February 14, 2018

"But not all ugliness is created equal, Donald Trump is not Kim Jong-un, the United States is nothing like North Korea..."

"... and to come anywhere near that suggestion is nuts. Be outraged about what’s going on in America. Don’t be ridiculous. In doing her father’s bidding, Ivanka Trump is trying to tell the world that a sexist really wants to empower women, that a racist really cares about equal opportunity and that a narcissistic plutocrat is acting in the high-minded interests of the little people. She’s willfully delusional, totally complicit and compiling one hell of an Instagram feed, which is what she’s ultimately all about. In doing her brother’s bidding, Kim Yo-jong is airbrushing a dictator who authorizes public executions that, according to defectors, must be watched by all adult citizens, so that they can savor the wages of disobedience. She is diverting attention from his roles in the murders of his half brother, who was smeared with a fatal toxin while walking through an airport, and of many senior government officials, slaughtered in grotesque ways. Is it any wonder that she’s making the effort? The alternative, apparently, is being drawn and quartered."

From "The Ivanka Trump of North Korea? Oh, Please" by Frank Bruni in the NYT.

The top-rated comment at the NYT, with 586 up-votes, is:
Trump is as evil as Kim, he just hasn't had as much opportunity to exercise it. But every opportunity he has to show his evil, he has enthusiastically embraced. No doubt he would execute his perceived enemies if he thought he could get away with it. I'm sure he's jealous of Kim's military parades and complete control over his citizens. It's perfectly fair to compare the two. Ivanka and Yo-jong have nothing to do with it.
ADDED: What's unusual about "trying to tell the world that a sexist really wants to empower women, that a racist really cares about equal opportunity and that a narcissistic plutocrat is acting in the high-minded interests of the little people"? Let me propose that exactly that could be said about virtually every American politician. I think it's to the credit of all the sexist, racist, narcissistic plutocrats in government that they can occasionally manage to do something that helps women, minorities, and the little people. It's normal to expect the champions of these politicians to point out these positive efforts. That the doers of these good deeds were hampered by their deeply embedded and not-pretty human impulses could be pointed out as a reason to be impressed by their accomplishments, but their champions choose to keep quiet about such things. That's also not surprising.

211 comments:

1 – 200 of 211   Newer›   Newest»
320Busdriver said...

Nyt readers are nuckin futz

FWBuff said...

It's both frightening and disheartening to see how deranged the American Left has become.

Rumpletweezer said...

I believe Trump has had a concealed carry permit for decades. I don't believe he's ever shot anybody.

LYNNDH said...

Amen, FWBuff. Just hatred from them. As someone has said, "This will not end well".

rhhardin said...

I'm a sexist for empowering women, and a racist for equal opportunity. What's the problem.

The general idea might be those sensitive to perverse side effects and those who are not.

Hari said...

The top comment quote tells you everything you need to know about the NYT business model. These are their customers, and the NYT makes its money telling them exactly what they want to hear.

Michael said...

Both Bruni and the commenter are simply deranged. His version of PDT is a complete hallucination. What will they say when after 4 or 8 years of Trump the nation is more prosperous, more equal, less rancorous, and more successful abroad than ever under Obama?

Henry said...

Comments tend to corrupt. New York Times comments corrupt absolutely.

Mike said...

That comment clearly defines the depth of derangement on the Left. Fact free and high in invective. That should win some votes for [insert Democrat weenie here] next fall.

rhhardin said...

You'd think ugly would be an adverb.

Henry said...

Ivanka Trump is trying to tell the world that a sexist really wants to empower women...

Fire in the hole!

Amexpat said...

No really knows what anyone would do if they had absolute power like Kim Jong-un. I suspect that most people would be corrupted by that type of power.

EDH said...

Sounds to me more like Hillary's proclivities:

Hillary is as evil as Kim, she just hasn't had as much opportunity to exercise it. But every opportunity she has to show his evil, she has enthusiastically embraced. No doubt she would execute her perceived enemies if he thought she could get away with it. I'm sure she's jealous of Kim's military parades and complete control over his citizens. It's perfectly fair to compare the two.

Henry said...

rhhardin said...
You'd think ugly would be an adverb.

LOL.

Ughly could be an adverb.

John Tuffnell said...

Wilfully delusional and totally complicit - describes the media and Obama and the media and the left. The fact that a few on the left like Bruni can see how insane they look when they refuse to draw distinctions -- like all unwanted advances reflected in #Metooism is the same -- at least shows some awareness. Not so with the sans culottes who run with the comments mob.

Amadeus 48 said...

But wait...Althouse reads NYT, too. Is she nuckin' futz?

Happy Valentine's Day, Althouse.

Seeing Red said...

It reads either as satire or jealousy since if they could, they'd kill the deplorables.

Does anyone remember the 10:10 No Pressure ad from Britain?

It exposed the Left's desire to kill those who don't believe in global warming by making that person explode.

It was pulled in 24 hours. Gillian Anderson was in it.

mccullough said...

These are the people who read Frank Bruni’s columns and comment on them. As much of a wing nut as Bruni is, the readers who comment on his column are even nuttier.

n.n said...

Althouse reads NYT, too. Is she nuckin' futz?

Think Sun Tzu. We make inferences. She makes deductions. Her conclusion may be more accurate and prescient.

Fernandistein said...

Be outraged about what’s going on in America.

That's ridiculous.

Don’t be ridiculous.

As Hungry Hungry Homer might well have said, according to anonymous inside sources, "Ridiculous is such a smelly word."

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The Left has gone completely insane. It really is frightening to see the derangement. More frightening in that many are in positions of real power.

Given the reigns of government they would gleefully descend into intolerant repression and genocide. They call conservatives Nazis, however that is really just projection. Blaming others for what THEY really want to do. They would see nothing wrong in instituting a regime of repression in the name of their ideologies, because they are so totally sure of their perfect correctness.

Be afraid. Be aware. Be armed.

Gahrie said...

The Left is projecting yet again.

Nonapod said...

Trump is as evil as Kim, he just hasn't had as much opportunity to exercise it

Trump's far from a saint, but good lord. The left is really is deranged beyond recovery if they really, truly believe that Trump is remotely in the ball park of Kim.

Obviously you can never really know what's in a persons heart, you have to go by their actions. Trump is a flashy, garish, real estate developer/reality TV star. He can be impulsive and a bit boorish. But nothing I've seen or heard about the guy has ever suggested he'd be the sort of person who would march people into death camps or beget anything like the hellish human misery of North Korea.

Hari said...

If these are NYT's readers, how can they possible risk writing something objective? NYT readers don't want the truth. They can't handle the truth.

Joshua Barker said...

And I'm still waiting for someone to show me evidence that Trump is either RAAAAAACCCCCIIIIIST!!! or Sexist... Trump may tend to objectify women from a sexual standpoint, but that's not the same as sexism or misogyny. And whatever his abstract, alpha-male sexual perception of women may or may-not be, he sure seems to hire quite a few of them for high-level positions of power and responsibility... I'd say that's pretty much the opposite of sexism...

FIDO said...

At some point, it is time to lose friends.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Regarding the coment:

"No doubt he would execute his perceived enemies if he thought he could get away with it"

Behold the a-hole leftwing hivemind on display.

Michael K said...

Only a country as rich and powerful as the USA could afford to have one of the two major political parties insane.

I get the impression that the left in Israel hates Netanyahu almost as much as the left here hates Trump.

Michael The Magnificent said...

One would think that if you were inclined to insult "literally Hitler," that you'd be a bit more discrete about it than to publish it in the NYT.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Leftists don't care about real brutality. They care mightily about imagined brutality.

Humperdink said...

Think lefties are nutz?

The results of a one-day study are in. On the one year anniversary of Trump's election, the base of democrat party joined forces across the country to scream at the sky.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

These are the same people who are certain Trump and Poot hacked the American brain so that poor poor innocent Hilary would lose.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

LOL - the blue wave is dying.

Quaestor said...

What will they say when after 4 or 8 years of Trump the nation is more prosperous, more equal, less rancorous, and more successful abroad than ever under Obama?

Exactly what they say now and have said before. The all insane people are impervious to reason and empiricism, that's what being insane means. Nothing will fix them, therefore they must be isolated, marginalized, and barred from the national conversation.

