The Russians Ain’t Coming

For anyone to hold that a meeting between then-Senator Sessions and the Russian Ambassador is bad, what must be believed is that the Russians altered the results of the election. That’s it, folks – you have to get that deep into the paranoid, conspiracy theory weeds to even think the meeting had a nefarious aspect to it. This is stuff akin to believing that the Moon landing was faked.

Now, let’s think about a few things:

1. Since Trump has become President, there has been a push to revive American military strength. This is something the Russians won’t like.

2. Since Trump has become President, there has been a push to get NATO to increase its military strength. This, also, is something the Russians won’t like.

3. Our Ambassador to the UN has called the Russians out on their actions. This is, again, something the Russians won’t like.

4. Trump is pressing for a big increase in American oil and natural gas production, thus undercutting the prime source of Russian income. Obviously, Russians will not be pleased by this.

So, even supposing you want to get into the fever swamps and believe that Russia altered the election result, what are they getting for their efforts? It seems to me that if Trump is a Russian stooge (I’ve seen a Never Trump guy who claims to be a former intelligence agent claim that Trump has been a deep plant for the Russians for 30 years!), then Trump is massively betraying his benefactors. There is not a single policy proposal Trump has put forward which can be construed as being pro-Russian in its primary intent. Meanwhile, plenty of Trump policies are working directly against Russia.

Do you start to see the level of stupid we’re getting to here? But, never let it be said that the Republican Party isn’t up to the task: of course as soon as the bogus story broke about Sessions there were several GOP Congresscritters quick to call for an independent counsel. To look into what? That is something they won’t answer – save in general terms about “Russian influence”. But, you can’t let them do that – you have to bring it back to the bedrock of this insanity. The “influence” purported to have occurred was to change the result of the 2016 election. Why on Earth would anyone – even the most RINO GOPer there is – want to be attached to something as asinine as this?

I can only guess that even now, with Trump sworn in and moving ahead with policies that are pretty popular among the American people, the Establishment still wants to reverse the 2016 result. If they can’t get Trump out, then at least they want to hamstring him by firing off so many questions about his people that nothing can be done. Do keep in mind that a honest and fair Attorney General looking into what has been going on will result in a lot of people going to jail – Democrats, of course, but plenty of Republicans, as well. Don Surber has a good point in calling for Trump to invest in some oppo research…dig up the dirt on these Establishment clowns and hold it over their heads. But I think more is needed.

I’m disappointed that Sessions agreed to recuse himself – from what? Is what I ask. But even if there is something there, screw the niceties. I want Sessions to publicly lead the investigation not just into Russian but all foreign influence in the United States. I want to dig up all the pay for play influence peddling which we all darn well know is going on, and going on both sides of the aisle. We start indicting some of these clowns and they will know there’s a new sheriff in town and it’s time to cut it out with trying to undermine Trump. Beat him at the polls in 2018 and 2020, if you can, but no more of this “officials” leaking things.

I don’t think I’ve ever been this angry about politics before. I am utterly sick to death of this nonsense. An election happened; it went a certain way; deal with it. That we have to deal with insane, puerile nonsense while we’ve a nation to govern and a world to lead is too much. These people calling Trump a traitor based on a lunatic idea that he’s a Russian stooge – just let me note that the only people taking comfort from all this are armed enemies of the United States around the world.

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69 thoughts on “The Russians Ain’t Coming

  1. Retired Spook March 3, 2017 / 12:39 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever been this angry about politics before. I am utterly sick to death of this nonsense.

    You and me both! The reality of what happened is immaterial to these Leftist creeps. Perception IS reality, and the Left, with the help of the complicit agenda media, is creating the perception that there was extensive wrong doing by everyone in the Trump campaign up to and including the President himself. Anyone who thinks this will stop with Flynn and now Sessions is naive. This is a silent coup. Now is the time for a massive Trump counter punch. The response needs to be so overwhelmingly disproportionate that the Left goes into collective shock.

    • M. Noonan March 3, 2017 / 1:28 am

      I think so – form a Justice Department commission to investigate all foreign influence and watch ’em squirm.

      • Retired Spook March 3, 2017 / 9:19 am

        I do think this move against Sessions is a carefully planned, preemptive strike by the Left, because I think he plans to thoroughly investigate much of the law breaking they got away with for the last 8 years.

      • Amazona March 3, 2017 / 9:51 pm

        I agree, this is one reason to go after Sessions. They tried to block his appointment, and when that failed they just regrouped to try to sabotage his position. Unfortunately, he gave them some room to argue by backing down on the recusal demand.

        I nearly drove off the road when I heard Chuck E Schumer piously proclaim that “…the Department of Justice should be above reproach for the good of the country..” I just don’t remember him lecturing us on this when Obama’s DOJ was working under instructions from known racist Holder that they would not prosecute black on white crime, or went after George Zimmerman, or refused to enforce immigration laws, or for that matter when they were part of illegally running guns into Mexico to drug cartels.

        Maybe we should give Chuck a tissue and let him calm himself, and then ask him how he defines “above reproach” and if he had the same definition when Holder was AG

      • M. Noonan March 3, 2017 / 10:56 pm

        Just really sick of the nonsense…I’ve been rather forthright on Twitter today…probably offending some people. Don’t care in the least. Liars are out there trying to undo the will of the people and all in the service of a corrupt Ruling Class.

      • jdge1 March 5, 2017 / 5:35 pm

        Could this be a well thought out counter play by allowing the left to believe they are charging forward while they are falling into a trap? Or am I giving the right too much credit. From what I’ve read it seems pretty obvious that there are members of the elite left who’ve had nefarious dealings with Russia. By launching an investigation, wouldn’t anyone’s interaction with Russia be fair game? By having recusing himself, Sessions can then go on the attack as an independent instrument of justice if the investigation shows that Obama, Clinton or any other highly recognized individual from left have been involved with Russia. Or… I could wake up from the foggy dream of wishful thinking.

      • M. Noonan March 5, 2017 / 10:45 pm

        We’ll have to see – but I do believe our entire nation is riddled with foreign influence. Think about it like this, on a slightly different plane: a good deal of the money for anti-fracking groups comes from foreign oil producers, who have a vested interest in stopping us from fracking.

        It must be kept in mind that in spite of our decline in influence due to Obama’s asinine policies, the United States is still, by far, the world’s sole giant – financially, economically, militarily, politically. No other nation even comes close to carrying the weight we do. We sneeze and the world gets the flu. Our GDP is about $18.6 trillion – the next highest is the EU, with about $17.1 trillion, soon to be $15.6 trillion when Britain exits. For all the talk about China, their GDP is $11.4 trillion (they can only talk them up as equal to or greater than us by talking “purchasing power parity”, which won’t actually buy you anything)…and, of course, there are a lot more of them – with a per capita GDP of about $8,000.00 against our $57,000…if they work hard and get lucky, they’ll surpass us in a couple hundred years.

        Given our immense power, it is natural that the world will seek to influence us – and given how relentlessly corrupt and greedy our Ruling Class it, my bet is that a thorough investigation will find a lot of hands in the foreign money cookie jar.

    • Frank Lee (@trumpcowboy) March 3, 2017 / 3:07 pm

      I wouldn’t be so worried about this. After all, these are the rocket scientists that thought “I’M WITH HER” was a good campaign slogan. I suspect this is less about trying to actually take Sessions down, rather than simply come up with some other news to report so they don’t have to cover Trumps successes.

      • Amazona March 3, 2017 / 8:59 pm

        While there is some truth in what you say, I think the reality is a lot more sinister. (BTW, the Latin word for “left” is “sinister”. ‘Jes sayin’. ) Yes, they are generating a lot of noise, and it does help them take attention away from what is really happening, but that is not all it is.

        I think they are frantically throwing as much s**t as they can at any available wall, hoping some of it will stick. There is a sizable number of non-thinkers who believe “where there is smoke there is fire” and they are blowing enough smoke to look scary to those people.

        From the morning after the election they have been trying to delegitimize Trump and now they are going after everyone he wants to put in his administration. Rush made some very good points about the Russian ambassador who is allegedly part of Sessions’ allegedly illicit conversations, and it turns out he is very buddy-buddy with Schumer, sat with the Dems at the speech, and is hardly one to consider valid source of antiTrump “information”.

        Sessions met with him during the Republican convention in a meeting set up and requested by Obama, according to Rush. According to Sessions, when he did meet with him and Sessions brought up Ukraine the ambassador got huffy and the conversation ended.

        Sessions should not have recused himself. He is Bushing. Remember how George W. Bush thought that giving in now and then to Dem demands would smooth the way to finding common ground, only to find they had just backed him into a corner? There is no common ground with these people, and Sessions should have spit in their eye and told them to come up with something better than Internet gossip and fake news.

        They are telegraphing their message that every single step taken in this administration will be met with rage, obstructionism, slander, libel, and every possible permutation of opposition. Sadly, we do not have a coherent and articulate voice who can and will answer their hysteria.

      • M. Noonan March 3, 2017 / 10:58 pm

        They are certainly not the sharpest knives in the drawer – OTOH, they do control the MSM so they can cause a lot of heart ache. I’m just hoping that no one goes soft in the Administration. Time to set our faces like flint and have at it.

    • Mark Moser March 5, 2017 / 9:13 am

      Wasn’t Lynch, the former AGOTUS suggesting continued social change through use of violence instead of the law and or Constitution? What further evidence does one need to understand the gravity of this situation. They don’t believe the Russian are coming anymore than we do. It is a justification and a rallying cry to legitimize their treasonous revolt. On Obama’s watch, the NSA was caught spying on our allies for crying out loud. He didn’t order it then either, but you can bet he received the briefings. How much of a stretch is it to suggest his Administration would use the same tactics against their real enemies, the right, after being decimated at the poles? The bureaucracy colluding with the media is attacking Trump, since the political arm of the left has been broken and the swamp has, yet to be drained. Anger, outrage, and violence is all they have left. Those of us on the right need to understand something wicked this way comes and we need to be prepared to repel boarders, meeting the approaching violence, by the left, with overwhelming force once the time presents itself. Fortunately, they are thugs, mostly self-taught by victimizing the helpless, and conscripted as mercenaries, lead by a bunch of geriatric anti-war protesters. We, are a battle hardened band of brother, patriots all, trained by the most powerful and efficient military force ever to operated on land, sea, and in the air the world has ever seen. If we remain vigilant and prepared they will be quickly dispatched. Pray we can avoid this, but be watchful and gird thy loins for battle brothers.

      • Amazona March 5, 2017 / 9:38 am

        They don’t believe the Russian are coming anymore than we do. It is a justification and a rallying cry to legitimize their treasonous revolt.

        Very well said.

        What we are seeing is what we have known for a long time but which has been kept pretty much under the radar, and that is the absolute loyalty of so much of the bureaucracy to the Left. Not just the average middle of the road Democrat Left, but the Hard Left. And what we are seeing is a revolt against the legitimately elected administration, and that is something that has to be stopped.

