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Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Bug or Feature?

Congrats to Betsy DeVos, confirmed as the Secretary of Education by literally the narrowest margin possible (Vice-President Pence had to cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate).

One of the charges leveled against her was that she's completely unqualified to be the Secretary of Education and utterly clueless about what it takes to keep the education bureaucracy afloat.

I can't say I disagree. But is that a bug or a feature?

To me it seems like the entire education edifice is in catastrophically poor condition with kids not being very well educated and/or prepared for life as an adult even though funding has hugely increased over the last few decades. Perhaps a truly incompetent secretary of education will damage the system enough that it simply collapses and then it can be rebuilt from scratch. Especially with online and other tools improving at a rapid rate, catastrophic destruction of the whole thing may be the best way to ultimately improve it.

So, as I say, congrats, but I'm not sure if I wish her good luck or bad luck. A little incompetence coupled with some bad luck may be just what we need right now!

193 comments:

erp said...

Why is she incompetent? She wants to get the teachers' unions out of the schools and return to teaching the 3r's and all the other Jeopardy categories. Have any of you guys tried to do long division using the Common Core method? Even when I know the answer and try going backwards, I can't manage it.

Have any read the history books the schools use now. When we were up north four years ago, I read my graddaughter's then a HS sophmore's AP World History book and almost had an aneurysm.

Naturally, I kept my mouth shut as instructed by her mother who advises me it's her world and she has to live in it.

My goal is that she have an American world to live in.

erp said...

Then there's this.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

---
To me it seems like the entire education edifice is in catastrophically poor condition with kids not being very well educated and/or prepared for life as an adult even though funding has hugely increased over the last few decades.
---
And why do you think so?

Why are you so sure the kids nowadays are getting a worse deal than you back then?

Bret said...

Clovis,

Empirically, stuff like the following:

https://www.cato.org/blog/public-school-spending-theres-chart

Subjectively, my experience is that kids coming out of high school these days haven't even learned fundamentals of reading, writing, math, and science and have extremely limited capacity for critical thinking. My recollection is that my cohort was noticeably better in all of those areas.

erp said...

Spending doesn't have anything to do with learning. All that's needed is a willing student and teacher - a pointed stick to scratch on the dirt is useful too.

Harry Eagar said...

'My recollection is that my cohort was noticeably better in all of those areas.'

Not how I remember it. Of course, if you read the Trump White House's reports on, eg, unreported terror attacks, I might agree with you.

Hey Skipper said...

[Bret:] To me it seems like the entire education edifice is in catastrophically poor condition with kids not being very well educated and/or prepared for life as an adult even though funding has hugely increased over the last few decades.
---
[Clovis:] And why do you think so?


I am far older than Bret, so he has no first hand knowledge of this.

Up until fourth grade -- for me, 1964, the approach to math was unashamed drill and kill: beating math facts into students until they couldn't stand it, and continued pounding until everyone of them were pounded into all of them (Okay, all that were capable, which was almost everyone.) Then, in 1964 California introduced New Math, a progressive pedagogical fad.

It was horrible.

Fast forward 35 years. My kids are in middle school, many progressive pedagogical fads later. Math instruction, uncorrupted by cautionary experience, positively sucked. My son came back from school mystified and mad because he got marked wrong on a bunch of problems. Not that he got the answers wrong -- he didn't -- but because he didn't use the lattice method to solve the problem.

For those of you unfamiliar, the lattice method is a useful approach for solving problems in your head. Useless as a kickstand on a tricycle if you have pencil and paper, though.

And that's just one example.

Fortunately, my kids had two parents who could overcome the nonsense stewing in teachers' colleges. Starting with drill and kill.

[Bret:] Empirically, stuff like the following:

I remember Anchorage school spending being a real issue in the 2012 election. It seems that over the previous 15 years, per pupil spending had increased by nearly a third.

Test scores and graduation rates didn't budge.

[erp:] Spending doesn't have anything to do with learning.

Something conservatives seem unwilling to take on board -- ignore for the moment that teachers' colleges have long since become captives to prog orthodoxy, female dominated, and hostile to boys -- is that learning is dependent upon much more than school facilities or teachers.

As much as I wish DeVos smooth seas and following winds, urban and primarily black school districts are so handicapped by family breakdown -- thank you ever so much, Great Society -- that there probably isn't anything the Dept of Education, or schools themselves, no matter how brilliantly led and taught, can do.

Eliminating fathers has left a mark.

Hey Skipper said...

[Bret:] Subjectively, my experience is that kids coming out of high school these days haven't even learned fundamentals of reading, writing, math, and science and have extremely limited capacity for critical thinking. My recollection is that my cohort was noticeably better in all of those areas.

My mother was an English and Rhetoric professor from 1978 through 2000. Over that time, she saw a marked decrease in reading, writing, and critical thinking skills, to the point that, by the time she retired, the university had to implement remedial writing programs.

But that was before she could have read about unreported terror attacks, so I have no idea what her excuse might have been.

erp said...

Skipper, my youngest was born in 1964. His siblings five and seven years older learned the old fashioned way, memorization, drill, repeat and rinse. The two older kids did well in school, the younger one had problems and we were warned that he was scheduled to repeat the second grade.

My nephew, now a brilliant environmental biologist with a PhD from a prestigious school who's a couple of years younger couldn't make change until he was in high school.

I knew damn well our little guy was just as smart as our other kids, for instance, he told me in first grade that he didn't need to remember how much was 9 times 2 because because all he had to do is subtract 2 from 20.

So we promised him his heart's desire, a new Schwinn Stingray bike if by the end of the school, he could ace the exam we had made a deal with the school to prepare for him to avoid being held back.

We also had his IQ tested privately and learned that it was comparable to the other kids which surprised the hell out of the edbiz professionals.

Needless to say, no problems from then on, he aced the test and didn't have to suffer the indignities of riding his brother's hand-me-down bike.

Like you, we took matters into our hands. The poor kids who are victims of lefty thought have no advocates and are at the mercy of the compassionates.

... and the worst of it is they aren't just uninformed, they are deliberately mis-informed.

This is o/t, but it floored me and sent me into a blue funk although I knew something like must have been in effect because with the progs, money is everything. Think of it, a UN agency with a budget in 2014 of 2.4 billion/year and 9,000 employees worldwide! The mystery of their welcome in lefty cities is solved -- European counties ditto.

Harry Eagar said...

My first newspaper job was editing the country correspondence. Since this was in 1966, all of it must have come from people who received that good old-fashioned schoolin'. You wouldn't want to present their efforts as examples of good readin', good 'ritin' and critical thinking. There wasn't much evidence for arithmetic, but in a later job I got to observe that aspect of American education. The results were not impressive.

Harry Eagar said...

'But that was before she could have read about imaginary unreported terror attacks,'

Fixed that for you

Hey Skipper said...

'But that was before she could have read about imaginary unreported terror attacks,'

Fixed that for you.


Harry, you really need to read the news, and from further afield than Hawaii.

If you had, then you would remember hundreds, probably thousands, of sexual assaults in Köln last January.

Which went unreported for severals days, on account of delicate Muslim feelz. Or something.

Unbeknownst to the city government, geniuses that they are, cell phones come with video cameras. Who Knew?

Those attacks went unreported for three days until the videos started going viral.

Stockholm. Rotherham. Funny thing, Trumps obviously fake facts aren't so obviously fake.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

Except they were not unreported terror attacks, Skipper. (Is this the reading comprehension our kids aren't emulating anymore?)

Unless grabbing women by the pussy counts as a terror attack, in which case you Grabber in Chief must be complaining of unreported attacks by personal experience.

In which case I finally can believe what he says.

Hey Skipper said...

Clovis:

Political hyperbole did not start with Trump. I do not doubt that his list is way over egged, but it exists because of the very real reluctance among political elites to call a spade a spade.

To wit: try getting Obama to attribute Islamic terrorism to Islam. Or calling an Islam inspired attack (Ft. Hood) a case of workplace violence. Or blaming the Orlando massacre on conservative Christians. Or attributing the killings of Jews in Paris a case of bad luck. In Europe, which is much further down that road, Rotherham was a silent festering disaster, Stockholm crime reports are massaged to a fare thee well, and women in Germany are told they need to change the way they live.

So, given the (in my opinion) absolutely criminal failure to speak clearly to the problem, all the attacks of the last 8 years have been underreported. The Obama administrations avoidance, and the MSM's reflective trotting out of the Islamophobia tar brush, left a club laying on the table for Trump to clobber them with.

Their are reasons Trump won.

Unless grabbing women by the pussy counts as a terror attack ...

I get that as snark. Well played.

However, here the MSM treats that as diagnostic of misogyny. Which proves several things: they don't know the difference between misogyny and vulgarity; give no allowance to unguarded comments; and have no understanding for any perspective other than their own.

Imagine, for a moment, you are a rock star. Or a famous billionaire. A far from negligible number of women will -- I know I should voluntarily report to re-education camp immediately -- throw themselves at you with the hope you will grab their pussies and jiggly bits. His unguarded statement was merely a reflection of his reality.

But wait, there's more! In a previous, single, life, I was in a social circle that included many women. I have heard them say, about another woman not in their group: "what she needs is a good stiff prick." I have heard women say very negative things about other women that explicitly referred to menstrual cycles. I have heard them trash talking men's equipment and abilities.

Everyone knows people say, and think, vulgar things. Most discount accordingly.

Holy than thou progressives, to whom hypocrisy is a meaningless concept, do not.

Peter said...

In my experience, there are two jobs for which everybody feels personally qualified. The first is to run the country and the second is to run their kids' school. I think we should extend Bret's thesis to other fields. For example, I need a new career and I'm thinking of applying to be head of CERN. My particular qualification is that I know absolutely nothing about physics, but I do recognize a swamp that needs draining.

Skipper: However, here the MSM treats that as diagnostic of misogyny. Which proves several things: they don't know the difference between misogyny and vulgarity; give no allowance to unguarded comments; and have no understanding for any perspective other than their own.

That's artful to be sure, but didn't your mother ever warn you about trying to defend the indefensible? That reminds me of Clinton's exculpatory parsing of the word sex.

Harry Eagar said...

So Trump grabbing pussies is mere vulgarity but louts doing roughly the same in Cologne is terrorism?



Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

-----
A far from negligible number of women will -- I know I should voluntarily report to re-education camp immediately -- throw themselves at you with the hope you will grab their pussies and jiggly bits. His unguarded statement was merely a reflection of his reality.
-----
With the word, Mr. Trump:

Trump: "No, no, Nancy. No this was [inaudible] and I moved on her very heavily in fact I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said I'll show you where they have some nice furniture. I moved on her like a bitch. I couldn't get there and she was married. Then all-of-a-sudden I see her, she's now got the big phony tits and everything. She's totally changed her look."

I don't know about you, but to me it doesn't look like she was asking for it. After all, he couldn't get there, could he?


---
Everyone knows people say, and think, vulgar things. Most discount accordingly.
Holy than thou progressives, to whom hypocrisy is a meaningless concept, do not.
---

Little minds like mine often try to be consistent. I don't get particularly troubled because people think vulgar things, I keep my reservations for when they practice those vulgar things over an unwilling other.

From that point of view, I can't see much difference in the behavior described above by your President, and a crazed horny Muslim youngster who can't control himself in front of all the blondies he found out in Cologne.

Well, with the word again, Mr. Trump:

Trump: "You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful... I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything."

I am sure a few of those horny muslims swear, absolutely swear, the blondies let them do their grabbing.


The thing really being unreported is how many brains were eaten by zombies as of late. The free pass Obama enjoyed from progs now looks like extreme vetting by the new standards I see from the Trumpeteers.

Bret said...

Trump talking about grabbing pussies is vulgar. The specific louts actually sexually assaulting is terrorism. At least that's the way I see it.

erp said...

Every day in every way, I'm glad I was spared the curse of the Y chromosome.

Peter said...

Don't despair, erp. Fortunately you have a champion who will save you from us.

Bret: Sexual assault is terrorism? You can't really mean that.

Bret said...

Peter,

It is when the message is wear a burka and submit to Islam and sharia or you are fair game to be raped.

erp said...

Peter, glad to say I don't have that chromosome either. :-)

Hey Skipper said...

[Peter:] That's artful to be sure, but didn't your mother ever warn you about trying to defend the indefensible? That reminds me of Clinton's exculpatory parsing of the word sex.

Then you need to tune up your wordometer.

If Trump grabbed women against their will, then he is well and truly guilty of sexual assault, and should be treated accordingly.

If Trump fondled women who were there precisely to be fondled — who knows, they might have had reasons — then he is guilty of, well, what?

But let's say that Trump was engaging in some braggadocio — tough to imagine, I know, but work with me here — and was spouting off on what he could get away with if he wanted.

You tell me which.

There is no evidence for the first, which leaves the latter two equally plausible. Being a firm believer in remaining somewhat in contact with reality — context matters — then I am not defending the indefensible, but rather arguing against gross error.

If he is vulgar, then by all means hammer him for vulgarity. If he sexually assaulted women, then he should bear the weight for that. But it is an assault against reason to label vulgarity, which is easily common enough, as something it isn't.

(And, it is surpassing odd that male vulgarity is cause for the vapors, but female vulgarity, which I have heard from multiple reliable sources is both more vulgar and common, doesn't merit a mention. I saw a picture today of Joy Behar, who, against all evidence is called a comedienne, grabbing Robin Williams gentleman's sausage. Cue outrage in approximately never.)

[Harry:] So Trump grabbing pussies is mere vulgarity but louts doing roughly the same in Cologne is terrorism?

Harry, it is astonishing how much stupid you can fit into one sentence.

Without evidence that he assaulted women (I know this is very difficult for a journalist to take on board, but evidence actually matters, as does context.), then your premise fails.

And what happened in Cologne was never termed terrorism, but rather mass sexual assault. Against unwilling women. I know that should go without saying, yet you have proven right here that isn't so.

Try again.

[Clovis:] I don't know about you, but to me it doesn't look like she was asking for it. After all, he couldn't get there, could he?

What did he do to get there? Flaunt his wealth and prestige, or something coercive?

It matters.

Trump: "You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful... I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything."

Which means there must be women lining up around the block to charge him with sexual assault. Especially given his deep pockets.

The thing really being unreported is how many brains were eaten by zombies as of late.

No, it is the thousands, millions of prog heads that are exploding across the land.

Trump easily does and says enough stupid stuff to be worthy of pointed criticism. No need to resort to mass crybully hysteria.

erp said...

Skipper, I'm not sure it's ever been established beyond a shadow of a doubt that Joy Behar is a woman?

