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May 12, 2017

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No argument that 1 and 2 are related.

But 3 seems like a bit of a stretch. Unless you posit that general disdain by business for their customers derives from 2. And even then . . . .

#3 is one of the places where random largish groups of people are kept in close company for an extended period of time.

#3 is one of the places where random largish groups of people are kept in close company for an extended period of time.

And one of the few places where the 99% reliably bump the arm rests of at least the bottom rungs of the 1%. As they walk through first class.

Not that the people merely in first class are likely to be the greatest enemies of the proletariat or anything (the real Richie Richs are sailing in comfort in their well-appointed private nuclear dirigibles) -- and at least some of the folks in those seats are just regular joe frequent fliers who scored a complimentary upgrade -- but it is one of the few points of regular contact with strangers who can be inferred to at least be a little wealthier than your coach-flying ass. And it doesn't help that the airlines explicitly institutionalize special treatment, and make quite a bit of effort to advertise those privileges.

I think I recall some research on this exact topic a while back: heightened awareness of class differences heightens internal tension and raises the risk of violence. Not necessarily violence between classes either. It's at least as likely you go back to your seat and pick a fight with a passenger in the next row or the flight attendant as with a passenger from the opposite end of the plane.

Still, I'd be at least as inclined to believe the apparently high recent incidence of airplane fights is simply sampling bias.

Part of the travel issue is that US domestic airline travel is now an oligopoly. United, Delta, American and SW. They have crappy customer service and the increase in fees to squeeze every last bit of consumer surplus out of people leads to more aggravation, but more profit for airlines and more expensive travel overall. United at least is also aggressively policing free riders in Economy plus so whereas you might have been able to sit there for free if not full, now they will fly a plane with 90% of the seats in economy plus empty.

Add in the necessity to disrobe to go through security lines - unless you pay an extra fee and go through a background check of course (which is another point of differentiation as jack notes) and things can be explosive.

I imagine that there is a fair amount of there being more news of it b/c there are more videos that can go viral, whereas in the past "fight on plane" would go unnoticed and barely be reason for mention in the paper.

Ugh: They have crappy customer service and the increase in fees to squeeze every last bit of consumer surplus out of people leads to more aggravation, but more profit for airlines and more expensive travel overall.

This is where I see the connection between 2 and 3, profit and wealth inequality not being unrelated.

Although I also agree that we may be seeing sampling bias or the effect of everyone being able to film everything these days.

"So, take an airline, offering basically the same service to every passenger. They'll hurtle you through the sky in a pressurized metal tube, moving you quickly you from Point A to Point B. How do you get passengers to 'self-incriminate' in that kind of environment?

"Simple: You offer several classes of service on the same flight, and you make the lowest class so miserable that more people will gladly pay the price for the higher class. That way you squeeze as much profit out of each passenger as possible."
Why Does Air Travel Suck So Bad? This 19th Century Economist Explained It With Just 4 Words (in 1849!): It's not about hurting passengers in coach. It's about scaring the ones in business and first class.

Ugh: Part of the travel issue is that US domestic airline travel is now an oligopoly. United, Delta, American and SW.

The government should allow foreign carriers to compete within the US.

CharlesWT - That probably would work (although good luck)

The government should have also blocked the last 3-6 or so airline mergers. Continental, USAir, Northwest at a minimum should still be around.

There's also the new terminal at LAX for the super rich folk, where they can even watch the lessers suffer.

There's also the new terminal at LAX for the super rich folk

Clicked through, skimmed it. Jesus H.

That question of sampling bias is really interesting. It infuriates me when it is employed when one talks about racism, but it can't simply be dismissed. However, the only way to eliminate the argument (and by eliminate, I mean make it so that it is only deployed honestly, i.e. there is data to back it up) is to go to Foucault's Panopticism Really sucks to be us...

saw that apparently laptops are about to be banned on flights to the US from Europe http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/us-ban-laptops-europe-flights . Since, I imagine, business travellers generate such a small proportion of airline revenue?

Well, important business people will, of course, be using the company plane. And therefore, de facto, not be impacted.

1. 1789
2. 1929
3. steerage

JakeB - they are apparently meeting on Wednesday in Brussels. I leave Tuesday night for Europe and then return Saturday, not clear if I should bring my laptop as I don't want to check it.

