Impeachment Mania Hits Universities: Students Are Facing Trials Or Removals Over Political Views

In his dissent in Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438 (1928), Justice Louis Brandeis famously wrote that “Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example.” While that observation concerns criminal wrongdoing by the government, it seems particularly apropos today on our campuses where impeachments and removals are now seemingly the rage.  For the last four years, members of Congress and legal experts have called for impeachments based on everything from Trump’s tweets on NFL kneeling to his denouncing prosecutors. Most recently, this includes the use of a “snap impeachment.” The latest such example is unfolding on the campus of the Rochester Institute of Technology where a student senator is facing impeachment after defending the right of campus police to wear a Blue Lives Matter face mask.We discussed an earlier impeachment effort at Loyola Marymount University of a student senator who held conservative views. There were prior such impeachments at the University of Southern California and Bowdoin University.  A similar effort was launched recently at Georgetown University where the student government moved against a student for writing a column viewed as critical of Black Lives Matter.  A similar campaign against conservative students were launched at Cornell University. Editors and writers have also been removed from student publications for their conservative views, including recently at the University of Wisconsin.

In most of these cases, the universities remained conspicuously silent as students were subject to official discipline for holding opposing views of police brutality or the Black Lives Matter movement. It is reflective of the rising intolerance in higher education and the silent acquiescence of university administrators as students and faculty are subjected to these campaigns.

The controversy this week at RIT involves a student senator Jacob Custer and a petition signed by other student senators for his impeachment.  What concerns me is the inclusion of Custer’s viewpoints as grounds for impeachment: “These actions include, but are not limited to, negative attitudes towards members, blatant disregard of the effects of controversial topics such as Blue Lives Matter and how it affects the Black and Brown community, and blatant disregard for anyone’s views.”

For his part, Custer claims that the campaign was launched after he defended a campus officer who who wore a Thin Blue Line face mask. According to the conservative site College Fix, Custer wrote “Wearing such masks if they want to is not counterintuitive. It is perfectly okay for students and adults to express it since it is free speech. It is not disrespectful either. We are student government, representing all students. It is not our role to determine what idea is good or bad simply because a few members or more disagree with it and punish members of our community over something small. That is just outright censorship.”

I cannot speak to the merits of these claims but what concerns me is the absence of clear position of the university that students should not be penalized for their political or social viewpoints. If there is evidence that Custer has failed in required duties, they should be stated directly and clearly. More importantly, the inclusion of his viewpoints in the resolution should be addressed by the university.

The very intellectual  touchstone of higher education is free speech and academic freedom. Students who come to our campuses should be able to engage in our national debate over such issues without fear of being ostracized or penalized. The message from such campaigns is clear for conservative, libertarian, or just contrarian students: if you voice dissenting views, you will be formally denounced or removed from positions. The organizers of these campaigns know that such actions have a harmful impact on future applications or prospects for accused students.  The intended chilling effect is glacial on any other student who want to engage in a good-faith debate over the issues that will be defining our nation for generations.

 

430 thoughts on “Impeachment Mania Hits Universities: Students Are Facing Trials Or Removals Over Political Views”

  1. Just when you thought the Trump impeachment couldn’t get more farcical . . .

    First they want to hold a trial, to remove a man from office who is no longer in office.

    Now, quite properly, Chief Justice Roberts has refused to sanction their unconstitutional impeachment, by refusing to preside over the witch hunt. So the democrats’ solution? Have Senator Leahy (D) preside over the farce. A senator who voted for the first, phony impeachment will serve as judge and juror for the second, phony impeachment.

    Madison is turning in his grave.

    1. Yes, Leahy is a good choice for ‘judge’ under the circumstances.

      Robespierre,Torquemada, Freisler and Jeffreys are unavailable.

    2. Again – let them make fools of themselves.

      I am glad Roberts has shown some balls.

      Democrats should stop and think.

      This is sign of weakness. It is an admission of lack of faith in yourselves. It is an admission that even democrats do not beleive they won the last election.

      I do not think Trump is running in 2024. But if democrats beleive they won in 2020, and they beleive they are capable of running the country well for the next 4 years, Donald Trump is exactly the candidate they should want to run against. Further – should Trump run in 2024, he is near certain to win the republican nomination.

      The only reasons that democrats should wish to prevent that is because they are afraid they will lose.

      1. John– “I am glad Roberts has shown some balls.”
        ***

        Whatever Robert’s motives I very much doubt that courage is among them. He has shown very little of it. His big black robes are a weather vane.

        1. You are probably correct.

          Regardless, whether courage or cowardice, apparently he wants no part of this.

          That is wise. At the same time he bears significant responsibility.

          BEFORE the election SCOTUS needed to make clear that lawlessness int he election was not to be tolerated.

          They still have a job to do – there will be election cases that make it to their doorstep.

          It is too late to fix the mistakes they have made.
          It is not too late to prevent future messes like this.

          Regardless, our courts lead by THIS SCOTUS have failed.

          They undermined the rule of law and trust in government.

          1. John Say: Regardless, our courts lead by THIS SCOTUS have failed.

            They undermined the rule of law and trust in government.

            ****

            Agreed. Much of the mess the country faces now and for a long while to be comes down to the failure of these robed cowards to do their duty.

            Dred Scot created a mess, now a failure to come into court and just do their damned jobs has created another big mess.

            1. I have no idea what it will take for those in power to grasp how tenuous their grip is.

              What the left forgets about most of the ideological battles they fight is that the ideas that they oppose not only work – but they have worked for centuries.

              Absolutely each generation brings new ideas and improvements on those of the past.
              But for every 100 new ideas ONE is better than what preceded it. And even that can easily proof worse if implemented blindly.

              The genius of free people is NOT that they produce myriads of new ideas. It is that they constantly test and discard those that fail, leaving only what is an actual improvement.

              1. “What the left forgets about most of the ideological battles they fight is that the ideas that they oppose not only work – but they have worked for centuries.”

                John, that may be true but what one has to look at over the world over time is what has happened to nations? Normality, nations do not suddenly become Constitutional Republics based on democratic principles and a Bill of Rights that is respected. Nations normally end up with a strong man or oligarchy with power despite the lofty talk of revolution.

                Presently, I don’t know if we can call the USA a Republic. Presently it is sounding more and more like an oligarchy.

                1. Presently, I don’t know if we can call the USA a Republic. Presently it is sounding more and more like an oligarchy.

                  What do you call a constitutional republic where the people empower a small group of people to govern and then permit them to violate the power they gave them? Sounds like an oligarchy to me. Now we still have an electoral system that is controlled by the various states, but as this report below details, it is chock-a-block full of weaknesses and ripe for disenfranchising voters. So, if our federal government ignores their constitutional limits and a majority of voters are willing to permit fraud in our electoral process as long as the outcome favors them, then that sounds like a Democratic Oligarchy. With a heavy emphasis on Oligarchy.

                  https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/20428534/hava-and-non-profit-organization-report-final-w-attachments-and-preface-121420.pdf

                2. Elsewhere I linked to an excellent interview of Glenn Greenwald by Nick Gillespie at Reason.

                  I would suggest watching – every minute is incredible.

                  I am hopefull – specifically because of the overreach.

                  The country is very closely divided. It requires very little to tip the balance the opposite direction.
                  That is actually pretty amazing considering the massive weight behind incredibly bad ideas.

                  Every action that opponents of freedom take – no matter how popular, creates new opponents.
                  Trust in government is at a nadir and there is zero chance Biden and democrats can fix that.

                  the Biden admin is rapidly working to destroy the restoration of due process in college harrassment complaints.
                  This is bad and it will destroy some peoples lives.
                  But it also moves a small portion of people from the left to sanity.

                  The Biden administration has flipped the federal position on Transgendered participation in womens sports.
                  This is bad and it will destroy women’s opportunities – first in sports and ultimately in most everything.
                  I do not have some axe to grind with the transgendered. Dress how you wish. Change your body if you want.
                  But it entirely destroys the concept of women’s equality if those of us with a Y chromosome end up being the
                  most successful women.
                  Regardless, the move increases the opposition to the left.
                  The Biden administration has canceled the Keystone XL. Destroying jobs, increasing prices, and moving a fee more people to the opposition.
                  The Biden administration has raided the federal minimum wage to $15 and will push to raise the national mimimum wage to $15.
                  There is plenty of data on the impact of this. It is highly destructive to the least skilled in the marketplace. It takes years of inflation before they become competitive int he marketplace again. While I do not think that most of the people harmed understand the economics that ensures they are harmed, They understand losing their jobs. And again – more opponents.

                  I can go on and on. But every single effort to pay off the left, to impliment the agenda of the left creates new enemies.

                  None of these actions creates new friends. You can not expand your base by punishing those outside it and rewarding those on the inside.

                  1. Dude, you just lost the presidential vote for the 7th time out of 8, The 50 Democratic Senators represent 41 million more constituents as the 50 Republicans and you lost the House again.

                    It’s not as close as you think and young people don’t like the GOP, nor do Latinos, Asians, or blacks.

                    1. You remain clueless.

                      You still think this is a democracy. It isn’t.

                      The presidential election is determined by the electoral college.
                      That is a deliberate ANTI-Democratic measure one of the few remaning means to thwart the tyranny of the majority.

                      What you do not seem to grasp is that these antidemocratic measures serve very important purposes.

                      One of which is to disincentivize exactly the “insurrection” that you are wigged out at the capital.

                      I do not understand why you are so clueless. Clearly you have little sense of history.

                      Whether it is the american revolution or the french or some other. Political violence is always the consequence of tyranny.

                      It is irrelevant whether that tyranny is majoritarian or not.

                      Your rant offers this odd claim that you have the RIGHT to dictate how others live their lives.

                      Grow up. You do not. And as you continue to do so you will grow resistance.

                      We have spent the past 4 years listening to you, democrats, the left, the media rant about the evils of Donald Trump.
                      And yet in 2020 10M More REAL voters showed up to vote for him.

                      To “win” you needed a lawless election, Billions of dollars, Massive censorship, mass neurosis over a pandemic.

                      And with all that you barely eeked out a victory. And even that presumes that there was not consequential fraud.

                      I know alot of conservatives are demoralized at the moment.

                      I am neither conservative nor demoralized. There is absolutely nowhere you can go from here but down.

                      You are in a far more precarious position than you were in in 2009.

                    2. I am not particularly looking to fight with you over demographics.

                      Except to note that democrats have claimed that demographics was destiny for over a decade – and yet you are clearly on the wrong side of demographic voting trends.

                      I do not think there is a single minority group in which Trump did not have significant gains this election.

                      Further those trends have been present for several cycles.

                      You keep telling me that republicans and Trump particularly are extremely unpopular – then why was it so hard for you to beat him ?

                      Do you have the slightest doubt that you would have lost an inperson election ? That you would have lost even a mailin election had the election been conducted lawfully ?

                      Either the states will fix the lawlessness of the 2020 election before 2022 – or it will get fixed for them.

                      You have made election fraud trivial to accomplish and difficult to catch. Why do you think that republicans are not going to be able to take advantage of that ?

                      You keep up this idiotic censorship – we all know how that ends. The more that you censor the more violence and actually bat$hit ideas are widely beleived.

                      You do not seem to understand 1984 was not a how to guide.

                    3. With each election cycle there are more and more prominent republican and asian and latino candidates.
                      There are more republican minority voters.

                      We are in the midst of a significant political realignment and we are likely well past the point where democrats can stop it.

                      And that would be if you actually tried. You seem to be actively trying to push it forward.

                      I would also note that young people grow old. As they do they gain wisdom and most abandon the idiocy of their youth.

                      This is not new, it has been going on for all of human history.

                      It is amazing what having a job, a spouse, a house, children and loans will do to your perspective on the world.

                    4. John, this imbecile, Joe Friday, memorizes a few numbers and points that are force fed to him. In a short while things change and that knowledge is of no value. That means he has learned nothing and what he says is transient trash that randomly could have significant interest.

                    5. The numbers do not matter.

                      His largest problem – one unfortunately shared – is not just the beleif that we are a democracy, but that democracy is a good thing.

                      It is most definitely not. It is the most tyranical form of govenment there is.

                      You can find plenty of criticism in DeTocqueville, Mill, Madison and Adam’s.

                      JF spews numbers that merely prove the wisdom of our founders.

                      What is lamentable is that many of the checks on the tyranny of the majority have been stripped.

                      Regardless, JF is an uneducated and shallow thinker who does not understand that his best arguments work against him.

                    6. “The numbers do not matter.”

                      John, Isn’t that what I just said?

                      “not just the beleif that we are a democracy, but that democracy is a good thing.”

                      He neither knows or understand democracy. He throws these words around to look good, but to intelligent people one can see that he might as well be throwing around potatoes.

                    7. JF beleives democracy is a first principle without really knowing much about democracy.

                      This is a failure of our education system.

                      JF wants to argue nuances about the definition of democracy.

                      Even if he was right – it would change nothing. The more democratic the US gets the more tyrannical it gets.

                      JF is trying to head in the wrong direction based on the belief that democracy is a first principle – which it is not.

                      This is also the problem with many of the legal theories the left has pushed and often won on regarding elections. That are clearly not in the constitution. There is no prohibition in the constitution against vote dilution. The constitution clearly makes the votes of different voters have different weights under different circumstances – often arbitrarily merely to create checks and balances.

                      We are not a democracy – we are a constitutionally limited republic. AS Federalist 51 notes – men are not angels and trust in the people as a backstop against tyranny is not sufficient. The constitution THWARTS the will of the people – where that will leads towards tyranny. Rights – much broader rights than the courts can find, trump government powers, and the wishes of the majority.

                    8. “JF beleives democracy is a first principle without really knowing much about democracy.
                      This is a failure of our education system.”

                      On this blog we have fools and stupid people, though generally one predominates over the other in the personality of the alias.

                      Joe Friday is a first class fool and is mostly unaware of political distinctions. He has no historical background that generally gives one the opportunity to think in depth based on the successes and failures of others. His historical memory seems to exist in months not decades, centuries or millennia. That is why he can say one thing in January and something completely different in February.

                      In his case it might not just be the failure of the education system because one notes possibilities in his writing that he was born with more than he has today.The quantity of his arrogance doesn’t match his ability to think critically. Absolute arrogance along with lying to himself makes him impermeable to recognizing his stupidity and foolishness.

                    9. The US is a representative democracy. We vote directly for our representatives and any dictionary or political encyclopedia will make this fact clear to John Say.

                      The EC is a random system which due to the fact that almost all the states award all their votes to the winner of the state, rather than proportionally, can go off in an unpredictable and meaningless result. It is not a brake on majority tyranny, it is a random maize which can award a tyranny of a minority.

                      Case in point – if Kerry had won 30k more votes in Ohio, he would have been president with a minority of all votes in 2004. Please explain how that would have protected minority rights, unless the minority has a right to select our President.

                    10. JF – I am not interested in this debate. You are playing semantic games.

                      The US is not a democracy. Further Democracy is the WORST form of government.

                      If you wish to play this nonsense word game – we can for the sake of argument consider that the US is Partially a democracy.

                      How does that help you ? So the US is Partially the worst form of government that their is.

                      Read the declaration of independence. It established correctly the purpose and the basis for legitimacy in government.

                      It does not establish the form of government. The legitamcy of government comes from the consent of the governed.
                      That can be withdrawn at any time. When YOU claim the events at the capital were an insurrection – all that is, is people withdrawing their consent from government and seeking to establish a new one.

                      Mill argued for the superiority of Monarchy. DeToqueville predicted the demise of the US – pretty much by doing exactly what the left wants.

                      Regardless actual tyrants have less ability to impose tyranny than a majority of the people

                      Society can and does execute its own mandates: and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with it ought not to meddle, it practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself.
                      John Stuart Mill

                    11. The EC is not random.

                      It is merely a non-democratic means of election.

                      It was deliberately intended to advantage small states over large and rural over urban.

                      You keep making this argument that it is not democratic – SO WHAT ?

                      That is a good thing.

                      Of course it is a brake on majority tyranny – your own arguments make that clear.

                      You do not seem to grasp that we are likely ALWAYS better off with the loser of the popular vote as president – so long as we are conscious of that.

                      Win the electoral college and lose the popular vote and you have a mandate to reduce the power of govenrment.

                      You also have less power. that is a GOOD result, not a bad one.

                      Unchecked majorities are always the greatest threat.

                      We are better off with an unpopular dictator whose power is insecure than a widely popular elected leader who does whatever the majority wishes.

                    12. The minority does not have the right to select the president – no one has that right.

                      They have the power to do so.

                      Nor is it any minority. It is a very specific minority – one that results in a majority of electoral votes.

                      You seem to think that good government is whatever the majority wants.

                      That is pretty much precisely NOT what the founders intended.

                      In a democracy Socrates drinks Hemlock – because that is the will of the majority.

                    13. James Madison begs to differ with you – Repeatedly.

                      If we must engage in fallcious appeals to authority – Madison is THE authority.

                      Regardless – at what point do you tire of this stupid semantic game.

                      The world democracy is much like the word Xerox.
                      All copy machines are NOT Xerox’s.
                      But Xerox is a generic term for photo copy.

                  2. None of these actions creates new friends. You can not expand your base by punishing those outside it and rewarding those on the inside.

                    What difference does it make how many enemies you make if they are disenfranchised? This whirlwind of executive orders will require court action to undo. That takes time. And in the meantime, the damage will be done.

                    1. “What difference does it make how many enemies you make if they are disenfranchised?”
                      The answer to that is at the capital on Jan. 6.

                      45% of republican voters support the storming of the capital. the more egregious the conduct of government, the more lawless and unconstitutional. the greater the censorship the greater the sense of disenfranchisement, the more likely people are to see political violence as justified.

                      “This whirlwind of executive orders will require court action to undo. That takes time. And in the meantime, the damage will be done.”
                      Absolutely – I am counting on that. So should you. That is the point.

                      This nonsense FAILS.

                      Most of the actions of Chairmen Xiden have no impact on my personal life. They are stupid and I oppose them, but I have no “skin in the game” But each of these actions does HARM others – small groups maybe, but cumulatively significant.

                      I am sorry that we must allow those on the left to actually hurt people to fix our broken politics – but that is how it must be.

                      There is no doubt where the lines are. There is no doubt about which parties are on which side of which issues.

                      Those who are getting screwed will have no doubts about who screwed them.

                    2. Did you see this, HR 1 being proposed by Congress?

                      The Democrats appear intent on instituting one-party rule in the United States.

                      They’re trying to use the U.S. Capitol riots as an excuse to criminalize dissent and banish conservative voices from the public sphere, and at the same time they’re hoping to use their temporary, razor-thin majority in Congress to rewrite the rules governing our elections in a way designed to keep the Democratic Party entrenched in power for decades to come.

                      In the House, Democrats have revived sweeping election reform legislation that died in the Senate during the previous session, perhaps hoping they can browbeat enough Republicans into going along with them. If that happens, the “Grand Old Party” of Abraham Lincoln might as well disband, because Republicans would never have any hope of regaining a congressional majority or controlling the White House under the rules that HR 1 would put in place.

                      Although the Constitution explicitly places state legislatures in charge of managing federal elections, HR 1 seeks to use the power of the purse to bludgeon the states into conforming to a centralized system pioneered in California and other deep-blue states. Congress can’t technically compel the states to change their voting laws, but seasoned politicians know that the states have become dependent on federal money to run their elections, and can’t afford to pick up the tab themselves.

                      To make matters worse, HR 1 declares that Congress possesses “ultimate supervisory power over Federal elections” — an extraordinary usurpation of governmental authority that the Founders specifically assigned to the states.

                      The 2020 election witnessed private interests dictating the manner in which the election was conducted in the nation’s urban cores. Mark Zuckerberg alone poured $419 million into this scheme.

                      The goal of centralizing power in the hands of the federal government has long been at the heart of liberal politics, and this legislation demonstrates why.

                      HR 1 would codify the very practices — many of them currently illegal in most states — that created widespread irregularities in the 2020 elections and contributed greatly to public mistrust of the electoral process. In 2020, state and local officials used the COVID-19 pandemic as justification to ignore or deliberately violate state election laws. If HR 1 is enacted, they won’t need any such excuse in 2022 because the states will have no choice but to implement policies such as legalized ballot harvesting, early voting, and universal mail-in voting, as well as repeal of voter ID laws, signature-matching laws, and other ballot security measures.

                      For example, HR 1 would allow ballot harvesting on steroids. Voters would — for the first time — have the ability to print out their ballots at home, creating a gaping security hole that could easily be exploited by either domestic or foreign interests. The legislation also allows third parties to collect ballots from an unlimited number of absentee voters and submit them through ballot drop boxes, dramatically increasing the risk that vulnerable Americans could be bullied, bribed, or blackmailed for their votes without the protection of election workers.

                      Under the rules outlined in HR 1, election observers wouldn’t even be able to challenge the legitimacy of ballots without written documentation, making it virtually impossible to document or detect election irregularities.

                      Nothing in this legislation could plausibly be interpreted as a means of restoring public confidence in our elections — but the reforms establish a clear roadmap to one-party rule. This is especially so when you consider the new proposals for the war on “domestic terror” aimed directly at the free expression of American citizens.

                      We can only hope that principled Republicans and Democrats will reject this direct assault on American democracy and individual freedom, and resist the institutionalists in both parties who believe the American people need them to protect us from ourselves.

                      The way to create one-party rule is to control information and control the way a nation selects its leaders. The political left has joined with Big Tech and government careerists in aggressively trying to do both.
                      https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2021/01/23/democrats_have_released_a_roadmap_to_one-party_rule_145102.html

                    3. The Bill is stupidity.

                      Frankly there is little to fear from it.

                      Any election law that makes election fraud easier will …. make election fraud easier.

                      I can not think of a quicker way to get an actual insurrection.

                      28 States passed constitutional amendments in the late 19th century requiring secret ballots.
                      They did so as a result of horendous experiences with Fraud.

                      So house democrats want people to be able to print their own ballots at home ?

                      Great they have just reduced the cost to completely destroy the elections in major swing cities by a factor of 10.

                      Today to bury Philadelphia with fraudulent ballots that are not detectable, one would have to buy the equipment needed to produce a counterfeit ballot that can not be detected, and one would have to buy that equipment untraceably. Not imposible, but diffcult and expensive.

                      If HR one passes counterfeit ballots can be produced on any printer. They can not be detected, and they can not be traced.

                      So to obliterate elections in Philadelphia all that would be needed is a copy of the voter registration database. That can be relatively easily acquired – though there are other means to obtain the same information.

                      Produce 100,000 fraudulent ballots, drop them in an assortment of unattended ballot drop boxes in Philadelphia county, and see how the election goes.

                      Currently there is no real effort to even detect fraudulent ballots. If that is not changed – these ballots would be counted. Or at worst those that matched existing “legitimate” ballots would end up with one or both cancelled.

                      Regardless, Phila Country would have too many votes and it would be obvious.

                      Ultimately there would be no choice but to impliment measures to secure voting.

                      The outline I described above is inside the ability of a single person, would cost about $1000 for paper plus time, and would have a very low probability of getting caught.

