Morning Ed: Politics {2017.08.21.M}


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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99 Responses

  1. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Po2: When liberals sit back and ignore the Rightists with civility people see us as wimps and when we are in a fighting mood and go out to protest the Rightists we become revolutionary thugs. What does Mr. Moser want us to do? History has repeatedly demonstrated that showing spine to authoritarians does actually work as a tactic. This was true from the Battle of Cable Street to the present.

    Po5: Links to something about typewriters.

    Po6: I find myself being entirely unsympathetic towards both sides of this argument. I agree that there are way too many occupational licenses and many of them are for jobs that do not really require a license. Yet, the arguments about unleashing entrepreneurialism by getting rid of licensing seem dumb to me. Most people don’t want to be entrepreneurs. They want a decent job with good pay and benefits. Any entrepreneurialism unleashed by gutting licensing will be only because people don’t have any better options.

    Po7: In all white groups, the Republicans are still favored though. Finns seem to be undergoing the transformation that other rural dwellers in the United States have politically.

    Po9: The only way to win elections is through my policy proposals.Report

    • Avatar Kimmi says:

      So, um, when there are racists actively recruiting for militias in Detroit, what the fuck do you want black folks to do?
      It’s all well and good to call for showing spine, but America’s a big place, and that attitude might just get you killed a lot of places. Pretty Bird Woman House may ring a bell there.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      Arguably, it discourages the entrepreneur who would have taken on the risks of organizing a service company, doing the advertising, matching walkers and walkees, raising the whole thing up to the point that walkers could have paid time off and other benefits. Make it too difficult to hire workers and the risks are too great.

      If the industry could become sufficiently established, workers will spend their own money to get certified — hair stylists generally spend their own money to get certified, knowing that it will get them a (at least low-end) job at a business started by an entrepreneur (Fantastic Sam’s, Sports Clips, etc). Related to your observation, very few people go to cosmo school so that they can start their own business — they go so they can get a job at someone else’s business.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


        Hairdressing is even more odd because a lot of people end up “renting’ chairs from an established salon and are independent contractors.

        I think another issue here is when is safety involved or not. Perhaps there are too many training hours required to become a spa worker, a stylist, and/or barber (all different things) but all these professions do involve using potentially dangerous chemicals and substances near humans so some training should be required.

        Another thing here is that I think Americans don’t realize how fantastically weird they are compared to the rest of the world (or at least the Anglo-European world in this regard). Americans love the idea of the middle school or high school babysitter left alone with kids for a few hours to earn some spending cash and responsibility. When talking to people from countries that are not the United States, their reaction to this is “Are you nuts?” They seem to think it is perfectly natural for people to need training to be left alone with kids for a few hours or more.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq says:

          National mythology might explain the difference between the United States and the rest of the Western world on this matter. Generations of Americans were reared on daring tales of hard work and entrepreneurialism; of young people who worked hard and had an idea and grew wealthy because of their effort. They even used to make movies about Young Edison, Young Ford, or Young Carnegie although they usually took care to tone down their more venal motives and aggressive business behavior. Edison was a shameless self-promoter but most movie Edisons come across as modest.

          I’m relatively sure that none of my French friends or most European kids were raised on daring commercial adventure tales regardless of their class. Most of them probably received a more socialist take on capitalism and entrepreneurialism than the average American child. This might make them less hostile to the idea of licensing.Report

        • Avatar dragonfrog says:

          a lot of people end up “renting’ chairs from an established salon and are independent contractors.

          That seems to be a fairly common model – I know of that setup via friends of mine who are massage therapists, tattooists, psychologists, dance instructors, and yoga instructors.Report

          • Avatar aaron david says:

            Regular barbers also. This allows them to develop their own client lists, move around from shop to shop for better business, allows shops to attract different artists and most importantly, seems to work.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        Even if you get rid of the cost of licensing by eliminating licensing, there is still a lot of upfront investment necessary to set up about any type of shop and like my brother noted, there are often safety concerns when it comes to why these regulations exist.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

          Here we go again…

          Just because there is a health or safety issue to consider does not always necessitate training or licensing. Not all licensing is wrong or bad, but often the requirements or costs are excessive because the licensing requirements were produced in conjunction with established interests.

          Each case should be looked at one it’s own merits.

          Is there a significant health or safety issue that needs addressing, something outside the norm? Everything we do has a potential health and safety issue that can be imagined, but not every such issue requires hours of in-person training and testing.

          Have their been significant complaints* by customers that would indicate a problem with entrepreneurs that should be addressed by licensing?
          *Actual complaints from verified customers, not complaints by established parties looking to generate drama.


