Thursday’s Forum

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills was arrested and charged with a felony during a protest at the home of Kentucky’s attorney general.

    Stills, 28, was charged with intimidating a participant in the legal process, which is a felony, according to the Louisville jail’s booking log. The log shows Stills was booked at 11:36pm local time Tuesday and was one of 87 participants arrested after marching to the home of the attorney general Daniel Cameron to protest the shooting death of Breonna Taylor.

    Stills also was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and criminal trespass.

    A statement issued by Louisville Metro Police indicates protesters were “given the chance to leave” Cameron’s home before being arrested.

    All 87 protesters face similar charges, per the department statement, for attempting to “influence the decision of the Attorney General with their actions”.

    Silly BLM protesters, if they had been white, wearing body armor, and carrying AR-15s with extra mags, they would have been peaceful protesters exercising their rights to free speech, of assembly, and to petition their govt.

    ETA: also, if only they’d been rich people making campaign and Superpac donations.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Black Lives Matter sculpture of Jen Reid removed from Colston plinth

    Tim Burns, a charity worker, said: “Some days I wake up a feel proud to live in Bristol. Other days I feel like we missed the point? The Jen Reid statue didn’t need to be permanent but after procrastinating for years over whether to take down Colston removing this after 24 hours feels unnecessary.”

    I’m a little surprised, I thought they’d leave it up for at least a week. After all, the Colston statue stood for better than 100 years.

  3. Scott says:

    More political lessons from the Soviets. Soviets/Russians what’s the difference anymore?

    Trump team launches a sweeping loyalty test to shore up its defenses

    In the middle of a devastating pandemic and a searing economic crisis, the White House has an urgent question for its colleagues across the administration: Are you loyal enough to President Donald Trump?

    The White House’s presidential personnel office is conducting one-on-one interviews with health officials and hundreds of other political appointees across federal agencies, an exercise some of the subjects have called “loyalty tests” to root out threats of leaks and other potentially subversive acts

    The interview process, along with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows’ ongoing hunt for leakers, shows how the White House — less than four months before the presidential election — remains consumed by loyalty and optics despite urgent policy problems such as a raging coronavirus pandemic, nationwide worries about reopening schools and historically high unemployment.

    Can you say Cult of Personality?

  4. Jen says:

    Parscale’s replacement was fired by Chris Christie during the Bridgegate scandal. This lends credence to my stated theory that whomever they found to replace Parscale wouldn’t be top-tier talent, because really who would want that job?

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: Paul Manafort did it for “free.”

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Oh and speaking of this @OzarkHillbilly:, I almost forgot:

    St Louis Prosecutor Slams Trump For Meddling In Gun Couple Investigation

    St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner struck back at President Donald Trump and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) on Tuesday night after both attacked her for investigating the St. Louis couple that brandished their guns at protesters outside their home last month.

    “Today, both the Governor and Donald Trump came after me for doing my job and investigating a case,” Gardner said in a written statement. “While they continue to play politics with the handling of this matter, spreading misinformation and distorting the truth, I refuse to do so.”

    She also slammed Parson for speaking to Trump about her probe, saying it was “unbelievable” that the governor “would seek advice from one of the most divisive leaders in our generation to overpower the discretion of a locally elected prosector [sic].”

  7. HarvardLaw92 says:

    It seems that community leaders, clergy, et al in NYC are now demanding the reinstatement of the controversial Anti-Crime unit in NYPD, which was dismantled in the wake of BLM protests earlier this year.

    After seeing a year to year relative increase in shootings of 277%, who can blame them?


  8. Jen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Technically, I think Manafort served as Campaign Chairman, not campaign manager. To most people that’s a distinction without a difference, but definitely different jobs (but only inside baseball campaign nerds like me would pay attention to that). Campaign chairs tend to be high-level strategy and corralling fundraising efforts, while campaign managers deal with the day-to-day strategy and execution of the campaign.

    Campaign managing is much harder work, IMHO.

  9. Scott says:

    George Will brings out all the rhetorical tools:

    The nation is in a downward spiral. Worse is still to come.

    Because of his incontinent use of it, the rhetorical mustard that the president slathers on every subject has lost its tang. The entertainer has become a bore, and foretelling his defeat no longer involves peering into a distant future

    America, for the first time in its history, is pitied.

    Not even during the Civil War, when the country was blood-soaked by a conflict involving enormous issues, was it viewed with disdainful condescension as it now is

    Under the most frivolous person ever to hold any great nation’s highest office, this nation is in a downward spiral. This spiral has not reached its nadir, but at least it has reached a point where worse is helpful, and worse can be confidently expected.

    The nation’s floundering government is now administered by a gangster regime.

    This nation built the Empire State Building, groundbreaking to official opening, in 410 days during the Depression, and the Pentagon in 16 months during wartime. Today’s less serious nation is unable to competently combat a pandemic, or even reliably conduct elections. This is what national decline looks like.

  10. HarvardLaw92 says:


    They installed the statue in secret in the middle of the night, without permission. I’m honestly not surprised that it was removed. Perhaps if they’d been more open about their plans, and sought approval / worked with the government before just taking it upon themselves to plop it down there, it might still be there. Who can say?

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: Campaign managing is much harder work, IMHO.

    No wonder he didn’t do it. And yes, too insider basebally for my needs, ;-), but thanks for the clarification.

  12. HarvardLaw92 says:

    In other news, RBG has been released from the hospital after undergoing a minor procedure to clear a bile duct stent which was placed last year. Best wishes to this honorable lady for a quick recovery.

    And, please G-d, while it’s too much to ask that she be allowed to live forever, at least let her make it through safely beyond January.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @HarvardLaw92: First off, if they had “sought approval / worked with the government” it would have taken damned near forever and in all likelihood never would have happened. After all, this is the same govt that dithered for years on whether to remove the Colston statue.

    2nd, It was never intended to be permanent, it was always expected to be removed, and built and installed with that fact in mind.

    3rd of all, sometimes, a lot of times, no every dawg damned time, if you want people to listen you have to get their attention first, and that quite often means breaking the rules. This statue got more attention in one day than it ever would have if they had been polite and asked permission.

    In the end, it was a “no harm no foul” protest. The commission says they are going to bill the artist for the removal. That will be couch change for him.