        I think making oaths of office binding will do a lot to accomplish that, as right now there is absolutely no penalty for violating an oath of office, which includes defending the Constitution and obeying the law. Right now these people can act against the government and in violation of their oaths with impunity. They are gambling with our money. Shift to having them putting their own money, and futures, on the line and we will see a lot less of this revolt, and a lot fewer radical court rulings, too.

        If you violate your oath of office, you are out, and you lose your pension. Across the board. Judges, bureaucrats, legislators, governors, police chiefs and sheriffs and the President. Anyone in any government office has to swear to defend and uphold the Constitution and obey the law, with a penalty for not doing so.

        That, and a drastic revision of the Civil Service laws so we can more easily get rid of dead weight and rebellion would go a long way toward draining the swamp.

  2. Cluster March 3, 2017 / 9:26 am

    And MSNBC is devoting every news program to this non story, digging up every “scenario” possible, meaning making sh*t up. And did you see head clown Schumer call for Sessions resignation? Schumer had a much different opinion on AG Lynch following her 30 minute meeting with Bill Clinton just 8 months ago:

    “She’s an honorable person, we know that,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. “She has said nothing was discussed related to the investigation. So you have two choices — to say this didn’t matter or she’s lying. I think it didn’t matter. I don’t think she’s lying.”

    Democrats and the MSM are vile, incompetent, reprehensible people and I agree we should counter punch them into oblivion. Let’s start investigating everything the Democrats have done over the last 9 years. Including the recent allegation of business’s donating to left wing causes to avoid government fines and penalties. Let’s make them bleed.

  3. Cluster March 3, 2017 / 9:36 am

    And yet another story from the vile MSM re: the pending healthcare legislation that the GOP is still seeking a consensus on:

    Just a week before two powerful House committees plan to vote on the measure, opponents spent hours making the point that almost no one has actually seen legislation that would affect the lives and pocketbooks of millions of Americans.“The Republicans have played hide-and-seek with us,” said Representative Lloyd Doggett, Democrat of Texas.

    This is quite the contrast of the coverage given to the ACA when backroom deals were being cut in secrecy, and Pelosi famously said that “we have to pass it to find out what’s in it”. The media didn’t have any problem with those actions. They are scum and we need to keep fighting and more importantly, keep voting.

    • Amazona March 3, 2017 / 10:12 am

      Here is where we need, as in desperately need, someone like the late Tony Snow, someone quick-witted enough to respond to this with a quick “We’ll have to pass it to see what’s in it.” The Left are so incredibly dense, the first reaction to this would be outrage—OUTRAGE, I tell you!—-at the arrogance of this, followed fairly quickly by a memory of Nan excusing the secrecy of the Obama coup.

      We need an article pointing out that Republicans are not that dishonest or sneaky, and will provide the details as the LEGISLATORS hammer them out—but this will not be a bill written by a union and presented to compliant legislators to be rubber-stamped. Republican legislators understand that they were elected to legislate, which means examine all information and try to put together the best laws they can, not just to enact the agendas of groups who write bills and count on wholly partisan support by people who don’t even bother to read what they are approving. This is a new era, not Business As Usual.

  4. Cluster March 3, 2017 / 10:20 am

    I am thinking Trump should bring out a big red reset button on Russian relations.

    • Retired Spook March 3, 2017 / 10:31 am

      And I have full confidence that Trump can find someone who knows how to spell “reset” in Cyrillic.

  5. Retired Spook March 3, 2017 / 10:34 am

    Talk about a new sheriff in town.

    WASHINGTON – Today, on his first day on duty, Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (pronounced ZINK-ee) issued two secretarial orders which expand access to public lands and increase hunting, fishing, and recreation opportunities nationwide. These orders deliver on promises made by both President Donald J. Trump and Secretary Zinke to expand access to America’s public lands. The action was hailed by representatives from sportsmen, conservation, and recreation organizations.

    • Amazona March 3, 2017 / 9:36 pm

      We don’t think of the Department of Agriculture as being very important, but this is the agency in charge of the National Forests, and the original charter created the National Forest system has basically been thrown away in favor of Leftist agendas.

      The National Forests were created to accomplish three goals: To provide lumber for the nation, to shelter the nation’s watersheds, and to provide places of recreation for Americans. The Left has worked tirelessly to halt all logging in National Forests, using the argument that it is “ecologically damaging” but really because it represents capitalism. This attitude has resulted in literally billions of trees dying from pine beetle infestations, which in turn has led to huge forest fires in the dead timber with more to come.

      When the trees started dying off by the millions, loggers wanted to go in and clear cut the most infested areas to try to halt the spread, and the idea was fought by Lefties, with the argument that “these trees belong TO THE PEOPLE and it is wrongwrongwrongwrongwrong to let anyone profit from cutting them down”. So the government passed up the chance to have loggers pay millions of dollars while helping save the rest of the forests. Now that the trees have been dead for so long they have no value. They are too checked and split from standing dead and dry and being bent around by winds and snow to be usable for construction, and they are not good firewood because they are so dry and porous they have lost a lot of their BTUs. So now the government is paying loggers to cut them and haul them away.

      BTW, this is an excellent example of Leftist Economics. Now they just want to get rid of a lot of them before they burn.

      You want to see pollution? Check out a forest fire.

      Eco-nazis screech that the National Forests should be “roadless”. Well, that was never the intent of the charter, for one thing. The only way for the forests to provide lumber for the nation is to harvest lumber. Duh. And remember, wood is a renewable resource. Another is that when a logging road is approved and built, it is carefully surveyed and engineered, taking things like erosion and environmental impact into consideration. When the logging is finished the road is blocked with a berm across the entrance, so if there is a fire it can be quickly opened to allow firefighters access. As a National Forest regional manager once told me, when they have to go into a “roadless area” to fight a fire, it is brutal. His word. They slam into the forest with huge bulldozers, with no time to fret about placement to address erosion, etc. They pay people to come with giant tree-grinders to shred the trees down to sawdust at ground level, so they can get in with equipment.

      We need a strong head of the Department of Agriculture, for a lot of reasons, but as Spook’s post is about the expansion of access to public lands through the Department of the Interior this is my focus here.

  6. Retired Spook March 3, 2017 / 10:42 am

    Another T-shirt message that the Leftists fomenting civil war should heed.

  7. Retired Spook March 3, 2017 / 5:39 pm

    A really interesting essay at Public Discourse today dealing with corruption of the language.

    So how do we recognize the language of “ideology” and distinguish it from a “principled position”? One common clue is that those who hold a principled position welcome arguments; they welcome having their position tested and possibly corrected. A principled position always has room for increased subtlety and greater complexity. Holders of an “ideology,” on the other hand, will tend to eschew argument or any examination of the ideology’s underlying presuppositions or premises, often refusing to concede that greater subtlety may be required to apply the principles to real-life situations. Ideology disdains argument; people with principled positions embrace it warmly and engage in it gladly.

    • Amazona March 3, 2017 / 9:26 pm

      Sorry, but I don’t agree with this. If the author had explained that he was talking about a new, corrupted, redefined meaning of “ideology” I might be less critical, but he is talking apples and oranges here. It is a very confused argument, and it is simply wrong.

      He says “Ideology disdains argument; people with principled positions embrace it warmly and engage in it gladly.” That is just wrong. I don’t know what experience has tainted his worldview, but right now it strikes me as pretty distorted. I would be more likely to say “Ideology allows discussion, while conviction that one’s position is merely principled is a lot more likely to result in mere arguing over which position is more principled”.

      Ideology is a belief in a system. As we usually use it, it is a belief in a political system. He seems to be arguing that you can have a “principled position” without an underlying belief in a political system, but I just don’t see how that can happen.

      OK, I have to admit, it happens all the time. We see it in every impassioned outburst from every Lefty troll who sneaks under the tent to expound on the superiority of his principled position. And as we know, none of them can ever back up there emoting with actual ideology. But they DO “……embrace it warmly and engage in it gladly.”

      First of all, an ideology is a defined system, so if you have a conservative ideology you know what system you support, and probably know why. You’ve got the framework, you’ve got the logic behind it, you’ve got the history. However, the wishy-washy term “principled position” is meaningless, because it depends on the individual definition of the word “principled”. Al Franken and Nancy Pelosi probably think their positions are “principled”. I don’t see HOW you can “…embrace (argument) warmly and engage in it gladly…” without defining it considerably farther than just declaring “my position is very principled”.

      Actually, I think defaulting to a support of merely arguing on “principled positions” pretty much defines what is wrong with politics today, as it is all emotion, all a bunch of people arguing positions they believe are principled but without the framework of objective ideology to give those arguments form and substance. We see it in Leftist arguments all the time—-no substance, no ideological framework, but plenty of smug conviction that their positions are more “principled” because they are FOR all the right (ie: principled) things, like “equality” and “fairness” and “justice” and even “reproductive justice” and so on.

      We argue ideology here all the time. I argue ideology all the time. As a matter of fact, I refuse to argue anything else, because “principled position” is just another slightly fancier way of saying issues and it’s hard to think of anything more futile that arguing with someone on an issue. The other guy is just as determined that his is the more principled position, which is really just another way of saying “I am right”, and it is an exercise in frustration and futility because it boils down to arguing over who is more principled.

      When I talk about politics I never get into issues because, for one thing, when people talk about politics they usually talk about national politics and few issues fall into the arena of federal authority anyway. You get into that and you are into a quagmire. I can’t think of a “principled position” that can be argued successfully, without rancor, at least not unless it is a position that is really ideology and not just an issue. But I can, and do, argue the ideology of conservatism, the reason behind and success of ideological ideals such as balance of power, state sovereignty, etc. Those are all IDEOLOGY.

      I seldom disagree with you, Spook, and I love you dearly, but boy am I on the opposite side on this.

      • tryvasty March 3, 2017 / 10:35 pm

        i·de·o·logue
        ˈīdēəˌlôɡ,ˈidēəˌlôɡ/
        noun
        an adherent of an ideology, especially one who is uncompromising and dogmatic.

      • Amazona March 3, 2017 / 11:19 pm

        That’s an opinion, hardly unbiased. In fact, an ideologue is merely an adherent of an ideology. Period. This is a great example of creeping erosion of the language, as biases are included in definitions.

        But I can see how this appeals to someone who apparently lacks a coherent political philosophy (ideology) preferring the vagueness and infinite flexibility of merely being able to float among various “principled positions” . As I pointed out, this is a staple of Leftist “discourse”.

