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April 04, 2021

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The process of never acknowledging the speaker, but calling them out is an old rhetorical gambit.

A lot like calling someone a loser behind two or three layers of indirection. If you can't play the lawyer game well, "we call them losers."

"How high?"

Charles, what did YOU mean?

I'm guessing you meant what you have consistently held here for years, that you prefer gridlock no matter which party is in power and in every instance except if we were to wake up tomorrow with your preferred "good" government in power, a sharply curtailed, mostly inert thing, rarely heard from and barely funded.

Barely a grid to lock.

I'm picturing Charles' libertarianism coming forth nude on a giant scallop shell, as pure and as perfect as a pearl, birthed anew and never before seen. (That's partially plagiarized.)

Admittedly, I don't come by my attitude about gridlock out of thin air. Gridlock is a recurring theme in libertarian venues. And, as McKinney suggested, I apply it to both sides.

The Republicans want to cut some taxes and spend. The Democrats want to raise taxes and spend.

Nice for me, at least in the short run, having stimmies dropping into my bank account. But, sooner or later, there has to be a reckoning. Much higher taxes and inflation with a risk of hyperinflation. Something will have to give. TANSTAAFL.

Public nudity is one tenet of Libertarianism I might be able to get with, though in Charles' individual case regulation may well be called for.

Oh, my eyes!

See, that's not ad hominem, that's a joke.

Nudus hominem.

Charles, what did YOU mean?

I posted before refreshing.

I would prefer a good government. And less of it.

Congress was supposed to be first among equals. But, in recent decades, it prefers to pass vague, overly broad laws and give the responsibility to the executive to flesh them out and write the regulations. That and executive orders create a lot of regime uncertainty that is a drag on the economy and society in general.

See, that's not ad hominem, that's a joke.

Me and people my age lolling about nude would be no joke.

Maybe gross-out humor.

Maybe gross-out humor.

I was about to ask: "But how many adolescents do we have here?" Then I reconsidered.

The process of never acknowledging the speaker, but calling them out is an old rhetorical gambit. It's meant to try and get everyone else to gang up on them yet maintain plausible deniability. It is kind of the opposite of good faith.

Ok, I'm not a big fan of mind-reading, but I'll go out on a limb and call this projection. But it's true, I've never, not once at ObWi acknowledged you or your existence and for that, I apologize.*

For everyone else at ObWi, if any of you think I am asking you to pile on, to join me in criticizing someone--as opposed to me simply criticizing someone for acting like a jerk IMO--feel free to call it to my attention. I'll address your comments substantively and if and when that happens.

instead of trying to start a fight between two other people, why don't you say 'gee, I think that was a bit harsh, I'm sure Charles prefers good government over gridlock'.

Thanks for making my point. Again.

BTW, just so you know where I'm coming from, you can light me up in your own, inimitable style, all you want and it is highly unlikely I will respond. Life is too short and your points are just too silly to bother with. The exception is if you happen to beclown yourself more than usual, I may not be able to resist taking a shot. Sorry in advance for that.

However, if I think you are being a shit to someone else, I will say so, assuming I have the time. Which I had some of today, but not a lot. So, take your best shot. Beware of ricochets.

*Am I being too subtle here?

McTX: Anyone with the intellectual wherewithal to comment here is capable of looking past the universal and very common lack of perfect communication and determining the writer's likely intent.

OTOH, many writers will respond with "Stop putting words in my mouth" any time we infer, from their actual text, an implication they find embarrassing.

I suspect that in McKinney's legal experience, the "I know what you meant but you said it wrong" criticism is fairly common in, say, contract disputes.

--TP

I suspect that in McKinney's legal experience, the "I know what you meant but you said it wrong" criticism is fairly common in, say, contract disputes.

Insightful. Here's the difference: in most contract cases, the lawyers are being paid $500/hr or more to pay very careful attention to what they are doing, not commenting on the fly at a blog. They still f it up a lot (I'm briefing that right now, as it happens). But, still, a good point, which is why I think the better, more productive approach is to ask for clarification.

CharlesWT:

Congress was supposed to be first among equals. But, in recent decades, it prefers to pass vague, overly broad laws and give the responsibility to the executive to flesh them out and write the regulations. That and executive orders create a lot of regime uncertainty that is a drag on the economy and society in general.

Michael Cain:

But you don't get gridlock. You get all the changes that the executive branch can make using EOs, the rule-making authority of the various agencies, and the DOJ making choices about not only which cases to pursue, but which side to be on. IIRC, there are a couple of Supreme Court cases in which the DOJ was invited to make arguments and the Biden DOJ has asked for a delay because they want to oppose the side that the Trump DOJ supported. Trump got tax cuts, then four years worth of rolling back regulations. Biden got Covid relief, and if Manchin and Sinema are to be believed, will get four years of changing regulations.

