Morning Ed: Politics {2017.04.23.Su}

Inconvenient, perhaps, but true. Actually, it’s not hard to imagine that they will fly on the winds of Trump blowblack into power, but that can easily become as temporary as the current Republican triumvirate. In particular, it’s nearly impossible to see how they ever keep the senate again.

This is a very perceptive piece on how Trump has a real problem with a lack of trusted advisors. It brings to light the question of whether any sort of outsider can ever really succeed.

So how much is The Deep State paying you to say it’s a myth?

Even Hillary’s Twitter bots don’t like her as much as Trump’s bots like him.

While I don’t think it fully explains how we got Trump, I do think that “opposition to immigraytion is racist” was a very, very helpful contributor.

It’s always good to get out of the liberal bubble.

Honestly, this isn’t the worst idea, though any such effect should only take place after January 20, 2020.

One of the things about Trump’s latest moves on H-1Bs visas is that it’s addressing (in its own way) problems that the status quo wasn’t interested in addressing.

Look, snark and partisanship aside, if Chelsea Clinton has political aspirations she is getting some very bad advice.

BONUS: After you lose an election, the most important thing is to identify the heretics within your ranks.


Editor-in-Chief
Home Page Twitter Google+ Pinterest 

Will Truman is a former professional gearhead who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He also writes fiction, when he finds the time. ...more →

Please do be so kind as to share this post.
TwitterFacebookRedditEmailPrintFriendlyMore options

201 thoughts on “Morning Ed: Politics {2017.04.23.Su}

  1. Yeah, that VF article on Chelsea is pretty brutal. Which is good, for much of the same reasons that Jeb! was an idiotic idea. Enough already, get some new blood out there, no zombie candidates (even though there is always one…)

    And I am reminded why I usually avoid McSweeneys.

    By the way, George T. linked to an article yesterday, about France and the current situation over there, politically. I read it, and it is a very good piece, very informative. Reflects many of the things I have been noticing over here and written about. I high recommend it. The French, Coming Apart.

    Report

  2. The piece on immigration has this paragraph:

    In November 1915, the young Reinhold Niebuhr — a Lutheran pastor in Detroit, a son of German immigrants, and later a renowned liberal theologian — complained in a November 1915 letter to a mentor: “Among the ministers here at least and among many that I know of in other parts there is no real interest in the welfare of this country and no genuine American patriotism.” He continued, “Every aspect of German life and culture is glorified and practically every aspect of American life is ridiculed.”

    The date seems pretty significant to me. There was a Great War in Europe at the time, one which had Germany and Germans at the heart of it. By, say, 1920 there were, I think, far fewer people glorifying German life and culture and ridiculing American life than Niebuhr describes. Because push had come to shove. I feel like this quote makes the opposite point of the one he’s trying to make.

    Or let’s take this quote:

    In the opening decades of the last century there was a variety of reasons why Americans of an enlightened liberal bent might have supported limits on mass immigration. What’s striking about today’s debate, at least on the political left, is its unwillingness to entertain that possibility.

    I think this is projection. “Unwillingness to entertain” immigration reform has been a problem of the right, not the left. Immigration is a problem that splits the Republican Party, not the Democratic one. But it’s also the case that everything Trump called for was already being done by Obama, except at the margins.

    Let’s take, as a simple for instance, the issue of deporting people who are in the country illegally. Would you argue that should be done without due process? I hope not. But then we see a problem. You find someone who is in the country illegally and give them a court date, and they don’t show for it. What then? You could incarcerate all of them without bail as flight risks (and never mind the stress that puts on due process), except that would mean a massive amount of spending to build the facilities to hold them all and to operate them. So the policy is to deport only the criminals.

    So the banner of “I just want to enforce the law” is flown over this. At the same time, this administration declines to expand IRS enforcement. Steve Mnuchin estimated that every dollar spent on tax enforcement brings in 4 dollars in revenue. I just want those laws to be enforced. We set priorities with our spending, and I don’t understand how deporting peaceful and law-abiding immigrants will make anyone’s life enough better to justify spending all that money.

    Report

    • I think it’s worth pointing out that the fracturing that occurred (mostly) within the GOP was focused on what to do about people who were already here, not about border enforcement.

      Also, conflating border control with stopping immigration is not a rhetorical move I’m particularly fond of.

      Report

      • You know, I think we maybe could have a productive discussion of border control. I think it is a legitimate policy issue – what’s the right amount of spending on border control?

        And it is utterly tainted by the race-baiting pronouncements of demagogues. They frequently portray the current policy as something quite different from what it is.

        However, on purely policy grounds, I can’t see any reason to change current policy. How would my life be improved by doubling the money spent on border control? Or the lives other Americans? I can’t see much difference at all. If you wanted to spend more money trying to catch people moving drugs over the border, I’m all for it. But that doesn’t seem to be what the debate is about, that’s not how it’s framed.

        Report

        • Right.

          And if you’re really concerned that everybody get checked at the border on the way in—which seems like a legitimate desire, if not a particularly high priority—maybe make it really easy for people to enter the country and stay to work? Shift the incentives so they have no reason not to enter legally?

          Report

  3. WWC and the Dems: Your paragraph is slightly confusing grammatically. Are you saying that the Democrats will never take the Senate again?
    I don’t think this is true. Everyone thought we were toast after 2002 and 2004 as well. As to whether the Democratic Party needs the WWC, I think the answer is yes but the changes needed are not as dramatic as pundits and Dem skeptics imagine. HRC lost by 80k to 100k votes flipping the electoral college, not by millions. Some red states did get more purple in 2016.

    I would still like to know why the white working class thinks they are separate, distinct, and better than the rest of the working class. There is already a cottage industry in articles about WWC Trump voters being gobsmacked by Trump cutting programs that help the WWC.

    Deep State: Where is my money? I think the Deep State is a myth in the US context and is largely spread because people are bored and looking for some “interesting” distraction.

    Immigration and racism: Ironically this probably
    happened as the Democratic Party moved to the right economically to combat Reaganism. The Democratic Party embraced open borders and the free movement of people which turned immigration into a social issue plus globalization largely did because free trade reduced the need to move for economic reasons. Now people largely move to avoid serious conflicts and strife. Conflict and strife that is often caused directly or indirectly by US policies.

    Report

    • As Rick Perstein described in the NYTimes this week, Reagan was an immigration booster:

      This was a stark contrast to Reagan, who venerated immigrants, proudly signing a 1986 bill, sponsored by the conservative Republican senator Alan Simpson, that granted many undocumented immigrants citizenship. Shortly before announcing his 1980 presidential run, Reagan even boasted of his wish “to create, literally, a common market situation here in the Americas with an open border between ourselves and Mexico.”

      Upthread, I said that immigration these days is something that splits Republicans, but not Democrats. There are still people in the Rs that are with Reagan and Alan Simpson on this, such as Bush and Rubio. If you go back further, though, there are of course immigration hardliners on the D side.

      Report

    • Whether the WWC (though really we should call them “non-college whites” or something like that) are a “distinct class” is less important than whether they are a voting bloc. Historically, they haven’t been. The Democrats cannot afford for them to become one.

      You know that thing where the Democrat got more votes but the Republican became president? That’s a bigger thing in the senate, and non-college whites play a big role in that. That’s why I think the Democrats could be nearly locked out of the senate if current realignment trends continue, even if they’re competitive (or better) everywhere else.

      Right now, a lot of Democrats are making a moral argument and confusing it for a political/electoral one.

      Report

          • “We’re stuck with this thing because of the rules,” isn’t a very persuasive argument for legitimacy to people who view that thing as disenfranchising them. There’s at least a reasonable argument for the Senate [1], but no matter how you view it, if it’s structurally excluding a party that represents a majority of people from power, that’s not healthy.

            Then again maybe the Dems will hold the line in 2018 and make a big comeback in 2020 and this conversation will seem like one of those curious relics of history, like people talking about how the GOP was DOOOOOMED with 5 Os in 2009.

            [1] Unlike the EC which is basically bananas.

            Report

              • Sure. If you think there’s no chance of you winning and that’s unfair, actually winning is strong evidence that you’re wrong.

                But if you keep losing despite getting a significant majority of votes, that’s gonna really start to rankle. This hasn’t happened yet [1], but if is right, people are going to get pissed in ways that can play out really badly.

                [1] Personally, I hate the Senate and think it’s bad, but that’s been independent of who was running it.

                Report

                • There are a lot of questions being begged here.

                  Though I agree that people are going to get pissed in ways that play out really badly.

                  I’ve been theorizing about either secession or war, myself.

                  Report

                  • There are a lot of questions being begged here.

                    I’m not saying the anger would necessarily be correct or proportionate or whatever, just that I think it would be predictable and understandable.

                    Report

                    • I’ve long thought that the Senate and EC are only tolerated because their divergence from the popular vote outcome is rare and cuts across party lines. If that changes, I can’t imagine a good reason for the losing coalition to be expected to put up with it.

                      Report

                      • Right. And with the EC we’ve gone from, “Hasn’t happened in living memory,” to, “Happened twice in 20 years, with the same side winning both times.”

                        Don’t even wanna think about what’ll happen if Trump is re-elected with a split in 2020.

                        Report

                        • Also, I gotta say Dems have some justifiable reasons (including, but not limited to, the PV/EC split) for feeling hard done by after the last election, and elected Republicans have done a lot less than nothing to smooth things over.

                          Report

                      • Lack of an alternative. (At least, as far as the Senate goes. I think undoing the EC is less unlikely than a partition on this basis.)

                        I would understand the frustration, but the rules here are known and if a party pursues a coalition that cannot win under these rules, my sympathy will not be unlimited. Not that I won’t understand their objection to those rules, but the notion of “putting up with” (or not) those rules.

                        Report

                        • Sure, but at the same time, one of the major reasons that we ended up with Trump is that the GOP followed that kind of logic and it completely blew up in their faces because their existing coalition wasn’t willing to make the compromises necessary to make changing their coalition work.

                          Report

                            • Yes. I don’t know how much of your Twitters was engulfed in the Bernie Ossof/Mello endorsement quasi-fiasco this past week, but there definitely are. There’s a lot of fear from a lot of members of the coalition that they’re going to get thrown under the bus to “broaden the appeal”.

                              I think a lot of the fears are either misplaced or rooted in unrealistic expectations, but they are there.

                              When Kanye West wins the nomination and then the election in 2020 after the 2018 Dem House majority decides to try to work with Trump on concealed carry reciprocity, just remember that you heard it here first.

                              Report

                        • I’m less concerned about the party than I am about the constituencies whose votes apparently count less than others. And while it’s not my preferred solution, you could kludge through the senate problem by making DC and perhaps Guam or Puerto Rico a state.

                          Report

                      • As I recall, without Los Angeles and New York City, the Democrats got creamed in the popular vote.

                        Without California and New York, Trump won the popular vote by 2 million.

                        Without California, just looking at the 49 other states, Trump won the popular vote by 1.2 million.

                        Trump didn’t campaign in California or New York. Hillary campaigned there almost daily. Sometimes more than once a day. She was so busy campaigning there that she didn’t have time to go to other states, where she lost. You know, states like Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

                        Report

                        • As I recall, without Los Angeles and New York City, the Democrats got creamed in the popular vote.

