December 27, 2017

"One of the dangers of the internet is that people can have entirely different realities. They can be cocooned in information that reinforces their current biases."

That's Barack Obama, sounding like he's been reading Scott Adams's book.*

Obama was getting interviewed by Prince Harry... so it was When Harry Met Barack.

Obama bounced from his observation that we live in "entirely different realities" to groping for a solution. He got as far as articulating "the question":
“The question has to do with how do we harness this technology in a way that allows a multiplicity of voices, allows a diversity of views, but doesn’t lead to a Balkanization of society and allows ways of finding common ground.”
Harness this technology? Is that a euphemism for censorship?

Diversity without Balkanization, common ground with multiplicity... It's much easier to articulate that abstraction than to do anything to get there. I myself like the middle ground, but I think few people do. Most people go to one side or the other, and I think that's basically how human society works. There's a tendency toward dualism.
_______________________

* One of the main ideas in Scott Adams's book "Win Bigly" is "Two Movies on One Screen... the phenomenon in which observers can see the same information and interpret it as supporting two entirely different stories." For example:
When the presidential election of 2016 was over, reality split into two movies. Trump supporters believed that they had elected a competent populist to “drain the swamp” and make America great again. Their preferred media sources agreed. But anti-Trumpers had been force-fed, by both the mainstream media and Clinton’s campaign, a fire hose of persuasion that said Trump was the next Hitler. In effect, the Trump supporters and the anti-Trumpers woke up in different movies. One movie is a disaster movie and the other is an inspirational story.

The fascinating thing about this situation is each of us can operate in the world and do the things we need to do to survive. You and I can both go shopping, both drive cars, both have jobs and friends. Living in completely different realities is our normal way of living....
ADDED: I'm using the word "dualism" not in sense of mind and body, but simply "The condition or state of being dual or consisting of two parts; twofold division; duality." That's the OED, which points me to Ralph Waldo Emerson, who wrote:
POLARITY, or action and reaction, we meet in every part of nature; in darkness and light; in heat and cold; in the ebb and flow of waters; in male and female; in the inspiration and expiration of plants and animals; in the equation of quantity and quality in the fluids of the animal body; in the systole and diastole of the heart; in the undulations of fluids, and of sound; in the centrifugal and centripetal gravity; in electricity, galvanism, and chemical affinity. Superinduce magnetism at one end of a needle, the opposite magnetism takes place at the other end. If the south attracts, the north repels. To empty here, you must condense there. An inevitable dualism bisects nature, so that each thing is a half, and suggests another thing to make it whole; as, spirit, matter; man, woman; odd, even; subjective, objective; in, out; upper, under; motion, rest; yea, nay.


Whilst the world is thus dual, so is every one of its parts. The entire system of things gets represented in every particle. There is somewhat that resembles the ebb and flow of the sea, day and night, man and woman, in a single needle of the pine, in a kernel of corn, in each individual of every animal tribe. The reaction, so grand in the elements, is repeated within these small boundaries. For example, in the animal kingdom the physiologist has observed that no creatures are favorites, but a certain compensation balances every gift and every defect. A surplusage given to one part is paid out of a reduction from another part of the same creature. If the head and neck are enlarged, the trunk and extremities are cut short.

The theory of the mechanic forces is another example. What we gain in power is lost in time; and the converse. The periodic or compensating errors of the planets is another instance. The influences of climate and soil in political history are another. The cold climate invigorates. The barren soil does not breed fevers, crocodiles, tigers, or scorpions.

The same dualism underlies the nature and condition of man. Every excess causes a defect; every defect an excess. Every sweet hath its sour; every evil its good. Every faculty which is a receiver of pleasure has an equal penalty put on its abuse. It is to answer for its moderation with its life. For every grain of wit there is a grain of folly. For every thing you have missed, you have gained something else; and for every thing you gain, you lose something. If riches increase, they are increased that use them. If the gatherer gathers too much, nature takes out of the man what she puts into his chest; swells the estate, but kills the owner. Nature hates monopolies and exceptions. The waves of the sea do not more speedily seek a level from their loftiest tossing, than the varieties of condition tend to equalize themselves. There is always some levelling circumstance that puts down the overbearing, the strong, the rich, the fortunate, substantially on the same ground with all others. Is a man too strong and fierce for society, and by temper and position a bad citizen, — a morose ruffian, with a dash of the pirate in him;—— nature sends him a troop of pretty sons and daughters, who are getting along in the dame's classes at the village school, and love and fear for them smooths his grim scowl to courtesy. Thus she contrives to intenerate the granite and felspar, takes the boar out and puts the lamb in, and keeps her balance true.

424 comments:

1 – 200 of 424   Newer›   Newest»
Kevin said...

Harness this technology? Is that a euphemism for censorship?

If you have to ask...

Sharc 65 said...

"[H]ow do we harness this technology in a way that allows a multiplicity of voices..."

"We" = Government

David Begley said...

“but doesn’t lead to a Balkanization of society and allows ways of finding common ground.”

Let’s be frank. Obama and the Dems want the Balkanization of America as that is what identity politics is all about. That’s how they win elections.

Could this phoney please shut up and go away?

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Like how the Democrat party MSM feeds us bull crap and lies about how hillary's private Server is "fake news."

campy said...

Obama bounced from his observation that we live in "entirely different realities" to groping for a solution.

Isn't the solution obvious? We must ban the Alternative-Fact "news" sources that the deplorables rely on and force them to use the impartial, unbiased mainstream professional journalists.

Kevin said...

What do we want?

Diversity without Balkanization!

When do we want it?

Common ground with multiplicity!

CWJ said...

One theme of Anne Applebaum's "Iron Curtain" was the Communist Party's need to control the media in post-war Eastern Europe to the rapid exclusion of all other parties. The party, not the government. They deligitimized other voices using language very similar to that of Obama's here.

Eleanor said...

While I don't support the surgery that cuts a dog's vocal cords to keep them from barking, I could make an exception for Obama.

Michael said...

I would bet that the majority of normals, deplorables if you will, do not spend their days staring at computer screens, obsessing over politics. And thus they are normal. Most normals heard Obama yammer on for eight years and when they hear his voice now their normal switch hits mute. He, Obama, is a bore with worn out words strung together as "ideas."

He and Harry are made for each other. Perfect.

Kevin said...

Obama bounced from his observation that we live in "entirely different realities" to groping for a solution.

Well one of Obama's different realities was that his administration was "scandal free".

I think we're seeing the solution come slowly into focus.

MayBee said...

Are people interested in hearing Prince Harry and Barack Obama talk about stuff like this? Are either of them now, and have either of them recently, been experiencing life on any level like the rest of the people in their respective countries?

They are both very coddled and separated, no?

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Harness this technology? Is that a euphemism for censorship?

Yes. A never ceasing leftist objective.

mockturtle said...

Harness this technology? Is that a euphemism for censorship?

Worse than censorship. Unlike the harnessing of energy to meet the needs of the populace, he speaks of using technology as a tool of the State to manipulate the populace. Kind of like the MSM.

TreeJoe said...

The "problem" with the internet today: information flow & control is consolidating in the hands of a very few entrenched corporations who have shown a repeated willingness - desire even - to manipulate information flow. And not in a naturalistic fashion.

These tendencies by google, facebook, and others is only increasing with the years.

For the internet to self-correct, it will need the freedom for other non-entrenched interests to disrupt and POTENTIALLY governmental assistance in breaking up monopoly.

Barack Obama has a wonderful way of speaking in vagaries. Hard to nail him down. His statements could mean that government power should be used to protect freedom including freedom of speech, and that with the internet the best thing the U.S. can do is ensure the internet is widely available, information on it is freely accessible, and that no corporation begins to use it's power to diminish the freedom of this "new" medium.

He didn't mean that of course, but his statements are so broad they could be interpreted in that noble, constitutional manner.

tcrosse said...

Bring in Justin Trudeau, and the three of them can discuss Daddy issues.

Michael K said...

I had Christmas dinner with my daughter who was a Bernie supporter.

She is starting to come around that some of what Trump has done is good.

That should terrify Democrat politicians.

chuck said...

The Emerson quote is a hoot, reads like medieval theology. Never trust philosophers who pretend to scientific knowledge, they haven't a clue.

Lyssa said...

It's entirely reasonable to say that this is legitimately a problem. But the existence of a problem does not suggest the existence of a solution; at least, not the existence of a solution that is not far worse. We can't fix this, and any attempt to try is far, far more dangerous than the problem.

Ann Althouse said...

Learned a new word from Emerson: "intenerate."

Ann Althouse said...

"The cold climate invigorates."

We're getting invigorated to the tune of -5° this morning.

On the up side: The tap water is delicious ice water.

MayBee said...

