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]

How dare they not want to be rescued

Two days ago the BBC reported that the Supreme Court had ruled that Uber drivers are workers rather than being self-employed.

With what glad hosannas did the drivers greet the news of their liberation!

Er, no. As Sam Dumitriu writes in CapX,

Putting questions of legality to one side, it’s clear Uber’s business model works for drivers. If you don’t believe me, just ask them. Countless surveys have found that the majority of Uber drivers are happy with the status quo and would not sacrifice flexibility for greater security.

A survey carried out by Oxford University academics Carl Benedikt Frey and Thor Berger, in partnership with Uber, found that drivers reported higher levels of life satisfaction compared to other London workers, despite on average earning less. And, counter to the conventional wisdom, drivers typically worked full-time in other jobs before choosing to shift to Uber. Furthermore, more than four-fifths of drivers agreed with the statement: ‘Being able to choose my own hours is more important than having holiday pay and a guaranteed minimum wage’. They found that drivers would accept a move to fixed hours – but only if it came with a 25% pay rise.

Perhaps they had looked across the Atlantic and seen the results of California’s attempt to save gig economy workers from working in the gig economy:

In Uber’s home state of California, 70% of drivers backed Proposition 22, a ballot measure that created a carve-out for ridesharing services from the state’s tough laws on freelance work. The measure passed with 59% of the vote in November.

AB 5, the freelancer law which Prop 22 was responding to highlights how interventions designed to solve a problem in one market can have unintended consequences in others.

When it passed, Vox published an article: “Gig workers’ win in California is a victory for workers everywhere”. A month later they published another article: “Freelance journalists are mad about a new California law. Here’s what’s missing from the debate. The alternative to AB5 would be worse”. Two months later, Vox Media itself cut hundreds of freelance writing jobs in California.

News management means never having to say you’re sorry

What the BBC story looked like 41 minutes after it was published:

The hashtag #FireGinaCarano trended on Twitter for hours following an anti-Semitic story the actress shared on her Instagram.

The link to the Wayback Machine does not seem to be working at the moment, so until it comes back online you will just have to trust me when I say that was the wording that caused me to notice the story a few days ago, though I was too busy to do anything about it at the time. I have only watched a few episodes of The Mandalorian and could not have named Gina Carano. But I knew from the mealy-mouthed paraphrase that was all the BBC gave us of her exact words that something was up.

What the BBC story looks like now:

The hashtag #FireGinaCarano trended on Twitter for hours following a story shared on her Instagram, that some branded anti-Semitic.

Well they corrected it, didn’t they? What’s the problem?

The second part of the problem is that the correction is scarcely less slanderous than the original and is more cowardly. All the “correction” does is allow the BBC to make the accusation of anti-semitism via un-named proxies rather than in its own voice.

The first part of the problem is how did the BBC writer ever come to think Carano’s words were anti-semitic at all? Here is what she actually said, reported by The Scotsman, which unlike the BBC provided a screenshot of Carano’s own words:

“Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors…. even by children.
🙁

“Because history is edited, most people today don´t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews.

“How is that any different from hating someone for their political views?”

Overblown, yes, melodramatic yes, self-indulgent in the comparison of current political spats to the Holocaust, yes, and someone needs to tell her that when discussing mass murder sad-face emojis are not helpful – but nothing in what she said was hostile to Jews. I can answer my own question of how the BBC’s un-named reporter came to announce as fact that those words were anti-semitic. It is because BBC journalists have got out of the habit of reading the tweets and Instagram posts that prompt so much of their reporting nowadays. Oh, they scan them to check that the link isn’t dead and does not refer to some completely unrelated person in Iowa, but the idea of reading, of mentally processing the words and weighing what the author meant, is beyond their pay grade.

I do not complain about the fact that most BBC stories are repackagings of stories that were first reported somewhere else: that is inevitable. My complaint is that the BBC increasingly no longer bothers to undo the package and take a look at what lies inside. The only check the BBC really does take care over is the postmark: does this come to us from a reputable source, such as the New York Times or angry people on Instagram.

I mention the New York Times with due reverence. While the BBC was an early adopter of the technique of placing the correction to what was a front page story on page 28B, the NYT was the true pioneer.