Peter said...

Skipper:

How did we get into this sewer? Perhaps you are under the mistaken impression that was me you saw at the women's march in a pussyhat screaming that Trump's ten year old groping is a high crime and misdemeanor meriting immediate impeachment. It wasn't. But as much as I understand (with alarm)that the current distemper features one half of America automatically opposing the other half at high volume whatever they say or do, I'm trying to resist allowing my distaste for frothing progressives to draw me into the position that groping young women is just a rich man's droit de seigneur in which the star struck women are likely complicit by their mere presence. Not to mention excusing boasting about it publically. I'm not going to kiss off piggish behaviour just because the New York Times has its knickers in a twist about it.

Trump easily does and says enough stupid stuff to be worthy of pointed criticism.

Indeed he does, pretty much daily. It's been less than a month, but he's starting to look like the gift that keeps on giving for the progs. The latest seems to be he has upset his own excellent Supreme Court nominee. I have a sneaking suspicion he's not about to change his spots, which means we on the right are in for some very interesting challenges. (BTW, I trust we can agree conservatives don't have a complete monopoly on good humour and that we can laugh at this clever quip from a Dem senator: "I made a list of the top 100 ways the Trump administration could cause a foreign relations crisis and I must admit that fracturing US/Australia relations was NOT on there"?)

Bret: Whether groping and sexual assault originated in something Allah said or just lagging behind in the Darwinian march, your position points to something rather scary. The word terrorism can be used causally, but we live in an era when it means very concrete things in the area of security and immigration. There are almost three and a half million Muslims living in the States and if you were right...well, you know where I'm going.

Hey Skipper said...

[Peter:] How did we get into this sewer? Perhaps you are under the mistaken impression that was me you saw at the women's march in a pussyhat screaming that Trump's ten year old groping is a high crime and misdemeanor meriting immediate impeachment.

Here is what I said above:

However, here the MSM treats that as diagnostic of misogyny. Which proves several things: they don't know the difference between misogyny and vulgarity …

and,

If he is vulgar, then by all means hammer him for vulgarity. If he sexually assaulted women, then he should bear the weight for that. But it is an assault against reason to label vulgarity, which is easily common enough, as something it isn't.

There is a deeper point here, which I completely forgot to include.

Calling vulgarity misogyny isn't just a concept fail, it also risks making the accuser look the fool. If Trump doesn't actually hate women (as opposed to viewing them as self-propelled sex toys), then he won't treat women as if he hates them (and there is plenty of evidence to show he doesn't).

So that amounts to one step towards wearing the Chicken Little hat.

Even more than misogynist, progs are certain he is a facist. Harry Eagar found out that Bannon not only had jägerschnitzel once, he enjoyed it. Therefore Bannon is Goebbels reincarnate. And, as Harry also discovered that if you change the order of the letters in Trump, and add some, you discover that the president's name is really Donald J HitlerloverwhoswoonsinexstacyatthethoughtofHitler.

Becoming so completely unhinged carries a real cost: if Trump actually does try something truly off the reservation (and no, as stupid as his immigration EO was, and how moronically it was implemented, it doesn't count), then all the knuckleheads who are now standing directly under their very own Chicken Little hats are going to have any credibility whatsoever.

You will never, ever, after all that over egged nonsense, convince existing Trump supporters that this time you really mean it the guy really needs to go. They won't believe you because they aren't stupid, and will have long since tuned you out.

Harry is the perfect example.

Hey Skipper said...

[Peter:] Bret: Whether groping and sexual assault originated in something Allah said or just lagging behind in the Darwinian march, your position points to something rather scary. The word terrorism can be used causally, but we live in an era when it means very concrete things in the area of security and immigration. There are almost three and a half million Muslims living in the States and if you were right...well, you know where I'm going.

(in reply to It is when the message is wear a burka and submit to Islam and sharia or you are fair game to be raped.)

No go zones exist. I couldn't find it quickly and easily, but there is a video of a female journalist interviewing some Islamic cleric at some street gathering, and finding out she deserved to be raped.

One of the reasons the Trump's immigration EO was struck down was because it amounted to the government taking a position on religion.

Okay. But.

Islamists clearly espouse in ideology that has no place in the West -- and the President is perfectly entitled exclude hostile ideologues (remember communists?) from the US.

What to do, though, if the hostile ideology is religious?

erp said...

Skipper, all the hoopla didn't happen when Clinton and Obama issued similar EO's. As for assaulting women being a non-crime if they're dressed provocatively, i.e., not covered in a shroud, Clovis made a similar statement about "all those blondes," not directly endorsing assault, but trying to explain it. I remember a while back a young boy in one of the northern European countries (can't remember which) was raped in the locker room of a public pool by a "refugee" whose explanation was, "he hadn't had sex in a couple of months."

This is why assimilation by immigrants coming into the U.S. is so critical. If people wanting to live with us don't want to become one of us for any reason religious or otherwise, they should be turned away. << End of Story >>

Peter said...

If Trump doesn't actually hate women (as opposed to viewing them as self-propelled sex toys), then he won't treat women as if he hates them

Yes, I see now. That's a very important distinction. I certainly would be upset if my daughter married a man who actually hated her as a woman, but if he just saw her as a self-propelled sex toy I'd feel much better about it.

Hey Skipper said...

Peter, surely you must get the distinction. He may very well view individual women as self-propelled sex toys -- and if you are the dad, no doubt you aren't going to like it, and advise your daughter against it. It might even be that the women he views as self-propelled sex toys desire to be viewed that way. Ever hear of groupies? To extent that those two groups are the same, what, exactly, is the problem?

That is entirely different then misogyny: the dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.

It is fake news to call Trump a misogynist.

This is important, because the fake news doesn't stop there. After the Berkeley antifa brouhaha, the NYT referred to Milo and Ben Shapiro as alt-right firebrands.

The NYT (and similarly sloppy thinkers and writers) have repeatedly associated the term Alt-Right with the most extreme (and numerically miniscule) people to which the term could possibly apply. (NB: Alt-Left never gets applied to the antifa scum.) So when the NYT applies the term to, say, Ben Shapiro, they are tarring him with a skewed definition they have created. Similarly, firebrand is a seriously subjective term.

Not once has the NYT directly quoted what Milo or Shapiro have actually said that has so enraged the Alt-Maoists. Do journalists owe their readers reasons for their subjective labels? Apparently not. Whether that is down to just too much work, or fear that actual quotes aren't nearly so damning as the labels are, who knows.

Regardless, that is more fake news -- and it helps spin up the Alt-Maoists by contributing to demonizing Milo and Shapiro, which is the first step en route to ostracism.

This fake news is producing real, nasty consequences, and its basis is in gross disregard for language.

Hey Skipper said...

[erp:] Skipper, all the hoopla didn't happen when Clinton and Obama issued similar EO's.

Much of the hoopla with this one is down to many self-inflicted wounds. It was grossly over broad, and violated the due process rights of documented immigrants.

And the administration's justification has been astonishingly lame. DO NOT focus on terrorist events that have happened in the US; rather, focus on Europe and make the point of the EO to avoid what they have experienced. And the administration should explicitly identify Islamism as a hostile ideology, and ban all Islamists, no matter where they are from.

Maybe Trump is capable of learning. I doubt it. At least we have the consolation of good cabinet and SCOTUS picks, and the right attitude towards the metastasizing of the federal gov't and regulations.

Harry Eagar said...

'they aren't stupid'

They're pretty damn stupid. One survey found that 4 in 5 think the ACA and Obamacare are different things.

(Generally, I ignore sudden surveys that ask, eg, what is the most distant planet? If people are not already thinking about astronomy -- and they aren't; my all time favorite survey asked Pakistani women 'what are you thinking about, and 45% answered, 'sex' -- then they will tend to fumble and stammer and give inane answers; but the ACA/Obamacare survey was not done ambush-style.)

erp said...

Skipper, all of the above is true. However, deplorable Trump may be, he isn't Hillary and a continuation of the one-world-under-Soros narrative. I do know if Obama had issued the same EO on a topic beloved by the left, he would have been carried around on the shoulders of the Praetorian guard aka the media with the rabble singing his praises as well.

Perhaps a Vulgarian is what we need now that the left has become so Victorian in its behavior. s/o

Hey Skipper said...

They're pretty damn stupid. One survey found that 4 in 5 think the ACA and Obamacare are different things.

No, Harry. You are pretty damn stupid if you don't know the difference between stupidity and ignorance.

erp said...

Harry, perhaps that's because the media seldom use ACA in their stories, but refer to the abomination as Obamacare, probably because it originally was thought so wonderful, Obama and his minions wanted him to be associated with it. Not a lot of people, Harry, are like us -- you know people who scour the ether for stories about surveys of what Pakistani women think about. A more interesting factoid would be, by whom and why was that survey taken? and what about Pakistani men. What do they think about? hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Hey Skipper said...

And, Harry, you are pretty damn stupid if you don't know the difference between the ACA and Obamacare.

Harry Eagar said...

Death panels, anyone? The Republicans -- and some commenters here -- are still flogging that lie.

Actually, erp, the term Obamacare was originally coined as a term of abuse by rightwingers; but Obama said he kind of liked the term.

erp said...

Again, Harry, you make my point for me. They thought is would be wildly successful, so they used Obamacare instead of ACA. I don't remember who started it, but what difference does it make?

What answering the question about the Pakistani survey?

Peter said...

Skipper:

I do see what is going on out there. I can see the Dems/libs/progs are somewhere between denial and anger and are mounting a fevered, shotgun attack on everything he says and does. I also fully understand that all these frothing accusations of racism and misogyny are basically a way to dismiss him in toto and disenfranchise the sixty-three million who voted for him and to avoid looking at themselves in the mirror and asking why so many they claim to champion rejected them. I don't know how long this is going to last, probably for a while, but it will burn out. Let's hope on some things he does do.


One of the things that is happening (I saw it up here with Harper) is that the left is becoming so fixated with the horror that is Trump that they will oppose anything he says or does with loud voices and wailing tears. "Will it never end?" they cry when it's hardly even begun. This is already leading them into some unfamiliar territory---alarms about subversive Russia and defending NATO and NAFTA, etc. I am simply urging us not to fall into the reactive trap of trying to defend or even half-defend everything he does in response when he doesn't deserve defending (Note to file: The election is over). We all know he won the non-minority women's vote. Colour me naïve, but I'm assuming they didn't vote for him because they thought there is an important difference between being a misogynist and seeing women as sex toys, they voted for him (while gritting their teeth) because they didn't think his history with women was as important as other things. He may do good, but he is no model for how to treat a woman and we shouldn't be lured into half-arguing that he is.

erp: deplorable Trump may be, he isn't Hillary

I think that's a better tack to take than Skipper's. I just wish it didn't remind me so much of classical nihilism. It also has a limited shelf life.

Peter said...

What to do, though, if the hostile ideology is religious?

For starters, one could stop conflating the two and dwelling on the similarities between a traditional religion and an ideology while ignoring the differences. Then one could take the rigorous rationalist, logical tools you are famous for and observe that the majority of one billion Muslims and three million Muslim-Americans don't behave as you say their religion mandates or show any inclination to do so. What you will find is that a minority ascetic sect has combined with an unstable political vacuum (and a schism) and huge amounts of money to seize temporal power and cause a fanatical murderous havoc. Very serious, very scary and very worthy of a serious response. But not of sweeping conclusions from amateur non-Muslim Koranic "experts" about how this or that is "intrinsic" to the religion. That kind of thinking is for Harryland.

It's funny, I remember 9/11 and the rage and fear we all felt. I remember how many politicians told us we would be facing more of the same, and how we believed them and steeled ourselves for the struggle. Looking back going on twenty years later, I'm amazed there have been so few atrocities, especially in North America, and I'm quite happy to credit security operations for that. But, like the anarchists of the last turn of the century, they have succeeded in changing us in ways our descendants will see as out of proportion to the threat.

erp said...

Wow! Peter, Nietzsche! I don't whether to be flattered or insulted. ;-}

How do Skipper and I disagree? As I see it, we both voted for the lesser evil as did every other rational person. There was no other choice. Hillary was simply unthinkable and of course Trump has a limited shelf life.

He must strike immediately and already I see equivocations, but then perhaps it's wishful thinking, but I think maybe he's playing the left to make their craziness so clear, even the most rabid commie professor will be able to see the foolishness of their rantings -- I know fat chance.

Lastly, as Skipper points out, he has made some very good appointments and will make more. The entrenched, mostly unlawful, federal bureaucracy must be dismantled.

It'll be a long, painful slog.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] Death panels, anyone? The Republicans -- and some commenters here -- are still flogging that lie.

Without a link, Harry, you are making stuff up. And getting it wrong.

You do know that Obamacare and the ACA are not the same, right?

Hey Skipper said...

[Peter:] I am simply urging us not to fall into the reactive trap of trying to defend or even half-defend everything he does in response when he doesn't deserve defending

I am not -- I would have thought this abundantly clear -- not defending him because he is the leader of Team Red.

Rather, when, not if, he does pull off some knuckleheaded circus act, those who have been hyperventilating all this time will have zero credibility. They need to stop that. Having leapt on hyperbole, they can't abandon it on the moment, and have anyone believe them. The NYT is so far from reality -- since the election, the NYT has run a news item on every SNL caricature of Trump.

On. The. Front. Page. Doesn't anyone see the problem with that?

And then there is the knock on effect that they are enabling some very nasty Alt-Maoists (Harry's people). Throw that fascist label around promiscuously enough, and people are going to get hurt. And Harry, as the prototypical prog, throws it around very promiscuously, indeed.

But what do progs care. Eggs, omelette. Right?

Hey Skipper said...

[Hey Skipper:] What to do, though, if the hostile ideology is religious?

[Peter:] For starters, one could stop conflating the two and dwelling on the similarities between a traditional religion and an ideology while ignoring the differences. Then one could take the rigorous rationalist, logical tools you are famous for and observe that the majority of one billion Muslims and three million Muslim-Americans don't behave as you say their religion mandates or show any inclination to do so.


I know I'm taking a real risk lecturing a lawyer on the law, but one of the tenets of religious freedom is that the government doesn't get to decide what constitutes religious belief: it isn't within the purview of non-Mormons to decide what constitutes Mormonism.

Unfortunately, the problem gets worse. As a non-Muslim, try and decide where Islamists have Islam wrong. I recently read (and I can't remember enough to track down the source) but recently there was a very learned and extensive letter from Islamist imams directed at whatever the heck his name is who is the ISIS head dude what's in charge. They pointed out all the ways he had Islam wrong. Apparently, given enough prestidigitation, Islam is totes against killing people of the book (Jews, Christians).