It looks like Charles and MC have somewhat similar views on what legislative gridlock really means. Stuff still happens, just by different, less-desirable means. Charles seems to like it more, though.

It looks like Charles and MC have somewhat similar views on what legislative gridlock really means. Stuff still happens, just by different, less-desirable means. Charles seems to like it more, though.

From the perspective of someone trying to run a business, having a predictable environment is very desirable. Which means that, in general, legislation is preferable. Just because it takes longer to enact, and (more importantly) longer to change, laws. Regulations, as we saw in the last administration, can be abruptly changed if someone comes into office who has very different ideas of how the world ought to be run.

That desire for stability and predictability is why, for example, auto manufacturers decided to simply ignore the previous administration's determination to relax pollution emission standards. Better to stick with the prior regulations, however un-fond of them they were, than to put effort into creating something to take advantage of the relaxation. Only to have it made worthless in a few years when the regulations were restored.

However, if I think you are being a shit to someone else, I will say so, assuming I have the time.

No, you won't. You'll keep trying to have your cake and eat it too with a steady menu of back-handed lines until someone with a lot more patience than I draws you out. And even then, you don't defend gridlock, you simply try to make the case that I'm misreading what Charles said. David Koch was considered a libertarian stalwart. As wj noted, the difference between being a libertarian who is standing on principles and being a billionaire who wants to harness gridlock to not have to be taxed is non-existent.

You could have simply said 'I think that is unfair to Charles'. You didn't. What am I to infer from that? As you said 'that you can't resist taking a shot'. So you aren't interested in advancing the discussion. QED.

I urge you to point out when you think I'm being too harsh with someone else. (Anyone else is also invited to, that's part of what give and take on a blog means.) It would nice to be having you participate here in some other mode than drive by, though I supposed dropping in to defend someone is better than dropping in to attack someone. But, as I've pointed out before, while formally, attacking me is the same as defending Charles, functionally, there is a difference. To me, it seems that you are just indicating that you can't acknowledge me and nothing short of mind reading can tell me why that is. Especially as you don't seem to have time to engage in anything else. If you don't want me to engage in mind reading, go an extra step and explain why gridlock is a good thing, especially in this Covid era. I'm sure there's a good discussion there. But pretending to be a knight errant to protect the commentariat from me beclowning them won't do that.

No complaints from me. From my point of view, gridlock is often better than the alternatives.

Well, I would guess that from a libertarian standpoint a gridlocked government that does nothing is preferable to any government doing something insofar as doing much of anything is a departure from the libertarian ideals.

however,....to continue-the efficacy of that view from a standpoint of effective political decision-making and government policy seems problematical at best.

The party that has a clear popular mandate should be able to rule, even if it is the fucking Republican Party. The problem of gridlock arises out of different factors than mere popularity...institutional arrangements that actually work to promote it.

Charles has a sad because Congress has "ceded" it pre-eminent power. I would agree the power shift is indeed real. Perhaps he could enlighten us as to why we observe this development.


But, in recent decades, it prefers to pass vague, overly broad laws and give the responsibility to the executive to flesh them out and write the regulations

This is just laudy-dah warmed over nondelegation doctrine. It is, to put it bluntly, a pernicious concept.

Charles has a sad because Congress has "ceded" it pre-eminent power.

a system that allows itself to be change will change.

libertarians should invent a system that can't change, if that's what they want.

Something will have to give.

But it has not. Please explain why.

It also occurs to me that gridlock, from the fever swamp of your inflationary fears, is the worst possible outcome. To overly simplify like any good libertarian would: If the GOP rules, they cut taxes and cut spending. If the Dems rule, they raise taxes and increase spending.

In gridlock we get the "worst" of both possible approaches. Big spending. Lower taxes.

So tell me again how great it is.

I supposed dropping in to defend someone is better than dropping in to attack someone.

Cor blimey, I made my comment to McKinney (who may have disappeared by now) on the golf thread before I caught up on this thread. Nobody has ever explained to me why blog etiquette (which I have gathered) scorns "mind-reading" so much, so here goes. I am astonished by the combative nature of McKinney's responses in the last few hours, and not just to lj (with whom he has a notably difficult relationship, to put it mildly). He recently claimed that he had not been "stung" (my word) by a recent discussion in which we had discussed his adversarial style, but his actions since put the lie to this. In fact, most of his comments recently on this thread read like pure retaliation against a commentariat some of whom he thinks have unfairly characterised, or attacked him. Crikey O'Reilly, look within for a change McKinney. A pretence that all you are after is substantive, logical argument is wearing pretty thin.