Lyssa said...
It's entirely reasonable to say that this is legitimately a problem. But the existence of a problem does not suggest the existence of a solution; at least, not the existence of a solution that is not far worse. We can't fix this, and any attempt to try is far, far more dangerous than the problem.


Excellent.

Part of it is just getting used to it, right? We don't have to have consequences for everyone who says something stupid on Twitter. We don't have to highlight everyone's outrage post on Facebook. Our minds haven't caught up with the new speed of information, and the ability to find people who think just like us (or the exact opposite of us) at the drop of a hat.
The pilgrims had to sail across the sea to create a cocoon for themselves. That cocoon was infiltrated slowly. Eventually and with great pain their new cocoon society adapted. But it happened. No king told them how it had to happen.

We need to work these things out, but the working out part won't happen at the same speed as the cocooning. We just have to remember not to abandon the ideals that have gotten us here. We don't need to panic.

Darrell said...

My favorite part was when Barack shared his new favorite dog recipes with Harry. Especially Pugs in a Blanket and Pup Tarts. Michelle's got the time now.

JPS said...

"They can be cocooned in information that reinforces their current biases."

This from the man who said of his Iran deal:

"The good news is that I've not yet heard a factual argument on the other side that holds up to scrutiny."

Breezy said...

Isn’t Balkanization how “we” get the diverse views “we” want?

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Here's an example of a story we would hear about, in the DNC press, if Sheila were a Republcian.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee: Terror of the skies since 1995

cubanbob said...

"When the presidential election of 2016 was over, reality split into two movies. Trump supporters believed that they had elected a competent populist to “drain the swamp” and make America great again. Their preferred media sources agreed. But anti-Trumpers had been force-fed, by both the mainstream media and Clinton’s campaign, a fire hose of persuasion that said Trump was the next Hitler. In effect, the Trump supporters and the anti-Trumpers woke up in different movies. One movie is a disaster movie and the other is an inspirational story."

If by March 2019 certain select people haven't begun disappearing then we will know which is the reality and which is the psychotic fantasy.

EDH said...

Duality?

What "we" need is Abradolf Lincler.

Rick: Oh great. Who invited Abradolf Lincler?

Summer: I thought everyone was welcome?

Rick: It’s not the same Summer. Lincler is a crazed maniac. Just some misguided effort of mine to create a morally neutral super leader by combining the DNA of Adolf Hitler and Abraham Lincoln. Turns out it just adds up to a lame, weird loser.

Abradolf: Rick! You brought me into this world. The suffering abomination. Tortured by the duality of it’s being. But I shall finally know peace when I watch the life drain from your wretched body!

Leslie Graves said...

Our tap water would be delicious ice water, were it not for the fact that our pipes are frozen.

Why did the way of thinking described as "western philosophy" arise in and around Athens? Some historians of science say it was because in the preceding decades, small tribes with their own Gods and cultures and ways of doing things came into contact with each other for the first time. This led some folks to observe: You have entire faith in your Gods and my people have entire faith in our Gods. But we can't both be right, so...how do we decide, other than one tribe eliminating everyone and their false-God-beliefs in the other tribe?

Chris N said...

As for Obama, I observe the same polished, vague equivocation and framing of current popular thought...as though spoken by an actor delivering lines. I’ll try and measure him mostly by results, not intentions. What did he say he’d do and what did he do? Politicians deserve as much and as little.

As for Emerson, I think that’s a rather unsophisticated understanding of what the natural sciences do; the metaphysics of a post-Unitarian Romanticist from the 19th century.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

People have been complaining about the Internet allowing people to only engage with ideas they agree with since about five minutes after it was invented. I know, I was there. What they are really concerned about is the loss of the ability to manufacture a consensus and to declare certain issues settled and out of bounds.

Sam L. said...

It seems a lot of people like to live in a bubble, to avoid opinions and other things they don't like or don't agree with.

Fandor said...

Barack Obama remains what he always has been, an empty suit living in the big nowhere.
Both of his screens are blank for others to fill.

Fernandistein said...

An inevitable dualism bisects nature, so that each thing is a half, and suggests another thing to make it whole

Use more Science Words™, Mr. Poet!

William said...

Prince Harry knows how to play the pr game. If he married a second tier television star who was blonde, the media would be accusing him of being superficial. By picking out a tv star who's half black, he just about guarantees a good press and still gets to marry a hot chick. The Barack/Harry mating also is definitely symbiotic and will enhance both their reputations.......On his mother's side, Prince Harry is part Tudor. He's clearly scheming to gain popularity and power.. I just hope that Harry doesn't murder Prince William, drown his kids in a hogshead of wine and seize power for himself. You can take the Tudor out of the game of thrones, but you can't take the games of thrones out of the Tudor.

William said...

Obama is much better as a nebulous philosopher than he was as a president.

Anonymous said...

"When the presidential election of 2016 was over, reality split into two movies. Trump supporters believed that they had elected a competent populist to “drain the swamp” and make America great again. Their preferred media sources agreed. But anti-Trumpers had been force-fed, by both the mainstream media and Clinton’s campaign, a fire hose of persuasion that said Trump was the next Hitler."

Fox News (certainly one Trump supporters "preferred media")does plenty of it's own force-feeding. And it's been the most-watched and most profitable cable news channel for more than fifteen years. The characterization by conservatives (and Fox itself)that it isn't it part of the mainstream media is obviously useful, but just as obviously not true.

"When the presidential election of 2016 was over, reality split into two movies. Anti-Hillarys believed that they had elected a competent populist to “drain the swamp”. They had been force-fed, by Fox News and Trump's campaign, a fire hose of persuasion that Trump would make America great again.

Matthew Sablan said...

How do we harness the Internet to ensure a multiplicity of voices?

I suggest the radical idea of NOT letting the government "harness the Internet to ensure a multiplicity of voices," because frankly, the Internet is doing a good job of that without any interference from above.

Roy Lofquist said...

It all balances in the end - twenty dollar words spouting two bit ideas.

mockturtle said...

The Left, in their smug certainty, always attempt to mold people into their own enlightened image. The goal of a 'community organizer', like Obama, is just that. Trump is so refreshing! He has faith in the people to make their own choices and make America great again.

CJinPA said...

Two wealthy, powerful men with no real jobs pontificating for our benefit.

brylun said...

Where's that global warming when you need it?

Hagar said...

Figuratively speaking, a Balkan Peninsula, but under Islam.

Angel-Dyne said...

There was a brief period in my life -- reading him for the first time in high school -- when Ralph Waldo Emerson didn't strike me as an annoying pseud gasbag.

AA: Diversity without Balkanization, common ground with multiplicity... It's much easier to articulate that abstraction than to do anything to get there. I myself like the middle ground, but I think few people do. Most people go to one side or the other, and I think that's basically how human society works. There's a tendency toward dualism.

The "middle ground" is relative to the kind of society one is living in. There are some people who think they occupy the "middle ground" of a society that no longer exists. Or they just keep moving with a shifting "middle ground", without noticing that they are in motion, as the whole shebang lurches in one direction or the other. To them, people will appear to be expressing some intrinsic temperamental tendency, rather than rationally reacting or adapting to the changed environment.

To reiterate a commonplace, many "conservatives" today, now extreme-right hate-filled bigots, occupied the "middle ground" ten years ago, and liberal territory five years before that, without ever having changed their views. This is not an expression of any inherent "dualism" or a temperamental aversion to a via media.

P.S. Did I mention that Emerson is a treacly gasbag?

traditionalguy said...

All you really need to know about modern life, you learn by reading and re-reading Catch-22 and studying the character's motivations. But Barry Sotero Obama is not in the book: ergo Barry Sotero Obama is a total fake.

tcrosse said...

So the question is, how do we use the internet to achieve the desired result ?

Greg Hlatky said...

To reiterate a commonplace, many "conservatives" today, now extreme-right hate-filled bigots, occupied the "middle ground" ten years ago, and liberal territory five years before that, without ever having changed their views.

If you believed in the equality of races 100 years ago, you were a radical. 50 years ago you were a moderate. Now you're a reactionary knuckle-dragger.

robother said...

Two princes, soliloquizing each other to the death. Meanwhile, Michelle is advising Meghan on the best earplugs.

SeanF said...

"...as, spirit, matter; man, woman; odd, even; subjective, objective; in, out; upper, under; motion, rest; yea, nay."

How could he leave out "Jedi, Sith"?!

Seriously, though, no "good, evil"?

Bad Lieutenant said...

That's the OED, which points me to Ralph Waldo Emerson, who wrote:
...

He talks too much.

Now I Know! said...

