IRS

IRS Employees Don't Just Target Political Enemies, They Also Support Friends, Says Federal Watchdog

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Smug Obama
White House

We already know that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a long history of wielding its awesome clout against political opponents of sitting presidents, powerful members of Congress, and the tax collectors themselves, but who are IRS employees for? Well, President Obama seems to tickle their fancy. According to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which enforces the Hatch Act limiting political activity by federal employees, IRS employees are "alleged to have engaged in partisan political activity on duty and in the federal workplace."

Under federal law, IRS employees, like most federal workers, are considered "less restricted employees" who still must mind their actions lest they be be seen as using the taxpayers' money and resources to influence who gets to rule over those taxpayers. According to the list of no-nos, such federal workers "May not engage in political activity—i.e., activity directed at the success or failure of a political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group— while the employee is on duty, in any federal room or building, while wearing a uniform or official insignia, or using any federally owned or leased vehicle."

Nevertheless, in a press release dated April 9, the Office of Special Counsel reports that not just individual IRS employees but whole offices are openly rooting for the incumbent president of the United States.

OSC received allegations that employees working in the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center in Dallas, Texas, violated the Hatch Act by wearing pro-Obama political stickers, buttons, and clothing to work and displaying pro-Obama screensavers on their IRS computers. It could not be determined whether these materials were displayed prior to the November 2012 election or only afterwards. However, since the information OSC received alleged that these items were commonplace throughout the office, OSC issued cautionary guidance to all IRS employees in the Dallas Taxpayer Assistance Center that they cannot wear or display any items advocating for or against a political party, partisan political group, or partisan candidate in the workplace.

Other IRS employees face discipline for advising taxpayers to vote for President Obama during the course of their duties.

This raises certain concerns given the tax agency's acknowledged ability to peer into and disrupt the lives of individual taxpayers and organizations. Just yesterday, the House Ways and Means Committee voted to refer former IRS official Lois Lerner to the Justice Department over allegations that she led the targeting of conservative political organizations.

Long before the current scandal, presidents of both parties—including Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Richard M. Nixon—used the IRS as a bludgeon against political enemies. "My father," Elliott Roosevelt said of FDR, "may have been the originator of the concept of employing the IRS as a weapon of political retribution."

Further evidence of politicized tax collectors with distinct partisan preferences does the IRS no favors—and should scare the hell out of Americans.

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  1. I hope all IRS buildings suffer the same fate as the Bastille.

  2. It’s hard to have faith in humanity when people exist who WANT to work at the IRS. (or NSA, DoD, etc.)

  3. “This raises certain concerns…”

    Yeah, it raises concerns about whether to tear down the IRS buildings and plow the ground with salt, or turn all the buildings into parking garages.

    1. Don’t forget the skull racks to display the remains of their former occupants.

      1. No, no! We must build pyramids out of the skulls.

  4. Most ethical administration in US history.

  5. Will the American public accept this?

    1. Most will.

      1. So we can expect this to continue regardless of who is in charge.

        1. Probably. At least as long as the Government is doling out Free Shit

        2. It wouldn’t go on for long under a Republican administration. CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, NYT… all the big news media would screech about the scandal 24/365.25 until the perpetrators were in jail and the agencies were neutered until the next Democrat is elected President. (Disagree? Compare the treatment of the current IRS scandal to Watergate or what Scooter Libby got vs. what James Clapper is not getting).

          This is the only reason I don’t mind too much voting Republican.

    2. Do we have a choice?

      1. Yeah, I think it has something to do with Somalia.

        1. Just the price of civilization (not a game).

    3. They already have. This scandal has been in the open for over a year.

      AND NOTHING ELSE HAPPENED.

      1. Yup. Even if, for sake of arguement, Team Red gets control of Congress in the fall I doubt anything meaningful will happen. They love being drunk on power as much as Team Blue and it is doubtful they will weaken the most powerful bludgeon they have to weild against their enemies.

        1. The only real upside to having the Red authoritarians in charge is that the media will require them to be a little more restrained in their abuse of power. That is the sad state of American politics.

        2. Who says the IRS would do TEAM RED’s bidding? Didn’t they stiff Nixon when he tried to sic them on his foes?

          1. I’m not saying they would, but those in power might like to think they could wiedl the IRS as a truncheon, even if they can’t, and becasue of that would not really do anything about it.

  6. OSC received allegations that employees working in the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center in Dallas, Texas, violated the Hatch Act by wearing pro-Obama political stickers, buttons, and clothing to work and displaying pro-Obama screensavers on their IRS computers.

    Are they displaying these things in public-facing offices, or in closed offices that the public has no access to? If it’s the latter then who gives a shit?

    1. If it’s the latter then who gives a shit?

      I do. I want working for the IRS to be the most oppressive experience possible.

    2. I do too. A blatantly, openly politicized IRS is going to have a different mindset and culture.

      1. What RC said. A blatantly politicized IRS is horrible whether it is out in public view or not.

  7. When my sister was a clerk for a federal judge, she wasn’t allowed to vote in primaries.

    1. No employees of the federal government should be allowed to.vote.in any federal election, with the.possible exception of enlisted military.

      A clearer example of a conflict.of.interest is difficult to find.

      1. with the.possible exception of enlisted military.

        Why the exception?

        1. I think it only fair that they have a say.in electing those who would send.them.to.die in combat. The.rest of.Federal employees benefit disproportionately from government action; enlisted service.members get a relatively small paycheck and lip service. I understand that they are free to choose another job, but the State will always want a military and make it happen one way or another.

          1. I’d tend to disagree since they are all volunteers and their oath is to the Constitution, not the President or a party.

            1. And I’d disagree – as a 20 year veteran I can tell you that that paycheck isn’t *small*.

              And it just gets bigger if you deploy.

              The average pay of an E-3 may not be enough to afford a wife, kid, and mortgage for a three-bedroom house – but then again how many other 19 year olds have a job that can provide that?

          2. Fair enough. I disagree. As you say, at this time soldiers are free to join or not*. If you are going to say that no federal employee can vote in federal elections, I agree (and I am a fed), then you shouldn’t start giving exceptions as that sets up perverse incentives.

            *if they are drafted, then they get to vote.

            1. My long reply got eaten.by.skwerls. short.version: you’re right, but it.doesn’t feel good to not.give enlisted.folks even a small say in the.matter of how.our.military is.employed.

  8. As infuriating as this is, in some ways Libertarians should be happy about it. You can’t sell government as the solution to every problem if people don’t trust government and view it as a weapon politicians use to punish their enemies. This scandal and the Progs’ refusal to even acknowledge it much less do something about it is just the Progs eating their own shit.

    All the lying in the world won’t correct the damage this does. They might and probably will get people to not vote on this. That will because people will just be so cynical that they figure both sides do it. It won’t be because they still have any faith in government.

    If Progs were not insane, they would be more upset about this than people on the right. Their entire political world view depends on people trusting and believing in government. People losing that trust is not going to end well for them in the long run.

    1. What good is a more powerful government if you can’t use it to your advantage?

      They need to be upset that people find out about this kind of stuff, not that it happens.

    2. It will be interesting to see how the Proggie Bluetards react in general. Considering they have the zeal of the converted with respect to their beliefs, and have complete and utter disdain and contempt for regular people, I expect they will at some time snap and the false veil of compassion will finally slip and they will reveal themselves as the freedom-hating fascists they really are.

      1. They don’t care as long as their team benefits.

      2. It will be interesting to see how the Proggie Bluetards react in general.

        Well, Shriek just commented right below you.

    3. You can’t sell government as the solution to every problem if people don’t trust government and view it as a weapon politicians use to punish their enemies.

      No offense, but this seems naive. People won’t see this as inherent to government, just something that went wrong, nothing that can’t be fixed by putting in a better set of Top Men.

  9. The director of the IRS resigned. Lerner retired before being fired. There are no doubt other stragglers within the IRS.

    fini

    1. Yeah, who cares if they broke the law.

      1. Thursday!

        1. THURSDAY!!!! WHY DO YOU THINK IT WAS POSTED TODAY!!!

    2. Are you telling me that a private sector employee will soon be able to resign their post as opposed to be prosecuted for a slew of felonies?

      Will that apply to Warty and his Rapescheme2015 plans, or just for non-violent crimes?

      1. Is it really rape if all of his victims go willingly?

        1. You sound like Episiarch now. And he suffers from what I believe has been labeled “Rapeholm Syndrome,” which is apparently what happens when somebody accepts an invitation to dinner at a particular house in Cleveland and disappears for 6 months.

          1. “Rapeholm Syndrome”

            Thanks for that… I need a good laugh today.

  10. Thursday!

  11. It’s good to have friends

    I would have gone with Mel Brooks’ “It’s good to be the king.”

  12. “Further evidence of politicized tax collectors with distinct partisan preferences does the IRS no favors?and should scare the hell out of Americans.”

    It may very well be that the Obama Administration doesn’t want this kind of thing kept secret. Vladamir Putin does stuff like this. He wants his opponents to know that he can behave like this with impunity, that he can abuse his power to stifle his opposition–and he can do it out in the open! …and there’s nothing the opposition can do about it.

    Likewise, Obama wants the public to know think that resistance is futile.

    If Obama is using the IRS to quash the right’s criticism of him, then all the progressives out there think that’s great–they think that means he’s doing a good job! I don’t know any progressives who think that relatively wealthy people on the right should be free to finance organizations that oppose them.

    It’s hard for some of us libertarians to imagine why any president would want the public to know that he’s violating the Constitution and the law, but that’s what lots of authoritarian types do–and they want their people to know.

