Patterico's Pontifications

5/15/2018

Why Real Conversation Has Become Increasingly Impossible

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 am

A couple more Sam Harris podcasts provide the jumping off point today for a discussion of the impediments to conversation I see in today’s world: a lack of respect for reason, and a lack of shared values.

Yesterday at the gym I was listening to a Harris podcast from a live event he did with Ben Shapiro and Eric Weinstein. (All hail the Intellectual Dark Web!) Shapiro says here that “basic concepts like reason are being thrown out,” citing two examples: one from the right and one from the left. Shapiro cites the Roy Moore debacle, saying that the evidence was compelling that Roy Moore engaged in improper activity with underage girls — yet many people on the right will deny it. From the left, you can say something simple like: there are two sexes, a male sex and a female sex . . . and people will lose their minds. I’ll give you a snippet from 21:16 to 24:24, but the whole thing is worth listening to:

Shapiro says the “loss of common values” like “human reason and objective truth” have been lost, and that we no longer have a common framework for conversation. People have a difficult time having a conversation with others because the others will “change the terms they are using, they’ll change the frame of reference they are using, and then they’ll toss reason out altogether.”

I think this well encapsulates what interferes with conversation these days: lack of reason and a lack of common values.

I’ll start with the jettisoning of reason. What I mean by this is mainly the phenomenon of people talking past one another, rather than grappling with each other’s points. Anyone who has ever had a discussion on the Internet has experienced this. I believe it is the default mode of Internet communication, at least regarding politics. It is almost a miracle to find a person with whom you disagree, who is willing to actually listen to what you say, take it seriously without mischaracterizing it, and respond with their own argument that addresses your viewpoint in a honest and forthright manner.

Far more common than such rare honest conversation is the employment of any number of intellectually dishonest techniques that superficially resemble actual debate, but are in fact techniques for dissembling. The strategies are so many in number that a full taxonomy would be impossible, but off the top of my head, here are several I commonly see: recharacterizing what the other person said in some unfair way to make their point sound less effective; asking why you’re even discussing the topic at all when some other topic x is more important; pointing out that other people have engaged in the same behavior y that the opponent is complaining about; completely ignoring the point that the other person made and holding forth about some related but different topic; making the conversation about the character of the person with whom you are speaking rather than the ideas they are discussing; and the list goes on.

Two things are important to notice here. First, a bad faith actor can ruin a conversation even when his opponent is fair-minded. Second, even smart people use these bad faith techniques routinely. A great example of people talking past each other can be found on Harris’s podcast with Ezra Klein about Charles Murray, race, and IQ. The “conversation” (if you can call it that) lasts over two hours, and yet Klein does not address any of the key points that Harris makes. Harris spends the conversation repeatedly making the point that he doesn’t necessarily subscribe to Murray’s policy preferences, but that data are data, and when you refuse to acknowledge that, you’re in a dangerous place. Harris acknowledges his concern about the history of racial inequality in our nation and says that we have to approach the problem from an honest perspective. Klein spends the two hours avoiding Harris’s arguments, suggesting that Harris is a privileged white boy who doesn’t care about blacks, and bemoaning social policies that Harris has already said he is not necessarily defending. Klein is smug and utterly dishonest. He’s a very smart guy. He just doesn’t use reason to argue. He uses a facsimile of it.

I’m not sure this is a trend, by the way. Although I see this more commonly on the Internet these days than I used to, that may reflect the fact that I am in more Internet arguments than I used to be in, rather than reflecting some kind of overall decrease in the use of reason.

Let me turn now to our lack of shared values. For me, this is the most distressing part of the argument that I see literally all the time now, in the era of Donald Trump, that we have to “fight fire with fire” or “use the rules of the left against them.” It leads to a lack of any values that we can hold up as important, that we both share, as a foundation for further conversation.

Let me begin by acknowledging one sense in which I think it is appropriate to “fight fire with fire.” I think it can be justified to do this if you pick your target carefully — meaning you pick an actual person who has engaged in bad behavior, and not just a member of a group that has people who have engaged in bad behavior — and then you show that how they are acting incorrectly, by your engaging in their exact behavior as a performative to demonstrate why the behavior is wrong.

For example, if I am on Twitter and I point out that a particular politician is immoral because they have engaged in adultery, and someone comes along and says “Whatabout Bill Clinton? You loved it when he did what he did in the Oval Office!” I feel justified in telling that person that I am going to use their exact behavior in interacting with them. If they attempt to make a logical point, I will respond with unfounded assumptions about their political beliefs. I will respond to every question they ask about any topic by responding with a non sequitur about Bill Clinton. I will explain why I am doing this: not because it’s wonderful to all of a sudden have an excuse to act like an asshole, but to show them that they did this to me, and they shouldn’t.

This strategy always fail to impart the lesson, but it’s not immoral to try it.

Far too often, however, we see this pattern. I will say: “it’s wrong for a person to engage in behavior x” and someone from “my side” will use some variant of the “fight fire with fire” argument. They will feel no need to show that the target of their immoral behavior actually did the same immoral behavior in the past. It will be enough that the person is a member of “the left” — and surely someone from “the left” has done some similar bad thing. The assumption is that “the left” is winning All The Wars because they are uniquely hard-headed enough to engage in immoral behavior x, and by God, the right needs to wake up and engage in immoral behavior x as well, or Civilization Will Be Lost.

And so we get stuff like this:

I never heard of Colin Kahl before that tweet, and I’d be willing to bet that before Kurt Schlichter cheered the use of a black ops firm to go after the guy’s family, Kurt Schlichter never heard of him either. No matter. The guy is an Obama guy, and didn’t Obama people engage in bad behaviors a, b, and c? Well of course they did! So therefore screwing with this guy’s family is now moral. It’s the New Rules! Ha ha! We used your rules against you!

This sort of thing isn’t really about holding the other side to their standards. Increasingly, it is simply about rationalizing bad behavior. The thing is, almost every bad actor on Earth, now and throughout human history, has rationalized their bad behavior in the same way. Al Qaeda and ISIS actually believe they are/were giving America a taste of its own medicine. Hitler believed he was getting back at the Jews in some way for a “stab in the back” that caused the loss of World War I. And has nobody on the right ever visited a hard left blog or their comments sections? They are crawling with people who believe that the right has uniquely been hard-headed in its use of immoral tactics, and that it’s high time the left got wise and started engaging in the same activity.

When people use these sorts of arguments as a transparent way to rationalize immoral behavior, simply because they enjoy engaging in immoral behavior, I no longer feel I share any values with them. If I can’t start our conversation by saying: “I think we can all agree that, absent extreme situations that rarely apply in normal life, people (including people in public life) should not engage in behavior x” and have you agree, where behavior x is clearly immoral, you and I have no common framework for discussion.

The perfect storm, of course, is to combine both of the factors I have bemoaned here: a lack of respect for reason (grappling with your opponent’s argument) together with a “we have fight fire with fire or we will lose” mentality. For example, I can say with certainty that some people will respond to my comments about shared moral values by repeating the mantra that we have to do what the left does or we’ll lose, and people like me who whine about principles just can’t see that. That both jettisons reason (because you’re talking past my entire argument here) and rationalizes bad behavior — both of the problems I have outlined here. And yet I know it will happen.

In the past, I would get frustrated with such people. This blog has always been somewhat unique in that the proprietor historically gets in the comments and engages. But as more of the discussions become arguments, I find myself frustrated enough that I am coming to recognize that many conversations simply aren’t worth having. That the first rule of discussion is to identify whether the person in question is the sort who engages in the sort of behaviors I have described here. (Oddly, the two behaviors often go hand in hand.) If they do, I simply won’t talk to them. I have recognized that such discussions are a waste of time. Indeed, to avoid the temptation to be sucked into such discussions, I actively use tools (blocking on Twitter, a comment script here) to avoid even seeing commentary from such people.

Dishonest people characterize my actions in doing this as my avoiding debate. That of course ignores everything I just said about how I seek out honest debate. Meaning that people who make comments like that are engaging in the exact lack of reason I decry here.

Which is why they are blocked.

Some conversations aren’t worth having, except for the entertainment value inherent in showing how dishonest the other person is acting. (And that entertainment value wears thin quickly.) Sam Harris’s podcast with Klein was amusing to the extent that it gave the listener a chance to hear Harris wallop Klein. But it wasn’t a conversation — and if that’s what Harris was seeking, then having it with Klein was a mistake. Harris should have been able to see, from Klein’s entire Internet persona, that Klein is not an honest interlocutor. He should have avoided the discussion entirely — unless the entertainment value of the walloping is what he was after. (Sometimes I engage in discussion with dishonest actors for the same entertainment value.)

But if you can’t use reason and find shared basic values with me, you’re not worth my time. That’s what I have learned, and Harris’s podcasts have helped illuminate that point for me.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

316 Responses to “Why Real Conversation Has Become Increasingly Impossible”

  1. Let me begin by acknowledging one sense in which I think it is appropriate to “fight fire with fire.” I think it can be justified to do this if you pick your target carefully — meaning you pick an actual person who has engaged in bad behavior, and not just a member of a group that has people who have engaged in bad behavior — and then you show that how they are acting incorrectly, by your engaging in their exact behavior as a performative to demonstrate why the behavior is wrong.

    This is how I feel when I see Gryph start off a thread with name calling.

    BuDuh (8713aa)

  2. Klein has always been a propagandist from pandagon
    To American prospect to the Washington post, Harris is a
    Seeker after the truth however imperfectly he might perceive it.

    narciso (b4022c)

  3. Harris needs to accept Christ into his life. Things will become cleared to him.

    NJRob (b00189)

  4. Rip Tom wolfe.

    narciso (b4022c)

  5. The demise of objective truth was and remains a core objective of the Progressive movement. A significant piece of this is that plain meaning interpretation of the Constitution is essentially gone.

    The creation of constructs in academia has resulted in fantastical “studies” which have become doctrine. The world is a far more easier place to navigate if one is convinced it is not necessary to accept it (human nature particularly) as it is. we can just think our way out of difficulty.

    Man’s conceit is endless, eh?

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  6. Everyone should share the same values more better.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  7. > pointing out that other people have engaged in the same behavior y that the opponent is complaining about;

    I don’t think this is *always* inappropriate. For example: as a response to the allegation that someone is uniquely horrible because they [y], it’s on topic to say, no, actually [y] is quite common among similarly situated people.

    The overwhelming majority of the time, it’s misused as a derailment technique. But that’s the *use* to which the argument is put, not the *essence* of the argument, which is faulty.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  8. R.I.P. Tom Wolfe, who wrote the book “The Right Stuff”

    Icy (18abdc)

  9. I think this well encapsulates what interferes with conversation these days: lack of reason and a lack of common values.

    I’ve found following these rules work well:

    1) Never resort to name-calling or epithets in lieu of a rational argument. (Ex: Trumpalo, Trumpkin, Deplorable, cultist)
    2) Never hold yourself out as a model of reasoned discussion. Just practice it.

    Try it.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  10. Re #8, segue to DCSCA busting a nut

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  11. *works well

    random viking (6a54c2)

  12. It’s in the nature of conversation itself. As opposed to merely listening. Each participant has something he wishes to impart. He already has “the answer” and he wants you to know it too. His degree of deference depends on his personal regard for you more than it does in the expectation that he could learn something from you.

    The Socratic dialogues are a series of examples of this. I’ll point to a couple. Socrates was extremely respectful to Protagoras, one of the greatest of the Sophists (that’s what they called philosophers before Socrates). He was downright mean to Meno who was “a disreputable, ambitious and dishonest youth, willing to commit any injustice for advancement” and who came to bad end in Xenophon’s Anabasis.

    TL;DR What makes conversation difficult is that people want to be listened to, not listen.

    nk (dbc370)

  13. 5 posts in and a broad brush attack on “progressives” already.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  14. For progressives speech serves only positive liberty ends i.e. redistributive, consider Marcuse ‘repressive tolerance’ some ideAs need not be discussed.

    narciso (b4022c)

  15. A few other conversational impedimenta worth keeping in mind:

    1. Listening to other perspectives is often difficult for very intelligent people, particularly those with a lot of time and ego invested in a particular argument or set of positions. Disdain and dismissal is a common facet of intellectual contests. I suspect the best way to avoid this is to try and be humble and not take oneself too seriously (see point three) and

    2. Snide distractions abound. This can be fun and we are all guilty of it, but it’s all too frequently destructive in discussion and actively ill-intentioned in debate.

    3. Saying “I don’t know” or “I could be mistaken” is almost taken as an admission of fault and weakness. Should it be? Am I imagining this?

    4. Logorrhea is treated as “winning”. This happened to me recently with someone on Facebook who is convinced that Jordan Peterson is a “fraud.” No, he didn’t make a very good case – 3,000+ words into a reply.

    JP (27cc8b)

  16. I happen to think that Progressivism was Wilson’s formula for keeping the masses pacified and not revolting; the Bolsheviks having scared the pants off of him. It was seized on by later opportunists as their tamed and tethered version of populism to gain and retain power.

    nk (dbc370)

  17. It’s what he learned at John Hopkins the German dirigiste bug.

    narciso (b4022c)

  18. Oh, and to divide us over horsesh!t like whether there are more than two sexes and more than three genders; and, with 52 million of the population guaranteed to have an IQ below 85, guaranteed to have believers for any kind of nonsense.

    nk (dbc370)

  19. > Progressivism was Wilson’s formula

    what’s the argument there? Teddy Roosevelt was the first “progressive” President, and he ran against Wilson on the Progressive Party platform.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  20. Proof that I actually read Pat’s posts: Typo?

    “the same behavior y that the opponent”

    Tillman (a95660)

  21. Be that as it may, today’s Progressivism springs directly from Wilson post-WWI, but I’ll credit Teddy for the national parks.

    nk (dbc370)

  22. Easy to decry the lack of shared values, difficult to agree on which values are sharded, and by elimination, which values are assumed to be mutual but aren’t, by a long shot.

    Go into a conversation assuming intellectual adherence to a shared set of standard values and be prepared to blindsided by an argument from beyond the Rubicon.

    Of the unshared values the Left employs regularly against conservatives one ever present is the perversion of logic. If there’s a logical fallacy that can twisted into a personal indictment of a conservative opponent’s ethics, morality, or character be sure it will become central to the ‘conversation.’

    The Left doesn’t give a tinker’s damn for shared values, they laugh at fools who handicap themselves with such easily exploitable vulnerabilities.

    ropelight (e71f86)

  23. I noticed the typo, too, Tillman. It suggests to me that Patterico wrote this with passion because he’s usually more careful and dispassionate.

    DRJ (15874d)

  24. What makes conversation difficult is that people want to be listened to, not listen.

    nk (dbc370) — 5/15/2018 @ 9:01 am

    Good point. I also think many people are frustrated and primarily care about getting even. In fact, that may be what makes them refuse to listen. Why listen to or empathize with people with whom you want to get even?

    DRJ (15874d)

  25. By the way, there are people from all sides and views who feel that way.

    DRJ (15874d)

  26. I agree that the standards of argument are being increasingly lost, but I do have to object to one particular point.

    Mr. P asserts that “This sort of thing isn’t really about holding the other side to their standards. Increasingly, it is simply about rationalizing bad behavior.” The problem is that this is itself an example of the kind of accusation being denounced, in that it’s an essentially Bulveristic accusation about motive for disagreement and not a logical or evidentiary disproof of any particular disagreement at all. In essence, it seems to assumes that any argument for retributive policy based on moral distinction of circumstance — to say that X behaviour is licit in some circumstances but not others, or for Us but not Them — is by definition nothing but a rationalization of convenience, which is in its own way just as much a bad-faith delegitimization of disagreement as anything it’s criticizing. Even in the real world of grown-ups, sometimes “They did it first” is a valid point.

    As an example, consider the very tweet provided above: Colin Kahl’s clear implication is that Kurt Schlichter is cheering for Kahl’s family being threatened by professional mercenaries when in reality they are “only” being investigated for political dirt. Now one may consider it legitimate to target a politician’s family or not, but that’s not the point; the point is to de-legitimize — by forcing a public demonstration thereof — the hypocrisy of only protesting that action when it’s one’s own family or party in the crosshairs, and the dishonesty of making oneself look like the victim by exaggerating the opponent’s actions.

    If we want bad-but-technically-legal behaviour to be discouraged, there must, by definition, be punitive consequences for that behaviour — you don’t always have to fight fire with fire, but if you want to fight it at all you have to fight it with something that works.

    Stephen J. (308ea7)

  27. Yes the fact he was running interference for a Taiwanese shipper trying to break the blockade doesn’t figure into it.

    narciso (b4022c)

  28. Well, you blew this story by the second paragraph.

    “saying that the evidence was compelling that Roy Moore engaged in improper activity with underage girls”

    Hogwash. I’m aware of no compelling evidence. I heard a load of stories, most of which involved nothing improper, and none of which I was sufficiently foolish to believe without any corroboration at all.

    Yes, this “reason” thing is tricky. Most of those who lament its absence aren’t terribly good at it themselves.

    tom swift (69313d)

  29. The assumption is that “the left” is winning All The Wars because they are uniquely hard-headed enough to engage in immoral behavior x, and by God, the right needs to wake up and engage in immoral behavior x as well, or Civilization Will Be Lost.

    I think this touches on the reason for the disconnect between those on the right who support Trump and those who don’t. Those who do are of the belief we are at war, a (so far) cold civil war, and the situation carries a sense of urgency and as in all wars, what is normally considered immoral (shooting other people) becomes not only moral in a hot war, but a duty.

    The left has unequivocally declared it wants to fundamentally transform our nation, and is using “by any means necessary” to do it. They want to destroy capitalism and make us socialist. They want to erase our borders rendering us not a nation at all, but a virtual stateless region containing “citizens of the world”. They daily and blatantly attack our bill of rights, treat the idea of individual sovereignty as trash, weaponize the law against the citizens it was meant to serve. They have systematically dismantled the basic building block of civilization, the family, replacing it with themselves. They have corrupted our education system so it is no longer about education, but indoctrination into the cult of social justice, in which actual classic education is a hindrance. And on and on. They are never done, they never give up.

    Meanwhile, the usual “conservative” reaction; conserving nothing.

    This is why the constant attacks on Trumps perceived shortcomings fail to impact those of us that feel we are in a very real and desperate war to preserve our way of life. Just as Eisenhower overlooked Patton’s foibles when he was needed, we are in the position of Lincoln when he said “I can’t spare this man, he fights”.

    So yes, in normal times it’s right and good to take the high road. However, these re not those times, and self righteous passivity is no virtue when attacked. Violence is usually wrong, but there comes a time when you have to hit back. And when you are left in a ditch wounded and bloody, your family taken and enslaved, all your possessions stolen and your home occupied by the barbarians, it’s too late. Now is the time of Churchill, not Chamberlain.

    the Bas (80e68a)

  30. Proof that I actually read Pat’s posts
    — Well, there is reading and then there is comprehension.

    Icy (18abdc)

  31. And when you are left in a ditch wounded and bloody, your family taken and enslaved, all your possessions stolen and your home occupied by the barbarians, it’s too late.

    You, and everyone who thinks like you, are unhinged.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  32. Political argument these days reminds me of a little child confronted by their mom, who has just discovered a huge mess their child made in the house by playing with something they weren’t allowed to play with. The child knows the truth – that he broke the rule – but has an uncanny knack for finding ways around having to admit it. It’s not so much lack of ability to reason, as it is an unwillingness to face the CONSEQUENCES of confessing the facts. Human reasoning always becomes faulty whenever we are trying to justify something we know is wrong or prove something we know is false. A typical scenario plays out as follows:

    1. The Garden of Eden evasion scene replays. When confronted with his guilt, Adam blamed Eve, and Eve then blamed the snake…and, likewise, your child will blame their sibling, because THEY could not POSSIBLY be responsible for making a mess! (They’re the cleanest, most orderly child in the universe! And they unfailingly obey all your rules!) It’s not THEIR fault – it’s someone else’s fault. “No, Mom, HE did it!” is a familiar refrain to all mothers.

