Sunday, May 31, 2020

Access Hollywood and the Smoking Gun: Why is it different today?

 Historically, ordinary Democrats and ordinary Republicans thought of themselves as engaged in an in-house quarrel amongst people who agree on certain basics, such as the rule of law, freedom of speech and the press, etc. Thus, Republicans would prefer to be ruled by Democrats than by Fascists, and Democrats would prefer to be ruled by Republicans than by Fascists. Further, it was thought better to have someone win of decent character who is from the other party than have someone of bad character from one's own party win. Now, I think, a lot of people are in doubt about this. Republicans and Democrats see the elections in apocalyptic terms--the other party threatens civilization as we know it, so we have to win, no matter who we have on our side and who they have on theirs. I have been struggling to figure out why, for example, the Access Hollywood tape was no absolutely curtains for Trump, the way the Smoking Gun Tape was curtains for Richard Nixon. And the only thing that comes to my mind is that in Nixon's time politics was an in-house quarrel between people who thought they believed the same things and differ about how we go about getting those things done, while now, for many, politics is, like Star Wars, a simple tale of good and evil, and losing to the other side the worst that could possibly happen.

258 comments:

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Starhopper said...

You nailed it, Victor!

BK said...

Your post is correct, in part, because in the old days (say, prior to the election of Ronald Reagan) the two parties were only arguing about approaches to the same goals. Both parties agreed on virtually every issue but only disagreed about the relative importance of government approach to them. But now, the parties are no longer in agreement on the basic goals and their approaches have become radically different. On virtually any issue, the Democrats and Republican have vastly different approaches and mostly different outcomes in view. So, voting for a politician isn't a case of choosing between two flavors of ice cream - one that you prefer over the other with only minor differences. The Trump audio didn't kill his campaign because voting for Hillary (for many of us) was never an option because of the damage we believe she would have done to the country. And I expect for others, the Trump audio only cemented their hatred of him, but those people never would have voted for Trump because they believed that he would do terrible damage to the country regardless of the audio.

Hal said...

BK,
Your post is correct, in part, because in the old days (say, prior to the election of Ronald Reagan) the two parties were only arguing about approaches to the same goals.

Where were you in the 60's?

Looks like those who voted against Trump were right. He is doing terrible damage to this country. He seems incapable of even trying to bring people together. Just wants to rouse up his base.

oozzielionel said...

I recall a struggle in determining whether to support Richard Nixon in 1972. I was still too young to vote by a year, but I recall interacting with the election. I recall the conversation among Christians. Neither Nixon nor McGovern had much to offer in terms of values or character. The overriding considerations that I recall were, 1) We want a president who can make the hard military decisions - even the ones that are uncomfortable for Christians. 2) We want a president that can handle foreign affairs. 3) We hope for a president that can promote the rule of law. Law and order as an important issue. The irony was that Watergate broke after the election. The similarity was in supporting someone weak in common values but stronger in other areas. I do not see that things are too different today. We have flawed candidates with great potential for harm and some hope to accidentally do some good.

Starhopper said...

Here is a Catholic priest who definitely speaks for me. Other than one or two brief phrases, I would readily say everything he did in this interview.

Starhopper said...

I AM SO GRATEFUL that the Archbishop of Washington forcefully and immediately responded to the president's desecration of a Catholic shrine in D.C.

"I find it baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles."

Will someone please inform our "president" (sic) that Saint John Paul II supported the peaceful Solidarity protesters in Poland and opposed the violent use of police and military force against them?

It might also profit him to learn just who were the ultimate victors there. Hint: It was not the lawless, brutal state, but rather the people in the streets. Where is the Jaruzelski regime today? But the entire world still admires the heroism of Solidarity.

I take comfort in the sure knowledge that Trump will one day join Jaruzelski in the ash can of ignominy, whilst history will regard today's protesters as the embodied Spirit of Freedom and Justice in this country.

Starhopper said...

The Right Reverend Mariann Budde, the Episcopal bishop of Washington, joins with the Catholic Archbishop of Washington in her outrage over Trump’s use of St. John’s as a prop. "I can’t believe what my eyes are seeing tonight. What on earth did we just witness? Driving away a peaceful crowd with tear gas and weapons in order to stage a photo op was an abuse of sacred symbols. The President just used a Bible and one of the churches of my diocese without permission as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything our churches stand for." (my emphasis)

When, oh when, will all the Christians of this nation CONDEMN as a body this most unholy of hypocrites, this blasphemer, this flagrant violator of every one of God's commandments who boasts that he's never felt the need to ask for forgiveness (kind of a prerequisite to calling one's self a Christian), a "man" (sic) worthy of every one of the woes declared by Jesus in Matthew Chapter 23?

bmiller said...

And the only thing that comes to my mind is that in Nixon's time politics was an in-house quarrel between people who thought they believed the same things and differ about how we go about getting those things done, while now, for many, politics is, like Star Wars, a simple tale of good and evil, and losing to the other side the worst that could possibly happen.

You nailed it, Victor!

bmiller said...

An alternative narrative.

Starhopper said...

“Let me be clear. This is revolting. The Bible is not a prop,” the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author, wrote Monday on Twitter. “A church is not a photo op. Religion is not a political tool. And God is not a plaything.”

bmiller said...

Lying about an event is revolting.

Starhopper said...

"alternative narrative"

Don't you mean "alternative facts"?

The CDC confirms that tear gas was used against peaceful demonstrators, lawfully exercising their 1st Amendment rights:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Riot control agents (sometimes referred to as “tear gas”) are chemical compounds that temporarily make people unable to function by causing irritation to the eyes, mouth, throat, lungs, and skin.”

And, according to the CDC, “several different compounds” fall under this definition, and are employed by security forces, including military and police, in riot control situations.

Among others, they include chloroacetophenone (CN), more commonly referred to as “mace,” or pepper sprays; chlorobenzylidenemalononitrile (CS), “one of the most commonly used tear gases in the world,” according to an article in the British Medical Journal.

These compounds are all typically referred to as “tear gas” because their most prominent effect is to bring on tears.

Starhopper said...

"Lying about an event is revolting."

I totally agree. What I do not understand, is why are you lying about what happened here?

bmiller said...

Don't you mean "alternative facts"?

No I mean the official statement from the US Park Police.

Sgt. Eduardo Delgado, the public information officer for the Park Police, confirmed the agency did not use tear gas. And later this afternoon, United States Park Police acting Chief Gregory T. Monahan exploded the entire false narrative:

...No tear gas was used by USPP officers or other assisting law enforcement partners to close the area at Lafayette Park. Subsequently, the fence was installed."


Nice try.

bmiller said...

I totally agree. What I do not understand, is why are you lying about what happened here?

To be clear I'm not accusing you of lying. Just your news sources.

Starhopper said...

I am so glad that Trump has adopted the "Clinton defense" as his MO. "It all depends on what the definition of is is." Or in Trump's case, "It all depends on what the definition of tear gas is."

Nice try.

Starhopper said...

bmiller,

Can you at least have the dignity to agree that Trump's use of a church and a bible as a prop for a partisan photo op was horrifyingly blasphemous and an affront to all Christians everywhere (who have not drunk of the Kool Aid)?

bmiller said...

Funny in a bunch of ways.

The quote was from the agency that dispensed the smoke canisters and should know the difference between that and tear gas. But since you worked for the federal government maybe you have inside info that they are incompetent?

The "Clinton defense" was the missing link in Victor's OP. If Dems think it's OK for immoral people to occupy the White House, why should they be surprised when Repubs take advantage of the Overton window? But of course, Trump did not make any such claims. The Federal government did.

Since it was the Federal Government that made the claims and you think they are false, why again do you think you should trust the Federal Government?

Aren't we having "riot" discussing this?

bmiller said...

Can you at least have the dignity to agree that Trump's use of a church and a bible as a prop for a partisan photo op was horrifyingly blasphemous and an affront to all Christians everywhere (who have not drunk of the Kool Aid)?

I can understand why people who hate Trump would come to that conclusion. Just as I can understand why people hate Obama think he is not a Christian. But I don't hate either of them, so I don't agree with either of them.

I think Trump walked to the Church to show that the desecration of a Church is something he would not tolerate. If Obama were in the same situation and did the same thing, I'm sure nuts would accuse him of being blasphemous too.

bmiller said...

BTW Starhopper,

I'm glad to see that you've come out of your funk. Now you have the evil Right to fight. Just like the old days. :-)

Admit it. You never felt so alive!

Starhopper said...

I just finished my nightly praying of the Rosary. Today, I prayed the "Sorrowful Mysteries" (I thought they were most appropriate, considering what's going on right now,). I was most struck this evening by Simon of Cyrene. Did he think he was "aiding and abetting" the Roman occupiers by helping Jesus carry his Cross? Food for thought (and prayer) here. Especially since Simon is one of my favorite saints.

Starhopper said...

It's been decades since I was active duty Military, but I hope that if I were still in uniform today, I would have the spiritual strength to disobey any "order" to attack US citizens exercising their 1st Amendment rights to peaceably assemble. I pray for those in the services today. May they not violate their oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic! Our current "president" (sic) is the greatest threat to our Constitution since Robert E. Lee.

bmiller said...