    That’s what Hugo Chavez did, and that’s what Putin does. And they want the public to know! They want their supporters to know he’s repressing their opposition, and they want the people they’re repressing to know they’re going to be repressed. Why wouldn’t they want people to know?

    1. Getting “money out of politics” is really about proggies using their opponents’ money to fund progressive causes and candidates thus leaving the opposition unable to fund its own causes and candidates.

      This is just another prong of the same strategy, really.

    2. “It may very well be that the Obama Administration doesn’t want this kind of thing kept secret.”

      Nail. Head.

  13. Is there some respected legal organization engaged in drawing up Articles of Impeachment?

    I suspect the response by the personality cultists would be highly amusing.

  14. employees working in the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center in Dallas, Texas, violated the Hatch Act by wearing pro-Obama political stickers, buttons, and clothing to work and displaying pro-Obama screensavers on their IRS computers.

    This is merely a demonstration of reasonable and appropriate respect and loyalty to their Supreme Commander. The man is, after all, a Deity. It’s right there in the Constitution.

    1. Can commenters who are fed employees comment on this? Are you prohibited from wearing, say, a “Gary Johnson for President” button when at work? Is this prohibition federal law? Is the penalty firing? Does the boss look the other way when certain political sentiments are displayed? Does it matter if public can see the display or not?

      1. Can commenters who are fed employees comment on this?

        When they’re not surfing porn on the taxpayer dime they can.

        Are you prohibited from wearing, say, a “Gary Johnson for President” button when at work?

        Of course you’re prohibited. But you’re still free to attend the OFA/IRS joint committee in the lunchroom.

      2. Are you prohibited from wearing, say, a “Gary Johnson for President” button when at work?

        yes

        Is this prohibition federal law?

        yes – Hatch Act

        Is the penalty firing?

        Penalties:

        This includes removal from federal service, reduction in grade, debarment from federal employment for a period not to exceed 5 years, suspension, reprimand, or a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000.

        Sloopinca – I am on lunch break. And our software does not allow surfing porn.

        1. “And our software does not allow surfing porn.”

          The you must not work for the SEC!

          1. The you must not work for the SEC!

            Nope, DOI.

            1. Department of Illuminati?

  15. That guy that flew the plane into the IRS building in Austin….

    1. Well played squirlz.

  16. It’s all Boosh’s fault.

    /PB

    1. The people were responsible were fired. And no one did anything wrong.

      /PB

      1. This is an outrage

        /Lightworker

        Not even a hint of scandal

        /Also Lightworker

  17. You can’t sell government as the solution to every problem if people don’t trust government and view it as a weapon politicians use to punish their enemies.

    Yeah, sure. I could find a half dozen people in an hour who would tell me arbitrary and capricious ad hoc suppression of “anti-American” groups is an enumerated power.

    1. Sure Brooks, you can get people to support the government shooting people but you can always do that. What you can’t do is get them to support the government solving this or that problem without them trusting government.

      You forget Progs use government as a way to eat. The whole point is to take money and build a bureaucracy to solve every problem and put a chicken in every pot. That requires trust to get the voters to do that. And they are rapidly pissing that away even among the low information types on whom the Progs’ success depends.

      1. No one cares. They supported the correct person. That’s what matters. Not that they abused their positions. That’s the principle. Principles don’t matter. Who they supported is what matters.

      2. But both Team Red and Team Blue have an inherent trust for power when their team holds the top office, regardless of anything else that happens. And nothing’s going to change that, at least from what I can see.

        1. You confuse politicians for voters. Yeah, politicians love power. But if people lose trust in government, politicians will no longer be able to see voters on giving them that power.

          1. And yet, the same Critters get sent to Congress year after year.

            1. Nothing lasts forever. If people totally lose faith in government, those Congress creatures won’t be returning.

              And that is actually overstated. That was true from the 50s through to the 1990s. Since 1994 however, the House has changed hands three times. A lot of Congress critters have been given their walking papers. That is only going to increase as time goes on.

              You guys love to pretend everyone in America but you is retarded. It makes you feel good but it is not true. Most people are plenty smart, they just don’t pay attention. As things get worse, that will change and that won’t work out well for our political class.

              1. You’ll have to point out where I said I think everyone in America is retarded except for me. Otherwise, yes, I broadly agree with your other points.

                1. You say below how so many of them are willfully ignorant. You don’t seem to be willfully ignorant. What is so special about you?

                  1. Nothing. It’s a question of choice.

          2. People aren’t going to lose trust in government. They will always blame the other team and keep supporting their own. That’s not going to change.

            1. Sure sarcasmic, nothing ever changes. That is why Leftist governments never have to fix elections after they fuck things up. The more government fails the more the people want government and Leftists. So leftists never lose.

              Maybe you are right and Americans are a special breed of stupid that hasn’t existed at any other time in history and will never learn anything and will view every failure of government as just more reason to love and demand more government. I don’t see it that way. I think failure eventually has consequences.

              1. Tell me how to get out from under our two party rule. Enlighten me. Because I don’t see it ever happening. Not without some major changes. But as long as the two parties hold power, they will not allow those changes to happen. It’s a catch 22.

              2. The more government fails the more the people want government and Leftists

                /glances at a political map of the world

                Pretty much.

                1. /glances at a political map of the world

                  Pretty much.

                  Yep.

              3. It’s not so much that Americans are a special breed of stupid, as our forebears were a special bread of smart.

                The foundation that they set up led to the greatest engine of wealth creation in the history of mankind.

                That most human beings, Americans included, do not understand why such things happen, is not a particular critique of Americans.

                Yes, lefty policies hurt and people are not unaware of the hurt. But they are often unaware of the cause, and while they do from time to time change the government, they do so only when pushed severely and often towards a more destructive end.

                People are really, really bad at figuring out causation. Practically everyone here, and I am no exception, spent a significant portion of their lives as one breed of fool or another, and we’re all still fools in some ways still. The ingenuity of humankind is a marvelous thing to behold, but it is far from our only attribute.

                1. “It’s not so much that Americans are a special breed of stupid, as our forebears were a special bread of smart.”

                  The rest of the monologue isn’t as funny.

  18. Fake scandal! If they supported Boosh then you would ignore it! Dog whistle! Racist!

    /PB

    1. TRIGGER WORDS!!!11!!

      1. TRIGGER WORDS

        -R -G +0 -R

        TIGER WOODS

        Coincident? I think NOT!

  19. If Obama is using the IRS to quash the right’s criticism of him

    God Himself does not smite the unbelievers. The keepers of His Word and interpreters of His Will take it upon themselves to act on His behalf.

    I am quite certain the Equalizer-in-Chief never picked up a telephone and sicced Lois Lerner on anybody. Not even, “Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?” And yet, it happened.

    1. I am quite certain the Equalizer-in-Chief never picked up a telephone and sicced Lois Lerner on anybody. Not even, “Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?” And yet, it happened.

      Occam says Lerner is just a Team Blue faithful and nothing else.

      Nice Becket reference you worked in there though.

  20. A said months ago – grant Lerner immunity if you think the White House is involved in any way.

    Nope. They won’t. Because the best the GOP can do is milk this fake scandal for a few midterm votes.

    1. You can’t grant her immunity if you don’t know what she will say. Granting her immunity is just giving her free reign to lie and take the blame. Moreover, she might really be the person most responsible and granting immunity would just let her go.

      You throw her sorry ass in jail for contempt and let her consider how much she wants to sacrifice for the cause. It doesn’t matter whether the White House was directly involved, thought chances are they were. Either the Chocolate Nixon is behind this and thus the dirtiest President probably ever or he wasn’t and is such an incompetent and so negligent he allowed partisans to run wild in the IRS.

      Incompetent, criminal or both seem to be the choices when judging Obama.

      1. I think Ms. Lerner needs to contemplate this….on the Tree of Woe.

        1. Is that a nice way of referring to a gallows?

          1. See also: “Conan The Barbarian” with AHHHHHHHHnold.

    2. Witness the mind of a partisan hack. Our self-declared One True Classical Liberal doesn’t care that the government is suppressing political speech. All he cares about is TEAM politics.

      1. No, I want to hear what Lerner has to say.

        1. Why? It’s a fake scandal, so she obviously did nothing wrong.

          1. Oh, but she did.

            It is just not an Obama-related scandal.

            1. Then it’s not fake, now is it?

            2. Let’s see: She works for Obama. She oversaw the abuse of authority to get Obama re-elected. She was in and out of the White House constantly when the IRS’s involvement in helping his friends and hurting his enemies was going on.

              Nope, I would say Obama is in the clear!

      2. John, it is like your calendar broke. Want a new one? It IS Thursday you know.

  21. Remember Susan McDougal?

    You’re losing this hand as it is.

  22. both Team Red and Team Blue have an inherent trust for power when their team holds the top office, regardless of anything else that happens.

    Exactly. How can any sane, rational person can look at the Obamacare as anything but a debacle? But their faith (not trust) in government is insurmountable; a tweak her, a tweak there, and in fifty years it will be revered as a Great Leap Forward for our American society akin to the Emancipation of the Slaves.

    And it’s the True Believers of both TEAMs. Much like General Turgidson wistfully murmuring, “Gee, I wish WE had one of them Doomsday Machines.”

    1. Not everyone is retarded like PB. A lot of them are. But not all or even a majority. The media does a good job or lying and making sure people who don’t pay a lot of attention don’t really understand what is going on. There is, however, a limit to that. Eventually even the media can’t cover it up.