    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      Po6 – And yet, if there are no better options, should we not make sure the barrier to creating better options is not set onerously high?Report

    • Avatar George Turner says:

      Po7: Why are Italians white while “Latinos” aren’t? Wouldn’t Italians be more Latin than Latinos?Report

    • Avatar Koz says:

      Po2: When liberals sit back and ignore the Rightists with civility people see us as wimps and when we are in a fighting mood and go out to protest the Rightists we become revolutionary thugs. What does Mr. Moser want us to do?

      I dunno, if we only have two choices I like wimp liberals better.Report

  2. Avatar Damon says:

    [Po2] Interesting read. Could this all be a massive troll? The election, etc.? You can’t make this shit up. Nice going lefties—losing your shit over a few nut jobs. I AM waiting, though, for the inevitable. It’s when some whack job from either side is being attached and one party draws a gun. Then we’ll see what kid of war develops.

    [Po6] We don’t need to demonstrate the benefit..we just need to say “it’s for your health and safety”. Now obey like a good little drone. Oh, and @leeesq, I think the “benefit” of less regulation is a nebulous….I’m anti reg for the simple fact that it’s no one’s else’s business and the ‘excused” used are, on their face, bullshit. It’s a money grab.Report

    • Avatar Kimmi says:

      re: Po2. You should see the coverage outta Pittsburgh. There was supposed to be an alt-right protest at Google — well, the alt-right canceled, so the black community showed up to have a march and a party. “We live here, and we’re fixing things” was a lot of the message out of the news stories. (Also “Thanks for showing up, media! We know you came to hear hate, and we don’t have it for you.” — also highlighting intensive outreach by the Police Force, and a horde of religious folks downtown from every faith there to pray for folks.)Report

    • Avatar bookdragon says:

      A few nutjobs? You must be a WASP, so nobody at school has been telling your 12 yr old that Hitler was right he should take a trip to an oven. That happened to me this year. And I heard the same story from a number of friends in other local school districts.

      These nutjobs have been crawling out from under their rocks all year, and for some of us it’s a real problem.Report

      • Avatar Damon says:

        Nope, not a WASP. Baptized Episcopalian, not that it matters (that was only to get into a local elementary school). Background is more Dutch than Anglo Saxon. And I don’t have kids–I never wanted them. If you’re going to insult me, my heritage, and my politics, I suggest you read Saul’s posts. His, while still off the mark, at least come closer.

        Best way to create more of a problem is to go full on reaction mode. Just like the article said, the left’s violent reaction to the KKK and the the rest just feeds the fire. But hey, keep stoking the fire. When you seem to only have one weapon in the arsenal, you gotta use it. Rethinking tactics? That’s insane!

        I’m sorry your kid got harassed at school. I know what that’s like. Maybe he should have popped the other kid in the mouth?

        “These nut jobs have been crawling out from under their rocks all year, and for some of us it’s a real problem”. I sympathize. I’ve been living with the nut jobs on the other side of the political fence for 30 years.Report

        • Avatar bookdragon says:

          **rolls eyes**

          Dutch Episcopalian vs WASP is a difference w/o a distinction in terms of whether Nazis target you, although I suppose it explains why you just don’t get how someone whose grandparents knew cousins who died the Holocaust would feel genuinely threatened by these things.

          Germany ignored the rise of this kind of hate. It did not end well.Report

          • Avatar Will Truman says:

            Yeah, Dutch Episcopalian is as close to being WASP as you can get without being of straight British lineage.Report

          • Avatar Damon says:

            I can be a bit pedantic can’t I? But, hey, I have no moral code ’cause I’m an atheist.

            Yes yes….ignoring a bunch of kkk and alt right racists is going to lead to another 6 million jews dead in another decade. Ok. So pick up your gun and go shoot some racists protesters. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Go “solve” the problem.Report

          • Avatar Mark van H says:

            Germany did not ignore this kind of hate. Violent confrontations between right wing groups and left wing groups were not exactly uncommon.

            There is a case to be made that the violence and threats of revolution on the left made the Nazi takeover possible.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      PO2 – I can’t remember where I read it (here or FB), but this old saying is spot on:

      If you wrestle with pigs in the mud, you’ll both get dirty, but the pig is actually enjoying itself.Report

    • Avatar George Turner says:

      Antifa declares: ‘F**k Your F***ing Constitution, We’re Here to Punch Nazis’
      They turn on non-violent protesters for not rioting with them.

      It’s dripping with goodness.

      In Texas a BLMer confronted antifa. They accused him of being a cop.