    In politics, the evasion game takes the form of “pin the blame on the other party (or uncooperative members of your own party).” You hear blame shifted so often, it’s like the song that never ends, on everlasting replay. It’s not Obama’s fault that the economy is suffering after his stimulus plan; everything is still Bush’s fault. It’s not Trump’s fault people think he is a wholly unlikeable, boorish, corrupt liar, adulterer, and racist; it’s the mainstream media’s fault for lying about him. Never mind that in each case the presidents made their own decisions and were just facing the consequences for those decisions. When that fails,

    2. The child will deny obvious facts. You could have personally witnessed the whole incident that caused the mess, but the child will STILL confidently assert that they DIDN’T DO IT.

    In politics, this usually happens before incontrovertible evidence to the contrary is presented. Clinton said he DID NOT have relations with that woman, and Democrats followed suit by propagating that lie. Trump said he didn’t pay off Stormy Daniels, and many Republicans obediently followed by disseminating this deception. When facts come out that prove that was a lie,

    Third, the child criticizes the parent’s apparent inconsistency in application of the rules…pointing at their sibling, they protest “but HE did it TOO! Why isn’t HE in trouble? Why does HE get to do this and I can’t?” Whataboutism starts young, because children are BORN with an internal justice meter that sounds alarms whenever their older sibling isn’t subject to the same rules they are.

    Adults smugly sit back thinking they won the political argument when they retort “but [insert other party’s politician name here] did this too, and you didn’t have a problem with it then!”, without considering that even a toddler knows how to play that game! And any parent knows (because they often have to remind their own children) that two wrongs don’t make a right: even if someone else did it too, you’re STILL going to be held responsible for your own failings.

    Fourth, the child attacks the parent’s wisdom in even having that rule. “But my friend’s mom lets him do this!” [and, by implication, if you knew anything at all, you would, too!] They claim the reasoning behind your rule is not valid. It’s always cute when a very young child decides to instruct a grown adult about the way things REALLY are…because, you know, as an adult, you couldn’t possibly know more than they do, or have more wisdom taught by life experience. :)

    In politics, this shows up in the form of insults about intelligence. If someone doesn’t agree with you politically, they must be an idiot [a term which is considered synonymous with “Leftist” in conservative circles, or with “conservative” in progressive circles]. They are clearly insane, delusional, or suffer from some sort of political derangement syndrome. They were educated at public “skrewels” (according to Limbaugh). Or they are naive enough to believe the news from THAT (other party’s) media source. Or they are incapable of logic, or whatever. Clearly, their political disagreement shows that they couldn’t possibly be smart or informed, or their brain certainly couldn’t be functioning properly. It is never presumed that one’s ideological opponent could actually be highly intelligent, but just base their logic on different premises than you do, have had their perspective informed by very different life experiences than yours, or operate from the vantage point of a different value system than yours.

    Then, because he knows you have won and figured out he is guilty and he can’t convince you otherwise, sometimes the child gets furious and…

    Fifth, the child personally attacks their mom’s character, because he is mad that she is strictly enforcing the rule. “You are so mean!” he cries, or throws tantrums, or musters whatever childish bad words he can find to apply to you. See? Ad hominem starts early, too.

    In political discussions, this attitude is virtually ubiquitous: “If I don’t like your political views, you must be a bad person…it’s not even possible that you could be a decent human being who merely disagrees with me, because the dictionary definition of ‘good person’ is ‘someone who shares all my political views.’ I’ve exhausted all my arguments and you’ve won this round (and I know you’re right, but am too proud to admit it or too stubborn to accept your view), so I will start discrediting you (the messenger) since I can find no effective way to disprove your message. I will call you all sorts of degrading or insulting names to try to make others not take you, or your message, seriously. I will smear your reputation with others in my own party (and thus isolate you) by making you my favorite scapegoat for everything that goes wrong, and by labeling you as a traitor to my cause, because you don’t agree with me. I will call you degrading names or try to bully you into thinking my way. I will undermine you in any way possible, or diminish your audience by kicking you out from having any voice at my organization (under false pretenses), lest your message get out and take hold. Ad hominem is nothing but an admission that your opponent won, and a demonstration that you are mad that he did.

    LJ (d845d1)

  33. Harris needs to accept Christ into his life. Things will become cleared to him.

    NJRob (b00189) — 5/15/2018 @ 8:26 am

    He might have to bump Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from his schedule for that, jk.

    I really don’t think Richard Dawkins would talk to him anymore if he did that. That’s kind of that Pride of Life the Bible talks about that leads people straight to Hades. Some folks call it Hell.

    He does really have good podcast All Stars like Gary Taubes and Jocko Willink though.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  34. Probably not, look at the straw man burning Esquire does to Jordan Petersen, how the times journal Gannett post attribute a riot in Gaza to events 100 miles away.

    narciso (d1f714)

  35. @13 Davethulhu – Facts are a difficult thing. They force one to bend to them else one become a fool. There are many fools.

    LJ – Remind me to not take you on in argument. :) I very much enjoy reading your contributions.

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  36. TL;DR What makes conversation difficult is that people want to be listened to, not listen.

    nk (dbc370) — 5/15/2018 @ 9:01 am

    Yeah, what he said!

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  37. You, and everyone who thinks like you, are unhinged.

    Really? Nice way to underscore the point of the post.

    By the way, paid any attention to Venezuela lately? Think it can’t happen here?

    the Bas (80e68a)

  38. What podcasting has brought forth is long conversations, usually in a non visual medium. People who do podcasting right do their reads or ads before they get started. They don’t interview people, they just sit down and start talking. They might be remotely located from the person but they aren’t doing that stupid TV thing of putting someone in a studio and just giving them an audio feed.
    That’s one of the more irritating aspects of Hannity type TV or radio shows. They probably want the cross talk and drama though.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  39. RIP Tom Wolfe… what a loss!

    Colonel Haiku (43fb26)

  40. with 52 million of the population guaranteed to have an IQ below 85, guaranteed to have believers for any kind of nonsense.

    nk (dbc370) — 5/15/2018 @ 9:29 am

    So you do listen to Charles Murray. It explains why Head Start and Universal College are dumb ideas that don’t work.

    Joe Rogan – Sam Harris on Race & IQ Controversy 12:14

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  41. @37 “Really? Nice way to underscore the point of the post.”

    There’s some sweet irony.

    Davethulhu (7b286f)

  42. Thor halvorrsen though it was a,stretch till it happened to him.

    narciso (d1f714)

  43. No, I only know of Charles Murray.

    nk (dbc370)

  44. “Facts are a difficult thing. They force one to bend to them else one become a fool. There are many fools.”

    Reminds me of one of my favourite Doctor Who lines, before Russell Davies and Steven Moffat turned the show into a soap opera: “You see, Leela, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views . . . which can be very dangerous if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.”

    Stephen J. (f77922)

  45. Heh, Stephen J. That fits into my further response to Pinandpuller.

    There is some justice in Charles Murray’s critics, if not their tactics, because IQ tests are rigged to produce a perfect normal distribution — a bell curve. If an IQ test does not produce a bell curve, it is considered invalid. Questions that “too many” people answer correctly are thrown out and, likewise, questions that “too many” answer incorrectly are thrown out, until the whole population fits within the curve, everyone in their proper place.

    nk (dbc370)

  46. think this touches on the reason for the disconnect between those on the right who support Trump and those who don’t. Those who do are of the belief we are at war, a (so far) cold civil war, and the situation carries a sense of urgency and as in all wars, what is normally considered immoral (shooting other people) becomes not only moral in a hot war, but a duty

    All the more reason that your conclusion is wrong.
    Conservativism is not rooted in liberty, freedom, democracy. It’s rooted in the idea that morality is important: that such things as honesty are necessary to human existence. Liberty and reason are needed to live a moral life, but the true end is to live a life informed by moral values.

    Which means that abandoning honesty means surrendering what you claim to be fighting for. You’re actually enlisting in the army you call your enemy.

    Fighting fire with fire merely means you are just another arsonist.

    Kishnevi (d7d2b1)

  47. So the media uses frames that were shopworn already in the 60s, now they are nearly irrelevant, redefining reality now that they have the commanding heights in media and education.

    What is striking about them now which may have been true back then, is they haven’t a clue what they are talking about.

    narciso (d1f714)

  48. Jonah Goldberg’s recent book covers a lot of the same ground as this post.

    Tribalism, or variations of it, were the natural form of human organization for 99% of our history.

    Roughly 300 years ago, we stumbled onto a new way of thinking about and interacting with other people, and the result was “The Miracle” of liberty and prosperity (driven by rationality and a new set of shared values) that we currently enjoy.

    But the rule of law, Lockean individual liberty, free markets, rationality and the rest of “The Miracle” are not the natural order of things – they are decidedly UN-natural, and human nature is constantly urging us back to the way things used to be. Romanticism, tribalism, progressivism, socialism and populism are all manifestations of the same primal urge to go back to the bad old days.

    Dave (445e97)

  49. because IQ tests are rigged to produce a perfect normal distribution — a bell curve. If an IQ test does not produce a bell curve, it is considered invalid.

    Peoples’ ability to function in society follows a bell curve.

    random viking (45621b)

  50. Demerits for cribbing from JAmes Burnham, as to the main point if fish areng aware of water how can they know otherwise

    narciso (d1f714)

  51. It’s rooted in the idea that morality is important: that such things as honesty are necessary to human existence.

    Whose morality? And not to knock honesty but I think it’s quite a stretch to say it is necessary to human existence. To some degree of prosperity perhaps.

    Skorcher (5b282a)

  52. R.I.P. Tom Wolfe

    The write stuff.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  53. @10. Hardly. Yeager has outlived them all. And that is truly the rightest of stuff.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  54. Proof that I actually read Pat’s posts: Typo?
    “the same behavior y that the opponent”

    Not a typo. The phrase “behavior y” was meant to be a variable, standing in contrast with “topic x” in the line above it. I think it would have been better to italicize x and y to show that they were being used as variables, and I will make that fix when I can.

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  55. Hogwash. I’m aware of no compelling evidence. I heard a load of stories, most of which involved nothing improper, and none of which I was sufficiently foolish to believe without any corroboration at all.

    Yes, this “reason” thing is tricky. Most of those who lament its absence aren’t terribly good at it themselves.

    In the old days I would have buried you in evidence that you should already be aware of. Then you would proceed to discount it in countless intellectually dishonest ways.

    The more mature Patterico sees your comment and adds the name “tom swift” to the block list.

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  56. Skorcher, the essence of bring human is being moral.
    An amoral person is, in essence, living as an animal, not a human. The Bible teaches that we have two souls: a lower one through which we experience our physical selves, and which animals also have, and a higher one through which we experience our mental and spiritual selves, which is found only in humans. To abandon morality is to abandon what makes us human.

    Kishnevi (d7d2b1)

  57. Right on cue, “the Bas” engages in behavior that I confidently predicted in the post.

    I had considered adding him to my block list. This cements it. He and I do not share the same set of moral values. He will call that me not being tough enough to win. I call it him rationalizing stuff he likes doing anyway. We could have a rational discussion about the distinction, but it would have to start with acknowledging the points I already made in the post. He is not willing to do that, and I am not willing to talk with people who won’t.

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  58. In essence, it seems to assumes [sic] that any argument for retributive policy based on moral distinction of circumstance — to say that X behaviour is licit in some circumstances but not others, or for Us but not Them — is by definition nothing but a rationalization of convenience, which is in its own way just as much a bad-faith delegitimization of disagreement as anything it’s criticizing.

    One word, “any,” which I have bolded in the paragraph, distorts the meaning of what I said badly enough that it amounts to an example of the kind of bad faith argument I decry in this post. Do you deny that such rationalization takes place at times? I don’t see how you can. But by redefining my claim such that it is transformed into a blanket claim that “any” invocation of the “fight fire with fire” meme is dishonest, you both ignore my example where I show how that principle *can* be used morally, and you engage in the very sort of intellectual dishonesty that I am talking about in this post.

    I am giving you one chance and one chance only to acknowledge what you have done here and apologize for it, and after that I am including you on my block list.

    Even in the real world of grown-ups, sometimes “They did it first” is a valid point.

    It might be a valid point to respond to an argument that one side is uniquely bad. This is along the same lines as what aphrael said: “someone else did it too” can be a valid point in response to an argument that one person or side is uniquely immoral.

    In practice, however, it is more often used in an illogical “whatabout” response to a more general argument that a certain behavior is bad. And as such, it is not a defense to your immoral behavior that someone else did it first.

    It can be *part* of a logical defense: “I had to respond with force to defend myself because I was being attacked with force.” *Part* of the logical justification there is that the other side did it first. But even with self-defense, the justification for the use of force does not depend on a moral case that “the other guy did it first so he deserves to have it done to him.” It depends on the argument of necessity. You can’t legally punch someone in the nose on Day Two because they punched you on Day One. And even if you consider that moral, the case for morality disappears when you’re a) punching someone who punched nobody, but who shares some political beliefs with someone who did, and b) the retaliation is over the top. Using this line of moral justification, if someone on “the right” (or “the left”) slapped me, and you are also on the right (or “the left”) I am justified in crushing your head with a crowbar. Hey, I have to fight back against the right! (Or the left!)

    There’s more garbage in your comment, including your redefinition of the complaint made by the target of Schlichter’s bullshit, but there is no point in holding further discussions with you until you prove yourself worthy of it, despite your exceedingly poor start by making a strawman out of one of my main arguments. I no longer have patience for people who do that and don’t admit it — and doing it in the first place and not admitting it tend to go hand in hand.

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  59. Excellent piece. I think everyone wishing to post a blog or comment should pass a rudimentary quiz identifying logical fallacies and pledging to avoid them. I can dream, right? This got me to thinking, what is really the incentive to actually listen and find points of agreement? If the person is in front of us, it is usually because we value the person’s company and actually wish to persuade them and not offend them. On the internet, relative anonymity removes the urgency toward politeness and coming to some agreement. We are invested in our interpretation of facts and our ideology, more than civil discourse. With our echo chambers, ideologically-sanitized news sources, and confirmation bias confirming talk radio, we are forgetting how to interact with someone we regularly now consider an “other”. We should value hearing other perspectives and re-learn how to politely deal with differences of opinion and fact. Most opinions aren’t life and death…we need to treat people better

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  60. No, I only know of Charles Murray.

    nk (dbc370) — 5/15/2018 @ 11:17 am

    Fair enough. I did hear that 85 IQ thing from someone else but I’ve also heard CM directly on The Remnant, Waking Up and JRE.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  61. “Roughly 300 years ago, we stumbled onto a new way of thinking about and interacting with other people, and the result was “The Miracle” of liberty and prosperity …. But (this is) not the natural order of things – … human nature is constantly urging us back to the way things used to be. Romanticism, tribalism, progressivism, socialism and populism are all manifestations of the same primal urge to go back to the bad old days.”

    That the Miracle needs conscious self-maintenance to preserve is certainly true, but a couple of reviewers have pointed out one key weakness in Goldberg’s thesis: at least some of the greatest things currently menacing the Miracle have come from the Miracle’s own nature and success, rather than from its primitive antitheses. The exaltation of secular rationalism, material hedonism, psychological deconstructionism and socioeconomic equity which underlie much of modern progressivist socialism come directly out of the Miracle’s basic founding principles, and the key to saving the Miracle is not to treat its preservation as an end in itself but to recognize its true purpose — to preserve and pass on the primordial values (the Tao, as C.S. Lewis called it in The Abolition of Man), rather than “overhaul and improve” them.

    Or more compactly: You can only put in the hard work to maintain material comfort if material comfort is not itself your primary priority.

    Stephen J. (f77922)

  62. There is some justice in Charles Murray’s critics, if not their tactics, because IQ tests are rigged to produce a perfect normal distribution — a bell curve. If an IQ test does not produce a bell curve, it is considered invalid. Questions that “too many” people answer correctly are thrown out and, likewise, questions that “too many” answer incorrectly are thrown out, until the whole population fits within the curve, everyone in their proper place.

    nk (dbc370) — 5/15/2018 @ 11:33 am

    That’s a fair and valid criticism. Otherwise why would there be an ASVAB for Dummies sitting in my coworker’s back car window. Cities like Baltimore start either teaching to the test or juking the stats.

    There’s a certain minimum education people require but we have limited time and resources so what are we going to do? Some people are taking up space that’s not justified by their intellectual capacity.

    In one of the lectures by Professor Greenberg he talks about how JS Bach was required by his contract to teach Latin but he also had the option to subcontract it. I’m sure Bach could have been a good Latin teacher but it wasn’t the best use of his time. Sorry if I’m ranting and wasting your time lol.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  63. Maybe I’m being unfair to the Bas, but without any discussion of WHEN and HOW it is immoral to use the “other side’s” behavior as an excuse for your own, it strikes me that this war metaphor is just the hoary boring “fight fire with fire” argument times 1000, with a heaping helping of “this is war” to complete the empty sloganeering.

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  64. The enlightenment success was not merely about reason, because by itself it leads to the Jacobi excesses of rousseau and hegel and marx

    narciso (d1f714)

  65. 44 Stephen J.

    Reminds me of one of my favourite Doctor Who lines, before Russell Davies and Steven Moffat turned the show into a soap opera: “You see, Leela, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views . . . which can be very dangerous if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.”

    You hit the nail on the head – dishonest argument is driven by the will more than by the mind. People decide what they WANT to believe, then proceed to generate justification for it, rather than finding out what is true and accepting it.

    35 Ed from SFV – Thank you! I enjoy reading your posts, too! :)

    46 Kishnevi –

    Which means that abandoning honesty means surrendering what you claim to be fighting for. You’re actually enlisting in the army you call your enemy.

    Fighting fire with fire merely means you are just another arsonist.

    Wow! Exactly right and stated so succinctly and perfectly.

    LJ (d845d1)

  66. You’re obfuscating. Honesty is a subset of morality. And your original statement was:

    Conservativism is not rooted in liberty, freedom, democracy. It’s rooted in the idea that morality is important: that such things as honesty are necessary to human existence.

    And I asked two specifically separate questions, whose morality? Conservative Roman Catholics view aspects of Eastern Orthodox as immoral, and vice verse. Conservative Orthodox Jews, etc. etc. etc. Though I do see where I inferred honesty as a singular whereas you stated “things such as honesty” so I’ll drop that quibble, though I still maintain that societies of low moral turpitude do stumble along.

    I’m not arguing against morals, however defined, as a necessary element, I’m just not clear on where Conservatism was rooted in morals except in so far as that Conservatism being a resistance to radical change, morals having evolved to whatever state we are at today should not be radically changed without significant consideration. But that’s not to say Conservatism is unique to morals or that morals are unique to Conservatism but to many other aspects of society as well. Ways of doing business, construction techniques, etc.

    That said, would not tying Conservatism to closely to morality, if broadly applied, have a stifling effect on growth and exploration? Isn’t too much Conservatism, somewhat to your statement, a threat to liberty and freedom?

    Skorcher (5b282a)

  67. Fighting fire with fire merely means you are just another arsonist.

    Kishnevi (d7d2b1) — 5/15/2018 @ 11:49 am

    I know what you mean, but there is a valid tactic in firefighting that involves denying fuel to the fire by burning it before the main fire arrives. In what your saying though, it’s probably closer to burning your own fields to deny food to the enemy. It is often a last and desperate strategy and it’s not even close to that point yet.