FleetUSA said...

A more apt analogy to dead enemies would be the Clinton$ with strange deaths littering their history from Arkansas to recent times. It is often referred to as Arkancide.

bgates said...

As disagreeable as the sentiment may be, I'd like to think Althouse commenters have enough of a sense of community to join me in congratulating Robert Cook for having the highest rated comment on a NYT column.

Colin said...

After reading that article, I get the strange sense that the writer has to go very far afield indeed in bashing Trump & associates to hopefully coax his zealot readers into stepping back from the proverbial ledge and leaping into pure absurdity.

Just how much of these opinion articles are actually regarding the person's opinion, I wonder? I wonder what the writers *actual* viewpoint is - I doubt he'll make it public.

Murph said...

Once again we see the triple somersault, 180-degree twist, word-reversal flip trick* performed by the left.

It was just a bit more than a dozen years ago that critics bemoaned that the word "evil" was used to describe countries that supported & encouraged & cheered the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil (just google "critic axis of evil speech) & asserted that such a charge would result in more terrorist activity, etc., but now the word "evil" is used in the most casual manner to describe a sitting U.S. president who has perpetrated nothing adverse to America's national interests, but who has expressed an aspiration for America to peaceably recover the domestic and international economic and political stature that it once enjoyed.

As I've seen written, it's clear that with these people history began yesterday.

* an Olympic metaphor in honor of Shaun White's gold

JohnAnnArbor said...

No doubt he would execute his perceived enemies if he thought he could get away with it.

They really believe this stuff, folks. Such is the depth of their hatred and delusion.

R.J. Chatt said...

What FWBuff said... I have given up trying to discuss Trump with my liberal friends. I never would have imagined they could be so decidedly obnoxious. They really believe the endless propaganda at MSNBC that Trump colluded with Russia to win the election and that Mueller is going to prove it, if only he doesn't get fired by Trump. The investigation will probably continue for Trump's entire presidency or at least until the next election. Sad.

One amusing related article I saw yesterday was about Bill and Melinda Gates and how much they despise Trump and everything he stands for and how they now are going to focus on dealing with poverty in the USA, which sounds a lot like Trump's American First philosophy.

Sebastian said...

"Trump is as evil as Kim"

See, this proves Farmer right: the left really does hate Kim.

Trumpit said...

Trump's sons, Don Jr., and Eric, are the epitome of murderers and evildoers. They shoot exotic, and endangered animals in caged hunts in Africa and elsewhere for fun and sport. They've had their pictures take with the body parts of those animals. They are heartless monsters. Don Jr. is a traitor as well, having worked with Russian operatives to steal the election from Hillary Clinton.
What should the penalty be for their heinous acts? Life in prison without the possibility of parole is appropriate for being serial killers of endangered species. I'd rather they rot in prison than be executed. I believe in executing the criminally insane, however. I hate crazy people to begin with.

Sebastian said...

OK, I get the bitching about Trump's sexism. But where's the racism?

I mean, apart from progs using it as an all-purpose slur whenever convenient, what particular reason is there in Trump's case?

Fernandistein said...

"occasionally manage to do something that helps women, minorities, and the little people."

Women, minorities and midgets hardest hit.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

A more apt analogy to dead enemies would be the Clinton$ with strange deaths littering their history from Arkansas to recent times. It is often referred to as Arkancide.


shhh - we are not supposed to lift up that curtain. No curiosity allowed.

Big Mike said...

Trumpit is off his meds again.

traditionalguy said...

Trump is a White Man. That is the crime du jour. And he has a White Man Attorney General that respects Anglo-Saxons. And everybody knows that the Anglos are the Hispanics #1 hate enemy.

Not Sure said...

If I were looking for a commie dictator analogue to Trump it'd be Fidel, only with 140 characters per tirade instead of 140 minutes and Bannon instead of Che.

Kevin said...

I was about to ask what the NYT won't print these days.

But then I remembered Ronan Farrow's piece on Harvey Weinstein.

TestTube said...

bgates,

That is a low blow to Robert Cook! I have read these comments for a long time, and I have never heard him indicate that Trump is anything like a homicidal tyrant, nor have I heard him praise Kim Jung Un. Nor do I remember him getting mooshy over mass killings.


The fawning over Kim Yo-Jung by what is supposed to be our more sane news outlets is sickening. I have read nothing like that from Robert Cook.

traditionalguy said...

And the Seth Rich hit ordered by Hillary is still being covered up with a certainty of Mythical Russian Hacking tales given to every MSM talking head.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Trumpit

Don Jr. is a traitor as well, having worked with Russian operatives to steal the election from Hillary Clinton.


Care to educate us on how Don Jr. had the power to do this? or how a meeting with some Russian operatives would influence all the deplorables to not show up for poor poor innocent Private Server Hillary?

Humperdink said...

@Trumpit. Spouse made lasagna the other night, from the deer I shot. I must tell you, it was delicious. The butcher also made Slim Jims out of the meat. They were terrific also.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

How is it that Hillary and Obama were able to make all sorts of business deals with Russia, involving Uranium sales and Clinton Foundation deposits that coincided with those sales, without our knowledge, but a meeting between Don Jr. and some "Russian operatives" is proof that the election was stolen!?

Mike said...

Remind me which other presidents have hired as many women for executive positions as Trump had before running for office.

Bay Area Guy said...

Ahh, fer fuck's sake. Fuck the NYTimes or send its snowflake, Nancy-boy op-Ed writers to North Korea for a little re-education.

Mark Jones said...

It wasn't Trump (or a Republican) who attempted mass murder of his political "enemies" on a baseball diamond. It isn't Trump (or the Republicans) dressing in black, rioting in the streets and declaiming "by any means necessary" in their zeal to overturn an election.

That #1 comment at the NYT is just more violent leftist projection.

Robert Cook said...

"Trump is as evil as Kim, he just hasn't had as much opportunity to exercise it. But every opportunity he has to show his evil, he has enthusiastically embraced. No doubt he would execute his perceived enemies if he thought he could get away with it. I'm sure he's jealous of Kim's military parades and complete control over his citizens. It's perfectly fair to compare the two. Ivanka and Yo-jong have nothing to do with it."

Such incredible stupidity. And I'm no fan of Trump.

Jess said...

Comparing Trump to the little "Hitler Buddha" can't be justified, until all the citizens in North Korea have the right to keep and bear firearms.

rhhardin said...

I think it's to the credit of all the sexist, racist, narcissistic plutocrats in government that they can occasionally manage to do something that helps women, minorities, and the little people.

Sexist and racist are not the opposite of wanting to help. They just mean not PC.

People who are not PC are more likely to help, not less likely.

Clyde said...

I hope that all of those upvoting Times-reading people have the courage of their convictions and the decency to send back their extra tax cut money to the IRS at the end of the year. Not that I'm really expecting it, but if they hate Trump and the eeeeeevil Republicans so badly, they shouldn't profit from anything the Republicans do.

Fabi said...

The left has to believe that Trump is as evil as Jong-un so they may justify any and all attacks directed his way. It's a dangerous game, and one that won't end well for its adherents.

CJinPA said...

The top-rated comment is a reminder that every hyper-partisan news outlet cultivates simpletons.

Gahrie said...

Guys...I keep telling you...Trumpit is "performance art", deliberately being provocative in order to get a reaction. Ignore it.

Kevin said...

Comparing Trump to the little "Hitler Buddha" can't be justified

America is always the greatest threat to peace and the source of all problems in the world - without exception!

As long as a Republican is in office.

Big Mike said...

That #1 comment at the NYT is just more violent leftist projection.

Bruni and his fellow left wing agitators are hoping to persuade the weak-minded among us (e.g., Trumpit) towards violence against Donald Trump and other Republicans, at which point he and they will put up their hands, palms out, and put on their most innocent expressions. “Who, us?”

Yeah, you.

gspencer said...

Project much?

Kate said...

Because the Left expects the worst, they can declare Trump a tyrant on actions he's never ever taken. They think the same thing of Pence: If he were president, then he would run a theocracy. This is their notion of science. If you can worry about it, then it must be true.

Sam L. said...

Bruni and the NYT just MAKE the enemedia live.