      I find the absolute faith on this board in the complete stupidity of every American a bit tiresome. If you guys think people are that stupid, why don’t you support government controlling their lives? If they are that dumb, maybe they need it.

      I think you have to have faith that people are over the long run rational and ideologies that fail eventually become discredited and unpopular. Leftists have gotten around this by taking over the governments and ruling by the gun before people realize what a failure their ideology is.

      Leftists are desperately trying to get the power of the gun in the US. Maybe they will get it before people realize it is too late. I don’t know. But I do know that that is the only way they will stay in power, because people do learn and do reject failure. It just takes them a while.

        1. You are right sarcasmic, all Americans are retarded except you and a few other anointed top men. I am sorry the rest of us can’t be apart of the elect.

          I don’t know what else to tell you. If you honestly think that everyone is stupid and Progs will forever be more popular as they make things worse, why do you care? In fact, maybe you should get Libertarians to try to actively make things worse since incompetence and failure is the way to power.

          At some point there is just no point in discussing any sort of politics anymore if your opinion is that voters are so stupid they are incapable of ever acting in their own or collective interests or doing anything but become more leftist until they finally murder each other I guess.

          1. Keep flogging that straw man, Red Tony.

            Or you could read what I linked to and argue against that.

            1. If it is a strawman, then tell me what your position is. I don’t see how it is anything but how I describe it. If it is not, then tell me how it isn’t.

              1. You are accusing us of being Elitists. Perhaps you are right. Where is your evidence?

                1. You are accusing us of being Elitists. Perhaps you are right. Where is your evidence?

                  I don’t know that I am right. Maybe you guys are. Time will tell. That doesn’t make me disagreeing with you guys saying American voters are stupid and will never learn any more of straw man. That appears to be what you believe. I don’t agree. Since we are talking about the future, there is no way to tell who is right. We will just have to wait and see.

                  1. That doesn’t make me disagreeing with you guys saying American voters are stupid and will never learn any more of straw man.

                    Except that no one said voters are stupid. Which makes it a straw man. Read that link. Oh yeah. You’ve got nothing to learn from the likes of us.

                    1. Except that no one said voters are stupid.

                      Really?

                      People aren’t going to lose trust in government. They will always blame the other team and keep supporting their own. That’s not going to change.

                      sarcasmic|4.10.14 @ 11:23AM|#

                      No one cares. They supported the correct person. That’s what matters. Not that they abused their positions. That’s the principle. Principles don’t matter. Who they supported is what matters.

                      Sure looks like you did to me. Again, if people are so partisan they won’t ever hold their own side accountable no matter how bad it is or how badly it fails, they are stupid by any reasonable definition of the term I know.

                    2. stu?pid adjective \?st?-p?d, ?sty?-\ : not intelligent : having or showing a lack of ability to learn and understand things

                      : not sensible or logical

                      : not able to think normally because you are drunk, tired, etc.

                    3. OOO OOO I am #3

                    4. Again, if people are so partisan they won’t ever hold their own side accountable no matter how bad it is or how badly it fails, they are stupid by any reasonable definition of the term I know.

                      Humans are tribal. That’s what tribes do.

                      The only difference between humans of today and humans of five thousand years ago is the toys. We’re just as tribal and instinctual now as we were then.

                    5. Maybe so sarcasmic. If they are as you say they are, then humans, everyone except you apparently, are stupid.

                      Why are you so mad about me for attributing that position to you?

                    6. Why are you so mad about me for attributing that position to you?

                      Because it is not my position.

                      You are telling me that I believe both individuals and people are stupid.

                      Individuals are smart. People are stupid.

                      If you can’t tell the difference then you are distinction-challenged, like Tony.

                      Or flogging a straw man, like Tony.

                      Please, John. Quit being like Tony.

                    7. “No understanding and mischaracterizing beliefs that you claim to disagree with is ignorance.”

                      – John, a couple days ago

                    8. John, you’ve pointed out on many posts in the past that humans are hard wired to be tribal. That implies that you are in complete agreement with sarc on this point.

                    9. Restoras,

                      A lot of the world is tribal. The Western world and the US is generally not. That is why democracy has worked here so well and not in other countries.

                      I don’t think Americans are tribal. You guys do. Maybe you are right. If you are, then Americans are stupid like the rest of the world. Again, maybe you are right. But don’t tell me saying people are tribal isn’t saying they are stupid.

                      And again, if Americans are now tribal, how did you avoid being so? I of course am Red Tony and am tribal and am not part of the elect. But you guys are. Maybe you could enlighten one of the non elect how you got so smart.

                    10. But don’t tell me saying people are tribal isn’t saying they are stupid.

                      Whatever.

                    11. Tribal people are stupid sarcasmic and do stupid things like make judgements based on tribe rather than the facts. Being tribal is a stupid way to be and anyone who chooses to be so is stupid.

                      Yes, calling someone “tribal” is just calling them stupid. And you know that.

                    12. Yes, calling someone “tribal” is just calling them stupid.

                    13. You have said that everyone is hard wired to be tribal. Then you say Americans are not. What makes Americans so special? Were Americans tribal in the 1940s? If not thgen why did we round up Japanese Americans and imprison them? Why does the modern American left show complete disregard and disdain for views other than its own? Why are there SoCons?

                    14. You have said that everyone is hard wired to be tribal.

                      I most certainly have never said anything like that. I have said most of the world thinks tribally. The fact that western countries has not is what has enabled them to have successful economies and democracies.

                      This is why I think economic boycotts are so bad. It is nothing but encouraging people to think tribally, which I think is bad and something we thankfully don’t generally do here.

                      Why does the modern American left show complete disregard and disdain for views other than its own? Why are there SoCons?

                      We all know the SOCONs are the most evil and vile people in the universe. So they are tough one to explain. There evil though is not the result of tribalism. Tribalism is judging completely by the tribe. It means facts and morals and consistency don’t matter. If you are in my tribe you are right and if you are not, you are wrong.

                      SOCONs for all of their monsterous evil are not that way. They have a set of horrific values that all right thinking people loath and think those values should be universal. That is not being tribal. If they were tribal, they wouldn’t be concerned about values, they would just care about advancing other members of the tribe at everyone’ else’ expense.

                    15. Leftists, while groovy and cool and all, are not really tribal either. They are just narrow minded. Sadly, they and a lot of other people in society are increasingly tribal. Being tribal is leftists who 6 years ago thought drones were horrible not think they are great because Obama is doing it. That kind of thinking is getting more endemic in America and is tribal and stupid.

                      How endemic it is is anyone’s guess. I think it is the exception right now and thus am still optimistic. If you could convince me most of America thinks like that and won’t change, then I would be with you guys and agree America is irredeemably stupid and we are doomed. I am just no there yet.

                    16. I most certainly have never said anything like that. I have said most of the world thinks tribally. The fact that western countries has not is what has enabled them to have successful economies and democracies.

                      Just so I am clear, all that nastiness in Europe in the first half of the 20th Century had nothing to do with tribal instincts? Or in the US during the 19th Century? I guess it was all just a misunderstanding, then?

                    17. Tribalism is judging completely by the tribe. It means facts and morals and consistency don’t matter. If you are in my tribe you are right and if you are not, you are wrong.

                    18. Just so I am clear, all that nastiness in Europe in the first half of the 20th Century had nothing to do with tribal instincts? Or in the US during the 19th Century? I guess it was all just a misunderstanding, then?

                      Tribalism isn’t the only form of evil in the world and it is not synonymous with nationalism or communism or fascism. Tribalism is a specific way of thinking. Europe and the US for the most part hasn’t thought that way. To the extent that they have, it has manifested itself in racism. Racism of course has been a great evil in the West and a great inhibitor of its development.

                      The West succeeded in spite of this not because of this. Did Western Europe sometimes engage in tribal thinking? Sure and racism is the best example of that. But Western Europe was not so tribal in its thinking to prevent it from succeeding.

                      In short, Western Europe was never tribal in the way a place like Ghana or Iraq is and this is why it was so much more successful.

                    19. So, when FDR rounded up Japanese-Americans and interred them for years, he wasn’t acting tribally but rationally and intelligently?

                    20. So, when FDR rounded up Japanese-Americans and interred them for years, he wasn’t acting tribally but rationally and intelligently?

                      He considered the Japanese to be a threat. Some of them probably were. And he only rounded those up on the west coast. If he had acted tribally, he would rounded all of them up and probably rounded up the Koreans too just to be on the safe side. And he would have done so before the war.

                      You act like FDR just woke up one day and decided to do it. There was a war and there was thought behind it, even if it wasn’t very moral.

                      Beyond that, maybe he was. Maybe America is irredeemably tribal. If they are, then you guys are right, they are stupid and there is no hope.

                      The whole debate has been that I had the nerve to think you thought Americans were stupid. I really don’t see how telling me how Americans are really tribal is disproving my point.

                      Your position in my opinion assumes Americans are mostly stupid. I don’t agree with that. If you think Americans are tribal, then yeah, you think they are stupid and will endlessly vote for stupid things. Time will tell who is right.

                      I would again ask you though, how is it you avoided being tribal? If you managed it, why won’t they?

                    21. Who said we claim not to be tribal? I’m tribal. My tribe is very small. It is my family. But I am indeed tribal.

                      And by your definition, stupid.

                      Fuck off.

                    22. Who said we claim not to be tribal? I’m tribal. My tribe is very small. It is my family. But I am indeed tribal.

                      Then you are a fucking moron who would think it was okay if a family member victimized someone outside the family. That is what it means to think tribally.