While I think their reasoning was too clever by half, what was obviously true, according to these extremely learned MUSLIMS, is that killing people not of the book is mighty fine.

Does the President have the power to exclude them?

About that minority sect. Let's keep it simple. According to Islam, the Quran is the perfect and complete word of Allah, and that to be a Muslim requires total faith in the Quran. The Quran says the penalty for apostasy is death. Look it up, its in there. (Along with Jew hatred so foul that it gives Mein Kampf a run for its money. Look that up, too.)

Something like 80% of Egyptians agree. Eleven Muslim majority countries have serious penalties for apostasy.

Either my amateur sweeping conclusions are wrong, or it sounds like a dilemma.

Which is it?

But not of sweeping conclusions from amateur non-Muslim Koranic "experts" about how this or that is "intrinsic" to the religion. That kind of thinking is for Harryland.

Nonsense. Really, that is pure nonsense. First, most of us "amateurs" are taking our cues from experts. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an expert. Who am I, a mere amateur, to tell her what is, or is not intrinsic to the religion she was brought up in?

I'm betting you aren't willing to have a go.

Worse, you are abetting know-nothingism. Because I am not a Scientologist, I can draw no conclusions about Scientology. Really?

erp said...

Skipper, I looked at your links to Harry's blog. Scary as h*ll. People who agree with what he said are walking around freely and yet have lost all connection with reality.

Per Harry, Trump is a proto-fascist even as he's being stymied by the left in his efforts to un-fascist the U.S. by dismantling the Soviet-style bureaucracy and one of the left's chief crony capitalists, Bezos sent his own high-priced lawyers to aid and abet the federal judiciary's efforts to prevent Trump from putting a halt to "refugees" entering the U.S. at will.

And why, you might ask, do lefties want more refugees -- the answer is filthy lucre.

Does everyone know about The International Organization for Migration, ..., headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, has an annual budget of $1.4 billion and (as of 2014) a staff of 9,000 throughout the world. According to the International Organization for Migration website, the organization provides interest-free loans “furnished by the Department of State to “all refugees arriving in the United States:

Read the whole thing sitting down preferably with your beverage of choice.

Harry Eagar said...

OK, Skipper. I am -- just this once -- going to embarrass you by posting the link you asked for.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/11/politics/death-panel-florida-gop-congressman/index.html

'it isn't within the purview of non-Mormons to decide what constitutes Mormonism.' So true. I have said this for years. But why fxate on one religion?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/missouri-man-who-said-he-was-a-kkk-leader-found-dead/2017/02/12/9c051722-f169-11e6-9fb1-2d8f3fc9c0ed_story.html?utm_term=.a30299c5d075

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] Death panels, anyone? The Republicans -- and some commenters here -- are still flogging that lie.

You owed us two links, Harry.

Harry Eagar said...

Your fuhrer at work:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/02/13/trump-ran-a-campaign-based-on-intelligence-security-thats-not-how-hes-governing/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_security-1155a%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.64a270932af8

Hey Skipper said...

erp:

I don't think we need zero immigration, and for those who deserve to be here and are real hardship cases.

Fine.

But when it comes to refugee decisions, there can be a great deal of don't give a damn for the receiving communities, This American Life, almost, but not quite, grasps. Oddly, except really the exact opposite of that, the people making these decisions are always settling refugees somewhere else entirely.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] Your fuhrer at work:

As ever, promiscuous with the slime.

I'm curious. Who do you think you are impressing?

No, wait, I have a better question. Why is it you think impressing people with your ideological lunacy a good idea?

Harry Eagar said...

You want links? I got links

http://archives.cjr.org/united_states_project/stephen_moore_heritage_foundation_paul_krugman_kansas_city_star.php

I expect Obama is going to take your guns any day now, too

erp said...

Skipper, I don't understand your comment.

I have never said, nor do I believe we need "zero immigration."

Immigrants: What I've said and believe is that we should only admit immigrants who want to assimilate and become one of We, the People and that after careful vetting.

Refugees: Are made up of families, children, the elderly who've been devastated by war-- the "refugees" currently in question are mostly young men under middle age poised for nothing but trouble. Has anybody in the media inquired about this aberrant situation?

NIMBY: I believe I've related the story before of how, to my surprise, lefties in the upscale Connecticut towns and rural Vermont communities where we've lived always vote Republican locally because they are firm believers in maintaining their home values.

Hey Skipper said...

Harry, you do know that Obamacare and the ACA are not the same, right?

Hey Skipper said...

Harry, does your computer monitor not reproduce bold text?

You made an accusation about some commenters here, and death panels. That's the link, or links, you owe us.

erp said...

Skipper, what are death panels???

Hey Skipper said...

erp:

The term "death panels" originated with Sarah Palin in the run up to the passage of the ACA. The assertion was that a provision in the ACA regarding controlling the growth of Medicare costs would necessarily entail bureaucrats rationing care; hence the term "death panels".

To be fair to the ACA, there is nothing in it specifying that result, so in that regard, the charge is false, in the Politifact sense of the word. (And before Harry starts blowing it out of his hat, he needs to pause and reflect on the evolution of Politifact's assessment of Obama's "You can keep your plan, you can keep your doctor" promises.)

It is easy to call charges of "death panels" lies, but far less easy to back that charge up, because -- think about it, Harry -- it is almost impossible to call a prospective claim a lie (or, less nastily, wrong).

Rather than repeat a previous discussion, I am sure Harry will provide the link required to back up his charge that some commenters here are liars.

Then you can judge for yourself, instead of taking Harry's word for it.

erp said...

... ah so it's a matter of semantics.

I get it. Death panels are synonyms for things like in the UK, those over 55 years of age are not eligible for dialysis and the option for euthanasia in the Netherlands.

How can anyone know what was in the ACA? Comrade Google admits to 10,000+ pages, but I remember a much larger number bandied about when Speaker Pelosi advised that they had to pass it in order to read it.

BTW do you know what Harry is talking about by accusing one or more of us of lying? He's accused me of lying many times when I've described an incident in my life -- which I find quite amusing.

His doing convinces me that a lot of what he says about his life is a lie -- projection being a large part of the lefty MO.

Anyway, I worry about you in Germany. What we read here is that the violence is very much out-of-control there.

Hey Skipper said...

Death panels are synonyms for things like in the UK ...

Here is why Harry is comfortable calling liars people who think the ACA will ultimately require stringent care rationing (aka "death panels").

BTW do you know what Harry is talking about by accusing one or more of us of lying?

No. Anymore than I know why he calls people who think the ACA and Obamacare are two different things.

In the real world, those who think they are the same are the idiots.

(Here is how that works: Whatever it is, the ACA became a fixed entity the moment it was signed. What the Obama administration implemented is wildly different, and many of those differences flout the ACA. Which, I guess, is perfectly OK if Obama does it. Regardless, Obamacare as it exists is wildly different than the ACA. It is astonishing to me that Harry, who knows everything about anything, including your own personal experiences, doesn't know that.)

erp said...

Skipper, I understand that the original abomination morphed into a different abomination, but what Harry is talking about is its appellation. They could have continued to call it the ACA, but, and Harry may be correct here, somebody, possibly a non-lefty, sarcastically called it Obamacare, and Obama, the ultimate narcissist picked up on it.

Very little is said in the media about the collapse of the NHS in the UK. No doubt nudged along by the enormous influx of "refugees."

From what I glean from my French son, healthcare like everything else in France is elitist and since he's in the top sector of the elite, it's pretty good and when it isn't, Switzerland or as a last resort the U.S. is also available. ;-]

Have the Germans been able to manage their system any better -- and do you have access to it or is there a private sector as well.

In the Obama years, health care for us geezers has gotten so bad and so regulated, it's a real pain. My husband frequently has two and three doctors visits per week. No real reason, just to boost their fees. They have to submit to gross regulations (the Medicare form is 6 or 7 pages and must be filed at the beginning of every year by every physician) which require enormous amounts of clerical work requiring additional staff while their fees keep being reduced.

We have many friends who have already have or are in the process of retiring long before they want to. They simply cannot afford to work. One of our best friends actually takes money from his savings to pay his bills. This guy is someone who Harry says doesn't exist. He sees sick people who can't pay and not only treats them free, but also medicates, etc. them using his own dime.

I'll bet Harry has never used his own dime to help someone in need in his whole life.

Hey Skipper said...

Underreported reality bites.

erp said...

Are they migrants or refugees?

Hey Skipper said...

Both.

erp said...

What justification is there for migrants?

Hey Skipper said...

My grandparents were migrants. My wife's grandparents were migrants.

Since that led to my existence, that might well be ipso facto evidence for shutting down migration stat.

erp said...

I guess the word confuses me. A migrant moves from place to place. An immigrant seeks to relocate to make a life in a new place. A refugee is forced to leave home and relocate because of natural disasters or political reasons.

My father came here from Albania at age 12 with his father and older brother because Albanian boys were being kidnapped by the Greeks to fight in their war against the Turks. I guess they were refugees. Who knew we were trendy! They, however, didn’t get any perks and he worked for the next 70 years. I bless him every day for making his life here, especially allowing me to be born here.

Skipper, I’d bet your grandparents came here because it was the land of opportunity and freedom and with the hope of becoming Americans, not to impose their life styles on us. That is clearly not the reason the current migrants and refugees are on the move.

Hey Skipper said...

[erp:] That is clearly not the reason the current migrants and refugees are on the move.

Depends. I think migrants from Mexico and places south want better lives for themselves and their families, and could not possibly care less about imposing their values upon us.

In Europe, many are fleeing war; probably most are looking for the best welfare deal they can find. Given how rubbish the mideast (outside Israel) is, that is understandable. Given the attitudes of the region (see Pew surveys), a non-trivial portion of them are bringing beliefs and attitudes that do not belong in Western civilization.

erp said...

It's a mess, but clearly open borders can't work. Funny, I just read an article about Yale hosting a Black Panthers Reunion for Black History Week. Academe is beyond parody. My husband was an auditor at Yale and while athletic, very definitely not militia material. He spent several weeks on the roofs of various buildings on fire watch while the Black Panthers laid waste to property and terrified students and residents of the area. Now they are being feted. I suggested the old man go and tell it like it was, but he declined the honor.

Sorry no link. I'm using the expletive deleted iPad and trying to find the link and copying is just too much trouble.

Hey Skipper said...

Speaking of promiscuous Naziing, see this from the Daily Kos.

Headline: One of Trump's advisers goes around wearing a Nazi collaborator medal

The story refers to Sebatian Gorka, who was photographed wearing a Hungarian medal, which, according to the story

The medal is from the order vitézi rend. The order of Vitezi. The group has the distinction of being on a list of Nazi collaborators at the State Department.

No, it isn't. It is on a list of organizations that worked under the direction of the Nazi government of Germany. "Collaborator" appears nowhere in that list. DailyKos made it up, and left no hint in the story that they had done so.

The reason I know about this is that it showed up on my Facebook feed, along with a stream of progressive hysteria. Computer monitors across the land are drenched in spittle today.

All because they are perfectly happy to have fake facts fluff their narrative.

And because they are too thoughtless to wonder how such profligate slinging of the Nazi accusation might enable the violent Alt-Maoist left.

Clovis e Adri said...

----
[Erp] Anyway, I worry about you in Germany. What we read here is that the violence is very much out-of-control there.
----

Sigh. It must be terrible to live in the imaginary world of Erp.


---
No, it isn't. It is on a list of organizations that worked under the direction of the Nazi government of Germany. "Collaborator" appears nowhere in that list. DailyKos made it up, and left no hint in the story that they had done so.
---

Oh, it looks quite a distinction that separates to "work under the direction" from being a "collaborator".

But I just checked 4 different dictionaries, and none specified if the collaboration needs to be willing or unwilling to merit the name.

I don't really have all this appetite for petty definitional shades, but it looks like you ought to get your (non-fake) facts straight before giving your seal of approval for Mr. Gorka's display.

Unless you do think Horthy is indeed an inspirational figure. The zombies are so fat from all the eaten brains these days, I will understand.

erp said...

... on the other hand, it's probably stupidity on steroids to wear or display that medal in public. If he didn't know how it would be exploited by the media, he should have. How old is this guy anyway that he could have been a Nazi collaborator?

Nazi's became histoire in 1945 after a thankfully very short run and should have been thrown in the dustbin of history, but their memory is being kept alive as the go-to deflection from the left's 100 plus year collaboration with those far worse than Hitler and his colleagues ever thought about being.

Remember: Nazi bad; Commie good and you too can be a media darling.

erp said...

Clovis, are you saying that Germany is not in turmoil?

Media I trust report that Merkel's government is under attack, there are no-go zones, girls are being told to wear "appropriate" clothing and not to go out alone ... I read recently of violence in Dusseldorf, the vacation home of our own Skipper.

Are these reports wrong?

Hey Skipper said...

[Erp] Anyway, I worry about you in Germany. What we read here is that the violence is very much out-of-control there.
----

[clovis:] Sigh. It must be terrible to live in the imaginary world of Erp.


The violence isn't out of control, but the pickpocketing is. Clovis, did you follow the link in Underreported Reality Bites above?

And the Düsseldorf terrorist plot by Syrian refugees was a real thing. Their targets are within earshot of where I live.

Out of control violence? No. But I'm not sure how either of these things is a powerful argument for admitting more people from a part of the world where 80% think Muslim apostates should be killed.

Oh, it looks quite a distinction that separates to "work under the direction" from being a "collaborator".

But I just checked 4 different dictionaries, and none specified if the collaboration needs to be willing or unwilling to merit the name.


According to you, then, slave laborers who worked under the direction of the Nazis were collaborators? Please tell me that isn't where you are going with this.

I don't really have all this appetite for petty definitional shades, but it looks like you ought to get your (non-fake) facts straight before giving your seal of approval for Mr. Gorka's display.

Not that it does me any good, but I have often strongly criticized Harry for telling us what people said, instead of using their words.

I have no opinion of Gorka, for all I know he has nightly rapturous dreams of Hitler that have happy endings. Not. The. Point.

The point is that the DailKos writer either incompetently or dishonestly (my bet is on the latter) replaced the source text with another word that, should one think of them as synonymous, leads to real problems. That is an invented fact. It is shit*y journalism. It gets worse. The story contains an accusation that he is an anti-Muslim extremist (or words to that effect). I followed the embedded link. Which went to a story on Gorka that makes the charge, and quotes several people to that effect.

Fine. Apparently Gorka has written a fair amount on Islamic extremism. Quotes from Gorka on the subject, or from anything he has written:




That's right. Crickets.