                          Yeah, I can see how people living and New York and California have a ton to gain from this arrangement where their votes don’t count.

                          Also, HRC spent a lot of time in PA.

                          Report

                            • Did she just spend time in Philly, trying to round up more black votes, or did she campaign where the white working class was getting hammered? You know, rural and Western Pennsylvania.

                              Report

                              • In addition to people living in CA and NY, black voters also evidently don’t count.

                                This whole “Electoral College” thing is really sounding great, and like it has a ton of legitimacy.

                                Report

                                • If their votes weren’t important, Donald Trump wouldn’t be President.

                                  The rules for US elections were laid out two centuries ago. It’s not Trump’s fault that Hillary’s people didn’t read the rule book.

                                  We have 50 state contests, not one big national one. Hillary gained slightly more offensive yardage but got creamed on touch downs.

                                  Report

                                  • So all that’s needed for an electoral system to be fair is for the rules to be known in advance? Why not cut to the chase and officially disenfranchise Jews, African-Americans and Latinos? Then when the GOP wins they next election you can castigate the Democrats for foolishly chasing votes that don’t matter.

                                    Report

                                    • The rules were known in advance. Obama didn’t seem to have a problem winning the electoral college twice, nor did Bill Clinton.

                                      Hillary was stumped, like a monkey trying to get a banana out of a vending machine that only takes Canadian coins.

                                      If the voters in New York and LA were disenfranchised, they need to take that up with their Democrat governors and Democrat legislatures to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

                                      They might also advice their candidate that she only needs to win 50+% of California’s votes to win the state and that she doesn’t need to keep campaigning there just to try and see if she can get 75 or 80% of the votes in Los Angeles.

                                      In fact, they might advise her that spending all that time hobnobbing with Hollywood elites might make her seem, shall we say, “out of touch” with scads of ordinary people who live in other states that also get to cast votes in the electoral college.

                                      Heck, they might even want to tell her that operating a private server and moving classified information to it is a felony that sends normal people to federal prison.

                                      But no, they’re convinced that the Russians hacked the election and that Donald Trump is Putin’s sock puppet, even as Trump pounds Syria with cruise missiles and goes full tilt on coal and fracking, sending the Russian economy into a tailspin and causing massive cuts in Russian defense spending.

                                      Report

                                      • De-lurking to give this comment a +1:

                                        The rules were known in advance. Obama didn’t seem to have a problem winning the electoral college twice, nor did Bill Clinton.

                                        Hillary was stumped, like a monkey trying to get a banana out of a vending machine that only takes Canadian coins.

                                        Hillary never figured out how to appeal to the WWC. She got Berned by that demographic, then she got Trumped. But she did do very well with blacks and hispanics!

                                        Report

                          • They are very much less real.

                            Basically we’re talking about Manhattan, LA, San Francisco, and Sacramento. The urban elites who think the rest of us are deplorable. They hate America worse than the North Koreans, and have as little understanding of it.

                            Interestingly, back in 2014 48% of Democrats thought the Democratic party was in touch with them and issue that mattered to them. Now only 28% of Democrats think that.

                            While working class Democrats were worried about immigration and globalization, the Democrat party was worried about cross-dressers being allowed to use the restroom of their choice, and castigating any doubters as irredeemable bigots.

                            Report

                              • Urban minorities votes count as much as anyone else’s – in their own state contest. Unfortunately Hillary didn’t do well in many states. She totally dominated in Manhattan and LA, though.

                                Did you hear Republicans spend the past four years whining about how well Mitt Romney did in Salt Lake City? No, you didn’t. But we’ve been hearing Democrats in Hollywood whine like little bitches, like it’s their right to choose the President all by themselves.

                                Report

                                • Did you hear Republicans spend the past four years whining about how well Mitt Romney did in Salt Lake City?

                                  No, they just whined about how Obama wasn’t President because of an insane conspiracy theory about how he was actually born in Kenya, and then nominated the most prominent advocate of that insane conspiracy theory to be their candidate for President.

                                  But yeah, they were totally calm about that shit.

                                  Report

                                      • UK Guardian, feb 2008

                                        Barack Obama’s campaign team today accused Hillary Clinton’s beleaguered staff of mounting a desperate dirty tricks operation by circulating a picture of him in African dress, feeding into false claims on US websites that he is a Muslim.

                                        Obama’s campaign manager, David Plouffe, described it as “the most shameful, offensive fear-mongering we’ve seen from either party in this election”. Obama has had to spend much of the campaign stressing he is a Christian not a Muslim and did not study at a madrassa.

                                        Then Hillary supporters circulated an e-mail saying he was born in Kenya.

                                        But heck, that’s still far easier treatment than she ever gave to her husband’s rape victims.

                                        Report

                                          • I’ll admit that of all the numerous felonies, underhanded tactics, rapes, and murders that people have accused the Clinton’s of, it is possible that they didn’t start the birther conspiracy. They just had their people heavily encourage the “Obama is a Muslim” angle until it was no longer the optimal strategy for Hillary’s continued political career, since he was going to be in charge of appointing people to his cabinet.

                                            In the recent book on Hillary’s campaign, the authors reveal that after her 2008 loss to Obama, she made a list of every Democrat in Congress, rating them on a scale of 1 (very loyal to the Clintons) to 7, and having Bill Clinton work to unseat the 7’s, which he mostly accomplished. That sent a message to all the aspiring Democrat politicians – support Hillary or else.

                                            The result was 2016, a race which should have started with a dozen Democrat governors, Senators, and Representatives, matched by a half dozen top Obama officials, including Joe Biden.

                                            But then there was Hillary and Debbie Wassermann Schultz to make sure nothing like that happened because Hillary thought the office was hers by right. All the viable potential candidates were apparently in fear of her except for Bernie, who is clueless about Democrat party politics and who wouldn’t have cared about Hillary’s dreaded retributions.

                                            People like Hillary, Podesta, and Pelosi have turned the once great and grass-roots Democratic party into a pyramid based on longevity and loyalty, much like the old Soviet Politburo. It won’t rise again until it is purged of all the gray haired, power-mad, self-serving, entitled Yale and Harvard graduates and their cronies. The rot is so bad that the white working class in entire regions of the US decided that a rich Republican New York real estate/golf resort mogul with a reality TV show is a better guardian of workers’ rights than the DNC.

                                            You think that would set off alarm bells in the party, but instead they keep blaming the Russians and absolving Hillary of running the worst campaign in modern US history.

                                            Report

                                • They think that it’s their right to choose the President if more voters vote for their favored candidate than the other guy, and the fact that you refuse to recognize this basic fact about the debate speaks volumes as to how stupid it is of me to bother engaging. That you’re still dressing up the idea of majority rule as some sort of con to deprive the good-hearted white people that vote the way you like of their rights is mind-boggling.

                                  Report

                                  • This just in: The US goes by the electoral college and has since its founding.

                                    You scored more offensive yardage but lost on touch downs.

                                    You can’t retroactively decide that the winner will be determined by offensive yardage because that was the only statistic that would put you ahead.

                                    Nor can you argue that you would have won more votes in such a race, because that isn’t the race we just had. Trump didn’t campaign in California or New York, just as Hillary didn’t campaign in Wisconsin. It turns out that Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida were the keys to victory, not California and New York, which Trump didn’t bother campaigning in because he didn’t need them to win.

                                    Republican voters in California and New York didn’t even need to bother going to the polls. But in a national popular vote contest they certainly would, as would tens of millions of Republicans in safe Trump states who likewise didn’t bother going to the polls because they didn’t need to.

                                    Report

                                    • This just in: The US goes by the electoral college and has since its founding.

                                      “This system is good because it’s old,” is not a great argument, but at least it’s a step up from, “This system is good because it doesn’t count people I don’t like because they have the temerity to live in the wrong place.”

                                      Report

                                    • How things have been done in the past doesn’t matter in an argument about how things ought to be done. The claim you’re making about campaign effects is totally without empirical support: sure, had Trump campaigned heavily in CA he could have gotten more votes there, but we have nothing to suggest he’d have found 3 million more. Even worse, this cuts both ways: for every Republican in a blue state that stayed home because of the EC, there’s a Democrat in a red state that stayed home.

                                      In other words, you’ve taken a break from claiming that liberals and minorities aren’t real Americans and that their votes deserve to count less, which is suppose is a good thing, to ignoring the points I’m making and blathering on with easily disprovable BS and right wing talking points. Have a good day, dude, because I’m done here.

                                      Report

                                      • Heck, Trump would’ve won Kentucky by 20 million votes if it was a national contest. We have countless millions of Mullins, Miracles, and McCrearys who live back in the hills where the census can’t find them and where federal officials fear to tread. They’re so inbred they all even look the same.

                                        But thank goodness we have an electoral college so they don’t have to come down from the mountaintops to plague our innocent little voting precincts.

                                        All the states agreed to the rules long, long ago. Of all the people to try to change the rules over, you pick a harpy, out-of-touch grifter married to a serial rapist? Even her own campaign staff couldn’t stand her. They couldn’t even figure out why she was running.

                                        Maybe next time Democrats shouldn’t rig their primaries for a candidate whose reputation for political vengeance was so bad that no serious Democrat politician dared to run against her.

                                        The only person who could’ve put a Republican in the White House in 2016 was Hillary Clinton, and by gosh she did just that.

                                        Report

                                          • Hey, if you think you’re pissed off now, how pissed off would you be about those 15 million extra votes in Kentucky that couldn’t possibly be valid, but somehow count?

                                            Or how pissed off would you be if Hillary is set to dominate in the North East and Florida – but three feet of snow on election day pounds New England just as a late season hurricane hits Florida, and few of them make it to the polls? Would you demand a rain check? A snow day? Do you really want a system whereby our President is decided by the weather?

                                            Do you want a system that will become even more corrupt than the Democratic primaries?

                                            Report

                                              • pillsy,
                                                All I was saying was that I didn’t have an accurate count. Pretty sure you can get Mike Dwyer to pull enough numbers easily enough to show that 15 million excess population is unthinkable, given the entrance and exit of food from Kentucky.

                                                Report

                            • In other words, tens of millions of people are arbitrarily declared to not be Americans because of where they live, despite the fact that they are citizens of the United States, and the places they live are in the United States, because you disagree with their political preferences.

                              I can see why this arrangement should be incredibly appealing to them, though.

                              Report

                              • This from a party that declared half of America to be a basket of deplorables, then corrected the gaff by offering that perhaps only a quarter of America was a basket of deplorables.

                                And Hillary couldn’t understand why she wasn’t ahead by 50 points.

                                Report

                                • This from a party that declared half of America to be a basket of deplorables,

                                  “You said mean things about us, so your votes should count less!” also seems to be a less than compelling argument.

                                  And of course it only ever goes one way. People who rant and rave about how people who live in NY and CA aren’t real Americans, and black people who live in Philadelphia aren’t real Americans—their votes are totally more important.

                                  Report

                                  • Again, I didn’t say that the voters in Philly and LA and New York didn’t count. Their votes counted just as much as any other voter – in their states.

