Thursday, August 22, 2019

Abortion and "socialism"


I should make a key distinction here. I was using the term "socialism" in the way Republicans like to use it, where they treat any expansion of role of government in social welfare as socialism. This is the ostensible grounds, for example, that Mitch McConnell is killing all the legislation coming from the Democratic House of Representatives--it's socialistic. This argument was used when I was a child and conservatives such as Ronald Reagan were arguing against Medicare. If you think you can expand social welfare, and maybe raise taxes to make sure this is funded, without being accused of socialism, then fine. I don't think this is really socialism, but it is called socialism when it is opposed by people like McConnell.  What I was really arguing is that outlawing abortion is going to require a strengthening of the welfare efforts of government. In order to make sure that the children who are born who would not have been  born otherwise are given a real chance in life, taxes will probably have to go up. 

I think there is a governing philosophy on the conservative side that suggests that what government is primarily there to do is protect people from violence. So, for example, terrorists, who can kill you, have to be stopped by government, but if we use government to make sure people are protected from disease, which can also kill you, that's socialism and we ought to do that as little as possible. Hence, it's a good thing to make sure women don't get abortions, since that is a violent treat to fetuses, but once the mothers carry their children to terms we will cut funding for any effort to make them better able to take care of those children. It is simply a fact that for many families to survive, both parents have to work, yet the legislation that required employers not to fire women for getting pregnant was sponsored by Democrats like Hillary Clinton, not the pro-life Republicans. But such legislation was considered an interference with the free market, and most Republican senators opposed it. I mean what are women supposed to do, give up their jobs so they can go have their kids? I suppose if you think the woman’s place is in the home, barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, you are OK with this. I am not.

I think serious opposition to abortion to include a willingness to step up to the plate a support those struggling families who abort babies for economic reasons. Something is wrong with our society if a woman finds herself in a situation where she has choose, as a student of mine once told me, between adequately caring for a child she already had, or carrying her pregnancy to term. And I think that means a willingness to step up to the plate via government, and a willingness to pay more in taxes to make sure that my former student's dilemma arises as infrequently as possible. Otherwise, I have to regard the "pro-life" commitments of Republicans as a mere political football to keep their voters in the fold, not as a genuine commitment to human life.

America is not a pro-life country. The idea that a woman has the right to do as she chooses with her own body is intuitively appealing to lots and lots of people. While this mind-set exists, there will be abortions, and if they are outlawed, they will occur illegally. (If abortion is outlawed, only outlaws will get abortions, but there will be plenty of outlaws). Those convinced against their will will be of the same opinion still. People who don't want to see abortions can remonstrate on ethical grounds, and they can strongly support sex education including contraceptive information even if a case for abstinence is made, and they can support pro-child public policies that reduce the occurrence of unwanted pregnancies. 


271 comments:

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bmiller said...

Reposting from last thread:

Otherwise, I have to regard the "pro-life" commitments of Republicans as a mere political football to keep their voters in the fold, not as a genuine commitment to human life.

It's unhelpful to a reasonable debate to claim that one's opponent is against human life if they don't agree with one's idea of the role the federal government.

But Victor, Democrats could claim to be the "pro-life" party if they would just stop it with the killing. So it won't do to complain that the other side (who is not actually killing anyone) is not really sincere while your side is merrily dismembering away.

Now I understand you tell yourself that it's not really a "person", but that is really what the debate is about. It's a red herring to bring up poverty in a discussion about the dignity of a human being when, if it's not a human being that is to be aborted, no one would argue against it. If it really is a human being then it shouldn't matter if that person is rich or poor. All deserve to live.

Planned Parenthood (formerly the American Birth Control League) started as a eugenicist organization to better society by eliminating poverty and it seems they still are. But of course by that they meant to eliminate the poor from the status of living humans. They seem to have succeeded smashingly since the well-off don't need their "services" and so their clients are mostly their targeted demograhic. We live in Orwell's world when politicians are able to convince people that in order to "help" the poor, we must kill their offspring.

bmiller said...

America is not a pro-life country. The idea that a woman has the right to do as she chooses with her own body is intuitively appealing to lots and lots of people. While this mind-set exists, there will be abortions, and if they are outlawed, they will occur illegally. (If abortion is outlawed, only outlaws will get abortions, but there will be plenty of outlaws).

This sounds like an ad for the NRA (with a few minor changes). I wonder how leftists can see this as a valid argument for keeping abortion legal but an invalid argument for allowing citizens the right to own guns. This is what makes me think the leftists are in a cult.

Screwtape Jenkins said...

This sounds like an ad for the NRA (with a few minor changes). I wonder how leftists can see this as a valid argument for keeping abortion legal but an invalid argument for allowing citizens the right to own guns.

You really ought to find a forum where all these "leftists" hang out so you can argue with them. You don't seem interested in arguing with anybody here.

What Reppert is trying to make you see about abortion is a point that most liberals readily understand about guns, which is that simply making something illegal won't make that thing just magically disappear. I again will refer anyone who thinks otherwise to their neighborhood drug dealer. Because everyone in this discussion has a neighborhood drug dealer, despite the fact that US drug laws are pretty darn draconian.

So, let's grant that the US at some point makes abortion illegal. What will your plan be to reduce abortion prohibition against abortion works about as well as it's worked with alcohol and drugs? What if, despite closing every abortion facility and throwing all the doctors performing and the women seeking abortions in jail, the abortion rate nevertheless remains high?

What then?

Starhopper said...

Not to worry. Now that our president has declared that he is God (or at least the Chosen One), he will surely bring his divine powers to bear and solve all our social issues.

bmiller said...

Not to worry. Now that our president has declared that he is God (or at least the Chosen One), he will surely bring his divine powers to bear and solve all our social issues.

His proper title is God Emperor of the United States (GEOTUS).

Starhopper said...

And this does not frighten you?

bmiller said...

Screwtape Jenkins,

What Reppert is trying to make you see about abortion is a point that most liberals readily understand about guns, which is that simply making something illegal won't make that thing just magically disappear. I again will refer anyone who thinks otherwise to their neighborhood drug dealer. Because everyone in this discussion has a neighborhood drug dealer, despite the fact that US drug laws are pretty darn draconian.

When I start hearing a sizable number of liberals arguing that we shouldn't pass gun laws then I'll tell you that you have a point. You don't have a point.

So, let's grant that the US at some point makes abortion illegal. What will your plan be to reduce abortion prohibition against abortion works about as well as it's worked with alcohol and drugs? What if, despite closing every abortion facility and throwing all the doctors performing and the women seeking abortions in jail, the abortion rate nevertheless remains high?

What will any of us do if no one obeys any laws? Civilization will have ended I guess.
But do we have historical evidence that laws prohibiting certain acts do work to reduce those acts. Prohibition reduced alcohol consumption, legalizing marijuana in Colorado increased marijuana use and countries that passesd laws restricting abortion reduced the abortion rate.

Stop and think about it for second. If passing laws don't work, why do we elect people to pass laws. We could save a lot of money by just closing it all down.

bmiller said...

And this does not frighten you?

It didn't frighten me when Obama pulled out his pen and phone because I knew his terms were limited. Thankfully, most of what he wrought has been undone. Trump will be out in 2025, to my leftist friends....chill.

And it doesn't frighten me when Trump makes a joke and leftists go apoplectic. Most outside the cult think it's pretty funny.

Starhopper said...

If it was just a "joke", I'd totally agree with you. But I watched the tape. There was no joke; he was being deadly serious.

Screwtape Jenkins said...

When I start hearing a sizable number of liberals arguing that we shouldn't pass gun laws then I'll tell you that you have a point. You don't have a point.

No, when liberals start arguing that passing gun laws will totally eliminate murder, with no need to do anything else, you'll have a point. You don't have a point.

What will any of us do if no one obeys any laws? Civilization will have ended I guess.

Is your back not hurting from all the goalpost moving you're doing?

I didn't say "what will any of us do if no one obeys any laws?" I said "what will we do if we outlaw abortion and the abortion rate doesn't drop?"

Prohibition reduced alcohol consumption, legalizing marijuana in Colorado increased marijuana use and countries that passesd laws restricting abortion reduced the abortion rate.

Then why is it that the countries with the strictest laws also have the highest rates of abortion:

Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-care/abortion-rates-go-down-when-countries-make-it-legal-report-n858476

Study after study after study proves this. You might be able to cherry pick one or two outlier nations using decades-old data, but your claim that making abortion illegal makes it rarer is *emphatically* refuted by all the best, most recent data we have.

Stop and think about it for second. If passing laws don't work, why do we elect people to pass laws.

You stop and think about this for a second. If passing laws worked, why aren't all the jails empty?

People will do illegal things. Making a thing illegal is certainly one way to make the thing more rare. But if you want to come close to eliminating a practice, merely making it illegal won't get it done. Particularly if that practice is widespread, culturally-accepted, and considered by some people to be a right.

Do me a favor and name a vice that has been substantially eliminated merely by making it illegal.

I'll wait.

SteveK said...