I also read somewhere that perhaps they would exempt people who were enrolled in a "secure" traveler program like Global Entry, which is open to anyone but I imagine mostly used by business travelers.

But the real insanity is that if they do this it seems like only a matter of time before a lithium battery fire in a cargo causes a passenger plane to crash (it's already happened twice to 747 cargo planes). What then?

I remember when there was a theft ring among JFK baggage handlers. An expensive camera goes missing from your checked luggage, good luck getting satisfaction from the airline.

And now, everyone has to have "wimpy TSA locks", if any, on their checked bags.

A few years ago, I figured that the best response would be to load up a checked bag containing valuables with a few extra pounds of live crickets (readily available from a bait shop). You'd hear the screams as the writhing insect mass escapes when you bag is opened, and that terminal would be going "chirp chirp" for the next two years.

Revenge is a dish served slightly cold and jumpy.

Crickets are harmless. If I really wanted serious revenge, I'd load up with ticks. Can't get them at a bait store, though.

But the real insanity is that if they do this it seems like only a matter of time before a lithium battery fire in a cargo causes a passenger plane to crash (it's already happened twice to 747 cargo planes). What then?

I anticipate a developing market in rental PCs that boot and run off your personal micro-SD card. Stop at the counter in the airport when you land and pick up the machine you reserved. Or if they can be cheap enough, it's a freebie with your rental car. Turn it in on your way out of the country. A boost for Linux, which fits nicely in a small footprint, and a particular copy doesn't care what hardware it's running on. Unlike Windows, which I believe has reached the point that an installed copy checks the drives and network hardware and anything else with a serial number to make sure it's running on the one machine it's licensed for.

Somewhat related to #3... Trump could gain an immediate boost in popularity by announcing that he and the Republicans in Congress will be terminating the TSA.

The real pain comes when you have a meeting in a country where the restriction is in place, but you need your own PC -- special software, etc. I've got one of those in prospect (Istanbul next month) and I'm definitely not happy about it.

It does occur to me that, with better planning, I could have arranged an overnight in London or something on the way back, and avoided the hassle. Oh, well....

The real problem is that laptop batteries pack a lot of energy into a small package, which equals risks of fire or explosion, whether in the cabin or the cargo hold.

The laptops aren't the problem, the batteries are. So a scheme where you could rent/buy BATTERIES after a flight, and just plug in your laptop (sans batteries) inflight, is about the only way that works. Too complicated for most people (and all gov't agencies) though.

wj: return to the USA "the other way around", via the Pacific. No ban in that direction, because terrorists would never think of that one weird trick, amirite?

Actually, they don't appear (that I have seen, anyway) to have a restriction on batteries alone. Hmmm....

But there apparently is now (there wasn't last year when I came in) a requirement that, on arrival, you fire up your electronic devices (phones, as well as laptops). So you'd need to put the batteries back in after boarding and before clearing customs on arrival.

Ya know, before the Wright Brothers, you couldn't fly with an abacus.

Ya know, before the Wright Brothers, you couldn't fly with an abacus.

Twice? With that?

Allow laptops on the plane.

But no pants. That would keep everyone seated for the duration with their laptops on their laps and who is gonna want the initial explosion to go off in their, umm, laps.

You'd have to be very devout. Maybe Mike Pence, but I can't see anyone else going through with it.

Before the Wright brothers, you couldn't fly without an abacus either. Talk about catch-22!

"before the Wright Brothers, you couldn't fly with an abacus."

Balloons.

Oh, falling back on factual snark now.

Yeah, but back then, nobody would be able to bring a Babbage Analytical Engine on a balloon flight.

Or fit it on their lap, either.

From JanieM's post: "People are a bad mood."

That's too accurate to be corrected.

Thus it follows, soylent green is people.

I've been tinkering with a theory that cleek's theorem as practiced by the right against the left in this country is akin to the Plains Indian tribal practice of "counting coup", in lieu of outright bloodshed ..... but a cackling dare nonetheless.

https://nativeheritageproject.com/2012/10/05/counting-coup/

... which I've always admired as a novel way of fucking with fuckers.

But, I'm beginning to look at it from the pale
skin point of view of full-on annoyance evolving into outright madness and violence. I mean, how many Native Americans have we left now once the Texas Rangers got fed up with having their ears flicked from behind by the Comanche?

Just so the direction things are going to go if the annoying ones on the Right continue with this behavior.