    In the first episode of Arrow, Oliver Queen, his dad and another survivor are on a lifeboat. The father might have killed the other guy, I can’t remember. But he did shoot himself to give his son a better chance to survive. I think that kind of act is moral

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  68. Patterico – This is a very thoughtful post. The problem is with nuance:

    1) The left applies different rules to us than to themselves. By applying the rules evenly, we will discourage them from continuing bad behavior. The assumption is that until and unless both sides hate the rules, we will never have more than 50% of the people wanting to get rid of them. So it is a question of tactics and strategy – how do we reach the goal of abolishing this bad behavior? A fair response against this tactic might be that we become compromised such that we can no longer argue for the abolition of tactics we ourselves have used. I get that argument. An unfair and insulting response is to mischaracterize it as an acceptance of these new rules, when it is nothing of the kind. “So you think it is okay to ruin someone life over a tweet!!???” Of course not.

    2) Certain behaviors are more important than others. That is to say, I will hold my nose over some things and not others. It is a value judgment, where I decide that, say, cheating on your wife, is less important (to me) than a conservative supreme court justice being nominated. Again, this is a judgment call. A fair response might be that what is done in private is reflected in public, that a person who cheats on his wife will cheat on us too. An unfair argument is that disregard for a certain personal bad behavior is in fact an endorsement of it. “So, you are okay with him cheating on his wife?” Of course I’m not.

    Use of the “unfair argument” correlates a great deal to the animosity of the Trump supporters to the Nevertrumpers. And I have to say, for me personally, it is a difficult situation. I don’t like the difficult judgments I have had to make regarding Trump, and would greatly like to be in a position not to make them. But I like even less the moral preening by those who have simply decided to forgo making such nuanced calls, and perch themselves on the ever shrinking splotch of high ground.

    My house catches fire. I can run in and to save my dog, or my child, but not both. I decide to save my child. I come out of the burning building, coughing, child in my arms, shocked at the terrible choice I have made. My Nevertrumper neighbor is standing in the driveway, arms crossed.

    “Why aren’t you helping?” I ask.

    “I didn’t start the fire, Trump did. Since I didn’t start it, I have no obligation to put it out.”

    “But why didn’t you save my dog?”

    “You see, unlike you, I love both dogs AND children equally. Therefore I am morally bound to save neither, since saving one over the other would compromise my moral standing. Then I would be like you, you deplorable dog killer.”

    Cassandra (a815b9)

  69. People do talk past each other.

    We see this quite clearly in the immigration debate.,

    People more liberal about immigration don’t want to discuss the matter of legality. People opposed to amnesty don’t want to discuss the matter of humanitarianism.

    One side doesn’t want to admit they are endorsing illegality for the foreseeable future, and the other side doesn’t want to concede they are endorsing immorality for the foreseeable future.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  70. Otherwise we become slade Wilson on the mirakuru, that island is hobbies state of nature defined but star city is not much better.

    narciso (d1f714)

  71. Maybe I’m being unfair to the Bas, but without any discussion of WHEN and HOW it is immoral to use the “other side’s” behavior as an excuse for your own, it strikes me that this war metaphor is just the hoary boring “fight fire with fire” argument times 1000, with a heaping helping of “this is war” to complete the empty sloganeering.

    To me, a more compelling problem with the thinking of people like theBas is this:

    Between 2009 and 2015 (before Donald Trump and his Alinksy-ite followers arrived to “save” us) the “other side” lost over 1000 seats in congress, state houses and governors’ mansions.

    Why would we want to adopt their tactics? Isn’t that like trying to steal the Cleveland Browns’ playbook?

    Dave (445e97)

  72. We are stuck with Trump for 6.5 years. The alternatives are horrible, horrendous.

    S-o, in the end, what is the plan, to punish those who didn’t vote to end America as we know it? To ridicule and deride and shame those who voted for him as an alternative t-o a party that only wants power at the expense of our very lives?

    Look at California propositions that haven’t made the news yet, yes property confiscation, seizure of firearms, retrial of felons for acquittal, voting rights for illegal immigrants. Recognition of a socialist state, these are all in committees in Sacramento.

    Trump is nothing but miles and miles and miles away from these things, already two democrat legislators are accused of rape, in a lawsuit, yet the process must play out while a senate candidate lost who has been a public politician for decades is sidelines and we dare not discuss the allegations which are as wild as they can be but because we must believe three unverifiable stories dug up by democrat operatives.

    Our morality went out the window when we started firebombing European and Japanese cities. Stolen from us by democrat politicians When they felt that a big meaningless show was more important than women and children of our enemies. These same democrat politicians that stole away our moral high ground so long ago are still right there, right there in Washington waiting to steal away your income, your jobs, your very freedoms

    But they ran into a blowerhard two fisted never sleeping, womanizing bastard from nw York.

    Who does what he does and is doing mostly all the things moral conservatives had the chance to do since ww2 but failed to do so?

    So let’s berate him, distract him while he is barraged by the evil, because of his personal failings that he is already aware of.

    EPWJ (5cd9fb)

  73. “Do you deny that such rationalization takes place at times? I don’t see how you can. But by redefining my claim such that it is transformed into a blanket claim that ‘any’ invocation of the ‘fight fire with fire’ meme is dishonest, you both ignore my example where I show how that principle *can* be used morally, and you engage in the very sort of intellectual dishonesty that I am talking about in this post.”

    Fair enough; I apologize for that error, and you are correct to point it out. I had thought that the phrase “seems to assume” was enough of a disclaimer to leaven the observation, but as it evidently was not I reiterate the apology. I likewise apologize for incurring aggravation; it was not my intent to do so and I will try harder in future.

    To dial my point back to something I hope is less objectionable, I will stipulate that such dishonest rationalizations in argument do occur and quite often (without digressing into side-conflicts about which arguments count as examples and which don’t). My sole objection is that to accuse an opponent of this being the primary reason for their making an argument seems to me to be essentially Bulverism; it does not attempt to prove the argument wrong, but takes its wrongness as read and then presents an unfalsifiable attribution of motive as reason to dismiss rather than disprove it. Or, perhaps more simply, the problem is that the accusation of bad faith is so often made itself in bad faith that if it is used too often, it contributes to the very state of discourse destruction that it decries. This is why I tend to counsel against its use wherever I see it — in my observation it’s almost always unhelpful at best and counterproductive at worst.

    I will likewise freely stipulate that investigating a political opponent’s family members or private relationships for politically advantageous data is a thoroughly scummy tactic, and if anything explicitly illegal was done in such a pursuit it should be prosecuted regardless of who did it or why. Nor do I contend for a second that the ends justify the means. So, to avoid making a questionable assertion that would imply otherwise, I will ask it instead as a question, the answer to which I now promise not to dispute or otherwise challenge in this post: If we wish to discourage the use of such tactics, how can this be done without recourse either to legal prosecution, or to turning the tactics ourselves upon those who first adopted them?

    I thank you for your patience.

    Stephen J. (f77922)

  74. Winiks the great upheaval illustrates the point, now the colonies had the benefit of being solidly middle class but say shays had been able to lead an uprising like happened 8nnfrance

    narciso (d0dc97)

  75. Or Catherine feared could happen in , and did 140 years later.

    narciso (d0dc97)

  76. Yes i realize the slave states were that feudal element, but none of that occasioned even through the worst of jim crow

    narciso (d0dc97)

  77. Morality is relative; some cultures worship dogs; some have them for pets; some eat them for dinner.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  78. 1. Huh. First comment of the post is a shot at me. *YAWN*

    Gryph (08c844)

  79. Ben shapiro wants liberals to stop saying. With reasonable people I will be reasonable and with unreasonable people I will be unreasonable. Libertarian conservatism can’t function in an environment with liberals saying in the words of Malcolm X “by any means necessary!” Liberalism has to be a punching bag for libertarian conservatism to work or you end up with a gore vidal, william f. buckley type of debate.

    hsebcl (f3dac8)

  80. Morality is relative; some cultures worship dogs; some have them for pets; some eat them for dinner.

    DCSCA (797bc0) — 5/15/2018 @ 1:23 pm

    I remember reading a short story about a guy and his dog who are out traveling through the woods. It starts to get all To Build a Fire on them so he stops to build a fire. At a certain point the guy chops the dog’s tail off to make some soup. Eventually the dog comes back to camp and joins him in eating it.

    The End.

    I may have skipped a few points but that’s the gist.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  81. I just read this Saki short story the other day for the first time. Y’all might enjoy The Background

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  82. “But I like even less the moral preening by those who have simply decided to forgo making such nuanced calls”

    It’s tough to strike balance in assessing the Trumpification of the GOP. It really does evoke strong opinions and speculation. My biggest complaint is that it is changing…perhaps only at the margins but still noticeably…the norms about how a President should behave and what a President should know. Should we see Trump’s electoral success as validation for getting down in the gutter, lying, and treating anyone with a countering opinion as the enemy? Yes, there was a binary choice in 2016, but it should not lock us out from wanting a person of character as Commander In Chief…and fearing how we are re-branding the GOP with every public tweet and childish squabble. I am a “Trump Skeptic”, politely applauding good initiatives like cutting business regulations and opening up ANWR…while questioning whether his language is growing or shrinking the tent.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  83. 82. I think an even better question is, is Trump’s ascendancy accomplishing what conservatives said they wanted to accomplish before Trump entered the political arena? In some ways, yes. But only in small measure and in ways that can easily be reversed by subsequent administrations and congresses.

    Gryph (08c844)

  84. The norms we had led to horrible results – the murderous and profligate excesses of idiot bush and the obscene largesse of food stamp – both accompanied with a pristine ivy league imprimatur.

    We can’t afford to elect dishonest corrupt trash like Bush and Obama and Clinton and Pappy Bush any more.

    Their day is done.

    We’re in a new age, where you can always see the sun: day or night.

    Look for the purple banana.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  85. Should we see Trump’s electoral success as validation for getting down in the gutter, lying, and treating anyone with a countering opinion as the enemy?

    It’s not about Trump getting down in the gutter, it was about the manifest gutlessness of the GOP for decades now. Any GOP candidate, for POTUS or otherwise, could have (theoretically anyway) fought back against the political correctness with a tenacity that Trump has shown without getting down in the gutter. But none of them did. Why? Because it takes a certain obtuseness and/or a significant stubborn indifference to what the elites of society think of you for “going there” which can only be sustained from a career built upon significant success, specifically significant success in a dirty, nasty business. Pretty much ever politician, certainly every GOP politician, that runs for significant office was afraid to do so. They, to one degree or another, fell in with the so-called “wisdom” of Karl Rove and George Will and such of “don’t go to war with people who buy ink by the barrel”. Was Andrew Breitbart getting down in the gutter when he said (sort of) “Eff you, war”?

    Skorcher (5b282a)

  86. @66 Skorcher – The reason why Conservatism is (more) moral is that it demands adherence to divinely-inspired behavior.

    A conservative sees a theft and demands it be satisfied. Whether it be repayment or a punishment, the transgressor must be made to account. A progressive would demand we first examine if the theft somehow is not actually a theft. A modern liberal would demand we examine the reasons why the thief acted as s/he did and give massive weight to such in adjudicating the event.

    To more highly value, through demanding strict moral accountability by all, is to be more moral.

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  87. 85. Got news for you, Skorch. The “manifest gutlessness” of the GOP (and the GOP voter) hasn’t changed one iota. What we have now is simply a president who will use the presidency as a means to an end, to enhance the “Trump” brand long after he is gone from office.

    Gryph (08c844)

  88. EPWJ, do you have a source for your list of ballot propositions that are coming that the news hasn’t talked about?

    The Secretary of State’s website says that currently five ballot measures are qualified for June (and it’s too late for any more) and two are qualified for November.

    The list is seperated into two lists for bureaucratic reasons that I can’t be bothered to remember. They are at:
    http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-measures/initiative-and-referendum-status/eligible-statewide-initiative-measures/
    http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-measures/qualified-ballot-measures/

    For June, we have:

    * a park bond measure
    * a constitutional amendment to require money from a 2017 statute only be spent on particular transportaiton-related purposes
    * a constitutional amendment to change the way the legislature decides how to spend cap-and-trade revenue
    * a constitutional amendment to make ballot propositions go into effect five days after certification of election results rather than the day after the election
    * a constitutional amendment to allow homeowners to build rainwater catchment systems without the cost of those systems being added to the taxable base of the property

    For November, we have:

    * a bond measure to build affordable housing
    * a bond measure to build water projects

    There are also ten measures whose promoters think they have enough signatures to qualify and who have submitted the signature sets for verification:

    * a constitutional amendment to allow people aged 55+ (or who are severely disabled) to move into a different house and keep the same property tax base

    * a statute to cap the fees an outpatient kidney dialysis clinic can charge

    * a statute to divide California into three states

    * a statute to establish minimum space requirements for farm animals

    * a referendum on a gas tax adopted by the legislature

    * a statute declaring personal information collected by various businesses to be protected information subject to regulation in order to protect the privacy of the person who the information is about

    * a statute making it easier to adopt rent control

    * a statute requiring private-sector ambulance drivers to be on call during work breaks

    * a bond measure to build childrens’ hospitals

    * a statute which would transfer responsibility for the cost of lead paint removal *away* from the manufacturers of the paint *onto the state*, and to change the rules so that lead paint is no longer considered a public nuisance.

    http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-measures/initiative-and-referendum-status/initiatives-and-referenda-pending-signature-verification/

    of the seventeen initiatives i’ve listed here, all of which have either qualified or have submitted signatures for verification, none of them confiscate property, seize firearms, retry felons, or grant voting rights to illegal immigrants.

    It’s *possible* that initiatives are circulating which will do these things, but the overwhelming majority (eg, upwards of 80%) of initiatives which are circulated fail to qualify. So if you’re talking about initiatives which are circulating but which have neither qualified nor submitted signatures for qualification, then it’s deeply misleading to talk about them in the way you are.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  89. That last initiative, incidentally, is one of the purest examples of a scam I’ve ever seen in a ballot proposition.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  90. The “manifest gutlessness” of the GOP (and the GOP voter) hasn’t changed one iota.

    Because you said so? Nothing has changed, not one iota? There has not been even the slightest roll back in cultural attitudes toward the PC that has been strangling even discussion and debate in this country for the last several decades? But who am I talking to…Gryft, Trump could walk on water and you’d say he can’t swim. I got news for you, you’re ego is blinding you to what is really going on. But hey, you go your way believing what you like. I gotta run.

    Skorcher (5b282a)

  91. 90 I didn’t say nothing has changed. I said the “manifest gutlessness” of the GOP hasn’t changed. If you’ve been paying attention to what I’ve been saying through all my time here, you know I believe that Trump has done some good. But it’s been small- and half-measures that can be easily undone by future congresses and administrations (as I also said upthread here).

    If you think voting for politicians is going to make you a freer person in any meaningful sense, you will be disappointed every single time.

    Gryph (08c844)

  92. And for those of you who, like Skorcher, believe the “manifest gutlessness” of the GOP has changed, where’s your Obamacare repeal? Where’s your wall? On what timetable should I expect those promises (arguably the cornerstones of Trump’s campaign) to be fulfilled?

    Gryph (08c844)

  93. And for all those out there who think Trump has been doing wonderful things viz-a-vis North Korea, this isn’t the first time the Kim family has played nice for political concessions and then backed out. Communists lie. Politicians lie. But then, I repeat myself.

    Gryph (08c844)

  94. “fought back against the political correctness with a tenacity that Trump has shown”

    You’re somewhat making my point. Crying “fake news” at the media or “witch hunt” at Mueller or attacking his own Attorney General is just manufactured drama…designed to keep people talking about Trump…and picking a side. The same goes for his policy to ban all visitors from the 7 countries…it’s provocative for sure…but does it really meaningfully enhance our security? The “wall”…and who pays for it…is more emotionalism that avoids what is really required for border security and having guest workers. Unilaterally cutting business regulations is great but absent legislation…is it something that withstands a new administration? Unpeel the support and most supporters are in love with the personality….that he is willing to say what they are thinking…and that they want to side with a winner…and they think he exudes winner. I just don’t see great pride in cheering for the bully…maybe win an important legislative battle…or score some concessions…and that will reduce my skepticism

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  95. This is more of an issue when arguing with liberals, but they have an irritating tendency to pretends that their mere opinions are facts, but I’ve run across it with Trumpalistas as well. That, and mindreading and cramming words that aren’t mine into my mouth.

    Paul Montagu (e6130e)

  96. Patterico, this was a very good essay, and I appreciate it a great deal.

    I also see that, in part, you are trolling the Usual Suspects to say what you know they will say. That’s helpful for your block list. And some of the Usual Suspects responded like Pavlov’s dogs to your bell. And a few did not, which gives me hope.

    Just two things:

    1. THIS is why I always enjoyed reading your blog. Lots of ideas to chew on and think about. I also appreciated how you promoted better ways of communication (and reveal the drive to talk over others, insult, etc).

    2. It all comes back to what a person believes in—not reactively, but innately. You have done that before, with your “Hillary versus Mao” question. Our ideas should not be bumper stickers, and we MUST have an ethical center that is independent of silly and flexible political symbols.

    Thanks again.

    Simon Jester (ad6a15)

  97. That’s whole lot of category error, comedy said he was not under inveatufation yet he transmitted contents of a memo in such a way that it enabled muellers job, how many times has CNN NBC CBS et al gotten a story wrong in exactly the same way.

    Re the I migration pause it was in keeping with the statutory language in the 2016 omnibus, all too narrow a screen, but do facts have to do with it.

    narciso (d1f714)

  98. In order to share values you must first have values.

    AZ Bob (9a6ada)

  99. “I think, frankly, what’s happening here is that the White House is irritated that John McCain is not dying of cancer — he’s living with cancer,” Navarro, a staunch critic of President Trump, said on CNN’s “New Day.

    lol the artful reasoned prose of nevertrump

    and it is so good

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  100. 98. A fair point. I’m still trying to figure out what values are served by Schlichter’s giggling with glee about the fact that Trump schtupped a porn star.

    Gryph (08c844)

  101. 54. Well, I stand corrected.

    Tillman (a95660)

  102. Stephen J. (308ea7) — 5/15/2018 @ 10:02 am

    You said it better than I.

    Cassandra (a815b9)

  103. I’m still trying to figure out what values are served by Schlichter’s giggling with glee about the fact that Trump schtupped a porn star.

    His advertising rates.

    Dave (445e97)

  104. Gryph

    Can you provide a quote on your comment?

    EPWJ (5cd9fb)

  105. Aphrael

    These are in committee, one is apparently passing out to recognize national workers day as yet another paid state holiday

    EPWJ (5cd9fb)

  106. Cassandra“You said it better than I.”

    My thanks for the kind words but I must reiterate that I did overstate my case; Mr. P was correct to call me on this and I have apologized above.

    Stephen J. (f77922)

  107. Aphrael,

    The gov of California has abandoned the ballot initiatives and is using the democrat super majority in both houses in Sacramento

    EPWJ (5cd9fb)

  108. @80. Tails off at the end, PP.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  109. Values is a politician word it doesn’t actually mean anything.

    Handy word for virtue signaling i suppose.

    But “having values” just means you have some dogma or cant at hand to drag out to justify how you voted or what you did or what you wanna do, but it doesn’t actually mean anything to “have values.”

    It’s an indicator of lazy thinking, this talk of values and having values, and you can tell that how?

    Cause if you’re being precise and thoughtful you speak of principles, not values.

    And one can readily discern principles at play in the governance of Mr. Trump if one but looks for them.

    One might even say that he’s been principled quite in proportion to the scorn he’s received from legions of values-havers.