>> I said "what will we do if we outlaw abortion and the abortion rate doesn't drop?"

We keep upping the penalty and/or add layers of additional law. That’s what we do now when a law isn’t working like we think it should. That, and proper education.

bmiller said...

If it was just a "joke", I'd totally agree with you. But I watched the tape. There was no joke; he was being deadly serious.

Never gets old watching lefties think Trump is "deadly serious" and freak out. For heavens sake, yesterday you were telling us he was Godless but now not only does he believe in God, he believes he is God. I know you have a sense of humor unlike other lefties. Chill.

Screwtape Jenkins said...

We keep upping the penalty and/or add layers of additional law.

That's what we've been doing with the drug war. How's that working out?

Meanwhile, countries which have decriminalized drugs and gone with alternative treatment, see much higher rates of success reducing illicit drug use. Portugal cut its drug rate in HALF by legalizing all drugs, and treating it as a health issue instead of a criminal one.

Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2011/07/05/ten-years-after-decriminalization-drug-abuse-down-by-half-in-portugal/#603250e33001

Despite conservative ideology to the contrary, studies consistently show that carrots work just as well, and quite often better, than sticks.

bmiller and SteveK, let me ask you guys this:

If you could dramatically reduce the number of abortions in our country by increasing the size of the welfare state by, say, 15%, would you be in favor of it?

If it saved the lives of a half a million children, would you be willing to pay 15% more in personal income taxes?

If the answer is no, we know what you really care about the most.

bmiller said...

Screwtape Jenkins,

Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-care/abortion-rates-go-down-when-countries-make-it-legal-report-n858476

Study after study after study proves this. You might be able to cherry pick one or two outlier nations using decades-old data, but your claim that making abortion illegal makes it rarer is *emphatically* refuted by all the best, most recent data we have.


Haha. I provide you raw data for your own review and you provide me with Planned Parenthood propaganda. Oh but it was *emphatic*! Wow. Maybe emphatically saying something untrue makes it true? Naw. Not to me.
If you don't know about the Guttmacher Institute you shouldn't be in this discussion.

Now, about "goalpost moving". Who in this discussion ever suggested that legally prohibiting any act would eliminate that act? Not me. Not anyone. You're attacking a strawman.

Making a thing illegal is certainly one way to make the thing more rare.

Yes it is. Thank you. There are some things that are immoral that it doesn't make practical sense to pass laws against. But if there is one thing that all innocent people deserve, it is the right to life. And if there is one law that is just it is the law against homicide. We know that passing laws against homicide doesn't stop homicide 100% but it will stop those that consider it and want to avoid the social stigma and penalty. The result is more people that have a chance to live their lives.

bmiller said...

Screwtape Jenkins,

If you could dramatically reduce the number of abortions in our country by increasing the size of the welfare state by, say, 15%, would you be in favor of it?

If you could dramatically reduce the number of abortions in our country by cutting 15% out of the federal budget and directing it to charitable organizations that are better equipped to do that would you be in favor of it?

Or do you not care that babies are aborted at all?

Screwtape Jenkins said...

Haha. I provide you raw data for your own review and you provide me with Planned Parenthood propaganda.

You provided me with two-decade old, unsubstantiated, unsourced raw data.

The Guttmacher study is meticulously footnoted and sourced, with methodology on display to be looked over. If you can find a flaw with the study, find it. Well-poisoning will not impress me.

There are some things that are immoral that it doesn't make practical sense to pass laws against. But if there is one thing that all innocent people deserve, it is the right to life. And if there is one law that is just it is the law against homicide. We know that passing laws against homicide doesn't stop homicide 100% but it will stop those that consider it and want to avoid the social stigma and penalty. The result is more people that have a chance to live their lives.

Sure. Fine. Fantastic. Great. Agreed.

Has absolutely nothing to with anything we're arguing about, but great.

Now onto the questions you're avoiding:

1) What do we do if we make abortion illegal and the abortion rate doesn't drop?

2) Would you be willing to support a 15% increase in your personal income taxes to increase the size of the welfare state if it saved half a million unborn children a year?

3) If you would not accept a proposal such as 2 on the national level, would you support one on the state level.

Screwtape Jenkins said...

If you could dramatically reduce the number of abortions in our country by cutting 15% out of the federal budget and directing it to charitable organizations that are better equipped to do that would you be in favor of it?

Yep. 100%. Immediately. Absolutely.

If it would actually work? Of-freaking-course. In a heartbeat.

Now answer my question.

Hugo said...

I had not read this blog in months. It was a good post to come back to. Great arguments from a Christian perspective, which I don't care for personally, but shows why people like bmiller are so freaking wrong...

There's a direct logical path between empathy and reasonable maintenance/expansion of the role of government in social welfare. It fits with what I was taught growing up in a Catholic household, it fits with common sense, it fits with progress of the human condition in general.

Great post Victor!

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
If you could dramatically reduce the number of abortions in our country by cutting 15% out of the federal budget and directing it to charitable organizations that are better equipped to do that would you be in favor of it?

If there were charitable organization better equipped than the federal government, absolutely.

bmiller said...

Screwtape Jenkins,

You point to Planned Parenthood propaganda and dismiss the unbiased sources I cited which included UN data. That pretty much ends whatever credibility you were trying to protray. You're unable to think critically.

Yep. 100%. Immediately. Absolutely.

Do you think raising taxes will prevent abortions 100%? Double standard much?

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
When I start hearing a sizable number of liberals arguing that we shouldn't pass gun laws then I'll tell you that you have a point. You don't have a point.

Almost none want to ban all guns entirely.

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
Do you think raising taxes will prevent abortions 100%? Double standard much?

It will be more effective at reducing them than making abortion illegal. Don't you want to save as many fetuses as you can?

Starhopper said...

"Almost none want to ban all guns entirely."

Well, I personally would be in favor of having all privately owned guns disappear, but "banning" them? Not in favor of that, because it would not work.

What I would like to see would be a total ban on the manufacture of guns within the United States, plus stringent, draconian restrictions on their importation. Hmm.. Maybe this would be one place where tariffs might actually do some good. Slap a ten thousand percent tariff on all imported firearms.

The nice thing about that proposal is there is nothing in the 2nd Amendment that says the government can't do any of that.

SteveK said...

http://www.printedfirearm.com/

Starhopper said...

I've heard of this. Horrifying, isn't it?

A little while ago, someone asked me on this blog how an inanimate object could possibly be intrinsically evil. Well, here we have an example of such.

Screwtape Jenkins said...

Do you think raising taxes will prevent abortions 100%? Double standard much?

By "100%," I meant "I would be 100% in favor of what you propose."

bmiller said...

But if you want to come close to eliminating a practice, merely making it illegal won't get it done.

Screwtape Jenkins said...

I don't understand the point you're trying to make.

So, we have that in common.

Legion of Logic said...

A little while ago, someone asked me on this blog how an inanimate object could possibly be intrinsically evil. Well, here we have an example of such.

And I still disagree.

Now, if you were to say that 3D printed guns are bad for society, I'd agree. Legitimate firearm use does not in any way require a weapon that can bypass metal detectors and that most likely will have sub-standard safety for use. (Though if the government tries to outlaw self-defense by banning gun ownership, I'd fully support 3D gun technology since no legitimate government has the right to force people, particularly women at a physical disadvantage, to be helpless victims.) But evil? No, something can be bad without being evil.

I personally know at least two people who most definitely avoided severe injury due to defensive use of a firearm, and in one of those cases she most likely would have died (and would have, had she believed guns were evil, but fortunately for her she did not). In both cases, the assailants were not using guns but had a significant physical advantage.

I do not believe their use of a firearm to defend their lives was an act of evil. I do not believe something that is "intrinsically evil" can have a legitimate purpose such as self-defense. At least one of them owes her life to defensive, legitimate use of a firearm as a force equalizer against a deranged assailant much stronger than she, and both of them avoided severe injury by brandishing their guns. I call that a very good thing, and I'm very happy that they were able to protect themselves when otherwise they would not have been able to.

That's why I disagree with you.

bmiller said...

Well, it didn't take long after Trump's tweet for the USPS to check
Victor's mailbox!

bmiller said...

OK, OK. This is not a real news story, it's not a real news story. Really, it's not a real news story!

Starhopper said...

Whatever else is happening, socialism took a Great Leap Forward in America this week with our president endorsing a centralized Soviet style state run economy. ("Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately ...")

Well, at least he can't declare a 5-Year Plan, because his term is only 4 years long.

bmiller said...

The rest of this term and the next term after this one is more than 5 years.

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

Congratulations. You made it quite a while without commenting on politics.

Starhopper said...

"Congratulations. You made it quite a while without commenting on politics."

I'm also drinking again. That's what this administration will do to you.

bmiller said...

That explains a lot of your posting ;-)

bmiller said...

I mentioned that I listen to NPR for 2-3 hours a day. They had lots of discussion about Trump's tweets and commentators ridiculed him for a bunch of reasons assuring listeners of what the president can't do.