Unless you do think Horthy is indeed an inspirational figure. The zombies are so fat from all the eaten brains these days, I will understand.

From the article:

The medal is a clear sign that he sympathizes with the Horthy era—this medal was awarded as a state honor only between 1920 and 1944,” Biro-Nagy told TPM.

Several paras later:

Gorka's late father, Paul, fled Hungary for the United Kingdom during a failed 1956 revolt against the Soviet-imposed government. The flyleaf of Paul Gorka's book "Budapest Rising" identifies him as a recipient of the Order of Vitéz "for his bravery during the Resistance," presumably a nod to his anti-communist efforts during the Soviet era.

No doubt about it. His wearing the thing is a clear sign of Horthy sympathies. The thought he was honoring his father? Ridiculous.

FFS.

erp said...

Skipper, we see this era through the lens of the commie/symp media. Both from relatives emigrating to the US in the 80's and native born Russian speakers at the language school where I worked, a far different picture emerges. Nazi's are ancient history probably similar to the 100 Years War in to us. The politics of the Balkans are such as to "Cross a Rabbi's Eyes*" even to natives, but to non-natives, they are impenetrable.

The father is a hero to us for fighting the Soviets back then, but no hero to progs and the son may become a hero for fighting their descendants in the here and now.

Whoever the writer of this article is, I feel quite sure he picked up on the words, Nazi and medals, and came to the conclusion that fits the narrative -- facts, the mind of a lefty, being fungible.

*Courtesy song from inestimable, "Fiddler on the Roof"

Harry Eagar said...

Skipper made up an origin of 'death panels' that is unrelated to what happened.

As for Germany, ever since Skipper moved his family there, I have wondered about his irresponsibility as a family man, since I suppose his wife and daughter must go out unarmed. Sad

Hey Skipper said...

Harry, you accused a commenter here of lying about death panels. It is time to deliver, or apologize.

Skipper made up an origin of 'death panels' that is unrelated to what happened.

Then by all means, Harry, tell us what happened.

Bret said...

Yeah, I'd rather we didn't accuse each other of such things, but the comments aren't really searchable, so it's often hard to provide links to previous comments.

A simple "I don't believe I said that" seems sufficient to me.

Hey Skipper said...

Bret, Harry knows full well where the discussion of death panels is.

As do I.

Hey Skipper said...

The point being, as if it wasn't obvious enough, that serious charges demand serious evidence.

Perhaps it is my background, but calling someone a liar is a fighting offense. You better be right.

Bret said...

I've been called a LOT of things in my life; "liar" is almost a compliment compared to some of them! :-)

But perhaps that explains why Trump fights against so many people - almost everybody's called him a liar at one point or another!

Hey Skipper said...

Bret, any personal attack unaccompanied by evidence is the sort of crap that got people killed during the Stalin era.

Denunciations are despicable.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
According to you, then, slave laborers who worked under the direction of the Nazis were collaborators? Please tell me that isn't where you are going with this.
---

In my book, you don't get to kill thousands of people and then cry "sorry mom, Hitler made me do it!".


---
Out of control violence? No. But I'm not sure how either of these things is a powerful argument for admitting more people from a part of the world where 80% think Muslim apostates should be killed.
---
Neither do I. It is beyond my comprehension why Germany (and Europe in general) keeps cleaning after the mess America does. Yeah, they've (up to now) sure got a good protection deal from Uncle Sam, but the servitude is getting a bit demeaning by now.


---
No doubt about it. His wearing the thing is a clear sign of Horthy sympathies. The thought he was honoring his father? Ridiculous
---
Apart from the 3 people who read his book (counting himself already), I am pretty sure the rest of the world was bound to interpret a Horthy's medal as, well, a Horthy's medal.

Call me naive, but I thought people working at the White House would understand that public symbols send a message. When even Erp calls it stupidity on steroids, I rest my case.

erp said...

Clovis, this is getting personal. Are you implying that I'm a Nazi sympathizer??

I never heard of Horthy - my knowledge of Hungarian politics is lacking, except for a proverb that I used to hear a lot as a kid from my Jewish neighbors, "With an Hungarian as a friend, you don't need any enemies." I don't know why they singled out Hungarians because they surely knew that none of European countries were their friends either.

This is beyond my comprehension: ... why Germany (and Europe in general) keeps cleaning after the mess America does. Yeah, they've (up to now) sure got a good protection deal from Uncle Sam, but the servitude is getting a bit demeaning by now.

Please explain this preposterous statement.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

No, I did not imply you are a Nazi.

I did imply (and made explicit in private communication, look our previous exchanges) you look prone to ignore the failures of the political group you support, so if you could notice this one, there is nothing else to argue.

---
Please explain this preposterous statement.
---

The last tsunami of refugees over Europe is a direct function of the US geopolitical choices and doings.

Peter said...

I have to half-defend Skipper here (only half because why does he think this is important?). Unlike the simple good-guy/bad guy narratives of Western Europe, World War 11 in Eastern Europe was experienced as a multi-sided series of international, civil, ideological, religious, class, linguistic and ethnic conflicts, many going on at the same time and involving the same people. Very few came out as unadulterated heroes. But anyone who, like the author of Clovis's article, describes Horthy as an "anti-Semitic World War II-era leader whose regime witnessed the murder of some 600,000 Hungarian Jews" doesn't know very much about Horthy. He was a conservative aristocrat who spent most of the war playing cat and mouse with Germany, forced militarily and economically to ally with it but trying to keep his distance and keep the Hungarian fascists, the Arrow Cross, at bay. He was overthrown (and imprisoned) by the Nazis in 1944 for trying to withdraw from the alliance and being uncooperative on Jews. The vast majority of Hungarian Jews who perished were killed after he was deposed.

erp said...

I haven't supported a political "group" since Reagan and none before that except half-heartedly Ike. I liked W, but he was too much of a gentleman to squash the media lies, so they festered. I also liked Cruz until he started making noises about christers, etc., so I supported no one in the last election.

I might have voted for Sanders, as the stupidest lefty left standing, as I did when I voted for his look-alike McGovern over the stealth socialist Nixon. Nixon won anyway, but it wasn't my fault.

Democrats are slow learners, but they learned that lesson. Republicans never learn anything and are content to live the good life as public servants by being lefty lite and getting invited to all the A-list parties.

So I need more information on whom I support.

Our, the U.S., reaction was to have our homeland bombed by those we took in as immigrants and/or refugees. Europe and the rest of the world applauded and joined us????? Don't know how that was handled in the LA media. Perhaps they didn't approve of our retaliation.

Please provide more information about how we've inconvenienced Europe with our outrageous behavior of literally pulling their chestnuts out of the fire -- twice and saving at least part of Germany from its ally the Soviets.

Luckily for western Europe Uncle Joe's favorite nephew, Frankie, passed on to his reward before he could make soviets out of all of western Europe after the war and General Marshall's plan saved post-war Europe from voting themselves into the bondage of communism.

Once: Shame on you;
Twice: Shame on me;
Thrice: Aint' happening.

Harry Eagar said...

'Death panels are synonyms for things like in the UK, those over 55 years of age are not eligible for dialysis'

Rightwing nonsense.

Harry Eagar said...

'I never heard of Horthy'

Wow.

Never heard of the ArrowCross either, I'll bet.

This history of the order is hilarious to anyone who as heard of Horthy:

http://vitezirend1920.hu/content/view/157/1/

Harry Eagar said...

Peter, I am pleased to see somebody here knows something about Hungary, but however reluctant Horthy may have been as a collaborator, he was a collaborator. He did send an army against the USSR, whose gallant members won the order of Vitez.

erp said...


Harry, your comment about dialysis is incorrect. Note: The NHS can’t even claim everyone under 55 gets dialysis.

Even for the Guardian, this one’s a howler:

… FTA

The claim

In Britain, 40% of cancer patients are never able to see an oncologist; there is explicit rationing for services such as kidney dialysis, open heart surgery and care for the terminally ill – Conservatives for Patients' Rights

The response

"The claim that 40% of cancer patients are never able to see an oncologist comes from a 15-year-old study which is completely out of date. Since then we have had the Nice Improving Outcomes Guidance series and the NHS Cancer Plan for England, which has increased the number of cancer consultants and established specialist multidisciplinary teams," said Duleep Allirajah of Macmillan Cancer Support. However, "some people with serious kidney failure are unable to obtain dialysis on the NHS and die", said Tim Statham, chief executive of the National Kidney Federation. "Some parts of the NHS can't cope, because patient numbers are increasing by 6% a year, which is a huge burden. Of about 100 renal units in the UK, probably 20% are working at 100% capacity or above," he added. The claim about open heart surgery is not true, said the BHF's Weissberg. "There's no explicit rationing. Some people don't get treatment, but those decisions are made solely on the basis of clinical criteria and their risk of dying. We only operate on people who are likely to benefit and not die." The three main political parties agree that Britain provides good quality end-of-life care but that access to it can be patchy, depending on location and the patient's condition. The government is working to improve the situation.


The American Thinker hits one out of the park as usual.

Peter said...

Harry:

The word you want is enemy, not collaborator. He was an enemy of the USSR, as were most other Eastern European countries. Can't imagine why.

Harry Eagar said...

It was complicated. He wanted to maintain freedom of action for his government (and failed), but he also wanted to take Transylvania from the Romanians, and to do that he collaborated with Hitler.

The NHS reports that the majority of dialysis patients are over 65, so your claim is baloney.

Peter said...

As you say, it was complicated. Eastern Europe was plagued by historical enmities and recidivist claims, but they were basically sideshows. The principle reasons most of them allied with Germany was fear of the USSR and economic squeezes/blackmail. Germany's cultural and economic domination in those parts was longstanding and deep. Some, like Romania, cooperated in the Holocaust with a gusto that embarrassed the Germans. Some, like Bulgaria, were quite heroic in their resistance. Hungary was two steps away from a civil war in those years and played a complicated passive resistance game (pro-German rhetoric unmatched by action) that was better than some, but far from unblemished. There were sporadic atrocities involving numbers that chill today, but most Hungarian Jews were relatively safe until Horthy was deposed--relative being a decidedly relative term in those times. Nobody is saying Horthy was a resistance hero, but he was most certainly not a Nazi collaborator abetting the Holocaust.

erp said...

Harry, did you not read the link to the Guardian article above? If you know something they don't know, please provide a link.

What an Hungarian Nazi may or may not have done many years ago notwithstanding, what does everybody think of the coup being financed by an Hungarian Nazi right here and right now?

Trump holding a rally in Florida reminds me of the last days of the Roman republic.

Only question now is, who is Caesar? My bet is that Obama's dream will come true and he'll be named Global Coordinator for Life.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] In my book, you don't get to kill thousands of people and then cry "sorry mom, Hitler made me do it!".



Apart from the 3 people who read his book (counting himself already), I am pretty sure the rest of the world was bound to interpret a Horthy's medal as, well, a Horthy's medal.


In my book, that has absolutely nothing to do with Gorka.

In the Balkans every element of civil society worked under the direction of the nazis. Apparently, what you would have Gorka, and every other Hungarian do is completely renounce every element of their country that was in existence during WWII. How far are you willing to extend that mandate?

The emblem that the German Air Force puts on its airplanes is the iron cross. It was used on German planes during WWII. So that makes the Luftwaffe and its personnel nazi sympathizers, by your reasoning.

Another country's soldiers hunted down and massacred women and children. It stole their land, and put the survivors to forced marches under horrible conditions. That was the US cavalry against indigenous Americans during the 19th century. By your reasoning, anyone wearing an American flag lapel pin advocates what was perilously close to genocide.

Aside from your reasoning leading to places I'm pretty sure you don't want to go, you seem inclined towards the same totalitarian twitch that afflicts progressives: accept our priors, or you are a horrible person deserving whatever defamation we throw our way.

The DailKos article was complete rubbish. Yet with nothing more than that to go on, progressives, and you, feel perfectly entitled to decide what is going on in his mind.

Wonderful. Just wonderful.


Neither do I. It is beyond my comprehension why Germany (and Europe in general) keeps cleaning after the [messes America creates]. Yeah, they've (up to now) sure got a good protection deal from Uncle Sam, but the servitude is getting a bit demeaning by now.

Syria went to hell in a hand basket of its own making, and not for the first time. Blaming this on the US is, at best, trite.

Except that it is worse than that. Rewind the tape. Assume whatever the heck you want about the consequences of the US not deposing Saddam. Assume that nothing very much at all would have happened.

Now, what do you think might have happened when Saddam eventually left power, as all mortals must. How peaceful do you think that succession of power would have been?

You are romping with the unicorns if you think it would have been remotely peaceful. Making this —

The last tsunami of refugees over Europe is a direct function of the US geopolitical choices and doings.

— a monument to post hoc reasoning.

[Peter:] I have to half-defend Skipper here (only half because why does he think this is important?)

At the risk of repeating myself, I think this is important for several reasons:

Calling someone a nazi, or even a sympathizer is grotesque accusation if it is not true. It is being used as a particularly nasty way to delegitimize Trump's presidency, in exactly the same way as that the whole birther thing was an attempt undermine Obama. There is a huge difference, though: the birther nonsense was trafficked by few people, all of whom were showered with buckets of ridicule. So far as I remember, birthers never beat anyone wearing an Obama T-shirt, and their riots either went underreported, or never happened. In contrast, this nazi charge is getting tossed out there by mass outlets like the DailyKos, uncritically lapped up by progs, and enables antifa riots.

This is proof positive, as if any more were needed, that progressives, when faced with a choice between civil society and power, will pick power every time. Should they ever wonder who the informers were in the Stalin era, all they have to do is look in the mirror.

Harry Eagar said...

'trafficked by few people, all of whom were showered with buckets of ridicule'

You mean like erp, or Trump?

erp said...

... My comments about Obama's BC are correct.

Whatever his original birth certificate looked like is unknown -- the one circulated at the time of his election has been shown to be altered and/or fabricated (I'm not going to bother looking for links) because it doesn't matter. It was altered to reflect his adoption by his mother's husband, an Indonesian citizen.

From that time on, Obama had an Indonesian passport and was admitted to Occidental College as a foreign student. At age 18, he could have petitioned the court to restore his U.S. citizenship, but there is no record of his doing so.

He also has the SSN of a Connecticut man who died in Hawaii.

Parenthetically, his parents couldn't have been married, because Barrack Obama, the elder, already had a wife in Kenya. Regardless of whether the woman Stanley Ann Dunham is really his mother, he is related to that family because he looks very much like Stanley Dunham who is either his father or his grandfather.