                      A more sophisticated operation would cost about 100 times as much but could produce fraudulent ballots that could not be detected by any means at all.

                    4. A more sophisticated operation would cost about 100 times as much but could produce fraudulent ballots that could not be detected by any means at all.

                      I’m not sure if you saw the Amistad Project Report I linked to yesterday, https://got-freedom.org/zuckerberg-election-meddling-exposed/ but I suspect the costs associated with massive election fraud activities will be a non-factor. Is this a stupid HR? As a conservative and a reluctant defender of the rights of everyone, absolutely. As you correctly stated, should this resolution become law, it will confirm to the 74+ million conservative voters that if they want to change our government, it will need to be done in other ways.

                    5. Olly, I do not know what would happen with such a vote or how the courts would act but just the talk of having to rely on such a vote to remain free tells one how much jeopardy the nation is in. I do not believe in politely answering this type of threat. I know of people that did so and they are dead.

                      “We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France,
                      we shall fight on the seas and oceans,
                      we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be,
                      we shall fight on the beaches,
                      we shall fight on the landing grounds,
                      we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,
                      we shall fight in the hills;
                      we shall never surrender, …” _WC

                    6. I do not believe in politely answering this type of threat.

                      I agree Meyer. I missed this part of the bill.

                      And it gets worse.

                      After nationalizing American election laws, H.R. 1 would put them all under the watchful eye of a “revamped” Federal Election Commission. This is perhaps the most brazenly partisan element of the bill.

                      The Federal Election Commission currently allows six members (though it currently only has four), with a requirement that four members sign on to any decision in order for it to pass. It has an even number of Republican and Democratic appointees—thus, it takes both parties to agree to prosecute a violation of federal law. This prevents the party in control of the White House from enforcing the law in a partisan fashion.

                      H.R. 1 would change that by making the commission a five-person body comprised of the president’s appointees, with the president’s party able to appoint three of the five. This would make the commission into a partisan body beholden to the president.

                      Proponents say this would end the current “deadlock,” but in reality it would turn the commission into a partisan tool to be used by the president. It would be an egregious concentration of power, especially given the way the rest of the bill would nationalize American elections.
                      https://www.dailysignal.com/2021/01/25/the-left-wants-to-transform-and-nationalize-our-election-system/?utm_source=deployer&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newslink&utm_term=members&utm_content=20210126221013

                    7. The FEC serves no valid purpose.

                      Ignoring the fact that nearly all FEC regulations are violations of the first amendment, the FEC almost never does anything about actual violations.

                      RARELY are FEC violations taken seriously – and then only in the most partisan fashion.

                      Dinesch D’Souza goes to jail for something Rosie McDonald does more egregiously and does not even get a slap on the writsts.

                      Just eliminate the FEC and be done with it.

                    8. Facts on HR! – Olly has presented the GOP position:

                      Voting rights
                      The bill would require states to offer same-day voter registration for federal elections[3][2] and to permit voters to make changes to their registration at the polls.[3] The bill would require states to hold early voting for at least 15 days and would establish automatic voter registration.[3][2] Under the automatic voter registration provision, eligible citizens who provide information to state agencies (including state departments of motor vehicles or public universities) would be automatically registered to vote unless they opt-out of doing so.[14] The bill would also expand opportunities to vote by mail and would make Election Day a federal holiday.[14] The bill would require states to offer online voter registration,[3][14] which has already been adopted in 39 states and the District of Columbia;[14] under the bill, states would be required to establish a system to allow applications to be electronically completed, submitted, and received by election officials, and and to allow registered voters to electronically update their voter registration information.[14]

                      Election security
                      The bill contains election security provisions, including a voter verified paper ballot provision mandating the use of paper ballots that can be marked by voters either by hand or with a ballot marking device, and inspected by the voter to allow any errors to be corrected before the ballot is cast. The bill would also require state officials to preserve paper ballots for recounts or audits, and to conduct a hand-count of ballots for recounts and audits.[14] The bill would require the voting machines used for all federal elections to be manufactured in the U.S.[14]

                      Campaign finance reform
                      The bill would introduce voluntary public financing for campaigns, matching small donations at a 6:1 ratio.[11] It also incorporates campaign finance reform provisions from the DISCLOSE Act,[11][17] which would impose stricter limitations on foreign lobbying, require super PACs and other “dark money” organizations to disclose their donors, and restructure the Federal Election Commission to reduce partisan gridlock. The bill expresses support for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, in which the Supreme Court held that limits on independent political expenditures by corporations, labor unions, and other associations are unconstitutional.[4][18]

                      Ethics
                      The bill would require the president and vice president, as well as presidential and vice-presidential candidates, to publicly disclose their previous 10 years of income tax returns. The bill would also eliminate the use of taxpayer money by members of Congress to settle employment discrimination claims, by requiring members of Congress to reimburse the Treasury for any such payments.[2][4][18][14][a] Another part of the bill would require the Judicial Conference to establish rules of ethics binding on the Supreme Court of the United States, which is currently the only court in the U.S. without a binding canon of judicial ethics.[14][2][4]

                      The legislation would also set new disclosure rules and limitations on presidential inaugural committees.[15] Inaugural committees would be barred from taking money from corporations; a contribution limit to inaugural committees of $50,000 per person would be imposed (under current law, there is no limit); contributions of more than $1,000 would have to be disclosed within one day; and the use of funds donated to inaugural committees would be restricted only to use for inaugural events and for charitable contributions.[14]

                      Gerrymandering
                      The bill would thwart gerrymandering by requiring states to use independent commissions to draw congressional district lines,[20] except in the seven states with only one congressional district.[2] Partisan gerrymandering (creating a map that “unduly favor[s] or disfavor[s]” one political party over another) would be prohibited.[14] The legislation would require each commission to have fifteen members (five Democrats, five Republicans, and five independents) and would require proposed maps to achieve a majority vote to be accepted, with at least at least one vote in support from a Democrat, a Republican, and an independent. The bill would require the commissions to draw congressional district lines on a five-party criteria: “(1) population equality, (2) compliance with the Voting Rights Act, (3) compliance with additional racial requirements (no retrogression in, or dilution of, minorities’ electoral influence, including in coalition with other voters), (4) respect for political subdivisions and communities of interest, and (5) no undue advantage for any party.”[20]

                      Number of Federal Election Commissioners
                      Under current law, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has six members, no more than three of whom can be members of the same political party, with at least four votes required for any official FEC action. The complaint is that this has resulted in an impotent and gridlocked FEC, with important reforms left unaddressed, such as the updating of campaign finance law for the digital age[21] and the effective regulation of political donations.[22] Some advocates for reform have blamed the Republican FEC members for being unwilling either to investigate any potential violations or to impose tougher restrictions,[23] and for loosening restrictions simply by signaling what standards they are willing to enforce.[24]

                      The proposed bill would give the FEC five commissioners instead of six, reducing the likelihood of tie votes, and require that no more than two can be members of the same political party. It would set up a “Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel” consisting of an odd number of individuals selected by the president from retired federal judges, former law enforcement officials, or people with experience in election law, except anyone who holds any public office at the time of selection, but the president would not be required to choose from among those recommended by the panel. Some observers claim that there would be no built-in benefit for either party.[25]

                    9. Quit calling things rights that are not.

                      Federal law already requires the preservation of ballots for 22months after every election.

                      Eliminate voter registation completely.
                      Let me repeat that ELIMINATE VOTER REGISTRATION.
                      And again ELIMINATE VOTER REGISTRATION.

                      Any government photo ID that meets the federal Real ID requirements is sufficient to prove eligibility to vote. The only purpose of voter registration is to confirm eligibility to vote. Registration no longer serves a purpose. Just get rid of it. This however means you need universal voter ID. There is no opt in or opt out. If you show up at the polls and can prove you are who you claim to be – Photo ID, that you are a legal resident of that locality – a valid government ID with an address. And that you are a citizen, you may vote. No registration, no party affiliations needed. You can look to existing model voter ID laws for provisions to deal with people who do not have a Drivers license or State ID. They will STILL be obligated to PROVE:
                      Identity,
                      Citizenship
                      Residence.

                      And political parties – instead of engaging in voter registration drives can help people to get State ID, that would be a far more valuable service to people than just registering them to vote.

                      Eliminate early voting entirely – it is a very stupid idea. Instead have a single nationwide 24hr election Polls open at the same time across the country and close at the same time. Every precint must have all ballots counted within 3hrs of polls closing, No ballots will be counted after that. Making election day a holiday is STUPID. All you need to do is pass federal law allowing every voter 2hrs of unpaid time off to vote on election day. Increasing the number of actual holidays effectively reduces standard of living. But as is typical the left does not grasp that you can have whatever employment laws you wish – people are actually paid for the value they produce. That should be tautologically obvious. Standard of living rises when more than humans value is produced.

                      NO VOTE BY MAIL!!!! There is absolutely no way to prevent coercion and inducement. The entire world grasps that Vote By Mail is the most fraud prone form of voting there is. This is by far the stupidest things the left seeks to do. If you are idiotic enough o pass it I can absolutely guarantee that within a few elections it will be impossible to trust elections.

                      We need to do the OPPOSITE. Ballots need to be treated like Money. They need the same anti forgery measures. Further every single ballot needs to be uniquely identifiable. As an example Ballots can be tagged with a simple one way hash. This would make it possible to assure that only official ballots were ever counted – you could not forge ballots. The number of ballots cast for any office in any precinct must be less than or equal to the number of voters in that precinct or the ballots must be recounted. If the count is not corrected by recount all votes in the precinct are rejected, a criminal investigation is initiated and all election officials from that precinct are barred from election service for 8 years.

                      All geographical election allocations are determined by fixed numbers of citizens – Just as each congressional district is approx 750,000 citizens now, each voting precinct in the country should be a fixed number of citizens. Every precinct has the same number of eligable voters, and every precinct counts its own ballots – there is no centralized county or state wide counting. Federal and state election funds are distributed evenly to each precinct. This should eliminate the long lines in many cities, and the purported disparity between urban and rural voters. Frankly it disadvantages rural voters – but they can live with it. Put simply the election resources throughout the country must be distrubted evenly by voter, and all counting must be as decentralized as possible.

                      Next all raw counts from every single voting machine must be PUBLICLY published within 3hrs of the close of polls. This eliminates the possibility fraud in accumulating counts – as even the press will be able to verify totals – probably faster than govenrment.

                      After every single election a random sample of any counting machines MUST be hand audited. If all counts do not match within a small margin of error, the entire precinct must be recounted by hand, if multiple precints fail, the entire congressional district must be hand counted.

                      All ballots that do not machine count without errors on election day MUST be hand counted, Every single ballot that must be hand counted because of errors MUST have the identity of the person hand counting it and the changes they made noted on the ballot

                      Eliminate all these stupid and fraud prone systems that scan ballots and then count (and recount) and audit scans.
                      All counting – whether by hand or by machine is of ACTUAL PAPER BALLOTS. No ballot scans, no editing of scans, no scans.
                      Only the raw paper ballot is ever processed.

                      Next Ballots can NEVER leave the control of election officials – i.e. they can not ever be mailed.
                      Ballots should NEVER be voted by a machine. All ballots must be paper with currency type anti-fraud and forgery measures and must be marked by hand. You left wing nuts do not grasp this – but this is an anti-fraud measure. IF you allow machines to fill in paper ballots you will not be able to detect a wide variety of forgeries as easily or at all. The requirement that a paper ballot be marked by hand makes ballot injection – introducing ballots into the system.

                      With Cause you can vote Absentee.
                      You can come to the courthouse or the district magistrates or any of a number of government offices where officials subject to strict criminal penalties for mishandling ballots will provide you with a ballot, which you can vote in private, seal and return to those officials who will be responsible for securing that ballot.
                      If you absolutely must a shut-in or care facility can request to vote from their residence and you can send a team of government officials to their residence to provide them with the equivalent of an inperson vote. Regardless a ballot NEVER gets handled by anyone but the voter and someone in government who is subject to severe criminal penalties for mishandling ballots.
                      Ballots should absolutely NEVER be in the hands of political parties or their operatives. Ballots should NEVER be outside the direct control of those in government.

                      Completely eliminate all public financing of all campaigns. Government should have absolutely no voice at all in who the winners or losers in elections are – no matching finds, NO PUBLIC FINANCING IF CANDIDATES AT ALL. Government should NEVER have any control of money given to candidates. PERIOD.
                      That you can not understand how stupid it is for govenrment to have a voice in who government is, is incomprehensible.

                      Next – just as voting is SECRET, Campaign donations MUST be SECRET.
                      Again that you can not understand this is incomprehensible.

                      The only problem with Citizens United is that it did not go far enough.

                      You can not overturn CU by constitutional amendment without repealing the first amendment.

                      Congress can not by law express support for a constitutional amendment.
                      They either pass a constitutional amendment or they do not. They have no other rule in the process of amending the constitution.

                      You may not restrict speech especially political speech. You may not restrict the right of people to petition govenrment.
                      The first amendment prohibition of government regulation of political speech are the HIGHEST OF ALL. Political speech is ABSOLUTELY protected. Nor may you restrict political speech by restricting the necescities for political speech.
                      Government can not say – you can have all the political speech you want – but you may not do it on TV, or Radio or Billboards.
                      Nor may it restrict the money used to buy Radio, TV, or Billboard political speech.

                      Every single dime contributed to a political campaign is used to fascilitate political speech. If a campaign pays for food for election staff – it is so they can continue to speak to voters. There is absolutely nothing that can be done to restrict campaign funds that is not a restriction on speech. Once again the left is clueless.

                      With respect to foreign factors – These are more complex. Fundimentally it is not possible to restrict the speech of foriegn actors in US elections. We are not going to war with the UK because John Oliver expresses an opinion on US elections.
                      Ultimately it is not possible to restrict foreign involvment in US elections.

                      Again just eliminate the FEC – they are useless, existing laws are rarely enforced, and when they are that is done so in a highly biased manner, Regardless, government has ZERO legitimate role in anything involving the means by which candidates persuade people to vote. The role of govenrment in elections is to LAWFULLY administer and count votes, and to ensure that fraud is minimized and that the public TRUSTS election results. Public Trust in elections requires transparancy, open and observable processes with automatic audits and security provisions that eliminate fraud an build trust. It is not enough for govenrment to SAY you can trust the results, it must PROVE that to everyone with every election.

                    10. There is no reason for government to have any role at all in inaugurations. That is just idiocy.

                      You can not “thwart gerrymandering” – this is more leftist stupid nonsense.
                      The entire concept that you can thwart gerrymandering presumes that there is a correct way to allocate congressional districts – beyond assuring equal numbers of citizens per district.

                      Gerrymandering is only a problem for people who do not understand math.

                      There are two possible purposes to gerrymandering.
                      The first and oldest and most common is to secure a seat for an existing congressmen.
                      The second is to maximize the number of seats that the party in control has in congress or the legislature.

                      These two purposes are at odds – you can not do both.
                      Further the 2nd is extremely politically dangerous.

                      Lets say that a Party gains supermajority dominance of a state through gerrymandering a large number of seats to a 51/49 advantage.
                      And in the next election there is a 1.25% swing against them among voters – that would mean the party in power would not only lose power – but would now face a super majority from the opposite party from a small swing in voting.

                      Put simply the greater advantage any party seeks via gerrymandering the more likely that are to be tossed out of office wholesale by small swings in the vote.

                      But I will return to ELIMINATE VOTER REGISTRATION.

                      That entirely solves the problem. If the sate keeps no record of party affiliation, then legislators do not have accurate enough information to gerry mander.

                    11. I find it odd – there is almost nothing in this law that does much of any consequence to actually improve the trust in elections.

                      Democrats CONSTANTLY confuse good process with people.

                      Throughout this law Congress empowers people like the FEC to make decisions that impact the election.
                      It creates independent commissions.

                      But for the most part the law does NOT create processes.

                      While you are totally wrong about political speech – for the sake of argument – lets say we should make laws regarding political contributions. Then DO THAT. If you make foreign political contributions a crime – the DOJ and FBI can investigate and prosecute.

                      Why do you need an FEC ?

                      Define what is legal and what is not – and have law enforcement prosecute. There is no need for an assortment of commissions.

                      If you think Gerrymandering is a problem – then specificy by law the criteria a state must use to establish congressional districts.
                      There is no need for a “commision”

                      If you can not identify a purportedly correct method of determining congressional districts – why is an independent commission going to help ?

                      If you do not know what the correct method is of doing something – then passing responsibility to an independent commission is merely moving corruption arround.

                      If you have no clear principled answer to a problem – creating a commision does not change that.

                  3. “I would suggest watching – every minute is incredible.”

                    Too long. I picked at random seven spots to listen to for a few minutes but it was more of the same that I have heard elsewhere and even on the blog. If there is something specific you had in mind let me know the location. Thanks.

                  4. Thanks so much for your many reasoned comments, and particularly for pointing to the Glenn Greenwald interview. I found it on the Reason site. I have never heard of Greenwald before, but this interview was a real eye-opener. Greenwald’s commentary is razor-sharp, just what one hopes for from an authentic investigative journalist. I echo your strong recommendation to listen to the 73-min podcast.

            2. Young, should we blame the courts or should we blame Congress? That is one of those chicken vs egg scenarios. Congress permitted the courts to pass legislation that the politicians were afraid or couldn’t pass.

              1. The abdication by the legislature of its responsibility to check the courts does not excuse or minimize the failure of the courts.

                Regardless it is all a government failure.

                1. All 3 branches have failed. The people voted for those that permitted such a failure to occur. Democracy, even within a Constitutional Republic, doesn’t guarantee success and that is why am so skeptical about our future. That is why most countries end up with some type of dictator or oligarchy.

                  1. Failure often brings about success.

                    It is very very dangerous for government to fail – that is often how we get actual tyrants.

                    But sometimes failure is the only way to learn.

                    I am expecting failure – though not the catastrophic failure that is typically required to bring about tyrants.

                    Democrats have 2 years to fail sufficiently to ensure the loss of the house and the senate.

                    I think that is a pretty good bet.

                    I am honestly more concerned about Republicans.

                    Again I would refer you to the Greenwald video.

                    It does no goof to reelect Trump or someone like him without the ability to “clean the swamp”
                    The real impediment to that over the past 4 years was republicans.

                    1. Absolutely, John. I am sure you have heard me state Republicans are the problem more than once. I can generally defeat my enemy but I can’t defeat my friends.

                      “But sometimes failure is the only way to learn.”

                      We are not talking about creating a business. Most have failures when developing a business and those failures help us to learn how to create a successful one. However in life and death issues failure is not a solution. One can do nothing when their body is lying on a slab.

                    2. Except that failure in government is far more dangerous – there is no difference.

                      Further Failure in government is NOT usually a life or death situation.
                      Biden can fail disasterously as president. The US can move significantly more towards Modern Maoism.
                      That can fail catastrophically – and we will STILL be the worlds only superpower.

                      A very messy one with recession, job losses, and governmental dysfunction all over.

                      As divided as this country is, and as totally blind as the left is to the myriads of external threats we face.
                      Should any of those threat turn to reality the country would instantly shed its differences.

                      The real danger is not external but internal.

                      We losely have three ways to go:

                      The current increasingly Maoist left actually assumes real power – not the neurotic mess they have now.
                      The current left fails and the country demands, begs, for a strong man – an actual authoritarian rather than Trump.
                      The current left fails and normal order is restored.

                      Increasingly the choice of the left getting a clue becoming sane and climbing down off the wire is unlikely.

                      The best hope of normalacy is the left succeeding in screwing enough people that even lawlessness and fraud can not keep them in power.

                      It is my hope and beleif we are not far from that.

                      Biden is keeping the National Guard in DC until March. That is a strong sign of weakness and fear.
                      Further the political purity test Biden is putting the military through evidences fear that the Military does not support them.
                      Depending on the circumstances that may be true.

                      Just to be clear – I am not YET predicting further action from the right.

                      Just more neurotic behavior from the left.

                      Faux Impeachment II is another sign of weakness on the left.

                      What we have increasingly seen with democrats is that they not only seek to control the country through fear, but they succeed in making themselves anxious and that results in stupidity.

                      A federal court recently granted TX a TRO against Biden’s 100 day deportation Pause.

                      I almost wish they had not. Though I think there is a strong chance TX will win. The president can not use an EO to order the federal government to NOT enforce existing law. This goes beyond discretion. It is pretty much what Governors did with the Election.

                      So we will get to see if the courts are going to reclaim their responsibilty and thwart blatant executive lawlessness.

                      But I almost wish that the Court had refused the TRO.

                      There is already the beginings of a mad rush for the US southern Border.
                      And that would be a huge problem for Biden.

                    3. ” Failure in government is NOT usually a life or death situation.”

                      Maybe not for you but for others it is a life and death situation. I know it all too well.

                      It is even a life and death situation for the types of governments where the individual is held in high esteem and where the individual gives rights to the government rather than the other way around. (Add to that the Constitutional Republican government, Bill of Rights and DOI).

                      Based on your statement one would think that such governments exist all over the world. Can you name those countries where such freedoms exist? The only question is whether or not the USA still fits into that category. Based on your above statement there should be plenty of them.

                      “and we will STILL be the worlds only superpower. “

                      I’m not interested in this debate about superpower status. I am interested in individual freedom that you gamble away by holding such a rigid approach to your ideology.

                      “The real danger is not external but internal.”

                      Yes, that is the biggest danger to the nation state known as the USA. To lose our freedoms, Constitution, DOI and Bill of Rights we don’t have to lose a war with any of the nations you have talked about. All we have to do is lose in elections where an oligarchy takes over if it hasn’t happened already. Then the freedoms start to erode quickly. Look around at the freedoms that are disappearing whether it be through a government agency or through private enterprise that works in tandem with the government in power.

                      “strong sign of weakness and fear.”

                      Despite all these statements that I consider relatively silly in this type of debate we continue to move in the wrong direction making it more and more impossible for our individual liberties to reappear with the strength of former years. Your arguments point to acceptance of the gradual erosion of these liberties while you hold onto a grander vision. The grander vision is a vision and not something that affects the individual here and now or even in the realistic future.

                    4. You do not loose freedom by resisting authoritarianism.

                      There are two issues – is China an existential threat to the US or the liberty of americans.
                      The answer is NO

                      The separate issue is with respect to the current power of the left in the US.

                      I would be happy to be able to fight the current regressive left.

                      At the moment doing so directly and effectively appears impossible.

                      A novel I read in HS – I beleive it was Taylor Caldwell’s “the devil’s advocate” – though I might be thinking of a different novel.

                      Has an agent of liberty secretly joining forces with the repressive totalitarian regime and rising in its ranks because as the MOST repressive. The denoument was the revalation that he was never a traitor, that he deliberately became as oppressive of liberty as possible to FOSTER the repellion against tyranny.

                      That is close to where we are.

                      If you honestly beleive that leftism fails inevitably – then let it do so quickly.
                      I beleive that right now the best thing for the country would be to allow the left to screw up as big and fast as possible – and shock us.
                      Rather than to do so through creeping authoritariansm.

