Commenter Archive

AvatarComments by Swami in reply to Dark Matter*

On “Game of Thrones: Little People, Big World

Currently loving the show The Expanse.

But the same problem. Somehow the five people on one ship always manage to somehow be the right place to save everyone in the entire solar system, and now the whole galaxy a bunch of times. What is everyone else in the solar system doing other than getting in the way?

On “Saturday Spins: Cowboy Junkies The Trinity Session

Absolutely fantastic 5 star album. The Hank Williams cover is one of my favorite songs of all time.

This is One of my most played pieces of vinyl. I did not know some of the songs are missing on the original album. Perhaps I should get the two LP version.

On “The Destructive High Water Mark of MAGA

How about the usually brilliant Kristen? I was shocked to read she decided to eat the Republican dog food. I would really value her perspective now.


It is well past time that anybody who ever voted for this despicable monster do some serious soul searching. What were you thinking?

It is not like his recent behavior is out of character. When you vote for someone with no respect for democratic transition, what did you think you would get?

Several regulars here tried to make a case for voting for this sad joke of a human being. I would love to hear from them now on the situation.

On “Opinion Piece from The Hechinger Report: New York City’s new middle school admissions will test white parents

The linked article was a great example of pretzel logic heavily salted with confirmation bias.

I wonder if we asked her to authentically voice an alternative explanation of the situation if she even could.

On “Winter is Here

"Mamoa was a perfect embodiment of Khal Drogo."

Speaking of Mamoa, wouldn’t it be super cool if he starred in a series where everyone walks around blind all day? Tens of millions of dollars to make a show that is too funny to watch.


I loved Queen's Gambit too.

I keep hearing rumors of a Buffy reboot in the works. I hope the Wokesters don’t ruin it, which would be easy to do on a show profiling empowerment.


Whedon and the writing team somehow managed to make an emotional superhero story with non stop laughs. In hindsight it is interesting to see how they continuously upgraded and refreshed the "extended" Scooby gang for comic relief. At first we had Xander and Cordelia, then Oz, then Anya, Spike, and finally Andrew.

"Wanna see my impression of Gandhi?" May be the best send off line to a vanquished villain ever.


When it originally aired, I seem to recall not enjoying the last two seasons as much. 20 years later and I can’t understand what I was thinking. They were fantastic.

On “Study: Testing The Welfare Magnet Hypothesis

And total net social spending shows the US is second only to France in percent of GDP. (Second chart).

If they multiplied Actual per capita GDP by the second chart, the US would be number one for net social spending per capita adjusted for taxes and PPP.

Enough to make even the most bleeding heart progressive proud.


There is also of course the issue of dynamism and how that is influenced by the size of social safety nets. The argument being that beyond a certain point (probably well above zero), enhanced social safety nets decrease economic dynamism.

And the less dynamic places depend upon the more dynamic for the engine of of economic growth (which can fund safety nets).


Knowledge is power.

The question to be answered was does increasing benefits or eligibility for immigrants increase immigration rates, all else equal? We just got two additional data points supporting the "yes" answer to this.

The ramifications depend upon one"s goals and values. For places or people who want more immigration, here is a possible lever. For people who want less immigration, or perhaps want to defend against a certain type of immigrant (one coming with the goal of living off of others?) the opposite.

Another obvious conclusion might be that one way to INCREASE welfare benefits is to do in a way which excludes immigrants for a certain period. This could make the increase more palatable to some voters.

On “Winter is Here

If you want to rewatch a great show, I strongly recommend Buffy. The first two seasons were so so, but after that it is absolutely gold. Even better than I remember. It streams on Amazon.

On “Democrats: Imagine Winning Urban, Suburban, and Rural voters

Is my writing so bad that everybody assumes I am saying the polar opposite of what I mean to say? Again, I should apologize then.

My position is that

1). The positions are irreconcilable
2) it is thus FUTILE to try to empathize and engage, because
3). It will either piss off the rural voters or piss off the progressive base.


The latter. I was just using them as the extreme rural voter. Looking up percentages of Evangelicals by state, and knowing their influence in politics, it is reasonable to assume that engaging with rural white voters is going to run into significant Evangelical resistance at many town halls.

They really despise Progressive policies, and better explanations won’t change that. If progressive politicians attempt to empathize and engage with Evangelicals on abortion (murder), or homosexuality (a mortal sin), or try to convince them that not embracing white privilege is de facto racism then they will either piss off the crowd or piss off their base.


I am not in any way suggesting that if the left would listen better that they could reach accord with the far right. I was just teasing Saul.