      The left is set to have a race war without inviting anybody else.Report

  3. Avatar Will Truman says:

    P5 had the wrong hyperlink, so I replaced it with a different (and more timely) item. The other item will (re)appear when I track down the appropriate link.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      Jesse Signal is right in that hitting Nazis in non-self defense is unprovoked assault and your also dealing with people looking for a fight and an excuse to be violent. Aggressive confrontation like we saw on Sunday in Boston is a good thing. Fascists need to know that they are morally wrong and that we do not stand for their bigotry as a country.Report

      • Avatar George Turner says:

        Except that no fascists showed up in Boston. They just skipped that one. Lot’s of antifa violence aimed at police though, and of course at Jews.Report

        • Avatar The Question says:

          Hey just because only 50 Nazis were able to show up at that Bandstand versus the thousands of anti-fascist protesters don’t mean to Nazis didn’t show up George it does means as a lot less Nazis than they thought also the Nazis a gigantic pussies, because they have cancelled 67 other Freedom rallies after seeing how much more people show up for the anti-fascist cause way to grow the other side guys.Report

          • Avatar George Turner says:

            Yes, but that vast pool of antifa people are great recruiting grounds for the Nazis.

            Man stabbed by antifa mob outside home for not condemning Nazis hard enough

            A Vermont man says he was stabbed outside his home by a group of five masked men armed with box cutters on Tuesday, after being labeled a “Nazi sympathizer” for denouncing attempts to ruin the life of a Unite the Right rally attendee — even though he himself strongly disavows white supremacy.

            The victim, Sam Wormer, who identifies as neither right or left, is so concerned about the divide in the country that even after being attacked he wasn’t sure that his story should be told. Leftist friends of his confirmed to Big League Politics that he frequently sticks up for “marginalized members of the community.”

            Ryan Roy, 28, appeared in the Vice News episode on the events over the weekend in Charlottesville. He was promptly doxed on Twitter and a social media campaign made sure that he was fired from his job at Pizzeria Uno. Additionally, the internet mob called child protective services in an effort to have his young baby removed from his care.

            So, who is this Nazi?

            “He would attend anti-war rallies. He was very left — like anti-Republican, very progressive, very liberal, very anti-Christian,” Wormer recalled of Roy.

            The paper reported that Wormer also remembered Roy being part of the “fringe crowd” and as someone who would always stick up for people who were being bullied. Another man who knew Roy confirmed this to Big League Politics — and added that he is also an “ex goth.”

            There’s little daylight between the Nazis and the antifa activists who are fighting them. They’re interchangeable socialist/anarchist thugs who need to coordinate with each other so the protests and counter protests are better balanced.Report

          • Avatar George Turner says:

            It turns out the people in the bandstand weren’t Nazis, they were a diverse bunch of free speech advocates.

            WRKO story

            The listed speakers at the Free Speech rally were a diverse group; none of them comes close to being a KKK-style supremacist or Nazi. One of them was Rinaldo Del Gallo, a First Amendment lawyer and supporter of Bernie Sanders. He is a progressive, who believes in free speech. So is Bernie a neo-Nazi now? Another one was Donnie Palmer, a veteran and professional boxer. He is also an African-American. He is from Dorchester, and his big issue is the need to discuss openly about the scourge of crime and drugs infesting our inner cities. So is a black man, who is pro-law and order, a white supremacist now? Another one was Shiva Ayyadurai, an Indian-American businessman. He is a constitutionalist running for the GOP nomination to challenge Sen. Elizabeth Warren. To put it crudely: Is a brown-skinned man, who supports the Bill of Rights, now a white supremacist? Or take Samson Racioppi, a Libertarian candidate for Congress. His issue is the need for limited government and maximizing personal freedoms. Are libertarians now Nazis? Another was Garret Kirkland, an anti-war and pro-civil liberties activist. His main issue is opposition to military intervention in Syria, and how free speech is critical for the anti-war movement to get its message out. Are anti-war activists now members of the KKK?

            In the eyes of the media, the leftist counter-demonstrators and Walsh, the answer is clear—and chilling: yes. The massive protests achieved its goal. Free speech was shut down. A hate-filled mob took over the streets. And the radical Left won a decisive battle in its war against the Constitution, the First Amendment and freedom itself. That this occurred in Boston of all places—the cradle of liberty and the American Revolution—makes the Left’s triumph even more striking.

            He’s placing a lot of blame on the mayor for knowingly lying about Nazis showing up.Report

            • Avatar Damon says:

              “they were a diverse bunch of free speech advocates.”

              Nah, there were “supporters of Nazis”. The same goes for the reporters waving cameras around. “If you’re not with us, you’re as bad as they are, and you’re a Nazi”.Report

  4. Avatar notme says:

    ACLU changes it’s policy and will no longer represent groups that want to carry weapons while protesting.

    It seems odd b/c no one fired any weapons on either side of the violent C-ville protests.Report

  5. Avatar notme says:

    Demonstrators rally at City Hall to bring down Christopher Columbus statue

    Welcome to the left’s Year Zero.Report

  6. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Po2: I’m on Lee’s side here. It seems like damned if you do, dammed if you don’t for liberals and the left when it comes to going against the Klan in these essays. The anti-racist and white supremacist rallies are drawing better numbers than the racist right-wing rallies.

