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  • A Machine for Preventing Civil War

    Posted by David Foster on March 12th, 2021 (All posts by )

    Scott Alexander, in a 2017 post at Slate Star Codex:

    People talk about “liberalism” as if it’s just another word for capitalism, or libertarianism, or vague center-left-Democratic Clintonism. Liberalism is none of these things. Liberalism is a technology for preventing civil war. It was forged in the fires of Hell – the horrors of the endless seventeenth century religious wars. For a hundred years, Europe tore itself apart in some of the most brutal ways imaginable – until finally, from the burning wreckage, we drew forth this amazing piece of alien machinery. A machine that, when tuned just right, let people live together peacefully without doing the “kill people for being Protestant” thing. Popular historical strategies for dealing with differences have included: brutally enforced conformity, brutally efficient genocide, and making sure to keep the alien machine tuned really really carefully.

    Very insightful and correct, I believe, if by liberalism one means free speech, freedom of religion, and limited government, rather than the cluster of ‘progressive’ believe that often fly under the ‘liberalism’ brand today.

    And when the above attributes of a society do not exist or are eroded, then live-and-let live  become difficult to impossible, and all questions become politicized, because political outcomes determine everything.

    When the government controls everything, there is no constructive relief valve for all this pent-up tension.  It all boils down to a “historic” election once every couple of years, upon whose outcome everything depends.  They’re all going to be “historic” elections from now on. That’s not a good thing.

    Ultimately, the game of politics becomes like those Aztec ball games in which the losers are said to have been sacrificed.  Indeed, some of this is happening in America already today, with Democrats demanding that Trump and his supporters be pursued post-election in almost every possible way.

    If the machine of liberalism (as defined above) is destroyed, then another kind of machine will quickly take its place…the machine described by Jean Anouilh in his version of Antigone:

    The spring is wound up tight. It will uncoil of itself. That is what is so convenient in tragedy. The least little turn of the wrist will do the job . . . The rest is automatic. You don’t need to lift a finger. The machine is in perfect order; it has been oiled ever since time began, and it runs without friction

     

     

     

     

     

    90 Responses to “A Machine for Preventing Civil War”

    1. miguel cervantes Says:

      did a leftist regime in yugoslavia not broke down along ethnic and sectarian regimes, a similar thing happened in lebanon, or iraq, to cite three examples. unless there is a social contract and strong institutions, then society collapses,

    2. Brian Says:

      I looked at that Scott Alexander article, did a search for France, did a search for Revolution, did a search for communism, nothing came up for any of those terms (and I am genuinely confused by the “kill people for being Protestant” thing, but let’s ignore that for now).
      He’s basically talking about the Peace of Westphalia, but the fact is that this thing called “liberalism” was a truce, not a resolution, and one side–the “left” side–has been trying to break the truce for more than two centuries now, to try to achieve total victory, and we know that “murderism” is their fundamental creed. They’ve now succeeded in taking more power in America than anyone would have thought possible thirty years ago, and it doesn’t seem likely that the truce can be reimposed at this point.

    3. Mike K Says:

      Scotland is an interesting example of how a place that created the “Enlightenment,” at least for England, can become a failed leftist society. France was said to have exported the Industrial Revolution by the revocation of The Edict of Nantes, which drove the Huguenots out of France to England.

      The Edict of Fontainebleau, which revoked the Edict of Nantes in October 1685, was promulgated by Louis XIV, the grandson of Henry IV. That drove an exodus of Protestants and increased the hostility of Protestant nations bordering France.

      I have been doing some reading about the Industrial Revolution and this has suggested that higher education differed markedly between Scotland and England in the 18th and 19th century. The model for England was Cambridge and Oxford but both seemed to function as finishing schools for the aristocracy, whereas Edinburgh and Glasgow focused on science and even industry. James Watt was an instrument maker at Glasgow while he worked on the steam engine. The Scottish Enlightenment continued into the 19th century and medical education was far superior until the opening days of the 20th.

      The descriptions of Cambridge and Oxford resemble present day descriptions of Harvard and the other Ivy Leagues.

    4. David Foster Says:

      PowerLine has a piece on the nastiness of Andrew Cuomo and many other politicians…but:

      “This got me to thinking about something I haven’t read almost since Mario Cuomo was governor—F.A. Hayek’s chapter “Why the Worst Get on Top” in The Road to Serfdom. I’ve sometimes been impatient with a certain type of libertarian who cites this chapter title as a summary way of expressing their distaste for all elected officials, and then preen about how above it all they are by not voting or getting their hands grubby with practical politics of any kind. Of course, this is a total misreading of Hayek’s chapter, which was that a totalitarian socialist system will eventually devolve into a rule by the worst sort of human being—a proposition that seems empirically true. This was much less true of a classically liberal (constitutional) regime. I mean seriously—was Ronald Reagan the worst?”

      https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2021/03/is-cuomo-the-worst-yes-and-no.php

      So the dynamics are that the more power a government has, the worse will be the kind of people who seek to lead it.

      Francis Spufford, in his book Red Plenty, discusses the kind of people who sought and achieved power in the Soviet Union:

      “At the turbulent beginning of Lenin’s state, the Party’s operatives had signified their power by using the direct iconography of force. They wore leather jackets and cavalry coats, they carried visible revolvers. Stalin’s party, later, dressed with a vaguely military austerity…Now, by contrast, the symbolism was emphatically civil, managerial. The Party suit of the 1960s declared that the wearer was not a soldier, not a policeman. He was the person who could give the soldier and the policeman orders. The philosopher kings were back on top.”

      But there is a problem with the kingship of philsophers. “Wisdom was to be set where it could be ruthless. Once such a system existed, though, the qualities required to rise in it had much more to do with ruthlessness than with wisdom…(Lenin’s original Bolsheviks) were many of them highly educated people, literate in multiple European languages, learned in the scholastic traditions of Marxism; and they preserved these attributes even as they murdered and lied and tortured and terrorized. They were social scientists who thought principle required them to behave like gangsters. But their successors…were not the most selfless people in Soviet society, or the most principled, or the most scrupulous. They were the most ambitious, the most domineering, the most manipulative…Gradually their loyalty to the ideas became more and more instrumental, more and more a matter of what the ideas would let them grip in their two hands. In summary: Stalin had been a gangster who really believed he was a social scientist. Khrushchev was a gangster who hoped he was a social scientist. But the moment was drawing irresistibly closer when the idealism would rot away by one more degree, and the Soviet Union would be government by gangsters who were only pretending to be social scientists.”

    5. Brian Says:

      I thought the conventional wisdom was that later Soviet leaders were total mediocrities because Stalin ruthlessly purged anyone who showed any potential to ever develop into a threat to him. The conditions of tsarist Russia were far more likely to produce ambitious high achieving dissidents, the most ruthless of whom rose to the top. Soviet Russia produced non-entities, who could avoid getting killed while playing the bureaucratic game.
      One could, if one liked, make some analogy, wildly imperfect, to the Pentagon of recent times, where military excellence is not what is being selected for at all. Based on what we’re getting one can clearly determine what’s being incentivized…

    6. David Foster Says:

      Brian…”One could, if one liked, make some analogy, wildly imperfect, to the Pentagon of recent times, where military excellence is not what is being selected for at all.”

      I’ve read that when Marshall became Chief of Staff, he found that a very high % of senior officers needed to be replaced.

    7. Mike K Says:

      The story about Marshall and his “black book” is in his multivolume biography. He was recording names from his time at the Infantry School at Benning. Peacetime armies are quite different from wartime. We have had a hybrid in the Cold War and that is now getting worse as PC takes over. Gen Casey was Chief of Staff at the time of the Fort Hood shootings and he was worried about the Army’s reputation for “diversity.”