I agree with you that there is no reasonable way for the left to reconcile with the far right. They are striving for incompatible goals.


I am confused. I did not think I was arguing that the solution is "tone policing". Sorry if I wrote something to the contrary.

My argument is that a left politician can’t empathize and engage with rural Evangelicals (as an extreme). Their Evangelical positions are legitimate to them, and for a politician to even acknowledge that they are legitimate, would risk alienating that politicians left base.

Can you guys list out what Evangelicals believe and want?

Can you lay out positions which embrace these values and don’t betray leftist ideals?

If not, you should not attempt having a town hall dialogue with them. It won’t go well.


As a person who despises Trump and would indeed classify him as "vile", I must disagree. One party is not in any way trying or hoping to install a dictator.

Unlike you, I actually talk to Conservatives. They view him as being a superior choice to the Progressive alternative, which frankly scares the you know what out of them.

There are two legitimate political parties out there, each appealing to differing needs and values. Both have huge weaknesses, but the hope of democracy is that the conflict and competition between the extremes leads to and discovers something more palatable to all.


Adam Taylor: To reach rural voters, we need to listen!

Greg listens and engages in a dialogue with Swami and Dark

Saul to Greg: Don’t waste your time listening, it’s futile.

For the record, I am not trying to convince anyone about an Evangelical position. I am not an Evangelical or even a conservative and I don’t share many of their views. My point is that rural voters have views, values and positions which are antithetical to those on the left. It is pretty much the same argument Chip is making above.

The original post and much of the comment section are examples of how the left is clueless about the right. If you start with the assumption that rural voters are confused and misinformed idiots who just need to be enlightened on the superiority of Progressive ideas, you have effectively revealed why rural voters reject what you are selling.


I agree for the most part. The issue is that their values, views and contexts are greatly opposed to each other.

I keep bringing up Evangelicals, but that is just the extreme. They are not buying what the left is selling and a conversation isn’t going to change that. A dialogue between the far left and the Evangelical right isn’t going to go well for any woke left wing politician. She will either have the crowd turn on her, or she will alienate her base by even pretending to take their positions seriously.

I agree with your theory. No message satisfies both camps.


Dude, you are trying to argue with me. Wrong person.

The issue is that you would be run out of a town hall meeting of Evangelicals if you argued that. They do not believe a word of what you are saying. Have you never actually had in depth, lengthy discussions or arguments with intelligent, college-educated Evangelicals and Conservatves before? Seems like you haven’t. There are millions of them out there. Really.

If you want to appeal to rural voters, the first step is to not treat them like racist troglodytes. A politician going into rural Tennessee is going to have to convince the room that their issues and concerns are valid, and is going to have to do that in a way which doesn’t start a riot with the Woke Nazis.

Honestly, when I read the things people of the far left write (the author of this post, almost every comment here not written by Dark Matter, and elsewhere) the tone deafness to non-left view points is astounding.


Cryptic! Do enlighten us.

My point is that these are not topics where the discussion are going to go well for the politician, and I can add a dozen others.


It sounds like you believe there is one party with all the truth and light and one party of evil and lies. The other way of seeing it is that both parties have their strengths and weaknesses that are being tailored to people with diverse needs and values. IOW, that Democracy is a way of pursuing and discovering truth and quality which transcends any political party.

Food for thought...


Exactly. For some reason, it seems a lot of people have a hard time either understanding or remembering this point. It reminds me of the discussion a few years ago about how immigration and demographics would give Democrats a commanding majority. The parties and platforms are dynamic and the positions bend around the electorate. Over decades the parties will even reverse positions with each other in some cases.


I don’t see how it would serve a Left wing politician to go into a room of 300 rural voters, many Evangelical, who will ask them questions such as:

1) what they are going to do about their schools promoting homosexuality to their kids. Do you want my kids to burn for eternity in hell?

2) what they are going to do about the rampant murder of unborn babies?

3) what they are going to do about the fact that their children are at the back of the line both in acceptance and financial aid at colleges and jobs because they are too white?

These are questions that the left wing carefully avoids as there is no answer which will satisfy the rural voters and NOT alienate their loyal base. It is a no win situation, if the politician caters to the these views (as the Far Right does), then they will destroy their standing with their core voters. If they stand their ground, they will be publicly tarred and feathered with the result broadcast nationally that evening.

The point is that many of the core issues (Dark Matter listed some others above) have zero to do with listening to rural voters. If a politician's positions are antithetical to the voters' positions, then a dialogue is not going to do anything positive for that politician's standing.

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