We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

The overall effect of Donald Trump: Bombastic; but you can obviously deal with bombastic people. Occasionally contradicts himself; you can obviously deal with people like that. Has some views that, let’s say, perhaps, most people don’t hold; you can obviously deal with people like that. He can’t be that bad. The American system is designed to limit the power of the president. Nothing that bad is going to happen. He’s going to build a wall. He’s going to fix trade. […] Everything else seems to be up for grabs. Which is fine. Who wants an activist president? Who said we had to have all these presidents who wanted to do things? The best president in history was Calvin fucking Coolidge who did nothing.

I think Trump is going to quickly find he is not able to do much after he builds his wall and fixes trade and that’s fine. He’s going to be a slightly more bombastic Coolidge and I think most people are fairly relaxed about that. But the cultural effect of Donald Trump is going to be marvellous. Donald Trump represents the single greatest threat to the left’s thirty year history of shaming, name-calling, silencing, bullying, nannying, bossing around, the schoolmarmishness of the left: he just blows through it like a juggernaut. He represents an existential threat to the regressives we hate so much because he shows them up for the nonsense that they are. Every time he’s accused of being sexist he either doubles down or shows with evidence why it’s not true. Every time he’s accused of being racist he laughs it off and moves on. Any time he’s accused of any of these things it doesn’t work; it doesn’t affect him. And the media, which is so in hock to these ridiculous liberal social-justice lunacies and platitudes has lost its power to affect how people vote. The power of the American media to shape elections is fucking gone. It’s over.

[…]

Trump has come along at exactly the right moment when people are prepared to vote culturally. And people are prepared to vote for a wacky, outside candidate because they realise that nothing is going to change otherwise. […] The people who are the most angry about Trump are the people who realise that the gravy train just skidded to a halt. There is no more money for you. And why? Very simple: you’re losers. You lost every possible argument with the possible exception of guns and maybe abortion. Everything else you lost. Conservatives are losers. The public is tired of looking at conservative media and conservative politicians and seeing losers.

– Milo Yiannopoulos at UCLA explaining why he thinks a Donald Trump presidency would be a good thing.

129 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • And the media, which is so in hock to these ridiculous liberal social-justice lunacies and platitudes has lost its power to affect how people vote. The power of the American media to shape elections is fucking gone. It’s over.

    The UK could do with some of that. Who isn’t tired of the poe-faced Guardianistas with their social justice agendas and their belief that “no platforming” is not censorship.

    Where’s our Trump?

    BoJo? Ha bloody ha!

  • Mary Contrary

    I like Milo, but this is glib wishful-thinking. Trump is no friend to libertarianism.

    Charles Krauthammer got closer, I think:

    I think what Trump represents is the utter defeat of the Tea Party. This is not the culmination of some kind of Tea Party revolution. Tea Party came to fore as a constitutionalist, limited government, low taxation, low intrusion, small government advocacy group. Is that what Trump is? Of course not.

    Well, I’m with the Tea Party. Milo’s view of Trump, even if correct, would make him a good talk radio host, no more. America is faced with an awful, terrible choice of Presidential candidates, and whichever way it goes, four or eight years from now the world will be an even darker, scarier place than it is now.

  • Lee Moore

    It’s only four years, Mary. There’s a good chance of a nasty recession before 2020, which might well make even a good President elected in 2016 a one termer.

    I agree Milo’s view is rose tinted. In particular, I find it hard to believe that Trump will pay any attention to international threats. A rosy case could be made for Hillary – that though she may once have been a radical, perhaps now she’s lost interest in absolutely everything except stealing money and collecting bribes. But I suspect this is also much too rosy. She will eagerly carry on Obama’s extension of the deep state.

    On balance I think Trump is clearly the smaller problem. He will not be able to pursue an agenda of expanding the state because he won’t get it through Congress. Of course, he may get some stuff through with Dem help, but only about a tenth as much as Hillary will get through. And his judicial appointments will be half bad, not all bad. And the media will actually report his wrongdoings.

    It’s a terrible choice, but Trump is less terrible than Clinton. And if Clinton wins, we may at least have the fun of seeing her lose in a landslide in 2020.

  • Thailover

    Milo is correct on all points. No one, including Milo, said that Trump is the ideal candidate. Sorry, but no TEA party candidate will be elected any time soon, no libertarian, no fucking Marxist/socialist, no goddamned community agitator, no fucking conservative, no theocrat with a bible riveted to their cheekbones and no one who’s afraid of the secret party bosses who influence purse strings. And people whining about that aren’t winning and don’t have tiger blood and Adonis DNA! LOL.

    “They picked a fight with a warlock” ~ Charlie Sheen

    😉

  • “He’s going to fix trade.”

    Indeed, and in a fairly catastrophic way. The only thing worse than Trump is Sanders, who is like Obama on acid.

  • PapayaSF

    I think Trump has some libertarian upsides:

    – pro Second Amendment
    – anti-government regulation (in some areas, at least)
    – anti-PC/SJW
    – makes the media and the left suddenly very concerned about unchecked Presidential powers
    – makes many believe that politics is a farce (a pro-libertarian position, I would argue)
    – somewhat interested in shrinking parts of government
    – being a business guy, might be open to some free market solutions
    – and in my opinion, might slow the influx of anti-libertarian immigrants from Latin America and the Middle East.*

    *Yes, most of them and their kids will vote for a bigger state. That’s why the Democratic Party is so enthused about immigration, just like the Labour Party.

  • Laird

    Thailover’s rant notwithstanding, there is at least an outside chance of a libertarian winning this time. With the LP’s nomination of Johnson/Weld, you have two former Republicans who should be acceptable to the anti-Trumpers but would also have some appeal for the Sanders crowd once they’ve been shut out by the Democratic party bosses. (Sanders is actually pretty libertarian on social issues; it’s only on economics where there is a serious divergence.) The amazingly high negatives of both major-party candidates presents an historic opportunity for a major realignment of this country’s political structure.

    The key will be getting access to the presidential debates, which this year is certainly possible; Johnson is already polling at 10% in some polls (when he’s included, which is starting to happen). He just needs to get to 15%. And if he does the debates will actually be worth watching.

  • PapayaSF

    there is at least an outside chance of a libertarian winning this time

    Sorry, no. The leftists and the people ticked off about illegal immigration will not vote LP, and that’s a majority right there. What’s left won’t carry a single state.

  • Lee Moore

    No, there’s not the slightest chance of a libertarian winning this time. Indeed there’s barely an outside chance of a libertarian winning a single state*.
    Not gonna happen, You’ve got Trump or Clinton, unless

    (a) one of them dies
    (b) a tiny tiny tiny chance of a Torricelli (ie Hilllary sinks in the polls quite soon, Obama pulls the rug out by allowing her to be indicted, and Biden or someone like that, or even Bernie, gets inserted)

    (b) is very very unlikely, but about a thousand times more likely than President Johnson.

    I would say that the current odds of about 70% The Hillary and 30% The Donald are about right. About half of The Donald’s 30% chance rests on the possibility of a sharp economic downturn, or banking meltdown or whatever.

    * if the polls show a huge Hillary landslide, then it’s conceivable that Johnson might win a state like Utah

  • PapayaSF

    I’m with Scott Adams on this: Trump will beat Hillary, regardless.

    And any possible news (terror attack, illegal immigrant crime, economic crash, her indictment, etc.) helps him, not her.

  • Lee Moore

    And any possible news (terror attack, illegal immigrant crime, economic crash, her indictment, etc.) helps him, not her.

    I very much doubt it. Any possible news that helps him not her will simply not be reported.

    Economic figures can be (and always are) fiddled, so you actually need a 30% stock market crash that folk can see without the MSM filter. A terror attack would need to be in the US, not abroad. And as for an indictment, though it would hurt Hillary, it would help the Dems. Virtually anybody would be a better candidate than Hillary. She’s a truly terrible candidate.

  • bobby b

    ” . . . Trump is no friend to libertarianism.”

    The benchmarks of limitation of government have been skewed by fifty or more years of unbridled expansion such that avoiding further expansion counts as a solid win for libertarianism.

    The combination of Trump and the makeup of the Congress that will likely arise out of the coming election is going to lead to legislative-executive gridlock. Unable to build coalitions with the legislative branch, Trump’s ideas will go nowhere. Congress will treat Trump with disdain and attempt to push its own initiatives.

    If he wishes to assert his dominance, he’ll be left with his veto power. Neither of the fractured parties will win sufficient seats to sustain any veto overrides, and the days of bipartisan legislative action are gone, at least for a while.

    Gridlock is our friend. Trump will bring gridlock. Thus . . .

  • – anti-government regulation (in some areas, at least)

    He is spectacularly anti-property rights (other than his, of course, as a huge fan of the very worst eminent domain abuses and indeed thinks it should be easier) and anti-trade (he is an overt protectionist) so that massively out-weights any other regulation issue in my books.

    The only upside to Trump is he discredits a system that has slipped into profound decadence, bearing only the most tenuous resemblance to the constitutional state it claims to be, and he does this every time he opens his mouth. But then the same could be said of Hillary.

  • Gridlock is our friend.

    We need rollback, not gridlock. Gridlock makes it harder to make things worse, which is something of course.

  • PeterT

    Gridlock makes it harder to make things worse

    It does make things better too, as society tends to move along, so the effective burden of the state does fall. For example, the internet has so far been largely unregulated – how long will that continue without gridlock? The leftists want to regulate it to protect their feelings; the right to protect ‘the children’. If we are lucky government might be in gridlock during some phase of rapid technology driven improvements in freedom, maybe blockchain totally takes off for example.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    When Trump quits being President, he’ll try to sell The-White-House and its’ furniture. I want the black brief-case with the launch codes!

