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June 15, 2019

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You need only to ignore the predations of the private sector to understand that the government is always the real enemy.

Charter schools, before they became a tool of private sector disruption, were a product of the teachers' unions trying to find better ways to teach. Here's a history.

ALTHOUGH the leaders of teachers unions and charter schools are often in warring camps today, the original vision for charter schools came from Albert Shanker, the president of the American Federation of Teachers.

In a 1988 address, Mr. Shanker outlined an idea for a new kind of public school where teachers could experiment with fresh and innovative ways of reaching students. Mr. Shanker estimated that only one-fifth of American students were well served by traditional classrooms. In charter schools, teachers would be given the opportunity to draw upon their expertise to create high-performing educational laboratories from which the traditional public schools could learn.

Mr. Shanker was particularly inspired by a 1987 visit to a public school in Cologne, Germany, which stood out for a couple of reasons. Teams of teachers had considerable say in how the school was run. They made critical decisions about what and how to teach and stayed with each class of students for six years. And unlike most German schools, which are rigidly tracked, the Cologne school had students with a mix of abilities, family incomes and ethnic origins. Turkish and Moroccan immigrants were educated alongside native German students in mixed-ability groups. Sixty percent of the school’s students scored high enough on exams to be admitted to four-year colleges, compared with 27 percent of students nationally.

It has nothing to do with public vs private. You want better schools? Let teachers actually use their professional knowledge to teach and spend your time and money reducing poverty.

Oxford and Cambridge universities are not private.

I get confused by the fact that, in England, "public schools" (e.g. Eton) are what we Americans think of as private schools.

Charles,

I don't give Caplan a lot of credibility. Whatever else he is, he is a committed extreme libertarian ideologue, who imagines himself an expert on all things.

This is a man who once wrote that Ayn Rand was one of the great Russian novelists, on a par with Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.

Eton & Oxford...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Prime_Ministers_of_the_United_Kingdom_by_education
As of October 2016, of the 54 Prime Ministers to date, 19 were educated at Eton College, seven at Harrow School, and six at Westminster School. Nine Prime Ministers to date have been educated at non-fee-paying schools; these include all five Prime Ministers to hold office between 1964 and 1997 (Wilson, Heath, Callaghan, Thatcher, Major). Although it is a widely held view that British Prime Ministers come from an elitist background of private education, only three of the last ten of the country's leaders have attended public secondary schools. This reflects an increasing shift in social structure and norms in Britain and its government.

27 Prime Ministers were educated at the University of Oxford (including 13 at Christ Church, Oxford), and 14 at the University of Cambridge (including 6 at Trinity College, Cambridge). Nine Prime Ministers were educated at Eton and Christ Church, including all three Prime Ministers to hold office between 1880 and 1902 (Gladstone, Salisbury, Rosebery)...

"Math is the base of all heresy" (a cardinal observing the Galilei trial in a latter to a colleague)

The cardinal almost certainly did not object to the math that went into the assorted grand buildings of the Catholic Church in Rome.

The theocratic US government in Heinlein's If This Goes On-- has the amusingly named Department of Applied Miracles. People still study science and technology, but only after they have been judged religiously "safe".

"Math is the base of all heresy" (a cardinal observing the Galilei trial in a latter to a colleague)

Could it be that he had arguments about calculation of the date of Easter in mind? Sounds plausible.

Better to just track when the Easter Bunny returns to Capistrano.

I get confused by the fact that, in England, "public schools" (e.g. Eton) are what we Americans think of as private schools.

That doesn't apply to universities. Almost all universities in the UK, including Oxbridge, are public in the sense that they get significant government funding for teaching and research. (Funding for teaching is now mainly by way of subsidised loans to students.)

Almost all universities in the UK, including Oxbridge, are public in the sense that they get significant government funding for teaching and research.

A blurring of the distinction that's hardly unknown in the US.

From MIT's president in 2017: ...we rely on federal funding for 66% of our campus research support.

Some Harvard numbers from a few years ago.

None of the elite "private" universities in the US could exist in their present form without massive infusions of federal research dollars and student loan money.

but that's socialism!

JanieM,

If we want to do justice for the private contribution to the universities, we should acknowledge the role of Carnegie Foundation and a couple of other major private funders in establishing the American scientific and scholarly education into its present-day form. It was these foundations that encouraged the American universities to import the Ph.D degree model from Germany, and to start actual original scientific research.

Prior to that, American universities had been a bit medieval-style institutions of "learning", where very little original work was conducted. Instead, people studied classics and the literary canon, while scientists were content to train practically-minded people in applying the existing knowledge.

However, the private research funding was clearly insufficient and by the WWII, the federal science funding had an absolute dominance.

Almost all universities in the UK, including Oxbridge, are public in the sense that they get significant government funding for teaching and research.