I normally pray the "Sorrowful Mysteries" on official occasions.

But when I do my early morning walk, I improvise with an overall dedication and each decade devoted to a specific cause within that dedication.

Sometimes, my dedication is to this blog and the participants. Yes, even (and perhaps especially for) the atheists.

bmiller said...

I'll say an extra prayer for you Starhopper.

bmiller said...

BTW, don't be fooled by leftist shenanigans like this. There's gonna be plenty for a while.

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
BTW, don't be fooled by leftist shenanigans like this. There's gonna be plenty for a while.

What makes you think Wong was a leftist?

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
The quote was from the agency that dispensed the smoke canisters and should know the difference between that and tear gas. But since you worked for the federal government maybe you have inside info that they are incompetent?

I have every reason to think they are deceptive. What makes you think the "smoke cannisters" did not cause discomfort in the protesters. What would be the point of using harmless smoke? To make it harder to for the police/Guardsmen to see? To frighten people?

Hal said...

Starhopper,
And, according to the CDC, “several different compounds” fall under this definition, and are employed by security forces, including military and police, in riot control situations.

Among others, they include chloroacetophenone (CN), more commonly referred to as “mace,” or pepper sprays; chlorobenzylidenemalononitrile (CS), “one of the most commonly used tear gases in the world,” according to an article in the British Medical Journal.

These compounds are all typically referred to as “tear gas” because their most prominent effect is to bring on tears.


You are correct. This is just a semantic game being played by the Trump supporters to distract from criticism of Trump.
The gas used definitely caused physical distress to the peaceful protestors.

Also, there is no video evidence to substantiate the claim that this was a violent protest leading the cops to come in and disperse it. Quite the contrary there are some good videos out there showing it to be peaceful.

Hal said...

bmiller,
I think Trump walked to the Church to show that the desecration of a Church is something he would not tolerate. If Obama were in the same situation and did the same thing, I'm sure nuts would accuse him of being blasphemous too.

Guess I'm a nut then. Along with Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde and the other Christians who have criticized Trump for using religious symbols to promote himself.

And I guess you can imagine all kinds of good intentions for his actions here, but how could you ever be sure? He just stood there holding up a Bible with a sour look on his face and not saying anything.

Hal said...

One Brow,
What makes you think Wong was a leftist?

Well, as the article states: "Ma tells me Wong had recently been posting on Facebook that he’s available to help defend stores from looters." so I can see why one would think he was a leftist.:-)

Of course, there is a lot of fake stuff out there we have to watch out for:

White supremacists pretending to be Antifa members

Hal said...

One of the better commentaries on Trump's religious stunt:

ME, ME, ME

bmiller said...

You are correct. This is just a semantic game being played by the Trump supporters to distract from criticism of Trump.
The gas used definitely caused physical distress to the peaceful protestors.


No, semantic games. You were lied to by the press. But thank you for acknowledging that smoke canisters are not tear gas.

bmiller said...

And I guess you can imagine all kinds of good intentions for his actions here, but how could you ever be sure? He just stood there holding up a Bible with a sour look on his face and not saying anything.

I think it's more likely he did it to appeal to his Christian supporters than to stick a finger in their eye.

But the reaction of leftists make it look like they are pro-church burning. Good luck with that.

bmiller said...

Well, as the article states: "Ma tells me Wong had recently been posting on Facebook that he’s available to help defend stores from looters." so I can see why one would think he was a leftist.:-)

He may or may not be a leftist, but it seems to me that he was going to blend into the NG, and shoot someone leaving the NG to take the blame. Since the NG gets the blame anarchists (think) they benefit. Hence a leftist tactic.

Starhopper said...

"You were lied to by the press."

Oh. Just like the press lied when they accurately reported that Obama's inaugural crowd was bigger than Trump's. Or like they lied when they accurately reported that Russia interfered in the 2016 election in order to benefit Trump. Or like they lied when they accurately reported that Trump attempted to strong arm the Ukrainian government in hopes they would smear a political opponent. I could go on, but you get the idea.

Some of us live in the world of facts; others in a world of "alternative facts" (a.k.a. untruths, a.k.a. LIES).

I'll believe the mainstream media over our liar-in-chief any day.

Hal said...

bmiller,

But the reaction of leftists make it look like they are pro-church burning.

Bishop Budde on Trump's 'inflammatory' rhetoric


Can you point to any pro-church burning message in the bishop's remarks?

Hal said...

bmiller,

No, semantic games.

Yes, semantic games. A much more accurate account of the events than that in the article you linked to earlier can be found HERE
.

Hal said...

Starhopper,

Some of us live in the world of facts; others in a world of "alternative facts" (a.k.a. untruths, a.k.a. LIES).

I'll believe the mainstream media over our liar-in-chief any day.


Pretty sad to see how the 'Silent Majority' has given up on the idea of truth. But how else can they defend such a liar like Trump?

Hal said...

bmiller,

I'm curious. Do you think anything that Trump has done is hurting this country? Is there anything that he has done that you consider to be really bad?

Starhopper said...

This says it all.

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

You were lied to by the press when they said tear gas was used. Tear gas was not used.

I'll believe the mainstream media over our liar-in-chief any day.

I know you'll believe anything the MSM tells you. But I wouldn't call that critical thinking.

Hal said...

Much as I dislike Fox News, this is a very good and moving article.
Why can't we move past the thugs and lawbreakers using these peaceful protests as an excuse to commit violent acts and join together to work for more justice in this country?

It's heatbreaking.

bmiller said...

Hal,

Yes, semantic games. A much more accurate account of the events than that in the article you linked to earlier can be found HERE

The New York Times falsely headlined its article, “Tear Gas Clears Path for Trump to Visit Church.” An accompanying video showing the result of smoke canisters was falsely headlined:

Police in Washington Use Tear Gas on Protesters

“His walk came after riot police and National Guard troops used tear gas and flash grenades to clear a path through a peaceful protest in a city park,” the New York Times falsely reported about both the use of tear gas and whether the protests were peaceful. They were not.


Did the article you linked to provide a retraction for lying about tear gas? Or did they just pretend they never said it?

Pretty sad to see how the 'Silent Majority' has given up on the idea of truth. But how else can they defend such a liar like Trump?

I think all politicians lie. I also think the MSM lies. But while I think most people get it that politicians lie, some people just cannot believe that the MSM would lie. Even going so far as to say that smoke canisters are really tear gas because their favorite biased news source told them tear gas was used.

bmiller said...

Hal,

Why can't we move past the thugs and lawbreakers using these peaceful protests as an excuse to commit violent acts and join together to work for more justice in this country?

Thanks for a constructive comment. I don't think we can have peaceful protests by just ignoring the thugs. Do you?

bmiller said...

Hal,

I'm curious. Do you think anything that Trump has done is hurting this country? Is there anything that he has done that you consider to be really bad?

You may not have noticed, but I'm not a leftist. So I don't think what you consider a bad thing for the country is the same as what I consider a bad thing for the country.

I also haven't seen evidence you want to have a dispassionate political discussion like we were having regarding philosophy. So I've concluded that if I want to participate in a political discussion here it has to be rhetorically based.

Hal said...

bmiller,

Most of the protests have been peaceful. Who's talking about ignoring the thugs? I think everyone agrees they should be punished for their lawless activities.

bmiller said...

Hal,

Who's talking about ignoring the thugs?

I asked the question because of this part of your question:
Why can't we move past the thugs and lawbreakers

It could have meant we need to ignore them. But I see we're on the same page.

What steps do you think should be used to keep the protests calm?

Starhopper said...

There are a few things wrong with the administration's lie about tear gas not being used. For instance. Why then did the police, etc., first put on gas masks before clearing the square? Why did the dispersed peaceful demonstrators require their eyes to be flushed out with a mixture of soap and water (something only used after being tear gassed)? For what possible purpose would the security forces employ smoke grenades (the lying "alternative fact")? So they couldn't see the demonstrators? Makes no sense.

The official story doesn't stand up to the facts. In fact, it stinks to high heaven. And everyone knows this, other than those drunk with the Kool Aid.

Hal said...

bmiller,

You may not have noticed, but I'm not a leftist. So I don't think what you consider a bad thing for the country is the same as what I consider a bad thing for the country.

Of course I know you are not a leftist. You seem to blame everything on leftists.

I'm really having trouble understanding why you can't answer my question. I'm asking you whether or not you think Trump has done anything that harms this country. It doesn't matter what I think.

bmiller said...

An article on crowd control


Smoke
Description: Grenade filled with non-irritant smoke that can come in various colors but typically is white or yellow. Deployed by pulling a pin and throwing by hand. Creates a "pop" noise similar to the sound of a lid coming off a well-sealed jar, Jeffreys said.

When it's most useful: When there's a need to create a smoke screen for concealment or a diversion. It's also used to gain attention and to tell a crowd, "We are here," Jeffreys said.

Effect: Obscures vision. Can limit breathing if used in closed areas.

Appeal: Grabs people's attention without using an irritant or projectile. Can move groups without injuries.

Downfalls: None to note. But caution should be taken when using any agent, Jeffreys said.


Not that I think it will change anyone's mind with TDS and is today a crowd control expert just like they were COVID experts yesterday.

