Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/26/18: “Baseball Season Begins This Week So Nothing Can Upset Me” Edition

Good morning!

1 A Comment Of The Day. I apologize to Aleksei for not devoting a full post to his excellent commentary, but the posts have been more than a little Parkland Shooting Freak-Out—yes, that is what it is—heavy of late, so I’m highlighting his comment here. I’m also going to torment my temporarily reason-deficient—for that’s what they are—Facebook friends by quoting it.

So I went to the Boston “March for our lives” as an educational thing, because I’ve never been to one of these, and I wanted to talk to people about why they were marching. I am on the pro-gun side. The signs they had definitely were variations on what Jack has provided here. The sign with the kid in the subway car, that’s actually the Boston Red Line.

This march was definitely an emotional thing, because of the 10+/- people I spoke with, nobody was very knowledgeable on guns, gun laws, background checks, what is an assault rifle, the failings of government  in the Texas church shooting, the Parkland shooting, etc. On average, older people were more willing to have a longer conversation. On average, younger people were more irritated with me, once I told them what side of the issue I am on. I was polite and respectful, so there was never a brawl or anything.

I talked with the college girls with one of the more egregious signs ( “2nd amendment = white supremacy”) and they gave me the whole systemic racism shtick. They also had NRA = terrorism. They said the NRA buys politicians. I gave a counter example, that Planned Parenthood donates a lot of money too, where I was cut off immediately and told, that’s different, they’re not murderers, and it’s nowhere near what the NRA gives. [ Ethics Alarms note: This is not accurate.] Another woman I talked with, late 20’s maybe, told me how could I look into the eyes of children that are scared for their lives and not do something. I told her that it saddens me that kids are scared, but it saddens me more that the police failed, the school failed, and the FBI failed in Parkland. She didn’t rebut me and I wished her a good day.

I also was surprised when some young people asked me, if I don’t agree with the march, what am I doing here? I told them that this is a free country, I can be here if I want and that I can speak with other fellow Americans, even if we don’t agree on everything. On a positive note, people told me they appreciated my desire to hear the other side and learn more. It was an interesting experience, but like Jack said earlier, it was a “scream at the sky” fest. Also, the chants were boring. “Hey, Hey, NRA, how many kids have you killed today”, “What do we want? Gun Control! When do we want it? Now!”, “No more guns! No more guns!”, and so on and so forth. I want to say there were more women, there were families with children, which also had signs, people from kindergarten age to old age pensioners.

Observations:

  • Bravo for Aleksei, and anyone else who had the patience to do this. My aversion to protests,demonstrations and rock festivals. along with the brian-numb, herd-like vibe the emit. goes back to my teens.  I just couldn’t do what he did.
  • Can’t somebody write some new protest chants? Do the chanters know that recycling Vietnam peace chants just reinforces the belief that this is all generic generational bitching, and more reflex that thoughtful? If I hear “Hey, Hey” in a demonstration, it only  makes me giggle. A friend in college would react to these chants by raising his arm in a protest fist gesture and shouting “Right arm!”
  • Here is another eye-witness report.

2. There are only comrades in arms, no competitors, in the ethics quest! I should have done this years ago, and I am abashed. Prof. Steven Mintz is one of the finest ethicists on the web, and I have never read one of his blog posts that wasn’t clear, well-written and reasoned, fair and though-provoking. He has not one but three ethics blogs: Ethics Sage, a pan-ethics blog like this one, his Workplace Ethics Advice blog, and the Higher Ed Ethics Watch blog. I just realized that I never added the last two to the Ethics Alarms links: I will do that today, and again, I’m sorry, Steven.

It always troubles me that Prof. Mintz gets so few comments on his superb essays, which I have to assume means that his traffic isn’t what it deserves to be. Part of the problem is what I encountered when my essays were limited to a two or three a week on the Ethics Scoreboard (currently trapped in hosting hell, but back up soon, I promise). To develop a regular following of any size, you need to post daily, and ideally many times daily. I urge Ethics Alarms readers to visit Steven’s sites and comment with the same erudition and passion you do here.

3. And speaking of The Ethics Sage, this:His most recent post on his Workplace Ethics Advice blog has immediate relevance to legal ethics. The professor writes in part,

“District Court Judge Cynthia Bashant’s decision in Erhart v. BofI Holdings clarifies that employer confidentiality agreements do not supersede federal whistleblower rights, and signals that retaliatory lawsuits against whistleblowers are unlikely to succeed.  The decision also provides important guidance to corporate whistleblowers concerning precautions to take in using company documents to blow the whistle…”

I viewed the opinion as necessary but somewhat obvious, since whistleblowing would be legally impossible if all a company had to do was to make employees sign non-disclose and confidentiality agreements. However, the most interesting part of the decision is the caveat it includes:

“…However, Judge Bashant also held that if a whistleblower engages in wholesale stripping of confidential documents or where the appropriation of confidential documents is “vast and indiscriminate,” the public policy in favor of whistleblower might not immunize the whistleblower from potential liability. Here, Judge Bashant declined to reject Erhart’s whistleblower defense to the appropriation claims because (1) Erhart testified in a declaration that he “was very careful in [selecting] the information [he] accessed and turned over. Each document was specifically related to one of the allegations of wrongdoing [he] had discussed with [his supervisor] and then reported to federal law enforcement”; and (2) Erhart states that “every document” he used was one he “had properly accessed in the course of performing [his] work as an internal auditor.”

Here is the legal ethics problem: lawyers are prohibited from using stolen information or material. At very least, a lawyer hired by a whistle-blower would have to determine which documents , if any, crossed the “vast and indiscriminate” line, and if the lawyer determines that the material was not protected, he or she would have to deal with the “my client just gave me evidence of a crime, so now what do I do?” problem. I’m not at all certain that a lawyer can use whistle-blower obtained confidential material even if it is protected: it’s still stolen. This problem has not been definitively addressed by bar associations. Here, for example, is where the Virginia Bar stands–right where it did in 2004, which is too long ago to be very helpful today, with cyber-theft becoming routine.

4. “60 Minutes” disgraced itself last night.…but in the throes of the  2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck, in which degrading and undermining the elected President is the mission of the mainstream news media, the disgrace was inevitable. Stormy Daniels had nothing newsworthy or relevant to the Presidency to dish about. Her story was more or less identical, assuming it is true, to stories endless numbers of past one-night stands and temporary diversions of Presidents in their wilder days could have told, except in the past, the news media has treated the office with enough respect to leave such dishing to the tabloids and tell-all memoirs. Daniels just used CBS’s flagship investigative journalism show for canny self-promotion. The “threats” she described came in 2011, before Donald Trump seriously entered politics. The affair she alleges took place a decade before the 2016 campaign. There was no criminal conduct alleged to CBS that could be credibly traced to Trump, and people who voted for the man without assuming that he had been a rich, womanizing playboy for most of his life are as dumb as Hillary Clinton says they are.

109 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Citizenship, Comment of the Day, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Professions, Research and Scholarship, Rights

109 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/26/18: “Baseball Season Begins This Week So Nothing Can Upset Me” Edition

  1. #1 I commend you for taking the effort to go to the march and see what was happening for yourself. It’s really eye opening how mob mentality takes over an ignorant crowd, it’s interesting to listen to how the level of intelligent arguments decreases and how that is inversely proportional to the the increase of irrational propaganda. The irrational propaganda ALWAYS wins out over intelligent arguments in a protest.

    As for the signs, I did a little searching this morning and found some photos of signs, here is just a few.

    I’m sure there are plenty more “worthy” sign photos to present.

    • Aleksei

      Thank you Zoltar! It definitely was an experience.

    • Steve-O-in-NJ

      Frankly I have to yawn at these signs. As Jack already pointed out, slogan-writing, together with chanting, is in a rut. I’m far from the oldest poster here, but I’ve heard all this junk twice, three times, four times. Like your daughter’s fave Disney princess flick she would ask for over and over (and over) again, until you could recite it word for word, this stuff is just plain tedious now, and so are the shock devices, which are easily deconstructed to the point of being easily ignored –

      The NRA has blood on its hands – whose and when did they shed it? Name one shooting a member has been involved in.

      You can keep your muskets- uh huh, and you can communicate by writing messages with quill pen on parchment that you have delivered by men on foot or horseback. Next!

      I don’t want to text my mom I love you from under a desk – Then how about you concentrate on getting the hell away from the shooter instead of cowering in learned and favored helplessness?

      Thoughts and Prayers don’t save lives, gun reform will – No, the police and the system doing their jobs might, though.

      Guns don’t kill people, legislators do – I’m sure Steve Scalise would agree with you.