Chuck, I am going to make one last effort to save you from wasting your time. This thread is just another example of how Ann is not interested in creating a blog that encourages discussion of anything but the right wing viewpoint. Ann always reaches for the most ridiculous spin to make Trump look good, but here she does the opposite with President Obama. What was he suppose to do? Not answer the question? Instead, he provided a thoughtful well thought out and reasonable response that acknowledges that he does not have the full answer but that he is aware of the problem. Instead of Ann observing how this kind of thoughtfulness and intellegence stands in stark contrast to Trump’s anti-intellectual goonishness, she accuses President Obama of wanting censorship!!

Chuck, Ann does not want her blog to be a place where there is honest discussion. This thread, like most of them, has its first thirty responses from her right wing sycophants trashing the liberal object that Ann has decided to set her sights on. In this case it is the former president and the responses from her right wingers includes fantasies that his vocal chords could be cut like that of a barking dog. Classy.

Chuck, this is the blog that Ann has created and wants. She does not want you here, except maybe to play the role of the goat.

I check in every now and then to see if Ann’s blog has become an even more bizarre right wing side show. (It has.) But now I am going to check out again. See-ya.

Good luck Chuck.

madAsHell said...

What would you expect from the bastard Affirmative Action president?

YoungHegelian said...

@Chuck, NIK,

Good luck Chuck.

Yes, flee! Run for your very lives before the soul-devouring demon that is the Althouse Forum drags yet another victim into its gaping maw!

Were you an acting major before gracing us with your presence, NIK?

Bad Lieutenant said...

Obama was getting interviewed by Prince Harry... so it was When Harry Met Barack.


Oh yes, and When Harry Met Barry would be far more euphonious. "Barack" is pretty much a turd in the punchbowl linguistically. Can't do much with it that doesn't suggest clearing phlegm.

320Busdriver said...

Exhibit#1, Son #2, freshman badger in bio med engr, reports day one of Sociology small group, his least favorite class, Snowflake girl introduces herself to the group and adds "If you voted for Trump do NOT talk to me". Brilliant!

Bad Lieutenant said...

Blogger Now I Know! said...
Chuck, I am going to make one last effort to save you from wasting your time. This thread is just another example of how Ann is not interested in creating a blog that encourages discussion of anything but the right wing viewpoint.


See, Chuck, even Once written (deleted his account and is now NIK) knows you're a lib.

Angel-Dyne said...

320Busdriver: Exhibit#1, Son #2, freshman badger in bio med engr, reports day one of Sociology small group, his least favorite class, Snowflake girl introduces herself to the group and adds "If you voted for Trump do NOT talk to me". Brilliant!

Bet she still expects 'em to listen to her monologuing. (Not doing so would be "silencing" her, no doubt.)

exhelodrvr1 said...

Cocooned, as opposed to when the "MSM" was the only source of news?

Now I Know! said...

YoungHegelian, Ann’s conservative forum, like many of those on the left, is just another backwater where the same twenty people can fritter their days away howling in the internet with like minded people.

Go back and read the responses in this thread. They are ridiculous in their immaturity. Ann gets up every morning and puts on her Pavlov lab coat and tries to find new ways to get responses from her right wing critters. Sad.

YoungHegelian said...

@NiK,

like many of those on the left..

And what's a good forum on the left, NIK? Tell us an example of an online forum that has a balanced mixture of mature, informed voices.

I'll wait in the car.

AllenS said...

I hate to disappoint everyone, but using the Althouse Amazon feature for "Pavlov lab coat", returns We found 0 results for "Pavlov lab coat"

Now I Know! said...

Bad Lieutenant,

Not being a crazed right winger does not make one a liberal—except in the conservative blogosphere. You thinking that proves that Ann’s blog is just another outpost in the right wing la la land.

Now I Know! said...

YoungHegelian, there are many blog forums on the left that are just as ridiculous as Ann’s. That is my point.

Meade said...

"Ann gets up every morning and puts on her Pavlov lab coat and tries to find new ways to get responses from her right wing critters. Sad."

SOMEone sounds tired of winning.

Btw, I wonder when the markets will correct. I know — it should be any day now.

YoungHegelian said...

@NIK,

there are many blog forums on the left that are just as ridiculous as Ann’s. That is my point.

Well, yes, but that wasn't my point at all.

I asked you to name some blogs with good comment sections. I'd prefer left-wing, but, hell, at this point I'll settle for any side of the political spectrum.

brylun said...

International Falls, Minnesota drops to record low -36F

Hey NIK, where's that global warming when you need it?

donald said...

Two thoughts:

Barack Hussein Obama is one jive ass mofo and Harry turns out to be a gullible twit.

Now I Know! said...

Meade, I totally encourage you to put all of your (Ann’s) money in the stock market. Keep winning buddy.

Are you proud that you are associated with a blog that encourages responses like the one above fantasizing that the former president’s vocal chords could be severed like those of a barking dog?

Ralph L said...

Is that a euphemism for censorship?
The "we harness" is ambiguous, it's the "allows" that give the game away. Can't have any of that hate speech.

Nonapod said...

Pavlov Lab Coat is the name of my indie rock band. Our first album is called "role of the goat".

tcrosse said...

Troll the ancient yuletide carol.

jwl said...

Banal observation, every human who has ever lived had their own reality.

Also, Jonathan Haidt has written that the more left wing a person is, the more of a bubble they live in. Right wing people can describe left wing policies and thought process but left wing people are incapable of understanding right wingers and can only call them racist or homophobic or sexist or ....

BDNYC said...

Yeah, "allows" is what raises a question. That suggests the regulators are being most gracious in permitting the masses to express themselves online. Who are the regulators, the "we"? The government? Maybe. Could also be the Big Tech firms, who let's face it have a cozy working relationship with the government. It's all ambiguous, but this being Barack Obama I believe he meant the liberal-left government-tech complex.

Meade said...

"I totally encourage you to put all of your (Ann’s) money in the stock market."

I'm pleasantly touched that a Progressive Democrat would consider it to be my (her) money. Thank you.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

The problem with the left is the trickle down lying. It's non-stop.

It starts with Pelosi Schumer and Warren, and it trickles down the the incurious economically uneducated blind faith hive mind.

Here's a great example with taxation. According to Pelosi and Schumer, what is yours belongs to the government first and any reduction in taxes is all for the rich. A total lie.

David said...

"Two princes, soliloquizing each other to the death. Meanwhile, Michelle is advising Meghan on the best earplugs."

Nicely put.

Michael K said...

Ann is not interested in creating a blog that encourages discussion of anything but the right wing viewpoint.

"Once written..." lead me to a left wing blog that has ANY comments that disagree with the moderators.

I used to read and comment at Washington Monthly when Kevin Drum was blogging there. I had followed him from his own blog, "Calpundit" and hold him in high regard.

In 2004, he investigated the story that Bush had been AWOL and found it was not credible. That was before Rather and Mapes crashed and burned.

After I disagreed with the commenters about single payer, I began to get obscene and personal replies, sort of like Ritmo here, and then I was banned. When Kevin moved to Mother Jones, I tried to follow but was banned there, too.

Show me a left wing blog that allows comments by people who disagree.

Drago said...

Michael K: "Show me a left wing blog that allows comments by people who disagree."

Show me a left wing ANYTHING that allows comments by people who disagree!

brylun said...

Like the snowflake girl above, no leftist will tolerate any alternative viewpoint.

Drago said...

Meade: "I'm pleasantly touched that a Progressive Democrat would consider it to be my (her) money. Thank you."

I'm going to say this "improvement" in a lefty's opinion on ownership of money by those that actually earn it is a result of the Trump Effect.

#MoreWinning! #MakePropertyOwnershipGreatAgain!

mtrobertslaw said...

I have often marveled at Obama's ability to utter a string of words that sound profound but
when read a second time turn out to be nothing but gibberish. His interview with Prince Harry shows he has not lost a step. Without ever even browsing through a book on western philosophy, Obama ponders the question of "entirely different realities". His solution: "harness this technology" to allow "a multiplicity of voices" that will lead to "common ground".

Ralph L said...

Meanwhile, Michelle is advising Meghan on the best earplugs.
Or showing her how to put the dagger before him, handle toward his hand.
One Lady MacBeth to another.

Now I Know! said...

Michael K, I agree that lefty bloggers do the same thing as righty bloggers like Ann does. They shape their forums to appeal to a narrow subset of likeminded people.

But why is that? What are the structural incentives that leads to same narrow outcomes across the blogosphere? Besides probably being bad for our civic culture, it is also quite boring.

President Obama was asked about this very problem and he tried to formulate a thoughtful response. Ann’s reaction on her blog was to turn it into another opportunity to accuse the former president of secretly harboring a desire for bad things (censorship) and use that as to provide more “red meat” for her conservative commenters that she has cultivated.

And if you read the first thirty responses to this thread you can see that Ann was successful.


Drago said...

mtrobertslaw: "I have often marveled at Obama's ability to utter a string of words that sound profound but when read a second time turn out to be nothing but gibberish."