      • Retired Spook March 3, 2017 / 11:43 pm

        I can see your point. I think we each read this essay from two 180 degree different perspectives. You saw it as principles are meaningless without ideology, and I saw it as ideology is meaningless without principles. What it boils down to is your definition of principles. I think of principles as things like truth, honor, accountability, integrity and intellectual honesty. I don’t see things like equality, fairness and the various forms of Leftist justice (social justice, economic justice, reproductive justice, etc.), as principles, but I suspect that that is exactly how Leftists see them. There is no moral absolute aspect to Leftist “principles,” and they do not form a basis for a reasoned, logical debate, only emotional debate.

      • Retired Spook March 3, 2017 / 11:50 pm

        especially one who is uncompromising and dogmatic.

        I readily admit to being both when it comes to moral absolutes, whereas many, if not most on the Left don’t even believe in moral absolutes. In fact that is one of the single most visible differences between Conservatives and Progressives.

      • Amazona March 3, 2017 / 11:54 pm

        I don’t think you can define “ideologue” without first defining “ideology”. And when you google the word, you encounter the dramatic differences that occur due to personal bias.

        Two are:

        A system of ideas and ideals, especially one which forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy.

        The ideas and manner of thinking characteristic of a group, social class, or individual.

        Definition of IDEOLOGY
        plural
        ideologies
        1. 1: visionary theorizing
        2. 2a : a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture : a manner or the content of thinking characteristic of an individual, group, or culture : the integrated assertions, theories and aims that constitute a sociopolitical program

        OK, then we can go on to a couple of different takes on the word.

        Wikipedia
        Ideology (from Greek ιδεολογία) is a collection of beliefs held by an individual, group or society. …. In this work, the term ideology is defined in terms of a system of presentations that explicitly or implicitly claim to absolute truth.

        http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/ideology.html

        Definition of ideology: System of ideas that explains and lends legitimacy to actions and beliefs of a social, religious, political, or corporate entity.

        Wow. When we look at how the definition changes as it passes through individual filters, we see the basic definition tainted by personal bias. Whoever wrote the Wiki definition thinks it expands to include a “claim to absolute truth”. While it simply makes sense that a person will not believe something he does not think is true, this addition to the definition sure shows a personal bias.

        And the definition from the Business Dictionary is even more personal, as it claims that ideology exists to “lend legitimacy” to certain actions and beliefs. That’s kind of like saying the word “apple” exists to add legitimacy to the existence of a certain kind of fruit.

        So we can see that while some sources stick to basic facts, others add a spin of one kind or another.

        Therefore, the most basic definition of “ideologue” would be one who subscribes to “… a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture..” Damn it, that just doesn’t have that yummy snark your own version does, does it, Try? Neither does “..one who adheres to
        “…the integrated assertions, theories and aims that constitute a sociopolitical program..”

        So you get to pick and choose, and naturally, you being Tryvasty and a Lefty and all, you gravitate toward the most biased and negative.

        If you want to get really out there in Left field, some “sociology expert” has her own definition of “ideology” An ideology is a set of cultural beliefs, values, and attitudes that underlie and justify either the status quo or movements to change it. So to this woman, this “expert”, people decide they want to keep the status quo, or change it, whatever, and THEN come up with something to “justify” their desires. That’s bass-ackwards, but that is what we can expect from a “sociology expert”.

        But basically, in my opinion an ideology is a summation and formalization of a code of behavior to codify a vision or an ideal, and an ideologue is one who thinks this is a good thing and supports it. The Constitution of the United States is a formalized summation of the consensus of the Founders of this country about how best to govern it, and a conservative ideologue is one who adheres to this framework for governance. I believe that to qualify as an “ideology” this has to represent an abstract ideal. An LLC has an Operating Agreement that lays out its rules for how it will be run, but I don’t think of this as an ideology because it doesn’t (usually) reflect a philosophy or an abstract ideal. Political ideologies do. The political philosophy of a Constitutional Conservative is one of self government, state sovereignty, inalienable rights, limited federal authority, etc., all abstract ideals codified into law.

        I suppose if you want to avoid the thought processes that go into examining various political philosophies and choosing the one that makes the most sense to you, Tryvasty, and committing to it, learning it and basing your choice on conscious choice of one over others, in favor of just emoting about things that you feel are principled positions but which are unmoored from abstract and objective framework, it makes you feel better to denigrate ideology and ideologues.

      • Amazona March 4, 2017 / 12:09 am

        especially one who is uncompromising and dogmatic

        I would not trust someone who lacks commitment to an idea or an ideology.

        I think of principles as things like truth, honor, accountability, integrity and intellectual honesty. I do, too. But I think one could be committed to the same political ideology that I am, and still lack those qualities, because I don’t think ideology depends on principles.

        I have often said that in my opinion, a Wiccan pro-abortion advocate who wants to marry her girlfriend is still a conservative if she is committed to conservative political ideology, which is governing according to our Constitution. I think she can be wholly committed and with the highest level of principled positions on matters of governance even if she and I don’t agree on other things.

        I think you can have excellent principles without ideology—you can be completely apolitical and still have those moral principles. I didn’t read the article as talking about moral principles, though–seriously, who would ever argue the pros and cons of any of those you listed? No, I read it as referring to what I guess I would call political or social principles, because those are what are argued about in our society, and could probably accurately be called issues.

        I think my position on abortion is a principled position, but the person who believes abortion is an important service to women feels just as firmly that her position is also principled. There is no way to “argue” those two positions. It IS possible (and I think preferable) to argue the political ideology that this is something that is outside the scope of federal authority, when it comes to laws on abortion, and must be voted on by the citizens of states, on a state by state basis.

      • Retired Spook March 4, 2017 / 12:23 am

        I think of principles as things like truth, honor, accountability, integrity and intellectual honesty. I do, too. But I think one could be committed to the same political ideology that I am, and still lack those qualities, because I don’t think ideology depends on principles.

        I love you dearly also, but I vehemently disagree. I think we both agree that Conservatism, at least in the political sense, is grounded in our two most important founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Both of these documents are based to a large extent on natural law, and natural law is what informs the principles I outlined. I don’t believe you can be a true Conservative and not adhere to the truth. I don’t believe you can be a dishonorable person and be a true Conservative. I don’t believe you can reject personal accountability and responsibility and be a true Conservative. Anyway, we may have to, on this rare occasion, just agree to disagree.

      • tryvasty March 4, 2017 / 3:04 am

        “So you get to pick and choose, and naturally, you being Tryvasty and a Lefty and all, you gravitate toward the most biased and negative.”

        I picked a pretty middle of the road definition. I could have gone with Webster:

        Definition of ideologue
        1
        : an impractical idealist
        2
        : an often blindly partisan advocate or adherent of a particular ideology

        The problem with an ideologue isn’t that they have an ideology. It is that their ideology is not a conclusion, it is an axiom. A conclusion is subject to reassessment based on new evidence, continued thinking, or rational argument. An axiom is not.

        “I suppose if you want to avoid the thought processes that go into examining various political philosophies”

        The ideologue, on the other hand, never reassesses, because they have the requisite faith in and commitment to their ideology:

        “committing to it”

        But since the ideologue has no logical underpinnings or principles holding up their ideology, it’s sometimes difficult to figure out how to apply it. Luckily, most of the time, that can just be taught:

        “learning it”

        And since it is not a conclusion, the ideologue can freely pick an ideology, whereas the rest of us are stuck wherever the application of fact and reason to our principles leaves us:

        “basing your choice on conscious choice of one over others”

        They even convince themselves that picking what feels good instead of formulating their philosophy on principles and reason makes their belief more valid or even virtuous than another person’s reasoned assessment:

        “but which are unmoored from abstract and objective framework”

        The ideologue also has a tendency to let his or her ideology dictate his view of the state of reality. For instance, say I make the following case:

        Technology will eventually progress to the point where there isn’t value in anybody working at nearly any job. Somewhere along the road to that end, we’ll have to decide how the value provided by our automated economy gets distributed. There will be three potential ways I can think of for how that wealth gets distributed:
        A) Whoever owns the machines gets the money.
        B) The tiny minority of people who can still provide some sort of value by working in the economy rather than being replaced by machines (probably by generating innovation) get the money
        C) The government distributes wealth.

        Now, a combination of principle and pragmatism cause me the think that picking C with enough sprinkling of B thrown in to incentivize continued innovation is the best idea, although I’m not sure exactly what that balance is. If your only reaction to reading that was to immediately try to figure out why my premise can’t possibly come true, you might just be an ideologue.

      • Amazona March 4, 2017 / 8:37 am

        Spook, I think of ideology as an operations manual. It lays out how something is supposed to work. To my mind, that means that while the structure covered by the manual was built because of a commitment to the values you state, the instruction manual can be followed by someone who just thinks it is a good functional structure even if he doesn’t care that much about the motives for creating it.

        So the flow chart is (1) What I Want To Accomplish, Philosophically, followed by (2) How I Can Set Up A System To Accomplish That, followed by (3) The System. I agree that a true ideologue will be motivated by all three components, but I also think that someone can believe the system works and be committed to it without sharing the gestational motives for creating it. Or at least without sharing all of them.

        This is a complex area which has been argued by philosophers for ages. I guess it comes down to, to put it very simplistically, the idea that one man might be honest because this is what is demanded of him by his spiritual side, and another simply by the pragmatic decision that it is better to be honest because if he is dishonest he will not be trusted and therefore will be hampered in achieving his goals. You and I want to be the first kind of honest, strive for it, and prefer to be around people who choose honesty for the same reasons, but in the long run if the other guy is also honest it doesn’t change the outcome if his motives are based on self interest instead of morality.

        So to me, if he supports a Constitutional form of governance because it benefits him in his business dealings I will be happy to welcome him into the fold, without the litmus test of why he feels the way he does. I will consider him a political conservative, purely on the basis of his POLITICAL beliefs, his choice of preferred governmental structure and his decision that following the instruction manual is the best way to make it work.

        I think he can be committed to that structure and to following the manual while at the same time lacking the virtues you list. I may not like him, or trust him on a personal basis, or want to be around him, but on a purely political basis he is a POLITICAL conservative if he supports Constitutional governance. That is my own definition of 21st Century Political Conservatism.

        I am at least consistent in this belief, as I have been arguing for years that to build a stronger conservative movement we have to stop demanding shared “values” as part of belonging. The GOP used to be the Big Tent of American politics, and that was because it asked Republicans to share common views on how best to govern the country and left virtues as private commitments to personal standards. I think the success of conservativism depends on going back to that way of thinking, instead of requiring agreement on so many other things. Those are, to me, decisions I make in my private life about the people I want to include in that life.

        Do I wish that everyone who shared this political philosophy also shared my own commitment to the virtues you listed? Absolutely. Do I think that the conservative movement would be a nicer place if everyone shared beliefs in right and wrong, the necessity for truth, honor, accountability, integrity and intellectual honesty? Without question. But I also agree with the pastor who said that the federal government is not in the business of virtue. It is designed to provide a framework of stability and protection for citizens, within which they are free to engage in virtuous activities.