No one has ridiculed that statement. Do you have a problem with its veracity?

Perhaps someday someone will write a book telling the truth about Obama and his curious past.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] You mean like erp, or Trump?

Well, you certainly have ridiculed erp plenty. And I seem to recall a great deal of opprobrium heaped upon Trump's head.

What I don't recall is riots, or thugs, or vile accusations, or wildly exaggerated (where not completely false) stories about Obama's citizenship in the MSM.

The nonsense about Obama's citizenship was harmless. Completely unlike the assaults on civil society perpetrated by crybullies.

erp said...

Skipper, what about my comment on Obama's early life is nonsense?

Harry, perhaps this essay from the always refreshingly direct and on-the-money Belmont Club via Richard Fernandez will clarify for you my own point of view and that of millions of others who are not part of elitist left's absurd SNL skit version of those who oppose their vision of a globalism.

Harry Eagar said...

'The nonsense about Obama's citizenship was harmless.'

I don't think so. But assume you are right. You have just undercut your attack on my calling Trump's behavior nazi.

And over at RtO, you seemed really upset about it, despite the accumulating evidence that I am right

Hey Skipper said...

Harry, it was harmless because so few people believed it, and it was so widely ridiculed. And if you disagree, then please show why.

In contrast, this shameful slinging of the nazi accusation — I know I'm repeating myself here — has enabled riots, and leftist fascist thugs attacking Trump supporters, or anyone those thugs thought might be. You really should read newspapers more.

As for evidence, you have never supplied any, and your comment doesn't change that pattern in the least.

I shouldn't be surprised, though. Stalinists like you don't giv a fig about fiddle things like that.

Hey Skipper said...

erp, I think it fails the first test of reasonableness: anything that so thoroughly fluffs what one wants to believe is almost certainly false.

Second, let's assume for a moment it was all true. Like it or not, Obama won both elections. It would have done far, far more damage to the US to do something about it than ignore it.

IMHO, we need a constitutional amendment to eliminate that citizenship requirement.

erp said...

Assume it's all true? It is true. Obama's winning the election neither makes it true nor false. At the time, I would have agreed with you that it would have damaged the country to do something about it, but considering what he has done these eight years and what he is going to continue to do, it's time to expose his phantasmagorical life before he does any more damage. There's much much more to the story.

Harry, remind again. Who's the fascist?

I never believed Obama was born other than in Hawaii. He lost his citizenship when he was adopted by his Indonesian step-father. That is a fact. There is no record of his reversing that. That is a fact. IMHO There is no reason to change the constitution. It covers the issue very well.

Perhaps when the dust settles, we will have a media that is not partisan and future candidates for the presidency will be well vetted no matter where they stand on the political

erp said...

... spectrum.

Clovis e Adri said...

Peter,

---
Nobody is saying Horthy was a resistance hero, but he was most certainly not a Nazi collaborator abetting the Holocaust.
---

I can't win an argument against a lawyer, so I won't try. But let the man himself speak, shall we?

Horthy in October 1940:

"As regards the Jewish problem, I have been an anti-Semite throughout my life. I have never had contact with Jews. I have considered it intolerable that here in Hungary everything, every factory, bank, large fortune, business, theatre, press, commerce, etc. should be in Jewish hands, and that the Jew should be the image reflected of Hungary, especially abroad. Since, however, one of the most important tasks of the government is to raise the standard of living, i.e., we have to acquire wealth, it is impossible, in a year or two, to replace the Jews, who have everything in their hands, and to replace them with incompetent, unworthy, mostly big-mouthed elements, for we should become bankrupt. This requires a generation at least."

Ok, I agree he was way better than Hitler: he envisioned getting rid of jews only by enacting laws (as he did) that told them to go away, as opposed to killing them. And he wanted to do it in a time frame of one generation, as opposed to a couple of years of gas chambers.

I guess that, in a lawyer's eyes, it is a good defense indeed.


To be fair, that many Jews could at least survive up to 1944 in Hungary is not to be dismissed. But how were they living?

One of the most interesting things I've read during holidays at the beach was this article. It will make for a good Sunday reading, if you can spare the time.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

-----
Aside from your reasoning leading to places I'm pretty sure you don't want to go, you seem inclined towards the same totalitarian twitch that afflicts progressives: accept our priors, or you are a horrible person deserving whatever defamation we throw our way.

The DailKos article was complete rubbish. Yet with nothing more than that to go on, progressives, and you, feel perfectly entitled to decide what is going on in his mind.
-----
Absolutely not. I care not an ounce what goes on in Gorka's mind.

He may well be the worst - or the best - person to walk the world, for all I know. Not the point.

The question is, do the people who pay for the White House - and Mr. Gorka's present job - to exist, have a right to denounce symbology they do not agree with? (And there again, it doesn't matter what said symbology means at a personal level, but what meaning it takes for the public.)

I think they do have that right. You look to think they don't. You may as well pay their share of the tax burden, or someone may think of you as hypocritical.

---
[Clovis] The last tsunami of refugees over Europe is a direct function of the US geopolitical choices and doings.

[Skipper] — a monument to post hoc reasoning.
---
That's how I see it:

Dumb: Don't kick that stone, it will hurt your feet.
Dumber: [Kicks it hard] Ooooouuch!! It fu**ing hurts, man!
Dumb: I told you.
Dumber: Yeah, a monument to post hoc reasoning, smart a**.

I am dumb, Skipper. But aren't there some politicians and generals of the Empire even dumber, Sir...

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
I never believed Obama was born other than in Hawaii. He lost his citizenship when he was adopted by his Indonesian step-father. That is a fact.
---
We have run through this before here, and to the best of my memory, the point above is where you take your facts wrong: no, Obama would not have lost his citizenship by adoption. That is a fact.

erp said...

That ain't the way I heard it. If that were the case, why did he matriculate at Occidental as a foreign student and go to Pakistan on an Indonesian passport? Your link doesn't compute.

Clovis e Adri said...

It does, Erp. You only need to ask yourself where Obama was living when turning 18.

Peter said...

Clovis: Thanks, that Horthy quote, which I assume is from a speech, is interesting. Judged by today's standards , it reveals him as a noxious dabbler in the dark side. From the perspective of an Eastern European leader in 1940 under German hegemony trying to keep German troops out of his country and fighting off a powerful, fanatical domestic movement demanding immediate "aktion" against the Jews, it is perhaps more nebulous. Imagine a southern politician in the 1890's trying to resist the wave of racist populism that led to Jim Crow. Would you expect him to talk like Martin Luther King? Would you insist he abetted legal segregation and oppression and was no better that the most virulent and violent racists because he didn't? Were there not Brazilian politicians from days long gone who tried to protect aboriginal peoples in the Amazon who publically affirmed they were "uncivilized" or inferior in some way?

And that is the problem with making moral judgements about this period, especially in Eastern Europe. They are made in full knowledge of the outcome and an expectation that everyone in the period should have foreseen all the horrors. If you are looking for heroes devoid of anti-Semitism who stood up for equality and human rights in today's language, you'll hardly find any. Anti-Semitism was rife throughout the region, many other ethnic hatreds, and was inflamed by a very unstable and violent inter-war period (check out Bela Kun and the Red and White terrors). World War 11 may have driven us to a higher international morality, but it has also led to a lot of simplistic and Manichean historical theories and after-the-fact judgements. The never-ending debate about whether the Catholic Church was complicit with or resisted the Nazis drives people foolishly into anti-historical extremes because it was both depending upon time, place and person.

After the German conquest, non-Jewish Poles founded a secret organization to aid and protect Polish Jews, a highly dangerous undertaking involving daily risks to their lives from both Germans and other Poles. It's co-founders were a social-democratic leader and a Catholic activist known for her anti-Semitic poetry and advocacy. What would modern history say about the latter? I'd bet a modern Internet debate on the question would be endless, would inevitably degenerate into invective and would be dominated by shrill voices saying that she was either no better than a Nazi or deserving of recognition as a righteous Gentile at Yad Vashem.

Hey Skipper said...

The constitution says natural born, at least 35 yrs old, and residing in the US at least 14 yrs. According to those criteria — birth certificate conspiracy theories notwithstanding — he was eligible to run for president.

erp said...

Clovis, Your comment computes even less. Many people who live in the US are foreign nationals, but that doesn't make them citizens.

Skipper, Would someone who denounced their US citizenship also qualify? Remember it wasn't until Nixon that US citizens were permitted dual citizenship - IIRC that's one of Cruz' problems.

I started looking for links to the two years the Obama's spent on a paid leave from the Miner Barnhill & Galland Law Firm to write his book, but I got shunted from one glorious paean to another intermingled with 404 Error. My own voluminous compilation of Obama's history and network was deep-googled as soon as it became apparent he would be the presidential nominee.

So pick whatever version of the past you like best. If Obama really isn't a citizen, he can't be tried for sedition -- right? Wouldn't it be ironic if that would be his defense.

Harry Eagar said...

'Imagine a southern politician in the 1890's trying to resist the wave of racist populism that led to Jim Crow.'

Don't have to imagine, we have the real Billy Mahone, and he had the decency to form a biracial political party.

While I take your point about maneuvering in he shadow of an expansive Germany, let's not forget that almost all Europe chose fascism before 1939, including countries that were not under any threat from Germany.

Even Hitler was not planning to exterminate Jews in 1940; he was still considering the expulsion strategy that Horthy's quote indicates.

Fun fact:

Since Horthy was regent for an empty throne, Hungary was in the market for a king in the late '30s.The top candidate was England's most influential fascist, Rothermere.

erp said...

Harry, a Mt. Hollyoke College syllabus entitled Fascism in Europe, doesn't mention the name, Rothermere, neither does the Britannica.

I've been asking you for your definition of fascist for a long time. This might be a good time and place to provide it.


Harry Eagar said...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Harmsworth,_1st_Viscount_Rothermere

erp, if you do not know who Rothermere was then you are not qualified to say anything about fascism.

erp said...

Harry, I'm not saying anything about fascism, you are. I am merely acquainting you with what experts on the subjects are not saying. Wikipedia entries are subjective, not expert opinions.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
Clovis, Your comment computes even less.
---
I don't think you paid attention to my link.

There is no rule in US Law saying you lose your US Citizenship by adoption - it would be even more ludicrous in this case, since Obama kept being fostered by his American mother.

In Indonesian law, though, you do have to make a decision when turning 18 years old about which nationality you adopt (up to 18, they do accept dual citizenship).

Where was Obama living when he turned 18? In the USA. So were him to lose a citizenship, would be the Indonesian one. On the contrary, you would need to accept that a foreign country has authority to strip you of your American nationality. Does it make sense to you, Erp?

If it does, I hereby strip you of your US citizenship. You are now my personal slave, and I command you to stop with this non-sense about Obama's citizenship - NOW!

And bring me a beer too, would you?

Clovis e Adri said...

Peter,

That quote comes from a letter Horthy wrote to his prime minister.

There is evidence enough that he approved of assassination of Jews, but wanted it to be restricted to the big shots -- he looked to think bad of the indiscriminate murder of non important jews in the streets, apparently because he thought the barbaric aspect of it reflected bad on Hungary's reputation.


I am not trying to paint devils and to ignore all the ambiguities of the times, Peter. My only stake at this matter was to show to Skipper - who continuously complain about the crying of progressives - that he wasn't half as right as he thinks.

erp said...

I don't trust links just because they look "official." What I read was that when a child is adopted, his new parents set the rules. His stepfather presented him as an Indonesian citizen when he put him in school and remained an Indonesian when he was admitted to college after age 18.. He couldn't have gone to Pakistan on an American passport at that time because Americans were not permitted to travel there. Dual citizenship wasn't permitted at that time either, so ............

Also, even though in his book Obama states he was born in Kenya, I don't believe he was, not unless Stanley Dunham went to Kenya to father a child with a Kenyan woman. In those days 17 year old girls didn't travel around on their own.

Also check out the pictures of Obama senior in the exact same pose, wearing the same dark suit with his arm around, in one picture, his supposed teenage bride and the other picture showing him with his arm around the 10 years old Obama. These pictures are obviously both crude photoshop efforts.

Peter said...

I believe you, Clovis. My only stake was to object to Western black and white pigeon-holing about Eastern Europe in those years. Skipper's mistake is to get so agitated because somebody called somebody a Nazi on the Internet.

Harry Eagar said...

erp, where did you get the idea that Americans were not allowed to travel to Pakistan?

http://www.factcheck.org/2009/06/more-birther-nonsense-obamas-1981-pakistan-trip/

As for Rothermere, his fascism is well-known; his bid for the throne of St Stephen somewhat less so but it is in his biography. I could not mail you that book so linked to wikipedia.

Rothermere was one of the most famous Englishmen of the interwar years. That you never heard of him speaks loudly about your lack of education

erp said...

Take your pick.

erp said...

I said nothing about Rothemere, only linked to what experts from academe and the Encyclopedia Britannica had to say about fascism -- remember that was the topic.

Harry Eagar said...

Do you realize that all those sites except the fascist World Nut Daily contradict you?

Hey Skipper said...

[Peter:] Skipper's mistake is to get so agitated because somebody called somebody a Nazi on the Internet.

And it would have been a similar mistake to get agitated because somebody called Justin Sacco a racist on the internet. After all, nothing bad ever comes of that sort of thing. Right?

But aside from who gives a damn what happens to people when the defamation machine cranks up, there's this: Are Liberals Helping Trump. From the NYT, no less.

Liberals may feel energized by a surge in political activism, and a unified stance against a president they see as irresponsible and even dangerous. But that momentum is provoking an equal and opposite reaction on the right. In recent interviews, conservative voters said they felt assaulted by what they said was a kind of moral Bolshevism — the belief that the liberal vision for the country was the only right one. Disagreeing meant being publicly shamed.

...

“The name calling from the left is crazy,” said Bryce Youngquist, 34, who works in sales for a tech start-up in Mountain View, Calif., a liberal enclave where admitting you voted for Mr. Trump is a little like saying in the 1950s that you were gay. “They are complaining that Trump calls people names, but they turned into some mean people.”


Wow, does that ever give me a case of the déjà vues all over again:

Calling vulgarity misogyny isn't just a concept fail, it also risks making the accuser look the fool. If Trump doesn't actually hate women (as opposed to viewing them as self-propelled sex toys), then he won't treat women as if he hates them (and there is plenty of evidence to show he doesn't).

So that amounts to one step towards wearing the Chicken Little hat.

Even more than misogynist, progs are certain he is a fascist. Harry Eagar found out that Bannon not only had jägerschnitzel once, he enjoyed it. Therefore Bannon is Goebbels reincarnate. And, as Harry also discovered that if you change the order of the letters in Trump, and add some, you discover that the president's name is really Donald J HitlerloverwhoswoonsinexstacyatthethoughtofHitler.