    And that’s why I abjure this talk of values and having values.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  110. “My biggest complaint is that it is changing…perhaps only at the margins but still noticeably…the norms about how a President should behave and what a President should know. Should we see Trump’s electoral success as validation for getting down in the gutter, lying, and treating anyone with a countering opinion as the enemy? Yes, there was a binary choice in 2016, but it should not lock us out from wanting a person of character as Commander In Chief…and fearing how we are re-branding the GOP with every public tweet and childish squabble. I am a “Trump Skeptic”, politely applauding good initiatives like cutting business regulations and opening up ANWR…while questioning whether his language is growing or shrinking the tent. AJ_Liberty (ec7f74) — 5/15/2018 @ 1:36 pm”

    Well said. I have the same concern. But one by one, all avenues for change against leftists have been intentionally closed to us. Leftists have systematically used and/or corrupted the rules to force things into a situation where their preferred policies are the only ones considered. Their latest march is to make even discussion of our preferred alternatives illegitimate (see immigration for example). In such a case there are only two alternatives, election of a disrupter who can break the rules, or armed revolt.

    Look at the current resist movement in the senate – they are preventing the appointment of countless government leaders because….? They have more filibusterers in their first year than the entirety of the Bush and Obama administrations combined. they smashed the system without a second thought. What can we do with such people?

    So yes, Trump is changing the rules of normalcy in ways I find distasteful. But my alternative is….? Give up and give in?

    Cassandra (a815b9)

  111. The German bug, I described earlier had spread to Von mises
    Austria, they became very allergic to free markets. This was tandem with race based populism of Karl luegers variant. Which arose out of the very cosmopolitan milieu that Freud operated in.

    narciso (d1f714)

  112. Look at the current resist movement in the senate – they are preventing the appointment of countless government leaders because….? They have more filibusterers in their first year than the entirety of the Bush and Obama administrations combined. they smashed the system without a second thought. What can we do with such people?

    Filibuster their Supreme Court nominee for a year?

    Oh, wait, we already did that before any of this happened.

    Dave (445e97)

  113. EPWJ, what do you mean they are “in committee”? That makes it sound like the legislature is contemplating passing them as statutes.

    While the legislature *can* and *does* put measures on the ballot (all of the ones in June were put there by the legislature, for example), they don’t go through the normal signature gathering process when they do.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  114. Also, if you want to say that the *legislature* is doing terrible things, then by all means, say that — but don’t blame the legislature’s bad behavior on ballot propositions, please.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  115. Cassandra,

    > They have more filibusterers in their first year than the entirety of the Bush and Obama administrations combined.

    got a citation for that claim? It seems extraordinary to me, so I’d like to see some numbers.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  116. Filibuster their Supreme Court nominee for a year?

    Oh, wait, we already did that before any of this happened.

    No filibuster was used.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  117. Senate Democrats are holding up President Trump’s nominees to a degree never witnessed before in my lifetime, and probably not in all of American history. In the first two years of the last six presidencies combined, going all the way back to President Carter, the Senate subjected nominees to a total of only 24 cloture votes. So far, less than half way through President Trump’s second year, there have been 90 cloture votes.

    slightly different metric but a fair comparison

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  118. Alas I thought “cloture” and wrote “filibuster”. My mistake.

    Cassandra (a815b9)

  119. “slightly different metric but a fair comparison”

    Not really. It’s being deceptive by limiting the the available data. In 2013, after Obama was re-elected, there were 150 cloture votes for nominees. So let’s not pretend this is a tactic invented by or exclusive to Democrats.

    Relevant link: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/06/01/trumps-nominees-have-already-faced-a-large-number-of-cloture-votes/

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  120. random viking has the right of it, dirty, stinking, Trumpalo that he is.

    Patterico writing about how we can’t have a conversation after some fairly ill natured posts about us dirty, stinking Trumpalos is amusing and interesting.

    Anyway, I’m old and don’t really care, I’m quite immune to insults, I see them as a sign of a weak argument.

    Patterico is a clever and well meaning man and soon he’ll recover from his TDS. I recommend generic Claritin – it helps all my allergies, and God knows Trump can generate severe allergic reactions. Oh, and alcohol with the Claritin. Rather more alcohol than one might normally think wise, but these are troubled times.

    Fred Z (05d938)

  121. No filibuster was used.
    True. Mitch simply abused the power of his office by refusing to let anyone vote for Garland.

    Kishnevi (050eae)

  122. Patterico – “It can be *part* of a logical defense: “I had to respond with force to defend myself because I was being attacked with force.” *Part* of the logical justification there is that the other side did it first. But even with self-defense, the justification for the use of force does not depend on a moral case that “the other guy did it first so he deserves to have it done to him.” It depends on the argument of necessity. You can’t legally punch someone in the nose on Day Two because they punched you on Day One.”

    The implication of that is that there are some laws that are governing nose punching on both sides of the dispute. So, in effect, he still DOES get punched on day two, because of what he did on day one, right? The cops are called, and he goes to jail.

    Now, what if we are in a situation where not only does the law prevent my retaliation, but that initiator is a hero and faces no risk of punishment? What is your proper recourse?

    Well, we ignore the law, and everyone gets bloody.

    Or we elect a new sheriff, and new legislature, and the rules get changed. We go back to the system you have proposed where he punches me, and I punch him back with the law.

    I prefer the second option. I think we all (or most of us) do. But I don’t fault anyone for choosing the first option – it is a rational disregard of rules that are not being applied fairly or evenly. And I think that ignoring the law, for a time, wakes everyone up to the fact that either theses rules have to apply to both sides, or to no one.

    Cassandra (a815b9)

  123. Random Viking hit the nail squarely on the head:

    “I think this well encapsulates what interferes with conversation these days: lack of reason and a lack of common values.

    “I’ve found following these rules work well:

    “1) Never resort to name-calling or epithets in lieu of a rational argument. (Ex: Trumpalo, Trumpkin, Deplorable, cultist)
    “2) Never hold yourself out as a model of reasoned discussion. Just practice it.

    “Try it.”

    Physician Patterico – heal thyself.

    Bill Saracino (78f41f)

  124. No filibuster was used.

    This is correct, it was blocked at an earlier stage. The effect (denial of an up-or-down vote) was the same, but I should not have said filibuster.

    The point remains; both sides have practiced extreme obstructionism in the senate, when it suited them.

    While I am glad that Judge Garland did not make it onto the Supreme Court, in my view this tactic greatly escalated the level of bitterness and obstruction in the senate. What surprises me is that no deal has been worked out to de-escalate things; I haven’t heard a word about any deal even being discussed, which suggests the GOP doesn’t really care that much about the pace of confirmations. If they did, we would be hearing about what they had offered the Dems, and how unreasonable Schumer et al were to refuse it.

    Dave (445e97)

  125. It’s *possible* that initiatives are circulating which will do these things, but the overwhelming majority (eg, upwards of 80%) of initiatives which are circulated fail to qualify. So if you’re talking about initiatives which are circulating but which have neither qualified nor submitted signatures for qualification, then it’s deeply misleading to talk about them in the way you are.

    aphrael (3f0569) — 5/15/2018 @ 1:58 pm

    What is the ratio of people asking for your money vs people asking for your signature?

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  126. @80. Tails off at the end, PP.

    DCSCA (797bc0) — 5/15/2018 @ 3:07 pm

    Is the ending similar to Frozen? I’ve never seen it.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  127. Dave – your supreme court argument holds very little water. This was the seventh time the Senate left an election-year Supreme Court vacancy open for the next president.

    Majority parties in the Senate have used a variety of procedural devices to thwart Supreme Court nominees; of the 34 failed nominations, only twelve received a direct vote, and five were withdrawn in the face of opposition. The rest were prevented from moving forward due to a variety of Senate procedures.

    This is the leftist game I might add – convince people you punched them first (with a liberal application of make-up and a swearing of witnesses) and using that to justify whatever behavior it pleases them to do down the road. Don’t fall for it.

    Cassandra (a815b9)

  128. @123 Cassandra

    They caught the bike lock professor and he is supposedly getting his day in court. It will probably be overshadowed by US v Awan Bros. Amirite?

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  129. Aphrael,

    I am not being clear, the gov and the legislature just raised taxes, just allowed out of a committee a vote to have a day praising the socialist worker system.

    Despite the state voting down gay marriage, it didn’t matter, they ignored it. So referendums don’t matter in California, only Democrats

    EPWJ (5cd9fb)

  130. Cassandra,

    He forgot about Bork

    EPWJ (5cd9fb)

  131. You missed the point wrt whataboutism.

    It did no good to try to point out to lefties that something that, say, Clinton did is usually considered a bad idea except in this case and that’s hypocritical.

    As an example; if it didn’t bother you when Clinton did it–and you sneered at those whom it did bother–and now you’re complaining about Trump…. What does that mean? It means you have no principles, or you’d have complained about both. Since you only complain about the one which gives your side a presumed advantage or talking point, then you’re an unprincipled, partisan hack. You’ve proven it.
    Or, how do you like living under the rules you imposed on the rest of us? The point is not necessarily, or solely, vengeance satisfying the soul, but the possibility you’ll stop. I know, forget about it.
    You claimed the moral high ground when smearing Bork and Romney. You sneered at those who thought Gerry Studds shouldn’t have been re elected. Ken Starr was a sexually repressed bigot. How long did you think it would only go one way?

    Avoiding the point and going direct to ad hom is infuriating…but it’s also illuminating. And, since the lefties have said it’s a good idea, who are we to object? You know what they say about imitation. The left should be flattered.
    Lefties’ arguing rules are that you should always force the opponent to argue in good faith, because that puts him at a disadvantage. So…why not conservatives? After all, we’ve been told they’re the right way to do things.

    The left is missing its usual advantages.

    Richard Aubrey (10ef71)

  132. Dave – your supreme court argument holds very little water.

    I suggest you ask the Dems in the Senate whether they are pissed about Garland. I am confident you would find that they are. Thus, it is your argument that holds very little water.

    Dave (445e97)

  133. I’m spectacularly unimpressed by the phrase “Intellectual Dark Web.” In fact, I actively hate it. I will never follow a link to something listed as that, and I wish people (including, especially, our host) would stop using it.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  134. 132. So am I to come to the conclusion that both parties have sold out anything resembling “principles” for the sake of political expediency? Is that not the very argument I’ve been making for years to deaf ears on both sides of the aisle? SMDH

    Gryph (08c844)

  135. “Shapiro cites the Roy Moore debacle, saying that the evidence was compelling that Roy Moore engaged in improper activity with underage girls”

    Anyone who thinks that is being intellectually dishonest. But then its Ben Shapiro – the “reasonable” conservative, so why am I not surprised?

    Isn’t it funny how like most Nevertrumpers – peeps like Shapiro and [insert Nevertrumper] are ALWAYS talking about how “our side” is doing bad thing but never about “their side”?

    What would you think about an American soldier who kept telling you he was a loyal American, but used all his ammo shooting at GI’s?

    rcocean (1a839e)

  136. If only we’d elected Hillary like all the Nevertrumpers wanted – including Shapiro – and things would be much better.

    Think of all the Conservative principles and “values” that would’ve been affirmed.

    We “conservatives” would be riding high with Hillary!

    rcocean (1a839e)

  137. I suggest you ask the Dems in the Senate whether they are pissed about Garland. I am confident you would find that they are. Thus, it is your argument that holds very little water.

    Dave (445e97) — 5/15/2018 @ 6:15 pm

    So does that produce more democrats the same way blowing up a wedding produces more jihadists?

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  138. @127. See the end, PP; use a mirror.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  139. The strategies are so many in number that a full taxonomy would be impossible, but off the top of my head, here are several I commonly see: recharacterizing what the other person said in some unfair way to make their point sound less effective

    I find it ironic that you attribute this to those who are arguing in bad faith when you adopt the tactic yourself. Recently, we had the beginnings of a discussion about whether or not Trump is an authoritarian. One of your arguments for your position that Trump is an authoritarian is that Trump endorsed the extrajudicial killings of drug dealers in the Philippines. As evidence, you cited a NYT article. And, sure enough, the NYT author did say that Trump said that. But, when you get past the reporter’s words to Trump’s actual words, Trump never said any such thing. When I pointed this out, you insulted me personally and then said you were blocking me.

    They say a fish rots from the head. Doesn’t it stand to reason that your commenters will adopt the same tactics you use yourself?

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  140. Well I would use Saturday but how many people are familiar with Russian dissident publications.

    narciso (d1f714)

  141. Well, yes, the Dems in the Senate are pissed about Garland. So what? If the GOP had allowed Garland to replace Scalia, then we might as well have elected Hillary and a 100% Democratic Congress.

    nk (dbc370)

  142. Remember 1984, they see it as a how to guide, remember the purpose of newspeal was to narrow human thought.

    narciso (d1f714)

  143. Stephen J.,

    Fair enough; I apologize for that error, and you are correct to point it out. I had thought that the phrase “seems to assume” was enough of a disclaimer to leaven the observation, but as it evidently was not I reiterate the apology. I likewise apologize for incurring aggravation; it was not my intent to do so and I will try harder in future.

    Thanks. I sincerely appreciate that, and apologize if I was too snappish out of the gate. I saw some of your other comments and thought they seemed thoughtful, and hoped you would respond in a friendly manner, which you have.

    To dial my point back to something I hope is less objectionable, I will stipulate that such dishonest rationalizations in argument do occur and quite often (without digressing into side-conflicts about which arguments count as examples and which don’t). My sole objection is that to accuse an opponent of this being the primary reason for their making an argument seems to me to be essentially Bulverism; it does not attempt to prove the argument wrong, but takes its wrongness as read and then presents an unfalsifiable attribution of motive as reason to dismiss rather than disprove it. Or, perhaps more simply, the problem is that the accusation of bad faith is so often made itself in bad faith that if it is used too often, it contributes to the very state of discourse destruction that it decries. This is why I tend to counsel against its use wherever I see it — in my observation it’s almost always unhelpful at best and counterproductive at worst.

    Bulverism is an interesting term which I had to look up. I see your point.

    I will likewise freely stipulate that investigating a political opponent’s family members or private relationships for politically advantageous data is a thoroughly scummy tactic, and if anything explicitly illegal was done in such a pursuit it should be prosecuted regardless of who did it or why. Nor do I contend for a second that the ends justify the means. So, to avoid making a questionable assertion that would imply otherwise, I will ask it instead as a question, the answer to which I now promise not to dispute or otherwise challenge in this post: If we wish to discourage the use of such tactics, how can this be done without recourse either to legal prosecution, or to turning the tactics ourselves upon those who first adopted them?

    I thank you for your patience.

    So. This is where we get to the meat of it. I hope you do dispute or challenge my answer if you disagree, in the same manner you responded above.

    The assumption here is that bad behavior needs to be “punished” in some manner to discourage its reappearance in the future. We could have a discussion about the way to do that — I tend to subscribe to the notion that the best way to respond to bad behavior is to point it out and explain why it’s bad — but I wonder if I can get an amen for an even simpler proposition: the people who need to be punished or discouraged are the people who actually engage in the bad behavior, and not people who happen to share their political views.

    So, for example, it’s not good enough to say “Trump’s people are retaliating against the left (or Obama’s people) by conducting this black ops program against Colin Kahl, who we have never heard of.” Only if Colin Kahl approved or applauded such a program does it make any sense to argue about how he should be discouraged from doing something. If he did nothing, there is nothing to discourage him from doing.

    Agree?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  144. Samizdat, newspeak so they want to steal our birthright, I wasn’t born here but where I was from there was an imperfect regime where they sacrificed their rights.

    narciso (d1f714)

  145. Well, yes, the Dems in the Senate are pissed about Garland. So what? If the GOP had allowed Garland to replace Scalia, then we might as well have elected Hillary and a 100% Democratic Congress.

    I think they could have voted down Garland while appearing less Reid-like.

    Dave (445e97)

  146. I find it ironic that you attribute this to those who are arguing in bad faith when you adopt the tactic yourself. Recently, we had the beginnings of a discussion about whether or not Trump is an authoritarian. One of your arguments for your position that Trump is an authoritarian is that Trump endorsed the extrajudicial killings of drug dealers in the Philippines. As evidence, you cited a NYT article. And, sure enough, the NYT author did say that Trump said that. But, when you get past the reporter’s words to Trump’s actual words, Trump never said any such thing. When I pointed this out, you insulted me personally and then said you were blocking me.

    Trump’s actual words were to praise Duterte’s program of dealing with drug dealers. The most salient feature of Duterte’s program of dealing with drug dealers is by killing them. I would be willing to mortgage my house to bet hundreds of thousands of dollars that, had this situaition applied to Obama or Hillary, you would have wasted no time whatsoever in making the simple logical inference that praise of a program whose most salient feature is extrajudicial killings, is praise for extrajudicial killings.

    The fact that you continue to press this issue demonstrates a real blindness that you have to your own deep willingness to rationalize the most obvious bullshit. Your comment is, if anything, a stark reminder to me of what an unreasonable person you are — a true opponent of conversation using reason — and a reminder that I need to remember to use my script more consistently.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  147. Physician Patterico – heal thyself.

    True healing comes when I add the name “Bill Saracino” to my block list.

    Excuse me a moment.

    *adds name to list*

    Done.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  148. You missed the point wrt whataboutism.

    It did no good to try to point out to lefties that something that, say, Clinton did is usually considered a bad idea except in this case and that’s hypocritical.

    As an example; if it didn’t bother you when Clinton did it–and you sneered at those whom it did bother–and now you’re complaining about Trump…. What does that mean? It means you have no principles, or you’d have complained about both. Since you only complain about the one which gives your side a presumed advantage or talking point, then you’re an unprincipled, partisan hack. You’ve proven it.
    Or, how do you like living under the rules you imposed on the rest of us? The point is not necessarily, or solely, vengeance satisfying the soul, but the possibility you’ll stop. I know, forget about it.
    You claimed the moral high ground when smearing Bork and Romney.

    Who in the world are you addressing yourself to?

    It can’t be me. You can’t be so clueless and out of touch that you think you’re describing me.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  149. I’m spectacularly unimpressed by the phrase “Intellectual Dark Web.” In fact, I actively hate it. I will never follow a link to something listed as that, and I wish people (including, especially, our host) would stop using it.

    I’ve been using it in a tongue in cheek manner.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  150. Shapiro cites the Roy Moore debacle, saying that the evidence was compelling that Roy Moore engaged in improper activity with underage girls”

    Anyone who thinks that is being intellectually dishonest. But then its Ben Shapiro – the “reasonable” conservative, so why am I not surprised?

    Another name I’ve been meaning to add to the list.

    Done.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  151. We supported Marcos, because we were a fan of Imeldas show collection, the paramilitaries in el elsavador

    narciso (d1f714)

  152. On the Internet, I have realized, the percentage of people worth talking to really isn’t that high.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  153. The Pinochet regime, they were blunt instruments in a nasty brushfire we called it the cold war.

    narciso (d1f714)

  154. It’s tough to strike balance in assessing the Trumpification of the GOP. It really does evoke strong opinions and speculation. My biggest complaint is that it is changing…perhaps only at the margins but still noticeably…the norms about how a President should behave and what a President should know. Should we see Trump’s electoral success as validation for getting down in the gutter, lying, and treating anyone with a countering opinion as the enemy? Yes, there was a binary choice in 2016, but it should not lock us out from wanting a person of character as Commander In Chief…and fearing how we are re-branding the GOP with every public tweet and childish squabble. I am a “Trump Skeptic”, politely applauding good initiatives like cutting business regulations and opening up ANWR…while questioning whether his language is growing or shrinking the tent.