  • The illegal immigration threat is great. So is the threat of a decades-entrenched activist judicial majority on the supreme court. I have to judge these more serious that whatever Trump might do to international trade, or eminent domain, grave though those be. Behind even these is the idea that politicos is downstream of culture. The left had some luck going for them in selling Obama the (wilfully) unknown. If they can sell Hillary, the only-too-well-known, their power is shown to be great indeed. I see where Milo is coming from on that. And, despite these points, I see where they are coming from who say this is not obviously at first glance what you’d think a tea party victory would look like.

    Between Scott Adams saying it will be a landslide and Roger Simon saying the election is Trump’s to (win or) lose, and on the other hand those who say he’s making Hillary electable, it’s clearly hard to judge the mood if you’re in the US, and harder for me in the UK. The mere ability to win where others couldn’t, or to lose where another could have won, will define much of Trump, but I don’t feel their certainty about which one he has.

  • thefrollickingmole

    Whats it tell you that the GOP would rather blow up their party rather than enforce their own immigration laws?

    Trump is the hedgehog, not the fox, he started with one thing and did it well, “lets sort out immigration”.
    Meanwhile the clever foxes of the GOP were sniffling and snuffling about pathways, amnesty and everything else they could think of rather than accept about 1/2 of their supporters saw this as a major issue.

    As for the Dems, they are just flat out importing a new electorate.

    reporting like this is awesome in its embrace of stupid.

    The Associated Press reported:

    “Our police officers have done an extremely courageous and professional job so far,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said by phone.

    The mayor, a Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter, criticized Trump for coming to cities and igniting problems that local police departments had to deal with.

    “At some point Donald Trump needs to take responsibility for the irresponsible behavior of his campaign,” Liccardo said.

    It probably sounds better in German and changing “Trump” for “Jews” or “uppity negros’

  • JohnK

    When Trump quits being President, he’ll try to sell The-White-House and its’ furniture. I want the black brief-case with the launch codes!

    At least he is unlikely to steal all the fixtures and fittings, which the Clinton crime family and their friends did before they left in 2001, pausing only to pardon many of their richest partners in crime.

  • Alisa

    Milo does make some decent points there (comparing Trump to Coolidge not being one of them), but they are minor and weak. Like Perry, I wish for a rollback (not likely absent Cruz), not gridlock – but with Trump in the White House, we’ll have gridlock if we are extremely lucky indeed. The more likely scenario will be Trump just doing what he’s been doing all his life – which is making deals with the political establishment (mainly with the Democratic one, but by far not exclusively) at the expense of the little people.

  • When Trump quits being President, he’ll try to sell The-White-House and its’ furniture.

    As opposed to Hillary, who sold State Department access via the Clinton Global Initiative?

  • Cal

    I think Trump will be another Arnie: all talk, no action. I’ll believe in this fence when I see it. He’ll make deals and do what’s best for him (as Alisa says). He’s no Tea-Partier.

    But I’d still prefer Trump to Hillary, as the slightly less worse candidate. Why? (1) He’s anti-PC is a way that works, as Milo says. (2) He’ll help discredit big government, as Perry says (Hillary won’t do this, because the media protects her). (3) He may help to stop the defeatism and lack of fight rampant in the GOP. (4) He’ll make Muslim immigration an issue. (5) Judicial appointments (points 3 to 5 already made above by others).

    Mind you, long-term the US is screwed either way because of TMG (too-much-government).

    “Where’s our Trump?”

    Perry? Or Milo himself? (It could have been that Devil’s Kitchen guy, but he didn’t last five minutes on TV.)

    “BoJo? Ha bloody ha!”

    But it probably is BoJo, isn’t it? Because so far Trump is all talk.

  • When Trump quits being President, he’ll try to sell The-White-House and its’ furniture. I want the black brief-case with the launch codes!

    Well the launch codes are eight zeroes (unless they’ve changed them), but the black brief-case you’ll have to obtain yourself.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2515598/Launch-code-US-nuclear-weapons-easy-00000000.html

  • bobby b

    “We need rollback, not gridlock.”

    “Give them the third best to go on with; the second best comes too late, the best never comes.”

  • Mary Contrary

    Papaya wrote:

    I think Trump has some libertarian upsides:

    One by one:

    – pro Second Amendment

    I don’t believe it. Just another thing he spouts out randomly, only to reverse himself in an instant.

    – anti-government regulation (in some areas, at least)

    Nonsense. Being against some particular government regulation that is harming you personally is not being “anti-government regulation” at all. If he wanted to do something, the thought “should this really be a matter for government?” (or even, do I have the legal power to do this?) wouldn’t even cross his mind

    – anti-PC/SJW

    I think we’re going to see an interesting switch on this. I can see him adopting/co-opting some of the worst tactics of the SJW crowd. True, to some extent he is inherently anti-PC, in that anyone that stands up to them on anything shows it can be done, even if they turn around and act just as badly immediately afterwards. And it’s getting quite important that somebody does so (which is why I love Milo). But that’s as good as it gets.

    – makes the media and the left suddenly very concerned about unchecked Presidential powers

    I think this is your strongest argument.

    – makes many believe that politics is a farce (a pro-libertarian position, I would argue)

    Politics is interested in you.

    – somewhat interested in shrinking parts of government

    You’ve got to be joking. All Trump is interested in is Trump.

    – being a business guy, might be open to some free market solutions

    Now you’re just trolling.

    – and in my opinion, might slow the influx of anti-libertarian immigrants from Latin America and the Middle East.*

    I seriously doubt he’ll even slow the rate of increase.

  • PapayaSF

    Perry: Trump is indeed bad on property rights, but what’s the evidence that Hillary is one whit better, if not worse?

    Mary: Trump has a very pro-2A statement on his website. He has spoken several times on how regulation is strangling business. He is clearly not an ideologue: he’s a pragmatist. Libertarians (and business people) know that smaller-government, free market solutions are pragmatic, and can work. Trump wants to succeed, so why would he not consider them?

    One thing Scott Adams notes about Trump is that he’s a negotiator who makes strong or even extreme first offers. I have no doubt he’ll compromise on many things. I fully admit that Trump is no libertarian ideal, but with the possible exception of trade, it’s hard to find an area in which Hillary is better, or at best equivalent.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    The worst that is being said of Trump is that he may turn out to be Hillary.

    Then again, he may not. Advantage: Trump.

    The one thing his election will do is remind politicians that the public’s patience is not inexhaustible. Whether he respects the Constitution is not really important at this point, since so few government players do now; but putting those same players in fear of a public that still does treasure it is infinitely well worth doing.

  • Alsadius

    Of course Milo likes Trump. Both of them have pissing off the right people as their primary appeal. I like the mockery of the left, but the thought of either of therm actually governing is terrifying.

  • Alisa

    What Mary said. And, I’d like to remind everyone that voting is not compulsory.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Alisa
    June 3, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    What Mary said. And, I’d like to remind everyone that voting is not compulsory.

    I like the inversion “If you vote, you can’t complain”.

    After all, if you vote, you just said one of the candidates was acceptable.

  • PapayaSF

    I prefer to think of it as: “If you vote, you just said one of the candidates was less unacceptable.” Trump biggest plus is that he’s not Hillary (or Sanders or Biden or Warren).

  • James Waterton

    Truman predicted that Eisenhower wouldn’t be able to cope with the transition from the military top brass – which barks orders at underlings that are quickly complied with – to the Office of the POTUS, the civilian CinC, who is subject to a series of checks and balances that limit his executive power, which is in itself relatively weak by world standards. The Truman quote I recall upon Eisenhower’s inauguration ran something like ‘poor Ike. He’ll pick up the phone, issue a series of orders, and absolutely nothing will happen’.

    Yet, Eisenhower served his full two terms and proved himself perfectly capable of ‘code switching’ between the military and Presidential chains of command. I don’t know if Trump will attempt a CEO approach to the Presidency (which is bound to fail). However, others with backgrounds in similarly dictatorial roles who have gone before him have managed to quickly come to terms with the fact that the US Executive’s scope for action is limited by design, and have found ways to get things done whilst working within these parameters.

  • PapayaSF

    James Waterton: Good point. This also goes to my point about Trump being a pragmatist rather than a doctrinaire ideologue. I think it means he’s more adaptable.

  • Alisa

    I prefer to think of it as: “If you vote, you just said one of the candidates was less unacceptable.”

    Sorry Papaya, but when you do vote for someone, you actually do pronounce them acceptable to you, however little.

  • Jerry

    Only see one reference to the supreme court here and THAT is what will have the most LONG TERM influence regarding this election. If you have no children or grandchildren, you probably don’t really give a d**n BUT …………..
    Incumbents tend to be reelected so it is somewhat likely that we are looking at an EIGHT year stretch here, if the elected person lives that long, is still reasonably sane etc.
    Given that, the next White House resident will choose SEVERAL Supreme Court justices and establish the course of this country for at lest the next TWO GENERATIONS if not longer !!
    The activist LONG AGO gave up trying to get some of their silly ideas through the legislature. Now they simply use the courts – faster, easier and MUCH easier to bamboozle several judges than several hundred congressmen ( FAR CHEAPER TOO )!
    Now, who do you want setting that direction / course ?
    Given the choice we all face – sorry, barring one of them being indicted, jailed, dying, quitting or a hundred other possibilities, we are down to Trump or Clinton – sorry, ANY third party ANYTHING doesn’t stand a snowballs chance in he**.
    I know what my choice will be given what I have heard, read and seen since 1992 !