But it seems none of them knew about the 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

So you're a little late Starhopper. You've been living in the Soviet Union all this time and didn't even know it. You can breathe a sigh of relief. You're home at last.

bmiller said...

Regarding "the Chosen One" comment. It seems that everyone who heard it laughed.

Starhopper said...

The following has nothing to do with abortion, but a lot to do with the labeling of "socialism.

Yesterday, I took part, as a member of Veterans for Peace, in a demonstration by a coalition of groups at the Baltimore Port Authority against the using of the port to supply the Saudi regime with arms in their war against the Yemeni people. We had intended a far more dramatic protest by physically blocking the loading of a specific arms transport ship of which we had gotten word was going to be in the port. Unfortunately (as these things happen), the ship was delayed and was still down off Wilmington, NC, yesterday. So we reverted to Plan B and picketed the Port Authority instead. Far less dramatic, as Plan A would have probably ended in us all getting arrested.

And on top of all that, after a week of brutal heat and sunshine, yesterday was a day of nonstop rain. So instead of the more sizable crowd we had hoped for, only a few dozen of us showed up. When it was all over, we stood in a (wet) circle and introduced ourselves to each other. When it got to me, I just said, "Bob Prokop, Veterans for Peace." But I loved it when the two sweet old ladies next to me identified themselves by saying "[name], Communist Party." I was torn between feeling sorry for them and admiring them for the raw courage to identify themselves as such in today's political climate.

bmiller said...

What would have required raw courage was if someone showed up with a MAGA hat.

Starhopper said...

This is one of those things that prevents me from being an ideologue. I have zero sympathy for Communism, and in fact spent my entire working life combating it. I hate it with my very soul. (I truly believe that I can take some small credit for causing the Berlin Wall to fall, and I take great pride in that.) But damn it, every single honest-to-God Communist that I have personally met... I love - sincerely. They are truly wonderful people, whom I would gladly spend more time with than the vast majority of Catholics sitting next to me at Mass.

I understand in my bowels why the Jesuits in El Salvador made common cause with the Communists in the 1980s. They were drawn to the love for the people that these "Marxists" exuded from their every pore, while the "Church" sided with the oppressive and murderous regime (which ultimately murdered them).

I contrast their attitude to the sickeningly servile self abasement that all too many American so-called "Christians" show to the current abomination occupying our White House, and truly wonder how any follower of Christ can see what is happening in our country and not physically vomit.

I am a Catholic, a Christian, and a follower of the Lord Jesus. I take seriously His words about rendering to God what belongs to God - that is, ourselves, who bear His image. I wake every morning by dedicating the day to come to His service, and close each day with a repentance for my shortcomings and failures.

So I am a sinner, who understands well what the angels in Lewis' Perelandra meant when they said "In [man's] best thoughts are such things as, if we thought them, our light would perish."

I don't have that much time left on this Earth, but be assured that I will spend what little is left in being the eyes, ears, arms, and legs, of the Incarnate Christ, and in doing His work.

If it means standing next to self-identified Communists in the cause of His Truth, then so be it.

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

Socialism (in its' various forms) has murdered more people than any other group in history.

That is a fact beyond dispute.

The idea of the Utopian paradise of socialism, paradise on earth, is alluring. But it is a lie, and you have evidence that it is.

You should spend more time talking to "conservatives" and trying to convince them that we shouldn't be involved in foreign wars. You'll get better results.

Starhopper said...

Communism is without question a lie - one of the biggest in all of history. No debate there.

But strangely enough, Communists are often amongst the most admirable of people you'll ever meet. I admit that I do not understand how this can be so, but there it is. In your own words, "[I] have evidence that it is."

By the way, do you (bmiller) know any Communists personally? I do not mean know their names, or heard them speak, or read something they've posted on the internet, but actually know them as individuals, as friends? Had lunch with them? Know their kids?

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

But strangely enough, Communists are often amongst the most admirable of people you'll ever meet. I admit that I do not understand how this can be so, but there it is. In your own words, "[I] have evidence that it is."

I love people who want a better world. That's why I love you.

By the way, do you (bmiller) know any Communists personally? I do not mean know their names, or heard them speak, or read something they've posted on the internet, but actually know them as individuals, as friends? Had lunch with them? Know their kids?

No. I don't don't know any self-professed Communists personally. I work with people from every nation, creed and nationality AFAIK. They came to America for the opportunity that America offered to them that to their own countries did not offer them.

My wife tells me that the people she works with who came from Communist countries are adamantly anti-Communist.

So let me ask you. Do you (Starhopper) know anyone who actually lived under Communist conditions?

Starhopper said...

"Do you (Starhopper) know anyone who actually lived under Communist conditions?"

I actually cannot count how many people I've known throughout my life who've lived under Communism. I'll just mention the highlights. Back in the 1970s, I used to clean the apartment once a week of an old Russian woman, Mrs. Skarzhinskaya. She was old enough to haved lived through the Bolshevik Revolution, and ended up in the West at the end of WWII. (She was a slave laborer under the Nazis in Western Germany, having been captured during the Battle for Moscow while digging an antitank ditch.) It was she who taught me how to speak conversationally in Russian, since we would talk non-stop while I worked in her apartment. One of my college professors, Dr. Ekmanis, was a Latvian who had sided with the Germans after they invaded his country, thus liberating it from the Soviets. I used to spend hours in his office, learning about life in the Baltic states. While in the Army, I continued my Russian studies under an ex-Soviet, Mrs. Krylova. In the 1980s, I worked with the Andrej Sakharov Institute in West Germany, which was entirely staffed with exiles from the USSR. I particularly remember a woman named Violeta (can't recall her last name) who lived through the Siege of Leningrad and survived the aerial bombardment of a train she was on in 1944 which killed every other person in her car. She must have never gotten over the starvation diet of the Leningrad siege, because when I knew her, she was quite possibly the fattest woman I've ever seen. In the 1990s, after the fall of Communism in the old "satellite" states, one of my jobs in the Defense Department was integrating ex-Communists into NATO. I met and worked at that time with literally hundreds of people who had lived under Communism, mostly from Lithuania, Poland, and Czechoslovakia, and got to know 5 or 6 of them well enough to consider them friends. In the same time period, I had a second job as Russian Language instructor at Howard Community College in Maryland. Nearly all of my students were the adoptive parents of children from Russia (which was pretty much dumping its orphans on the West in those years) who knew no English. (The parents needed to learn a bit of Russian so they could communicate with their new kids.) So I got to know quite a few very young survivors of Communism. Not sure if they count. Again, after the fall of the wall, I traveled as a tourist through the former East Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic, meeting all sorts of people.

And I can't count Boris Yeltsin as someone I "knew", but I did get the chance to speak with him briefly during his 1989 visit to Baltimore. Just wanted an excuse to throw that in there.

At the present moment, the only person I know well who's lived under Communism is my barber, who immigrated here from Vietnam some years after the war ended. His extended family still lives there.

bmiller said...

The closest I can come to any of that is that I had a dream once that Yeltsin, Gorbachev and I were riding around Moscow in a Limo and we ran out of vodka, so we had to stop at a convenience store. I think I was able to convince them to transfer power peacefully, but I'm not sure.

bmiller said...

That and I know people from Vietnam.

bmiller said...

China too.

Legion of Logic said...

But damn it, every single honest-to-God Communist that I have personally met... I love - sincerely.

I contrast their attitude to the sickeningly servile self abasement that all too many American so-called "Christians" show to the current abomination occupying our White House, and truly wonder how any follower of Christ can see what is happening in our country and not physically vomit.

So a good person can support the most murderous ideology in human history, and you can love them despite their desire to usher that ideology back in.

Can a good person support Donald Trump, and can you love them?

Starhopper said...

"Can a good person support Donald Trump, and can you love them?"

Absolutely! I have at least three (and maybe four, I'm not sure) family members who are MAGA-hatters, and I love them dearly in spite of their politics. Although I must confess that my two sisters' overt and quite appalling racism does make that difficult at times.

Four of my very best friends, whom I've known for decades, are Trump supporters. They know how I feel and I know the same about them, and have an unspoken agreement to avoid the subject.

Starhopper said...

I should have also mentioned that I like most of you guys as well.

bmiller said...

BTW Starhopper I forgot to ask.

Did any of those people you mentioned who lived under Communism actually like it? Because Bernie thinks it's the bee's knees.

Starhopper said...

That's a great question! When speaking with the older people, they often were quite nostalgic about it, but one could never be sure whether they were mixing up their own youth with the system. For instance, when I myself think back to the 1960s, I always seem to think it was a far better country to live in than today. But is that simply because I was then young and optimistic?

Those who lived through WWII would tell me that, despite the hardships and the terror, those were the best years of their lives, and that they felt in their bones that they were working for a better world.

People my age would unanimously say things were better now, but would still get quite wistful about minor details of the old way, or complain about how turbulent and uncertain the contemporary world is now. They missed the predictability and lack of drama of the old system. Poles in particular will tell you that their country was more Catholic under Communism, and decry the current generation's relative lack of interest in the Church.