                                    You see, we have this thing called the electoral college whereby each state has its own Presidential contest, and based on the results in those state contests, we elect a President. It doesn’t matter if a candidate wins 51% in three states and one candidate wins 99% in two other states, the score is, not adjusting for population and other electoral college math, 3 to 2.

                                    Each state contest is like a baseball game. Each runner to get home scores one point. Each run in each game is scored like every other run in that game. Each voter in Los Angeles has his vote count the same as every other vote in California. Whoever wins California has their state’s electoral college votes count for the candidate who won the majority of California’s popular vote. It doesn’t matter if that candidate got 51% or 99% of California’s popular vote (or even less than 51% in a three way race), because all the popular vote in California decides is how California votes in the electoral college.

                                    This is a smart way to run an election because not all state contests are remotely similar. California’s ballot went on for several pages of important voter initiatives, local races, and state races, turnout would have been high even without a Presidential contest. My ballot had about three races on it, two of which were shoe-ins (President and House Representative), and an obscure judicial seat to fill. That was it. The only people who turned out here were ones who collect little “I voted” stickers.

                                    Thus, popular vote is pretty meaningless, a very bad sample of voter preferences between states. To keep states from trying to have some kind of turn-out contest, where state officials essentially bribe people to show up at the polls, we don’t have Alabama voters try to directly compete with Iowa voters. This also means that Alabama doesn’t have to send election monitors to Los Angeles to check everybody’s ID, and Hollywood doesn’t have to send election monitors to Alabama to do the same.

                                    And also, Trump now beats Hillary 43% to 40% in recent polling.

                                    Hillary lost, and is losing even more bigly since the election.

                                    Report

                        • Dude, “Hillary Clinton only got more votes because these places were counted” is the weakest defense of the electoral college that exists.

                          It would be analogous to arguing “If you don’t count states that went to war to secede from the union, Hillary Clinton won the electoral college.”

                          It’s true, but so what? (And I say this as someone who supports anti-majoritarian friction in governance.)

                          Report

                  • Many people will die early and unnecessarily.

                    Depending on how badly the war goes, and what the rest of the world decides to do about the fact that this country actually has WMD, the number could end up in the billions. Yes, I’m aware that we have a population of only 300 million.

                    Upside –Brian Williams can live through his last orgasm on-air, then end up radioactive. Global warming slowed due to volume of particulate matter in the air and the destruction of the American economy.

                    Downside — The Road is no longer fiction.

                    Report

                    • I keep expecting things to blow up in Europe before they blow up here.

                      I mean, that’s how it’s played out in the past.

                      The various antifa riots not particularly being successful in places up to and including Berkley, of all places, give me a small glimmer of hope that there isn’t quite as much tinder as I thought there would be…

                      But we’ll see.

                      Report

                      • One other possibility is that this is all reversion to the mean.

                        There are many sentences that you see in the news these days that would have seemed incomprehensible to folks 50 years ago. “There was rioting at Berkeley,” isn’t one of them.

                        Report

                      • You are the only person I have ever seen use the term antifa seriously. You are the only person I have ever seen use the term antifa at all. As far as I can tell, from a quick google search, the only other people who use the term “antifa” are basically far-right wingers.

                        The number of people on the left who refer to themselves seriously as antifa can probably counted on one hand.

                        For someone who claims not to be a member of the right, you sure like to get all your views on liberals and the left from places like Breitbart seemingly.

                        Report

                      • The various antifa riots not particularly being successful in places up to and including Berkley, of all places, give me a small glimmer of hope that there isn’t quite as much tinder as I thought there would be…

                        Erm, no. That’s still going on. It even just got worse. You just stopped hearing about, because *the right just blew their own feet off* in that situation.

                        To recap for people who do not know, for a couple of months, the right managed to have some sort of moral high ground. They were *protesting* at colleges that didn’t allow their hatemongers to give speeches, and the ‘left’ (Aka, the anarchists nihilists of antifa) would *attack* them for *that* protesting speech.

                        As people have probably noticed, I was getting pretty pissed at this, and demanded people do something about the antifa…both because people should not be allowed to act that way in general, and because the left was getting blamed for a bunch of violent anarchist idiots.

                        And then ‘the right’ decided ‘Fuck the moral high ground’:
                        http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/04/far-right-white-supremacists-berkeley-protests-antifa-trump

                        Smooth move, morons. You were halfway to MLK Jr…and you decided to start assaulting people and doing goddamn Hitler salutes. You could have just stood there with entirely reasonable sounding posters, and gotten attacked, or even waited to get attacked and response in self defense. Nooope.

                        I kid. This was actually inevitable. The left has about 1% unmanageable loons that claim left affiliation, and a critical mass of them formed up at Berkeley and started running around doing shit…but it was inevitable that the right’s 10% unmanageable loons would eventually show up there in response, no matter *how* tilted that area was towards the left, and start doing really stupid shit back.

                        And *suddenly*, very very suddenly, everyone stopped talking about how the left was out of control in Berkeley. Violence *ramped up*, so logically we should be talking about it *more*, but it ramped up on the *wrong side* so discussions about it mysteriously disappeared off the internet because the people blowing it out of proportional were right-wing idiots.

                        Report

                        • Except @jaybird’s problem is that he doesn’t see the Black Block nihilists as being 1 percent group on the left who hijack greater/larger and more peaceful protests in order to wreck carnage. This is what the Black Block does, they hang out on the edge of every protest where it is hard to monitor them and then they get into purposeful fights.

                          The normal and reasonable thing to do here is to realize that the Black Block leftie-anarchists have nothing to do with the Democratic Party or broader trends against Trump. Same with even the more passionate goings-on at Berkeley.

                          But in @jaybird’s mind, the Black Block is meeting with Chelsea Clinton at 11 Madison Park before and after each riot because he can’t tell the difference between a Democrat and a left-wing radical.

                          Report

                          • We – myself, Hillary Clinton – thought the Pepe bloc to be merely faction within a faction of the right wing, nothing to do with the broader trends of the GOP.

                            But, yet, here we are.

                            Report

                        • As people have probably noticed, I was getting pretty pissed at this, and demanded people do something about the antifa…both because people should not be allowed to act that way in general, and because the left was getting blamed for a bunch of violent anarchist idiots.

                          Out of curiosity, who did you expect to do something and what did you expect them to do?

                          Describing a group as violent anarchist idiots is not exactly describing a group that can be controlled easily or at all.

                          I find myself as an inbetweener here. There is a certain myth that a lot of people seem to have and this myth is that all political speech can happen at the volume of a highly-respectable tea party. I find this strange because we do have have far-right wingers who still believe the White Supremacy shit and think the worst of people for their backgrounds. I imagine this group thinks Spencer and I could converse like this:

                          Spencer: I say old chap, your people, the Jews that is, are a cancer to this planet and the history of mankind.

                          Me: I must disagree with you there old fellow.

                          We both sip tea.

                          Why people believe a conversation like this can happen is completely odd to me but it seems like lots of people out there think all politics can be this civilized.

                          Report

                          • Out of curiosity, who did you expect to do something and what did you expect them to do?

                            Well, my idea was to have the police to demand that all people who show up in all black with covered faces identify themselves, which legally the courts have said people are *legally required* to do if the police ask.

                            They fail to do that, arrest them.

                            If they identify themselves, cover back up, and walk off…oops, we’ve forgotten who you are, identify yourself please. And, uh, all honesty, we can’t tell any of you apart while you’re wearing those outfits and masks, so you’re probably going to *keep* being asked to identify yourself. All of you. All the time. Continually. Golly jee, we’re not sure why you all are wearing the same outfit, but it sure is hard to tell you apart, so we’re going to keep asking. Sorry again.

                            The police have all sort of *legal* way to harass people. They just aren’t bothering to *use them* against antifa.

                            And before anyone saying ‘the police shouldn’t be harassing people’, uh, yeah, if you dress up *with intent of making the police unable to tell you apart from violent people* (Even if you yourself are not committing violent acts), the police *should* be harassing you! In fact, you are *literally engaged in a criminal conspiracy* under the law…the police might not want to try to charge you with that because it would be hard to prove you didn’t just *coincidentally* dress that way…but they don’t have to *let you blatantly continue*.

                            If violent idiots are breaking things under the cover of anonymity, *take their goddamn anonymity away*, you idiot police. What the fuck is this nonsense?

                            The violence at Berkeley, both when it was just antifa, and now when it’s, apparently, everyone, is happening because the police are allowing it.

                            Read that article. The right-wing side *broke through the lines* and attacked the left. At that point, the police *should have arrested* pretty much everyone who ran across. Forget whether or not they assaulted anyone…you can’t break though police barricades like that! Anyone who can be shown to be on the other side before and didn’t go around…arrest them, cart them off. But the police didn’t bother. They just got everyone back on their side. (Meanwhile, in other places, the left steps a foot into the street and they get flung to the ground and tased.)

                            I am sick of putting up with this shit. If protests are going to be this way, the police need to get some goddamn high resolution drones and record *the fuck* out of these things, and, as I said, force anyone in masks to repeatedly take them off.

                            And then spend a few days afterwards watching the footage, drawing lines of movement, showing them to judges, and *issuing arrest warrants for half the people*. Yeah, they’re hard to identify…except, wait, no they aren’t, because they will stupidly come to another protest.

                            But lawlessness in protesters on the left fits in the paradigm that the police want, so they let it all continue to this point.

                            I’m not quite sure what is going to happen now that the right has, as always, proven itself much more violent than the left. The police will probably feel more of a need to diffuse the situation.

                            Describing a group as violent anarchist idiots is not exactly describing a group that can be controlled easily or at all.

                            The police have been controlling violent idiots the entire history of the republic.

                            I don’t want them ‘controlled’. I want them *in jail*.

                            At some point we need to start asking outselves: In a society where *everything can be recorded*, how the hell do we have assaults and other crimes happening, in public locations *known in advance*, and people not getting arrested for them? (And ask yourself the same question about assaults and rapes in prisons, while you’re at it.)

                            It’s because *we do not want to stop those things*.

                            Report

                    • Did the riots in the 1960’s change things?

                      The narrative that I’m familiar with is that they did. For example: The Draft.

                      I’m not seeing a similar Fierce Moral Urgency with the current antifa forces.

                      Of course, the narrative of these riots has not yet been written.

                      Report

                    • It’s snark, but there’s something to this.

                      Rioting in the 60s, and terrorism in the 70s, for that.matter, were more common, more intense, and higher profile than their equivalents today. Much more likely to be an existential threat. But you know what? They weren’t.

                      Report

      • Right now, a lot of Democrats are making a moral argument and confusing it for a political/electoral one.

        The electoral one is an extremely bitter pill to swallow.[1]

        If you look at the GOP as the counter-party, especially given the way they’re acting on law enforcement and voting rights with Sessions at the helm, I think it may be an untenable one. I don’t know what will happen as a result, but I don’t think it will be good.

        [1] Which is not to say it isn’t true or necessary to swallow it.

        Report

  4. I know that the liberal bubble piece was a comedy piece but I’m tired about conservatives complaining about liberal peoples. Conservative bubbles also exist and conservatives are even more devoted to them than liberals are to their bubbles. For every liberal piece blasting conservative America, there is another liberal piece desperately trying to understand it. Nearly ever conservative American piece on liberal America is constantly an attack.