    Po7: I suspect that this has to do a lot with inherited politics as the article says and how much they hold true. What I think is probably lost on a lot of younger people including political types is that the turning of the “White-ethnics” into just “white” is a relatively recent event and still on-going. There are still lots of people who call themselves Irish, Italian, German, etc even if there family has been here since sometime in the 1800s and any knowledge of the home country is just as old.

    Po8: I concur that it is an insanely favorable map to the GOP in 2018. On the other hand, Trump’s polling is below 40 percent in PA, Michigan, and Wisconsin.Report

  7. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Kurt Anderson wonders whether the 60s are to blame for Trump.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      Anderson has been questioning the Counter-Culture for many years now. He is the American equivalent of Michel Houellebecq on the subject. I’m not really sure if the exact linkage though. In the interview, Anderson ultimately rests a lot of the American preponderance towards magical thinking on America’s greater religiosity and individualism but these trends existed since the Colonial Period. Americans certainly believed in a lot of strange things in greater numbers compared to other Western nations long before the first hippie came into existence. You can trace current American Far Right thought in a pretty direct line back to the colonial era. I’m not sure how the Counter-Culture made this worse besides create a secular, liberal to leftist form of it.Report

  8. Avatar Kolohe says:

    [Po9/0] I’m pretty sure these analysises of fundraising are deeply flawed, though I don’t have the time to actually prove it through data searches and cites.

    -first, RNC fundraising is almost always better than DNC fundraising, been like that forever. It’s only when that is reversed is it noteworthy.
    – Second, fundraising totals need to ‘seasonally adjuisted’ – i.e. what part of the cycle are we in, and who is in power, to determine if there is a problem, and how large is its extent.
    – Third, party committee fundraising has never been ‘small dollar’ based – a shift to small dollar base is a sign of weakness, not strength *for the national parties*.
    – Fourth, national comittee fundraising is but a part of the larger ecosystem of state and local party fundraising, candidate fundraising at all levels, and of course, of increasingly but inconsistent relevance recently, PACs and so-called super-PACs. All of which have different dynamics and most have different rules and regulations. This article (like many recently that have discussed, mostly trollingly, the Dems fundraising) shifts frames of references between these various fundraising avenues on the fly. They are *not* interchangeable.
    – Fifth, Trump might have done ‘well’ with small dollar fundraising, but his campaign *almost ran out of money* just before the convention (that’s why Lewandowski was finally fired, months assualting a journalist – from the most friendly outlet!). Trump was bailed out through a strategic and timely investment from the Mercers (the last big money that was actually giving him any credence by late summer).

    Maybe the DNC does have problems. It’s leadership churn over the past year has alnost certainly been adverse for a well run operation. But if one looks at the money that was thrown at e.g. Ossoff, it doesn’t look to me like the Democrats *as an enterprise* have much of problem getting the spice to flow.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      You may be right about national parties and the small donors thing, but if nothing else it’s important because when people hear things like “Republicans are raising more money” the give-no-inch response is that maybe so but Democrats do better with small donors.

      You may also be right about this not being indicative of much. A few people have said that GOP tends to funnel through the party and Democrats elsewhere, though I have not seen more than just an assertion about that.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        The biggest thing I think we’ve learned over the past two years (including prez primaries and post-prez election specials) is that you need ‘enough’ money, but after that point, having more money isn’t even close to the most important thing, and may not be important at all.Report

  9. Avatar Will Truman says:

    Po2: I am sympathetic to the Democrats insofar as what we’re seeing is very much what I saw more up-close-and-personal during the GOP primary. Basically, any time Trump’s critics tried anything, soft or hard personal or political, certain media people and liberals would just laugh and say “That’s not going to to work it’s only going to make him more popular.” The same happened in the general election, though there was always a defense of “But that’s okay because all we need to do is keep him from getting more support we don’t need to worry about bringing him down.

    In both cases, I was in favor of being as ruthless as possible and kitchen sinking it. I only stopped supporting that strategy when it failed. Now I’m not sure what to do, but what’s being done has not worked at any particular point. Yeah, he’s not popular but most of that is his own doing. And he seems to improve or stop the bleeding precisely at the point his critics think they have him on the ropes.

    In any event, the “we can’t win” is not specific to Democrats and I will go a step further. Almost nobody who isn’t already extremely sympathetic to Democrats believe that Democrats are wimpy for not being constantly on the attack. Nobody but people extremely sympathetic to the Democrats look at the past year and say “You know what the left’s problem is, it’s that they are too reasonable, too earnest, and too kind to their critics.”