      NRA kills ours kids – see #1 above. Next!

      Your gun ownership is hazardous to my health – uh huh, and so is your texting and driving, smoking, and other unsafe everyday behavior, let’s outlaw those too.

      Okay, we will pry it from your cold, dead hands! – No you won’t, because you protesters are too milquetoast to even try. You want to send someone to do it. Fine. First get 2/3 of all of Congress or 3/5 of the state legislatures to propose a new Constitutional amendment, then pass it, then get 3/5 of the states to ratify it, then pass laws for confiscation, then implement them by going door to door, room to room, closet to closet, cupboard to cupboard, drawer to drawer and checking under the floorboards and in the walls with metal detectors in every office, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse to make sure there are no privately owned guns anywhere. Let’s see how far you get.

      The fact of the matter is that the Soros organization and the other professional protest organizers and troublemakers who fomented this, and fomented “the resistance,” and fomented Black Lives Matter and its anti-police progeny, and fomented the huge protests against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq but not against the Balkan involvement or Obama’s undeclared war in Libya, know damn well that none of this is going to rewrite the Constitution or overthrow the system overnight, and they really don’t WANT it to, because riots that go out of control are counterproductive.

      They also don’t want to put a foulmouthed drama student (Hogg) or a screeching Sinead O’Connor wannabe (Emma Gonzalez) in real leadership positions, anymore than they wanted a vitriolic attention whore who tried to ride her son’s grave to national prominence (Cindy Sheehan) actually in political office. What they do want is to use these dramatic players as puppets to get those who let their emotions think for them to donate money to and vote for whoever they say, so they can gain control of the system like they did in the national freak-out that ran from 2006 to 2008 and put the horrific trinity of Pelosi, Reid, and Obama in power. They know that rewriting the Constitution is an almost insurmountably tall order, but they also saw the 1994 assault weapons ban, and know maybe that’s not as unachievable.

      What they really want is a winning combination of issues, passion, and proposals just workable enough to give their side a permanent majority. Twice they’ve come darn close, and twice they’ve fallen flat, as Bill Clinton’s lack of scruples and complete lack of understanding of the concept of fidelity kept him from giving Al Gore the push that might have put him over the top, and as Hillary Clinton, the most qualified candidate, turned out to be the worst candidate. Right now they’re concentrating on passion, and ginning up passion is the easiest part of this proposed combination. It doesn’t require much thinking or much detail, it only requires that they get a lot of people frothing with hatred and anger, than they can hopefully later channel. Sloganeering is a very easy and very low-cost way to do that.

    • Notice the shirt

      Someone should start a comprehensive collection.

  2. Aleksei

    Jack, I am very honored to be given the venerable COTD. Thank you!

  3. I talked with the college girls with one of the more egregious signs ( “2nd amendment = white supremacy”) and they gave me the whole systemic racism shtick.

    “The history of gun control in North America is the history of violent White supremacism and the efforts of its proponents to create for themselves a “safe working environment”. “- Christopher C. Morton

    • Aleksei

      Funny thing, I did mention to people that gun control in Jim Crow south was invented to limit the rights of black people. I also mentioned the Condoleeza Rice story of how her father and the neighborhood watch kept the various KKK people at bay by using their legally owned guns.

      • Joe Fowler

        Were they surprised? Or dismissive? How did this register with them?

        • Aleksei

          They didn’t rebut me and were quiet. Kind of dismissive. I also said, women, black people, any non-white people can defend themselves too, as an example for the self-defense argument. They demurred to their opinion that “nobody needs guns”. I follow that up with how they feel about “racist gun happy” police entrusted for their protection. They either say that it’s ok for the police, because they have more training, or that they don’t like the police.

    • I should probably run a poll asking which of these signs is the most outrageous..that one would be pretty close.

  4. So there are some people that think schools in Madison Wisconsin are too dangerous so they started a movement in conjunction with the March 14th school walkout to demand gun control.

    It was stated on an individual’s Facebook page, “If you didn’t get a No Cops in School pin from the Freedom Inc Youth Squad (some are speaking today!), here’s a graphic you can print out, or display on your phone or ipad. Please share!”

    Here’s their poster

    …I shit you not!

    That’s what an education systems in reality starved Progressive bubbles produce. Great job educating (indoctrinating) students.

    They had a dandy looking button too…

    https://www.facebook.com/FreedomYouthSquad/

    • Maybe they want the Army in our schools instead.

      Given Scot Peterson’s failure, I understand.

    • Glenn Logan

      Maybe we should give them what they want.

      I’m sure the white kids would be fine with becoming second class citizens, shunned and bullied for their “privilege.”

      Oh, wait, something like that has happened before… Columbine, wasn’t it?

      Maybe that’s not such a great plan after all. Maybe we shouldn’t let kids set their own rules for education, segregate by race, and have a favored class set the rules at the expense of others. I know that’s counter to the currently revealed wisdom, but I still think the adults should run the country. And the schools.

      And call me crazy, but I think we should try to treat all students equally. It just seems like the thing to do.

  5. Paul W. Schlecht

    4- NBC Today Show’s Samantha Guthrie actually went after Daniels lawyer Michael Avenatti with some teeth, saying, among other things: “seems like you’re playing games,”

    A Journalism/Reporting Renaissance in the offing?

  6. Isaac

    I tried something similar a few years ago when a crowd of people were protesting Chick-Fil-A, with such memorable signs as “Chick-Fil-A is hate on a bun.” I spoke with the leader of the protests, a young woman who assured me that “I’m a graduate student so I know what I’m talking about” as she told me all of the horrible things of which the Chick-Fil-A founders were guilty. She also had some colorful hand-outs, with sources (online links), so I gladly offered to take one home and learn more for myself.

    EVERY SINGLE ONE of the “sources” was bogus. Not one of them implied any of the things that the protesters (and the handout) were alleging. It was sub-middle-school level “research,” or worse, the protesters just assumed that no one would ever look up the “sources” and that just having links would lend credibility to the absurd claims.

  7. Chris

    1. I am disturbed by the “No more guns” chants. Most of the leftists calling for greater gun restrictions argue that “No one is saying we need to ban guns…” I know, because I used to be one of them.

    It will be interesting to see if there is a split between those who simply want
    expanded gun regulations that would pass constitutional muster and those who want to repeal the Second Amendment entirely…but from what I’ve seen of movements like these, the more moderate ones are much more likely to ignore the radicals, to the point of pretending they don’t exist (“No one is saying we need to ban guns…”) then to publicly renounce and do something about them.

    4. 60 Minutes” disgraced itself last night.…but in the throes of the 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck, in which degrading and undermining the elected President is the mission of the mainstream news media, the disgrace was inevitable. Stormy Daniels had nothing newsworthy or relevant to the Presidency to dish about. Her story was more or less identical, assuming it is true, to stories endless numbers of past one-night stands and temporary diversions of Presidents in their wilder days could have told, except in the past, the news media has treated the office with enough respect to leave such dishing to the tabloids and tell-all memoirs.

    I don’t know why you automatically assume that the erosion of the kind of respect you’re talking about is a bad thing.

    Daniels’ story is credible. It’s nearly undeniable at this point, given the payoff. Such conduct should have been news under any presidency. That it wasn’t in the past is likely a sign of fear as much as respect; you’re telling me the media wouldn’t have reported on such stories if they didn’t think the backlash would be worse than whatever ratings they got for such a story?

    But the goal of the media should be to report the truth, not cover it up out of either respect for power or fear thereof…and there is a ton of evidence that Daniels’ story is the truth. It is a good thing that it is being reported.

    Daniels just used CBS’s flagship investigative journalism show for canny self-promotion. The “threats” she described came in 2011, before Donald Trump seriously entered politics.

    Not sure why you’re putting the word “threats” in quotation marks there; what Daniels’ described was definitely a threat. Popehat seems to think so:

    Also, the idea that a current president having once had someone threaten a woman so that she wouldn’t talk about an affair isn’t newsworthy because he wasn’t in politics at the time is preposterous. It’s still worth knowing. Trump is not a different person now that he is the president, and we should obviously be informed on abuses of power he engaged in before achieving his current status of immense power.

    The affair she alleges took place a decade before the 2016 campaign. There was no criminal conduct alleged to CBS that could be credibly traced to Trump, and people who voted for the man without assuming that he had been a rich, womanizing playboy for most of his life are as dumb as Hillary Clinton says they are.

    It’s amazing to me that you left out the payoff, which occurred mere weeks before the election. That’s the most damning part of the story, and the part that may have actual legal ramifications. Why would you leave that out? It can’t be because you’re unaware of it. This reads as if you’re intentionally ignoring the most salient parts of the interview in order to make it seem less newsworthy than it actually was.