Becoming so completely unhinged carries a real cost: if Trump actually does try something truly off the reservation (and no, as stupid as his immigration EO was, and how moronically it was implemented, it doesn't count), then all the knuckleheads who are now standing directly under their very own Chicken Little hats are going to have any credibility whatsoever.

You will never, ever, after all that over egged nonsense, convince existing Trump supporters that this time you really mean it the guy really needs to go. They won't believe you because they aren't stupid, and will have long since tuned you out.


Harry, for once, actually provided some basis for what he says, although it thoroughly contradicted him, which might explain his generally profound reticence.

What you cannot ignore, unless you are bound and determined to ostracize people who disagree with you, is that the Order of Vitéz don't see themselves as even remotely fascist.

Apparently, if the totalitarians in waiting insist you are fascist, then fascist you shall be.

No reason at all to get bothered by that. Right, Peter?

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] That's how I see it:

Dumb: Don't kick that stone, it will hurt your feet.
Dumber: [Kicks it hard] Ooooouuch!! It fu**ing hurts, man!
Dumb: I told you.
Dumber: Yeah, a monument to post hoc reasoning, smart a**.

I am dumb, Skipper


You said it. That is trolling that doesn't even reach level zero; it makes Harry a mensa level troll by comparison.

Harry Eagar said...

Skipper is correct. There is almost no chance that the hard Trumpters will be affected by evidence. They were not during the campaign, why should they now?

I say that if you see nazis and don't want to call them nazis because their widdle fweelings will be hurt, then you are a useless citizen.



Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
You said it. That is trolling that doesn't even reach level zero; it makes Harry a mensa level troll by comparison.
---

Thanks. Though you should take my level of argument as crafted to the receiver. That's how much I expect getting from you in terms of understanding how your country is to blame on this last refugee wave. Your cognitive bias here is too heavy to be amenable to better arguments, so I won't even try.

erp said...

Clovis, why not just tell us why you think our country is to blame for the refugee wave? Harry's method of accusing us of being too stupid, racist, untruthful, uninformed, jingoistic, nationalistic, fascist, etc. doesn't really work. At the same time, throw in the reasons you think we are also to blame to the mess in Europe.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Though you should take my level of argument as crafted to the receiver. That's how much I expect getting from you in terms of understanding how your country is to blame on this last refugee wave.

Clovis, every comment you have ever made on this subject is so empty, so worthless they aren't even wrong.

According to you, somehow, the US, having invaded Iraq, is responsible for a wave of Syrian refugees. That without the invasion of Iraq, the inevitable disappearance of Saddam would have resulted in peace, prosperity, and gamboling unicorns. And if it hadn't been for the invasion of Iraq, the Hama massacre would never have happened, nor the Lebanese civil war.


Your superpower is ignoring the evidence staring you right in the face. Operating Iraqi freedom only gave the when to what. And, oddly, ISIS took root in Syria, which the US did not invade. Now, if you wish to assert that Obama's decision to leave Iraq turned out to be singularly heedless, than you might have something to work with.

Instead, your piffle amounts to condescension of the worst kind: people in the Middle East have absolutely no moral agency at all.

Go ahead, try to push that one: the US getting rid of Saddam gave them absolutely no other choice except to slaughter each other.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] I say that if you see nazis and don't want to call them nazis because their widdle fweelings will be hurt, then you are a useless citizen.

And I say that your calling people nazis without a shred of evidence (according to Harry, Clint Eastwood is a fascist) makes you exactly the kind of person that would have been KGB Informer of the Month.

Every month.

Bret said...

Harry wrote: "I say that if you see nazis and don't want to call them nazis because their widdle fweelings will be hurt, then you are a useless citizen."

You can call anybody anything you like. Nobody really much cares (at least I don't). Sticks and stones and all that.

What's a little more interesting is that many think it's okay to punch nazis.

Kinda cool actually. All I have to do is think in my own head that someone's a nazi and I can walk up to them and punch them in the face. Maybe I can even get away with killing them. I can be judge, jury, and executioner. Excellent! And probably racists too. And since progressives are far worse than either of those, them too! Yeah, that's the ticket!!!!

/sarc

Hey Skipper said...

[Bret:] You can call anybody anything you like. Nobody really much cares (at least I don't).

I'll bet you would think differently if DailyKos called you a nazi, en route to trying to deprive you of your livelihood. (See Sacco, Eich, Robertson.)

Defamation matters, and has consequences. Otherwise, defamers wouldn't bother.

Bret said...

Hey Skipper,

People lose their jobs all the time because of political leanings. What's the difference?

Hey Skipper said...

One difference would be that between defamation and truth. Which is a pretty big difference, after all.

I can't believe I'm saying this yet again, but I will: defamation is poisonous.

erp said...

Re: Defamation.

I don't know much of anything about Milo Yiannopoulos, but one of my most reliable clues about the truth of what used to be called Current Events is to take it from whence it comes. The stuff about him comes from the bottom of the cesspool, so I don't believe much of it, but it is defamation and it is poisonous. RINO's of course threw him under the bus immediately.

Milo got under the skin of the progs because he's everything they normally promote, yet because he's conservative, not a fascist, he had to be destroyed. Proof: one of the darlings of the left, former Star Trek navigator, Sulu aka George Takei, made a very similar statement about sexually mature boys and adult men and he still has his job shilling for, I think, Burger King.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

----
Clovis, every comment you have ever made on this subject is so empty, so worthless they aren't even wrong.
----

As I said, your bias is insurmountable.

Wikipedia told me "the top three nationalities of entrants of the over one million Mediterranean Sea arrivals between January 2015 and March 2016 were Syrian (46.7%), Afghan (20.9%) and Iraqi (9.4%), all overwhelmingly Muslim entrants."

I see you realized they have one common feature: being Muslim. But somehow you can't ever wonder what more they share.

What possibly can explain those particular Muslim countries generating so many refugees - why not every other Muslim country presents Europe with a million immigrants? What a mystery...

Clovis e Adri said...

I find it amusing we got to the point that, in order to make their point on 'defamation', we gonna watch Erp and Skipper to defend Mr. Yiannopoulos.

Please, go on, tell me how unfair the media has been treating him. Poor guy...

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Wikipedia told me "the top three nationalities of entrants of the over one million Mediterranean Sea arrivals between January 2015 and March 2016 were Syrian (46.7%), Afghan (20.9%) and Iraqi (9.4%), all overwhelmingly Muslim entrants."


Mathematics tells me almost 25% are uncounted for in the top three. From where do they come?

Geography tells me that ISIS, which got started in Syria, extended to northern Iraq, which is primarily Kurdish.

What possibly can explain those particular Muslim countries generating so many refugees.

The leading part of the Wikipedia para you neglected to quote:

The unauthorized foreign migrants came mostly from Muslim-majority countries of the regions of Western Asia (Middle East), South Asia, Africa (North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa), and Western Balkans. By religious affiliation, the overwhelming majority of entrants were Muslim (including Sunni Muslims, but also non-Sunni minorities), with a small component of non-Muslim minorities (including Yazidis, Assyrians, Mandeans, etc.).

...

Of the unauthorized entrants arriving in Europe by sea in 2015, 58% were adult males over 18 years of age, 17% were adult females over 18 years of age, and 25% were minor males and minor females under 18 years of age.


Quite a lot of places the US hasn't invaded, and the Balkans, which the US positively helped.

Something else you failed to quote: In 2014, 11 years after the US invaded Iraq, and just about when the US left, there were more than 283 thousand land and sea arrivals into the EU. Syrians -- 80,000. Eritrea -- 34,000. And so on down the list until Somalia at 54,000. Of insufficient numbers to merit individual mention? Iraq.

Granted, my bias is insurmountable. But perhaps you should give a go at explaining to me how an invasion that happened in 2003 didn't produce significant numbers of refugees in Europe more than a decade later?

Things got really out of hand in 2015. Perhaps you could also give a go at explaining what heinous thing the US did to cause that sudden change. I thought I kept up with the news reasonably well, but perhaps not.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] I find it amusing we got to the point that, in order to make their point on 'defamation', we gonna watch Erp and Skipper to defend Mr. Yiannopoulos.

I Milo said something that got him in trouble. I have no real idea about the details of what he said, or the context within which he said, because all the items I read failed to provide them. Based on what little I know, journalists to not know the meaning of the word "pedophile"; that isn't in and of itself any particular significance, except you'd think that's the sort of thing journalists should know.

I also have no idea why Milo is being pilloried, while George Takei and Bill Maher have come out publicly in favor of sex with minors. And Lena Dunham says she molested her younger sister (and falsely accused an identifiable person of raping her).

So maybe he said something heinous. Or, given his own experiences somewhat less so. From what little I know, he thought that having sex at 14 with a man 10 years older was just fine. Heinous?

When I was fourteen, I vainly wished that my sophomore English teacher -- twice my age -- would decide to have her way with me. Heinous?

erp said...

What Skipper said, except for the part about his high school teacher. :-)

erp said...

Remember when there was a movement among our betters to legalize NAMBLA.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
Mathematics tells me almost 25% are uncounted for in the top three. From where do they come?
---
You are welcome.

---
Geography tells me that ISIS, which got started in Syria, extended to northern Iraq, which is primarily Kurdish.
---
That's only the begin of your mistakes.

And though your mistakes in this matter have no end, your notion the US has nothing to do with the mess in Syria is another example on how lost you are.

---
The leading part of the Wikipedia para you neglected to quote:
...
Quite a lot of places the US hasn't invaded, and the Balkans, which the US positively helped.
---
You can be either blindly misguided (as in biased beyond hope) or innumerate, Skipper, but you can't be both on this one.

Compare in my graph, in the first paragraph above, the differences from 2014 to 2015. The sum of the countries I failed to mention is, in both years, far below the leading ones, and most just kept their standard rate from years before.

My initial claim is that the last wave - "wave" as in yuuuge numbers - of refugees had something to do with America past actions. You are not answering that claim by pointing out the small part of that influx that kept at similar rates throughout the period.

---
Granted, my bias is insurmountable. But perhaps you should give a go at explaining to me how an invasion that happened in 2003 didn't produce significant numbers of refugees in Europe more than a decade later?
---
It is kind of obvious to anyone paying attention, but I will let that answer as another great mystery to you.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper and Erp,

----
[Erp] The stuff about him comes from the bottom of the cesspool, so I don't believe much of it, but it is defamation and it is poisonous. RINO's of course threw him under the bus immediately.

[Skipper] I also have no idea why Milo is being pilloried, while George Takei and Bill Maher have come out publicly in favor of sex with minors.
----

I like the "botton of the cesspool" part. Because the group that started this last controversy calls itself "Reagan Battalion". I understand you could very well be part of that group, Erp - you often state how fond you are of Reagan too!


Now I will do you this one favor, Skipper, and explain what you claim to have no idea about. It is just that, contrary to you who often use the word but looks to have little understanding of it, some people out there do know what "hypocrisy" means.

So when they felt they would turn into hypocrites - for they would often condemn Mr. Takei and Mr. Maher, but would be abetting now someone with the same lower morals - they decided to not take that path.

I know, it is not something you or Erp would do, by the level of hypocrisy I've seen in your defenses of Mr. Trump here, so it may not be easy to understand.

erp said...

Clovis, we are abetting no one. We are pointing out that the left or as Skipper refers to them, progs, wanted to take down Milo for being conservative, not for speaking favorably about sex with children, something that was being seriously being discussed as "normal" by these same scum not very long ago.

We aren't the hypocrites here. I was a little disappointed by CPAC, but not surprised when they dropped him and I find RINOS far more repulsive than fascists. They at least don't pretend to have any moral values above gaining and retaining power and money.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] And though your mistakes in this matter have no end, your notion the US has nothing to do with the mess in Syria is another example on how lost you are.

From the CNN article:

Baghdadi took over the group, and when a civil war kicked off in neighboring Syria, members of the group went there to fight against Syria's government forces.

Without the Syrian civil war, where is ISIS? What did the US do that caused the civil war?

Towards the end:

Retired Maj. Gen. James "Spider" Marks, a CNN military analyst, told CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront" on Thursday that calling Obama the founder of ISIS was "crazy talk." But, he said, "clearly there's culpability."

"There's a lot we could have done in Iraq. Our departure in 2011 was premature," Marks said. "Conditions were not set. ... This (ISIS) is an organized military with a focus."


As I said way above, if there is some element of US involvement in the refugee crisis, it is Obama's decision to leave Iraq.

But even so, that eliminates any moral agency for the Iraqis -- sectarian violence against the Sunnis after 2011 was a Shia dominated Iraqi government decision. That helped give ISIS legitimacy in northern Iraq. I'd love to hear how the US is responsible for that, or Saddam's decades long oppression of the Shia prior to 2003.

And you have similarly stoutly deprived the Syrian government of moral agency. The US to blame for everything; the brown people are just puppets.

That may play well in academia, but in the real world, it explains almost nothing.

My initial claim is that the last wave - "wave" as in yuuuge numbers - of refugees had something to do with America past actions. You are not answering that claim by pointing out the small part of that influx that kept at similar rates throughout the period.

I'll repeat. It demands a great deal of explanation, none of which you have provided, how American actions over a decade before caused a refugee crisis in 2015. You completely ignore Iraqi and Syrian agency. You never once mentioned how Merkel's decisions threw gasoline on the fire. Nor did it once occur to you, although the link you provided points it out, that the one action that might have helped precipitate the crisis was the US leaving Iraq. It isn't as if people didn't point that out at the time.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Now I will do you this one favor, Skipper, and explain what you claim to have no idea about. It is just that, contrary to you who often use the word but looks to have little understanding of it, some people out there do know what "hypocrisy" means.

So when they felt they would turn into hypocrites - for they would often condemn Mr. Takei and Mr. Maher, but would be abetting now someone with the same lower morals - they decided to not take that path.


Your explanation sucks, in that it explains nothing. Like Harry, you never link to a primary source. I still don't know exactly what Milo said; I have a rather better idea about Takei, Maher, and others.

Outrage selectively applied to Milo appears the perfect example of hypocrisy.

As a free speech issue, I'm with Ace of Spades.

Regarding what he said, and people's reaction to it, I think D.C. McAllister at the Federalist nails it. And nails it again.

I happen to think Milo is a welcome corrective to progressive speech policing, and now to conservative pretensions. What he actually said that started all this kerfuffle? Nothing that hasn't been said before, by others.

Get over it.

