, it highlighted her arrogance and smugness and strengthened Trump’s chances. Same with the idiots in Hollywood. Trump has many faults — being a white supremacist is NOT one of them!

  19. timraleigh

    I thought it was a very educational (I learned a lot) from the discussion.

  20. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:OFF TOPIC ALERT!Stephen Bannon out at Whitehouse is the classic deflect and divert.

  21. pwrserge

    The problem with touchy subjects is that they cause people to react in the most knee-jerk way possible. Often people will never consider the point of view of the other side or attempt to take a look at objective reality. Instead, they apply the same filters they normally do to their thoughts and actions and just reply with twitter thought level response calling their political opponents out on motivations that they attribute to them without evidence.I am just as guilty of this as anyone.For example, as a soviet immigrant, descended from people who survived the holodomor, the very idea of ANTIFA being treated with anything other than disdain terrifies me. Most Americans are largely ignorant of early 20th century European history and completely miss the fact that the ANTIFA flag is based on the flag of anarcho-communists. The same anarcho-communists that were absolutely critical in the soviet regime coming into power in the shattered remnants of the Russian Empire post WWI and were the same anracho-communists that were fighting out in the streets with actual NAZIS in Weimar Germany. (To the point where the German people found the NAZIS preferable to these guys.)It wouldn’t be unfair to describe my reaction to these guys as exactly the same as the reactions of a descendant of holocaust survivors to actual Nazis. People not aware of this history take a look at my concerns and blithely dismiss them. Imagine walking up to a holocaust survivor and telling them that political violence by Nazis is ok because they happen to beating up people you don’t like.I think we need to, in these situations, step back and actually try to understand the concerns of the other side. We need to accept certain ground rules for political activity. (Such as the fact that your right to disagree with someone stops at their nose, regardless of the merits of your relative positions.) Once we open the door to “it’s ok to beat up X because they are X and I think that their views are repugnant”, we can’t close it. It will lead exactly to the same situation as Weimar Germany or Italy during the Years of Lead.I understand the concerns of people about fascists, I may think that they are overstated, but I understand them. That being said I rarely see is anyone attempting to understand where their political opponents are coming from.It’s easy to dismiss the concerns of your political opponents by shoving them in “a basket of deplorables”, but when you do that, you basically put away discourse and turn your brain off. The other side’s opinions no longer matter. The fact that those opinions are held by a huge chunk of the population is irrelevant because those people lack your level of ideological purity. That’s a great way to balkanize a country. The inevitable result of such balkanization is a long and bloody civil war.”It’s not the end of the world, but I can see you from here.”

    1. ShanaC

      I’m proud of you saying you can be knee-jerky. That is a huge thing to say.

  22. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:Liberal Columnist Eugene Robinson of WAPO opinion from an African American point of view titled History remembering the Republicans who stick around addresses the factual history and reasoning of the monuments erected during Jim Crow and not after the Civil War provides clarity.The Alt-Right and Hannity, Ingraham, Limbaugh wanna be attempt’s to deflect, deflect some more, lie, produce unreadable essays that don’t address anything relating to the issues but is designed to divert your attention.https://www.washingtonpost….

    1. pwrserge

      This article represents the core problem with modern political discourse.1. It ignores the reality that not 100% of the people who originally attended the protest were associated with the “alt-right”. In fact, the very assertion would be as absurd as claiming that 100% of the counter protesters were associated with ANTIFA and other “alt-left” terrorist organizations.2. It attempts to attribute a random act of a diagnosed schizophrenic to a group consisting of thousands if not millions of people. (Something that I noticed people not doing after a Bernie Sanders campaign volunteer shot up a bunch of congressmen.)3. It blithely ignores people’s legitimate concerns about the slippery slope. (Please go look up how VOX just recently called for blowing up Mt. Rushmore.)- Grouping people together with the very worst on their side of the ideological divide is not helpful. – Whitewashing the criminal activity of people on your side of the ideological divide is not helpful.- Attributing motivations to people without clear evidence is not helpful.The bottom line is that the very premise of this article comes from so far in one camp that it serves no purpose other than reinforcing the hatred in your own echo chamber. It does not convince people that their concerns are unfounded. It does not seek to isolate the blame for events to the people actually responsible. It is the worst form of bloody shirt waving and alienation I’ve read in a while.