    • “Such conduct should have been news under any presidency. That it wasn’t in the past is likely a sign of fear as much as respect; you’re telling me the media wouldn’t have reported on such stories if they didn’t think the backlash would be worse than whatever ratings they got for such a story?”

      Fear of what?

      I thought THIS Presidency was the one that was the greatest threat to the Press…

      No, it wasn’t fear, it was a general notion that end of the day, this country is ultimately a team working towards a specific American ideal and that sometimes, for the ultimate goal of moving the Republic forward, you DROP IT. Which means sometimes, respect the Office of the Presidency.

      But we don’t have that unity any more, so badly now that the Presidency is a fairly meaningless object for an entire half of the political spectrum that really doesn’t seem to care for the Constitution much anymore anyway.

      • Michael writes: “No, it wasn’t fear, it was a general notion that end of the day, this country is ultimately a team working towards a specific American ideal and that sometimes, for the ultimate goal of moving the Republic forward, you DROP IT. Which means sometimes, respect the Office of the Presidency.

        “But we don’t have that unity any more, so badly now that the Presidency is a fairly meaningless object for an entire half of the political spectrum that really doesn’t seem to care for the Constitution much anymore anyway.”

        I respectfully submit that this is a disturbingly conformist idea. And I suggest that to the best of my understanding it is an idea that does not correspond to any idea expressed in any founding American document. In fact, it is a contrary idea to the idealism In those documents.

        Where does the idea come from them? I am not completely certain but I suspect that it derives from the newer declarations in a later evolution of the Republic into a Nation, and the Nation into a neo-imperialism. In order to subvert the Republic, the ideals of the Republic had to be modified and restated. I tend to think that the shifts occurs in the Lincolnian statement about a ‘propositional nation’. The shift, carried out through war and concentration of power into war-mechanisms, led in this sense to the establishment of a different Republic or perhaps a Second Republic in the aftermath of the American Civil War. There were positves and negatives in that shift of course, but I do not think the shift has served America well. We are now living in the aftermath of the destruction of the ideals of the Republic and the beginning of corrents and movements that signify the dissolution of that Republic.

        I desire to be no part of a ‘national team’ and furthermore I completely refuse to ‘gargle in that choir’. If someone tells me I must, and then accuses me of not being patriotic because I do not go along with their coercion, I suggest that they are wittingly or unwittingly serving tyranny. Certainly at an intellectual level. The whole notion of a coerced national ideology and mass-action and mass-thinking is anathema to most values I can think of.

        It is ironic and baffling to me, Michael, that you seem to desire to ‘protect the constitution’ while expressing sentiments and ideas that run against it. How do you justify and explain that? I am sincerely interested in understanding.

        • Paul W. Schlecht

          ”The whole notion of a coerced national ideology and mass-action and mass-thinking is anathema to most values I can think of.”

          The Post-Modern-Neo-Lefty cabal would like a word…

          • Mr Paul,

            If it interests you, and it might not, I see this great generality known as ‘America’ as one that suffers (in certain specific senses that can be elucidated) under a sort of regime.

            It is obvious that the Left Cabal acts in alarming ways, but there are two aspects in this, or perhaps the best phrase is to say ‘two poles’ in the phenomena. There is now and there has always been in America a ‘popular voice’ and a popular pole. This class (and it is a class) has often seen itself as being manipulated by another class: the monied class, the ruling establishment, the industrial class, the class that has and holds power. If you have read anything I have written over the last months you will know that I regard the Spansih American war as a ‘break’ or a ‘rupture’ which led to a sort of slow coup resulting in government corruption.

            There is a popular pole that has interests, identifies issues that are important to it, and advocates for its interests. More often than not, acording to my understanding, this ‘pole’ tends to appear ‘progressive’ and to be seen by the powers-that-be in an unfavorable light. There has existed, and I suppose there still exists, a popular pole that uses constitutional arguments to defend its class-interests. I cannot see anything inherently wrong in this.

            Where things begin to go off the rails is a more complex story. When Marxist activists begin to politicize popular issues they take advantage, as it were, of a weakening in the social body and they expand their reach through their rhetoric and activism. It leads to a divisive battle in which both poles (say, the ‘capital class’ and the ‘popular class’) are battling each other and, in the course of that, lying a great deal.

            The ‘establishment class’, the class that controls media industries and the class that has infiltrated government and in this way subverts good functioning of government, has shown itself to be skilled, willful, devious and power-hungry. I see this as a simple and honest fact. They should not be trusted. But they have a great deal of power — in this sense that have fantastic and extreme power — and their power and their use of their power can be investigated and spoken about. The radical left (for example Noam Chomsky who does it ‘best’) performs this intellectual and investigative task well. Take for example: ‘Power and Ideology’ by Chomsky. It is a revealing document because, in a Machiavellian analysis, shows ‘how power functions’ to secure its interests. It cannot be said to be a ‘pretty picture’.

            The problem as I see it with the ‘conservative establishment’, according to my understanding, is that they are often deeply tied and implicated with power. That is, they are complicit within this regime of the present which, as you gather, I do not see as a good thing. When a conservative becomes complicit in power, and if this power is seen as being subversive to Republican values, then that conservative is no longer serving ‘republican idealism’ and ‘the people’ (the popular pole) but is serving those who have discovered ways to infiltrate the structures of government to subvert it to their ends.

            Obviously, if you have followed me thus far, you might recognize that I am attempting to work in an area that is not either Left nor Right, but one that must necessarily define and redefine values: basic and core values. In my way of seeing things, that is the are where a ‘conservative’ must worlk. If one is going to speak of ‘conserving’ something, one has to define what one is conserving. And all of this hinges into questions of value.

            In our present, according to my understanding, we witness a very very strange collusion between the military and industrial center, the academic and ideological centers, and the preferred ‘popular movement’ which are those of the progressive/Marxist sort. But horrifyingly, and also confusingly, the conservatives also seem allied in bizarre ways with this Establishment, and therefor what we see (what I see anyway) is a sort of Regime which is operating in the present for its own strange purposes.

            To see clearly what is going on is the primary objective. Just to see clearly. And this is very very hard because we live in, and are forced to see through, a web of inricate lies. Perception becomes a risky *game* of trying to see things clearly, to distinguish truly, and decide what value one serves.

        • The Constitution doesn’t correspond to any idea expressed in any founding American document?

          What?

          • You are playing games, Michael, and avoiding everything that I said.

            • Your opening paragraph makes little sense in relation to the quote of mine you are apparently rebutting if you aren’t rebutting my premise of the importance of the Constitution.

              Feel free to clarify what you were getting at, but I’m not going to read past the first paragraph, when the first paragraph didn’t make sense.

      • Chris

        Fear of what?

        I thought THIS Presidency was the one that was the greatest threat to the Press…

        Fear of backlash from viewers.

        This president wants to be a threat to the press, but he isn’t.

        • Would fear of backlash from viewers be likely because the views *then* understood the need to respect the office?

          And *now*, the media has no interest in appealing to viewers who still understand the importance of respecting the office?

          I wonder why the media supports such a worldview?

          • Chris

            Because Trump has lowered the office.

            • Which specific conduct as President has Trump engaged in that has *significantly* lowered the office from where it was lowered to by the previous President?

              twitter spats? that has a lowering effect, yes.

              has it lowered it *significantly* more than the previous president got us to? Not so confident.

              And this isn’t whataboutism…this is “why didn’t you complain then-ism”

              • Chris

                No, I’m not doing this. If you’d like to search through my comments about Trump from the past year and object to specific points, do so, but I’m not recapping a year’s worth of comments for you.

                • No, I’m not doing THAT.

                  If you can’t quickly summarize some key concerns, then I don’t think you actually have a solid list of concerns which demonstrate the trend you assert while differentiating that trend from the previous officer-holder that aren’t somehow tied to Trump’s gross misuse of twitter.

                  • Chris

                    K.

                    That’s a weird thing to believe. But you’re free to believe it.

                    • Believe what?

                      Not sure I’ve asserted anything unbelievable.

                      The only thing I see here that is a statement of belief is that Obama degraded the office of the Presidency during his tenure.

                      And he did.

                      His constant nosing into local police concerns (and muddying those issues).

                      His apology tour (regardless of how it’s spun).

                      His degradation of race relations in this country.

                      His rapid fire responses to international issues that were poorly thought out and often errant because of that.

                      His cynical uses of government shut-downs and unnecessary passing on of associated “hardships” to smear the Republicans during those fiascoes.

                      The list could continue. And see how easy that was?