I witnessed an incident in a bar not too long ago wherein a guy deep in his cups persisted in annoying the stocky, muscular cook in the joint by poking the latter in the shoulder and slapping the back of his head over some trivial point, probably having to do with a girl. All of a sudden .. they passed behind my stool at the bar ... the cook, a pretty good barbecue expert, lifted the annoying one so his feet were off the floor and thus they passed behind me and out the front door where the annoying one was deposited some distance down the sidewalk, when gravity finally got aholt of his ass.

Funny thing is, some weeks earlier, the same annoying one had been breathing noxious fumes in my direction as he extolled the virtues of Donald Trump to the side of my face, while repeatedly poking me in the bicep to drive home the point.

The plate glass front window in the place had already been shattered once by incoming from scofflaws, so my respect for my friends, the owners, prevented me from sending the trumspter face first in the opposite direction.

Hooray for stocky cooks with tattoos.

Yes, Americans are tired of being fucked with.

People are a bad mood.

this is just the warm up.

this is just the warm up.

One can only hope that the full response, when it comes will be (mostly) constructive, not just a lashing out. Lashing out, after all, is what brought us Trump.

it will be whatever it is.

Trump was intended to be, and will be received as, a slap in the face to a lot of people. if the (R)'s can get their act together enough to take advantage of their hold on congress while they still have it, we may see policies that materially harm a lot of people.

it will probably elicit a response.

what the response is probably depends on how bad things get. so far they aren't thoroughly horrible, at least if you're not Hispanic or muslim, but it's early days.

Counting coup.

Completely fascinating, thank you. Also greatly improved by Curtis pictures. I am lucky enough to have 5 framed Curtis prints on my wall, and absolutely love them.

The laptop issue is, I believe, an intelligence effort. Even today, the US law allows the border security to copy the contents of the hard drive, but as the laptops are always hand luggage, that requires physically seizing the computer from the traveller. Thus, they can't do it regularly.

If the laptops are in checked baggage, they can be taken for copying without hassle, which is a boon not only for anti-terrorism efforts but also for commercial and technological intelligence.

If the laptops need to be in checked baggage, no
European business traveler with a competitor in the US should ever again travel to US with their regular laptop. Instead, you should carry only those files you need for the meeting, and even those should be on an encrypted solid state memory in your pocket. The laptop should be a regular piece of trash without any sensitive content.

As an European, I must say that in my experience, US domestic flights are really shitty. Compared to your experiemce on European intra-Union flights, the US carriers have a clearly worse experience:
*The airports are usually much more depilitated.
*Security waiting lines are long, move slowly, the security staff is ruder, and the facilities still seem temporary, yet worn-out.
*Planes seem more shoddy, e.g. seats are in worse condition than on European carriers I use, and there is less space.

The in-flight reading is only mail-order catalogues targeted for the tasteless and the stupid. In Europe, there is usually an airline magazine with conveniently non-controversial stories about travel, economy, culture and international politics, of course with subtle advertisement of the airline.

All in all, in an American plane, you have the feeling of being lower-class, although in reality, the majority of fliers are probably upper middle class. Your social status is not respected. That is a very good reason for discontent, that may, combined with bad sleep and stress about the reason of travel, well explode in altercations.

if you fly regularly in the US, I recommend applying for the TSA pre-screen program. shorter lines, less intrusive search, and you can leave your shoes on.

my wife and I recently flew Porter Air from Boston to Quebec city. they were great. they're basically a Canadian regional, but if they go where you're going, highly recommended.

yes, in general transport infrastructure in the US is not so great. the interstate highways are pretty good, other than that not so much.

if you think air travel here sucks, you should see the trains.

people are pissed because they're getting screwed, and have been for a while. the current thinking for addressing that appears to be screw them some more so they can more fully experience the exhilarating freedom of market economics applied to every area of life.

it's gonna suck, and there is no predicting how it will play out.

make people desparate, and they will behave in desparate ways.