      I re-read “Once an Eagle” every few years. I wonder if it is still on the War College reading list ?

    8. Joe Mack Says:

      I think in the Aztec ball game, the winners were sacrificed. Imagine the honor in sacrificing your blood to keep the sun rising everyday!

    9. OBloodyHell Says:

      The problem here is conflating Classical Liberalism with PostModern Liberalism, which are about as different — including as to purpose — as Capitalism and Marxism.

      Classical Liberalism, is, indeed, a positive force, and, within certain balancing things, a Good.

      PostModern Liberalism (PML) was forged from Classical Liberal outrage upon seeing, during World War ONE, what Western Society could DO with the gifts of Classical Liberalism, the Enlightenment, and the Industrial Revolution.

      PML, in its rage, like a woman scorned, set out to destroy Western Civilization. It is nothing less than a Social Cancer — literally, not figuratively. No, none of that is hyperbole in the least.

      All of its tools — moral relativism, deconstruction, structuralism, marxism, The Cloward-Piven strategy, etc., are ALL aimed at the destruction of the twin foundational elements of Western Civilization, to wit:
      1 – The inheritance of Greek Thought and Ideal
      2 – The inheritance of Judeo-Christian ethos towards work and behavior

      A casual consideration of what liberals espouse these days makes that even more clear than any argument from me could possibly do.

    10. OBloodyHell Says:

      P.S., I first realized the above after reading this piece:

      What We Lost In The Great War
      https://www.americanheritage.com/what-we-lost-great-war
      Which I’ve noted here before.

      blurb:
      Seventy-five years ago this spring a very different America waded into the seminal catastrophe of the twentieth century. World War I did more than kill millions of people; it destroyed the West’s faith in the very institutions that had made it the hope and envy of the world.

      Time has only strengthened my belief in all the above.

    11. Helian/Doug Drake Says:

      If you search the intellectual and political journals of the 1930’s (Nation, New Republic, American Mercury, all available online), you’ll find that the meaning of the term “liberal” had already become quite ambiguous. One article in the “Mercury” in the early 30’s defined four different versions of what it meant to be a “liberal.” Today the term has become almost as meaningless as “fascist.”

      “…whereas Edinburgh and Glasgow focused on science and even industry.”

      It’s amazing how many great scientists and mathematicians, not to mention authors, artists, etc., came out of Scotland.

      I’ve been reading the wonderfully entertaining diaries of Count Harry Kessler lately. There are two volumes; 1880-1918 and 1918-1937. Kessler had a German father and an Anglo-Irish mother, moved easily between Germany, France and England, but eventually identified as German. He was a highly cultured patron of the arts, and was on friendly personal terms with many of the greatest artists and musicians of the day, not only in Germany, but in France and England as well. Just as today more and more of us seem to be expecting some kind of a violent explosion, he was similar to many aristocrats in his day in expecting a war. He was also similar to them in believing occasional wars were a good thing. Of course, they based this opinion on wars of the recent past, such as the Franco-Prussian, the Russo-Japanese, and the 1912-13 wars in the Balkans, all of which had been relatively short. His diaries after 1914 show that none of them expected what modern war would really become, nor did they have a clue what the post-war world would look like. They imagined that the political order and power relationships would remain pretty much what they had been in the past. Of course, they were in for a surprise.

      It may be that a similar cataclysmic event that so many seem to be expecting will eventually happen in this country. If WWI is any guide, it is unlikely the aftermath will be anything like what any of us expect or predict. The “Be careful what you wish for” platitude applies here. As for Kessler, he became what you might call a “parlor pink” after the war. Some of his best friends became Nazis. Yet they were all highly intelligent men. There but for the grace of God go we.

    12. OBloodyHell Says:

      }} I mean seriously—was Ronald Reagan the worst?

      At the time, of course he was. Any GOP PotUS is “The Worst Evah” when they are in office. This has been the case since at least Nixon. At least Nixon kinda sorta almost deserved it. Reagan, Bush I & II, and even Trump didn’t deserve a fraction of the ever-escalating insane bullshit tossed at them. I don’t argue that Trump was somewhat of a self-aggrandizing jackass a lot of the time, but he fucking Got Shit Done. And three freaking Nobel Peace Prize noms, the lowest unemployment numbers in well over a decade, and a gangbusters economy more than amply show that.

      Around 1960 was when the PostModernist bastards took control of many major institutions. They got ahold of the Merdia, Hollywood, and the Educational establishments for sure.

    13. Mike K Says:

      World War I certainly changed western civilization and we are still dealing with it, I agree. I’ve been doing some reading about it. Pat Buchanan is a bit too far out in his book, “The Unnecessary War, in which he blames Churchill and Edward Grey for the war. I think he has a good point that WWI destroyed the British Empire. In my reading, and I am getting read to read “The Sleepwalkers,” again after a year.

      I think the Boer War and Britain’s high handed blockade of attempted German aid to the Boers contributed to WWI as it was the first stimulus for the Kaiser to build a High Seas Fleet. I think the second book describes some significant French contributions to German paranoia in that the French were behind the rearming of Russia. They were selling modern arms to Russia and financing the sales.

      Anyway, that will be a project for me soon.

      Seventy-five years ago this spring a very different America waded into the seminal catastrophe of the twentieth century. World War I did more than kill millions of people; it destroyed the West’s faith in the very institutions that had made it the hope and envy of the world.

      I agree completely with this. The Progressives had already begun their assault on American institutions and Wilson was our first Fascist president but the war was even more destructive to Europe.

    14. miguel cervantes Says:

      as I recall from reilly’s series he was working to sell german ships, to Russia, I forget the name of the firm,

    15. miguel cervantes Says:

      against zaharoff who was working for vickers,

    16. miguel cervantes Says:

      sorry for the digression, the point is what holds a society together, modern liberalism nee progressivism cannot, by consent, it’s more like the autarchy that well’s predicted in ‘shape of things’ to come.

    17. David Foster Says:

      OBloodyHell..the disintegrative impact of WWI on values is well-expressed in Erich Maria Remarque’s novel ‘The Road Back.’

      Ernst, the protagonist, has returned to Germany after the end of the war that killed most of his classmates and fellow enlistees. He has accepted a job teaching school in a small village:

      There sit the little ones with folded arms. In their eyes is still all the shy astonishment of the childish years. They look up at me so trustingly, so believingly–and suddenly I get a spasm over the heart.

      Here I stand before you, one of the hundreds of thousands of bankrupt men in whom the war destroyed every belief and almost every strength…What should I teach you? Should I tell you that in twenty years you will be dried-up and crippled, maimed in your freest impulses, all pressed mercilessly into the selfsame mould? Should I tell you that all learning, all culture, all science is nothing but hideous mockery, so long as mankind makes war in the name of God and humanity with gas, iron, explosive, and fire?…Should I take you to the green-and-grey map there, move my finger across it, and tell you that here love was murdered? Should I explain to you that the books you hold in your hands are but nets in which men design to snare your simple souls, to entangle you in the undergrowth of fine phrases, and in the barbed wire of falsified ideas?

      …I feel a cramp begin to spread through me, as if I were turning to stone, as if I were crumbling away. I lower myself into the chair, and realize that I cannot stay here any longer. I try to take hold of something but cannot. Then after a time that has seemed to me endless, the catalepsy relaxes. I stand up. “Children,” I say with difficulty, “you may go now.”

      The little ones look at me to make sure I am not joking. I nod once again. “Yes, that is right–go and play today–go and play in the wood–or with your dogs and your cats–you need not come back till tomorrow–“

      I reviewed the book here.