Where I would make the distinction is in who picks the board which runs the university. If the government (governor, PM, etc., etc.) picks them, and especially if state office holders are members by reason of their office (e.g. the Governor and Lt. Governor of California sit on the University of California Board of Regents), then they are public. If the University picks its own (by whatever process) then they are private.

It may not be a perfect distinction. But it makes more sense than trying to decide what percentage of government funding (excluding student loans, which are a totally different deal to my mind) is the threshold.

Two sentences from Wikipedia:

In the United States, most public universities are state universities founded and operated by state government entities.

and

In the UK, all universities are autonomous bodies, legally independent of the state. However, universities and other higher education providers are regulated and universities may be considered public bodies for some purposes. The degree of regulation varies between the countries of the United Kingdom and varies depending on the constitutional form of the university and whether it receives public funding.

I get the point that public money flows to just about all universities in one way or another, and that even the ones that most clearly fit into the definition of private universities could not exist as they now do without those public funds. I also think that in the United States, it's not very hard to distinguish between public and private universities. No comment on the situation in other countries.

Where I would make the distinction is in who picks the board which runs the university...

We don't do things that way, and I wouldn't want us to. But there's a regulatory framework which treats public universities differently from the few private universities.

wj,
Your point makes no sense at all in international comparison. Let us take the Umiversity of Helsinki, which is a rather clear example of a public European university: founded by Swedish Queen in 1640, transferred to Helsinki by the Russian Czar Nicholas I, and receiving its funding from the state. And charging no tuition from EU/EEA students.

Yet, this university selects its own board by having its university collegium appoint them. In that collegium, the professors, other faculty and students are all represented. And the only link between the government and the university administration is the fact that the chancellor of the University of Helsinki, who is also appointed by the university collegium is authorised by law to be present and speak in Cabinet meetings where the issues concerning the university are decided. In other Finnish universities, the chancellor (if there is one) does not have this right.

With your definition, Finland would have only a single public university: the National Defense University, where the Rector and professors are appointed by the President. Even there, the external authorities have no say in academics. (Although as a military unit, the University is part of the chain of command in operational issues.)

The traditional European model of university governance is that the professors (since 1968, together with students and other faculty), decide upon the issues concerning the university, and that the government only has a veto on professor appointments. To give an example, in Finland, the president appointed the professors until 1990's from three nominees proposed by the university in order of priority. (The same as with bishops.) After getting the professorship, they were impossible to fire. The usual American idea of European public universities being beholden to government is a misconception.

I appreciate the education on how universities are set up in Europe.

And I am reminded of this description of the US and UK:
Two countries separated by a common language.
Clearly we were not meaning the same thing when we talked about (or thought about) public education at the university level.

The cult of the Republican Party certainly has a seamy side shared by way too many conservatives:

https://juanitajean.com/holy-crap-in-the-name-of-jesus

Some of them aren't so much pro-life as they are interested in recruiting and grooming fetuses very early in their term for early voter registration and natch, intimidation when it comes to that, and it always does with these lot.

The first thing they ask about a fetus on the sonogram is not does the baby have a heartbeat, but rather "What is it wearing?"


JDT, by now stories like this about evangelical, right-wing (overlapping but not identical) preachers are so think on the ground that they barely qualify as news.

The “profit” of a good medical system is a healthy and productive populace

From a John Cole rant about insulin. Applies just as surely to our discussion about the funding of education.

*****

Also, I don't want to forget to offer a "what bobbyp said" in his 10:06 a.m. comment. Yes, yes, and yes again.

Why are highways ok, but secondary education is not?

CharlesWT, are highways okay in your book? (Sorry of you've said, and I missed it.)

Well, obviously all highways should be privately run toll roads. Because who can resist the joy of having to keep a pile of change in the car, and slowing down every few miles to pay for the next few? :-(

Private roads and highways can work. I believe there's a Spanish company that builds, operates and maintains highways. They have a big incentive to build highways right.

Sweden as an example:

"Two-thirds of roads in Sweden are privately operated and managed by local Private Road Associations (PRAs). These road associations are composed of homeowners who live along private roads. An estimated 140,000 kilometers (about 87,000 miles) of roads are the responsibility of 60,000 PRAs. While most Swedish private roads do not experience a high level of traffic, the delegation of roads to the private sector helps the government offset costs. Government works in conjunction with road owners and associations to subsidize the costs of repair and maintenance. Around 24,000 PRAs receive government subsidies."
Why the U.S. Should Adopt the Nordic Approach to Private Roads

all-private highways is possibly the dumbest fucking idea ever.

if a group of humans can't get together and agree to create a road that all can use for everyone's benefit, then the universe should pull the plug on us and everything we've ever touched, because we're too rotten and ignorant to exist.

The US should adopt the "Nordic approach to private roads" the minute it gets done adopting the "Nordic approach" to public education. And health care. And guns. Also, abortions.