                    • Chris

                      The weird belief is that Obama lowered the office as much as Trump has. Let’s put this bizarre false equivalence to rest. Doing so is fairly easy and requires only a couple of data points.

                      You bring up Obama’s comments about local police concerns. Bad, yes. The worst was when Obama said an officer had “acted stupidly” in arresting a prominent professor outside his own home. This was a months-long controversy and led to the president apologizing and inviting the officer he wrongly criticized to the White House.

                      Trump has a similar problem with criticizing citizens. His worst may be when he called Colin Kaepernick a “son of a bitch.” I would argue this lowers the office much more than simply saying someone has “acted stupidly.” This was followed by no apology, and instead of being a months-long controversy, was instantly drowned out by the rest of the chaos of the Trump presidency.

                      There is no comparison.

                    • I agree that there is no comparison. Trump’s conduct debases the office, no question. I find no fault with Obama’s stewardship of the Presidency, for the most part. Like Reagan, he played the part well—it’s the “King” part of the job, and important. In fact, I’d say Obama filled that part of the job better than anyone since Reagan, and Reagan was the best at it since Kennedy and Ike.

                      Obama was just a weak, unskilled, arrogant and inadequate leader on substance.

                    • I agree that there is no comparison between Trump’s juvenile twitter spats and the myriad unpresidential things that Obama did. But, one, we aren’t comparing their conduct in a vacuum and, two, the standard isn’t merely based on personal tastes in conduct. As for number two, the standard is based on whether or not conduct can be called Presidential or not. Anything unpresidential degrades the office, by definition – from nosing into local action to calling private citizens “sons of bitches”.

                      For the first point, I will submit that there is NO Trump Presidency without the degradations of the Obama Presidency and simultaneously the Trump degradations of the office are not graded from some magical resurgence in the dignity of the Office. No such repair occurred in the instant between Obama stepping out and Trump stepping in. Trump inherited a context of unpresidential behavior (however less egregious than his soon to be behavior) from which he lowered it further. But the damage was done before he arrived.

                      If we wanted to make an arbitrary “grading scale”, where standards of presidential conduct and attitudes towards the presidency could be said to have been around “85 out of a 100” when Bush left (another discussion), one could say that Obama lowered the evaluation significantly from that 85.

                      Between equating an entire political party with our enemies in the Iranian government, cynically dividing the races against each other, casting entire demographics as backwards rubes, using his power to inflict as much pain on citizens as possible during the shutdown, cynical exploitation of the shutdown, and all other topics mentioned and discussed, one could easily argue that the prestige and respect for the Presidency was dramatically lowered.

                      If Obama brings our arbitrary scale down to 60 and Trump lowers it to 50…I don’t really care about that marginal difference. The Left broke it…like they break everything…and we’re getting NO attempts at accountability by those who pretend like all was good and well before Trump arrives.

                      Now the assertion that Trump lowered it MORE than Obama is different that an argument about how low Trump is bringing it. But I don’t think a rational observer can claim that Obama didn’t severely wreck the office leaving the opening for Trump and his wrecking crew to move in. And that point matters.

                      And I have no idea how you can assert that Obama was more presidential than Bush part deux. What specific unpresidential conduct did Bush engage in (not differences in policy, but actual unpresidential conduct)? I certainly know that journalistic and entertainment media did their best to make it out that Bush wrecked the presidency, but I don’t see any solid actual assertions that he did so.

                    • “The weird belief is that Obama lowered the office as much as Trump has.”

                      Who has this belief? Or are you putting words in my mouth?

                    • Chris

                      Fair comment, Jack.

                      I just wish you could see how Trump’s debasement of the office leads directly to the media’s coverage of him…it doesn’t justify all of it, of course, especially the parts that are untrue. But it certainly does explain why a story like the Stormy Daniels one would of course be covered under Trump, even without the potentially illegal payoff.

                      It would be a tabloid-style story. But we have a tabloid-style president.

                    • Michael writes: ”Between equating an entire political party with our enemies in the Iranian government, cynically dividing the races against each other, casting entire demographics as backwards rubes, using his power to inflict as much pain on citizens as possible during the shutdown, cynical exploitation of the shutdown, and all other topics mentioned and discussed, one could easily argue that the prestige and respect for the Presidency was dramatically lowered.

                      “If Obama brings our arbitrary scale down to 60 and Trump lowers it to 50…I don’t really care about that marginal difference. The Left broke it…like they break everything…and we’re getting NO attempts at accountability by those who pretend like all was good and well before Trump arrives.”

                      What I notice, and what I try to talk about, is what I consider to be the very interesting — but distressing and disorienting — fact that most people attempt an analysis of the present but do not have enough information or understanding to be able to make accurate assessments. It is sort of the political and also the existential version of seeing things ‘through a glass darkly’.

                      It is I guess ‘unfortunately’ true that Obama performed the role of president startingly well. Even if one were to have decided he used ‘honeyed rhetoric’ he nevertheless was an admirable communicator. I cannot imagine a better rehearsal of a president’s role than what he gave. At the same time, and I am not sure if I would ascribe malevolence to it because people when they act are more often than not acting from genuine motives, he and his allies — and there were many within the culture-at-large — set in motion the activism of one pole in this democracy which, inevitably and logically, is working and will in the future work even more to diminish the power of the white majority and in this process assert itself (i.e. an up-and-coming pole within the national demographic) as it moves toward dominion in the political sphere. My understanding of Obama, and the time in which he was president, is that he worked within the political system as an ‘able servant’ of the power-structure which is a class of interests separate and distinct from ‘people’s interests’. He seems to have served power admirably and did not deviate in any radical way.

                      But what he did do, and this is where it gets terribly knotty, is work within the System itself (if I said ‘deep state’ I do not mean this in a paranoid, conspiratorial sense but only as ‘established and enduring institutional power’) to forward what has become ‘a tenet of the American civil religion’: the globalist, multi-cultural, leveling movement or ideal which functions, now, at the center of the ‘Americanopolis’. My understanding is that now, with the collusion of the press with the State, and industry with the press and the State, in the naked efforts to chill open and free speech and to begin to, literally, criminalize dissenters, that we now catch a clear glimpse of the ‘regime’ that holds power in America. What they desire (again, if my perception is correct) is to create their beloved model of America as a *Walmart* cultural and economic model. It is a ‘mechanism’ really which, in their rather perverse but extremely utilitarian vision, can be applied to the whole world. In it, everyone is leveled down to a unit-of-consumption, and anyone who disrupts the function of the system is branded as an enemy.

                      I think this general view is the one that best describes ‘America’ now. But under the surface of that America is a sick entity. Groaningly sick. Dangerously sick. Psycholtically sick. Suicidingly sick. To understand how this has come about requires a backward-analysis. The evils that are now materializing as solidities in our present have roots in the past. But that work of historical analysis is complicated and fraught. Because — and this is always the case! — it requires a seer, an evaluater, an interpreter, a decider — and in this, our strange present, all evaluations and assessments are fought-over in astounding intellectual violence.

                      But the ‘body politic’ is where *life* resides. Even a parasitical and corriupt governing system needs the body politic as a living entity to feed off (to put it dramatically), and if ‘life’ is going to assert itsself, and if it can choose and will choose ‘health’ and well-being over the evils of self-mystification and self-deception, someone somewhere and somehow must begin to tell the truth about what is going on in America.

                      What to me is remarkable about Donald Trump is precisely the fact that he is, by any measure (and by all measures!) a sick man. He is twisted, somewhat deranged, a pervert-of-sorts, and has a sort of Devil-may-care attitude. But there is more and yet it is hard to define. There is something emotionally suspect in him. He is a victim … of himself. And yet I would assert that he represents a specific sector in America and that sector is the white population. That is how I *interpret* Donald Trump. And that is why — if one takes Providence into account — he simply had to appear on the scene (in the Hegelian sense of necessity). He is the sick White Man of America.

                      Now, one would think that that is a condemning statement or an admission of the failrue of America. In a sense it is! This is what it has come to. This is, at least at present, America’s psychological and psycho-spiritual answer to the crisis that has befallen (sorry to say it) White America. Trump is a vision of America’s ruin held up as a sort of piñata or punching bag that everyone and anyone in the whole wide world can beat on as they see fit. And there is no defense against it. It just has to be taken.

                      Excuse my psycho-political analysis! But please don’t wonder much that I do not carry these odd ideas through to a conclusion because I am not sure what the conclusion is or ‘is supposed to be’. The best machinations of divine consciousness — I have discovered this in my own life — are the situations we manage to get ourselves into but which are overseen and presided by something in ourselves that is beyond ourselves. The ‘unconscious’ ‘providence’ God’ — I have no idea what to call it. But isn’t it true that when we find ourself in these terribly embarrassing and yet revealing circumstances that we always seem to learn the most? Without the Crisis, which we did after all evoke in one way or another, there is no growth and change.