    LGM debates on whether the Democratic Party needs the WWC a lot. What really seems to be the problem is that it is very hard to be a working class/social democratic party and a liberal/identity politics/social justice party at the same time. Center Left parties in Europe are having the same issues. For the Democratic Party the issue is how to appeal to enough WWC without throwing women, people of color, and LGBT people under the proverbial bus.

    Report

    • Lee,
      *shrugs* 20 years from now, your arguments will be stupid. So will everyone elses.
      Either you believe in global warming, or you don’t.

      The Deporter in Chief is no longer in residence at the Great White House in DC.
      And you know it.

      Report

  5. I know that the liberal bubble piece was a comedy piece but I’m tired about conservatives complaining about liberal peoples.

    This is a perpetual irritation of mine. I see probably two or three “libs need to get out of their bubbles” pieces a week, and I’ve seen 1 (one) piece that could be described as “conservatives need to get out of their bubbles” pieces in the last year.

    Not saying I’m gonna be get anything like an unbiased sample, but at a certain point—especially given that I read links here, follow a fair number of folks who have politics similar to ‘s on Twitter, and the like—it starts to add up.

    Report

    • I actually agree, somewhat. Despite believing that liberals – and a lot of non-liberals myself included – do genuinely have issues here, I think the genre of article has more-or-less played itself out. I just thought the linked article was kind of funny.

      While perhaps I should have listened more to them before election day, I don’t think Salena Zito or Chris Arnade have written anything new in about six months.

      Report

    • I suspect this is a flaw in liberalism itself. For everyone like you or Lee, there is a liberal out there trying to burst out of the bubble and such. Liberals are probably more inclined to wondering where they went wrong than right-wingers.

      This is why Hillbilly Elegy is a big hit in urban places despite evidence that JD Vance is a grifter and a hypocrite. Liberals can’t help lap stuff like Vance’s book up.

      The Big Sort thing might be real but I am a cynic and don’t think the big Big Sort world was a wonderful utopia of polite talk.

      Report

      • I have seen nobody claiming that Vance is a grifter and a hypocrite. Reading his book, I’m struck at the similarity between his people and people I grew up with. There’s one really big and important distinction, though – their relationship to violence.

        Report

          • Ok, I just read that critique and I find it deeply lacking. If the author (Ivy Brashear) wants her own story told, she should tell it. Nobody else is capable of telling her story. It is ridiculous to expect someone else whose life has been very different to be able to tell your story. Vance is not representing his book as anything other than his own story.

            A critique that “his story is not my story” doesn’t carry any water with me. I’m capable of understanding that every person has a point of view, and a personal story. A critique that “his story is not my story” doesn’t justify a label of “grifter” either. Anecdotes aren’t data, but they do suggest what data might be interesting to look at.

            We need more stories, from more diverse people. We need to pay better attention to those. That doesn’t make Vance a “grifter”.

            Report

        • @north

          Hypocrite and grifter might be too strong but there is an aspect of the fact that he has basically joined GOP elite talking points. I am not impressed by the kind of liberalism that sees someone like Vance as a curiosity. From what I’ve read, the same thing happened to Spencer at Duke, too many of his grad school co-hort were curious about meeting an honest to god fascist and white supremacist racist and this got him invited to parties. Obviously Spencer did not change.

          People like Vance, Shkrelli, and Bannon (though Vance is not as bad) are weird to me because they came from the working class or lower, benefited greatly by public education and other New Deal programs, and then they end up thinking the best thing to do is burning down all that shit and having a hard right no welfare state even as the New Deal and Great Society helped them become rich and go up the class ladder. I’m not impressed by this at all and I don’t see why we should give them the media spotlight because a lot of urban liberals feel slightly guilty about not knowing rural types.

          Report

          • I have attempted, for quite a long time, to never judge the merits of an argument or a work of art on the political affiliation of its creator. I think that’s fundamental to being an American. My stepmother used to decide what movies to go see based on what rumors she had heard about the actors in them. That bothered me a lot. I am dismayed by the inclination of so many to throw that principle under the bus, and yes, BSDI.

            This is one of those things about human nature that I never expect to change either. I’m sure I have some measure of it within me, too. I get deeply suspicious when I think art is pandering to me.

            Report

          • I haven’t read Vance’s book, but I’m from deep in Eastern Kentucky. That said, there are few problems that can’t be solved by the massive application of extreme violence, though we rarely do so (our murder rate is now vanishingly small, because we killed most of the people who needed killing).

            Much of Appalachia was destroyed by the New Deal. FDR set a fixed single price for all coal, whether crappy western lignite or metallurgical grade anthracite, and we mined the far more expensive anthracite and bituminous. So our mines all but shut down, and with it the good mining jobs. Then FDR sent his WPA programs in, paying higher wages than the remaining mines, and most all of the mine foremen quit their now failing mining jobs to spread dirt with a shovel. Losing them meant that the remaining mines that employed them had to shut down, too. It was a total disaster, further impoverishing an area that was already suffering.

            But many of the union miners in the area stayed loyal to the Democrat party, at least until Hillary came a long. Then they saw such utter disdain, condescension, and betrayal that they could no longer stomach it. Kentucky and West Virginia will likely never have another Democrat as governor, speaker, or senate leader.

            In Kentucky, Republicans hadn’t controlled the state House since 1921. They won it in a landslide.

            In West Virginia, Democrats had held the Senate for 80 years prior to 2014, when they just barely lost it. Now Republicans control it 22 to 12.

            But Democrats are still doing well in Martha’s Vineyard and Beverly Hills, so there’s that.

            Report

            • Much of Appalachia was destroyed by the New Deal. FDR set a fixed single price for all coal, whether crappy western lignite or metallurgical grade anthracite, and we mined the far more expensive anthracite and bituminous.

              That is the dumbest and wrongest history of Appalachia I’ve ever heard.

              Price controls for coal by FDR was set up *in 1935*, which is a bit late to be claiming as the cause of Appalachia’s poverty!!!

              In fact, Appalachia’s poverty, and how they lagged behind the rest of the country in all sorts was really first noticed in the *1941*, so apparently those cost controls were really harmful incredibly quickly, magically removing roads and schools and electricity and whatnot.

              On top of *that*, if you think less coal was produced in Kentucky in 1940 than in 1930, or if there were less coal *workers* in 1940, you are *speaking complete gibberish*. Coal production and employment in Kentucky hit a bottom around 1932, presumably from the Great Depression (And from miners trying to unionize)…and then employment and production started going up, starting in 1932 and continuing.

              And then, of course, WWII happened and coal production skyrocketed. (Although automation results in jobs starting to go away, a trend that has continued to this day.)

              Which means you’re basically trying to blame Appalachia’s poverty on, like, 4 years of price controls on coal, *during which employment and production went up*. Erm, no.

              And, of course, large parts of Appalachia have nothing to do with coal mining. Not now, and not then. I guess that, *mysteriously*, those areas just somehow got poor also!

              As is documented in that 1941 book, where people in the rest of the country started noticing the problem, ‘Let Us Now Praise Famous Men’, the ACTUAL cause of Appalachia’s poverty was *generational tenant farming*. I.e, Appalachia had been operating in *pseudo-feudalism* for almost a hundred years, where serfs worked land and were allowed to keep part of the crops. A system set up to keep former slaves essentially in the same place, but, hey, it worked perfectly well at keep poor whites in their place also.

              Report

              • In fact, Appalachia’s poverty, and how they lagged behind the rest of the country in all sorts was really first noticed in the *1941*, so apparently those cost controls were really harmful incredibly quickly, magically removing roads and schools and electricity and whatnot.

                And black poverty was first noted in 1985, under Ronald Reagan. Before that they were thriving….

                You should just walk away from this one. I am an Appalachian and my family were coal miners. I got tired of getting dragged to the funerals for black lung, where each person would develop pneumonia and cause yet another funeral in a never ending sequence.

                My dad was born in 1918. He was paid in script. His first boss and 11 of the boss’s bodyguards were killed in a union gauntlet on Cumberland Mountain. A decade later, my uncle saved his boss by warning him about an ambush at the mine. My dad’s golf partner shot a man dead on his porch, through his door, sight unseen, just because he figured nobody would be on his porch unless they were there to kill him. He was not even charged.
                .
                It is true that in some regards Appalachian coal miners thrived in the 30’s and 40’s. My dad’s family did quite well and went around arresting people with chicken keeper badges, and actually did better than my relatives, one of whom married one of FDR’s children. But basically, all we remember is lots of killing, most of it justified.

                I don’t know if you got “the talk” from your dad, but I remember mine. It was about how killing in general is wrong, but how you tell when it’s a righteous act to assassinate your mayor with a long range rifle shot.

                I worked with a guy from Tennessee who barely missed, and later he was angrily confronted by the mayor’s daughter who was very angry about that miss.

                Killing corrupt or misguided politicians is a righteous act, condoned by God. That is the world I grew up in. The theology that supports that belief system was considered backwards in the 1600’s, but it is a powerful one that did not die out. When you catch someone unawares, shoot them in the back of the head and blow their brains out, and get away with it, it means the light of Jesus must be smiling down upon you, for you have earned his favor. This belief system, though quite rational, perhaps explains why we’ve had so much trouble attracting business to the region.

                Report

                • George,
                  Like hell it does! The reason the Scotch Irish couldn’t attract business to the region is because they got STINKIN’ DRUNK and wouldn’t go back to work on Monday.

                  People wouldn’t hire ’em. They shipped in Italians, Slavs, you name it. People who could handle their drink. The work got done, sure as Sunday, but not by the Scotch Irish.

                  Report

                • All of your post is interesting, but has FUCK ALL to do with your claim that FDR coal price controls caused Appalachia’s poverty, or really hurt Appalachia in any way.

                  In fact, a lot of it pretty specifically disproves that claim.

                  On top of that, you know what *actually* stopped the violence in the Harlan County War, which is what you seem to be referring to?

                  It was the creation of the National Labor Relations Board in 1935, which finally required mines to accept unions *by law*. (Although it took a bit of time for this to actually happen.) A law, of course, from FDR as part of the New Deal.

                  Violence in coal mining labor disputes has a pretty clear dividing line in history, and it’s 1935. Before that, dozens of people got killed each decade, after that, there’s like 1 a decade. (The Harlan County War, already five years in progress, sputtered along for another four years, but at a certain point it was more about vengeance than actual unionization.)

                  But after that law passed, unions had a *legal path* to force recognizance, and so stopped illegal shit, and mines could no longer force workers into yellow-dog contracts or blacklist union members.

                  A turning point in labor history can be argued to have happened in Harlan County in Sept 1935, in fact, where the National Guard was called out…not against pro-union workers, but to *protect the workers as they voted for a union*. Suddenly, all that could happen within the law, protected by law, and it *did*.

                  And violence just…disappeared. Well, almost. Mostly disappeared. One side of it stopped being emboldened by law, at least.

                  Basically, despite your absurd attempt to blame the New Deal’s coal price controls on pre-existing decades-long structural poverty in coal areas, the truth is, not only did it *not* do that, a different part of the New Deal is what stopped coal areas *from tearing themselves* apart with attempted unionization and fights against it. I don’t know if this reduced the poverty of those parts of Appalachia by much, but it sure as hell increased *safety*.

