Sunday assorted links


4. they are white so every insult to them is politically correct and even encouraged

You should rejoice when the NYT is reduced to playing the "Have you no decency" card. It means we're on the right track.

Socialism is rightly despised, and the left owns it.

You libertarian cucks still have hard-on for Singapore's socialism housing.

I nominate this for worst paragraph (plus a little) of the year:

"It may be amusing to hear Republicans assert that a military kleptocracy like Venezuela is a socialist country because its government uses that word when lying about itself (rather in the way that North Korea claims to be a people’s democratic republic). It may make one wince to see Senator Bernie Sanders obliged (as he was on Monday at a town hall hosted by CNN) to explain once more that the totalitarian statism of the Soviet Union had nothing to do with the (far older) tradition of democratic socialist thought. But fair’s fair, it’s not much less bizarre to hear a “progressive” like Julián Castro, the former housing secretary, assert that “socialism” simply means state seizure of all the means of production...

Well — only in America, as they say."

Yes it's hilarious to hear people say things that are absolutely true but you wish they weren't. HI-larious! Only in America do they say obviously true things I guess!

Since this sort of "only in America" stuff is so pathetically commonplace, here's the Oxford English Dictionary, composed and edited in Europe, on the relevant words:

A theory or policy of social organization which aims at or advocates the ownership and control of the means of production, capital, land, property, etc., by the community as a whole, and their administration or distribution in the interests of all.

democratic socialism
A form of socialism pursued by democratic rather than autocratic or revolutionary means

Accordingly, Julián Castro, in fact, is completely correct when he said socialism means seizure of the means of production.

And, so, we can and must conclude:

1) Mr. Hart is either a deliberately lying propagandist or astonishingly ignorant about socialism.

2) The editors that ran his propaganda were either deliberately perpetrating lies or astonishingly ignorant about socialism.

3) The publishers who employ those editors either are unobjecting to the use of their property to propagandize for the seizure of their presses and web servers, or astonishingly ignorant about socialism.

Lunatic, if that be your name, George Orwell called himself a democratic socialist. I know this might be taxing, but the way to find out what people are about is to look at what they support. It shouldn't be hard to find the evidence for calling for the total control of the means of production, which I haven't heard a lot of people calling for. On the other hand, if you're a Trump supporter, you probably aren't much interested in what candidates say they're going to do, even if they call it a contract. Everyday, I reread Trump's Contract with the American voter, a plan promised to be implemented in 100 days. Maybe he meant 100 years. He said..." FIRST, propose a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress." He can't even get past first. It's a hilarious read.
★ FOURTH, a five-year ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service.
★ FIFTH, a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.
★ SIXTH, a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections.

It's a ripping good yarn

Yes, George Orwell called himself a democratic socialist. Because he was entirely in favor of collective ownership of the means of production. As was, for example, the Labour Party of his era, with the explicit declaration in Clause IV of the party constitution that it was for "the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange". Orwell was far too careful about his words to call himself a "socialist" while merely wanting moderately better welfare programs.

Anyone who calls himself a socialist is calling for collective ownership of the means of production, because that's what socialism is. He doesn't need to spell it out, any more than someone who says "I'm a Catholic" needs to specifically spell out that he accepts the Nicene Creed. If he then says, "Well, no, I don't actually believe that", it indicates either ignorance or deceit on his part, not that the word means something else.

As far as Trump, he's a jackass whom I have never supported, and has nothing to do with the nature of socialism. But good try at a distraction.

Lunatic, show me where someone is proposing that. There are many people who call themselves Catholics who have different opinions about what that entails. The same is true of liberalism, conservatism, libertarianism, anarchism, capitalism, etc. Forget what they call themselves, and see what they are actually proposing. When someone says I'm a libertarian, I'm never sure what they mean until I read what they actual say that entails. Orwell said
“The Spanish war and other events in 1936-37 turned the scale and thereafter I knew where I stood. Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it.”