      • Amazona March 4, 2017 / 10:17 am

        “So you get to pick and choose, and naturally, you being Tryvasty and a Lefty and all, you gravitate toward the most biased and negative.” And your entire screed proves this.
        Example ” The problem with an ideologue isn’t that they have an ideology. It is that their ideology is not a conclusion, it is an axiom. A conclusion is subject to reassessment based on new evidence, continued thinking, or rational argument. An axiom is not.“

        This is a politically oriented blog, the original quote from Spook was from a politically oriented article, so let’s try to rein in the discussion to something relevant.

        “(C)onclusion” is defined as “a judgment or decision reached by reasoning”, as “a reasoned judgment” or as “the result or outcome of an act or process:”—all of which precisely describe the creation of the Constitution of the United States of America. It did not spring fully formed as an “axiom”, or merely “…a statement or proposition that is regarded as being established, accepted, or self-evidently true”. It is the end result of a laborious process which included extensive study and research by the finest minds of their time (and probably ours), of poring over the writings of philosophers and politicians from past centuries, of careful evaluation of other forms of government, and literally years of discussion and debate.

        Incorporated within the process are the axioms stated in the Declaration of Independence—that all men are created equal, etc—-but the actual Constitution itself is a conclusion

        It is also a conclusion that has undergone extensive unrelenting scrutiny, evaluation, criticism, challenge and debate since it was written, so it would be patently false to assert that it has never been “reassessed”. So when you say ” The ideologue, on the other hand, never reassesses, because they (sic)have the requisite faith in and commitment to their (sic) ideology…” this can clearly not be applied to a political ideologue if that person is a Constitutional Conservative. Every time a Conservative explains and defends the Constitution, he is reassessing its value and validity. This is what freaks you Libs out. The confidence that comes from serious evaluation followed by a conscious decision that something is, after extensive study and comparison, the best choice is what you people choose to demonize, as you have in your post, with your sneering and snideness and bizarre conclusions.

        Conservatives constantly reassess their commitments, continue to analyze their ideology, and are far more intellectually involved than are Liberals in their own ideology, because the ideology of Conservatism is based on understanding and agreeing with the tenets of the Constitution as the correct way to govern the nation, while we can’t seem to get any of you Liberals to even identify, much less define or defend, the political system you support.

        That’s why it’s so funny to see you preening in your imagined intellectual superiority, as you smirk They (ideologues) even convince themselves that picking what feels good instead of formulating their philosophy on principles and reason makes their belief more valid or even virtuous than another person’s reasoned assessment: This is the very definition of the average Liberal—someone who picks something that makes him feel good (being “FOR” something identified as “good”)—-instead of formulating a philosophy on principles and reason. Unless you can argue that supporting a political system (ideology) with a long and sordid history of oppression, human rights offenses, slaughter of millions for the crime of dissent, and myriad other offenses, is based on your personal philosophy, principles and reason. Please do. We’ve been trying to get Liberals to actually come out and defend their positions for more than a decade now. And you very well might—after all, at the end of your utterly silly “premise” you admit to a preference for the government distributing wealth.

        The only message I got from your post is that you are critical of those who have clearly defined ideologies and think this is foolish or narrow-minded or some other negative, while you think everything should be subject to ongoing revision, which is really a pretty good description of moral relativism. Nothing is immutable—not right and wrong, not gender, not biology. It’s all subject to how it is seen at any point in time, by any person at that point in time. (Except for AGW—that is absolute, the kind of science that exists if enough people vote on it (consensus) and unassailable by “…new evidence, continued thinking, or rational argument.”

        People unmoored by objective truths, who simply float from belief to belief depending on how they feel about any given thing at any given time (killing an attacker is wrong if you are white and he is black but killing an unborn child is OK though the child is completely innocent…, lying is wrong but lying about Trump is OK because you don’t like him, etc…) will naturally argue against anything that smacks of commitment to something. And of course it helps if you can figure out a way to paint your vacillations as morally and intellectually superior and commitment to something as a character defect.

        Basically, I consider your whole post to be the most superficial and least well reasoned of any of yours, and believe me, the bar was never set very high. And seriously, Try, whatever prompted you to post that vapid so-called “premise” much less try to use it to make a point? Is that truly an example of what you consider “reasoned discourse”?

      • Amazona March 4, 2017 / 10:22 am

        Question: Has anyone here ever seen a Leftist ideologue change his or her opinion, belief or conviction even after being presented with abundant proof of the essential flaws in the chosen ideology? Anyone?

        Just look at the list of failures of Leftist ideology, and then look at how many Leftists are swayed by this evidence. And then go back and read Tryvasty’s smug little sneers at “ideologues” to see how unrelated to reality he is.

      • Retired Spook March 4, 2017 / 10:30 am

        Spook, I think of ideology as an operations manual. It lays out how something is supposed to work. To my mind, that means that while the structure covered by the manual was built because of a commitment to the values you state, the instruction manual can be followed by someone who just thinks it is a good functional structure even if he doesn’t care that much about the motives for creating it.

        I concede your point that one can be a Constitutional Conservative without a grounding in certain basic moral, ethical and behavioral principles that you and I take for granted, just as an atheist can be a moral person without any grounding in faith in a power higher than himself. I hate to be difficult here, but I think we’re arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. The fact is, I’ve been wracking my brain, and I just don’t know any unprincipled Conservatives. The principles I outlined are one of the main things that separates us from the vast majority of Liberals.

        In your comparison of how two people can be honest for different reasons you kind of made my point. The first person’s honesty is based on moral principles, and the second on the principle of trust.

      • Retired Spook March 4, 2017 / 10:53 am

        Question: Has anyone here ever seen a Leftist ideologue change his or her opinion, belief or conviction even after being presented with abundant proof of the essential flaws in the chosen ideology? Anyone?

        Yes, but not the way you mean. Liberalism, or what I would prefer to call Leftism, is a constantly devolving pathology — constantly setting the bar lower and reaching for a new lower common denominator. Now this devolution isn’t as a result of some new evidence that causes Leftists to reevaluate their collective position, which I think is what you’re looking for. It’s just that they’re always looking to push the social/economic/political envelope, and the push is almost always downhill. I have always thought it was because sh*t doesn’t run UPHILL.

      • tryvasty March 4, 2017 / 4:29 pm

        “And seriously, Try, whatever prompted you to post that vapid so-called “premise” much less try to use it to make a point?”

        Case and point. You are incapable of discussing the idea because you can’t figure out how to apply your ideology to it. But your ideology is True, regardless of any facts, reason, or anything else. So the premise is dumb, and we better not discuss it. Can’t be reasonable, because it’s coming into conflict with the True thing. Better be as dismissive as possible so you don’t have to think about it.

        Here’s the thing, though. It isn’t a question about an abstract future. It is already happening. Manufacturing jobs are never, ever coming back to the US. If manufacturing ever picks up in the US, it employ robots. Just look at the Carrier deal: Trump got them to “save” 730 jobs by giving them cash that they are going to spend on buying technology to start replacing workers anyway.

        Or just look at Chinese factories:

        http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20161229PD206.html

        How on Earth does anybody think that we’re going to bring back jobs that won’t even exist in China anymore because it is cheaper to replace them with robots? China, where you can pay workers less than 10% of the effective wages that you have to pay an American worker?

        Somebody still has to build and maintain the robots, you say. Sure, for the short term, some percentage of jobs in some industries will still exist. But before you go trying to do the math on that, let’s talk about the long haul truck driver.

        Sometime in the next 10 years, we are going to start replacing truck drivers with automated vehicles. When you replace a driver in a truck with an automated system, you still have the same truck that will take just as much to build and maintain, only there will be nobody in the driver’s seat. The math there is really easy. Assuming we just worry about long haul drivers first, since highway driving is the easiest to automate, we’re still talking about millions of jobs that will go away. And the thing replacing them is just software. There is no meaningful marginal upkeep cost to deploying that in trucks when it will already be a feature equipped in passenger vehicles.

        The math there is easy. One of the rapidly shortening list of middle class jobs will disappear, and there will be nothing to replace it. Nothing at all. We’ll have millions of people who were in the middle class move over to unemployment lines.

        The economy has adapted to technology before, and new jobs will spring up to take their place, yous say. That doesn’t work, though. There’s nothing magical about robots. Globalization freed up the American economy to try to adapt to a reduced demand for physical human labor in the same way automation will, just a few decades early. How did it react? People all got employed in low wage service jobs. If the economy were capable of adapting, it would have already. The economy doesn’t care if a worker is unemployed because of technology or outsourcing.

        But none of that bears thinking about for you, because it is incompatible with your axiomatic belief. Yours is the same sort of thinking that caused Galileo to get branded a heretic for observing that the Earth wasn’t the center of the universe. He had to be wrong, because people Believed.

      • Retired Spook March 4, 2017 / 5:44 pm

        Tryvasty,

        The Left already has a solution to the millions of people thrown out of work by automation.

        “The Earth has cancer
        and the cancer is Man.”
        – Club of Rome,
        Mankind at the Turning Point

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        “A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells;
        the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people.
        We must shift our efforts from the treatment of the symptoms to
        the cutting out of the cancer. The operation will demand many
        apparently brutal and heartless decisions.”
        – Prof Paul Ehrlich,
        The Population Bomb

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        “I don’t claim to have any special interest in natural history,
        but as a boy I was made aware of the annual fluctuations in
        the number of game animals and the need to adjust
        the cull to the size of the surplus population.”
        – Prince Philip,
        preface of Down to Earth

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        “A reasonable estimate for an industrialized world society
        at the present North American material standard of living
        would be 1 billion. At the more frugal European standard
        of living, 2 to 3 billion would be possible.”
        – United Nations,
        Global Biodiversity Assessment

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        “A total population of 250-300 million people,
        a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”
        – Ted Turner,
        founder of CNN and major UN donor

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        “… the resultant ideal sustainable population is hence
        more than 500 million but less than one billion.”
        – Club of Rome,
        Goals for Mankind

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        “One America burdens the earth much more than
        twenty Bangladeshes. This is a terrible thing to say.
        In order to stabilize world population,we must eliminate
        350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say,
        but it’s just as bad not to say it.”
        – Jacques Cousteau,
        UNESCO Courier

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        “If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth
        as a killer virus to lower human population levels.”
        – Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,
        patron of the World Wildlife Fund

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        “I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong.
        It played an important part in balancing ecosystems.”
        – John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        “The extinction of the human species may not
        only be inevitable but a good thing.”
        – Christopher Manes, Earth First!