Humperdink said...

"Guys...I keep telling you...Trumpit is "performance art"

Performance art? I know lefties just like him/her/other.

Michael K said...

" I hate crazy people to begin with."

No irony here, though.

Trumpit said...

@Gahrie, Stop trolling me, you offensive dullard. Get a job, you sloth. Contribute to the betterment of society somehow. Stop killing animals, and stuffing you face with their body parts. You have no artistic qualities whatsoever, only predictable reactionary beliefs and corresponding bonehead blather.

buwaya said...

Said this often before, but....

Trump is just a symbol. Trump was not "evil" pre-politics, he was a mascot of sorts, a court jester, a benign sort of joke. A member of their club.

He became profoundly evil in their eyes when he was elected by those whom they truly fear and hate and at least pretend to despise, the rest of you Americans. Its not Trump, its you.

All this madness re Trump is strictly tribal enmity. You are your tribe, they are another tribe, and your interests, as in how you make a living, your ideal way of life, your beliefs, your values in terms of sin and virtue, are entirely opposed and irreconcilable.

Elizabeth Crain said...

I’ve long suspected that the NYT and other obsolete media are the targets of a paid commentariat. Performance artists in the style of Trumpit. It certainly explains the over-the-top hatred and stupidity.

I hope they’re getting paid that magical minimum wage of $15/hr.

I likewise believe that obsolete media doesn’t even know it’s being hammered (and its reputation trashed even further) by paid shill-troll flunkies.

gerry said...

But every opportunity he has to show his evil, he has enthusiastically embraced.

Shown Evil? When? Where?

Sad.

JPS said...

TestTube, 10:18:

I'll add that many people these days (emphatically including but by no means limited to the left) have me wondering how full of hate and rage you can be and still think you're the good guy. I'm appreciating more and more the people on any side, e.g. Cook, who aren't like that.

buwaya said...

I.e., they are not insane.
They have good reasons to consider you enemies and vice versa.
Irreconcilable differences.
If this were a marriage it would be in the middle of a nasty divorce action. And much that would be, and is, being said in the course of it is self-serving nonsense.

rhhardin said...

Trump's sons, Don Jr., and Eric, are the epitome of murderers and evildoers.

Epitome always rhymes with astrodome when I read it.

Penelope is the same way.

I'm okay on calliope, so the rule isn't obvious.

Darkisland said...

And yet it always seems like the fascists/progressives who want to kill people for not having politically approved views on things like global whatsit.

Is bruni just projecting? He certainly seems, from this and other stuff he's written to be a progressive/fascist.

John Henry

Kristian Holvoet said...

And Paul, Chief among Sinners exhorts us to live as Christ commanded.

Darkisland said...

Do you eat meat, Trupit?

Where does it come from?

How are your pigs, sheep, cows, fish, chickens et all killed?

John Henry

rhhardin said...

Damn, I should remember to record the Wednesday noon tornado siren test. On days when the ground isn't solar-heated (so sound hugs the ground), you can hear a dozen towns at different distances starting at different times.

Think of them as public opinion.

Big Mike said...

Trumpit writes the way those homeless panhandlers I used to meet on the streets talk.

Unknown said...

If you believe what that person commented on the NYT article then don't you believe that the Obama Administration, FBI, and DOJ surveillance of Trump and the charges of Russian collusion and obstruction of justice are all morally justified? Sort of like that old ethics question game: if you could go back in time to kill (choose your evil person: Hitler, Pol Pot, Lee Harvey Oswald) shouldn't you?

I just can't square the real world Trump with the one his most agitated and concerned opponents describe.

-sw

Nonapod said...

That the doers of these good deeds were hampered [by] their deeply embedded and not-pretty human impulses could be pointed out as a reason to be impressed by their accomplishments, but their champions choose to keep quiet about such things. That's also not surprising.

Perhaps the story of humanity is that many good things have been accomplished by deeply flawed people. After all, there's no such thing as an avatar of pure good to lead us. Even in there were, such an individual would be both unelectable and unwilling. Voters want a leader that doesn't exist, so politicians pretend to be that person and voters then select whomever they find to be the most convincing pretender. Then voters feel forced to defend their selection when a bit of the mask falls away from their selection.

Perhaps it would be better if more people realized that you actually don't need anything close to a saint to actually accomplish good things. In fact you can have a person who is crass and rude and vulgar, a proven liar, and a lout, and despite all that such a person could still do far more good than harm (assuming the right level of accountability within the system). But it seems like most human beings are happier deluding themselves and resorting to tedious tribalism or team sportism rather than coldly and objectively looking at the world for what it is rather than how they wish it to be.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Big Mike said...
Trumpit writes the way those homeless panhandlers I used to meet on the streets talk.

2/14/18, 11:07 AM

A homeless panhandler who is seriously protein deficient. Since you're clearly not getting enough complete protein to eat, Trumpit, I recommend having a nice, juicy hamburger every so often. It'll do wonders to clear up that mental confusion and improve your mood.

Giving up the morning vodka would help too.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Donald Trump isn't as evil as Kim. Don't be ridiculous. But, man, have you heard how evil Donald Trump is?"

Browndog said...

It's one thing to view a certain set of facts differently. It's another to live in totally different realities. The most insane things I've read come from the self proclaimed enlightened and educated. They are a large percentage of the population, and hold positions of power and influence.

Keep that in mind when you hear a "republican" talk about compromise with these people.

Matthew Sablan said...

"What will they say when after 4 or 8 years of Trump the nation is more prosperous, more equal, less rancorous, and more successful abroad than ever under Obama?"

-- The same thing they say 4-8 years after every Republican president. "So-and-so is crazy; remember nice old what's-their-name?"

Tank said...

If you look, you will see that the NYT Opinion Page looks like this every single day. You just need to read the headlines really. You can pretty much write the deranged article yourself.

YoungHegelian said...

Remember, folks, Frank Bruni is at least trying to drag his readership toward some semblance of rationality. Poor Bruni. A good liberal, gay, theater critic, he probably now wakes up every morning & asks himself "So, how did I somehow get turned into Ross Douthat?".

Michael said...

Frank Bruni seems angry. I expect he followed Krugman's sage stock market advice and sold off after the election. Nothing else could justify the twisted way he views the world, views Trump. Insane.

roesch/voltaire said...

Another comment from one of those terrible liberal NYT readers:Thanks for this piece of rationality. Trump’s bad, Ivanka is sad, but the North Korean leadership (whether Kim Jung-un or his sister) implement a system of abuse and brutality upon their own people—and belligerence to their neighbors near and far—the likes of which few dictatorships have managed.

Jupiter said...

"No doubt he would execute his perceived enemies if he thought he could get away with it."

I have to admit, I think the same about Hillary. When I thought she was going to be elected, I also thought that there was a good chance I would be executed on my doorstep by a government agent as a result. But I don't think Trump has ever referred to his "perceived enemies" as a "basket of deplorables".

I Callahan said...

I am thoroughly convinced that 1/2 of the American populace is insane.

Sigivald said...

The President is super racist.

I know this because it's continually asserted.

(I don't even like him, but "racist" is weakest sauce here; they got nothin' to support it other than handwaving.

No, "Muslim ban!!!" won't cut it, nor will "he totes called all Mexicans criminals", because ... well, I can read. He didn't.)

MadisonMan said...

At least it's not still the #1 Comment -- and there are even 'Picked' comments that push back against it.

But jeeze, NYTimes commenters: Get a serious grip on the World as it is. Take off your blinders.

tcrosse said...

Is it possible that the NYT comments attract trolls and mobys, just as Althouse's do ? It would be a miracle if they didn't.

Yancey Ward said...

Bruni appears to not really understand the problem, though he does sense it. Bruni just doesn't have the courage to write the essay he should have written here- it is that simple.

Browndog said...

It's not limited to the New York Times. You can go to any 'news' website--local, regional, or national--anywhere in the nation, and see the same dangerous lunacy.

Dismiss it as isolated trolling at yours, mine, and the nation's peril.

gerry said...

Is it possible that the NYT comments attract trolls and mobys, just as Althouse's do ? It would be a miracle if they didn't.

An excellent point. A lot of anonymous commenting is hobbyist in nature.

chuck said...