Hal said...

bmiller,

But I see we're on the same page.
What steps do you think should be used to keep the protests calm?


Am glad to see that you think we are on the same page here. I hope we really are.

I can answer your question, but at this point I think you need to first answer the questions I already asked you:
Do you think Trump has done anything to harm this country? Is there anything that he has done that you consider to be really bad?

Hal said...

bmiller,

Not that I think it will change anyone's mind with TDS and is today a crowd control expert just like they were COVID experts yesterday.

I don't get it. Why are you referencing this TDS crap? People can criticize Trump without having TDS. He is a human being. He is not perfect. He is going to make mistakes. There is going to be legitimate criticism pointing out his mistakes.
All US presidents have made serious mistakes. Why would one think Trump hasn't or won't make any?

bmiller said...

Hal,

Of course I know you are not a leftist. You seem to blame everything on leftists.

Have you noticed that you blame Trump for everything?

I think Trump has done the best job of keeping his campaign promises of any president I can remember. I don't think he's got them all done yet, but he's still got time. Nobody's perfect, but that fact doesn't mean he's harming the country.

We defeated ISIS and pulled troops out of the ME.
North Korea is not causing trouble.
We are not at war with Russia.
China's IP theft and marketplace cheating is being dealt with effectively.
NATO partners are paying their bills.
Illegal immigration is getting under control.
Manufacturing jobs are returning to the US.
2 (soon to be 3) excellent Supreme Court Judges not to mention numerous other federal judges.

I think these are all good things for America.

Starhopper said...

"and is today a crowd control expert"

When I was in the Army, I was purposely tear gassed as part of my training in the proper use of gas masks. When stationed in Germany during the years of the Baader-Meinhof Gang (a.k.a. Red Army Faction), we frequently exercised scenarios involving the use of tear gas as a defensive weapon. Years later, as a DoD civilian, I received yet more extensive training in the use of and defense against tear gas.

Bmiller, what experience do you have? I am quite sure I am more of an "expert" than you. Maybe Hal (who after all was a Marine) has more.

So I'm not just "blowing smoke" here. I know whereof I speak.

bmiller said...

I can answer your question, but at this point I think you need to first answer the questions I already asked you:
Do you think Trump has done anything to harm this country? Is there anything that he has done that you consider to be really bad?


OK then maybe we aren't on the same page. Why do you and I have to talk about Trump?

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

So I'm not just "blowing smoke" here. I know whereof I speak.

Then you are disputing the linked article?

bmiller said...

I don't get it. Why are you referencing this TDS crap?

The issue I brought up was the MSM telling lies. Then people start telling me Trump is a bad man. If you don't want to be diagnosed with TDS then stick to the topic and don't blame Trump for MSM bad reporting.

Hal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Starhopper said...

"Then you are disputing the linked article?"

I am disputing anyone and everyone who disseminates, supports, or has fallen for the lying narrative that tear gas was not used against peaceful demonstrators in Lafayette Square.

Starhopper said...

"Why is it that Trump supporters are so unwilling to point out the flaws in Trump?"

Comrade, one must never criticize (or even have doubts about) the Party line! The Party is infallible!

Hal said...

bmiller,

Have you noticed that you blame Trump for everything?

You are putting words in my mouth. Where did I blame Trump for everything?

So apparently you don't think anything Trump has done has harmed this country?

Strange. I voted for Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama but I know that they made some serious mistake that have harmed this country. I think all leaders do at some time or another. Human beings make many mistakes.

Why is it that Trump supporters are so unwilling to point out the flaws in Trump?

Hal said...

Starhopper,



Yes. It is really weird isn't it? Especially in light of the fact that bmiller is a Christian. Having been raised a Christian I am well aware of the fallibility of humans. We all far short of perfection.

Hal said...

bmiller,
Why do you and I have to talk about Trump?

You are kidding, right? Isn't he the one who wanted to make a photo op holding a bible in front of a church? And to do that peaceful protesters had to be moved out of the area by violent means.

Hal said...

Good to see that the other police officers who stood by and watched Floyd George being murdered are also being charged with aiding and abetting.

bmiller said...

You are putting words in my mouth. Where did I blame Trump for everything?

The same place I blamed leftists for everything.

Strange. I voted for Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama but I know that they made some serious mistake that have harmed this country. I think all leaders do at some time or another. Human beings make many mistakes.


Strange. I've never seen you list those mistakes from these 3 leaders. Please proceed.

bmiller said...

Yes. It is really weird isn't it? Especially in light of the fact that bmiller is a Christian. Having been raised a Christian I am well aware of the fallibility of humans. We all far short of perfection.

Which is why I said nobody is perfect.

bmiller said...

Hal,

You are kidding, right? Isn't he the one who wanted to make a photo op holding a bible in front of a church? And to do that peaceful protesters had to be moved out of the area by violent means.

But we had been talking about how to keep thugs from ruining peaceful protests. Why do you and I have to talk about Trump to discuss such a strategy.

Hal said...

bmiller,

Strange. I've never seen you list those mistakes from these 3 leaders. Please proceed.

I started to write out the mistakes but then I realized that you still seem to be incapable of listing anything Trump has done that might harm this country.

When you do list his actual mistakes, I'll be glad to provide you with my list.

bmiller said...

When you do list his actual mistakes, I'll be glad to provide you with my list.

Sure you will.

Hal said...

bmiller,
But we had been talking about how to keep thugs from ruining peaceful protests. Why do you and I have to talk about Trump to discuss such a strategy.

Because Trump has been screwing it up royally. You were correct to point out that the MSM did not use 'tear gas" in its technical sense. But, as I (and Starhopper) have pointed out, that is merely a semantic issue, a red herring to distract from the real issue: peaceful protesters were moved out of an area by violent means in order to provide a photo op for Trump.

Starhopper said...

"When you do list his actual mistakes, I'll be glad to provide you with my list."

bmiller doesn't dare do that. He knows full well that the slightest criticism of the Dear Leader is met with DOMINATION OF THE BATTLESPACE. Dissent is not tolerated.

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

For what possible purpose would the security forces employ smoke grenades (the lying "alternative fact")? So they couldn't see the demonstrators? Makes no sense.

The article explained why smoke canisters are used in crowd control. So unless you show me some evidence that smoke canisters are not used in crowd control I'll continue to believe they are.

Hal said...

bmiller,

Sure you will.

So now you are resorting to calling me a liar.

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

He has weird hair. See? I can criticize.
Now do Obama.

Hal said...

Starhopper,

bmiller doesn't dare do that. He knows full well that the slightest criticism of the Dear Leader is met with DOMINATION OF THE BATTLESPACE. Dissent is not tolerated.

It is not just him. Seems to be prevalent among many of the Trump supporters. What is it about Trump that keeps his followers from criticizing him?

The more I think about it the more bizarre it seems.

Hal said...

bmiller,
So unless you show me some evidence that smoke canisters are not used in crowd control I'll continue to believe they are.

It is irrelevant whether or not they were just smoke canisters. There is no disputing that a peaceful crowd of protesters was moved out of the area by violent means. Moved by violent means just to provide a photo op for Trump.
Just look at the videos if you don't believe me.

bmiller said...

Hal,

I answered your question as best I could above. I judge a president by what promises he makes and keeps and those he doesn't. I don't keep a detailed list of all Trump's campaign promises so if you want to point out promises he didn't keep we can discuss that.

Please don't act like you have been civil and are shocked, shocked that I don't think you'll do as I expect.

bmiller said...

Hal,

It is irrelevant whether or not they were just smoke canisters.

Since my argument is that tear gas was not used, it is the only relevant issue.

Starhopper said...

"The more I think about it the more bizarre it seems."

Not really. It's just hasn't been seen in the USA before now. But the mindset was well known in the old Soviet Union and today in North Korea. We've seen it in every tinpot dictatorship all over the globe for generations.

The problem is Americans' misguided belief in a nonexistent "American Exceptionalism". But in reality we're no different than any other country, other than having been phenomenally lucky for two centuries. Even our horrible Civil War was less destructive than all too many other internal conflicts through history. (Just look at Syria today.) We fool ourselves into thinking "it can't happen here" (great book, by the way, and eerily prescient).

So the mindless and unwavering support for Trump is all of a piece with the Cult of Personality under Stalin, or the Maoist Red Guards waving their Little Red Books. We've seen this show before - just not here.

Hal said...

bmiller,

My questions had nothing to do with campaign promises. I explicitly asked if you thought he had made any serious mistakes while governing as president. I did not ask if he had kept his campaign promises.

To be honest, I can't remember any of the campaign promises that were made by the presidents I mentioned. But I do remember failures in governing that they committed.

I told you that I would list those failures if you were able to list any failures on Trump's part. And I really would. Why shouldn't I be shocked that you think I would not? I strongly disagree with your position here, but I have not called you a liar.

Hal said...

Starhopper,

The problem is Americans' misguided belief in a nonexistent "American Exceptionalism"

I would agree with this. Even though I love my country dearly and still think it the best in the world, I know enough about history to realize that sooner her later it will end up as all other countries and nations have in the past.

Hal said...

bmiller,

Since my argument is that tear gas was not used, it is the only relevant issue.