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        “The extinction of Homo Sapiens would mean survival
        for millions, if not billions, of Earth-dwelling species.
        Phasing out the human race will solve every
        problem on Earth – social and environmental.”
        – Ingrid Newkirk,
        former President of PETA

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        “Childbearing should be a punishable crime against
        society, unless the parents hold a government license.
        All potential parents should be required to use
        contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing
        antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.”
        – David Brower,
        first Executive Director of the Sierra Club

      • Amazona March 4, 2017 / 5:56 pm

        You are incapable of discussing the idea because you can’t figure out how to apply your ideology to it. No, I COULD discuss it, except for the fact that it is so stupid and your parameters are personal to your own ideology. If I think your parameters are foolish, I can’t move on to choose which of your conclusions I find more desirable, because I find the entire premise to be, to put it bluntly, stupid.

        “Somewhere along the road to that end, we’ll have to decide how the value provided by our automated economy gets distributed. There will be three potential ways I can think of for how that wealth gets distributed:
        A) Whoever owns the machines gets the money.
        B) The tiny minority of people who can still provide some sort of value by working in the economy rather than being replaced by machines (probably by generating innovation) get the money
        C) The government distributes wealth.”

        Who says “someone has to decide”? If you believe that Big Government is the answer to everything, then I suppose it makes sense to assume that someone has to make decisions for everyone. As I don’t accept that, there is nothing else in your silly example that is worth examining. And no, that has nothing to do with “ideology”. It has to do with common sense. The only way to “discuss” this is to first throw out your silly assumptions.

        So if there is massive automation, the economy will have to shift a little. Now instead of making minimum wage doing what is supposed to be entry level jobs, flipping burgers, people entering the workplace will simply have to make different decisions. The same thing happened when automobiles replaced horse-and-carriage transportation, as one example.

        So, clearly, whoever has bought the machines that bring in revenue owns the revenue. I know that irks you Lefties, but that is the way it has to be—unless you take over, of course, and nationalize all businesses so the Central Authority controls the means of production. Since you state a preference for having the government distribute the wealth, with a tiny bit allowed to a few people Big Brother decides they “still provide some value”, this is probably how you see the future.

        And so on. Your entire premise, and the three choices you give, all depend on accepting basic concepts that I don’t accept. Yours is a future full of robots and self driving trucks and all sorts of stuff. Well, it wasn’t long ago that we were told we would all have flying cars within the next five, ten, fifteen, twenty years. Flying cars were the promise for a long time, with varying predictions of how long it would take. I still don’t have one. Do you? You are pretty sure that over-the-road truckers will be replaced by self-driving trucks. Ever handled a big rig? Ever handled one on I-80 going through Wyoming in a blizzard? Ever talked to a driver about the many decisions he has to make on every single trip he takes? While some ivory tower fantasist can imagine convoys of driverless trucks wheeling merrily across the country, there is no way a truck can take off cross country without a driver. Even the so-called “driverless cars”, which require far less in terms of complexity of operation and decision-making, require a driver—he just doesn’t have to actively drive the car every single minute. Do you have voice-to-text on anything? How well does that work? I have my voice mail transcribed into text on my phone and the results range from ????? to downright funny.

        You are sneering at me for not just blindly accepting your predictions as fact and then accepting your conclusions as valid, and I find the whole thing defective on every level.

        You declare: “Globalization freed up the American economy to try to adapt to a reduced demand for physical human labor in the same way automation will, just a few decades early. How did it react? People all got employed in low wage service jobs. “ So now people all got employed in low wage service jobs just because of automation? Really? Gee, and here so many of us were looking at the abysmal state of education which does nothing to prepare people for better jobs, and the entitlement attitude of Welfare State era people who expect Uncle Sugar to make up for their shortfall in income, and the erosion of the family unit with its accompanying lack of role models and guidance, and all sorts of documented changes in society over the past few decades. You say it has nothing to do with growing up in a country where you aren’t even expected to plan ahead for your own future because the Government will give you Social Security to live on, you aren’t even expected to buy your own health insurance because the Government will pay for it, you have never been held accountable for poor performance so you have never developed job skills or the kind of attitude toward work that would enable you to move upward, and so on. Nope, it’s Globalization and Automation to blame. Being illiterate has nothing to do with not being able to find or hold a good job. Lack of a work ethic has nothing to do with it. Damned robots!

        “If the economy were capable of adapting, it would have already.” Adapting to what? Illiterate, surly, unmotivated, unskilled labor that demands to be paid twice what it is worth, that is not only unskilled but uninterested in acquiring job skills? I’d say “the economy”, that mysterious force that baffles Lefties so, IS adapting. People can’t read, so all they have to do is look for a picture on a register and push that button. People can’t add, so they don’t have to decide on how to add up a bill or decide what change is due. They do have to count out the change, and even that is sometimes automated. It is the adaptation that upsets you, though you blame it all on that pesky “Globalization”.

        No, Try, you are just using this blog to spew Lefty themes, dreams and wishes, and to trash those who don’t fall prey to them. So you go right on defining ideology as something bad and drifting from one concept to another (I can’t really call them “thoughts”) according to whim and define that as good.

        But none of that bears thinking about for you, because it is incompatible with your axiomatic belief. So you know what my “axiomatic belief” IS? And you know it is not “.. “a judgment or decision reached by reasoning”, “a reasoned judgment” or “the result or outcome of an act or process:”?

        So please, continue. What IS this “axiomatic belief” you are so convinced rules my life while closing my mind? Why do you think it not “a judgment or decision reached by reasoning, “a reasoned judgment” or the result or outcome of an act or process”? And how is it wrong?

        Yours is the same sort of thinking that caused Galileo to get branded a heretic for observing that the Earth wasn’t the center of the universe. See above. Put up or shut up.

      • tryvasty March 4, 2017 / 7:24 pm

        “The Left already has a solution to the millions of people thrown out of work by automation.”

        I notice none of those quotations are from me. I’d be careful with the whole guilt by ideological association game. I think you’ll find that Timothy McVeigh agreed with you about a great many things, and that he also came up with an unacceptable solution.

        “I can’t move on to choose which of your conclusions I find more desirable, because I find the entire premise to be, to put it bluntly, stupid.”

        You are required to say that the premise is stupid. Your ideology demands it.

        “The only way to “discuss” this is to first throw out your silly assumptions.”

        The only way to preserve your fragile ideology is to throw out my observations.

        “Who says “someone has to decide”?”

        In the words of Geddy Lee, if you choose not to decide you still have made a choice. If the outcome of not intervening is predictable, and we collectively decide not to intervene, we don’t get to abdicate responsibility for the consequences.

        “While some ivory tower fantasist can imagine convoys of driverless trucks wheeling merrily across the country, there is no way a truck can take off cross country without a driver.”

        This is the mark of the true ideologue. You don’t think it is unlikely that this will happen, because that would still admit the possibility of a future where your ideology will cause all wealth to be generational wealth. You are SURE that it won’t happen. Despite the fact that you have almost no understanding of the technology involved. Despite the fact that Google has already, all the way back in 2015, put a driverless car on public roads that had no steering wheel, pedals, or any way to manually drive the vehicle. No, it’s impossible, because truck drivers say it is impossible! And well, more importantly, because admitting there’s any chance at all would require some sort of introspection, and you see that sort of thing as a vice.

        “Adapting to what? ”

        Lack of middle class manufacturing jobs.

        “So you go right on defining ideology as something bad and drifting from one concept to another (I can’t really call them “thoughts”) according to whim and define that as good.”

        There’s nothing wrong with having an ideology, as long as it is formulated on principle and observation and is subject to change with new observation.

        “So you know what my “axiomatic belief” IS? And you know it is not “.. “a judgment or decision reached by reasoning”, “a reasoned judgment” or “the result or outcome of an act or process:”?”

        You told me as much. Choosing an ideology is not making a rational judgement. Committing is not making a rational judgement. Learning is not making a rational judgement. Believing is not making a rational judgement. And yet, those are all the words you chose to use.

        Do you know in what other context you are likely to find that type of terminology? When people are talking about religion. You choose to follow a religion. You learn about a religion. You commit to a religion. You believe in a religion.

        You wrap your belief system in a bunch of terminology that you think makes it sound intellectual, but your belief has a lot more in common with religious fervor than it does with reason.

        “What IS this “axiomatic belief” you are so convinced rules my life while closing my mind?”

        I’ll start by quoting you from earlier in this thread:

        The political philosophy of a Constitutional Conservative is one of self government, state sovereignty, inalienable rights, limited federal authority, etc., all abstract ideals codified into law.

        In particular, as it applies to this argument, that involves believing that the free market is guaranteed in all cases to provide the best and most virtuous outcome for the generation and distribution of wealth in an economy, which you believe must be true because government intervention is, by definition, bad.

        Of course, that’s the same free market that is dumping billions of dollars into the autonomous vehicles you don’t believe can exist. Not exactly sure how you reconcile that.

      • Retired Spook March 4, 2017 / 7:43 pm

        I notice none of those quotations are from me. I’d be careful with the whole guilt by ideological association game.

        My response wasn’t ABOUT you, nor was it about guilt by association. I was simply providing quotes from prominent Leftists and Leftist groups. They are not the least bit worried about having to provide incomes for people whose jobs have been replaced by automation. It will be much cheaper and easier to simply eliminate billions of people who have no value to society. Now, of course, they have to be in a position of total power to accomplish that, and to my dying breath I will do my part to see that they never achieve that kind of power.

        BTW, this mindset is nothing new.

      • Amazona March 4, 2017 / 9:27 pm

        Thank you so much, Try. It is seldom I just laugh out loud at a post from a Lefty, and yours was immensely entertaining. Wholly, completely, and predictably wrong in every aspect, but funny as hell.

        No, sweetie, my “ideology” does not require me to find your comments stupid. My intelligence does.

        You say “The only way to preserve your fragile ideology is to throw out my observations.” but I don’t agree that your comments are “observations”. To “observe” is to see something that is there, and your so-called “premise” is a series of assumptions and beliefs you present as if they are already fact.

        I asked you a series of questions: ‘“So you know what my “axiomatic belief” IS? And you know it is not “.. “a judgment or decision reached by reasoning”, “a reasoned judgment” or “the result or outcome of an act or process:”?”

        And, true to form, you couldn’t or wouldn’t answer any of them. What you said was, “You told me as much.” Told you what? When? Using what words?

        You are the one who has assumed the authority to define words the way you want to see them, and then assign them to things based on your biases and internal filters. So you redefine my political ideology (because that is the only one I have discussed here) by snidely dismissing it as a mere “axiomatic belief”. And then you pile on more of your bias. You take it upon yourself to define what is, and is not, “rational”.

        I am not surprised, because I know from experience that Liberals will go to any lengths to avoid actual discourse about actual facts relating to political systems, and this redefinition of terms is part of the usual pattern of evasion.

        You go on to lecture from your assumed status of definer: Choosing an ideology is not making a rational judgement. Committing is not making a rational judgement. Learning is not making a rational judgement. Believing is not making a rational judgement.

        You do realize, don’t you, that this is all nonsense? You don’t get to just declare what is and what is not rational, no matter how desperately you need to validate your lack of a coherent political philosophy by stating that having one is not rational.