Interestingly, LLR Chuck once called obama's vacuous prattlings "magnificent".

Yep...."magnificent".

I can't imagine why NIK and Inga and the rest of the lefties believe that LLR Chuck is such a kindred spirit.

It's inexplicable really.

harrogate said...

"Like the snowflake girl above, no leftist will tolerate any alternative viewpoint."

You know this is a ridiculous broadstroke statemnent. Hell, if it were true even in your own singularly limited experience, you wouldn't see any comments on this very blog other than right wing comments.

But, keep believing you're in a morality play, on the side of Absolute Good.

"lead me to a left wing blog that has ANY comments that disagree with the moderators."

"Show me a left wing ANYTHING that allows comments by people who disagree!"



For one, TalkLeft is pretty good about letting comments roll. The moderators are solidly center-left.

It's on the Althouse blogroll.

Drago said...

Now I Know!: "Michael K, I agree that lefty bloggers do the same thing as righty bloggers like Ann does."

Then why aren't you over there lecturing them?

Michael K said...

Michael K, I agree that lefty bloggers do the same thing as righty bloggers like Ann does. They shape their forums to appeal to a narrow subset of likeminded people.

Do you even understand how clueless that comment makes you sound ?

Here you are blathering about how right wing blocks don't let lefties post.

Self awareness is not a leftie characteristic.

Wilbur said...

NIK, I couldn't care less about what you tell Chuck or whether you deign to continue your online presence on this blog.

I do find it interesting that you condescendingly address the blog's author by her first name, and then inform her what a squalid POS you think she is.

She doesn't need me to defend her or call you out, but that's just very bad form. I'd be embarrassed to be so discourteous.

mtrobertslaw said...

Chuck almost had it right. But he got confused. What he meant to say was "Never trust scientists who pretend to have philosophical knowledge."

Drago said...

NIK: "President Obama was asked about this very problem and he tried to formulate a thoughtful response."

No, he formulated a response which subtly begins to set the predicate for what the left really wants: control over all content.

As all leftists do and have done in every single place they have gained power.

But only every single place.

Heatshield said...

Ralph Waldo Emerson must be banned! Notice his intolerance of gender fluidity. His worship of duality and using the false male/female dichotomy! Typical white male privileged patriarch. Burn his books! Harness technology to delete the digital versions!

brylun said...

Hey NIK, did Ann ban you? How about LRR Chuck, Toothless, Inga, Cookie?

This blog DOES allow alternative viewpoints to be expressed.

There is NO LEFTIST blog that tolerates a diversity of viewpoints. Anywhere. Express anything other than a leftist position and get banned from the leftist blog. Listen to snowflake girl, above.

Michael K said...

no leftist will tolerate any alternative viewpoint."

You know this is a ridiculous broadstroke statemnent. Hell, if it were true even in your own singularly limited experience, you wouldn't see any comments on this very blog other than right wing comments.


Another clueless leftie !

Do you people take lessons in sounding this dumb ?

National Review and Wall Street Journal are also full of lefty comments.

Now I Know! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jimbino said...

In that BBC interview, I heard Barack Obama again say, "The problem with [the Internet] is is that ...." How can an ex law-professor at Chicago say "is is" in that context? I consider him an embarrassment to my university in more ways than one.

The problem with Obama is is that he apparently doesn't listen to himself speak or that he has nothing between his mouth and his ears to process his words or thoughts. His democratic predecessor in office also had a problem with what "'is' is." Must be a Democrat thing.

harrogate said...

"National Review and Wall Street Journal are also full of lefty comments."

Yes, and by engaging at all, people on the left side of the spectrum display that absolute falsity of the claim that "no leftist will tolerate any alternate viewpoint."

If that were really true, then all these people you consider to be "leftist" wouldn't be bothering to read the posts and the majority-conservative commentariat, let alone write responses to any of it.

Now I Know! said...

Drago—
I have made this same point on lefty blogs as well.

brylun said...

Boredom from reading unchallenged leftist drivel must lead NIK, Toothless, Inga, Cookie, Harrogate, and the rest of the lefties, to wander over here where viewpoint diversity can be expressed.

Tom said...

I work as a leadership and organizational development consultant. My work is mainly with steel and construction companies - no high tech or banking clients. I live in Ohio and work mainly in rural and blue collar areas of the US and Canada. But I’m also in grad school at Columbia University. Now, I love the people I get to work with as clients AND I love the folks at Columbia - these are all good, hardworking people. Translating academic concepts into things steelworkers and engineers can find useful is my hedgehog (read GOOD-TO-GREAT). But my clients and the folks at Columbia live in two totally different worlds - to the point that I can’t discuss one with the other without some blowups. A weird thing happened to me on my last visit to Columbia. We were at lunch with a couple of professors and graduate students who are professionals at some well know tech and financial services companies. I’m the only person representing the Midwest or South in this conversation - everyone else is from a coast or international. The subject turns to gun control. The rest of the table struggled to understand that any person could own a gun - it made zero sense to them. Meanwhile, I have a steel making client in KY inviting me to their annual skeet and trap shoot via email at the same time. Then, a guy from Japan asks me if I owned any guns. I said that I have a few. The table was shocked. They asked me if I hunt and I said that I don’t but that I know how if it were ever needed. Others asked why I needed gun and I explained that I travel a lot and my wife, who’s from the same hometown as Annie Oakley and a better shot than me, is often home alone. We live in a pretty safe area, which is on purpose. But she also wanted to be able to defend herself if the need arises. I support that and that’s why we have guns. We’re safe. We know how to use them. But most of all, we respect what a firearm can do and great them accordingly. It was like standing on a bridge between two dimensions. Surreal.

YoungHegelian said...

@harrowgate,

you wouldn't see any comments on this very blog other than right wing comments.

Well! Now you've gone & hurt Cookie's feelings!

harrogate said...

"Boredom from reading unchallenged leftist drivel must lead NIK, Toothless, Inga, Cookie, Harrogate, and the rest of the lefties, to wander over here where viewpoint diversity can be expressed."

Yes, that *must* be it. There can be no other explanation! All that could possibly speak to reality of any kind is an explanation that paints people you disagree with in the worst possible light!

Michael K said...


Michael K—
I have made this point on lefty blogs as well.


You mean on those blogs where I am banned and you aren't?

Those blogs ?

Obama has a history of being pushed ahead by his betters as a strange phenomenon.

It’s a lengthy record filled with core liberal issues. But what’s interesting, and almost never discussed, is that he built his entire legislative record in Illinois in a single year.

I posted that in 2008, early 2008. Nobody cared about his record.

Michael K said...

All that could possibly speak to reality of any kind is an explanation that paints people you disagree with in the worst possible light!

Yes, I am sure you are right at home on lefty blogs.

William said...

Please help an old fool out. What is an LLR? Left leaning Republican??

harrogate said...

YoungHegelian,

I ask that you re-read the comment from which you are quoting, and try to understand it.

Hint: it isn't, you know, absolutely necessary to distort what I wrote.

Meade said...

"Self awareness is not a leftie characteristic."

Conflicts with being self satisfied.

harrogate said...

At any rate, I disagree with most of what Althouse writes, and almost all of what the majority of commenters here write. But other than in my worst moments (don't we all have them?) it doesn't occur to me that the blogger or the commenters are bad people whose voices and ideas I don't want to hear.

brylun said...

Hey Harrogate, it is the worst possible light when you are banned from a blog because of viewpoint diversity.

brylun said...

Adam Smith's marketplace of ideas gives the best results.

stlcdr said...

The left sees the same 'movie' as living under Hitler, as a totalitarian regime, where Democracy has died in darkness. This isn't watching the same movie, it's stamping your feet with eyes closed and making sh*t up, to justify their innate hatred of different ideas.

The internet is working as designed. Ideas are being shared, even if that means wackos can share their wacko ideas with other wackos. So-called newspapers, their online equivalent, are no more, but are simply editorials for a specific point of view. They actually lie, no more than they have to, to progress a specific agenda.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Obama speaks in cliches. His fans think that he is some sort of genius, but he has never displayed any more intelligence than a high school social studies teacher -- one hired to promote "diversity" and "inclusion."
And Emerson is wrong. Time has no opposite pole. The future is not the opposite of the past. That's a pretty important exception to his theory of universal duality.

rehajm said...

But now I am going to check out again. See-ya.

..and yet six more posts after this one. Are you a graduate of the Al Franken School of Leaving?

harrogate said...

"There is NO LEFTIST blog that tolerates a diversity of viewpoints. Anywhere. Express anything other than a leftist position and get banned from the leftist blog. Listen to snowflake girl, above."

I gave you one example of how you are wrong. It isn't necessary to give you any others to show that you're behaving ridiculously. That's one of the pitfalls of broadstroke declamation.