The grotesque combination of hatred, ignorance, and lunacy found in the pages of the NY Times is a wonder.

Anonymous said...

Sexist like most of Progressive politicians and Hollywood icons.

Racist for not having a grand kid who wanted brown skin friends, nor wanting to underpay illegals to cook and clean and do gardening for them.

n.n said...

1/2 of the American populace is insane

They're Pro-Choice, selective, opportunistic, congruent, and unreconciled, prone to conflation of logical domains, and admission of facts not in, or contrary to, evidence. Everyone has their faith, religion, and tradition. As well as philosopher(s) and expert(s) who are mortal, mortal gods, or divine. Principles matter.

Mr. D said...

Amadeus 48 said...

But wait...Althouse reads NYT, too. Is she nuckin' futz?


She reads it so we don't have to. A valuable service.

Jack Tors said...

As a physician, I can say with the utmost confidence that the top-rated commentator on the Bruni article has impaired reality testing to a degree that's bordering on psychotic

Gahrie said...

Is it possible that the NYT comments attract trolls and mobys, just as Althouse's do ?

That accounts for the comment itself....not the hundreds of up votes that make it the top ranked comment.

Balfegor said...

Let me propose that exactly that could be said about virtually every American politician. I think it's to the credit of all the sexist, racist, narcissistic plutocrats in government that they can occasionally manage to do something that helps women, minorities, and the little people.

Exhibit A: Lyndon Baines Johnson, super-racist architect of putatively non-racist civil rights legislation.

Big Mike said...

A homeless panhandler who is seriously protein deficient.

It’s been over 45 years now, but I once dated a nutritionist who insisted that the problem wasn’t just lack of protein, but a lack of animal fats. Apparently you need animal fats to maintain the myelin sheath on the neurons in your brain and nervous system. Sounded plausible.

Rusty said...

Trumpit said...
"Trump's sons, Don Jr., and Eric, are the epitome of murderers and evildoers. They shoot exotic, and endangered animals in caged hunts in Africa and elsewhere for fun and sport. They've had their pictures take with the body parts of those animals. They are heartless monsters."

And I'd just like to add to what others have mentioned above;

You're an idiot.

Paddy O said...

It's a sign of being evil when you so need someone else to be evil in order to maintain your view on the world.

Paddy O said...

Also, there's no better sign of utter privilege to think that Trump is actually evil. It's a sign of hyper-protected life that hasn't actually encountered real evil in this world.

And I don't at all like Trump as a person.

People confuse aesthetic tastes for morality and this is what happens.

Sofa King said...

If you want to understand:

http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/09/30/i-can-tolerate-anything-except-the-outgroup/

Francisco D said...

"Trump is as evil as Kim, he just hasn't had as much opportunity to exercise it. But every opportunity he has to show his evil, he has enthusiastically embraced. No doubt he would execute his perceived enemies if he thought he could get away with it."

Once again the Resistance dials it up to 11 and loses all credibility.

How does the writer know that Trump is evil if he has not done anything evil?

Logic and common sense are optional among today's deranged leftists.

Jay Elink said...

Quaestor said...
What will they say when after 4 or 8 years of Trump the nation is more prosperous, more equal, less rancorous, and more successful abroad than ever under Obama?

Exactly what they say now and have said before. The all insane people are impervious to reason and empiricism, that's what being insane means. Nothing will fix them, therefore they must be isolated, marginalized, and barred from the national conversation.

**********************************

Has any society anywhere thrived when a large percentage of its population has revealed itself to be bat-shit crazy, yet impotent to actually revolt (having disarmed themselves)?

We won't need FEMA camps ---we'll need FEMA states.

Roy Jacobsen said...

That NYT commenter stumbled upon an important truth (and most likely picked himself up and kept on going, unaware of it), encapsulated in this phrase: "...if he thought he could get away with it."

Why did Weinstein treat actresses as his personal whores? Because he thought he could get away with it.

Why did Hillary Clinton flout the laws regarding her email usage? Because she thought she could get away with it.

Why did the Clintons and the Lickspittle Media float that ridiculous "Russian collusion" story? Because they thought they could get away with it.

Why does a pot head show up to his pizza delivery job stoned? Because he thinks he can get away with it.

Why do any of us give in to the baser urges of human nature? Because we think we can get away with it.

Thank God (literally, I do thank God) that we have a society, laws, and a system of government designed to try to prevent people from getting away with "it."

Jim at said...

No doubt he would execute his perceived enemies if he thought he could get away with it.

I'll take Leftist Projection for $800, Alex.

Tim in Vermont said...

This is what I meant by “mindfulness,” only a person completely lacking in mindfulness could have written that about Trump.

Robert said...

Bruno and his top commentator are not a unique breed. Their like filled the ranks of the Cheka and manned Pol Pots killing factories. Their hunger to inflict death on their political adversaries is palpable.

Seeing Red said...

Trump is as evil as Kim, he just hasn't had as much opportunity to exercise it

Trump's far from a saint, but good lord. The left is really is deranged beyond recovery if they really, truly believe that Trump is remotely in the ball park of Kim.

Obviously you can never really know what's in a persons heart, you have to go by their actions. Trump is a flashy, garish, real estate developer/reality TV star. He can be impulsive and a bit boorish. But nothing I've seen or heard about the guy has ever suggested he'd be the sort of person who would march people into death camps or beget anything like the hellish human misery of North Korea.




-------



He upped their tax burden.

pacwest said...

If we have lost Inga to these comments pages it is a shame. Now I have to read the NYT and WAPO's comments to see how nuts the far left really is. It's kinda revolting, but necessary I think.

Anyway, I think the direct talks the US is willing to have with the NORKs is in hopes Trump can get a how-to manual.

exiledonmainstreet said...

" Now I have to read the NYT and WAPO's comments to see how nuts the far left really is. It's kinda revolting, but necessary I think."

Althouse reads them so we don't have to.

Achilles said...

Rusty said...
Trumpit said...


You're an idiot.

Trumpit is performance art. A moby. Just there for entertainment. Don't feed it.

Fabi said...

Defining evil down is a poor strategy.

Original Mike said...

”No doubt he would execute his perceived enemies if he thought he could get away with it.”

And we let these people vote.

Achilles said...

"Trump is as evil as Kim, he just hasn't had as much opportunity to exercise it. But every opportunity he has to show his evil, he has enthusiastically embraced. No doubt he would execute his perceived enemies if he thought he could get away with it. I'm sure he's jealous of Kim's military parades and complete control over his citizens. It's perfectly fair to compare the two. Ivanka and Yo-jong have nothing to do with it."


This is mainstream thought in the democrat party.

Most of their voters believe this.

It is time for people to wake up. They are projecting what they would do onto us. A majority of democrats support Obama spying on a political opponent.

Act accordingly.

Original Mike said...

”If we have lost Inga to these comments pages it is a shame.”

Perhaps it has started to dawn on her what really happened in the Russian “collusion” scandal.

David said...

"No doubt he would execute his perceived enemies if he thought he could get away with it."

How can you possibly have a functional political system if an important group is driven by beliefs conclusions like this? It's insanity.

I am Six Words or Less said...

Cognitive incontinence causes skin irritation, blindness.

-6W

Unknown said...

You have a choice to (1) laugh with or (2) be laughed at by Trumpit. He's a comic.

Unknown said...

a pajama clad comic.

TestTube said...

Perhaps part of the problem is how good we have it, and have had it for decades.

People have a way of making a hell out of heaven.

Original Mike said...

”You have a choice to (1) laugh with or (2) be laughed at by Trumpit. He's a comic.”

(3) Laugh at it.

I Callahan said...

Has any society anywhere thrived when a large percentage of its population has revealed itself to be bat-shit crazy, yet impotent to actually revolt (having disarmed themselves)?

You could have stopped at "thrived". The societies that exist today are all relatively young. In general, societies do NOT thrive in the long run. They all eventually fail, and ours is showing signs of doing just that.

As I may have put in a comment before: a wise sage once said about humanity, "It's in your nature to destroy yourselves."

Trumpit said...

"I am thoroughly convinced that 1/2 of the American populace is insane."

I am thoroughly convinced of that as well.

Leland said...