                      I copied this quote from something I read in some (forbidden no doubt) source.

                      “It had to do with the awakening of a people who face political, cultural, and economic dispossession, who are slowly beginning to glimpse the fact of dispossession and what dispossession will mean for them and their descendants, and who also are starting to think about reversing the processes and powers responsible for their dispossession.”

                      This is what ‘America’ is facing but I certainly recognize that I am privelaging a specific America. But it is also Europe, South Africa, the Enhlish-speaking colonies and, thus, *civilization*. If one begins to see *the problem* at the meta-political level I submit that it really does become more clear. It is a position above the fray, as it were, that provides a certain clariification and clarity.

                      To *cure* Donald Trump, to address Donald Trump at the Hegelian level (that is, to respond to the ‘spirit of the time’) will involve specific sectors within the sick body politic coming back to life: choosing life and dis-choosing the miasma of death. To define what is life, to define what is death: these are questions that hinge on valuation and are the most imprtant questions that can be posed.

                      Don;t let me inhibit you from writing wonderful intellectually rich and dynamic responses to what I have put forth here. But if none of that is available within you, a vegetative half-smile will suffice! 😉

    • Glenn Logan

      Daniels’ story is credible. It’s nearly undeniable at this point, given the payoff. Such conduct should have been news under any presidency.

      This is hyperbole, but your main point, that her story is credible, is right, I think. Suggesting it is “undeniable” is unnecessarily overwrought. Deniable or not, it is likely true.

      Should it have been news? That’s a much closer call. Pre-Clinton and post-Kennedy, no doubt it should’ve been front-page news. Post-Clinton and Kennedy, what we see is a double-standard. But to be fair, double-standards have been afflicting the news services for many years, perhaps forever, so it’s hard to get too exercised.

      But to your main point, I can’t disagree that it is newsworthy. A president’s personal conduct always is. The question is whether or not it should carry any particular weight. That’s up to each person to judge, I suppose.

      But the goal of the media should be to report the truth, not cover it up out of either respect for power or fear thereof…and there is a ton of evidence that Daniels’ story is the truth.

      I think “truth” has to be viewed in context. Is ten year old conduct displayed in the most pejorative possible manner “truth,” or is it merely the use of facts by a hostile media to assail the officeholder? At best, it is tabloid material, something the mainstream media used to eschew. Even if I stipulate the facts in this case related by Daniels are objectively true, what it tells me is something I and everyone else in America already knew since well before the election — Trump is a womanizing asshole. Surely the “grab them by the pussy” comment caught on a live mike made that clear enough.

      I guess my question is what value this has beyond sensationalism. Confirmation of known qualities? I guess so, but only for the most credulous.

      It’s amazing to me that you left out the payoff, which occurred mere weeks before the election. That’s the most damning part of the story, and the part that may have actual legal ramifications.

      This is a leftist fantasy, and would require the criminal code to be twisted beyond recognition. Your comment was making sense to me up to this point, and then… whoosh! Right off the rails.

      • Chris

        I think “truth” has to be viewed in context. Is ten year old conduct displayed in the most pejorative possible manner “truth,” or is it merely the use of facts by a hostile media to assail the officeholder? At best, it is tabloid material, something the mainstream media used to eschew. Even if I stipulate the facts in this case related by Daniels are objectively true, what it tells me is something I and everyone else in America already knew since well before the election — Trump is a womanizing asshole. Surely the “grab them by the pussy” comment caught on a live mike made that clear enough.

        Glenn, your comment is mostly a fair one. The problem I have is that you, like Jack, are still ignoring the payoff. That isn’t “decades-old behavior,” that’s behavior from 2016.

        It baffles me that both of you are ignoring this part of the story. I suspect that right-wing media is downplaying it in order to make the “decades-old conduct” argument, but that doesn’t explain why you two are ignoring it, as I know you don’t get all your news from right-wing media.

        The media I consume has made the payoff the centerpiece of the story. The MSM didn’t even pay a lot of attention to Stormy Daniels until the payoff was confirmed and the shady details behind it were revealed (Cohen paid out of his own pocket? Really?). It was a minor story that was drowned out for weeks until that happened. So it seems to me the media did exactly the right thing here–they treated it as a small tabloid issue until the weirdness of the payoff made it front-page news.

        You can call this a double standard, and in some ways it is. But it’s also been twenty years since Monica Lewinsky. The culture and the media landscape have changed. If Bill Clinton were president today, a story like this would absolutely be reported. It wouldn’t be reported with the glee that the Daniels story is getting, because the attitude of the media wouldn’t be “See? We told you so,” but it wouldn’t be buried like the Broaddrick interview was at the time either.

        • Glenn Logan

          You’re right. I am ignoring the payoff, because I don’t see anything particularly bothersome about it. If I were an wealthy ethics-free asshole like Trump, I’d no doubt try to buy her silence as well.

          Not sure why I should be surprised or particularly concerned that he did that, and it’s certainly no worse than the adultery itself.

    • Chris wrote, “Daniels’ story is credible.”

      Credible: Offering reasonable grounds for being believed.

      Plausible: Superficially fair, reasonable, or valuable but often having deceptive attraction.

      For any Trump hater Daniels story is “credible” and usually taken as absolute truth, if for no other reason, they hate Trump so much that they’ll believe any accusation or innuendo against Trump from anyone – facts and proof are irrelevant to these people. The fact is that Daniel’s story is more plausible than it is credible.

      Chris wrote, “It’s nearly undeniable at this point, given the payoff.”

      This is immature reasoning. At this point it’s only reasonably undeniable that someone thought the story was plausible enough to give her a payoff to keep her quiet.

      Chris wrote, “Also, the idea that a current president having once had someone threaten a woman so that she wouldn’t talk about an affair isn’t newsworthy because he wasn’t in politics at the time is preposterous.”

      You’re extrapolating what Daniels stated to absurdity. Daniels provided ZERO evidence that this actually took place and ZERO evidence to support that if it actually took place that the current President had anything to do with it. You’re letting your Trump Derangement Syndrome take over your brain.

      Chris wrote, “It’s amazing to me that you left out the payoff, which occurred mere weeks before the election. That’s the most damning part of the story, and the part that may have actual legal ramifications.”

      At this point in time, that statement is outright political hackery. Other than intentionally smearing the President of the United States with sexual innuendo, what legal ramifications does this accusation from Daniels have against President Trump?

      Back on March 9th after Chris wrote “…it’s beyond argument at this point that this affair did happen.” I asked Chris in an interesting exchange

      The questions that Chris needs to ask himself are;
      1. Is innuendo equivalent to truth?
      2. Are all accusations now considered truth?

      Now I’m going to add two more questions
      3. Are all accusers credible?
      4. Does plausibility automatically imply credibility?

      Fact: Unless there is a witness that was a fly on the wall watching Trump’s penis penetrate Daniels vagina, we don’t even know if any of the seed story of a sexual encounter is “true”. There has been absolutely no undeniable evidence provided that a sexual encounter actually took place.

      I think we can all agree that the sexual encounter it’s plausible, but truth, I’m not 100% convinced. Jack is absolutely correct, this is a story that should have ended up in the tabloids not the mainstream media. The media’s hate of Trump has caused them to scrap everything that respectable journalism once held in high regard, the anti-Trump media is nothing more than tabloid media now.

      • Chris

        At this point in time, that statement is outright political hackery. Other than intentionally smearing the President of the United States with sexual innuendo, what legal ramifications does this accusation from Daniels have against President Trump?

        You all really need to read a wider variety of news sources. The payoff, giving the timing and method, may have violated campaign finance laws. This is not some fringe theory–this has been endorsed by the former FEC chairman among others:

        During an interview on 60 Minutes with Anderson Cooper Sunday, Republican election law expert Trevor Potter said the payout potentially represented an “illegal, in-kind contribution.” Potter served as chairman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) under George H.W. Bush

        http://www.newsweek.com/trump-lawyer-michael-cohen-illegal-payout-stormy-daniels-860084

        None of you actually watched this 60 Minutes episode, did you?

        Back on March 9th after Chris wrote “…it’s beyond argument at this point that this affair did happen.” I asked Chris in an interesting exchange…

        The questions that Chris needs to ask himself are;
        1. Is innuendo equivalent to truth?
        2. Are all accusations now considered truth?

        Now I’m going to add two more questions
        3. Are all accusers credible?
        4. Does plausibility automatically imply credibility?