Hey Skipper said...

And The American Spectator is even better -- it has Links!

Hello, hypocrisy.

erp said...

Skipper, thanks for reminding me about The American Spectator. It got lost when I moved to Feedly.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,


----
Without the Syrian civil war, where is ISIS? What did the US do that caused the civil war?
----
I will let you do your homework and find out that for yourself.

You may start asking what possibly led a group of dissidents who always existed within Syria to grow strong enough to finally challenge the regime.

Then you can ask yourself how that growth in their muscles happened, and what were the interests behind so.

I don't think you will find out the answers for yourself. Really, you are hopeless. But I did my part.


---
And you have similarly stoutly deprived the Syrian government of moral agency. The US to blame for everything; the brown people are just puppets.
---
It is precisely because the many sects within have moral agency, and conflicting ones at that, that makes it so easy for external influence to induce big moves.

Oh, they should be smarter than that? Sure they should. But so should you and US policy too.


---
It demands a great deal of explanation, none of which you have provided, how American actions over a decade before caused a refugee crisis in 2015. You completely ignore Iraqi and Syrian agency.
---
Yes, I am particularly lazy when I know the work will be fruitless.

---
Nor did it once occur to you, although the link you provided points it out, that the one action that might have helped precipitate the crisis was the US leaving Iraq. It isn't as if people didn't point that out at the time.
---
So you feel less pressure to defend your country's mistakes when they are done by a President you didn't like?

Harry Eagar said...

'Nobody really much cares'

That's a bug not a feature. However, you are missing the point. Skipper doesn't think the people I think are nazis are real nazis. But there are assuredly real nazies ot there, and -- to me anyway -- it is a matter of principle to call them out.


It is a matter of civic education to learn enough to discern them

Harry Eagar said...

'Remember when there was a movement among our betters to legalize NAMBLA.'

No, but I'm sure you will show us

Harry Eagar said...

'I'd love to hear how the US is responsible for that'
(that being a shia-dominated government of Iraq:

Oh, teacher, call me, I know, I know . . .

erp said...

Harry, it might be easier for us to discern something/anything if you would define what you mean by Nazi/fascist.

Man/Boy sex from one of your favorite links, Wikipedia. There were lots more hits too.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper and Erp,


Sorry but the chances I will keep up with this Milos topic is the same as I getting my hands in the sewer to get back a pen you guys dropped there.

The only differences being the sewer is electronic, and that gray matter you see floating up there are your brains.

erp said...

Rush nails it.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Sorry but the chances I will keep up with this Milos topic is the same as I getting my hands in the sewer to get back a pen you guys dropped there.

Since you brought this up, your replies have been, summarized: non-responsive ranting.

It seems to me Milo riffed off his personal experience, and people who shout without thinking did a great deal of thoughtless shouting, all the while getting in touch with their, and your, inner tyrant.

Just as with Gorka, where fake news mixed with thoughtless shouting means he, apparently, must submit his accessorizing choices to the thoughtless shouters for approval, Milo gets sent to the rack for relating his personal experience without submitting for pre-approval.

You didn't supply one iota of direct quote, any sense of context*, no attempt at persuasion; instead, it is sliming all the way down.

I happen to think his sense of the audience deserted him this once, in that on this subject there are too many people who immediately resort to that hideous, brainless, screeching instead of considering, even for a moment, that the subject is perhaps much less open to snap judgment (which means, of course, judgment wasn't employed at all) than they assume (which is an insult to assume).

At the same time, an NYT Op-Ed, Trump Will Lose the Fight Over Bathrooms for Transgender Students, through the kind of bait-and-switch reasoning that would be laughed right into oblivion anywhere else, assures us that men must be allowed into women's locker rooms. (Which must be the conclusion, once stripping out the bait-and-switch.)

Against this, I must join the pitchfork brigade, who can't even be fussed to tone down the screeching for even a second?

One of the reasons Trump got elected was that a great many people have had it with bending a knee and tugging a forelock to avoid sneering condescension and un-argued conclusions.

* Apparently Milo's mother is German. In Germany, the age of consent is 14. Is that relevant to the discussion?

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] I will let you do your homework and find out that for yourself.

You may start asking what possibly led a group of dissidents who always existed within Syria to grow strong enough to finally challenge the regime.

Then you can ask yourself how that growth in their muscles happened, and what were the interests behind so.

I don't think you will find out the answers for yourself. Really, you are hopeless. But I did my part.


If, by your part, you mean having avoided contributing even so much as the square root of heck-all.

Since you have done no homework at all — after all, progressives are always right, so what's the point? — let me help you.

Causes of the Syrian civil war.

I read each of the first three hits, BBC, World Watch Monitor, and Al Jazeera.

None of which are, I think it safe to say, blinded by unconditional love for everything the US does.

Number of mentions of the US as causing, or even having any significant role? Zero. Nil. Zilch. Nada. None. Squanto Moto. All three stories are bereft, completely lacking, utterly devoid, empty and did I mention bereft? of US blaming.

For pete's sake, stop channeling your inner Harry. One is easily three too many.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] Skipper doesn't think the people I think are nazis are real nazis. But there are assuredly real nazies ot there, and -- to me anyway -- it is a matter of principle to call them out.

I think it a matter of principle that people who engage in the kind of defamation that must be your superpower, are hideous.

If someone is, in fact, a nazi or a racist, which means the charge is backed up with copious, sound, evidence, then by all means.

Otherwise, the shoe fits.

erp said...

... First the definition of nazi, then the discussion of who they are.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

As I predicted, you failed.

Though you fail in ways only my worst students do: googling up and taking the three first hits?

For someone who once fought a war in the Middle East, we would expect a bit more of deep knowledge on the subject.

Hey Skipper said...

Clovis, that's three more than you provided.

Instead of the endless, and empty, snark, how about providing something that proves the BBC, World Watch Monitor, and Al Jazeera wrong.

Until then, I shall continue to believe them far more than you.

Hey Skipper said...

P.S.: And three that could be counted on to blame the US, if there was even a smidgen of US blaming to be had.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

Actually, your ignorance makes for a pretty interesting study in case.

Even though you were once in a relatively high position in the USAF, and dealt with classified information at Pentagon level -- and did I mention you even fought a war in the Middle East!? -- you look to be pretty clueless about the role the USA has - overt and covert - there.

And I know your intelligence is way above average. Which means that such ignorance can only be by design. No wonder your ME interventions are such a mess of pitiful results.


Hey Skipper said...

Clovis:

That's "case study".

Even though you were once in a relatively high position in the USAF, and dealt with classified information at Pentagon level -- and did I mention you even fought a war in the Middle East!? -- you look to be pretty clueless about the role the USA has - overt and covert - there.

About which you have so far provided precisely nothing, other than the sort of trolling that Harry aspires to.

If you have some clues, then by all means provide them.

Otherwise, it is for the best that you type your rant, then delete it, because sending them out has so far redefined "worthless" to a whole new level.

The Syrian civil war is the cause of the refugee crisis. The top three hits, all sources that are on a hair-trigger to criticize the US, scarcely mentioned the US at all.

Either put up, or shut up.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

I will take you on a walk, and I want you to answer me without Google. Really.

Pray tell me, why do you think the Russians have a dog on Syria? Why is Putin there - tell me by memory, please.

Hey Skipper said...

I think it is your turn to put up or shut up. But never mind.

1. Syria allows the Russians to use a port on the Mediterranean coast. That is their only access to the Med that doesn't involve the strait between the Black Sea and the Med; they have recently proven that moving ships, even during the summer, from Murmansk is more than their navy can reliably handle. Therefore, retaining access to the port is important, and is guaranteed only if Hassad remains in power.

2. As they have shown in Ukraine, in threatening noises against the Baltics, and in the Syrian civil war, Russia is in favor of anything that makes life difficult for the US.

3. They want to establish influence in the middle east, which they haven't had for decades.

All without google.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

Thank your for the answer. Though, without Google, I can tell you are not even wrong.

So do you think your three reasons above would move Russia to spend vast resources - resources they barely could be deploying, under their present financial stress - only to hold to a port they barely need?

Take your logic - they need a port to keep a presence at ME, and they need to keep a presence there to have influence, for they need influence there to make life difficult for the US, so they need a port. Are you convinced yourself?

Without Google, I will tell you they are there to protect their dog. Because their dog protected them before, and they need to show something now. What is this about?

Well, Oil - isn't anything in ME? Or more precisely, gas.

Which Syria has none, of course. So the exercise for you, again, is to connect the dots from here...

Clovis e Adri said...

Since you may be almost giving up, for lack of google, I will give you a hand.


Hey Skipper said...

Guess again.

Since Russia forgave Syria 75%, or $9.8 billion, of its $13.4 billion Soviet-era debt and became its main arms supplier, Russia and Syria have conducted talks about allowing Russia to develop and enlarge its naval base, so that Russia can strengthen its naval presence in the Mediterranean. Amid Russia's deteriorating relations with the West, because of the 2008 South Ossetia War and plans to deploy a US missile defense shield in Poland, President Assad agreed to the port’s conversion into a permanent Middle East base for Russia’s nuclear-armed warships. Since 2009, Russia has been renovating the Tartus naval base and dredging the port to allow access for its larger naval vessels.

In 2012, a commentator called the use of the deep-water port at Tartus Russia’s greatest strategic and geopolitical interest in Syria, and some critics saw the position of the naval facility as a chief motivating factor for Russia to speak out in favor of the Assad government.


Emphasis added.

Before you get snarky, again, you really should do a bit of research.

BTW, Russia has used natural gas to pressure Europe. But not for much longer.

Hey Skipper said...

And in case that isn't enough for you, Read this.

Hey Skipper said...

Published by those notorious US fan boys, Al Jazeera.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

That's why I told you are not even wrong. The port is important - were it not, you would be wrong, which I didn't say you were.

It is just not important *enough*. It is a means to play a greater geopolitical game, and that game is what is important enough to justify Russia actions.

You also should ask yourself what in that game justify America's actions. Why was the CIA, first coverlty then overtly, giving support to Syria's 'rebels'?

I wonder if you will only concede the US having influence in a country's woes when it invades and overthrows its rulers. Take a step back and think about that.

Hey Skipper said...

Oh for pete's fricking sake, Clovis. You asked why Russia is involved with Syria, and the answer from two independent sources was pretty much exactly what I told you: the Al Jazeera article -- I know, they take their news from Breitbart, but still -- laid out the case all the way down the line. Russia forgave billions in debt to keep access to Tartus.

You also should ask yourself what in that game justify America's actions. Why was the CIA, first coverlty then overtly, giving support to Syria's 'rebels'?

I tell you what. Come to terms with the reality of Russia's motivations with respect to Syria, then we can talk about the CIA.

(Coming to terms means rebutting the Al Jazeera article.)

And if you think the CIA's involvement -- peripheral and pathetic -- has had any meaningful impact on the refugee crisis, then you are right there next to Harry in bizarro world.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

I have nothing to refute on Tartus - yes, Russia wants to keep it. But why the heck they want it in the first place?

Syria has been trashing plans for gas pipes from Saudi allies since 2004, making Russia all the happier.

Not only that, but Assad has been making Israel and USA life harder altogether. The assassination of Hariri (Lebanon's prime minister) in 2005, plus their secret nuclear reactor built with North Korean help - secretly bombed by Israel in 2007 with US complicity - were all determinant.

No wonder, after the above, Saudi (and their allies) and the CIA started working harder to help Syria's rebels. Fast forward to 2011, the 'revolution' begins. Fast forward more 4 years of chaos - greatly aided by Iraq implosion (where, AGAIN, the US has a huge role) and you have the greatest refugee crisis of the last many decades.

But If I tell you, as I did far above, the refugee crisis is a direct function of the US geopolitical choices and doings, you can't take it? Only if you are utterly ignorant of the facts on the ground, as you showed yourself to be.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] But If I tell you, as I did far above, the refugee crisis is a direct function of the US geopolitical choices and doings, you can't take it?

You have told me many times the refugee crisis is a direct function of the US; unfortunately, the primary reason you have given each time is snark.

You haven't explained why the Iraq war is responsible for the Syrian civil war, nor even attempted to come to terms with the near certainty that Saddam's leaving power, however that might have happened, would have resulted in murderous chaos. Along with leaving out those seemingly pivotal issues, you never once mentioned the Arab Spring, nor Libya and its refugees. Iran is astonishingly absent, while the CIA, whose efforts and results are piddling in comparison, is somehow super accountable.

Invoking the Iraqi implosion would be more persuasive if you, in your festival of post hoc reasoning, considered the possibility that it would not have happened had not the US left, or, as I mentioned above, made a case that there would have been a peaceful transition to a post-Saddam Iraq. It would also have helped a great deal had you offered up some notion of why the Syrian civil war would not have happened in any event.

Your continued blame of the US should also take into account that Iraqi refugees started returning after Saddam was toppled, only for that tide to turn because of sectarian violence. Your reasonless focus on the US as the root of all refugee evil treats Iraqis as having no agency of their own, while letting Saddam off the hook for the relentless persecution of Shia muslims, which (repeating myself again) was going to involve bloody payback. That focus is even more odd, considering that the US gave the Iraqis a chance to build a civil society; it would have been nice to hear why the US is to blame for them choosing otherwise.

Perhaps it was when the US bombed the Golden Mosque.

Finally, I gave you three credible and unfriendly to the US sources regarding the Syrian refugee crisis. Not one of them cited the US as a cause. They, unlike you, referred to the same facts on the ground as I did.

I guess that makes them ignorant, too.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

I find it amusing how you invoke the Media for authority, after you spent the last years I've been in this blog ranting about them.

Did you read my link on the gas economy behind the war? Did you notice the first country they cite is Qatar for its outsized role? Do you know who controls Al Jazeera?

Of course, you don't.

I could include all the other relevant actors you cite in my analysis, but to what end? Restricted as it is, you look to already miss the main points by a hundred miles.


To be clear, I am not arguing the USA caused alone all the evils in the ME (do you remember what a "function" means?). But to someone who is often fond of that 'Pax Americana', you are quite a wimp in refusing to attribute a share of blame where it is due. It is too easy to play the Empire when you don't need to clean up after it.

And since you can't let go of this bogus 'post-hoc' argument:

---
in your festival of post hoc reasoning, considered the possibility that it would not have happened had not the US left, or, as I mentioned above, made a case that there would have been a peaceful transition to a post-Saddam Iraq. It would also have helped a great deal had you offered up some notion of why the Syrian civil war would not have happened in any event.
---

1) Yes, probably we would have 4 millions less refugees from Syria today, had not the US left Iraq in 2011. I wonder how you think that helps you argument. It surely helps mine - US actions again on the line.