In his review of Hayek, he attacks collectivism. My point is that he had his own idiosyncratic view of democratic socialism, not reducible to your demands for one ring to rule them all definitions. It's intellectually lazy not to read what people say they are for, and your "poisoning the well" version of defining beliefs as one specific version is laughable. I'm glad you think Trump is a jackass, and that does speak well of you, but this obsession with narrow definitions of political beliefs you need to get over.

There are many people who call themselves Catholics who have different opinions about what that entails.

Yes, there are, which is why I referred specifically to the Nicene Creed, the statement of faith from the very founding of the Catholic Church as a distinct, unified corporate body, rather than something else. I apologize for expecting that you would understand the point. While some people go "I call myself a Catholic, therefore anything I believe is Catholicism", this is obviously a ludicrous position in purely linguistic terms. The Humpty Dumpty position put out by Carroll is not serious, it is a satire.

And Orwell does not attack collectivism in his review of Hayek. He acknowledges that it can be abused, and then declares it superior to capitalism anyway. To quote Orwell's review: "[Hayek] does not see, or will not admit, that a return to ‘free’ competition means for the great mass of people a tyranny probably worse, because more irresponsible, than that of the State."

Maybe if whites stopped committing all kinds of terrorism, people won't talk about it anymore. Things happen for a reason, you know.

So you mean when they stop being a large set of humans.

4.) " fancies running the T.S.A.’s gantlet of gropers again, there’s no escape."

Difficult to take a person who opens their piece with stuff like this seriously.

I agree. Gropers, suety faces, wobbling jowls, wow. And aren't those "gropers" often members of the working poor that he purports to care so much about. What a mean, mean person. Hard to see past his cruelty to any arguments he might be making.

Very leaden prose, and fairly well trod ground. Still, for whatever reason Tyler uses this as a scaffold for his question, it's a good question.

Why is the compassionate party considered irreligious, and why is he religious party considered uncompassionate?

why is the religious party considered uncompassionate?

If by "religious party" you mean Republicans they are considered uncompassionate because they are.

And if Tyler wants to criticize professed Christians for hypocrisy there are more prominent targets than that guy, but they are on the right.

If by "religious party" you mean Republicans they are considered uncompassionate because they are.

Well, when 'compassion' means what it usually means in this country (to make life more comfortable for hoodlums, incorrigibles, sexual deviants, illegal aliens, the continually aggrieved, and the contrivedly helpless as well as to provide job opportunities for school administrators and social workers - especially the sort of opportunities which don't require they accomplish anything) we can collectively benefit from less compassion. (Not to mention some condign punishment for the soi-disant 'compassionate').

I think you kinda fell for it there.

You redefined the needy as the undeserving, because that's what you do.

(Maybe a theologian could help me out, but I don't think Jesus said "find the perfect and help them.")

Did he say "encourage the wicked to be more wicked and never question or "shame" them"?

You can be pragmatic in your compassion, but I don't think the first step in that is to oppose compassion, because people are bad, or must be shamed instead.

Some things for Trump Christians to consider:

1. Thou shalt not bear false witness. (listening, Ms. Sanders?)

2. "I was a stranger and you invited me in" etc.

Christians. Right.

Committing adultery is supposed to be a big one for Team Jesus. It was popular for that side to be angry at Bill Clinton when he did it. When Trump did it, nothing. Power over principle.

Who was on that team might have changed a bit over 20 years.

Leaving aside the main reasons in reality of bias in media organs, a tendency to the narcissism of small differences and ingroup:outgroup dynamics....

I think you seem to suggest an idea of religion in which compassion - kindness and charity - is the defining trait of religious practice. But religion, even narrowly considering Christian religion, has many values besides this; it exhorts people to live a morally upright life in service of God, and to be of service to their immediate community and family.

This is super basic stuff. By this point it's not a very interesting question IMO.

Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism Reprint Edition
by Arthur C. Brooks

Why do we take seriously the notion that patting every person down is a serious security measure? I just got back from Japan- a very first world country- where I got to walk through the metal detector with my shoes on, AND even got to bring through a bottle of water! It was so nice. A few years ago, security in Belfast allowed me to bring a bottle of Jameson's on the plane with me after scanning it separately (I had forgotten I had it with me and thought I would have to throw it out).

