Friday, December 9, 2016

Trump and the Progressive Pyramid

It was well noted during the campaign that people who considered themselves true conservatives were leery of Donald Trump, suspecting that he was more like a progressive Democrat than an ideological conservative. His pre-administration, however, is starting to shape up in ways that conservatives scarcely dared hope.

The Progressive agenda is slow and steady. It is not made of Bolshevik Revolutions or Cuban Revolutions, as much as the agenda thereof was admired on the farthest left. It is more to be compared with the construction of the pyramids in Egypt. Slow at times, very gradual, but steadily moving toward completion. It is a long-term agenda.

It has progressed under all the administrations and congresses of the past 100+ years. At times, construction of the Progressive pyramid moved forward at a rapid pace; the FDR years, the LBJ years and the Obama years are examples. At times, construction slowed to a crawl, with only a few layers or even a few stones put in place, but construction continued.

People ran for office professing ideals of stopping the project, and some even spoke of demolition. While there were some remodels and refits during the Reagan years, the pyramid was no smaller in 1988 than in 1980. Under George Bush 43, it was business as usual. Bill Clinton was enthusiastic about the project, albeit with some paint jobs. Under G.W. Bush, it was business as usual plus a war. He was a grave disappointment to conservatives who had supported him, for he had both houses of Congress in his party for his first two years, and could have done much to roll back the progressive agenda, and instead added to the pyramid without removing a single stone, (though maybe a handful of sand.)

Obama, of course, has been Pharaoh’s master builder.

Now enter Donald Trump.
Conservatives were very skeptical of his promises to make real change, partly because of his past, and partly because of all the promises that had been made before which resulted in nothing to shrink the role of government, to stop construction of the great pyramid, much less to knock off any bricks. But Trump’s appointments spell out a strongly conservative agenda. He is not showing up at the pyramid with stonecutters, masons and construction equipment. He is showing up, so far, with demolition experts, wrecking balls, bulldozers and dumptrucks. He is appointing people to head abusive agencies who are arch-critics of those agencies. He is appointing people to head agencies hated by conservatives with conservatives who hate those agencies. Some of his appointments are the functional equivalent of appointing General George Patton as the commander of the German Wehrmacht, or putting Nelson Mandela in charge of apartheid. Will Trump appoint Wayne La Pierre as head of the BATFE?

The pyramid builders are nervous, and with good reason. For the first time in 100 years, someone is showing up to their beloved pyramid, so carefully built over the decades, not with mortar but with dynamite.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Trump and the Tragic Truth

With all the hubbub over Donald Trump's disgusting comments from whenever that was, I think it unfortunate that we are largely overlooking the elephant (perhaps the pig?) in the room. That is not that his comments were crude and inappropriate. That is given.
It is that much of what he said is true. Despite all our progress as a society, it remains that rich and powerful men believe that they can get away with whatever they want to with women, and with many women, they are absolutely correct. The difference between many corporate chiefs, Hollywood moguls and politically powerful men in the west, and Saddam Hussein and his sons, is that Saddam and his animal boys used force.
Look at JFK, credibly reported to have raped interns in the White House. Look at Mao Tse-Tung, who felt that giving young women his syphilis was a badge of honor. Look at Bill Cosby, whose victims took years to come forward. And of course, Bill Clinton. Look at the casting couch, the corporate office, the women offered as favors to business travelers as if they were drinks or hors d'oeuvres or Disneyland tickets.
It is not just Democrats, not just Republicans, not just Americans or Englishmen or Japanese or whoever, but rich and powerful men in every culture who believe that their wealth and position places them above the norms of decent society and above any accountability, and they are too often correct. It is that they believe that women are toys for their pleasure instead of their sisters, their daughters, their equals.
And, equally tragic, women are still too often taught (by culture and experience) that they dare not challenge the rich and powerful. Many are also taught, again by culture and experience, that they can use their sexuality to get what they want from the rich and powerful. They can get that chance at stardom, that coveted position, that Mercedes. The only price: their self-respect.
Until and unless men of every age and social stratum understand that they are not above the law, until women of every age are given voice when they report improper conduct (instead of being stifled and demonized) and until men and women of all ages recognize that women are not Kleenex, to be used and thrown away, and that they are not for sale at any price, we will be condemned to continue hearing such crude locker-room talk as Trump engaged in, and we will be worse condemned to admit that he spoke the harsh, disgusting truth.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

My Interview With Politicians

I recently had the chance to interview spokespeople from the two major political parties, GOP senator Ronnie Rep and Democratic congresswoman Debbie Dem, each considered leaders in their respective parties.