      I believe, though, that the impact of the war on society in the US was much less than that on the European belligerents.

    18. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      One of many surprises in “The Road Back” was that the young German ex-soldiers — killers, as Remarque described himself & others — had to go back to high school, sit in class, and finish their education as if nothing had happened. That really was the last sigh of a dying way of life.

      Impact of WWI on US society? How you going to keep them down on the farm when they’ve seen Gay Paree?

      US Government suppression of opposition from German-Americans to entry into the war against Germany; US government lies about the sinking of the Lusitania and misrepresentations (to be kind) about the Zimmerman telegram; President Wilson’s bumbling of the negotiations over the Versailles Treaty. It is certainly true to say that WWI had less impact on US society than on European society — but it showed the proto-Deep Staters that they could abuse the American people, divide & conquer, and screw up royally internationally — all without consequences for themselves. To that extent, it set the US on the path that leads to today, with a hollowed-out economy, unrepayable debts, and an unsustainable dependence on imports from unfriendly countries.

    19. OBloodyHell Says:

      }}} I believe, though, that the impact of the war on society in the US was much less than that on the European belligerents.

      Oh, I’ll more than go with that!

      But that’s irrelevant, as, back then, even more so than now, the intellectual elite here took their lead from the intellectual elite of Western Europe. PostModern Liberalism was spawned in the Euro elites, and infected all of the West.

      Cancers metastasize. Even social ones.

      I mean, think about it. Cloward-Piven is DESIGNED to make the government/society collapse, by making it make more and more impractical promises until it destroys itself financially. The idea being THEN it’s malleable (i.e., desperate to be led by the nose).

      Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis
      https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2008/09/barack_obama_and_the_strategy.html

      He’s back to finish the job. >:-(

      This last round of “stimulus” (and all the unrelated crap that is attached to it) is going to make our debt over THIRTY TRILLION DOLLARS.

      Even though I think the economic engine produces notably more than is being accounted for, sooner or later, you keep digging a hole, you’re gonna hit bedrock.

    20. Mike K Says:

      I would suggest that the impact of WWI was delayed in the US but still quite severe. The Great Depression was a delayed consequence just as the final collapse of our economy in 5 to 10 years will be a delayed consequence of 2008. The war debt issue and the results of Versailles, that Keynes predicted, resulted in our depression in 1932. The stock market panic of 1929 was part of it as were the manipulations of Ben Strong trying to “sterilize” the war debt effects. Roosevelt, of course, chose the worst response possible. Only the War pulled us out of it. Johnson did it again in 1965-69 but we are still dealing with that.

      I wish I had more gold but, at my age, I probably will not have to cope with it. My kids will, though.

    21. miguel cervantes Says:

      yes the dawes plan, stabilized the hyperinflation which was in part due to the reparations, the rising of tariffs, did cut the capital flows to europa, I think I’ve mentioned michael burleigh’s sacred places, that showed the impact not only on the loser parties, but the victors like the uk, it opens with the dedication of the Cenotaph,

      the US was spared the major abbatoirs like the somme, verdun, passchandaele, (the subject of 1917)

    22. Helian/Doug Drake Says:

      @Mike K

      “Pat Buchanan is a bit too far out in his book, “The Unnecessary War, in which he blames Churchill and Edward Grey for the war.”

      I haven’t read Buchanan’s book, but I can’t imagine why he blames Grey for the war. Even Lichnowsky, the German ambassador in London in 1914, says in his memoirs that Grey did everything he could to avert war. Grey gives anything but the impression of a warmonger in his memoirs. His version of what he did to preserve peace is supported by every historical record I’ve seen.

    23. Mike K Says:

      I think his complaint about Grey was vague and it’s been a year since I read it. The Brit’s reason for going to war was Belgium and the guaranteed neutrality, probably from Congress of Vienna. They considered a German occupation of the Scheldt estuary to be a causus belli since it could close the channel. Had England stayed out of the war altogether, it would have been 1870 all over again. No need for the channel to ship troops to France. I don’t blame Churchill, which is my major argument with Buchanan. His book does offer some interesting arguments. The Dardanelles was botched by the British Navy and was a reasonable try to keep Russia in the war.

      Buchanan blames Churchill for WWII which I think is ridiculous. Still worth reading. I am not back into “The Sleepwalkers,” which is deep and needs rereading. I am not deep into the Serbian dynastic wars. It can be heavy going but here again, he points out French perfidy in arming the Serbs and lending them the money to buy arms. They did the same with Russia.

    24. Mike K Says:

      Now back into…

      I need better proof reading.

    25. Brian Says:

      Back to my point about generals above, this Tucker Carlson flap shows that wow the rot is deep. The next GOP Congress and President need to massively clean house. Barring that, we conservatives need to start shutting the military down. Acknowledge Ike was right, as we spent decades denying. If the Pentagon is as corrupted as the IC and the FBI we have to pull the plug on it all.

    26. Mike K Says:

      Ask Carter Ham about Obama generals. He was ready to defy the Obama order to leave the guys in Benghazi to their fate and he was relieved in 15 minutes. The are lots of “fact checkers” denying the story but it is a fact that he was suddenly relieved for no explained reason that day.

      A better explanation of what happened.

      Here is a case where Wikipedia cannot be trusted.

      The source also said, “To remove someone prior to the announced change indicates that some event/action/incident has occurred to accelerate that change UNLESS that officer is needed in their new position for a very important/critical position. That is where I would begin to look to get a sense of what has happened.”

      Ham, of course, had his pension to consider and has kept his mouth shut. Obama was well known to be vindictive.

    27. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      Mike K: “Buchanan blames Churchill for WWII which I think is ridiculous.”

      Reasonable people could make varying assessments about that — although most reasonable people would of course reject the idea that any single person should be blamed for WWII. For example, some might argue that Bismark’s initiation of the 1870 Franco-Prussian War set a train of events in motion which led ultimately to WWII — which might be correct, but it would still be ridiculous to blame Bismark for WWII.

      President Hoover’s tome “Freedom Betrayed” presents an interesting perspective on WWII — from a person who saw what was coming and tried to stop it, or at least keep the US and Western Europe out of it. It is worth a read. Hoover was impressed with Churchill’s style — but not his substance.

    28. MCS Says:

      “Barring that, we conservatives need to start shutting the military down.”

      What, pray tell, do you expect the Chinese and our other enemies to do while we embark on this decades long project? Stand around with a bemused expression until we are again in a position to engage them from a position of strength?

      Any attempt to “clean house” will result in the promotion of the discarded and passed over from dangerous war monger to military sage and victim of unconscionable political meddling.

      The difference between the historian and the politician is the same as the difference between the surgeon and the pathologist, one has the simplicity of only having to deal with the dead. We are in the position of requiring exceptional politicians more with each passing day when they seem very few and far between.

    29. Brian Says:

      MCS: A corrupted military is infinitely worse than an unopposed China. As it is we’re on track to hand over the world to them AND to suffer from domestic oppression anyway. Better to make whatever desperate moves we can to avoid the latter.

    30. Mike K Says:

      some might argue that Bismark’s initiation of the 1870 Franco-Prussian War…

      I do hope you know that the 1870 war was initiated by Napoleon III?

      France mobilised its army on 15 July 1870, leading the North German Confederation to respond with its own mobilisation later that day. On 16 July 1870, the French parliament voted to declare war on Prussia, and the declaration of war was delivered to Prussia three days later. French forces invaded German territory on 2 August. The German coalition mobilised its troops much more effectively than the French and invaded northeastern France on 4 August. The German forces were superior in numbers, had better training and leadership and made more effective use of modern technology, particularly railways and artillery.

