Donald Trump

Ken Burns Slams Donald Trump in Stanford Address

"Asking this man to assume the highest office in the land would be like asking a newly minted car driver to fly a 747."

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Ken Burns
Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

Filmmaker Ken Burns spoke out against presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in a commencement address at Stanford University on Sunday.

Burns, known for such documentary series as The Civil War and Baseball, began his address by describing his love of history, connecting the struggles he dealt with as a child to the hardships of Abraham Lincoln prior to becoming president. He noted how Lincoln was able to move past his political shortcomings to preside over the country during the Civil War, adding how history can serve as a conscience for moving society forward.

But then Burns focused on a new topic: Donald Trump. Burns said:

For 216 years, our elections, though bitterly contested, have featured the philosophies and character of candidates who were clearly qualified. That is not the case this year. One is glaringly not qualified.

So before you do anything with your well-earned degree, you must do everything you can to defeat the retrograde forces that have invaded our democratic process, divided our house, to fight against, no matter your political persuasion, the dictatorial tendencies of the candidate with zero experience in the much maligned but subtle art of governance; who is against lots of things, but doesn't seem to be for anything, offering only bombastic and contradictory promises, and terrifying Orwellian statements; a person who easily lies, creating an environment where the truth doesn't seem to matter; who has never demonstrated any interest in anyone or anything 6 but himself and his own enrichment; who insults veterans, threatens a free press, mocks the handicapped, denigrates women, immigrants and all Muslims; a man who took more than a day to remember to disavow a supporter who advocates white supremacy and the Ku Klux Klan; an infantile, bullying man who, depending on his mood, is willing to discard old and established alliances, treaties and long-standing relationships.

I feel genuine sorrow for the understandably scared and—they feel—powerless people who have flocked to his campaign in the mistaken belief that—as often happens on TV—a wand can be waved and every complicated problem can be solved with the simplest of solutions. They can't. It is a political Ponzi scheme. And asking this man to assume the highest office in the land would be like asking a newly minted car driver to fly a 747.

Though Burns did not mention Trump by name, it is easy to see who he was criticizing.

Burns blamed Trump's rise on journalists who "failed to expose this charlatan." Instead of covering Trump properly, Burns said media outlets gave Trump abundant amounts of airtime while trying to balance good journalism and desires of netting big ratings.

"Edward R. Murrow would have exposed this naked emperor months ago," said Burns, referencing the CBS broadcaster who took on Senator Joseph McCarthy's haphazard crusade against communism in the 1950s.

Burns also touched on the recent controversial conviction of Stanford swimmer Brock Turner. Turner was given a six month sentence last week for raping an incapacitated woman after a 2015 fraternity party. Protesters demonstrated during the commencement, holding signs declaring such statements as "Stanford protects rapists."

"I am the father of four daughters," Burns said. "If someone tells you they've been sexually assaulted, take it effing seriously and listen to them. Maybe, some day, we will make the survivor's eloquent statement as important as Dr. (Martin Luther) King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail." 

For more on Ken Burns, watch Reason TV's 2011 interview with him below.

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  1. You know, if you redact the name Trump from his speech, it sure as hell sounds a lot like he’s talking about Obama in 2008.

    1. You cross out a couple of specific things about mocking the disabled and the KKK and it’s basically Clinton too. Ain’t the system grand?

      1. Well, not so fast.

        For one, the Hildebeast certainly mocked the trail of trailer-park trash left in the wake of Bill’s insatiable sexual appetite.

        As for the KKK, the Hildebeast did have the support of Bobby Bird on many bills proposed by the joint presidency.

      2. The KKK one looks like bullshit to me that was forced into there anyway. So Trump disavowed the guy, and Burns pivots to reading between lines so he can imply the diametrical opposite of what’s on the record and still use the story as “evidence” to confirm his bias. Sounds like Glenn Beck at work here.

        1. Sounds like Glenn Beck at work here.

          Say what you will about Glenn Beck, but that man sure knows denim.

          1. I just want you to know that I felt compelled to report your post as spam, but not before I purchased some of those fabulous patches advertised for my field coat.

    2. It’s totally inappropriate for a commencement speaker to denounce a presidential candidate, from any party. It’s not relevant to the occasion at hand, and a significant portion of the audience will be offended.

  2. Never trust a Lincoln hagiographer.

  3. Eighth grade called; it wants its haircut back.

    1. I had no idea that his filmography included Dumb and Dumber.

    2. At first glance, I thought it was Evo Morales. Seriously.

    3. Imma say ‘terrible hair-piece’. All them gray hairs on his sad-beard and not a one on his head.

      Actually looks like something stolen from the ‘Beatlemania’ collection.

  4. He could have just said elect Hilary Clinton.

    1. Viva la Bolivarian Revolucion! I am the Grand Llama Inca!

    2. If not for the exceptionally smug look on his face, I would have thought he was talking about her.

  5. “…Asking this man to assume the highest office in the land would be like asking a newly minted car driver to fly a 747.”

    The office of the presidency should be no more complicated than driving 1987 Yugo. Unfortunately, we’ve MADE it as complicated as flying the Space Shuttle– almost entirely extra-constitutionally.