    Well said, AJ_Liberty. Nice to see you.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  155. Well said. I have the same concern. But one by one, all avenues for change against leftists have been intentionally closed to us. Leftists have systematically used and/or corrupted the rules to force things into a situation where their preferred policies are the only ones considered. Their latest march is to make even discussion of our preferred alternatives illegitimate (see immigration for example). In such a case there are only two alternatives, election of a disrupter who can break the rules, or armed revolt.

    Look at the current resist movement in the senate – they are preventing the appointment of countless government leaders because….? They have more filibusterers in their first year than the entirety of the Bush and Obama administrations combined. they smashed the system without a second thought. What can we do with such people?

    So yes, Trump is changing the rules of normalcy in ways I find distasteful. But my alternative is….? Give up and give in?

    What specific immoral behavior do you wish to engage in, against whom, and what is your specific justification for it?

    A generalized defense of unspecified immoral behavior against amorphous groups like “the left” sounds an awful lot like a convenient rationalization for wallowing in shitty behavior. The lack of specificity is what concerns me.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  156. How have the last eight years of Jerry Brown, which began with gloria alreds October surprise worked out,

    narciso (d1f714)

  157. So this whole snipehunt has been typical of what fusion and Derrick partners do, they silence critics before they are ever published ask alek boyd about that.

    narciso (d1f714)

  158. Another name I’ve been meaning to add to the list.

    Done.

    Your loss Patterico. But then to be ignored is often the lot of genius.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  159. I would be willing to mortgage my house to bet hundreds of thousands of dollars that, had this situaition applied to Obama or Hillary, you would have wasted no time whatsoever in making the simple logical inference that praise of a program whose most salient feature is extrajudicial killings, is praise for extrajudicial killings.

    There’s nothing wrong with making a logical inference if that’s what you are telling people you are doing. What’s objectionable is say the So-and-so said this, when in fact they actually said that.

    It goes directly to the thing you said you objected to, “recharacterizing what the other person said in some unfair way”. If you say that Trump said “Great job on your drug war”, and that means he’s signalling his approval of the extrajudicial killings, someone else could respond that Trump was merely trying to repair the damage Obama did with his moralizing lecturing. Had Obama not done that, Trump likely would have never mentioned what was going on with the drug war in the Philippines. You could certainly disagree with what as going on with that situation.

    But, if we start the conversation with a falsity, that Trump had said he approved of the killings, my argument wouldn’t make sense. Before we could have a meaningful discussion about what was going on, first I have to research and correct the false statement about what Trump had actually said.

    I might well have criticized either Obama or Hillary, depending on what I thought they were trying to accomplish, or whether I believed they were operating in good faith. But, I would not have said they said something they hadn’t, at least I wouldn’t do so knowingly. Saying they really meant something else is fair game. Saying they said something they didn’t is not.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  160. No, theyd be arming the drug gangs as they sis with the zetas the sinAloa carte and ms 13, and their counterparts in North Africa and the levant.

    narciso (d1f714)

  161. I gotta say rcocean has a much higher self-worth than he has ever earned. I normally skip right past his garbage, but his 159 is quoting 2 lines from Patterico (who is far more valuable than rcocean), then adding his own hyper-delusions into a followup line.

    John Hitchcock (c07361)

  162. Your comment about people “making the conversation about the character of the person with whom you are speaking rather than the ideas they are discussing” was rather surprising given your attacks on Roy Moore.

    Talking about unproven 35 year old allegations of sexual misconduct – never reported to the police – instead of talking about Moore’s political positions in 2018 – was a perfect example of this. Evidently Moore’s track record of utmost fidelity to his wife for the last 30 years meant nothing. Nor was his support for Trump or the Republican party platform of interest. Nope, the only thing that mattered is what may – or may not – have happened 35 years ago.

    You see the same dishonest arguments with John McCain. Hey, lets not talk about John McCain’s actions in 2016 or 2018 or even his political actions of 2008 or 2000 or even 1992. NO, the most IMPORTANT thing is that John McCain was shot down 50 YEARS AGO. And EVERY discussion about McCain must talk about how he was a WAR HERO – 45 years ago!

    rcocean (1a839e)

  163. The idea is to concede an argument, so another will yield; that’s not the way ezra Klein rolls, has he ever said made a statement on policy that ended even mostly true, I’m being charitable.

    narciso (d1f714)

  164. wrt #149 Patterico. “you” is less awkward than the plural, whatever it is, of “one”. Lefties in general. But, still, if you object to Trump’s sex life in any energetic way, you are certainly able to provide us contemporaneous documentation of your outrage over Clinton’s way with women.
    Or not. And if not, what are we to think?

    Collusion? Teddy Kennedy colluding with the Kremlin to obstruct Reagan’s SDI. That a problem for you, or not? If not…then why should we bother taking seriously anybody complaining about collusion this time around?

    One issue after another.

    Anyway, whataboutism is something like tu quoque. It is, or should be, so obvious that the actual point shouldn’t have to be made…where were you when somebody on your political side did the same thing? Nowhere? Great. Then we don’t need to listen to your argument.

    Richard Aubrey (10ef71)

  165. John Hitchcock:

    A man of substance knows his own worth. Only fools need to be flattered.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  166. In point of fact I don’t see any collusion, they had a,meeting at trump tower and the russian pepper pot was sent on her way, by contrast info from Russian sources did make into two official documents

    narciso (d1f714)

  167. wrt #149 Patterico. “you” is less awkward than the plural, whatever it is, of “one”. Lefties in general. But, still, if you object to Trump’s sex life in any energetic way, you are certainly able to provide us contemporaneous documentation of your outrage over Clinton’s way with women.
    Or not. And if not, what are we to think?

    I didn’t have a blog then, but I objected — more to his perjury and obstruction, but of course his actions were immoral.

    OK, if it wasn’t directed at me specifically, good.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  168. Nobody likes Roy Moore. Maybe it is more like Jack and Bobby having to put up with Teddy?

    AZ Bob (9a6ada)

  169. I think that’s overreaching but if you feel putting the fellow who chose to go after Richard Jewell and was someone Rosie O’Donnell maxed out her contributions was a good idea by all means.

    narciso (d1f714)

  170. I’m spectacularly unimpressed by the phrase “Intellectual Dark Web.” In fact, I actively hate it. I will never follow a link to something listed as that, and I wish people (including, especially, our host) would stop using it.

    Apparently the name “Twitter” was already taken, Beldar.

    :(

    Dave (445e97)

  171. #168

    I didn’t have a blog then, but I objected — more to his perjury and obstruction, but of course his actions were immoral.

    OK, if it wasn’t directed at me specifically, good.

    But you see my point: Whataboutism is designed to out the partisan hacks. And it’s soooo easy.

    Richard Aubrey (10ef71)

  172. I’d like to highlight what I think is the best part of this post, especially considering it’s coming from someone who contends with bad actors often; one of our prosecutors:

    The thing is, almost every bad actor on Earth, now and throughout human history, has rationalized their bad behavior in the same way. Al Qaeda and ISIS actually believe they are/were giving America a taste of its own medicine.

    It’s scary to know how easy it is for many of us to fall into that mindset, but I think that it helps to at least acknowledge that it’s there, lurking.

    Thanks for this writing this Pat.

    Tillman (a95660)

  173. Anon Y. Mous wants us to believe that if a rabid high-profile Hillary or Obama partisan said “I am hearing of the unbelievable job Hitler did on the Jewish issue” that Anon Y. Mous would not accuse the rabid high-profile Hillary or Obama partisan of praise for the Holocaust.

    This is the hackiest of hacky positions. We. Don’t. Believe. You.

    Bullshit like this is why people hate the Internet.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  174. Right the drug dealers who roam the streets are the same thing, now el Salvador even under a nominAl fmr Marxist guerilla has gone back to the old traditions with the blAck shadow, their own paramilitaries

    narciso (d1f714)

  175. Who could use a little Durante style drug war is Mexico.

    But of course killing the people responsible for mass graves of decapitated corpses all over the place would be just like the holocaust, so never mind.

    the Bas (80e68a)

  176. But of course killing the people responsible for mass graves of decapitated corpses all over the place would be just like the holocaust, so never mind.

    A very honest and fair comment that confirms my decision to block you. Thank you.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  177. Of course the problem with aiding the Mexican army is their special forces is where the zetas came from, the new generationcartel is headed by an ex policeman.

    narciso (d1f714)

  178. You’re welcome.

    the Bas (80e68a)

  179. This is the milieu that all the candidates want do anything practical about.

    narciso (d1f714)

  180. the jettisoning of reason:

    One worth mentioning is the existence of different facts. Quite hard to have a discussion when the facts are so desperate. Seems right and left agents on discussion platforms lack intellectual curiosity and stick and die on lazy half facts, if that, or misconstrue facts on minutia.

    An impossible situation to try have an honest and respectful discussion.

    Rich (de9149)

  181. But surely he was good for something:
    https://mobile.twitter.com/paulsperry_/status/996537538855751680?p=v

    narciso (d1f714)

  182. Let’s compare apples. If Hillary or Obama praised President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines in a phone call for doing an “unbelievable job on the drug problem”, instead of Trump, I still wouldn’t have cared.

    That might be because I grew up with a father that had the same compassion for drug dealers as Duterte, and the same compassion for “protesters” as Israel has of late adopted, so I’m likely more old school than most.

    the Bas (80e68a)

  183. Far more common than such rare honest conversation is the employment of any number of intellectually dishonest techniques that superficially resemble actual debate, but are in fact techniques for dissembling. The strategies are so many in number that a full taxonomy would be impossible, but off the top of my head, here are several I commonly see: recharacterizing what the other person said in some unfair way to make their point sound less effective;

    The guy who wrote that follows up with this:

    Anon Y. Mous wants us to believe that if a rabid high-profile Hillary or Obama partisan said “I am hearing of the unbelievable job Hitler did on the Jewish issue” that Anon Y. Mous would not accuse the rabid high-profile Hillary or Obama partisan of praise for the Holocaust.

    Really? Duterte is the equivalent of Hitler. Extrajudicial killings of however many drug dealers is of a piece with rounding up and exterminating 6 million Jews? Not to mention that in the case Philippines the issue is how criminal drug dealers are dealt with. Are you sure you want to equate those with the entire Jewish citizenry of Nazi Germany?

    Obama, in his arrogance, sought to play lecturer with Duterte, which annoyed Duterte enough that he started to change the alignment of the Philippines away from the USA towards China. China, as you may be aware, makes the Philippines look like amateurs when it comes to violations of the civil rights of not only its own citizens, but also others who are trapped under its power. Trump, in an effort to rein China in, has been reaching out to the countries in that neighborhood. So, in a private phone call with Duterte, Trump says great job on your drug war.

    What was Trump’s purpose? He was signalling to Duterte that the USA will keep its nose out of the Philippines internal affairs and that Trump would not be getting up on a public soapbox and telling Duterte how he should run the internal affairs of his country. Duterte responded with expressing concern about the actions of North Korea. Trump fixed Obama’s mess, all while continuing to reduce the influence and economic power of China.

    BTW, I forget, where have you been all this time on the issue of both Democrats and Republicans making nice with China? Surely your moral outrage at Trump looking the other way when it comes to extrajudicial killing in the Philippines must be nothing compared to how you feel about our doing business with the brutal government in China, no? Which of you makes that call, the guy in the first quote or the guy in the second. Which is the real you?

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  184. I believe China should never have been given MFN status, much less Permanent MFN status.

    I believe the way Duterte has/had been handling the drug dealer issue is wrong, but since the Philippines has a serious corruption problem at every level of government, it’s difficult to find a right way to handle it.

    I believe anyone who claims Duterte is a ‘self-admitted murderer’ is lying in order to push an agenda, because he never called himself a murderer. I believe anyone who claims Duterte is a dictator is lying in order to push an agenda, because he was elected to the one-term President position. I stopped even looking at a certain site for months because a contributor made those two specific claims and wasn’t backing down.

    John Hitchcock (c07361)

  185. Really? Duterte is the equivalent of Hitler. Extrajudicial killings of however many drug dealers is of a piece with rounding up and exterminating 6 million Jews?

    No, not really. That’s not even close to what Patrick wrote. It is hard to believe people are so incapable of comprehending simple arguments.

    What Patrick said:

    Anon Y. Mous wants us to believe that if a rabid high-profile Hillary or Obama partisan said “I am hearing of the unbelievable job [Bad person] did on the [Bad thing] issue” that Anon Y. Mous would not accuse the rabid high-profile Hillary or Obama partisan of praise for the [bad thing that bad person did].

    To make his point, he chose a person that (almost) everybody agrees is bad who did a thing that (almost) everybody agrees was bad. There was no suggestion that Duterte and Hitler were equally bad, or that the things they did were equally bad. Just that they were both both bad people who did bad things.

    Dave (445e97)

  186. 88

    … none of them confiscate property …

    Some rent control regulations are pretty close to confiscation.

    James B. Shearer (ac538d)

  187. 45

    There is some justice in Charles Murray’s critics, if not their tactics, because IQ tests are rigged to produce a perfect normal distribution — a bell curve. If an IQ test does not produce a bell curve, it is considered invalid. Questions that “too many” people answer correctly are thrown out and, likewise, questions that “too many” answer incorrectly are thrown out, until the whole population fits within the curve, everyone in their proper place.

    This is confused. IQ is defined to be normally distributed (usually with mean 100 and standard deviation 15) on some reference population. There are reasons to believe this is a sensible thing to do if the reference population is genetically mixed (that is has been interbreeding for some time). It is less sensible when the reference population is a mix of groups which have not been interbreeding. So you take your reference population (say 10000 Scottish school children) and have them answer a bunch of questions. This will give you percentile ranks based on how many questions each child answers correctly. There are mathematically derived tables that convert back and forth between IQ and percentile rank. This will assign an IQ based on the number of questions correctly answered.

    Now a good IQ test will have as few questions as possible. This means including good questions and discarding bad questions. So what makes a question good. One thing is that you want questions that smart people (since we are trying to measure how smart you are) are more likely to answer correctly than dumb people. Now this is true to some extent for almost any question but for some questions the association between answering correctly and being smart is stronger than for other questions (this association is sometimes call g-loading, you want questions that are more g-loaded). You also want questions that distinguish people, if everyone answers correctly (or incorrectly) you aren’t learning anything about the test taker. However you probably don’t want only questions that about 50% of the population will answer correctly since while that might be best if you only want to know if someone is above or below average (has IQ above or below 100) it is less useful in telling how far above or below average someone is. So you want some hard questions to identify the really smart people and some easy questions to identify the really stupid people. This means the raw scores on a IQ test probably won’t be normally distributed (they will be more spread out) and will only become normally distributed when converted from percentile rank to IQ.

    James B. Shearer (ac538d)

  188. You know mr the Bas, we’ve talking a lot about Wyoming lately. Growing up there. Driving around. Hitchhiking. Getting drunk.

    Talking a lot about Wyoming here and there

    Pinandpuller (b48108)

  189. Phillipines has been shuttling between landed families like the .mapagal-arroyo and the Aquino and outsiders like estrella and now duterte, a poster on another blog who is a learned atty and business explained his appeal to me

    narciso (d1f714)

  190. Really? Duterte is the equivalent of Hitler.

    It’s an analogy.

    Pretending an analogy is an equivalence is a classic technique of intellectually dishonest people like you.

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  191. No, not really. That’s not even close to what Patrick wrote. It is hard to believe people are so incapable of comprehending simple arguments.

    This is obvious to anyone with a functioning brain who is mt playing bullshit Internet games. I made an analogy that was actually pretty devastating and revealed Anon Y. Nous for the hack that he is. He replied with one of the most tired hack moves known to man. His blather could go in a textbook as an example of how people argue dishonestly on the Web.

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  192. Internet hack: x is not the same as y.

    Me: that’s like saying a is not the same as b. Yet the world acknowledges a is just like b, and there is no meaningful way to say x is unlike y without using the same logic to argue a is unlike b. This is an effective example because b is so different from y that it takes me using the separate variables to show just how bad your logic is.

    [Honest theoretical response: here is a non-BS way of showing x is unlike y in a way that does not compel the conclusion that a is also unlike b.

    Hacky Anon Y. Mous answer: so you’re saying y is just like b.

    Me: you would fail a symbolic logic class. You are dishonest and no sane person should take you seriously.

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  193. i bet the first four hundred people in the boston telephone directory could not do a better job than mr. president trump so really there is nothing to argue about

    nk (dbc370)

  194. did you miss that

    maybe it was on another thread

    the trumpalos’ final answer when they get tired of making excuses is always i don’t care don’t you know that i love him

    nk (dbc370)

  195. Even less, the faculty of Harvard.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  196. Mr. President Trump?

    he’s not just adorbs

    he’s making the hard choices and delivering superlative results

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  197. nk, it was in response to an inane comment best summarized as “all presidents should be lawyers”, which you’re probably down with.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  198. Taking the matter out of symbols:

    The salient and well-known feature of how Hitler addressed “the Jewish problem” was the Holocaust. Praise for the way he handled the Jewish question is nexessarily praise for the salient and well-known feature of his actions.

    The salient and well-known feature of how Duterte handles the drug problem is extrajudicial killings. Praise for how he handled the drug problem is necessarily praise for the salient and well-known feature of his actions.

    None of this is an argument that these two salient features are equivalent in the extent of their moral depravity. The similarity lies in how these salient features are so well known that it is impossible for someone to praise the general actions without knowing that they are praising the most salient and well known features.

    An honest person, confronted with the overwhelming evidence I have presented in the last few comments of Anon Y. Mous’s hackery, would realize how absurd their arguments were, and beg forgiveness from me for wasting my time.

    A dishonest person, such as Anon Y. Mous, will ignore my arguments and/or double down on the bullshit. Because this is not conversation for him. It’s trolling.

    The way I deal with bad behavior like trolling is usually to ignore it, and occasionally (like now) to point it out with devastating force, such that every reasoning human who sees my criticism agrees that my opponent is engaged in trolling, hackery, and/or a pathetic failure of comprehension.

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  199. i bet the first four hundred people in the boston telephone directory could not do a better job than mr. president trump so really there is nothing to argue about

    he makes the sun shine and the sky blue and im out of tasty tasty bacon I don’t want carbs for breakfast mr trump would fix this if he only knew

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  200. And the shame, Patterico, is that there have been some solid comments and back and forth in this thread. Trolls just make it harder to hear. Even with a blocking script.

    Simon Jester (ad6a15)

  201. By the way, Patterico, I have been thinking about this general topic for some time.

    What podcasts/essayists do people listen/read from people with whom they disagree? Or do folks only listen to people with whom they agree?

    I hope not.

    Simon Jester (ad6a15)

  202. Pat,

    Is there a scenario under our system of justice that could lead to a death penalty for drug dealers?

    Could you or would you ever support a death penalty for dealers?

    EPWJ (50f638)

  203. Pat,

    Is there a scenario under our system of justice that could lead to a death penalty for drug dealers?

    Could you or would you ever support a death penalty for dealers?

    The question is completely irrelevant to our discussion of extrajudicial killings. However, the answer is no, I would not support such a penalty.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  204. bacon is too many nitrate

    i’m interested in this phrase “real conversation”

    me and DRJ touched on this the other day

    i said as to how lawyerly types often had a penchant for the socratic, and she said yes this is true

    i think this is both by training as well as a disposition that correlates with that choice of profession

    but you know what

    you know what

    i think comments are good all by themselves just as a record of somebody’s opinion on a subject

    it can be a carefully considered and articulate point of view

    or it can be a scalding hot take

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  205. it’s just nice to have them written down somewhere

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  206. What podcasts/essayists do people listen/read from people with whom they disagree? Or do folks only listen to people with whom they agree?