                  Now, it is possible to argue that there was a second-order problem of this *eventually* resulting in a push for more automation, which *eventually* resulted in less coal jobs…but in reality, automation was due to WWII developments and was going to happen regardless.

                  Report

      • Liberals are probably more inclined to wondering where they went wrong than right-wingers.

        This is a pretty obvious outcome when the left generally has empathy and the right generally does not.(1)

        When you have empathy, you care about other people, including people on the other side, and try to figure out what they think. When they disagree with you, you attempt to figure out why, even to the point of *inventing* justifications for how they voted.

        Whereas when you do not have empathy, you just assert the other side is ‘evil’ and do not have to think about why they might want what they want.

        There’s a well known fact that people, obviously, will attempt to justify their own behavior more than other people’s. When you run a stop sign, you do it because there’s a good reason, whereas other people are just idiots.

        But this actually extends to your entire group. You justify people in your group doing things, whereas people in other groups are just idiots, or assholes, or whatever. Your country tortures people for a *good reason*, whereas other countries torture people because the leadership is *evil*.

        And this is where we see that the left, and I know this sounds weird, is much more patriotic than the right. The left identifies with *everyone*, even the right, and attempts to justify the behavior of *all Americans*, which is why the election of Trump freaked them out and they’re a) attempting to prove that’s not really what America is, and b) attempting to justify why people would have voted that way.

        If the left had elected someone was reprehensible as Trump…well, actually, a lot of the problems with Trump are vaguely acceptable within the framework of the right, but let’s pose a hypothetical where the left elects someone who is objectively reprehensible *and* reprehensible within the framework of the right. For example, this Alter-Trump had publicly promoted women making false discrimination and even rape claims as a method of career advancement or something.

        The right would have *not* responded the same way to this Alter-Trump. It would have condemned the figure just as much, but would have spent *absolutely no time* attempting to justify why voters felt like someone like *that* was a good alternative to their candidate. They would just immediately go with the idea that the voters that elected such a person are all members of the left, and *the left is evil and hates America* and is trying to destroy it.

        It’s only when you feel that people are members of your own group, or at least you care *to some extent* about them, than you attempt to run their mental processes in your own head and figure out what they might be thinking.

        The right has *long since* stopped doing that for the left, because demonizing them works a lot better. Or, it did, until it got them Trump and a corner they’ve painted themselves into over healthcare.

        1) This is, of course, not to imply that *no one* on the right has empathy. In fact, we have some of them here. Those people are usually pretty easy to find, because they are doing the exact same thing over there, trying to figure out why the left doesn’t agree with the right…of course, they often come to the conclusion ‘Well, uh, most of my party is run by lunatics’, which, uh, yeah.

        Report

        • David,
          And If I provide compelling evidence that your current policies are going to cause great evil? Will you then, and only, then, stop trying to open our borders to more immigration?
          (and no, I didn’t hear you complaining about the Deporter in Chief. Did I miss something?).

          Politicians are politicians, and so long as they get 3 squares in a day, they won’t look a day into the future. I expect better from you.

          Report

          • And If I provide compelling evidence that your current policies are going to cause great evil? Will you then, and only, then, stop trying to open our borders to more immigration?

            You appear to have confused me with someone who wants open borders. As I have said repeatedly here, I do not approve of having adult pseudo-permanent resident in this country who do not have (Or will get after a specific and short amount of time) full voting rights.

            Anything less results in an underclass of exploitable people, and moreover, that underclass can be used as leverage against *other* poor people.

            This works in either direction. I am fine with allowing people in, and having them become citizens, and I am fine with not allowing people in. Hell, I’m fine with people *sneaking* in and becoming citizens, although, obviously, at some point we need a criminal background check in their country of origin.

            If given a choice, I’d really rather we, as a country, continue to grow with immigrants. It’s worked so far. But I’d rather *not* have people here than to have people here without any say.

            However, currently, granting immigrants voting rights seems to be something we have extreme difficultly doing, so I tend towards the ‘less immigration’ side of things *right now*. But not for any of the completely idiotic reasons a lot of people on that side tend toward it. (Some of those completely idiotic reasons, I suspect, are things *you* believe.)

            The sole exception to my apathy is refugees, which we have a moral obligation to take care of. And, yes, they *also* should quickly become citizens, but if we’re not willing to do that, we still should let them in. (Better an underclass here than *murdered* in their home country.)

            I suspect you think that I think otherwise because I argued against Trump’s recent insanity. But that was, to a large extent, an argument we should *to honor travel visas we have already issued*, a position so obvious it literally hadn’t crossed my mind as an actual ‘position’ until Trump did otherwise. (I have made the analogy before: Trump’s presidency is like suddenly having a toddler,and you find yourself saying things you never expected to say: No, Timmy, do not attempt to eat the remote control. No, Donald, you cannot call backsies on letting people who have already gotten permission and flown here into the country.)

            And that we should accept refugees.

            And that Trump had shot himself in the foot by repeatedly vowing to do blatantly unconstitutional things, and then attempting to do things in office that looked a lot *like* those unconstitutional things he had vowed to do.

            And that blocking visitors from specific countries is kinda dumb.

            Those were my positions, not ‘pro-immigration’. In fact, not only did I not really state a position on immigration there, that executive order didn’t really *do* anything about immigration(1), except WRT refugees.

            My opposition to Trump’s EO wasn’t opposition to his dumb and racist position on immigration. It was opposition to his fuckwit insanity and incompetence.

            1) In fact, his EO, while keeping some green card holders who were from those countries, and randomly out of the US at that exact moment, from getting back in…did nothing about green card holders from those countries who *were* in the US, and *still on track to become citizens*.

            Report

            • “The sole exception to my apathy is refugees, which we have a moral obligation to take care of. ”

              No we don’t. If we actually did, the moral obligation would be to stop taking FP actions that create refugees in the first place.

              Report

              • The fact that we may have failed to meet a past moral obligation doesn’t absolve of us of a responsibility to meet a current obligation, even [1] if the existence of the current obligation is due in large part to our failure to meet the past obligation.

                [1] Or especially, I expect many people would say.

                Report

                  • I dunno. I do know Damon’s argument proves way, way too much.

                    I also think, “There are limits to our ability to meet this moral obligation that mean we cannot address it alone means we should attempt no partial solution,” is pretty unconvincing.

                    Report

                    • pillsy,
                      In 20 years, America can feed 200 million people. Care to guess our current population? We don’t have room for the current pop, so I’m sorry, but partial solutions that involve people coming here (and us spending the extra moolah on that, rather than on safekeeping them where they are) are pretty much out unless we like the idea of genocide, and I Do Not.

                      Report

                    • Limits are irrelevant. We simply have zero moral obligation to refugees. In an ideal world, we’d not be contributing to the cause of refugees, but given the world of realpolitik, we sure as hell shouldn’t be foolish to think we owe something to others…other than to stop creating FP messes.

                      Report

                • The fact that we may have failed to meet a past moral obligation doesn’t absolve of us of a responsibility to meet a current obligation

                  By “we” here, you must mean something like “the United States government” since I know that I didn’t support (eg) the Iraq war which led directly to the Syrian refugee crisis. So if I have a moral obligation to those people it isn’t because of anything the US military did. It’s because I have a totally independent moral obligation, one not based on prior events, to save people from drowning when the cost to me is small.

                  Report

                    • Do you think “we the people” = “the United States government”?

                      Do you think “we the Syrian people” = “the Assad regime”?

                      Or even (just for fun): Do you think “we the Israeli people” = “the Netanyahu government”?

                      Report

                      • Do you think “we the people” = “the United States government”?

                        In this instance, yes. That’s how “we” have a foreign policy (which Damon alluded to). I think individuals do have a measure of moral responsibility for their government’s actions, provided the democratic mechanisms exist to make it accountable to them.

                        Thus, “We should do this [for moral reasons],” can translate into, “We should vote for our government to do this,” or, “We should pay taxes to support this,” or, “We should march in the streets to advocate this.”

                        It doesn’t definitely doesn’t justify, “You should be jailed because your government did this,” or, “You should be folded/spindled/or mutilated because your government did this,” or even, “You should be no-platformed for this.”

                        Do you think “we the Syrian people” = “the Assad regime”?

                        No, he’s not accountable to them.

                        Or even (just for fun): Do you think “we the Israeli people” = “the Netanyahu government”?

                        In the same sense I mentioned above for the US, yes.

                        Regardless of whether you agree, do you think, “The Israeli people should vote the Netanyahu government out because its policies are immoral,” is a statement that makes sense?

                        Report

                        • I think individuals do have a measure of moral responsibility for their government’s actions, provided the democratic mechanisms exist to make it accountable to them.

                          I know you’re asserting that, but I’m not seeing any argument. :)

                          It seems to me that in a scenario in which the US government chooses to invade a sovereign country thereby creating a huge refugee crisis in a neighboring nation, Damon (or myself, for that matter) ought not feel any moral obligation to help those refugees since we didn’t have anything to do with it. We opposed the invasion, and on moral grounds. The folks who supported the Iraq war? They’re the ones with the moral obligation re: Syrians. :)

                          Seems to me the obligation you’re talking about (if it exists at all) is a fully general one: help people when the cost to yourself is small, irregardless of who did what to who and when.

                          Report

                          • I know you’re asserting that, but I’m not seeing any argument. :)

                            Well, not yet. You just asked me what I meant, not why I meant it. :)

                            I think you have a small share of moral responsibility for your government’s actions because it is, to a small extent, answerable to you, and you can, again to a small extent, shape its actions in the future. That means if the government has a moral debt—say, something that ought to be done to ameliorate past harms that the government inflicted—you have a moral obligation to use that small measure of influence to steer the government to discharge it.

                            It’s like how I think you, in some circumstances at least, have a moral obligation to advise a friend or family member to do something, even if the decision is ultimately in their hands. That doesn’t change if they’re asking about fixing something they broke before talking to you, does it?

                            Report

        • I am gratified to learn that someone around here is willing to take a stance against defacto American slavery. Really, I find the whole idea utterly morally repugnant.

          If you say we must accept refugees, pray tell me where we’re going to fit Bangladesh? That’s 150 million people, give or take. And if you’ve got that, then where will we fit India?

          There’s ALREADY a wall around Bangladesh, and they’re going to drown because India won’t let them immigrate.

          It’s fine and dandy to say “yeah, let a few refugees in” — but that’s not going to be the case going forward.

          Likewise with immigrants. If we could freezeframe our food and water situation, then by all means let in immigrants of all stripes. We can’t. Other places will be worse off than us.

          Report

          • If you say we must accept refugees, pray tell me where we’re going to fit Bangladesh? That’s 150 million people, give or take. And if you’ve got that, then where will we fit India?

            Pssst….people fleeing *climate conditions* are not refugees. Refugees are people fleeing *violence*, and only certain specific forms of targeted violence at that.

            And if you’ve got that, then where will we fit India?

            Why the hell would *Indians* need to relocate due to climate change?