As Roger Kimball writes,

And the New York Times, true to form, has been a veritable fount of misinformation—an ironical contingency since the paper has recently called for a “reality czar” to combat “misinformation,” i.e., ideas with which they disagree. Take its account of what happened to Officer Brian Sicknick, who died on January 8, two days after the Capitol mélee. That same day, our former paper of record reported that Sicknick died after “[P]ro-Trump rioters attacked that citadel of democracy[!], overpowered Mr. Sicknick, 42, and struck him in the head with a fire extinguisher. . .”

Click the link. You’ll see that an announcement that the column, though originally published January 8, had been updated February 12. Now that sentence is missing, though they don’t say so, and Sicknick died of—well something else.

Kimball goes on to say, “The Times wasn’t alone” and to link to this link-filled column by Julie Kelly that gives chapter and verse of how the New York Times spread the meme that Brian Sicknick was definitely and deliberately bludgeoned to death far and wide.

The mechanism the NYT used is the same as the BBC used in the Gina Carano story. They say something false. Could be deliberate, could just be believing what they want to believe, could be honest error. But anyway, after a few days have gone by someone in the editorial room gets like Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden after their scrumping session: And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. So the reporters sew a few leaves – The New York Times Retracts the Sicknick Story – and resignedly wear the aprons around the office a few times while hoping that everyone will think that hand-crafted leafwear is a fashion choice.

Of course anyone who was paying attention has known for at least a month that we do not know exactly how Officer Sicknick died. That is exactly why Niall Kilmartin wrote the following almost prophetic post for Samizdata exactly a month ago: “All who died on the 6th supported Trump. What else do we truly know?”.

Alas, the caveat “anyone who was paying attention” excludes 80% of modern journalists.

‘Time’ to neutralise the truth

That many men were undone by not going deep enough in roguery; as in gaming any man may be a loser who doth not play the whole game. (Henry Fielding)

The temptation to go just deep enough but not too deep is very understandable. If Hillary had won in 2016, there is much we might never have suspected, let alone known, about how she was helped. It was a great surprise to the deep state to learn they had not gone deep enough.

This time round, they went deep enough. But history teaches us that that too has its problems. When you have to go deep indeed to go deep enough, even the most determined propaganda denial may have to ‘evolve’ over time.

For example, in December 1934, Stalin arranged for Kirov, head of the communist party in Leningrad, to be assassinated – and over the next few years convicted millions for being part of the ever-expanding conspiracy accused of the murder – but the story of how it happened kept changing.

Finally, in 1938, the Soviet view took the form it was to keep until 1956: … the assassination … had been facilitated by Yagoda, head of the Soviet secret police. … This change of line, which contained elements of the truth, was designed to mask or neutralise the real version, which began to circulate in the secret police within weeks of the crime … (Robert Conquest, The Great Terror)

It’s an old propaganda technique – but a risky one – to confirm a half-truth to mask the truth.

‘Time’ magazine is taking the lead in ‘evolving’ the MSM’s election narrative. As late as a week ago, it was “baseless” to claim that 2020’s huge increase increase in vote-by-mail (“the largest source of potential voter fraud) had other suspicious characteristics. But now, the “safest election ever” was in fact “fortified” by a elite cabal.

This was not news to me, of course, but the spin may be a bit of a whiplash for some. I agree with Neo’s take: it was going to come out in time, so better for the cabal that it come out in ‘Time’; someone had to neutralise the truth. It’s the past tense of the woke Law of Merited Impossibility – not “That will never happen (and you’ll so deserve it when it does)” but “That never happened (and what a good thing it did)”. As the deep state went abruptly from not existing to being the heroes a year ago, so ‘Time’ has replaced ‘baseless” with praise of this solid base.

However if I were Joe Biden, I would rather have seen this article after more than a year in the White House than after less than a month.

Samizdata quote of the day

The chief publicist of the post-Cold War order was Francis Fukuyama, who in his 1992 book The End of History argued that with the fall of the Berlin Wall Western liberal democracy represented the final form of government. What Fukuyama got wrong after the fall of the Berlin Wall wasn’t his assessment of the strength of political forms; rather it was the depth of his philosophical model. He believed that with the end of the nearly half-century-long superpower standoff, the historical dialectic pitting conflicting political models against each other had been resolved. In fact, the dialectic just took another turn.