        Fact: Unless there is a witness that was a fly on the wall watching Trump’s penis penetrate Daniels vagina, we don’t even know if any of the seed story of a sexual encounter is “true”. There has been absolutely no undeniable evidence provided that a sexual encounter actually took place.

        Zoltar,

        Jack has previously written here on numerous occasions that Bill O’Reilly and Bill Clinton’s settlements amount to strong circumstantial evidence that their respective accusers’ allegations against them were true. I find this reasonable.

        Your standard–that we can’t say anything unless we actually saw “Trump’s penis (ew ew ew) penetrate Daniels’ vagina”–is completely unreasonable. It would mean we can’t know for sure that Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski had a sexual encounter.

        There is not enough here for a court of law. There is enough here for the court of public opinion. I know you disagree, but your requested burden of proof here is higher than that of any other commenter on this website.

        • Chris wrote, “Your standard–that we can’t say anything unless we actually saw “Trump’s penis (ew ew ew) penetrate Daniels’ vagina”–is completely unreasonable. It would mean we can’t know for sure that Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski had a sexual encounter.”

          That was an idiotic statement. No dumb-ass it wouldn’t; there was physical evidence to support the sexual encounter between Clinton and Lewinski – the dress!

          I can hardly believe you wrote that drivel.

          • Chris

            Zoltar,

            It shouldn’t be terribly difficult for you to notice that a physical evidence standard is different from your previously stated standard, which was this:

            Fact: Unless there is a witness that was a fly on the wall watching Trump’s penis penetrate Daniels vagina, we don’t even know if any of the seed story of a sexual encounter is “true”.

            But I take heart knowing that you did not mean what you wrote when you wrote that.

            • That statement was made in context to the fact that Daniels has offered absolutely NO physical evidence to support her claims – nothing.

              Your reading comprehension is non-existent from one paragraph to another.

            • Also…

              You INTENTIONALLY cherry picked that sentence out of the paragraph that it was contained and did not quote the last part of that particular paragraph which stated quite clearly “There has been absolutely no undeniable evidence provided that a sexual encounter actually took place.”

              FO Chris.

              • Chris

                Zoltar,

                We seem to have this problem a lot.

                It’s clear to me now that the statement I highlighted was not representative of your actual position, and was in fact hyperbole. That should have been clear to me at the time. I can chalk it up to our confrontational relationship to one another and point out that you misrepresent me in the same way a lot, but that wouldn’t make my misrepresentation of you fair or ethical.

                I’m sorry. From this point on, I will make an effort to understand your position better rather than leap to the least charitable interpretation of your words. I only ask that you do the same in return.

                Fair?

                • Chris wrote, “From this point on, I will make an effort to understand your position better rather than leap to the least charitable interpretation of your words.”

                  Sure Chris that’s reasonable; however, I’ve heard similar things from you multiple times in the past and you just don’t seem to be able to follow through with your promises. You’ve had to apologize more than anyone around here because you haven’t comprehended what was written properly and misrepresented others because of it. When I see the same kinds of things from you repeated over and Over and OVER again even though you’ve repetitively written that you’ll do better, your “sorry’s” have become hollow words.

                  I rate your apology as either a #6 or a #7 on Jack’s apology scale.

                  This problem you have with comprehension may not be fixable.

        • Chris wrote, “You all really need to read a wider variety of news sources. The payoff, giving the timing and method, may have violated campaign finance laws. This is not some fringe theory–this has been endorsed by the former FEC chairman among others:”

          Have you been drinking this early in the day?

          I asked you “what legal ramifications does this accusation from Daniels have against President Trump?”

          Answer the question posed you twit, not the one you conjured up in your little head. Trump didn’t do this, therefore, Trump didn’t do anything wrong related to the payoff.

          In my opinion; that violated campaign finance laws is a pie in the sky fantasy.

          • Chris

            Zoltar,

            Please be civil.

            I said from the beginning that it is the payoff, not the affair, that has legal ramifications. At no point has that been unclear. I invite you to go back through our comments and see that for yourself. Your question is dishonest.

            You don’t know whether or not Trump ordered the payoff. Nor do I. This requires further investigation.

            • God what an blithering idiot you are.

              Chris,
              Your lack of reading comprehension is getting you into trouble. It’s likely that you cannot be fixed.

              This conversation is over.

              • It is interesting to me that we use such formula as ‘You likely cannot be fixed’. We assume that our way of seeing is the correct one and that the other just doesn’t get it, for reasons of maliciousness. We see things in a certain way, we buttress our own perceptions by going over our own understandings in our mind. That the other person doesn’t see what we see we attribute to stupidity or ‘density’.

                (Except me of course, I am beyond all that. 😉 )

                But this is not a helpful description and seeing in this way leads to an endless series of errors. What is more true is that people have a very different inner structure through which they view things and ‘reality’. Different predicates, different basic perceptual foundation, and very different views as to what is good and proper.

                But with that said, and in a distressing way, to realize that some people ‘cannot be fixed’ is not completely untrue. The entire structure of their selves leads them to the ideas and attitudes they have and, after a certain point I have been told, people do not change. Why should they if in their self-reflection they give assent to the correctness of their view of their self?

                One thing I have noticed is that the ‘system’ we live in, in many different ways and through different means, seeks to instill and install in us certain fixed ways of looking at things. Take for example ‘American patriotism’. If you see in ways that turn against conventions, you will be called out for it, you will be seen as a deviant, and no deviant is deviant because they are seeing some higher truth, but rather that they serve something dark.

                Turning against ‘the system’ is a complex, taxing, Herculean task. Turning against established understandings, coerced understandings, understandings and ideologies enforced by politically correct thinking and mass pressure: that is difficult indeed.

                I would like to make myself available and to help as you remodel your perceptions, but first a joke:

                So, there are two guys in a bar talking.

                —- You look familar to me, do I know you?
                —- I was going to say the same about you!
                —-What year were you born?
                —-1982
                — Same here
                —- Where’d you go to school?
                —- At Montgrieff High
                —- Me too!
                —- What year you graduate?
                —- 1999
                —- You don’t say! Me too…

                Meanwhile, the bartender talking to his wife on the other line says ‘No, its pretty slow tonight. But the Wilson twins are here and both are drunk again…’

                • Alizia you’re trolling again and not doing a thorough job of it.

                  Go read this and then come back and revise your malarkey.

                  • My purpose, my Dear Child, is to flit about like an incorporeal entity commenting on what I see below me. Sort of like an intellectual Tinkelbell. If that is trolling, well, at least it is aerial trolling of a sophisticated, light-hearted sort, and I am not some grumpy creature with a club living under a bridge …

                    As in Lucretius:

                    ’TIS pleasant, safely to behold from shore
                    The rowling Ship, and hear the Tempest roar:
                    Not that anothers pain is our delight;
                    But pains unfelt produce the pleasing sight.
                    ’Tis pleasant also to behold from far
                    The moving Legions mingled in the War:
                    But much more sweet thy labouring steps to guide
                    To Virtues heights, with wisdom well supply’d,
                    And all the Magazins of Learning fortifi’d:
                    From thence to look below on humane kind,
                    Bewilder’d in the Maze of Life, and blind:

                    You’ve got to admit the positives …

                    I was aware that you were coming down like a ton of bricks and trying to utterly and almost Biblically smash poor Chris into a smooshy pulp for his reading error, but I took the comment ‘You cannot be fixed’ in a meta-sociological sense … and went with it. It is actually a common stance.

                    Did I ever tell you the one about the two Jewish guys who needed money for their shul and so agreed that one of them would take up an offer by a local evangelical to get $500 for converting?

                  • If one ‘revises malarky’ (I had never heard that delightful word!), does it get more malarkical, or less? 😉

                    • Kinds depends on if the knob is turned up or down on the malarkey generating machine. 🙂

                    • I had that thought as well. So, here goes:

                      Two Jewish fellows needed money for a small project at their shul. Everyday they passed a billboard that said: “Jew: convert today and I’ll will pay you $500 cash!”

                      —Hey, what if I go there and ‘convert’? We could use the money! says one.
                      —Great idea! Go on in I’ll wait here!

                      So the guy goes in and his friend waits outside. Hours pass. Then more hours. Finally, his friend comes out dressed in a Holderness & Bourne polo shirt, khaki pants and penny loafers.

                      They walk along in silence. Finally, his friend can’t hold out any longer.

                      —Well, did you get the money?!” his friend asks excitedly.

                      Silence for a moment and a hard stare at the ground …

                      Is that all you people think about!?

    • I don’t know why you automatically assume that the erosion of the kind of respect you’re talking about is a bad thing.