Well, it hasn't been my argument. May you continue to have success promoting your 'relevant issue'.

I'm, more concerned about the suffering the peaceful protesters had to go through to provide Trump a silly photo op.

bmiller said...

Hal,

My questions had nothing to do with campaign promises. I explicitly asked if you thought he had made any serious mistakes while governing as president. I did not ask if he had kept his campaign promises.

You asked an open-ended question and I told you how made my judgement. I can't help it if you disapprove of the way I answered your open-ended question. If you want me to address something explicitly then why not just give me an example of what you think I should think is a grave mistake.

Why shouldn't I be shocked that you think I would not?

Because I've already answered your question, yet you keep insisting that I haven't to your satisfaction. That indicates to me that you have something in mind that you are unwilling to communicate to me. It's also why I wanted you to give me examples, so I could gauge what you are really getting at so I could respond properly. So when you insisted I go first, well, that doesn't give me confidence you want to be open and honest with me.

bmiller said...

Hal,

Well, it hasn't been my argument. May you continue to have success promoting your 'relevant issue'.

I'm, more concerned about the suffering the peaceful protesters had to go through to provide Trump a silly photo op.


That was the evidence of my claim that the MSM juiced the story to rile up fellow leftists. It worked well.

Now we can't talk generally and dispassionately about how crowd control can be exercised while allowing peaceful protests.

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

The problem is Americans' misguided belief in a nonexistent "American Exceptionalism". But in reality we're no different than any other country, other than having been phenomenally lucky for two centuries. Even our horrible Civil War was less destructive than all too many other internal conflicts through history. (Just look at Syria today.) We fool ourselves into thinking "it can't happen here" (great book, by the way, and eerily prescient).

Do you have a problem with Americans feeling a solidarity with their fellow Americans and feeling they have a special bond? Because I think every country has that sort of cohesiveness, not just America.

Also, what I think is weird is how leftists insist that I volunteer for a struggle session and denounce the candidate I'm likely to vote for. And then project that I, the victim, am actually a Maoist.

You've got a strange religion there.

Starhopper said...

Wow. Just wow!

Former defense secretary Jim Mattis just excoriated President Trump in the journal The Atlantic today, accusing the nation’s chief executive of deliberately trying to divide Americans, taking exception to his threats of military force on American streets, and praising those demanding justice following the police killing of George Floyd.

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,”

“We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership," he continued. "We can unite without [Trump], drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.”

Mattis wrote that he has watched events this week “angry and appalled," and said protesters are right to demand equal justice under the law.

“It is a wholesome and unifying demand — one that all of us should be able to get behind,” he wrote. “We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values — our values as people and our values as a nation.”

Mattis also took exception to events outside the White House on Monday night, when peaceful protesters were cleared from the area with non-lethal weapons by a force that included Secret Service, Park Police and National Guardsmen. “When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution,” Mattis wrote. “Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens — much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”

Mattis also rejects the current defense secretary’s characterization this week of American cities as a “battlespace” that the military can help “dominate.”

Hooray for General Mattis! A voice of sanity in a time of crisis. Bolded emphasis was mine.

Hal said...

Semper Fi, General Mattis.

Starhopper said...

Looks like the dam is finally breaking. One mustn't get too hopeful (for the near term, at least), but I have an unwavering faith that Truth and Justice will win in the end.

But the signs are very hopeful that our 3 year national nightmare may soon be ending. Pray that it may be so!

bmiller said...

COVID.

Interesting experiment going on in Minneapolis. Church attendance is still limited due to the COVID pandemic.

But no one is enforcing social distancing in the protests and riots.

So if there's no spike in COVID infections, then it will provide evidence that lock-downs were unnecessary. If there is a spike, then we need to stop the protests.

Right?

Starhopper said...

There will sadly and unfortunately be a gigantic spike in new cases, starting about 14 days from now.

bmiller said...

Probably sooner than that if it's still as contagious.

bmiller said...

My church just went from 100 max attendance allowed to 125.

Here it seems infections are going down. Businesses have been somewhat open and no new upticks. Weather is probably a factor too.

Starhopper said...

All of this would not have happened in the first place, had anyone else been president for the past 3 years. A President Clinton would have been immediately on top of the situation long before the pandemic hit our shores. From Day One, she would have mobilized every federal resource to test, track, isolate, and treat each and every case as it arose. She would have not strayed into insanity world, huckstering bogus drugs or suggesting people swallow bleach or infrared lamps. She would never have suggested that it will "magically" go away. She would not have washed her hands of the affair ("I take no responsibility!"), declaring it was the states' problem.

As to the protests, she would have immediately declared national solidarity with those who decried racism and police brutality. She would have addressed the issues head on and been a voice for calm and reason. She would have invited African-American leaders and spokespersons to the White House to address their concerns, and would have assured the nation that all levels of our government (federal, state, and local) were committed to expunging this evil from our midst. There would have been no need, and therefore no motivation, for crowds in the streets.

Ah, if only... But instead, we're stuck with...

Starhopper said...

"My church just went from 100 max attendance allowed to 125."

I want to return to Mass in person as much as anyone else (watching it online is just not the same. But I can pause it to hit the bathroom. So it's not all bad.)

But I ain't leaving this house until I am well and truly vaccinated, no matter how long that takes. It may be several years from now, so at my age, I am prepared to die right where I am.

bmiller said...

Wow.

At at time when even the Dems are treating Hillary like the crazy aunt in the attic and asking her to quiet down, you're having fantasies she is Wonder Woman.

I still want to nominate you for the top leadership position in the Dem party. You have my full support.

bmiller said...

I want to return to Mass in person as much as anyone else (watching it online is just not the same. But I can pause it to hit the bathroom. So it's not all bad.)

Ha!

But can you have a deacon deliver Holy Communion?

bmiller said...

Oh, and in your case, Reconciliation?

bmiller said...

;-)

bmiller said...

So is there a hierarchy of morality?

I mean it is moral to protest, but is it moral to protest if you will infect others?

So is protecting human life the overarching moral principle?

Starhopper said...

It is NOT moral to protest if you will knowingly infect others... but these numnuts, like most youth, believe they are immortal and can't possibly believe the virus will affect them (or those around them).

Side Note: Watching the demonstrations has made me feel so old. They all look like children to me.

As for Clinton, it is not possible to deny that she would have been a far better president than the disaster we're dealing with now. (And I was not a Clinton supporter in 2016, though I did vote for her as the lesser of two evils. My preferred candidate never made it past the primaries.)

TOTALLY OFF SUBJECT: I just finished the first episode of Season One of the BBC television series "Father Brown", based on the G.K. Chesterton stories. Wonderful! My highest recommendation. (Based, of course, on only seeing the very 1st episode. I'll watch the 2nd tomorrow.)

Starhopper said...

Oh, I forgot to answer the other half of your question.

Yes, there is a hierarchy of morality. At the top of the hierarchy is social justice.

"If you do not love the brother whom you can see, how can you love God whom you cannot see?

bmiller said...

It is NOT moral to protest if you will knowingly infect others... but these numnuts, like most youth, believe they are immortal and can't possibly believe the virus will affect them (or those around them).

So should the state crack down on them?

Side Note: Watching the demonstrations has made me feel so old. They all look like children to me.

Embrace your ancient-hood.

As for Clinton, it is not possible to deny that she would have been a far better president than the disaster we're dealing with now. (And I was not a Clinton supporter in 2016, though I did vote for her as the lesser of two evils. My preferred candidate never made it past the primaries.)

You're the best Dem strategist ever. Don't forget, I'm available to endorse you!

bmiller said...

Yes, there is a hierarchy of morality. At the top of the hierarchy is social justice.

The question was "So is protecting human life the overarching moral principle?"
Can't tell if your answer was yes or no.

Starhopper said...

I can't answer your question until I understand what your meaning of "overarching" means.

It's not always easy to answer a question with a simple yes or no. The one and only time in my life I was a sworn-in witness at a criminal trial, the prosecuting attorney kept badgering me to answer a particular question with a yes or no, and wouldn't allow me to say anything else. After several rounds of this, I turned to the judge and said, "Your Honor, I just took an oath to tell "the whole truth". Any answer to this question limited to a yes or no would be a violation of that oath." The judge stared at me for about 10 seconds, and then turned to the prosecutor and said, "He's right. Move along."

The funny thing is that now, 15 plus years after the event, I can no longer remember what the question was!

Starhopper said...

Done some thinking over breakfast, and maybe I can answer your question with a yes or no.

Q: So is protecting human life the overarching moral principle?

A: No. The overarching moral principle is "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Everything else hangs off of that one statement, and every action must be considered in light of it. You can't say that for "protecting human life", which is only a corollary.

But see? Even here, I could not restrict my answer to a simple "No".

bmiller said...

I wasn't really looking for a yes or no answer but instead how you determine that hierarchy. For instance under what circumstances you would consider the taking of life OK.

I'm also wondering why you didn't mention "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength".





Starhopper said...

For example, for the troops hitting the beaches at Normandy on D-Day, the moral principle of "protecting human life" was rightfully subordinate to the moral principle of defeating tyranny.