    Attend a few meetings, appoint a couple of judges, greet some foreign dignitaries, write a letter to the Congress once a year declaring the Union to be rock-bottomed and copper-sheathed.

    1. Asking this woman [Hillary] to assume the highest office in the land would be like asking someone who has repeatedly been caught driving drunk to fly a 747.

      See? Anyone can play this game!

      1. Isn’t there a minimum BAC that you have to maintain in order to be an airline pilot?

        1. Um…3 martini-level, or a couple of belts of Scotch?

          1. Those are big belts of scotch.

        2. Yes, Denzel Washington could tell you that.

        3. The college I went to offered an “Air Science” degree – aka pilot training. The running joke among the engineering students was that pilot math = “figuring out when to stop drinking in order to be sober enough to pass your check ride.”

          Think about that the next time you get on a plane.

          1. Embry-Riddle?

            1. Yep. The Prescott, AZ campus.

          2. Come on. Everyone knows that computers pretty much fly the plane for the vast majority of the flight. If you’re so drunk that you can’t “fly” it the last 15 seconds and step on the break pedal, you’ve got a serious problem.

          3. I think I’m OK with that.

      2. Hillary would rent out the White House to pocket a few bucks.

        1. Hillary has already rented out the WH to make a few bucks.

          Anyone remember the Lincoln Bedroom scandal?

    2. When I first read, I was thinking wouldn’t walking down the street be easier than driving a Yugo, but then realized the error in my thinking.

      1. Driving a 1987 Yugo probably is more complicated than driving a newer, better car.

  6. Burns blamed Trump’s rise on journalists who “failed to expose this charlatan.” Instead of covering Trump properly, Burns said media outlets gave Trump abundant amounts of airtime while trying to balance good journalism and desires of netting big ratings.

    Someone please correct me if I’m wrong here, but didn’t most journalists for the major news outlets focus their energy on exposing this charlatan? Or is Burns saying that their attacks just weren’t substantial enough? If it’s the latter, I can understand, because for every really good argument against Trump, it seems there’s three really, really retarded ones that gain more traction with the media.

    1. Yeah, I’m trying to count the number of real, positive portrayals of Trump in the media, and while I admit I don’t read every publication, I certainly see a crap-ton of headlines, and I want to say that number hovers somewhere around zero. Maybe slightly lower.

      1. I know. It’s like Hannity gives the guy one blowjob on TV and everybody pretends the whole media is suddenly in the tank for Trump.

        1. Serious question, is Hannity pro-Trump? Because no one else in the GOP claims to be.

          1. Hannity’s pretty much been in the Trump tank since the beginning. It used to bother me.

          2. Ann Coulter is in the bag for him as well.

          3. Yeah I’m pretty sure he came right out and said it.

          4. I don’t know and I wouldn’t recommend listening/watching him long enough to find out.

      2. I can think of Breitbart and maybe a couple of other decidedly less-than-mainstream outlets giving him good press. That’s about it, though I suppose now that he’s got the nomination sewed up, the conservative hubs will start to rally around the Man Who Would be God-Emperor.

      3. So you’re saying that screaming ‘racist, bigot, islamaphobe, homophobe!’ doesn’t always work? Wow, mabye the media needs to go back to reporting?

    2. It’s a catch-22 because as long as Trump is around, it means they didn’t do their job. These nitwits have no other explanation so it must be true.

    3. I think it’s more of “all publicity is good publicity,” ie. the media should have ignored Trump until he went away. Which probably would have worked.

      1. In a just world, SF. In a just world…

        *pines for alternate reality where this is true*

      2. Had the media ignored him, he would’ve just pulled a “Sheldon Aldeson/Nevada Review-Journal” and bought his own media outlet to sing his praises.

        1. But that goes against the idea that he only stayed in the Field of 17 so long because we was getting free advertising.

          It doesn’t matter, really. Trump has been a master at getting attention for himself for decades. The media was going to pay attention to him because he pushed their buttons so well.

      3. You mean their Gary Johnson strategy?

    4. From now to the Repub convention, Trump will pound on Hillary for her record of arrogance, incompetence, and failure. Then, when he has the nomination signed and irrevocably in his pocket, he will declare himself the new owner of the Republican brand, and reinvent the party as the party of Trump, a centrist/populist party of Main Street, of the working man/woman. Right wing extremists may cleave off, but others will flock to the new GOP: women, Hispanics, and blacks. Why will these supposedly “unrecoverably alienated” voting blocks come on board? Simple, Trump’s economic revitalization will focus on jobs, jobs whites, Hispanics, blacks, women,?everyone. Hillary, the other choice, the candidate of the neo-liberal establishment ? corporations, bankers, the “one percent” ? offers what? More of the same old same old. Feel good talk and empty promises. The Bill Cosby approach: drug them with promises, take what you want ? ie their vote ? and then kick them back into the gutter until the next election cycle.
      The American people are sick to death of their serial screwing at the hands of the two-corrupt-party, good cop/bad cop duopoly, but till now they were helpless to do anything about it. Then came Trump. Can he fix a broken America? Maybe. Maybe not. But with Hillary, you know what your going to get: at best, screwed the same as before, but maybe screwed worse. No way Hillary can overcome her record and her negatives. So get ready for a Trump renaissance.