I love the USA, and am happy to live here, but this unquestioning acceptance of our very stupid airport security might be the worst part about our country.

We don't pat everyone down in the US. We pat down those who produce ambiguous results in the screening machine.

Which happens about half the time I go through the metal detectors! Could someone explain to me why only the US is so uptight about this stuff? I

We also pat them down if they have funny names and their skin tone is a shade darker than Mediterranean. Now that terrorists are trending white these days may be some changes will be afloat.

3. This guy has a fair following on YouTube, and not just among woodworkers or sawyers. He's kind of a Mr. Rodgers, with a comfortable voice and simple pleasures. His voice only gets the slightest bit of tension in it when, as we drive along in his truck, and sees "people out in the world wearing pajamas and house shoes." He sees it as connected to a certain decline, and most of us viewers agree.

4. I love his argument: The TSA is appalling! And everything in our economy should be run by the people who run it.

And as for the author's Christianity, Eugene Genovese wrote about it (and Mayor Pete's much self-touted Christianity as well) in 1992:

"[I]f God is a socially conscious political being whose views invariably correspond to our own prejudices on every essential point of doctrine, he demands of us no more than our politics require. Besides, if God is finite, progressive, and Pure Love, we may as well skip church next Sunday and go to the movies. For if we have nothing to fear from this all-loving, all-forbearing, all-forgiving God, how would our worship of him constitute more than self-congratulation for our own moral standards? As an atheist, I like this God. It is good to see him every morning while I am shaving”

Except, of course, for the obvious fact that "]f God is a socially conscious political being whose views invariably correspond to our own prejudices on every essential point of doctrine" or it would not be true doctrine.

The rest of (deplorable) America needs to be enlightened like San Francisco where one is fined $300 for not pooper-scooping after the dog. And, humans defecate at will in the streets. Where plastic straws are outlawed and the moral-superiors pass out free plastic syringes.

The way things are going they'll get hold of Trumps tax returns (take six months to find someone that can analyze them) and discover he is due a refund.

Morons led by insane people.

Actually, Brazil has applied strict laws against dog's poop. "Order and Progress" is Brazil's motto.

Well, "billions and zillions" is my motto, but they never seem to arrive.

It is different. President Captain Bolsonaro has given us order. Progress will follow.

Even the parrots in Brazil have been turned into gangsters by Brazil's utterly corrupt human culture:

You are taking it from context. Brazilians like bright-colored birds Zé (Joe) Carioca, for example, is a Brazilian parrot. That specific bird happened to be owned by criminals. The bird is not bad, it was co-opted by the criminal gang. The only reason that fact has been revealed is President Captain Bolsonaro's herculean war against crime. Has Trumped locked her up already?

I wouldn't be surprised if you're actually a parrot. And a parrot is more intelligent than any of Brazil's presidents. Sad.

Good thing we don't have to choose between SanFran and SlackJaw Nation.

4. I see you don't know much about Christianity. Check out the Christian concept of hell:

My concept of hell might be trapped in the boarding area of a smallish airport in the upper Midwest with David Bentley Hart.

I agree. What a mean-spirited guy. I guess we'd just sit there while he issued ad hominem attacks on the appearance of anyone who ambled by...

"Hell is other people." Sartre

Quite likely to be the opinion of anybody who has to spend much time around you, Dick.

+1. This is the only snark I've ever seen from this account. I thoroughly encourage it.

The hilarious thing about this comment is that DBH is a universalist and even has a book coming out on his views called That All Shall Be Saved.

The point is, we are quite used to Christians doing contemptible things to their fellow human beings. One simple example: as a child my mother was told she had to sleep with her hands above the covers in order to avoid an eternity of torture in hell.

If Americans' appetite for exercising "our unique national genius for stupidity" is as profound as Hart suggests, why does he betray no concern whatsoever with prospective American applications of benign "socialism"?