      1. JLM

        .If the alt-right had a rally on Saturday and the alt-left had a rally on Sunday — would there have been any violence?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. pwrserge

          I think the odds of violence would be greatly reduced, yes. I think anybody showing up to disrupt a permitted event should be arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy to violate the civil rights of the people at the event. In a free country, even the most horrible disgusting people have rights. Once we start to apply a content based test to what constitutes “free speech”, the 1st amendment loses all meaning.

          1. JLM

            .In Cville — which should have denied the applications for an event — you have to have a permit to assemble.In Cville — even a greater number of protestors or counter demonstrators have no requirement to obtain a permit.When you mix Nazis, KKK, skinheads, white supremacists & Antifa, BLM, lefty anarchists — guess what? You will have violence.Who grants that first permit to a bunch of people who don’t even live in Charlottesville?Same scenario at College Station, Tx and Tx A & M University — application made. Application denied. Four minute turnaround. Place is run by a huge Dem. But he has common sense.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. pwrserge

            Again, once you start denying permits based on ideological purity tests, you failed. There’s a reason the ACLU backed their lawsuit to get the permit issued and there’s a reason why they won.

          3. ShanaC

            does this mean, given how people feel about civil war memorials, nazis, the kkk, that even if you are showing up because you are very libertarian and don’t believe in what nazis/kkk believe, you shouldn’t be allowed to carry a gun because it could be incentive to violence/try to provoke a counterprotests, even if the event is permitted?One of the things I noticed from the photos, videos, hell even reports from the local synagogue was just how many guns were on the alt-right side, and how few to none were on the counterprotesters, be they locals or random extreme-left outsiders.That and the homemade shielding. What if it were purely a rally, and people weren’t allowed to carry brawling equipment? Why were so many alt-right people carrying shields and flags and trying to look like plastic toy knights if this rally was about free speech (supposedly) and how people felt about a monument? What was the purpose of all that equipment, unless people thought it wasn’t going to be a civil protest to begin with?

        2. pwrserge

          An interesting thought experiment occurs…Would the event held by the alt-right have had any impact if it was allowed to proceed unmolested? Does anybody actually think that it would have convinced anybody that these are the sorts of people you want to associate with?From my point of view, a bunch of cretins walking down the street with tiki torches are hardly a great recruitment tool. The only people you’ll convince are people who are already 99% on your side. If you want to hurt the alt-right, the proper response is to IGNORE them so long as they aren’t committing any crimes. If they are, let the cops deal with it.What happened on Saturday gave the alt-right far more reach and branding than they could have possibly hoped for. What people don’t understand is that these events are not held for the benefit of the public at large. They are designed to convince people already fairly aligned to their ideology.What’s ironic to me is that the left is always talking about how military action in the middle east creates martyrs that further reinforce our enemies… Then they proceed to do exactly the same thing here at home.By attacking these cretins, you give them victim status in the eyes of some. People have to come out and defend them on general principle. (For example, look at how the ACLU supported their suit to have the permit issued for this event in the first place.)

          1. JLM

            .None of these events are changing minds.I have been conducting an experiment with my friends (including my contractors in the midst of my remodeling).Know any Nazis?Know any KKK?Know any Antifa?Know any BLM?Dry hole all around except for a good pal of mine from Bonham, TX who says he knows somebody who was once a KKK guy.These are splinter, lunatic fringe, insignificant groups of misfits and losers who would never see the light of day but for violence and the media coverage of their violence.Again, why did anybody grant any of these groups a permit?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. pwrserge

            Because a court ordered them too. We still live in a country with a 1st amendment. Even the most horrible people still have the right to assemble peacefully.

          3. JLM

            .The City of Charlottesville granted the event permit/license on initial contact. They then tried to move the event.The court order to which you refer had only to do with the venue and not the original event.…A home rule city has the authority to deny a permit on the grounds it is not being sought by citizens who reside in the city, it has a high probability of creating violence, and a number of other legitimate concerns.When such denials are invoked, the event planner often seeks a redress in a court, but courts are likely to put some ornaments on that Christmas tree such as requiring a bond for damage to private property.In addition, a city can put location, barriers, time limits on any assembly plus demand reimbursement of additional security costs.In College Station and Texas A & M University (run by a big time Dem Chancellor and former neighbor of mine) they outright denied the permit on the grounds I have enumerated above.There will be a lawsuit, but there will no Nazi/KKK rally.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. pwrserge

            I disagree, the 1st amendment is clear on the matter and has long been incorporated to subordinate jurisdictions. Very few courts ever held an opposing opinion.