And, FWIW, I suggest anyone who thinks my comment is "overwrought" should also look at McKinney's comment, and the 3 comments above it, on the "Urge to Make a Buck" thread.

I'm sympathetic to the view that it shouldn't be too easy to pass legislation. (There are some interesting comments here on incentives for government to do foolish things.)

But gridlock in Congress is exactly the wrong way to make it harder. Bills are passed through budget reconciliation, which was used to explode the deficit in 2001, 2017, and this year, only the last with any sort of economic justification. And it would have been used to pass the thoroughly stupid and destructive ""Health Care Freedom Act" had three R senators not voted on the side of sense. The reconciliation mechanism ensures that anything that does get passed will be wholly partisan.

When it comes to appointments, gridlock has created the absurd situation that the less popular party has a 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court, with none of the recent Justices being anywhere near the centre.

Now anyone who believes in democracy recognises that fair voting is a priority. So there will be a bipartisan voting act? In my dreams there will.

It's telling that corporations are coming out against voter suppression. They want low corporation taxes, but even more important than that to them is getting a sane Republican Party. Which is impossible if the Party thinks it can steal power with support in the low forties.

If you want restrained legislation, the current system is precisely the wrong way to get it.

GftNC: Who, do you imagine, is going to think you're "overwrought"? Certainly not I.

McKinney said my arguments about the new GA law were overwrought, if I am remembering correctly.

Ahhhh, I had either missed or forgotten that. I should have known. Drive-by epithets a specialty. ;-)

Charles WT is too nice. He was in no way unclear.

I agree that Charles is a very nice guy, and also that he was clear.

I responded “how do you know” because we don’t completely know what the result of laws and policies will be until they’re in place. We can try to think forward and anticipate how they will play out, but we don’t know.

Likewise, we don’t know how “gridlock”, i.e, “do nothing”, will play out until we do nothing and see what happens.

Situations present themselves, we respond to them according to our best understanding and what we think is good and appropriate. We can’t anticipate everything, so we do our best. And then, when we discover things that aren’t playing out that well, we do our best to address those.

“Do nothing” is not a guarantee of success. It’s not even a guarantee of the status quo. So I’m not sure what it is that Charles is actually preferring.

hence my question.

If the GOP rules, they cut taxes and cut spending

They cut certain spending but afaict the 'saved' money plus extras is spent on different things (and with 'spent' I do not just mean tax cuts), so they also spend more (even if maybe* less more than the Dems at least after Reagan). And let's be generous and not include spending on actual wars like in Iraq.

*too lazy to look up actual numbers, so I may be completely wrong there.

GFTNC, sorry the overwrought was offensive. Not personal, I thought the overall reaction was overwrought. As for the rest, it will have to wait until Friday, hopefully in the morning. Adieu.

Apology accepted, McKinney. And again FWIW, I personally would hate to lose you from ObWi. Generally speaking, I agree with russell, PdM and Pro Bono that you add greatly to our somewhat moth-eaten tapestry.

Underwroughtness can be even more maddening than overwroughtness.

It's always too soon to be overwrought, sez the underwrought.

The underwrought Mr. Spocks among us will give we jittery Captain Kirks the high sign when it is time to become overwrought.

Now?

No, not yet.

When?

After the shots ring out. There will still be time to duck.

When you see me leave the building, then , and only then and with calm, collected demeanors, drop everything and run for your lives.

Kudlowian virus denial. All of those working in Tower #2, please remain at your desks, keep producing and stop gawking at the human debris leaping from Tower #1.

Someone close the blinds, please. Too much overwroughtness on display.

Thank you, and keep in touch.

So many of the underwrought didn't see 1/6/2021 coming.

Others did.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loOWKm8GW6A


Today: Not personal, I thought the overall reaction was overwrought.

April 6, 12:52 pm:

And, with that said, let me address your direct question: why are you not "moved" by transparent attempts to disenfranchise certain categories of voters?

I think that if you, for example, read the NYT piece and look at the statutory language, there is nothing facially or substantively that disenfranchises voters of any class or other identifiable description. Therefore, I think your formulation is overwrought. I think much of the reaction to these new laws is overwrought.

An explicit statement about "your" reaction in addition to "much of" the reaction.

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2021/04/12/mcconnell-to-17th-amendment-drop-dead/

America was founded upon a tidal wave of overwroughtness and then renewed during the Civil War by the overwrought against those who were underwrought regarding slavery and secession from the Union.