Hart failed equally to acknowledge that the virulence of "American stupidity" has been amplified by the American system of public education whose performance is overseen by our classes of "cognitive elites" and the cadres of pedagogical bureaucrats we esteem as "teachers".

If Hart has an argument to advance here, he can begin by acknowledging explicitly that Americans are no more apt to institute quasi-socialistic "care and concern" than Americans have been at modeling Christianism using heterodox and/or deficient and derivative Protestant models.

Are you saying Trump is not a Christian? But he said he was!

#4 Running around wearing pink vagina hats and screaming is only slightly more stupid, but it's more fun.

This would be an in-kind contribution to the Committee To Re-Elect Donald J. Trump if anybody read the NYT.

“Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.” ― George Santayana.

Hillary made the same ("deplorables") mistake.

Hart's words (total bull shit btw) drip with condescension and hate, not to mention dishonesty and ignorance as do many comment here about.

5. What an illustration of "temporal velocity"!

Here are these 20-something/30-something scientists embarking on their careers with state-of-the-art tech at their command, while working under the direct inspiration of . . . SF works (novels, chiefly) that date back twenty, thirty, forty, fifty years or more.

(What a distinct pity that our fresh young scientists are not curious enough to investigate more recent science-speculative fare! [Fictional methods and approaches have changed, too!])

What a distinct pity that we never hear of scientists avidly taking to heart criticisms of science, scientists, "scientific method", and the Science Establishment as we find in the work of the late Paul Feyerabend (much of whose work is of much greater relevance to the practice of science in fledgling technocracies and also of far more recent vintage than the works of many a 20th century SF novelist).

Fortunately, the Fed has seen the light.

The real message here is that the Fed really has no more legitimate insight into what they're doing than anyone who reads a newspaper. Like this guy.

It is worse. The Fed is legally bound to hedge treasuries fist, thus assigned a distorted view, by law.

4. Suppose I oppose Socialism. Would I want this puerile tirade to be as widely read as possible?

2. Scott Sumner on who should be nominated to the Fed.


"{Fed} should be a committee composed entirely of experts on monetary policy, and another committee of experts on bank regulation. "

so 'expert central planners & regulators' to run an economic sector.

sounds exactly like Socialism -- which is exactly what it is & what the Federal Reserve system is.

Sumner & TC reflexively disdain any socialist labelingg of their very enlightened viewpoints -- but if it looks/walks/quacks like a duck ...

The Fed employs say 600 (900?) heavily-credentialed economists, and they can't get it right.

What's the solution? Hire 600 more or fire all of them?

It's not socialism. They let the bankers think they own the banks.

Actually, it has long been rumored that what Tyler himself wants is exactly that, for Scott Sumner to be nominated for the Fed. He clearly thinks Sumner is the most insightful and wisest macroeconomist in the nation. Funny then that he is posting on what Sumner thinks about it all, and curiously a piece posted yesterday that looks like it was written when it was between Yellen and Summers to replac Bernanke. Oh well.

A whole lot of American lefties thought Venezuela was socialist before they realized what an abject failure it was going to turn out to be. And a couple of years back Vox (that notorious alt-right site) wrote this:

The move [seizing GM's only Venezuelan plant] shouldn’t come as a shock. Venezuela’s socialist government has nationalized significant swathes of the private sector before, which has involved picking confrontational and often costly legal battles with large foreign companies like Exxon. Under former President Hugo Chavez, for instance, the government seized Spanish-owned banks and American rice mill.

So let's review. The 'United Socialists of Venezuela' call themselves socialists. American lefties have called them socialist. The have a history of nationalizing industries. And yet they are no longer to be labelled 'socialist' because socialism is no more than: ordinary, rather general term for sane and compassionate governance of the public purse for the purpose of promoting general welfare and a more widespread share in national prosperity.

As opposed to non-socialists who (we must infer) are in favor of insane and sadistic governance of the public purse for the purpose of retarding the general welfare and concentrating the shrinking pie into an ever smaller number of hands.