                      If you think that way, then yes you are a fucking moron. I don’t think you think that way however. You just don’t know what the word means and are talking out of your ass.

                    23. Then you are a fucking moron who would think it was okay if a family member victimized someone outside the family. That is what it means to think tribally.

                      Um, no. No it’s not. Tribalism is putting your tribe first. Putting your tribe first doesn’t mean victimizing people outside your tribe. It may mean helping a member of your tribe before a member of another tribe, but it doesn’t have to mean aggression. Otherwise there would never have been any trade between tribes. You’re the one who doesn’t know what the word means and is talking out your ass.

                    24. Tribalism is putting your tribe first. Putting your tribe first doesn’t mean victimizing people outside your tribe.

                      Sure it does. What do you think “putting the tribe first” means? These ideas you and I have about judging people individually and thinking everyone has inherent rights and dignity as a human being, come from the enlightenment. Most of the world today and throughout history thought nothing like that. They thought tribally. That meant that people outside the tribe were not human beings or had the same rights as people within it. This is why slavery was so accepted.

                    25. I hate to break the news too you John, but all humans are hard wired to be tribal, even you. The tribe takes many forms and are not always based on race, ethnicity, language, creed, or any other group boundary you care to choose.

                      Europeans and their descendents are no worse or better, just better organized with better toys.

                    26. Europeans and their descendents are no worse or better, just better organized with better toys.

                      I hate to break it to you restorus, but you don’t know anything about history or much about the world at large. You just don’t. I don’t what to tell you. The idea of equal protection of the law, and equal dignity of every human being, is something unique to Europe and specifically modern Europe and the Enlightenment. They of course haven’t always lived up to those ideals. But they at least had them. The rest of the world didn’t. And that is why their societies failed so badly in the modern age. Have you even been to a country that is tribal? If not, you should go some time. It will show you very quickly how untribal America and Western Europe actually are.

                      I may or may not be rational and is probably not willful, but are most certainly ignorant of the way most of the world thinks and how different that is from how Americans and Europeans think.

                    27. The idea of equal protection of the law, and equal dignity of every human being, is something unique to Europe and specifically modern Europe and the Enlightenment

                      This has zero to do with tribalism. And, to be fair, you are correct and I agree with you. But it has nothing to do with tribalism.

                      I know you’d like to think that I don’t know anything about history, and maybe I don’t know as much as you. But I have sen nothing in Western Civilization in the last 100+ years, much less the world as a whole, to think that as a species we have moved past petty, tribal thinking when man’s cruelty and inhumanity to man is well documented. Rational beings commiting unspeakable atrocities against other rational beings. Rational beings killing 150 million other rational beings in the 20th Century alone doesn’t seem very rational. Seems much more tribal. Maybe all these rational beings only bother to think rationally when they feel safe to do so, or are unafraid of the consequences of thinking and speaking differently, or maybe only when it suits their needs.

                      How else do you explain it, John?

                    28. This has zero to do with tribalism.

                      That has everything to do with tribalism. That is what tribalism is. If you believe everyone is equal, you can’t be tribal because being tribal means your tribe comes before anyone else.

                      You are confused what real tribalism looks like. It is not just “my team go”. It is “my tribe is determines what and how I think about others”. If I am a judge in a tribalist society, I have a duty to fuck anyone of another tribe who comes into my court room and go easy on anyone from my tribe.

                    29. I explain it like this Restoras. Human beings have long and destructive bouts of irrationality. In fact sometimes entire societies can take collective leave of their senses and you get things like the Holocaust or the Killing Fields. The irrationality, however, never lasts forever. Eventually people realize what they are doing is wrong and stop. This is the uneven march of progress.

                    30. Your position in my opinion assumes Americans are mostly stupid.

                      Here we are, right back at square one. You have made a statement, an assertion, that I beleive Americans are stupid. This is a lie. You are lying. I demand that you provide concrete proof that I have said this.

                    31. Here we are, right back at square one.

                      Just like a debate with Tony.

                    32. Here we are, right back at square one. You have made a statement, an assertion, that I beleive Americans are stupid. This is a lie.

                      You say above they are mostly tribal. If they are tribal, they are stupid in my book. You can call it whatever you want. Maybe you think thinking tribally is great. I don’t.

                      Again though, whatever they are, they are clearly different than you. You know better than to vote for the left. They don’t and according to you probably never will.

                      Why are you so modest? You figured out something most people can’t. Isn’t that great?

                    33. Being tribal does not mean bing stupid. Begin ignorant does not mean being stupid. I think you have a faulty and overbroad definition of that word. Maybe that’s just me but I think definitions and semantics matter, especially if you want to be clearly understood.

                      I never said I think tribalism or tribal thinking is great. Clearly it was useful for humanity as a means of survival, but the problem with all such things is how they are applied.

                    34. Semantics certainly matter. And you are not getting the distinctions I am making.

                      Tribalism is a form of ignorance and stupidity the Enlightenment sought to lift us out of. Going back into the tribalist darkness makes you stupid.

                      You keep saying it doesn’t. But that is just because you are offended and hung up how you never meant to say Americans were stupid. I am sure you didn’t mean it. It is just that your position necessarily implies it.

                      The bottom line here is that you are telling me that society is made up of a few Libertarians who have figured out the truth and the mass of Americans who have not and will continue to vote for big government even though it is destroying them.

                      If sounds elitist to you, it should because it is. If you don’t like that, well too bad. It is the position you have laid out.

                    35. Tribalism has nothing to do with ignorance and stupidity. It only has to do with whatever an individual or group of consider to be thier ‘tribe’. You are implying that tribalism is the same thing as stupidity – well then there is no way the Enlightenment could have occured because prior to that everyone was tribal and therefore stupid. The Enlightenment began to lift the veil of superstition and usher in an era based on science and observation. It had zero to do with removing the hard wiring of tribalism from Western Europe. If that was the intention it was an abysmal failure, and is well documented in the centuries since.

                      But that is just because you are offended and hung up how you never meant to say Americans were stupid

                      Yes, I am hung up on this because I never said it, you are lying and can provide not proof of it, and continue to state this lie. Prove it, give evidence, or shut your mouth.

                      If sounds elitist to you, it should because it is. If you don’t like that, well too bad. It is the position you have laid out.

                      Another bold faced lie. I have never stated any such thing, or even implied it, and never made a documented ‘case’ for this. You continue to make this assertion without proof and you are a liar. You wish to hang that on me, fine, but prove it. If you can’t then again, shut your mouth and sit down.

          2. Jesus that is some quality Red Tony derp.

            1. Why is that? You people are the ones claiming this and pretty much any other scandal will have no effect on voters’ love of government or support for the left not me.

              I will ask you the same question I asked sarcasmic, if your position is not that Americans are stupid, then what is it?

              You might try yelling derp and Red Tony in threads where you have a point to make sometime. Doing it when you don’t has made it pretty much an admission you don’t have an answer to my points but are too pig headed to admit it.

              1. You people are the ones claiming this and pretty much any other scandal will have no effect on voters’ love of government or support for the left

                Can you point me to anything that suggests the public at large, the voting public, is clammoring for a thorough investigation of this scandal? Where anyone except those that are the aggreived parties want a sweeping reduction in this Federal bureacracy?

                your position is not that Americans are stupid, then what is it

                You make an assumption based on no evidence. THAT seems stupid to me. Asto my own view on the voting public, they either 1)don’t care becasue it doesn’t effect them, 2)don’t care because they get free shit form the government, or 3)aren’t paying attention and don’t understand the implications. None of those reasons implies they are stupid.

                1. You might try yelling derp and Red Tony in threads where you have a point to make sometime. Doing it when you don’t has made it pretty much an admission you don’t have an answer to my points but are too pig headed to admit it

                  Fair enough, John. However, I, unlike apparently you, have a job that requires a lot of my time. Most of it, in fact. I come here to stay informed, challenge my own views, and entertainment. You seem to have enough time to spout off at leisure and make false accusations without any proof whatsoever, and then leave it to them to defend themselves. That is exactly what Blue Tony does, and that’s fine, just don’t get all pissy when you are called out on it.

                  1. I am not pissy here Restoras, you are. You guys don’t like it that I took your own arguments to their logical conclusion and started screaming and backing off.

                    1. I am not pissy here Restoras, you are. You guys don’t like it that I took your own arguments to their logical conclusion and started screaming and backing off.

                      You reach conclusions with no basis in evidence or fact. You call us elitists. Others call you out on it and demand proof, and you double down. If that makes me the pissy one, then I’ll happily live with it.

                2. Restoras.,

                  None of those reasons implies they are stupid.

                  Two of the three imply they are stupid. The third one implicitly says they can’t understand implications and causality that you apparently are smart enough to understand. The first one says they will never care enough to vote to change anything no matter how bad it gets. That sounds pretty stupid to me.

                  You can say it doesn’t to you but we are just arguing semantics then. Define stupid however you like. But as I and most people define it, you are saying they are stupid.

                  Regardless whatever you want to call it, I don’t think those three things stay true forever. First, no amount of free shit ever satisfies people. So even the free shit people are never going to be happy. Second, if people were incapable of seeing causality or in large numbers never cared about politics no matter how bad things got, there would never be any political upheavals or revolutions. And there certainly are such things. At some point the government fails so badly, those calculations change. That is all I am saying. This won’t go on forever. Nothing does.

                  1. It is statistically impossible for the voting public to be stupid, John. Just because they are willfully ignorant does not make them stupid. It does, however, make them willfully ignorant. If/when they become willfully informed, then they will be that, and perhaps then things will change.