        Look at this exchange. I stated ““While some ivory tower fantasist can imagine convoys of driverless trucks wheeling merrily across the country, there is no way a truck can take off cross country without a driver.”

        You responded first by claiming “This is the mark of the true ideologue. So you think that I harbor an “ideology” that thinks ” there is no way a truck can take off cross country without a driver.” You choose to call that an “ideology” though you veer wildly back and forth in your terminology, as sometimes you claim that it would just be an “axiomatic belief”. Whatever. The thing is, your kneejerk default response to anything is not a reasoned argument but just a typical hybrid of personal insulting attack and non sequitur. But you double down on the goofiness by going off on some tangent in which thinking that trucks need drivers because, according to you, thinking about driving trucks “….would still admit the possibility of a future where your ideology will cause all wealth to be generational wealth.” I have to admit, that was some fancy footwork, You really lost me there. I’ve tried to figure out a link between an ideology causing all wealth to be generational which is why I think trucks will need drivers, and can’t make it work.

        Don’t bother to try to explain it, because I also don’t care.

        I think we are back on trucks now, after your little mental detour. Despite the fact that you have almost no understanding of the technology involved. Despite the fact that Google has already, all the way back in 2015, put a driverless car on public roads that had no steering wheel, pedals, or any way to manually drive the vehicle.

        I know about the Google car. I know it was a limited experiment, not in real traffic. I also know that recently a man in a “driverless car” was killed when it wrecked, and the comment from the manufacturer was that just because the car could do a lot that didn’t mean you didn’t have to pretty much drive it. He was in the car, behind the wheel, but texting or something and not paying attention.

        And there WAS, at least in the Google car test I read about, a “way to manually drive the vehicle”. It wasn’t driven manually in that particular test, but it could have been.

        But,back to your lecturing on how and what I think: No, it’s impossible, because truck drivers say it is impossible! Hmmm. I never mentioned the opinions of truck drivers. I asked if you had any experience driving a big rig, and you refused to answer. But it is interesting to see how quickly you feel the need to start inventing things—what we call “lying”.

        Can we step away from your personal definition of “observations”, which in the context of these posts is commenting on something that has never happened so can’t really be observed at all, and get back to what the word really means, which is seeing and experiencing actual events? I think it will be easier than navigating your fantasy world.

        OK. I have never driven a semi. I have, however, put in about 100,000 miles pulling trailers in 17 American states and quite a bit of Canada. What is your over the road driving experience? Miles driven, in what kinds of vehicles, in what driving conditions, and on what kinds of roads?

        I did not drive a semi, but I did drive some different medium-duty trucks which many people thought of as semis. This size is often referred to as a deuce-and-a-half, because it is a 2.5 ton truck, as opposed to the more common 1-ton pickup, and mine had hauling capacities all the way up to 46,000 pounds. (The International I have now.) The first had an 8′ cabin built behind the cab and had another 8′ deck behind that, and I pulled a 36′ trailer, so my overall length was very close to 60 feet. I venture to say that this gives me vastly more extensive experience in over-the-road driving of big trucks pulling long trailers, on a variety of highways, than you have. Many of these miles were miles where highways were shared with the true big rigs, and I had many opportunities to OBSERVE them—remember, we are now talking about actually seeing things that happen, not speculating about imaginary future possibilities.

        I’ve made some very VERY sudden last-second decisions, based on road conditions, traffic, accidents and so on. I’ve seen other truckers do the same. I’ve seen plenty of wrecks, some of them very very bad, where those kinds of decisions were made too late or were not enough. I’ve seen way too many cars mangled by these big rigs, where people died.

        So my opinion, which is by the way totally unrelated to any “ideology”, is that while it may be possible to have some of the functions of driving a big rig cross country taken over by a “robot” on some selected roadways there will always have to be a human in charge. It is not a matter of “technology”. It is a matter of the reality of the work. And it is quite clear that you not only have absolutely no concept of what is involved in over-the-road trucking, your own ideology involves blind faith in some predictions of future technology. Such as flying cars.

        But you go on to try to insult me: And well, more importantly, because admitting there’s any chance at all would require some sort of introspection, and you see that sort of thing as a vice.

        You clearly lack any sort of internal mirror that lets you see yourself as you present yourself to others, If you had one, I doubt that you could leave your room in the morning. Suffice it to say, you do yourself no favors by spouting such infantile, petty, nasty and senseless crap as this. But this does seem to be your M.O.

      • Amazona March 5, 2017 / 12:58 am

        An article about the first known fatality in what is referred to as a self driving car said: emphasis mine

        The (Tesla) Model S is not a self-driving car, but Tesla’s Autopilot feature is an assistive technology and a first step in bringing truly driverless cars to market. By means of computer software, sensors, cameras and radar, the car’s Autopilot feature can complete tasks like merging onto a highway, the Atlantic reported. Drivers are instructed to keep their hands on the wheel while in Autopilot mode.
        ………….

        ….a study published in October 2015 found that self-driving cars are more likely to be in an accident. The study, conducted by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, found that per million miles traveled, self-driving cars had a higher crash rate than traditional cars. At the time of the study, no self-driving cars had been found at fault for the crashes they were involved in. Not sure about this, as another article said a car had driven into the side of a bus.

        So let’s transfer the technology to giant truck/trailer combos where accidents, when they happen, have a higher chance of serious injury or death for people in other vehicles involved in those accidents. Really, what could go wrong?

        But wait—there is more.

        There’s also a moral dilemma at play, as a driverless vehicle may have to decide which lives to save in the event of a serious accident. A recent study published in the journal Science found that people approve of autonomous vehicles (AV) governed by utilitarian ethics —minimizing the total number of deaths in a crash, even if people in the vehicle were harmed. However, most respondents would not want to ride in those vehicles themselves, Live Science reported.

        Sounds like they interviewed Leftists, who spend so much of their lives coming up with laws and rules and neighborhoods and ideas and so on that they approve of in principle—just for other people, not for them.

        “The moral dilemma for AV is something that is brand-new ,” said study co-author Jean-François Bonnefon, a research director at the Toulouse School of Economics in France. “We’re talking about owning an object, which you interact with every day, knowing that this object might decide to kill you in certain situations.”

        decide to kill you That’s a lovely thought.

        https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-the-first-driverless-car-fatality-means-for-self-driving-tech/

      • tryvasty March 5, 2017 / 9:40 pm

        “And there WAS, at least in the Google car test I read about, a “way to manually drive the vehicle”. It wasn’t driven manually in that particular test, but it could have been.”

        The only person in the car was a blind guy in the back seat.

        If you’re talking about the literal millions of miles that Google cars have driven autonomously to this point, then yes those are still with steering wheels.

        “So you think that I harbor an “ideology” that thinks ” there is no way a truck can take off cross country without a driver.””

        No, I think you have an ideology that is incompatible with a world where that’s true. And you are sure your ideology is True, so obviously it’s not going to give. So reality has to.

        I mean, if you had tried to argue that it was unlikely that it was going to happen, that’d be one thing. But there was never really a chance that that’s what you were going to believe. You are one hundred percent convinced that it is impossible. Engineers in companies from Apple to Google, from Microsoft to Uber to Nvidia, and including pretty much every car manufacturer you can think of all are working on it. But Amazona is smarter than all of them, knows that every last one of them is wasting their time. Amazon has delivered its first package via automated drone, but Amazona has driven a truck for a while, so her folksy common sense is so super powerful that she knows there is no chance at all that any of them are going to succeed.

        There’s no way anybody analyzing the situation objectively would ever be that sure. On the other hand, it’s utterly predictable from somebody whose view of the issue is informed solely by a belief they hold to be incontrovertibly true.

        Heck, I would have been utterly shocked if you hadn’t managed to bring up horses and carriages in this conversation. It’s even better because it’s one of the worst examples to support your point. Sure, the loss of carriage drivers as a profession didn’t cause massive unemployment for people. But you know what did happen? Animal labor permanently stopped being a meaningful part of the economy. Horses are substantially less skilled than the least skilled human workers, but technology keeps progressing. It’s the same scale, we’re just moving higher on it.

        But you didn’t bring it up because it was the best argument. You talked about it because it’s the first easy garbage example you run across when you’re looking to rationalize “skepticism” about automation’s effect on the economy. And you’ll guzzle down any explanation you can find when you are looking around for justifications for something you’ve already decided is true.

        I guess I don’t reasonably believe I’m going to break your delusions in this conversation. But I do hope you remember this conversation when the first automated trucks start rolling. You’ll want to slither on to whatever other justifications you can find for why you’re still right. But I want you to remember how fanatically sure you were that it wasn’t just unlikely, it was outright impossible for automation to replace truck drivers. Maybe at that point, you’ll finally be able to self-reflect about why you were so sure.

      • Amazona March 6, 2017 / 12:16 am

        No, I think you have an ideology that is incompatible with a world where that’s true.

        Yet my only “ideology” is the conviction that the best form of government for the United States is its Constitution. Everything else you carry on about comes from the fever swamp of your own bigotry.

        I seem to have stumbled onto a real sore spot with you—one of many, I admit, but one that seems to be quite tender. More of a giant abscess that squirts pus when touched, no matter how lightly. After all, in a normal conversation one party might talk about the possibility of driverless over-the-road trucks and another might, as I did, offer reasons for doubting that possibility and it would be simple matter of two points of view, marked by civility on both sides. The first opinion might include references to technological advances, and the second might list the myriad unpredictable problems involved in driving a multi-ton vehicle cross country in heavy traffic and wildly varying road and weather conditions. In a normal conversation, ideas would be exchanged, information passed back and forth, and it would probably be fun. In a normal conversation, ideas and speculations about abstractions are entertaining and often educational. But in anything to do with you, Try, “normal” does not come into play. And for damned sure you are not fun.

        I thought the idea that automated vehicles might have to make what we might consider moral decisions, as weighing the value of the life of the passenger vs the lives of others, is really interesting, and in any rational discussion with anyone who is not a raving zealot this would probably have happened. Yet YOU accuse ME of not being open to new ideas.

        As usual, you had to invent statements I never made and ascribe beliefs I have never expressed (what we call “lying’) but hey, that’s what you do. Oh, you also had to ignore what I said, other than snarling insults. Again, par for the course.

        I have no interest in trying to deal with a zealot like you, but I will point out that at this point in time neither of us is talking about a reality. You are passionately invested on what appears to be a deep and personal, even visceral, level, in the possibility of something happening, something that would be a dramatic leap beyond anything that has yet been successfully done often enough to prove it as a viable endeavor and which is now still theoretical (in spite of the literally millions of miles allegedly driven successfully by automated cars. LITERALLY MILLIONS OF MILES !!!!! ). I am mildly skeptical, based on actual personal experience with the problems the fifty-pound heads would have to solve to bring this dream out of theory into practice. And that skepticism is based on the reality of today. Sure, I could see the possibility of multi-ton automated vehicles crossing the country—-on dedicated roadways. If you were talking about that, you should have said so. I was talking about the reality of today—which you consider irrational.