Just after defeating communism in the Soviet Union, America breathed new life into the communist party that survived. And instead of Western democratic principles transforming the CCP, the American establishment acquired a taste for Eastern techno-autocracy. Tech became the anchor of the U.S.-China relationship, with CCP funding driving Silicon Valley startups, thanks largely to the efforts of Dianne Feinstein, who, after Kissinger, became the second-most influential official driving the U.S.-CCP relationship for the next 20 years.

– Lee Smith, The Thirty Tyrants

I do not usually recommend that you read the publications of the Socialist Workers Party

The Socialist Workers Party (Glad you asked, comrade: apostrophes are a bourgeois affectation!) are a bunch of Trotskyist goblins with admittedly good organisational skills. Back in 2011, I reminisced about how you could turn up at any demonstration for any left wing cause in Britain over the last forty years and find that their lank-haired activists had been there handing out posters since 4 a.m.:

Three quarters of the posters, and almost all of the printed ones, were produced by the Socialist Workers Party. Busy little bees, they were. They still are: it is an astonishing fact that this tiny and fissiparous Trotskyist sect has twice dominated massive popular protest movements in my lifetime; the Anti-Nazi League / Rock against Racism movement of the 80s and the Stop The War Coalition of 2001-2008. Sorry, 2001-present, only they stop wars much more quietly now that Mr Obama is president. They were also big in CND.

Their literary output is not usually enticing. But I would recommend you read this press release of theirs while you still can.

Press release: Facebook shuts down major left wing group in Britain

January 22, 2021

Press release: Facebook shuts down major left wing group in Britain

For immediate release.

Facebook has shut down the accounts of one of the biggest left wing organisations in Britain, the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) (1). The Socialist Workers Party Facebook page – as well as account of local pages – have been removed from Facebook with no explanation given. Those targeted say it amounts to a silencing of political activists.

Facebook took the action on Friday, shutting down the Socialist Workers Party page and removing dozens of leading SWP activists from the platform.

The SWP Facebook page regularly posts in support of Palestine, Black Lives Matter and against Boris Johnson’s Covid policies. It also hosts dozens of online events every week that activists across the country take part in.

The SWP say they have been silenced for speaking out on these issues and that the action taken by Facebook amounts to an attack on political activists to organise. They are demanding to be reinstated immediately.

Bye, bye Swappers. You were a presence in British politics for nearly half a century, British as damson jam from Jeremy Corbyn’s allotment. And now you are gone from one platform, just like that, and soon you will be gone from the others.

Incidentally, that nine year old post of mine contained a link to this Guardian story that I expect has had more clicks in the last two weeks than in the nine years before that:

Student protester jailed for throwing fire extinguisher:

A student who admitted throwing a fire extinguisher from the roof of a central London building during the student fees protests has been jailed.

Edward Woollard, 18, from Hampshire, was among protesters who broke into the Tory party headquarters and emerged on the roof on 10 November.

He was jailed for two years and eight months after admitting at an earlier hearing to committing violent disorder.

Police said his actions “could have resulted in catastrophic injury”.

And so it could. Mere chance that it didn’t.

The student, who hoped to be the first member of his family to go on to higher education, was filmed throwing an empty metal fire extinguisher from the seventh-floor of 30 Millbank as hundreds of people gathered in a courtyard below.

The canister narrowly missed a line of police officers attempting to protect the looted and vandalised building from further damage on a day when 66 people were arrested.

Yet John McDonnell MP, later to become Shadow Chancellor, thought Woollard was hard done by.

  • Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has faced criticism for allegedly supporting student Edward Woollard, who was jailed for throwing a fire extinguisher off a roof during student riots
  • Uncovered: John McDonnell Praises 2010 Riots

    Look at Niall Kilmartin’s post of January 15th. That and other accounts of the death of Officer Brian Sicknick from injuries sustained at the riot at the US capitol provide an interesting comparison.

  • The arsonist warns of the danger of fire

    The Times reports,

    The European Union is not immune to “the danger to democracy” unleashed by Donald Trump and must “rein in” the internet to prevent the spread of conspiracy theories and misinformation, Ursula von der Leyen said yesterday.