    Pretty much only Democrats and people extremely sympathetic to them (not just anti-Republican, but pro-Democrat) believe that. That doesn’t prove that it’s wrong, but it’s a somewhat closed-loop perception.Report

  10. Avatar Pinky says:

    Po2: The author fails to put these protests and counter-protests in context. The Left has been showing up at rallies, pushing people around, handing out poorly-proofread fliers in support of dead mass murderers, and getting themselves arrested pretty much non-stop since the 1960’s. Left-wing extremists have killed more innocents than their equivalent on the Right. Now, I recognize that I could take in more context if I moved the conversation to, say, the 1920’s. There’s an argument that the Klan aspect of the story requires me to do so. But the formula of behavior fits the leftist clashes of the past 50 years.Report

    • Avatar George Turner says:

      The Klan was extremely progressive. They pushed Prohibition. And back then racial hygiene was a very progressive idea, as was Planned Parenthood. Margaret Sanger spoke at Klan events.

      The Klan also stood firmly against the primitive and backwards Catholic Church, its attempts to take over the Democratic Party, and the way it ignored the separation of church and state. They were pretty much okay with Jews, though. Hiram Evans, the KKK’s Imperial Wizard from 1922 to 1939, wrote: “The Jew’s abilities are great, he contributes much to any country where he lives. This is particularly true of the Western Jew, those of the stocks we have known so long. Their separation from us is more religious than racial. When freed from persecution these Jews have shown a tendency to disintegrate and amalgamate. We may hope that shortly, in the free atmosphere of America, Jews of this class will cease to be a problem.”

      The Klan backed its positions with science. Hiram Evans cited the works of Madison Grant. Grant was a brilliant conservationist who founded wildlife management, wrote the first deer hunting laws, helped save the bison and countless other species, co-founded the “Save the Redwoods League”, the Bronx Zoo, and Glacier National Park. He also wrote “The Passing of the Great Race” about eugenics and the need to protect Nordic stock. Hitler wrote him and said “The book is my Bible.”

      Woodrow Wilson, progressive hero, said that “The Birth of a Nation” was “history written with lightning.”

      More on the Klan

      The Klan warned about letting in immigrants who would become communists and anarchists. Now they’re being attacked by communists and anarchists.Report

  11. Avatar veronica d says:

    So I spent Friday night in Providence with my new g/f (I have a new g/f!!!!), and thus I didn’t get back to Boston until late Saturday afternoon, and in turn I missed the main demonstrations.

    Which fine, whatevs. I guess there were 20k+ anti-nazis and like 25 nazis (or whatever). Sounds about right for Boston. It was, as far as I know, entirely peaceful, at least as peaceful as an average football game or concert. So yay.

    It didn’t remain peaceful, but that leads to my story. By chance I ended up wandering through the Common around 4:30, which was about the time everything was unraveling. I wasn’t there to protest, having figured that most everyone will have gone home. But a few remained, maybe a couple dozen “antifa” types (bad ninja cosplay!), a fair amount of BLM types, some random queer-punks with colored hair (which I guess includes me), and so on. There were, in addition, maybe like three or four dumb-as-fuck nazi types who were milling around looking for trouble.

    They found trouble.

    Oh yeah, and there were riot cops. Joy.

    Anyway, I got to see some big ugly skinhead motherfucker get his skull cracked open. Lotsa blood. The cops escorted him away from a surging crowd.

    I ducked into a posh fake-Mexican place, got a window seat, ordered drinks, and watched the chaos. (Which makes me bougie as fuck I suppose.)

    I’ve heard a lot of stories: that antifa was starting shit, that the nazis were starting shit, that the cops were starting shit.

    You know what: they’re probably all true. What happens on street corner X might be different from street corner Y. The point: in any sufficiently large event, there will be many narratives. Plus, you know, if you get a lot of angry young men with surging testosterone — whether they be white power or antifa or the fucking pigs, men are men, bloody knuckles.

    I, a trans, just sat and sipped my drink. I didn’t need to fight, not that day.

    Earlier I saw a BLM guy stepping up between antifa and some nazi, trying to keep the peace. I’ve heard that happened a bunch. BLM knows how this shit looks.

    Nazis remains fucking nazis. Like seriously people. These guys are actually white power. No bullshit. No illusions.

    By the time I finished my drink, the BPD had closed off a bunch of streets around me. I asked one, hey, how can I get back to the redline. They told me.

    Did I mention I got a new g/f! It was a really good weekend for me.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      Which makes me bougie as fuck I suppose.

      Yes, it does. Downright BoBo.

      Congrats on the new g/f!Report

      • Avatar veronicad says:


        Yes, it does. Downright BoBo.

        I was afraid of that. The drink was yummy tho, and I didn’t get sprayed with tear gas or bear mace a single time.

        Congrats on the new g/f!

        Thanks 🙂Report

    • Avatar dragonfrog says:

      I hope you had a lovely Friday night with your g/f!

      I hope you also enjoyed your Saturday afternoon idiot fight show drink 🙂Report

    • Avatar North says:

      Congrats on the girlfriend! Hope it goes well!