      1. The above is from my Whimsical Dog blog: http://whimsicaldog.blogspot.mx/

  7. The dude was found guilty and is going to jail. There was not a single person that didn’t listen to the victim.

    1. Except for the judge, who only gave Rapey McShitstain six months.

      1. It wasn’t a rape rape.

        1. Hey, she got to fuck a Stanford swim star! It’s not Turner’s fault she wasn’t awake for it!

  8. He’s very punchable in that picture, almost makes pajama boy seem masculine

  9. Effing John Denver hair.

    1. It’s clear he’s Rocky Mountain High.

  10. Like I’m gonna take political advise from someone who looks like his mom cuts his hair using a bowl placed on top and his head and a Flowbee.

    1. Here I was thinking Moe Howard hair.

      1. Or Pete Rose.

        1. No girl would let you get to first base with a haircut like that.

  11. The only thing more unbearable than sitting through an interminable graduation ceremony is sitting through one where some douche scolds you about politics for half an hour.

    1. sitting through one where some douche scolds you about politics for half an hour.
      What do you call the last four years of college, chopped liver?

    2. Dude, not every commencement speaker can do it like Thornton Melon.

    3. The only thing more unbearable than sitting through an interminable graduation ceremony is sitting through one where some douche scolds you about politics for half an hour.

      Would that every commencement speech was given by Nathan Explosion.

  12. He noted how Lincoln was able to move past his political shortcomings to preside over the country during the Civil War, adding how history can serve as a conscience for moving society forward.

    Ushering in a new era of unrestrained federal power, hundreds of thousands killed to fight an illegal war and income taxes. Progress.

  13. Most “experienced” politicians are “experienced” in the sense that Ted Kennedy was an experienced driver. Yes, they have experience in governing, and that experience shows that they are not qualified to govern.

    “For 216 years, our elections, though bitterly contested, have featured the philosophies and character of candidates who were clearly qualified. That is not the case this year. One is glaringly not qualified.”

    And the other is a real-estate mogul and is only slightly better qualified.

  14. “Senator Joseph McCarthy’s haphazard crusade against communism in the 1950s.”

    Hasn’t Joe been pretty vindicated though?

    1. My understanding is that after the fall of the Soviet Union, declassified documents surfaced that showed the number of Soviet operatives in the federal bureaucracy was shockingly high and that McCarthy was surprisingly accurate about more than a few of his persecutions.

      1. Did McCarthy go after any one of those, or did he spend his time bitching about Hollywood screen writers who had a soft spot for Venezuela?

        1. Was Venezuela communist back then? Anyways the House Committee on Un-American Activities had very little to do with Senator McCarthy and it’s activities were more tenuously tied to “McCarthyism” which is a term that was drilled into me by public schools for like 5 years of civics and history classes, so the efficacy of the term can be taken with a grain of shit.

          1. Was Venezuela communist back then?

            It was a euphemism for Sean Penn.

      2. From what I’ve read (kooks and crazies) Joe was at the very least on to something (and the Venona Project proves that) he just either missed the mark (individuals) or the larger point (focusing on communism when it was more elite form of internationalism).

        1. But isn’t missing the mark on individuals exactly the problem? How does it help to say there are Communists in positions of power, and point to the wrong ones? Or to totally bluff about it? Doesn’t that detract from the effort to get actual Communists out of power?

          1. Exactly the problem? No. The point of the Crucible wasn’t “y’all crushed the wrong guy” after all. The problem was he took on something far, far more powerful than he expected (The CIA supposedly talked about assassinating him). I didn’t mean to imply that he didn’t nail any of the Commies correctly, just that he made some mistakes. And yes, mistakes can detract from the effort, but I’d say raising awareness of it could be much more useful than doing nothing in the face of uncertainty here.

  15. “of the candidate with zero experience in the much maligned but subtle art of governance; who is against lots of things, but doesn’t seem to be for anything, offering only bombastic and contradictory promises, and terrifying Orwellian statements; a person who easily lies, creating an environment where the truth doesn’t seem to matter; who has never demonstrated any interest in anyone or anything but himself and his own enrichment”

    Clinton?

  16. Stephen King called, he wants his haircut back.

  17. a man who took more than a day to remember to disavow a supporter who advocates white supremacy and the Ku Klux Klan

    Oh the horror.

    1. I have a lot of disavowals in the queue. Some days I don’t get to them all.

  18. “an infantile, bullying man who, depending on his mood, is willing to discard old and established alliances, treaties and long-standing relationships.”

    Well, THAT certainly doesn’t sound like Barack Obama at all!

    Does he go to Mark Davis’ barber?

    1. The same buy who does Mark and Evo Morales.

    2. One man’s old established alliance is another man’s outstanding liability.

  19. So what?

    No, seriously. Why in the fuck should I care?

    1. Ken Burns! Stanford! These are your betters!

  20. connecting the struggles he dealt with as a child to the hardships of Abraham Lincoln prior to becoming president.

    I guess we should put Ken’s face on Mt Rushmore, the penny, and the $5 bill, since you know they basically were the same guy. We can build a memorial to Ken on the Washington Mall. Kenny, it’s tragic you lost your mother at an early age, but so have a lot of kids and they don’t all get to be in the Hall of Presidents at Disney World.