    Shades of Ben Tre. Or of a mirror-universe version of the most recent episode of Star Trek Discovery: “That Hope Danger Is You”.

    “In Europe, too, there are people who feel disadvantaged and are very angry,” she said. “There are people who subscribe to rampant conspiracy theories, which are often a confused mixture of completely absurd fantasies. And, of course, we too see this hate and contempt for our democracy spreading unfiltered through social media to millions of people.”

    She said that “we may not succeed in convincing everyone” to abandon conspiracy theories, such as those of QAnon, through rational debate, and signalled that regulation and censorship of the internet was needed. “There is one thing that we politicians can, and must, do: we must make sure that messages of hate and fake news can no longer be spread unchecked, since, in a world in which polarising opinions are most likely to be heard, it is a short step from perverse conspiracy theories to the death of police officers,” she said. “Unfortunately, the storming of Capitol Hill showed us just how true that is.”

    The speech showed the growing willingness within the EU to directly regulate or censor content circulated on internet platforms rather than leaving decisions, such as banning Mr Trump, to private companies. The EU is discussing new digital policies that would have major implications for Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter, including greater privacy and antitrust regulation as well as control over content.

    “We must impose democratic limits on the untrammelled and uncontrolled political power of the internet giants,” Mrs Von der Leyen said. “We want it laid down clearly that internet companies take responsibility for the content they disseminate.”

    I could be persuaded that internet companies should have to decide whether they are platforms or publishers, rather than the present system of allowing them whichever status benefits the US Democratic party this week. However this is not a move to limit the untrammelled and uncontrolled political power of the internet giants. They’ll love it. It is a move to limit and trammel further the already slight power to influence politics held by ordinary people.

    The “UK affairs” tag has been added to this post solely so I can add this to my list of reasons to be glad that the UK has left the European Union.

    Donald Trump made me do it

    I was going to stay off the US politics posts for a day or two, but this Times report by Alastair Good is so bad it’s Alastair.

    “Burning down Kenosha: Trump’s fractured legacy”

    It includes the lines:

    When the public are angry about perceived government wrongs, they look to the president to provide a pressure valve, address their concerns and give an assurance that issues will at least be looked into, if not resolved, to their satisfaction. Four years of Donald Trump saw precious little of this approach and, with a series of controversial police shootings of black people in 2020, the events in Kenosha were made more likely.

    What may have pushed it even further was Mr Trump’s tacit endorsement of far-right groups, giving them the confidence to share their beliefs openly and ultimately to show up on the streets of Kenosha armed and ready for confrontation.

    A Biden presidency at least offers the hope that things may calm down as a more rational approach to governing the country returns and support for the far right once again becomes something shameful.

    In Kenosha, the Rev Kara Baylor sees that hope but also fears that the divisions sown in the country by Mr Trump’s rule will continue as his supporters fight a partisan battle. “They will keep pushing back against that arc that bends toward justice, and that saddens me because they don’t see that it is for them as well,” she says.

    Even the normally anti-Trump Times commenters found this hard to swallow. A commenter called “Gordon W” said,

    The ‘journalist’ obviously missed the protesters who said that ‘Trump made me drop the 60 inch TV I was looting’, ‘the $250 trainers I stole don’t fit, I blame Trump’, ‘in Trump’s dysfunctional America, it takes 2 cans of gasoline to get a proper shop blaze going’, and ‘after burning down the pharmacy, I can’t get the drugs I need. The Trump government is letting me down’.

    REVEALED!

    Revealed: Tory MPs and commentators who joined banned app Parler

    All who died on the 6th supported Trump. What else do we truly know?

    Truth is the daughter of time. Meanwhile, what do we actually know about the events of the 6th?

    Ashli Babbitt died because she was shot. Three protestors died of medical emergencies (it happens in crowds but still …). And Brian Sicknick, a Capitol policeman, a Trump supporter and no friend to the deep state died.

    [BE AWARE: truth is indeed the daughter of time. The first sentence of the next paragraph now appears to be completely incorrect – evidence of how someone cautious of the MSM can still be deeply deceived by them. Read the final paragraph of this post for summary and links to better information about Brian’s death.]