                    With resepct to 1)don’t care becasue it doesn’t effect them, why is this an unreasonable assumption and why does it imply stupidity? I see things around me every day that I beleive have no effect on me and thus I do not care about them. Why does that make me stupid?

                    With respect to 2)don’t care because they get free shit form the government, it in fact WOULD be stupid for them to care becasue it might jeopardize the flow of free shit, would it not?

                    1. It does, however, make them willfully ignorant.

                      Yet somehow you are not willfully ignorant. You managed to learn the truth but huge numbers of Americans haven’t. Do you have some sort of special motivation to learn the truth that they don’t have?

                      Again, its semantics. But saying “everyone but me is willfully ignorant” sure sounds like you are saying everyone else is stupid to me.

                      That is why these discussions annoy me so much. It is just the people on this board stroking their own dicks and congratulating themselves on how smart they are. Good for them, but I am not as easily impressed.

                      Beyond that, you don’t respond to my larger point, which is that eventually those calculations you describe change. If they didn’t, no government would ever become unpopular or be the victim of a revolution. If most people either don’t care or are too busy getting their free shit, how could it? Yet, these things do happen.

                    2. I have no idea why I may, OR MAY NOT, be more informed than others. If I had to guess, I would say that it is my lack of ability to focus on one thing all day long (and bleive me I am envious of those that can). Or, perhaps it has been my life long interest in history, an interest that very few people share. Maybe I am the one that is stupid. Whatever the reason, it does not make me smarter, or even more informed, than anyone else.

                      Stupid implies an inability to think logically. You can scream “Semantics!” all you like but just because people choose, rightly or wrongly, to be willfully ignorant in no way implies stupidity, an inability to think logically.

                      Yes, John, you are correct, eventually things do change or reach a point where the ancien regime collapses. It will happen here too. Upheavals like that generally lead to a ton of bloodshed. It would be better if we, collectively as an informed populace, could head that off before we reach that point. Unfortunately, history suggests that is not what will happen.

                      And not because the American people are stupid, but because they are either uninformed or misinformed, in whcih case makes them exactly the same as every other body politic in history.

                    3. I have no idea why I may, OR MAY NOT, be more informed than others.

                      You have to be. Otherwise how can you claim others are “willfully ignorant”? They only way you can know they are ignorant is if you are not yourself.

                      Stupid implies an inability to think logically. You can scream “Semantics!”

                      Okay. Americans are not stupid they are just more and willfully ignorant than you are. Have it your way, but I don’t think that sounds any better than stupid.

                      Yes, John, you are correct, eventually things do change or reach a point where the ancien regime collapses.

                      Sure they do. But they also change in democracies too. The heart of our disagreement is my faith in democracy and your lack of it. I think democratic societies can and do correct themselves. You guys think socialism is some kind of terminal disease that once it has infected a society can never be cured or reversed by anything short of violent revolution. Time will tell which of us is right. I think, however, taking your position both gives the appeal of socialism way too much credit and gives Americans way too little credit.

                      Maybe it is because Libertarians have been so unpopular for so long, but they seem to believe Leftists have almost magical political powers. I don’t see that way. I think leftists are morons who will every single time they are given the opportunity disgrace themselves and get run out of power.

                    4. There are a lot of things I do not know and when I find them out, or they are pointed out to me, that makes me ignorant of those facts or that information up until the point I recognize that. It does not make me stupid. The same applies to everyone else.

                      Before the discovery of the atom, everyone was ignorant of it. Did that make everyone stupid?

                    5. Restoras,

                      When you were ignorant of the atom, you didn’t know it, because you didn’t know the thing you were ignorant of. Only someone who knew what an atom was could know that you were ignorant of the existence of such.

                      So I ask again, why are so many Americans willfully ignorant but not you? What makes you so special?

                    6. Because everyone is different, John, and that is the choice they make. They are free and free to live their lives as they like. It doesn’t make me any more or less “special” (re: eltite – nice try though) than anyone else. Just different.

                      Thanks for conceding that I/We think the body politic at large is not stupid.

                    7. Because everyone is different, John, and that is the choice they make.

                      Sure they are. And you make the choice to know the truth when few else do. They are not stupid mind you. They are just “rationally ignorant”.

                      This is why these conversations make me want to vomit. Everyone isn’t ignorant. They just disagree with you. And they like you can learn from experience and adjust their views accordingly. You just call them “rationally ignorant” as a way of assuming your position is correct and avoiding the possibility people might rationally disagree with you. That is really all there is to it.

                    8. Very well played there, John. No wonder you are a lawyer. You’d make a great journalist too. You still manage to paint me with your ugly Elitist brush despite my rational, reasonable, and intellectually honest attempts to explain to you how I, and many here, am and are not.

                      I used to be a Conservative Republican. I am no longer one, but something different. I guess I was stupid then, but am not now. Or am I? What if my views now are wrong and the ones I held previously are right? According to you I am an Elitist, simply because I may (or may not!) be better informed than others. Or even jsut differently informed. Even if my views are wrong. Fine by me.

                      Conversations like these make you vomit, John, because you can’t stomach the idea that you might be wrong. Or that you might be misinformed, or even uninformed. You can’t handle even a little challenge to your own views, and when people here in good faith defend themselves from your baseless attacks you can’t admit it.

                    9. I used to be a Conservative Republican. I am no longer one, but something different.

                      That doesn’t make you stupid. That makes you a rational human. That is all I am saying everyone else is. Just like you figured out that being a conservative Republican wasn’t very smart, other people will figure out that liberalism is pretty stupid as well.

                      It will never be perfect. But things do over time correct themselves as people learn from experience. If that is true, then no liberalism will not go on forever and the failure of government will not just cause more government. That is all I have ever said.

                      If you agree with me, good for you. But the people on here claiming that things like the IRS scandal won’t make any difference in the long run, don’t agree with me.

                    10. It doesn’t make me any more or less “special” (re: eltite – nice try though) than anyone else. Just different.

                      Everyone else is ignorant and will vote for stupid things that will ultimately lead to the societal collapse. But you don’t think you are special or that they are stupid.

                      You do realize how ridiculous you sound?

                      No, these sorts of conversations are all about Libertarians stroking their dick and thinking they are smarter than everyone else. You can call whatever you want but that won’t change what they are.

                    11. All right, John, been fun today. Have a good one, bro.

            2. Yeah. Not even worth a response since no matter what I say, he’ll go on the same rehearsed tirade next time the subject comes up. It would be nice if he read that link, but I doubt he’ll do it.

              1. Again, what is your position sarcasmic? If the electorate is so dumb that it won’t reject government and leftism no matter how much and obviously it fails and how much it makes things worse, doesn’t that mean they are stupid?

                Again, if you don’t think Americans are stupid, then back off on your position. If you do, then stop getting mad about me pointing that out.

                1. Rationally ignorant is not the same as stupid.

                  Read the link.

                  Oh yeah. You’ve got nothing to learn from me because you’re superior and already know everything you need to know.

                  1. There is a limit to even rational ignorance. At some point things get bad enough they start to effect so many people, they can’t remain rationally ignorant. That is my whole point.

                    If there were no limit to rational ignorance, there would never be revolutions or political upheavals.

                    1. Yeah, you didn’t read it.

                    2. Yeah I did read it sarcasmic. If you want to discuss something, stop throwing insults and discuss it. Rational ignorance doesn’t hold true for every person forever. If it did, people would remain that way forever and they don’t.

                    3. Rational ignorance doesn’t hold true for every person forever. If it did, people would remain that way forever and they don’t.

                      And yet, history continues to repeat itself over, and over, and over again. It may not hold true for every individual but it certainly seems to hold true for humanity in general. And, no, that is not the same thing as saying they are stupid.

                  2. Rationally ignorant is not the same as stupid.

                    This is the key point. People are capable of logical reasoning, but if their premises are out of line with reality, then their conclusions will be meaningless. The problem is that we have to live with those conclusions being brought into force.

                    Most people are not mindless lefty automatons, who ignore all evidence and continue to support the same failed ideas forever and ever, amen. But they also haven’t yet discerned whether or not lefties are making valid points.

                    In other words, although they possess the faculty to discern reality, people may not be interested or experienced enough to apply it thoroughly.

                    Also, when the circumstances necessitate such reasoning urgently, people do not have the time to spend on introspection. Lefty policies tend to throw shit in people’s faces right away, and thanks to their control of the media and education establishments, most people don’t already have accurate knowledge of the world, yet here the authoritarians are screaming in their faces telling them to make a decision.

                    1. KBolino,

                      What makes you think that will continue on forever? History shows a lot of things. One of those things is that governments that are incompetent and fail their people are unpopular and only stay in power by force.

                      If what you guys are saying were forever true, then tyrant governments would never have to fix or cancel elections. They would win them.

                      Also, when the circumstances necessitate such reasoning urgently, people do not have the time to spend on introspection. Lefty policies tend to throw shit in people’s faces right away, and thanks to their control of the media and education establishments, most people don’t already have accurate knowledge of the world, yet here the authoritarians are screaming in their faces telling them to make a decision.

                      If that were always and forever true, there would still be a Soviet Union and an Eastern block. Moreover, those places, where controlled the entire mass culture and media, would have never had to oppress the living shit out of their populations to stay in power. Why get nasty with a population that loves you?