  21. Shut up, Ken Burns, you pumpkin-pie-haircutted freak!

    1. ^this was my other thought

    2. Notice how his beard is very gray but his hair is not. It doesn’t work that way.

      1. Preference, by Loreal, says otherwise.

      2. Maybe he likes going down on old ladies and that isn’t really facial hair at all.

        1. *report spam*report spam*report spam*

      3. It’s also uncommon thick for a man his age. Hairpiece? But, yeah, there’s an abrupt color gap between sideburns and head hair, looks unnatural.

        1. It says to me he’s a clueless guy. He doesn’t really know how he appears. If your beard is grey and your hair is grey, cool. Don’t dye your hair one color and leave the beard grey. Or if your hair is naturally dark brown, either dye your beard ( they have various products that do this) or SHAVE YOUR BEARD. I suspect his hair is a bad dye job because there’s no variance in the color, as though it was done with shoe polish.

          1. Either that or he’s wearing a wig hat from 1961.

      4. It actually does a little bit, just not to that extent. My whiskers tend to have significantly more gray than my hair.

        1. Probably should have said not gray at all. But I get your point. My moustache is quite dark compared to the rest of my facial hair. As for hair on my head…that is regularly shaved so I don;t know.

  22. I feel genuine sorrow for the understandably scared and?they feel?powerless people who have flocked to his campaign in the mistaken belief that?as often happens on TV?a wand can be waved and every complicated problem can be solved with the simplest of solutions. They can’t. It is a political Ponzi scheme. And asking this man to assume the highest office in the land would be like asking a newly minted car driver to fly a 747.

    Clearly, he’s talking about Bernie Sanders.

    1. a wand can be waved and every complicated problem can be solved with the simplest of solutions. They can’t. It is a political Ponzi scheme

      Really, he could be talking about anyone who has EVER run for office.

      1. Nah, he’s invoking the Ponzi scheme, which is a clear dog whistle to those who hate welfare for the elderly.

        And who’s all about expanding social welfare programs? Bernie Sanders.

        Therefore, Ken Berns hates Bernie Sanders.

        That’s science.

    2. powerless people who have flocked to his campaign in the mistaken belief

      False consciousness!

  23. The demonization of Trump as some kind of a-historical anomaly, uniquely unfit to serve in office, is based on a conception of politics which requires a fantasy-world-level of self-delusion…. one where everyone who serves as heads of Agencies, engaged in the ‘much-maligned but subtle art of governance’, is some Uber-being in possession of highly-refined moral and intellectual capabilities.

    its the “Top Men” fallacy taken to absurd lengths- the notion that politicians are vessels we imbue with our best virtues, who then wield their godlike influence over the machinery of Government, transforming it from mere bureaucracy into some kind of utopian work of art which spreads joy and justice wherever it goes.

    Its sort of like the Gell-Mann effect taken to absurd lengths;

    somehow, even though every prior president in recent memory we have had has been guilty of bald, self-interested lies…. even though almost all have broken a variety of laws, abused their office, manipulated the public, been caught in moral failings, or at best – enacted horrifyingly stupid laws which caused far more damage than the things they purported to “fix”….

    …despite all that, they will brush it aside and cling to the notion that presidents are typically defined by their goodness, their competence, their unblemished characters.

    Its so juvenile that i’d laugh sympathetically at it if it were coming from a 20yr old. From a grown man, its just embarrassing.

    1. You know what else was taken to absurd lengths?

      1. These masturbation euphemisms?

      2. Salt water taffy?

      3. Benson & Hedges 100s? Or whoever’s brand of 101s?

    2. I’ve been arguing this for a while. Libertarians who clutch their pearls over how Trump would soil the office are glorifying it and reinforcing the narrative that politicians are actually competent or leaders.

      1. Anyone who has ever worked closely with or near “executive management” (and i suppose that includes anyone in the military who’s seen how the staffs of general-officers function) will remember the “great awakening” they experience when they realize that “The Boss” is actually not the smartest man in the room, nor is he even particularly charismatic.

        they’re just the best *salespeople* who had the stomachs and the will to slog through shit to get the job. And you’ll realize that there are other people in the organization who are far far far more competent and capable, ….but whom are smart enough to stay in less high-profile roles as to never be held responsible for the ups and downs of quarterly performance.

        the reason the boss is the boss is because they’re good at having shit thrown at them. they have thick skin and shallow minds. they exist to be punching bags who pass on messages written by subordinates, and spin them with a smile.

          1. And Mad Men

        1. My experience, in addition to what you said, often a promotion simply went to the next available person because it was their turn.

      2. I’ve been arguing this for a while. Libertarians who clutch their pearls over how Trump would soil the office are glorifying it and reinforcing the narrative that politicians are actually competent or leaders.

        That is the gospel truth.

      3. Well, there are two types of pearly clutchers.

        Type one, ably represented by Jeffrey Tucker are freacked out by Trump’s popularity. They know that Hillary is deeply unpopular, so she doesn’t scare them as much since the masses will hate her more with each passing day. So Hillary will do shitty things and people will hate her. They fear that Trump will inaugurate a new era where his shitty ideas are welcomed joyously scares them because they want these bad ideas viewed with contempt and not pleasure.