Here is the full transcript of my interview.

SRP: Thank you both for coming today. I would like to start with what I think is the most important question facing the nation today.

Debbie, What can be done to curb profligate government spending, which is causing deficits that threaten to bankrupt the nation and leave our children and grandchildren heavily indebted to foreign interests?

DD: Thank you for that question. I think we definitely need to look into the relations between the police and minority communities.

RR: She is anti-police.

DD: But that black man the other day was unarmed!

RR: No he wasn’t, the video showed he had a gun.

SRP: Thank you. But returning to my question, Ronnie, What can be done to curb profligate government spending, which is causing deficits that threaten to bankrupt the nation and leave our children and grandchildren heavily indebted to foreign interests?

RR: Well, for one thing, we need to secure the border.

DD: He is a racist. He hates Mexicans, who are only coming here to work.

RR: She just wants to extend health care to illegals.

SRP: Thank you. But returning to my question, Debbie, What can be done to curb profligate government spending, which is causing deficits that threaten to bankrupt the nation and leave our children and grandchildren heavily indebted to foreign interests?

DD: With regard to health care, we have made so much progress in exending health care to the poor and needy . . .

RR: While doubling premiums for the rest of us! Repeal Obamacare!

DD: What needs to be done now is to move toward single-payer health care, so no one is left behind.

RR: Except those who are voted down by the death squads.

SRP: Thank you. But returning to my question, Ronnie, What can be done to curb profligate government spending, which is causing deficits that threaten to bankrupt the nation and leave our children and grandchildren heavily indebted to foreign interests?

RR: She wants to take away your guns.

DD: No I don’t, I just want to register all the ones that are out there and make it impossible for people to get more. Isn’t there enough killing already with the ones we have?

RR: Hear your door being kicked down?

SRP: Thank you. But returning to my question, Debbie, What can be done to curb profligate government spending, which is causing deficits that threaten to bankrupt the nation and leave our children and grandchildren heavily indebted to foreign interests?

DD: We certainly need to protect a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices. He wants to outlaw all abortions, 90% of which are the result of rape or incest.

RR: No I don’t! I just believe that we should have reasonable restrictions.

DD: There goes Roe v. Wade!

SRP: Thank you. But returning to my question, Ronnie, What can be done to curb profligate government spending, which is causing deficits that threaten to bankrupt the nation and leave our children and grandchildren heavily indebted to foreign interests?

RR: You mention foreign interests. As I said, build the wall. If we build it, they will not come.

DD: But we have to accept refugees!

RR: Can we have them at least leave their bombs in Europe before we turn them loose in our cities?

SRP: Thank you. But returning to my question, Debbie, What can be done to curb profligate government spending, which is causing deficits that threaten to bankrupt the nation and leave our children and grandchildren heavily indebted to foreign interests?

DD: I think that our citizens need to be united. Speaking of Citizens United, it has to be overturned. It allows corporations to spend money to favor things I oppose and oppose things I favor.

RR: OK, reverse it, but include the unions.

DD: But unions are noble people, and corporations are made up of greedy, faceless monsters.

SRP: Thank you. But returning to my question, Ronnie, What can be done to curb profligate government spending, which is causing deficits that threaten to bankrupt the nation and leave our children and grandchildren heavily indebted to foreign interests?

RR: People should stand for the national anthem.

DD: They have a right to sit.

RR: Not in the NFL. That is an arm of the military.

SRP: Thank you. But returning to my question, Debbie, What can be done to curb profligate government spending, which is causing deficits that threaten to bankrupt the nation and leave our children and grandchildren heavily indebted to foreign interests?