    Brian died because a man threw a fire extinguisher onto a group of policemen and it struck him. (The clear video hasn’t prevented some accounts, and even more comments, confabulating tales of his being beaten to death by a frenzied mob, but you can click the link to see what actually happened – a professional-looking strike by a man who approaches from the left of the video and then as swiftly retreats when the deed is done.) Throwing a fire extinguisher is no way to kill a specific targeted person, but it is a way to inflict death or injury on a random policeman. (Four years ago, in early 2017, the rioters threw concrete blocks at the police – luckily, IIRC, no-one was killed then.)

    Andy Ngo said it did not look like Antifa to him. He was in England at the time, not Washington DC, so is working from videos of the event, but he has a great deal of experience of what Antifa in Portland look like. Michael Yon says in this video that it looked like standard Antifa false flag agent-provocateur tactics to him. He was there outside the Capitol and he has seen Antifa in Portland (and has seen many protests around the world). Michael Waller, another eyewitness, is very sure he saw agent-provocateurs, and that some were Antifa false flags – and is not so sure about others. The impeachers and the MSM remain in denial but gradually others – even the FBI – are deciding that the crowd listening to Trump’s split infinitive (“to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard”) were not first on the scene at the Capitol.

    One thing seems clear. The US right believe in the second amendment – and in their right to shoot second, to shoot back. If last Wednesday had been a coup attempt, the shooting of Ashli would have been met with return fire. This was no coup attempt. Whatever the first-at-the-Capitol group intended, it was not that.

    One thing is not yet clear to me. Who were they, really, and what was their goal? It is horrible to think that Brian Sicknick may have been killed by someone from the side he sympathised with. It is horrible – and dangerously consoling – to think he was killed by an enemy activist wearing a reversed Trump hat.

    – On the one hand, the collusion investigation in the first two years of Trump’s presidency and the impeachement a year ago were both deep state operations. Both were designed to deflect and delay they themselves being investigated (for the FISA warrants / Fusion GPS stuff, for Biden’s exploiting US aid to get the investigator of his son’s employer fired). This could just be third time round – a false flag operation to enable a riot-justified impeachment to drown out discussion of election fraud.

    – On the other hand, more than once since the election, I’ve seen posts note that people are so angry about the steal that ‘someone on our side’ might do something violent. In November 2012, Republicans felt disappointed but not cheated – everyone could see there had been some vote fraud but they could also see that Obama won anyway. It’s different now. Throwing a fire extinguisher onto a bunch of cops facing away from you, not at some politicians or deep staters, doesn’t fit my idea of what that anger would prompt, but in such volatile situations all sorts of things can happen, so who really knows. Remember also that pollsters before the election sometimes asked not, “Will you be voting for Trump?”, but ,”Will your neighbour be voting for Trump?”, knowing that cancel culture meant the latter question gave a more accurate answer to the former. The idea of political violence in the US is ugly. So is the idea of a blatantly stolen election being supinely endured. Did some people think these neighbours could become violent?

    We may know more in time, but, as Natalie points out, we cannot trust the MSM to report whatever does not suit them. Meanwhile we must live in interestingly uncertain times.

    [CORRECTION (February 2021): I was made aware the day after I wrote this post that the fire extinguisher incident may have had nothing to do with Brian’s death. This has since been admitted so widely that I feel I should alert any late-coming readers to the fact. It appears that an extinguisher was thrown at some police by one man, but it seems this did not cause death, and Brian’s death is looking more like another medical emergency death. It also appears to have happened after the Capitol protest was over and in another location.]

    Why do Americans think the media might be hiding things from them? Let’s try asking Tony Bobulinski on Twitter.

    “Why does the US fall for conspiracy theories?” asks Daniel Finkelstein in the Times.

    QAnon, the online conspiracy theory to which many Trump supporters subscribe, is like fan fiction, with endless riffs on Trump and increasingly bizarre plots about the skulduggery of his enemies. The contributors to this script have the pleasure of being the heroes of it, setting out to cleanse the nation. Like Matt Damon in The Bourne Identity, they have woken and are gradually peeling away layers of deception. The deep state behaves as it does in every film but will prove no match for the hero.