                      Of course that is not what happened. Despite having complete control of everything, the population still hated their leftist masters and revolted as soon as they had the chance. The only reason leftists stayed in power as long as they did was because they owned the gun. If what you were saying were always and forever true, they wouldn’t have needed the gun.

                    2. What makes you think that will continue on forever?

                      I never said it would.

                      But it could go the other way too, look at Venezuela. People can recognize a problem and still apply the wrong solution.

                    3. Kbolino,

                      Venezuala only doesn’t change because they purged the army and rule by the gun. If they didn’t have that and had a fair election, the Leftists would have been out years ago.

                      Venezuela proves my point. If failure didn’t make Leftists unpopular and people were as continually and endlessly irrational as you claim, the leftists in Venezuela wouldn’t need the gun. The people would still love them.

                      Maybe the Leftists will get enough guns and tamper with the elections in this country that it won’t matter how unpopular they are. That is a distinct possibility. Whatever happens, leftists won’t stay popular or stay in power without that.

                    4. Your argument is that they eventually lose the war. My argument is that they win a whole lot of victories along the way, and we don’t know when the war will end.

                    5. Kcolino,

                      That is the entire debate. Will people wake up or will they not? I think they will and sooner than people think.

                    6. Fair enough, but arguing against your optimism is not equivalent to arguing that people are stupid.

                      I don’t hold anything against people for voting, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree with how they vote. I can disagree without being condescending.

                    7. Fair enough, but arguing against your optimism is not equivalent to arguing that people are stupid.

                      Depends on what you think is stupid. I think endlessly voting for a failed ideology until it is too late qualifies as stupid. If you don’t, well, what can I tell you.

                      Beyond that, if the whole country is rationally ignorant of the truth, why are you people not the same? Are you irrational? What made you so special that you can choose not to be ignorant and so few others seem to do so?

                      It seems to me there is a bit more to it than just “rational ignorance”. You guys woke up. Others can and will do the same.

                    8. You know what’s rich John? You’ve been railing against us for being “elitist” and thinking that everyone is stupid, and then you say this:

                      I think endlessly voting for a failed ideology until it is too late qualifies as stupid.

                      Isn’t that what 47% of the voting public did in 2008 and again in 2012?

                      (I of course would argue that 50% of the country is not stupid since they chose not to vote for either shitty candidate.)

                      And as to your larger question of why we’re different: It’s obviously because the Kochtopus pays us to be well informed, which is the only way to combat ignorance.

                    9. Isn’t that what 47% of the voting public did in 2008 and again in 2012?

                      Doing that was a mistake. I never said the public was perfect or not capable of doing stupid things. All I am saying is they can and will learn just like the rest of us.

                      You figured out the truth Designate, why do you think everyone else won’t eventually? Are you that smart or are they that stupid?

                    10. John, everyone does stupid things. And everyone is less rational than they like to believe they are. That doesn’t mean everyone is stupid.
                      Unfortunately, voting is an area where a lot of otherwise smart and reasonable people act in irrational ways. Hard core partisans have decided that the other side is too evil to ever vote for. I’d call that a stupid way of voting, but I don’t think those people are all stupid people.
                      I think that a lot of independents or swing voters care more about their wallets than any particular brand of politics, and I have some hope that people like that will see what the leftist policies are doing to economic opportunity and start voting the bastards out.

                    11. Zeb,

                      Yes voting can be irrational and self defeating. Over time that sorts itself out as society slowly rejects things that don’t work.

                      For the life of me I can’t understand how anyone who didn’t have faith in society correcting itself could believe in freedom at all much less any kind of Democratic system.

                    12. I think we agree more than we disagree on this.
                      More people will eventually see the problems with the course we are on and things will correct to some extent. But it may well be a slower and more painful process than you or I would hope for. We’ll see, I guess.

                    13. Oh it will be painful Zeb. That is for sure. But sometimes pain is the only effective teacher.

                    14. But sometimes pain is the only effective teacher.

                      That is one of the more difficult things to impress on leftists. That you have to accept some pain sometimes. They seem to believe that you can always avoid the pain. Even people who accept in principle the value and utility of free markets will reject reforms that will object to reforms because it is inevitable that some people will suffer.
                      But the longer it gets pushed off, the more pain there will be.

                    15. I really am that smart 😛

          3. At some point there is just no point in discussing any sort of politics anymore if your opinion is that voters are so stupid they are incapable of ever acting in their own or collective interests

            This is largely true. I also find the defeatism of a lot of people around here a bit tiresome sometimes.
            But, I don’t think that that way of thinking requires assuming that everyone is stupid. You sound like Tony telling us how racist it is to propose any reason why black people vote so heavily for democrats besides “Republicans are evil racists”.

            I hope you are right and I hold onto some optimism that people will eventually figure out that they are being fucked over and do something about it. But maybe Sarcasmic is right too. Look at Europe. They are suffering from the effects of a massive welfare state now and people are still voting for it. There is a bigger libertarian streak in the US, I think, so maybe we won’t let it get to that point, but you never know. And Europeans aren’t all stupid either.

            1. Zeb,

              Nothing lasts forever. People learn. It just takes them a while. We figured it out and we are not that fucking special. Other people will too.

              1. Let’s just hope that they do before things get too far into the shitter. I hope that you are right that Obamacare will be enough to push a lot of middle class liberals to reconsider the wisdom of massive government programs and vote accordingly.

                It will certainly change eventually. Let’s just hope it doesn’t have get to the point of people dying in the streets before it does.

  23. I find the absolute faith on this board in the complete stupidity of every American a bit tiresome.

    Whatever.

    1. Individuals are smart. People are stupid.

    2. If you think Americans will as a group continue to vote for more government even though that government fails, how do you not think they are stupid?

      But their faith (not trust) in government is insurmountable; a tweak her, a tweak there, and in fifty years it will be revered as a Great Leap Forward for our American society akin to the Emancipation of the Slaves.

      You are telling me that Americans love government so much that the more it fails them the more of it they will want. That sounds pretty irrational to me. Don’t tell me whatever. If you don’t believe that, stop fucking saying it.

      1. Read that link.

        Oh, I forgot.

        You already know everything.

        You have nothing to learn from me or any links that I post.

        Yet I’m the elitist.

        Whatevs, Red Tony.

      2. If you think Americans will as a group continue to vote for more government even though that government fails, how do you not think they are stupid?

        History shows as much. Every big government project has failed to achieve at least some of its objectives and has created side effects that typically dwarf the original problem it was created to solve.

        Yet such institutions rarely get scaled back and practically never get abolished. Enough failed experiments ought to disprove the hypothesis.

        This is in no way particular to Americans. Many dictators throughout history have had legitimately high support for at least some of their reign, despite committing acts far more atrocious than those of our own government.

        People are not universally stupid, but that does not mean they are universally smart, either. You yourself have noted how many criminals completely fail to grasp causality, why are voters any different?

        1. Many dictators throughout history have had legitimately high support for at least some of their reign, despite committing acts far more atrocious than those of our own government.

          The key word is “some”. Those dictators were eventually loathed by their populations. Why? Because no amount of lying and cultural control can make up for failing. If what you and the rest of the people on this board are saying were true, that wouldn’t happen.

          1. If what you and the rest of the people on this board are saying were true, that wouldn’t happen.

            Some dictators die peacefully in their sleep after having dominated a country for 40 years. Many don’t, but their replacements are often just as bad if not worse.

            People are not “so stupid” that they constantly choose bad outcomes, but yet bad outcomes continue to happen all the time. The Soviet Union fell, but the Bolsheviks still won the Civil War and Communism still had much of Europe in its grip for the better part of a century.

            It has happened before, and it can happen again.

            1. They didn’t win because they were popular. They won because they had guns and were willing to use them.

              That fact disproves what you are saying. If you are popular and people will believe your arguments no matter how stupid they, you don’t need a gun to take power. You only need the gun because people loath you and there is no other way to make them submit.

              You are just talking past me. I have admitted about 40 times on this thread that yes, bad governments do happen. The point is they don’t happen because people irrationally love government no matter how badly it fails. They happen because one group, usually but not always leftists, takes over and uses the gun to stay in power before people realize what they are doing. Bad governments don’t stay in power by forever winning elections with their rationally ignorant populations.

              1. You are saying the lefties can only go so far. I am saying nobody knows how far they can go until we’re past it.

                We can even be sure that the Republicans will retake the Senate, despite the clusterfuck the Democrats have perpetrated upon the American people.

                The limit may lay here, or it may not. We will not until we cross it.

                1. EDIT BUTTON

                  We can‘t even be sure that the Republicans will retake the Senate, despite the clusterfuck the Democrats have perpetrated upon the American people.

                  The limit may lay here, or it may not. We will not know until we cross it.

  24. people are over the long run rational and ideologies that fail eventually become discredited and unpopular.

    And yet, here we are, mired in George W Bush’s fourth term, with little evidence of wholesale disillusionment.

    Also, your well known theory of the unbreakable mind control exercised by an all-powerful STATE RUN MEDIA!!!1!1!1!! does not exactly support your claim to believe in the inherent wisdom of the American voter. It sounds suspiciously like the claims of people who believe advertising always works, and that money magically dictates election results.

    1. And yet, here we are, mired in George W Bush’s fourth term, with little evidence of wholesale disillusionment.

      Then you think Americans are stupid. Why are you pissing and moaning when I point out that you think that?

      Also, your well known theory of the unbreakable mind control exercised by an all-powerful STATE RUN MEDIA!!!1!1!1!! does not exactly support your claim to believe in the inherent wisdom of the American voter.