If someone calls, from a country -- Norway -- and offers a clue, why shouldn't we listen?

--TP

On the other hand... :)

"When a libertarian cherry picks an ownership model from Sweden – which has a world-famous cradle-to-grave welfare system and hence is a country to send shudders down libertarian spines – you know there’s something fishy going on."
When a libertarian cites Sweden you know there’s something fishy going on


"In St. Louis, these are referred to as "street associations." They provide not only roads but other municipal services, such as garbage collection and security. Typically these are neighborhoods where the streets were previously public but have been deeded to the street associations by the city, in exchange for the residents providing their own city services."
Private road association

Nice one, CharlesWT.

*****

I've tried to find stats about roads before, and it's a quagmire. But here's a list that says Sweden has a "total road network size" of 579,564 km, or about 360,000 miles, quite a different estimate from what you get if you take the numbers in CharlesWT's 9:37. Of course, one feature of the quagmire is the question: "What kind of road?" So without a lot more digging, it's hard to know which are the apples and which are the oranges.

Also, per the St. Louis example, there are lots of private housing developments in the US -- eight households of my neighbors live in one -- that maintain private roads. So it's not like it isn't done here. Note that in the Sweden example, 87,000 miles run by 60,000 PRAs averages to less than 1.5 miles per association. Not quite the interstate highway system, or even the road from my house to town.

What is the difference between a street association and government?

A lot of things in Europe, including perhaps healthcare systems, likely wouldn't scale to the US which has several metropolitan areas that have more population than some European countries.

Good question, russell.

I wouldn't own a house in a development governed by an "association" if you gave it to me for free. My close knowledge of a couple of the neighbors in the association that abuts the property where I live informs the shudder that seizes me when I imagine having to participate in joint decision-making with them every month.

Of course, that's my anti-social streak shining forth. Not to be confused with an anti-socialist streak.....

What is the difference between a street association and government?

A street association, or other homeowners' association, is basically government that is small enough that it can spend what it like on "stuff for us", without having to pay for anything for "those people". Ideally (i.e. except for nasty interfering government) it can also fulfill its original purpose of keeping "those people" from moving into the neighborhood.

"In August, after decades of failing to pay property taxes on their private cul-de-sac in San Francisco’s toniest hills, residents of Presidio Terrace were rudely awakened to fact that their street no longer belonged to them. It had been sold at auction, perfectly legally—and the well-heeled homeowners would have to deal with whatever profiteering came of it."
When Millionaires Squabble Over a Private Street, There Are No Winners: The ongoing saga of Presidio Terrace is just depressing all around. (DEC 4, 2017)

CharlesWT: ... likely wouldn't scale to the US ...

I don't think CharlesWT understands what "scale" means. Or maybe I don't.

If the US has 30x the population of a country -- Norway -- it probably has 30x the medical needs. But doesn't it also have 30x the medical personnel, and 30x the tax base?

Galileo figured out 400 years ago that "scale-up" doesn't work when some parameters grow as the cube of the "scale" while others only grow as the square. But what's the "scale" problem when everything scales up linearly?

--TP

JanieM,

The Swedish "private road" described here exists also in Finland. The "private road association" is, in fact, a rather interesting legal body, because it is formed by the operation of real estate law.

Essentially, there is a legal principle that any plot of land has a right to have a road connection to a public highway. When such connection needs to be established, this is done by the state authorities establishing a road in a land survey operation. All such pieces of real estate that are affected by the road are given a share in the road, and required to join the road association. The size of the share depends on the type of use and length of road connection (e.g. a plot of forest in the beginning of the road gets a much smaller share than an occupied house at the end of the road). The road itself forms a servitude to all plots of land it travels through. So, the private road and its association are essentially elements of land registry.

Now, then, the road association can be either organised or unorganised. If it is unorganised, the "association" is mainly a legal fiction, and the land owners maintain the road connection each as they see fit, perhaps payong to each other as they deem correct. If road association is organised, it has an annual meeting, a board or a supervisory officer and keeps accounts of its expenses. Technically, the road association has a lien to all its member pieces of real estate. If the owner of the real estate does not pay the road maintenance costs allocated to their share, the association can have a sheriff's sale of the offending piece of land. However, that is also the highest responsibility of the land owner, who is not responsible for the debts of the road association. It is only the land, not the owner, that is responsible.

Most private roads are, in actuality, a kilometer or two of dirt track in the forest, built to help forestry or agriculture, or allow some remote house or cottage to be accessed. In total, they do make up a huge amount of road network, but they do not really change the nature of the social system to the extent described here.

Most private roads are, in actuality, a kilometer or two of dirt track

Actually, we do have some of those. Typically in relatively thinly populated rural areas, with minimal traffic (i.e. a dozen or two home owners and their farm equipment). It's a microscopic portion of the total road network, but it does exist.