        Type two are the guys who think Trump himself is much worse than Hillary and gay Jay, because they are better socialized and don’t say crazy things. That group, which I suspect includes a bunch of conservative and libertarian pundits, clearly prefers Hillary to Trump because they think Hillary is more reasonable.

        It’s really important no to confuse the two groups.

        There’s also a third group, one into which I fall; the guys who think Trump is nutty and his ideas are farcically unworkable, BUT, don’t fear him any more than we fear the other whackjobs. For example, I am very critical of Trump, but I think Bernie, followed by Hillary are scarier and worse, hands down.

        1. Ah, so you are clearly in the tank for Hillary.

      4. The worst are those who say he’s the most likely to pull the nuclear trigger. I couldn’t believe it last night when my county chairman said that of Trump. And the guy saying it was in Youth for Goldwater (but so was Hillary)! He says the guy is mentally unstable.

    3. The demonization of Trump as some kind of a-historical anomaly, uniquely unfit to serve in office, is based on a conception of politics which requires a fantasy-world-level of self-delusion…. one where everyone who serves as heads of Agencies, engaged in the ‘much-maligned but subtle art of governance’, is some Uber-being in possession of highly-refined moral and intellectual capabilities.

      As long as they’re a democrat. This actually is the belief of the left. Without this belief, they would be left with the assumption that people must be able to govern themselves, and such a thought is blasphemy to them.

      1. This actually is the belief of the left.

        The Right has had their own “Top Men”-fetish over the years.

        I think the bible-beating bullshit has (mostly) thankfully gone the way of the dodo; but the ‘MURICA STRONG, ‘MURICA GOOD-mantra they demand is based on a We Never Make Mistakes idea of American power which leads to stupid things like the Iraq War.

        If Trump and others feel more-free to criticize the iraq war now, its only because its now a decade past 2006, when it was actually revealing itself to be an epic-shitshow.

        But try getting elected in 2006 on the idea that ‘Iraq was stupid – lets not do stuff like that’. No, the public was all SURRRRRGE BABY, double-down!!!

        There are some valid differences between the left and right as regards ‘individual liberty’ which i think are important and which others paper over. But as for pure “Top Men”-fetishism, i think they both have near-equal amounts.

    4. and no, this is not Trump-apologia; which i think is a retarded claim many are making lately.

      If there’s any potential upside to someone as crass and derided as Trump taking high-office, it will be to explode this notion that “presidents matter”, especially.

      And this is what terrifies so many people who rely on this idea of the God-Emperor politician.

      1. That’s it, & it’s worth the price of the ticket. It’s a necessary preliminary to just about any reform, and it’ll be felt worldwide. Once people realize a (((Trump))) can get elected POTUS, then love him/hate him, the con is over.

  24. When Lincoln was elected in 1860, he’d been in the private sector for 10 years. His previous political experience was as a one-term congressman and a four-term state legislator.

    But his day job was attorney. A varied practice – he did criminal cases – like the famous “almanac trial” but he also did cases for big railroads. I can readily guess where he made more money.

    Are we to believe that being an Illinois state legislator and a one-term Congressman were the key factors which qualified him to be President?

    1. That’s different because he was a hero Democr… oh wait…

    2. “the key factors which qualified him to be President”

      He got more electoral college votes than his rivals. What more qualifications do you require of him?

    3. Are we to believe that being an Illinois state legislator and a one-term Congressman were the key factors which qualified him to be President?

      Given the performance of a certain other Illinois state legislator and a one-term Congressman, I’d say “no.”

  25. Wow, somebody at Stanford doesn’t like Trump? This is news? Reason are on a mission to join the lamestream media. More cocktail parties on the way!

    1. And are there many public figures held in lower esteem among Libertarians than Ken Burns? Who does reason think this is going to convince?

      1. I don’t know, I swear I thought that was Evo Morales in the pic.

      2. What John says.

        Not to knock the article, per se, but, does anyone actually give two shits about what Ken Burns thinks?

    2. Adolf Lincoln?

      /Judge Napolitano

      1. Eddie, the person you are trying to name is Abradolf Lincler. Come on, man, try and keep up.

        1. I noticed I was sporting a slight smile after watching that. A slight smile, perhaps because I didn’t have to watch an entire episode of that show.

  26. And Donald Trump continues his incredible string of having only the right enemies. It almost makes you believe a deal with the devil is really an option.

  27. It’s not the media’s fault per-se, its just that the same no-brained, spoonfed shallow thinking that modern journalism has taken advantage of and cultivated has been reverse engineered and exploited by Trump.

    You live by the sword…

  28. For 216 years, our elections, though bitterly contested, have featured the philosophies and character of candidates who were clearly qualified.

    Even Barry Goldwater?

    1. Ken Burns claims Goldwater made a pact with the devil. No kidding

      http://www.thenation.com/artic…..the-devil/

      What an ass clown.

    1. He makes movies which are collages of photos he found on the net.

      1. And people watch that?

        1. It was new and fresh when he released his Civil War documentary – not a lot of moving images available from that era. But I believe that photoshop now comes with a built-in “Ken Burns effect” which does that for you and you can overlay a voice track.