                      We are less apt to fight as our loss of liberty is more gradual.

                      I do not honestly beleive the current leftism can possibly succeed in the US. It is just to antithetical to this culture – though we have erroded SOME of those vore liberty values.

                      I also beleive that a quick catastrophic failure of the left is more likely to bring us rapidly closer to “libertopia” than a slow slogging fight against it.

                    5. “You do not loose freedom by resisting authoritarianism.”

                      That is a very loose and wiggly statement. Perfect is the enemy of good, so yes one can loose the war by not compromising in the fight to resist authoritarianism.

                      “There are two issues – is China an existential threat to the US or the liberty of americans.
                      The answer is NO”

                      Too simplistic a question along with its answer. I will bow out of that discussion which has to be very carefully laid out.

                      “If you honestly beleive that leftism fails inevitably – then let it do so quickly.”

                      It depends on what the failure is. Leftism or totalitarianism has succeeded many more times than our type of Constitutional Republic where the people provide the rights to government rather than visa versa. If you wish the simple and fast solution, as you suggest, then use a flip of dice where the available numbers demonstrate the ratio between our type of Republic and the rest. Without a lucky throw of the dice you will be up sh1t’s creek.

                    6. You constantly posit exceptions to what you frequently describe as my dogmatic libertarianism.

                      But saying an exception must exist is not the same as actually locating one.

                      The perfect may be the enemy of the “good enough” – but something is not “good enough” just because it is not perfect.

                      Were back to leftist tactics – something must be a good idea and work because it appeals.

                      Communism is a highly appealing form of government. It does not work. Even the left’s claim that we just have not gotten it right yet – anything that hard to get right – does not work.
                      Regardless, More people have been murdered in efforts to get communism to work, than for all other reason combined int he entire history of humanity.

                      Things do not work because you want them to. They do not work because they are appealing. They do not work because you think they are common sense.

                      I do beleive based on evidence that libertarain ideology works. I beleive it works for the same reason that Newtons laws work – because they are a very accurate model of reality.

                      But in the end what matters is what actually works – not what I want to work.

                      If you want to claim some less than pure libertarian solution works and is an improvement – I am fine with that. And we should move forward with it. But you must do more than assert that it works – you must prove it.

                      And the overwhelming majority of ideas DO NOT WORK, and of those that do, the overwhelming majority are inferior.

                      Put differently – even the value of ideas conforms to a Pareto distribution.

                    7. “You constantly posit exceptions to what you frequently describe as my dogmatic libertarianism. But saying an exception must exist is not the same as actually locating one.”

                      You have plenty of opportunity to prove the exceptions not worthy whether it be in future or past responses.

                      “The perfect may be the enemy of the “good enough” – but something is not “good enough” just because it is not perfect.”

                      I strive for the perfection that I know I will never see but will settle for the best possible good in an attempt to move forward. Did I vote for Trump because he was closest to perfection? No, I voted for Trump because he was the best out there that had a chance to win and at the same time had the potential to move us in the right direction. He did.

                      “Were back to leftist tactics – something must be a good idea and work because it appeals. “

                      If you wish to call them leftist tactics you are free to do so, but those tactics were used before Marx. You have a choice to use them or not at your discretion. Some tactics are dirty and should not exist in a civil society but they will exist. You have to deal with that as well. The world is not perfect.

                      “Communism is a highly appealing form of government.”

                      There is a difference between words and deeds, dreams and reality. But, words and dreams count and do not permit other people to act as if they are as white as snow. That is where your arguments run into trouble.

                      “I do beleive based on evidence that libertarain ideology works.”

                      You are free to believe what you want but what you have used as evidence are smatters of evidence that are not tied up to complete a picture that can be used as good evidence. Yes, the free market works better than communism but that is negative evidence. The rigid libertarian ideology doesn’t work based on the nature of humans today. It will not work in the foreseeable future despite its value because society at this time will not accept your brand of libertarianism.

                    8. If you posit something – the burden is on you to prove it. Not me.

                      You have claimed lots of exceptions. You have not demonstrated any. Something is not proved by asserting it.

                    9. John, if you don’t like the exceptions take issue with it when the issue takes place. You have had plenty of opportunity to prove the exceptions not worthy or ask me to explain what I am saying. It is you that has to tell me when you think I have erred. I didn’t.

                    10. I would be happy to take issue with actual exceptions.

                      You did not argue a specific exception.

                      You claimed there are lots of exceptions without identifying any.

                      I have discredited the exceptions you have raised – though the actual burden to prove an exception is yours.

                      If you asserted there are exceptions to Newton’s third law – no one would take you seriously until you made clear exactly what those exceptions are and then PROVED them.

                      It is a leftist tactic to assume that deviations from established norms, laws, and principles can be apresumed without clear asserion or evidence.

                    11. “I have discredited the exceptions you have raised ”

                      You might think you discredited what you are calling exceptions but you didn’t. If you think you did show me.

                      In any event I am sure enough postings will pass that you will be able to correct your problem or question me when I point it out.

                    12. You are not grasping my argument. I am not challenging settling for a less than perfect solution.
                      I am challenging the assumption that something is a solution because it is less than perfect.

                      The probability of something being a solution and the quality of that solution distributes on a pareto curve.

                      The greater the distance from optimal the more likely that it is not a solution at all.

                      To be CLEAR there are TWO components I am addressing – one is the degree of imperfection, the other is the probability of success.
                      BOTH distribute on a pareto curve.

                      One of the genius’s of free markets is that they not only solve problems – usually with sub optimal solutions, but that they CONSTANTLY work towards ever better solutions.

                    13. “I am challenging the assumption that something is a solution because it is less than perfect.”

                      No one made that assumption.

                    14. Of course you did.

                      You assumed that there are less than perfect solutions to the problems we discussed.
                      And you assumed numerous factors about them – without ever identifying them.

                      You constantly accuse me of over generalizing – and yet, that is exactly what you did.

                      What are these exceptions that you claim exist ? And why are they valid solutions much less better ones ?

                      BTW you do this all the time.

                      Further in most cases we are talking about Government – force, and in that context you are inverting the burden of proof.

                      The use of force must ALWAYS be justified. Sometimes it can be – but not always. Regardless, you can not assume the use of force is justified, you must actually justify it.

                    15. “You assumed that there are less than perfect solutions to the problems we discussed.”

                      Most solutions to complex problems involving humans are less than perfect though I am not sure which problems you are talking about. Such a generalization is meaningless because we have discussed so many problems.

                      “And you assumed numerous factors about them – without ever identifying them.”

                      Similar problem to the above. The context has been lost so if you wish to make that claim you will have to further explain it.

                      The above responses are inadequate to the extent of being wrong in response to the post that went like this:

                      John: “I am challenging the assumption that something is a solution because it is less than perfect.”

                      S. Meyer: “No one made that assumption.”
                      —-

                      “The use of force must ALWAYS be justified. Sometimes it can be – but not always. Regardless, you can not assume the use of force is justified, you must actually justify it.”

                      We don’t differ on the principle. We differ on the justification.

                    16. “Most solutions to complex problems involving humans are less than perfect”
                      Again an assertion without proof.
                      I would further note that though likely true it STILL does not work as you claim.
                      In free markets ALL problems slowly spiral towards perfection.
                      That is not true in government.

                      “though I am not sure which problems you are talking about. Such a generalization is meaningless because we have discussed so many problems.”

                      The generalization is YOURS.

                    17. >>“Most solutions to complex problems involving humans are less than perfect”
                      >Again an assertion without proof.”

                      I may not have provided proof but considering human actions to be dependent on so many variables I think almost everyone but you agree with the statement I made. I even believe reasonable proof can be provided, but why do so unless you believe the opposite. Do you? Do you wish to say that, most solutions to complex problems involving humans are perfect?

                      This is a different question than many of your contentions where the vast majority disagree with you. I’m not saying the majority should win the argument, but that what I said is so obvious it has to be left up to you to prove your point. Example: Do you think most doctor solutions are perfect solutions? How do you know what perfection is?

                      “In free markets ALL problems slowly spiral towards perfection.”

                      But they generally do not reach perfection. Your opposing argument seems to say that perfection is obtainable for most solutions.

                      “Perfection is the enemy of good”

                    18. “Because while I agree that most solutions are less than perfect, in the free market every problem gets solved over and over and over, and each iteration tend to improve it.”

                      But, John, I agree with that statement though I have to say I wouldn’t make it into a generalization as you have. Sometimes ‘each iteration’ can make things worse.

                    19. “The context it not lost – it has never existed.”

                      We must have had some context somewhere. You use a lot of pronouns and assume the other person knows which of the many items being referenced are now under discussion. I had to go back multiple discussions to put such thoughts back in order. By this time you will have already read that response.

                      “Because while I agree that most solutions are less than perfect,”

                      That seems to be a reversal of what you said to me when I said virtually the same thing. This is one of the reasons context is lost.

                      Of course you can say you were just agreeing with something that likely almost all agree on but you wanted proof of something everyone including you is in agreement on. That is a funny way of arguing things. You are making two completely different points at the same time. Shall I say clarity does not arise from that type of dialogue?

                      You end your missive with a generalization of a generalization and by adding a statement I have never disagreed with.

                      You are trying to create a conflict where no essential conflict exists. Instead the conflict is dealing with your purity that doesn’t exist in this world and can only exist in dreams.

                    20. The context it not lost – it has never existed.
                      The burden of proof that “Most solutions to complex problems involving humans are less than perfect”

                      Falls on you – and worse – even if true – that is still not sufficient.
                      Because while I agree that most solutions are less than perfect, in the free market every problem gets solved over and over and over, and each iteration tend to improve it.

                      So while your generalization is likely true, it masks a trend which is more important than the generalization – the relentles drive of free markets toward perfection.

                    21. John: “I am challenging the assumption that something is a solution because it is less than perfect.”

                      S. Meyer: “No one made that assumption.”
                      But you have.

                    22. John, this is getting a little too ridiculous.

                      John: “I am challenging the assumption that something is a solution because it is less than perfect.”

                      S. Meyer: “No one made that assumption.”

                      “But you have.”

                      That is not an answer. You are being careless in your responses. The sentence you made while grammatically correct doesn’t make sense especially in this discussion if not all others. You are creating a your own logical fallacy as a straw-man argument.

                      The actual statement was: “Most solutions to complex problems involving humans are less than perfect”

                      Go ahead and show me how the above statement can be rationally turned into your straw-man argument above.

                    23. Meyer, you have made the assumption that something is a solution because it is less than perfect.
                      It is pretty much core to this argument.

                      Given an infinite set of “potential” solutions to anything. They will distribute on a pareto curve.

                      Nearly all will be useless, making things worse. A very small subset will be increasingly better until some optimum.

                      Free markets automatically climb that distrubution slowly climbing towards perfection.

                      Nothing else consistently does that.

                      Regardless back to the issue. If you pull on item from the set of potential solutions at random.
                      The odds are almost infinitely high that it will fail – to the point of making things worse – please note I said At random.

                      If humans make a selection using intelligence The odds of success go up dramatically.
                      But the odds are still far lower than 50:50 Even with the aid of human intellect – we fail far more often than we succeed.

                      The reason that human progress is not backwards is that the cost of failure is usually low and temporary, and the benefits of success high and enduring.

                      The value of free markets – capitalism is that it supercharges this process.

                      One of the reason that Government is unable to match free markets is that the cycle rate for free markets is nearly infinite compared to government. To the extent government has an iterative refinement process it takes years, decades while in markets it takes minutes.

                    24. “Meyer, you have made the assumption that something is a solution because it is less than perfect.
                      It is pretty much core to this argument.”

                      AS I stated earlier, that is totally wrong and doesn’t represent anything I said earlier. I will repeat the exact words that were said:

                      “The actual statement was: “Most solutions to complex problems involving humans are less than perfect””

                      There is no similarity in the meaning of your incorrect statement and mine. Be careful.

                      For the rest of the discussion you diverged from the question at hand .

                      {As an aside: You write: “The reason that human progress is not backwards is that the cost of failure is usually low and temporary, and the benefits of success high and enduring”

                      Think of the Aztec and Mayan civilizations. }

                    25. If I am misrepresenting you, then what you said is irrelevant.

                      What argument is made by your statement ?
                      If it is humans tend towards imperfect solutions – how is that an argument ?

                    26. “If I am misrepresenting you, then what you said is irrelevant. “

                      Wrong. If you are misinterpreting me then you don’t know what I was saying.

                      I think what I said is clear.

                      “Most solutions to complex problems involving humans are less than perfect” (A)

                      Your idea of what that means, “that something is a solution because it is less than perfect”, is wrong. That sentence didn’t make contextual sense earlier and doesn’t make sense now.

                      You repeated the same error more than once and these remarks promoted by you went back quite a number of posts back and each time I stated why I disagreed with you.

                      The initial quote marked (A) goes back to January 29, 2021 at 11:04 AM 10 responses ago.

                    27. “”If I am misrepresenting you, then what you said is irrelevant. “
                      Wrong. If you are misinterpreting me then you don’t know what I was saying.”
                      Wrong. it would be didn’t not don’t.
                      Regardless, If what you said could mean 2 things and I incorrectly picked the wrong one rather than the irrelevant one, My statement remains correct.

                    28. “Regardless, If what you said could mean 2 things and I incorrectly picked the wrong one rather than the irrelevant one, My statement remains correct.”

                      John, what I said meant one thing. You chose a response that was wrong. Apparently you didn’t understand what I was saying..

                    29. “You ignored the argument.”

                      No John, my sentence was clear. You created a straw man sentence so that you had an argument. Take my sentence and deal with it rather than the straw man argument.

                    30. What you said is NOT clear. It is an ambiguous generalization without supporting evidence.

                      And likely to be false. Humans desire simple solutions to complex problems. And contra your claim are prone to accept simple solutions even if they are imperfect.

                      Next, as you live by the defintion – die by the definition – what do you mean by perfect ?

                    31. John, I think what I said addressed a specific statement of yours. It was a limited statement, not generalized. Of course you didn’t specify what statement you were talking about.

                      “Most solutions to complex problems involving humans are less than perfect”

                      I see no problem with that statement either. Perfection is quite hard to obtain especially when dealing with human nature. You are trying to rectify a problem you created.

                      “what do you mean by perfect ?

                      I’ll agree to Merriam Webster’s definition. Then we can narrow down the meaning so we end up on the same page.

          2. “It is too late to fix the mistakes they have made.
            It is not too late to prevent future messes like this.”

            The latter statement is open to question.

              1. Do you remember when Time magazine put Castro’s picture on the front page. America was wild for Castro. He just saved Cuba and took power. He set the Cuban people free. Do you think that really happened?

            1. The latter statement is open to question.

              Agreed. This from Bastiat describes exactly where we are.

              Men naturally rebel against the injustice of which they are victims. Thus, when plunder is organized by law for the profit of those who make the law, all the plundered classes try somehow to enter — by peaceful or revolutionary means — into the making of laws. According to their degree of enlightenment, these plundered classes may propose one of two entirely different purposes when they attempt to attain political power: Either they may wish to stop lawful plunder, or they may wish to share in it.

              Woe to the nation when this latter purpose prevails among the mass victims of lawful plunder when they, in turn, seize the power to make laws! Until that happens, the few practice lawful plunder upon the many, a common practice where the right to participate in the making of law is limited to a few persons. But then, participation in the making of law becomes universal. And then, men seek to balance their conflicting interests by universal plunder. Instead of rooting out the injustices found in society, they make these injustices general. As soon as the plundered classes gain political power, they establish a system of reprisals against other classes. They do not abolish legal plunder. (This objective would demand more enlightenment than they possess.) Instead, they emulate their evil predecessors by participating in this legal plunder, even though it is against their own interests.

              It is as if it were necessary, before a reign of justice appears, for everyone to suffer a cruel retribution — some for their evilness, and some for their lack of understanding.
              http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html

              1. I have addressed the lawlessness of the 2020 election.
                Others have addressed the likely fraud.

                Dennis Prager addressed SOME of the moral issues – but there are others.

                As we have seen time and again – when Democrats violate the norms. Those violations become the new norms.

                We have seen that in the rules of the house and the senate.
                We have seen it elsewhere.
                We are now seeing it in our elections.

                I do not understand why it is that those on the left think that some tactic that gives them temporary advantage has meaningful long term benefit.

                When the right complains of censorship today – many on the left note that it is not just the right that is being censored.
                And they are correct.

                It does not matter if there was massive fraud int he 2020 election. The mere fact that most of the country beleives there was means that they will beleive they are justified in engaging in fraud in 2022. Democratic voting is far more centralized, and therefore far more fragile.

                If you have an IQ above dirt you should be able to figure out how to easily screw up democratic elections in big cities.
                The resources required to do so without getting caught are very small.
                the biggest impediment is the willingness to act immorally. That impediment is significantly diminished if you beleive others are already doing so.
                Nor does this address the ease with which a foreign actor could thoroughly disrupt US elections without getting caught.

              2. Olly, this is a problem created by individual voters and with those that are too doctrinaire about a philosophy that can never be fully implemented.

        1. I have no idea – nor do you.

          But whether Trump is at the top of the ticket. Trumpism will be.

          The left has 4 years to prove to the american people that they have a brain cell between them

          You are already off to a rocky start.

          Keep alienating more and more of those who tepidly voted for you and you may not make it to 2024.

          1. Oh no, I say this as a Trump voter. It’s just a feeling I have. Trump won’t run again, but he’ll be influential in Republican politics, as will Trumpism. There are way more than 75 million of us and we aren’t going away. Wait for the 2022 midterms. We are coming back with a vengeance.

            1. This is an absolutely incredible Interview of Glenn Greenwald by Nick Gillespe of Reason.

              It covers an incredibly range of topics – all unbeleivably well.

              Towards the end Greenwald and Gillespe start speculating about a trumpist/populist, libertarain progressive fusion taking on the deep state, corporatist democratic, post modern elites.

  2. Dennis Prager made a good point in a recent Fireside Chat. He remarked that people who say they want unity rarely want to change their own point of view. To most, “unity” means they want the other side to come over to theirs.

    For instance, when Liberals say they want unity, does that mean they will accept Republican claims that there needs to be an investigation into election integrity? Are they willing to stop demanding nationwide, widespread vote by mail? Will they agree that most cases were dismissed due to lack of standing, not lack of facts?

    Are Democrats willing to agree that BLM riots were not the language of the unheard, to be excused? Will they agree that when Democrats attack federal buildings, destroy cop cars, and burn a police station, it’s sedition? Just like when Trump supporters, along with a few Antifa, storming the Capitol building was illegal and wrong?

    Or is the truth that Democrats consider “unity” to really mean they want Republicans to abandon their opinions and support Democrats?

    Because I’m not feeling a lot of unifying love and acceptance from Democrats calling for “lists” and “deprogramming”.

    1. Are Democrats willing to agree that BLM riots were not the language of the unheard, to be excused?

      They were the language of people wanting a flat-screen TV, gratis and people who want to wreck stuff for the hell of it. We heard.

    2. “Unity” is actually quite important.

      The reality is we are no less unified than ever before.

      We have never been that unified as a country.
      We are diverse – culturally, politically, in pretty much everyway.
      That is a part of the countries strength.

      But that diversity comes at a price – we can not force our will on the rest of the country.

      We are free on our own to do as we please – and to succeed or fail based on our individual choices.

      When we work together – especially when through government we are FORCED to act together.

      We must limit what we do to what nearly all of us support.

      Real unity requires limited government – because when we can not agree we can not impose our will on others by force.

      We can only have “unity” over those few things that are near universal values.

    3. Dennis Prager made a good point in a recent Fireside Chat. He remarked that people who say they want unity rarely want to change their own point of view. To most, “unity” means they want the other side to come over to theirs. In other words, monotheism. Read John Murray Cuddihy, and you will understand that monotheism is not the belief that there *is* only one god but the belief that only one god may be tolerated.

      1. “Read John Murray Cuddihy, and you will understand that monotheism is not the belief that there *is* only one god but the belief that only one god may be tolerated.”

        I should read what he has to say; however, my initial reaction is that Cuddihy is ignoring a great deal of symbolism and meaning and logic in the concept of monotheism.

  3. I’ve never gotten any Democrat I know admit that their party has a demonstrable trend in censorship and intolerance of free speech. Every political party has their crazies, but this behavior is mainstream, and nationwide in the Democrat Party.

    Every Democrat I know has only heard bad things about Trump and Trump voters. They’ve been brainwashed that Republicans are white supremacists who only care about money, and would steamroller the poor to get it. Their Republican friends just don’t talk politics with them.

    I read their posts and listen to them (confidently) talk politics, thinking, “Wow. You actually believe this. And you brag about never reading or researching any conservative point of view.” Meanwhile, most of their conservative friends would never bring up politics to them.

    I don’t get it. I make a point to try to understand the Democrat point of view. I go to their media, and listen to them talk, and it’s just so ugly. They really think Republicans are evil. If they are friends with someone who’s Republican, they think they’re brainwashed. Ironically, that’s what I think of them.

    Granted, Republicans pretty frequently say that Democrats are behaving like fascists, see examples 1 – 1,245. We feel their goal of a strong government comes at a cost of individual freedom. We think their policies often harm the very cohort they claim to try to help. There are many examples.

    I think both conservatives and the Left want as many people as possible to have enough to eat and live well. We just differ so much on how to arrive at that point that there’s very little common ground. We can’t even agree anymore that the US is a wonderful country. We can’t agree that capitalism is a form of freedom and socialism is a form of slavery. None of this was even a question 25 years ago for a majority of Americans. We certainly can’t agree that the US has little racism compared to 100 years ago, or even compared with contemporary nations.

    1. Well said, Karen!

      I have brought up several of Glenn Greenwald’s articles and one about the ACLU expressing concern about Big Tech and my Democrat friends and family defended Big Tech’s actions–completely ignoring the warnings of the aforementioned. I brought up Matt Taibbi and the Weinstein brothers also and I was met with, instead, concerns about me and my welfare because I may have ‘questionable’ views.

      Douglas Murray is right to state that far too many Americans are very badly educated and quite ignorant, even amongst those who really shouldn’t be. Not just when it comes to a knowledge of history, this seems to be particularly bad in regards to what is actually in the Constitution, not only what’s in the Bill of Rights but also what they mean, and, what the Founders actually wrote and believed. I know I have plenty to learn, but some of the conversations I’ve had…

      I do think some of this mirror-image concern about fascism is warranted. Both parties are guilty of perpetuating it in their own way over decades. Something strange about the leadership and the news these past five years has emphasized the sense of rising fascism in a way that far too many people only see as unidirectional based on party membership. It does seem to be coming more from the leftist side of the Democrats at the moment, but I think there’s some skillful statist propaganda and manipulation going on, too. The statists would try to steer the parties in a bipartisan manner to achieve their own ends.

        1. Not interested in a fight with you over labels.

          Lets try data – for every 10% of GDP that government consumes about 20% the rate of increase of standard of living declines by 1%.
          This is solid accross:

          The 20th and 21st centuries.
          The OECD
          The world

          And if we go into the 19th century the same data appears to be valid to government consumption below 10% of GDP.