DD: I think that people should be able to use whichever restroom they feel comfortable in.

RR: Perverts in the girls’ bathroom. No man Jack in the Jills’ john!

DD: But we have to consider the 87% of Americans who are LGBT.

SRP: Thank you. But returning to my question, Ronnie, Debbie, What can be done to curb profligate government spending, which is causing deficits that threaten to bankrupt the nation and leave our children and grandchildren heavily indebted to foreign interests?

RR: Bomb the hell out of them!

DD: Yes, bomb the hell out of them!

SRP: Out of who?

DD and RR in unison: THEM!

RR: You know, the bad guys. America’s enemies.

DD: The rich. They aren’t paying their fair share anyway.

RR: Nothing a few thousand tons of bombs can’t solve.

DD: The children! Won’t someone think about the children?

RR: The flag! Apple pie! She hates apple pie!

DD: He hates Muslims and people of color!

RR: She was not even born in this country!

DD: He is warring on women!

RR: She wants to let ISIS vote in the girls’ restroom!

DD: Bush lied, people died!

RR: Reagan!


SRP: I think it is abundantly clear here who the enemy really is.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Taxes and Fairness

It is often heard said, most notably from President Obama, that millionaires should pay their fair share of taxes. That in itself is not controversial; it is likely that everyone would agree that millionaires should pay their fair share of taxes. Should they pay less than their fair share? Few would believe that is proper. Should they pay more than their fair share? That does not sound any fairer than paying less than their fair share.

Rephrasing the question with a slight difference might make the answer less unanimous. Should the middle class taxpayer pay his or her fair share? Most people would agree that is fair. Should the middle-class taxpayer pay more than his or her fair share? Or less? No. Most people would say they should pay their fair share.

How about the poor? Should the poor taxpayer pay his or her fair share? Or more or less than his or her fair share? No.

Most people would say every taxpayer, rich, poor or middle, should pay his or her fair share.

OK, that entire dispute is settled. It is not even a question. The real question is, what is each taxpayer’s fair share of the burden of providing whatever services the government provides?

News in recent days covered Mitt Romney’s tax burden, and Warren Buffett makes frequent news discussing his, as compared to that of his secretary. Mitt Romney and Warren Buffett each receive certain services from the government. Their roads are paved, like mine are, their borders and airways are defended, like mine are, their enemies are shot in middle-Eastern hideaways, like mine are. For the services I receive, I pay some tens of thousands of dollars annually. For the exact same services, Mitt Romney pays $3 Million annually, and Warren Buffett pays, I suppose, more than that. For those same services, some people pay a few hundred dollars per year and many millions pay nothing at all. Is that fair? Is it fair to charge a rich family millions of dollars for what I get for thousands and another family gets for free? What is Buffett's "fair share" of my "fair share?"

On the other hand, some very high income taxpayers pay only 13-15% of their incomes in taxes each year, while middle-class taxpayers pay 25-30%. Is that fair? Is it fair that Buffett’s secretary pays a greater percentage of her income to fund the services she receives than Buffett does?

I would suppose that Buffett’s secretary would like to pay 15% of her income as taxes, but would not want to pay $3 Million per year. I would suppose that the poorest would not like to pay 15% of their income in taxes. What is fair?

If I go to the movies, I pay $10.25 to get in, as do the multimillionaire next to me and the poor person behind him. Some would say that is fair; we are all going to watch the same film, though the ticket price is X% of my income, ¼X% of the rich man’s income and 3X% of the poor man’s income. It might be fairer if they charged me $10.25, charged the poor man $1 and charged the rich man $100. But then, of course, the seats would all be filled with the poor and the rich man would decide not to go.

With the government, however, if the rich man decides he does not want to see the movie, and is not going to buy a ticket, he is told, “The hell you’re not! You may not want to see the movie, but you are buying a $100 ticket.”

The problem now is that the very voices that are demanding that each should pay his or her “fair share” want to determine what that “fair share” is. Yet, I remember an old adage that says that something that is not fair to everybody is not fair to anybody.