On the whole, Russians are more likely to prefer Communism to what they have today, while the Germans, Czechs, and Poles are to a person glad it's gone. My one Vietnamese acquaintance actually fled the Communist state, and loves capitalism. (He owns his own business.)

So it's almost impossible to answer your question. You'd have to somehow separate the personal from the societal in an individual's memory, and I'm not sure that can be done.

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
What would have required raw courage was if someone showed up with a MAGA hat.

Are there many people who both wear MAGA hats and are against the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia?

Starhopper said...

By the way, I should have made it clear that I see socialism and Communism (note the capitalization) as entirely distinct systems. There is an unbridgeable gap between the two. Socialism is you they have today in Western and Northern Europe. Communism is a (thankfully) largely defunct system, characterized by the Soviet Union and its satellite states. I have no idea how to characterize China. It sure as hell ain't Communism, and neither is it socialism. It think their system is sui generis.

Starhopper said...

Aaarrgh! Should have typed: "is what they have" not "is you they have".

bmiller said...

You should really stop using the term 'socialism' then.

Facism and Communism are both forms of Socialism. NAZI=National SOCIALIST. USSR= Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics.

It is not only imprecise to call what European nations are doing Socialism, it's insidious.
Social Democracy is the correct term and that is what America is more or less also.

The more people think what they really want is socialism, the likely they are to get it.

bmiller said...

more likely that is.

Starhopper said...

Yeah, it's a really imprecise term. You can update the old joke about getting three rabbis together to say "Get three economists together and you'll hear four (or more likely six) definitions of socialism." It's about as easy to pin down as it is to find a non-controversial definition of "a well regulated militia".

bmiller said...

I think it's different.

The education system and academia have been skewed left for decades. Kids have been indoctrinated for a long time now: Socialism good! Capitalism bad! Especially everything non-STEM.

I think the ambiguity has been intentionally introduced in order to fool people into ignoring what socialism really is.

bmiller said...

I know you're thinking this Starhopper!

One Brow said...

Blogger bmiller said...
The education system and academia have been skewed left for decades.

To the degree that is true (and it is much less true than commonly portrayed), that's what happens wen you make a service occupation low-paying. You get people in it who care more about serving and helping than they do about money.

Legion of Logic said...

I could only wish I had the low-paying salary of a university professor.

Starhopper said...

Well Legion, according to capitalist economics, if you are dissatisfied with your income, you have no one to blame but yourself.

Legion of Logic said...

Well Legion, according to capitalist economics, if you are dissatisfied with your income, you have no one to blame but yourself.

Pretty sure child support is a forced redistribution of wealth!

Starhopper said...

Whoa, TMI!

bmiller said...

So it does seem that America is socialist after all. Glad we settled that.

One Brow said...

Legion of Logic said...
I could only wish I had the low-paying salary of a university professor.

As do most people who teach in colleges and universities.

Considering getting a Ph. D. takes longer, and pays less well, than MD, DVM, or JD, my point stands pretty well there also.

bmiller said...

Academia is filled with arrogant narcissistic envious nitwits who can't think critically. That's why they want to silence rational dialog.

Unknown said...

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bmiller said...

At last. Someone who agrees with me!

bmiller said...

BTW, don't click on the links.

Starhopper said...

Whenever some dodgy "commenter" comes on with links, just let your cursor hover over the links. Down at the bottom of the page, you'll see where they're directing you to. When I saw one that said "Kazan beauty" (the last one), I knew without clicking exactly what they were about.

Starhopper said...

I have many friends (and one relative) in the West Palm Beach area, and I pray they're spared the worst of the oncoming storm. But the evil, fallen part of me is nevertheless deriving great satisfaction over the fact that Dorian is headed straight for Mar-a-Lago. I sincerely (and I do mean that "sincerely") hope that the place is flattened. Or even washed out to sea.

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

Get a prayer life. Where in your Catholic upbringing did you get taught that wishing destruction upon individuals is appropriate?

I don't like abortion, but I don't wish destruction upon those who mistakenly support it. You should pray for those who oppose you, but also work peacefully for the good.

I'm worried about you.

bmiller said...

And BTW what is wrong with "Kazan beauty" ?

Starhopper said...

"And BTW what is wrong with "Kazan beauty"?"

That is precisely what I do not wish to find out.

Legion of Logic said...

Wishing destruction on mere property of a politician you don't like, when knowing that said destruction will result in far more devastating destruction and perhaps even death for all the innocents surrounding said property...innocents who can't simply rebuild like Trump...well, as Starhopper helpfully admitted, it is evil and fallen. Lots of other very negative adjectives can be added, but those two are sufficient.

Then again, Palm Beach cast more votes for Trump than Hillary, so maybe they deserve it?

Just...wow. Trump hatred has exposed so much vileness.

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
Academia is filled with arrogant narcissistic envious nitwits who can't think critically. That's why they want to silence rational dialog.

Just how many people in academia do you work with on a daily basis? Because this sounds nothing like academics, and exactly like you mindless spewing out disinformation with no basis in reality.

One Brow said...

Legion of Logic said...
Just...wow. Trump hatred has exposed so much vileness.

He seems to bring out the worst in his supporters and his enemies.

Starhopper said...

C'mon now.. a guy can dream, can't he? Schadenfreude has a long history, as shown here.

bmiller said...

Because this sounds nothing like academics, and exactly like you mindless spewing out disinformation with no basis in reality

Nonsense. I'm obviously not the only one to make the observation:

"situs hondaqq dan pasarqq hampir wedeqq mirip dengan lipoqq situs yang asikqq jalankan meteorqq dan juga anda bisa pelangiqq melihat berbagai permainan qq fifaqq"

Only a arrogant narcissistic envious nitwit would argue otherwise.

bmiller said...

Legion,

You've made it clear that you don't like Trump. But is this a typical sentiment among Evangelicals who do?

Starhopper said...

I've heard that "Cyrus" defense before, and I don't buy it. The exact same argument could have been used to defend support for Hitler. "Well, I don't care for the way he talks or some of the things he does, but at least he's against Stalin, and isn't that what's really important here?"

Come to think of it, that exact argument was used.

Legion of Logic said...

That's pretty close to what I see (a reminder this is anecdotal). Those who actively cheer Trump are usually the ones who are at best mildly Christian. Those whom I know are active in their faith cringe at a lot of what Trump does and wish Ted Cruz or Rand Paul or even Mike Huckabee had been the nominee. I'd like to think my experience is similar to what played out in the evangelical community as a whole, where those who take their professed beliefs seriously were not enthusiastic about Trump at all.

That being said!!!

My belief is that ultimately most people sacrifice personal values every time they cast a vote for anyone, knowingly or not, and so ultimately no matter who the candidates are, the left will vote Democrat and the right will vote Republican in the hopes that future policy on issues they care about will be favorable, judges philosophically aligned with them will be appointed, etc. I don't know many who actually like Republicans as a party, but I know many who despise the Democratic Party. I'm one of them. I don't care how nice they are, I will never vote for a progressive whose ideas (when applied and enforced by a government) I find to be intrinsically harmful. The left is no different in that regard, they'd vote for Hugo Chavez and Chairman Mao before they'd vote for Ted Cruz.

Unlike many, I also will not vote for garbage even if he will enact favorable policy, so neither Clinton nor Trump earned my vote.

bmiller said...

Seems like Russia is winning while the US is losing.

In the most important area that is.

Starhopper said...

Yes, the occasional reverence for the Church by members of the Mafia is passing strange. I'm old enough to recall the elaborate Catholic funerals of mobsters who were gunned down by the very people filling the church with flowers and attending the funeral services. It wasn't just in Hollywood where the assassins would make the Sign of the Cross over their victims as they died.

So yes, the murderous gangster Putin, immediately prior to annexing the Crimea, personally ordered a Russian military aircraft to fly around the peninsula, carrying on board the medieval icon Our Lady of Vladimir (not a copy, but the genuine article), to "bless" the operation.

bmiller said...

Well, you don't have to worry about Trump doing that.

Starhopper said...

Troo dat!

bmiller said...

But know what?

You can help out with the priest shortage. You're eligible!

bmiller said...

Wow. From a declassified DoD paper. Page 9 and 10 sound like the #Walkaway movement.

According to Margaret Singer's extensive studies of former cult members (see Psychology Today, January, 1979), those who left cults without the aid of deprogrammers did so because they had "grown bitter about discrepancies between cult words and practices.

Starhopper said...

That's great news! It means that, once the members of the brainwashed Trump cult realize that they have been led down the garden path by a charlatan who speaks not one word of truth, they will "grow bitter" and either not support him in 2020, or else actively vote against him. Either way, that's good news for democracy, our country, our planet, and Aristotelian logic.

bmiller said...

Trump has certainly been the De-programmer in Chief. Glad you agree.

Legion of Logic said...

Looks like we either get Trump, the possibly senile and definitely incompetent Biden, or one of the far-left nutjob lunatics competing with Biden for 2020. No matter what happens, we're screwed and I'm once again sitting out an election.

bmiller said...