  • Alisa

    military top brass – which barks orders at underlings that are quickly complied with

    With all due respect James, that is at best a cartoonish image of how military actually works. There is no lack of politics in any military – quite the contrary, there is lots and lots of it. Yes, civilian politics is different, but to a much lesser extent than one might think. All of which is to say that I am not at all surprised that Ike’s transition was much smoother than what was anticipated by some.

  • Philip Scott Thomas

    When Trump quits being President, he’ll try to sell The-White-House and its’ furniture.

    Didn’t the Clintons regularly sell access to the White House, such as selling the chance to stay in the Lincoln Bedroom? And when he quit being President, didn’t Bill and Hill try to steal some of the White House’s more historically significant furniture? Or was that all an urban myth?

  • Julie near Chicago

    Mary says it all. Great summary. :>) :>((

    PfP: Nonsense. Let me quote from Papaya’s reply, one word edited:

    “If you vote, you only said that one of the candidates was less unacceptable.”

    Which is the real issue.

    (In the present context, of course.)

  • PapayaSF

    Alisa, I don’t think “the least bad of two choices” is quite the same thing as “acceptable.” If I have a no-other-options-choice of being hit by a car or a bike, I’ll choose the bike, but that doesn’t mean it’s “acceptable.”

  • Alisa

    Papaya, the point is that you very act of choosing (instead of doing nothing) is in itself an act of acceptance. That’s the meaning of the word, at least when not detached from reality and logic.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Jerry: Yes indeed. Trump might put on some people who aren’t of the opinion that their job is to provide rationale for ditching the C. Even if by pure luck.

    Shrill, no chance. She’s not the type to appoint someone who will vote against her pet position if he thinks the argument for it misreads the Constitution.

  • PapayaSF

    I understand your point, but “doing nothing” is also a form of acceptance. In my analogy, by not choosing, you are saying that it doesn’t matter to you whether you get hit by a car or a bike. You are accepting whatever choice other people make when they vote. In reality, the difference would matter, a lot. So as ineffectual as one vote is, I think it’s quite logical to cast it for the least bad alternative.

    As I often point out, the US (and the Western world in general) didn’t get into the semi-socialist mess we’re in because official Socialist parties won a lot of elections. We got here because socialists compromised, worked incrementally, and voted to move things in their direction, however impure the choices were. Trump is not really a “libertarian direction,” except in some limited areas, but Hillary is pretty much a pure anti-libertarian.

  • Alisa

    No, that is not a form of acceptance, it is at worst a form of passive sufferance, and at best (or least worst) is a form of denying legitimacy to the unacceptable candidates from both parties, but especially the one on the “Right” (see below).

    We got here because socialists compromised, worked incrementally, and voted to move things in their direction, however impure the choices were.

    Not true, Papaya – we got here because the Left cheated, lied and plain bullied, while the “Right” made it a habit putting forward the most “acceptable” candidates – i.e. the softer Left.

    Furthermore, I think that your analogy is incorrect. The correct analogy is where you and I are slaves on a plantation, and are asked to vote for Master 1 who looks like Stalin, and Master 2 who looks like Mussolini. I understand that you may find Master 2 more acceptable, or just acceptable, period – while finding Master 1 totally unacceptable. But, you cannot say that you find Master 2 less unacceptable – that is just wrong semantically. Still, semantics aside:

    In reality, the difference would matter, a lot.

    Well, I happen to think that while Trump and Clinton are very different people indeed, the results of their respective presidencies would differ very little – in other words, I personally find Master 2 almost as unacceptable as Master 1. On this you and I will probably have to agree to disagree.

  • Runcie Balspune

    makes the media and the left suddenly very concerned about unchecked Presidential powers

    This works both ways, he’s already highlighted Obama’s supposedly excessive use of executive orders and presidential memorandum, and pledged to reverse several of them, so this could mean he’ll be more committed to not using them, whilst at the same time making his detractors scared he will.

  • Laird

    If you truly feel that way, Alisa, you should vote Libertarian. At least it will send a message that you find neither of the major party candidates acceptable.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Alisa, this is the meaning of the word “acceptance” only in the broadest sense and devoid of context.

    If circumstances are such that I have to choose one baby to save out of a fire because I physically cannot save both, then unless I am irrational with panic I will save one. Not because losing the other is acceptable to me, but because I surely had to choose one. (In the parallel, my hands would no doubt be completely “clean” if I chose neither. Or, perhaps, I would have — in my own head anyway — “demonstrated” that I have done my maternal duty not to play favorites or to Play God. That, however, really WOULD be unacceptable — to me at least. Not, in logic, to hard-liners on this sort of issue.)

    So let me re-write Papaya’s sentence:

    “If you vote save one baby, you just said that candidate baby was less unacceptable.”

    The whole situation is unnacceptable to me, in fact. But I must choose on or the other or neither, with the last option unthinkable.

    It is true that it is more precise to say something like this:

    “If you vote for X, you said only that in your opinion Candidate C was less unacceptable than the other candidates.”

    This is not saying that C is acceptable to you in absolute terms, but only relative to the acceptability of the other choices.

    Think of it in mathematical terms:

    . . .

    Let S be a set with elements s. Let A and B be subsets of S.

    Then the statement

    s is an element of A if and only if s is not an element of B

    is true if and only if

    A union B = S and A intersect B = the null set.

    . . .

    This is the proper statement of the Law of Non-Contradiction, which I will not call by its now-common, but muddled, name.

    The concept of “acceptability,” with “unacceptability” as its necessary and absolute opposite, is not universally true in the real: A thing may be acceptable in one sense while not being acceptable in a different sense, even at the same time. In other words, the set of all choices available is not partitionable into two disjoint sets, “acceptable” and “unacceptable.”

    . . .

    Hope there are no horrible errors in the foregoing; got to run. :>)

  • Fraser Orr

    All this talk of terrible choices between Hillary and Trump neglects to recognize the fact that the choices are always terrible. Romney? McCain? Bush (1 or 2)? Clinton? Gore? Kerry? Who do you love out of that bunch of big government tyrants?

    The choice is particularly repugnant this year not because their policies are worse, but just because they are uglier people, whether Trump’s potty mouth or Clinton’s weasely secretiveness, Trump’s chutzpah, and Clinton’s “boring as tofu” personality. Trump’s complete lack of political experience, and Hillary’s felonious activities.

    Really, policy wise, it is all about the same as before. They are just much worse people.

    And in fairness, at least Donald Trump puts on a good show. My favorite part is the press. It is a wonderful lesson in capitalism really what is going on with the press. Their ideology tells them to no-platform Trump, but they can’t help themselves, they just have to cover him because he makes them money. How deliciously ironic is that? The liberal hypocrisy writ large.

  • Martin

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_T5-KEkYNI

    Who needs the left wing SJWs when libertarians do their job for them?

    You’ll get a pat on the head from the media Gary for saying what you did. You’ll still only get about a dozen votes from minorities in November.

  • Snide

    Trump has nothing to offer anyone who actually cares about civil liberties, so not sure what the downside to a libertarian pissing on Trump is, Martin. If they’re not going to get voted for anyway, they might as well say what they think.

  • Alisa

    Fraser, you are absolutely correct about the current set compared to the previous ones.

    Laird, I just might (I did vote for Johnson the last time).

    Julie, I’ve already explained which metaphor is the most appropriate in this context, in my opinion – Sophie’s choice is not it, but YMMV.

    with the last option unthinkable

    It is thinkable to me – here, I’ve thunk it and even put it in writing. I’m still alive, and the sky has not fallen, yet.

  • Alisa

    BTW, re Trump and the press, I’d wait until after the official nominations in July. That’s when we’ll see what the press is really willing and able to do to Trump, and how he handles them then.

  • Jerry

    ‘…you should vote Libertarian. At least it will send a message that you find neither of the major party candidates acceptable.’
    Send a message to whom ?? The major parties ? They DON’T CARE !
    That ‘tactic’ – we’ll vote our conscience and THAT’LL sure send’em a message’- has been tried for how many elections cycles now ??
    All it might do is to allow one to feel a bit more superior …. or smug.
    No one has ever gotten that message, no one is even listening FOR that type of so called message and, my bet, NO ONE will EVER hear or act on that type of message !
    Try this.
    All votes counted. Dead heat. 50% for Trump and 50% for Hillary.
    YOU get to cast the deciding vote.
    Who are you going to vote for ??
    NO candidate is perfect. Never has there been a perfect candidate. It is IMPOSSIBLE for a single person to to essentially agree on every possible position SIMULTANEOUSLY with enough people to get elected.
    We are ALWAYS going to have to make a choice. The perfect candidate doesn’t exist for ANYONE !

  • NO candidate is perfect.

    That the choice comes down Hillary or Trump, two of the most preposterous candidates in US political history, is the direct result of voting for the lesser evil. The Republican party needs to burn to the ground completely and utterly, and maybe Trump is the guy to do that, so I suppose he has at least some use.