An even more fundamental question, one that most of our politicians do not even like to hear asked, is this: What is the “fair share” of everyone’s total income that the government should be seizing from the people and spending? If the takers are the ones who get to define what take is “fair,” then any amount is fair. And if we all get to decide what the other guy’s “fair share” is, then I might feel inclined to vote that my fair share is $10, and yours is everything you get. Except, of course, that that would not really be “fair,” would it?

So the question of whether everyone should pay his or her fair share is already answered. The answer is yes. We are left with two questions: 1) What is your, my and his “fair share,” and, more fundamentally, 2) Is it possible to determine anyone’s “fair share” of an unfair burden?

Saturday, January 14, 2012


With all the discussion in the news of late about the Mormon Church, Americans have the right to know what these people really believe and practice, and the oaths and covenants into which their priesthood (basically all active male members) enter.

These are found in documents internal to the Mormon Church, (officially The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) and little known outside the church. All of these references are to Mormon documents themselves and have been verified.

1. THE MORMON BAPTISMAL OATH. When anyone is baptized into the Mormon Church, he or she is required to undertake certain promises and covenants. Among these promises, seldom mentioned outside the circle of Mormonism, are:

to bear one another’s burdens;
to mourn with those that mourn;
to comfort those that stand in need of comfort;
to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places.

(The Book of Mormon, Mosiah 18:8-9)

It is plain to see that these people are bound by these oaths to stand up for each other and to defend their religion.

2. THE MORMON MISSIONARY. These young men, and increasingly, young women, are almost ubiquitous these days. In every large city in the free world and in nearly every small town, you can see them on their bicycles and in their cars, or on foot, preaching what they hold out to be the "gospel", according to their beliefs. But what are they themselves taught? What indoctrination is required of them? What qualifies them for this service?

A look at internal Mormon documents written by their founder himself, Joseph Smith, gives insight into the kind of things these young people are sent forth to do. This charge, word for word, is still taught to every one of these missionaries today, as it has been since 1829.

Ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
If ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;
Faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.
Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.
Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

I am not making this up. This is taken directly from the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 4, and is required of EVERY Mormon missionary.

3. THE MORMON PRIESTHOOD. As mentioned above, every Mormon male who participates in the church is ordained to their priesthood, starting with boys at age 12, who work their way through various offices in the lesser priesthood until they become Elders in early adulthood. Many older men, with years of church service and increasing responsibility, become High Priests in their church.

And what power do these men hold over the church as they advance and exercise their authority in congregations? Again, we learn this secret directly from their own sacred writings, in passages that are drilled into the mind and heart of every Mormon man who can call himself one, from the time he is young. He learns about power and influence and how to wield it.

This, from the words purportedly revealed to Joseph Smith, their prophet, in 1839:

No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile.

Doctrine and Covenants, Section 121, v. 41-42.

So you see how they use persuasion and such mind-influencing tactics as gentleness, meekness, kindness and unfeigned love to enforce their power and influence over the people? Ask a Mormon about this! He cannot dare deny it. That is how their leaders, and even their husbands and sons, are taught to operate every day of their lives.

They are even instructed, when they must scold someone over something, to show increased love for the person afterwards so that they will know they are a faithful friend and not an enemy. (Same section, verse 43.) These things are taught regularly to every Mormon man and boy.

4. WHAT OF THE WOMEN? Not content to have only the men participate in their various schemes and oaths outlined above, the Mormon leaders organized the women early on into a group that works alongside the men to accomplish their goals. A popular Mormon song, rarely heard outside the church but known to most participating Mormon women, describes their role in carrying this out:

As sisters in Zion we'll all work together;
The blessings of God on our labors we'll seek.
We'll build up his kingdom with earnest endeavor;
We'll comfort the weary and strengthen the weak.

Plainly they see themselves as a team with a common goal.

5. EVEN THE CHILDREN. Yes, while it may seem enough that the Mormon men and women participate in these things and teach one another their oaths and promises, that is not sufficient for these Mormons. They teach their children from an early age to hold fast to their belief system and not stray from it. To justify this, they quote (again from their "Book of Mormon") in Mosiah, 4:14-15:

And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil . . . .
But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.