      Bismarck is sometimes accused of “inciting” the French but that is a weak argument.

      That Wiki article is amazingly biased.

    31. Xennady Says:

      Ham, of course, had his pension to consider and has kept his mouth shut. Obama was well known to be vindictive.

      Forgive me for saddling up my hobby horse again and attacking the Gee Ohhh Peeeeeee once more, but I can’t help but note that the Republican party had control of Congress within living memory of Carter Ham’s hasty departure, and thereby also had the power to threaten his pension. And since- in theory, anyway- the GOP Congress had presumably had reason to want to get to the bottom of what happened in Bengazi, Carter Ham and Congress should have been on the same side, inspiring enthusiastic testimony from the general.

      But no, that didn’t happen. Instead, I recall the usual blah blah blah sanitized testimony that revealed nothing, not least because it was intended only to appease the angry Republican base and absolutely nothing else. Obama had absolutely no worry about paying a price political or otherwise thanks to his vindictiveness, and he knew it. The GOP establishment was on his side, not the victims of Benghazi.

      A machine for preventing civil war cannot function properly if the one faction controls all the operating levers and treats the outsiders with contempt and hatred, which is our situation today. Forgive me again for stating the obvious but when I see people in positions of power seriously advocating the idea that 2+2=4 is racist and planning to make public school children chant and clap to the Aztec god of human sacrifice, something has gone seriously awry. No comment about that from the gop, of course, just more prattle about the inheritance tax again.

      Someone in England- back when England was an empire and not a punchline- wrote that the end result of protecting fools from their folly is to fill the world with fools. No comment about the rest of the world, but the US is stuffed to the gills with fools and will certainly pay the price. The deranged left has never paid a political price for their idiocy and insanity, thanks to the feckless pretend opposition from the gop, and now it’s too late. Failed regimes don’t end because they suddenly decide to stop being stupid. They end because they cannot continue, because their mistakes end them.

      And the mistakes made by the present American regime are legion. It won’t be long now, I think, before these mistakes end it.

    32. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      Mike K: “I do hope you know that the 1870 war was initiated by Napoleon III?”

      That kinda sorta misses the point, Mike. Let’s stipulate that Napoleon III rather than Bismark started the 1870 Franco-Prussian War — which eventually led to WWII. So Napoleon III bears the responsibility for WWII. But if it had not been for the original Napoleon, there would not have been a Napoleon III; so do we have to make the great Napoleon himself responsible for WWII?

      But wait! If the French aristocrats had not been so selfish & stupid & incompetent, there would never have been a Napoleon — which surely makes them responsible for WWII. But why were the French aristocrats such losers? Do we have to go back to Charlemagne to identify the person responsible for WWII? And whose actions led to the rise of Charlemagne?

      I guess I was agreeing with you about it being inappropriate for Buchanan to blame Churchill for WWII; no single individual can be ascribed the blame for that war. Oh well!

    33. Mike K Says:

      Obama had absolutely no worry about paying a price political or otherwise thanks to his vindictiveness, and he knew it. The GOP establishment was on his side, not the victims of Benghazi.

      I keep linking to Codevilla’s essay on the Ruling Class.

      Where do you think Trump came from ?

      Gavin, my point was simply that France started the 1870 war, not Prussia. I think it is a stretch to blame WWII on the 1870 war. I think Britain should have kept neutral in 1914. All that followed goes back to that mistake. If you want to consider WWII and mistakes, Chamberlain’s Polish Guarantee is high on my list. What would Hitler have done if that had not occurred? Stanley Baldwin bears a lot of blame for failing to rearm in the 30s but that was very late.

      It all goes back to 1914, not 1870.

      I have begun reading “The Sleepwalkers” again. Goes very deep into the causes.

    34. MCS Says:

      Brian,
      I doubt the military is more corrupt now then in the past. What’s happening is they’re following the civilian chain of command that is drilled into them from literally the first day of training.

      That civilian command has proclaimed that gender equity and racial justice now override considerations operational effectiveness. No officer with career plans for anything besides resignation is going to publicly contradict that. Some, with an eye to the main chance, will embrace it with more enthusiasm than others.

      We’ve been through this before, most recently before 9-11. Reality will reassert itself soon enough, the only question is how.

    35. Ginny Says:

      Times have changed – and changed in a quite detrimental way. By moving from the general peer pressure against vulgar and bigoted speech (the late forties and early fifties movies pushing bigots as beyond the pale of polite society) to the hate crime to the hate speech to the hate mind has been a slope that certainly didn’t begin to seem all that slippery. But trying to make 2+2=5, as so many of our current aggrieved ask us to agree to in a full throated chorus should certainly be beyond the pale of polite society today – and it doesn’t seem to be.

      An article by Jonathan Rauch that was in Harper’s in 1995 was in our rhetoric texts; I loved teaching it, though increasingly students seemed to come to it with reservations, sometimes having trouble getting over even the title: “In Defense of Prejudice: Why Incendiary Speech Should be Allowed.” Here are a couple of his passages which, I think, are in the nature of Foster’s argument:
      “Intellectual pluralism substitutes a radically different doctrine: we kill our mistakes rather than each other. Here I draw on another great philosopher, the late Karl Popper, who pointed out that the critical method of science “consists in letting our hypotheses die in our stead.” Those who are in error are not (or are not supposed to be) banished or excommunicated or forced to sign a renunciation or required to submit to “rehabilitation” or sent for psychological counseling. It is the error we punish, not the errant.
      And here is another:
      To suppress bigoted language seems, at first blush, reasonable, but it quickly leads to a curious result. A peculiar kind of verbal shamanism takes root, as though certain expressions, like curses or magical incantations, carry in themselves the power to hurt or heal–as though words were bigoted rather than people.
      Rereading the article today, I wonder how well it would go over and when one of the textbooks that we looked at in the last years I taught was titled something like “In the Age of Obama”, I wonder how many first semester rhetoric texts still use Rauch (or anything like him). Perhaps as a counter example.
      Certainly, as “science” has been treated lately, his essay would be a counter. He observes that only a minority of theories that others deride turn out to be good, but those are important, too. I always told my students about one of my husband’s cousins, a researcher for Exxon, who was bent on his argument – I didn’t understand it, but he was a research geologist and it had to do with evidence in earth strata. He said that his colleagues were not so enthusiastic; he appreciated that Exxon let him keep on and eventually he was proved right and a formation is now named after him. But he said, he was going to continue, come hell or high water, to show those sons of a bitches he was right. Rauch describes a similar incident as an argument that we don’t have to all reach a consensus and we don’t need to push someone beyond the pale (or in our case, beyond youtube and beyond twitter). Either they are proven wrong or, wonder of wonders, they are proven right. Pushed in the pale, they are certainly more likely to start a revolution.
      And yes that came from what was once called liberalism, or classic liberalism, the beliefs on which this country was founded, beliefs that so many, eg as in Portland, are so willing to not just dismiss but grind into the ground.

    36. Brian Says:

      MCS, no, a coordinated attack by numerous senior enlisted against a media figure is far beyond normal bounds of military behavior. It’s absolutely not something to shrug off, or to pretend it can be “fixed” by replacing a few personnel. It indicates that something profoundly wrong is going on.

    37. David Foster Says:

      Ginny..”Intellectual pluralism substitutes a radically different doctrine: we kill our mistakes rather than each other.”

      That expresses one of the main principles of the Machine very nicely.

    38. David Foster Says:

      I wonder why Scott Alexander referred to it as an *alien* machine?….perhaps because he feels its principles don’t come naturally to humans, but rahere must be carefully constructed and inculcated?