    ETA: one other benefit to doing it the way they did is it’s enhanced sale value, which they say all proceeds from the sale will go to 2 charities selected by the protestor depicted.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Seconded.

  15. Kathy says:

    Among the people who don’t wear masks at the office, one has had two heart attacks, another is diabetic, and another has a spouse undergoing chemotherapy.

    What is wrong with these people?

  16. HarvardLaw92 says:


    When people refuse to follow proper procedure, they really have no basis for complaint.

    They subverted procedure to get the statue erected quickly. The city removed it just as quickly. Thems the breaks *shrug*

  17. DrDaveT says:


    When people refuse to follow proper procedure, they really have no basis for complaint.

    Well, unless the “proper procedures” themselves are biased, corrupt, or specifically designed to preclude actual positive change. Fortunately, that never happens.

  18. Tyrell says:

    News you may have missed, or it did not make the mainstream news (because it was not corona virus related):
    Legendary Chupacabra was seen and videoed in Alabama! These are very clear images, available on You Tube. (See also ABC news, Alabama)
    There have been credible sightings of this mythical creature! These are not images of a dog, coyote, small deer, or hairless cat.

  19. Sleeping Dog says:


    Let’s hope RBG lives a long time, but assuming the Dems lead the next senate, staying on the Supremes till 1/3/21 will do.


    It seems that many of the political actors who want to defund the police, they are seeking to act while not having a plan in place to address the issues that will inevitably be created when when the police no longer have that assignment.

    Also, the quickest and most efficient path to reforming the police is to reduce the power of police unions and at minimum, remove arbitration from the disciplinary process.

  20. KM says:

    San Diego woman wants half of $100K raised for Starbucks barista following mask dispute

    This woman is nuts and a prime reason why this pandemic isn’t going to end anytime soon. She’s got a handwritten note from a chiropractor claiming she has “breath (sic) issues”. WTF are “breath issues”? That’s not a medical diagnosis just like “owies” isn’t. It’s a clear falsehood because any medical professional would cite a specific diagnosis when writing such a note…. or at least spell it right. She also used a pelvic exam from half a decade ago as evidence to support her claim. These are the people spreading COVID everywhere because they claim masks are an “medical inconvenience” for them. Why in God’s name are we tolerating this kind of nonsense during a pandemic that’s killed 140K and counting?

    She had no case whatsoever and even if she did, the GoFundMe money was a gift she’s not entitled to. Her case would be against Starbucks, not the employee following procedure. She sounds vindictive and bitter that people are supporting him and not her. She’s got her own GoFundMe but it’s not doing too well since she’s clearly making things up as she goes.

  21. KM says:


    What is wrong with these people?

    Humanity’s great logistical flaw: “It won’t happen to me – I’m special”

    How many people do stupid things because they don’t think they’re going to suffer the consequences? Hell, how many of us go about our day and never think we’ll be one of the unlucky few to suffer a terrible fate? Nobody goes out driving thinking they’ll get in an accident or get hit by a drunk. Nobody thinks today’s the day I’ll have a heart attack or fall down the stairs or choke on my food at lunch…. and yet it’s gonna happen to somebody. We’re all “somebody” eventually.

    I cannot tell you how many clients I’ve had in disbelief that smoking gave them terminal cancer or terrible diets gave them heart attacks. They couldn’t accept they’ve brought misfortune on themselves by doing a preventable thing of their own choice and that the Stats God decided they are the newest causality. Oh, they knew it could happen but not to THEM!! It’s not supposed to happen to them! God, I hated end of life counseling specifically because of people like this – angry souls who realized too late what everyone was telling them wasn’t trying to suppress their freedom or ruin their fun but save their damn life. It’s always someone else’s fault they die – no one “warned them” (lie), it’s not fair (you took the risk) and that doctors are ghouls for not working miracles to save them (they’re only human). I had to leave that job because of burnout and an increasing lack of empathy for people who chose to dance with the Devil then cry when it turns out badly.

  22. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    It seems that many of the political actors who want to defund the police, they are seeking to act while not having a plan in place to address the issues that will inevitably be created when when the police no longer have that assignment.

    No argument. Knee jerk reactions are rarely either prudent or without negative consequences. In this specific context – a unit dealing with the worst of the worst through a variety of tactics that, while effective and necessary, troubled those who have what I would contend are unrealistic expectations – it’s particularly damaging. The expectation seems to be that every encounter is pleasant and respectful, criminals readily disarm and present themselves for arrest, and nobody ever need be shot. While I think that’s utopian even under the best of circumstances, his particular unit could never have met that expectation under any circumstances, and – let’s face it – social workers aren’t going to have a positive effect on whether or not hardened criminals & gangs engage in gun violence. That the community is loudly calling for its return is a testament to how effective it was.

    Also, the quickest and most efficient path to reforming the police is to reduce the power of police unions and at minimum, remove arbitration from the disciplinary process.

    The power that police unions have is the power that the politicians on the other side of the negotiating table give them. Article 14 of the NYS Civil Service Law already debars officers from striking, and allows for both fines and imprisonment in response to work stoppages. Indeed, the city put the leader of the Transit Workers union in jail for three days in response to a 2005 work stoppage, so – at basis – I would argue that the willingness of city officials to agree to these contracts – despite having the tools to push back available to them – are the root of the problem. Mediation and binding arbitration with respect to public employee unions are a factor of NY state law. There is no getting around either of them without changing the law itself, which nobody in Albany wants to do.

    There are two basic scenarios here: either the public will support politicians taking a hard line in negotiations, or the public won’t. In the first, the current state of affairs is entirely due to political leadership abrogating their duties. In the second, they’re doing what the public wants and the public has no right to subsequently complain about the contract terms.

  23. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Let’s hope RBG lives a long time, but assuming the Dems lead the next senate, staying on the Supremes till 1/3/21 will do.

    Indeed. If it were within my power to grant, I’d have her live forever. She’s always been my favorite, she’s feisty, she’s loyal to a fault, she’s a mensch, and frankly I adore her.

    Sadly, that isn’t possible. As long as she can make it past Trump and leave the court on her terms, in good health and still have a life left to enjoy as she wishes to enjoy it, I’ll be happy.

  24. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Well, unless the “proper procedures” themselves are biased, corrupt, or specifically designed to preclude actual positive change. Fortunately, that never happens.