They drill these things into their children from the time they are little.


We can take that right from the words of their founder, Joseph Smith, which every Mormon learns from childhood, and none can dare deny:

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous and in doing good to all men. Indeed we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul; we believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things and we hope to be able to endure all things; if there is anything virtuous, or lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy, we seek after these things. --(Article of Faith 13)

7. AND THEY SAY THEY ARE CHRISTIANS?!? Yes, so they claim. They base that on such passages as:

"I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from Hell,"


"There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives. . . . And it shall come to pass that whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ,"

both from their "Book of Mormon."

These people are EVERYWHERE IN AMERICA, especially in the west. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Henry's Farm

Henry had a small farm which he inherited from his father. His father had inherited it from his father before him, and indeed it had been in the family for generations. Of course, being a farm, simply owning it did not mean that it produced crops without work and maintenance. Henry's ancestors had worked hard to buy the farm, had worked hard to clear the land, take out the rocks, build and maintain the structures and fences, and keep the farm in good order when it was passed on to Henry.Sure, it was not perfect when Henry got it, but it was a nice farm. Henry worked fairly hard, but not as hard as he needed to to make the farm produce. He slacked off from what his forebears had done, let the weeds grow, let the fences go, let the ditches get clogged. Worst of all, he borrowed against the farm to buy things he really could not afford, supposing that tomorrow would pay for them.Sadly, Henry could not make the payments (especially with his slacker ways) and he lost the farm when the bank foreclosed on it.Henry was sad. He felt badly that he had lost what his ancestors had sacrificed so hard to get. He determined that he would buy that farm back.So he changed his ways, worked hard, sacrificed and struggled, slaved and scrimped, until finally, he was able to buy back that farm that his forefathers had struggled to build and had left him so long ago.The only thing was that the years of toil and struggle had taken their toll, and soon after he bought the farm, he "bought the farm," as we say, and died. As he gathered his children around him, he told them,"I have struggled and sacrificed to have this to leave you. Now that you have it, it is so much easier to keep it than it is to win it back after you have lost it. Trust me, I know."Our forefathers struggled and sacrificed, fought and died, to pass us this farm we call FREEDOM. They worked and sacrificed to maintain it and pass it on to us. If we are slackers, let it go, and finally give it away for a few tacky luxuries, what is it going to cost us to buy it back?