          If you are arguing for more government – you are arguing to make people worse off.

          I do not care what ideology you are selling – if it is more government – we will be worse off.

          Not only is this true – but it is so true that it can be directly observed.

          In the US government spending as a percent of GDP plateaued and then dropped in the 80’s and 90’s and the US experienced long strong rise in standard of living. From 2000-2016 Government spending spiked again and growth nearly came to a halt.

          But you can go most anywhere and see the same pattern.

          Whatever you want to call it the bigger government gets the slower life improves.

          Not only does the data demonstrate that – but it is logic.

          If Government was as efficient at doing anything long ago we would have done everything through government.

          There are a few tasks in the world that can not be done without FORCE – government, securing our rights, providing the the rule of law.
          Government is quite bad and inefficient at those. But there are no better alternatives.

          Everything else is best and most efficiently accomplished without government.

        2. The choice is not between statism and anarchy.

          “You and I are told increasingly that we have to choose between a left or right, but I would like to suggest that there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down — up to a man’s age-old dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order — or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.”
          Ronald Reagan

        3. “an advocate of a political system in which the state has substantial centralized control over social and economic affairs.”

          “the principle or policy of concentrating extensive economic, political, and related controls in the state at the cost of individual liberty.”

          Note the second definition I provided which included “at the cost of individual liberty”. I agree with John Say’s quote by Reagan–it isn’t left or right it is up or down–one towards liberty and the other totalitarianism.

          Hmmm…whistling past the graveyard on this one?
          “The study shows instead that authoritarians have increasingly resorted to manipulation of information as a means of control. Authoritarians increasingly seek to create an appearance of good performance, conceal state repression, and imitate democracy.”

          I am not in favor of “substantial centralized control”, especially at the cost of individual liberty. I am a slightly libertarian-leaning centrist Independent who aims to tread along a classical liberal path.

          1. What study and who is the authoritarians.?

            Prairie, I am a pragmatist and favor what works while maintaining basic freedoms and rights. Centralized control of D Day made sense and so does dealing with an international pandemic

            A classic liberal does not believe in the conspiracies you seem to believe in, nor do they fail to assign to citizens the responsibility for maintaining a democracy like ours. We are not helpless pawns of all powerful forces beyond our control, fortunately, though if we keep selecting scumbags like Trump – I should say our EC selected him, not voters – we may end up that way. A few more seats in the house and these idiots might have disenfranchised the voters in the states Trump lost and made him dictator.

            1. “A classic liberal does not believe in the conspiracies you seem to believe in,…”

              You have no idea what you’re talking about, Joe.

                1. “OK, what conspiracies do classic liberals believe in?”
                  Ones that are true.

                  That Hillary Clinton unwittingly (probably) was duped by russian disinformation from a russian spy and fed it to the DOJ/FBI which used it to start an unpredicated investigation of a political enemy that went nowhere and that in order to keep it alive the FBI/DOJ lied to the FISA court.

                  That sounds like a pretty good one to me.

                  How about another ?

                  That the entire Biden family has been profiting off the public teat for decades, including selling political influence to foriegn countries and govenrments.

            2. “What study and who is the authoritarians.?”

              Who cares you are engaged in a stupid pedantic argument. The precise defintion of statist does not matter.
              Big government fails, Bigger government fails more. There is an unbeleivable amount of data on that – more than 2 centuries.

              250 years ago Adam Smith figured this out
              “Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.”
              Adam Smith

              “I am a pragmatist and favor what works while maintaining basic freedoms and rights.”
              Not a chance.

              “Centralized control of D Day made sense”
              War is a direct confrontation of an existential threat. War allows prioritizing absolutely everything based on a single simple top down set of values. War is completely unique in that.

              “and so does dealing with an international pandemic”
              Nope – all the actual data we have is that every single thing that pretty much every government has done with respect to the “pandemic” has been a complete failure.

              The same thing remains true – except the data is even better as what I said back in April.
              You can entirely predict just about everything about this pandemic by demographics and geography and nothing else.

              “A classic liberal does not believe in the conspiracies you seem to believe in”
              What would you know about classical liberals ?
              What do you know about conspiracies both real and immagined ?

              “nor do they fail to assign to citizens the responsibility for maintaining a democracy like ours.”
              What does this even mean ? We are not a democracy.
              We are not responsible for maintaining government. Government is responsible to US.
              When the people do not trust government – government loses legitimacy. that is a failure of government, not the people.

              “We are not helpless pawns of all powerful forces beyond our control,”
              Correct. But the very things you see as the problems are the people responding to those forces.

              “fortunately, though if we keep selecting scumbags like Trump”
              Many presidents have been scumbags. that is irrelevant.
              Ad Hominem is not argument.
              I linked an excellent reason interview or Glenn Greenwald. It is a long but far ranging and detailed survey of government and politics since Reagan. Greenwald is pretty far on the left. What he is NOT is a clueless idiot and a hypocrit.

              “I should say our EC selected him, not voters”
              The system working exactly as it was designed.
              AGAIN – we are not a democracy – democracies are the most tyranical form of government there is.
              The EC is absolutely intended as a deliberate check on tyrancial democracy.

              “we may end up that way. A few more seats in the house and these idiots might have disenfranchised the voters in the states Trump lost and made him dictator.”
              You disenfranchised voters when you ran a lawless election. Follow the law and there would be no issue.

              Regardless, you do not understand what disenfranchised means. You are entitled to have your vote count – presuming you vote lawfully.
              You are not entitled to the outcome you want – right or left. You are however entitled to a lawful election – whether you win or lose.

      1. In a sense, those who run the bureaucracy have more power than Congress and the President. It’s like death by a thousand cuts. Politicize the alphabet soup, from the IRS, EPA, to the NSA, and a large part of an agenda can operate indecently of who sits behind the Resolute Desk.

        The government has a tendency towards mission creep. Voters may think there are good reasons to encourage it when it satisfies their own agenda, but these things tend to go way too far.

        Those who want more government intervention might think that everyone lives better with bigger government, but history should caution them.

      2. Naseem Talib calls them IYI – Intellectual Yet Idiot.

        The state of education of the majority of the country is abysmal.

        There is absolutely nothing those on the left think they know that has not been addressed before – often more than a century ago.

        This nonsense does not work.

        One of the oddities of Trump is that he has tapped into the fact that ordinary working people have more sense than their better educated peers.

        Regardless we are getting an lesson in the cost of failed education.

        The lack of knowledge of our founders and the constitution need not be fatal.
        The constitution is not an inerrant biblical text, it is just the synthesis of understanding about the rule of law and government up to that point in time.

        The left is actually correct that we can do better. What they failed to grasp – from history, is that we can also do worse – much worse.

        There is not one solution to every problem – there are many – but for every attempt that works there are thousands perhaps millions that will fail. The genius of free markets is not that they always have the answer. It is that they always FIND the answer – often after many failed tries.

        Regardless, I am not that concerned about the left. They will self destruct. the only questions are how fast and how badly, and whether we end up in a civil war first.

      3. We do have rising fascism coming from where fascism always comes from – the left.

        The right has had innumerable problems – but I am hard pressed to think of a right wing revolution.

        Repression on the right always starts from where we are and slowly diminishes over time.

        You must be an idiot to beleive that this moment and this place is somehow uniquely more racist, or more discriminatory than any prior time.

        The nonsense of the left creates the small but real danger of creating white supremacy. Otherwise we live in the least racist county in the world, at the least racist moment in time – except tomorrow – hopefully. We can always do better, but if you are fixated on discrimination – you are divorced from reality.

        The left is completely clueless about the real world.

        1. “The left is completely clueless about the real world.” So is Joe Biden. All he’s ever done is work for the gubment and make his family filthy rich by selling his office. Joey and his crime family, and all the rest of the corrupto-crats are laughing their way to the bank saying, “the real world is completely clueless about how the Swamp works.” Ho ho ho.

          1. I am having fun watching.

            The press would have eaten Trump’s staff alive for the blunders Biden’s is making.

            But sycophants in the press are not only blindly applauding, they are actually reporting that it is their job to blindly applaud.

            Regardless, Biden has already botched the 1st 5 days.

            1. I saw a poll giving Biden 63% job approval thus far. As we all surely know by now, there is no way Biden gets that kind of approval without the Fake Newz Propaganda Machine.

    2. here’s a little thing that few people understand

      if you are an ethnonationalist, or, a “racist’ in some parlance,

      then you have to care about all the people of your race, or ethnicity, not just the rich ones

      hence, greedy people who only care about themselves, are not very good for ethnonationalist political or social organizing

      an example of a successful ethnonationalist movement that had a track record for caring for all levels of its genus, is zionism

      i keep on telling people that Chinese communism should be understood as fundamentally ethnonationalist, but it seems my opinion is insignificant

      the CCP wants to keep it that way, obviously. keep that misunderstood and covered up. and the billionaires do too. see them shining Xi Jinpeng’s boots at Davos. Puke!

      sal sar

  4. He always acts shocked or surprised. Your fellow travelers are thugs, Jonathan. These are your people. Your side. The ideas you lay claim to. Why all the pearl clutching? They are merely taking seriously what their insane boomer Profs taught them.

    1. Scribblers, Professor Turley is placing himself in the harms way of the cancel culture. Many here have placed him on the list of Trump supporters who must pay for their blasphemy. He is at risk of not being allowed to speak on campuses and having publishers refuse to publish any book he may author in the future. He places his future income at risk everyday by his comments. Your depiction of his “standing by” is poorly reasoned. Praise for his courage would be more appropriate.

      1. Agreed. At this particular time, someone like the Professor is displaying a courage we never thought we’d need in this country. You are entitled to your opinion, but some self-reflection may be in order. You are not the one putting your a$$ on the line as the Prof does virtually every day, and he does this for us for free. Grow up. The personal invectives against our host are impossible to stomach. Start your own site. See how far you go.

      2. “Praise for his [Turley’s] courage would be more appropriate.”
        ****

        True. This is a poisonous environment in which it is dangerous to raise one’s voice even a bit. I wish Turley were Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Then we wouldn’t have a coward on the bench.

    2. What side do you think Jonathan Turley is on? He said voted for Obama. Based on comments he made, I seriously doubt he voted for Trump.

      He criticizes both sides where he sees fit. As a staunch free speech supporter, he regularly condemns any infringement of that right. This means he criticizes Democrats who censor conservatives, which puts him in their cross hairs. But he’s by no wild stretch of the imagination on the far right. Nor is he an unreasoning Trump supporter.

      If you actually read the blog, you’d find numerous times where he condemned Trump. In so doing, he always analyzed whether there were legal or constitutional components, or if he just disagreed with him.

      Put away your pitchfork and blow out the torch. Cancel Culture mania is so intolerant.

      But 5 points for using the word “thug” in a way that’s not racially motivated. There has been a Democrat censorship movement to ban the word as some sort of racist slur. Your usage proves its meaning is not inherently racial, although I would disagree that “violent criminals” are in any way affiliated closely with Jonathan Turley. Violent criminals, peace loving pacifists, and everyone in between can all value free speech.

      1. The slow right drift of those like Turley, Greenwald, Rubin, Taibbi, Derschowitz, The Intellectual dark web away from the left is a symptom of theie intellectual weakness.

        It can not hold its own best and brightest lights.

        The right is unbelievably bad at messaging. The left is unbelievably bad at truth.

        And I hear that the new Biden administration thinks Libertarians are domestic terrorists too.

        First they came for Der Sturmer, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a neo-nazi.

        Then they came for the Alex Jones, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a right wing conspiracy theorist.

        Then they came for the conservatives, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a conservative.

        Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

  5. My oh my. Our scholarly posters here have excoriated Professor Turley on this forum for his defense of Trumps right to free speech. Yet somehow with their twenty twenty vision they missed his reference to “snap impeachment”. It should be very apparent that he is making a comparison to what just happened in the House of Representatives. In world record time we have the same railers against Trump and his Twitter comments displaying there virtue in defense of free speech. Now they agree with the Professors condemnation of “snap impeachment’s”. He set you up and he got the responses that he knew you would make. Forgive me, I must be forgetting that you have no mirrors in your houses.

    1. Thinkitthrough, Turley may be a strong supporter of free speech, but he isn’t very well educated about it as well.

      Free speech isn’t just about being able to express one’s opinion regardless of how offensive or controversial it is. Free speech is not just a right to say what you want and face no consequences for expressing it. Turley sees free speech as a right that shouldn’t be burdened by the responsibility that comes with it. The first amendment only protects your right to express yourself. It doesn’t protect you from the consequences of choosing to exercise it. Criticism, blowback, being ostracized, labeled, etc. all are consequences of choosing to exercise free speech.

      The government can’t censor you or punish you for saying things that are offensive or critical of government or anything else, but private entities CAN. Criticism of one’s views or opinions is not censorship or attacking free speech. Turley likes to get a little melodramatic for the sake of being melodramatic.

      1. Svelz

        Turley forgets more about free speech in a week than you have ever learned in your life. You again display your misunderstanding

        Sal Sar

      2. “Free speech isn’t just about being able to express one’s opinion regardless of how offensive or controversial it is.”

        Actually that is pretty much exactly what it is.

        You are correct – there can be consequences – Amazon and other Tech Giants took a $51B hit over their recent censorship.
        That is the short term.
        I own several small but growing businesses. I received a clear message – do NOT commit your business to anything that relies on Big Tech.

        Free speech does have consequences – who do you think is more likely to get a job ? The person with a blue line facemask on their social media ? Or the one with Antfia Graffetti ?

        Even if I am a totally “woke” employer – which prospect is more of a threat to me ? The person who identifies with law and order ? Or the person who identifies with anarchy ? Which is more likely to be a productive employee ?

        Who has the brightest future – the School Senator removed for showing support for law enforcement ? Or the anxious zealots that think they took him down ? Who is going to need more xanax to get through life ? You or Him ?

        Colleges and universities that sold themselves as a marketplace of ideas, will face declining enrollments and lawsuits.

        Goya named AOC employee of the month because her attacks boosted their sales.

        Do you really want to go here ?

        No one doubts the left controls the media. But you have a major problem – you do not control the truth.

        No one is stopping you from engaging in lunacy – go for it. Shit down dissent at universities – see how well that works out for you.

        You have undermined trust in all our institutions – and you wonder why you have no legitimacy ?

  6. “Blue Lives Matter”. Add a letter s to Blue and one speaks of a hockey team in St. Louis.
    Blue states are democrat.
    The right to wear a face mask matters.

    Schools are Going to Hell in a handbasket. Bye bye Miss American Pie.

  7. JT: “The very intellectual touchstone of higher education is free speech and academic freedom.”

    I disagree.

    That touchstone, that standard by which everything else is measured, is: The communication of an important body of knowledge, by an objective method. That is the basic purpose of higher education. That purpose has been lost — and replaced by propaganda hucksters.

    Bright, eager undergraduates used to tell me: “When I was in high school, I was enthusiastic about going to college. I anticipated being exposed to important ideas, and inspired by great teachers. Now, mostly, I’m just bored.”

    Snuffing out a young person’s intellectual curiosity is academia’s crime.

    1. Some American institutions of “higher learning” need to revisit the history of the French Revolution. I imagine authors like Friedrich Gentz are not required reading in these days of non rational thinking. Nor is enlightenment any longer an educational goal in the Marxist world view.

  8. More of the leftist love and tolerance we keep hearing so much about! Wait until the US Constitution is interpreted using “critical legal theory”.

    antonio

    1. oh, it already is antonio. look at the statements some of these idiotic state supreme courts made after the summer riots. they self denounced as racists.

      amazing that high level state judges in some states were so foolish as to grovel at that moment. will have a long lasting negative impact– on us

      saloth sar

      1. For elected state judges I am thinking that recall petitions should be much more common for robed cowards.

        1. elected ones are usually closer to the people. but the top are almost always appointed. i have not studied the subject but ABA and other servants of global capital have been trying to end judicial elections for decades, in favor of appointments

          Sal sar

          1. True, but elected judges were among the first to run from the election fraud controversy. Punish whom you can reach.

            1. Well, who is that? Why not throw names out there., Maybe people need to know who they are specifically.

              It could well be some or all were appointed judges. It might be interesting survey to find out exactly.

            2. “It is, however, increasingly clear that many – perhaps most — sitting United States senators cannot read the plain text of the Constitution. The relevant wording in the Constitution is at the very end of Article II, establishing that a constitutionally errant “President,…shall be removed from Office” if he first has been impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate for ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors,’” he adds. Barr then continues to hammer home the importance that the trial is only applicable to current sitting Presidents…not ex-Presidents.

              “Unlike other sections of the Constitution where clarity may be obscured by arcane wording, this particular provision is clear and concise, and it applies to “the President.” The language pointedly does not provide in any way, shape, or form that a ‘Former President’ or an ‘Ex-President’ may be similarly punished, only the President,” It just shows the hatred for Trump by the democrats.

              1. If those on the left wish to show themselves for who they are – let them

                ‘I Don’t Even Know Why There Aren’t Uprising All Over the Country; Maybe There Will Be’
                Nancy Pelosi

  9. We see column after column after column from Turley on colleges violating their students First Amendment rights. Why not actually do something about it? He could establish a First Amendment Law Clinic at George Washington Univ. and sue these violators. It would be valuable litigation experience for his law students – so much better than sitting in a classroom listening to lectures. And most importantly, as soon as one or two of these colleges get hit with multi-million $$ civil rights judgements, the rest will quickly rethink their political over-reaching.

    1. It’s a private institution. There are no 1st amendment rights at stake. Also, the student government twits aren’t public officials and I doubt they would in case law be treated as such even if RIT or Loyola Marymount were private institutions.

      The problem isn’t disregard for law. It’s disregard for the culture and norms you need to have functioning deliberative institutions. And they disregard it because they cannot function in an ordinary forum. These kids are damaged. How did we generate so many damaged kids?

      1. Actually there is plenty of case law.

        While these are private entities – the students attending have a contract with the university – part of hat contract is the speach codes and codes of conduct. Nearly all these institutions make promises regarding free speech that they fail to deliver on.

        They are liable, and have frequently lost.

          1. Correct, and incorrect.

            The first amendment is limited. Free speech is not.

            “If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.”
            John Stuart Mill

            Nowhere in Mill’s essay “On Liberty” is the first amendment mentioned. Nor is “On Liberty” explicitly about government.

            Free speech is a first principle, the first amendment is just a reminder that it binds government too.

            the fundimental law that bars censorship is not the first amendment, it is natural law.

            It is the fact that censorship does not work. It makes up weaker, not stronger.

            “He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion… Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them…he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
            John Stuart Mill

          2. “The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.”
            ― John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

  10. Geez Louise. North of 20 ‘student senators’ signed this inane petition. How large is their student senate? Was there anyone who just told them to buzz off?

  11. 1. Student government is humbug and the board of trustees at these places should abolish it, especially since the kids are fighting over their toys.

    2. It’s Bowdoin College. It’s a teaching institution in Maine which offers only academics and the arts.

    3. It’s distressing these stupid controversies are erupting at RIT, which has long been an inner directed institution devoted to developing its array of vocational programs. It has not, historically, had any academic majors. The School of American Crafts has been the one component adjacent to liberal education. They’ve had an academic faculty, but their function is to provide courses for students to fulfill distribution requirements.

    4. Just to emphasize what the problem is: the culture of the left is so disordered that they cannot bear to be in the same room with the opposition. Petitions like this would have been flabbergasting just 10 years ago. Today’s youth cohorts contain many who are just damaged goods.

    1. The “Left” is nonexistent. In America it is a hodgepodge of grievance pimps and little more, all operating under the covert control and coordination of globalists.

      The academics with a history of genuine interest in the fate of American workers and middle class are all old now that may have constituted a more authentic “Left” in America, are now replaced by cynical cretins. Who care less about economics and can only whine about supposed racial issues and bizarre sexual concerns that do not affect the average person.

      I believe there still is a somewhat genuine “Left” in Europe which as a concern for regular people among the nations, but it is also marginalized, none the least by all these people obsessed with the various tropes advanced by globalism which is the favored ideology of global capital, which is called neo-liberalism by its critics. Of course this typology of Left and Right is ever more useless under the current situation.

      The billionaires have quite simply bought off academia, just as they own mass media, but they accomplished it through other money means, Donations and grants to be specific.

      Universities are important., They are among the oldest institutions with organizational continuity in the West outside of the Roman Catholic Church. They must eventually be cleaned out somehow, probably like the Augean stables, with a labor worthy of a god.

      Sal Sar

    1. Donations from regular alumni are insignificant. Also less-significant are the universities outside the Ivy League,. It all emanates from their.

      And it is controlled by billionaires for the most part.

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/willyakowicz/2019/03/15/billionaires-multimillion-dollar-gifts-and-college-admissions-this-is-how-it-works/?sh=73367e3966cf

      There is little that will go right in America until we “punch them in the face” as we have often heard needs to happen to us. Actually, it needs to happen to them.

      Sal Sar

      1. If Billionaires wish to indoctrinate neurotics at elite institutions – that is their business.

        But the rest of us should get our kids somewhere they can grow up to be happy.

        Does anyone think that our schools are producing people who are capable of doing something of value and enjoying their lives ?

        1. Apparently the rest of the world still identifies our universities as the place to be if you want to lead the science and technology of the future.

          1. Yes, Europe used to have the best universities in the world – but leftists destroyed those.

            The US is well on its way to doing the same.

            I would note however that all this nonsense is NOT happening in the colleges of science and technology.
            Though there are problems there.

            Regardless, my son is studying computer science in Japan. He will get a degree that is accredited int he US.
            With little risk of being poisoned by the modern academic left.

            My daughter is working towards her degree online. Where she can get a real education, instead of being subject to political indoctrination.

            My children do not share my oppions. I do not expect them to. I raised them to think for themselves – which they do, quite well.

            Each of them would be far more able to argue YOUR side of any argument that you are. Or the alternative.
            I am proud of them. They are capable adults, responsible for their own lives, they are not neurotic victims incapable of independent thought.

            I do not think there is a poster from the left here I could say that about.
            Not only are you all whiny neurotics incapable of more than first order thinking, but the quality of argument from the left has substantially declined over the past decade. There used to be atleast a few lefties that were capable of an intelligent argument.

            1. US Universities are mostly state run and leaders in world technology with huge foreign enrollment for that reason. They are the reason we still lead the world in innovations and will for awhile if we keep their funding going. and funding for research. Approx 1/2 of research is federally funded.

              1. “US Universities are mostly state run”
                Really ?

                There is no question that government is far too heavily involved in education.
                That is why it is failing.

                Can you name a single thing that Government has not involved itself in more over the past 50 years that is not both worse and more expensive ?

                “and leaders in world technology”
                We are still – but not thanks to government.

                This is BTW one of the areas in which the right is wrong. We have nothing to fear from others stealing our ideas. Ideas are like water they are all over. What is important is fostering the environment in which the large scale creation of new ideas is commonplace.
                That requires freedom. China has 1.6B people and is much more free than it was under Mao. Even so it still behind in the production of ideas with the US. But we are all – the US. China, europe, … better off the more ideas that are produced, no matter where they are produced.