Gahrie said...

People have been complaining about the Internet allowing people to only engage with ideas they agree with since about five minutes after it was invented. I know, I was there. What they are really concerned about is the loss of the ability to manufacture a consensus and to declare certain issues settled and out of bounds.

This. The MSM had an instinctive fear of the internet, for good reason. It destroyed their control of the narrative.

Remember when they tried to ridicule bloggers and internet journalists with the whole "sitting in their basement in their pajamas" thing? Althouse is part of PJ Media which took its name from that attempted insult.

Gahrie said...

Obama speaks in cliches. His fans think that he is some sort of genius, but he has never displayed any more intelligence than a high school social studies teacher

Obama gave one good speech (that he probably didn't write) and kick started his career. Ever since every speech has been basically "I", "me". "uhm" and the standard Lefty talking points.

Ralph L said...

I'll take a wild guess that Althouse doesn't live for her comments section.
She's not in the market for another husband, I assume.

robother said...

I'm sorry. I just can't get the image of Ann each morning donning her Pavlovian Lab Coat out of my head. Its all mixed up with Zeus drooling and Lawrence Olivier getting ready to go dental on Dustin Hoffman.

"We, who are about to die of exhaustion from running in your Althousian mazes, salute you!"

YoungHegelian said...

@Tom,

I see much the same thing on my FB feed, which is full of liberal & lefty "friends". They have no clue of what the other side believes or why.

We, too, are guilty of misunderstanding the opposition. For example, we on the Right never really quite understand the view of the Left that "the corporations" run things. It's not that the Right loves corporations, especially now that much corporate money funds the Democratic Party, but we just don't ascribe to them the political moxie that the Left does.

At one level, the Left is right, e.g. lobbyists for GE can certainly get a better hearing in the halls of Congress than the Poughkeepsie Ladies Auxiliary For Peace & Social Justice can. But, does GE get a better hearing than the UAW? That, I doubt...

roesch/voltaire said...

I agree with Althouse that having different friends, different incomes, and homes in different parts of the city gives us different realities. Still we both share zero degree weather, and increased. taxes-- some facts we could agree on? But how this affects us is both material and subjective.After all we are not sleeping in doorways looking for a next meal and from our perch of material comfort-- we have a different reality, but how we react to that predicament is both material and subjective. Or are we forced-fed our response? I suppose those who only watch Fox or CNN might be pushed one way or the other, but we have choices on how to get out of our bubble that maybe as simple as riding a bus filled with a cross section of folks including the homeless sleeping in the back and striking up a conversation. It may be canvassing potential voters to discover as I did, that Clinton has a lot of negative baggage and that Trump was going to win Wisconsin. Getting out of the bubble on the internet means checking our the huge diversity of information and not sticking to the comfortable sources that reinforce one's beliefs working against the "dualism." Ah but this requires an attention span longer that the usual sixty seconds that seems to be the American attention span, and maybe that is the real problem we have in our Balkanization of thought.

tcrosse said...

Shorter NIK: This blog is so awful that I can't stay away.

Paco Wové said...

"Yes, and by engaging ..., people on the left side of the spectrum display [the] falsity of the claim that "no leftist will tolerate any alternate viewpoint.""

Hectoring and drive-by snark equates to tolerance? I think you are using a different definition of "tolerance" than most commenters; the "ability to endure" definition rather than the "sympathy or indulgence" definition.

brylun said...

Paul Krugman on election night: "If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never."

Paul Krugman, one year later, on Christmas: "I vote that we make pink pussy hats the symbol of our delivery from evil."

The former Enron advisor still has a column that people read?

brylun said...

Hey Paco, are you a snowflake too?

Lem said...

Oh yeah. I say Obama has a totally different reality alright.

Matthew Sablan said...

Mattering on how you define right wing, on plenty of social issues I'm decidedly left. So, I don't know how people think this blog is an echo chamber.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs shows the typical Lefty attitude towards comments. He holds every conservative blogger responsible for the comments made on their blog. If a racist comment appears on a post, to Johnson it is the same as the blogger making the comment. He/she has a duty to censor comments.
When you believe that you have a monopoly on the Truth, you have no use for a "marketplace of ideas."

stlcdr said...

Blogger roesch/voltaire said...
...

12/27/17, 10:58 AM

Understand what you are saying but you assume that there's a need to get out of this 'bubble'. If you live in the country, where guns are a tool, and a pickup truck is a necessity to get around, adopting the mannerisms and culture of a young city dweller is not an option. Two different 'bubbles' with ideals which are simply incompatible with one another.

The problem comes when one bubble forces its ideals on another: unfortunately, there's a very vocal 'city dweller' element trying to force the country bumpkins how to live their lives, and actually affect changes (not for the better) in their lives.

It really has no consequence if one group believes the world is flat and the other believes its round.

Jupiter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ralph L said...

longer that the usual sixty seconds that seems to be the American attention span, and maybe that is the real problem we have in our Balkanization of thought.
90% of the people aren't paying attention at all. The more hot air/ether generated, the faster they run away.

mockturtle said...

Shorter NIK: This blog is so awful that I can't stay away.

I suspect she and 'Inga' are one and the same, don't you?

Jupiter said...

Barack Obama is a second- or third-rate human being, genetically, morally, intellectually. Were it not for affirmative action, his resume would be a blank sheet of paper. The only reason for paying any attention to his thoughts is the bizarre fact that he was President of the United States for eight years. But it does not appear that he understood how that came about, or learned anything from the experience. One may safely assume that anything he claims to "think" is actually something he was told, and uncritically accepted.

Drago said...

Now I Know!: "Drago—
I have made this same point on lefty blogs as well."

Of course you have. Of course.

Vance said...

It's always funny to see leftists trying to claim that they support the right of others to disagree with them. They may well think so, but their politics are always aimed at silencing and punishing those who disagree.

Consider this last year, a compare and contrast. So, I live in Utah, and we have the big universities, the University of Utah and BYU. BYU is a private religious school, with a strong conservative student body--one of the most conservative universities in the US. The University of Utah is liberal professor with a relatively conservative student body, by virtue of the fact that Utah the state is mostly conservative.

Still, the U of U is as close to a liberal bastion in the state as there is. It's where Democrats have the most sway.

Both schools invited an ideological enemy to speak. The U of U invited Ben Shapiro, the Breitbart guy. BYU invited both Harry Reid as well as David Alexrod.

The U had protests, calls for boycotts, heavy police presence and arrests and small violence from the leftist students. Axelrod had a pleasant, protest-free speech.

The same is true elsewhere: Bernie Sanders spoke at Liberty University, I think it was, without incident. The leftists as we all know tried to kill Milo and Ben Shapiro to prevent them from speaking. Riots, etc.

This is institutional leftist policy: silence people they don't like, or ideas they don't agree with. Climate change "Dissent?" The left wants to ban it and criminalize it.

If the left wants to throw you in jail if you say that maybe we don't need to be a communist society to prevent global warming... how can our resident leftists here claim to favor free speech? If that were true, they wouldn't be leftist. Censorship and oppression is part of the entire reason to be a leftist. How else can they achieve their goal of unlimited power over the rest of us?

--Vance

Drago said...

"I suspect she and 'Inga' are one and the same, don't you?"

No way to tell. Not that it matters.

Unknown said...

I suppose his diversity comes from richard branson's island.

He's always telling us to do something he doesn't do.

He should be a preacher.

Ray said...

Nowhere Man

He's a real nowhere man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
Doesn't have a point of view
Knows not where he's going to
Isn't he a bit like you and me?
Nowhere man please listen
You don't know what you're missing
Nowhere man, The world is at your command
He's as blind as he can be
Just sees what he wants to see
Nowhere man, can you see me at all
Nowhere man don't worry
Take your time, don't hurry
Leave it all till somebody else
Lends you a hand
Ah, la, la, la, la
Doesn't have a point of view
Knows not where he's going to
Isn't he a bit like you and me?
Nowhere man please listen
You don't know what you're missing
Nowhere man, The world is at your command
Ah, la, la, la, la
He's a real nowhere man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody

The Beatles

Michael The Magnificent said...

"The question has to do with how do we harness this technology in a way that allows a multiplicity of voices, allows a diversity of views, but doesn’t lead to a Balkanization of society and allows ways of finding common ground."

Who's FEC tried to silence Citizens United?

Who's party targeted True the Vote illegally sharing protected taxpayer information?

Who's IRS illegally targeted conservative non-profits?

Someone utilized multiple federal agencies in order to shut up diverse views.

JaimeRoberto said...

"Is this a euphemism for censorship?" No, of course not. Nobody wants that. It's a euphemism for nudges and guidelines.

soleproprietorPatriot said...