          5. JLM

            .There is no question as to what the 1st Amendment allows as it relates to speech and assembly, but this is a matter of case law. Take the Skokie-Nazi parade as litigated by the ACLU — they put all kinds of conditions on the granting of that permit for a parade.Home rule cities — municipalities — have all kind of enforcement powers to run their cities as an example the simple requirement to obtain a permit to conduct an event, parade, assemble.This enforcement right is the basis for all building codes and zoning ordinances and rules pertaining to the use of public facilities.The city has the right to mandate where the assembly may take place. The city can set the hours and duration.”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people PEACEABLY to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”The requirement for an assembly to be peaceable (peaceful) is enshrined in the exact wording of the 1st Amendment.Again, they figured it out in College Station, TX and at Texas A & M University.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. JamesHRH

        Holy crap, what a high quality comment Serge.Attaboy.

        1. pwrserge

          I have a very low tolerance for sophistry, regardless of source. It helps when people don’t blithely dismiss the genocide of my family to my face with a “no true scotsman”.

          1. JamesHRH

            I was commenting more on the restraint and the substantive informational firepower and the lack of things that might distract from your point.Impressive pace re; change of behaviour.

    2. JLM

      .I graduated from the school at which Stonewall Jackson taught philosophy, math, and artillery. I lived in his classroom (part of the barracks now). It is haunted. We have a few statues including Stonewall, George Marshall (alum), and George Washington. We have Civil War cannons (same guns used in the Mexican War).One’s first year, Rat Year, every time a Rat exits Jackson Arch, he salutes Stonewall Jackson.We are located with an adjacent property line with Lee Chapel — where Rob’t E Lee is buried and Washington & Lee University. I took law classes at the law school.The VMI Corps of Cadets fought as a unit in the Valley Campaign and captured Yankee cannons at the Battle of New Market at bayonet point. It cost VMI 10 KIA and a great number of WIA.Every 15th of May, the Battle of New Market is commemorated as the Corps of Cadets marches past the famous statue Virginia Mourning Her Dead (Sir Moses Ezechiel, the first Jewish military cadet in the history of the US, and a New Market Battle VMI cadet veteran).The first black cadets to graduate from VMI entered in 1968 and I was friends with all of them. When black cadets were admitted, the school stopped playing Dixie and started playing Shenandoah.Though I was an Army Brat — rather than a native Southerner — I have a pretty good handle on this whole statue, Confederacy issue.The reason why no statues were erected directly after the Civil War is because during Reconstruction the South was occupied by the victorious North. There was an Army of Occupation.Austin, TX was occupied by a General named Custer — yeah, that Custer. They camped within a three wood/seven iron of where I sit.These armies of occupation would not allow any Confederate sympathizers to erect statues. Recall, please, that former Confederate soldiers had to swear an oath of loyalty to the Union to regain their status as a citizen and to be able to vote.Rob’t E Lee swore such an oath before he could become the President of Washington College — later Washington & Lee University. [Fun fact, Bobbie Lee founded the first school or journalism in the US @ W & L.]At the end of Reconstruction, the South was dead broke. When it came time to erect statues, they were still broke. It was not until the South began to grow and there were funds available that anyone contemplated erecting statues. it had absolutely nothing to do with Jim Crow laws.One has to recall that the party of Lincoln — the Republicans — was the North. They were the guys who passed the Civil Right laws in the US. The Dems were the party of the South and the KKK. The South is now solidly Republican. This happened in the last 40 years. You want to establish a political affiliation with Confederate statues, talk to the Dems, not the Republicans. The statues were all erected long before the South became Republican.All of the statues in the South were erected after Reconstruction and when the South began to get on its feet financially. Though the South lost the war, the population after the Civil War was still sympathetic to the cause and the conduct of the occupying armies did not win many friends during Reconstruction — which went on for two decades in some places.What you call the Jim Crow laws had nothing to do with the monuments which were erected by veterans groups and family members and not politicians. Many of them were privately funded.The Texas monument to Vietnam Veterans at the state capitol was erected a couple of years ago — 40+ years after the war ended. It was privately funded in part.Every Confederate statue erected had support of a majority of the then citizenry.On a personal note, I don’t care if they melt down every Confederate statue in the entire South. If the people change their minds about something and it is approached democratically, then the people are entitled to change their minds.I suspect that a city like Charlottesville (90% vote for HRC) would want to take theirs down while a city like Lexington (home to VMI and W & L) would want to retain theirs. A school like VMI would have a particular attachment to their statue of Stonewall.On a personal level, I would not oppose removing all the statues. If it offends someone and that person can garner the support to remove them in an orderly manner — have at it.Thought you would want to know the facts.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  23. obarthelemy