    The deep state behaves as it does in every film – As an aside, that, the endless stream of conspiracy thrillers put out by Hollywood, will do as Explanation No.1. The scriptwriters of these movies were unable to conceive of the cabal of senior people in the US government, the CIA, the FBI, and the military as anything other than right wing, but the imagination of the American people is not so limited.

    A personal best: I have digressed even before I began. The main point of this post is… ah, **** it, I already said it:

    By censoring the Hunter Biden story the MSM has destroyed its ability to convince Americans there was no vote fraud.

    By censoring the Hunter Biden story the MSM has also hampered its ability to convince Americans there is no “cabal of Satan-worshipping Democrats, Hollywood celebrities and billionaires” which “runs the world while engaging in pedophilia, human trafficking and the harvesting of a supposedly life-extending chemical from the blood of abused children.”

    It has also hampered its ability to convince Americans, and not only them, that they should be vaccinated against coronavirus. Hitherto the English-speaking countries plus the Nordics have been somewhat less prone to vaccine conspiracy theories than people in most of Western or Eastern Europe. I expect that to change, and that change will kill people. That is what happens when the boy cries wolf too many times.

    Lord Finkelstein (Note for foreign readers: I make no political point; he is a life peer) continues movingly:

    The second thing this analysis provides is a warning. Next week Granta will publish a book called The Fatherland and the Jews. It consists of two pamphlets published in Germany by my grandfather Alfred Wiener in 1919 and 1924. He alerts his readers to the danger posed by conspiracy theories, giving as an example the falsehood that the Kaiser had been a Jew because a (non-existent) affair between Queen Victoria and a doctor called Wolf allowed Jewish blood to enter the royal family. One day, he believed, such theories would lead to violence.

    In the same way, the blurring between fiction and reality is a terrible danger to Americans. As the Holocaust historian Timothy Snyder puts it, “post-truth is pre-fascism”. For years the mob shared conspiracy stories with each other and then, no longer able to distinguish between fantasy and reality, they used guns and violent incursion to provide their own denouement to the plot.

    Yes, false conspiracy theories are dangerous. One of the best defences a polity has against them is a reasonable level of trust in the authorities and the media. In the long run the only way to gain this trust is to be worthy of it, i.e. not to lie and not to hide the truth. By their promiscuous propagation of any story, however baseless, that might harm the Republicans and their enthusiastic censorship of any story, however credible, that might make the Democrats look bad, the American Woke Media, old and new, have lost this trust. As a result reality ensues, to quote TV Tropes. Or if you prefer the same truth in an older format, take your quote from William Caxton’s summary at the end of his retelling of the fable of the boy who cried wolf, “men bileve not lyghtly hym whiche is knowen for a lyer”.

    The intellectivore

    I want you to observe two things about this piece by Simon Jenkins in today’s Guardian:

    “Why the Democrats should not impeach Donald Trump”

    1) It is quite reasonable, yet Simon Jenkins wrote it.

    2) It is obvious that something is consuming the commenters’ reason.

    I should have known. Simon Jenkins ate their minds. His opinion pieces are no more than the bait by which he ensnares unfortunate denizens of the mundane universe, who are driven by some primaeval attraction like that of the moth to the flame into commenting at the Guardian website. Once they are thus fatally linked to him across the dimensions, he, or rather it, feasts upon their intellects, leaving them as mindless husks blind to their own political interests who can only repeat with idiot vindictiveness whatever slogan last caught their attention.

    Either that or Guardian readers were like that anyway.

    Samizdata quote of the day

    I’d love to have a few here walk with me through South Minneapolis, down Lake Street, maybe talk to a few of my friends who still haven’t been able to re-open and who now seem likely to simply declare BK and walk away, about how it is so much worse that “government” property was invaded for a few short minutes this week. It was “just private property,” after all.

    Maybe we could linger in the remains of the burned-down Minneapolis police precinct building that somehow doesn’t represent “government” in their eyes. Burning down the police is somehow less civil-war-ish than temporarily occupying The People’s Chamber?

    Several large communities in Minneapolis are still teetering on failure following the riots. But I should be concerned that government staffers felt ill-at-ease?

    They are both bad situations. Cooler heads should have prevailed in both, but didn’t. This “oh, but this is so much worse!” handwringing is why liberty declines.

    Bobby B