Obama Derangement Syndrome

During the years of the George W. Bush presidency, conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer defined a new disease, “Bush Derangement Syndrome,” which he defined as “the acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the presidency — nay — the very existence of George W. Bush.”Columnist Richard Haddad later described a similar condition “in which a person feels and expresses a degree of antipathy toward former U.S. President George W. Bush that is grossly out of proportion to any remark, proposal, or action of the former President, or to any combination of such or to the sum of Mr. Bush's weaknesses as the leader of his country.”I have seen this manifest in people who seem to believe that absolutely everything Bush did, ever, from conception, was wrong. If Bush had said that puppies are cute, there are people who would have never liked puppies again.Since Bush left office, the froth has left the mouths of some of his critics as they have found other things to think and talk about, while others still mumble “Bush lied, people died!!” in their sleep.Now, however, we are facing two manifestations of a new disorder, Obama Derangement Syndrome. It is showing up in people on the far right and the far left of American politics, though it manifests itself differently on different ends of the political spectrum.On the far right, ODS looks much like Bush DS. It is not simply disagreement with Obama’s policies or even disapproval of his entire political agenda. Many perfectly rational people disagree with his policies or disapprove of his politics, just as many rational people heartily approve of his policies and agree with his agenda. It goes far beyond that. It is belief or allegation that everything Obama says or does or thinks is evil and wrong. For example, Obama recently gave a speech in which he said that there are many good Muslim people in the US who contribute to the country and are fine and decent people. Something about to that effect, more or less, is what he said. He did not say that we are all Muslims, that unless we bow to Allah we shall all be beheaded, or anything to that effect. One could take the same speech and search and replace “Muslim” with “Buddhist”, “Hindu”, “Mormon”, “Catholic”, or “Southern Baptist” and the speech would have been reasonably accurate. But to hear some commentators, the mere acknowledgment of the obvious fact that there are many nice, decent Muslim people in the US was a declaration of Jihad. Now, I recognize that in many areas of the country, there are untold millions of people who have never met or seen a Muslim, and know them only from such notables as Osama bin-Laden. However, sheer math would tell the rational mind that not all the hundreds of millions of Muslims in the world want to blow us up. I have many fine and decent Muslim friends and clients, and none has ever tried to blow me up or fly a plane into my house. Indeed, I also know some first-class jerks who are Muslims, and even they have so far refrained from that. The fact is, even as much as I may differ with Obama on his politics and his agenda, sometimes he says something that is correct and true.Even if one accepts the notion that Obama is, in reality, a simmering cauldron of evil, it would simply be impossible for him to always spew lies. Even the devil tells the truth more often than not. The worst liars on earth tell the truth 90% of the time. But to hear some commentators, if Obama tells schoolchildren to study hard, it is some evil plot. If he tells African-American fathers to step up to the plate and be men, (something I think most Obama opponents and supporters would agree with), it must be some trick. But the man cannot always be wrong. If you ask him what time it is, he would probably tell the truth. Even I give him that much credit, and commentators who behave as though his every word and deed is wrong discredit legitimate opposition to his policies and politics. If Obama says he loved his grandma and likes apple pie, he probably loved his grandma and likes apple pie. I do not see that as a reason to banish grandmas and boycott apple pie.On the other end of the spectrum is a different kind of ODS, or what might better be called Obama Infallibility Derangement Syndrome. This is found among his left-wing supporters who believe that Obama is incapable of mistakes, that his name must be spoken with reverence approaching worship. These supporters would print his words in red letters when reported in the newspaper, and regard even any questioning of any aspect or item of his actions or agenda as a symptom of either lunacy or wickedness. These are supporters who, if Obama were found roasting and eating children, would praise his efforts to find alternate food sources and reduce overpopulation. They simply see him as incapable of any flaw or error whatsoever. Obama got lucky with this one. While this, of course, is as loony as a belief that he is incapable of anything but wrongness, poor Bush only had the anti-Bush derangement. He never had the fawning supporters who believed he was the Anointed.I see this as different from people in positions of power over information whose reporting is skewed by their support of his politics and agenda. That is simply biased reporting. It seems that, for the most part, the press corps is so devoted to Obama’s views as to have become lap dogs. If Obama passes gas, the adoring Washington press corps follows him the rest of the day hoping for another one. I do not believe that the press actually considers him infallible; they are lackeys with an agenda. While the adulation is hardly journalism, it is not lunacy any more than Baghdad Bob’s unwavering support of Saddam was. It is promotion. That love affair will eventually cool, especially if the press smell a juicy scandal that will sell advertising. The love of the press is fickle; they liked Bill Clinton but they loved Monica Lewinsky.The same may be said of certain anti-Obama radio commentators, whose agenda is ratings. A rant and an outrageous comment create controversy, which increases advertising dollars. That is profit motive, not lunacy, even if the comments may generally reflect the actual politics of the speaker.In contrast to deliberate promotion (or self-promotion), what I am talking about here is either blind acceptance or blind rejection of everything someone says and does. The problem with either extreme should be obvious. While each is far easier and more convenient than actually thinking, reflexive reactions are not an adequate substitute for reasoned consideration. Obama is not always right any more than he is always wrong. No man is.A reasonable truth-seeker hears the arguments and decides whether he or she accepts them, entirely or in part, based on whether they appear to be based in wisdom and agree with other things known to be true. Deranged people, even deranged people who generally agree with me, will make poor decisions and cannot be relied upon to act sensibly. (Deranged people who disagree with me, of course, will be even less likely to make good decisions, because in addition to being deranged they are wrong.) In any case, knee-jerk derangement reactions are a poor way to govern. Reasoned analysis of the rightness or wrongness, the prudence or imprudence, the feasibility or impracticality, the wisdom or folly of every course of action depends on the capacity of people and nations for rational thought. And on that depends the fate of the people and nations.