I guess it's a good thing I'm not a practicing Christian because David Bentley Hart's writing made my contempt levels spike rather sharply.

4. The US has a population of 325 million people. The US median income is far greater than that of its large European counterparts.

Take the healthiest large-socially democratic economy which is Germany. Their middle class is 9k dollars poorer than the US. That means they are 25 percent poorer than the US middle class.

So once again arguing that democratic socialism is ethical and just is an absolute horror show of an argument. The emperor has no clothes.....

And comparing the US middle class to the other large European nations is the biggest Joke. The U.K., France, Italy and Spain are arguably 2nd world countries compared to the US.

Actually, if you look at monthly average wages for full-time workers across the whole economy levels in Europe are not lower to the US's. ( In Germany gross average wages in 2018 were 3,880 euros, which has the purchasing power of 5,146 dollars (, compared to gross average wages in the US of 4,194 dollars in 2017. So German wages were about 20-25% higher than in the US. In France, gross average wages were 2,957 euros, which is 3,811 dollars in PPP.

It is true they pay higher taxes but higher taxes means they have access to more public amenities. So your claim that "U.K., France, Italy and Spain are arguably 2nd world countries compared to the US" is just ignorant jingoism.

In many ways the US is the LEAST developed major developed country: it has the lowest life expectancy of all developed countries, some of the worst education, the worst violence, and (more important of all) the worst food. These factors are as important in influencing the utility of the people living in a country as average incomes.

No I’m sorry but Germany, France, Italy, UK are poorer than the US. Their middle classes have a worse standard of living. There’s just no other way to look at it.

The median income of Americans is somewhere between 25 and 45 percent higher than the median income of Germany, Spain, Italy, France, and U.K.

The fact that the US has horrible diets, terrible architecture, awful government, and horrible food doesn’t change the fact that the US is a far wealthier nation with a much higher standard of living than Germany, Italy, UK, France and Spain.

The US is also much larger, more diverse ethnically, racially, and takes on much poorer immigrants with very low levels of education as a percentage of total immigrants.

All of these factors only further the importance of the market system in the US-not dampen it.

We absolutely should be focused on the private allocation of capital in our country. It works wonders for us and allows us to be a type of nation state that is without comparison to any other country in the world.

325 million people-65k median household income....

Don't forget that the US military is protecting these countries, an arrangement that will not go on forever.

"It is true they pay higher taxes but higher taxes means they have access to more public amenities. "

Don't care. I don't want 'public amenities' I want wealth. I also want good healthcare and for all its flaws the US healthcare system is far superior to all or almost all of the alternatives.

The US military is sometimes protecting, but more often stirring trouble. Public amenities are wealth.
As a physician in the US who has received treatment here and in England, I prefer the NHS as a patient.

Amenities are not MY wealth and the US military is absolutely protecting these countries who can then plow the money they didn't spend on guns into welfarism.

"As a physician in the US who has received treatment here and in England, I prefer the NHS as a patient."

Then you're a fool. The NHS is a disaster and has inferior cancer survival rates.

Productivity, and labour share of productivity, is about the same between Germany and the US though (also roughly the case comparing the US with any well developed European country north of the Alps though, except the UK).

Wealth bonus for Americans is pretty much solely attributable to you guys working more hours, rather than any other feature of your system.

The American Middle Class is better off, but at the cost of less leisure time, which seems to be the choice you want to make.

Germany isn't following a Social Democracy model anyway, though, so this doesn't have much to do with Social Democracy.

Also more bad news...your average monthly wage list is denominated in dollars. So actually Germany is at 3,330dollars after you convert from Euros and the US is 4883 in dollars. So Average German workers are 29 percent poorer than American workers. But I hate average income stats. Better to play by the rules and use median income stats.... so well just leave it that the median German household is 25 percent poorer compared to the US...

David Bentley Hart is one of the rudest Christians you possibly run into. He's worse in person. (Look up any of the Q&A sessions after his lectures on youtube.)