    I listen to all kinds of people with whom I disagree, if I find them intellectually honest.

    Increasingly, however, I treat Trump super-fandom as an important indicator of intellectual dishonesty and/or delusion. If you’re constantly yammering about how his latest idiot move is 83-dimensional chess, you are either a liar or an idiot. My name for you is Trumpalo or Trump superfan or Trumpkin or some other insulting name. (This does not apply to people who find his antics annoying but are pleased with some aspects of his agenda. I have said this 1,183,429 times but for some reason still seem to feel the need to say it again, so that when the usual suspects whine that I use the term Trumpalo at all, and falsely imply (hi random viking) that I use the name to apply to that group, I can once again point to my oft-repeated disclaimer.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  207. My comment was obviously not in support of any point of view, and was not at all intended to be critical.

    My point (and I thought of this because of your listening to Sam Harris) is that I find that my own position is stronger and clearer when I listen to folks with whom I disagree. Just listening to folks who agree with me does not clarify issues .

    That’s all I meant.

    Simon Jester (ad6a15)

  208. I can’t help but notice the irony in this comment from random viking:

    I’ve found following these rules work well:

    1) Never resort to name-calling or epithets in lieu of a rational argument. (Ex: Trumpalo, Trumpkin, Deplorable, cultist)
    2) Never hold yourself out as a model of reasoned discussion. Just practice it.

    To reword two of the claims made here in a way that is both fair and also reveals what I find amusing, please note that random viking is saying this, in part:

    “I practice reasoned discussion. Also, I never hold myself out as a model of reasoned discussion.”

    Next up: a boast about how modest he is.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  209. And I’m making the point, random viking, that nothing will ever convince a Trump True Believer that Trump does not ride a unicorn and fart rainbows and will stop the rise of the oceans.

    As for “all president’s should be lawyers”, shouldn’t they at least know the breadth of their authority through executive orders? Let’s say like a guy with a driver’s license knowing on which side of the road to drive? Or which light means stop and which means go?

    nk (dbc370)

  210. “I sincerely appreciate that, and apologize if I was too snappish out of the gate.”

    Not a problem, I can completely understand why in hindsight. I actually think it’s interesting that you did respond this way, as to some extent it goes to my point; see below.

    “The assumption here is that bad behavior needs to be ‘punished’ in some manner to discourage its reappearance in the future.”

    I’m a father, you’re a lawyer; I think we can both agree that this is more than an assumption — that it’s a fundamental part of human nature that successful socialization requires the enforcement of punitive costs for intolerably antisocial activity.

    An essential question, of course, is that of rightful authority to enforce such costs: who has it over any one person or group, and how such costs can, and should, be justly enforced when no legitimate supervisory authority exists, e.g. between nations in conflict, or — and here we come back to the original topic — between political parties, or adherents to particular philosophies, when no law has actually been technically broken.

    “(T)he people who need to be punished or discouraged are the people who actually engage in the bad behavior, and not people who happen to share their political views. …Only if Colin Kahl approved or applauded such a (black ops) program does it make any sense to argue about how he should be discouraged from doing something.”

    I agree that this sounds like the most ideal approach. The one caveat here is that it treats bad actions or habits of bad behaviour, and the political views that promote and facilitate them, as wholly separable; to use a fictional analogy, the Sheriff of Nottingham’s problem was not just that Robin Hood stole from the nobles he was duty-bound to protect, but that the Merry Men and the peasantry thought Robin Hood justified in stealing from those nobles, and would do anything they could to support him. This is part of the reason why being an accessory to a crime is treated as a criminal offense in itself, as you no doubt know better than I do, and why even those who do not commit the crimes of their extremist fringe can nonetheless be sometimes justly called on, at the very least, condoning if not supporting them.

    As a result, the practical habit of pre-emptively assuming the worst of even a potential antagonist becomes an indispensable self-protection technique. Our own interaction in this thread has been an example: From your point of view, seeing my error of sloppiness in my initial post and assuming I was attempting to pull a bad-faith gotcha was perfectly reasonable because that characterized the majority of your experiences in such discussions as these. From my point of view, immediately assuming that of me when you knew nothing of me personally initially seemed unfair and un-reasonable. Your willingness to give one chance for an apology and my willingness to make it salvaged the discussion, but I think it is hard to fault people for not showing such willingness when they have been burned too many times in the past.

    Stephen J. (f77922)

  211. Could you or would you ever support a death penalty for dealers?

    The Supreme Court seems to have reserved the question of the death penalty for crimes against the state, such as treason, even if no homicide has been committed. I would support the death penalty for government officials who are involved in drug dealing — from taking bribes to look the other way to stealing drugs and guns seized as evidence and selling them back to the dealers.

    nk (dbc370)

  212. Next up: a boast about how modest he is.

    Nope. I always practice both rules, and I’m not modest about it.

    This has nothing to do with a claim to be a model of reasoned discourse. Everyone has their own opinion of what that is, and I’m guessing we agree on a lot of it, but just practice it as you deem fit.

    If you have a need to read it otherwise, you’re not following rule #2.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  213. We’re on the internet, Stephen J. No one gets “burned” except to their ego. If someone can’t put their ego aside for the purpose of an internet discussion, maybe they shouldn’t bother with the discussion.

    In truth, though, I also have this concern about Trump. He never seems to do anything that bruises his ego.

    DRJ (15874d)

  214. Also Senators from marijuana states who threaten to block the President’s nominees unless he promises not to enforce the federal drug laws in their state.

    nk (dbc370)

  215. Never resort to name-calling or epithets in lieu of a rational argument.

    I’ll note that this doesn’t preclude name-calling or epithets along with rational argument against Trumpalistas.

    Paul Montagu (e6130e)

  216. I’m a father, you’re a lawyer; I think we can both agree that this is more than an assumption — that it’s a fundamental part of human nature that successful socialization requires the enforcement of punitive costs for intolerably antisocial activity.

    An essential question, of course, is that of rightful authority to enforce such costs: who has it over any one person or group, and how such costs can, and should, be justly enforced when no legitimate supervisory authority exists, e.g. between nations in conflict, or — and here we come back to the original topic — between political parties, or adherents to particular philosophies, when no law has actually been technically broken.

    My view is that the criminal law addresses crimes, tort law addresses torts, elections address bad behavior by politicians, and public disapproval handles most of the rest. What I find curious is the oft-repeated notion that, when we see bad behavior in others, the proper response is to engage in it ourselves as well.

    I agree that this sounds like the most ideal approach. The one caveat here is that it treats bad actions or habits of bad behaviour, and the political views that promote and facilitate them, as wholly separable; to use a fictional analogy, the Sheriff of Nottingham’s problem was not just that Robin Hood stole from the nobles he was duty-bound to protect, but that the Merry Men and the peasantry thought Robin Hood justified in stealing from those nobles, and would do anything they could to support him. This is part of the reason why being an accessory to a crime is treated as a criminal offense in itself, as you no doubt know better than I do, and why even those who do not commit the crimes of their extremist fringe can nonetheless be sometimes justly called on, at the very least, condoning if not supporting them.

    Yes, there is being an accessory to a crime through your actions, and then there is the more amorphous sin of holding “political views that promote and facilitate” bad behavior. I suppose one could hold the view that, if an Internet commenter says Trump is totally cool to cheat on his wife, the Internet commenter’s wife is now entitled to cheat on him and rub his nose in it gleefully. Whether spectators would applaud that should not really depend on how they feel about Trump, but with our general abdication of shared values, that would be the determining factor for how most people felt about it.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  217. As a result, the practical habit of pre-emptively assuming the worst of even a potential antagonist becomes an indispensable self-protection technique.

    Right, but that is different from justifying bad behavior, which is what our discussion is about.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  218. Well Sam Harris seems a sincere searcher for the truth, he has perhaps an unwarranted to all faith, now ehrman I don’t regard the same way.

    narciso (d1f714)

  219. Trump doesn’t seem to believe he is ever wrong or should ever be sorry. If so, that is a moral failure on his part. It disappoints me to see some of his supporters appear to agree or to adopt that same attitude in their online discussions.

    DRJ (15874d)

  220. He can’t deny that Jesus did exist, but he makes the contribution he made to society almost in significant.

    Some might consider Jeane Kirkpatrick rather cynical but one would concur that authoritarian regimes on balance are less dangerous to the over all balance of power, whereas illconsidered movements like the Arab spring often bring great peril.

    narciso (d1f714)

  221. Because they produce power vacuums often filled by communists and/or Marxist, 1979 Nicaragua 2010 egypt

    narciso (d1f714)

  222. Historically, anarchy leads to tyranny. The tyrants who gave the word its meaning were not oppressive kings — they were the products of failed democracy after the collapse of royal rule. BUT, also historically, such tyrannies eventually lead to successful democracies, although it may take a few generations.

    nk (dbc370)

  223. As a result, the practical habit of pre-emptively assuming the worst of even a potential antagonist becomes an indispensable self-protection technique. Our own interaction in this thread has been an example: From your point of view, seeing my error of sloppiness in my initial post and assuming I was attempting to pull a bad-faith gotcha was perfectly reasonable because that characterized the majority of your experiences in such discussions as these. From my point of view, immediately assuming that of me when you knew nothing of me personally initially seemed unfair and un-reasonable. Your willingness to give one chance for an apology and my willingness to make it salvaged the discussion, but I think it is hard to fault people for not showing such willingness when they have been burned too many times in the past.

    Yes, you’re a victim of those who went before you (look at the behavior of Anon Y. Mous in this thread) who have made such a habit of employing dishonest tactics that I think the worst of anyone who seems to be employing them. I’m glad I gave you a chance because you seem very intelligent and engaging, and I hope to continue these conversations with you. My goal is to seek out more people like you (note well, folks, he’s not agreeing with me, but he’s disagreeing in an honest fashion) and attempt to ignore the dishonest ones.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  224. As for “all president’s should be lawyers”, shouldn’t they at least know the breadth of their authority through executive orders? Let’s say like a guy with a driver’s license knowing on which side of the road to drive? Or which light means stop and which means go?

    When Trump picks up a phone and a pen and acts on it, I’ll start worrying about it.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  225. “What I find curious is the oft-repeated notion that, when we see bad behavior in others, the proper response is to engage in it ourselves as well.”

    This, I believe, comes from the Prisoner’s Dilemma game theory, in which the optimal strategy over repeated iterations is to cooperate until betrayal occurs and then to retaliate hard against betrayal until it is abandoned.

    Now that says nothing about whether the strategically optimal response is also the morally or ethically proper response, but the simple fact that the two can be different is one of the factors at play.

    “(Pre-emptively assuming the worst of an opponent) is different from justifying bad behaviour….”

    Different from, yes, but in practice it seems to me that such pre-emptive assumptions are almost always part and parcel of such justifications, and it’s hard to treat them separately. I sincerely believe that in practice, people are more often driven to break rules, or to applaud rule-breaking, not by greed for the rewards of doing it first but by the conviction that those rules are already being broken by their opponents or are being corruptly enforced against them and theirs.

    Such convictions are not always right, but neither are they always wrong, and one’s experience with how often they have been right in the past has a lot to do with how quickly we bet on them being right in the future.

    Stephen J. (f77922)

  226. is there any evidence at all that Colin Kahl has spoken out against the treatment of any of the people victimized by Herr Mueller’s FBI gestapo tactics?

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  227. “is there any evidence at all that Colin Kahl has spoken out against the treatment of any of the people victimized by Herr Mueller’s FBI gestapo tactics?”

    No, but simply not speaking out against something one was not personally in a position to prevent does not, ipso facto, constitute approval of that action.

    I have made no public personal statements condemning the Holodomor, but it would be invidious to presume solely from that fact that I approved of it.

    Stephen J. (f77922)

  228. All these analogies are making me turn on Reagan:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitburg_controversy?wprov=sfsi1

    random viking (6a54c2)

  229. Colin has an active-enough twatter for there to be some evidence that he sympathizes with people what are persecuted by sleazy black ops FBI-type stuff, if indeed these kinds of civil liberties violations are something that concerns him

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  230. You know Patterico, I must say, it is quite amusing, reading your comments.

    “I listen to all kinds of people with whom I disagree, if I find them intellectually honest.”

    Let’s break that down. You are willing to listen to people you disagree with. But only if they pass some standard test of intellectual honesty. And the administer of that test? You. And the standards of that test? Whatever you decide. Now you, like most people think of themselves as honest and logical, so people who disagree with you are for the most part easily categorized as dishonest and illogical, and by your rule, can be ignored. It is circular reasoning with the added benefit of patting yourself on the back.

    Personally I listen to all sorts of people whether or not I suspect them of being intellectually honest (a psychologist would tell you most people are not). I often hazard the opinion I might be wrong, or that I may be lying to myself about what I believe. The easiest person to fool is yourself after all.

    And naturally the key word is “honest.” I think many of the people you have banned believe, quite sincerely, in what they have said. They are not intentionally being untruthful.

    In short, you quickly assign bad motivation to people you disagree with intellectually. This by the way, is a common leftist tactic. Not only are your ideas wrong, but you are a bad person, and because you are a bad person, I’m not listening to your ideas. No, I am not saying you are a leftist, just that you have adopted, unconsciously, one of their tactics.

    “Increasingly, however, I treat Trump super-fandom as an important indicator of intellectual dishonesty and/or delusion.” Well, there you go. You naturally assign yourself the role of determining what qualifies for “super fandom”. I’ve noticed the bar is…variable.

    “If you’re constantly yammering about how his latest idiot move is 83-dimensional chess, you are either a liar or an idiot.” Yet – I just don’t get how trump, an obvious liar and idiot, seems to be accomplishing any number of important things. Do you have an explanation? That guy sure is lucky.

    “My name for you is Trumpalo or Trump superfan or Trumpkin or some other insulting name.”

    Because insulting, childish names is the hallmark of intellectual honesty and reasoned debate.

    “This does not apply to people who find his antics annoying but are pleased with some aspects of his agenda. I have said this 1,183,429 times but for some reason still seem to feel the need to say it again, so that when the usual suspects whine that I use the term Trumpalo at all, and falsely imply (hi random viking) that I use the name to apply to that group, I can once again point to my oft-repeated disclaimer.”

    Hah ha. Problem is you have applied it to me in the past, despite the many times I have clearly stated I find his antics annoying but are pleased with some aspects of his agenda. You actually apply the term pretty freely, and quickly, in the face of any defense of Trump. Your statement of selectivity is not convincing. Personally I cringe whenever you use those terms for others, because name calling demeans you and the conversation.

    Perhaps just avoid it altogether? I mean, name calling serves no purpose in an intellectually honest disagreement. The point of your post is about elevating the conversation – this would be a very small sacrifice on your part to make in that regard. In exchange you could ban those that utilize derogatory name calling directed at you, and we all might benefit.

    Cassandra (a815b9)

  231. PandP #189- I love the smell of sagebrush after a rain. See ya on the range…

    the Bas (80e68a)

  232. I dearly miss Christopher Hitchens. He was literally dead wrong, imo, about God, but dang if he was not assiduously and scrupulously honest in his arguments. He cared not who one was. Nor did he much care how correct or incorrect his opponent may have been in previous assertions. Hitchens stuck to the principles of the matter and demanded that facts once established be honored as facts. He was almost always the first to admit that he may be incorrect as to opinions formed.

    The few times he engaged Andrew Sullivan on Brian Lamb’s morning show on C-SPAN were nothing short of thrilling to me. He brought out the very best of Andrew, who at his best is pretty darn impressive. The manner in which he would dismiss fool callers (early trolls) was a joy to behold. The way he would sincerely parry with honest callers was similarly great. It took a LOT top impress Mr. Lamb (full disclosure: I interned at C-SPAN and regard Brian as a hero) and nothing energized him more than these Hitchens/Sullivan encounters.

    Hitchens warned the West for heading for tyranny at breakneck speed. No need to ask if we are there yet.

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  233. “I sincerely believe that in practice, people are more often driven to break rules, or to applaud rule-breaking, not by greed for the rewards of doing it first but by the conviction that those rules are already being broken by their opponents or are being corruptly enforced against them and theirs. Such convictions are not always right, but neither are they always wrong, and one’s experience with how often they have been right in the past has a lot to do with how quickly we bet on them being right in the future.”

    Exactly.

    As a corollary, let me add what I like to call the “worse than Hitler” syndrome. That is to say define an opinion as not just being wrong, but being unethical and immoral and reflective on the person expressing that opinion. Then say, in effect, that person is banned from polite society because they are “bad”.

    The subtle bit about this game, is who decides the opinion is not just wrong, but bad? And once you seize control over that definition, then you basically get to decide who gets a platform and who doesn’t. The results inevitably become arbitrary and capricious, because there is an overwhelming temptation to declare arguments immoral simply because you are tired of hearing them, don’t understand them, or have no proper answer to them, or are frustrated or confused.

    Rules constraining speech thoughts and ideas are best when they are limited, impartial, clear, and apply to both sides of the argument. That in turn generates the vaunted “high trust” environment that is so supportive for economic growth and prosperity.

    Cassandra (a815b9)

  234. Much obliged for the kind words, by the way, in case I was appearing ungrateful. I’ll cheerfully accept “engaging” as a compliment (though the jury is still out on the intelligence thing).

    Stephen J. (f77922)

  235. “That is to say define an opinion as not just being wrong, but being unethical and immoral and reflective on the person expressing that opinion.”

    To be strictly fair, I don’t believe our host has defined the mere possession or expression of a particular opinion as necessarily indicative of poor character, anywhere in this post at least (with the goes-without-saying exceptions of certain genuinely evil beliefs that I don’t think anyone here is defending).

    Rather, it is the manner in which said opinion is expressed that makes the difference, ranging from being explicitly rude, insulting and contemptuous to the willful refusal to abandon or acknowledge logical fallacies or the disingenuous exaggeration or deliberate misinterpretation of an opposing argument. (This last is a tricky one — assuming that someone is deliberately misunderstanding your point is another one of those Bulverisms that I try to avoid — but it gets a lot harder to extend benefit of the doubt when you’ve had to put up with an awful lot of negativity, which is something I think both sides of this particular conflict can agree on.)

    Stephen J. (f77922)

  236. I suspect those kids on my lawn were sent by the Intellectual Dark Web! Dang them!

    Beldar (fa637a)

  237. “I dearly miss Christopher Hitchens. He was literally dead wrong, imo, about God, but dang if he was not assiduously and scrupulously honest in his arguments. He cared not who one was. Nor did he much care how correct or incorrect his opponent may have been in previous assertions.”

    – Ed from SFV

    “The discerning will read, in his Plato or Shakespeare, only that least part, ⎯ only the authentic utterances of the oracle; ⎯ all the rest he rejects, were it never so many times Plato’s and Shakespeare’s.”

    – Emerson, The American Scholar

    Leviticus (efada1)

  238. Stephen J. (f77922) — 5/16/2018 @ 1:39 pm “The manner of expression.”

    I always find this argument amusing as well, in relation to internet communications. I’ve lost track of the number of times I have been baffled by people arguing not over facts but in how I happen to express them. Too aggressive. Too arrogant. Too jokey. Too dismissive. Too long. Too snippy. Too this or that. Very rarely are those attributed emotions part of my actual intent. I’ve come to realize it is just an effort to dismiss my argument without actually having to sustain the counter argument.

    ABSENT ABSOLUTE EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY, THIS IS JUST ANOTHER AVENUE FOR NO-PLATFORMING, WHERE A SINGLE PERSON MAKES A JUDGEMENT CALL REGARDING THE CONTENT OF YOUR CHARACTER AND DECIDES YOU NO LONGER GET TO HAVE AN OPINION.

    Did you think I was shouting just then? Nope, the caps key just got stuck. See how that works?