I really have no idea in which thread to post the continuing Mercer/Brexit etc stuff (for those not that interested in Brexit, remember that Mercer and Bannon are very close, and Brexit was Bannon's first priority in his strategy for overturning the world order), particularly since I haven't had a chance even to read today's revelations, but for those still following, here it is:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/14/robert-mercer-cambridge-analytica-leave-eu-referendum-brexit-campaigns?CMP=share_btn_tw

Connect the dots, those freckles on your back that turn out to be melanoma because you spent a little too much in the sun without a shirt as a kid, you irresponsible gets, and for which you shall forever be judged and denied medical care by sadistic, subhuman republican filth who suffer, apparently gleefully, from a genetic pre-existing mental condition, sadism, I believe passed down from their mothers' side of the family, which then predisposes them to a habitual, unhealthy lifestyle of spending too much time with each other confirming the epistemic closures of their empathy glands and which is known to lead to terminal gunshot wounds, or as the NRA terms them, natural background concentrations of environmental lead poisoning that may lead to massive blood loss, especially among conservative diabetic pigfuckers.

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2017/05/if-youre-not-pissing-em-off-youre-not.html

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2017/05/14/mulvaney-and-the-deserving-sick/

As Mulvaney so ignorantly reveals, like the murderous Irish cunt he and his mother are, the origins of childhood onset diabetes remain pretty much a mystery, which rhymes with fuck you.

There are 26 million diabetics in this country (reduced by two, I'm sure Mulvaney is tickled to know, on account of the horrible suffering and deaths of my Dad and sister) and most of the elderly in this country will suffer from age-onset diabetes as well on account of the fact of living too long in a country in which the freedom-loving Mulvaney and his pigshit brethren are paid off by the sugar-water, tobacco, and alcohol industries to poison trump supporters to the point where they are so addled by blood sugar problems that they beg republicans to fuck them in their dysfunctional pancreases and the majority has it.

I've have promised not to use the "v" word, which stands for vermin, so at this point I am speechless.

On the other hand, Robert Mercer and his daughter qualify for the maximum dose of Monsanto bug spray.

The more I read about Mercer, the more appalling he seems. Makes the Koch brothers and Soros look like choir boys.

Trump's lawyer tweets lingerie photo... of his .... [wait for it] .... own .... [almost there] ....
 
 
 
 
.... daughter.

creeps of a feather.

good Christian family values.

must respect.

I honestly think that (3) is just about salience. Truth is, the airlines do a certain number of dickish things every year. If one is particularly egregious, the next few that are less appalling get more media prominence and the whole thing begins to look like a trend. Throw in a bit of statistical clumping and you've got yourself a scandal.

I'd bet good money (and I'm not a betting person) that the long-run average of appalling events visited on passengers by airlines is both constant and low.

Separately to that, we appear to have now become completely complacently accepting of all the lunatic rules that governments and airlines are introducing under the cloak of "security theatre", but which in actual fact are either just massive wastes of time or direct grabs for cash or data on the part of those organizations.

Seriously, we know that the "liquid bomb" threat (hi, NSA!) is nil, and yet liquids are still restricted; why? Because the airports LOVE being able to charge $3 for a soda airside.

Similarly, TSA pre-screen is nonsense. I took 4 flights in the US last year and because we were travelling with a toddler, we were "comped" TSA pre-screen on every leg. Despite not being pre-screened! It's just a cash grab, and is trivially easy to circumvent.

Stop talking about the very occasional airline wobbler, and start complaining about the real injustices being done to everyone, every time they fly.

cleek, In this case I disagree pretty strongly. She obviously isn't taking a selfie in the bathroom, its art. Its a hat tip to famous art for that matter.

I think its creepy that so many people think its creepy.

Proud father posting a clearly artistic, public picture of his daughter, not creepy. I an sure she doesn't think its creepy either.

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/real-time/Michael-Cohen-donald-trump-daughter-lingerie.html

I guess some context for the photo shoot might have been ok, but my assumption was there was one, not that he is creepy.

Stop talking about the very occasional airline wobbler, and start complaining about the real injustices being done to everyone, every time they fly.

Good luck ordering people around about what to talk about. I don't think it will work around here; it certainly won't work with me.

Anyhow, who said #3 is only about "airline wobblers"? The morning I wrote the post there was an article (not the first I'd seen) about two passengers getting into a fistfight on a plane. Nothing to do (except in the general sense that air travel is crappy and people are in a bad mood) with the airline as such.

OK, let me rephrase: I don't think that the stories about air travel are "increasingly scary" except in the sense that they have hit some sort of bump into society's zeitgeist and that's due to the media having a shitty grip of statistics and therefore over-reporting rare events that statistically cluster as if they were some kind of pattern.