    The problem is not the Democrats, they are the Overt Evil Party. The problem is and has always been the Republicans, because they are totally happy to be the ever so slightly less Evil Party. And why is that? Because they know you will fucking vote for them anyway, just so long as they are infinitesimally less evil than the other guys, which really isn’t hard. That is where your ‘pragmatism’ has got you. Well have fun, vote for the eminent domain party rather than the gays whales against racism party, I am sure the USA will be a vast better place post election whoever wins as the system vanishes up its own backside! 😉

    I would happily support a very non-perfect politician if they kinda sorta pointed in the right direction (Ted Cruz for example). But when they both point at the iceberg and only differ on which side they want the ship to smash into, well I’m going so suggest people vote for a day on the beach with a martini on election day and don’t waste their time voting at all.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    There was an article in the Atlantic where a writer asked a Trump supporter about his reasons.

    You know why you are losing, why ideas of liberty are losing? Because for all their merits, they could not overcome political correctness.

    Trump offers the opportunity to repudiate the excesses of political correctness and bring some semblance of sanity back into normal discourse. If he loses, political correctness would have taken yet another major step forward, and libertarian ideals would be even more unspeakable, because they would be unthinkable.

    A vote for Trump is a vote to beat PC.

  • Alisa

    All it might do is to allow one to feel a bit more superior …. or smug.

    I might feel smug – so sue me. Or, more likely, I’ll not bother voting at all. So sue me again.

    YOU get to cast the deciding vote.
    Who are you going to vote for ??

    No one, because it will make no real difference.

  • Cal

    >Papaya, the point is that you very act of choosing (instead of doing nothing) is in itself an act of acceptance. That’s the meaning of the word, at least when not detached from reality and logic.

    But the word ‘acceptance’ here just means nothing more than you slightly prefer one candidate over the other. All the talk of semantics — and I note that it’s only you using the word ‘acceptance’ — is irrelevant.

    >I would happily support a very non-perfect politician if they kinda sorta pointed in the right direction (Ted Cruz for example). But when they both point at the iceberg and only differ on which side they want the ship to smash into, well I’m going so suggest people vote for a day on the beach with a martini on election day and don’t waste their time voting at all.

    Generally, I would agree, But I think the thinking here is like this. Taking up Alisa’s slaves and plantations analogy, you’ve got two possible masters, both of whom seem equally awful. But you know exactly what the first one will give you, the precise degree of awfulness. But the other guy… probably he’ll be the same. There’s a bit of a possibility he’ll be even worse. But there’s also a bit of a possibility that he’ll be better. There’s even a small chance he’ll prove to be a bit loopy and throw open the gates. So if you’re a slave, of course you vote for that guy.

    >Of course Milo likes Trump. Both of them have pissing off the right people as their primary appeal. I like the mockery of the left, but the thought of either of therm actually governing is terrifying.

    The thought of Milo ruling terrifies you? Compared to Obama, Clinton, Corbyn, Cameron, the EU, etc? Are you completely insane?

  • Thailover

    Perry,
    Hopefully, Trump is just talking about tariffs and other injections of politics into economics just to lure unions into supporing him.

    We can hope at least, but that is probably a long shot.

  • Thailover

    Bobby B.

    “Gridlock is our friend. Trump will bring gridlock. Thus…”

    I think you’re entirely wrong. Trump is a deal maker, from balls to bones. That’s what he does…period. That’s what he is. He lives and breathes “the art of the deal”.

  • PapayaSF

    I also think that it’s not necessarily anti-trade to think we make bad trade deals, at least sometimes. I lean toward the argument that true “free trade agreements” aren’t hundreds of pages long.

  • Thailover

    James Waterton wrote,
    “I don’t know if Trump will attempt a CEO approach to the Presidency (which is bound to fail).”

    Realize that most CEO’s are not Steve Jobs. They make executive orders and decisions when appropriate, but are not Russian Czars.

  • Martin

    ‘I think what Trump represents is the utter defeat of the Tea Party. This is not the culmination of some kind of Tea Party revolution. Tea Party came to fore as a constitutionalist, limited government, low taxation, low intrusion, small government advocacy group. Is that what Trump is? Of course not.’

    If all you can offer is a bunch of warmed over Reaganism, don’t blame Donald Trump for making you irrelevant. The problems of 2016 aren’t the problems of 1980, and what at best handled the problems of the 80s imperfectly is of little help now.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Alisa, I need to clarify what I meant by “the last option [is] unthinkable. I meant the paragraph following my alteration of PapayaSF’s words to be understood as referring to the situation of the two babies, only one of whom can be saved. What is unthinkable is the option of saving neither baby. Perhaps this puts it more clearly:

    .

    “If you vote [for one candidate] save one baby, you only said that that candidate baby was less unacceptable.”

    The whole situation of the babies in the fire is unacceptable to me, in fact. But I must choose one baby or the other, or else neither; with this last option unthinkable.

    .

    Obviously the alternative of abstaining from voting is “thinkable,” that is, it isn’t the sort of thing that’s “too dreadful to contemplate.” But choosing to save neither baby is unthinkable, at least to a mother who desperately loves both of them and who can’t imagine leaving both of them to the fire. –Which, of course, is what “the last option is unthinkable” means.

  • Alisa

    I see your point, July – sorry I missed it. I still don’t subscribe to the babies analogy, so unfortunately the point remains moot for me.

    Cal, acceptance or lack thereof is relevant to me, because it is the crux of my refusal to vote under these particular circumstances. I refuse to accept the notion that I must choose who will keep me working on the plantation against my will. You seem to see a real chance that Trump just may open the gates – if so, you should vote for him. I differ on that, and only see him as slightly less-bad a master than any other on offer (if even that). Pending any further evidence to the contrary, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

  • Alisa

    Papaya, I tend to agree with you on trade agreements in general – question is, will Trump make them any shorter or better. I doubt it. I just have trouble taking any of his pronouncements seriously.

  • Paul Marks

    “fixes trade”.

    This means a Herbert Hover 1930s style Trade War.

    Donald Trump is not about “change” in the sense of making government smaller and less interventionist (that is Ted Cruz and others), Donald Trump is about making government even bigger and more interventionist.

    Milo is an idiot. He is a BRAVE idiot – because he defends Mr Trump (and other unfashionable causes) to groups of savage leftists in universities (creatures who would gladly drink the blood of Milo), but he remains an idiot.

    Political matters can not be judged on the basis of “whatever the left hates – I will support”.

    Because the left hate some bad things – not just good things.

  • Alisa

    Paul, Milo is far from being an idiot, although he does have his blind spots, of course – but then we all do. His battleground is more cultural than political, and there he speaks to a certain audience – and very effectively so. Fortunately for all of us, he is not running for President, so from where I sit, he is doing an important job, while causing no real damage.

  • Lee Moore

    I sympathise with Alisa’s plague on both your houses approach. I think it can be justified :

    (a) on the basis that one may not want to be personally complicit in a bad act (a bit like those nuns who don’t want to be involved in providing contraceptives to their employees but who know the government is going to make sure the employees get them all the same)

    (b) on the basis that there really is no difference at all between T and C (or no net difference in the “expected value” of T or C that can sensibly be estimated)

    (c ) that though T may be better than C (or vice versa) in the short term, in the longer term there’s more chance of the Archangel Gabriel, or von Mises, being elected President if you don’t vote in this one

    For myself, I don’t see much mileage in (a) – if you can – as I suspect most of us would have done – choose to help Stalin in order to beat Hitler, then picking Trump or Clinton is not going to send you into hellfire.

    As for (b) we can never predict what a President will do with a lot of confidence. George W Bush stood as a sort of modern day isolationist. Events changed his mind. Obama though has proved to be pretty much what I expected. I expect The Hillary to be a continuation and deepening of Obama, but with more bribes. I expect The Donald to be a sort of second coming of Berlusconi (though this is not a precise analogy – Trump won’t have the power in Congress to exempt himself from laws; and if we’re talking financial corruption then The Hillary seems the stronger candidate.) But I could be wrong. All the same it seems to me that the expected value of The Donald is minus 100 or so. Whereas The Hillary’s about minus 250. As somebody said, the big downside with Trump is that he may well turn out to be Hillary. Unlike Alisa, while toiling in the plantation I am not at all indifferent between a minus 100 master and a minus 250 master. I’ll take the former in a heartbeat.

    As for (c ) well good luck with that.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Why has the left succeeded in moving the Overton window? They certainly didn’t set out their most ideologically extreme candidates – they slowly shifted left, left and left, candidate by candidate, presidency by presidency.

    And before you know it, you have lost.

    The right needs to do the same – win on some issues first, fix them, fix the enemy, and move on to other issues on the agenda, going down the line. Right now, the most pressing one facing the US is immigration. Once the third world hordes occupy the US, it’s over for libertarianism, which is historically the province of whites.

    It’s really very entertaining for me to see the US in an existential crisis and so many US libertarians are still adamant against Trump. Oh well, the schadenfreude of saying, “I told you so” would be delicious.

  • Alisa

    Yep, that’s about right, Lee.

    Unlike Alisa, while toiling in the plantation I am not at all indifferent between a minus 100 master and a minus 250 master.

    Actual numbers aside (an unknowable unknown)*, I’m not indifferent – I just happen to think that, however one quantifies that difference, it is only relevant in the short term. In the longer term, the damage of any further giving of legitimacy to the aforementioned Republican habit (putting forward the lesser-evil candidates), is far greater than the short-term damage of the *X-difference in the evilness of the two candidates.

  • Alisa

    Right now, the most pressing one facing the US is immigration.

    Why, because Trump said so, or because you said so?

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Why, because Trump said so, or because you said so?

    Because it’s logical that once non-asian minorities (usually with lower-than-average cognitive ability) hit a critical percentage of the population, they will clamour even more for the welfare state.