#4... Isn't Ben Stein an actor/comedian? His father, Herb Stein, was an excellent economist, but Ben is no Herb. I notice his comment doesn't seem to bother people commenting, even though the comment is insulting and asinine. I watched it, and bringing up Venezuela was pure poisoning the well. I also watched another interview where he was much better, so maybe it has to do with what the interviewer wants.

I'd never heard of David Bentley Hart, but, looking him up, he does have an impressive list of writings. I can't speak for Christianity, but his comments were demeaning and insulting, and off the chart angry for simply hearing idiocy on television. I did read a review of Maurice Cowling by him that was pretty good.

But I do have to wonder why this oped was considered irksome enough to be singled out from the deluge of similar comments spewing out from television and newspapers today, all day.

Let me add a comment, off topic, from Herb Stein that mentions Henry Simons, two men far above the two previously mentioned...

"For years I have gone around with Henry Simon’s dictum in my head that extreme inequality of income is “unlovely.” I now think that he had it backward. I would say that a distribution of income that I find unlovely is extreme. But, of course, as the word unlovely suggests, such judgments are highly personal. I don’t find the richness of the very rich unlovely, and so I don’t find it extreme.

But I do find the poverty of the very poor unlovely, and so I find it extreme. Poverty is a relative concept. The poor in America are not poor by the standards of Bangladesh. But their poverty is not measured by the contrast between their incomes and that of Bill Gates. That comparison is irrelevant. We do not consider a person handicapped if he cannot run as fast as Carl Lewis. We consider him handicapped if he cannot walk as easily as the average person. Similarly we consider a person poor by comparison with average Americans, not with Bill Gates.

What makes poverty in America unlovely to me is not only a low level of income. It is the association of that condition with a high probability of being either a crime victim or a criminal, of attending an unsafe and disorderly school, of living in an atmosphere of drug and alcohol abuse and, most of all, of not having a supportive spouse or two caring parents. All people with low incomes do not have these problems, and some with higher incomes do have them. But the association of these problems with lowness of income is close enough to describe the condition of poverty that I find unlovely. That condition deserves, in my opinion, our most intensive care. I believe that the present focus on inequality of income diverts national attention from it.

But I recognize that this is a personal view and that others, perhaps better informed or less sentimental, may evaluate the situation differently."

This is my view as well.

You'll find that, if you politely ignore some of his kookier views, Ben is just as thoughtful as his father, and a better writer.

1 - I'm sure I was not the only one who when i heard of the deaths I thought immediately how important it was to read the new York Times pontificating on the subject.

Praise the Lord! Sunday morning any questions I failed to wonder about are raised and answered!

Further to #4:

TC's framing does not look valid after a consultation with DBH's Wikipedia bio: while TC, et al., seem persuaded that DBH wrote his NYT op-ed as a "Christian", if it's true that DBH self-identifies as a "Democratic Socialist of America", perhaps he wrote as a disaffected but pious democratic socialist.

2. My comment at Sumner's blog: The consensus among economists is that the Fed should not use contractionary monetary policy to deal with asset bubbles. Contractionary monetary policy is used to deal with “inflation”, and asset bubbles are not “inflation”. Inflation occurs when demand outpaces supply, or when consumers believe consumer prices tomorrow will be higher than consumer prices today and increase consumption today in response. In any case, rising asset prices gets a pass; indeed, rising asset prices increases wealth and wealth reflects economic growth and prosperity. What sane person would oppose rising asset prices and prosperity? Trump is judged by whether asset prices are rising or falling, and Cain and Moore, the two candidates he has considered for appointment to the Fed, prefer rising asset prices to falling asset prices. Does Sumner prefer rising or falling asset prices, prosperity or misfortune? Or are the accepted meanings of inflation and prosperity among economists not kept pace with the changes in the economy that have occurred in the past 30-40 years?

Sumner's response: "Your attempts at humor fall flat."

That’s because no one can tell if you’re a serious contributor or just another MR/TMI character*.

*You’re currently 7th in my MR character rankings. Thiago remains my favorite by a wide margin.

Thank you, but I am not a character. I am a person.