Plus, if course, the (usually gravel) roads serving a single large ranch.

"The Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike, opened in 1795 between Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was the first major American turnpike. According to Gerald Gunderson's Privatization and the 19th-Century Turnpike, 'In the first three decades of the 19th century, Americans built more than 10,000 miles [16,000 km] of turnpikes, in New England and the Middle Atlantic states. Relative to the economy at that time, this effort exceeded the post-World War II interstate highway system.'"
Private highways in the United States

i live on a 'private' road. it's a cul-de-sac about a half-mile long, blacktopped.

everyone can drive on it, but the only people who do are residents and deliveries (it's in the middle of nowhere). residents pay for maintenance: all ten of us. and that means it's in constant disrepair. we pay yearly HOA-ish fees which over time will pay for patches. but erosion is faster than our savings rate.

but hey, low taxes!

so stupid.

Actually, we do have some of those

See also, northern Maine, where we have several thousand miles of them. Logging trucks have right of way, period.

Regarding scale, I think Charles has a point, but IMO the issue is more about cultural differences and a lack of consensus about what government should be doing than it is about logistics per se.

A government that can take a census of 300MM people, or collect their taxes, can (frex) provide a public health insurance option.

We just can't agree that we want one.

Meanwhile....

I wonder if Trump understands that tweeting about this in advance makes it less likely to be effective. People are just going to hide.

I know people who have been asked to take care of undocumented people's kids, in case they are picked up by ICE. Mom and/or dad is undocumented, kids are US citizens. They live with the reality that, on any given day, kids may come home from school and Mom and/or Dad will just be gone.

If someone can explain to me the harm that these people do that warrants this kind of malice, I'd appreciate it. As far as I can tell, they are hard-working people, committed to their families and communities.

Why the hell we don't want them here is beyond me. We allow about a million people a year into the US. That's one-third of one percent of the population. Issue more freaking visas. Problem solved.

We can't absorb them? We already do. They take jobs? Unemployment rate is as low as it's been in generations. They come just for the welfare? They come here to freaking work, and they work their asses off.

There aren't really a lot of people that I actually despise. It's a small club, but Stephen Miller is in it. I recognize the need for an organization like ICE, but this administration is turning them into a gang of thugs.

Fucking bullies.

Folks, before you get taken in too much by CharlesWJ glibertarian claptrap, you might read a basic introductory primer on the issues raised by the need for road and canal construction in the early 1800's. The part about Gibbons v. Ogden is quite interesting.

We are still having these same arguments over 200 years later: (1.) What is the public good? and (2.) by what means do we achieve it?

As you consider these matters, it is vital to keep in the forefront the Golden Rule underlying these debates: One side ceaselessly pushes to privatise the profit and socialize the costs.

Without immigration, the US population would be falling.

"If someone can explain to me the harm..."
There is no harm.
The persecution of these families might facilitate Trump's re-election. That is all.

While we're swapping stories of death cults...

Conservative members would rather break up the United Kingdom, and destroy their own party, than stay in the European Union, according to a new poll.
https://www.businessinsider.com/poll-conservative-members-break-up-uk-destroy-party-stop-brexit-2019-6?r=US&IR=T

They's probably rather sacrifice their firstborn, and eat their own feet, too, if asked.

I wonder if Trump understands that tweeting about this in advance makes it less likely to be effective...

The effect Trump wants is votes for Trump. Removing immigrants isn't the idea at all - wealthy farmers need labourers, wealthy hoteliers need staff, rich people need servants...

If I managed, funded, and maintained my very own private road, it would be designated a one way street in both directions.

When you get to the fork in the road, shove it.

It will lead to the Road to Perdition, which soon turns into the Slippery Slope To Nowhere.

Not for nothing, there's a private road somewhere named Psycho Path.

https://www.rd.com/culture/funniest-street-names/

No doubt it's a dead end.

I'm still waiting for anti-gummint right-wing militia to come to the aid of the immigrants who will be rounded up by jack-booted gummint thugs, perhaps by supplying these victims of violent gummint overreach with automatic weaponry and unlimited armor-piercing cop killer ammo, as Dick Cheney stipulated.

Popcorn. Pass it.

One does hope that the conservative movement around the world eats their own feet ... don't stop there ..... and impales all of their born on bayonets in a mass suicide pact, but there will be no such luck.

No, it will end up like a worldwide Waco conflagration and WE will be forced to make martyrs of the tens of millions of them.