      That’s strange, because I’ve written about this over nine years about as much as I’ve written anything, and because it is basic government theory. Leaders have to be respected to be trusted. Nations that do not respect and trust their institutions cannot be led, and fall apart. The institution of the Presidency gives ordinary people the extra legitimacy and respect necessary for them to lead.Going back into pre-Presidential conduct to embarrass a sitting President is a deliberate effort to make it more difficult for him to govern, and no, a 2006 adulterous affair is not news in 2018. It’s the perfect example of the news media double standard on this President. It is being done because a substantial number of bad citizenswant to undermine an elected President rather than allow him the same path that every previous elected President received without dissent. This was once tabloid fodder only. 60 minutes never interviewed members of Obama’s youthful stoner group, and their activities were illegal. It never reopened Ted Kennedy’s manslaughter cover-up for new generations to undermine his influence in the Senate. Has it interviewed Juanita Broaddrick? (No.)

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        The media also didn’t dig deeper into JFK’s fooling around on Jackie and possible slamming of Marilyn Monroe, or FDR being wheeled to a gf by his Secret Service detail, or Harding banging a gf in the White House closet. The media eagerly ran interference for Clinton and said character didn’t matter while he was getting hummers in the Oval Office, and later fawned over how poised, cool and scandal free Obama and his wife were. Now a porn star, someone who takes off her clothes for money and quite possibly has sex for money, spills about a twelve-year-old affair and suddenly character VERY much matters and the media is going to treat her every word as perfectly credible to destroy a president they do not like.

        This is the same media who treated Tillerson and Bannon and so on like lepers while they were part of Trump’s administration but now can’t wait to hear them spill. This is the same media who treated James Comey as impeccable when he didn’t recommend charges against Hillary, then worse than Baron Munchausen when he reopened the investigation, and now like a saint again after Trump fired him. This is the same media who treated Bolton like a buffoon when he was out of government, and is now demonizing him as the man who’s going to bend the president’s ear to take us into WWIII. This is also the same media who treated GWB as a stupid hick and the great Satan depending on the mood of the minute. How ANY person who uses his head as something other than a hat stand and place to keep his eyes can give them ANY credibility is beyond me.

        The media has been without credibility now since July of 2016, when, after months of playing Donald Trump up to push every credible Republican candidate off the platform, it turned and went into full attack mode against him, saying he was the biggest danger to this country since Pearl Harbor. It never had any intention of reporting the news, frankly. It had every intention of clearing the way for Hillary by giving her an opponent she could easily beat. But the media was too clever for itself, and now it’s playing catch up by trying to bring down its own creation.

      • Jack writes: ”That’s strange, because I’ve written about this over nine years about as much as I’ve written anything, and because it is basic government theory. Leaders have to be respected to be trusted. Nations that do not respect and trust their institutions cannot be led, and fall apart.”

        And there you have it: the most coherant explication of ‘what is going on in our present’. Maybe it will be just one more trial that will be overcome (no one can say I suppose) but it also seems to signify a very substantial division within the body politic. A clash of values? A conflict of interpretation of values? Or another phase in ‘elite’ management of the present with the end goal being social, spiritual and economic servitude?

        The core issue at play, among all people, all poles, is ‘loss of confidence’. And confidence has been lost becuase confidence has been abused: outraged. What ‘America’ shall I ‘trust’? Good Lord! If anything is apparent as a wart on a nose it is that this ‘America’ does not exist any longer. The mirage persists though. What stands now to be done is to profoundly reassess.

        The difficulty in looking at ‘what is going on’ is in arriving at a coherant interpretation. Who can ‘correctly’ interpret the present?

        One thing that I have thought about ‘Donald Trump’ (and have not seen anyone writing about) is how he really ‘represents America’. Crafty but not ‘intelligent’. Successful … yet also a sort of obvious failure. Loud-mouthed and brazen, as American is loud-mouthed and brazen, while yet an abyss opens in front of him and widens every day. The other aspect of Trump (as providential symbol) is that he is it seems a perverse man. Just as America now he is not untouched by the ugly barbarity of porn and prostitution. He is an emblem of it.

        In this sense and vis-a-vis ‘the world’ Donal Trump very truly represents this perverse and failing America. Sick to its core with spiritual disease and having great difficulty in seeing why it is sick. It careens forward blindly and will, I guess, ‘bottom out’ soon. Fomenting of a war-situation with Russia may delay self-reckoning though. But in the end reckoning is on the horizon and, strangely, Providence guides things along (that is my interpretation of course).

      • Chris

        Jack: Going back into pre-Presidential conduct to embarrass a sitting President is a deliberate effort to make it more difficult for him to govern, and no, a 2006 adulterous affair is not news in 2018. It’s the perfect example of the news media double standard on this President. It is being done because a substantial number of bad citizens want to undermine an elected President rather than allow him the same path that every previous elected President received without dissent. This was once tabloid fodder only. 60 minutes never interviewed members of Obama’s youthful stoner group, and their activities were illegal.

        You either didn’t read my comment in full, or this part of my comment is even truer than I knew it to be when I wrote it. I’m going to bold the whole thing so you don’t miss it this time:

        It’s amazing to me that you left out the payoff, which occurred mere weeks before the election. That’s the most damning part of the story, and the part that may have actual legal ramifications. Why would you leave that out? It can’t be because you’re unaware of it. This reads as if you’re intentionally ignoring the most salient parts of the interview in order to make it seem less newsworthy than it actually was.

        The payoff was potentially illegal, Jack. The story is NOT merely a “2006 adulterous affair,” it’s the 2016 payoff. Going back to “pre-presidential conduct” may be unfair, but going back to illegal conduct during the president’s campaign certainly isn’t.

        Again, how is it that you continue to ignore the payoff, which is the most newsworthy element of this story? Are you doing this on purpose?

        Leaders have to be respected to be trusted. Nations that do not respect and trust their institutions cannot be led, and fall apart.

        Correct.

        This is why, as you convincingly argued for over a year, Trump was unfit to be the president. His conduct demolished any respect a reasonable citizen could have for him. The media didn’t do that. He did. The Daniels payoff is just one more example in a long line of them.

        Your admirable respect for the office of the presidency has morphed into a bias that has rendered you blind to this basic fact: Trump isn’t respected because he isn’t worthy of respect, and winning the election did not magically imbue him with that worth.

        • Chris

          Lots of messed-up italicization in that comment. This part:

          “You either didn’t read my comment in full, or this part of my comment is even truer than I knew it to be when I wrote it. I’m going to bold the whole thing so you don’t miss it this time:”

          Shouldn’t be italicized. Nor should this part:

          “The payoff was potentially illegal, Jack. The story is NOT merely a “2006 adulterous affair,” it’s the 2016 payoff. Going back to “pre-presidential conduct” may be unfair, but going back to illegal conduct during the president’s campaign certainly isn’t.”

          • Glenn Logan

            Chis, the payoff is not “potentially illegal.” At all. The only way you get there is to twist the law into a pretzel. Now, that’s certainly been done before, but this is a leftist erotic fantasy. It’s not worthy of you, you are smarter than that.

    • 1) Yet “repeal the 2nd” is trending, when mere moments ago, we were assured by the Left that a gun ban wasn’t the ultimate objective of “sensible gun reform”…

      • But, if the Left wants to march towards Lexington and Concord, these kinds of assertions are the first step.

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        Retired Justice John Paul Stevens, now 97 and quite possibly slipping mentally, penned an editorial in the New York Times calling for outright repeal of the 2nd Amendment. Someone needs to give him his pills and put him back in front of the TV.

  8. It isn’t reporting, it’s insurgency.

    I wonder if it will ever occur to the Hate-Trump-24-7 crowd that every piece of dirt that they bring up should be a reminder that much more how awful Hillary was…

  9. 2) Does he engage those who comment on his posts when they do comment?

  10. Okay folks, this is the best protest photo I’ve found, so far…

    Read the large sign in the foreground then look above and to the left of the head of the person holding the sign.

  11. Got another one for you, now they are comparing our modern day snowflakes in High School and Middle School to the founding fathers from 1776.

    • I think average age back in 1776 was around 35 or 36. An 18 year old that had probably been married for a few years and already had one or two children was damn near considered in their middle age and anyone that survived beyond 45 was kind of abnormally old for the time period.

      The maturity of an average 18 year old in 1776 and an average 18 year old in 2018 isn’t in the same ballpark. Eighteen year old’s in 1776 hadn’t been coddleded for their whole life and turned them into illogical whining little snowflakes by society.

      • Paul W. Schlecht

        “The maturity of an average 18 year old in 1776 and an average 18 year old in 2018 isn’t in the same ballpark.”

        Ballpark?? It’s not even in the same freakin’ Universe! And you don’t have to go back that far.