It is sad these articles keep being posted in the NYT, while people like Scott Adams (and he claims other agree) that is moral to kill a person you think is the next Hitler. Even sadder that despite having this opinion, few recognize the Kim's for what they are.

I am Six Words or Less said...

Black/white now white/beige. Subtleties.

-6W

J. Farmer said...

@Sebastian:

See, this proves Farmer right: the left really does hate Kim.

I assume this is directed at me; if I'm mistaken, my apologies.

I never said anything about what "the left" thinks or feels about anything, because I think that construction is rather meaningless. Except for the broadest of strokes and the widest of generalities can anyone really say anything about "the left" or "the right."

What I did say, however, is that large majorities of the American public have very negative views of North Korea in general and Kim Jug-Un in particular. There are plenty of surveys of public opinion demonstrating this, and a New York Times commenter does not refute that in the least.

I think it's a lot more important to focus on the actual policies and strategies being pursued and what their predictable outcomes would be rather than the stupid talk radio/cable news obsession with "the left" and "the right."

But on the subject of media coverage, the administration, and bad regimes, can I ask what should be made of a photo such as this, with Jared and Ivanka smiling and celebrating with Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. Just to recap, the Crown Prince is the heir apparent to the absolute monarchy that despotically controls Saudi Arabia, he engaged in imprisonment, torture, and execution of dissidents and regime opponents, he is responsible for major war crimes in Yemen, including a blockade specifically intended to starve the population, he has empowered jihadists through proxy war support, including Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and al-Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham, and Jund al-Aqsa, all salafi jihadist groups, and has contributed massively to destabilization in the region by ginning up conflicts with Qatar (home toimportant US military resources in the region) and Lebanon.

n.n said...

NYT... moral to kill a person you think is the next Hitler

Abort, recycle, sodomize Hitler or something unworthy, inconvenient, or profitable (e.g. diverse/colorful clump of cells). Also, social justice adventures for elective causes, to open mass abortion fields, and to force Catastrophic Anthropogenic Immigration Reform (e.g. trail of tears) for redistributive change and democratic gerrymandering.

Gahrie said...

See...if we were all as educated and knowledgeable as J. Farmer, we'd realize that everyone we consider an ally is actually evil and that everyone we consider an enemy is actually just misunderstood boy scouts, and that every problem in the world is ultimately the fault of the USA.

It's actually rather simple.

J. Farmer said...

@Gahrie:

You've ably knocked down a set of strawmen once again. Bravo.

we'd realize that everyone we consider an ally is actually evil

I just gave you a summation of the Crown Prince's record. Did I get something wrong? Perhaps you can explain to us how going all in on the Saudi Arabia has redounded to our benefit.

and that everyone we consider an enemy is actually just misunderstood boy scouts

Of course I never said anything even remotely approaching that. What I have said, consistently, is that the threat North Korea poses is exaggerated and manageable.

and that every problem in the world is ultimately the fault of the USA.

No, just the ones we're responsible for. So, for example, Sri Lankan civil war? Central African Republic civil war? Not America's fault. Iraq War? Libyan War? America's fault. If you cannot understand that distinction, then you can't understand distinctions.

Robert Cook said...

"See...if we were all as educated and knowledgeable as J. Farmer...."

But you're not, as is pathetically obvious by your childish and futile attempts to refute, counter, dismiss, and mock him.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Let's try it a bit milder...


Just to recap, the Crown Prince is the heir apparent to the absolute monarchy that despotically controls Saudi Arabia, he engaged in


Yes, yes, MBS is very bad. Latest SOB of a long line of SOBs, to be sure. Right? (You're not picking him out in particular, it's the whole House of Saud regime, or did you like/favor/better appreciate KSA or its ruler at some time in the past?)

So MBS, or KSA, or both, are bad. The fact that they serve our interests (however equivocally), whereas DPRK is an existential foe, is not important to you, because your heart is pure. Nothing should or can be done about DPRK, because nothing can or should be done about KSA?

Or, if we were prepared to, say, overturn both regimes, and Iran too, and replace them with, oh, forty-year regencies under distinguished American killer generals like Mattis or McChrystal, till their children can be civilized, or whatever you want done to them...

No good, because we're not prepared to fix "Africa" too? At the same time?

You provoke annoyance because nobody can figure you out. The only thing you seem consistent in, is that the US may not take action against its enemies, and has no friends.

You always have lots of stats in your pocket, but any sophist has the appropriate weapons. We're trying to understand your actual motivations here.

I'd settle for an understanding of the future world your policies would bring about, or seek to bring about. That would define you without putting you to the trouble of giving a name to yourself.

Of course you have no particular motivation to satisfy me, but I daresay I am not alone.

Gahrie said...

But you're not, as is pathetically obvious by your childish and futile attempts to refute, counter, dismiss, and mock him.

Thank you sir...may I have another?

Jupiter said...

J. Farmer said...

"What I have said, consistently, is that the threat North Korea poses is exaggerated and manageable."

And no doubt you will continue to say it right up until the moment one of Whoa Fat!'s nukes destroys one or more large American cities. At which point you will drop the "exaggerated" and just go with "manageable".

Gahrie said...

I just gave you a summation of the Crown Prince's record. Did I get something wrong? Perhaps you can explain to us how going all in on the Saudi Arabia has redounded to our benefit.

I thought you were the one who opposed morality in our foreign policy? It should only be based in self-interest. Before fracking it was in the interests of the U.S. to be friendly with Saudi Arabia, and today it is in our interests to build a broad opposition to the Iranians including Saudi Arabia. (of course you disagree that the Iranians are our enemies)

Gahrie said...

And no doubt you will continue to say it right up until the moment one of Whoa Fat!'s nukes destroys one or more large American cities. At which point you will drop the "exaggerated" and just go with "manageable".

Close. What he will actually do is explain why North Korea was perfectly justified in nuking one of our cities.

J. Farmer said...

Jupiter:

And no doubt you will continue to say it right up until the moment one of Whoa Fat!'s nukes destroys one or more large American cities.

No, as I'd admit I was terribly, miserably, pathetically wrong. It wouldn't be the first time or the last. But so long as we're pulling hypotethicals out of our asses, why not worry about an American city being destroyed by a Chinese nuke? Or a Pakistani nuke? Or a Russian nuke? Or hell even an Indian nuke? Any of those countries launching a nuclear bomb against us is "possible," but do we conduct our foreign policies with those countries as if that is an at all remotely possible event? No. Similarly, there is no reason to believe that North Korea would pose a unique set of dangers. For one, North Korea has prioritized regime survival above and beyond nearly every other consideration. Hence, they are one of the most diplomatically isolated countries in the world. The notion that they would prioritize such survival and then immediately launch a nuclear weapon that would get them nothing but utter destruction in return is absurdity.

J. Farmer said...

@Gahrie:

Close. What he will actually do is explain why North Korea was perfectly justified in nuking one of our cities.

Please go find that caricature in your mind you are itching to have an argument with and go have it. Nothing your saying is remotely connected to anything I have ever said or argued.

Gahrie said...

But so long as we're pulling hypotethicals out of our asses, why not worry about an American city being destroyed by a Chinese nuke? Or a Pakistani nuke? Or a Russian nuke? Or hell even an Indian nuke?

Many of us do, only to have you tell us we're being paranoid.

Similarly, there is no reason to believe that North Korea would pose a unique set of dangers.

Except for the fact that North Korea is run by a family of insane people who believe they are gods.

If they are so obsessed with survival, why do they regularly provoke the United States and South Korea by attacking them and killing their soldiers?

Achilles said...

J. Farmer said...
@Gahrie:

You've ably knocked down a set of strawmen once again. Bravo.

Stop using straw men to knock down Farmer’s straw men.

Gahrie said...

Nothing your saying is remotely connected to anything I have ever said or argued.

You don't have arguments, you deliver sermons.

langford peel said...

I have to say that the anti-Christian attacks on Vice President Pence are really over the top.

I wish there was a Christain who could respond and point out how terrible this anti-Christain bigotry in the Media and Hollywood.

We just don't have that person.

We need to fight fire with fire.

J. Farmer said...

@Bad Lieutenant:

The fact that they serve our interests (however equivocally), whereas DPRK is an existential foe, is not important to you, because your heart is pure.