    Fortunately, the public has an avenue to demand changes to such procedures, to the extent that they exist, and they’re regularly given the opportunity to replace those in leadership if those persons don’t meet their expectations. We’re never going to agree on the acceptability of civil disobedience, so let’s not burden anybody with that pointless discussion.

  25. gVOR08 says:


    Why in God’s name are we tolerating this kind of nonsense during a pandemic that’s killed 140K and counting?


  26. Sleeping Dog says:


    I’m back in the Boston area now and lived in Mpls for 25 years. During riots I began contemplating why Mpls appeared to have a larger problem with gangs, violence and with police brutality. I had a handle on why Mpls has its problems, but I hadn’t paid much attention to Boston, living 60 miles away and not having lived in the city for nearly 50 years.

    One afternoon, I did some google snooping, I won’t go so far as calling it research, but it did reveal some indicators, the community came to the city and asked for help, there was recognition that policing wasn’t the only solution the the gang and violence problem, a plan was developed drawing on social research and there was buy in from the major players, community leaders, city hall, police leadership and the police unions. It has been a success, the plan has been in place at least a decade and violence and gang activity is down and there have been fewer incidents of police brutality. There have been flare ups, but not like the level that exists in places like Mpls and Chicago.

    One thing I came across was a comment from a Harvard researcher who wondered why other cities have been so slow to adopt this model.

  27. Michael Reynolds says:

    The entire Civil Rights movement was civil disobedience. As was Stonewall. Women’s suffrage. Labor unions. The Underground Railroad. The Boston Tea Party.

    We may be seeing some progress, finally, on police brutality and that’s entirely down to civil disobedience. No riots = no reform.

    We can go on pretending that there are democratic mechanisms in place that obviate the need for civil disobedience, but the facts on the ground say otherwise. It’s a pity we are incapable of progress unless something burns, I don’t like it, but that’s the reality.

  28. Kathy says:


    But few people drive consistently over the speed limit, not paying any mind to traffic signals and regulation, going the wrong way on the freeway, etc. Some who smoke are consciously making a trade off, or may be gambling on better therapies years from now. Ditto for bad diets. These things happen over decades, not all at once.

    COVID-19 is fast, and likely to finish you in weeks or days.

    Also, two of the people I mentioned above were downright paranoid about the H1N1 flu in 2009, and that was far less contagious and far less deadly.

    Sure people change over time. Maybe surviving the flu pandemic made them feel invulnerable.

  29. Kingdaddy says:
  30. Joe says:


    Humanity’s great logistical flaw: “It won’t happen to me – I’m special”

    Joe Pug has a song called “1000 Men.” The main thesis is that “every good idea kills at least 1000 men,” but the follow on is that “Every man I know
    thinks that he’s one thousand one.”

  31. HarvardLaw92 says:

    In other news which will have major implications for EU-US business transactions, Europe’s highest court today struck down the EU-US Privacy Shield Agreement as being insufficiently protective of the privacy interests of European citizens.

    It stands to introduce substantial chaos into the business relationships between US and European companies. We are still trying to figure out how best to deal with it, but there do not appear to be any quick or handy solutions at present. It’s a massively destabilizing move that we weren’t quite prepared for.

    Link to the actual ruling here

  32. Teve says:

    Does anybody here listen to Ezra Klein’s podcast? He just talked to some guy named Oren Cass who is apparently like a Romney policy guy? I listened to that goddamn podcast for an hour and he seems to be conceptually supporting making America a better country by paying working class people more money, but had literally no idea how to go about doing that and also we shouldn’t give anybody any childcare support and it’s both Democrats‘ and Republicans’ fault for the problem. What’s weird was that the references and imagery were on a sentence-to-sentence basis intelligent, but the overall philosophy was borderline mentally retarded.

  33. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I think what everyone is seeing is the release of pent up demand for violence being portrayed as a genuine crime wave. I don’t believe it is–I believe the Police have, through their contacts with the criminal underworld, signaled that now is the time to settle scores and get your kill on.

    All to create the conditions where the Ken & Karens of the world will have panic attacks that black and brown hoards are waiting to kill them next— and beg the Police to continue on with the status quo. This is nothing but extortion as leverage to get away with as little reform as possible. If anyone thinks police in major cities aren’t capable of this–they’re living in Mr Rogers neigborhood.

  34. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: You’re a hardhead so I agree with you that its pointless– however, you said that its relatively easy to replace leaders that don’t serve your interests. That is blatantly false if you have a minority interest–and you know it.

    It must be fairly comfortable at the top of the social hierarchy though–you can convince yourself of whatever stories make you feel good–true or not.

  35. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    I’ve no insight into that world, but I can see that exact thing happening. It is apparent that the police are doing the minimum and in particular are doing the minimum in minority neighborhoods.

  36. KM says:


    COVID-19 is fast, and likely to finish you in weeks or days.

    Doesn’t matter if the death is fast or slow, the logic behind it is the same. It’s the same logic- albeit in reverse- that makes people gamble or play the lottery even though the chances of them winning are incredibly small. They do not consider themselves a statistic and any risk (whether they understand / accept it or not) will turn out in their favor. After all, they’re still alive aren’t they? Clearly, they’ve been winning all the risks they’ve taken so far so what’s another?

    You must also consider the sheer denial people are experiencing about the first major killer disease to rip through the world in decades, one you can get simply by being too close to another. The last major one, AIDS, had specific vectors that could be avoided and thus demonized; you only got AIDS if you did X and thus could be blamed for infecting yourself. COVID? You could just be unlucky enough to touch something an infected person handled recently or walked by a super-spreader. ANYONE can get it through no fault of their own and that’s TERRIFYING to them… if they bothered to consider it. Much better to live in ignorance and denial then confront the idea of a possible slow-moving extermination event that kills off up to 10% of the national population in a few years that they’re helping to propagate.

    Also, two of the people I mentioned above were downright paranoid about the H1N1 flu in 2009, and that was far less contagious and far less deadly.

    Ah, but there was no one at the top they believed in telling them vicious lies about the “hoax” being played up. Liberals underestimate the pervasiveness of conservative propaganda to their peril; even if you aren’t a MAGAt, you are very likely to have been exposed to someone important aka the damn President telling you this is no big deal and people are lying.