        2. And people watch that?

          No, that’s why they’re on PBS. The people who like Burns’ documentaries have publicly claimed that “there’s no market for a Ken Burns documentary” which is why the must be on PBS.

    2. Think Bolivarian Revolution.

    3. ‘s on first?

  29. As far as Trump’s political experience – he was a real-estate mogul in New York City. Of course he was involved in politics, check out his Art of the Deal.

    1. The sorry fact is anyone involved in business necessarily is involved in politics.

      1. Which is why I knew, right from the start, that I was ill suited to represent real estate developers – at least as far as representing them in front of the planning boards and zoning boards.

        Yes, I have the ability to restrain myself, but why give yourself agita playing the game?

        As for the real estate developer himself, I suppose you can be apolitical if you keep your mouth shut and don’t piss people off while you are trying to get something done.

        1. If you have been involve in real estate, then you must have laughed your ass off when the media was all shocked that Trump broke contracts and didn’t pay his bills sometimes. That is what the real estate and contracting business is all about; not paying your debts until it is advantageous for you to do so. It is called strategic breech and it is how that kind of business works. If I can make more money walking away from my contract with you to go and do work for someone else, that is what I will do. Conversely, if i don’t have a reason to make you pay me now, like a liquidated damages clause or some other business I want to do with you, fuck you sue me and I will pay my lawyers to drag out the litigation for a couple of years while I take the money I owe you and make money with it. The day before trial, I will settle and give you enough to make you happy and make money even with the legal fees.

          That is how business works. Only journalists and politicians have this idea that business works by “honorable men paying their just debts”. Hardly.

          1. I think a strategic breech is what a museum director puts on a naked statue when the Ladies Sewing Circle is visiting.

          2. Unfortunately true. I’ll add that it has gotten worse in the last few years, particularly among the large federal contractors.

            1. Business has always been cutthroat and nasty. If you want to live by your principles, go join the church because the real world doesn’t work that way.

              1. Sure there are and always have been thieving fucksticks in business. However, particular areas of the country lend themselves to more of that behavior than others. I always take extra care when dealing with NJ or NY contractors as I do when dealing with any large federal contractor that is more than willing to hang you with an insignificant contract detail. I’m old enough to remember when most contracting business around here was conducted on a bid and a handshake. That’s not necessarily the best way to do it, but there wasn’t nearly as much bullshit.

                As far as churches go, we dealt with one that told us that they prayed on it and God told them they didn’t need to pay us.

                1. . I always take extra care when dealing with NJ or NY contractors

                  We gotta hire local.

                2. Churches are the worst. Don’t get me started Lee. I didn’t mean the suggestion literally.

  30. “If someone tells you they’ve been sexually assaulted, take it effing seriously and listen to them. Maybe, some day, we will make the survivor’s eloquent statement as important as Dr. (Martin Luther) King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”

    Kathleen Willey, for example?

    1. Lara Logan?

      The American taxpayer?

    2. My daughter throws a football like Joe Namath. I’m so not worried about her when she enters “the Hunting Grounds!”

      1. Does she wear pantyhose as well as Joe Namath? That is what you have to worry about.

      2. So, now we know that she throws more interceptions than touchdowns!

        1. Joe Namath: possibly the most overrated QB to ever play the game.

          1. You hear that, Paul, your daughter sucks. He said it, not me.

            1. They’re trolling. Joe Namath’s greatness is undeniable. On and off the field.

  31. I love the way progs say that we must put politics aside to support the latest prog initiative, as if their ideas were above politics.

    1. We must put politics aside when it furthers their political agenda.

    2. Progs have good intentions. The only possible reason why anyone would oppose their well-intentioned initiatives is bad intentions. There is no other explanation.

  32. WHYCOME KEN BURNS NO TALK ABOUT HILLARY?!

    1. Ken cares about the truth and sexual assault. He cares about women. But look Paul, you drag a twenty dollar bill through a trailer park and some whore like Paula Jones or Kathleen Wiley is going to grab onto it.

  33. Ken Burns Slams Donald Trump in Stanford Address

    I swear, if I just read that headline and didn’t know where it came from, my guess would be Salon. I’m being serious. My 2nd guess would be HuffPo.

  34. Sorry, but trotting out Ken Burns as much of an authority on anything is pretty embarrassing. And the Republicans could pretty much run Jesus Christ and Burns would write the guy off as a religious nut who hangs out with prostitutes.

    Not to mention his leveraging of the smear against Ty Cobb

    1. True.

      Burns is practicing a old, tired progressive trope that whoever the current GOP nominee/president happens to be, he is far, far worse than whoever came before him. Which makes it hard to take his criticism of Trump seriously, no matter what you think of Trump.

      If Abraham Lincoln himself were this year’s Republican nominee, people like Burns would be telling us that the Emancipation Proclamation was a racist plot to cause unemployment and homelessness in the African-American community by depriving slaves of their traditional source of work and housing.

      1. Shit modern progressives give Lincoln no credit for actually freeing the slaves because they made up a narrative where he didn’t really want to.

        It just proves that they are all about feeling the right thing as opposed to actually doing it.