    What’s most funny in the “whites vs blacks” mindset is that the “whites” are pink. I think we should switch to that.

  24. creative group

    JamesHRH :We pride ourselves (at least the majority at our location do) in being well rounded in just about everything. Are you referring to the lead character in Silicon Valley lead character of HBO based upon the real Erich Bachman of Alviato (Software Engineer) or the Musician? We haven’t watched one episode of Silicon Valley but have people in common we are associates. We are New Yorker’s what don’t we know?True Pescatarians but dietary fare is more Vegetarian to Kosher. No scavenger Seafood or shellfish and never meat, ever…..

  25. RichardF

    Hey Fred, Its been a while since I’ve commented here (I still read daily) because over the past couple of years there seems to have been a reduction in the diversity of people and views and frankly, particularly when it comes to politics, its a bit of an echo chamber for certain people (although it probably has been that way with political posts for a long time) . For the first time ever I have used the Disqus block feature in an attempt to reduce the amount of “noise” and hopefully enjoy the comments again.

  26. JLM

    .OK, Jase, I’m taking that as a “no.” Don’t get me wrong, a very deep, intellectually thoughtful “no.” But a no, nonetheless.”inconcise”JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  27. LE

    your long-winded inconsise response culminating with the self blog plugWell you know what they say Jason, watch and learn.To wit, from Fred:Next up on our guest posts on the subject of The Management Team is AVC community regular JLM. For those that don’t know, JLM runs a public company and before that built and sold a large real estate operation. He’s also written one of the best guest posts ever on AVC. With that intro, here’s what JLM has to say on the topic. I love the way he ends the post.…And this:…Note: This is a first for the AVC blog. I did not write this post. It was written by …(redacted), known to this community as JLM. Jeff has been leaving comments on this blog for the past six to nine months and I’ve enjoyed reading them very much. Jeff has a very different view than I do about politics and about other areas as well. But you cannot read his opinions and not come away impressed and thinking differently. That’s the kind of voices we have here in our community and I am excited about sharing some of them with all of you every once in a while. I don’t plan to do this very often, but I do plan to do it from time to time. With that said, please enjoy Jeff’s thoughts on the President’s housing plan.

  28. JamesHRH

    Hello, @ShanaC:disqus – I believe the politeness police have a call on Line 1.

  29. JamesHRH

    Dude, do some research.The cat you just flipped off would have broken you in half at your age, if you did that to him in a bar.He does his research, is self made richer than God, and served in Vietnam.He knows more about getting stuff done than you know about self pleasure, which, well….let’s say, you spend more time doing on a daily basis than he does commenting on AVC (he does ramble, admittedly).Do better.

  30. ShanaC


  31. JLM

    .We all, myself included, had a better tone in those days. I cannot believe the post was from 2009?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  32. ShanaC

    i know I know.@disqus_5CjaUq8kFf:disqus warning from the mods. Don’t attack people and keep it polite or we ban you (we try to get you to correct yourself first)

  33. JamesHRH

    Just to be clear, I am half joking, don’t like the idea of calling you up to do this kind of parental activity and I am happy to self police.FWIW.I do think its funny that you are the bouncer for Freddy’s bar…….maybe its because your brains are as big as most bouncers biceps 😉

  34. ShanaC

    in reality, I actually have a smallish head (physically) and a severe case of adhd for a woman. I think in a particular way about arguments in genera;, and I try to remember it is real people we deal with.I also don’t like parenting y’all. This is (almost always) adults.

  35. JamesHRH

    I have decided that ADHD is a feature not a bug, FWIW.Good luck on the beat & have a great weekend.