So, sure, talk about them (and I retract my last para) -- but my bet is that it's no worse than any other year. Remember "nut rage" from 2015? ( http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/southkorea/11407927/Daughter-of-Korean-Air-chief-jailed-in-nut-rage-case.html ) Or United breaking some guy's guitar (this enraged Reddit in 2009: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Breaks_Guitars#cite_note-cosh20090821-3 )?

I've had a bit of a search around for some statistics, and various bodies report increasing numbers of unruly passengers -- in 2007, in 2012 and in 2014!

As always, let's blame it on the Obama administration...

The Guardian have started getting threatening letters from Cambridge Analytica's lawyers. Someone here (I can't remember who) said how much they appreciated that we don't post twitter stuff, but for anybody who's interested in developments, this is Carole Cadwalladr's twitter feed, which I think is well worth a look:

https://twitter.com/carolecadwalla

The Guardian have started getting threatening letters from Cambridge Analytica's lawyers.

Hmmm. Maybe it's time for me to drop some coin into the Guardian's coffers.

FWIW, I fly a lot, both up front and in the back. If anything, there is a shared sense of trying to make things work. I'm sure there are exceptions. I pretty share they are quite rare.

As for the raucous political discourse arising out of the obscene level of income inequality, I haven't seen much of that from the middle or the right--what am I missing?

I haven't seen much of that from the middle or the right--what am I missing?

on the right, the talk is all about making sure the rich get richer. the poor are irrelevant or inconvenient drains on profits.

As for the raucous political discourse arising out of the obscene level of income inequality, I haven't seen much of that from the middle or the right--what am I missing?

1. I wrote rancorous, not raucous.

2. It may be a subtle distinction, but I didn't say "arising out of."

3. As for what you're missing...I suspect that any examples I would cite, you would dismiss as being beneath consideration and/or not representative, or some other lawyerly counterargument. (As with anecdata about air travel.)

We wouldn't have to go far, though, since I would start with your own trademark sneering about "the left" right here at Obsidian Wings.

But hey, one freebie.

What's more, "I haven't seen much of that from the middle or the right" is an empty question, since I'm pretty sure that in McK world, bitching about income equality is definitionally "left." So the question has no possible answer.

And finally, the notion that the political rancour in this country is all on one end of the spectrum is so beyond laughable that I wonder why I let myself get sucked into engaging with it.

And finally, the notion that the political rancour in this country is all on one end of the spectrum is so beyond laughable

If this is indeed what McKinney meant, it is truly beyond laughable. It's my impression, from the outside, that the real rancour has been zealously stoked, and fanned, by e.g. Rush Limbaugh, and above all by Fox, partly for ideological reasons but mainly for profit. I don't deny that e.g. the Keith Olbermans of this world also took the baton and enthusiastically ran with it, but they seemed mere amateurs and followers-on compared to the rightwingers I cite. Is this impression wrong?

So, what is to be done about those who's incomes are in the world's top one percent? Annual incomes greater than $32,400. Should they be forced to share with the less fortunate?

Should they be forced to share with the less fortunate?

yes. and we do.

and we should do more of it!

"What is to be done?" Lenin Charles asks.

The likelihood of that strikes me as a real possibility. What are those 1%'ers going to do to stop it?

Yes.

Wouldn't be the first time.

Incomes in the U.S. greater than the equivalent of $32,000 in say, 1953 dollars (roughly $3200, which placed you in the 24% to 27% marginal bracket) were subject for decades to a steeply progressive marginal tax rate on up to 91% of thereabouts at the highest incomes.

Low unemployment, high GDP growth, rare budget deficits, low inflation, all, with the exception of inflation lately, going in the opposite direction over time since then.

It was John Boehner's favorite time in America. His Chevy loved the lev(y)ee.

Sure, 91% is too high.

But let's stop pretending the goose stopped laying golden eggs.

Scroll to 1953.

https://taxfoundation.org/us-federal-individual-income-tax-rates-history-1913-2013-nominal-and-inflation-adjusted-brackets/

Now if it's the "forced" in "forced to share" that gets you, OK. Just be aware that there are plenty of things I don't like being forced to do either, and won't, which is the inverse of cleek's law for me.

on the right, the talk is all about making sure the rich get richer. the poor are irrelevant or inconvenient drains on profits.

Got a cite? I haven't seen that either.

is an empty question, since I'm pretty sure that in McK world, bitching about income equality is definitionally "left." So the question has no possible answer.