(I am by no means a pacifist, although I admire them greatly. The Berrigan brothers rank high in my pantheon of spiritual heroes.)

Starhopper said...

"I'm also wondering why you didn't mention..."

The first and greatest commandment does not shed explicit light on how we should live (i.e., morality), but rather on who we should be. The second commandment is more to the point in answering your question.

Hal said...

bmiller,

"Do you have a problem with Americans feeling a solidarity with their fellow Americans and feeling they have a special bond? Because I think every country has that sort of cohesiveness, not just America.

Also, what I think is weird is how leftists..."


You know what I think is weird? How someone argues for American solidarity while in the next breath sets themselves apart from other Americans by calling them "leftists".

Hal said...

Starhopper,

Did you see this:

Another Jarhead critique of Trump

bmiller said...

Regarding D-Day, I assume both sides would have used Just War Theory to defend their actions.

I suppose self-defense would be another example. One person has the same right to live as any other, and so if someone attempts to take another's life, then it is justified to kill the aggressor if no other means are available.

The first and greatest commandment does not shed explicit light on how we should live (i.e., morality), but rather on who we should be. The second commandment is more to the point in answering your question.

Interesting. I always thought it was first, because it was more fundamental. If you follow the first, you will automatically be following the second.

Starhopper said...

You know what I think is weird? How someone argues for American solidarity while in the next breath sets themselves apart from other Americans by calling them "leftists".

No weirder than our "president" (sic) standing on the South Lawn of the White House (OUR White House) saying he's the friend of peaceful protesters at the exact moment that he's tear gassing peaceful protesters on the North side of the building.

Hal said...

Looks like we are starting to get info on some of the people involved in rioting:

3 right extremists arrested for planning violence during protest

Starhopper said...

"If you follow the first, you will automatically be following the second."

But as John wrote, it is impossible to follow the first without first following the second. (1 John 4:20)

Starhopper said...

Hal,

Very good article. Thanks for pointing it out!

bmiller said...

Hal,

You know what I think is weird? How someone argues for American solidarity while in the next breath sets themselves apart from other Americans by calling them "leftists".

I wish we could all agree on American solidarity but it's obvious we don't. I don't think I'm causing a division by acknowledging there is a division. I also don't think we'll fix the division if we can't even have a general and dispassionate discussion about how to keep protests peaceful and safe.

bmiller said...

But as John wrote, it is impossible to follow the first without first following the second. (1 John 4:20)

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

I don't read it the same way you do. It looks to me John is saying that if you claim to love God but hate someone that it's evidence that you don't love God. Not that one must love one's neighbor first. If one loves God primarily then one will naturally love one's neighbor.

Hal said...

bmiller,

I don't think I'm causing a division by acknowledging there is a division.

There is a difference between simply acknowledging there is a division and continuing to exacerbate it.

I'm thinking of your post regarding the man who tried to pass himself off as belonging in the NG. Without any evidence you associated him with the 'leftists'.
It is like Trump claiming the rioters are all in the Antifa without evidence.

bmiller said...

It's a good thing that the Feds are finally arresting people.

May they fill the jails.

bmiller said...

Hal,

There is a difference between simply acknowledging there is a division and continuing to exacerbate it.

You mean by only linking to stories that support your narrative?

I'm thinking of your post regarding the man who tried to pass himself off as belonging in the NG. Without any evidence you associated him with the 'leftists'.

I guess you didn't read what I wrote then.

It is like Trump claiming the rioters are all in the Antifa without evidence.

Did Trump claim all rioters were antifa? And are you claiming that the Feds have no evidence that antifa was involved in the riots?

Hal said...

bmiller,

That was the evidence of my claim that the MSM juiced the story to rile up fellow leftists. It worked well.

You are quite mistaken if you think people really got upset about the police violence that took place there because the term 'teargass' was employed in the narrative. That is merely a red-herring thrown out by the Federalist.

What really 'juiced up' the negative reaction to Trump was this:

The president stood in front of St. John’s, holding a Bible aloft, and expropriated the image of the church, the Holy Bible, and the Christian faith as the backdrop and basis for his words and deeds in dealing with this crisis. It wasn’t enough that peaceful protesters had just been deprived of their first-amendment rights—this photo-op sought to legitimize that abuse with a layer of religion. To make matters worse, he was joined in the church photo-op by the other members of his staff and cabinet, including the press secretary, the chief of staff, and the national security advisor. Much worse still, he was joined in the picture by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Attorney General William Barr.(From General Allen's article I linked to earlier.)

Interesting that the Mollie Hemingway who wrote the hit piece in The Federalist immediately started criticizing one of our American heroes (Gen. Mattiss) as soon as decried Trump's behavior.

Hal said...

bmiller,

Did Trump claim all rioters were antifa?

I'm more than happy to amend my original comment.

"The violence and vandalism is being lead by Antifa and other radical left wing groups,” Trump said.

Hal said...

bmiller,
And are you claiming that the Feds have no evidence that antifa was involved in the riots?


Don't know of any evidence so far. I do know we have evidence of a right wing group being involved. I linked to it above.

bmiller said...

Don't know of any evidence so far. I do know we have evidence of a right wing group being involved. I linked to it above.

Don't you think it's strange that you haven't read about any reporter asking where the DOJ got it's evidence for the claim? Why is that? Do you think reporters are so dumb not to ask the question? I've seen the answer.

Starhopper said...

Don't you think it's strange that you haven't read about any reporter asking about all the flying saucers landing on the Mall? Why is that? Do you think reporters are so dumb not to ask the question?

bmiller, you have a habit of asking people why they haven't mentioned something or other (as you did just above to me). It's far more profitable (and rational) to ask why they did something.

Bad question: Mr. President why didn't you do anything about the pandemic until it was too late to stop it?

Good question: Mr. President, why did you ignore all the warnings about the coming pandemic, doing instead everything in your power to pooh-pooh it?

(I was just looking for an excuse to use "pooh-pooh".)

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

bmiller, you have a habit of asking people why they haven't mentioned something or other (as you did just above to me). It's far more profitable (and rational) to ask why they did something.

Guess you haven't read Sherlock Holmes.

And you also apparently happy with your ignorance.

Starhopper said...

"I don't read [1 John 4:20] the same way you do.

Well, I guess it could be read either way. But I imagine that from the viewpoint of eternity, it doesn't make any difference. The end result is the same.

bmiller said...

So we both agree that there are instances where the taking of a life is justified.

What about cases where it isn't justified?

Here are some hypothetical cases related to bricks and riots since that's in the news:

1) A rioter uses a brick to kill someone.
2) Someone bought the bricks for the rioter knowing the rioter was going to use the brick to kill someone.
3) Someone bought bricks from the same company as the rioter's bricks, not knowing whether the company's intent in making the bricks.
4) The brick company makes the bricks with the intent for them to used in the riot.
5) 3 now knows the brick company makes the bricks, but supports the brick company anyway.
6) 3 now takes the action within his power to prevent the brick company from making the killer bricks.

How would you score them?

bmiller said...

Well, I guess it could be read either way. But I imagine that from the viewpoint of eternity, it doesn't make any difference. The end result is the same.

The second is like the first, but there is a distinction. The first also obviously is listed first so that must mean something too.

Starhopper said...

As to your list, Yikes! (The late) Daniel Berrigan would have prophetically condemned the lot of them. He consistently insisted that there was no distance between the politician who sends troops into battle and the civilian who works in the armaments industry or anyone who profits from war. (To my knowledge, he never mentioned what responsibilities a voter has.) He forgave the actual soldiers in the vein of "They know not what they are doing."

But I'd say the rioter throwing the brick has no such excuse.

By the way, bmiller, if you're seriously interested in the "Seamless Garment" position on life matters, check out Rehumanize International. I'm not a member of the organization, but I do support them financially. I love their journal "Life Matters".

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

Don't worry. I'm familiar with the "Seamless Garment" position.

I'm interested in your position on the list variations, not Berrigan's or "Seamless Garment" if they are not your position.

I assume you have some time to kill, right?

Starhopper said...

"I assume you have some time to kill, right?"

Too late. You should have hit me up before 1 PM. That's when I start grandkid duty (which lasts until dinnertime).

Starhopper said...

Neglecting my grandkids, I simply must post the following:

Dispersal agents such as tear gas and pepper spray “make you cry” and “cause your nose and mouth to secrete mucus—all of which exacerbates spread of the virus,” one doctor warned. (from The New Yorker)

So the employment of agents guaranteed to further spread the lethal coronavirus makes our president a murderer.

Starhopper said...

A murderer, by the way, under bmiller's very definition.

bmiller said...

You mean about time to kill?

I do think your attempt at critical thinking is a crime :-)

bmiller said...

bmiller, you have a habit of asking people why they haven't mentioned something or other (as you did just above to me). It's far more profitable (and rational) to ask why they did something.

The reason I asked why Hal he hasn't read about the DOJ supplying any evidence for the claim is because it's like the dog that didn't bark from the Sherlock Holmes story Silver Blaze. The criminal was identified because the dog that was guarding the horse didn't bark because the dog knew the thief.