    It is not a coincidence that most Latin American states are basket cases – demographics is destiny, and demographics of most ethnicities coupled with democracy leads to disaster. It seems that only white people can make welfare states and socialism work (Scandinavia), but even then only up to a point.

    Oh well, the white world has had a good run over the past 500 years, time for East Asia to take over. Even if Trump wins, his excellence in getting the best deals will only last for his term – after which the suckers in the US should continue to get taken to the cleaners by the rest of the world.

    Say bye bye to your social cohesion as your growing minorities, unable to work in the high tech manufacturing hubs, find themselves living off welfare. Maybe they’ll be content.

    Maybe they won’t. See those gated communities?

  • Thailover

    Paul Marks,
    Cruz, like all other “conservatives” are not about making the government smaller and less interventionalist. They’re about disempowering, (a bit) the federal government and INCREASING the powers of the states tremendously.
    They’re statists, through and through.

    Here’s the truth about republicans in a nutshell.
    The are not about free trade, they’re cronyists at best and protectionists at worst.
    They talk about wanting smaller government but vote to increase the size of government…all the fucking time. They talk about NOT increasing the national debt limit…and then vote to increase it. They talk about needing the numbers and power in congress to do anything, and yet they have both houses…and do NOTHING to curb bad shit. The H. O. Representatives holds the “purse strings” in congress, yet the republicans act like their hands are tied.

    People are starting to wake up to the fact that both parties want the same thing, more power and more money, and all the wedge issue bullshit is just that…bullshit.

    While dems are statists that tout the supposed need for much larger government, republicans DO the same thing yet they lie about it, pretending to be for smaller government and more personal freedom.

    They’re goddamned liars.

    Having lost the gay marriage wedge, they’re now INVENTING a new one, tranny children in school bathrooms. As if anyone needs to be protected from a goddamned 12yr old boy in a dress trying to pee in a bathroom stall. It’s this courageous child that needs protection from religious bigot bullies…including politicians with a completely fucktarded agenda.

  • Thailover

    Wobbly guy,
    It’s interesting that you said non-Asian minorities. I use Asians and Jews as an example to demolish white guilt and the Black Excuse all the time. I’m supposed to feel guilty about the American black experience. I’ll tell the truth…I don’t give a rat’s ass. Why? I’ve never owned a slave. My ancestors were poor as hell hillbillies that never owned a slave. My ancestors were Irish and German. My father quit school in seventh grade because he was ashamed that he had no shoes. (He and his older brother had to share a pair). That I’m supposed to feel sorry or guilty for “the black experience”? Nope, they can go fuck themselves.

    The truth is, the Jews have been enslaved over and over in world history. (Six times was it?). Asians in early America faced courts that debated on whether they were humans with rights, in the “old west” especially. Both Jews and Asians were relegated to ghettos (It’s Chinatown, Jake, forgetaboutit) even up into the early 20th century, and both were “restricted” from “decent businesses” like hotels, motels and restaurants.

    Yet today both Asians and Jews dominate academics and the professions. The average yearly income for Asian families in America, if my memory serves me right is about 63k/yr. For whites, it’s about 54k I think and for blacks its about 38k.

    I’ll take the blacks just a bit more seriously when they show me a racist that hates blacks but loves the “chinks and the Jews”. Institutional racism my ass.

    SJW bullshit is sunk by the facts about Jews, and even more so about Asians. The difference is not who has the most bigots against them, the difference, apparently, is how much intact families, academics and hard work is part of the culture.

    score
    SJW’s = 0
    Common sense and facts = 1

  • Thailover

    P.S. a few anecdotal stories to illustrate the point.
    A week or so ago, I revisited an asian resturant that I haven’t been to a in a while. (I moved out of the area). A beautiful chinese waitress that I have known for years was back, as she left for a while to live in NYC. I asked her which she likes better, Tennessee or NYC. She told me that in NY, she lived in Chinatown and everyone spoke some dialect of chinese, whereas in Tennessee, she can improve her English. In her own words, “if I learn English, I can go anywhere”.

    Later that same day, I was in Autozone and overhearing a converation between an older white man who worked there, and a couple of hispanic customers. They wanted to talk to someone who spoke spanish. The older fellow told them, “you’re in America, you need to speak English”. One of the fellows said, “no, Espanol”.

    Big difference.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Thailover,

    Your point are logical, but when did logic ever matter to the left? It sure didn’t to the useful idiot libertarians who pride themselves on their critical thinking but just couldn’t accept the fact that different ethnicities have different strengths and inclinations, developed over centuries in conjunction with their cultures and geography.

    We already have some evidence of the demographic future of the US. Just look at the San Jose Riots. White people being hunted down like dogs.

    At this point, I’ll just point and laugh: Hahaha!

  • Thailover

    Wobbly Guy said,
    “…different ethnicities have different strengths and inclinations, developed over centuries in conjunction with their cultures and geography.”

    Well, that was pretty much my point when I said it has to do with how much intact families, academics and hard work is part of their culture, rather than being a “minority”, as if that’s supposed to mean anything. The 1%-ers are certainly a minority, so where does this leave this “minority” nonsense?

  • Alisa

    Yep, just as I thought.

  • A vote for Trump is a vote to beat PC.

    A vote Saddam Hussain would also have been a vote to beat PC. Not a good enough reason to spend election day somewhere other than a beach in Cancun or perhaps the Amalfi Coast.

    It sure didn’t to the useful idiot libertarians who pride themselves on their critical thinking but just couldn’t accept the fact that different ethnicities have different strengths and inclinations, developed over centuries in conjunction with their cultures and geography.

    Yeah that approach has really worked out for you far more savvy “conservative” types though. So now you have a choice between a corrupt self-serving opponent of property rights who loves big government or… well, actually that description pretty much applies to both of them. But hey! They’re both white this time! Yee haa for ethnicity! Thank god for decades of lesser-evil voting by you smart insightful realistic guys!

    Enjoy your election, you sure have earned it. I am totally with Mencken on this.

  • There has always been a sizeable proportion of the American electorate of whom it was said, “…would crawl over broken glass to vote against Hillary.”

    Well… welcome to the broken glass that is Donald Trump. Let’s see how true the above statement is.

    [Full disclosure: I’m one of those American voters, and I will be voting against Hillary in November. I’d prefer that Ted Cruz were the Republican candidate so that I could vote FOR someone instead of AGAINST someone, but that’s politics.]

  • Alisa

    JDM, whose post on his/her blog pinged here on June 4, at 6:20pm, wrote regarding my comment to Wobbly:

    It may well be that I misinterpreted the comment and if so, I’ll retract what I believe it insinuated.

    The answer is ‘yes and no’. ‘Yes’, because Wobbly has been expressing racist opinions here for years. ‘No’, because the topic was immigration, and reasonable people can disagree on immigration for reasons that have nothing to do with race or ethnicity. Racists are not reasonable people, though. (I hope this is aggressive enough to make up for the passive part in my previous comment to Wobbly – the only reason for which was that there is simply no point in arguing with racists).

  • Mr Ed

    Cruz, like all other “conservatives” are not about making the government smaller and less interventionalist. They’re about disempowering, (a bit) the federal government and INCREASING the powers of the states tremendously.
    They’re statists, through and through.

    Well the set-up is called ‘the United States’, how would it not be statist?

    Better that States have power but face an incentive to compete for residents than the United States make it a level ‘slope’ as it were, pointing down.

    And just because the States might have a power ‘restored’ (or duplication removed) by Cruz etc. does not of itself make them bad, they have just read the manual and wish to drive in accordance with it. If you can’t see that as a start from the current situation, you may have an infantile disorder (c) V. I. Ulyanov.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Mr Ed,

    Yes, I believe that’s exactly right. Well said. And especially the conclusion.

    . . .

    Kim,

    Regarding your parenthetical: Me too. Also well said.

    . . .

    Alisa,

    The “babies” business was not intended as analogy, but rather as in illustration of the fact that “acceptable” and “unacceptable” are not necessarily logical opposites, as had been claimed. I hoped that focussing on a situation where that conclusion would clearly be wrong would show the error. (Then, the proper statement of the Law of Non-Contradiction.)

    I return to this only in the attempt to explain myself and set the record straight. :>)

    . . .

    In the end, there are many circumstances in which person or solution X is neither entirely acceptable nor entirely unacceptable. Which way the balance (which is a judgment based on summation) falls depends on the criteria held by the person(s) making the judgment, which is why there can be disagreement.

    This, by the way, is why Compromise (with which I have a dreadful struggle) is necessary.

  • jdm

    Will add your comment, Alisa.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Better to be a racist who recognises reality than a deluded libtard.

    Explain the differences in educational attainment between the different racez after controlling for household income. The events happening now in the US, like the San Jose riots. Hillary’s almost unconditional support from blacks.

    ‘There are none so blind as those who will not see”

    My racist mindset will help ensure a better, freer future for my family and descendents. Your anti-racist virtue signalling? See South Africa – that is your fate.

    Hahaha!

  • the other rob

    As Alissa said, this Wobbly Cunt has long-standing form for racism. Zappa’s “Dumb all over, a little ugly on the side” comes to mind.

    I’d urge him to fuck off, but that’s the prerogative of our hosts, so I’ll forbear.

  • the other rob

    Smited! With no kittens to cushion the blow!!!

    Fortunately, I have many of my own.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    BTW, calling another person racist? That’s so passe, and the mark of a failing, flailing argument.