Please explain which of "our interests" is served by Saudi Arabia. Also, North Korea does not pose an "existential" threat to America. There are really only two states--China and Russia--that pose what could be called an existential threat to America. Yet, no one seems worried that they will destroy us. Why? While the North Koreans could inflict a significant blow to America (and be destroyed in response) they could not destroy the country.

The only thing you seem consistent in, is that the US may not take action against its enemies, and has no friends.

Depends on how we are defining "enemies" and what those "actions" are. Yes, I am consistently opposed to stupid American military adventurism that does not involve vital American interests. I am also consistently opposed to threat inflation. To quote Daniel Larsion writing in The American Conservative: "Threat inflation is one of the most pervasive and harmful parts of our foreign policy discourse. Manageable threats are blown out of proportion, deterrable adversaries are transformed into irrational, unstoppable menaces, and limited dangers are exaggerated beyond recognition. That not only encourages ever-higher levels of unnecessary military spending, but it also generates unwarranted fear about the security of the country."

I would say that is a nice summation of my view of American foreign policy.

We're trying to understand your actual motivations here.

Who cares? That is an ad hominem fallacy. Even if I was motivated 100% by irrational, rabid anti-Americanism, it would make no difference to the validity of any argument I made.

I'd settle for an understanding of the future world your policies would bring about, or seek to bring about. That would define you without putting you to the trouble of giving a name to yourself.

I have defined my political worldview many times on this blog. I am an America First nationalist and have been that way for nearly 20 years. As I have disclosed before, my first vote in a presidential election was in 2000 for Pat Buchanan.

Gahrie said...

We tried isolationism a couple of time already...it didn't work.

J. Farmer said...

@Achilles:

Stop using straw men to knock down Farmer’s straw men.

Identity a single straw man I have invoked? Whose arguments do you believe I am not reconstructing faithfully?

Except for the fact that North Korea is run by a family of insane people who believe they are gods.

If they are so obsessed with survival, why do they regularly provoke the United States and South Korea by attacking them and killing their soldiers?


There is zero evidence that Kim Jung-in is "insane." Cruel and brutal, yes, but that does not mean he is irrational. And to answer your second question, regime survival is not at stake in those skirmishes. Both sides no it, because neither side has an appetite for war.

To return a question to you, if deterrence cannot work against the North, why has it worked thus far? What has stopped Kim from unleashing artillery fire against Seoul, or marching an army across the DMZ?

Gahrie said...

To return a question to you, if deterrence cannot work against the North, why has it worked thus far? What has stopped Kim from unleashing artillery fire against Seoul, or marching an army across the DMZ?

Bribes from us and the Chinese.

JaimeRoberto said...

"No doubt he would execute his perceived enemies if he thought he could get away with it". Perhaps it's true, and perhaps the same could be said of all his predecessors. Power has a way of corrupting people. Good thing we have a Constitution that restrains the power of the President. A number of courts have ruled against Trump's actions. How many of those rulings has he ignored? You'd think the people complaining now would be a little more appreciative of that old document.

J. Farmer said...

@Gahrie:

We tried isolationism a couple of time already...it didn't work.

First, nobody is talking about "isolationism." That's just a lazy slur hurled at people on the anti-interventionist side. Second, America has never really "tried isolationism." That is a bit of a folk myth. To quote George C. Herring, author of From Colony to Superpower, "The idea of an isolationist America, still included in some textbooks, is one of the great myths of United States history. For good reasons, the nation for its first century and a half did pursue a unilateralist foreign policy, avoiding alliances that would restrict its freedom of action or entangle it in wars. But it was never strictly isolationist." You can also see The Myth of American Isolationism

langford peel said...

As a fellow Buchanite I agree wholeheartedly with brother Farmer.

America has no permanent allies only permanent interests.

We have no permanent enemies only permanent interests.

We should withdraw from Asia and leave it as a Chinese sphere of influence. Throw the Japs a few nukes and let them remilitarize. They can be the Asian Israel.

The rest of them can fend for themselves. They don't have resources we want to exploit so let them fight like crabs in a bucket. Don't send our boys to die for some coolie who hates our guts anyway.

We can make economic deals with China. Let the Norks be their problem. We gain nothing by being involved. This Game of Thrones bullshit is so 1800's. Rudyard Kipling has been dead for a long fucking time.

America First.

Gahrie said...

Second, America has never really "tried isolationism."

I bet Communism has never been really tried either, has it?

langford peel said...

George Washington believed in isolationism. He preached it. He recommended it. It served us well until Woodrow Wilson decided to choose to prop up the British Empire.

Which brought us the twin delights of the Nazi's and the Communists.

J. Farmer said...

@Gahrie:

Bribes from us and the Chinese.

Accepting that answer would mean jettisoning your formulation of an insane, irrational actor. It would be very unusual for insane, irrational people to be motivated by economic or material self-interest if you do not believe they are motivated to by self-preservation.

langford peel said...

You war mongers must be happy that we just killed a bunch of Russians in Syria. To protect some Kurds.

Maybe that can kick off a war so Bill Kristol and Jonah Goldberg can come in their pants.

langford peel said...

Plus it proves that Trump is a puppet of Putin......or something.

J. Farmer said...

@Gahrie:

I bet Communism has never been really tried either, has it?

That's a complete non sequitur. You're obviously not familiar with the book I referenced or the article I linked. I know of no major expert in American diplomatic history who believes the "isolationist" urban legend. But again, if you want to criticize the argument, make a counterargument. So, for example, perhaps you can describe to us a period of American foreign policy that was "isolationist."

Jupiter said...

Blogger J. Farmer said...

"But so long as we're pulling hypotethicals out of our asses, why not worry about an American city being destroyed by a Chinese nuke? Or a Pakistani nuke? Or a Russian nuke? Or hell even an Indian nuke?"

I worry a fair amount about the Chi-Coms and the Russians, but those trains have left the station, and at present those countries appear to be deterred. Pakistan, India, Israel, all have nukes, but they do not appear to be attempting to develop ICBMs that would enable them to use those weapons against us. Iran and North Korea are attempting to develop the ability to attack us, and have expressed the intention of doing so when and if possible.

Jupiter said...

Blogger J. Farmer said...
"... North Korea has prioritized regime survival above and beyond nearly every other consideration. Hence, they are one of the most diplomatically isolated countries in the world. The notion that they would prioritize such survival and then immediately launch a nuclear weapon that would get them nothing but utter destruction in return is absurdity."

As you point out, North Korea prioritizes *REGIME* survival. The US has never posed a potential threat to the Nork regime, so long as they have their Chi-Com protectors. But that has not prevented the regime from pursuing nuclear weapons and ICBMs. And if you really believe that their frequent military attacks against South Korea and their campaign of espionage against Japan are indications that they are "deterred", you are as crazy as they are. The fact that they express their desire for survival in a way that isolates them diplomatically simply shows that they are dangerously out of touch with reality.

Bottom line, the Norks do what they do for internal reasons that make no sense whatsoever to anyone else. Yet you are prepared to bet several American cities on their sanity. What is sane about the Norks? Torturing cheerleaders? Compulsory attendance at public executions? Kidnapping expeditions to Japan?

langford peel said...

Good idea. Lets have a war. On the doorstep of China. That worked out great the last time.

What could go wrong?

langford peel said...

Neocons never saw a war they didn't want to start.

I pray that President Trump can resist the siren calls of the globalists like Kelly and McMasters.

He was not elected to start a war. In fact he was explicit in the fact that he didn't want to be Bush and start another war to save the bacon of some other country.

He needs to put America first.

Gahrie said...

It would be very unusual for insane, irrational people to be motivated by economic or material self-interest if you do not believe they are motivated to by self-preservation.

So your position is that we shouldn't expect irrational and insane people to behave insanely or irrationally?

Jupiter said...

langford peel said...

"We should withdraw from Asia and leave it as a Chinese sphere of influence. Throw the Japs a few nukes and let them remilitarize. They can be the Asian Israel.

The rest of them can fend for themselves. They don't have resources we want to exploit so let them fight like crabs in a bucket. Don't send our boys to die for some coolie who hates our guts anyway."