Yes hun, we know. You're a special person.

This explains #4 nicely:

4. "Can We Please Relax About ‘Socialism’?"

No. I will not relax in regard to an idea that has brought misery and death to millions even in a diluted form and is championed by a lead candidate of the party likely to capture the White House in 2020 and is supported by legions of airheads who think socialism is 'cool'. FFS do you think we should also relax about fascism?

Not that I think much of Occasio Cortez but she looks if anything like the shy crooked eyed ok looking girl that would have given her left arm the sleep with high school QB me. So no that can’t be why I’m not a fan.

The notion that we have to pretend figures on the left are so much more attractive than they are is a weird flex from the so called egalitarian party.

There are 535 voting members of the US Congress. Yet we hear more from and about freshman representative AOC than any other. We never hear, at a national level, much about Minnesota 4th district Democrat Betty McCollum, holding her position since 2001. The name Nanette Diaz Barragán seldom is heard on the news. You might be able to guess that the Democrat represents the 44th district in California but she's never quoted in the media. Democrat Diana Louise DeGette is currently the U.S. Representative for Colorado's 1st congressional district, serving since 1997, and a Chief Deputy Whip. Unless you're a Washington insider or a Denver resident, you've never heard of her.

The media fixation on AOC targets less than .2% of the US Congress and Yankee citizens are supposed regard these sources of supposed information and opinion as somehow creditable. Of course, they also keep us well-informed of the goings on of the entire British royal family, thank goodness.

We are entertained by AOC. Everything else from the Swamp is a nightmare of ,'been there done that'.

C'mon, Tyler... have you ever seen Christians behave before? Presumably some Christians have opinions on how Christians should behave. Those opinions seem to be as varied as grains of sand on the beach.

#4...I've no reason to focus on Ben Stein other than I just watched a couple of interviews of him where, unless I'm mistaken, he advocated high income taxes on the wealthy and universal health care. Now, how does he get a pass on being labeled a socialist?

"To be trapped in the boarding area of a smallish airport in the upper Midwest is, as often as not, to be subjected to that bestial din of fricatives, gutturals, plosives and shrieks of hysterical alarm that constitutes political discussion on Fox News, pouring incessantly from those obnoxious pendulous ceiling televisions. "

This seems fake-newsish to me: I have been to a lot of airports and the news has always been stuck on CNN. They are in first place there and maybe third or fourth, where people can change the channel.

Yes I agree. I've been to many many airports, a few quite small and located in the Midwest, and all have played CNN.

Yes, CNN, but sometimes in a bar you can find someone nice enough to change it.

Like dbp above, I've never been at an airport where the screens weren't tuned to CNN. Not saying it's a lie, but I doubt it's as ubiquitous as the throwaway line is meant to imply. The rest is bad jokes and ad hominem attacks. I don't shout my contempt at Socialists, I try to be civil - more civil than a political philosophy that usually ends up taking your stuff at the point of a gun or the end of a whip - unless of course you become one of the apparatchiks.

As a former newspaper editor I can't comment on real life, but the complete collapse of the NYT's standards has just been breathtaking (or as the NY Post would say, jaw-dropping)

#5) Apparently even a discussion regarding the vast and deep mysteries of the universe eventually has to pay dutiful homage to some Women-in-STEM theme

Come for the majesty of the cosmos and the complex means by and through which we learn more about it, and stay for the whiny tribalism.

I suspect he's one of those Christians too high-toned or embarrassed to say His name: Jesus.

This was the sentence the Times' elected to highlight in a tweet under their banner this morning:

"The men at Fox News have a sickly obsession with AOC, partly because they resent her cleverness, charisma and moral vitality, but mostly because they suspect that in high school she was one of those girls they had no hope of getting a date with."

Odd that this who-could-get-a-date-in-school framing never gets old (did Millennials even date?). "Your real problem is that you were too ugly to get a date with the likes of her. Sure, you recognized that she was "clever, charismatic, and moral" [they must have caught 'attractive' in the editing and decided they'd used it one too many times] and you admired those qualities in her, but - sorry, you were the sort of guy that got shoved into a locker, and we will always despise you; and that time we declared nerds were cool, we were only f***ing with you."