    39. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      Mike K: “If you want to consider WWII and mistakes, Chamberlain’s Polish Guarantee is high on my list. What would Hitler have done if that had not occurred?”

      Hoover’s view at the time was that if Western politiicans had been smart enough to stay out the way, the National Socialists of Germany and the Communists of the USSR would have fought each other to a bloody debilitating standstill. Western countries could have avoided what became WWII altogether, or could have come in at the end to straighten things out.

      On the other hand, if Germany had not first wasted a lot of men & materiel in over-running France and bombing Britain because of their declaration of war on Germany, it is quite possible that Germany would have succeeded in taking control of the USSR and replacing unpopular Stalin with a more accommodating figure. Germany’s technical skills allied to the USSR’s vast reserves of manpower & resources could well have ended up controlling the entire Eurasian land mass. England & France’s declaration of war on behalf of Poland was extremely foolish, and ultimately totally pointless — since Poland was rescued from Hitler only to be given to Stalin. Nevertheless, it may have saved the world from something worse — we will never know.

      To return to David Foster’s original topic, conflict is inherent in humankind. The problem with relying on “liberalism” to keep those conflicts within bounds is the same problem as with the mantra we were all taught in grade school — “It takes two to make a quarrel”. No it does not! If one side wants to get physical, the only options the other side has are (a) submit, or (b) fight back.

      Brian mentioned a while back that he was reading “The World Turned Upside Down” by Yang Jisheng about China’s 1960s Cultural Revolution. Following Brian’s lead, I am now reading that too. It is astonishing that even in a one-party state, people ended up beating each other to death over the question of who was interpreting Mao Zedong Thought properly. But when we think about what Muslims did to each other over the Sunni/Shia split, or Christians over the Catholic/Protestant divide, maybe the message is that “liberalism” where people’s respect for each other exceeded their desire to prevail was the anomalous moment in world history — a moment that may not come again.

    40. Mike K Says:

      Gavin, playing “what if” is a favorite pastime for me. There is a school of thought that holds that Hitler did not want to rule the world. The Russian granary might have been enough to satisfy his ambition. Of course, he resented the Versailles Treaty and he may have been determined to punish France. France, of course, was rotten to the core and fell easily.

      Had Japan honored their treaty with Germany, they might have attacked Russia when the Germans invaded, requiring Stalin to keep his Asiatic troops in the Siberian front. It was those troops that finally stopped the Germans.

      I still think it all goes back to WWI. As I progress in “The Sleepwalkers” I find that I underlined and made marginal notes when I read it last year. He has two whole chapters on the Serbian politics. The French were heavily involved with Serbia, lending and selling arms. The result was success in the two Balkan Wars that preceded WWI. This fed Serbia’s ambition with respect to Austria Hungary. Wheels within wheels.

    41. OBloodyHell Says:

      }}} No comment about that from the gop, of course, just more prattle about the inheritance tax again.

      Oh, please!

      First off, both the actions you’re talking about are state-level actions in very supremely Dem states. There’s zero point to discuss it in those states, there’s zero reason for the federal politicos to talk about it, and the Cons media has been all over both like *ahem* on rice. It would be hard to call yourself conservative and “at all vaguely well-informed” to NOT be completely aware of both Leftool idiocies.

      Yeesh.

    42. Mike K Says:

      OBH, I think our chief concern right now is to avoid federal usurpation of state procedures. The Civil War pretty much ended the 10th Amendment but it has been observed quietly pretty well since the compromise of the 1876 election. Now, we face an overwhelming threat from an authoritarian, if not Fascist, Democrat Party.

      The conservative right, which is 95% of it, is against violence in politics. What we may see is state level refusal to enforce federal law as I have no confidence in the Supreme Court under Roberts. He is intimidated by threats to pack the Court. It worked well for Roosevelt. If the leftist feds attempt to enforce federal law, as in OSHA rules for example, we might get close to civil disobedience. Where it goes from there I have no idea. Maybe an income tax strike.

    43. Ginny Says:

      David, I agree with you David – alien is likely meant because it goes against human nature. I suspect what people in another (and more sensible) time would have said it is the way of reason – it is through reasoning that we are open to other perspectives while pride and stubborn resistance are when we are ruled by our passions. Matthew Arnold speaks of the greatness of “disinterestedness” – but of course, he meant that it is great when you see it in a man not when a group is labeled disinterested, especially by one’s opponents when they really mean someone quite interested but from their point of view. When Sowell says he was a Marxist but the force of “facts” changed his mind or when Krauthammer says he was a liberal, fully backing Mondale, but “experiential proof” changed him they are demonstrating that appropriate reasoning, but then few of us are able to be as intelligent, reasoned, and humble before facts as those two.

      I was a bit put off by the killing those who aren’t Protestants. Not because, of course, that it didn’t happen and probably because while not religious I identify with that belief system. However, I would argue that this valuing of diverse opinions and of reasoning was prepared for by the very Protestantism he disparages. The belief in a faith both universally available and personal, individual in its values was helpful in building tolerance: we are only responsible for our own souls and can not in any way hold another responsible for tempting us, etc. And also helpful was the belief that everyone else, not merely our tribe or those who profess our beliefs, etc., has the spark of divinity, a soul. These were assumptions of the inalienable right argument. And it is those inalienable rights which for so long if not always successfully lead our country to be an open marketplace of ideas and not a shaming, aggrieved, and intolerant one. Or at least, in the spirit of the appropriate humility of such positions, that is my take.

      Oh, and I agree with Michael Kennedy – this usurping by the federal government of voting procedures, etc. is extraordinarily dangerous and irritating. Since when could the federal government also tell us whether we could be “right to work” or not? The point of all those petri dishes of experimentation was not to choose the ones that don’t work and make that true throughout the land. It was to let other states choose, through reasoned observation, the ones that do work.

    44. Brian Says:

      Ginny: Um, he said killing those who ARE Protestant. I’m pretty sure it was an anti-Catholic comment.

    45. Xennady Says:

      First off, both the actions you’re talking about are state-level actions in very supremely Dem states.

      State level actions in supremely Dem states- how did those states get to be so supremely Dem, I wonder? My take is because the GOP is so gobsmackingly worthless at representing the people who vote for it, of course including the people who have become marooned in these blue hellholes. I apologize yet again for complaining about the gop, but I don’t think it can be understood how the US got so far off the rails of sanity without pointing out just how much of a shambling miserable failure the Republican party has manged to be.

      People will stop showing up to vote for a political party that does nothing for them, ever, even when it handily wins elections and takes legal control of the government. Hence I think a key factor in the slow motion collapse of American governance over my lifetime is the relentless departure of people from the demonrat plantation over to the Republican party, only to find out that the gop isn’t interested in undoing any of the damage done by you-know. They stop voting and turn against the regime, quietly. Recently, some of them showed up to vote for Trump, over regime-endorsed candidates like Jeb! Bush, Hillary Satan, or Joe Xiden.

      There’s zero point to discuss it in those states.

      Wait, what? Politics, how does it work? I think there is infinite reason to discuss it in those states, because if you don’t, you aren’t making a political case against it, and opponents of the idiocy have no where to turn to express their opposition and vote to undue it.

      there’s zero reason for the federal politicos to talk about it

      I’ve long wondered just what has to happen for the gee ohh peee to be bothered enough to involve itself in the internal affairs of the United States. If the triumph of crazy people who think 2+2=4 is racist and intend to make schoolchildren chant devotionals to the Aztec God of death aren’t enough- well, I think I’ve already expressed my contempt for the gop mucho plenty.

      and the Cons media has been all over both like *ahem* on rice. It would be hard to call yourself conservative and “at all vaguely well-informed” to NOT be completely aware of both Leftool idiocies.