      I don’t know why but I found it bemusing as hell that BLM is now playing the roll of the adult in the room.Report

  12. Avatar notme says:

    Stricken U.S. destroyer arrives in Singapore after collision, 10 sailors missing

    It was the USS John S. McCain.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        Another case of the Navy not running AIS in a busy commercial area.

        I suspect 7th fleet (and probably the whole Navy) is going to get some new training regarding watchstanding when not squawking AIS.Report

        • Avatar Kolohe says:

          I had thought is was standard procedure to squawk as ‘US vessel’ or ‘US military vessel’ when in innocent or transit passage; theyre in an EEZ and/or international straits there, so you’re really not supposed to act all ‘military’ unless trying to prove a point. But ive been out of the biz for a while, and AIS was just coming into widespread use as I was leaving.

          (Since the lighting configuration of a submarine on the surface at night is a bit wonky – the low stern light makes it look a lot smaller than it actually is – pirates around the Strait of Malacca would take sometimes take potshots at transiting submarines, thinking they were just small dhows until they get a lot closer)


          • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

            That was my understanding as well, and they way we operated the LCAC, there was no AIS on a hovercraft, but unless we were trying to be all stealthy (like when we were dropping SEALs off somewhere), we ran with all the lights on and the ACV light flashing so people would get an idea that a very fast vessel was moving around in the dark.

            And I remember my chief (a bosun) telling me that when we were in heavily trafficked water, you acted like every other merchie out there, unless you had a good reason not to.Report

            • Avatar Jason says:

              Those LCAC’s are pretty loud. I want to say they’d be hard to miss, but big boats can be loud as well.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Depends on the wind (and surf). If it’s calm, they are loud, but the sound easily blends into the background of a crashing surf (including the sound of a ship’s wake) or decent wind. I’ve been standing on a beach, watching a boat coming to land, and I couldn’t hear it until it was almost on top of us.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Never underestimate the ability of a rough ocean to gobble up sound. The foghorn on my grandparent’s island made the windows and the china rattle and whine but by the time you were five minutes off the coast in any kind of significant weather that horn was a soft coo over the sound of all those endless tons of tossing water.Report

  13. Avatar Kolohe says:

    It annoys me that was passes for sufficient commentary on Afghanstian in the left-center interwebz is

    1) Trump Sucks
    2) Trump made some tweets about Afghanstan a few years ago that are the opposite of what he’s going to say tonight
    3) Trump Sucks.

    (I do give credit to some commenters that talk about Erik Prince)Report

    • Avatar Kolohe says:

      You can see the seams in this speech where Miller approved parts were stitched together with McMaster approved parts. (basically any transition between something that was not explicitly using the military to smash things, and ‘we are not nation building)Report

  14. Avatar North says:

    The League’s own Freddie is hurting and hurting bad. I’m not linking because I don’t know if it isn’t like pointing people at a car crash but I’m commenting because Freddie is what brought me to the League (via Sully) way back when. Freddie says his more energetic writing is a sign of his mental difficulties rearing up. I have never seen a mental health issue present as such amazing prose. I often disagreed with him, I sometimes agreed, but either way his writing was/is just an incredible amazing thing. It seems that amazing writing rides Freddie as often as he rides it and I do not know what to say about that except I am sorry for his pain and I hope he gets better even if he can’t write again.

    I just wanted to comment on it, somewhere, well here on this site actually. I’m just 38 but finding out about it makes me feel… old… somehow. Like I’d really like to wax on about how things used to be except I’m thinking about like less than a decade ago and the things I’m feeling like waxing on about are virtual communities and virtual places. But the people were real- are real and I miss them, and am grateful for the ones still about.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:


      I learned about Freddie’s illness on LGM. They are being kind even though LGM isn’t exactly Freddie friendly face. I’ve generally agreed with Freddie except on certain subjects. He seems to be having a real bad breakdown. He needs rest and our system is designed against rest.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck says:

      I think there was some Twitter fight that got nasty and he’s having a snap-back reaction over it.

      Which some people out there are going to take as vindication, and others are going to take as a victory :\Report

      • Avatar North says:

        The twitter thing, I gather, was the last straw (here I thought I couldn’t dislike twitter more) but he’s been dealing with mental health problems for quite some time.Report

        • Avatar The Question says:

          I just want to know what part of mental illness makes you accuse somebody else of rape on TwitterReport

          • Avatar North says:

            Twitter ’nuff said.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            If I had to guess, I’d say…

            Wait. Will this be played as “WHY ARE YOU DEFENDING HIM?” instead of me explaining what part of mental illness made him make that accusation? Because I’m mansplaining, not defending.

            Anyway, if I had to guess, I’d say that he was reacting to the posting of what he saw as a McCarthyite Enemies List with his name featured prominently on it and, I’m guessing, he saw it as completely wrong that it would appear there. “How will this guy like it if I accused *HIM* of something completely out of nowhere?!?!?”, he thought. Then, in a fit of mania, he accused him of something completely out of nowhere.