            India is a rich-ish country, with a competent government, and has tons of land. Assuming there isn’t some weird and specific side effect of climate change like continual monsoons or something, India will be fine.

            If we could freezeframe our food and water situation, then by all means let in immigrants of all stripes.

            I’m sure in your head, your malthusianism nonsense makes sense.

            In real reality, we are producing more food with less resources and energy than ever before in human history.

            And water’s only a problem because we keep doing that farming in *really stupid* places.

            Report

            • David,
              http://www.smh.com.au/comment/climate-change-will-trigger-greatest-refugee-crisis-ever-20151123-gl5z7e.html
              Everyone’s calling them refugees. Maybe the court isn’t recognizing them YET.

              Indians have issues with humidity, specifically it getting high enough to kill.
              India is NOT a rich-ish country. Have you heard about the streets where they shit? (this is an ongoing 4chan joke, but it is worth it to read the original thread).

              “Less resources and energy”? Cite your sources, pal. As far as I know, fertilizer and tractors and all that cost a lot of non-renewable resources.
              Secondly, we’re seeing a lot of former food baskets (food exporters) turned into food importers. Some of that’s population, some of it’s not.

              So, um, if you take out all of Middle America (the Great American Desert), you STILL think we’ll be able to produce more food with less resources?

              Report

        • “This is a pretty obvious outcome when the left generally has empathy and the right generally does not.”

          Please note, here, that this is the guy who thinks it would be Just Fine if the cops ran out and beat the shit out of a bunch of kids who decided to mess around at a protest.

          Report

          • Please note, here, that this is the guy who thinks it would be Just Fine if the cops ran out and beat the shit out of a bunch of kids who decided to mess around at a protest.

            Please stop just outright making shit up.

            I have never, at any point, advocated using violence against protesters. Hell, I haven’t even advocated violence against *violent* protesters!

            I have advocated two things:
            1) The cops should *demand IDs* of people who show up at protests in face- or identity-concealing outfits. And, if the identity of someone is even slightly confusing, if they get out of your sight and you don’t know if it’s the same person, demand it again. Keep demanding it. (Want the police to stop? Don’t attempt to conceal your identity at a protest.)

            2) The police should *film protests* and getting arrest warrants for people who break the law, who they then arrest *later*.

            Those are the two things I have advocated. At no point is any sort of violence in there.

            In fact, as I’ve said in the past, the police need to *stop bothering non-violent protesters*. At all. The police need to *back off*. And I don’t mean ‘complying with the law’ protesters, I mean *non-violent* protesters, even if they’re breaking the law by standing somewhere or something. (You know, like the police back off when the right-wing militias *occupy government buildings and property*.)

            Report

            • “I have never, at any point, advocated using violence against protesters. ”

              Sure you have! You do it every time you suggest that people should be arrested.

              Oh, they shouldn’t be “violently” arrested? Tell me again how you’re gonna drag a thrashing, screaming woman across the ground and have it look nonviolent. Or how you’re gonna respond to the protestors’ after-the-fact claims of nonspecific-but-extremely-severe neck pain and arm numbness, or just plain ol’ PTSD from getting totally beat on by those awful vicious Armed Enforcers Of The State.

              “The cops should *demand IDs* of people who show up at protests in face- or identity-concealing outfits.”

              Response: “F you! You have no authority to harass me for exercising my Constitutional rights to free assembly and free speech! You’re profiling me, acting like anyone in a hoodie must be up to no good! Hey everybody get this on video, jackbooted thug agents of the state trying to suppress protest over here!”

              And, y’know, they’re not wrong to say those things. Would you support someone demanding ID from people at a polling place? Would you support traffic cops pulling black drivers over because three black teenagers in a nice car must be up to no good?

              “2) The police should *film protests* and getting arrest warrants for people who break the law, who they then arrest *later*.”

              They’re already doing that. There’s a lively subculture of ways to try and defeat it.

              Report

              • Oh, they shouldn’t be “violently” arrested? Tell me again how you’re gonna drag a thrashing, screaming woman across the ground and have it look nonviolent.

                See, the problem with that is *instead* of arresting those people, they instead *allow those people to break shit* while they spend their time and effort *arresting innocent protesters* because they harass those protesters into doing things they can (for a very short term, although it won’t stand up in court), call ‘crimes’.

                Asserting that the police shouldn’t arrest *anyone* is an interesting theory, but it’s not even close to how things *actually* work.

                Response: “F you! You have no authority to harass me for exercising my Constitutional rights to free assembly and free speech! You’re profiling me, acting like anyone in a hoodie must be up to no good! Hey everybody get this on video, jackbooted thug agents of the state trying to suppress protest over here!”

                Who cares what people are yelling?

                The video will show someone hiding their face and dressed in all black being repeatedly ordered to identify themselves, and refusing, and getting arrested for it. Pretty much everyone will conclude ‘Yup, that was an idiot there to make trouble’.

                Including the people there, BTW. The *actual* protesters don’t want anonymous people wandering around inside the crowd inciting violence either.

                Crowds get angry when they think the police *made up things* about people and try to arrest them. Sometimes the crowd is correct, and the police are wrong, sometimes the police are correct and the crowd is wrong, sometimes the police are technically correct but the person who broke the law physically had to (Because they were in a crowd they could not escape) or did not hear them.

                But ‘This person is refusing to identify themselves and has deliberately cloaked their identity’ is not something it’s easy for anyone to get confused about. It’s not going to play as any sort of overreach or collective punishment or anything.

                Crowds are not *entirely* rational creatures, but if the police *state* what they’re doing from the start, if it’s an actual policy that people with concealed faces will be ordered to reveal their identity, then the crowd isn’t going to have a problem with people refusing to do that being arrested, anymore than they have a problem with someone who grabs a baseball bat and rushes the police being arrested, or someone who takes off all their clothes being arrested.

                If they do have a problem with that…tough shit.

                Now, you want to argue that the police are *already* so untrusted they can not be trusted to implement this…what do you want, a cookie? That’s not my fault. I can’t magically fix that. The police need to stop behaving like power-mad anti-left assholes.

                *I* just think a good step in that process would be affirmative moves to *target and identify* blatant troublemakers that have deliberately announced themselves as such with their dress, and later *proffer charges against them in the criminal justice system*. Instead of their bullshit group arrests of completely innocent protesters that they then dismiss all charges of.

                You apparently think a better solution is…either that second thing, or possibly not arresting anyone at all. The first is clearly how we got to this point, and the second cannot possibly happen, and is rather dangerous.

                They’re already doing that. There’s a lively subculture of ways to try and defeat it.

                That doesn’t have anything to do with protests at all. Or even with *law enforcement*, which fights any sort of video technology with their dying breath.

                Report

                • “The video will show someone hiding their face and dressed in all black being repeatedly ordered to identify themselves, and refusing, and getting arrested for it.”

                  As opposed to the existing videos of them throwing bombs at cops, setting things and people on fire, pepper-spraying women? Those videos make them look good?

                  “Crowds get angry when they think the police *made up things* about people and try to arrest them. ”

                  I think we should keep in mind, here, that you started out your post with “[the police] instead *allow those people to break shit* while they spend their time and effort *arresting innocent protesters* because they harass those protesters into doing things they can (for a very short term, although it won’t stand up in court), call ‘crimes’.”

                  So. Obviously you do believe that police provocation and unjust arrests happen.

                  “Now, you want to argue that the police are *already* so untrusted they can not be trusted to implement this…what do you want, a cookie? That’s not my fault. I can’t magically fix that. The police need to stop behaving like power-mad anti-left assholes.”

                  Make up your damn mind. Either they can be trusted to arrest only bad actors in a controlled manner that’s beneficial to public safety and order, or they’re power-mad anti-left assholes. You don’t get to have both.

                  “Instead of their bullshit group arrests of completely innocent protesters that they then dismiss all charges of.”

                  (I run into a crowd and pull off my mask) Hey check it out, I’m a completely innocent protestor! Gonna do one of those bullshit group arrests?

                  “You apparently think a better solution is…either that second thing, or possibly not arresting anyone at all. ”

                  Oh, I’m entirely down with the police arresting people. My point is that you aren’t. At least, not the kind of “arresting people” that’s actually going to happen. They’re going to arrest people, and you’re going to hear how it went down, and you’re going to say “that sounds like power-mad anti-left hysteria followed by provocations that are used as flimsy justification for bullshit group arrests!”

                  “That doesn’t have anything to do with protests at all.”

                  I’m not sure what your beef is here, because you say “the cops should video people” and I replied that they already are *and* people are working out how to fight it.

                  Report

                  • As opposed to the existing videos of them throwing bombs at cops, setting things and people on fire, pepper-spraying women? Those videos make them look good?

                    Do you…even know what you’re arguing anymore?

                    People get upset when videos are made showing the police attacking protesters that are not doing anything.

                    You postulated that videos of police arresting protesters not doing anything except refusing to identify themselves would be thought of as that, getting people upset. Whereas I pointed out that the entire premise is to arrest protesters *deliberately concealing their identity* (And who refusing to ID themselves), and those protesters *automatically* look bad, and will look bad to the public in video. There’s a difference between someone standing there dressed normal holding a sign, and somewhere wearing all black with a black ski mask on, and the public will treat videos of those interactions with the police very differently.

                    You counter with…protesters looking bad to the public? Huh? What does that have to do anymore.

                    So. Obviously you do believe that police provocation and unjust arrests happen.

                    Which has been something I have said *every single time* I talk about how police behave at protests, so I’m not sure why you are startled by it.

                    Make up your damn mind. Either they can be trusted to arrest only bad actors in a controlled manner that’s beneficial to public safety and order, or they’re power-mad anti-left assholes. You don’t get to have both.

                    I don’t trust them to arrest ‘only bad actors’. That’s exactly *why* I suggest this, because they *aren’t* going after bad actors *so they have an excuse* to go after everyone.

                    I am, as an alternative to how it happens now, suggesting they can be given *very specific* rules of engagement, that doesn’t have them arresting *anyone* there except people who a) conceal their face, and b) additionally refuse to identify themselves when asked.

                    I.e., I am saying that the police behave capriciously and maliciously, and THUS WE SHOULD CHANGE HOW THEY OPERATE at protests, with their sole concern being that, if shit does go down, we *can look at video and identify the people who did it later*.

                    I cannot imagine why you think ‘cops currently behave badly at left protests’ and ‘cops should instead do this at left protests’ are somehow *opposing* ideas.

                    Meanwhile, you appear to just be suggesting we should…give up on the police? Continue as is? What, *exactly* is your suggestion here?

                    (I run into a crowd and pull off my mask) Hey check it out, I’m a completely innocent protestor! Gonna do one of those bullshit group arrests?

                    You seem to think the answer from what *I* am saying is ‘yes’. Where as in *reality* the answer is *currently* ‘yes’ and what I have proposed makes the answer ‘no’.

                    People who take off their mask *have revealed their identity*. If the police can track, on video, that person running into the crowd and taking off their mask, they now have a picture of their face and can arrest them *later*, after the protest. Duh.

                    Do you literally not understand the concept here? The concept is to identify everyone either by face or by name, record everyone, on video, and then, later, if criminal acts happened, get the DA on board and a judge to issue arrest warrants for those people.