      I’m completely befuddled by this sentence, sorry. I think it may be calling me a bad or conservative or just ignorant- and I don’t care. At this point “conservative” strikes me as having roughly the same connotations as “witless loser” or “conniving backstabber” and in any case I’m not interested in being associated with either.

      Enough rambling from me. Have a nice day, readers.

    46. David Foster Says:

      He referred to killing those who ARE Protestants, not those who aren’t Protestants. From the context, this was just an example of what happened in the era of religious intolerance, couldn’t just have easily been said the other way.

    47. Brian Says:

      “how did those states get to be so supremely Dem, I wonder?”
      A major part of it was the “one-person, one-vote” atrocity the Supreme Court imposed on the states. Without that, NY, CA, IL, etc., would still have some political power in the hands of their non-urban areas, as they always had before.

    48. Ginny Says:

      Sorry – obviously I don’t read closely enough.
      My Catholic friends would point out, the Catholics got to the general point first. And of course the Protestants tend to constantly split which make them less big tent within, but weak in any enforcement of homogeneity outside the church.

    49. PenGun Says:

      “rather than the cluster of ‘progressive’ believe that often fly under the ‘liberalism’ brand today.”

      I think you meant beliefs. You contrast them with “free speech, freedom of religion, and limited government” without saying what they are.

      I think its obvious that one serious weakness Libertarianism has, is the inability to deal with a pandemic. Libertarianism has no tools to deal with something that requires a pretty well universal response to a problem. Your countries performance here, is among the worst on the planet, largely because of your libertarian approach to so many things. A worse pandemic would have really hurt your country badly, although a half million+ dead, and counting, is not a good outcome.

    50. David Foster Says:

      PenGun…”Your countries performance here, is among the worst on the planet, largely because of your libertarian approach to so many things.”

      I think you mean *country’s*. And have you actually reviewed the Covid statistics in various countries? Not hard to find:

      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

    51. PenGun Says:

      LOL. Point taken.

      Yes of course, that’s how I know how badly you have done. Only the UK and a few others have such terrible numbers as the USA. Your deaths per million tell the tale. You are the 11th worst in the world.

    52. Brian Says:

      The US numbers are/look bad due to age, obesity, and the fact that we actually report numbers reasonably comprehensively. Nothing to do with “libertarianism”, which of course doesn’t describe modern America at all.

      Last I remember seeing, Quebec had numbers roughly as bad as the NY/NJ area. What was their excuse?

    53. PenGun Says:

      “Nothing to do with “libertarianism”, which of course doesn’t describe modern America at all.” No, but you have Libertarian ideas running through your country, and I would bet most of those who refused to wear masks, fall into that category.

      All of the first world nations have obesity, aging populations and report their numbers probably better than the US does. Has oversight of the CDC been removed from the White House yet? The deaths per million for Quebec, our worst performing province are about half of NY.

    54. MCS Says:

      It would be well to remember how our own Civil War was started.

      The slave states felt that they had been forced into a corner when around 40 years of increasingly strident rhetoric from abolitionists was seemingly made immanent by the election of Lincoln. Lincoln never claimed any sort of mandate to abolish slavery and the balance of congress with the slave states would have been decisively against it in 1860.

      What completely changed the dynamic was the Dred Scott decision that torpedoed the Missouri Compromise and the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The slave states “won” the right to introduce slaves into every state, even those, like Pennsylvania, where it had been illegal since before the Revolution. This had the effect of turning those that had found slavery distasteful but tolerable at a distance into active abolitionists.

      The slave states were right that they were in an untenable position long term. They had worked very hard to put themselves in a position where there was no compromise possible through “winning” in court. The great majority of free state citizens would have been content with limiting slavery to where it was probably indefinitely.

      Consent of the governed is a two way street.

    55. OBloodyHell Says:

      }}} State level actions in supremely Dem states- how did those states get to be so supremely Dem, I wonder? My take is because the GOP is so gobsmackingly worthless at representing the people who vote for it,

      RIGHT, cause the Left is sooooooo good at “representing” the people who vote for it. Just ask black people about that!

      Yup, they SAY they are “well represented”, but the facts, ehhhhh, no.

      They’ve gotten increasingly dependent on welfare, Federal aid, and a host of other small handouts. They’ve gone from decent literacy to widespread illiteracy, they’ve gotten more and more unemployment, poorer and poorer job situation. more than 70% single motherhood…

      Yeah, those Dems are REPreee-Zenting them to a fare-thee-well.

      Yeesh. Your comment is so stupid I’m not going to bother fisking the rest. You and Pengy are two sides of the same hot air balloon.

      It’s pretty fucking clear that what Dems are good at is SELLING themselves to damnfools.

      LOLZ.

    56. OBloodyHell Says:

      }}} Your countries performance here, is among the worst on the planet, largely because of your libertarian approach to so many things.

      …As I said… :-/

      Can you shove your head any further up a dem’s butt, Pengy? You might be able to get it to come out the top, if you keep pushing!!

      1) Our “performance” is easily not even CLOSE to the “worst on the planet”, except according to the merdia, whose lying has been well-documented… but whom you trust explicitly**.

      2) This “major health crisis” has been exacerbated by idiot government types, who don’t have brains enough to approach any problem holistically, but instead go straight after the symptoms, and only the symptoms.

      3) More people around the world will die from the lockdowns than any other cause… but that happens under the table, not up front.

      ====
      ** yes, LIE.

      Here’s an example, unrelated to CV, but still pretty significant:
      https://twitter.com/Heminator/status/1371507834630901762

    57. Anonymous Says:

      }}} “Nothing to do with “libertarianism”, which of course doesn’t describe modern America at all.” No, but you have Libertarian ideas running through your country, and I would bet most of those who refused to wear masks, fall into that category.

      Ah, yes. Masks. Utterly and completely useless against viral agents like Covid (the kind being used and discussed, that is, not all masks).

      THIS is according to the CDC’s own reports — there are no less than TWO “studies of studies” (i.e., someone dug up multiple studies, and combined the info they collectively presented) made by the MEDICAL part (as opposed to the POLITICAL part) of the CDC, which explicitly state that there is ZERO evidence to suggest that masks do anything to prevent the spread of viral infections.

      But the POLITICAL arm of the CDC, pushed and directed by GOVERNMENT, along with the MERDIA, who remain in lockstep with the government, say otherwise.

      But let’s IGNORE THE ACTUAL **SCIENCE**… Right?

      Moreover, observational evidence amply supports this fact, but, of course, liberals can’t actually manage that, either.

      1 — South Dakota has had neither required masking nor any widespread forced shutdowns of businesses or other, yet its CV incidence, while high, is not running away. The death rate is upper middle.

      2 — South Carolina has had less than 50% compliance, probably more like 30% for much of the last 6-odd months. If masks did ANYTHING useful, they would be spiking in cases… while they are, again, high in per capita cases, they aren’t running out of control. Deaths, they are, again, not even close to the worst case.

      3 — More critically, an examination of the graphs associated with the passage of time vs. instances of covid — multiple states, multiple timeframes — shows one very clear statistic: The implementation of mask mandates has ZERO effect on the spread of CV.

      You know, Pengy, I hear that there’s a good chance of a tidal wave hitting where you live. You should put up a chain link fence for protection!!

      SMH.

    58. PenGun Says:

      ““performance” is easily not even CLOSE to the “worst on the planet””

      Have you any evidence for this? I sure don’t see any, and as I said by largely accepted metrics, you are the 11th worst performer in the world.