What I've seen is that income inequality is a left'ish issue. If the conversation on that topic is rancorous, the rancor comes from the left.

And finally, the notion that the political rancour in this country is all on one end of the spectrum is so beyond laughable that I wonder why I let myself get sucked into engaging with it.

I agree there is plenty of rancor, but as for income inequality being the source of it from any quarter but the left, not so much. As for getting sucked into conversations you don't want to have, one way to avoid that is to limit your discussions to only those who agree with you. Or to not post in public forums.

We wouldn't have to go far, though, since I would start with your own trademark sneering about "the left" right here at Obsidian Wings.

Ok, now that's a bit rancor-y.

GFTNC--I'm addressing--as requested by JanieM--her specific, three-point linkage: political rancor, income inequality and incidents of bad behavior on airplanes. She picked income inequality, not me.

In place of rancor, however, I'd put shallow predictability. Cleek's non-sneering 3:15 is practically a lefty autotext for what everyone in the progressive know *knows* about what the right thinks about income inequality. Everyone "knows" that the right only cares about making the 1 percent even more wealthy. Same with profit margins--Republicans only care making more money for off shore, multi-national corporations and making sure that CEO's pay as little tax as possible.

It's a tough sell come election time, but fortunately for the Republicans, roughly one have of the country is too benighted to see through their clever rhetoric. Only those non-rancor-y, clear-eyed progressives 'get it'.

It doesn't seem to occur to a fair number of lefties that their narrative-confirming caricatures might be somewhat off base or why that might be the case. It's a lot easier to frame a debate when one side is in good faith and the other clearly not. Otherwise, we would have to have engagement and non-rancor-y communication.

P.S. I still think Trump is an all-world dick.


That should read 23 to 24 percent marginal tax bracket, depending on marital status.

Everyone "knows" that the right only cares about making the 1 percent even more wealthy. Same with profit margins--Republicans only care making more money for off shore, multi-national corporations and making sure that CEO's pay as little tax as possible.

Like an Ian Poulter shank on the 18th at the Players. Right. Really really far right.

Your motives may be as pure as the driven snow, but the policies you support invariably lead to the outcomes that we "know" you want.

How can that be?

but the policies you support invariably lead to the outcomes that we "know" you want.

You mean like my being ok with a 40% tax load?

It seems to me to be perfectly possible to be a conservative and still feel that our current levels of income inequality are a problem. Unless, of course, you define "left" as being worried by income inequality.

If you disagree, perhaps we need to step back and have a discussion about what constitutes "conservative" vs "liberal".

It seems to me to be perfectly possible to be a conservative and still feel that our current levels of income inequality are a problem. Unless, of course, you define "left" as being worried by income inequality.

Yes, perfectly possible. I'm mostly agnostic on income inequality being a thing and mostly opposed to progressive remedies because the cure is invariably worse than the disease. As a practical matter, whatever changes might actually be made *might* change the form of how the uber rich make their money and pay their taxes, but not the end result. The fact of gross disparities at the extremes isn't going away. Being in a state of perpetual rage about it is not productive and tends to sound like class envy. I wonder how many in the 4th and 5th quartiles actually have a concept of the uber wealthy vs the nominally wealthy vs the well off vs the 'nice life'? From that level, I imagine anyone with a home, two cars and relatively nice clothes looks like a millionaire. Do progressives really think folks at that level give a shit whether someone has one, ten or a hundred million dollars? What if what people in the 5th and 4th quartiles really want is a better job and more money and if they are completely indifferent to how much better off others might be? What if they don't give a damn about how much money Paris Hilton or Chelsea Clinton have? If they don't care, why are progressives so mad on their behalf?

You mean like my being ok with a 40% tax load?

Reminds me of one former denizen here who defended his zealous stance on police needing to be free of restrictions by saying that he would recommend the death penalty for any cops caught perjuring themselves and patted himself on the back for his consistency. It got tiresome with him as well...

LJ--do you think a 40% tax load is a minimalist, pro-uber wealthy position?

"P.S. I still think Trump is an all-world dick."

See, at the last minute, you ruin everything by veering away from sheer rancor in favor of shallow predictability. ;)

It got tiresome with him as well...

I missed this the first read-through. Classic LJ--snotty and supercilious at the same time. Nicely done. One of the things I don't miss about college or law school is being "taught" by people like you. If you were as smart as you project yourself to be, you'd rip me on substance, if you could. I'm waiting for the day when you feel like giving it a go. Twinkie.

shallow predictability.