Obama always is in favor of more government control of the rubes, with he and his friends doing the controlling for our own good, apparently.

Fritz said...

Time for a reprise of "Minnisotans for Global Warming"

mockturtle said...

Vance, of course you are right in your assumptions. The difference is that THEY are fighting racist, sexist, homophobic FASCISM so that makes them right and justifies anything they do.

Michael K said...

But other than in my worst moments (don't we all have them?) it doesn't occur to me that the blogger or the commenters are bad people whose voices and ideas I don't want to hear.

I agree but the lefty commenters at blogs like Washington Monthly go all obscene and personal, like Ritmo does here.

I enjoy debates but it is getting harder. I quit HuffPo, after first being moderated out of existence for a few months, when they went nuts about Trump.

Many lefties post here to troll. Not all. I have five kids and three are lefties. We don't talk much about politics but once in a while we do.

My oldest son is a lawyer and hard lefty and he is certain that I know nothing worth discussing.

I have a daughter who is a lefty and an FBI agent. She told me in September 2016 that she would NOT vote for Hillary and I took that as a serious issue for the Hillary folks. She was a natural Hillary voter.

Another daughter is a Bernie voter but is starting to think maybe Trump has some good ideas. If I were a Democrat, I would be scared shitless of these people.

The other two are conservative,

I have doctor friends who are Democrats, probably because they are Jewish of the "reform" variety. They agree the government is corrupt but think Trump is crazy, They might yet come around.

I was not an enthusiast early but was a sort of a Flight 93 Election voter. Any port in a storm, as we sailors say,


Yancey Ward said...

Those of Obama's political bent already have their solution in mind, but they are having trouble finding the right linguistic constructions to hide it- Ms. Althouse is 100% correct- the plan is direct censorship, but using the technology companies underlying the internet to design and enforce it. These people are fucking fools, though- if they are successful in the attempt, they are going to be hanging from lampposts not long after.

mockturtle said...

Unknown suggests [re Obama]: He should be a preacher.

He IS a preacher. He was the preachiest President in my lifetime. He took sanctimony to a new level. Every time I heard, "That is not who we are", I wanted to slap him. He has no idea who we are.

Inga said...

“Shorter NIK: This blog is so awful that I can't stay away.”

“I suspect she and 'Inga' are one and the same, don't you?”

I suspect you are not very observant. NIK chastised me yesterday not to continue commenting here. I’m quite sure Meade knows who he is, as they had some sort of betting dispute a few months back IIRC. Mockturtle you should go read the Bible and then come here to preach to the leftist heathens about love and redemption, then go on to bash poor Chuck in your next breath, like the rest of the bullies here, you Bible thumping hypocrite.

So much Obama Derangment Syndrome on display here today.

0_0 said...

I don't see the swamp being drained. More like being topped off.

Roux said...

IMO Obama is such a POS and probably the worst POTUS I've had in my life time. Why would he be worried about the Balkinization of America? He did every thing he could to divide this country along ideological and racial lines. Screw him.

Inga said...

“He IS a preacher. He was the preachiest President in my lifetime. He took sanctimony to a new level. Every time I heard, "That is not who we are", I wanted to slap him. He has no idea who we are.”

So you’d rather have the pussy grabber. Oh I’m quite sure he knows who you people are.

Karen said...


Lewis Wetzel said:
And Emerson is wrong. Time has no opposite pole. The future is not the opposite of the past. That's a pretty important exception to his theory of universal duality.

It might be useful to think in terms of Time and Eternity, Finite and Infinite. Past, Present and Future are more representative of the multiple triads in the universe.

Original Mike said...

Blogger Now I Know! said..."Meade, I totally encourage you to put all of your (Ann’s) money in the stock market. Keep winning buddy."

Too late, "buddy". You missed your chance.

Inga said...

I have doctor friends who are Democrats, probably because they are Jewish of the "reform" variety. They agree the government is corrupt but think Trump is crazy, They might yet come around.”

Doubtful. Once you realize what Trump is you won’t change your mind. Your one lefty daughter, who supported Bernie is probably just trying to placate you Michael. She’s a good daughter.

Vance said...

Ha, Inga is back to bash Trump as a "Pussy Grabber" while she still pines away for the rapist to be back in the White House, married to the Rapist Defender. She is here to lecture us on being moral, because obviously she is superior to us in her defense of the Matt Lauer party.

Such a high set of morals you have there, Inga.... you prefer the actual rapists over the guy who just is a boaster.

Oh yes, where is your repeated attacks on Bob Menedez Inga? Why haven't you raised cain over the fact that Boob Grabber Franken is still in the Senate? At least Trump's comment was about grabbing willing women who were awake... you defend and support ol' Franken in the Senate who does it when they sleep. Such a high moral standard you have.

--Vance

Original Mike said...

" I’m quite sure Meade knows who he is, as they had some sort of betting dispute a few months back IIRC."

Now I Know posted here previously as Once Written. While he's clearly not Inga, it's possible that he's Paul Krugman.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Oh I’m quite sure he knows who you people are.
Where did Obama learn "who those people are", Inga?
Did he learn about "those people" at the elite private school he attended -- in deep blue Hawaii? Maybe he learned about "those people" at Columbia? Or at Harvard? Or in the urban district he represented in the Illinois legislature?
Obama has never shown any ability to appreciate the view points of people other than race obsessed urban and coastal liberals. "My mother came from Kansas" is a pretty sad way of making a claim that you understand Midwestern values.

Inga said...

Speaking of censorship, it’s astounding how Trumpists here have forgotten Trump’s own words about the Press being the “enemy of the people” ( fascist daydreams?) and his wanting to “open up” libel laws. What is wrong that you people are so deaf to what Trump himself has said? How can you so easily brush under the rug Trump’s own anti Constitutional views?

YoungHegelian said...

@Inga,

Once you realize what Trump is you won’t change your mind.

"What Trump is" is basically standard issue Republican.

Name an issue that Trump has pushed in the WH that isn't standard Republican. Does he have a belligerent, "piss-in-their-faces" attitude that he likes to unleash in tweets? Yes, he does. But, in his executive actions, court appointments, & choice of legislative agendas? Republican, through & through.

Now, what many on the Left don't want to admit is that they'd be having a conniption no matter what Republican was in office doing what Trump does. They want to personalize the politics, to paint Trump as uniquely evil, when in reality, it's the whole Republican agenda they think is evil. Calling all those folks who gave Trump such a solid electoral majority evil is just bad politics.

The problem is that such equivocations, i.e. decrying the specific when one is truly decrying the general, is a lie by omission. Such a fundamental obfuscation as a matter of marketing taints the Left's message.

Michael K said...

Your one lefty daughter, who supported Bernie is probably just trying to placate you Michael. She’s a good daughter.

No, she announced to me a couple of years ago that "I want to make money."

Then she bought 5 acres of land. She is now a property owner and that makes quite a difference in the way people look at things.

She doesn't have to "placate" me. She is very accomplished but is involved in the art world, which has a strong lefty bent,

The guy she works for sells paintings for millions. She's figuring it out.

YoungHegelian said...

@Inga,

How can you so easily brush under the rug Trump’s own anti Constitutional views?

So, Trump bad mouths the press to their faces. Big deal.

Obama's administration prosecuted more leakers than every other administration combined! He targeted members of the press & even their extended families for surveillance. He rarely had press conferences, & rarely spoke unscripted to anyone. Over & over again during his administration, members of the press lamented how awful his admin treated them. Remember, "[the press] are a bunch of 27 year olds who don't know anything"?

That the Obama admin was some golden age of press/admin co-operation is just revisionist history. The Obama administration (and even the Obama campaign) loathed & abused the press as a matter of course. They were such guilt-addled, white liberal pussies that they put up with it.

Darrell said...

The Leftist Press IS the enemy of the people.
Good for Lefties, though.

Josh McDowell said...

Really, the Balkanization of America? That train left the station a long time ago.

Darrell said...

Fascism is the horse that Authoritarianism rides into town.
Like ANTIFA.
Leftists like to make up their own words with meanings that suit their purposes.

Vance said...

It's amazing to me that Inga thinks that there is a threat of censorship from Trump. Really? Really?

He's got almost universal 100% stone cold hatred, bile, and literally false news spewed at him by the entire media, save Fox, occasionally.

Has the NYT been shut down, Inga? The WaPo? There's a clear case to be made that those two media organizations in particular are literally nothing more than propaganda outlets from the Democrat party. They aren't "news media" they are propaganda places. As such, they should be shut down.

But they haven't, have they? It's your side Inga that wants to censor everything. You people have NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, NYT, WaPo, the AP, just about every media outlet imaginable is on your side, spewing your bile and fake news, and yet you still demand that the 2 to 3 media outlets you do not openly control must be destroyed. How many times did you leftists scream for Obama to shut down "Faux News!"? Every day, because you and yours simply cannot stand the idea of people hearing stuff your side doesn't want them to hear. It's not enough to have 95% control of the media, you want 100%, because only then can you force people to hear your lies.