    “Reasonable doubt” starts by whispering “what if” into someone’s ear and letting it fester in their imagination. Trump’s fake news concept has damaged so much of our nation beyond politics. It’s introduced to the Average Joe the idea that they can causally dismiss any news or fact they don’t like as “fake” because it comes from an expert / science / liberal / major institution / anyone really. Nobody was screaming H1N1 was fake they way they are going after COVID.

  37. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I’ve always theorized that population density and poverty are 2 things that don’t belong together–ever. The city poor and the country poor are two different animals and my feeling is that density is the key variable to why its alot easier for rural poor to take advantage of government opportunities and city poor have a harder time leaving “hustle culture”.

    Not that this would ever happen–but I do believe there should density in low income urban areas should be subject to regulation through public health. It’s just not a good idea for the poor to be piled on top of one another. Its the primary reasons many of the urban public housing projects were torn down. I have many relatives that were displaced out of the 9th ward in New Orleans after Katrina–only half of them that went back. The half that stayed in Georgia, Florida, and Texas all said they wished they would have left 20 years before and that they had no idea life could be so much better. The relatives that went back–went back to “scrape by and hustle culture.”
    The people that design these systems to deal with the poor in urban setting must better understand that you can design something perfectly–but its interaction with the human psyche can make the system detrimental.

  38. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    city poor have a harder time leaving “hustle culture”.

    I’ve heard other say something similar, that it is hard for people to leave their home for a too often unknown opportunity. Friends, family, housing they can barely afford, but they know they can make the rent. All those things keep people nailed in place and not just those in poverty.

    Regarding the Katrina refugees, I remember reading about the experience of those forced to move and how many found new lives. What I found interesting at the time, was how the receiving communities set up special programs to assist. Apparently those programs were successful, which begs the question if it was successful for the Katrina migrants, why wasn’t the program offered to the locals?

  39. Kathy says:


    I get you’re being helpful, and I appreciate it.

    Some of what you pose does apply, but other things don’t.

    Part, I think, is so absurd I hesitate to mention. Masks are company policy now. One of these three hates being told what to do by corporate, and thinks he’s in a position to do as he wants regardless of policy.

  40. Tyrell says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I don’t have a problem with people demonstrating at the state government offices or the legislative buildings. But going to their homes is not cool. These elected people have a right to a private life, and they have families who would feel threatened. The neighbors have a right to access their homes and not have a bunch of racket, noise, litter, and damage to property. Many times I have seen demonstrations blocking police, fire, and emt vehicles.
    Many elected officials live in gated communities and don’t have that to deal with (Bloomberg, Pelosi) . Elected officials have their own personal time too. You don’t see people lined up at a doctor’s or teacher’s homes.

  41. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @HarvardLaw92: When people refuse to follow proper procedure, they really have no basis for complaint.

    Who, pray tell, is complaining? Certainly not the artist, nor the model. The only complaints I have read was from citizens who liked it, you know, people who vote, all of who acknowledged that it was always likely to come down anyway.

    But elections happen. Them’s the breaks.

  42. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tyrell: There is a really easy solution to that problem.

  43. OzarkHillbilly says:
  44. CSK says:

    Cult45 is very, very unhappy about this. They comfort themselves by saying that their beautiful and elegant First Lady Melania is far too “classy” to pose for InStyle.

  45. HarvardLaw92 says:


    But elections happen. Them’s the breaks.

    Which is exactly how matters like that should be handled. Piss off the voters and you lose your job.

  46. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    however, you said that its relatively easy to replace leaders that don’t serve your interests

    I said no such thing. You’re inventing words which were never said. I simply said that the voters get regular opportunities to replace their leadership if they are unhappy with it. If somebody happens to fall into a political minority within an area, they still get the same degree of input as anybody else – a vote. If there aren’t enough like minded people who agree them to affect the change that they want, them’s the breaks. They could always move.

    It must be fairly comfortable at the top of the social hierarchy though

    Which I make absolutely zero apologies for, so if that’s some sort of weak attempt at shaming, seek joy elsewhere. There’s none to be found for that here. I still get the same one vote as anybody else.

  47. Joe says:

    My visceral reaction to that cover is “he’s gonna get fired now.”

  48. Kathy says:


    First, Trump has to tweet a badly photoshopped cover with his ugly head on Fauci’s body.

  49. Sleeping Dog says:


    The former reality TV host won’t stand for this and will have a conniption, but can’t fire him as he a civil service employee and not a political employee.

  50. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I’m not sure which program you are referring to. The ones that I am familiar with are Operation Ceasefire, and Operation Nightlight. None of those are what I would term alternative (i.e. social worker centric) approaches to gang violence. Ceasefire combines aggressive law enforcement and prosecution efforts aimed at recovering illegal handguns, prosecuting dangerous felons, increasing public awareness, and promoting public safety and anti-violence. Nightlight just aims to install more street lights and address existing ones that are non-working.

    I’m sure there is an outreach piece in there somewhere, but the primary tool that I can find which was utilized by Ceasefire was identifying the relatively small component of the population responsible for much of the gun violence and scaring them to death with the threat of draconian penalties – ergo making the costs of committing the crime be believed by the targeted persons to outweigh any perceived benefits of committing them. If that’s what you’re espousing for NY, then sign me up. If there are other programs in play that I’m unaware of, let me know. I’d like to read about them.

  51. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Fortunately, he’s not easy to fire. He’s a career federal employee with full MSPB protections, not a political appointee Trump can fire as his whim. Fauci can, and I suspect would, drag any potential firing out long beyond Trump’s exit from office and remain on the job in the meantime. Beyond that, he’d likely prevail in the end.

  52. DrDaveT says:

    So, when I said that we could stamp out COVID-19 in three weeks of correct action, I was apparently optimistic. It’s actually five weeks. So of course we won’t.

  53. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    I think you’ve been watching too many episodes of Chicago PD … 🙄

  54. Monala says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Someone pointed out that the “de-institutionalization” movement of the 1970s was a movement to deal with the very real abuses taking place at mental institutions. But without a concurrent plan and funding for how to help the released patients receive the support they needed, either in more humane institutions, or in the community at large, many of those folks ended up worse off (and are a big contributor to our problems with addiction and homelessness today). So, you know, be careful what you wish for.