                The US – the West managed to produce a vaccine for C19 in 1/4 the prior record time for a new virus. But China has several vaccines too.
                They are not as advanced and not as safe – but they will likely produce 1B doses by April.
                The world is better off because of BOTH.

                “with huge foreign enrollment for that reason. They are the reason we still lead the world in innovations”
                Yes, and it has nothing to do with funding.

                “and will for awhile if we keep their funding going. and funding for research. Approx 1/2 of research is federally funded.”
                Both incorrect and irrelevant. Most federally funded research does not produce useful results – most of what does is related to defense.
                Even university research is NOT primarily government research.

                1. John typically runs into reality and can’t handle it. Our large state universities are among the best in the world and the privates also receive huge amounts of federal research dollars.Why does he think the rest of the world comes here for them and why we are still teh world leader in technology and science?

                  He’s also wrong on the facts of who is funding research and where it goes. The money goes for research in medicine, energy, agriculture, computer science, electrical engineering, bio engineering, etc.

                  What do you expect from a rigid libertarian?

                  1. “John typically runs into reality and can’t handle it.”
                    That would be credible if it were more than a naked assertion.
                    I have no problem with reality.

                    “Our large state universities are among the best in the world and the privates also receive huge amounts of federal research dollars.”
                    Truish – though not inherently related.

                    The Best universities in the world today are the best of US private colleges – but they are on the decline and have been for decades.
                    Their expense has bloated in direct response to federal aid and guaranteed student loans, while their value has declined pretty much as more and more money flowed in. This is not unusual. It happens to anything government touches.

                    Problems at MOST of our state colleges have been substantially less. It is likely that as premininet US private college quality fails, State schools will move into their place.

                    I would note though that the vast majority of state colleges are either entirely or nearly entirely funded by Tuition. They are only marginally “state colleges”. To a very large extent their size and their position as the best option for those who are NOT part of the elite has SOMEWHAT immunized them from the carnage the left has done to elite private schools.

                    Both state and private colleges receive large amounts of federal research dollars. They also receive large amounts of private research dollars, and AGAIN outside of defense federal research money is very close to completely wasted. That should not be surprising.
                    Creation is driven by incentives and federal research money is little different from Welfare – except in who receives it.

                    It is a myth of the left that you can solve problems by throwing money at them. There is a vast amount of literature in just about every profession as well as economic data that demonstrates that is idiocy.

                    “Why does he think the rest of the world comes here for them and why we are still the world leader in technology and science?”
                    I have not claimed we are not the best. Only that we are failing.
                    I would note that Not that long ago Europe had inarguably the best education in the world. They mostly destroyed their higher education system in much the same way as the US is currently destroying its.

                    “He’s also wrong on the facts of who is funding research and where it goes. The money goes for research in medicine, energy, agriculture, computer science, electrical engineering, bio engineering, etc.”
                    Often federal research money does go into those areas. I did not make claims about where it goes. I noted that federal research dollars produce very little value. If you were actually familiar with economic data on research you would know that is correct.

                    “What do you expect from a rigid libertarian?”

                    The truth.

        2. “If Billionaires wish to indoctrinate neurotics at elite institutions – that is their business.”

          Not if the government is involved in funding those institutions. The billionaire dollars not only come from home, they also come from China to push the CCP’s agenda and steel American IP.

          1. “Not if the government is involved in funding those institutions.”
            We have been here before – There is no legitimate or moral reason that government should be involved in anything where the use of forces is not justified. Government funding of education is improper and immoral.

            “The billionaire dollars not only come from home, they also come from China to push the CCP’s agenda and steel American IP.”
            So ?

            I do not care – not even a little.

            Nothing in this argument is new. It failed intellectually decades ago. It failed in the context of the US business environment, and it failed in the context of the cold war. It is not suddenly going to work in the context of the CCP,

            The IP argument is nonsense. Even IBM found decades ago that IP was functionally defensive and that everyone – big business and small business would be better off without IP entirely.

            Intellectual property is a bogus concept. Ideas are not property. They do not have the attributes of property. They do not behave like property. ownership of Ideas is not merely philosophically stupid, it is a practical failure.

            There is no shortage of ideas – they are not a limited resource.

            There is a small advantage to those who are first with anything new. But that advantage is short lived. Merely knowing that a problem can be solved, makes it fairly simple for slightly less capable people to come up with an alternative – often a better alternative.
            The “secret source” is not the idea itself – it is the knowledge that the problem can be solved, and that knowledge can not be secret.

            If the CCP is capable of making use of US IP, they are capable of solving the same problem on their own in a way that does not infringe.

            Just to be clear:

            I am pro-free trade – even trade where the freedom is entirely one way.
            I am pro-free trade in ideas – even where that freedom is entirely one way (which it never is).
            I am opposed to pre-emptive wars.

            I recognize the chinese government as a threat, but we do not overcome that threat by limiting our own freedom.

            1. “Intellectual property is a bogus concept. Ideas are not property. They do not have the attributes of property. … I recognize the chinese government as a threat, but we do not overcome that threat by limiting our own freedom.”

              In other words you are fine with our defense contractors selling our military secrets.

              1. I am not sure what that means.

                I have no problems with US defense contractors selling whatever they produce to anyone.

                I do not see Boeing as an appendage of the US government.

                They are a company that makes things – some of those are weapons.
                They are free to sell what they make.
                To China,.
                To Iran,
                To Saudi Arabia,
                To France.

                China’s 2020 Military Budget is 178B The US is 750B

                I have no problem with Boeing getting a slice of the Chinese budget

                1. “They are free to sell what they make.”

                  John, One of the ways we keep our military strong is to produce equipment the enemy is unprepared for and therefore may have no defense against. I find it strange that you would want to permit our companies to give that vital information away.

                  In your book were the Rosenbergs heroes?

                  1. “One of the ways we keep our military strong is to produce equipment the enemy is unprepared for and therefore may have no defense against.”

                    True, but that is not a right. I would further note that quite often the opposite is true.

                    Star Wars and Stealth were critical to the collapse of the USSR. Not because what the US was doing was secret.
                    The core mathematics of stealth were discovered by the USSR. And Reagan deliberately leaked Stealth to the Russians.

                    The big deal was not keeping our military technology secret, but making it clear that the US could afford it and the USSR could not.

                    China is in a better position than the USSR was but they are probably a century behind in real parity.

                    It takes 100 years to build a navy that a nation is capable of fighting. Today the UK MIGHT still be able to fight a navy.
                    The USSR was never able to get beyond a capable submarine force. The Japanese can probably fight a navy.
                    But no navy in the world can stand up to the US navy. Probably ALL the navies in the world can not stand up to the US navy.

                    I beleive in 2010 the US deliberately sink the Super Carrier USS America. We have atleast a dozen mothballed carriers that are equal to it. The USS America is superior to any carrier that any other navy anywhere in the world has, and today we have 13 active carriers that make the USS America look like an antique. Nor is this specifically about technology – Not only does the US have these incredible carriers but we are incredibly experienced in using them. If the US ended up in a naval war with China, the only question would be how long can US Fleets operate close to China before the Chinese got lucky.
                    US warplanes can sortie 4 times as fast with twice the range and twice the payload of Chinese carrier aircraft. We can sortie twice as fast with either twice the range or twice the payload of chinese land based aircraft.

                    US Airmen get many times the training of Chinese airman.

                    It MIGHT be debatable whether in a naval War the US can dominate the Chinese territorial waters.
                    That is an incredibly difficult task – though we certainly could do so for short periods.
                    There is absolutely zero doubt that China will not be able to project power beyond territorial waters.
                    That is not changing in the next 50 years.

                    I would further note that entire assessment rests on the premise that the US would be unwilling to take the kind of causalities that we did in Vietnam, or Korea, or WWII.

                    There is pretty strong evidence from recent engagements between the PLA and Indian(Tibetan special forces) that the the PLA is a paper tiger. Regardless, the US is not going to get into a land war with China.

                    I am not trying to claim that we should ignore the chinese threat. It is absolutely critical that the US is able to control the blue waters that surround China, When we either can not or will not, China will exert dramatically greater influence over its neighbors.

                    Obama effectively withdrew the US from the South China sea – with repercussions throughout Asia. The Absence of US naval power in Asia leaves India, Tiawan. Japan, NZ, AU. Malasia, and Philipines kowtowing the China.

                    Trump entirely reversed that. FURTHER Trump has all these nations nor merely cooperating the the US in incredibly positive ways but striving to be able to deal with China jointly WITHOUT substantial US support. China is not only unable to take on the US in Asia and is unlikely to ever be able to on the seas, But is unable to take on the other Asian powers if their act in concert.
                    There is no formal equivalent of NATO in Asia, But Trump brought that much closer.

                    Now we get to see what Chairman Xiden does.

                    I would again note – I do not expect the US will ever actually fight a war with China. We could be 1/3 our current strength and that would still be unlikely. What is necescary is to sufficiently counter the Chinese military to preclude their use in political coercion.

                    Finally, I think that China is near peak. Trump, Chinese behavior, Trump, myriads of other factors are going to drive greater growth in other Asian Nations int he future than in China. The US and the world got caught with too many eggs in the China basket.

                    This does not mean China will collapse – only that in coming years its neighbors will improve faster than China does.

                    China is absolutely the #1 threat the US faces – and we should be prepared for them.
                    But unless we are stupid – and Obama was pretty stupid, China can not make up enough ground to change from a threat to a beligerant.

                    Technology is just one facet of that – and not the most important.
                    China will always be able to duplicate any US technology that it is prepared to pay to duplicate. As things stand – that means China LOSES ground rather than gains it.

                    I find it strange that you would want to permit our companies to give that vital information away.

                    1. There is no question that naval superiority depends not only on ships but on experience. There is also no question that the US could use its strong economy to convince the Russians they can’t keep up with some of our advances in military technology.

                      None of these things create convincing argument that America doesn’t need to keep secrets.

                      I will repeat what was said because your diversions of the discussion doesn’t answer the questions raised.

                      “John, One of the ways we keep our military strong is to produce equipment the enemy is unprepared for and therefore may have no defense against. I find it strange that you would want to permit our companies to give that vital information away.

                      In your book were the Rosenbergs heroes?”

                    2. The government is entitled to keep actual government secrets.

                      Boeing is not the government.
                      I have no problem requiring Boeing and its employees to comply with the espionage act – you know the thing Hillary repeatedly violated. But that is not what is being addressed.

                      I also have no problem with the US barring foreign companies participation in some crtical US public infrastructure

                      Though I find many of the claims regarding the dangers of Huwei implausible.
                      Regardless wise people do not just assert security issues – they test for them and prove them.

                      A related area that I find more troubling is that Google collaborated with China in developing their “Social Capital” system.
                      Now they are using that work to impose the same system in the US privately.

                      Something evil does not become good only because it is done privately.

                      I watched “Within the Whirlwind” last night and felt like we are getting far too close to that.

                      I also find it interesting – we have spent several generations tar and feathering Republicans for Joe MacCarthy and Hollywood blacklists. and yet the left is openly doing what MacCarthy attempted.

                    3. “Boeing is not the government.”

                      I will again repeat what I said before:

                      “John, One of the ways we keep our military strong is to produce equipment the enemy is unprepared for and therefore may have no defense against. I find it strange that you would want to permit our companies to give that vital information away.”

                      Companies like Boeing produce equipment that provides us with a military advantage. I will add that the ability to manufacture such items is also an advantage.

                      Originally you responded to the negative with a lot of explanation why the negative was the appropriate answer

                      You said, “True, but that is not a right. I would further note that quite often the opposite is true.”

                      Later you wrote, “Though I find many of the claims regarding the dangers of Huwei implausible.“

                      That is hedging your bets. I am sure some of the claims regarding Huawei are wrong, but at the same time, Huawei (what the CCP and Huwei are doing together), is dangerous for American interests.

                      “A related area that I find more troubling is that Google collaborated with China in developing their “Social Capital” system.”

                      That is something everyone should be troubled over. That has given the CCP the ability to continuous control over 1.3 billion people and yes the same companies are doing it here just not to the same degree… yet.

                    4. Nope, there is not a “quite often the opposite is true”
                      Something is a right or it isn’t.

                      Separately AGAIN the advantage of toys and tech is tiny facing an enemy with the knowledge that such things are possible, and the skill to make them – even if they do not have the skill to conceive them.

                      China will have the ability to surpass the US when it can effectively harness the brain power of its 1.6B people.

                      That requires a much higher standard of living AND the freedom necescary to reach that standard of living.

                      Not Toys from Boeing.

                      We might eventually “lose” to china. But that will not occur until China becomes sufficiently like us that it does not matter.

                      I would further note that you are trying to stop water. What China can not get interms of technology from the US it can find elsewhere.

                      We are very smart – we are not smarter than the entire world.

                      And last having worked in both military and civilian technology – today – civilian technology is better.

                    5. “Nope, there is not a “quite often the opposite is true”
                      Something is a right or it isn’t. “

                      John, you can refer back to the entire discussion but here are your words. “I would further note that quite often the opposite is true.” I think you strayed from the context of the discussion.

                      “I would further note that you are trying to stop water. What China can not get interms of technology from the US it can find elsewhere.”

                      You aren’t listening to what was said. Of course the technology will eventually ooze out slower or quicker. The idea is to stay ahead in the technology race something we have the ability to do. Permitting our secrets to be released early permits one’s enemies the luxury of spending less money on research and more on production.

                      Your arguments seem to flow back and forth between the US keeping secrets or not keeping secrets. You will say otherwise but reading your words critically demonstrate that what I am saying is true.

                      “That requires a much higher standard of living AND the freedom necescary to reach that standard of living.”

                      This is a conclusion you draw that is not proven. In fact the Soviet Union in many ways disproves your conclusion.

                      “We might eventually “lose” to china. But that will not occur until China becomes sufficiently like us that it does not matter.”

                      That is another conclusion without proof. Nazi Germany seems to prove otherwise.

                      “And last having worked in both military and civilian technology – today – civilian technology is better.”

                      That is an appeal to authority. Ask yourself, when do people most often use an appeal to authority. You will not be pleased with your own answers.

                    6. AGAIN – the technology is itself irrelevant – and that is the fatal flaw in your argument.

                      If China or any other country has the wearwithall and the desire to match a US accomplishment – they will.

                      Though I would note that everything any national government prioritizes ALWAYS comes at the expense of things that would have happened organically. If China prioritizes trying to keep up with the US militarily, it does so at the expense of its citizens.
                      This is what destroyed the USSR – they could not continue the military spending needed to slowly lose ground to the US without more rapidly losing ground in standard of living. Nothing is different in China.

                      With respect tot he speed of technology shifts. There is little consequential difference between being 3 months behind and 6.
                      The most fundimental issue is not how quickly you can gain access to US technology. It is do you have the intellectual infrastructure to not only duplicate it, but the modify, improve, expand on or develop new ideas of your own. If you have that – the acquistion of technology serves little purpose. If you do not, it brings little advantage.

                      Even if China takes a US idea – or comes up with a great one on their own. Do you have any doubt that the US will be able to build on the chinese idea ? Even without “stealing chinese IP” ?

                      If you beleive that the US can quickly duplicate and improve anything the chinese come up with – merely by knowing it is possible, why don’t you grasp the same is true of China ?

                      The only scarce resource is the human mind and the condictions necescary to maximize its utilization.

                    7. “AGAIN – the technology is itself irrelevant – and that is the fatal flaw in your argument.”

                      John, the technology is not irrelevant, just like the technology of radar or the Enigma machine wasn’t irrelevant during WW2. It appears your ideology has gotten the upper hand of your reason.

                    8. The germans had RADAR, the IK used it more effectively.

                      Enigma ultimately made the Germans more vulnerable in WWII. While the acheivements of the code breakers at Bletchley should not be diminished, Enigma was used by the Germans for wireless transmissions. Even without cracking the code, the british through signals analysis learned an enormous amount about German intentions.

                      Churchil Warned Stalin that Hitler was about to attack – not based on decoded messages, but based on changes in wireless transmissions that were not decrypted that showed the German forces moving east.

                      If the war in the pacific hinged on technology the US should have been defeated. For atleast 1/2 of war the US had inferior planes, inferiour ships, inferior weapons, inferior torpedoes, By the Time the US had the technological advantage we were already winning the war.

                      I would also note that while the English were periodically reading German messages – the Germans were reading British traffic throughout the war. the Germans had incredibly sophiscticate encryption for the time which they trusted completely.
                      The british had crappy encryption which they did not trust as much.

                    9. ” the technology is itself irrelevant ”

                      Radar was irrelevant? The Spitfire was irrelevant? The Enigma machine and decoding the Enigma machine was irrelevant? The nuclear bomb was irrelevant?

                    10. Of course it is.

                      You seem to think that Technology is magical. That it happens on its own. The left does this constantly too – or they assume that if you throw money at a problem it will produce wonderful results by magic.

                      Technology is an OUTPUT. Ir at best a 2ndary or tertiary input for another output.

                      The greeks has all the technology necescary for the steam engine – yet no steam engines.

                      The Germans had some incredible technology. As did the USSR. Based on purely technological assessments the USSR was way ahead in Rocket technology in the early 60’s. Even today – SpaceX’s early rockets used Russian Engines.

                    11. “You seem to think that Technology is magical. That it happens on its own.”

                      That is a very odd idea. Maybe you are confusing me with someone else?

                    12. If technology does not happen magically by itself. then you can not argue it as a cause.
                      Liberty is an actually independent variable. Technology is not.

                    13. These are your statements made in order. You removed the context of the discussion in your responses that seemed to provide new areas of discussion coming from nowhere. That was attached to a lot of rhetoric. Just a few relevant statements from the preceding responses to bring us to the present.

                      John:”“AGAIN – the technology is itself irrelevant – and that is the fatal flaw in your argument.”

                      Meyer: “technology is not irrelevant”

                      John:”“AGAIN – the technology is itself irrelevant – and that is the fatal flaw in your argument.”

                      Meyer: “the technology is not irrelevant, just like the technology of radar or the Enigma machine wasn’t irrelevant during WW2.”

                      > The germans had RADAR, the IK used it more effectively.

                      That doesn’t make the technology irrelevant, nor is the answer responsive to the preceding question. (I think the Germans developed RADAR later) Because the answer was non responsive I repeated the question…

                      Meyer: ” the technology is itself irrelevant ”
                      Radar was irrelevant? The Spitfire was irrelevant? …

                      In response you changed directions and started to make things up.

                      John: “You seem to think that Technology is magical. That it happens on its own. “

                      To which I responded: “That is a very odd idea. Maybe you are confusing me with someone else?

                      You then tried to bring the discussion back to where it belonged by making a false statement.

                      John: “If technology does not happen magically by itself. then you can not argue it as a cause.”

                      You created a scenario that didn’t exist and then you created a false argument.

                      How is someone to debate these questions with you when you have built an argument on generalizations, non existent scenarios, straw-men and the like? It is obvious that we are engaged in a bit of cross talk as well.

                      You are a smart guy that I think got lost in the weeds. We are mostly in agreement but if the discussion goes off course it needs to be corrected.

                      I’ll leave that problem up to you as I am confident you will want to dive right in. 🙂

                    14. Meyer – not lost int he weeds.

                      I have refered you to resources to support my assertions. But you can search on your own. They are solidly rooted int he real world. \

                      The argument that technology is an independent variable fails obviously both in history, and in economic studies.

                      Technology is a dependent variable. It is only predictive so long as its dependencies – such as freedom are met.

                      Nothing I am saying predicts that China will not excell in some areas.

                      If you want a prediction – I suspect that China will have numerous medical advances beyond the US in many areas in the next several decades. But these successes will be in specific areas that formula I gave favors China.

                      China has far more people. China has far less regulation on medical development. China has a standard of living sufficient to support some medical advances that it did not before.

                      I will predict that in China orphan drugs and treatments will outpace the US. But if you are betting on a cure for Cancer look to the US.
                      US Medical advances will be heavily skewed towards, highly profitable large scale problems that are sufficiently commonplace in a 1/3B population, and justify the 2B it costs to solve a problem.

                      China has a 1.6B population – there are many problems that are extremely rare in the US that are comonplace enough in China to be profitable – especially given a far lower cost to get to market. China’s lower standard of living negatively impacts this but the net will still be more medical advances in areas where China has an advantage. Where population is higher, and freedom is actually higher.

                      China is less free than the US – but not less free in every single area.

                    15. “Meyer – not lost int he weeds.
                      I have refered you to resources to support my assertions.”

                      Not lost in the weeds? If you say so.
                      I note Appeals to authority along with generalizations

                    16. Please look to “the Ultimate Resource II”.

                      It is not an appeal to authority. There are a couple of themes to the book, but they can all be stated in a few paragraphs.
                      The book is a massive compendium of the data to prove those themes.

                      Further about 1/3 of the book is footnotes – links to even more data, or the sources for the data provided.

                      I did not make an appeal to authority – I made an appeal to facts.

                    17. “Please look to”

                      No need, I don’t question your remarks about what they said.

                    18. The Rosenbergs were pretty much nothing. While some evidence has subsequently come out implicating Ethel Rosenberg,

                      the fact is that the Rosenbergs were inconsequential pretend spies.

                      The primary leak was in the UK.

                      Once the US dropped the bomb on Japan – as I noted, it as inevitable that the USSR would have the bomb.

                      As I said it is ALWAYS easier to follow than to lead. Knowing something can be done makes everything easier.

                      Further the USSR developed the H- Bomb on their own far faster than expected.
                      They also developed a missle program – that was atleast briefly arguably superior to ours.
                      They had no shortage of brilliant people. Many Russian Military weapons remain superior to US weapons.
                      Russia still has a world class capability of developing SOME weapons, but the can not produce and maintain them
                      and they can not sell them.

                    19. “As I said it is ALWAYS easier to follow than to lead.”

                      John, thank you for helping to prove what I said to be true. We know that invariably any technological advantage will gradually disappear. The idea is to move forward at a rate equal to or faster than the enemy that is catching up. That reality tells us that it is best to keep certain things secret for as long as possible.

                    20. It does not disappear gradually. If you “enemy” has the capacity to produce if not develop whatever you have, any lead is months – a year at most.

                      China is not catching up to us soon, because they can’t. There are some technology areas they have parity with the US – even a few they are ahead, but in the vast majority they are behind. Nor are they catching up soon.
                      The critical thing is NOT technology.

                      It is usable brainpower. That is a function of population (which China has a massive advantage) Standard of living – which China has a substantial disadvantage, and freedom which China has a substantial disadvantage.

                      Again why did the USSR lose the cold war ? It is not like the Russians are stupid. It is not like they were not massively and successfully stealing our technology – and continue to do so today.

                      It is not about ideas. It is about the infrastructure – and I mean things like freedom, and standard of living – not roads, necescary to have and make use of ideas.