--Vance

harrogate said...

YH is absolutely right that Trump is “standard issue Republican,” which is deeply unfortunate in my view . It’s true that his personality is more hateful by far than most high profile politicians in either Party. But on issues? He’s the same as the rest of them.

There were some areas in which Trump campaigned as *different* from standard issue GOP though. He critiqued military adventurism , he said he wouldn’t abide cutting SS or Medicare, he said he was going to curb Wall Street’s dominance over our exonomy, he said he was going to push hard for infrastructure, he said he was going to remedy the awful trade agreement situations.

In those areas and a few others, I took some heart when he won. It’s true he hasn’t invaded anyone new , *yet*. But it doesn’t look good on that front. As to the other fronts, I have seen little to no evidence he was telling the truth on any of it.

Lewis Wetzel said...

"It’s true that his personality is more hateful by far than most high profile politicians in either Party."
You can't be serious. Unless by "hateful" you mean "like Donald Trump." How do you define "hateful," anyhow?

brylun said...

Hateful, Harrogate? How about your boy Howard Dean: 'This guy, I've said for a long time, I think he's [Trump] running a criminal enterprise out of the White House."

rehajm said...

Now I Know posted here previously as Once Written. While he's clearly not Inga, it's possible that he's Paul Krugman.

Heh.

Michael K said...

As to the other fronts, I have seen little to no evidence he was telling the truth on any of it.

Congress has a hand in this. They have been promising stuff for years. The reason why us righties are suspicious is that they have made no move to do the things they were getting votes for promising for a decade.

The left accuses the right of hating Obama and obstructing him but, in fact, he got what he wanted done. The first two years he had the whole enchilada and passed the "Stimulus" which was a payoff to every lefty lobby. Remember "no jobs for burly men?"

Then we got Obamacare and when Ryan tried to suggest some issues that might get some Republican support, Obama said "I won."

There were no Obama assassination fantasies like there were for Bush.

Trump has been busy canceling EOs of Obama and reducing regulations. You may not like it but that is the price of ruling by EO for 8 years.

I think infrastructure is coming and that is what provides jobs for "burly men."

The pipeline and fracking revolutions are also job sources.

It's coming but Trump has had to fight both parties.

Original Mike said...

Blogger Inga said..."Speaking of censorship, it’s astounding how Trumpists here have forgotten Trump’s own words about the Press being the “enemy of the people” ( fascist daydreams?) and his wanting to “open up” libel laws. What is wrong that you people are so deaf to what Trump himself has said? How can you so easily brush under the rug Trump’s own anti Constitutional views?"

LOL. Get back to us when he starts getting warrants to spy on journalists.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

“Barack Obama remains what he always has been, an empty suit living in the big nowhere.
Both of his screens are blank for others to fill.”

I must say for a guy who was going to be the leader of The Resistance, Obama has proven to be remarkably ineffectual. Either he doesn’t give a shit, he’s afraid of what may yet be revealed, or, most likely, he’s a self-indulgent lightweight who no one takes seriously anymore.

Lydia said...

I went to the BBC 4 website and listened to the taped interview. Obama actually comes off as pretty thoughtful about the whole “Balkanization” thing. And he does say it’s nonsense to think we can “corral” social media, control what’s said, mainly because it goes against our values as an open society, and that he doesn’t want to live in a world in which the “state is making the decisions about who says what.”

Here’s the link. They start talking about all this at around the 21:00 point.

Darrell said...

Headline: Poll--Obama and Hllary Retain Most Admired Titles

Who says that polls aren't worth shit?

Kansas City said...

President Obama is, and always has been, masterful at using words that seem to convey deep and important thoughts but which really say virtually nothing. It is an important part of his political success.

Inga said...

“He critiqued military adventurism...

In those areas and a few others, I took some heart when he won. It’s true he hasn’t invaded anyone new , *yet*. But it doesn’t look good on that front.”

My eldest daughter, and the people she serves with in the Navy and will soon be attached to the Marines again have been told that “War is coming” and not just by this General. Trump may have discovered there’s money to be made in military adventurism.

“A Marine Corps commandant on Thursday warned U.S. troops stationed in Norway to be prepared for a coming war.

“I hope I’m wrong, but there’s a war coming,” Gen. Robert Neller told them. “You’re in a fight here, an informational fight, a political fight, by your presence.

Neller pointed to the near future possibility of Russia and the Pacific theater being the next major areas of conflict.

Sgt. Maj. Ronald Green sounded a similar tone.

"Just remember why you're here," Green said. "They're watching. Just like you watch them, they watch you. We've got 300 Marines up here; we could go from 300 to 3,000 overnight. We could raise the bar."

The warnings came a day before Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told troops at Fort Bragg, N.C., that "storm clouds are gathering" over the Korean Peninsula.“

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/12/23/theres-war-coming-marine-corps-general-warns-us-troops.html

Unknown said...

Remember when they tried to ridicule bloggers and internet journalists with the whole "sitting in their basement in their pajamas" thing? Althouse is part of PJ Media which took its name from that attempted insult.

Actually she's not, and had a post as to why that affiliation didn't make sense for her a good while ago.

While I have no ill-will towards them, I suspect she was right: Who goes to a PJ Media post except from an Instapundit link?

Kansas City said...

If Lydia is correct, I may need to take back some of what I said. The quote cited by Ann presented a different thought.

Like many other things, President Obama could be a force for good. Open dialogue and communication on college campuses is another example. He should be front and center telling his left wing friends to cut it out. I don't think he really cares that much and, potentially, sees some political benefit for his side in attacking conservatives.

Lewis Wetzel said...

"Trump may have discovered there’s money to be made in military adventurism."
It should go without saying that Inga has no idea what Trump's balance sheet looks like, how much money Trump has and what Trump is invested in.
It is like trying to understand the noise made by a wind chime.

Lewis Wetzel said...


Blogger Kansas City said...
President Obama is, and always has been, masterful at using words that seem to convey deep and important thoughts but which really say virtually nothing. It is an important part of his political success.

The word that describes this aspect of Obama is "popinjay."

Kansas City said...

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...
“Barack Obama remains what he always has been, an empty suit living in the big nowhere.
Both of his screens are blank for others to fill.”

I must say for a guy who was going to be the leader of The Resistance, Obama has proven to be remarkably ineffectual. Either he doesn’t give a shit, he’s afraid of what may yet be revealed, or, most likely, he’s a self-indulgent lightweight who no one takes seriously anymore.

I FOUND THIS INTERESTING. I DON'T THINK OBAMA IS AN EMPTY SUIT, BECAUSE I THINK IS HE SMART. BUT HE DID ALLOW OTHERS TO COLOR HIM. AND I THINK THE THREE ALTERNATIVES ARE ENTIRELY POSSIBLE - I'VE ALWAYS THOUGHT HE DID NOT CARE MUCH ABOUT OTHERS (JUST HIS OWN SUCCESS), HE KNOWS IF THERE ARE POSSIBLE FUTURE DISCLOSURES THAT WILL HURT HIM, AND HE IS VERY SELF-INDULGENT.

BUT STILL ONE REMARKABLE AMERICAN POLITICAL SUCCESS STORY.

Mark Cunningham said...

If you think that the guy sleeping on the street has a different “reality” than your comfortable self, you are mistaken. Reality is inclusive, not exclusive. Perhaps your confusion comes from willful blinders. I have been broke and homeless, most would now call me rich — but I’m the same guy. Open your eyes, open your mind.

brylun said...

Inga is a piece of work. She makes an allegation about Trump media censorship, without any examples [see 12:00pm comment], and then when refuted by Original Mike, who points out Obama's censorship [see 12:44pm comment], she just totally ignores the issue and moves on to some other Trump attack without even attempting to defend her position.

Inga said...

“If Lydia is correct, I may need to take back some of what I said. The quote cited by Ann presented a different thought.”

Yes indeed she did and her commenters ran with it crying about censorship and using it as just another reason to display their Obama Derangement Disorder.

Darrell said...

If Inga or Chuck ever play Anne Frank, every time the Nazis step on stage people are going to shout "She's in the attic!" I know I will.

brylun said...

Then, Inga, without any evidence, lets loose another Trump attack: " Trump may have discovered there’s money to be made in military adventurism." [Inga at 12:49pm comment].

Just like Howard Dean claiming, without evidence, that Trump is running a criminal enterprise in the White House.

These Leftists are operating outside reality.

Inga said...