The problem is that the Norks are building ICBMs that can reach America. And North Korea is an increasingly unstable regime. I suspect that the last few American administrations have placed their hopes on that latter point, and perhaps justifiably. But it no longer appears likely that the regime will collapse before it has ICBMs capable of reaching the US. And once it has them, we can no longer regard the regime's instability as someone else's problem.

langford peel said...

If we pull our hostages out of South Korea and scale back our commitment then the cause belli of the Norks really goes away. It seems that the South Koreans love them some Nork like it was dog meat or something. Lets leave them to work it out under the benevolent gaze of the Chinese. It should be their sphere of influence anyway. Our supply line is way to long to get in a war on the land mass of Asia. Again.

The absolute worse thing that could happen is that South Korea's economy turns to shit so we have one less trading rival. I mean are we worried about them becoming communists or something? The communists have become our best trading partners.

Jupiter said...

langford peel said...
"Good idea. Lets have a war. On the doorstep of China. That worked out great the last time.

What could go wrong?"

Two things; we could fail to destroy the nukes, and we could get into a shooting war with the Chinese. I would say that those dangers are exaggerated and manageable.

Jupiter said...

I suppose I left out the possibility that some idiot will decide we need to rebuild North Korea as a democracy. That is a worrisome thought.

Jupiter said...

langford peel said...
"If we pull our hostages out of South Korea and scale back our commitment then the cause belli of the Norks really goes away."

Hmmmm... in the not-distant future, everyone in North America will be a hostage to North Korean ICBMs. Where do you propose to relocate us to? Are you confident that a unilateral American show of weakness will convince the Norks to stop building ICBMs?

Sebastian said...

"See, this proves Farmer right: the left really does hate Kim.

What I did say, however, is that large majorities of the American public have very negative views of North Korea."

Hey, man, you were right: your "large majorities" just include the concerned left, so concerned that they hate Kim as much as Trump. Which means they really, really hate him. As you correctly stated about the American public in general.

langford peel said...

There is always a reason for the Neocons to start a war.

I remember how Saddam was going to take over the Oil Supply and choke our economy. What did we get out of that?

Al Qaeda. The Taliban. ISIS. 911.

When if we had just let Saddam topple the House of Saud at worst we would have spent more on gas until we got our fracking going. At best he would have settled Iran's hash or they would have been fighting it out these past few decades killing each other instead of the thousands of the best of our country being killed or wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan with no end in sight.

Now the same geniuses in the Deep State that brought us Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan say we have to do something about North Korea. Because they might someday develop ICBMs.

Maybe they will use those ICBMS to kill and eat Belgium babies or something.

Unknown said...

The problem here is categorical thinking. It cannot be true that one harbors some small hint of racism: he is a pure racist, same as Hitler. It cannot be true that a politician, for perhaps dubious reasons (like getting elected) does good things: everything he touches is impure.
I tend to view politicians as all deranged narcissists, yet am happy to give credit when they do something I like (which I do not define as "good", merely my policy preference).

langford peel said...

"Hmmmm... in the not-distant future, everyone in North America will be a hostage to North Korean ICBMs. Where do you propose to relocate us to? Are you confident that a unilateral American show of weakness will convince the Norks to stop building ICBMs? "

So weakness is the problem? What's the matter are you worried about the size of your dick.

Look we need to treat this the way the cops are treating Baltimore. Pull back your patrols and let the natives fight it out. If they venture out you smash them. If they actually develop ICBMS you tell the Chinks to intervene or you bomb them back to the Stone Age. But don't leave our troops there as a trip wire. As hostages. Let the Koreans stand on their own too feet. The Japs too. We don't have to be the worlds policeman.

Lets worry about Americans. Screw the Koreans. Let them eat dog.

langford peel said...

Sorry on their own two feet.

Bound feet if it comes to that.

Sebastian said...

"No, as I'd admit I was terribly, miserably, pathetically wrong."

I have no problem with a realist approach that assesses state interest in terms of an absolute preference for regime survival.

I do have a problem with discounting the threat posed by nuclear weapons entirely. The old conventional deterrence is one thing; we could live with it, but also made it an overriding goal of our policy to prevent nuclearization. The conventional deterrence held, but the antinuclear policy failed.

That presents a new situation and a new problem, not simply same old same old. By raising the potential costs of misjudging NK, of being "wrong," Kim forces us to respond. The initial response should be tightening sanctions, as it is. But a long-term threat against the U.S., by Kim or an "irrational" replacement, is not acceptable.

No fair citing Herring--one of my favorite books of American history.

J. Farmer said...

@Jupiter:

Pakistan, India, Israel, all have nukes, but they do not appear to be attempting to develop ICBMs that would enable them to use those weapons against us.

This is not true. India already has an ICBM, the so called Agni missile, and is attempting to develop longer range ICBMs as well as submarine-launched capability. Israel also has an ICBM, the Jericho 3, and Pakistan is attempting to develop one, the so called Taimur missile, though there is some skepticism about how far along this project is.

The US has never posed a potential threat to the Nork regime, so long as they have their Chi-Com protectors.

First, the US has 25,000 troops in South Korea, has a mutual defense pact with South Korea, and coordinates and integrates military services. It is expected that the North would perceived that as a threat. If China signed a treaty with Mexico, stationed troops in Mexico, and began integrating the Mexican military with their own, we would (rightly) consider that a highly provocative act.

Second, I think it is wrong to believe that North Korea sees China as their "protectors." For one, Korea has a long history, of which it is acutely aware, of being a vassal state to China. There are significant issues between the two countries and the arrangement is largely one of shared interests.

And if you really believe that their frequent military attacks against South Korea and their campaign of espionage against Japan are indications that they are "deterred", you are as crazy as they are.

Let me respond to that by way of an example. The fact that the US and the Soviet Union engaged in sabotage and espionage between each other does not mean that the two sides were not "deterred" from going to war with each other. Because they were. Similarly, North Korean's provocative actions are not evidence that they are not deterred. If anything, they are evidence for deterrence. North Korea has to rely on such provocations because it knows it has no recourse to larger military engagement. A question I ask repeatedly is what has kept North Korea from firing artillery into Seoul or sending its forces across the DMZ?

Bottom line, the Norks do what they do for internal reasons that make no sense whatsoever to anyone else. Yet you are prepared to bet several American cities on their sanity.

Your first sentence is not true. There are plenty of resources available that provide reporting and commentary on North Korea. Yes, a lot of the regime is shrouded in secrecy, but the major motives and strategic desires are pretty well understood. And as for the notion of betting "several American cities," you're already betting the entire country (if not the world) that Russia and China will not launch. Should we make denuclearization of Russia and China a major part of US foreign policy?

And North Korea is an increasingly unstable regime.

What is the evidence that the regime is "increasingly unstable?"

But it no longer appears likely that the regime will collapse before it has ICBMs capable of reaching the US.

So it is "increasingly unstable" but "no longer appears likely" to collapse. Okay. If the regime did collapse, why would we presume the outcome would automatically be something better?

I would say that those dangers are exaggerated and manageable.

Except historically the "dangers" of war tend to be systemically understated prior to the engagement of conflict. See, for example, Americans at the start of the Civil War, Europeans at the start of WWII, and Americans again in North Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria.

J. Farmer said...

@Sebastian:

I do have a problem with discounting the threat posed by nuclear weapons entirely.

Entirely? When did I say they posed no threat? I said that the threat is overstated. That this overstated threat is used to justify the US continuing to pursue a counterproductive approach to the problem is all the more worrying. And given America's recent propensity for jumping head first into military conflicts to solve international problems, we should be very apprehensive about behavior that takes us closer down that path with North Korea.

The old conventional deterrence is one thing; we could live with it, but also made it an overriding goal of our policy to prevent nuclearization. The conventional deterrence held, but the antinuclear policy failed.

The "old conventional deterrence" worked at a time when the world was significantly more dangerous than it is now. The "antinuclear policy failed" decades ago. That is not a new situation. From China and Israel's acquisition in the mid-1960s, to India and Pakistan's in the late 1990s, to North Korea's now. That said, there has been some denuclearization (e.g. Kazakhstan, Ukraine, South Africa, etc.).