That's why asking why things don't happen is useful to getting to the truth. In this case, I'm asking Hal why he's not curious that the new stories he's read regarding the administrations claims that antifa etc were involved that it seems no one asked the question about what evidence the DOJ has to support the claim. If you were a reporter, why wouldn't you ask that question? If the question was asked, what was the answer? Why is this seemingly not being reported in the news sources Hal reads? Why would I want to read a news source that didn't report the actual news?

The fact of the matter is that the question was asked and answered. Why do some "news" sources disguise that fact?

Starhopper said...

"Antifa" is a boogeyman made up by people who live in a right wing bubble. Sure, it probably exists (somewhere, out there...) but its influence on what is happening right now is so close to zero that it cannot be measured.

But go ahead and fixate on your imaginary "hand that controls the puppet." In doing so, you are NO DIFFERENT that those who have blamed the Jews for all the world's ills for generations now. In both cases, you take the flimsiest of coincidences and inflate them into a world-girdling conspiracy against a lily white purity that must be defended at all costs against the outsider.

God in Heaven, has evil no originality? Is it the same (literally) damned thing over and over again?

bmiller said...

George Floyd's brother is the definition of grace under pressure.

God bless him and his family.

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

I have no idea what you are ranting about. If you want to call me a Nazi, at least pay attention to what I'm trying to argue about.

I was pointing out that the DOJ said there was evidence that antifa was involved in the violence contra to claims that there was none provided. The press suppressed this news although they claim they didn't. That's all. I'm arguing that the press is providing us with propaganda, just like all socialists have historically done. Yes, Nazi's were socialists.

bmiller said...

Last year I spoke at my brother's funeral. I had time to prepare but it was still emotional.
No way could I have done that under the circumstances what Terrence Floyd composed and delivered.

bmiller said...

So I guess you're off duty now and gin and tonic are the order of the day?

I'm having a wine.

StardustyPsyche said...

You weepy drunks are gonna make me bust out cryin any second now...

The guy had:
Covid-19 (yeah, the thing that makes you unable to breath).
Recent methamphetamine use.
Fentanyl intoxication (yeah, 5o times worse than morphine, overdose deaths common).
Arteriosclerotic heart disease.
Hypertensive heart disease.

So the guy purposely falls out, won't get in the car, why? Because he is stoned out of his mind, duh, you drunks should be able to relate to that.

So, the cop applies a mild restraint to him like he and his fellow officers have done a thousand times before with a thousand other criminals resisting arrest and stoned out of their gourds...

But wait, oh snaps, the guy up and dies, with heart disease and meth and massive opioids, gee, imagine that, a guy like that died, what as shock.

So now the poor cop is like, "I barely touched this criminal drug addict, what the hell happened?"

What happened is that Black Lies Matter just got another dead black criminal to lie about.

Starhopper said...

" If you want to call me a Nazi..."

First of all, I never called you a Nazi. (As they say, read the transcript.) What I said was that ascribing some sort of puppetmaster role to the vanishingly insignificant entity known as Antifa is no different than what antisemites have done throughout the centuries in blaming the Jews for whatever bad was happening, be it a plague or a military defeat or whatever.

But I find it quite interesting that you jumped so quickly to assuming you were being called a Nazi, when no one has. Guilty conscience, perhaps? Or maybe a dawning realization of just who your intellectual bedfellows are?

If it quacks like a duck...

bmiller said...

Cops should have saved his life. Not just watch him die in custody.

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

It's like talking to a character in an Orwell novel.

First of all, I never called you a Nazi. (As they say, read the transcript.)

If it quacks like a duck...

doublethink is the act of holding, simultaneously, two opposite, individually exclusive ideas or opinions and believing in both simultaneously and absolutely.

In the same post you both claimed you didn't call me a Nazi and then call me a Nazi.

bmiller said...

But of course calling me a Nazi is irrelevant to the claim I was making.

That claim is that the MSM is intentionally concealing facts. Just like in an Orwell novel.

Starhopper said...

"In the same post you both claimed you didn't call me a Nazi and then call me a Nazi.

You missed the point of my last sentence. I was saying that you appeared to be calling yourself a Nazi by identifying your thought processes with Nazism.

As to your claim, there are no "facts" to conceal. Antifa is not behind these demonstrations. They are a mirror image of the right wing lunatic militias or the Westboro Baptist Church, with about as much influence. The MSM is rightly ignoring them, not giving them an undeserved platform for hate.

bmiller said...

You missed the point of my last sentence. I was saying that you appeared to be calling yourself a Nazi by identifying your thought processes with Nazism.

It's hard for sane people to find a point in un-hinged ranting.

As to your claim, there are no "facts" to conceal. Antifa is not behind these demonstrations

Winston. You are addressing a claim I didn't even make.

Starhopper said...

Me: As to your claim, there are no "facts" to conceal.

You: You are addressing a claim I didn't even make.

You earlier: The press suppressed this news.

And: [T]he claim I was making [...] is that the MSM is intentionally concealing facts. (emphasis added)

Busted!

Hal said...

bmiller,

If you want to call me a Nazi, at least pay attention to what I'm trying to argue about.

Huh? Starhopper never called you a Nazi.

Here is the post you are responding to:
"Antifa" is a boogeyman made up by people who live in a right wing bubble. Sure, it probably exists (somewhere, out there...) but its influence on what is happening right now is so close to zero that it cannot be measured.

But go ahead and fixate on your imaginary "hand that controls the puppet." In doing so, you are NO DIFFERENT that those who have blamed the Jews for all the world's ills for generations now. In both cases, you take the flimsiest of coincidences and inflate them into a world-girdling conspiracy against a lily white purity that must be defended at all costs against the outsider.


Where in that post is the claim that you are a Nazi?

Hal said...

Starhopper,

I fear that bmiller is starting to experience some cognitive dissonance here. He has apparently bought into the Fox News propaganda that Antifa is behind all these protests. I know that Barr has claimed there is evidence for this, but so far none has actually been presented.

Hal said...

Starhopper,

We all make mistakes and screw up. Hopefully, bmiller, we be man enough to admit his.

Starhopper said...

A feature common to nearly every paranoid conspiracy theory is the endowment of some mysterious shadowy entity with superhuman power and the ability, like a spider at the center of his web, to control vast invisible forces for their (usually nefarious) ends. In this case, it is the elevation of a fringe "group" (Antifa isn't even organized, so I'm not sure it can even be labeled as a group) to a position of command and control that it doesn't have in the real world.

Call them the Illuminati, the Masons, the Jesuits, the New World Order, the Jews, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group, Antifa, the Second Shooters, or whatever, the thought process is the same.

Hal said...

Starhopper,

Good points.
I think you can add the "Deep State" in there. The Republican Party is infected with conspiracy theories.

bmiller said...

Hal,

I took it that Starhopper implied I was a Nazi by telling me I am no different from anti-semites. Did he tell me he didn't think I was a Nazi?

I'll accept his poor analysis that he only meant to smear me as an anti-semite rather than accuse me of being a Nazi full-stop.

Hal said...

bmiller,

Did he tell me he didn't think I was a Nazi?

He tried telling you that he didn't. For some reason you simply refused to listen to him.

Having looked back at his post, I'm having trouble seeing why you would even think he was calling you a Nazi.

I still don't think you understand what he is accusing you of being: a paranoid conspiracy theorist

Based on your posts here, he is correct in his analysis.

Not surprising since Trump his one of the biggest paranoid conspiracists around. Some of that is bound to rub off on his supporters.

Starhopper said...

No, bmiller, no one is accusing you of being an antisemite. I'm merely pointing out that you think like one. The only difference is that your bogeyman is not the Jews, but "leftists", allegedly responsible for all the world's ills.

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

And: [T]he claim I was making [...] is that the MSM is intentionally concealing facts. (emphasis added)

The claim I made was that the MSM wrote their stories as if to appear that no evidence was offered by the DOJ. There was.

I questioned Hal why he didn't know that from his news sources. I could have linked to a typical story that stated that *Trump and Barr offered no evidence* and then a couple of paragraphs later reveal that a DOJ spokesman was asked what the evidence was and he answered *local and state law enforcement*. Technically it was true that Trump and Barr offered no evidence because either the question wasn't asked or no questions were taken by them.

So either Hal's news sources just flat out didn't mention the DOJ's answer or the tactic of placing it where they did succeeded in him missing it. I think he understands that now from his latest posts. Wish you did.

I did not claim that antifa did anything.



bmiller said...

Starhopper,

No, bmiller, no one is accusing you of being an antisemite. I'm merely pointing out that you think like one. The only difference is that your bogeyman is not the Jews, but "leftists", allegedly responsible for all the world's ills.

Probably shouldn't tell people they think like anti-semites if you don't want them to get the idea you're calling them anti-semites. Probably also a bad idea to tell them you don't think they are by informing them they "walk like a duck".

And please. I think leftists are responsible for a lot of ills, not all.

Hal said...

bmiller,

The claim I made was that the MSM wrote their stories as if to appear that no evidence was offered by the DOJ. There was.

But that is bullshit. So far no evidence has been offered. Simply claiming there is evidence without showing that evidence is meaningless.


So I guess you aren't going to apologize to Starhopper for your false accusations?

Hal said...