What is once again required is an explosion of overwroughtness, that watery substance that feeds the tree of liberty.

A Republic, if you can maintain the overwrought energy to keep it.

I notice the suspects counseling that the rest of remain underwrought at some point became overwrought enough in their lives to arm themselves to the gills.

The voting franchise is being stolen right out from under our noses.

A Republic, if you can maintain the overwrought energy to keep it.

I notice the suspects counseling that the rest of remain underwrought at some point became overwrought enough in their lives to arm themselves to the gills.

The voting franchise is being stolen right out from under our noses.

Hard to argue with a word of this.

Janie, thank you for your 12.21, I vaguely remembered this, but I believe McKinney may now be thinking better of it - since he is currently working through his attitude about ad hominem remarks.

As it happens, I had of course read the NYT piece and looked at the statutory language. But I made the (imaginative? I don't think so) leap that if a longtime state R legislature had passed an unnecessary law (since the recent election had been deemed free and fair) straight after they had narrowly lost 2 federal elections, such that they gave themselves hitherto unavailable power to reverse future elections, they were positioning themselves to be able to prevent such a thing happening again.

Speaking personally, phrases like "on the face of it" raise my suspicions. lj's explanation of the concept of "functionality" makes sense to me although I had never heard the term. In the real world, as opposed to in a literal, parsing interpretation, one has to assume that if a power is bestowed, it may be used.

The voting franchise is being stolen right out from under our noses.

Hard to argue with a word of this.

I'd argue that, while an attempt is indeed being made to steal the voting franchise, the implication is wrong.

The phrase "stolen right out from under our noses" conveys, to me, the implication that it is happening and is succeeding because we aren't even noticing. Whereas today we definitely are noticing. And fighting it.

The big money guns aren't really fighting:

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/big-business-is-sticking-with-the-republican-party-190225636.html

Feigning notice, perhaps, to play both sides.

Annoyingly pedantic clarifying addendum to my 04.00 above: ad hominem (as it applies to me) in the sense that the word "overwrought" is usually used these days to mean over-emotional or hysterical, usually of a woman.

GftNC, about your wondering about mind reading, I've had the same thoughts and I think there are two things involved. The first is that it is culturally bound. My ability to participate in Japanese boards is far below my ability to do so in English, but I've never come across a fight about mind reading there. The whole idea of Japanese culture is that you are supposed to read minds. 'Omotenashi' is a new buzz word here and it essentially mean mind-reading. Here are two articles pro vs con
https://metropolisjapan.com/omotenashi/

https://metropolisjapan.com/defense-omotenashi/

It's no surprise that the first author is a Japanese raised overseas and the second is born and raised in Japan. The whole point of Japanese communication is that you are supposed to understand what the other person is saying without having them write it all out.

Unfortunately, everything can be gamed, including this. Often times, when involved in arguments where there is not going to be any compromise, this call for 'mind reading' often is used to avoid honesty and compromise. I was involved in supporting a group that was dealing with the Ministry of Education. The university had listed the foreign teachers as full-time faculty, but when it came time to grant them tenure, they insisted that they were hired on contracts (even though they had never signed anything, a deeper dive into this would require a lot of discussion of Japanese labor law and practice). When problems with the actual records was brought to the labor board, the president said it was an 'akiraka na misu' where akiraka means clear or obvious, but had the nuance of why point that out, everyone knows it was a mistake.

On the other hand, accusations of mindreading can also be gamed, so rather than view them as attempts to understand exactly what the person is trying to say, they are automatically taken as evidence of bad faith. It just underlines that every strength is a weakness and every weakness is a strength.

While I'm on this, a grad school teacher, Thom Givon, was big in functional linguistics and his argument was that sciences like Physics and math are based on axioms (like say gravity) that are true 100% of the time, but linguistics was a science more like biology, in that it is functional (rather than formalism, in biology, the concept opposing functionalism is structuralism and it is a good place to read up about it)

As a functionalist, one of the biggest dangers I see with it is that it is very easy to settle for half measures. If I'm teaching and I come up with something that gets a student to getting things right 80% of the time, I'm down with that, even if it rounds off some edges. But what if it is getting 80% of the students to learn it? Things start to get tricky.

On the other hand, the formalist/structuralist aims for some rule that covers 100%. The thing is, if a formalist settles for 80%, it seems to be a bit more of a stepdown.

As a functionalist, I see the allure of finding a rule(s) that work 100% of the time and I would love to be able to. But I also think everything is messier than you think.

Frankly, I tend not to get too overwrought about my inability to read minds or use the word "substantive" in every other sentence.

You have nothing to worry about GFTNC, nor apologize for.

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