                    Posted on campus website: ‘Here is the face of the person who threw a chair through a window and then ran into the crowd and took off his mask. $500 reward to whoever identifies them. It will be kept anonymous.’

                    Or is your premise that someone wearing all black might show up, commit a crime, run into a crowd, hide long enough to take off their mask, and pop back up, unidentifiable, even from video evidence later?

                    Well, yes. That could indeed happen, and in theory the crowd might deliberately hide them instead of turning on them. If they can’t be tracked down, they can’t be tracked down. Like any crime, I guess. Not sure of your point there.

                    Or the crowd might indeed think that’s a bit too much, and point them out for arrest. Who knows?

                    I am not proposing a magical bullet.

                    But *right now* there are crowds of people allowed to mill around, wearing face-concealing masks, at protests. Individuals run around doing things, fighting with people, and then merge back into the crowd still wearing masks, except they look like everyone else wearing masks.

                    The police allow this on purpose, exactly so they *can* group arrest the entire crowd because some idiot ran into it.

                    I’m not sure what your beef is here, because you say “the cops should video people” and I replied that they already are *and* people are working out how to fight it.

                    And then *I* pointed out that that page you linked to, quite specifically, is talking about *commercial* use of facial recognizance, so pretending *it* claims that cops are using video is idiotic.

                    Please point to a *single instance* of the police actually decided to film a protest. A single one. We just had a *riot* in Berkeley, please point to the *police footage* of that.

                    The police are having to be forced *by law* to wear lapel cameras in various places, and most of them are fighting it every step of the way. They are *not*, in way, attempting to preemptively set up any sort of recording of protests. Which, again, take place at *known public places* with *no expectation of privacy*, and could have cameras everywhere.

                    This is probably because if the public ever *clearly* saw how the police behaved at left protests (As opposed to shaky partial phone cameras), they would be outraged.

                    Report

                    • “If the police can track, on video, that person running into the crowd and taking off their mask, they now have a picture of their face and can arrest them *later*, after the protest. Duh. Do you literally not understand the concept here? The concept is to identify everyone either by face or by name…”

                      Wait.

                      The concept is to identify everyone either by face or by name.

                      That’s what you said here. That’s what you want. You want these police–these police who, you already think, “aren’t going after bad actors so they have an excuse to go after everyone”, who “behave capriciously and maliciously”, who provoke and arrest unjustly. You want these police to have the ability (and a mandate!) to monitor by video every single person at a protest, to have sufficient video capability to track every person from start to finish, to have a database that matches faces to names and addresses, and to conduct search activities for arbitrary persons based on them showing up at a place where a fight happened.

                      That’s the world you want.

                      Oh, wait, I didn’t read the whole thing:

                      “Posted on campus website: ‘Here is the face of the person who threw a chair through a window and then ran into the crowd and took off his mask. $500 reward to whoever identifies them. It will be kept anonymous.’”

                      So you don’t just want the cops to have a national citizen-tracking apparatus–you want *students* to sell each other out (to these bastard police who provoke, oppress, etc.)

                      “The police allow this on purpose, exactly so they *can* group arrest the entire crowd because some idiot ran into it.”

                      AND YOUR SOLUTION IS TO GIVE THESE COPS A NATIONAL FACE-TRACKING SYSTEM WITH A HOME-ADDRESS DATABASE?

                      I mean, you’re saying the cops are bastards and you’re saying that problem will be solved by letting them track everyone on video!

                      “*I* pointed out that that page you linked to, quite specifically, is talking about *commercial* use of facial recognizance”

                      If you honestly believe that this isn’t a thing and refuse to do your own Google searches, here’s another one. Further work can be done on your own time, I’m not interested in playing “Bring Me A TRUE Scotsman”.

                      “Meanwhile, you appear to just be suggesting we should…give up on the police? Continue as is? What, *exactly* is your suggestion here?”

                      My solution is that when the cops at a protest move in to arrest troublemakers and there’s video footage of a screaming, thrashing woman being dragged across the pavement, people like you do not say “that’s the cops being bastards, they’re shutting down the protest through bullshit mass arrests”.

                      Report

                      • *shrugs* If you don’t think that we aren’t capable of doing shit like this, you have little imagination.
                        There are cars in my town that drive around snapping photos of license plates. Free market style, even (sold to everyone in the consortium who pays for the cars).
                        Cheat on your wife? Well, now, someone’s got proof. Expensive proof.

                        Report

                      • You want these police to have the ability (and a mandate!) to monitor by video every single person at a protest, to have sufficient video capability to track every person from start to finish, to have a database that matches faces to names and addresses, and to conduct search activities for arbitrary persons based on them showing up at a place where a fight happened.

                        …have a database?

                        What are you talking about?

                        The only ‘names’ they would have would be *of people who are concealing their identities*.

                        And what the hell is ‘search activities’?

                        But here’s where your dumb worries fall apart:

                        The police misbehave at protests, and, often, when *interacting* with people in general they don’t like.

                        They don’t generally misbehave by tracking down those people after the fact and charging them with crimes. Mostly because *the police cannot charge people with crimes*.

                        The police misbehave *up until the moment the person hits the legal system*, at which point they immediately stop, and let everyone go. Because the DA and lawyers and judges and juries *will not put up with their bullshit claims*. They can claim trespassing all they want, but no jury in the universe is convicting someone because a police officer said they put a foot over an imaginary line on the ground at a protest, and no DA is even going to file charges.

                        In the *current* universe, the police act like assholes at protests, harassing innocent people, while letting people inciting violence run around free because some people inciting violence is a *really good justification* for them harassing everyone. They also arrest a bunch of people *they have absolutely no evidence of criminal activities* of, and then let them go later, because, again, no evidence.

                        In *my* universe, the police *would not do anything* at protests, and, afterwards, if *actual crimes* happened, they’d have to produce some *evidence* to show the DA, who would sign an *arrest warrant* for a face on the video, at which point they can start trying to track the person down.

                        What is your concern here? That they’d later track down individual protesters who *didn’t* commit any crimes, and harass them? Police departments don’t really engage in *that* specific sort of misbehavior, and it’s much easier to catch them when they do. (As opposed to the ‘heat of the moment’ disputes at protests.)

                        AND YOUR SOLUTION IS TO GIVE THESE COPS A NATIONAL FACE-TRACKING SYSTEM WITH A HOME-ADDRESS DATABASE?

                        What. The ABSOLUTE FUCK. Are you talking about?

                        I am proposing that PROTESTS GET FILMED. And that people deliberately concealing their identity *from* that film are asked to state their name.

                        That is it.

                        You seem to think I am asking the cops to go back through the video and figure out who everyone is.

                        I have, of course, NOT SAID THAT IN THE SLIGHTEST. I said that everyone *should be identifiable*, not *should be identified*.

                        If there *was a crime committed*, the police should look at the video and figure out who did it. Get a clear picture of that person’s face. (Or, if it’s concealed, backtrack to where a cop spoke to them.) Then, using their face, track them down.

                        Of course, the police will not find them via facial recognizance, as that is not actually a thing. Facial recognizance is almost entirely bullshit and does not work unless you have straight-on shots in good light. They’re going to have to find them the same way they’d find anyone on any surveillance camera.

                        Now, if you want safeguards that the video will *only* be looked at if a crime is committed, I have no objection to requiring a judge to sign off on a warrant for it.

                        My solution is that when the cops at a protest move in to arrest troublemakers and there’s video footage of a screaming, thrashing woman being dragged across the pavement, people like you do not say “that’s the cops being bastards, they’re shutting down the protest through bullshit mass arrests”.

                        I will stop saying that when there stop being *very well documented* cases of the police doing things like barricading protesters in and then ordering them to disperse and arresting them when they fail to do so. Or directing them into off-limits areas or the roads and then arresting them for trespassing or blocking traffic. Or just squeezing them closer and closer together, causing serious safety concerns and people on the outside pushing back, which magically becomes ‘assault’.

                        Or, to put it another way: Any protest where more than nine-tenths of the people *arrested* are released without any charges the next day means the police are doing bullshit mass arrests.

                        But, hey, if you think the police are *justified* in that sort of thing, you should *welcome* my suggestion of the police *documenting* the behavior of the crowd and themselves. Maybe then they’d have some *actual documentation* of their bullshit arrests and could start having people charged with those entirely-made crimes.

                        In fact, because you have confused ‘local police at protests’ with dumbass paranoia about the ‘surveillance state’, you…appear to think this is already happening, so I’m very confused as to what you are objecting to. And maybe *you* need to start asking why, if the police already have all this video, why they can’t seem to *charge* any of the people they arrest at protests?

                        Report

                        • “The only ‘names’ they would have would be *of people who are concealing their identities*.”

                          So wait um we’re going to have a video database of people who were concealing their identities, and this video will be used to…identify them…

                          And then Lancelot, Galahad, and I leap out of the rabbit, taking the French totally by surprise…

                          “In *my* universe, the police *would not do anything* at protests”

                          waitwaitwaitwaitwait I thought the whole point here was to stop violence at the actual protest, not to just let the place burn down and arrest people afterwards. Because that latter thing is something that’s already happening.

                          “I am proposing that PROTESTS GET FILMED. And that people deliberately concealing their identity *from* that film are asked to state their name.”

                          So…what you’re saying, here, is that being in public now requires that you be on video record. And that you positively identify yourself to police surveillance, immediately, if they deem you to be using some form of face concealment or are for some other reason not immediately and easily identifiable on video.

                          “Facial recognizance is almost entirely bullshit and does not work unless you have straight-on shots in good light. ”

                          Congratulations, you’ve just made it a requirement that anyone at a protest have photo ID that they display for inspection immediately upon an officer’s request! “wait what no that’s not” oh excuse me, I thought your idea here was that the cops could go through video and identify people to provide evidence for charging those persons with crimes. How are they supposed to do that if “facial recognizance is bullshit”? How are they supposed to do that without some kind of national face-to-name identity database?

                          Report

                          • I thought the whole point here was to stop violence at the actual protest, not to just let the place burn down and arrest people afterwards.

                            No?

                            If you are *actually interested* in my ideas instead of literally making shit up, the concept is: The police, at left protests, spend way too much time on *the group of protesters*. They are too close, they attempt to enforce idiotic rules of position and movement that the crowd does not understand, they just generally harass them. (And all this is an attempt to provoke protesters.)

                            They focus on *them* to the extent of ignoring nearby areas, which is almost always where actual vandalism happens. It’s not the people standing next to the police that are smashing windows, it’s people on the *completely deserted* next street over. Try putting some cops *over there*, morons. Just like one or two over there, instead having all three hundred cops lined up facing protesters with riot gear for some goddamn unknowable reason.

                            Meanwhile, the police completely ignore the *obvious provocateurs*, the people dressed all in black with face concealing outfits (Or, now that *right* have gotten into it, random colors with face bandannas.) that, frankly, should be the immediate focus of their attention at all times. Enough so that they really should sorta follow those people around. And, again, note these people use nearby streets as staging areas out of sight of the police, so they can run through, break things, and escape, so the whole ‘watching nearby streets’ things will help there too.

                            The police do not do these obvious things. This is, again, because the police *do not like left protesters* (Especially ones protesting police misbehavior) and *want* violence to break out, or at least something to happen that they can call violence.