I'd been pretty meh wrt Trump.

But now I'm thinking he's really on to something.

1) Everyone knows China is cheating wrt trade. Trump is effectively correcting that.
2) Other trade policies are creating more jobs for US citizens rather than jobs overseas.
3) WWII ended how long ago? Why are we still spending US taxpayer dollars for defending 2 of the world's largest economies? He's asking that question.
4) There's a chance for lasting peace with North Korea. First time ever.
5) ISIS holds no territory and he's bringing US troops home from there.
6) US troops on their way home from Afghanistan soon.
7) Most people want secure borders. He's done more to do that than anyone else. Even Mexico is helping out.
8) Everyone who wants to work can work.

Those are just things that people agree with on both sides of the aisle. "Conservatives" have a longer list.

Starhopper said...

bmiller,

I wish to respond only to your defense-related points.

3. The US is currently spending zero dollars to "defending 2 of the world's largest economies". All US forces in or near Germany and Japan are there for regional stability, and not to defend either of those two nations. We stopped defending (West) Germany against a Soviet attack after the collapse of the USSR and the disintegration of East Germany. At no time were we ever in the the business of defending Japan against anyone. We are (ostensibly) in Okinawa and other places in Japan because we wish to maintain a presence in Asia.

Now both of those rationales need continual reevaluation. It would be a bad thing if we ever stopped asking why we need to be in any particular country (militarily, that is).

4. I'm not so optimistic. The North Korean regime has yet to demonstrate that they can be dealt with honestly, with any expectation that they will actually do what they promise in negotiations.

Unfortunately, under the current administration, the same words can now be used against the US.

5. ISIS is far from beaten. It may not always be our responsibility to fight them, but someone will have to be doing so for decades (if not generations) to come.

6. Hooray!

bmiller said...

3. I doubt that anyone believes that if the US pulled it's military out of Germany or Japan that those 2 countries would not dramatically increase their defense spending. One might want to argue that it's better we stay put so they don't arm and attack their neighbors again, but then why are we the only ones paying for it.

4. No one trusts North Korea (except maybe China). Verification is part of the deal and it will have to be intrusive. North Korea is part of the negotiations with China and North Korea exists because China allows it to exist. China sees NK as a foil against US allies and interests. So NK is only part of the larger negotiations with China. It appears Trump understands this.

5. Regarding ISIS. Our military is no longer needed in Syria to fight a foe it defeated. Trump wants all troops out, but the military wants to keep a presence. The question is 'why should we'?

Starhopper said...

"The question is 'why should we'?"

I actually agree with those who say we shouldn't. But I understand the argument of those who say the contrary, which is "Give ISIS a space to operate from, and the next thing you know, they'll be driving airplanes (or worse) into more buildings."

By the way, lest we forget, this is all W's fault. Had we not invaded Iraq, there would today be no ISIS. That fact alone ought to give us pause before we leap into yet another military adventure in the Middle East (or anyplace else). The ultimate consequences of starting a war may not be on anyone's radar screen until it's all over.

bmiller said...

By the way, lest we forget, this is all W's fault.

That's purely partisan (surprise) and simplistic. It's been US policy to intervene in the Middle East for a long time no matter who was president.

We finally have a president that wants to disengage and get out of that mess and Dems want to impeach him. It makes one wonder what the Dems really want.

Starhopper said...

" It makes one wonder what the Dems really want."

Well, they do not want what I do, which is a wholescale withdrawal from most of our foreign bases, and a draconian slashing of our defense budget, down to a level which at best matches but does not exceed those of our potential adversaries.

"We finally have a president that wants to disengage and get out of that mess and Dems want to impeach him."

You know danged well that that is not why they wish to impeach him, but rather because he is a criminal, using the office of the presidency to further his criminal enterprises.

bmiller said...

You know danged well that that is not why they wish to impeach him, but rather because he is a criminal, using the office of the presidency to further his criminal enterprises.

Actually, Mueller cleared him of any of that. If the SC found any Trump criminal wrongdoing in that very expensive 2 year investigation we would have told us what it was even if he thought he couldn't prosecute.

I suspect that the Dems are panicky about what is being slowly declassified now and so want him out ASAP at any cost. You probably aren't even aware of what's coming out since the cult only supplies you with the info it wants you to consider.

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
Actually, Mueller cleared him of any of that.

Actually, Mueller has gone out of his way on several occasions to say otherwise.

I suspect that the Dems are panicky about what is being slowly declassified ...

I think we all agree on the value of baseless suspicions.

Starhopper said...

"Actually, Mueller cleared him of any of that."

Umm.. I've actually read the Mueller Report - every word of it, including the footnotes. It's there on my bookshelf, all marked up. It did nothing of the sort. In fact, the reverse is true, as Mueller himself said in his congressional testimony.

And many of his crimes (such as trying to get the next G7 conference to meet at one of his own properties, in direct violation of the Constitution) are not covered in the Mueller Report.

Legion of Logic said...

I suspect that the Dems are panicky about what is being slowly declassified now and so want him out ASAP at any cost. You probably aren't even aware of what's coming out since the cult only supplies you with the info it wants you to consider.

I've been looking forward to finding out all the shady events leading up to the Collusion Delusion for quite some time now.

bmiller said...

In fact, the reverse is true, as Mueller himself said in his congressional testimony.

I'm sorry. I missed the part where the SC found any Trump criminal wrongdoing in that very expensive 2 year investigation and told us what it was even if he thought he couldn't prosecute. Quoting only part of what someone writes is a distortion.

The reverse is certainly not true, even of the partial quotation. Rosenstein oversaw most of the Mueller investigation until Barr was in charge. Both agreed that there were no crimes to prosecute. Mueller had no disagreement with that conclusion.

Now it's time for some transparency. Like why our intelligence agencies think it's their business to spy on presidential candidates.

bmiller said...

Shocking honesty, finally from the SPLC!

Legion of Logic said...

We also have some insight as to how Snopes actually works, courtesy of the journalists at the Babylon Bee.

bmiller said...

Ha ha! Mostly true!

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
I'm sorry. I missed the part where the SC found any Trump criminal wrongdoing in that very expensive 2 year investigation and told us what it was even if he thought he couldn't prosecute.

Did you miss the part where Mueller said he refused to level charges against a person who had no opportunity to defend against them? Did you miss the part where, when a Representative asked if Trump could be charged in 2021, were he no longer in office, Mueller said yes?

One Brow said...

Legion of Logic said...
I've been looking forward to finding out all the shady events leading up to the Collusion Delusion for quite some time now.

I sure you will still be looking forward to that a year from now.

Legion of Logic said...

I sure you will still be looking forward to that a year from now.

I think much more will come to light, but we'll see. Justice doesn't seem to happen often to the power players.

Starhopper said...

"Justice doesn't seem to happen often to the power players."

Ain't it the truth! The criminal Trump administration is getting away with everything short of murder (and Trump boasts that he'd get away with that as well). No justice for them!

bmiller said...

The guilty should pay the price regardless of their position or party.

The Trump investigation is over and the DOJ found nothing to prosecute. Now let's see if they find the same wrt Obama.

Starhopper said...

"The Trump investigation is over"

Please tell me that you're just trolling us, because as a joke, it's pretty lame. Over? It's hardly started yet! And assuming Trump loses next year's election (Please, God!), the NY authorities will be serving him his arrest warrant on January 22nd, 2021. A lot will come out in the subsequent trial and conviction. By the time it's over, even those most drunk on the Trump Kool Aid will have to admit they'd been conned by the most dishonest pol in American history.

bmiller said...

Well I guess some cultists will keep up their own private investigations. Just like there are still people who insist that Obama is a Kenyan citizen.

Starhopper said...

"Just like there are still people who insist that Obama is a Kenyan citizen."

The difference being that there is solid, actionable evidence for Trump's criminality, whilst the idea that Obama was (is) anything but an American born citizen is all in the fevered minds of lunatic conspiracy theorists - the same sort of people who still refuse to believe that Man walked on the Moon, or who insist there was a second shooter behind the Grassy Knoll.

bmiller said...

Or those suffering from TDS.

bmiller said...

BTW if Trump is guilty of a crime, he should pay the price. So should Obama and so should both Clintons.

Starhopper said...

I am genuinely curious. What crime so you think Obama is guilty of? I know of none. He seems to be the cleanest, most scandal free president we've had since Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford.

And I say this as someone who had frequent and numerous disagreements on policy with Pres. Obama. But I never once thought he was ever unethical, let alone criminal.

bmiller said...

Thanks for the laugh.

Starhopper said...

You're more than welcome, but I am deadly serious. I know of absolutely nothing that Obama ever did as president that was unethical, self-aggrandizing, or in violation of any law (the very definition of criminal). Kindly enlighten me (and no links, please).

bmiller said...

You don't know how to google?

Starhopper said...

YOU tell me. Just what has Obama ever done as president that is in the least bit

a. unethical
b. illegal
c. unseemly
d. dishonorable.

I can't think of a thing. (And I'm being deadly serious here.)