      It says nothing about the voter. It just says the media sucks. And I say all of the time, including on this thread, there is a limit to even how much the media can lie. Which part of “long run” do you find so difficult to understand? Eventually failure gets so obvious even the media can’t cover it up anymore. That being the case, doesn’t make the media any less effectively state run. It just means their effect only goes so far.

    2. people are over the long run rational and ideologies that fail eventually become discredited and unpopular.

      In the long run, we’re all dead. As we play out the long run, I have a feeling I know which is going to happen first.

  25. Leftists are desperately trying to get the power of the gun in the US.

    And, as long as we’re at it, KNOCK THAT SHIT OFF.

    Were the pigs who murdered Kelly Thomas leftists, in any meaningful sense of the word? Was the pigs who peppered sprayed the Occupy Wall Streeters? The pigs who murdered Kathryn Johnston?

    It’s not TEAM LEFT vs TEAM RIGHT. It’s collectivist authoritarianism vs freedom.

    1. Who ever said a good number of the GOP are not in fact leftists? It sure as hell wasn’t me. Moreover, the fact that “both sides do it”, doesn’t really disprove or have any relevance to my point.

      If you think Americans are stupid, then nothing will ever change. I don’t think they are and think things will change eventually. That is the entire debate.

      I don’t understand why you get on here and rant about how stupid the voters are and then get pissed when I disagree claiming “how dare you say I am calling people stupid”. Yeah you are. Maybe you are right. Who knows. But you most certainly are assuming the voters are stupid and will never act to make anything better or correct this.

      1. If you think Americans are stupid

        Yep. John the elitist refuses to learn what we actually thing, and steadfastly holds on to his rehearsed arguments against his pet libertarian straw man.

        Click the link John. I dare you.

        1. *think*

        2. Why don’t you try understanding your own points rather than just putting up a link. I understand rational ignorance. My point is that it only goes so far. If you think it does, then explain why. If you can’t explain why, then admit the point and shut up.

          1. “I understand rational ignorance.”

            …and yet you continue to say that those who argue it think Americans are stupid, so clearly you do not understand it.

            1. …and yet you continue to say that those who argue it think Americans are stupid, so clearly you do not understand it.

              Sure they are not stupid. They just will choose to forever be ignorant of what is going on and vote for more government no matter what happens.

              You and sarcasmic and Restoras and Brooks in contrast are not ignorant and know the truth. The truth so many other people are willfully blind to.

              But no one is saying or implying Americans are stupid. They just choose to be ignorant. Rationally of course. So I guess that makes the people on this board who are not ignorant of these things irrational? If it is rational to remain ignorant, isn’t it then irrational to not be ignorant?

              1. Now you are just spinning and backpedaling and defelcting to avoid admitting you are wrong. Let it go, man, and breathe the the free air.

                1. Now you are just spinning and backpedaling and defelcting to avoid admitting you are wrong. Let it go, man, and breathe the the free air.

                  No. I am pointing out how stupid and ridiculous your position has become. You don’t answer the point because you can’t answer it. Your position is what it is. If voters are not stupid but instead “rationally ignorant”, then how do you explain your knowledge?

                  The bottom line is your position boils down to you and the rest of this board being some kind of special elect who have somehow managed to avoid the trap of rational ignorance the rest of society has fallen into.

                  You can swear up and down that doesn’t mean you think the rest of the country is stupid or that you are superior all you want. Whatever gets you through the night I guess. To anyone else you are saying exactly that.

                  You somehow figured out the truth Restoras. What makes you think so few other people will if not because you are in some way smarter or superior to them?

                  1. It’s obviously not all of society John, but I’d say at least 47% of the voting public, probably more.

                    1. In 2012 Designate. I think that will change. And that is not meant as some endorsement of the current GOP. If the Republicans don’t get better, they will be thrown out on their asses and someone who will do better will be brought in.

                      I just don’t believe people will endlessly vote for failure or never figure out to demand better.

                  2. At this point, you are just making a total ass of yourself. Keep at it though. It’s very enlightening.

                    1. Restoras|4.10.14 @ 2:22PM|#

                      At this point, you are just making a total ass of yourself. Keep at it though. It’s very enlightening.

                      That or you have lost the argument so thoroughly you no longer have any ground to stand on. Whatever you want to tell yourself there restoras.

                      Few things make people more angry than really winning an argument. It is funny to watch. People never get butt hurt when they have a good point. It is only when you catch them with their asses hanging out that they get butt hurt.

                      Why don’t call me Red Tony Restoras. It would be sort of a final admission of how badly you have done on this thread.

                    2. Happily, Red Tony.

                      You accused me and many others here of believing Americans are stupid. When asked for proof, you provided none.

                      You then tried to equate ignorance with stupidity. When this was also shown to be a false equivalence, you moved on to flatout name calling. That alone shows how poorly you acquitted yourself here.

                      You make a blanket statement with no proof whatsoever, get called to the mat on it, fail to prove your hypothesis, and then just say you are right anyway and we are a bunch of meanies.

                      Definitions matter, John. You really should know better. Stupid implies the lack of ability to think logically and rationally. Ignorance implies a lack a knowledge. It is unfathomable to me that you can’t see the difference.

                    3. You then tried to equate ignorance with stupidity. When this was also shown to be a false equivalence, you moved on to flatout name calling. That alone shows how poorly you acquitted yourself here.

                      Your position is “we are not saying America is stupid. we are saying they are ignorant, unlike us”.

                      LOLOLOLOL

                      All of the “the people will just keep voting for Leftism” talk is just Libertarians telling themselves they are smarter than everyone else. That is all it is. I called you people on it and you got offended. Too bad.

                    4. Because we ARE smarter.

                    5. You are one ratioanlly deficient person, John. A true egomaniac, borderline demagogue. But at least you are a man of the people, the salt of the earth, even if it is you that think you are smarter than everyone else.

                      You’re a lying douchebag. You can’t provide any facts for what you beleive so you just twist everything around to suit your needs. All at the expense of other people on this board.

                      I never thought I’d utter these words about you, becasue up until today I respected your opinion and views even if I didn’t alway agree with them. Ah well. Live and learn.

              2. …or they have better things to worry about than politics. Not everybody spends their whole day reading Reason Hit&Run;.

                I spend way too much time on this board and I’ve NEVER voted. Politics is interesting to me, especially the libertarian perspective. If people aren’t interested in learning about “the issues” as they relate to politics, it doesn’t make them stupid, it simply means they have different interests… period.

                1. If people aren’t interested in learning about “the issues” as they relate to politics, it doesn’t make them stupid, it simply means they have different interests… period.

                  There seem to be a lot of people interested in politics. Yet, still most of them disagree with you. Are they stupid?

                  Moreover, why is it rational for you to be interested in these things but irrational for everyone else? These things seem to be pretty important aren’t they? If people don’t wake up and start voting differently, things are going to get pretty bad right?

                  Explain to me how these people can in any way be said to be remaining “rationally ignorant” of a topic that you admit will result in such wide spread harm?

                  If my house is burning down, is it really possible for me to remain “rationally ignorant” of fire fighting as long as I can’t yet feel the flames?

                  1. “There seem to be a lot of people interested in politics.”

                    What percentage of the population do you think spends as much time thinking and reading about politics as you do?

                    “Moreover, why is it rational for you to be interested in these things but irrational for everyone else?”

                    My interest in politics isn’t based on rationality. As I said, I’ve never voted, so why should I spend so much time thinking about it. OTOH, it is irrational for any given individual to give 2 shits about subsidies to sugar companies, but totally rational for the sugar industry to give 2 shits about said subsidies, hence sugar subsidies continue.

                    “These things seem to be pretty important aren’t they?”

                    To some people they are, to others… not so much.

                    “If my house is burning down, is it really possible for me to remain “rationally ignorant” of fire fighting as long as I can’t yet feel the flames?”

                    Most people don’t care enough to know where the flames are coming from. They’re focused on different things.

  26. Don’t bother trying to pretend TEAM REPUBLIAN, and their anointed minions like Mitch McConnel and John Boehner and Jeb Fucking Bush are just chomping at the bit to bring forth a new era of freedom based on personal responsibility and rational self interest.

    1. Who pretended that? I can’t stand either one of them. What I am saying is that if they keep fucking up all of them on both teams will end up on the street or hanging from lamp posts. How you manage to translate that into “but the GOP will save us” is beyond me.

  27. I don’t understand why you get on here and rant about how stupid the voters are

    Wait, what?

    Turn your projector off. That bright light is blinding.

    1. If they are not stupid, why are you convinced they will never lose faith in government or stop voting for people who want to abuse them?

  28. Rationally self-interested people do their damnedest to ignore any and all political activity. How many vote? How many of those who do vote actually have a deep and intimate understanding of the underlying mechanics of the programs they support?

    They’re not stupid, they have better things to do than to stand in the way of the revealed preferences of the vocal activist “do-gooder” minority.

    You can blame the public schools, you can blame the Supreme Court, you can blame FDR, Robert E Lee, Alexander Hamilton, Woodrow Wilson or BOOOOOOOOSH. I only know a gigantic boulder is rolling right down the mountain toward me, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.

    1. Sure Brooks. Eventually though, thinks get bad enough that you just can’t stay rationally self interested and non engaged anymore. That generally happens sooner than you think. Again, if you could just stay in power by playing on people’s rational ignorance, no leftist government would ever lose an election and no country would ever reverse course.

      That is just not true. This country reversed course in the 40s and 50s. The entire New Deal was repealed or radically altered. Really only Social Security exist as it was originally created. Countries like Sweden and Denmark have seen their electorates turn away from failing socialist policies.