Anyways, I am going to bow out of this thread. Sorry, but at this point it just seems to be a waste of time.

bmiller said...

Hal,

I know that Barr has claimed there is evidence for this, but so far none has actually been presented.

I'm sure you're aware that revealing sources and methods are not something that is policy for intelligence agencies during an ongoing investigation. I wouldn't expect the DOJ to reveal that type evidence no matter who is in office Obama or Trump. I also wouldn't want bad guys to get that info. Does the MSM? Do you?

bmiller said...

Hal,

Goodbye.

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

Hal thinks I should apologize to you for false accusations. I guess he means he thinks that I falsely accused you of accusing me of being an anti-semite.

Should I?

No, bmiller, no one is accusing you of being an antisemite. I'm merely pointing out that you think like one.

Can I think like an antisemite without being an anti-semite? Not sure how that would work since one identifies anti-semtites by the way they think. How can I not conclude that I am being called an anti-semite?

Starhopper said...

"Can I think like an antisemite without being an anti-semite?"

Of course you can! Just replace "Jews" with "leftists" and the thought processes are identical.

bmiller said...

Then I should be called anti-leftist

bmiller said...

Unless you're claiming Jews and leftists are the same thing.

bmiller said...

And of course I shouldn't even be called that.

bmiller said...

Some consider the Jews a race, and so to be anti-semite is considered racist.

I don't consider leftists to be a race at all. Some seem to be a sort of cult, but definitely not a race.

StardustyPsyche said...

bmiller,
"Cops should have saved his life. Not just watch him die in custody."

The cops called in a medical incident for the opioid intoxicated drug addict ex-con who was resisting arrest and had:
Covid-19.
Recent methamphetamine use.
Fentanyl intoxication.
Arteriosclerotic heart disease.
Hypertensive heart disease.

But the hospital couldn't save him. Yeah, sometimes you can't save a guy who gets Covid-19 and already has two forms of heart disease exacerbated by meth use and is presently under the influence of Fentanyl.

The cops and the doctors can't save every sick drug addicted intoxicated diseased arrest resistor.

But it must have been a racist cop, right?

Once again, from Michael Brown to George Floyd Black Lies Matter.

Starhopper said...

Stardusty, you really need to change your moniker to Stardespicable.

bmiller said...

Some consider the Jews a race, and so to be anti-semite is considered racist.

I don't consider leftists to be a race at all. Some seem to be a sort of cult, but definitely not a race.


But thanks for revealing the leftist cult-think reasoning for how anyone that disagrees with them must be racist.

It's also irrelevant to the point that the MSM is deceptively reporting or misreporting news contra to their political goals.

StardustyPsyche said...

"Stardusty, you really need to change your moniker to Stardespicable."
Not an argument or a refutation of anything I said.

Same thing happened with Michael Brown. After he went on a crime spree and got himself shot they made a memorial of him in his graduation gown and everybody said what a lovable boy he was. What they didn't say is that the lovable boy just committed a strong arm robbery, then attacked a police officer through the window of a squad car, punched the officer giving him a huge bruise on his face, tried to steal his gun, got shot in the hand in the process, then ran, would not obey police orders to stop, then turned and charged the officer who defended himself by shooting Brown as the officer walked backwards. The local witnesses lied, with the whole "hands up don't shoot" story being a complete fabrication that new anchors suffering from white liberal guilt repeated on air.

That is the prototypical case for Black Lies Matter, an anti male, anti family, anti law enforcement, fraudulent, radical hate group.

George Floyd was and ex-con who was arrested for passing a counterfeit bill. He was obviously under the influence and started his bullshit complaints from the beginning when the walked him over and sat him down waiting for backup.

Floyd continued his bullshit complaints, and if you don't know this I will teach you a little something, the cops get this all day long, intoxicated criminals with an endless stream of complaints and excuses and lies who are extremely difficult to bring under control, like Floyd, who then just intentionally fell out and actively resisted arrest.

Then the real whopper by Floyd, that he was too claustrophobic to get into the car! I tell you, these intoxicated criminal arrest resistors come up with some dumb ass lies sometimes. He just got out of a car! If Floyd can't stand to be inside a car why was he inside his own car when he was arrested?

StardustyPsyche said...

Well, they get this violent criminal on his feet and stuff him into car but he is thrashing around so much, this huge 6'6" intoxicated guy is just flopping around like a live shark on deck. Floyd resisted so violently and just would not stop that he was not ready to be transported in the back of a car flopping around violently the whole way so they dragged him back out and laid his resisting flopping intoxicated ass on the pavement.

Of course they pinned him, he wouldn't even stay sitting in a car seat, much less calm down while he laid out.

Then came his more lies, "I can't breath". Really, how do you keep talking so clearly if you can't breath? How does that work? How exactly does a guy get choked out at the same time that he is holding a long conversation?

So the cop tells him "you gotta get in the car", to which Floyd says "I can't", which, again, just in case you don't know, every cop knows this, but you might not know, that "I can't" is intoxicated resisting criminal speak for "I won't".

Floyd continued to refuse to get in the car, so the cops continued to pin him, trying to get him to calm down, say "OK, I will" instead of "I can't" (meaning "I refuse"), stop resisting, and come along peacefully.

So then, the guy has an apparent problem unless he is faking (hint:criminals fake all the time, sorry to burst your naieve little bubble, but cops do not take criminal fakery at face value), so the cops call it in, the cops call for the EMT. Still, to be on the safe side the cops do two things. They call the EMT in case he really is having a medical issue, and they continue to pin him in case he is faking. Then, they call in again, make it a code 3, because it looks like he really is having a medical problem.

So, the EMT gets there all lit up, checks the pulse, and the guy is still alive, as in not dead, meaning, the cop did not choke him to death, the guy was alive and breathing when they put him on the stretcher.

Now, if you hold your breath for a while, how long does it take you to catch your breath? Say you come up from the bottom of a deep pool, take a deep breath as soon as you break the surface...and then drown? Really? Do you drown after you get into the air and are breathing air? How does that work exactly?

So then, the ambulance is rolling along with all the EMT equipment and the EMT right there and the guy is alive and breathing the whole time when, oh snaps, he has a cardiac failure! So they call the fire truck to help, and those folks catch up to the EMTs but the guy is having a massive cardiac failure, not choking to death, his bad ticker gave out.

Now, do you suppose that the combination of
Covid-19.
Recent methamphetamine use.
Fentanyl intoxication.
Arteriosclerotic heart disease.
Hypertensive heart disease.
might possibly have been the reason that this intoxicated resisting criminal had worked himself into such a bad state that his heart gave out?

What do you suppose happens to a guy who takes meth and already has a bad heart? Plus the guy is stoned on Fentanyl (at least 10 times as potent as heroin), and the guy has Covid-19, plus he has just been in a violent struggle of his own making.

So the guy had a heart attack rolling down the road in the ambulance, going to the hospital, oh, but it must have just been a racist cop who murdered him in custody, because...

Black Lies Matter

bmiller said...

Hmmm.

Since leftists think people who disagree with them are thinking like anti-semites then they do they consider themselves to be like a chosen people? The righteous people of God and any disagreement is against God himself (for the leftist theists)? Any criticism is blasphemous? It's clear that some of them consider it your duty to agree with them or be punished. Where do they think they get that authority?

It's hard not to notice the "religious" fervor of the left.

Starhopper said...

bmiller, I am truly not trying to either insult you or (God forbid!) make an enemy of you. But you yourself said we must all look after each others' souls, and I sincerely believe you need to exorcise the demon of Manicheanism from yours. Your black/white picture of the world as right wing good/left wing bad is poisoning your spirit and preventing you from seeing that BOTH POSITIONS have much to offer society. To riff off of JPII, they are the right and left lungs of America, and to survive we need to listen to both.

There are far too many rightist equivalents to "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion", where they blame the evils of the world on "leftists" and imply that the world would be better off if they all just disappeared (or, more darkly, were eliminated). The Real World is far more complicated than any paranoid conspiracy theory, which is why their adherents hate to acknowledge such. It invades their comfort zone. All seems so understandable when "I" am a member of the cognoscenti, whilst "this crowd, who do not know the law, are accursed." (John 7:49)

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

Please stop drinking.

You accused me of thinking like an anti-semite because I don't agree with all leftist ideas. That is simply deranged. It's also simply deranged to accuse people who disagree with you that they must therefore believe in conspiracy theories.

Do all leftists think this way? That all of their opponents are conspiracy theorists? Isn't that a conspiracy theory?

bmiller said...

It's hard not to notice the "religious" fervor of the left.

And BTW, you're not helping your cause to accuse me of being heretical.

Starhopper said...

"It's hard not to notice the "religious" fervor of the left."

And why should anyone want to hide it? The Faith is what has motivated, guided, and energized people of conscience over the centuries. From St. Thomas of Canterbury, who stood stalwart against the King, to St. Thomas More (who did the same), to Martin Luther King, Jr., to Servant of God Dorothy Day, to Daniel and Philip Berrigan, to St. Oscar Romero, to Elba and Celina Ramos, to the uncountable millions who have followed the words of all the prophets who called again and again for justice, for aid to the poor, the refugee, and the oppressed, for embracing the foreigner, for an end to war and militarism, for opening the prisons, for living a life of simplicity and humility, and for love of neighbor.