    IMO, the real goals of the defund movement should be: 1) find ways to hold abusive police officers accountable; 2) re-allocate some of the funding given to police to increase prevention strategies (more social services, youth services, and mental health services); and 3) for non-criminal problems, give people options to call for help besides or in addition to police (such as mental health professionals who accompany officers when a person is having a breakdown).

    But those solutions are nuanced, complex, and lack the provocative allure of “defund the police.” However, part of the provocative allure is because many people have been struggling to obtain the nuanced and complex solutions for a long time, without making much headway. So if “defund the police” moves the Overton window enough to allow the more reasonable but complex solutions to gain ground, it might be worth it. The risk is the backlash it might generate.

  55. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    We can go on pretending that there are democratic mechanisms in place that obviate the need for civil disobedience, but the facts on the ground say otherwise. It’s a pity we are incapable of progress unless something burns, I don’t like it, but that’s the reality.

    I don’t think the gay rights movement set anything on fire.

    There was a lot of civil disobedience in the early AIDS days, with die-ins blocking traffic, and unruly protestors, but almost completely non-violent.

    I would say that the LGBTetc community is very different though, as it cuts across racial, class and gender lines — you will never have your brother, niece or grandmother suddenly come out as Black. Once people — boring people — started coming out to family and friends and then everyone, the tide turned quickly.

    Other than that, I can’t think of a civil rights movement that hasn’t had to degenerate into violence in the past hundred years (not sure about the women’s suffrage movement… but over a hundred years ago). And our government and media have gotten better at isolating protests so that non-violent, law-abiding protests will never be noticed (unless they are sponsored by Fox)

  56. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Tyrell: And yet, you didn’t link us to ANY of them. 🙁 What are you hiding?

  57. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: You? Shame? Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha!
    Now to clean up the coffee I just spewed on my screen.

  58. Gustopher says:

    @DrDaveT: The site you link to says “LEADER: PROF. YANEER BAR-YAM”.

    I’m not sure that’s a real name. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s someone from the Cantina scene in the original Star Wars.

    Americans aren’t going to listen to anyone named Professor Yaneer Bar-Yam. He should change his name to something less ridiculous — on Naboo, that might be a perfectly normal name that doesn’t raise an eyebrow, but here in the good ol’ US of A, that’s just a silly made up name. He should change his name to Robert “Yaneer” Jackson, and create videos about one simple trick to stop Covid.

  59. HarvardLaw92 says:


    I’m absolutely for more funding for mental health treatment. What happened to them in the 1970s was criminal and created a whole rash of new problems, and I’ll 100% agree that those resultant problems need to be addressed in a way that addresses the actual issue – they aren’t criminal; they’re mentally ill and require treatment options, not incarceration.

    I’m not as convinced that the solution is defunding (i.e. reallocating funding from) police departments in order to find the necessary funding, but I’m not necessarily opposed to it either if there are no better alternatives for obtaining it. I just don’t want it to be some sort of quickly executed feel-good move that ends up creating more problems than it solves. At present, that’s how it feels like it’s happening, and it’s concerning.

  60. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Its suuch a good–feeling….to know you’re aliiive….

  61. Monala says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I lived in Boston for a long time. Back in the ’80s, Deborah Prothrow-Stith, a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health, theorized that gang violence was a public health emergency, and developed public health strategies to address it. She is married to Charles Stith, a minister who helped found Boston’s Ten-Point Coalition, an organization of clergy who implemented many of those strategies.

  62. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    I’ll note that you completely sped by the actual reply and focused on the one thing in it that resonated with what motivates you- your resentment of me based on social position / perceived wealth – that actually mattered to you all along.

    If that’s what gets you through the day I guess … I still make no apologies for either of them.

  63. al Ameda says:

    I know a person, a college friend, who clerked for RBG and he has maintained an enduring friendship with her in the years since that time. He says that she is just a great person.

  64. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Its suuch a good–feeling….to know you’re aliiive…

    I think so as well 🙂

    (I’d keep playing along, but I’m late for an appointment. I have to go screw a widow on a real estate deal. You know how us Jewish lawyers are … 😀 )

  65. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @al Ameda:

    She’s everything you’ve heard about her and most of what you’d believe as well. Genuinely sweet, caring lady with a core of steel and a heart of gold. Her funeral, when it does finally come, will break my heart.

  66. Monala says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Here’s the Boston Ten-Point Plan. A lot more involved than the two areas you named.

  67. Monala says:

    @Gustopher: ACT-UP stormed government buildings and Wall Street and chained themselves furniture. There’s also this:

    Originally, the plan was just to be a “die-in” during the homily but it descended into “pandemonium.”[21] A few dozen activists interrupted Mass, chanted slogans, blew whistles, “kept up a banchee screech,” chained themselves to pews, threw condoms in the air, waved their fists, and lay down in the aisles to stage a “die-in.”[24][25][26][21][27] While O’Connor went on with mass, activists stood up and announced why they were protesting.[23] One protester, “in a gesture large enough for all to see,”[28] desecrated the Eucharist by spitting it out of his mouth, crumbling it into pieces, and dropping them to the floor.[29][30][5][24][31][32][27]

  68. HarvardLaw92 says:


    All of that sounds great, and I support it. I just didn’t see a lot in there (besides one photo) detailing how the police or Boston’s government were directly involved with it, but if it helps, sign me up. I’ll look into it in greater detail when I can. Thank you for the info!

  69. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: I don’t think the gay rights movement set anything on fire.

    Stonewall riots

    The Stonewall riots (also referred to as the Stonewall uprising or the Stonewall rebellion) were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay (LGBT) community[note 1] in response to a police raid that began in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. Patrons of the Stonewall, other Village lesbian and gay bars, and neighborhood street people fought back when the police became violent. The riots are widely considered to constitute one of the most important events leading to the gay liberation movement[2][3] and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States.[4]

    Plenty more at the link.

  70. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @HarvardLaw92: You comment reminded me, as is common, of a story from my childhood–well actually my 30s in this case. My little town had decided that it needed a real tough on crime police chief and went to New York to hire one–that city having the reputation for having no-nonsense type law enforcement at a time when said city was in the throes of general dysfunction and societal breakdown if you will. We were experiencing gang violence of our own at the time and felt we needed a more aggressive police presence on the streets. It was one of the few time that I saw left and right unite on an issue here, so I have to assume they were serious.