Remember, though, if there are no survivors among them, there will be no one left to call their dead brethren "martyrs"

If THEY are hard-working, they are stealing OUR jobs (the ones we do not like to do). If they're not, they steal OUR welfare (the one we claim to despise and not need).
If they are community and family oriented, they are forming states-within-the-state and plot with foreigners to take over OUR land (the one we took from their ancestors) or to change our culture (and food). If they assimilate 100% into OUR culture (or what we call that for lack of a better word), it's proof that they're fatherland-less cosmopolitans (also plotting to overthrow us just not in favor of a specific foreign national model). Ye see, it's them BEING THEM! not what they do. OK, one exception: if they are RW terrorists fighting non-RW regimes in Central/South America or GOP voting exiled Cubans, they are welcome for the time being (provided they keep away from OUR virgin daughters).

'In the first three decades of the 19th century, Americans built more than 10,000 miles [16,000 km] of turnpikes, in New England and the Middle Atlantic states. Relative to the economy at that time, this effort exceeded the post-World War II interstate highway system.'

And yet, with all this experience with the marvels of privately built and run roads, we then mostly went with public roads. Perhaps there's a lesson there . . . though I somehow doubt that committed libertarians will we willing to see it.

If someone can explain to me the harm that these people do that warrants this kind of malice, I'd appreciate it.

By demonstrating that other kinds of people, from other places, can be just as good as the people already here, they undermine the nativists' sense of being especially wonderful. Very harmful to their fragile egos.

Wj,

Yep. And the Nordic "private road" has nothing to do with such for-profit turnpikes that served the public. The Nordic private road is a loss-maker serving its members who have the ill luck of not living by a public highway. In fact, because of these features, you could actually view the whole concept as state coercion: the private road association membership and the share of each member is determined by the state. So, the fees of the road association can be compared to taxes, because you can't resign nor decide not to join.

Further, while most private roads are cul-de-sacs, if the road happens to be useful for public traffic, either the municipality can take the road over without compensation. In such case, the obligations and wealth of the road association are confiscated without monetary compensation. The implicit compensation of the government becoming responsible for the maintenance of the road is considered compensation enough. So, I would take the role of the Nordic private roads as evidence of the superiority of public highways.

"provided they keep away from our virgin daughters"

Wouldn't they have a better shot at the main chance if they went after the already violated non-virgin daughters of the American conservative movement, rather than sorting among the few legitimate virgins among the fake news ones in evangelical fundamentalist households?

Why isn't there a question on the Census form regarding the virgin status of American women and girls, the better to give p a heads-up for his late night phone antics?

Why isn't there a question on the Census form regarding the virgin status of American women and girls

Perhaps because lying on a census form is a crime? And while Trump and his immediate circle don't worry about the law applying to them, the number of his supporters with molested daughters appears to be significant. Could get awkward.

Can you spot what is wrong with the headline at the link:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trump-crowd-size-guitarists

How small does the guitar player have to be to be smaller than p's crowd numbers?

The p campaign fires Kellyanne'Conway's polling outfit for not clapping hard enough:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=B01o2xtJwgk


The news is never fake enough for conservative filth:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3v-e25d34pY

In Austria, most of the hotels are privately owned, unlike the p hotels in America whichare subsidized by the White House and foreign governments.

Here, let Frank Luntz, the lying reptile, fill you in:

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/6/18/1865573/-I-thought-Frank-Lutz-was-the-smart-one

Didn't someone once say that religion is the sugar-high of the people:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/people-who-post-god-and-pray-on-facebook-may-be-more-likely-to-develop-these-life-threatening-conditions-2019-06-18?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Luntz, cited above, was responding to George Will’s summing up of the scum line Republican Party as “dumb”, echoing Hillary Clinton’s assessment of them as “deplorable”, which given nearly three years of untreated sewage was an understatement.

Luntz just wanted to peer review and confirm the fatal diagnosis

The OP title being "Free College for All and Other National Platform Proposals", it is worth asking whether any "platform" is A Thing.

Hint: it isn't.

For evidence I offer a January 2016 comment from our pet non-Trumper conservative who has nevertheless made a habit of defending He, Trump's "(Republican) policies" to us benighted libruls.

Trump is pro choice, he wants to replace Obamacare with universal healthcare, he has never been anti gun control before(so I am not very sure of his actual stance), he was pro gay marriage when that was an issue and he wants to manage the economy. Immigration isn't really his left wing strong suit but then Obama wasn't for gay marriage. He talks tough on a few things, hysterically really, but he is a very odd candidate for the right.
Note that to He, Trump's "platform" was either completely misinterpreted by our fellow commenter, or a pack of lies as revealed by subsequent events.

Either way, a "platform" seems to be irrelevant in our current presidential politics, where most Americans vote for President-as-Totem rather than President-as-Executive.

If we (and I include the author of the quoted comment in "we") are disgusted by what He, Trump represents, we have to worry about the Totem-worshipers in MAGA hats, not about the "platform" put forward by this or that Democrat.

--TP

it is worth asking whether any "platform" is A Thing.

Hint: it isn't.