“Inga is a piece of work. She makes an allegation about Trump media censorship, without any examples [see 12:00pm comment], and then when refuted by Original Mike, who points out Obama's censorship [see 12:44pm comment], she just totally ignores the issue and moves on to some other Trump attack without even attempting to defend her position.”

Without examples? Have you been living under a rock?

“Donald Trump: We're going to 'open up' libel laws
By HADAS GOLD 02/26/2016 02:31 PM EST
Donald Trump said on Friday he plans to change libel laws in the United States so that he can have an easier time suing news organizations.

During a rally in Fort Worth, Texas, Trump began his usual tirade against newspapers such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, saying they're "losing money" and are "dishonest." The Republican presidential candidate then took a different turn, suggesting that when he's president they'll "have problems."

"One of the things I'm going to do if I win, and I hope we do and we're certainly leading. I'm going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We're going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they're totally protected," Trump said.”

https://www.politico.com/blogs/on-media/2016/02/donald-trump-libel-laws-219866

“Over the last two weeks, President Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to media outlets that he dubbed the "fake news media" as "the enemy of the American People."

Trump repeated the attack at a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, saying, "They are the enemy of the people."

The phrase "the enemy of the people" has a long history that Trump may or may not have known about.

Over the couse of the last century, it has been used repeatedly by dictators and autocrats to delegitimize foreign governments, opposition parties, and dissenters.

http://www.businessinsider.com/history-of-president-trumps-phrase-an-enemy-of-the-people-2017-2

brylun said...

That's right, Inga, no accountability for lies, slander, defamation, that's your world. Truth just doesn't matter, it's "By Any Means Necessary" to your Leftist goals. Just like Venezuela.

buwaya said...

"It’s true that his personality is more hateful by far than most high profile politicians in either Party."

Define "hateful" - what standard, or source of standards are you using?
Question your own feelings as deeply as you can, that is the beginning of analysis, discarding prejudice.

A much better POV here is that this is a matter of social class.
There is "the done thing" according to a certain social class/cultural milieu.

This explains a great deal more about revulsion than anything else. There is no other source of feelings of revulsion on matters of this sort, other than tribal affiliation. There is nothing else on which these feelings rest. Trump does not speak or behave according to the norms of the US upper class, of the educational milieu, of the Puritan strain in US culture.

He is in fact much more European peasant in speech and outlook. This is natural in his case - he not only comes out of European peasant ancestors, but he was raised in an enclave of recent European peasants, like most of his kind in the US their origins are masked by becoming wealthy in the New World.

One of the grave defects of the American Puritan strain, as manifested in the US upper class, is its inherent hatred of the peasantry, which is not the usual attitude even of the European nobility. US Puritanism also cloaks its hatred of its class enemies in divine right, lacking fundamental humility it must imagine its whims, and worldly interests, are supported by some lofty principle. The irony is these people are mostly atheists at this point, so their principles are hollow. But still, there you have it.

Mike Sylwester said...

Now I Know at 9:32 AM
What was he [Obama] suppose to do? Not answer the question? Instead, he provided a thoughtful well thought out and reasonable response that acknowledges that he does not have the full answer but that he is aware of the problem.

That was a an excellent comment.

Earnest Prole said...

So you're saying the great American bald eagle needs both a Left wing and a Right wing to soar.

Inga said...

“That's right, Inga, no accountability for lies, slander, defamation, that's your world. Truth just doesn't matter, it's "By Any Means Necessary" to your Leftist goals. Just like Venezuela.”

Yet you seem to like it when your President talks like an autocratic leader of some third world country. What is wrong with you?

rhhardin said...

To find agreement you don't have to think enough to produce an argument. You just go to the group you've found that already thinks what you do.

Group interfaces become places of talking points.

brylun said...

Vance at 11:21am points to all the Leftist censorship of viewpoints on campuses. Inga is crickets. Instead, Inga makes another unsupported Trump allegation at 1:23pm: "[Y]our President talks like an autocratic leader of some third world country."

Inga, you just want to silence anyone with whom you disagree. Typical Leftist. No "marketplace of ideas" because you know it all. Just like Venezuela. And Bob Menendez with underage girls.

Michael K said...

One of the grave defects of the American Puritan strain, as manifested in the US upper class, is its inherent hatred of the peasantry, which is not the usual attitude even of the European nobility.

No, the English upper classes are just as hateful of their fellow citizens.

He writes from India, where he says

it is far easier to find genuine and knowledgeable admirers of British culture than it is among Britain’s own political class. This is the saddest commentary on the condition of England.

In Great Britain, says Dalrymple, you find

officially-sponsored indifference or hostility to anything which might be considered part of the European and British cultural and religious heritage.

This is combined with

a tender regard for any non-European and non-British cultural heritage.


I think it is pretty common to both classes.

Sinclair Lewis kind of got it going in the 1920s even though Prohibition was a "Progressive" cause.

She was not prepared for small town folks who were, perhaps, too comfortable with their own views, beliefs and assurance in their righteousness to see their own puritanical hypocrisy, as when the leading citizens of Gopher Prairie allowed the school teacher to be run out of town knowing all along the injustice of it. The townsfolk did not see themselves as being backwards, as Carol did, and many were offended by her suggestions. In fact, they felt that they had the better of it over Big City folks.

Sound familiar ?

brylun said...

And what about Monica's blue dress? Inga is crickets.

chuck said...

> he provided a thoughtful well thought out and reasonable response that acknowledges that he does not have the full answer.

I tend to disagree. Obama *talks* like a thinking and reasonable person, but seldom says much. Content wise, I think Trump actually says more, but he speaks like a prole. Academics are suckers for the thoughtful style, it is why so many of them thought Obama was some sort of genius.

buwaya said...

US upper class mores are pervasive, in a warped form, in US academia, and hence it makes its way to not just the civic-economic leadership, but to the mass media and especially those in public affairs.

It has deeply influenced all sorts of non-English-American-non-Boston Brahmin types.
Like liberal Jews.

Steve Sailer has an interesting article in Taki, his review of Spielbergs new movie about Katherine Graham of the Washington Post, and the release of the Pentagon Papers. The villain is of course Richard Nixon, in spite of the fact of the papers (and the misleading messages of the government line they revealed) being a product of the Johnson Administration.

Sex, Death, and Secrets in D.C.

Sailer makes an excellent point about the class-based (as well as interest-based) institutional enmity against Richard Nixon, a jumped-up farmhand's son. Graham, a well-born heiress of the American nomenklatura, is "spun" positively by a liberal Jew, Spielberg, who like most of his kind has drunk the upper-class kool-aid.

This is the American split, fundamental, foundational, and apparently existential.
If you are an American "peasant", this is why they hate you, and cannot restrain themselves from boxing your ears at every opportunity.

Its also why they want to shut you up.

buwaya said...

"So you're saying the great American bald eagle needs both a Left wing and a Right wing to soar."

The American eagle has been gnawing off its right wing for a few decades. All that's left is a bloody stump, and now the eagle wonders at its unusual aerodynamics.

Inga said...

“Inga, you just want to silence anyone with whom you disagree.”

Nonsense. I never want people like you to shut up, we all need to see what little dustdevils whirl in your brains.

Original Mike said...

"Yet you seem to like it when your President talks like an autocratic leader of some third world country. What is wrong with you?"

Personally, I don't like it. But I also know to distinguish between words and actions.

And as to the press being the enemy of the people, though a bit melodramtic for my taste, there's a lot of truth to it. Rather than inform us impartially, they clearly have taken sides in our politics. You're exhibit A. You come here with outlandish reports of Trump/Russian collusion. Mueller's going to take down Trump. "Mueller is closing in!". Where do you get this nonsense? Our "impartial" press. They are not honest brokers.

Gahrie said...

"[Y]our President talks like an autocratic leader of some third world country."

Yeah whatever, but isn't it nice for a change that he became rich before he entered politics?

mockturtle said...

One of the grave defects of the American Puritan strain, as manifested in the US upper class, is its inherent hatred of the peasantry, which is not the usual attitude even of the European nobility. US Puritanism also cloaks its hatred of its class enemies in divine right, lacking fundamental humility it must imagine its whims, and worldly interests, are supported by some lofty principle. The irony is these people are mostly atheists at this point, so their principles are hollow. But still, there you have it.

I seldom disagree with you, buways, but your characterization of the Puritans is wrong and unfair. Do you deny that our Puritan founders lived like peasants in the early colonies whether or not they had been 'peasants' in England? If some of their descendants are atheists today it's because belief in the Gospel is not handed down, genetically, like skin color or a tendency to heart disease. Each generation must decide for itself or, per Calvin, be reached individually by the Holy Spirit.

Unlike the RCC there is neither the compulsion to believe nor the threat of excommunication in Protestant churches. The Church cannot save. Only Christ can. YMMV.

Darrell said...

America needs a Left Wing like a tuna needs a Harley.

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