      There is nothing magical about socialism. And representative Democracy does, if it is allowed to work, generally work. Societies have a self correcting mechanism to them. If something doesn’t work people turn away from it over time. Socialism is not immune from that mechanism. It just tries to be by using the gun to prevent it from working.

      If I didn’t have faith in society as a whole to over time correct itself and move away from things that failed, I wouldn’t believe in freedom. I really would be a top man loving prog wanting to let the top men manage society for its best interests. I am not that however. As a result, I am an optimist and think people will always if given the opportunity figure things out eventually.

    2. Rationally self-interested people do their damnedest to ignore any and all political activity.

      Its only rational self-interest when politics won’t materially affect their lives. That used to be true, perhaps, but no longer.

  29. If they are not stupid

    Yes, they [the voters] are stupid, and always will be. The puzzle is that you can’t hand voting (or governance) over to university professors, they are even stupider.

    I have no solution to offer.

  30. If they are not stupid

    Yes, they [the voters] are stupid, and always will be. The puzzle is that you can’t hand voting (or governance) over to university professors, they are even stupider.

    I have no solution to offer.

  31. Why don’t you try understanding your own points…

    You see, this is why I came up with the moniker Red Tony.

    You keep insisting that I conform to a straw man so you can keep using your rehearsed rebuttal to said straw man.

    I’m not playing.

    1. I gave you every opportunity to explain why rational ignorance isn’t a some point limited. I can’t make your arguments for you.

      1. I said people are rationally ignorant, not stupid. Now you’re moving the goalposts. Please stop being like Tony. Nobody likes Tony.

        1. You said a lot more than that. Do I need to cut and paste what you said again?

          Regardless, so they are rationally ignorant. Okay, that doesn’t respond to my point that they don’t stay that way forever. When I made that point you just started screaming Red Tony and never bothered to explain why it was wrong.

          Again, if you want to debate this, fine. But debate it and explain what you think.

          1. When you made that point you also insisted that I was saying that individuals are stupid. No. Individuals are smart. People are stupid. At least when it comes to voting. Had you actually read that link instead of lying about it, you might understand this.

            Or not.

            Tonys have a terrible time with distinctions. Especially when they conflict with well rehearsed responses to straw man arguments.

            1. If you think people are stupid with regards to voting, why do you support democracy? Or maybe you don’t.

              Further, what about voting makes it separate from intelligence? How is it that I can be said to be “smart”, yet continually and forever vote for stupid things even if the evidence of those things being stupid is undeniable?

              The heart of our difference here is I don’t think people are stupid about voting in the aggregate in the long run. I think society does and will correct itself and eventually vote out an ideology that fails them. You don’t.

              I have yet to hear you make a single point why that is true. All you have done is claim “just because I think they will vote stupid doesn’t mean I think they are stupid”.

              Not only does that not make any sense on its own terms, it does nothing to explain why you think voters are unable to learn from their mistakes of vote out ideologies that fail them.

              Other than that it makes you feel good, why do you think people will always and forever demand more government even after they stop trusting government and that government fails them? Why did people in places like East Germany lose faith in government? Shouldn’t they have taken the failures of those governments as just a reason to have more government? They didn’t seem to do that. Why?

              1. Yep. You lied alright when you said you followed that link and gave it a read. Or you wouldn’t be asking those questions. I don’t like liars.

                If you honestly wanted answers you would go to that link. But you haven’t. Which tells me you don’t want answers. You want to flog straw men.

                You know who else lies and engages in dishonest debate?

                You know who else pretends to want answers but really doesn’t?

                You know who else refuses to learn things?

                You know who else moves the goalposts and argues against straw men?

                Yeah.

                Tony does.

                You earned that moniker today, and I bet there are more than a few people here on this site who respect you a lot less today than they did yesterday.

                I sure do.

                1. I asked you a few simple questions sarcasmic, why can’t you answer them?

                  Explain to me why people will continue to demand more government even after it fails them? It seems they haven’t always done that. Labor got voted out of office in the UK. No one wanted the communist governments of eastern Europe. How do you explain those things?

                  My position here is very simple. It is listed about ten times on this thread. People in the aggregate figure things out and reject ideologies and governments that fail them They will not endlessly vote for and support failure. For that reason, yes, things like the IRS scandal are going to end up being the death of the Progs in this country as people lose faith in government and stop being sold on it being a solution to anything.

                  Why do you think that is wrong?

                    1. I have read that sarcasmic, I think Caplan is full of shit and misses the forest for the trees. And again, if you actually believe that, how do you have any faith in society at all?

                      One of the big reason why government control is so bad is because society collectively has wisdom government doesn’t have. That means while individuals may be irrational or do dumb things, society as a whole learns and disgards things that don’t work.

                      That is straight out of Hayak. If that is true of moral values and such, why is it also true of politics? Caplan is wrong because he doesn’t understand collective wisdom. He is too clever by half and thinks that the way things play out short term will never change over the long term. Well, they do.

                      You can link all you want. I don’t think that position is true for the reasons I give.

                    2. The answer as to why the wisdom of the crowd does not apply to democratic elections is right there in the first couple pages.

                      The fact that you even asked that question again tells me that you didn’t read anything more than the title.

                      Fuck off, liar.

                    3. The answer as to why the wisdom of the crowd does not apply to democratic elections is right there in the first couple pages.

                      And again, Caplan is wrong. It does play out in politics, it just takes longer. if it didn’t, governments would never self correct. And democratic governments do and have.

                      And my guess I heard about and read Caplan before you ever did. I am very familiar with the theory. I just think it is wrong.

                      Now why don’t you give a really thoughtful response involving strawman and red tony and calling me a liar because I don’t agree with you. Maybe it will make you feel better.

                    4. I see the theory proven true every day. Should I trust you or my lying eyes?

                    5. I see your theory disproved about a million times in history. Why should I believe this time is different?

                      If you were right, how did the New Deal ever get repealed?

                    6. One step forward, two steps back.

                    7. Why always two steps back sarcasmic? Why? Again, you know better. Why doesn’t anyone else?

                      If you can figure it out, lots of other can and will too. They have in other places and they will here.

                    8. It will have to get really bad before it gets any better, and then the process will only repeat itself.

                      The fact that the process repeats, and that it only corrects when it gets really bad, supports the theory that voters are irrational more than not.

                    9. if it didn’t, governments would never self correct. And democratic governments do and have.

                      Yeah. They self correct only when they must. And then the process repeats itself.

                    10. Yeah. They self correct only when they must. And then the process repeats itself.

                      Yeah, you never reach perfection. But think about what you just said they self correct only when they must. I agree with you. But they do self correct because people do wisen up after a while.

                    11. People wisen up when it comes to a matter of self preservation, then they immediately go back to supporting the very same economically irrational policies that caused the mess.

                      So what? That small moment of self preservation negates all the irrationality before and after? I don’t think so.

                    12. So what? That small moment of self preservation negates all the irrationality before and after? I don’t think so.

                      yeah it does because things over time have gotten a lot better. Things today are about a thousand times better than they once were. So clearly over time yes it does make up for it. If it didn’t, things would be just as bad or worse than they were a thousand years ago. And they certainly are better.

                      Beyond that, if people are so irrational, why aren’t you? How is it that you can figure out what is going on and they can’t? You and Caplan worke up and looked and figured things out, why don’t they?

                      You keep saying you don’t think people are stupid. Maybe you don’t. But you at least think you are pretty special. You seem to have done something you claim few other people will do.

                      Sorry, but I just don’t buy that. If you can and did figure it out, a lot of other people will too.

                    13. No collective system can be more intelligent than 7 billion people learning and growing and making free decisions they believe will better their lives. They fail, or make a mistake, and correct. Bit by bit, they make improvements and change, until society itself has changed. And, that includes the demolishing of strong men and tyrants.

                      Right now we see the rise of the bureaucratism. It is the new ‘ism’ we all have to resist. But, it too will fail. A hard left friend of mine, eco-feminist AGW believer, anti-capitalist, wanted to build an addition on her house. The builder found some native artifacts in her yard when he started digging. As per the law he stopped, informed the government, and she has been ordered to do an archeological assessment. She thinks it is kind of cool there are Indian artifacts on her property. I know this will cost her literally hundred of thousands of dollars, and she is blissfully unaware.

                      She will hate the bureaucracy by the time this is over.

                      It is kind of cute, she is so unaware.

              2. I never thought of you as a liar before today, John. Now I do. You’re just a worm like Tony. Fuck off.

                1. sarcasmic|4.10.14 @ 2:36PM|#

                  I never thought of you as a liar before today, John. Now I do. You’re just a worm like Tony. Fuck off.

                  What am I lying about? I have had the same position this entire thread. Why can’t you admit I might have a point?

    2. I never understood that moniker. I sure do today.

      1. It’s headache inducing.

  32. Other IRS employees face discipline for advising taxpayers to vote for President Obama during the course of their duties.

    Why aren’t they facing the loss of their jobs, their pensions, and possibly criminal prosecution?

    1. We know once the disciplinary hearing is over and knuckles will have been pretend rapped, they will be given kudos by their bosses.

  33. *** takes lame jokes and backs away from thread slowly ***

  34. The bureaucracy was co-opted back in the early 70s. Prior to that a bureaucracy was absolutely non-partisan. Senior bureaucrats would never divulge which party they favored. That has changed. Especially in Canada. The bureaucracy openly roots for lefty parties. Openly. They get raises and perks if the left party gets elected.

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