Yes, I had serious disagreements with him on many substantive issues, such as same-sex marriage, abortion, and freedom of conscience. But in no case did he ever cross the line into illegality or conduct unbecoming.

Again, enlighten me.

Legion of Logic said...

You're more than welcome, but I am deadly serious. I know of absolutely nothing that Obama ever did as president that was unethical, self-aggrandizing, or in violation of any law (the very definition of criminal). Kindly enlighten me (and no links, please).

How is this even possible? Only thing I can think of is that your news sources suck - after all, scandals inherently have to be public, so if friendly media doesn't make an issue out of it, it isn't a scandal! Magic! And no self-aggrandizing behavior? Prior to Trump I found Obama to be the most egotistical politician I'd ever encountered.

Bmiller, want to just pick one of the many Obama scandals and focus on it until either Starhopper agrees it was a problem or it is demonstrated to not be a problem at all? What's your favorite?

Starhopper said...

Just as I thought. You guys can't actually name anything. It's all wink, wink, and innuendo - but there's no "there there".

bmiller said...

I don't see much of a point in telling you what you can easily google, especially when you are suffering from your condition.

He and his administration were involved in a number of lies and scandals. He hasn't been charged with anything illegal. Yet. But neither has Trump or the Clintons.

I wonder if you'd be as eager to see Obama or the Clintons in jail as any other lawbreakers.

Starhopper said...

If Obama had broken any laws, then yes, I'd want to see him brought to account. But I know of no such lawbreaking.

And apparently, neither do you, since you seem unable to identify any.

bmiller said...

Bmiller, want to just pick one of the many Obama scandals and focus on it until either Starhopper agrees it was a problem or it is demonstrated to not be a problem at all? What's your favorite?

The problem with this is that I don't think it's possible for him to think about it critically. As you mentioned there are plenty of scandals to choose from and any informed person should know that.

The fact that he claims he's unaware of any of that is a red flag.

Legion of Logic said...

You guys can't actually name anything.

Talk about kindergarten tactics.

We'll go with low-hanging fruit. So you said you were unaware of anything that Obama did that was, and I quote:

a. unethical
b. illegal
c. unseemly
d. dishonorable.

So then. Is intentionally lying to the country unethical, unseemly, or dishonorable?

Starhopper said...

"So then. Is intentionally lying to the country unethical, unseemly, or dishonorable?"

Of course it is. So when did Obama ever intentionally lie to the country?

Legion of Logic said...

I'll start with a few I remember without having to do any research for reminders.

Obama said the Fast and Furious gun-walking operation began under Bush. That's a lie, it began in 2009 well after he took office.

Obama said if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. That was a lie, obviously

Obama said the Affordable Care Act negotiations would be on C-Span and fully transparent. Turns out we had to pass it to find out what was in it. That was a lie.

Obama also said he would have the most transparent administration in history, a laughable lie.

Obama said he found out about Hillary's illegal email server on the news like everyone else, a neat trick given that he personally sent emails to it. That's a lie.

That's just off the top of my head. Those are intentional lies and, basically the same thing, incidents where he made a promise and blatantly broke it when he didn't have to.

And this is just the lies I recall off the top of my head, not even close to a comprehensive list. And as I said, Obama's many lies are simply the low-hanging fruit of what that administration did that was unethical, illegal, unseemly, or dishonorable.

bmiller said...

And he dressed up as Satan.

Starhopper said...

"Obama said the Fast and Furious gun-walking operation began under Bush. That's a lie, it began in 2009 well after he took office."

Have to plead ignorance on this one. I'd never paid any attention to that issue.

"Obama said if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. That was a lie, obviously."

Totally NOT a lie. It may have proven (eventually) to be incorrect, but Obama made the statement believing it to be the truth. He was being totally honest about his intentions. So, no lie.

"Obama said the Affordable Care Act negotiations would be on C-Span and fully transparent. Turns out we had to pass it to find out what was in it. That was a lie."

See above. Incorrect, but no lie.

"Obama also said he would have the most transparent administration in history, a laughable lie."

And he did. Which president was more transparent than him? So once again, no lie.

"Obama said he found out about Hillary's illegal email server on the news like everyone else, a neat trick given that he personally sent emails to it. That's a lie."

And why should sending e-mails to Clinton mean that he knew anything about what server they were going to? I have no idea what servers, or how many of them, are involved in your reading this posting.

Looks like a clean sweep. No lies.

bmiller said...

Looks like I was right.

Everything Trump said is a lie while everything Obama said was a mistake.....when you have TDS.

Starhopper said...

"TDS"

The only people who have TDS are those who still support, or make excuses for him.

bmiller said...

Haven't seen Trump dressed up as Baphomet yet. So he still has the edge.

bmiller said...

Meanwhile.

You know things have gone too far when even a famous radical feminist professor is being denounced with calls for her firing for supposedly “transphobic” comments.

bmiller said...

Manfort went to prison for this. Will Former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig?

Same judge as Manafort. Same judge as Rodger Stone. An Obama appointee.

Legion of Logic said...

Have to plead ignorance on this one. I'd never paid any attention to that issue.

It was a lie.


Totally NOT a lie. It may have proven (eventually) to be incorrect, but Obama made the statement believing it to be the truth. He was being totally honest about his intentions.

I have absolutely no reason to believe this. More likely, it was a lie. If it wasn't a lie, he was an idiot. And I know Obama is no idiot.


And he did. Which president was more transparent than him? So once again, no lie.

You requested no links, so I recommend you do some research on this one. The media was extremely unhappy with how decidedly UN-transparent his administration was. I suppose you could try to argue that other administrations had zero transparency while he had 0.01 transparency, so I will grant that to you as technically not a lie.

And why should sending e-mails to Clinton mean that he knew anything about what server they were going to? I have no idea what servers, or how many of them, are involved in your reading this posting.

You couldn't tell the difference between my work email, which has the name of my employer, and my personal Yahoo account? Obama knew fully well what a government email would look like, and he was emailing her at an address that was not her government email. He knew she had that address. He did not find out about it on the news like everyone else. That was a lie.

Looks to me like you are trying to excuse his lies, rather than admit that he wasn't some saint among politicians. Obama is a proven liar. I have more if you want, though if you are going to keep moving the goalposts then it won't be worth much. I wonder if you will also rationalize his scandals or simply not even be aware of them, like Fast and Furious?

Legion of Logic said...

You know things have gone too far when even a famous radical feminist professor is being denounced with calls for her firing for supposedly “transphobic” comments.

The "transgender" movement is almost as insane as not being aware of a single Obama misdeed. :)

Hugo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hugo said...

Legion is right that Obama also lied, like any other average politician. But the issue is how insanely worse Trump is, and how a vicious cycle of self-validation among echo chambers make him look normal. Both his supporters AND a neutral uninterested population are grossly mistaken. He is much much worse.

The worst part of this thread here is this though:
Folks here could have had that same conversation over 2 YEARS ago. Trump was already demonstrably worse than the average elected politician.
Funny segment about that for instance:
Trump VS Truth on John Oliver's Last Week Tonight
(well, most of you probably don't find it funny, but the factual information is easy to verify)

We're not in 2017 anymore; he lied soooo muchhhh more since, and said so many idiotic things! Just look at his Twitter feed and public statements. Last few days alone: wrong about states affected by hurricane Dorian, and how a category 5 hurricane is a never-before-seen event. It's the 4th of his presidency alone ffs!!

Now what? Boo ooh, that's all a "TDS"?

No, the only "syndrome" here is the ability to rationalize this imbecile as being just another politician, or worse, pretending is a skilled rational POTUS.

To be extra clear, I personally don't even care about him. Call me selfish, but my life hasn't changed, won't changed, so I couldn't care less. So there's no panic, hate, nor some kind of derangement sybdrome, it's just shocking to see how freaking dumb some people can be... there seems to be no end to what Trump can do or say and yet still be ignored or rationalized.

And at the same time, lots of folks on the Right are talking about a Left that either doesn't exist or is a vocal but tiny minority. Just go back to that PJ Media article posted above; completely disconnected for what the vast majority or Leftists/Progressives/Liberals think. But right-wingers don't give a shit, they attack what they "think" the Left is nonetheless.

P.s. I should have turned off email notifications...

Hugo said...

Whataboutism and more incoherence examples, again from 2017:
HERE

But what about Hillary, Obama, or the guy from Silence of the Lamb?

Hugo said...

More serious program; another couple of stupid comments by Trump: Utterly Confused Trump Congratulates Poland for Being Invaded

One Brow said...

Starhopper said...
YOU tell me. Just what has Obama ever done as president that is in the least bit

a. unethical
b. illegal
c. unseemly
d. dishonorable.


Unseemly will be in the eye of the beholder. Many of his actions regarding immigration were unseemly to me. Some people found a tan suit unseemly.

One Brow said...

Legion of Logic said...
Obama said the Fast and Furious gun-walking operation began under Bush. That's a lie, it began in 2009 well after he took office.