    “To be strictly fair, I don’t believe our host has defined the mere possession or expression of a particular opinion as necessarily indicative of poor character, anywhere in this post at least (with the goes-without-saying exceptions of certain genuinely evil beliefs that I don’t think anyone here is defending).”

    He just said, in the comments above, that supporting Trump is a valid political opinion that he immediately associates with poor character. He could not have made it more clear.

    And yes, there are genuine evil beliefs that don’t belong here. Problem is, for the most part, I rarely see those beliefs expressed. Yet I see people banned anyway. Mostly because our host is sick of their “yammering” (i.e. repeatedly expressing opinions he no longer wants to hear).

    I liken the yammering to a crowd of people screaming at you to get out of the street before getting hit by a bus. I’m sure it is annoying, but they mean well.

    Cassandra (a815b9)

  239. I liken the yammering to a crowd of people screaming at you to get out of the street before getting hit by a bus. I’m sure it is annoying, but they mean well.

    this discussion’s too meta

    the reason people can’t do real conversation on each other is cause of how some people hear yanny and some people (freaks) hear laurel

    hello tower of babel anybody heard of it?

    that doesn’t make it right for buses to run over people (squashed people)

    even when it’s spring and the goat-footed balloonman whistles

    far
    and
    wee (both)

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  240. Ot, opeys solo film seems to be getting a decidedly mixed result.

    narciso (d1f714)

  241. it should do fine in the demo and as long as they nail the boba fett project they won’t end up hurting themselves

    these reviews are actually the exact kind of wake-up call the disneysluts have been needing to hear

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  242. speaking of…

    i had no idea expanse was on the bubble

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  243. All of us make mistakes, of course, but I think that the purposeful misrepresentations and denial of facts is more common than in the past.

    I believe that much of it has to do with the variety of news sources and even social media, which can provide a rich environment for confirmation bias. If you seek validation for your views, you can surely find it. Of course I am not the first to suggest this.

    And if you limit your social and news consumption exclusively to one side, be it liberal or conservative, it can be obvious. But maybe not to you.

    As for the name-calling. Sure, it may be a symptom of the anonymity of blogs, but I also believe that leaders do impact the behavior of their followers. I’ll leave it at that.

    noel (b4d580)

  244. Funny, isn’t it, that people that don’t like Trump are called nevertrumpers, a label they gave themselves. People that like Trump are everything from deplorables to knob polishers.

    the Bas (80e68a)

  245. Human beings are a nuncupative species. We name things. And … ahem … well … you know, some people have a larger vocabulary as well as greater imagination than others.

    nk (dbc370)

  246. “I know words, I have the best words. I have the best, but there is no better word than stupid.”
    – Donald Trump

    Dave (e2be00)

  247. “all of us make mistakes, of course, but I think that the purposeful misrepresentations and denial of facts is more common than in the past.”

    I blame it on “hot take” culture. My hot take on everything is usually ill-informed and slanted toward my own wants and needs. My hot take on chocolate is “yum”, my long take is, this probably not going to do my waistline any favors.

    I also think something that is lost on a lot of people – you don’t HAVE to have an opinion on everything. In fact the most logical thing is to NOT have an opinion on everything, since you certainly can’t be well informed about more than a fraction of the things in the world.

    I blame the internet – it gives us the illusion of knowledge, of deep understanding, when in fact it is just an illusion. A 5 minute education surfing websites is worth exactly what you paid for it. I think that accounts for a lot of the misrepresentation and denial of facts we see – people are very well ill-informed. We are stuffed with knowledge much like a goose being prepared to make foie gras. The goose is well fed, but it does him little good in life. There is little opportunity to assimilate and correlate knowledge which is the start of wisdom. Or as the scientist in me says, data, in and of itself is just a silly pile of numbers. It has no value at all.

    I received this particular insight when the net neutrality issue came up. I eventually realized, I had not the slightest understanding of the issues involved, and most of the people wailing and moaning about it didn’t either. They were just lining up and having very strong opinions, one way or another, because someone told them they should. I suspect that there are flacks working for various companies ginning up anger and rage over what is likely some sort of insider issue that favors one giant industrial conglomerate over another.

    Cassandra (a815b9)

  248. I looked up “nuncupative”. Not sure how it works as a defining characteristic of the species.

    the Bas (80e68a)

  249. Cassandra,

    I think if you read this post of mine and the links to my other posts therein, you’ll get a decent overview of the Net Neutrality issue. This post in particular (linked in the first one) has an overview of the potential dangers in reclassifying ISPs as subject to regulation under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. (That’s the modern, up to date law the Net Neutrality folks want to impose on the Internet.)

    Patterico (115b1f)

  250. And yes, there are genuine evil beliefs that don’t belong here. Problem is, for the most part, I rarely see those beliefs expressed. Yet I see people banned anyway. Mostly because our host is sick of their “yammering” (i.e. repeatedly expressing opinions he no longer wants to hear).

    That’s an outright lie. I ban literally nobody for expressing opinions I don’t want to hear.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  251. I do *block* annoying people that I believe are not worth talking to, though, Cassandra — and although your name is not on my block list, it’s going on there pronto if you don’t apologize for that blatantly false accusation you just made about me and the way I run my site.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  252. He just said, in the comments above, that supporting Trump is a valid political opinion that he immediately associates with poor character. He could not have made it more clear.

    This too is a total lie. Now let’s look at what I actually said:

    Increasingly, however, I treat Trump super-fandom as an important indicator of intellectual dishonesty and/or delusion. If you’re constantly yammering about how his latest idiot move is 83-dimensional chess, you are either a liar or an idiot. My name for you is Trumpalo or Trump superfan or Trumpkin or some other insulting name. (This does not apply to people who find his antics annoying but are pleased with some aspects of his agenda. I have said this 1,183,429 times but for some reason still seem to feel the need to say it again, so that when the usual suspects whine that I use the term Trumpalo at all, and falsely imply (hi random viking) that I use the name to apply to that group, I can once again point to my oft-repeated disclaimer.

    I’m glad I said it again. Many, many people find his antics annoying but still support him because they are pleased with aspects of his agenda. Those people are Trump supporters, and I *most assuredly did not* say that I associate their opinion with bad character.

    I respect those people’s opinions, and have said so literally DOZENS of times on this site and others.

    What I *do* consider evidence of low character is someone who misrepresents what I say and does not apologize. This is the second instance of this I have cited from you in as many comments, and if I don’t see an apology from you for lying about me, you’re dead to me. You go on my block list and I stop reading what you say.

    Which, to be very clear, is NOT A BAN.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  253. To be strictly fair, I don’t believe our host has defined the mere possession or expression of a particular opinion as necessarily indicative of poor character, anywhere in this post at least (with the goes-without-saying exceptions of certain genuinely evil beliefs that I don’t think anyone here is defending).

    Rather, it is the manner in which said opinion is expressed that makes the difference, ranging from being explicitly rude, insulting and contemptuous to the willful refusal to abandon or acknowledge logical fallacies or the disingenuous exaggeration or deliberate misinterpretation of an opposing argument. (This last is a tricky one — assuming that someone is deliberately misunderstanding your point is another one of those Bulverisms that I try to avoid — but it gets a lot harder to extend benefit of the doubt when you’ve had to put up with an awful lot of negativity, which is something I think both sides of this particular conflict can agree on.)

    Indeed, Stephen J. Your comments are a breath of fresh air.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  254. Hah ha. Problem is you have applied it to me in the past, despite the many times I have clearly stated I find his antics annoying but are pleased with some aspects of his agenda. You actually apply the term pretty freely, and quickly, in the face of any defense of Trump. Your statement of selectivity is not convincing. Personally I cringe whenever you use those terms for others, because name calling demeans you and the conversation.

    OK, I am scrolling up and getting to the earlier comments later.

    I find you to be a Scott Adams type. You will certainly admit that Trump does annoying stuff. But then you devolve into superfan mode, holding up the guy to be some kind of sooper sekrit genius in countless different ways. This is my impression, anyway. I seem to recall countless and endless harangues in which you (not seeming to really know anything about me) set me up as a member of the carping super-establishmenty establishment, who all of us sat around wringing our hands until Donald Trump flew into view, propelled through the air through nothing but the sheer force of his magical will, his cape flying behind him, to solve all our problems. Think I’m exaggerating? Here is you, in one of your earliest comments here as Cassandra (though you have used many other names in the past:

    Trump ignore the accepted wisdom, that is accepted by elites because it favors the polices of the elites, and mostly the left. A big part of hating Trump is he makes liars out of all of you. You smart guys, who bought into this garbage hook line and sinker. Your life has been a lie. You got taken by the left, and even now you won’t admit it, even to yourselves.

    Trump humiliates you. His existence is an embarrassment, it shows you that you are perhaps, just maybe, not quite as smart as you thought. Like the Persians with the Gordian Knot, you find it bad form when Alexander cut it. But the part you really hate is you never thought of that.

    And here is the thing – Trump is no genius. No policy wonk. Half the time I think he bumbles into the right answer. The thing he has going for him is stupidly simple – he believes there is a solution, and is not bound by the leftist framework thinking in finding it.

    More drooling worship from you:

    Dear Trump haters,

    The left will never love you or forgive you. You will never be “woke” enough for them. They will lure you to your destruction, and you trust them at your own peril. The Cool Kids have taken over the lunch room, and promise, promise, they will let you you sit with them but only if you beat up the class nerd first. They are liars. They will never let you sit with them, and intend to report you to the principal.

    There is a lot not to like about Trump. I get it. And you are a bunch of “smart” guys, who don’t like to be wrong, especially about Trump. We all get how butt hurt you are, and how much you want to be able to say “I was right about Trump all along.” Maybe. someday, you will get to do that. But not today, and likely not tomorrow. And the day you are right, will be the day the left decides to “un-person” you.

    And it goes on and on and on like that.

    You’re a Trump superfan. You’re a drooling fanboi. You have earned my distaste for you.

    Lately, you’ve toned it down a bit and gotten more reasonable. But if you’re going to go back weeks to find a reason to whine about something I said, I get to go back weeks to find why I said it.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  255. And naturally the key word is “honest.” I think many of the people you have banned believe, quite sincerely, in what they have said. They are not intentionally being untruthful.

    “I think” — lol. I *dare* you to cite ONE example, with specificity. I want the name of the person banned, and I want a link to the comment where they got banned. Then we’ll have the discussion. Absent that, take it back and admit that you’re talking out of your ass.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  256. Cassandra, George Orwell’s Ghost, Geoman, Tenn, Eramus, or whatever you’re calling yourself this week on my blog:

    Maybe you don’t care about interacting with me any more. If you do, I’d measure what I say in my next comment very carefully. I deeply resent false accusations that I ban people for disagreeing with me.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  257. I don’t need this kind of aggravation and my “add to block script” finger is especially itchy.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  258. And yet the senate found reason to screw with us again, its like they look at the tories across the pond and say ‘hold my ale’

    narciso (d1f714)

  259. I’m not normally real quick to speak for the hosts of whatever blogs I comment on, but as I am using the exact same block script that Patterico has, I wish to reiterate a couple of things that I know he has mentioned before in regards to that particular subject.

    Firstly, the block script does not prevent people from posting here. The script has been made freely available to anyone who wishes to use it, and whoever wishes to use it can maintain their own personal blocking list. I would imagine at this point that my list is not identical to Patterico’s, though I’m sure there is also quite a bit of overlap.

    Secondly, the blocking script does not permanently and irrevocably take away my ability to read anyone’s inane drivel. The content of the post remains downloaded and I can always see names, hashes(Cassandra, I’m looking at you), and time/datestamps. It does in fact give me (and of course our illustrious host) more flexibility in deciding whether I want to engage with drivel without the responsibility of having to worry about banning and moderation if I had chosen to start my own blog.

    I have seen behavior here and language that goes beyond the “vile” and “vulgar” namecalling that I am so often accused of (and sometimes engage in, sure). If I were hosting a blog such as this, my patience for inactionable slander and monumental stupidity would wear awfully thin pretty fast, too. But let’s not pretend for a moment that Pat’s blocking script is anything other than what it is; it’s a tool for dealing with “tools.” Nothing more, nothing less.

    Gryph (08c844)

  260. #251 – Thanks. I will read it with great interest.

    #252 – “If you’re constantly yammering about how his latest idiot move is 83-dimensional chess, you are either a liar or an idiot.” Your words. I assumed the “yammering” was the problem – that is you are an idiot for saying the same thing over and over, like I suppose a parrot might. I even mentioned this later. And you are threatening me right now because you disagree with what I’m saying. Oh, you dress it up with the word “lying”, but really, we just read the sentence differently.

    #253 “Cassandra — and although your name is not on my block list, it’s going on there pronto if you don’t apologize for that blatantly false accusation you just made about me and the way I run my site.” Very quick to the the threats. Over a misunderstanding. I think that was my point.

    #254 My words “that supporting Trump is a valid political opinion that he immediately associates with poor character.” Your words “I treat Trump super-fandom as an important indicator of intellectual dishonesty and/or delusion.” Are we disagreeing that the term “poor character” is somehow not associated with “dishonesty and/or delusion”? I get what you are saying, that you are fine with people who hold their nose and vote for Trump. But your definition of “super fandom” seems less clear to me. Perhaps there is quite a bit of grey area between the two? Degrees of Trump support? Or can we only have two flavors of Trump supporters? And I obviously don’t know the difference between the terms “block” and a “ban”. Which you immediately assume is me lying, eh?

    #256 You consider that…drooling worship? When I said that “There is a lot not to like about Trump. I get it.” or “Trump is no genius. No policy wonk. Half the time I think he bumbles into the right answer. The thing he has going for him is stupidly simple – he believes there is a solution, and is not bound by the leftist framework thinking in finding it.” You read that as Trump super fandom? Hence, my point above – your definition of Trump super fandom is pretty…broad, hence those you associate poor character with an equally broad group. Or are you contending that when I say he is not a genius, that is an admiring comment? I like that he is stupid?

    I am baffled by his success, would not have predicted it, and am trying to explain it, best I can. He’s either smarter than he looks, sounds, and behaves, or he is doing something unusual and interesting. Going back to what I have said in this very thread, there is one element of Trump that may account for his success to date. He ignores the framework the left has imposed on us for discussing and thinking about problems. A framework we have all previously bought into. And the rest of my point still stands – a lot of the hate for trump (I think) originates in this feeling of humiliation – that we bought into the lie of the left.

    Note – I’m not calling you a liar, or demanding an apology, or threatening you, or blocking you. I assume it is just a misunderstanding or minor disagreement that needs clarification and nothing more. That goes to my larger point regarding your behavior and policies.

    #257 You can say you don’t mind disagreement all you like, but you have a very narrow definition of what disagreement is allowable, and you are awful quick to call people liars. You are doing it here, now, with me. I don’t need to cite any more examples than this very conversation. You are threatening to block me because we disagree over your blocking policy. You are angry and threatening because I’m disagreeing with you on how well you handle disagreement. You think you are super terrific at it and demand I prove otherwise, abjectly apologize, or be blocked! I honestly don’t know what to say to any of that, other than it is the very definition of handling disagreement poorly.

    #258 – I would greatly appreciate interacting with you more in the future. I think you are a smart guy, and I appreciate you opinions even when we disagree. I will say while I think your essays are often knock it out of the park terrific, your response to comments is frequently not as well measured and could be improved. The genesis of this conversation is about tone, talking past each other, communicating better, honest debate, and so on. Do you think yourself uniquely immune to poor on-line behavior? I’m certainly not.

    #259 Get some lotion for that finger. But seriously, whatever you decide to do I’ll understand. Your site, your rules. I knew I was taking a risk, but felt it was worth the effort, especially in light of the essay.

    I’m just someone who occasionally overstays the visit. Up to you if you want to hide the wine and the welcome mat.

    Cassandra (a815b9)

  261. Right. Free discussion, incivility. Drooling fan bois, Trumpalos and Trumpanistas. Talking past one another. Who sets the tone for any particular blog? I am set to wondering has the host ever decried the dimunations certain to follow even the most tepid of expressions of support for our President (he capitalized President! Trumpalo!).

    Blocking scripts. Now the great purge. It wasn’t a long time coming. “Hackiest” of the Hacktastic Hacks indeed.

    Now, I will say that I found this post of breath of fresh air, until I started reading the comments. Especially your’s, Dear Leader. Off to the dungeons now, with the other rabble. I think Ace has it about right: for the genteel set who quiver at the thought of mussing their fineries, you sure do see them slinging their fair share of mud.

    #GoTrump!

    Estarcatus (fd736a)

  262. 262. Anyone who characterizes the use of personal blocking scripts as a “purge” of anything is exactly the kind of dishonest that pisses me off.

    Gryph (08c844)

  263. And you are threatening me right now

    Cassandra/all your other names:

    Now we see the violence inherent in the system! Help, you’re being repressed!

    I’m “threatening” you with…what? With the prospect that you can continue to post here, but I will not read it? Either you’re very sensitive and snowflaky or you don’t understand what I am saying. You’re free to say what you like, and unless you cross a serious line I won’t ban you. That does not mean you have a valid claim on my attention.

    Now that you understand the difference between a block and a ban, do you retract your false claim that I ban people for disagreeing? And do you apologize for it? (It’s not even true that I “block” people for that — witness the polite disagreement of Stephen J., which I will continue to seek out actively — but the claim that I “ban” people for that is absurdly wrong and you now know it to be so.) How will you react, knowing you were wrong? Apparently you won’t offer an apology unprompted, like a decent person would. How about one now that I am prompting you?

    257 You can say you don’t mind disagreement all you like, but you have a very narrow definition of what disagreement is allowable

    Please define “allowable” with specificity.

    And the rest of my point still stands – a lot of the hate for trump (I think) originates in this feeling of humiliation – that we bought into the lie of the left.

    In the past you attributed this feeling to me, on multiple occasions. You told me that I dislike Trump because he humiliated me and my kind with his superpowers of being the guy who can cut the Gordian knot, blah blah blah. To me, that is the blather of a Trump superfan. It’s obnoxious. It’s like you’re engaged in this wild and silly looking victory dance over the remains of the person you think I am, who is not me. If you’re insistent on maintaining that I, personally, criticize Trump because he has humiliated me and my kind, then I really am not interested in interacting with you. You seem at times, especially lately, like an interesting and engaging person, but I really have no interest in conversing with someone who insists on trying to humiliate me by insisting that the dummox Trump has somehow humiliated me. If that is your view, you and Schlichter and Cardillo and Scott Adams and all your compadres can go construct your temple to your flawed but all powerful leader and leave me alone.

    Like most people, I get in good and bad moods. I have lately worked on equanimity and friendliness, and today I am brimming with it. Intellectual dishonesty frustrates and infuriates me on bad days, and on days like this I recognize my poor reaction to it as something that I can overcome, but that is ultimately a waste of time. If I climb the Zen ladder further I will seek out the intellectually dishonest to practice my patience, but I am not there. In the meantime, even from today’s vantage point of happiness, I see the value of a good block list. I’m still up in the air about whether to include you. Your persistent mischaracterization of my arguments, and refusal to apologize, have me about one more bad comment away from pulling the trigger.

    I ask that you seriously contemplate what I have said, ask yourself if you have erred, and apologize if you have. If you cannot manage that, we’ll part ways.

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  264. Blocking scripts. Now the great purge.

    The what? Dramatic much?

    I think Ace has it about right: for the genteel set who quiver at the thought of mussing their fineries, you sure do see them slinging their fair share of mud.

    I have seen the great Ace, when he’s not too busy discarding all the posts he wrote about Brett Kimberlin, hurling a fair amount of mud toward me and folks like Allahpundit. Great stuff for the bottom line though! Go Trump!