    As things progressed, the gangs started arming with automatic weapons (specifically Uzis IIRC) and the City Counsel asked if the police chief wanted authorization for his officers to also carry Uzis. He replied that since the shooting goal of the police was that an officer should be able to drop a suspect with one or two rounds, Uzis didn’t seem necessary.

    Wait??? You’re going to be wounding and even killing suspects. We had no idea that being tough on crime was going to get people killed. You’re gonna have to go.

    And he did.

    @Sleeping Dog: I’m inclined to believe that the slow pace of other cities in adopting similar programs is the point about “buy in from the major players, community leaders, city hall, police leadership and the police unions.” I’m skeptical that such cooperation is as common as we’d like to believe.

  71. Sleeping Dog says:


    The name Stith rings a bell.

    The 10 point plan is the outline, none of the implementation details are there. And as I mentioned this wasn’t just a police project. Whatever happened in the 80’s/90’s Boston did something right as the violence is lower there than you would expect. Perhaps what makes Boston unique is that the city and state are willing to pay for programs that are successful, that means taxes are high but there being cut back letting things get out of control.

    Monala brought up de-institutionalization. In the late 70’s I worked in residential mental health in Minneapolis. The state was shutting down the old state hospitals and building up mostly private and often non profit community setting. It worked well but that got expensive as well, or at least the initial savings were forgotten. Tax cuts became important and now there are 300 tents in Powder Horn Park.

  72. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I think I have a new hero.

    Millions Are Hounded for Debt They Don’t Owe. One Victim Fought Back, With a Vengeance

    On the morning a debt collector threatened to rape his wife, Andrew Therrien was working from home, in a house with green shutters on a cul-de-sac in a small Rhode Island town. Tall and stocky, with a buzz cut and a square, friendly face, Therrien was a salesman for a promotions company. He’d always had an easy rapport with people over the phone, and on that day, in February 2015, he was calling food vendors to talk about grocery store giveaways.

    Therrien was interrupted midpitch by a call from his wife. She’d gotten a voicemail from an authoritative-sounding man saying Therrien was in some kind of trouble. “I need to verify an address to present you with your formal claim,” the man had said. “Andrew Therrien, you are officially notified.”

    A few minutes later, Therrien’s phone buzzed. It was the same guy. He gave his name as Charles Cartwright and said Therrien owed $700 on a payday loan. But Therrien knew he didn’t owe anyone anything. Suspecting a scam, he told Cartwright just what he thought of his scare tactics.

    Cartwright hung up, then called back, mad. He said he wanted to meet face-to-face to teach Therrien a lesson.

    “Come on by, asshole,” Therrien says he replied.

    “I will,” Cartwright said, “and I hope your wife is at home.”

    That’s when he made the rape threat.
    After the ruling against Tucker, Therrien heard from him for the first time in months, and they started talking again. Amid their conversations, which were recorded, Tucker’s brother, Scott, was convicted on all 14 charges he faced. Without directly asking Therrien to drop his vendetta, Tucker seemed to be pleading for mercy. “I’ve f—ing had enough harm done,” he said. “I’ve lost a brother. Got a brother going to prison. Put it this way, Andrew. I’m tired, buddy. I’m f—ing tired.”

    “I’m tired too,” Therrien replied, “because I’m still getting harassed by these motherf—ers.”

    A lot more in between. Therrien was relentless and had a real talent for getting people to talk. And he sure could hold a grudge, something I just never saw any point in.

  73. Monala says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Charles Stith became Clinton’s ambassador to Tanzania. In the early 2000s, he started the “African Presidents in Residence” program at Boston University, as a way for African leaders to voluntarily step down from office and come to America, rather than trying to hold on to power long-term.

  74. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Get over yourself. I dont resent anyone for their net worth…or lack of it for that matter. I simply don’t take anyone seriously that manipulates their system of values when it disadvantages or inconveniences them or their tribe.

    On matters of law, sure, you debate in reasonably good faith. On matters of society and culture, you simply do not argue in good faith. You’ve stated your bias against certain types of people. No skin off my back unless you happen to be position to impede of benefit to me. Do you.

  75. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Lol. Dont worry, Farrakhan gave me all the warning I need

  76. Monala says:

    @OzarkHillbilly Wow, what a fascinating story, like a real-life, one-man Leverage.

    I found this part interesting:

    One of his clients was Rowland, until the gravy train crashed in 2013. Under pressure from regulators, banks stopped doing business with the sketchiest payday lenders, making it hard for them to issue loans and collect payments.

    Know who one of those regulators were? Elizabeth Warren’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

  77. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Lol. Dont worry, Farrakhan gave me all the warning I need

    LOL, it was meant as a joke, but since you went there, over the source of my life I’ve experienced antisemitism from just about every corner imaginable, but the consistent worst offenders in that regard? All I’ll say is they haven’t been white …

  78. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    You’ve stated your bias against certain types of people

    You busted me. I generally don’t like lazy people who blame others for their problems while doing nothing themselves to address them. People who feel as though they are owed something. Conveniently though, those folks come in every color of the rainbow, which just makes me unsympathetic, not a racist. In other words, a schmuck, but not a schmendrik . What a shanda!

    Feel free, though to keep believing whatever narrative about me best feeds your agenda.

  79. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    One of these three hates being told what to do by corporate, and thinks he’s in a position to do as he wants regardless of policy.

    Then corporate has the responsibility to disabuse him of his notion of privilege. Whether corporate will follow through on that duty is anyone’s guess–your guess being superior, of course–but I can’t help that.-

  80. Gustopher says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’ll admit that I was really thinking of the march to marriage equality, which was entirely violence free.

    But, even looking back, there was remarkably little violence in the gay rights movement. A few isolated incidents rather than anything widespread. Far, far more violence perpetrated against LGBT folks than by them.

    It really has been an anomaly with how peaceful it has been.

    Has anyone done any follow up with the people who would scream that gays getting married would destroy the institution of marriage? I’m honestly curious about whether they think it has come to pass. Also, I want someone to rub their noses in it.

  81. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Well, he’s high up. But it seems like his hobby is to do things contrary to policy, regardless of the reason. I won’t go through the litany, but he does it for reimbursements and gets reimbursed (though I have to push things through).