It was merely a convenient shorthand for "topics which are getting discussed in the course of the (primary) campaign". Regardless of whether they make it into the party's formal platform, or whether the candidate does anything about it if actually elected, they remain issues which are of interest.

What is wrong with this picture?!?

Mike Pompeo has warned that any attack by Tehran or its proxies resulting in a single American casualty will generate a counterattack, U.S. officials said. The departure of acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan could further sideline the Pentagon, which has sought to reduce the potential for hostilities.
And here I thought the tradition was for the State Department to be the ones working to avoid military solutions. Guess times change.

I think Pompeo just fancies himself as Trump's successor.

Pathological.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/donald-trump-and-the-telltale-cough
Trump had two main messages in the interviews: first, that he is respected, cheered, saluted, and loved. The people crying by the roadside were the ones “that couldn’t get in” to his events. The second message: that his enemies are everywhere—indeed, no President has ever been so persecuted. “Although, they do say Abraham Lincoln was treated really badly. I must say, that’s the one. If you can believe it, Abraham Lincoln was treated supposedly very badly. But nobody’s been treated badly like me.” ...

Truly a president for the post-truth age.

"You have people on both sides of that."
https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/449181-trump-refuses-to-apologize-to-central-park-five-they-admitted-their

And here I thought the tradition was for the State Department to be the ones working to avoid military solutions. Guess times change.

Remember that the military are the people who have to figure out how to make those "solutions" actually solve something. Given the utter stupidity of getting into a war with Iran, I suspect that's quite a struggle.

Plus, their guys get killed.

Defenders of Stalin's show trials said that the accused had to be shot in any case. Either for having committed the crimes they confessed to or for lying publicly to the people about having committed those crimes.
And in (German) witch trials lack of confession even under torture was proof of guilt since no one could withstand torture without the devil's* help (in case of confession no further proof of guilt was, of couse, necessary).

Plus: all criminals claim to be innocent, so claims of innocence are as good a proof of guilt as anyone could wish for.

*G#d's help was not considered since He would not have allowed suspicion to arise in the inquisitors against an innocent in the first place.

"Abraham Lincoln was treated supposedly very badly. But nobody’s been treated badly like me.” ...

Yup, because merely being assassinated is nothing to the terrible things being inflicted on Trump. Who could possibly think otherwise?

i like Presidents who don't get assassinated .

The words "they do say" in the shit salad "they do say Abraham Lincoln was treated really badly" are the key giveaways.

Like too many in the soon to be butchered political party he leads, he has his doubts that Lincoln's treatment at the hands of the racist vermin Confederate precursors of the racist hateful vermin republican base in 2019 was anything but exemplary, and in fact, there were good people on both sides.

But for fake news and fake history, we would know this and agree.

John Wilkes Booth, for example. Hell of an actor, and his final role as assassin and traitor to America was one all conservative racist vermin can aspire to.

Booth was Ronald Reagan's body double in key scenes during the latter's movie career, p has read somewhere, probably on the label of his boxer shorts.

Booth apparently dated Carmen Miranda late in both of their lives, so he couldn't have been racist, right.

Then he played Bruce, the mechanical great white shark, in "Jaws", named for Stephen Speilberg's attorney.

He missed a few of his marks, but this happens in your older white racist vermin conservative fuckwad actors.

Might actually work
https://images.app.goo.gl/trLvPPogpDa8LacT7

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-is-the-most-anti-vaxxer-country-in-the-world-2019-06-19?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Contra racist dead filth such as Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, who peddle fake news about immigrants from all over the world infecting white Americans with various poxes, syndromes, and plagues, other countries in the world, as in all of them, but particularly Mexico and Canada, should begin turning back un-vaccinated so-called Americans from entering THEIR countries and infecting their human populations, though they would be protecting their birds and pigs as well from being infected with the American subhuman swine flu.

Better, I would would counsel them to vaccinate these special American fuckers at the border checkpoints ... perhaps also kidnapping their American children and sending them to be be cared for by drug cartels in Guatemala, el Salvador and points south .... preferably with rounds of automatic gunfire, liberally applied, to save us the trouble later.

Make the Rio Grande run red with the blood of assholes.

Maybe we could send Dinesh D'Souza back to Goa, India and then put it around that he is an Ebola carrier and then watch his people quarantine, starve, and burn his ass at the stake.

Let freedom sting.

JDT, here's why
https://www.thedailybeast.com/bernard-and-lisa-selz-new-york-hedge-fund-couple-said-to-donate-more-than-dollar3-million-to-anti-vaxx-movement

The Selz Foundation provides roughly three-fourths of the funding to the Informed Consent Action Network, a three-year-old charity that promotes parental choice in vaccine

This makes for chilling reading:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/07/mh370-malaysia-airlines/590653/

No, Joe Biden, you see if those so-called journalists had done their objective, unbiased job in the service of truth and fatally shot Herman Talmadge in his head right there on the air midway thru his threatening cracker cocksucker peroration rather than treating his filthy racism as just another point of view to be balanced in with all the rest, America would not have had to wait another generation, and now three, to settle race relations in this backsliding racist land once and for all with no fucking doubt.