2) Going back to an alternative universe where the US would not have invaded Iraq in 2003, you often argue nothing would be better after Saddam died anyway. Gosh, do I need really to answer this? How come an adult in his 60's can still believe his magical power to foresee the future?

For one thing, ISIS would hardly have grown out of anonymity. The North Iraq sunnis would be too occupied in keeping ruling the rest of the country. Even if they were in civil war, they would be dedicating their forces to fight their own war, instead of diverting it all against Assad and destroying Syria.


Finally, I can't bother to answer stupidity on this scale:
---
considering that the US gave the Iraqis a chance to build a civil society; it would have been nice to hear why the US is to blame for them choosing otherwise.
---
I can easily forgive ignorance of facts, Skipper, but this is so far into wishful thinking, I can only regret ever touching the subject.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] I find it amusing how you invoke the Media for authority, after you spent the last years I've been in this blog ranting about them.

Did you read my link on the gas economy behind the war? Did you notice the first country they cite is Qatar for its outsized role? Do you know who controls Al Jazeera?

Of course, you don't.


What I do not find amusing is ad hominem attack. Stop playing the man, start playing the ball.

That goes the same for Al Jazeera — the article stands on its own, regardless of the fact that Qatar owns Al Jazeera. Just as the fact that my knowledge of Al Jazeera's ownership doesn't invalidate everything else you've said simply because "Of course, you don't" is Harry level stupid.

After all, if Qatar's ownership of Al Jazeera significantly tilted the article, then it should be a doddle for you to discern that, since you know so much, and especially so since I provided two other sources. Since, so far as I know, neither of them are Qatari owned, then there will be significant disconnects between them, and Al Jazeera.

Provided, of course, your objection carries any water.

I could include all the other relevant actors you cite in my analysis, but to what end? Restricted as it is, you look to already miss the main points by a hundred miles.

Clovis, February 15, 2017 at 5:18 AM: The last tsunami of refugees over Europe is a direct function of the US geopolitical choices and doings.

Emphasis added.

February 18, 2017 at 7:11 PM: Stupid snark.

February 22, 2017 at 5:29 AM: Stupid snark.

February 22, 2017 at 3:44 PM: Post hoc reasoning, along with the implicit assumption that the geographic distribution of refugees could not exist absent the US, even though the cite doesn't mention the US.

February 22, 2017 at 6:51 PM: More stupid snark, along with the assertion that my mistakes have no end. Count of specific mistakes you assert at this point: none. But wait, there's more. My initial claim is that the last wave - "wave" as in yuuuge numbers - of refugees had something to do with America past actions. Compare against yourself on Feb 15, and behold the power of direct quotation. Having noted the bait and switch, I can't help but also notice this: your new main point is practically empty; for contradiction, it demands proving the null. Oh, and more stupid snark.

February 23, 2017 at 11:05 AM: Snark, empty response, snark, empty response.

February 26, 2017 at 4:18 PM: Again with the stupid snark, some more.

February 26, 2017 at 5:06 PM: Again with the stupid snark, even some more more.

February 26, 2017 at 5:22 PM: Off topic.

February 26, 2017 at 5:59 PM: More off topic. Introduces a theory about Russian involvement that is woefully incomplete, and, in any event, has nothing to do with the US.

Hey Skipper said...

February 26, 2017 at 6:31 PM: Empty response. Particularly this: I wonder if you will only concede the US having influence in a country's woes when it invades and overthrows its rulers. Take a step back and think about that. Well, of course it does. Certainly for the better in Japan and Germany, and the former Yugoslavia. Probably so for Panama. Other places, worse. But this has nothing to do with whatever of your main points is your main point. You haven't yet demonstrated any connection between Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Syrian refugee crisis — to do so, it requires that the former was necessary, even if not sufficient, for the latter. Facts you have marshaled so far in that direction: zero.

February 26, 2017 at 7:02 PM: Off topic, save for the post hoc reasoning. You assert — without evidence — that the Syrian civil war was made worse by the Iraqi implosion, then reverse ground. The implosion was at least plausibly due to US withdrawal, which means continued US presence would have made the Syrian civil war less awful. Sounds like you should want more of what you don't want, while simultaneously failing to consider what things might have looked like had Saddam either remained in power, or lost it (think about that implosion). Oh, yeah, more stupid snark, too.



So far, Clovis, you have provided perhaps the most empty sustained argument I have ever seen. I gave you the best lever you could hope for: showing how three different sources completely missed the direct function (or had something to do with) US involvement had in the refugee crisis. As I said before, start there: show where they got it wrong, or what they missed.

And by all means, stop it with the stupid snark.

Hey Skipper said...

P.S.
February 23, 2017 at 11:05 AM: So you feel less pressure to defend your country's mistakes when they are done by a President you didn't like?

If I recall correctly, and I do, I merely cited the US withdrawal from Iraq as the sole, possible, meaningful action that had any significant impact on the Syrian refugee crisis. I neither attacked it, nor defended it.

But now that you have brought it up… Pres Bush left office without having concluded a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the Iraqi government. I don't know why. Maybe the Iraqis were asking too much, maybe Bush didn't want to handcuff the incoming Obama administration. I guess the latter, but it doesn't matter.

Obama campaigned on ending our presence in Iraq. I have no doubt that is part of the reason he won. He fulfilled his campaign promise. While I happen to think much of Obama's foreign policy was feckless, or worse, in this case I can't criticize him. No one saw ISIS coming. The Iraqis had been given nearly a decade to build a civil society, and failed. Had I been in his shoes, I might very well have done the same thing.

erp said...

Russia is still fighting the age old battle for access to the Mediterranean and Moslems are still fighting for control of Islam -- the battle of Shiite and Sunni continues with modern touches.

Blaming the US, no matter that there have been numerous administrations with differing political points of view over just the past 100 years, belies reason and credulity.

I find it amusing that there's been no mention of Soros surrogate and Obama's brain, Valerie Jarrett's, role in all of the above. The end result of all these machinations is that Iran will be/is the power in ME. The gazillions of our tax dollars and technology Obama bestowed on Iran will no doubt come back to them all to ease their old age.

It must be comforting for the non-Anglo world to blame first the British Empire and then American Imperialism for the ills of the world. The new slogan among placard carrying trespassers from south of our border is, (don't remember the exact wording) America belongs to them. Which is doubly amusing because previously we were told by our betters it belongs to the aborigines, who in turn took from the earlier peoples ... back the Garden of Eden.

Nobody in the US stopped Mexico or Brazil for that matter, from doing what our early settlers did -- work themselves to death to tame to wilderness and take up the FF's road map to freedom and prosperity.

They can still do it.

Hey Skipper said...

A National Review article on another drive-by sliming of Gorka included a link to his book, which reminded me of this:

[Clovis:] Apart from the 3 people who read [Gorka's] book (counting himself already), I am pretty sure the rest of the world was bound to interpret a Horthy's medal as, well, a Horthy's medal.


488 reviews; 85% 5 star, 9% four star.

Bret said...

Hey Skipper,

From the way I'm reading it, Clovis is simply claiming that the sum total of all actions on the planet earth caused there to be refugees and the United States and its citizens and inhabitants are certainly part of the sum total of all actions. Therefore, the actions of the United States and citizens and inhabitants are partially the cause of the refugees. And then he's pointing out specific things that we did that are more directly linked.

His statements don't seem particularly contentious to me. And whether or not he's right about any specific detail doesn't seem like a big deal to me. It's interesting to contemplate.

Both Russia and the middle-east have been trouble spots for millennia. It's easy to do things that make things even worse.

Hey Skipper said...

Bret, that's not the way it started out: The last tsunami of refugees over Europe is a direct function of the US geopolitical choices and doings.

Otherwise, it is a purely trivial observation.

Bret said...

Ok. I missed that particular statement. Not sure how since I see it was repeated like ten times. I guess my reading comprehension is dismal. :-)

Clovis, what DO you mean by "direct" in "direct function." Doesn't a "direct function" in mathematics have a very specific definition which would indicate in this context that the tsunami is only due to US choices and doings?

Hey Skipper said...

[erp:] Blaming the US, no matter that there have been numerous administrations with differing political points of view over just the past 100 years, belies reason and credulity.

I can't go along with that anything like 100%. The US did plenty of completely unwarranted meddling in central and south America at the behest of certain companies. And I'm not the least bit certain we belonged in the Philippines at the turn of the 19th century.

Fine. But that doesn't mean the US is to blame for what happened to, say, south Vietnam. Or that because we deposed Saddam, that deposition created would inevitably create a worse outcome than if we had just stood by and watched.

The opposite of something isn't nothing, it is something else.

erp said...

Skipper, I believe that had we not "meddled" in LA, the situations would have been far worse than they are now, especially Chile, arguably the only viable economy in the Southern Hemisphere. At least, we learned our lesson from the Soviets in Cuba and ousted them.

Interesting aside: I just met our new neighbors, a young couple with two adorable little tots. They are refugees from Venezuela who came here to visit family and can't go back. They've been living with family, but now have some kind of legal status.

Lots said by the left about banana and sugar companies ... I don't know what's true and what's not. The lefty media certainly beat that drum hard.

We did make things worse by not enforcing the Monroe Doctrine and let the Soviets take over Cuba -- we made that much worse and we were very lucky they backed down. Don't forget at the time, we had been sold a bill of goods that the Soviets were ultra powerful. We know better now.

Philippines? It was a different world then. Don't want to second guess what happened. The truth is we unloaded them and all the other "prizes" we "conquered" except those like Puerto Rico that refuse to be freed from under our yoke.

Saddam? The world including the UN was either lied to about his WMD or he got tipped off and sent them all to Jordan or they're still buried there somewhere.

None of it affected what happened after Obama was elected and left Iraq to its own devices. Funny how when a lefty gets elected, those fighting for their freedom get left at the altar like the sainted martyr left Cubans to fend for themselves at the Bay of Pigs.

I would agree with Clovis that those actions by the US were unconscionable.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

---
Clovis, what DO you mean by "direct" in "direct function." Doesn't a "direct function" in mathematics have a very specific definition which would indicate in this context that the tsunami is only due to US choices and doings?
---

A direct function is the same as an explicit function F(x), that takes values in 'x' and gives back values F(x). As opposed to an implicit function F(x(z)), that depends on 'z' only by the values it first induces on 'x'.

Yet I am not saying the tsunami is "only due to US choices and doings" (other actors also had first order importance, and their actions were also necessary for the outcome). Nor am I attributing intent for every outcome obtained from 'US choices and doings'.

A fair analogy: I could equally say that poor economic growth is a direct function of excess of regulations.

Does it mean most regulations were enacted with the intent to kill growth? More often not. Does it mean they necessarily lead to poor economic growth? No, not necessarily. But it does mean that such excess of regulation often correlates with other aspects of human behavior and economics such that poor growth is the final outcome.


Which goes back to Skipper's criticism of my point as post-hoc. In the same way many economists could foresee that excess of regulations - if not done very carefully, which is often too much to ask from politicians - will lead to poor economic growth, there were no end of analysts predicting US intervention in Iraq could not end well - both for Iraq and the Middle East.

It didn't.

Could it end well? Maybe yes, with very slim chances - depending on the US staying time enough, investing money and blood enough, and the Iraqi culture changing fast enough, and so on -- just like very well crafted regulation can work too, even when 'excessive', if society response to it is harmonic.

All in all, I believe US external policy in the Bush years were bad, followed by US policy in Obama years that were either antagonistic to previous policy (rendering the final result a 'worst of all worlds' scenario - yeah, Iraq), or misguided (Egypt, Turkey, Israel), or simply stupid tending to evil (Libya and Syria). So I feel my pointing fingers is justified.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
What I do not find amusing is ad hominem attack. Stop playing the man, start playing the ball.
[...]
And by all means, stop it with the stupid snark.
---
Skipper, I was honest with you from the begin: I told you I had no hope to convince you, for you have cognitive bias on this matter. Which is further composed by a lack of basic information of many facts on the ground.

So why am I in a discussion I have no hope to resolve? Well, trolling you. That's all that is in there for me.

Otherwise, I would need to dedicate my time and energy to collect and review many dozens of links, books and articles that belie the opinions I formed on this topic, throughout 15 years of reading, just to have them wasted on someone who is invested on seeing the whole thing in the wrong light.

Sorry, it is way easier to give you my opinion without any further justification. You are free to ignore it, as you are bound to do.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Skipper, I was honest with you from the begin: I told you I had no hope to convince you, for you have cognitive bias on this matter. Which is further composed by a lack of basic information of many facts on the ground.

When I recounted your contributions to this subject so far in this thread (or any other, for that matter) there is a striking fact void where your comments are. Please, by all means, list the facts I have gotten wrong, and why they are wrong -- that is what you haven't done, and why it is so easy to find your opinions worthless.

Your assertion is that US actions in the middle east are a necessary precondition to the refugee crisis. In order for this to be true, the US had to have done some indispensable thing to start that war, or make it worse. The US's invasion of Iraq had to have produced conditions worse than if Saddam had left power by some other means, and that the invasion and the aftermath had to have been indispensable to the Syrian civil war, or was an essential element to it becoming as bad as it has. You also have to demonstrate how US actions were a necessary precondition to the significant portion of the "refugees" who are really economic migrants.

Yet you have done none of these things, not even close.


You are free to ignore it, as you are bound to do.

You completely ignored three different sources, none of them inclined to starry-eyed views of the US, explaining the history of the Syrian refugee crisis with scarcely a mention of the US among them.

Your response? crickets.

If you have verifiable facts that lead to a well substantiated conclusion demonstrating how US actions were necessary for the existence and severity of the Syrian civil war, then by all means bring them on.

Until then, you will continue to be completely unconvincing.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,


Suppose, if only for a minute, I can demonstrate my point to you, up to your complete satisfaction - that you could be convinced of a far wider share of blame on Syria due to US actions.

What difference would it make for you? Would it change any of your positions regarding the role of the US in the ME? Would it make you repent and cry?

You answer that, and I may give it a try. Or not. It is up to you.

Hey Skipper said...

I would certainly learn something. Whether, taking into account the costs of the road not taken, that would entail repentance remains to be seen.

Harry Eagar said...

'that doesn't mean the US is to blame for what happened to, say, south Vietnam'

Wow. It is hard to imagine, by that standard, how the US could deserve blame -- or credit -- for anything.

Hey Skipper said...

Harry, is there a different history book you are reading where South Vietnam invaded North Vietnam? Perhaps it is the same one where South Korea invaded the North.

Cause. Effect.