        But what is most obvious is the way you handle disagreement with anything you say. And if we get back to the original discussion, it was about ideology. The funniest thing about your serial ranting is that you ascribe “ideology” to pretty much any passing thought I might have about pretty much anything, and then go off into the weeds with elaborate and often bizarre claims that your crystal ball has informed you I would have persecuted Galileo or think I am smarter than scientists or some silly non sequitur about drones. You seem to be saying that if I prefer vanilla lattes to caramel macchiatos this is an ideology that blinds me to the wonderfulness of other coffee drinks.

        Yet you wouldn’t see enthusiasm for other coffee drinks as an ideology, any more than you see your unquestioning acceptance of and subsequent extremely strident defense of a technological theory as an ideology. I’d call your loathing of religion as an ideology, one that quite apparently colors your entire worldview. After all, you can’t even enter into a lighthearted discussion of the possibility of robot trucks without quickly descending into slurs on religion. While I refer to a calm, unemotional belief that one form of government is better than others, by the time this makes it through your filters you see it as “……religious devotion..” to them (constitutional principles) and then define either them or this alleged “religious devotion” as “…about as irrational as you can possibly get.”

        (Just an observation here, but there’s a pretty big body of evidence that flying into a screeching wall-kicking name-calling hissy fit because someone isn’t convinced we are ready for robot trucks is really the definition of “…about as irrational as you can possibly get.”)

        Nice footwork, there—-another evasion. Now you can dodge an actual intellectual discussion of what you find defective in those constitutional principles by simply claiming that it’s not the principles you find offensive but just my irrational religious devotion to them.

        There was never any doubt in my mind that you would squirm out of any actual discourse on the political model I support vs the one you promote. I played along with you, nudging you a little at a time into a corner where you would have to either man up and explain and defend your own political ideology and compare it to mine or find a way out of that. I was wondering not if you would ever be willing to actually engage in a real discussion about political philosophy but just how you would try to weasel out of it. And you did it by changing the subject, refusing to answer questions, changing the focus of the discussion at hand, becoming quite agitated and insulting, inventing straw men you could then sneer at, and in general dragging out most of the Leftist arsenal.

        Thanks for playing, but I think it’s obvious that you have nothing new to offer, just the same old spittle-flying semi-coherent rage that appears to define you.

    • Amazona March 4, 2017 / 9:57 pm

      Here is a typical exchange with Tryvasty:

      Me: “What IS this “axiomatic belief” you are so convinced rules my life while closing my mind?”

      TRY: I’ll start by quoting you from earlier in this thread:

      The political philosophy of a Constitutional Conservative is one of self government, state sovereignty, inalienable rights, limited federal authority, etc., all abstract ideals codified into law.

      In particular, as it applies to this argument, that involves believing that the free market is guaranteed in all cases to provide the best and most virtuous outcome for the generation and distribution of wealth in an economy, which you believe must be true because government intervention is, by definition, bad.

      Of course, that’s the same free market that is dumping billions of dollars into the autonomous vehicles you don’t believe can exist. Not exactly sure how you reconcile that.

      This is a good example of his confused thought processes. Or his desperate need to evade substance. Whatever.

      I ask him to explain MY ideology, as he has gone on about his belief of what it is. (BTW, when you are on the Left, believing in things that are not true and have no basis whatsoever is not only par for the course, when it is engaged in by a Lefty it is also not considered an ideology or a belief system or a religion, even though these are ways they describe it when talking about people on the Right.)

      Anyway, the question was what is MY “axiomatic belief”, or ideology? His non-response was to quote a comment of mine about Constitutional Conservatives in general. That is, he ducks the question.

      Then he goes off on some tangent about free markets and tosses in one of those mandatory slurs the Left loves so much—-“…which you believe must be true because government intervention is, by definition, bad.”

      As I said, typical Tryvasty. Incoherent, yet seething with the kind of snarling rage that just has to pop out sometimes, kind of like Janet Jackson’s——but I digress.

      I have explained my political ideology, and (no surprise here) it has nothing to do with Try’s fever swamp fantasies and inventions. Have I ever said, or even implied, “…because government intervention is, by definition, bad…”? Of course not. Does he have a clue? Not even close. Has he just ignored the salient points in my posts about the processes leading to the creation of the Constitution, debunking his bigoted claims that any ideology is unrelated to thought, research, rational thought, blah blah blah? OF COURSE he has. It is what they do.

      So here, in a nutshell, is the exchange. I point out that once upon a time, in a place not very far away at all, some of the wisest men of their time (and probably ours) spent an aggregate of decades studying the histories of various governments, studying the writings of the greatest philosophers, studying the writings of observers of human nature, and slowly and laboriously putting together a carefully thought out and constructed framework of governance based upon their accumulated learning, after more years of debate and discussion.

      He dismisses that as not rational.

      I myself, personally, went on a journey of exploration of different political systems and the historical records of their successes and failures, and after years on this journey of education and self-enlightenment and analysis came to the conclusion that those wise men and their efforts formed the best form of governance. I then made the decision that I would support, promote and work to reinstate this form of governance in my country.

      He dismisses this as a mere “axiomatic belief”—when not denigrating it as irrational.

      I suggest, request and even challenge him to discuss the elements of this political system and compare it to the one he defends and promotes, even if only by attacking its opposition, and he refuses.

      Any effort to draw him into such a discussion is met with a slippery evasion worthy of a weasel dodging a trap, because to him being drawn into an actual fact-based discussion of the factual elements of the two opposing political systems IS a trap, to one such as he. Such an effort is met with a barrage of insults, accusations, evasions and downright lies, but never with an agreement to compare our political systems side by side, their successes and their failures, their strengths and their weaknesses.

      These antics lead me to consider only two possible explanations.

      One is that he is just ignorant of the details of the system he supports, and he is in this only because he loves to wallow around in insults, personal attacks and other examples of various personality disorders, and uses the smoke screen of politics to get his nose under the tent of sites such as this.

      The other is that he does understand the system he supports, and realizes that when it is compared, tenet to tenet, policy to policy, and particularly historical record to historical record, it is indefensible, and therefore it simply cannot be debated on its merits.

      The two, by the way, are not mutually exclusive, But this exchange, in which he was given chance after chance to engage in serious discourse, shows once again why he and his ilk generate no respect whatsoever, just disdain and even contempt, as they tap dance around facts, lie, insult, lie, distort, lie, and so on.

      • tryvasty March 5, 2017 / 10:32 pm

        “So here, in a nutshell, is the exchange. I point out that once upon a time, in a place not very far away at all, some of the wisest men of their time (and probably ours) spent an aggregate of decades studying the histories of various governments, studying the writings of the greatest philosophers, studying the writings of observers of human nature, and slowly and laboriously putting together a carefully thought out and constructed framework of governance based upon their accumulated learning, after more years of debate and discussion.

        He dismisses that as not rational.”

        What they did was rational. Your religious devotion to them is about as irrational as you can possibly get.

  8. Cluster March 4, 2017 / 9:51 am

    Did the Obama administration wiretap Trump?

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3009405/donald-trump-claims-barack-obama-had-his-wires-tapped-in-trump-tower-before-us-election-win/

    I have already heard from some credible sources via Fox and CNN this morning that this is in fact true and if so, then indictments need to follow. If not, just the seriousness of the charges demands that a special prosecutor look into why the Democrats are willing to break laws to keep a stranglehold of power over the American people.

    It is time to destroy progressivism, including those who support the ideology for they have shown themselves to be unworthy of any respect or certainly power. Schumer claiming that the DOJ needs to be “above reproach” is laughable considering what we have just gone through over the last 8 years. He is a complete loser who should be shamed, mocked, and ridiculed at every opportunity. The entire aging, out of touch Democrat leadership of Schumer, Pelosi, Warren, Franken, Hoyer, Durbin, Sanders, etc. are nothing more than failed, career politicians desperately trying to hold onto whatever power and influence they can. Let’s burn them at the stake.

    • M. Noonan March 5, 2017 / 12:15 am

      What is amazing me is the number of people who immediately assumed that Trump is off his rocker. I mean, here we’ve got Obama – the guy who used the IRS to go after his opponents; the guy who prosecuted journalists; the guy who proved himself a bald-faced liar about Obamacare – accused of doing something entirely in character and Never Trump is all, “man, that Trump is nuts!”.

      • Amazona March 5, 2017 / 12:37 am

        Obama didn’t just prosecute journalists, he wiretapped at least one, that we know about. He also discriminated against conservative and online journalists. He used the IRS to go after political opponents but he also used a complicit Department of Justice to advance his racial agendas and help foment racial strife and even violence. He used taxpayer money to pay for ads in an Israeli election to try to influence its outcome. He allowed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to use American weapons to support an insurgency in Libya, working actively to unseat an elected president of that country. He routinely insulted our allies while bowing deeply to tyrants in open public displays of honor, respect and submission. He appointed two blatantly biased political allies to the Supreme Court even knowing that one of them had worked in his administration to advance Obamacare and that Obamacare would soon be the topic in a case to be heard by the Court. He sued a governor for daring to have her state enforce immigration laws. He assured the second in command in Russia that once the election was over he would be able to be more flexible, and asked this message to be passed on to “Vlad”.

        You know of many more transgressions than this.

        Yet the Left finds absolutely nothing wrong with any of this, while at the same time howling at the moon about Trump, citing imaginary offenses that no one has even TRIED to prove.

  9. Cluster March 4, 2017 / 9:58 am

    And here’s our media, namely MSNBC:

    Trump Accuses Obama of Wiretapping Trump Tower During Campaign

    Followed by:

    Trump did not provide any evidence for the claims

    Hey MSNBC, since when does evidence matter?? You have been chasing a non story for weeks now without a single shred of evidence, but now you want evidence? Go F**K yourself. I am tired of these people

    • tryvasty March 4, 2017 / 4:37 pm

      Regardless of whether evidence matters to MSNBC, it should matter to you.

      • Amazona March 4, 2017 / 6:05 pm

        The point is the hypocrisy of the Complicit Agenda Media and the howling mobs of the Left, screeching about an invented Russia/Trump conspiracy without even trying to produce any evidence to back it up and ignoring the evidence it never happened, and then suddenly when the Left is accused of doing something illegal whining that without evidence it doesn’t count.

        Evidence DOES matter. That’s why the total lack of evidence in the Trump/Russia fantasy is so important. Evidence DOES matter, which is why if there is hard evidence in addition to personal experience such as having direct quotes from private phone conversations quoted when the only way to get them was to listen in on the calls, it will be examined.

        Have YOU demanded evidence that Russia interfered with the election? Have YOU demanded proof that Trump colluded with the Russians? Have YOU demanded proof that Sessions, in the meeting set up for him by Obama’s State Department with the Russian Ambassador, ever even MENTIONED the election?