From Wikipedia:
"Gunwalking", or "letting guns walk", was a tactic of the Arizona Field Office of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which ran a series of sting operations between 2006 and 2011 in the Tucson and Phoenix area where the ATF "purposely allowed licensed firearms dealers to sell weapons to illegal straw buyers, hoping to track the guns to Mexican drug cartel leaders and arrest them". These operations were done under the umbrella of Project Gunrunner, a project intended to stem the flow of firearms into Mexico by interdicting straw purchasers and gun traffickers within the United States. The Jacob Chambers Case began in October 2009 and eventually became known in February 2010 as "Operation Fast and Furious" after agents discovered Chambers and the other suspects under investigation belonged to a car club.

So, the overall program began under Bush in 2006, and a particular branch of it began in 2009. Without knowing Obama's exact words, saying the program began under Bush could well be true.

Obama said if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. That was a lie, obviously

The truth would have been, "if the insurance companies let you keep your doctor, then you can choose to keep your doctor". The point behind the statement, that nothing in the ACA would prevent you from keeping your doctor, was accurate.

Obama said the Affordable Care Act negotiations would be on C-Span and fully transparent. Turns out we had to pass it to find out what was in it. That was a lie.

Obama also said he would have the most transparent administration in history, a laughable lie.


I don't think describing your future intentions, and then finding out you can't live up to them, is lying. Certainly naive.

Obama said he found out about Hillary's illegal email server on the news like everyone else, a neat trick given that he personally sent emails to it. That's a lie.

The same lie that most of Congress engaged in, then. Or, just possibly, most of them did not bother to check the email addresses behind the names on the screen. What percentage of the time do you check the email address of the person you are sending emails to?

Those are intentional lies and, basically the same thing, incidents where he made a promise and blatantly broke it when he didn't have to.

I think transparent administrations, to the extent they ever existed, are a thing of the past.

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
You know things have gone too far when even a famous radical feminist professor is being denounced with calls for her firing for supposedly “transphobic” comments.

Just another TERF.

One Brow said...

Legion of Logic said...
You couldn't tell the difference between my work email, which has the name of my employer, and my personal Yahoo account?

That depends on your mail client. In Outlook, you send an email to a name, and the email address does not appear unless you request it. One of my coworkers spits her time between here (WUStl) and BJC, and has an email address at each. I have to be careful when I send emails that it going to the correct address, it's not obvious just by looking at it.

Starhopper said...

"That depends on your mail client."

That's true. On my Google Chrome Book, I never see the sender's e-mail address unless I ask to. Same goes for the address of the person I am sending to. I have to go to my address book before I can see the e-mail address. Otherwise, all I see is "Bob" or "Pharmacist" or "Brother", or whatever name I entered an address under. It's likely that all Obama ever saw when sending H. Clinton an e-mail was something like "Hillary".

So again, no lie.

bmiller said...

"Bob" or "Pharmacist" or "Brother", or whatever name I entered an address under.

So just as you had to know the email address of "Bob" or "Pharmacist" or "Brother" to assign those names to an email address, so would anyone assigning "Hillary" to dr22@clintonemail.com.

Pretzel logic. Please don't hurt yourself with all this twisting.

I know you're normally more level headed than this, but when it comes to politics all who disagree with your politics are totally evil and all who agree are total saints without flaw. That's cultist reasoning.

Legion of Logic said...

Well I knew Obama supporters were fanatically loyal to an almost religious zeal, but my word. At least Trump supporters admit that Trump just makes stuff up, they simply don't care. Obama supporters twist and redefine and turn the double standards up to Ludicrous Hypocrisy to avoid admitting he had a personal flaw. And they didn't get it when we started calling him the Messiah due to their unwavering starry-eyed adoration.

Legion of Logic said...

Just another TERF.

What a world we live in where if you don't agree that men are women if they say they are, you are a bigot.

Hugo said...

"Obama supporters twist and redefine and turn the double standards up to Ludicrous Hypocrisy to avoid admitting he had a personal flaw."
See, exactly what I meant. This is a figment of your imagination and/or a focus on a tiny minority. Every politician has flaws and most people recognize that. You said it yourself Legion, but now you just use some form of Whataboutism to ignore the current issues, the much much worse issues, with our incompetent POTUS.

"What a world we live in where if you don't agree that men are women if they say they are, you are a bigot"
Also imaginary. Stop picking fights with random trolls online because that's the kind of people you are referring to. Most people close to the issues would be happy to explain to you what you don't understand about transgender people. Because you're clearly just ignorant, or at least I hope... Because at some point, this ignorance can turn to bigotry when you keep insisting again and again that the other "side" is crazy to think there's a difference between biological sex and gender identity. It can become bigotry when you take your ignorance as fact. It can become bigotry if you purposely misgender someone. It can become bigotry if you refuse to educate yourself and insult marginalized people who did not choose to be a certain way.

The same patterns keep repeating... blacks are inferior, women are not as smart, gays just want to sin, atheists are evil, transgender people are mentally ill, democratic socialists are lazy communist thieves, etc, etc, etc...

Starhopper said...

"unwavering starry-eyed adoration"

You guys are so funny. The last politician for whom I could be accused of such feelings was JFK. At the non-presidential level, you'd have to throw in William Donald Schaefer, Mayor of Baltimore and Governor of Maryland. If you're including people before my time, either one of the Roosevelts. And if you're extending the field to non-Americans, then Otto I (A.D. 912-973), Holy Roman Emperor, has to top the list.

Obama? Doesn't make the cut.

bmiller said...

Then why make such obviously poor excuses for his dishonesty?

Hugo said...

Because Starhopper was making accurate statements, not poor excuses...

bmiller said...

Still posting from the toilet? Certainly smells like it.

Hugo said...

Yep! Still can't help trolling when shown inconvenient facts?

bmiller said...

OK, another picture I need to wash out of my head.
But I guess it is an inconvenient fact that leftist don't know how email works....but not for me.

Starhopper said...

"don't know how email works"

I will freely admit that I have no idea how a touch screen works, or a cursor for that matter. Heck, I have no idea how ANY OF IT works when it comes to computers. Might as well be magic.

Probably why I'm such a Luddite. The only electronic devices in my home are this Google Chromebook, a radio, a portable DVD player, and my antediluvian flip phone. I have no television, no smartphone, and no nothing, other than what I just listed.

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

You yourself know that you assigned "Pharmacist" to some email address or the other. So you had to know the email address of that pharmacist. And that is the point. Obama knew that dr22@clintonemail.com wasn't her offical government email address and in fact used a pseudonym in correspondence with her at that address, not his official government email address.

You said you were in the DoD working with the NSA. Did you have a security clearance? Did you not use email in the 90's?

Hugo said...

I've been working in software for 12 years after graduating in computer engineering but I'm a leftist so what do I know

Starhopper said...

"Did you not use email in the 90's?"

Sure, but I never obsessed over it. I paid it about the same amount of attention that I would to my pencil.

I am neither praising nor condemning myself here, just giving the facts. I'm not a techie, never have been, never will be. The subject bores me to tears. I could say with confidence that 30 milliseconds after entering my pharmacist's e-mail into my address book, I never gave the matter any further thought. I could not now tell you what ANYBODY's e-mail address is other than my own. That's why we have address books - so they can remember such stuff and I don't have to clutter my brain with it.

So I can easily understand how Obama would not know whether he was sending an e-mail to Clinton's private account or to her government one. I'm not insisting that's a fact, but just the possibility that such was the case makes an accusation of lying a bridge too far. It would certainly never stand up in a court of law.

bmiller said...

It would certainly never stand up in a court of law.

Did you treat your security clearance with so little care?

If you had violated your security obligations and got caught you would have gone to jail. Many have. Doesn't matter that it was boring or if you argue you didn't mean it. Jail.

Obama was the President of the US and with the highest security level possible. Not you.

bmiller said...

So if people go to jail for violating security obligations, shouldn't Obama and Hillary?

bmiller said...

I've been working in software for 12 years after graduating in computer engineering but I'm a leftist so what do I know

I would have supposed that someone with a CE degree would know how to distinguish a .gov email domain from a .com email domain and what that means, but apparently I supposed wrong. Didn't they teach you that? If not beware of Nigerian princes that want to make you rich.

Hugo said...

bmiller, did I say I disagree with you on the stupid things Hillary and Obama did with emails?

You're the one who said leftist don't know how email works.

See, that's your problem; always assuming.

bmiller said...

I see you're as incoherent as usual. Be sure to flush when you're done.

Starhopper said...

"Did you treat your security clearance with so little care?"

What in the world are you talking about? That question seems totally out of left field. What does it have to do with the subject at hand?

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

Did you use email while you were at DoD? Did they not train you in it's proper use?

Hugo said...

"I see you're as incoherent as usual."

Shocking, you don't understand.

"Did they not train you in it's proper use?"

Shocking, still confusing it's and its.

Also shocking, you continue your whataboutism with Starhopper.

You should really watch those John Oliver clips.

Starhopper said...