                            The police need to stop trying to give directions to peaceful protesters, at least to *anywhere near* the extent they do currently. The people *in the group with signs* are almost never the problem. As long as they are roughly where they belong, aren’t deliberately blocking traffic, and aren’t breaking things, the police need leave them the hell alone. The police need to be *ordered* to leave them the hell alone.

                            (If I actually trusted the police any, I’d say they need to be ordered to *enlarge* any protest areas. The police currently make them dense and hot and pressured and angry, and we’d all be better off if protests were *expanded outward* once they hit a max density. But I do not trust the police to do that.)

                            Because that latter thing is something that’s already happening.

                            Erm, again, not really. That article is about using social media data to solve crimes, and to spy on people.

                            While I suspect it is being *misused* to randomly collect data about *any* people at a protest (Because, again, the police *hate* left protesters, and are spying on them without any rational reason except in hopes they can somehow figure out a reason to arrest anyone who attended a BLM match.(1)), I am not really sure how it could possibly be used to identify *criminal activity* at a protest.

                            I guess in theory someone could have posted about a crime they committed at one, and get arrested for that (I’m sure that’s happened at least once, because God knows criminals post all their *other* crimes on Facebook.), but that’s not really the same thing as putting up time-synced cameras in the area, and seeing ‘Chair goes through window here, back up and watch the video, see who did it, get their face and post it…’

                            1) But, you notice, they are indeed constrained. They can’t just show up at the house of a BLM protesters and do things. They need some sort of evidence of criminal activity they can put in front of someone who will sign an arrest warrant, or at least something they can present as a reason to start a real investigation. With what *I* am suggesting, they will just have faces of people at the protest, and thus even less ability to harass them.

                            So…what you’re saying, here, is that being in public now requires that you be on video record. And that you positively identify yourself to police surveillance, immediately, if they deem you to be using some form of face concealment or are for some other reason not immediately and easily identifiable on video.

                            ‘Requires’ you?

                            Being in public means people can make a video record of you, yes.

                            This is, *as most things you are complaining about*, already entirely legal and happens all the time.

                            In fact, I have proposed *literally no changes to any law*. This makes a lot of your objections *really stupid* about what I am ‘allowing’ police to do…the police *can already do all this*.

                            Congratulations, you’ve just made it a requirement that anyone at a protest have photo ID that they display for inspection immediately upon an officer’s request!

                            I didn’t say anything about photo ID. The police can demand you identify yourself. They cannot demand you produce ID. Stating your name is enough.

                            And people are *already* required to identify themselves to police officers upon request. (Again, you are complaining about stuff that is already true.)

                            And you’re about to respond ‘Well, people will just lie’. Well, two things:
                            1) People who interact personally with the police are going to feel a *lot* less anonymous from that point forward.
                            2) Lying to a cop is illegal, so nice job committing a crime right out of the gate.

                            If I had to guess percentages, of the people who arrive there, dressed in concealing clothes, ready to start something, but are met with a police officer who politely demands their name…we’d get a quarter who refuse to give their name (And are thus hauled over to detention until they do); a quarter who give their real name, and thus are hesitate about doing anything; a quarter who give a fake name, but immediately think better of that crime and sorta fade away and go home without doing anything so the police won’t ever find out they gave a fake name; and a remaining quarter that just lie and keep going ahead with violence.

                            I thought your idea here was that the cops could go through video and identify people to provide evidence for charging those persons with crimes. How are they supposed to do that if “facial recognizance is bullshit”? How are they supposed to do that without some kind of national face-to-name identity database?

                            The same way they arrest *anyone* whose caught on camera committing a crime. They first check their records of previously arrested people they think might have done it, and then, if that fails, post the picture for people to identify.

                            You know, *like I literally already explained* and you complained I was trying to get informants or something.

                            Why are you baffled by basic law enforcement behavior?

                            I know if *I* was at a protest, and some asshole supposedly on *my* side committed violence, *I’d* turn them in for *ruining my protest* and making my side out to be violent morons. I mean, maybe I wouldn’t do that *at the protest*, who knows if they’d go after me…but I sure as hell would do it later, anonymously, if asked.

                            And, of course, we’re talking about campuses, where tons of people would have classes with that person who were not protesters.

                            Report

  6. As a quasi-followup to the “How to Properly Hate Old Movies” thing from a few days ago, Vox put up a very ong and very Vox-y article about movie and TV critics on social issues. It’s kind of mushy, and forces everything into a historical contrast that doesn’t really help or necessarily exist, but I thought it was mildly interesting nonetheless.

    Also, I learned that someone actually liked Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and that someone was Pauline Kael. Who knew?

    Report

    • I wish it told us why Pauline Kael liked Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. It was a mildly interesting article. One problem with socially conscious criticism is that it can make everything a political question and lead to a lot of ahistoricism. The type of criticism that liberals make fun of Evangelical
      Christians for doing. Hail, Caesar took place during a time when America was more white. Trying to add diversity would lead to an ahistorical figure. They were also criticized making Eddie Mannix much nicer than the historic version. It can be an almost childish way to view art.

      Report

      • That last I strongly agree with. I think that kind of socially conscious criticism most runs off the rails most horribly when it ignores historical context either for a historical setting or for an older work when standards and opinions were different.

        Also, whenever I see an argument over it, it seems like (BSDI!) folks on either side of the debate are trying to police the way their opposite numbers enjoy media. “How dare you like this problematic thing!” and, “How dare you not like this thing ‘cuz it’s problematic!” are both annoying and all too common.

        Report

          • If you’re going to deliberately not watch a movie, you should deliberately not watch it for reasons that are good and upright, not for reasons that are backwards and ignorant.

            We need to reach a point where we’re not doing things for the right reasons, not the wrong ones.

            Report

          • Yeah, Maoist Movie Reviews are, like, the Plan 9 From Outer Space of this, where it goes so far beyond awful that it’s actually pretty entertaining.

            The way they heap praise on Conan the Destroyer for its class consciousness is truly something else.

            Report

        • The issue is that you can also ignore historical context frequently enough and have it be okay.

          Maybe not in Hail Ceasar but I have seen plays that casted people of color as Regency Dandies and Gentry and it worked fine. Or you can cast minorities in Shakespeare roles along side white actors and it works well.

          Report

      • I’ve still never seen it.

        My church said that it was satanic (as opposed to the rather wholesome first movie) and told us not to watch it.

        I never got around to watching it for whatever reason in the time between then and now but I’m pleased that we’re back in a place where I shouldn’t watch it because it’s whatever the modern version of “satanic” is.

        I’m covered.

        Report

        • On one hand, I think any excuse not to watch Temple of Doom is a good one.

          On the other, I’m not sure why even a broad consensus that a movie is kinda racist would be a bar to seeing it, unless racism in movies really bugs you (which is fair enough).

          Report

            • Haven’t seen it.

              I usually have a pretty high tolerance for right-wing apologetics until they start getting in the way of the story, and really, left-wing apologetics tend to be roughly as annoying at that point. Unless it’s Birdemic, where they just make it that much funnier.

              Report

    • My friend the film critic likes Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom better than the other two. (I could list the things he’s done in Hollywood, but ya likely wouldn’t believe me).

      Report

  7. Semi-OT maybe but I always find it strange how on OT, I am an adamant lefty but on LGM, people are always ready to accuse me of being a secret right-winger and concern troll because I have doubts about intersectionality and think that maybe keeping protests a bit more organized and focused makes sense.

    Report

    • The comments on LGM are pretty bad. I don’t mind comments that are an echo chamber if there is actual discussion and introspection and thoughtful comments. That really isn’t LGM anymore.

      Report

      • We are having an attempt at discussion about whether the March for Science was fine the way it was or whether it needed more Intersectionality. Its not going that well. A lot of the conversation on LGM is the very definition of orthodoxy and anybody who dares question orthodoxy is attacked.

        Report

          • Many of the commentators are confirming my belief that the proper insult shouldn’t be Social Justice Warrior but Social Justice Calvinist. The way they approach certain issues is the same way Calvin approached original sin and salvation by grace. Maybe very early Christianity after it became adopted by the Roman Empire, “there will be one Catholic church, one Salvation.”

            Report

        • In one of those awful ironies, I went to take a look at the thread, couldn’t resist the lure of an argument, and started… arguing with you.

          Tried to keep it mild though.

          Report

      • Heh, from the other side of the world perspective, I keep LGM on my front page solely for the link titles – as another data point about what I need to worry about.

        About once a quarter I click on a link thinking maybe I’ll learn something… nope. For me its the intellectual equivalent of picking up a screaming hot iron skillet barehanded. Usually involves something quickly dropped, leaping away in pain with a vigorous waving of hands in the air, some cursing, and at the end adrenaline tears and a firm resolution never to do that again…for about 3-months.

        Possibly I exaggerate, but meh… not impressed.

        Report

  8. Outsiders and hiring and succeeding – I thinks it’s very possible. I would also postulate that the only way it can succeed is if you’re quick to hire people & also quick to fire people – as the only way you’re going to be able to staff up is to delegate down some hiring decisions.

    Trump just isn’t a very good manager. But we all knew that.

    Edit – what I mean is Bush especially (but even Obama a little) stayed loyal to people who they hired well past the point that they should have been dismissed. An ‘outsider’ should have much more flexibility to go to the bullpen early. (But you got to get a starting pitcher in the game, too)

    Report

  9. Well, I just read that piece about Chelsea Clinton. And I’m thanking Marr (a god in a fantasy world) for lede paragraphs and the insistence of writers and editors that they tell us what the piece is about. There are enough cues in that lede paragraph to tell me that the piece is worthless to me, and consists mainly of grinding a several gigantic axes, and selling clicks to the people who still want to somehow blame the Clintons for the situation we are in.

    All hate sells (we can can call it ‘indignant disagreement’ to be polite), and Clinton hate has always sold well. If we don’t have Bill or Hillary in the public eye, then we can always dump a bucket of bile on Chelsea, who is doing a book tour.

    I am very sorry that I clicked on that piece, and put money in the pocket of the people who wrote and published it.

    Report

      • It is unquestionable that she benefited from “white privilege”. She also graduated from Stanford with highest honors. I’m pretty sure they don’t hand that sort of thing out to curry favor.

        It’s unquestionable that I benefited from “white privilege” (and it’s the nature of white privilege that it’s unearned). There’s nothing I can do about that, other than try to do the best with what I have, right?

        The thing that’s remarkable about this is that I come from working-class people – nobody in my family had college degrees before I got one. And that’s true of Bill and Hillary, too. So while yeah, white privilege got them (and me) out of that situation faster than they would have if they were POC, I don’t know why you would make them, or their child, the poster child more than, say, our current President?

        Report

        • And what did Chelsea do with her history degree from Stanford? She went on to get two degrees in international grifting, which she put to work at her parents’ slush fund/charity, where she drives her coworkers to the brink of suicide, according to Podesta’s hacked e-mails.

          Report

        • Doctor Jay,
          You get highest honors in history for being the biggest bullshitter and the best one. It’s a skillset. It’s not anything near in the demand that being a sharp operative is, though.

          Report

Comments are closed.