  10. Cluster March 4, 2017 / 11:29 am

    Considering his track record, this is good news for the GOP:

    Barack Obama is reportedly getting back into the political spotlight to end “Trump-ism” and help the Democratic Party regain control of Congress.

    • Retired Spook March 4, 2017 / 12:14 pm

      I too welcome the former President (love that term) back into the fight. Just a reminder — during his tenure as President Democrats lost over 1,000 elected offices at the local state and national level. Republicans now control the White House, the House of Representatives, the U,S, Senate, two thirds of the governorships, at least one house in 45 of the 50 state legislatures, both houses in half the state legislatures. Over one third of Congressional Democrats are from just three states — New York, Massachusetts and California, and Hillary’s entire popular vote margin came from just two cities, New York and Los Angeles. Helluva job, Barry!

      • Amazona March 4, 2017 / 6:30 pm

        It does sound good, doesn’t it? I think his only contribution is to keep the flames of racial hatred high and hot, and I think that will drive away a lot of the Dem base, so go for it, Barry. Racial divisiveness is already his legacy, with the debacle of Obamacare in second place, so he doesn’t really have much to lose.

  11. Cluster March 5, 2017 / 11:55 am

    Just saw Mark Levin on Fox lay out a factual and devastating time line of the actions of the Obama administration which makes it crystal clear that Obama in fact did monitor and spy on the Trump campaign and surrogates.

    In summary: the Obama administration sought, and eventually obtained, authorization to eavesdrop on the Trump campaign; continued monitoring the Trump team even when no evidence of wrongdoing was found; then relaxed the NSA rules to allow evidence to be shared widely within the government, virtually ensuring that the information, including the conversations of private citizens, would be leaked to the media.

    Levin called the effort a “silent coup” by the Obama administration and demanded that it be investigated.

    And this is really easy to digest considering Obama’s previous spying on Israel including financially assisting Netanyahu’s opposition which was in fact undermining Israel’s democratic elections. Obama’s spying on conservative groups and using the IRS to hinder their political voices. This is a battle against a DEEP STATE led by a cabal of authoritative statists including a former President funded by the open border, globalist guru George Soros.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/03/03/mark-levin-obama-used-police-state-tactics-undermine-trump/

  12. Cluster March 5, 2017 / 12:09 pm

    Oh and here’s a story of an innocent American girl who was killed by illegal immigrants and MS13 members in Houston but according to Democrats, we are all bigots if we care more about this girl than we do about people who cross our border illegally. Even those with evil intent.

    http://www.12news.com/news/crime/family-friends-identify-girl-killed-in-satanic-gang-murder/419666050

    Democrats and progressives are as much of a threat to this country as any one is, and we need to treat them accordingly.

  13. Cluster March 5, 2017 / 12:16 pm

    And here is former AG Lynch and her thoughts:

    In a video published to the Senate Democrats Facebook page, Lynch says “this is a time of fear and uncertainty for so many people… who see our rights being assailed, being trampled on and even being rolled back.” She continues, “I know that this is difficult. But I remind you that this has never been easy.” Lynch goes on to praise individuals in history who have banded together, “marched, bled and died” to fight for their ideals. “We have done this before, we can do it again,” she concludes.

    So Loretta here is aghast that people like us want to “roll back” the “rights” of those MS13 members to come into this country and kill American girls. I wonder if the parents of that 13 year old girl had “fear and uncertainty”?

    So Loretta wants to bleed for her ideals? Say when

  14. Cluster March 5, 2017 / 12:29 pm

    And here’s what’s happening in my neck of the woods:

    http://www.pinalcentral.com/casa_grande_dispatch/area_news/pcso-seizes-k-in-cocaine-during-traffic-stop-in-eloy/article_ef6ea3b8-fea9-5efb-b5b8-59a94f382307.html

    I know former Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, and he has said repeatedly that this girl, or other “mules” for the cartels have NO CHOICE but to transport these drugs and face arrest, conviction, and prison because the cartel will kill their family or them if they don’t comply. The cartels play with peoples lives, as do the Democrats. People are just numbers to them to advance their agenda.

  15. Amazona March 6, 2017 / 12:35 am

    Here’s an interesting suggestion about how Trump learned of Obama administration wiretaps:

    1. The Intelligence Community -at the direction of President Obama- made a request to a FISA court for the NSA to spy on Donald Trump in June 2016. It was denied.

    2. In October the Intelligence Community (NSA) -at the direction of President Obama- made a second request to the FISA court for the NSA to spy on Donald Trump. It was approved.

    3. At around the same time (October), as the second request to FISA, (Def Sec) Ash Carter and (DNI) James Clapper tell President Obama to dump NSA Director Mike Rogers.

    4. A week after the election, Mike Rogers makes a trip to Trump Tower without telling his superior, James Clapper; which brings about new calls (November media leaks to WaPo) for President Obama to dump Mike Rogers.

    Occam’s Razor. NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers didn’t want to participate in the spying scheme (Clapper, Brennan, Etc.), which was the baseline for President Obama’s post presidency efforts to undermine Donald Trump and keep Trump from digging into the Obama labyrinth underlying his remaining loyalists. After the October spying operation went into effect, Rogers unknown loyalty was a risk to the Obama objective. 10 Days after the election Rogers travels to President-Elect Trump without notifying those who were involved in the intel scheme.

    Did NSA Director Mike Rogers wait for a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) to be set up in Trump Tower, and then notify the President-elect he was being monitored by President Obama?

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2017/03/03/occams-razor-did-nsa-admiral-mike-rogers-warn-trump-on-november-17th-2016/

  16. Retired Spook March 6, 2017 / 10:09 am

    I get Bob Livingston’s Personal Liberty Digest in my inbox a couple times a day, and there are often interesting posts by Ben Crystal, Jon Myers, Brandon Smith, Sam Rolly and G.S. Early, but Bob Livingston himself tends toward the conspiracy theory side, and I seldom read his posts anymore. Today's post is an an exception.

  17. Retired Spook March 6, 2017 / 10:34 am

    This is the first rational article I’ve seen on Gender Ideology. Allowed to grow and fester, the gender identity issue has the potential to do more harm to civilization than anything the Left has ever done, IMHO.

  18. Amazona March 6, 2017 / 11:23 am

    I think this article is particularly relevant given the back-and-forth between Tryvasty and me in this thread. I stumbled across it this morning, attracted by the title (https://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2014/02/how-an-ancient-greek-awakened-an-undergrad-from-dogmatic-slumbers) and while the whole article is not only excellent and struck a chord with me, as I had a similar history, this in particular seems very timely considering what has been printed here the last couple of days.

    I had views, but I was scarcely entitled to them. I was a skilled debater, but skilled in talking for victory, not for truth. I regarded my interlocutors, especially those with whom I had partisan or ideological differences, as adversaries, not as partners in the quest for knowledge and wisdom. My arguments did not reflect any actual thinking that had gotten me to where I stood on this issue or that; rather, they were offered as justifications for positions I held for all sorts of questionable reasons: tribal loyalty, personal preference, applause, the wish to be and be seen to be sophisticated, the desire to fit in with others at the College and in elite sectors of the culture generally.

    The author states, far more eloquently than I have, the very things I have been observing and commenting on regarding our Leftist bloggers. And we have seen what happens when we try to lead, push, drag, entice, bait, lure or shame Leftists to set aside their attitudes of talking for victory, not for truth, of seeing those who try to engage them as adversaries, not as partners in the quest for knowledge and wisdom, as setting forth arguments solely as justifications for positions ….. for all sorts of questionable reasons: tribal loyalty, personal preference, applause, the wish to be and be seen to be sophisticated, the desire to fit in with others …….. and in elite sectors of the culture generally. We meet ferocious resistance, we encounter frantic efforts to restate their inability to explain, define or defend their positions as advanced moral and intellectual development as they sneer at anyone who has a coherent political philosophy as being a slave to ideology, they call names, and so on.

    In general, we who populate this blog on a regular basis often disagree with each other, often debate different points of view. We certainly are not in lockstep with our political leadership. It can get pretty contentious. But what shines through all of our discourse, whether we are in agreement on a topic or going to the mat to slug it out, is that our goal is truth. And no matter what the topic, when a Lefty is involved the glaring characteristic of his involvement is that he has no interest in finding truth, but just strives to defeat the opponent. He receives no gratification from engaging in a mutually informative exchange, or from learning something. The only thing that gratifies him is satisfying his blood lust, to pummel, attack, insult, denigrate and smear the other. This is why I have come to the conclusion that the Liberals we see here are far less motivated by political theory than by personality disorders. They mount brute force attacks of verbiage, insults, lies and generally hyper-emotional volume—but never, ever, engage in a civil discussion of different points of view. And NEVER get sucked into an actual debate on the merits and defects of the two political models at the heart of the divide. Never. It would not only not feed his emotional needs, it would expose the utter shallowness of his political theory and illustrate that this theory is there only to cloak his insatiable need to strike out at others. There lies danger, to a Liberal. And what is funny is that they all know this.

    • Retired Spook March 6, 2017 / 11:45 am

      And no matter what the topic, when a Lefty is involved the glaring characteristic of his involvement is that he has no interest in finding truth, but just strives to defeat the opponent. He receives no gratification from engaging in a mutually informative exchange, or from learning something. The only thing that gratifies him is satisfying his blood lust, to pummel, attack, insult, denigrate and smear the other.

      I just celebrated 13 years on this blog, and to the best of my recollection Rusty is the ONLY Lefty who has succeeded in overcoming the dynamic you describe. I’m sure there are things on which he and I disagree, but we are no longer enemies.

      • Cluster March 6, 2017 / 12:31 pm

        You know I think Rusty hasn’t changed all that much. Even over at the swamp he would always challenge Watson, Casper, etc. on many leftist issues. While I think he still leans left of center, he calls the balls and strikes very accurately in my opinion.

  19. Cluster March 6, 2017 / 3:38 pm

    We all know about this:

    More than 4,300 refugees have entered the country in the past month since a federal judge blocked Trump’s previous order stopping refugee entry. This new executive order will be effective on March 16, and during the halt in refugee entry, the government will review vetting procedures.

    And thanks to the Democrats for this wonderful policy, we now have this:

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating approximately 300 refugees in the U.S. for terrorism, a Department of Homeland Security official told reporters Monday.

    But, but, but these are people just looking for a better life, right?

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2017/03/06/the-fbi-is-investigating-approximately-300-refugees-for-terrorism/#ixzz4aZnEszGj

    • Amazona March 6, 2017 / 5:29 pm

      Among these refugees, I wonder how many are women. How many are children. Of those being investigated, how many are young men?

      The Left loves to talk about “refugees” but we seldom see a picture of “refugees” that does not show large groups consisting only of young men, approximately 16-30 years of age. Where are the families?

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