  35. “If someone tells you they’ve been sexually assaulted, take it effing seriously and listen to them”
    …unless her name is Juanita Broaddrick.

  36. THIS HERE ASHOLE WHUT I DON’T LIKE HATE TRUMP SO I VOTE TRUMP

    1. Or not vote for Trump and recognize that a good many of his critics are also disingenuous shitheels. Really, the conflation of recognizing bullshit attacks against Trump with supporting Trump is pretty much the mirror image of what you’re mocking.

      1. Oh, I’m not being fair. I know that. But every now and then, when I’m feeling bad about being too mean to the Trump supporters, one of them will say something as dumb or dumber than what my unfair caricature says.

        1. I am being entirely fair to you. You are voting for Johnson, assuming you do and just don’t stay home, because it makes you feel good to vote your principles. Good for you. But don’t lie to yourself and pretend you are doing anything else.

          Is it any better for me voting to hopefully stop the left for a few years and to enjoy the pain of so many people who deserve it? Maybe not, depending on how much you value holding off the left via Trump for a few years, but it is certainly not any worse.

          1. I actually have quite a bit of sympathy for people who are voting for Trump because they hate Hillary. I just think they’re deluding themselves. He’s going to be horrible if he wins. At best, he’ll be funny horrible. At best.

            1. Nah. He won’t be horrible. He likely won’t be good but he won’t be horrible. The thing about Trump is that he will not command much loyalty from either party. That will keep him from doing any real damage. Hillary in contrast will command the same zombie like loyalty from the Democrats in Congress that Obama does and will as a result be completely unaccountable. There is nothing Hillary could do up to and including outright murder that would cause Democrats to turn on her and kick her out of office. Trump will command no such loyalty.

              I have a lot of sympathy for people like you. You have bought into the “pox on both houses” narrative so much you really don’t understand what we are facing in Hillary. Would she really do that much damage? I doubt it. She mostly is just a crook. But if she tries to, there will be nothing to stop her. And that should scare you.

              1. This, I can agree with. I’m not voting for him, but I’d be much less afraid of a Trump presidency than a Hillary! presidency. He’s not going to actually do much of anything. Hillary! will get a lot of truly horrible things done, and there will be little to nothing to stop her.

    2. Who says the world owes you a good choice Warty? If Johnson were the one who had a chance of beating Hillary, I would happily vote for him, even though there is a lot about him I don’t like. But Johnson doesn’t. Trump does. So the question is Trump so bad that I should vote for Hillary to keep him out? No. Hillary is so bad I should vote for Trump to keep her out.

      Of course I could go vote for Johnson. But since Johnson isn’t going to win, what does that accomplish other than feeding my moral narcissism? Yeah, I voted for the candidate I thought was best. Woopie. Meanwhile, I did nothing to stop the left from taking over the country. People have given their lives so that I could live in this nice country but somehow voting for someone who offends my delicate sensibilities and doesn’t conform to my principles to help keep the totalitarian left at bay for a few more years is just too much to ask of me.

      But it is the Trump people who are posers.

      1. The case for Trump is entirely hate. It’s grown tiresome. And the case for Hillary is entirely hate, for that matter, but there isn’t a lot of pro-Hillary fury around here to make fun of.

        1. Hillary is a smegma-dripping goddess!

        2. Sure it is based on hate. What about it? Again, why do you think the world owes you a good choice. Sometimes “NO” is the only option. Was the case for the Menshaviks based on anything other than hatred of the communists? Not that I can see. Yet, it was the only rational option available.

          What is tiresome is people pretending the situation is somehow different than what it is.

        3. The case for Trump is entirely hate

          As bill said = “”The conflation of recognizing bullshit attacks against Trump with supporting Trump is pretty much the mirror image of what you’re mocking.””

          The things people (you) keep calling “pro-Trump” are mostly pointing out the stupidity of attacks made against him

          aside from maybe john, i don’t know anyone who’s suggested “banning muslims” was a great idea.

          Before trump came along many people at this paper said “getting out of NATO is a great idea”. Now that Trump has suggested it, the same people either go mum, or like Shikha – pretend that this is actually some kind of sophisticated trick to start more wars.

          I don’t know many other Trump policies that are actually worth noting that i’d call “Pro Trump”.

          The only case i’ve ever made which suggests, yes, maybe Trump is a better idea than Hillary, is based on 1 issue entirely = the makeup of the supreme court.

          Hillary or Trump will probably get to replace 2 justices. Even taking into account the wild unknowns about Trump, i think there’s a pretty unshakable case he’d pick people FAR less likely to erode the constitution quite as rapidly.

          The counter-case to this is, “It is impossible to know”.

          I don’t really see how you could say that above case is “Entirely Hate” without being incredibly silly.

      2. But it is the Trump people who are posers.

        Or in your case, desperate for job security with the worst agency in the federal government.

      3. YER THREWED AWAY YER VOTE!!!111!1!!11

        1. You didn’t throw it away. You just didn’t use it where it could have best stopped the left. Instead you used it to make yourself feel good. That is all that is going on there.

          I am quite sure you would have walked away from the Menshaviks or the Girondins as well. My God, we couldn’t expect you to soil yourself by voting for those people. And it would have no doubt made you feel a little better right before that bullet went through your head and you ended up being rolled into a ditch.