        Born in 1900, my maternal Grandfather left Mercer County, KY when he was 14, with 5 sheep, $300 (saved from ~ 7 years of raising his own turkeys-n-terbacky), and a bad stutter, for Milwaukee to attend a stammering school that guaranteed results.

        No rich parents; his Father died from an infection 3 years earlier and his Mother tended 6 younger siblings barefoot in a cabin with a dirt floor.

        No grant/loan programs or credit/debit cards. Appalachian Americans had not yet been designated as a “protected class” (seems they still aren’t) with generous set asides to even the playing field; it was money up front.

        He was responsible for his traveling & living expenses, and tuition, which was funded by his $300 stake and the profit from the sale of the 4 surviving sheep (one was lost after it fell into a deep ravine en route), and odd jobs upon his arrival.

        But the school made good on its promise. He built a successful business, met-n-married my maternal Grandmother (a 1st generation Swede from Iron Mountain, MI) along the way, lost his business in the Depression, persevered, built it back up, and died at age 62, a wealthy man for the time.

        Hardship? For most (not all) 14 year olds these days it’s not getting enough thumbs up/likes/smiley faces on their FacePlant page or, finding out the known Universe revolves around something other than you, or, God forbid, having the battery on their Boop-Beep-Beep die.

        Is it fair to judge today’s 14 year-olds with those from a time past?

        Only if they complain about how rough they have it.

        • Chris

          Hardship? For most (not all) 14 year olds these days it’s not getting enough thumbs up/likes/smiley faces on their FacePlant page or, finding out the known Universe revolves around something other than you, or, God forbid, having the battery on their Boop-Beep-Beep die.

          OK.

          But the hardships faced by the young people currently under discussion is that they just watched a bunch of their classmates get murdered.

          So maybe “get off my lawn” isn’t necessarily the best stance here.

  12. Paul W. Schlecht

    ”But the hardships faced by the young people currently under discussion is that they just watched a bunch of their classmates get murdered.”

    O.K.

    Conceded, and my deepest empathy; it’s something you’d never want anyone to go through.

    But the cynic in me believes some of them are workin’ it. Not only that, but they’re being worked, by fucking adults, that you’d think would have better sense themselves.

    The tsunami of ‘assumed’ grief has has far surpassed those affected, hasn’t it?

    Speaking of KY, take a wild guess why this didn’t get more traction in the form of, you know, like, crowds & kids…and crowds of kids…marching with signs…and their adult enablers?

    Kentucky school shooting: 2 students killed, 18 injured

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/23/us/kentucky-high-school-shooting/index.html

    Same reason the Las Vegas & the Republican Congressional BB game shooting victims failed to create a “buzz?”

    “get off my lawn”?

    My Grandfather failed to dislodge a pea from his one-year-old sister’s throat. A couple of years later, his Mother & kin thought he too young at 11 to ride over the mountain, at night in the winter, to fetch a doctor to tend his gravely ill Father, infected from a cut while butchering a hog.

    The trip wasn’t necessary the next morning.

    No safe space, no cuddly stuffed animals, no enabling grief counselors; he never knew what he was missing.

    • Chris

      My Grandfather failed to dislodge a pea from his one-year-old sister’s throat. A couple of years later, his Mother & kin thought he too young at 11 to ride over the mountain, at night in the winter, to fetch a doctor to tend his gravely ill Father, infected from a cut while butchering a hog.

      The trip wasn’t necessary the next morning.

      No safe space, no cuddly stuffed animals, no enabling grief counselors; he never knew what he was missing.

      I don’t know what this is intended to prove. That’s terrible. We should be glad life for most Americans is not as difficult as it was for most Americans of your grandfather’s generation. That doesn’t invalidate the concerns of this one.

  13. I just randomly went and looked up some statistics from a bunch of different websites. I chose both pro 2nd amendment and anti gun sites so I could compare similar’ish numbers.

    USA population in 2016 was roughly 324,000,000

    Privately owned firearms in USA is roughly 350,000,000

    Number of households in the USA is roughly 126,000,000

    Number of households in the USA that have a firearm is roughly 53,000,000

    Number of firearm related incidents (not all resulted in death) in 2016 was roughly 58,881

    Number of firearm related deaths in USA in 2016 was roughly 38,000

    Percentage of existing firearms used in firearm related incidents in 2016 was 0.017%

    Percentage of existing firearms by household used in firearm related incidents in 2016 was 0.111%

    Percentage of individuals using firearms in firearm incidents in the USA in 2016 was 0.018%

    Here are some 2016 murder statistics from the FBI…
    Total murders: 15,070
    Murders using firearms: 11,004 (73.02%)
    Murders using handguns 7,105 (47.15%)
    Murders using rifles 374 (2.48%)
    Murders using shotguns 262 (1.47%)
    Murders using unknown firearm 3,263 (21.65%)
    Murders using knives 1,604 (10.64%)
    Murders using other weapons 1,806 (11.98%)
    Murders using hand/fists/feet 656 (4.35%)

    From the FBI data we can calculate that in the year 2106 there were 0.003% of existing firearms used in murders. Also we can calculate that in the year 2016 there were 0.00001% of existing rifles used in murders. So we now have an anti-firearm movement that has gone completely off the deep end and wants to severely limit or eliminate the availability of firearms to 100% of the people based on the illegal use of 0.003% of firearms, or better yet 0.00001% of firearms.

    An Aside: In 2016 there were 35,485 fatalities in 32,539 separate vehicle crashes.

    • I wrote, “Also we can calculate that in the year 2016 there were 0.00001% of existing rifles used in murders.”

      Oops, that’s misleading. It should read “Also we can calculate that in the year 2016 0.00001% of existing firearms used in murders were rifles.”

    • Those are very good points.

      About 7,000 murders in the U.S. are committed by black people.

      In other words, 0.0175% of black people commit murder.

      What should be done about black people?

      Sundown towns?

      Apartheid-style pass laws?

    • I recently read something elsewhere that bothers me. The comment was in regards to banning semi-automatic rifles. Essentially what was stated was If a class of weapon is proven to be to dangerous in the hands of the public and the risk is ongoing, then these weapons should be banned. This sounds a lot like the person is genuinely concerned with dangerous things in the hands of the public that create public safety hazards and these kinds of things should be banned. That’s my understanding of the argument.

      Is this a reasonable argument? Nope, it’s absolutely ridiculous.

      In the data I presented above for 2016 it shows that there were 374 murders using rifles, for the sake of argument I’ll assume that all of the rifles used were semi-automatic.

      Here is what’s bothering me, people using arguments like this have a strange set of double standards. There were 374 people murdered with semi-automatic rifles; therefore, there were 374 instances where individuals abused their right to own a firearm. There are 350,000,000 firearms in 53,000,000 separate households and these anti-gunners social justice warriors want to strip the rights of the 100% of 324,000,000 individuals because 374 people took 0.00001% of the existing firearms and murdered someone. Okay, let’s expand that a bit, there were 11,004 murders using firearms, let’s assume all those were semiautomatic firearms. So now we have 11,004 people that took 0.003% of the firearms and murdered someone. Now these exact same people completely ignore the fact that there were 32,539 separate people abused a moving vehicle (a 2 ton weapon) and killed 35,485 people. There are 263,600,000 vehicles in the USA, so that’s 0.012% of the vehicles that were abused and killed nearly 35,500 people. These same anti-gunners say that even though vehicles are not a constitutional right they are a “necessity” and should not be banned and we just accept the fact that nearly 35,500 people were killed by vehicles.

      The double standard should be obvious but here it is in numerical form: 0.003% of the population is killed by 0.00001% of the existing firearms – firearms are evil and should be banned; 0.01% of the population is killed by 0.012% of the vehicles – this is acceptable losses and vehicles should not be banned.

      Remember the paraphrase above, If a class of weapon is proven to be to dangerous in the hands of the public and the risk is ongoing, then these weapons should be banned.

      How about this; If a class of vehicle (one with wheels) is proven to be to dangerous in the hands of the public and the risk is ongoing, then these vehicles should be banned.

      After all; Not One More!

      Everyone must suffer the ban equally to save lives, it’s a public safety thing.

      Think of the children being slaughtered!

      • You are correct, and it matters not a bit.

        This is not an appeal to logic, it is all emotion on the part of the useful snowflakes, and cold calculation on the part of the socialists.

        The snowflakes cannot think critically: it has been bred out of them, or never taught. The socialists? Well, they know that in order to remove ALL of our rights, they have to get rid of the 2A first. This is a calculated long term game, outlined in the Soviet Union’s written plan to bring down America, and has been in motion since the 1950s.

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