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2019/06/civility-3

It's 2019, Biden. Your happy talk therapy is bullshit with these filth.

These ilk will not be beneficiaries of civility any longer.

Execute them.

"Civility" is the anesthetic, not the cure, for what ails American politics.

"Moderates" justify "civility" as a necessary predicate for "getting things done", as if it doesn't matter what the "things" are as long as they "get done".

Birther-in-Chief He, Trump and the "Fuck your feelings" MAGA maggots are not in power because they exercised more "civility" than the Democrats. They're in power because "moderates" are confused about what the point of politics is.

--TP

"Moderates" justify "civility" as a necessary predicate for "getting things done"

I wonder how true that really is. Yes, civility can help to get things done -- if only because you refrain from alienating others so much that they won't even support something that they are actually in favor of, just because it's you putting it forward. (See Obamacare for an example of that kind of behavior. Albeit not one where lack of civility was the motivation.)

But, at least for some of us, civility is a positive good in itself. Even if it had no impact on "getting things done" (whatever those things might be), it is still something worth having. IMHO (and I realize that I achieve it imperfectly, at best).

This is a bit chilling as well.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/4-charged-in-downing-of-malaysian-airliner-over-ukraine/2019/06/19/575e50fa-92c7-11e9-956a-88c291ab5c38_story.html

Just because it's good to read something cool and positive occasionally:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/national/50-astronauts-life-in-space/

Enjoy!

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Civility?

Sleep is a positive good in itself, too, but not while your house is on fire.

And I'm not understanding what you mean by this, wj:
Yes, civility can help to get things done -- if only because you refrain from alienating others so much that they won't even support something that they are actually in favor of, just because it's you putting it forward. (See Obamacare for an example of that kind of behavior. Albeit not one where lack of civility was the motivation.)

Care to elaborate on that Obamacare bit?

BTW, it would be nice if "civility" had not been killed, stuffed, and mounted on the mantlepiece in 2016 despite its alleged inherent goodness.

--TP

Care to elaborate on that Obamacare bit?

Republicans opposed (and still rant about) Obamacare. But not because it was a radical liberal deal -- it originated, after all, with a conservative think tank. Rather, they opposed it entirely (IMO) because of who proposed it at the national level.

Similarly, with lack of civility you can get people opposing something simply because it is put forward by someone who has been nasty to them.

That help?

I think we should all go see Girl from the North Country

at least for some of us, civility is a positive good in itself

This.

wj,

So what you're telling me is that all those civil, polite Republicans who opposed the Heritage-inspired Obamacare because the Kenyan Usurper proposed it -- and not because they had principled or practical objections to an essentially conservative initiative -- were simply cutting off their Republican noses to spite their racist faces. Am I reading you right?

Incidentally, talk to me about Rubio, Graham, Cruz, and all the other lickspittles who are now kissing the pasty ass of "someone who has been nasty to them".

--TP

Civility is a mode of discourse.
It doesn’t constrain what can be said.
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/06/watch-ta-nehisi-coatess-rebuke-mitch-mcconnell-house-reparations-hearing.html

Civility-monger Chuck Todd was just berating AOC on "liberal" MSNBC's "fake news" Meet the Press Daily for having been naughty enough to call He, Trump's good, Republican, immigrant jail tent compounds "concentration camps".

Fuck civility, says I.

--TP

I think we should all go see Girl from the North Country

Marty, I went to see it at the Old Vic in London with my late husband. Neither of us thought it was all that good - it seemed to us a bit like a work in progress, so I guess if we were right it might be a bit better by now. Great soundtrack of course, and with the cast we saw some really outstanding renditions. Looking forward to reviews if any of the ObWitterati go to see it.

Civility is a mode of discourse.
It doesn’t constrain what can be said.

Also this, and what Pro Bono and wj said, much as I dislike disagreeing with Tony P.

So what you're telling me is that all those civil, polite Republicans who opposed the Heritage-inspired Obamacare because the Kenyan Usurper proposed it -- and not because they had principled or practical objections to an essentially conservative initiative -- were simply cutting off their Republican noses to spite their racist faces.

Well, for some of them it may have been strictly tribal rather than racial. (McConnell actually strikes me as being more that way. At least in private.) But essentially, yes.

Civility-monger Chuck Todd was just berating AOC on "liberal" MSNBC's "fake news" Meet the Press Daily for having been naughty enough to call He, Trump's good, Republican, immigrant jail tent compounds "concentration camps".

Allow me to distinguish between those who say they want civility, and those who actually are willing to practice it. I could see disagreeing with AOC's characterization (although I personally think she was spot on), without being nasty or personal about it.