By raising the potential costs of misjudging NK, of being "wrong," Kim forces us to respond. The initial response should be tightening sanctions, as it is. But a long-term threat against the U.S., by Kim or an "irrational" replacement, is not acceptable.

The sanctions route has historically been a failure. North Korea is already one of the most sanctioned and isolated countries in the world. The best way for deescalating the situation remains diplomatic engagement in which the US is prepared to offer some significant concessions to the North Koreans in exchange for limitations on their nuclear weapon capacity.

Gahrie said...

The absolute worse thing that could happen is that South Korea's economy turns to shit so we have one less trading rival.

Yeah the death and enslavement of millions of people, and the increase in power to and insane and evil family isn't worth thinking about.....

Gahrie said...

The best way for deescalating the situation remains diplomatic engagement in which the US is prepared to offer some significant concessions to the North Koreans

How about a billion a year,an NBA expansion team, most favored trading status, and they get to host the next world cup?

Oh and we turn over to them Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

Gahrie said...

What is the evidence that the regime is "increasingly unstable?"

For once I agree with J. Farmer.

That family went as completely batshit crazy as it is possible to get long ago.......

Jupiter said...

J. Farmer,

I'll just start with this one;

"North Korea has to rely on such provocations because it knows it has no recourse to larger military engagement."

Rely on them for what? For obtaining it's minimum daily requirement of dead foreigners? If North Korea's actions make sense, it is only in terms of some inscrutable internal power dynamic. What North Korean "interest" is served by continually provoking the US and South Korea? Why are you certain that this interest will continue to be served by random minor attacks that kill what you regard as an acceptable number of the rest of us?

Sebastian said...

"the threat is overstated." Same difference.

The problem is the threat has increased, hence the potential costs have increased, hence our calculations must adapt. Since the potential costs have increased, including the cost of mere error on our part or theirs, the relative benefit of a new containment regime or of regime removal has increased as well. Which is, of course, not to discount other costs attending those actions.

But diplomatic engagement has failed just as miserably as sanctions. The previous "exchanges" did nothing to deescalate. SK tried sunshine.

Of course, the point of the previous exchanges was to prevent nuclearization. Now the goalpost are being moved to "limit" them. That is not encouraging.

If the Norks calculate that they need nuclear weapons as the ultimate regime protector, then no concessions will limit that existential tool. We may make concessions anyway, if only because we may decide it is the least-costly near-term step, but precedent does not inspire confidence.

langford peel said...


"Yeah the death and enslavement of millions of people, and the increase in power to and insane and evil family isn't worth thinking about."

Hey there goes those Huns eating Babies in Saddam's rape rooms again.

It is not our problem. America can not be the policeman of the world. That's how you get Iraq and Afghanistan. Thousands or perhaps even millions of dead if we go to a nuclear war with Korea.

So a bunch of Koreans are being held down by a crazy evil family? Let them rise up and gain their freedom on their own. That is the only way they will value it. If we expend American lives they will just spit in our face.

Do you want to invade Iran to stop that evil regime? Venezuela? Cuba? China? Syria? Russia? Pakistan?

You want to worry about an evil and insane family you should worry about the Kardashians.

Jupiter said...

What is the evidence that the regime is "increasingly unstable?"

Hmmmm... I see your point. One might suppose that a regime that puts large numbers of its citizens into concentration camps and subjects the remainder to intense deprivation and even starvation while executing senior military officers for imaginary crimes with anti-aircraft guns is necessarily unstable, but they've been at it for three generations now, who's to say they won't make it to four? Nonetheless, I think the intelligence consensus has been that the regime is unstable, and past administrations have unwisely relied upon that as a justification for a wait-and-see approach to a deeply problematic situation.

In any case, the regime strikes me as deeply precarious, and I think it strikes KJU the same way. His apparent irrationality is partly just his personal insanity, but is also a result of the insane pressures he lives under. He has to know that he is surrounded by people who would love to kill him, which is why he kills so many of them. If you want to argue that this is his problem and not ours, well, OK. Until he gets those ICBMs working. What's that, a year? Or is it a month? Remember, the way he deals with anxiety is by killing unarmed people with military weapons.

Gahrie said...

It is not our problem.

Apparently neither was Hitler or Stalin.

I mean fuck'em if they aren't American, amiright?

It's just this type of tribalism that is most what is wrong with this world.

langford peel said...

Hitler and Stalin came about because we got involved in World War One.otherwise the Zkrauts wold have won.

I mean how many Belgian babies could they eat anyway.

Unintended consequences.

Sure lets get rid of the Shah of Iran. He is part of an evil and insane family enslaving millions. The Deep State says he had to go.

What could go wrong?

langford peel said...

Listen the Deep State is always right in these matters.

They have Top Men analyzing this.

Top Men I tell ya!

langford peel said...

We should listen to what the Deep State has to say.

Then do the exact opposite.

J. Farmer said...

@Jupiter:

What North Korean "interest" is served by continually provoking the US and South Korea?

The most obvious is for both extern and internal power dynamics, like pretty much every other country's foreign policy. I agree that internal dynamics are more inscrutable due to the high levels of secrecy and state control of the channels of communication. But it is clear that the North Koreans clearly do not desire a major war with the South. The South Koreans do not desire this, either. Thus they are locked in a tense battle.

But diplomatic engagement has failed just as miserably as sanctions. The previous "exchanges" did nothing to deescalate. SK tried sunshine.

That is not true, and I would refer you to 5 Myths on Nuclear Diplomacy with North Korea by the Arms Control Association.

Of course, the point of the previous exchanges was to prevent nuclearization. Now the goalpost are being moved to "limit" them. That is not encouraging.

It is not encouraging, but it is manageable. This is not a brand new development. North Korea has been a nuclear power now for more than a decade.

@Gahrie:

How about a billion a year,an NBA expansion team, most favored trading status, and they get to host the next world cup?

No, the really big chips to put on the table are removal of US troops from the DMZ, withdraw from the ROK-US mutual defense pact, and an end to joint military drills. Personally I'd be happy if all those occurred, but even if they didn't, they'd be a good carrot to dangle in front of the North. The notion that the North Koreans must commit to denuclearization before talks begin is an absurdity. Who would begin a negotiation by immediately conceding the most important point as a precursor?

J. Farmer said...

@Gahrie:

It's just this type of tribalism that is most what is wrong with this world.

Complaining about "tribalism" makes about as much sense as complaining about testosterone and estrogen. It exists, and there is no sense of going away on any kind of meaningful timescale. I know this for one simple reason. Do you prioritize the welfare of your immediate family over the welfare of strangers? If so, you're tribal. Tribalism and political borders are the reason for the nation-state. A foreign policy based on a desire to eradicate tribalism would be the greatest folly we could engage in.

Gahrie said...

No, the really big chips to put on the table are removal of US troops from the DMZ, withdraw from the ROK-US mutual defense pact, and an end to joint military drills

So abandon an ally to attempt to placate an aggressive murderous dictator....sounds like a winning plan.

I guess we've missed a lot of such chances...think of all the goodwill we could have earned selling Hitler Zyklon - B!

Anonymous said...

"They really believe this stuff, folks. Such is the depth of their hatred and delusion."

I don't think so. If they really believed it, they wouldn't be so quick to shoot off at the mouth. They'd be afraid.

Sebastian said...

"it is manageable" As far as I can tell, no one is saying it isn't "manageable." The question is how to manage.

The point is that there is a new situation, the previous "exchanges" (among other steps) having failed to prevent nuclearization. The old policy failed in one of its primary goals; we have to learn from that failure. The calculations that informed the old deterrence have to change, as the risks have increased. The old policy failed in part for the main reason associated with the factor you have stressed (correctly), namely that regime survival is paramount. Nuclear weapons are a rogue regime's ultimate blackmail tool.

The problem is not simply one of weighing costs and benefits. The nature of the parties' preferences also comes into play. While our main preference is to avoid war and to avoid catastrophe for our friends in South Korea, we have a subsidiarily preference for a situation without blackmail, without threats, without the recurring cost of having to guard against NK--and, in view of the very negative opinion of the American public someone around here stressed, without a regime that turns its own country into a concentration camp. Doesn't mean we let our missiles fly tomorrow, but it does mean that "managing" the problem in a way that lets it fester is less than optimal.

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