But I will eat my hat if next week, we get a tweet like this from NYTopinion:

"The women at Fox News have a sickly obsession with Beto, partly because of his strong jaw, partly because of his adorable hair, partly because of his rangy build, partly because of his bedroom eyes, and partly because of his passion and genuineness; but mostly it's just a recognition that, in high school, a guy like that would have been too busy checking out his own awesome reflection in the window to so much as glance at a sad cow like them."

"The women at Fox News have a sickly obsession with Beto"

I have a better one. What is all the women in the 2016 election had this image of Trump naked, couldn't get rid of it. Then Trump wins, and these women are shocked, unnecessarily blame themselves. Then Old White Men organize a fake investigation so as to 'talk therapy' a mass hysteria?

I know it's the NYT, but 'clever'? She might be interesting (in a train wreck sort of way from my point of view).

What made me laugh was "moral vitality".

AOC /is/ very entertaining. And the fake headlines are even better:
Ocasio-Cortez Calls For Boycott Of 'Sesame Street' After Discovering Show Is Sponsored By Numbers

I know no more than you, maybe it's the larval stage of "wise Latina"?

Why do climbers climb? The article reflects but doesn't answer the question. Perhaps climbers (mostly men) climb for the same reason some people (mostly men) are professional sports fans. In these activities they realize a passion missing from their closest personal relationship. It's OK to be enthusiastic, passionate, to yell.

Professional climbers may have an extra bit of darkness to them. But, when it comes to challenge climbs, the planning, the danger, the stakes offer something in particular:

“Not surprisingly, I have found my frequent returns to the workaday world of mortgages, regular hours, and supermarket shopping less than wholly pleasurable. And when, having returned from a country in which half the population has been displaced and the infrastructure entirely destroyed, I hear complaints about the difficulty of finding taxis in the rain or delays in delivery of the mail, I am apt to grow disdainful. The problem with having lived too long or too frequently in dangerous situations is that one ceases to care very much about the actual content of the existence one is so anxious to preserve. Danger absolves one of the need to deal with a hundred quotidian problems or to make a thousand little choices, each one unimportant. Danger simplifies existence and therefore—again when chosen, not imposed—comes as a relief from many anxieties.”

Of course this seems like a vicious, ad hominem attack. But what choice does the guy have? He's trying to change minds. If you want people to consider a well-reasoned argument you have to start by reminding them just how vile they really are.

First, David Bentley Hart writes in a deliberately rococo style - personally I have always found this hilarious, and I think he means this style to be funny. You shouldn't take his tone too seriously.

Second, why shouldn't a Christian be a little judgmental, especially in the aggregate, and especially towards his own country? I agree it is a little narrow-minded but an accusation of a lack of charity is something else.

4. I'm not sure who Tyler is referring to here. Fox News? AOC? The author of the piece? Religious conservatives?

But in any case it's a good question and why I find Buttigieg compelling. He does not seem to have this contempt for others.

"4) Whatever you think of the socialism discussion, should a Christian have and indeed display so much contempt for other human beings? (NYT)"

I get this comment, but it seems like a really weird non-sequitur to me in a world where evangelical Christians constitute one of the most rock-solid constituencies for "grab'em by the pussy" guy. I sort of feel like you could post this comment and find something to link to every week, if not every day. What was it about this particular rant that triggered you? Is it just that it comes from the left, and you associate that sort of thing with the right? Or was it something about the particular nature of the rant?

4 we can give more for less:

1. NIT
2. High deductible health insurance with deductible based on income.
3. Our largest welfare program Social Security would stop giving more to high life time earners and give everyone the same.
4. We should force local Government to allow sufficient building so people can move to were the jobs are.

Which of these are Democrats for?

5) Interestingly enough, the science fiction they cite is generally not of the hard variety that aims to get the science correct, but of the type that plays fast and loose with scientific facts and not in any consistent way.

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