            If I had to guess.Report

    • Avatar Koz says:

      I don’t all the whys and wherefores, and I’ve certainly been willing to take down people associated with the Left a peg or two, but I have tremendous respect for Freddie and what he’s written for the last five years or so.

      I fact I can only think only think of a couple associated with the Left that I’d put on Freddie’s level.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Fighting against Antifa when you are an educator is a quick way to be fighting against Antifa when you are an ex-educator.Report

      • Avatar North says:

        Oh was that what the twitter spat was over?Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          The spat began when someone on The Left Tweeted a link to this article and specifically the part where Freddie (among others) was called out by name.

          Towards the bottom, we see this paragraph:

          I’ve shown examples of the following high profile socialists ridiculing black bloc, antifa, and the broader communities engaged in direct action against white nationalists and alt-Right incursions.

          And this one:

          I’ve provided quotes as evidence that their critiques have often been disingenuous, lacking in solidarity, and poorly grounded in relevant information regarding those they were condemning. We’ll have to do better in our efforts at comradely debate and analysis.

          And shit went on to hit the fan from there.Report

          • Avatar Joe Sal says:

            Damn, I read through that and think it isn’t so much Freddie as everyone else*. I hope he unplugs from that toxic stew for awhile.

            *as in the bat shit crazy everyone elseReport

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              While there probably aren’t a whole lot of things that can be done to make things better for him, there are probably a handful of things that can be done to stop making things worse for him and Freddie stepping away is doing that latter thing.

              Best of luck to him.Report

          • Avatar North says:

            Yeah I could just write them off as left wing loons representing the outer wing of our side and a tiny fraction of the populace. Freddie couldn’t; they’re his people; poor guy. I hope he gets better.Report

            • Avatar veronica d says:

              The thing is, I suspect the author of the article is correct, even if I find that sort of material painful to read. The thing is, Freddie probably doesn’t actually know many antifa people, except maybe a few who indeed match his profile. But that is why he knows them.

              Most trans women I know are white software engineers and not POC sex workers. I wonder why?

              My point, yes Freddie knows the posh suburban kids who dabble in antifa. That doesn’t mean he knows antifa.

              Whatever Freddie’s protests, I think this is a fair criticism of him, and it matches a pattern that pervades his work. This is something that has continuously annoyed me about his analysis. Even if I agree with him about the posh white “radical” kids he pillories, I actually am a hated minority, and I think he’s a dismissive dipshit half the time.


              That said, I very much wish that antifa showed more wisdom and self-discipline in how they approached direct action. The way BLM handled the Boston protests was probably far more effective, big picture. Note, this doesn’t mean that you should never step toe-to-toe with white power. Yes, sometimes that is the right thing to do, but as I said, wisdom and discipline.

              I did enjoy watching a nazi skinhead get stomped (who wouldn’t?), but you can win battles and lose wars.


              All this said, Freddie is a human being deserving of compassion and dignity. I hope he recovers, so I can disagree with him again in the future.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                I hope he recovers, so I can disagree with him again in the future.

                Now that is how you pay a compliment!Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                My point, yes Freddie knows the posh suburban kids who dabble in antifa. That doesn’t mean he knows antifa.

                True antifa has never been implemented.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                Only true Scotsmen join antifa.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                I am not on twitter so I only know of Freddie’s opinions from what he wrote long form on his assorted websites so I’m not very familiar with his direct criticisms of Antifa as spoken on twitter (which I’m privileged enough to not need to go anywhere near thank God[ess?]).
                I don’t like the “you have to know a movement intimately” to criticize it line of though. No I do not. I can look at their actions and their choices and make a pretty cogent criticism of it; as you very aptly did in your second line of thought.
                And I disagree with Freddie on a lot, like very likely most things- certainly just about everything he thinks on economics and I too hope he recovers so I can disagree with him again and I’m afraid he won’t.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                (The wacky thing is that Freddie’s criticism of Antifa is that they’re a bunch of privileged LARPers. Arguing that Freddie shouldn’t criticize Antifa as being a bunch of privileged LARPers because the only Antifa Freddie encounters are privileged LARPers is kind of a toothless criticism of Freddie’s criticism.)Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine says:

                Even I used to read Freddie and appreciated his principled socialism.

                …and I’m probably high on his list of revanchist problem people; well, not me personally, but you know, people like me.Report

  15. Avatar Koz says:

    In both cases, I was in favor of being as ruthless as possible and kitchen sinking it. I only stopped supporting that strategy when it failed. Now I’m not sure what to do, but what’s being done has not worked at any particular point. Yeah, he’s not popular but most of that is his own doing. And he seems to improve or stop the bleeding precisely at the point his critics think they have him on the ropes.