                      I have recomended Julian Simon’s “the Ultimate Resource II” before. It is an excellent book and a very large compendium of data on myriads of things that left thinks are going to hell that are all improving. That data is important.
                      But the real thesis of the book – and the reality of the world is that Technology is the produce of brains + liberty + standard of living.
                      These build on each other in a virtuous circle. Stealing ideas leaves you behind, even concocting ideas on your own – they still starve on the vine without the standard of living necescary to grown them and the freedom necescary to make them possible.

                    21. “The critical thing is NOT technology.

                      It is usable brainpower. That is a function of population “

                      These things are true but are not the only things that count. The ‘will’ of the people to fight and die counts greatly. The US has demonstrated that politically our nation will compromise rather than lose too many lives or kill too many people.

                      The Chinese appear to have no such restraints Not only that but the Chinese can continue to keep most of their 1.3+ billion poor while using that money for hi-tech, weaponry, advancing their control while taking a small portion of their population to grow their military technology and advance their interests over the world. In fact that is what they have been doing. The CCP is a relatively small political force that uses over 1.3 billion people to gain raw power and while they are doing that they are trying to gain control in an area that has over 4.5 billion lives. [This does not mean I believe China is totally secure. It isn’t and has very significant internal dangers.]

                      You are basing your conclusions on the theories of how to deal with China that have been in use for about 50 years where that theory should have been discontinued at least 20 years ago. The hope was that with modernization China will become more like us, a freer society. Quite the contrary has occurred and now it is a tremendous totalitarian regime that individually monitors all its citizens and that monitoring system determines what the individual can get and do from society.

                      “Again why did the USSR lose the cold war ?”

                      Our victory was not certain. The abilities of the USSR were not the same as China is today. Their population was smaller than our own. The world was not yet digitalized. Such a statement is not something you should even consider in your arguments.

                    22. Your “will of the people” argument – whatever merit it may have has nothing to do with what we were discussing.

                      I would agree that today the US looks like easy prey. Fat, happy, oblivious.

                      The japanese thought that too.

                      Maybe today we are too distant from our roots and can easily be defeated. Another thing to blame the left for.
                      But that is not actually known. And I doubt it is true.

                      One of few things that could unify this country would be a true external enemy that actually directly threatened us.

                    23. “Your “will of the people” argument – whatever merit it may have has nothing to do with what we were discussing.”

                      You brought up war. The reason I was concerned about military secrets was based on keeping America strong. Strength can prevent war so I don’t know what in the prior discussions you missed that permitted you to say the “will of the people” unless you misinterpreted the word ‘will’. Think of ‘will’ as determination.

                      “Maybe today we … can easily be defeated. And I doubt it is true.”

                      That is what the French thought.

                      I don’t think we can be defeated today but as our enemy eats away at those things that help make us strong militarily and economically we move toward the realm of defeat. I’m not looking for any sort of war but the best way to prevent one is to be so strong no enemy would attempt to start a war.

                    24. “As our enemy east away”.

                      Absolutely – it is easier to reach totalitarianism in slow incremental steps than all at once.

                      Again why I want the left to overreach as much as possible – NOW while we are hopefully still capable of being driven to resistance.

                      Is this dangerous ? Sure. But there is danger in all directions today. It is near certain that the left will prevail in slow trench warfare.

                    25. “it is easier to reach totalitarianism in slow incremental steps than all at once.”

                      I think your argument is sloppy and doesn’t make much sense. Throughout history and today most governments have been totalitarian to begin with.

                    26. Was the Weimar Republic totalitarian ?

                      Was the US in the 60’s Totalitarian ?

                      We also have to address some meaningful defintion of totalitarian.

                      The french monarchy prior to the french revolution was small an unintrusive compared to the US govenrment of the 60’s.
                      The same was true of Czarist Russia.

                      Most monarchies or dictatorships are not legally or constitutionally limited.
                      But they are practically limited.

                      The queen can shout “off with your head” – and it is done. But with rare exceptions the most brutal monarchies and dictatorships do not reach ordinary people. Democracy does. Leftism absolutely does. The central premise of leftists is the desire to control everything and everyone. Monarchs and ordinary dictators tend to be concerned about themselves.
                      Even their own interests in staying in power gravitate toward limited good decisions rather than broad bad ones.

                    27. “Was the Weimar Republic totalitarian ? Was the US in the 60’s Totalitarian ?”

                      I’ll accept both as not being totalitarian. Take note of my comment and the use of the word “most”

                      “Throughout history and today most governments have been totalitarian to begin with.”

                      Now, name all the countries existing during the same periods and tell us how many were not totalitarian. Then contemplate the words “Throughout history and today”
                      ——
                      “We also have to address some meaningful defintion of totalitarian.”

                      I thought definitions were unnecessary. 🙂

                    28. Now, name all the countries existing during the same periods and tell us how many were not totalitarian. Then contemplate the words “Throughout history and today”

                      You really want to argue this ? How many non-totalitarian governments can you name prior to the american revolution ?

                      “I thought definitions were unnecessary.”

                      Please do not misrepresent my arguments.
                      The ability to understand what uses of force are justified and which are not without having to refer to dictionaries is a requirement for “the rule of law”.

                      The rule of law and totalitarian are independent variables.
                      While it is less common for a totalitarian state to have strong rule of law – it is not impossible.

                    29. “How many non-totalitarian governments can you name prior to the american revolution ?”

                      That was exactly my point and that can clearly be seen by rereading the above response.

                      “Please do not misrepresent my arguments.”

                      I am not misreading your arguments. Once again you are trying to protect your proprietary dictionary. In that way a challenge can go unheard. You can add a bit of fluff to your arguments but it doesn’t change them.

                    30. “How many non-totalitarian governments can you name prior to the american revolution ?”

                      Meyer, my point was that you asked me to find an example out a set that does not exist.

                    31. “Meyer, my point was that you asked me to find an example out a set that does not exist.”

                      John in answer to your generalization that was exactly my point.

                      I had originally stated “Throughout history and today most governments have been totalitarian to begin with.” Then you gave two examples of those you felt were not totalitarian. That statement of yours was an erroneous response to mine.

                    32. I beleive you are no longer accurately identifying who said what.

                      But this is getting pedantic, and boring, and I find those who link to past comments tedious and annoying – so I am not going to do so myself.

                      I believe we are in near agreement that until recently almost all past government was totalitarain.

                      I hope we agree that until recently growth was absymally slow.

                    33. “I beleive you are no longer accurately identifying who said what.”

                      Believe what you wish, but I figured this would happen so on one occasion I posted what was said over a number of responses quoting the two of us. I continuously quote the words I am responding to in order to make it easier for you to respond to the various points. (Example Jan30at 11:35 AM). I think then like now you got lost in the weeds.

                      In fact your third paragraph in this comment seems to contradict an earlier comment.

                    34. Not this dictionary argument again.

                      This is simple – where force is involved the understanding of terms must be near universal and internal.
                      You can not win an argument over the justified use of force definitionally.

                      When we are outside the domain of the use of force. we are not dealing with time constraints on moral actions, and we are dealing with issues of far more complexity.

                      Definitions are necescary. That context is the vast majority of things – it is not everything.

                      In the context were defintions matter, it is important – with varying degree depending on the subject, that those defintitions are stable and common.

                      We can play games with definitions in poetry, but not physics.

                      I am not likely to get sucked into a definitional argument regarding the use of force. That is a fools game.

                      In other domains I am going to insist that words have narrow, common stable meanings – especially in domains such as economics, or physics.

                    35. “This is simple – where force is involved the understanding of terms must be near universal and internal. You can not win an argument over the justified use of force definitionally.”

                      I do not intend to use definition as argument. However, before making a decision one way or the other I try to make sure the definition of ‘justified’ is clear to all.

                      You have a tendency to create an argument over specific words. You wish to control their meanings insisting their use be limited to what you believe. When there is a challenge to the conclusion based on a challenge of the definition you get offended. In this way you hope to protect your ideas and proprietary dictionary from challenge. You prefer to let the challenge go unheard.

                      “I am not likely to get sucked into a definitional argument regarding the use of force.”

                      In this case you are trying to control speech so that you can use a generalized meaning for justified force. We have gone through this before and found some very fuzzy ground that separates justified from unjustified. No. You cannot take control of that territory merely by complaining gamesmanship. It isn’t gamesmanship. It is logical thinking where one makes sure all are on the same page.

                    36. “You have a tendency to create an argument over specific words.”
                      Please read Madison in federalist 62.
                      The law must be simple, clear and understood by all.

                      Either the meaning of the words in the constitution, or our laws is clear, or we are lawless – take your pick

                      The moment you get into a debate over the meaning of words in the counstution or the law,
                      The government has lost.

                      “You wish to control their meanings insisting their use be limited to what you believe”
                      First lets constrain the discussion to government. there is no requirement that we agree on the meaning of words were there is no force involved.

                      In that context:

                      Either we know what the law, the constitution mean. Or we are lawless.
                      As Madison notes – you can not make government work when there is no agreement on the meaning of the law.
                      While our courts are supposed to impose a single common meaning – they have failed.

                      Next, ignoring the specific words that we are arguing about. Words must exist to convey every possible meaning.
                      As an example when we claim that words are violence – that is not merely a debate over the meaning of the word “violence”.
                      expanding the means of violence to include words, makes it much more difficult to communicate about real violence, AND it weakens the meaning of violence.

                      Yes, I oppose efforts to change the meaning of words away from their original meaning. Because doing so destroy’s our ability to communicate. And because efforts to fight over the meaning of words are quite often efforts to control language so that some ideas can not be communicated.

                      You have read Orwell. That is quite litterally what Orwell is all about the control of people by controlling the meaning of words.

                    37. “The law must be simple, clear and understood by all.”

                      Agreed and that is why Madison didn’t use his own proprietary dictionary. That is why he didn’t say things like we can attack but only with ‘justified force’ when there were no parameters or definitions attached. He did leave a remedy, the courts along with a balance of power.

                      “Either we know what the law, the constitution mean. Or we are lawless.”

                      Forgetting the crazies of today and other times, the law is debated all the time. That is one of the reasons for the existence of the Supreme Court.

                      Your proprietary dictionary is not acceptable to others. When asked you have responded with regard to certain terms or words that everyone knows the definition so it doesn’t need to be explained.

                    38. Correct – Madison made absolutely no references to dictionaries at all – that is YOUR fixation.
                      He did not define his words – just as I do not define them in this context.

                      He said the law must be such that everyone understands it.
                      In his time that would include the illiterate – who can not read dictionaries.

                      You are on the wrong side of this argument.

                    39. 6)”Correct – Madison made absolutely no references to dictionaries at all – that is YOUR fixation.
                      He did not define his words – just as I do not define them in this context. “

                      That may be true, but Madison and the others considered the meanings of words and phrases constantly fighting over the correct words and phrases to be used. They didn’t assume everyone understood the same meanings of words and phrases. That search for the correct word and phrase proves you wrong.

                    40. “Madison and the others considered the meanings of words and phrases constantly fighting over the correct words and phrases to be used.”
                      All without a dictionary in sight

                      They didn’t assume everyone understood the same meanings of words and phrases. ”
                      non sequitur.

                      “That search for the correct word and phrase proves you wrong.”
                      That search for the correct word and phrase proves me right

                      the purpose of the fights over words and phrases is arguably to use the clearest possible language that all would understand.

                      It certainly was not to obfuscate and require everyone to argue over the meaning of words even more.

                    41. “All without a dictionary in sight”

                      We didn’t need a dictionary if you were willing to spell out what you meant by those words and phrases. The problem was that an exact definition left your ideology vulnerable.

                      “That search for the correct word and phrase proves me right”

                      Are you really going to use this arguement? It’s lame. The founders searched for a word that was acceptable. Words weren’t chosen for their artistic value. They were chosen because they met the definitions that were acceptable at the time.

                      “the purpose of the fights over words and phrases is arguably to use the clearest possible language that all would understand.”

                      That is correct and when one word isn’t adequate one may have to change it or add a few others. You wish that phrases like ‘existential threat’ and ‘justified force’ remain undefined and left for you to decide when those words apply. A definition left your ideology vulnerable.

                    42. s. Meyer. You are reaching to shore up a poor argument.

                      Contra your claims – I do not use proprietary defintions. Nor did Madison. I use the plain meaning that ordinary people understand and accept without a dictionary.

                      Mostly I try to do that nearly always. I especially do that with respect to FORCE, and government.
                      I accept Madison admonishment that the law and the use of force must be small simple easily and intuitively understood.

                      In other contexts, defintions are valueable. But outside of domain specific word usage we shoudl still use words as they are and have been commonly used.

                    43. “You are reaching to shore up a poor argument.”e

                      John, I believe in common word usage and keeping things simple. My argument was sound. When we dealt with existential threats we had disagreements and required some definitions. You said definitions weren’t necessary that we should all know what things like justifiable force, existential threats mean. That is not true.

                      For it to be true we would all have to agree to your definition that was in your head. I didn’t agree with what you were telling me. You refused to put into writing what was in your head. That is how we descended into multiple discussions on dictionaries and Merriam Webster. That reoccurred in another discussion where I provided Merriam Webster’s definition that you seemed to have disagreement with.

                      There is no way in the world I am trying to shore up an argument. My argument was fine. You have things in your mind that need to be put into writing without the assumption everyone understands the meaning of what you say.

                    44. I would also note that if my argument is valid with the words I choose, and the defintions that I choose – then I have won that argument.

                      Words are symbols representing reality.

                      You can not disprove a valid argument by a fight over the symbols.
                      You would have to prove – not that you do not like the way I have defined a word, but that my own defintion does not mean what I claim it does.

                      It is important that we agree on what symbols represent what reality. Failure to do so is failure to communicate.

                      But changing the meaning of the symbols in a way that makes discussion some ideas more diffult or impossible is inherently immoral.

                      Further constant changes to language are themselves immoral.

                      Words may change meaning – but the reality that a word represents does not disappear because the word has changed meaning.

                    45. “I would also note that if my argument is valid with the words I choose, and the defintions that I choose – then I have won that argument.”

                      That seems correct and what Ayn Rand did. Her arguments couldn’t fail because she chose the words of the argument and the definitions of the words so that her definitions defined her arguments. That is what you are doing.

                      Unfortunately along with alternative arguments I provide definitions that are more acceptable outside of your comfort zone.

                    46. “Her arguments couldn’t fail because she chose the words of the argument and the definitions of the words so that her definitions defined her arguments. That is what you are doing.”

                      Almost correct. Her definitions did not define her arguments. They merely clarified them.
                      With few exceptions Rand used common defintions. What she rejected was distortive defintions.

                      I am not an objectivist, but if you wish to claim I argue like rand I will take that as a compliment.

                      I would also not that I not only argue like Madison, in this instance the argument is the same.

                      Madison did NOT define his words. He used words that people already know and 90% agree on, and not only used them, but required that we do the same in making law.

                      BTW the first english language dictionary was published in 1755 – barely before the revolution.
                      The OED was first published in 1855.

                      It is likely that Madison had a dictionary. It is not likely that most of the people of the time did.

                    47. Of course I am trying to control speech – or more accurately the meaning of words.

                      Instability in the meaning of words is inherently instability in society

                    48. “Please look to”

                      No need, I don’t question your remarks about what they said. “

                      If you wish to do that, then when asked, you need to provide a definition of words in question.

                    49. Back to this defintions horse$hit.

                      You have me to the point where I am likely to NEVER define anything for you purely out of obstance.
                      And demand that you define every preposition.

                      Definition has many meanings.
                      One is the common understanding of a word. You do not need a dictionary for that.
                      Until a bit over 200 years ago there were no dictionaries.

                    50. The US victory of the USSR was certain so long as the USSR supressed the liberty of its people.
                      The same is true in china.

                      And please lets not jump back into this technology nonsense. Technology is an EFFECT, not a cause.
                      Society has ALWAYS improved faster where there was greater freedom.

                    51. “The US victory of the USSR was certain so long as the USSR supressed the liberty of its people.”

                      John the US victory was because the USSR was weaker militarily and economically. Technology had a big part in ending the cold war. Gorbachev recognized his country did not have the economic ability to keep up militarily with the US. The USSR couldn’t pursue star wars technology and other things but the US could.

                      Economics played a role but keeping up with the technology cost the Soviets too much money and placed the nations economy into the poor house along with its people.

                    52. Again you confuse cause and effect.

                      Military and economic weakness are CAUSED by bigger government and lack of liberty.

                    53. “Again you confuse cause and effect. Military and economic weakness are CAUSED by bigger government and lack of liberty.”

                      I don’t know why you say that. Bigger government and lack of liberty cause certain problems and create others. You don’t have proof for your contention. You are drawing conclusions without foundation. Ideological principles do not suffice.

                    54. “I don’t know why you say that.”
                      Because it is true

                      “Bigger government and lack of liberty cause certain problems and create others.”
                      So you agree.

                      “You don’t have proof for your contention.”
                      You just accepted a significant part of it.
                      For the rest http://www.juliansimon.org/writings/Ultimate_Resource/

                      “You are drawing conclusions without foundation.”
                      Actually no – there is plenty of evidence. I specifically cited the fact that Greece had everything necescary to create the steam engine Almost 2000 years ahead of time. Yet they did not. Why not ? Actually the specifics do not matter. The fact that all the technological prerequisites were present and yet steam engines did not happen is proof that technology is not self evolving. It requires more than resources, and scientific understanding, and even the ability to create it.

                      I would further note that any claim that technology is a root cause – rather than an effect or an intermediate effect/cause also requires proof.

                      You do not seem to grasp that YOUR assumptions require as much proof as my assertions.

                      You do not have to accept my claims without proof, but the default is not to go with some commonplace unproven assertion.

                      Finally there is a bit of a virtuous circle. Population density + liberty + standard of living = brain power = technology = rising standard of living and back to the start.
                      This is a simplification but is otherwise accurate.

                    55. “Because it is true”

                      John, you have removed causal variations from the equation. That is known as fudging an answer.

                      >>“Bigger government and lack of liberty cause certain problems and create others.”
                      >So you agree.”

                      I didn’t say otherwise. There are many variables.

                      >>”“You don’t have proof for your contention.”
                      >You just accepted a significant part of it.

                      That was never in doubt.

                      ” there is plenty of evidence. “

                      You have evidence but not a solid foundation. I think your problem along with not dealing with all the variables is you create either or scenarios that require a variable resistor.

                      In essence you are preaching to the choir but have limited your songs to only one.

                      “You do not seem to grasp that YOUR assumptions require as much proof as my assertions.”

                      That is not my intention. I am adding variables that you leave out. If the freedom you talk about was necessary for the steam engine Galileo, Newton and Copernicus would not have existed.

                      “You do not have to accept my claims without proof, but the default is not to go with some commonplace unproven assertion.”

                      That is your assumption but not what I am doing.

                    56. “I didn’t say otherwise. There are many variables.”

                      There are very few INDEPENDENT variables.
                      While the Julian Simon text I have recommended was written for a different purpose,
                      The work isolates the independent variable form improving the human conditions.

                      The independent variables are the number of people, the freedom of people, and their current standard of living.

                      Everything else is either a dependent variable, or not a real factor.

                      Every resource but the human mind, is an impediment, a speed bump, not a barrier.

                    57. >>“I didn’t say otherwise. There are many variables.”
                      >There are very few INDEPENDENT variables.”

                      I say many, you want to argue few. To what purpose I do not know. You can keep to your few and I will keep to my many. In the end I will yield to both answers and say it is definitional and you will say definitions aren’t necessary.

                      As far as isolating independent variables from dependent variables you are stating how Simon does it. Therefore your proper sentence would have been according to Simon, “There are very few INDEPENDENT variables.”

                    58. “I say many, you want to argue few. To what purpose I do not know. You can keep to your few and I will keep to my many. ”

                      This is not a question of who says what. we are dealing with an area that is thoroughly examined in every area of science where we can not counduct controlled experiments, but must try to test hypothesis by analysis of real world rather than controlled experimental data. We have statistical techniques to examine that data and isolate the independent variables.

                      The distinction between and the number of independent and dependent variables is determined by MATH.

                      “In the end I will yield to both answers and say it is definitional and you will say definitions aren’t necessary.”

                      Please quit misrepresenting me. Our conflict over definitions is very narrow but very important. It is specific to the use of force.
                      And particular the use of force where judgements must be made quickly.

                      There is a complete different broader issue that defintions must be commonly agreed to. stable, clear and obvious – they must reflect reality.
                      Otherwise the debate becomes about defintions and not the underlying issue.

                      “As far as isolating independent variables from dependent variables you are stating how Simon does it. Therefore your proper sentence would have been according to Simon, “There are very few INDEPENDENT variables.””

                      No, the correct statement would be as determined by math (statistical regression).

                      The use of statistical regression and other mathematical techniques to identify independent variables is not only accepted and common place, But the vast majority of modern science is impossible without it. Much of scientific inquiry is into areas where controlled experiment is impossible.

                      BTW Simon is not the only economist who has reached this conclusion. Nor are Simons results heterdox.

                      One of the places that you and I often end up at odds, is that classical liberalism is an evolving theory of political economy, it is not merely about the trade of grain for money. It is rooted in sound philosophy, it has expanded from a kernel, it has been tested over centuries, flaws have been found and corrected.

                      Put simply it is a cohesive whole. Even if Simon was the only person to demonstrate the specific claim we are discussing – many others have studied and proven elements of that. There is massive amounts of research and data that establishes economic freedom as a key independent variable driving economic growth. There is even more data demonstrated that the scale of government drives economic growth – even though scale of government is a dependent variable – a proxy for economic freedom. Others such as coarse have noted that it is freedom broadly – not just economic freedom that is a requirement for growth.

                      Basically Classical liberalism is a cohesive whole that works both philosophically and in the real world, that gets corrected or adjusted when errors are found.

                      This integrated nature is a reflection that the world is like a jigsaw puzzle – the pieces must all fit together – and when they do it is likely they are correct. And that is in addition to whatever other proof of correctness has been provided.

                    59. “must try to test hypothesis by analysis of real world rather than controlled experimental data. “

                      John, we mostly agree.

                      A number of the statements you consider fact or proof are too generalized for my liking and frequently lack a satisfactory level of variables or interpretation.

                      One of the most important variables is human nature which both works in your position and against your position. A limited lifespan impacts human nature as does a variety of pragmatic approaches. These things alone make what you wish to say somewhat more unpredictable than you choose to believe.

                      ” It is specific to the use of force.”

                      There is no limitation to the use of definitions. That is how we communicate. Your problem is that you know what you believe is right (about justified force) guided by your internal compass. That compass is not identical from person to person.

                      “The use of statistical regression”

                      I am familiar with regression analysis and many of the mathematical techniques utilized. I am also familiar with BS. I had a recent discussion with Estovir about a study from David Himmelstein who is an academic, a professor and a lecturer at Harvard. Estovir seems intelligent and there is no question about Himmestein’s credentials, but he sucked in Estovir so that Estovir believed what he said along with a large portion of the country aware of the study (on medical bankruptcy). He came up with a number of over 50% when the actual number was around 3% yet a vast number of aware people believed the number to be correct. (The original article was published in a major journal)

                      To actually prove your points you don’t just use numbers or numbers of authorities. As you put it the pieces of the puzzle have to exactly fit in and you don’t even have all the pieces which have a tendency to change with time.