If that sort of "religiosity" is somehow bad, kindly tell me how it is.

bmiller said...

My religion is Catholicism. I don't confuse it with leftism.

Starhopper said...

I didn't ask whether you were a "leftist". We all know you're not. What I did ask was "if that sort of "religiosity" is somehow bad, kindly tell me how it is."

And if you can find nothing wrong with the "religiosity" of the persons I listed (including the unnamed ones), then why criticize it?

I am a lifetime member of the Veterans for Peace, which you would probably consider a "leftist" organization (although it isn't). Before the pandemic we would meet monthly, always in churches. We'd begin and end our gatherings with a prayer. The overwhelming majority of the members here in Baltimore are active, practicing, and quite devout Catholics. We are aligned here with Jonah House, a Catholic Worker home founded by Dorothy Day (soon to be a Catholic saint). You don't have to confuse Catholicism with "leftism" (I make a point of putting the word in quotation marks, because it is a meaningless term) in order to live out Catholicism's principles, as laid out by Christ Himself in the Gospel of Matthew.

bmiller said...

I didn't ask whether you were a "leftist". We all know you're not. What I did ask was "if that sort of "religiosity" is somehow bad, kindly tell me how it is."

The "religiosity" you're displaying is like that of a cultist when it comes to discussing leftism. You can present calm reasoning and show critical thinking on almost any subject. But if someone shows you that the press is biased all of that is gone.

You can have reasonable discussions with atheists, protestants and probably any other faith regarding God and religion. Not so with your precious though. Shutting off the critical thinking process is a sign of being in a cult.

That's why I said my religion is Catholicism. Yours appears to be leftism.

One Brow said...

Starhopper,
"Antifa" is a boogeyman made up by people who live in a right wing bubble. Sure, it probably exists (somewhere, out there...) but its influence on what is happening right now is so close to zero that it cannot be measured.

There are definitely antifa, but there is no Antifa. Particularly where groups like the Proud Boys are planning to protest, antifa will sometimes gather to counter-protest.

There probably are some antifa involved in this protest, as police tactics seem to be increasingly fa over the years.

Starhopper said...

"Yours appears to be leftism."

Strange words to address to a person who is not a "leftist" - who, in fact, does not believe that such a thing exists.

bmiller said...

Strange words to address to a person who is not a "leftist" - who, in fact, does not believe that such a thing exists.

So I'm an anti-semite because I persecute a group that doesn't exist. Got it.
I suppose this makes sense in your cult.

Starhopper said...

Once again, NO ONE is calling you an anti-semite. You will search in vain for anyone doing so, at least on this forum. What I did say (and will say again), is that you think like one.

bmiller said...

And once again your accusation doesn't make sense to normal people.

Starhopper said...

Let me give you an analogy (imperfect of course, but all analogies are).

A Chrysler operates on the same principle (internal combustion) as a Chevrolet. But that does not make a Chrysler a Chevrolet.

Your thought processes are the same as those used by anti-semites* , but that fact does not make you yourself an anti-semite.

* Fixating on a bogeyman ("leftists"), and ascribing all sorts of evil to them without, or even in the face of, evidence. Equating the actions of individuals with those of a group. Postulating a vast conspiracy with inimical intent
.

bmiller said...

It's obvious that your cult wants to smear anyone that disagrees with them by linking them to anti-semitism so they can allow their members to feel justified in such things as punching Nazi's.

I won't repeat the fact that anti-semites are opposed to Jews whether you want to consider them a race or religion and that leftists are neither. But I'm changing my mind now. Your insistence on this analogy is convincing that leftism thinks like a religious cult.

I enjoy having discussions with cult members although I don't go knocking on doors. But if they knock on mine, I'll invite them in and discuss their religion. For hours.

I have a Book of Mormon to discuss with the Latter Day Saints and and the New World Translation to discuss with the Jehovah Witnesses. I'm interested in their reactions when I start asking them questions that force them to think critically. The reactions look similar to what I'm seeing here.

It was unusual for the 2 LDS missionaries that showed up at my house to be female. We had a nice long discussion and we both learned something. We made a deal that I would attend one of their services and they would come to Mass with me. I mentioned it to our priest beforehand and he came over during the sign of peace and gave them a special blessing. I spent some time showing them the copy of the "Our Lady of Guadalupe" and telling them the story since Mormons are interested in miracles more than most.

I guess after a couple years both JW's and LDS's put a mark on my house so their missionaries would bypass it.




bmiller said...

Leaving aside the vile anti-semite association, it's also vile to accuse one's opponents of things they have never said and do not believe.

The Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses may have cultist beliefs, but are not quite so evil.

Starhopper said...

Wow, almost 7 hours later, and you're still seething. I must have really struck a nerve there, probably hitting too close for comfort.

All the signs of a guilty conscience.

bmiller said...

Naw. Was just bored.

Plus I knew I could goad you into a response.

bmiller said...

And checking to see if you had developed a conscience. Maybe someday.

bmiller said...

My advice is to not put off reconciliation for too long.

Starhopper said...

Oh, we'll be reconciled all right. We are beneath all, brothers.

Your latest comment caught me in the middle of the Book of Zechariah. It's interesting how the prophet again and again lambastes those who hijack religion for the purpose of defending the status quo, and quashing dissent. He lays bare the hypocrisy of all who hold up the Temple like a trophy won, to silence the poor, the oppressed, the downtrodden, the powerless. And meanwhile, in the midst of all of their blasphemies, the King Himself rides in "on a donkey". Yes, this is indeed a prophesy of Palm Sunday, no argument there. But it is also a fire and brimstone condemnation of all who cynically appropriate religious imagery (whether it be a Bible or a boarded up church) for personal gain.

I love the prophets. They scream out for justice, for peace, for the poor and the oppressed in every verse. They are the very engine for social progress throughout history. The prophets freed the slaves, argued for a just wage and decent working conditions, demanded civil rights for all, pleaded for the refugee and the immigrant, called for peace, condemned aggression, defended the environment, and exposed the hypocritical ruling establishment for what it was - the anti-Kingdom of God.

Starhopper said...

By the way, the correct way to read the prophets is to apply their every last word to TODAY, to what is going on around us (and within us). Yes, it is good and profitable to study all about the exact times and situations in which the books were written. It helps to understand them. But to stop there is to sadly miss the point. God is not just speaking to the people who lived in such and such B.C., but to all people in all times and places (including our own).

bmiller said...

By the way, the correct way to read the prophets

Sounds like my talks with the JW's except this time it's with a SJW ;-)

bmiller said...

I have to admit, I don't exactly remember reading that "Socialism" in America started out as break-away Protestant cults. But I think I heard it somewhere. Usually we hear only of Marx. I'm beginning to understand the religious connections much better now.

John Humphrey Noyes was the founder of the Oneida community (yes, they started the silverware company) which was one of these utopian cults.

A brief biography.

He published this book History of American socialisms which he considered the most exhaustive list of groups available in his time. So it's an inside view of how a socialist viewed the socialist movement in the second half of the 19th century. Who he considered in and who was out.

From the links above:
The application of his views led to the practice of complex marriage in his community, in which every woman was the wife of every man and every man was the husband of every woman. Noyes also believed that Socialism without religion was impossible and that the extended family system devised by him could dissolve selfishness and demonstrate the practicality of perfectionism on Earth.

Though marriage was complex, the Perfectionists denied the charge of free love. Sexual relations were strictly regulated, and the propagation of children was a matter of community control. Those who were to produce children were carefully chosen and paired. Children remained with their mother until they could walk but were then placed in a common nursery.

Guess who were the ones that were to produce the children. That's one thing I noticed about cults. Almost all come to some kinky sex conclusions.

The central feature of the community was the custom of holding criticism sessions, or cures, a practice that Noyes had discovered in his seminary days at Andover. They were attended by the entire community at first and, later, as the community grew, were conducted before committees presided over by Noyes. For those subjected to criticism it was a nerve-racking ordeal, yet the sessions probably had some therapeutic value as a means of releasing feelings of guilt and aggression. The criticism sessions were also a shaming technique that enforced social control and were a highly successful device for promoting community cohesion.

The idea of Struggle Sessions weren't his originally. It was taken from the Yale seminary. So I don't think we can blame Marx for this one. Purely good old American know-how.

So it's no wonder that plenty of Protestants and some American Catholics have been influenced by some of these American utopian beliefs.

Starhopper said...

"He published this book History of American socialisms which he considered the most exhaustive list of groups available in his time."

There's a chapter in the collected writings of Ammon Hennacy (of the Catholic Worker), The Book of Ammon (not his title, published posthumously), which lists and critiques every socialist/utopian community in America. There were evidently at one time a heck of a lot more than you'd think. The book was written over an approximately 50 year period in the mid-20th Century, and the list goes on for pages.

"I don't exactly remember reading that "Socialism" in America started out as break-away Protestant cults."

There's a character in Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov who explains (disapprovingly) to a group of Russian Orthodox monks that religion in the (I assume Protestant) "West" is impossible without socialism.

Starhopper said...

The Catholic Worker movement has at times been accused of being "socialist", but it is not.

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