    I’m not buyin’ it. I think Trump really is finished as a motive force, though when he actually leaves the Presidency is anybody’s guess. Jonah Goldberg has a piece on the reasons why:

    In short, among the problems with Trump’s character is that he’s nowhere near nimble enough to pull off the maneuvers he needs to regain some measure of power. Frankly, I don’t even believe he wants to do it.

    I do agree with you that he does have his critics, both Left and Right, in a pickle.Report

    • Avatar George Turner says:

      Trump turned Johah Goldberg into a raving lunatic with great writing skills.Report

      • Avatar Koz says:

        I’m sorry George I can’t make head or tail out of this.Report

      • Avatar George Turner says:

        Jonah and all the other National Review writers (aside from Victor Davis Hanson) were hard core never-Trumpers. Viciously hard core. Some urged voting for Hillary in defiance. They’d delete giant sub-threads in their own comments section. Then they switched commenting systems so they could more easily block anyone who supported Trump.

        And they haven’t gotten him since. So even though they’re conservatives, when it comes to anything Trump they might as well be The Young Turks or Rachael Maddow.Report

        • Avatar Koz says:

          Ok got it.

          Some people at NRO are more anti-Trump than others. The pro-Trump leaners are VDH, Andy McCarthy, Mark Krikorian and Conrad Black.

          But, the NRO/#NeverTrump drama seems ancillary to Jonah’s argument today. This is not about that. In particular, Jonah mentioned two things today which resonate for me. First, everybody has their own personal last straw, and we’re hitting for various people. And second, for Julius Krein and the others who have repudiated Trump, there’s no coming back. Trump lacks the ability to bob and weave in the arena for any chance of that.Report

        • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

          So even though they’re conservatives

          I think “because” is the right conjunction to use there.Report

  16. Avatar George Turner says:

    Here’s a problematic article in today’s WaPo

    When ‘free speech’ becomes a political weapon
    Maybe liberals shouldn’t be free-speech absolutists after all.

    Here’s the dilemma college presidents face in the fall: Either uphold free speech on campus and risk violent counterprotests, or ban conservative provocateurs and confirm the “freedom of speech” crisis on campuses. Either way their institution’s legitimacy is undermined.

    This impossible dilemma is no accident. It has been part of a strategy, deployed first by conservatives and perfected by the alt-right. The alt-right is a nebulous, still-developing political movement, but we know at least two things about it. One, its most prominent popularizers — Stephen K. Bannon, Milo Yiannopoulos and Richard Spencer — have all articulated that they seek to destroy liberal cultural hegemony, which they associate with a bipartisan, globalizing, multicultural, corporate elite, and which, they think, is perpetrated in the United States by the mainstream media and on college campuses.

    The second thing we know about the alt-right is that its provocateurs seek to bait liberal institutions by weaponizing the concept of free speech, which is an issue that divides the liberal left. It is true that higher education has brought much of this on itself through the extreme policing of speech and tolerance of student protesters who shut down speakers with whom they disagree. But that doesn’t diminish the extent to which the alt-right and conservatives are using “free speech” to attack and destroy colleges and universities, which have long promoted different variations of the internationalist, secular, cosmopolitan, multicultural liberalism that marks the thinking of educated elites of both parties.

    And on and on. She finally works her way to this:

    It was one thing to defend the American Nazi Party’s right to march in Skokie, Ill. in 1977, when the liberal establishment and mainstream media were still intact and American Nazi Party was a marginal fringe group. The group was offensive, but neither its actions nor its ideas posed a threat to the political or social order, which was stable. The situation is different today, with an erratic President Trump in the White House, elites in disarray and white nationalism on the rise. In this situation, and against this foe, it may be worth remembering that our constitutional rights are not unchanging abstract principles, but, as Hook and Schlesinger argued, always evaluated in terms of their consequences for society at any given historical moment.

    Emphasis mine.

    So many nuggets have people laughing themselves silly.

    “At the same time, however, colleges and universities need to recognize that their *liberal* critics of, say, diversity policies or Title IX excesses are not political foes and should not be subject to censorship or censure.”

    By omission, censorship or censure shouldn’t be used against *liberal* critics, just conservative ones.

    One commenter said:

    “…colleges and universities, which have long promoted different variations of the internationalist, secular, cosmopolitan, multicultural liberalism that marks the thinking of educated elites of both parties.”

    Sorry, laughed so hard at that one I got the hiccups.


  17. Avatar Joe Sal says:

    Stefan engages a facist/national socialist:

    Question 2: [33:37] – “As a political fascist I believe in a regulated market. How does a proponent of the ‘free market’ justify the free market when it has been shown (mass) man is easily swayed by his desires, primitive urges, and passions; top that off with the reality of corporations willingness to take advantage of that fundamental reality no matter the cost to society or civilization.”Report