I didn't catch the show, so I don't know what Todd said or how. But assuming, from your characterization, that he was berating her in those kinds of terms, that would put him in the first category. (Sort of like the "conservatives" who are actually nothing of the kind. To jump on my personal hobby horse. ;-)

wj: I could see disagreeing with AOC's characterization (although I personally think she was spot on), without being nasty or personal about it.

Let me be clear: Chuck Todd was not "nasty or personal". Heaven forfend! No, he simply chided AOC on the grounds that Democrats (especially, of course, young women Democrats) have to watch how they talk about Trumpian atrocities, because using the wrong words might put off "moderates" -- who never seem to be put off by Trumpian hyperbole, invective, or lies, to hear Chucky tell it.

--TP

A member of a form I was on some 15 or so years ago would complain, when called on some of his over-the-top excesses, about the civility brigade.

I didn't know He, Trump was posting to usenet back then, Charles.

--TP

GftNC,

I must confess I have always admired the civility of British invective.

"It depends on whether I embrace the Honourable Gentleman's principles or his mistress."

"If you were my wife, I'd drink it."

"If he fell into the Thames that would be a misfortune. If someone fished him out again, that would be a calamity."

How is civility doing in the UK, these days? Invective-wise, I mean?

--TP

"....because using the wrong words might put off "moderates" -- who never seem to be put off by Trumpian hyperbole, invective, or lies...."

Indeed. I have never been bothered by being called a "murderer" (wrt abortion politics), commie, "marxist" (psuedo, Frankfort school, or any other of the endless varieties), "un-american"(yes, no Chingachgook blood in my veins), or "union thug".

This is because I am the real moderate.

Similarly, people like Trump should take no offense at being called fascist pieces of shit.

Chuck Todd was not "nasty or personal". Heaven forfend! No, he simply chided AOC on the grounds that Democrats (especially, of course, young women Democrats) have to watch how they talk about Trumpian atrocities, because using the wrong words might put off "moderates"

Ah, I see I seriously misinterpreted your post. Sorry.

I would say that it is true that using the "wrong" words might put off moderates. But merely referring to Trump's concentration camps as such doesn't seem to me to be particularly immoderate. Now saying that they indicate that Trump (and his minions) are the embodiment of evil** and are deliberately trying to re-enact the Holocaust would be a different thing. But just calling the camps what they are? Not really.

** In many ways, I think there is a better case to be made that here, as in so many ways, Trump is merely a wanna-be. Stephen Miller may actually achieve it, but Trump? Not so much.

I didn't know He, Trump was posting to usenet back then, Charles.

The person in question was a second generation Mexican with, perhaps, anger issues. :)

GftNC, I will be going, just checking what tickets I can get. Did you see the Rolling Thunder Revue movie on Netflix? Great memories, I saw them at the Astrodome in 75.

Oh good....

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/19/nuclear-weapons-pentagon-us-military-doctrine
The Pentagon believes using nuclear weapons could “create conditions for decisive results and the restoration of strategic stability”, according to a new nuclear doctrine adopted by the US joint chiefs of staff last week.

The document, entitled Nuclear Operations, was published on 11 June, and was the first such doctrine paper for 14 years. Arms control experts say it marks a shift in US military thinking towards the idea of fighting and winning a nuclear war – which they believe is a highly dangerous mindset.

“Using nuclear weapons could create conditions for decisive results and the restoration of strategic stability,” the joint chiefs’ document says. “Specifically, the use of a nuclear weapon will fundamentally change the scope of a battle and create conditions that affect how commanders will prevail in conflict.”...

"concentration camps"

if you have to write pages of text that amount to "close enough!" to defend your description, then the description is not working.

and

if your description of something is controversial enough to become a popular topic of discussion, then it is distracting attention from the argument you're trying to make.

but sure, go ahead, call me a "moderate" - as if that means anything anymore, either.

I suppose she could have made the same point by calling them "internment camps". Japanese-Americans, at least, would have much the same negative reaction.

"witch hunt"

All you have to do is repeat it, not explain it. And if you're He, Trump -- who has the best words -- nobody will call you out for inappropriate historical allusion. Everybody knows "witch hunts" were A Bad Thing, uhmkay?

--TP


i'm not up for following Trump's lead

Tony P: just back from a 48 hour flying visit to the North Country, and haven't even had a chance to go back and see what's happened on this thread since last I looked, but you asked for civil invective and I knew I should be able to dig up a contemporary example for you. Here's Matthew Parris, who used to be a Tory MP, on Boris Johnson and those who support him. As well as calling him "this sordid opportunist", he discusses how people who once seemed to have principles can slide inexorably to the dark side, a subject of interest to all of us with regard to US politics too:

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2019/06/why-are-sensible-tories-backing-boris-johnson/

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