    Alisa, by using the language of leftists, has revealed her true colours. LOL.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Yeah that approach has really worked out for you far more savvy “conservative” types though. So now you have a choice between a corrupt self-serving opponent of property rights who loves big government or… well, actually that description pretty much applies to both of them. But hey! They’re both white this time! Yee haa for ethnicity! Thank god for decades of lesser-evil voting by you smart insightful realistic guys!

    Don’t look at me, I’m not a US citizen or voter. I just call it as I see it.

    This big government thing has been a feature since Reagan stepped down – from what I’ve read, Bush senior was the archetype of the country club conservative and hardly a small state advocate.

    Everything since then was obviously bigger and bigger government, and the race of president didn’t even matter, only the colour of the voters. It’s been said that Romney would have swept the 2012 elections if the US demographics was still that of 1980. It would be foolish to think Reagan would have won in these times.

    I find it disingenuous that you tried to rebut my point by using the president’s race, when I did not do so. Very nice strawman.

    I find the UK doomed too, at a slower rate than the US. Enjoy your gated community Perry!

  • PapayaSF

    I do find it sad and troubling that “racism” has gone from meaning something like: “a bigoted belief in the superiority of all members of one’s own race over all members of other races” to “noticing any average differences between the IQs or behaviors of any races.”

  • Paul Marks

    Thailover – you are mistaken.

    Ted Cruz (and many others) are also in favour of lower taxes and less regulation at State and local level also.

    You then go on to talk about the Debt Ceiling.

    Showing that you are (again I am going to be charitable towards you) mistaken about what actually happened. Ted Cruz actually stuck to voting against raising the debt ceiling – and even those people who voted in favour of raising the debt ceiling did so because the media was attacking them for the threat to “shut down the government”.

    Saying that Republicans in general (or, even worse, Ted Cruz in particular) wish to increase taxes and so on at the State and local level is mistaken.

    Reading your contribution reminded me why I no longer follow threads

    I will not get this bit of my life back.

    There is no reason I should waste what little time I have left.

    And that is assuming you are just mistaken – not deliberately dishonest.

  • Paul Marks

    The “Republican” (he has been in many political parties. who actually stands for bigger and more interventionist government is, of course, DONALD TRUMP.

    “Milo” and other “libertarian” supporters of Mr Trump are (to be very polite about the matter) idiots. They are backing someone who (on trade and just about everything else) stands for the opposite of what they say they stand for.

    As for the mass of Trump supporters in the country.

    It is now obvious that they do not care about the “Debt Ceiling” or other such.

    What these people object to is that the Republican Party has not given them lots of nice free stuff at the expense of “the other” (defined in ethnic or racial terms).

    The Marxists are wrong about just about everything – but they are right that racial socialism is…..

    “The Socialism of fools”.

  • Lee Moore

    The answer to PapayaSF’s riddle is simply that though the red team is weak on science, it is brilliant at PR. Even the weak form of PapayaSF’s formulation of “racism” – “noticing any average differences between the IQs or behaviors of any races” is both wrong and unacceptable on several grounds.

    1. people should be treated according to who they are, not according to the “average” of the group they are a member of (there are of course exceptions in the case of members of disadvantaged groups, where mere membership of the disadvantaged group imposes a life disadvantage)
    2. there is no such thing as IQ – it’s a bogus concept designed to perpetuate racism (and sexism etc)
    3. there is no such thing as “race” – it’s a social construct (the same does not go for “sex” ….yet. Give us another fifteen years)
    4. “noticing” implies these alleged average differences are facts rather than inventions

    As Stephen Jay Gould (one of the red team’s top PR players) put it – “Human equality is a contingent fact of history.”

    And as he put it at greater length (neatly finishing with my number 1 above) : “A specific claim purporting to demonstrate a mean genetic deficiency in the intelligence of American blacks rests upon no new facts whatever and can cite no valid data in its support. It is just as likely that blacks have a genetic advantage over whites. And, either way, it doesn’t matter a damn. An individual can’t be judged by his group mean.”

    I’ve always enjoyed John Maynard Smith’s* comment about Stephen Jay Gould :

    “Because of the excellence of his essays, he has come to be seen by non-biologists as the preeminent evolutionary theorist. In contrast, the evolutionary biologists with whom I have discussed his work tend to see him as a man whose ideas are so confused as to be hardly worth bothering with, but as one who should not be publicly criticized because he is at least on our side against the creationists.”

    * also a member of the red team, but an actual scientist

  • I’d have to agree with Paul that Ted Cruz was a leader in the “debt ceiling” (dishonestly dubbed “the government shut down”- if only 🙂 ) movement, and was rather deserted by less courageous colleagues than weak himself. I do not know in what unrealistic world he could be blamed for the de-facto degradation of congress’ constitutional authority in that area. It merely helps the worst if you refuse to notice the great differences in political courage that exist between them and those who are better. The only representative who will ever agree with you on everything is yourself. In a democracy (“the worst form of government in the world – except for all the other forms”), refusal to notice any virtues and any differences only points the path downwards. It was Cruz’ cowardly colleagues, not Cruz, who ended the attempt so soon, so making it one of the pointers on the road to Trump. That failure let us see that Obama couldn’t even build a website, and even more specifically showed he didn’t even know he couldn’t, didn’t even suspect he couldn’t. When all other ways of stopping socialism fail or are not tried, it always stops itself in the end. However I’d rather people not have to live through that unpleasantness, so I’d rather notice those who try to stop it earlier.

  • I agree with PapayaSF (June 5, 2016 at 5:36 am) that in a sane political world (i.e. not this one) noticing group differences would not be called racism – and would not be called it even if those who did showed a truly racist opinion in another matter.

    The Nazis believed fervently in ‘disparate impact’. That the proportion of Jewish lawyers and editors in Weimar Germany greatly exceeded their proportion of Germany’s population was a mainstay of Goebbel’s propaganda – because he and his readers believed as passionately as the PC today that such a ‘disparate impact’ proved prejudice and conspiracy, contrivance and secret manipulation. Some who opposed the Nazis were weakened by the fact that they swallowed this nutty philosophy too, so went beyond correcting his sometimes-exaggerated statistics to denial and evasion – which denials and evasions tended on the while to help Goebbels rather than hurt him. But of course, even back then, they could hardly agree on the basic fact and then defend it without wondering whether they were “racists”. Kipling wrote poems and stories seeing Jewish specificities as a good thing for their host countries – but then, everyone on the left knew he was a ‘racist’ so that only proved the point.

  • Alisa

    Wobbly writes:

    Better to be a racist who recognises reality than a deluded libtard.

    Explain the differences in educational attainment between the different racez after controlling for household income. The events happening now in the US, like the San Jose riots. Hillary’s almost unconditional support from blacks.

    ‘There are none so blind as those who will not see”

    My racist mindset will help ensure a better, freer future for my family and descendents. Your anti-racist virtue signalling? See South Africa – that is your fate.

    Hahaha!

    He then adds:

    BTW, calling another person racist? That’s so passe, and the mark of a failing, flailing argument.

    Alisa, by using the language of leftists, has revealed her true colours. LOL.

    So which is it, Wobbly? Are you a racist, or are you not? Before you answer (to yourself or anyone else), note that I couldn’t care less. Like I said, racism is irrational – sort of like religion or atheism. Like those beliefs, it is harmless in and of itself*, depending on what kind of behavior it is used to justify, including government policies. The only reason I brought it up was to point out that while a discussion on immigration can include rational pro and con arguments, yours is not one of them.

    *Note to The Other Rob: not all racists are cunts, but some cunts are also racists.

  • Alisa

    Niall, Papaya didn’t use the word group, he used the word race. There are real differences between different groups of people – the big question is to what factors does one attribute those differences. My experience, both personal as well as global and historical, is that these factors can be fairly accurately described as cultural – which is an umbrella term for basic factors such as geography, climate and natural resources, all the way to complex evolved factors such as religion, art and philosophy. The racist approach takes a very minor factor such as genetics, and puts it on top, making it the factor in human behavior. I happen to disagree – taking the view that, for example, whatever Jewish specificities there are, they are cultural, not genetic (I say this as the self-appointed speaker for the Jewish “race”, who has long ago stopped counting the number of Jewish idiots, ignorants, socialist, progressives, and racists – so you can’t possible dare argue with me on this).

  • Lee Moore

    The important question, though, Alisa, is whether your conclusion that genes are a very minor factor in explaining any differences between groups is :

    (a) a general impression, unsupported by serious and rigorous research (by you or by others)
    (b) a conclusion based on good solid evidence, but which is in principle capable of challenge should further and better evidence come along to the contrary, or
    ( c) an a priori truth

    I do not share your conclusion, because I think it is a factual question on which there are insufficient facts available to reach a firm conclusion. And for some reason, research in this area is not a popular field of study. Like most people I would prefer the answer to be that genes are insignificant. But if I had to lay down money, based on the current state of knowledge, I’d bet against your conclusion. Based on the evidence of which I am aware, the conclusions that genes are trivial, or that non genes are trivial, both seem to be rather unlikely.

  • Alisa

    Anyway, what got lost in all this diversion about racism was my original point – which was about my disagreement with the assertion that immigration is the biggest problem currently facing the US (or the EU, or any other Western country, for that matter) is immigration. That is not to say that I support free and unrestricted immigration – I do not, not under the current political structures of the hosting target countries, combined with the hostile forces threating them from beyond their national borders. However, saying that immigration is the issue is like saying that fever from pneumonia is the issue facing an AIDS patient. It is not, it is a mere symptom. As such, it should be treated rather than ignored, but its significance should not be so grossly overstated.