Not me. Tiresome, yes. Deplortable, yes. Predictable, sometimes. Shallow, never.

Well, interesting that we're talking about income inequality (pssst: not going to be addressed by Republicans, ever) when Trump the traitor billionaire continues to reward the Russians for his payoff.

McKinney, I'm taking breaks between throwing up to ask what you think of the latest news? Or, if you're looking at FOX maybe you didn't see it.

The fact of gross disparities at the extremes isn't going away.

It takes a lot of guns and jackboots to escape the Pareto Principle.

Sapient, which news in particular? I don't watch news, period FWIW. I'm on my cell so a detailed response will likely have to wait.

McT, I pride myself on being a teacher, but if the student doesn't want to learn, there's not much the teacher can do. You want to claim that because you support a 40% tax load, you can defend your other positions when you know the possibility of that happening is nil. So it is a position without substance. Which is why you take that position, because getting into the substance would mean you get ripped.

It would be nice if you were honest about it, but I don't think you are being honest with yourself, so there's not much anyone can say until you figure it out.

And btw "Twinkie" is one of those gendered insults that suggests that somehow I'm not 'man' enough to engage you. As if this discussion required some sort of masculine qualities like being able to lift heavier weights than women or being able to pee standing up. I know it's a reflex that is hard to overcome, but surely, you can see how that leaves you open to charges that you are a misogynist?

Ummm, important news is out there. Take a look at the Washington Post..

"It takes a lot of guns and jackboots to escape the Pareto Principle."

I'd advise the Pareto winners to stop selling us guns and jackboots, given they are outnumbered:

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a55076/republicans-healthcare-welfare-us-them/

McTX:

Do you acknowledge AT ALL that, even though The Free Market results in vast income disparities BEFORE TAX, The Guvmint can decrease those disparites AFTER TAX without handcuffing The Invisible Hand?

You are a piker compared to the really rich. If your income is into the (currently) top marginal tax bracket, it's not very far into it. Unless you have misrepresented yourself here, you don't make a tenth of what Rush Limbaugh makes, pre-tax. Do you honestly think that a 50% marginal rate kicking in at $3M/year, or a 60% rate above $30M/yr, would distort the market for conservative radio blowhards or hedge fund managers or major league shortstops?

When you get off your "left'ish" fet'ish, I will happily talk turkey with you about what income tax rates -- on what income BRACKETS -- would be sensible or even "fair". Until then, be aware that if the time for pitchforks and torches ever comes back, your conceit that you're one of the oppressed minority of poor, hardworking, job-creating, multimillionaires will look foolish in at least two different ways.

--TP

Sapient, I assume you are referring to the (alleged for now) disclosure by Trump to Russia of inside information regarding ISIS? With the understanding that the story, as written, needs to be verified, thefurther we get into this administration, the closer it seems we are to a 25th amendment situation.

LJ-- thank you for clarifying my lack of honesty, not only with others but with myself. That was most enlightening. You are unbelievably insightful and I am honored to be the beneficiary of your constructive and uplifting criticism. You and everything you say is always in good faith. I now see that anyone who disagrees with you is in bad faith. This has helped me so much to understand myself as a person. I really mean this.

BTW, Twinkie = lightweight. But thanks for the social justice lecture, Twinkie. You Thought and Speech Police are just what the doctor ordered. Thanks!

thefurther we get into this administration, the closer it seems we are to a 25th amendment situation.

I would suggest calling your Republican representatives of both houses and making it clear that you want that to happen now, before we go straight down the toilet.

Of course, we know that Trump is compromised. Maybe Pence is too, but one at a time.

Thanks, McKinney, for acknowledging a potential (at least) problem. I would call it a national emergency, but that's just me being a hawk.

The fact of gross disparities at the extremes isn't going away.

Says who? Advocating an array of public policies that both promote and aggravate income inequality and then claiming you are "fine" with them is, well, rich.

But, sapient, repeat after these guys, "The Russians are our friends, the Russians are our friends."

In support of the Jefferson Davis Confederacy, an example of the strange syncretism seen only in cretinous America.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/white-supremacists-confederate-statue-protest

When it is finally revealed that Ayn Rand was the most successful undercover Soviet agent in history, we'll see that Paul Ryan is a traitorous collaborator as well.