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  265. 262. Anyone who characterizes the use of personal blocking scripts as a “purge” of anything is exactly the kind of dishonest that pisses me off.

    Yeah, I think I will now engage in a Great Purge of Estarcatus, which either means making him one of my millions of victims of brutal and violent genocide or, er, not reading his comments any more. Potato, po-tah-to.

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  266. A dishonest person, such as Anon Y. Mous, will ignore my arguments and/or double down on the bullshit.

    Looks like he went with “ignore.”

    Not a surprise.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  267. #263

    Read my post again. And don’t let your emotions get the better of you. You’re angry: that’s fairly obvious. But I am not the progenitor of your anger.

    Estarcatus (fd736a)

  268. #265

    Drama seems to be the theme of the day, though my own comment, on that point, was tongue in cheek. Speaking of tongue in cheek, I am now vexed that I have no idea why we say it to describe dry humor. And now you’re conflating my use of the term “purge” with, say, the great cultural revolution. Or Pol Pot, maybe? Talk about “Drama!”. But, all’s fair in love and war, I guess. To quote a great man: I was employing an analogy. The rest of what I might say is mere drivel as compared to what a certain other person had to say about analogies, and the twisting of such. Scroll up, it’s there somewhere. Now, as ban is to block, I’ve seen more than a few comments from the proprietor that if one wishes to continue to have the privilege to comment here, they’d better pony up with the apology right quick. Is that a threat to ban or to be added to the block script? Though, to be fair, I have mischaracterized in this thread our host’s comments and intent on this particular subject: I read into certain comments that which was not there. That’s sloppy, ergo, I was being sloppy. I took your advice.

    You ask others to read through their posts and perhaps, maybe, recognize the error of their ways. Maybe you might do the same in this thread. I have asked repeatedly why some here feel the need to sneer at those who held their noses and pulled the lever on the right. You say you’re fine with that. It doesn’t seem so. And as you did not address this: why is even the most tepid of recognitions that Trump may be doing some things correctly met with the very tactic you seem to be decrying: immediate dimunation. You obviously read these comments, but why aren’t those types of comments worthy of being highlighted and called out?

    The questions I have asked above are sincere in nature. And if I were to say that such comments piss me off, complete with “me” in italics (strange, that), would you highlight this comment and commiserate? If not, why not? For truly honest debate, it seems that everyone so interested should be of like mind: that all participants must adhere to common principles. You are the moderator, it seems, so: are we all held to the same standard or are we not?

    #260

    Don’t sell yourself short. You seem to ingratiate rather liberally here.

    #265

    I found Brett’s tactics loathsome. I was horrified and disgusted that you, and Mr. Worthing, were treated so poorly. I read Ace quite a bit, though, and I do not recall ever reading anything that he indicated he was supportive of Brett. And that was exactly what you were implying. Why? His comment was about the topic at hand: intellectual honesty. You must have a direct reference to support the insinuation. If not, let’s discuss intellectual honesty…honestly. But we cannot, as we will continue to talk past one another, or not at all. Because…the ignore script? I wonder about the mention here of Brett at all. Was Trump President then? And if Ace he slings mud, he is transparent in intent. Others, not so much. But I am a fan of Ace’s blog. You are not. Perhaps my simple fandom has blinded me to reality. As might my tepid support of our President.

    Which brings me to something else. As Trump is unfit for office, I suppose he should be impeached. Or would you argue that is not the (as yet unstated) logical conclusion regarding your thoughts of this President’s moral bankruptcy? Should he be impeached? Yes, no? If not, why not, given your reasoned evaluations? If so, what actions should one take to bring this to fruition? Vote Republican? Will that do the trick? I don’t think so. There must be other avenues of redress, then. With the mids coming up, this may be the golden opportunity. What is one to do?

    #266

    “Pisses me off”: no rebuke for drama? No…because Trumpanista(!) he is not. A bit over the top in his rhetoric (ephasis: rhetoric)? Why yes, yes he is. But that’s not challenged by you. Why not? Honest debate, not open hostility and unflattering generalizations, correct?

    Estarcatus (fd736a)

  269. I read Ace quite a bit, though, and I do not recall ever reading anything that he indicated he was supportive of Brett. And that was exactly what you were implying. Why?

    Because:

    Brett Kimberlin is best known to me as the guy who blew off Carl DeLong’s leg and lost a wrongful death claim to DeLong’s widow.

    Interesting that he claims that the people who settled (like Ace of Spades, for example) paid him money. Money that he then used to pursue people like me.

    DRJ (15874d)

  270. I found Brett’s tactics loathsome. I was horrified and disgusted that you, and Mr. Worthing, were treated so poorly. I read Ace quite a bit, though, and I do not recall ever reading anything that he indicated he was supportive of Brett. And that was exactly what you were implying.

    No it isn’t. What I was implying is the truth: that Ace settled with Brett Kimberlin and took down posts that he had written, criticizing Kimberlin and championing the idea that if people are to be free to speak, they need to be able to discuss truth about Brett Kimberlin’s crimes. It was terribly ironic (and distressing) to me to see those very posts removed from Ace’s site as part of a settlement with a convicted bomber and perjurer.

    But I said nothing about it until Ace started beating his chest as the Tough Guy who likes him some Trump while the Hot Salon Conservatives or whatever, and Patterico too, were a bunch of quislings.

    It’s not my fault that you found an implication that cannot be found in my words.

    What proof do I have that Ace took down the posts? I know Ace settled with Brett. I saw the posts before they were taken down. I was told by Aaron that they were starting to come down. I saved a bunch of them before they came down. And then I went to the URLs afterwards and saw they were gone. So, you know, that’s my proof.

    That’s doesn’t mean I claimed Ace ever said anything nice about Brett. That’s just some bullshit that you made up.

    The discussion can’t go any further until you acknowledge your deep, deep error on this. What you have said is wrong, and baseless, and stupid, and insulting, on many levels.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  271. There’s an effort at discussion, sort of, in the rest of your comment. But your error here is deep enough to alienate me from you completely if you can’t correct it.

    I can see you running back to Ace’s site and screaming in the comments: PATTERICO SEZ ACE PRAISED BRETT!!!! All based on your total misreading of my totally accurate comment.

    Yes, Ace penned several stirring speeches about the need to have freedom to criticize Brett Kimberlin. Then he settled with Brett Kimberlin and deleted them. Then I said nothing. Then Ace made fun of me and Allah and others because we criticize Trump. Then I spoke up.

    That’s how it happened.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  272. 269. Ingratiate myself here? Because I’m not a Trump humping Schlichterite? Okay…

    Gryph (08c844)

  273. Crickets

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  274. 274. You wanna grab a beer, Boss? I’m buying. 😉

    (That’s what real ingratiation looks like, Schlichterites)

    Gryph (08c844)

  275. #274

    Uhm, what? Want an immediate reply, you’re gonna have to call me at work, big guy. But not collect: my boss is a cheap bastard. But it is nice to own my own business.

    #271 & 272

    Out of pure curiosity, do you know why he decided to do so? As in, a conversation with him? I’m not sure what I might have done were I in either of your shoes. I was drawn to your blog because I knew of Odious Brettus and his cretinous ways before I knew that this blog existed. He was a busy little bee back then: he was threatening lots of people. A Google search, a click, and I’ve been a reader since.

    Given the constraints of the law, I would not have followed through with my overwhelming desire to find him and plant a land mine in his lawn. It would have been frustrating to say the least. Plus, if he could SWAT you, what’s this 4chan wannabe ass going to do to me? I was living with my grandmother at the time, taking care of her, so more importantly, what’s he going to do to her? I’m not allowed to blow him to smithereens (though it didn’t seem to faze Bill Ayers one little bit, nor Kimba himself) before he gets my grandmother dragged out the house and her dog shot to boot. So what do you do? Play defense until the law catches up to him, but how long will that take? How long did it take in your case?

    I plead ignorance of the situation vis a vis AoS. So, bad on me: I misunderstood and put words in your mouth that were not yours. Again, sloppy. You must surely have seen an example in this thread where I will admit to being, how did you term it, stupid. So yeah, sometimes I’m that.

    Now, this: And of course I ran directly back to that particular blog and wrote something “ALL IN CAPS!” Now who’s taking liberties? Right, the dreaded fire with fire. Your slander cuts me deeply. Just because I actually did it doesn’t make it hurt any less.

    Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk. I’ll be more careful about mischarachterizing what you say if you’ll stop it with the mischaracterizations of my actions. And then let’s actually discuss. My questions remain on the table. Ask me some. We’ll both answer honestly and not assume bad intent.

    Estarcatus (fd736a)

  276. #273

    Just so, just so. You don’t say. But clearly you’re humping someone’s leg here. As for #275, how would that ingratiate you to anyone except a complete masochist?

    Estarcatus (fd736a)

  277. 277. Humping someone’s leg here in a blog comment. Absolutely brilliant. Because I have so much to gain by simply agreeing with my host that Trump is a politician, eh? You’ve got me figured out for sure, Schlichterite./

    Gryph (08c844)

  278. #278

    I don’t know what you have to gain. Perhaps you might tell me. Now get as comfortable as you can and just unburden. If you do, the nice nurse will be by to loosen up the straps just a bit. And then you’ll get some pudding. Won’t that be nice?

    Estarcatus (fd736a)

  279. 279. I think this one goes on the block list too, Boss.

    Gryph (08c844)

  280. #280

    I was going to compliment you on the funny, but I’m not entirely sure you’re joking.

    Estarcatus (fd736a)

  281. Now, ahem, let’s talk consistency (intellectual honesty?).

    This from 2017: http://patterico.com/2017/07/24/victory-over-brett-kimberlin-summary-judgment-granted-against-convicted-bomber-and-perjurer/#comment-2018687

    Comment #148:

    “Ace is a guy. I’m not mad that he settled. They found his pressure point and exploited it. For him, it might have been the right thing to do.”
    Patterico

    Less than a year later:

    #271

    Maybe you shouldn’t be lecturing anyone about intellectual honesty. Sorry Ace doesn’t care for what you write, but suddenly busting the guy’s balls because they found his pressure point? I agree, for him, it was probably the better thing to do. The value of anonymity in this case probably cannot be overstated. Especially if third parties are involved who might also be hurt were discovery to reveal his identity.

    I now realize you were owed no apology. And deserve to be lambasted: you won’t even answer easy questions. Instead, #I’mOffended, #Trumpalo, block script. How brave. A paragon of virtue, thee. I’ll come by to read just to see your head explode over every fresh !TrumpOutrage!. That is the satisfaction right there, weeee doggie!

    #Trump2020. And beyond!

    Estarcatus (fd736a)

  282. Out of pure curiosity, do you know why he decided to do so? As in, a conversation with him?

    Yes.

    And I told him that I wouldn’t slam him about it, because we were friends.

    Privately, I thought he was being a coward, but I also understood why he was doing what he was doing, and you cut your friend some slack.

    Then he turned into the guy who beats his chest about how people like Allah are part of the Salon Hot 25. And then he wrote a post explaining how a group of “Washington Consensus” folks, which he explicitly said included me, are “cowards and dishonest hacks” (that is a direct quote) because something something having to do with Trump.

    And when Ace called me part of a group of cowards and dishonest hacks, I realized that he and I are not friends any more.

    That comment thread was packed with comments attacking me — and one guy suggested that I had gone soft on the left ever since I got SWATted.

    So Ace calls me a coward in a post, a commenter piles on and says I became weak because I was SWATted — and Ace remained silent. He did not correct the commenter and say: “actually, Patterico fought Kimberlin in court and won, while I settled.”

    And after he called me a coward, I realized that I no longer had a duty to remain silent about *his* cowardice regarding Brett Kimberlin.

    Really? He’s going to write these stirring pieces about how the future of our right to free speech depends on our ability to criticize people like Brett Kimberlin, he’s going to then settle with Kimberlin and delete those posts — and then he’s going to call *me* a coward and a dishonest hack?? Because of some disagreement about Donald Fucking Trump???

    Wow.

    Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk. I’ll be more careful about mischarachterizing what you say if you’ll stop it with the mischaracterizations of my actions.

    I don’t think I mischaracterized anything but I said something ambiguous that could be read that way. When I said “I can see you running back to his comments section” the words “can see” meant “can easily imagine” and not “have seen.” I hope that clears that up, and thank you for agreeing to make better efforts not to mischaracterize what I say.

    Hopefully that clears the deck and we can now talk like adults.

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  283. Oh. I wrote that before I saw your latest comment suggesting that I am intellectually dishonest. Well, either my latest comment explains it, or it doesn’t. I think that he took the easy way out, and I understand why somebody would do that, but I don’t understand why they would later pretend to be brave and mock as “cowards” people who actually had fought the fight. I’m not sure what part of that is supposedly intellectually dishonest, but you do seem to have different standards for different people, depending on whether they support Trump or not. That is common. I am quite used to it.

    And here I thought we were going to have a conversation. But instead you come out with the bullshit accusations.

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  284. maybe you and Mr. Ace should go out for quesadillas and just share how you feel

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  285. I now realize you were owed no apology. And deserve to be lambasted: you won’t even answer easy questions. Instead, #I’mOffended, #Trumpalo, block script. How brave. A paragon of virtue, thee. I’ll come by to read just to see your head explode over every fresh !TrumpOutrage!. That is the satisfaction right there, weeee doggie!

    I’m not sure what you think you’re proving here.

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  286. We used to hang out, happyfeet. But I’m not used to hanging out with people who call me a coward and a dishonest hack. And Ace has.

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  287. Besides, aren’t quesadillas a little carb heavy?

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  288. I’m not going to lie: it hurt me a lot to read a post with a former friend calling me a coward and a dishonest hack, because of Donald Trump — after this same former friend had taken the easy way out with Brett Kimberlin, taken down content, possibly paid him money, and I had cut him slack.

    And it still hurts to revisit that.

    But I’m working on mindfulness these days. And here’s what I know. Ace is just one person in a long line of people who have turned away from me because I criticize a dishonest and immoral person who was elected president. The fact that so many people have done this also hurts, but when I think about it, I realize that these people could not have been the friends I thought they were, if they end the friendship over Donald Trump.

    And it makes me appreciate even more the people who stayed by me. Those are the real quality people. And I appreciate them more.

    So yeah, it hurts. But I’m learning to orient my mind, in a real and meaningful way, to work on not getting upset over things I can’t control. And to appreciate the good things in life.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  289. None of this means I have to read comments from people who aren’t worth my time. I won’t apologize for that.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  290. 290. Ditto.

    Gryph (08c844)

  291. Dude, in one breath you say the guy was probably right to settle, in another, he’s a coward because he settled. What’s changed? Oh, right, people might think you’re GOP-e. What you did in your comments above is low. Look at what it did to Nagy. But Ace is beside the point, and you know it. You’re hurt now. Woe is you. Just admit what you did, how it might call into question your standing to even post anything about having an honest conversation and move on, man.

    You are one ruthless cat. But now you’re hurt. What I read on other blogs that discuss the schism can get chippy, but you got very personali. Way below the belt personal. That someone may point out an example of hypocrisy, vicious in nature, does not make you the aggrieved party here.

    Estarcatus (10fa1e)

  292. Dry-trumpin’…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  293. #293

    Well

    #291

    You can’t help yourself, #Humpalo!

    Estarcatus (954e8b)

  294. Dude, in one breath you say the guy was probably right to settle, in another, he’s a coward because he settled. What’s changed?

    This is what Patterico actually said:

    Privately, I thought he was being a coward, but I also understood why he was doing what he was doing, and you cut your friend some slack.

    He did not say it was “right” to settle, only that he understood why he did it. It’s hard to stand up to a bully and it seems especially hard for Ace to do.

    DRJ (15874d)

  295. you’re getting an awful lot of mileage out of calling Mr. Ace a coward

    good for you

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  296. I understand how he felt, just as Patterico understood. I’ve had clients who have been sued. It is hard. But it usually makes them admire those who have the courage to continue fighting.

    DRJ (15874d)

  297. I still do not understand why people who think poorly (or more to the point, unfairly) of Patterico post here? It’s a waste of their time, as well as everyone else’s.

    Let me be clear: I have never met Patrick Frey. I have spoken to him on the telephone once. And still this guy stood up for me against a thoroughly unpleasant person who was trying to harm me at work. He didn’t have to. He did it because it was the right thing to do, for him.

    So disagree all you want with Patterico. I don’t think he cares. But being a jackhole to him? Ridiculous.

    Simon Jester (e077dd)

  298. We used to hang out, happyfeet. But I’m not used to hanging out with people who call me a coward and a dishonest hack. And Ace has.

    Mr. P it’s all relative

    and Mr. Goldstein (jeffy pickles) has been maraudered more harder by internet crazy than even you have been

    which is not to minimize your swat

    it’s just with him it never stops

    it

    never

    stops

    Ace has played his hand to where he’s not maraudered

    and you know what

    apparently i so far played my hand the same way (people like your friend Mr. Jester do enmity on me a lot)

    and if you and jeffy could go back in time

    i would hope you took some cues from ace

    the bad guys hold all the cards you see (laughingstock justice system)

    Mr. ace did ok ny himself

    plus he’s a good-hearted individual

    (you are too but you’re more combative)

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  299. oopers Mr. ace did ok *by* himself i mean

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  300. you’re getting an awful lot of mileage out of calling Mr. Ace a coward

    But NOT a bull-dyke, tatted-up, tranny, ladyboy, pig-coward.

    Or is that what’s missing?

    nk (dbc370)

  301. I’ve had clients who have been sued. It is hard.

    but you yourself?

    have you been similarly sued?

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  302. i’m jealous though i wanna buy Mr. ace a choice dessert at a manhattan patisserie one day

    with coffee and aged port involved

    and then when we get caught between the moon and new york city

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  303. Reasons to despise Donald Trump: #83,620

    Dave (4e2ac9)

  304. but apparently he’s not even manhattan anymore

    so all my cher/ace moonstruck fantasy are no good no more

    how is that fair to me?

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  305. Oops, wrong thread – that was weird…

    Dave (4e2ac9)

  306. Actually right thread, doh

    Dave (4e2ac9)

  307. Jonah talks about losing friends who are angry at him for not “living down to their expectations” (ie abandoning his standards and principles, and becoming another Hannity or Schlichter)

    Dave (4e2ac9)

  308. But NOT a bull-dyke, tatted-up, tranny, ladyboy, pig-coward.

    this is too many conflate

    bull-dykes are include Mrs. Mueller and Mrs. Holder

    tatters are most of our silly ineffectual hyper-gold-plated armed forces plus justin bieber (useless canadian)

    trannies are the mattis minions – the heart and soul of the us military (fierce fighters) (lol)

    pig-coward is a misnomer

    you mean coward-pig? yes?, meaning Meghan’s coward-pig daddeh

    as in

    DADDEH!!!

    wot’s a 3ree dollah beeeyul?

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  309. oopers *3ee* dollah beeeyul i mean

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  310. mapp

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  311. As I understand it (I don’t go to Ace), Patterico was content to let sleeping yellow dogs lie but Ace got on Patterico’s case for being anti-Trump.

    nk (dbc370)

  312. I do find it remarkable that people like Ace and Allahpundit have managed to stay anonymous for so many years in such relatively high profile media jobs. Allahpundit especially (Ace is a borderline nobody, but still…)

    Dave (4e2ac9)

  313. how can i explain

    when there are few words i can choose

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  314. #295

    You’ve missed the original quote, from all of 9 months ago. He knows what he said, then and now. He can address it.

    Estarcatus (fd736a)

  315. #313

    Given what they both do for a living it is surprising. But if one or the other or both are borderline nobodies, then again, maybe not.

    Estarcatus (fd736a)

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