    59. Xennady Says:

      RIGHT, cause the Left is sooooooo good at “representing” the people who vote for it. Just ask black people about that!

      Hilarious!

      What black people have gotten for their vote has been an endless stream of subsidies, privileges, effective immunity from a wide variety of laws and social norms, relentless discrimination in the their favor, and- lately- punishment of people who dare to say that all lives matter, instead of only black lives.

      If you can’t comprehend that this is very effective representation, then I can’t help you.

      Your comment is so stupid I’m not going to bother fisking the rest

      No no, please please PLEASE fisk my comment PLEASE please please.

      I’d love to have an excuse to explain to you just how idiotic you are, in yet more detail, not that I think you’d understand.

    60. PenGun Says:

      “You know, Pengy, I hear that there’s a good chance of a tidal wave hitting where you live. You should put up a chain link fence for protection!!”

      I can’t hear you, I’m too high: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdf5KE2LjHs&t=1s&ab_channel=ChrisCarson

    61. Mike K Says:

      Arguing or trying to debate the troll is a waste of time. Canadians, especially the last 40 years or so, have been an example of envy and hostility to the US. There is no convincing them of anything. It’s a bit like the Irish. An Irish friend of mine told me that his countrymen were not happy about Americans visiting to find their “roots.” He said “They know the cream left.” Much the same is true of Canada. I used to attend and excellent annual meeting in Saskatoon. Then one year, about 15 years ago, the meeting was cancelled and there were no plans to resume it. All the surgeons, mostly academic, had emigrated. There was no one left to put on the meeting. About the same time, I attended a meeting in Tennessee on quality improvement in Medicine. They guy sitting next to me was an architect. He had the contract to design the first new hospital to be built in Canada in 50 years. Medical schools were closed, nursing schools had big reductions in class size. Canadian politicians decided to rely on third world graduates.

      Canada was a valuable ally in WWII. Now, they have serial killers.

    62. PenGun Says:

      “Arguing or trying to debate the troll is a waste of time.”

      Yeah, I cheat and use facts.

    63. miguel cervantes Says:

      michael senger, put up a long thread that shows how corrupted all the institutions have been in the west, from universities to govts to media outlets, all crushing us with the velvet fist, the samizdat (outlaw) media is few and far between,

    64. miguel cervantes Says:

      found here

      https://twitter.com/MichaelPSenger

    65. OBloodyHell Says:

      }}} If you can’t comprehend that this is very effective representation, then I can’t help you.

      Being paid to be a craven slave, beholden to your massuh for everything?

      Reduced to illiteracy by said massuh? (Oh, yeah, go ahead and challenge that. PLEASE)

      All familial connection destroyed by said massuh? (Yep. again, go ahead and challenge that)

      They have the ILLUSION of all kinds of things. What they have is things “granted” to them by those they’ve given their votes to. If that “representation” takes its grift away from them, what can they do? Nothing, they have been reduced to mental, moral, and financial penury.

      in 1880, the plight of the average “Chinaman” was little better than that of the newly freed blacks. They were treated horribly, their lives worth less than a horse, segregated, lynched for looking at “white women”, and generally treated like dirt.

      THEY didn’t get “represented” like black people did.

      And they’ve managed to be so successful that they consistently equal or outdo those who formerly oppressed them.

      If that is “representation”, give us ALL less of it. A lot lot less.

      }}} No no, please please PLEASE fisk my comment PLEASE please please.

      You’re kidding? With THAT mentally incompetent a counter, you think I’m going to bother wasting any MORE time showing you to be the idiot pretty much everyone here knows you are, already?

      }}} Pengy: I sure don’t see any, and as I said by largely accepted metrics, you are the 11th worst performer in the world.

      You said, I Quote: “Your countries performance here, is among the worst on the planet”. 11th is hardly “the worst”. Nor does it qualify as “among the worst” by any rational accounting for the term.

      Moreover, that rank is clearly inflated by our preposterously crappy reporting metrics that classify nearly every death where covid is present as a covid death, regardless of whether covid was a major factor.

      }}} Yeah, I cheat and use facts.

      Pengy, blatantly obvious made up facts by propaganda sources aren’t facts.

      Multiple threads on this blog have shown REPEATEDLY that the political arms of the CDC and WHO are both incompetent and lying to you, with the MEDICAL arm of the CDC rejecting the assertions of the political arm of both CDC/WHO multiple times and multiple ways.

      Those pesky “FACTs” you think you’re quoting are not facts, they’re propaganda, and anyone with a brain can tell this.

      }}} I can’t hear you, I’m too high

      NYEEEEEOOOOWWW!!! Right over your head.

      }}} MikeK: Arguing or trying to debate the troll is a waste of time.

      Not if you’re having fun doing it. :-P

      Pengy: I repeat: “NYEEEEEOOOOWWW!!! Right over your head.”.
      Hint: He wasn’t calling ME a troll.

    66. PenGun Says:

      You are starting to lose it. Hell a lot of people here are. Just calm down, take your meds, and chill. ;)

    67. PenGun Says:

      NYEEEEEOOOOWWW!!! Right over your head.

      Yeah I actually was flying it back and forth, in Sport Mode, to do almost exactly what you said. It sounds pretty cool. ;)

    68. Xennady Says:

      If that is “representation”, give us ALL less of it. A lot lot less.

      Don’t make your case to me. Make it to them. They seem to disagree, at least based upon their voting patterns.

      You’re kidding? With THAT mentally incompetent a counter, you think I’m going to bother wasting any MORE time showing you to be the idiot pretty much everyone here knows you are, already?

      This is an insult, not an argument. It’s not helping your case.

    69. Mike K Says:

      I do hate to feed the troll by paying attention but this is just too funny.

      The EU performance with the virus and the vaccines.

      While the U.S. and other countries rushed to sign agreements with vaccine makers, the E.U. first tried to make sure all 27 of its member countries agreed on how to approach the negotiations. Europe chose “to prioritize process over speed and to put solidarity between E.U. countries ahead of giving individual governments more room to maneuver,” Jillian Deutsch and Sarah Wheaton write for Politico Europe.

      The result was slower regulatory approval of the vaccines and delayed agreements to buy doses, forcing Europe to wait in line behind countries that

      This is an example of what Trump did for those who deny he got things goinng faster.

    70. Brian Says:

      If someone would have written a story a few years ago where the DoD issued a memo like this, they would have been first laughed at and then accused of ginning up divisive hysteria:
      https://twitter.com/Progrockfarmer/status/1372239325514043399
      “This DoD Memorandum has a directive from POTUS that states that US forces are to ‘promote and protect human rights of gays, transgenders, etc.’ abroad.
      Read it for yourself.”

    71. OBloodyHell Says:

      }}} Don’t make your case to me. Make it to them. They seem to disagree, at least based upon their voting patterns.

      How they vote says nothing about how the result effects them. That they can be absolute fools says nothing whatsoever.

      This is obvious, but the ineptness of your argument follows from the ineptness which preceded it.

      }}} This is an insult, not an argument. It’s not helping your case.

      Your continued ineptness at debate doesn’t deserve more.

    72. Mike K Says:

      How many have seen the “Evidence” of the “assault” on officer Sicknik that is now to be used to sentence two men to 60 years in prison?

      Here it is in all its glory.

    73. PenGun Says:

      “I do hate to feed the troll by paying attention but this is just too funny.”

      Mike Canada is doing a worse job rolling out vaccines that Europe. We are doing very badly indeed. Most of the reason for that though, was our Conservative government that sold Connaught Labs. We had one of the very best vaccine producing operations on the planet, but Harper did not like the public sector one bit. Things like this, make it extremely hard to elect Conservatives nationally these days.