McTX, the Washington Post news is that trump read Hillary's unreleased emails out loud to the Russians last week during their visit to the White House.

Now, they have all of her Fannie Farmer recipes, ans some bonus material, exactly as you feared.

I pine for the days when being a commie sympathizer was all a pose by winsome leftist coeds and that guy with the beret who dated all of them.


I'm mostly agnostic on income inequality being a thing and mostly opposed to progressive remedies because the cure is invariably worse than the disease. As a practical matter, whatever changes might actually be made *might* change the form of how the uber rich make their money and pay their taxes, but not the end result. The fact of gross disparities at the extremes isn't going away.

And yet, it isn't obvious how this time is different from the original Gilded Age. After which, we managed to substantially reduce economic inequality, while having the country and the economy grow enormously. Why couldn't it happen again? Seriously, why is this time so different?

an example of the strange syncretism seen only in cretinous America.

Yeah, cute. Not a mile away from where I work. Not going to advocate violence here, but just wondering: how far will we let them go? Especially after today's late breaking news?

When it is finally revealed that Ayn Rand was the most successful undercover Soviet agent in history

Compared to Robert Mercer, a piker.

I'm too freaked out to worry about italics.


Fixed it before

Well wj, all we need is a couple of world wars that decimate our economic competition and make cheap labor dangerous to use and we can make America great again.

Shorter Marty: I love my privilege and care little of anything else. Also, I'm bored.

I care that in addition to the President casually declassifying code word info to share it with an ambassador that somehow no one notices it has also been shared by current security officials with former security officials and the Washington Post which is clearly illegal by everyone involved. The details are being "withheld" by the Post So no one will identify the country, how do they know? So the security problem potential is assured because it's on the front page of the newspaper.

I think the second half of that is as big a problem as the first.

McT
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=twinkie

Apologies for the extended Social Justice lecture, but you don't seem to really understand. I'm pretty sure you weren't referring to my Asian heritage and I hope you weren't suggesting it was the term as it is used in the gay community. So taking your admission that you want to call me lightweight, why are you calling me a lightweight? Because I won't 'mix it up' with you. It is an insult based on perceived aspects of masculinity that you don't even stop to question. That refusal/inability to even consider that is what comes across. I tried to point it out by drawing a parallel to a previous argument rather than accuse of you. Clearly, that must have stung because your response is to the man rather than the ball. The insult doesn't bother me, but you repeating it at the end is not a good look on you or anyone. But you think it bothers me, so you go with it again rather than address the point, which is that you propose an unworkable possibility to shore up your ability to compromise unlike everyone from "the left".

As for your inability to be honest with yourself, it's that inability to even stop and think why you use the words you do that makes me suggest that. Hope that is not too silly and supercilious for you...

Missing Donald's outrage.

Oh, forgot, he doesn't comment here anymore because why bother? Atrocities are through the roof, but no Democrats around to blame. Hmmm. Wonder whether it's correlation or causation there. I vote both.

I think the second half of that is as big a problem as the first.

I think not. The fact that our President is selling out our intelligence to our "enemies" is worth US citizens knowing so that they can impeach him. Of course, Marty won't be in favor of that because it would get in the way of his tax cut.

And yes, Marty is both outraged about his high Obamacare premiums because he lost his lucrative job, and worried about his taxes. Above country.

Poor Marty. He's bored.

The way fascists take over is to convince people like you the current government is bad enough to replace by any means. Seems to be working.

all we need is a couple of world wars that decimate our economic competition and make cheap labor dangerous to us

Did nothing change between 1895 and our entry into WW I?

The way fascists take over is to convince people like you the current government is bad enough to replace by any means. Seems to be working.

Joke's on you, bud. It's already happened.

Did I do it again? Yep Or not.

Out of here. Obviously I need to get a grip. On something.

Wow, mega-sloppy of me on the italics there. Sorry, all.

You're so sweet, wj.

Well, the first one (two, actually) was me. The last one was you, however. ;-)
Fixed them all. I hope....

Haha. In my current mood, I'll blame ... [Sorry.]

So back to whether fascists have taken over:

Of course, the Count has already posted about this: Richard Spencer was in my town. Of course, we don't really like hi here, most of us.

But those of us (some whose handles begin with "M"?) who are not working for the resistance? We're taking sides now. Do the right thing.

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