  • Alisa

    Indeed, Lee – that was my point about rationality: in an absence of hard evidence, we are left to rely on our personal preferences – and, those being subjective, we can’t really argue any further, not in a rational manner.

  • Lee Moore

    In the absence of conclusive evidence, we are left to rely on what evidence we have. There is not a complete absence of evidence on genes and race (or sex or group) it’s just not conclusive evidence. But this is the case with many things, indeed most things. We generally don’t refrain from drawing, and acting upon, tentative conclusions based on what evidence we have; though sensible folk remember that their conclusions are only tentative.

    Rationality does not require that we wait for conclusive evidence. If we have a choice of taking the left fork or the right fork, then we are not limited to a purely subjective preference. It is more rational to take the fork that has the greater weight of objective evidence in its favour, then to toss a coin. Even though we may get it wrong. Sometimes sitting at the crossroads saying “Shan’t !” may be the worst choice of all.

  • Alisa

    Absolutely Lee – it’s just that you and I differ on on what evidence (little as there is) we choose to examine, and how we interpret it. So far and over many years, any facts presented to me as evidence in support of genetic explanation for the collective behavior of human groups, has been much better explained by cultural factors. So I am choosing a side in the fork, it’s just not the one you are choosing. I can live with that, and I hope you can too 🙂

  • Thailover

    As an individualist, I reject racism, not because it’s not PC, not because it’s “means spirited”, not because it’s false (or true), but because it’s irrational.

    It’s irrational to perceive a general characteristic of a group and presume that an individual shares those same characteristics, and it’s irrational to perceive a characteristic in an individual and presume that it’s shared among a group.

    There are no human group entities. No humans share a hive-mind, no matter how collectivist they strive to be. They are individuals, like it or not.

    (BTW, what exactly is presumed to be genetically shared and passed on with, blacks say, in the context of this thread?)

    In my opinion, every competition is competing with oneself. The object isn’t to beat the other guy, but rather to IMPROVE oneself. You don’t have any control over the other guy, only yourself, and the whole purpose of striving is self-betterment.

    Likewise, you can’t control the conditions into which you were born into, or others were born into, etc, but you can stive to overcome your circumstances. “Equality” is the hare-brained opposite reaction to the same thing, thinking that society has an obligation to create identical conditions for each individual to be born into, go grow and strive. This is madness. This is to stupidly confuse equal with fair. “Fairness” is a term that has it’s greatest meaning (perhaps only meaning) within a zero sum context. Our post-neolithic period existence is not zero sum. We are not hunters and gatherers. We create wealth, we create what we value, fashioned out of ingenuity and just a bit of raw materials.

    In a positive sum context, the concern shouldn’t be fairness, but rather justice.

  • Lee Moore

    Thailover : “It’s irrational to perceive a general characteristic of a group and presume that an individual shares those same characteristics, and it’s irrational to perceive a characteristic in an individual and presume that it’s shared among a group”

    Hmm. Let’s unpack that. By “a general characteristic of a group” I’ll assume you mean “a characteristic that is shared by some significant percentage of the group” rather than by all of the group. Since if it was shared by all the members of the group then it would obviously be irrational to presume that one member of the group lacked it. By a significant percentage, well that depends a bit. Suppose 64.37% of right handed people and 12.90% of left handed people strongly prefer chocolate cake to fruit cake, and our daughter emails to say she is bringing her right handed new boyfriend to tea. But she makes no mention of his preferred cake flavor, and when we email back to ask about cake, there’s no answer. We want to make him feel welcome. Would it be irrational to buy a chocolate cake ? After all there’s a 35.63% chance he’d prefer a fruit cake. We could always buy one of each, but that would be a waste of resources. Likewise, since she told us his name, we could undertake some research on google and see if we could identify him, and track down his parents in the three hours that are available to us, and ask them. But that also has a cost in terms of time and effort.

    And then there’s smaller percentages. Suppose 10.67% of blue eyed people have rotting intestine syndrome, a rare disease with an environmental trigger, but nobody knows what it is. But it turns out that 10.67% of blue eyed people have a genetic susceptibility to the disease as and when its triggered. But only 0.0007% of brown eyed people have rotting intestine syndrome. Rotting intestine syndrome is untreatable, alas. When formulating policy for efficient use of health service resources, do we finance expensive (but very efficient) pre-emptive innoculations for (a) all blue eyed people, (b) everyone (c ) no one ? What would be the rational choice ?

    To cut a long and tedious story a bit shorter, acting on statistical clues is perfectly rational. We do it all the time when dealing with the natural features of the world, including non human animals. It is failing to base one’s actions on statistical clues that is irrational. And while it is often possible to drill down beyond statistics, to find out whether object X actually has the group characteristic that statistics says it is likely to have, such drilling involves costs. Very often the costs of drilling do not justify the benefit we get by resolving the statistic into particular knowledge of the individual. And sometimes the drilling is a destructive test which can’t be done without damaging the individual we’re testing.

    Rationality does not consist in ignoring statistics.

  • Rationality does not consist in ignoring statistics.

    Indeed. But statistics seemed to indicate margarine was better for you than butter. And low-fat milk was better than full fat. And fat had more to do with obesity than sugar. And global warming was a thing. And the impending Malthusian implosion was absolutely based on grim hard statistics. And trade deficits are a statistical fact that means… something. You can essentially prove anything with statistics… which does not mean all statistics are bunk, but a really high proportion of everything is indeed either bunk or questionable. And armed with enough statistics, the difference between correlation and causality tends to vanish into filbert space with a flourish of a logical pencil. Confirmation bias dwells within the heart of oh so many statistics. Rationality looks at statistics, but it keeps in mind that the Pearson coefficient of McDonald’s franchises in Europe and Lay Lines is pretty convincing 😉

  • Thailover

    Lee Moore wrote,
    “Rationality does not consist in ignoring statistics.”

    No, but let’s not forget that prejudice is to pre-judge. Pre-judging is exactly what I’m talking about, not gambling.

    But let’s talk about gambling.

    Let’s look at it another way.

    When tossing a pair of ‘normal’ dice, i.e. cubes with 1 to 6 pips or dots on each side…you get what I’m talking about…., then 7 is the most likely sum to appear because there’s one way to roll a 2, two ways to roll a 3, 3 ways to roll a 4, etc, with 6 ways to roll a 7, 5 ways to roll an 8, 4 ways to roll a 9 and so on back down the other side of the ‘normal’ curve.

    The most likely sum to appear is 7, more likely than any other SPECIFIC number, BUT the odds of rolling a seven is 5 to 1 against. Why? Because the characteristics (numbers on each die) that would make up a 7 is more unlikely to sum to 7 than ANY possible combination that would make up another number. That is, the chance of an un-seven appearing is five times as likely to appear than a 7.

    If a stereotype is a set of characteristics, like numbers in a roll of a pair of dice, it could play out exactly as described above, and the chance of the next person you meet being the uncanny perfect stereotype is actually rather rare.

  • Thailover

    BTW, to add to what I wrote above, let me clarify that I’m fine with profiling, if it’s done correctly as opposed to being done idiotically.

    If the chance of X as opposed to non-X is rare, then “testing” for X will result in false positives being very close to the occurrences of true positives, because the true positives get lost in the testing ‘noise’. (See Bayes Theorem). This is why it’s necessary to test within groups where occurrences of X is rather high. That’s the idea behind cancer screening, AND the idea of looking at scary Muslim men getting in aircraft as opposed to Japanese grandmothers and babies when screening for possible terrorists. (It’s also why firing people based on the results of random drug tests should be illegal).

    However, profiling that’s dumb as hell is where we say most shooters are white, male, 25-35, drive a ford truck, operating alone…and so on and on and on, and so the FBI goes looking for someone who fits the bill. The chance of finding this fellow that fits ALL their string of likelihoods is like the odds of tossing one 7 after another in 10 tosses of a pair of dice. So when they literally stumble across the beltway sniper(s), two black men in a sedan, one hiding in the trunk and shooting people through a hole in the trunk, the FBI’s left looking like total fools.

  • Mr Ed

    Thailover,

    Psychological ‘profiling’ is not science and has an element of speculation in it, and in the Beltway Sniper case, I would surmise that the profiler thought ‘What sounds like what they want to hear and I would like the sniper to be?’ and went on to ‘profile’ as: ‘sniper’ by definition = ‘gun owner’ = ‘angry white male’ (code for NRA member), best fit for the narrative.

  • Lee Moore

    Well, up to a point Lord Thailover. If 7 is more likely than any other number, but less likely than 2, 3 , 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 put together; then if we get to bet on 7 or non-7, then it makes sense to bet on non-7. But if we have to bet on one particular number, then it makes more sense to bet on 7, than on any other number.

    Subject always to the pay off for winning with a bet on 7 being the same as the pay off for a bet on any other number. So if we’re offered 100 times the pay off for a 2, compared to the pay off we’re offered for a 7, then it makes sense to bet on 2. Expected value and all that.

    Which brings us on to inaccurate stereotypes – ie stereotypes where only say 10% of the target group has the desired (or undesired) characteristic. Or 1%. If the pay off is big enough (ie the gain from hitting the characteristic when it’s there) is much bigger than the cost of a false positive, then it’s worth acting on the stereotype all the same. An obvious example might be some kind of “marker” for a horrible disease that showed ten false positives for one true positive. If the cost of a jab against the disease was low, it might still be worth jabbing everyone who carried the marker. This after all, is what the insurance industry is based on.