    Also, other higher-ups are lax about wearing masks, so reporting the matter to HR wouldn’t do any good.

  82. flat earth luddite says:

    With regard to the “de-institutionalization” of the mentally ill in the ’70s and ’80s, it ran into the same problem that “anti-recidivism” efforts in the same time period. The government saved all this $$$ on the custodial “care” of mentally ill and convicts, and spent it on their own hobby horses instead of actually helping reintegrate people into society. For example, outreach, mental health, community support, were all “too expensive.” So the mentally ill sleep on the streets and panhandle because we don’t help them function. Similarly, Washington state had a program in place in the late ’70s and ’80s which gave prison inmates (especially women/minorities) a chance at a community-college education/professional training, and support to help them in the first year after release with housing, child care, medical insurance, and tax benefits to the employers taking a chance on these people. The programs were extremely successful at reducing overall recidivism rates but ultimately deleted from state budgets because it took $$$ away from the profitable prison industry.

    IMHO, society is largely responsible for its own problem here. You either have a society where the disenfranchised have a mechanism to return to membership, or you don’t. If you don’t want them back, why are we releasing them “to the wild?”

  83. Monala says:

    @flat earth luddite: That’s my fear about the tagline, “Defund the police.” There are plenty of people more than happy to defund areas of government, without putting anything in its place.

  84. Kathy says:

    How about that? Interjet, which still exists, is offering departing passengers in Mexico City antibody tests for SARS-CoV-2. Their website even claims their test can tell whether there’s no infection, a current infection, or a past infection.

    This remind me of Maxwell Smart. “I can detect whether you’re infected. Would you believe that?”

    More believable is their claim to have obtained financing for $150 million USD, and their determination to keep operating.

    I sure hope they make it. They’re the best airline currently operating in Mexico. Though I doubt their plans to outfit newer A320/321 neo models with WiFi and seatback screens will go on.

  85. sam says:
  86. flat earth luddite says:

    Yes, although I am a “child of the counter-culture” I fully support paying taxes as part of my obligation to live in a society where I no longer carry a gun. (Trust me, y’all DON’T want a world where I’m relying on myself for public safety. Been there, done that, got the hat and t-shirt.)

    Many wealthy don’t grok the idea that taxes are what they pay to keep from being hung from lamp posts. Many middle class don’t seem to grok the idea that there are wolves out beyond the campfire.

    Personally, I’m rather fond (in no particular order) of safe food on the table, public transportation, indoor plumbing, lights, the ability to walk outside without being shot, or to sit and read a book of my choosing in relative safety and peace. I deeply and sincerely value the trappings of civilization, having lived outside of those trappings in my wild and lunatic past.

    I agree that the way we’re doing things isn’t working for a significant portion of the population and that we should make intelligent changes.

    I support changing the way we fund things, or what things we fund IF it’s done on a consensus and intelligent basis. No throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

    Just my opinions and thoughts. That and $1.50 should buy you a cup of coffee at 7/11.

  87. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I still get the same one vote as anybody else

    OK, I can’t let this go, just because it so much happy bullshit. I mean, really? Seems to me Sheldon Adelson only gets one vote too. Is that why the entire GOP pays obeisance to him every election season? For that one… lousy…. single… vote?

  88. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Monala: He’s a dude, and he did most of it on the phone, my least favorite instrument. I had such a run in with a collection agency. He was gonna hunt me down, break my legs, burn my house down, steal my car, and make my wife his bitch. I just told him to fuck off for 3 or 4 weeks and then he started calling my parents. Once they reported it to the cops it ended.

    But hunt the mf’er down and ruin his life? I got better things to do with what little time I have on this planet.

    Still, I tip my hat to the man. He did it for the lazy fcks like me.

  89. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Seriously dude, do you have any other setting besides outrage? You can’t let anything go. It’s exhausting …

  90. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Did you see where city council out in the People’s Republic of Berkeley just voted to have non armed employees of an as yet non-existent city Department of Transportation conduct traffic stops and to slash the police department budget by 50%?

    What could possibly go wrong? 🙂

  91. OzarkHillbilly says:


    I’ll admit that I was really thinking of the march to marriage equality,

    That started with Stonewall.

    You are right about there being fewer riots, but I have to say the 2 movements (LGBTQ and Civil rights for blacks) have some very significant differences. Starting with if one is gay, they can pass for straight. Many did and I am sure some still do. If one is black… Well, for most blacks*, passing for white just isn’t possible.

    * like somewhere between 97-99% of blacks. And never forget the one drop rule.

  92. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @HarvardLaw92: HA! I can’t help but notice that instead of addressing my point you engaged in an ad hominem attack.

    Now why would that be?

    ETA and just to let you know, unlike you I can’t hang around and post here all day. As of right now I have a life to attend to, so I will not be around for whatever vacuous bullshit you think makes for an argument. Tomorrow is another day, and I will have let this go because… well mostly because life is just too damned short and you aren’t worth it.

  93. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I took it as a joke and responded with a little one of my own I assure you. Maybe a Farrakhan reference was a little too far.

    Im socialized enough to know there are white men Id assault a machine gun emplacement with after we shared a final swig of scotch and there are black men I wouldnt help punch out of a paper bag. What is important, is how we treat people at the moment of interaction…and what we do with any power we may be entrusted with to give people an opportunity to rise beyond our our expectations. As cynical as I am about white men in general, Ive mentored and sponsored the careers of young white people. I hope they return the favor when the roles are reversed and the have the opportunity to invest knowledge and experience into the career of young person of color.

    As for the Jewish community, I often use them as an analogy for how a minority population protects its interests. I wish my community would take a page out of the same book. Nothing but respect for the Jewish sense of community and devotion to having a nucleus of expertise in the law and finance.


  94. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Fair enough, and agreed. Respect reciprocated

  95. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I really have no agenda here other than I enjoy the comments from many different perspectives than my own. I also believe my perspective as a southern black professional with a military background…born 3 generations away from enslaved ancestors and who grew up on the tail end of Jim Crow might be a rare perspective for this commentariat–who seem to value different perspectives.

    I will call bullshit sometimes…but only when I think its value to shape the conversation from a facet that might not be considered.