                    60. I used to have a massive collection of economic papers on my web site to confirm most of the “generalizations” I make.
                      But they are no longer available on line – from my site.

                      Regardless, I do not make “generalizations” that are not supported by data.

                      It is getting harder and harder to use google to to support argument as they will constantly provide a left wing nut answer to a question you did not ask ranked way ahead of the actual answer to the question you asked. But the data is all still available online.

                      The Simon book I cited – free online has massive amounts of data that support many of the propositions I make.

                      I started life as a goldwater conservative, became much more liberal in college and was more of a Bush conservative prior to GWII after which I slowly became more libertarian. The 2008 crash drove me to look seriously at economics where I was shocked to discover how totally damning the data against state involvement in economics actually is. The generalizations I offer are STRONGLY supported by data. Much more strongly than I had expected,

                      Robert Barro (#4 ranked IDEAS economist in the world), has the worlds largest data set on government spending.
                      His research has found that government wastes 65-75% of every dollar it spends – as compared to the same dollar spent in the private economy. The BEST government does in in war spending where the waste is only about 15-20%.

                      There are innumerable studies that determine the optimal size of government is 20% of GDP or below.

                      There are innumerable studies that demonstrate that the more government spends the slower the country grows.

                      When I say innumerable I am talking about 40-50 before I stopped counting.

                      In most instances there are few if any that contradict these studies.

                      Over time I have found that pretty universally there is almost never real studies to support anything the left claims.
                      The few their are are rife with statistical errors, or shallow thinking or missing proper regression or ….
                      Regardless, even if they were not bad there are few.

                      Conservatives are usually unsupported when they get outside the domain of fiscal conservatism.

                    61. “I used to have a massive collection of economic papers on my web site to confirm most of the “generalizations” I make.”

                      I don’t disagree with a lot of those researchers. I disagree with how you say things including your use of generalizations as fixed rules along with your definitions that are kept proprietary.

                      “Regardless, I do not make “generalizations” that are not supported by data. “

                      That is not under debate.

                      “The generalizations I offer are STRONGLY supported by data. Much more strongly than I had expected,”

                      Good, you are now calling generalizations, generalizations, rather than fixed rules.

                    62. You have a giant bug up your ass on this defintion thing.

                      Worse you are completely misrepresenting everything I have said.

                      You MUST be able to deal with FORCE without any defintions beyond the core moral judgements of 80% of people.

                      That is NOT proprietary. It is pretty close to exactly what madison is saying.

                      To have proprietary defintions – I would have to offer defintions – with respect to the justified use of force I have NOT.

                      Outside of the justifiable use of force. I am not interested in fights over definitions. I will accept yours or anyone else’s if they are not egregiously wrong – as long as they do not significantly deviate from common clear meaning.

                    63. “You have a giant bug up your ass on this defintion thing.”

                      For asking you to define what you mean when you put forth rules using words and phrases like “justifiable force”?

                      Ridiculous.

                    64. If justifiable force requires defintion – self government is not possible.

                      asking for a defintion means there is insufficient common understanding for people to conduct their ordinary lives without refering to statutes and dictionaries constantly

                    65. “If justifiable force requires defintion – self government is not possible.”

                      Maybe it isn’t.

                    66. Human nature is completely unpredictable at an individual level but highly predictable in aggregate.

                      Humans almost invariably act in agregate in their self interests. They nearly always get things accurate in agregate so long as they are free, even where if you polled them they might contradict what they actually do.

                      I want to make clear the distinction between what humans SAY and what they DO.

                      Regardless, aggregate human behavior – particularly where self interest is clear is highly predictable for humans.

                      I would note that if it was not – economics would be impossible, and free markets would not work.

                    67. “Human nature is completely unpredictable at an individual level but highly predictable in aggregate.”

                      Human nature might be somewhat predictable but human responses not so easily predictable. Human responses are dependent on a lot of variables that change with time, place, and each other.

                      Humans try to match their self interests but that doesn’t mean the response will be identical even from one day to the next.

                      Don’t get confused with responses vs self-interest.

                    68. No confusion.

                      In aggregate the choices of humans nearly always reflect their self interest.

                      Again try the electron analogy. It is completely impossible to predict a single electron.
                      Yet we know with certainty the aggregate behavior of electrons.

                      BTW economics is not possible if aggregate human behavior is not highly predictable.

                    69. “BTW economics is not possible if aggregate human behavior is not highly predictable.”

                      …And look at how frequently economic predictions are wrong.

                    70. Our skill at economic predictions is pretty much the inverse of that of climate and weather.

                      Short term economic predictions are poor. Long term ones are excellent.

                      Short term weather predictions are not too bad. Long term climate predictions are crap.

                      The reason that long term economic predictions are good is because agregate human behavior is predictable.

                      Given sufficient freedom to do so humans as a whole act in their own self interests and that benefits all.

                      The core variable is freedom. More freedom more growth.

                    71. “Short term economic predictions are poor. Long term ones are excellent. “

                      When was the Great Depression predicted? 1925 or longer 1900 etc.

                      I don’t know but I hear economic predictions that range all over the map.

                    72. Several people – including F. A. Hayek predicted the great depression. Hayek predicted it within 6 months.

                      Regardless, most predictions of economic downturns are actually short term predictions not long term ones.

                      Downturns are the consequence of poor economic choices that we have blinded ourselves to. They are worst when we are all like lemmings running in the same direction, and they are caused by too much of a good thing.

                    73. “Several people – including F. A. Hayek predicted the great depression. Hayek predicted it within 6 months.”

                      I am not aware of who this is, but one prediction can be luck, skill or both. Economies are cyclical.

                    74. I am not aware of your conflict with Estovir.

                      I have not followed medical bankruptcies in a while. But I am very familiar – or was, with Elizabeth’s Warren’s work – which is quite good, as compared to her own political claims about her work – which are abysmal.

                      If I recall correctly Warren found that medical claims were discharged in about 1/3 of all bankruptcies and the average amount discharged was 2500. Put simply Warren proved that medical costs are NOT a significant factor in bankruptcies.

                      Further I do not remember the precise amount, but I beleive the amount of medical debt discharged in bankruptcy is on the order of a few Billion for the entire country each year. It is a tiny fraction of the fluctuations in market capitalization of Gamestop.

                      It would be absolutely trivial to solve the problem of medical bankruptcies for pocket change – if it did not with near certainty create a moral hazzard.

                    75. “I am not aware of your conflict with Estovir.”

                      It was not important. I was just trying to demonstrate how wide a variance there can be based on statistics. Not only that but a variance that ranged from ~3% to over 50% influenced Estovir’s thinking (he sounds intelligent) along with a large portion of the public that heard of the study. I was pointing out that reason is required in such discussions.

                      Isn’t Warren, Himmelstein’s wife? I thought his wife wrote the original paper with him. So much BS is written its hard to remember who wrote what.

                    76. Significant variations in statistics exist only when the two different statistics do not mean the same thing.

                      As an example enigmainblackcom can not grasp the difference between a plurality beleves the election was stolen, and a majority beleives there was significant fraud.

                      These are not the same thing.

                      One of the common errors with medical costs and bankrupticies is to confuse how many bankruptcies were caused by medical debt – very few. And how many bankruptcies discharged medical debt – lots.

                    77. “Significant variations in statistics exist only when the two different statistics do not mean the same thing.”

                      It had to do with Himmelstein’s choice of variables. His selection process was created to make sure the results would say what he wanted them to say.

                      In essence if you were a billionaire earning tens of millions a year but suddenly went bankrupt having had $1,000 worth of medical bills, even if your $50 million home was homesteaded in a state where it was protected from bankruptcy, the bankruptcy was considered due to medical concerns. If you were a gambler the bankruptcy would be due to medical concerns..

                    78. Several factors to keep in mind – these are reasons that conclusions should be drawn on MANY studies.

                      There was a major effort made in the past decade to start validating scientific papers.

                      The ongoing track record is that 1/3 of all published scientific papers can not be reproduced.
                      Another 1/3 can – but not with statistical significance.
                      Only 1/3 of all published scientific papers are proving valid.

                      I have a major problem with your efforts towards further complexity. To introduce variables.

                      Again Romer Proved – MATHEMATICALLY, that with sufficient number of variable he could always hindcast most any claim near perfectly – even ones that were absurd. And he could do so without obvious errors in coefficients. With enough terms it only takes small tweeks to coeficifints to get the results you want.

                      Over the past decade numberous fields of science have been shook to their foundations as propositions that were accepted as fact, the consensus have been falsified. An attack on priming in psychology eventually resulted in the obliteration of a large body of psychology – much more important than priming and the demonstration that iconic experiments dating back tot he 50’s rested on falsified data and did not hold up to replication. A nobel in physics was awarded for work 50 years ago that challenged the concensus and was considered bat$hit – until 50 years later it replicates and the concensus does not. Similar sweeping changes have occured in anthropology – I do not know if the Smithsonian will ever be able to open “the ascent of man” as the orthodoxy has been rewritten so many times.
                      Nutrition has been turned on its head. We had a sudden rise in heart attacks starting about 70 years ago within a decade we were certain of the causes. Now they are starting to decline – but the purported cause is still increasing.

                      There was a huge spike in crime in the 60’s – this peaked by the late 80’s and declined. Now there is a holy war between left and right and others as to the causes and cures and the reality is we do not know for sure.

                      If we had real science – the CAGW hypothesis would have died decades ago. The planet has not warmed sufficient to match even the most conservative claims about CO2 caused warming. It is near certain that we either have massive unmodeled negative feedbacks or ECS is off by an order of magnitude – or probably both.

                      The “science” on the Ozone holes is almost certainly bogus, they are with near certainty the result of cosmic rays – which is why they are more consequential at the poles and much more so at the south pole. The reverse would be true if they were CFC driven.

                      Regardless, the size of the holes has varried directly with cosmic ray activity and nothing else.

                      I can go on and on.

                      Science is no different today than in the time of galleleio. Intelligent people hold on to easily falsifiable positions for political reasons – sometimes political – like ideology, sometimes just the dominating influence of key figures in a field.
                      We have numerous instances where a field of science that was advanced by the world of some pioneer can not move forward again until that person dies. We have seen that in physics, antropology, nutrition.

                      I find it completely hillarious that democrats think they are the party of science. They are IYI – they might as well be flat earthers.

                    79. “I have a major problem with your efforts towards further complexity. To introduce variables. “

                      Where have I advocated introducing variables? Variables exist and one has to deal with them. That is what I pointed out when you created firm rules for concepts that I might even agree with.

                    80. The core to most of our disagreements is Ockam’s razor. You are constantly trying to introduce complexity.

                      If I make a generalization – you call and over generalization – SO WHAT ? If that generalization is correct 95% of the time – that is actually far better than the absence of the generalization. Government does not get things right 50% of the time – honestly it does nto get things right 10% of the time – and there are actually reasons for that.

                      The goal is to find the simplest explanation that covers everything – not to introduce variables.

                      When you claim the perfect is the enemy or the good enough – that is far more often – a good general rule is better than a 20 parameter equations that is perfect but barely deviates from the rule.

                      Your quest for more variables IS a quest for unattainable perfection, while my “over” generalisation is an ockams razor compliant search for “good enough”

                    81. There are many ways to prove a point. Sometimes I use data. sometimes I use logic.

                      My economics are not strictly speaking austrian, but one of the things the austrians have correct, is that it is rare if ever that you can reason from data to general principles. You must always work the other way.

                      As you said – human behavior is always a factor. Reason from human behavior, logic, self interest and then use data to confirm your conclusions – going the other way is likely to lead in the wrong direction.

                      Data is far more important to falsify a claim than to theorize one.

                      Many things can be proven both logically and through data. Neither precludes the other. One of the key appeals of clasical liberalism is that theory and practice are not only in sync, they are required to be. Falsify some conclusion or premis of mine and I MUST reevaluate.

                      “Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.”
                      Ayn Rand

                    82. “There are many ways to prove a point. Sometimes I use data. sometimes I use logic.”

                      I do not take significant issue with either. I take issue with the firm rules you create. In those cases there are other obvious variables or there are variables likely to exist that are unknown.

                      The left draws their conclusions from selected variables just like David Himmelstein did in his original article on bankruptcy caused by medical bills. Then the MSM creates headline news and a horrible myth suddenly is born and becomes a living creature that would otherwise never have been seen or heard.

                    83. “You have evidence but not a solid foundation.”
                      Oh, please. That is nonsense. You know exactly what my foundations are and they are quite solid.
                      Both in theory and in practice. You are just going arround in circules.

                      “I think your problem along with not dealing with all the variables is you create either or scenarios that require a variable resistor.”
                      I have addressed this repeated.

                      The number of people, the degree of freedom, and the current standard of living are the only variables needed to predict future standard of living. I am not missing any variables – everything else is either a dependent variable or not a real factor.

                    84. >>“You have evidence but not a solid foundation.”
                      >Oh, please. That is nonsense. You know exactly what my foundations are and they are quite solid.

                      I suggested you needed a variable resistor to temper down some of your conclusions since you are preaching to the choir but not everyone has the exact same beliefs as you.

                      If you feel I am wrong, you can correct me by stating your contention in one to two sentences and then provide your argument. I suggest the one to two sentences only to make sure we are on the same page. That will also help preventing us from going around in circles.

                      As far as Simon, he is probably as good a jumping off point as any but I have little interest in the present discussion to deal with his classifications.

                    85. It is not possible to correct you. Every position you hold is subject to infinite qualifiers. You treat dependent variables as independent variables and you assume that everything is far more complex than it is – not that many things are not complex.

                      While you share alot of values with me, you do not seem to be able to distinguish values from principles.
                      Nor do you grasp that mans role in understanding the universe is trying to put together the peices of a jigsaw puzzle.

                      Einstein failed to produce a grand unifying theory. But very few doubt there is such a thing.
                      Science, the laws of the universe, economics, … are all part of a giant jigsaw puzzle
                      We are not even close to having it put together. But we have lots of peices placed, and those peices MUST fit to be correct, anf when a peice is in the wrong place that often means that adjacent peices are wrong. m Conversely when a peice fits into the pattern – that alone independent of more narrow proof makes it likely correct.

                    86. “you assume that everything is far more complex than it is “

                      When dealing with human nature things are far more complex than they seem so one cannot create such firm rules as you sometimes seem to do. Your generalizations are based on, if x, if y, and if z but the number of variables is much greater and any change in one variable affects all the others. It is a statistical nightmare.

                      “do not seem to be able to distinguish values from principles.”

                      Some of your axioms aren’t as firm as you think they are. Human nature adapts to circumstances and changes the variables.

                    87. aggregate human behavior is not that complex.

                      I would suggest that you fail to grasp that much is like fractals. Pretty simple at the core but creating a world of great complexity.
                      Free markets are the perfect example.

                    88. “aggregate human behavior is not that complex.”

                      Perhaps not as complex in a static environment but it becomes far more complex when the variables of time, place, and many other variables are considered.

                      We make guesses as to how people will act. They are called guesses because aggregate human behavior is more complex than some think.

                    89. I think you will find that agregate human behavior is more immutable than you think.

                      I used the electron analogy before, I think you should consider that further. unpredicatable, and yet thoroughly predictable.
                      Just like human behavior.

                    90. ” yet thoroughly predictable. Just like human behavior.”

                      In general the self-survival instinct is predictable. However the actions humans take to specific stimuli is not as predictable as you seem to imagine.

                    91. With respect to your “variable resistor” assertion.

                      You are essentially arguing the difference between principles – which are immutable, and values which have weights and that we do not all weight the same.

                      From a different perspective you are arguing the difference between a dependent variable and an independent variable.

                      The effect of an independent variable is only altered by the effect of other independent variables.

                      While dependent variables can appear to act like independent variables one day and then differetnly another.

                      As an example the nordic countries have demonstrated that it is possible to have large government and higher growth than would otherwise be predicted, – but they accomplish that by having very high degrees of freedom despite large government, and even then this only work in a monoculture.

                      To return to your analogy – you need a variable resistor to examine the way the size of government impacts growth. You do not when you look at the effect of freedom on growth.

                    92. “You are essentially arguing the difference between principles – which are immutable”

                      If I am arguing about things you presume are immutable perhaps they aren’t as fixed as you believe. Alternatively perhaps you mean your principles are specific to you but not the other guy.

                    93. My principles are far from unique. They are the principles that we discovered with the enlightenment.

                    94. “That is not my intention.”
                      I do not care what your intention is.

                      “I am adding variables that you leave out.”
                      Please read Simon – though there are others. Coase as an example in Coases Law note that all other things being equal or close to equal, liberty will outperform restriction.

                      ” If the freedom you talk about was necessary for the steam engine Galileo, Newton and Copernicus would not have existed.”
                      I have no idea what you are even arguing.

                    95. “Coases Law note that all other things being equal or close to equal, liberty will outperform restriction.”

                      Over time I think that is a reasonable assumption.

                      >> “That is not my intention.”
                      >I do not care what your intention is.

                      That is quite obvious and explains one of your later statements that follows. I discussed that problem earlier and will discuss it again at the end of this response.

                      “I have no idea what you are even arguing.

                      That is in part due to a shortcoming in your dialogue. You bounce around a lot using a lot of pronouns even when dealing with a new response.

                      My complete paragraph was as follows down below. You earlier gave the impression that freedom was necessary for technology. I think freedom helps advance technology and have said so but you seem to have disagreed so I stated what I felt was more accurate and perhaps acceptable to you as well. The statement made is as follows.

                      “That is not my intention. I am adding variables that you leave out. If the freedom you talk about was necessary for the steam engine Galileo, Newton and Copernicus would not have existed.”

                      If you don’t care about the other’s intention [objectives, targets, purpose, meaning, significance, or what he hopes to accomplish] then you will never understand what or why the other person is saying what he says.

                    96. Meyer,

                      Sometimes – particularly with leftists I will use their own means of argument against them – usually to expose their own hypocracy or to demonstrate the internal conflicts in their ideology.

                      But generally feelings, motive and intentions have no place in our understanding of facts.
                      Nor decision making process that involve the use of force.

                      I do beleive that bad motives often produce bad outcomes.
                      But good motives often produce worse outcomes.

                      Why something is done is usually not relevant to debate.

                    97. “But generally feelings, motive and intentions have no place in our understanding of facts.”

                      Motives and intentions can be of significant value when searching for ALL the facts. Too many believe they have all the facts because they don’t know what is left in the unknown facts department.

                    98. Yu can search however you want.

                      You can make decisions within your own life as you please.

                      But when you choose to decide for others by force – you are constrained to proven facts. Not emotions or intentions.

                    99. If you say that something needs a variable resistor – then it is not an independent variable.

                      A variable resistor means that you have some other input modifying the effect of whatever variable you are addressing.

                      I would also suggest some of Economist Paul Romer’s work to you. Romer wrote an economics paper – it was really more of a paper on mathematics. He was driven to this because of has was able to look at some current economics work and note that despite the fact that the authors work hindcast the past perfectly, that he could easily change a single input and get future predictions that were impossible.

                      Romer demonstrated mathematically that if your equations were complex enough – if you had enough inputs that you could ALWAYS tweak the inputs to hindcast the past perfectly – even with input sets that were complete nonsense.

                      The world is extremely complex. But in most instances the laws that govern it even the laws of economics and human behavior are not.

                      The fundimental complexity is that humans have free will. We can predict the results of human behavior – but we can not predict individual human behavior.

                      That said, human behavior is much like that of electrons orbitting an atom. We are completely unable to predict the behavior of a single electron. But there are still laws that govern the behavior of electrons and in aggregate electrons follow those laws.
                      In agregate human behavior is mostly predictable. Individually it is not.

                      The world is much like the atom. Near impossible to predict at the level of individual elements. but overall behavior is predictable to a high degree of accuracy with a small number of variables.

                    100. “A variable resistor means that you have some other input modifying the effect of whatever variable you are addressing.”

                      In this case you have compiled a bunch of variables on both sides of the resistor. It is fixed and the number of Ohms is designated. Many people will have differing opinions as to the variables on either side of the resistor so your machine only works at the specified number of Ohm’s. That means your calculations leading to your conclusions have to be changed when the variables are perceived differently despite the near agreement of V/I. Batteries and current aren’t always exactly the same. You might need a variable resistor that can be adjusted with variables that change.

                    101. You seem to have rejected Ockam’s razor and adopted the opposite as a life principle.

                    102. “You seem to have rejected Ockam’s razor and adopted the opposite as a life principle.”

                      That may be what you wrongly think, but that is not true. The simplest answer might be most likely to be the right answer, but before making important decisions one should look at all the variables and facts before making the decision.

                      Here once again you are drawing a faulty conclusion based on a lack of consideration of all the variables.

                    103. “Technological advance increases with liberty.”

                      Technological advances can increase with fascism. Which city state won the war Athens or Sparta?

                    104. “Technological advances can increase with fascism.”
                      Not as fast.

                      “Which city state won the war Athens or Sparta?”
                      Which war ?

                      Athens was typically defeated in land wars by the spartans and Persians,
                      but was instrumental in all greek naval victories.

                    105. “Technological advances can increase with fascism.”
                      Not as fast.”

                      As a generalization that is probably true, but not as a specific. The Russians beat the Americans into space.

                      >>“Which city state won the war Athens or Sparta?”
                      Which war ?

                      >Athens was typically defeated in land wars by the spartans and Persians, but was instrumental in all greek naval victories.”

                      Despite the rhetoric clouding the answer, Sparta won the war.

                    106. “The Russians beat the Americans into space.”
                      Correct – and China will outperform the US in some areas.

                      You appear to have accepted what I have said as a general rule – then the argument is over.

                      I have made no claim that population, freedom, and base standard of living dictate the outcome for every single imporvement in society.
                      Only that the dictate the future standard of living.

                      The worst country in the world will be better at somethings than their neighbor. They will be better at something than every other nations.

                      Regardless, where they will be in 10 years will be determined by only three independent variables.
                      Those will not tell us where each and every facet of their society will be.
                      Only the overall standard of living.

                    107. “You appear to have accepted what I have said as a general rule – then the argument is over.”

                      Yes, I accepted that as a general rule (generalization) long before this blog existed. I also accept that there is a bit of fuzziness in these types of generalizations.

                    108. “Economic growth is caused by increased liberty.”

                      Economic growth is caused by many things. Liberty can help economic growth.

                      You have to be careful about your process of selection.

                    109. “Economic growth is caused by many things.”
                      Nope. While it is true that many factors can impact economic growth.
                      Liberty is the primary cause.

                      At any economic level greater liberty will CAUSE more rapid growth.

                      There is no other factor that is true of.

                      There are a few other factors where that APPEARS to be true, as an example – economic growth inversely correlates to size of government. But size of government is an inverse proxy for liberty.

                      There are many other factors that correlate to growth – but they are not causes.

                      “You have to be careful about your process of selection.”

                      I am this has been established. Google it.