    In passing, I’ll note that both your comment and Perry’s indicate that you think statistics boils down to big samples and clever maths and finely tuned research studies. That’s only one tiny branch of what I’m talking about. If your next door neighbour borrows your lawnmower and breaks it, that single test of whether your neighbour is a klutz who you would be crazy to lend anything valuable to again is not a “statistically significant” result in terms of heavy maths. But if you acted on your “prejudice” and always thereafter managed to find some excuse not to lend him your good stuff, then I wouldn’t call you irrational.

    “(It’s also why firing people based on the results of random drug tests should be illegal”

    (a) why – are positive drug test results no more probable for drug users than non drug users ? and
    (b) is this really a samizdata-friendly attitude anyway ?

  • Thailover

    Lee Moore,
    1. Statistics are always a matter of group sample size. One event regarding your neighbor isn’t a matter of statistics. That’s a data point.

    2. If a drug test is 99% accurate (lets assume for simplicity sake that it’s “99% accurate” rather than fiddle with specific and different rates of sensitivity AND specificity), and 99% of your sample size (everyone working for XYZ company) don’t use illicit drugs, then we can expect your false positives to be the exact same number of people as your true positives. That is, if someone actually tests positive, it’s actually a 50/50 chance this person is completely innocent. Ergo, it would be injustice to fire this person based on the results of the test. Drug tests, (like cancer tests) test very, very well for NEGATIVE results, but the positive results tend to get swamped by the test noise or testing inaccuracy. (I’ll leave the math(s) to you).
    This is exactly why doctors do medical screening for risk. The more likely you are to have heart disease, say, the more meaningful the test that says you have heart disease.

    3. Is justice a samizdata friendly attitude? Certainly so!

  • Lee Moore

    1. So I’m using statistics to include statistics and probability. I’m sure Mr Bayes could have made something out of my neighbour’s behaviour.

    2. I don’t think that was quite what I was asking. If I’m a drug user what are the odds I’ll be sacked ? If I’ve followed your sums, it’s 99%. Whereas if I’m not a drug user, what’s the chance I’ll be sacked ? 1% ? That sounds pretty good odds to me. And from the company’s point of view, if I sack everyone who tests positive then I get a drug free workforce and I only have to sack 2% of them to get there.

    3. What’s the liberty of the employer to sack whoever he likes for whatever reason he likes (or vice versa) got to do with justice ?

  • Thailover

    Lee Moore,
    ‘Just some quick numbers as an example.

    99% test accuracy rate
    99% non-use rate.
    (Only 1% of the employees use detectable illicit drugs).

    20,000 employees tested.

    200 drug users
    19,800 drug non-users

    200 x 1% = 2 false negatives.
    200 x 99% = 198 true positives.

    19,800 x 1% = 198 false positives.
    19,900 x 99% = 19,602 true negatives.

    As you can see, the true negatives greatly outnumber the false negatives, but the true positives and false positives are the same expected number.

  • Thailover

    Lee Moore,
    Firing people for failing a blood test that’s worthless at detecting what it’s designed to detect, is the very definition of injustice.

  • Lee Moore

    Understood. So pretty much as I surmised in my 2. above; except that 1% of my 1% bad apples will survive .

  • Lee Moore

    Sorry, but it’s not worthless. It allows me to sack 99% of my bad apples, at the cost of only having to sack 1% of my good apples. Now seriously, if we were talking apples, wouldn’t you accept that this is pretty effective ?

  • Thailover

    Paul Marks said,

    “Saying that Republicans in general (or, even worse, Ted Cruz in particular) wish to increase taxes and so on at the State and local level is mistaken.”

    Dems wish to increase tax RATES because they think this will realize them higher tax revenues.
    Reps wish to DECREASE tax RATES because they think this will realize them higher tax revenues, because of the Laffer Curve.

    “Reading your contribution reminded me why I no longer follow threads”

    Then I suppose you should run to your safe space.
    If you really think that republicans are trying to disempower themselves and put themselves out of work, you should really put down the pipe. It’s the nature of government to grow in power and size.

  • Thailover

    Lee Moore, sure, if you don’t care about truth and justice. But I’m not talking about personal druthers, I said it should be illegal to fire people based solely on the results of the test, because the test is presented falsely to the public and, I expect, the employers as well. The ostensible focus of the law is what is justice.

  • Laird

    Thailover, the problem with your scenario about drug testing is that firings generally don’t occur with just one test failure. Simply run the test a second time for everyone who tests positive, and you’ll have near-100% accuracy on both true positives and true negatives. That’s what is generally done as a matter of routine (testing companies understand statistics every bit as well as you do), and the ultimate result is good enough for me and most sensible people.

    And as to Lee Moore’s neighbor, you commented that “One event regarding your neighbor isn’t a matter of statistics. That’s a data point.” That’s certainly a true statement (which Lee pre-emptively acknowledged), but it’s also an irrelevant one. Lee isn’t doing a statistical analysis of his neighbor’s klutziness; he’s making a reasonably informed judgment as to whether to lend machinery to him again. That one data point is perfectly sufficient for that purpose.

    Anyway, you’ve gotten lost in the weeds here with this discussion of Bayesian probabilities. What is indisputable to anyone looking honestly at the data is that different ethnic/racial groups have differing ranges of whatever quality you choose to measure. The reasons for such differences may be complex, but the end result is indisputable. It’s certainly fair to argue that standard IQ tests don’t measure anything meaningful (I disagree, but that’s another discussion), but it’s clear that the distribution curve is shifted farther to the left for blacks than it is for whites, and that it’s farther to he right for eastern Asians. What you do with that information is your business, but denying its existence is simply irrational. Thus if one encounters an individual member of one of those groups, and has no other information upon with to rely, it is not irrational to make an a priori assumption that such individual is at the median of the curve, and to act accordingly. That’s not being “racist”, provided that one is prepared to change his assumption when new information comes to light.

  • Thailover

    Laird,
    What’s interesting though is that the IQ rates for both women and blacks as a whole have jumped up tremendously after they started making real strides in (access to?) education. ‘Suggesting that IQ, this is supposed to measure raw intelligence….really isn’t measuring raw intelligence but rather is heavily influenced by education.

    Realize that I’m not arguing that every race is identical in every aspect other than physical appearance. That would be silly. However, if we deal with people as individuals rather than pretend that collectives are entities in and of themselves, I’m wondering what difference it makes? It’s probably true that the typical Kenyan is genetically equipped to be a better runner than I am, but that doesn’t mean the black guy down the block is.

  • Thailover

    Alisa wrote,
    “Like I said, racism is irrational – sort of like religion or atheism. Like those beliefs, it is harmless in and of itself”

    Atheism is neither irrational nor a belief. It’s the absense of ‘theistic’ conviction.
    A theist is a person who believes in the existence of something they call a god or gods.
    The ‘a’ prefix mens not, non-, or without.
    An a-theist is non-theist, someone without theistic beliefs. To LACK the belief or conviction that a disembodies intelligence planned and designed the universe, i.e. time, space, matter and energy…is not irrational in the slightest, because there is no evidence that such a thing is even possible, much less likely.

  • Laird

    Thailover, absent any other information on which to make a judgment, it most certainly does mean that “the black guy down the block is.” You know yourself, and perhaps the other guy as well, as so are in a better position to make a judgment. But I, who know neither, would bet against you. The odds would favor me.

  • Thailover

    The guy down the block weighs 300lbs.

  • Laird

    See?

    Anyway, I was talking about the other guy down the block!

  • Thailover

    Laird,
    LOL

  • Lee Moore

    Laird – I was assuming for the sake of argument that Thailover’s numbers covered things like retests.

    ie if there’s something about some people’s physiology that makes them liable to produce false positives in drug tests, then retesting isn’t going to weed them out. It’s only if the 1% failure rate in the test has something to do with the test, rather than the subject of it, that retesting will help.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Thailover, way above:

    “…[F]iring people based on the results of random drug tests should be illegal.”

    “Should” be illegal? Absolutely not! Assuming a non-governmental employer or contractor, hiring and firing people for any reason or none is no proper business of the State and the legal system. Nor should it be illegal to make demands of employees, as long as the employee is willing and the demand does not require that the employee engage in illegal practices. (“Willing”: If the employee is told to do something that’s against his conscience though not actually illegal, then of course he must choose whether to do it and get or keep the job, or not.)

    (There’s always a joker: This assumes that the employer itself is not properly speaking a criminal enterprise. Determining the ins and outs of legal analysis and philosophy, and the ramifications, of that is way above my pay grade.)

    How a person might judge others who insist on conduct X from their employees, or who wish to employ persons who either do or do not engage in conduct X, or who do or do not have characteristic X, is another matter altogether.

    That, of course, is the present thread of the discussion, which should be understood as talking over whether these personal judgments might or might not be justifiable (that is, morally acceptable in sum, all things considered), and trying to decide on what grounds to make said judgments.

    It’s one thing to ignore, accept (“uncurable, endurable”), approve of, or encourage conduct; another to say it should or shouldn’t be illegal. Confusion of the two is the single most important reason we are all, today, in the mess we’re in.

    That’s why we have people trying to “legislate morality.” All that which is legal is not necessarily desirable; and all that which is illegal is necessarily undesirable.

  • Laird

    Quite true, Julie (except that you’re missing an important “not” in the very last phrase!).

  • Julie near Chicago

    Very true, Laird, thanks for the correction. Let’s see if I can do it right:

    .

    All that which is legal is not necessarily desirable; and all that which is illegal is not necessarily undesirable.