  96. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    I will second luddite on that “a world where I’m relying on myself for public safety” thing that he noted and go on to say that the only world that would be less hospitable would be the one in which I’M relying on myself for public safety.

    And only a part of my fear is that I don’t shoot straight. 🙁

    Choices folks. Choose wisely.

  97. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Agreed. I assure you that I have an abiding sense of respect for anyone who chooses to don the uniform and protect this nation. That obviously includes you without regard to how often we might disagree.

    My own perspective, I suppose, is that I recognize that privilege exists. I suppose I could be accused of benefitting from it from a certain perspective, although I’m not sure any privilege got me through the rigors of law school, but in a way we’re not so dissimilar. My own grandparents immigrated to the US from Germany in the 1930s, barely, and in doing so became the only members of our family to survive. The rest – German, Jewish – I’m sure I don’t need to fill in the details about. That said, they arrived here well educated but essentially penniless, but prospered nonetheless, so I’m not that far removed from struggle myself. Baltimore, I assure you, was not and is not the friendliest place in which to be a Jew. That may be one of the reasons I value initiative and have such a sense of disgust for what I described above. To try and fail is no sin, but not to try at all – or worse, to believe that circumstances immunize one from even being expected to try, to feel one is owed something – isn’t something I can muster any sympathy for. In my culture it’s probably considered to be one of the worst things one can do.

    There are certain things I do, certain causes I support financially, which bear that respect for initiative out. I don’t discuss them here because it’s considered verboten for my people to discuss charitable giving. That may serve to give a one sided picture of who I am, may make me seem heartless when only one side of the equation gets discussed, I realize that, but rules are rules, and as an observant Jew I follow them. I assure that I’m not as one-sided as I may seem.

    I’d also assure you that I value your perspective, even when it may seem I don’t entirely agree with it, and hope you’ll stick around. Even when it doesn’t seem that I’m learning (I am indeed hard headed), that isn’t always the case.

  98. CSK says:

    Mary Trump’s book, Too Much and Never Enough, sold 950,000 copies in its first day of sales, a record for Simon and Schuster. Donny will be chagrined.

  99. Gustopher says:


    I don’t discuss them here because it’s considered verboten for my people to discuss charitable giving.

    Having enough Jewish friends that they sometimes forget that I’m not Jewish, I really have to wonder what odd little branch of the many, many Jewish cultures in the US you have encountered that doesn’t like a good humble brag. It’s always “I try to give a little every year to X, if I can spare it…” where the X is mentioned and the little bit might be $50, or $50,000 and that they are reluctant to mention, but you always somehow know.

  100. HarvardLaw92 says:


    The ones that follow Talmud. Nice stereotyping though

  101. Gustopher says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Hardly stereotyping, speaking from my experience, why I acknowledge may be limited. Nice accusation though.

    The New York Jews and the West Coast Jews — very different groups — both tend to be open about the charities they support, regardless of how religious they are. West Coast tends to be more of a casual “I support such and such, and maybe you should too” while NYC Jews I encountered tended to be less openly recruity.

    The Hasidim were more circumspect, but I worked in an office with 8 of them* and they talked about it some. And their charity tended to be more focused on their community, compared to the more secular Jews, and they were annoyed that they couldn’t get matching from the company for some of it.

    It never once occurred to me that talking about it was forbidden, because they all did it.

    *: I never expected to work with 8 Hasidim, but you get all sorts of weird clusters when most people get hired through recommendations from current employees.

    I also know someone who runs a transgender software company — he hired a trans woman as an early employee, treated her like a person, she recommended people she knew and the company got a quiet reputation as a trans-friendly place to work and now transfolk apply all the time… the entire recruitment pipeline is very skewed at this point.

  102. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: “Did you see where city council out in the People’s Republic of Berkeley”

    You know what else that hideous commie hellhole has? According to my mother, who has lived there since 1959, a much lower infection rate than many other communities in California. Because apparently if you live in a “People’s Republic” you actually have a sense of responsibility to those around you and take the precautionary measures that “real Americans” call violations of their freedom.

    Or maybe they just sent all the sick people to the gulag. Who knows?

  103. HarvardLaw92 says:


    I think maybe both of us are inclined to believe the other isn’t speaking in good faith.

    I can’t, nor would I presume to, speak for how others conduct tzedakah. I’m a Conservative Jew whose first teachings about Judaism and how to conduct one’s self as a Jew were imparted by his decidedly German (they still spoke German between themselves as long as I knew them) grandparents. Perhaps their viewpoint on the matter differed from the more permissive or secularly oriented practices you’re familiar with.

    Talmud is clear on this matter though. Tzedekah performed in order to draw notoriety or acclaim to one’s self – bragging about one’s giving or calling attention to it – is among the lowest forms of tzedekah, and is to be avoided at all costs as it corrupts the very nature of what tzedekah is supposed to be about. As a rule, Jews should seek to give in ways which avoid calling attention to their giving, and ideally in ways which avoid either the beneficiary or the benefactor being aware of the other’s identity. I follow that rule, as I was taught to do, and have all of my life. What others do is between them and G-d.

  104. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Lol, there you go again – straight to outrage. Do you even have any other setting?

    It was a joke. Lighten up Francis. Reactions like this are why so many people can’t stand the far left.

  105. Monala says:

    @HarvardLaw92: How do you know wr is outraged? Can you read their mind? For what it’s worth, you’ve expressed a lot of what seems like anger on this thread. (Of course, I can’t read your mind, so I don’t know for sure either). What if someone said to you, “Lighten up!” every time someone says something you think is anti-Semitic (twice on this thread, by my count). I doubt you’d appreciate it.

  106. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: “Lol, there you go again – straight to outrage. Do you even have any other setting?”

    It was a joke about forty years ago. Now it’s a tired right-wing trope used by people who can’t stand the messiness of democracy, even when it’s currently working much better than the well-ordered places run by Republicans.

    And for the record, I’m not outraged, just bored by this kind of lazy thinking.

  107. wr says:

    @Monala: “Can you read their mind?”

    Thanks — and I’m a him!

  108. Monala says:

    @wr: Got it!

    It would be one thing if your post contained a bunch of swearing, all caps, or exclamation marks. That’s not definitive either, but at least that would be some evidence that you were outraged. There was none of that in your post.