    74. Xennady Says:

      How they vote says nothing about how the result effects them. That they can be absolute fools says nothing whatsoever.

      So now you argue black people are stupid for voting for the people who bestow upon them- let me quote myself- an endless stream of subsidies, privileges, effective immunity from a wide variety of laws and social norms, relentless discrimination in the their favor, and- lately- punishment of people who dare to say that all lives matter, instead of only black lives.

      Are you sure about that? Have you really thought that through? Because I don’t think you have.

      Likewise, do you think homosexuals are stupid for voting for the party that has now decided a priority for the DoD is to “promote and protect human rights of gays, transgenders, etc.’ abroad?” And seeks to force schools to teach schoolchildren that homosexuality is wonderful? And seeks to punish people who say otherwise, and ban their books?

      Again, think about that, and ponder what “representation” actually means.

      This is obvious, but the ineptness of your argument follows from the ineptness which preceded it. Your continued ineptness at debate doesn’t deserve more.

      Still not helping- well, I can’t really say you’re making a case, now can I?

    75. Xennady Says:

      Things like this, make it extremely hard to elect Conservatives nationally these days.

      That, and the omnipresent leftist vote fraud.

    76. Brian Says:

      re: Mike’s link to revolver: Why are so many “conservative” web sites so awful? I don’t mean content, I mean their design is terrible and it is difficult to find the text of the story because there are ads everywhere. It’s embarrassing. I think it’s because there are zero wealthy conservative donors who are interested in funding such things. The left has done a great job of viciously attacking anyone who might even consider it.
      Along those same lines, note the George Soros can give vast amounts of money to protect antifa and related trash from any legal consequences, as can Democrat politicos all the way to the very top, but literally no one from the GOP/conservative side will lift a finger to assist these poor slobs being railroaded. So many people have already spent months in jail for doing nothing more than “trespassing”, and in the end any of them that don’t plea out are almost certain to have everything dismissed because the feds have nothing on them. Meanwhile their lives are all ruined forever.

    77. PenGun Says:

      “That, and the omnipresent leftist vote fraud.”

      I know this is your new go to, but I have explained how its pretty well impossible to defraud a Canadian national election. If you missed that I could explain again. :)

    78. Brian Says:

      Well, Conservatives got quite a few more votes than the Liberals in Canada in 2019, but somehow won far fewer seats (though they appear to have made substantial gains over the previous election).
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_Canadian_federal_election
      And no, I have no interest in the troll attempting to vomit forth any nonsense trying to explain how their system works. I’m just saying, it’s clear that the conservatives do have broad based support there.

    79. PenGun Says:

      Brian. What you are missing is that we are not a 2 party state. With the NDP, a party to the left of the Liberals counted, the left crushed the Conservatives.

    80. Brian Says:

      Sigh. I know I shouldn’t feed the troll…

      I’m not missing anything, you demented hobbit. That’s got nothing to do with what I said. I didn’t say anything about coalitions, did I? I said Conservatives got (a lot) more votes than Liberals, but won (a lot) fewer seats. And that’s a simple fact.

      Troll ignoring is now turned back on, so go ahead and babble away, I won’t bother to respond.

    81. PenGun Says:

      “I’m not missing anything, you demented hobbit.” I believe your point was that “it’s clear that the conservatives do have broad based support there.” That is not true, and I was just pointing that out, as my point was that they are unelectable at this point.

      Perhaps its time for your meds too. ;)

    82. Brian Says:

      Question for those old enough to remember: What was it like when Jimmy Carter was president? Was it humiliating? Embarrassing? Enraging? Somehow seeing a pitiful clerk and his purple haired sidekick get humiliated by a Chinese minister makes me feel nothing. I don’t feel any sort of attachment to him, or this administration, in the slightest.

    83. Mike K Says:

      I was on my first trip to England when Carter was president. I remember being embarrassed about him as he seemed clownish. Then I thought “Well, at least he has been a businessman,” referring to his peanut farm. He was just ineffectual although he probably meant well. He meant well except for Israel which he hated. The hostage crisis was an illustration of how ineffective he was. Biden, of course, is far worse but we don’t even know who is running Biden.

    84. Brian Says:

      My mother switched from Blue Dog Democrat (basically from an FDR worshipping family) to conservative GOP thanks to Carter. I was too young to remember him. He was just the idiot from before Reagan came in and restored things.
      Like I said, I can’t even feel anything about that disgraceful display in Alaska. Just don’t care. The fact that China, Russia, NK, etc., are just openly ridiculing the American president and government doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I’m not going to join in or anything, but I couldn’t care less. It’s like Subotai says, TWANLOC, etc. That’s what the left has accomplished in the past 20 years.

    85. Mike K Says:

      My family were FDR Democrats, too. They were horrified when I told them I was voting for Nixon in 1960. Especially since a family legend was that we were related to the Kennedys. Later, in a trip to Ireland, I figured out that the legend was probably BS.

      The problem was that I had taken an Economics class in college. I’m not sure that would have the same effect these days.

    86. Mike K Says:

      Here is a Canada story for the troll.

      The days when Canadians were trusted allies and fought wars are over. Now, watch your pronouns.

      A parent in Canada has been under a compelled speech order for several years and has been jailed for non-compliance. Washington State has already instituted a law saying 13-year-old children can seek transition treatment without a parent’s consent. Considering the Biden administration’s position on trans issues and this cultural moment, how can we believe this is not possible in America?

      Craziness may be contagious.

    87. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      Brian: “I don’t feel any sort of attachment to him [Beijing Biden*], or this administration, in the slightest.”

      That is a very interesting observation. When we had an elected President, he clearly lived in the heads of all the Lefties. NY Pravda and all their comrades in arms could not stop thinking about President Trump, being enraged about him, being angry with him. And their 24/7 vituperation did infect otherwise normal citizens.

      Now, with the Senile Sniffer, we smile, we laugh, we shake our heads in disbelief — and we get on with our lives. Even though the Plagiarizing Pretender is a complete disaster.

      I am not sure what this means. Have lots of us simply lost interest and are now just waiting for the merry-go-round to stop?

    88. PenGun Says:

      Mike, I don’t like this either. I am not a fan of Mr Peterson, Valium junkies are pathetic, but I don’t think children should have to decide gender issues while they are still growing. This is happening all over the world, and the woke gender benders are very aggressive, because of the guilt so many governments feel about this issue.

      “The days when Canadians were trusted allies and fought wars are over.” This I am very pleased with, although its not entirely true. We still back your braindead attitude towards China, and took Meng as a hostage for you.

      The Kingston Trio:

      They’re rioting in Africa,
      They’re starving in Spain.
      There’s hurricanes in Florida,
      And Texas needs rain
      The whole world is festering
      With unhappy souls.
      The French hate the Germans,
      The Germans hate the Poles;
      Italians hate Yugoslavs,
      South Africans hate the Dutch,
      And I don’t like anybody very much!

    89. miguel cervantes Says:

      it feels like de borchgrave’s the spike, with the missippi manque for carter, I forget the name of the democrat in mccarry’s better angels, or ed jason in drury’s come nineveh come tyre, the last is like the apocalips scenario for America, where we lose the Cold War,

    90. Xennady Says:

      Have lots of us simply lost interest and are now just waiting for the merry-go-round to stop?

      Yes. I think vast swarms of Americans- and a majority of actual voters- have roughly the same attachment to the present regime that subjects of the USSR had to theirs, circa 1985.

      That is, none at all.

      I’m sure nothing bad will come of that, because as we all know the experts assured us- they assured us, as experts!!!- that the Soviet Union was here to stay, and that worked out pretty well…

      Oh.

      Never mind