                      I doubt if one can cite a single example of any people engaged in both
                      manufacture and trade, from the men of Tyre to the Florentines and the
                      English, who were not a free people.
                      Alexis de Tocqueville

                      Look arround the world through history.
                      The global modern explosive growth took place exactly as individual liberty arrose – not just globally but regionally.
                      Growth in the west preceded that elewhere – because liberty appeared in the west first.

                      China was inarguably more technologically advanced than the west – atleast through the 18th century.
                      By the 1960’s it was just about the poorest country in the world.

                      Regardless there is lots of data on this.

                    110. >>“Economic growth is caused by many things.”

                      >Nope. While it is true that many factors can impact economic growth. Liberty is the primary cause.”

                      Economic growth has occurred under many systems. I would guess capitalism to be the stronger cause. I believe liberty is a major cause but liberty in some degree is related to capitalism. The strongest former power on earth saw economic growth under mercantilism and a monarch.

                      You are generalizing and that is a problem. We don’t have an essential disagreement but every step of the way I have shown you where your generalization led you to being wrong.

                      Sparta won the war with Athens. (Your response deviated from the question.)

                      Russia put the first man into space.

                      Capitalism seeded the ability for economic expansion and replaced mercantilism (though in some forms it still exists in this country).

                      Great scientists developed under systems of government that were not free.

                    111. “I would guess capitalism to be the stronger cause.”
                      I do not use the word capitalism much – it is misleading.
                      I prefer the term free markets – which is economic freedom – liberty.

                      “I believe liberty is a major cause but liberty in some degree is related to capitalism.”
                      Unless you have an odd definition of capitalism, Capitalism is a subset of liberty.

                      “The strongest former power on earth saw economic growth under mercantilism and a monarch.”
                      Growth of the degree seen starting in the 18th century – maybe a bit earlier in some places has no parrallel in history.

                      With respect to your claim – merchantilism is supperior to what preceded it and also many other choices.
                      Merchantilism is an improvement in economic freedom over what preceded it.

                      I have never argued that Monachy’s can not be very successful. I am not fixated on the FORM of governemt as the libery that results.

                      In On Liberty Mill’s establishes that Democracy is more of a threat to liberty than monarchy.

                      As I have noted to you over and over again – it is not the FORM of government that matters it is the SCALE of government.

                      Bigger government – less liberty – regardless of form.

                      “You are generalizing”
                      Yes,

                      “and that is a problem.”
                      Nope.

                      “We don’t have an essential disagreement but every step of the way I have shown you where your generalization led you to being wrong.”
                      Nope, The USSR got to space first. They even had economic growth. Fundimentally the Soviet system was NOT a failure – conditions were better in the USSR in 1989 when it collased than they were in 1917 when they started.
                      But the imporvement was not nearly as great as more free countries.
                      China actually had no growth from 1900 through to Maos death. That is incredibly unusual.
                      But is greater freedom leaked in post Mao the results were an explosive virtuous circle.

                      I would strongly recomend Coase’s How China Became Capitalist. It is an easy read and an excellent primer in economics using the real world as a teaching element.

                      “Sparta won the war with Athens. (Your response deviated from the question.)”
                      No Sparta Won A War with Athens.

                      “Russia put the first man into space.”
                      Addressed above.

                      You are confusing overall trends with specifics.
                      Russia outperfromed the US in numerous areas.
                      The US outperformed russia in far more.

                      “Capitalism seeded the ability for economic expansion and replaced mercantilism (though in some forms it still exists in this country).”
                      You seem to be arguing my point.

                      “Great scientists developed under systems of government that were not free.”
                      The debate is not over every individual outcome, it is over the resulting standard of living.

                      Again China WILL beat the US in many metrics in the next Decades. It WILL beat the US in some narrow areas.
                      It will not outperform the US overall – absent a serious decline in US freedom.

                    112. “I do not use the word capitalism much – it is misleading.”

                      Ahhh, back to definitions.

                      You are now being more precise with your terms, you now add an adjective…

                      “I prefer the term free markets – which is economic freedom – liberty.”

                      You have been using the term ‘freedom’ but ‘economic freedom’ changes the dynamics.

                      “Unless you have an odd definition of capitalism, Capitalism is a subset of liberty.”

                      It is all a matter of the words used earlier. I chose ‘capitalism’ because that is a clear separation from the term ‘mercantilism’ that had been previously used.

                      Terms can be quite abstract. I prefer to isolate capitalism and communism into the economic sphere. Totalitarian governments do not exclude capitalism.

                      The word democracy is one of the most confusing words because it is assumed by many to be the pinnacle of political success when in reality it means rule of the majority meaning 51% can enslave the other 49%. That is not a pleasant thought.

                      I don’t want to deal with scattered comments that were examples used to show how what you said was a generalization. I will only deal with one. You said: “No Sparta Won A War with Athens.” The end of the Peloponnesian War was a Spartan victory over the Athenians. Your statement gives the wrong impression.

                    113. Do you agree that capitalism is a term that means substantially different things to different people ?

                      Further Capitalims implies a primacy to capital. Capital is important.
                      https://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Capital-Capitalism-Triumphs-Everywhere/dp/0465016154

                      But it is not the center.

                      I prefer free markets.

                      BTW this is not an argument about defintions. It is pretty much the opposite.

                      It is not what does the word mean. It is which very similarly defined word most clearly conveys the meaning.

                    114. Freedom vs. economic freedom.
                      Most of the studies of the impact of freedom on standard of living focus on economic freedom – because it is more easily quantifiable.

                      But Coase notes in his excellent work on China that economic freedom will only get you so far.
                      Coase died in 2013. Right after his book was published. And the book is excellent. It is the most easy to understand book on economics using China from 1975 to 2013 as a study that I have ever read. Coase is certainly one of the top 4 economists in the past 100 years.
                      Personally I think he is the best, Better than Hayek or Freidman.

                      Regardless Coase makes it clear that even if other forms of freedom are more difficult to quantify they are ultimately critical too.

                      https://www.amazon.com/How-China-Became-Capitalist-Coase/dp/1137351438

                    115. Grasping that Technology is an effect not a cause is important in other contexts.

                      John Kerry just told those who lost jobs from Chairmen Xiden’s Climate EO’s that they can get jobs building solar panels.

                      Job’s are to a large extent commutative. But the loss of liberty caused by government actions remains, and the harm of it remains.

                      And that is ignoring the fact that this “we will create new good green jobs” nonsense has been tried and failed repeatedly.

                      Ignoring the fact that green energy is no more green than fossil fuels and this idiotic fixation on CO2 as a pollutant is intellectual idiocy, ALL forms of energy are the release of stored energy. Bio Fuels as an example are just an effort to shorten the time it takes to convert plants to hydrocarbon fuels.

                      It is likely that over time many of the “green” changes the left is trying to force on us will occur – naturally, when we are ready.
                      Forcing them is detrimental. Further just because we can know that the future will involve change, we can not know far in advance how that change will go.

                  2. technology and freedom: zero causal relationship whatsoever., Meyer right about that

                    John, wake up

                    Sal Sar

                    1. Please read an clarify what you are saying.

                      Freedom does drive technology – not the other way arround.
                      Technology is a dependent not independent variable.

                      Both of those are well established.

                      Part of the reasons for a solid education system is to convey the knowledge that we have established in the past.
                      So that we do not keep having to rediscover the same things or learn from our past successes and mistakes.

                    2. you define freedom john. talk about an imprecise term. wow
                      oh wait it is a plastic word for you that you can stretch to fit every position

                      technology is just the use of more efficient tools at society wide scale. that’s a useful definition. that means something. let’s take a starker look at that term.

                      it happens all over the place, under every form of government

                      are you one of those guys who is not aware that the US government literally built the internet, the backbone of it, and provided endless grants and financing to military and university to develop it? and that government has also seeded google, fb, and others, with venture capital from CIA owned In-q-tel?

                      some freedom that is. they took our tax money and gave it to them, that was not freedom, or was it? certainly that was taxation and government subsidy. but lo and behold, they were able to build and impressive array of technology nonetheless

                      same thing is true in the PRC. it is less “Free” than the US, is it not? and yet they have a very aggressive development of technology there today

                      the days when they only make pencils and cheap shoes are over. the world will be lucky if they don’t get to AGI first
                      and if they do, well, then technology will build itself and soon run out of our control.

                      shibboleths like “freedom” are like rubber bands that have been stretched too much too long and are becoming useless because they are too elastic

                      sal sar

                    3. Free will is the ability to choose between different possible courses of action unimpeded

                    4. I am one of the guys who literally built the internet.

                      Government had little part in it. That is a myth.

                      You can claim almost anything as the start of the internet.
                      One common point is the MIT model Railroad Club.

                      Nearly all the protocols of the internet were developed by people working on their own as a part of a larger community.
                      Sometimes they were paid by govenrment, sometimes universities or companies, much of the time they were not paid.

                      ARPANET was a government academic/defense project that borrowed on prior work, as well as testing and providing an impetus to advance it. But even arpanet ran on private infrasturcture using private equipment.

                      There has never been a time in which the internet ran on infrastructure that was actually owned by the government.

                      I would further note that alot of the technology of the internet was not even developed in the US much less by DARPA.
                      Timothy Berners-Lee – the inventor of the “world wide web” is english and a professor at oxford.

                      Unix came from Bell labs. Linux came from Sweden.

                      With respect to your rant about FB, etc.
                      So what ? Government has no business in the economy.

                      Taking from one by force to give to another is not freedom – it is immoral – are you trying to make my point.

                      The PRC is less free than the US, but it is far more free than it was when Mao died. During that time period it went from the bottom of the third world to the bottom of the first world.

                      Absolutely the PRC is advancing kinowledge – but at substantially lower a rate per capita than the US or Europe.
                      China has a GDP about equal to the US or EU – and 5 times as many people. It should have 5 times the GDP and 5 times the technological accomplishments the US does. Instead as advanced as it is, it still moves techology forward slower than the US.

                      The PRC will get to many things before we do – and we will get to many many more before they. And everyone benefits.
                      Anything the PRC reaches first – the US will be able to quickly master if we need to. The hard part is doing something the first time.

                    5. We have spent all of human history contemplating free will.

                      If you want you can explore the consequences of its absence – those are well worked out.

                      We are not dealing with the unknown. You say freedom is a shiboleth – OK – that has consequences. We know them and they are not what you expect.

                      You are free to agree or disagree with me or anyone.

                      But all positions have consequences and you are not free to pretend that you can reject free will, without having to accept the world that must result in. Just as you are free to reject gravity – but you will still be pulled to the earth.

                    6. Ok John. save it for somebody who doesn’t know. Universities, Arapa, etc. grants for private action, you call that private action, I call it private action paid for and coordinated by government, which is thus essentially public action.

                      and the US Army Signals corps was in on it up to its eyeballs. and still is., network centric operations & warfare.

                      PS Sparta won the war.

                      PPS we will certainly NOT benefit if China gets to AGI first. I suppose if they do, they may be tempted to hack our nuke command, disable its retaliatory capacity, and then nuke us. Im not the only person thinking that either. Better hope it doesnt happen. Meanwhile lighten up on the slogans. your mind is being dragged down by your own dogmas

                      Sal Sar

                    7. “Ok John. save it for somebody who doesn’t know. Universities, Arapa, etc. grants for private action, you call that private action, I call it private action paid for and coordinated by government, which is thus essentially public action.”

                      No I have not called all of it private action.
                      What I have pointed out – which you are oblivious to is that the government role was small, nor initial, and that the vast majority of the work was ENTIRELY privately paid for or not paid for at all.

                      Not by government grants.

                      “the US Army Signals corps was in on it up to its eyeballs. and still is., network centric operations & warfare.”
                      Absolutely government DID make use of the work product – and still does. The government maintains more than one entireley independent government network that is NOT the internet but depends on the same technology.

                      Merely using something does not make you the creator.
                      Being one of many sources of funding – does not make you the creator.

                      “PS Sparta won the war.”
                      Which war ? Athens was part of the Thebian war that was the effective end of Spartan dominance.

                      “I suppose if they do, they may be tempted to hack our nuke command, disable its retaliatory capacity, and then nuke us.”
                      From someone that generally distrusts government that is not possible – alteast not from the outside. There are myriads of government nets with different levels of security, that are NOT connected to the internet or exposed to the public in any way.
                      The nuclear control systems are the least vulnerable. Further no matter what there are 14 Ohio Class ssbn’s that assure that fire and brimstone will reign down on any nation that is successful at a first strike against the US. A single Boomer is sufficient to meet out massive retaliation. At this time Russia still possess the largest nuclear arsenal in the world – though most of it is probably unusable.
                      The US is a close second. France is a distant 3rd with 1/20th the capacity of the US. China is in 4th
                      Regardless, US land based ICBM’s are an inconsequential portion of US nuclear deterence.

  12. Bolshevik Revolution except this time our country is the most armed in the world. The military has 4.5 million guns. Americans have 585 million guns. The NG turned their back on the Biden motorcade. They don’t have the military. All the numbers are against them.

    1. They have the generals. The top brass are all well qualified as supporters of the MIC or else they wouldnt be generals in the first place.

      The generals are in command. This kind of thinking does not work. They will slowly salami slice all our rights away while we dream of another war of independence.

      Don’t fixate on drama to the exclusion of less dramatic and more feasible work that can be done today. That’s my advice. Maybe war some day, maybe sooner or later, but for now do the things that are legal and need to be done.

      and understand, in life you don’t usually get more powerful, by becoming less powerful. Gains are usually incremental.

      Sal Sar

  13. That is why despite how unpalatable Donald Trump was, I could not vote for Biden.
    1984 came 35 years late.

  14. I know you are trying to make a point about conservatives being victims of cancel culture – but in the NFL kneeling controversy – wasn’t Colin Kapernick the one whose career was “cancelled” for his political views? And wasn’t your hero Trump the Canceler-in-Chief?

    Conservatives these days is primarily about whining over supposed victim hood.

    1. Kaepernick went on to be hired by Disney and every other stupid company to teach diversity and is making over 16 million dollars a year…oh yea I feel real sorry for him

    2. Lack of talent, A flash of gold turned in twinkling of the eye into brass. Are you claiming Wentz in Philly was racially fired.

      1. Wentz has not been fired. He is still with the Eagles and making a boatload of money. The coach that benched him for an African American guy, however, has been fired.

    3. “but in the NFL kneeling controversy – wasn’t Colin Kapernick the one whose career was “cancelled” for his political views? ”

      No.

    4. No. He had already lost his job to Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert had been traded to the 49ers by Jacksonville. Gabbert has since been a backup for the Titans and now Tampa.
      Kaepernick declined his $18M option year and nobody has taken him up.
      He was even given a personal workout for NFL teams in Atlanta and made a media farce of that.
      He was not canceled, his lack of quick decision making under pressure and his drop in weight and strength after his injury, made him undesirable.
      If you’re going to weigh in so firmly on a topic, try to know what you’re talking about next time.

    5. Ray Dalio: “We Are On The Brink Of A Terrible Civil War” Dalio is no dummy…he may be the sharpest financial mind on the planet…it just echo’s what I said about the US falling apart. And Biden/Harris will not fix it nor will Schumer,Pelosi or McConnell…helicopter Yellin will keep the pedal down on printing money so all good for 1-2 years…then the dollar is destroyed and the US will not be able to pay the interest on the debt…so we just default declare bankruptcy and we will see the greatest global depression the world has ever seen…much worse than 1929.

      1. so we just default declare bankruptcy and we will see the greatest global depression the world has ever seen…much worse than 1929.

        Thanks for the panic porn. Been an education.

      2. https://www.businessinsider.com/bridgewater-ray-dalio-us-civil-war-political-wealth-gaps-2021-1

        the wealth gap is the most shameful one in history. as the global health tyranny locked us down per the orders of “experts” like Billionaire Bill Gates, Mr Vaccine, they added a trillion to their side of the balance sheet

        Yes, Mr Dalio, you got it right. People want your scalps. & It’s going to take more than “bipartisan reform” to get off the hook for what you guys did to us in 2020

        FYI, Ray is around the 19 billion level.

        Sal Sar

    6. I assume from your comment that you know very little about Kapernick’s career and football in general.
      Your post suggests the problems that viewing everything through racial lenses create. At the very least, it deprives the practictioner of their critical faculties and leaves them bereft of curiosity, since race explains everything.
      Do you have the same sympathy for white males who were not hired for positions because they were reserved for minorities and women?

    7. wasn’t Colin Kapernick the one whose career was “cancelled” for his political views?

      No, it was for making a spectacle of himself in public in a way that damaged the brand.

    8. Conservatives these days is primarily about whining over supposed victim hood.

      I’m sure you fancy you’re clever.

    9. Colin Kapernick was cancelled because he wasn’t a good QB, then he decided to make race the issue.

      1. Oh yes. I wonder how Colon Krapneck treated the people who helped him rise in his early start in the NFL. Did he treat them with loyalty and fairness, Or did he dump them like bad habits when he thought his star had finally risen and he outgrew them. I heard a few things which come back to me now.

        It is my belief he is a charlatan and a fraud, and not the saint he’s pretended to be

        Sal Sar

    10. Kapernick was/is ultimately answerable to fans.

      You confuse efforts to actually silence people, with choosing not to listen.

      If Kapernick’s free speech efforts resulted in millions of ticket sales – there would be no controversy.
      But football players and teams are paid to play football – not preach.

      Trump certainly called out myriads of those who offended him.
      What beyond speaking did he do to “cancel” anyone ?
      Frankly being targeted by Trump made people MORE popular.

      Regardless, you are free to insult whoever you wish.
      This is not about insulting people – it is about silencing them.

    11. ” wasn’t Colin Kapernick the one whose career was “cancelled” for his political views? ”

      Pros, I suppose you believe it was his right to also moon the public at will. After all that can be construed as freedom of speech as well.

      1. I have no problem with mooning the public at will – so long as you do not expect to get paid for it.

        1. 🙂

          Colin Kaepernick was on the clock when he “mooned” and then got paid millions though intimidation to keep “mooning”.

          1. Krapperneck broke contracts on his way up. He is a prima donna. He is no team player. After he failed at team sports, he won at being a prima donna. NIKE likes prima donnas like that. If you buy NIKE shoes then you approve of slave labor in China and prima donnas in America. I’d rather go barefoot

            Sal Sar

            1. I stopped buying all Nike products and even going in their stores after Kraep took a cr-p on the flag and Nike ate it.

  15. Those of us who sit back and observe know the US is already a socialist nation and moving towards communism. Why do you think the number of EX-patriots increases every year? Safer and cheaper places on earth to live in peace and harmony which increases health and happiness. At 72 I never thought I would see America come unglued but I will not sit around and put my life or my families lives at risk.

        1. Sounds like a list more focused on identifying cheap locales where one can purchase security and freedom, rather than places to flee “socialism”. Costa Rica and Panama have far more socialist tendencies than anywhere in the US- socialized medicine, state monopolies, higher income and excise taxes, greater restrictions on speech against the government… You can’t even by a gun for self-defense in those countries without jumping through hoops that would make the NRA’s collective head explode. Barred windows in every neighborhood, armed guards at the supermarket, rampant public corruption, but no Joe Biden, I guess!

          1. Costa Rica and Panama have far more socialist tendencies than anywhere in the US- socialized medicine, state monopolies

            I don’t know where you been, but Medicaid, Medicare and CHIP now account for about half the gross output in the health care sector. Seems pretty socialized to me.

            There are 15 state-owned enterprises in Panama, among the Canal Authority, the Highway Authority, the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority, the Power Authority, the Airport Authority, and the Panama City Metro. With the partial exception of the electric plant, all of these are provided by public agencies or public authorities in the US.

            Costa Rica began liquidating its interest in state-owned enterprises in 1995. Dun & Bradstreet has a listing of ‘government companies’ for Costa Rica, but most of them are government ministries. Actual enterprises included the electric authority, an export promotion company, and an eco-resource development company. Neither country has much in this vein beyond what we do.

            As for the ratio of general government consumption to gdp, it’s 0.119 in Panama, 0.14 in the United States, and 0.174 in Costa Rica. NB, particular units of government in Panama and Costa Rica are analogous to counties and municipalities in the United States. Some of what might be assumed by the central government in Costa Rica and Panama is distributed to regional governments in the United States. There is no layer of regional government in Panama and Costa Rica.

            And for what it’s worth (a tad), Freedom House gives countries ratings on their political rights and civil liberties. The composite score for the United States is 86 out of 100; that for Panama, 84 out of 100; that for Costa Rica, 91 out of 100. If Freedom House is honest, the scamming around of the tax collectors, security state, tech companies, and low level Democratic munchkins get us downgraded. A lot.

          2. Brad, if you think Costa Rica has armed guards everywhere, then you never been there. They don’t. It’s safer than Chicago by far.

            Panama has improved in that way a lot over decades since Noriega went bye bye

            Costa Rica is an absolutely fantastic county. Panama is a notch down, but it’s livable too.

            But watch out Brad: Costa Rica is one of the few officially Catholic countries on Earth, constitutionally. You might not like that

            Saloth Sar

            1. Some people want a gun to live in Panama. But yes, they can be had. The licensing is a hassle but lawful residents can get it done. LMK if you want a referral to a dealer, “Brad”

              Sal Sar

              1. Latin American countries tend to have elevated homicide rates, and Costa Rica and Panama are no exception. The homicide rates there are about 10 per 100,000, similar to the US ca. 1930 and ca. 1980.

                Panama has been just about the most economically dynamic country in Latin America since 1990. It is a middle income country. Real income flows to the broad mass of the population are roughly similar to those of the US ca. 1970.

                1. I can see that my information on Costa Rica and Panama is stale. I have been to both places with many friends on the ground at that time, but not for a while, and after reading Art I took a look and I think my generalization would have been more accurate a decade ago than it is now

                  Nonetheless, I found CR a lot more congenial than Panama, at the time, and considerably safer. CR has a historical and social profile that is substantially different than a lot of its neighbors. At least according to “Ticos.” I won’t belabor it,

                  Sal Sar

            2. Of course Costa Rica and Panama are great places. Just not great if your primary concern is going Galt and escaping socialism like the guy I was responding to.

              It’s been ten years since I’ve been there, but it looks like CR did disarm nearly all private security a few years ago after too many “incidents”. They used the logic that fewer guns meant fewer shootings, so they disarmed the “good guys”. Strange place for any 2A supporter to identify as more free than the US.

              1. Since the US is now a second rate banana republic why live here?…What’s wrong with Italy or Spain or France…much cheaper… my wife is fluent in Italian me in French and Spanish…and we have a lot of money…we also fly private jet…stay here and suffer another civil war…even Ben Stein says it’s coming…bye bye US

                1. I could envision retiring to CR, Panama, or certain other places in Europe or Asia, but I would never renounce the land of my birth. If there is a war that comes here, if it came to that, not at our incipient level of low intensity but full on war, I would be willing to water the soil with my blood just as generations of my family did before. One never knows what Fate has in store for us.

                  Wyrd bið ful aræd – Fate is inexorable

                  Sal Sar

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