Of course I did, and of course they did. But what does that have to do with memorizing e-mail addresses? The e-mail on my government owned classified network computer used aliases just like and in the same manner as my current Google Chromebook. In the "TO" box, I didn't type in actual addresses, but rather the name I had entered into my address book, such as "Jim" or "Section Chief" or "Okinawa". You could have put a gun to my head, and I wouldn't have been able to tell you what their actual e-mail addresses were. And I'll bet you, neither would anyone else have been able to.

So what is your point?

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

Did you send emails from your "government owned classified network computer" to unsecure email servers that the Chinese had access to?

You're missing the point as to why Obama had to lie about "not knowing" about Hillary's unsecure server.

bmiller said...

Shocking, still confusing it's and its.

Thank you for continuing to point out my grammar error. Its actually made me more conscious of it. :-)

I'll try to do better.

Hugo said...

Will you though? You're not correcting your false assumptions regarding Leftists when those mistakes are pointed out...

Starhopper said...

"You're missing the point"

Perhaps the reason I'm missing "the point" is because there does not appear to be any.

bmiller said...

It would really help if you didn't confirm what you think my assumptions are.

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

Perhaps the reason I'm missing "the point" is because there does not appear to be any.

Let me ask you a question. Why do you think people made a big deal about Obama saying he didn't know anything about Hillary having a secret server?

Do you think it's on the order of him saying he was wearing black socks on Sunday when he was really wearing blue socks?

Hugo said...

bmiller said...
It would really help if you didn't confirm what you think my assumptions are."

I literally just gave you an example. Even when I agree with you on something you're too confused to see it.

Legion of Logic said...

just the possibility that such was the case makes an accusation of lying a bridge too far.

That would hold a lot more weight if you assigned that same level of charity to those politicians you didn't like. You don't, just like everyone else.

It doesn't even require paying attention to know the difference between a work and personal email, particularly if the work is .gov, which stands out immediately. You can't casually miss it.

Obama lied when he said he knew nothing about it. Either that or he's utterly incompetent, like Biden. And of the many faults with Obama, incompetence is not one of them. He lied.

Starhopper said...

"Why do you think people made a big deal about Obama saying he didn't know anything about Hillary having a secret server?"

Oh, the reason is obvious. They were (and still are) suffering from ODS, a.k.a., Obama Derangement Syndrome.

bmiller said...

I agree with Legion.

"That would hold a lot more weight if you assigned that same level of charity to those politicians you didn't like. You don't, just like everyone else."

Starhopper would be screaming for the scalp of Trump if he was accused of the same thing (even though he claims he doesn't understand how all of this works anyway).

The big deal about Hillary's email server is that it was unsecure and she did government business using that unsecure server. Obama was her boss. He knew about it because he corresponded with her on that unsecure server. He did nothing to correct the situation.

Rather than admitting he made the (hugely astonishingly embarrassing) mistake of not closing down her server because he was clueless or worse, complicit, he claimed he only found out from the papers.

bmiller said...

Hugo,

"It would really help if you didn't confirm what you think my assumptions are."

I literally just gave you an example. Even when I agree with you on something you're too confused to see it.


I don't really think all leftists are idiots as you think I do. Just some. But you're doing your best to persuade me that they all are. At least on this blog.

My discussion with Starhopper has been wrt email, how it works, and why Obama lied about his knowledge of Hillary's server. Nothing else.

But John Oliver! Whataboutism!

It is irrelevant to the discussion if Trump, Hilter, Stalin, Mao, 'fill-in-the-blank' lied. The discussion is about Obama and only Obama.
Is projection a disease one contracts when one contracts leftism?

Hugo said...

bmiller,
The entire conversation about Obama and Hillary's emails IS a case of Whataboutism. The original post is titled "Abortion and "socialism"" and now this is ONLY about Obama!? WOW.

bmiller said...

"Why do you think people made a big deal about Obama saying he didn't know anything about Hillary having a secret server?"

Oh, the reason is obvious. They were (and still are) suffering from ODS, a.k.a., Obama Derangement Syndrome.


Then we can carry on in a civilized manner and not claim that everything our political opponent does is not totally evil? Yeah, didn't think so.

bmiller said...

Hugo,

Sorry that it is so difficult for you to follow the flow of a discussion. I promise I won't attribute this to all leftists. Only you.

Hugo said...

It's a thread about so many things yet you just called it as "only" about Obama.
I say I agree with you on the email things and then you say Leftists don't understand emails.
I point out you were wrong to assume I disagreed with you and you say I confirmed your assumption.
You're such a proud idiot bmiller; it's incredible.

bmiller said...

Hugo,

It's a thread about so many things yet you just called it as "only" about Obama.
You intervened in a particular discussion I was having with Starhopper.
I say I agree with you on the email things and then you say Leftists don't understand emails.
Convince Starhopper if you agreed. You didn't even convince me.
I point out you were wrong to assume I disagreed with you and you say I confirmed your assumption.
Yes. You continue to confirm the assumption you think I have.

Hugo said...

Oh I'm sorry, I didn't realize you were having an intimate moment... on a public blog.

Convince you of what? That I understand how emails work? That's obvious. That I agree with you about how careless Hillary was? Already said it. That Obama was lying about it? Sounds like he was yes. That they are both criminally responsible and should be in jail? Well, I am not trying to convince you of that because that's what we disagree on, but you're too stupid to realize that.

Hugo said...

Oh wait, I forgot that this is ONLY about Obama. My bad.

Starhopper said...

Well, since we're talking about "onlys" here, my only point in this particular discussion, is you cannot (honestly) accuse Obama of lying about his e-mails. There are plausible reasons to say that he believed what he was saying was the truth, which (by definition) makes it not a lie.

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
"Bob" or "Pharmacist" or "Brother", or whatever name I entered an address under.

So just as you had to know the email address of "Bob" or "Pharmacist" or "Brother" to assign those names to an email address, so would anyone assigning "Hillary" to dr22@clintonemail.com.


No, you don't. The emails get sent out with a display name as well as an email address. That's one of the reasons I have to be careful every time I send an email to my bi-located colleague.

One Brow said...

Legion of Logic said...
Well I knew Obama supporters were fanatically loyal to an almost religious zeal,

Yes, that's why we used to call him the deporter-in-chief, because we were so enamored with him. <\sarcasm>

Obama was a typical centrist, pro-war, pro-business, beholden-to-Wall-Street politician. I have plenty of criticisms I have said in the past. That doesn't mean your laughable list were actually what you claimed they were.

One Brow said...

Legion of Logic said...
What a world we live in where if you don't agree that men are women if they say they are, you are a bigot.

If they are a man, they would not say they are a woman. You may be confusing the concepts of "male/female" (the two most common biological states we can be born into, although there are many more) and "man/woman" (roles that we perform in society). You, at least, have an excuse in that you buy into patriarchy. TERFs don't even have that much of an excuse.

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
Starhopper would be screaming for the scalp of Trump if he was accused of the same thing (even though he claims he doesn't understand how all of this works anyway).

We already know Trump uses an unofficial Blackberry for communications.

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
The big deal about Hillary's email server is that it was unsecure and she did government business using that unsecure server. Obama was her boss.

Both true, with the cavet that Clinton's server was not officially secured.

He knew about it because he corresponded with her on that unsecure server. He did nothing to correct the situation.

1) Dozens of congresspeople also correspond with the Secretary of State every month. Do you think every one of them were also aware of Clinton's server, and that the very same Republicans who swore to make Obama a one-term President just let it pass for 6 years without comment?

2) As I have explained above, you don't need to manually enter an email address into an address book. You can receive an email and store the address without ever seeing the actual email address. Anyone who has used Outlook, or similar programs, has seen this.

bmiller said...

Well, since we're talking about "onlys" here, my only point in this particular discussion, is you cannot (honestly) accuse Obama of lying about his e-mails.

Obama didn't give the excuse you're making up for him.

But Legion put it succinctly. Either he's a careless idiot or he lied. But maybe Legion is wrong. I guess he could be both a careless idiot that lied about it.

Starhopper said...

All I see here on the part of you and legion is ODS. You can't see it, because you're on the inside, but to an objective observer, it is indeed an illness.

Hugo said...

In other news, today's lie:
https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/04/politics/donald-trump-hurricane-alabama-map/index.html

And nothing will happen, nobody cares, he's just pathetic and it's definitively not a criminal example, but that alone is a clear obvious attempt at deceit, not even for good reasons!

But but, what about carelessness with emails 3 to 9 years ago?
Let's makes sure conversations are ONLY about Obama, right?

Starhopper said...

The problem with Trump's many outrages is that they are so many. He pummels the nation with their very number and frequency. It's impossible to keep up with them. Today it's altering a weather map with a Sharpie. Yesterday it was telling Pence to stay at a Trump property in Ireland, thus fattening Trump's pocket. The day before was his playing golf while people died from hurricane Dorian (after assuring us in 2016 that he would never play golf while president). And the day before that... well, you get the picture. It's an outrage a minute with this guy.

And still, his sycophants and enablers worry about Clinton's e-mail server, like that is even in the same ballpark as the scandal-a-minute Trump administration.

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