          1. I’m thankful that I don’t have to worry about being killed for choosing the wrong side. *fingers crossed*

            My vote will be thrown into the garbage where it belongs. Despite what you say, my country does indeed owe me a reasonable choice of candidates. If I am not allowed such choice, then my country is not allowed my vote.

            1. The country doesn’t give you candidates. Circumstances do. And you saying the country owes you reasonable candidates is no different than saying the world owes you good choices. It doesn’t.

              If voting for Trump is too much of a sacrifice for you to help stop Hillary, fine. That is what it is. But don’t pretend that what you are doing has anything to do with the country or anything really other than you and your moral vanity. The country owes YOU reasonable choices. And if it can’t give them to you, then well you can’t be expected to vote for someone you don’t like even if doing so would prevent real harm.

              Let me ask you, suppose Hillary were a no kidding national socialist. A real going to lock people in ovens type. Would you vote for Trump then? Would make any kind of sacrifice to stop real evil? Or is all about you?

              1. If I could fly I’d spend most of my day up in the sky. At least, until I got bored of it. Then I’d just be happy that I could fly when I really needed to.

                I wouldn’t dare think that my refusal to vote is based on anything larger than my personal moral compass and how my available choices line up against it. I’m not pretending that my vote, or lack of it, means anything at all in the grand scheme of things. I have moral values which I will not compromise. If there ever comes a time when I feel that a candidate deserves my vote, I will be happy to give it. I’m not going to vote for evil in the hopes that evil doesn’t win. Sorry that makes you sad.

                1. It doesn’t make me sad Sparky. It makes you a useful idiot. The left has been preying upon people like you for over 200 years. That is how the left takes power. They don’t need a majority. They just need to divide their opposition enough and get enough people to walk away from the alternatives.

                  Lenin was perhaps the most evil person who ever lived. And he was in many ways a complete moron to top it off. He did however understand human nature and people’s moral vanity. You have to give him that.

                  1. I know you think there is a real difference. And I know you believe that if the other team wins then the world will become a living hell. I can see that you believe that so deeply that you can’t even understand something that doesn’t conform to your beliefs. Like a dog trying to understand a fish, you just can’t grasp the thought processes necessary to understand a different point of view.

                    But hey, we’re only human and such is the way of things. When you speak of useful idiots, you should do so while keeping in mind everything that has brought to bear to keep you scared of the other team.

          2. I don’t want Trump; so I don’t vote for him. I don’t want Hillary, so I don’t vote for her. I don’t want gay Jay, so I won’t vote for him.

            It’s not my fault that the people who vote for these people do horrible things. And, yes, the American people’s choice of elected leaders, may mean that someday you’ll be leading a platoon down my street killing people like me because Der Fuehrer ordered you to, and if it were to get to that point, it’s very likely any resistance I put up will be futile and ineffective and as your men drag the corpses of my family out of our home so the ‘right’ people can take it over, you’ll be thinking to yourself “how terrible it is those stupid libertarians brought us to this pass and I now have to do these terrible things.”

            I rather hope, though, that before things got quite that bad, you’d come over to our side and join us despite the fact we were doomed.

            1. No one is saying you are responsible for the bad things that result. The people who do those things are responsible.

              The truth is, the only think you can do to help stop Hillary from winning is to vote for Trump. If you are unwilling to do that, then you are unwilling to help stop Hillary. Does that make you as responsible for what she does as the people who voted for her? Of course not.

              You don’t like Trump and voting for him is a sacrifice you are unwilling to make in order to help stop Hillary.

              1. The truth is, the only think you can do to help stop Hillary from winning is to vote for Trump.

                That’s not quite true. Voting for Johnson, or someone else, or not at all does at least half as much to stop Hillary as voting for Trump does. It’s still not a vote for Hillary.
                If you are going to do the “A vote for X is a vote for Hillary” thing, at least get the numbers right. A vote for Johnson is half a vote for Hillary. Assuming that the vote would have gone to Trump if no other options were available.

  37. It’s like his head is covered in one gigantic eyebrow.

    1. Um, no. That’s Cara Delevingne.

  38. The media (I am including Burns as a documentarian here) forfeited all rights of legitimacy in telling us who is and is not qualified to be President 8 years ago when they abjectly refused to vet one of the Presidential candidates at all.

    He was completely unqualified as well, but at that time they did not care….

  39. I hate this “Trump/Hillary is the fault of the media” shit. No, the American people are happy to have these terrible scumbags rule them. The primary season has shown us that quite thoroughly. Claiming that the media has caused it is just Marxist false consciousness whining that’s been dressed up in whiny culture war clothes.

    1. This is what’s most depressing about the whole deal. What does it say about your countrymen that they fly into a screaming fury insisting that if you don’t choose one of these vile scumbags THE OTHER SIDE WILL WIN?

  40. All I learned from this post is that Ken Burns is insufferable.

    1. You should see his documentaries.

      1. I kind of like his documentaries, but he is an awful person. Really self-righteous and full of himself.

  41. He could at least get a “grown up” haircut, couldn’t he?

    1. What for?

      Leftists never grow up.

      That’s why they want government to be everyone’s mommy and daddy.

  42. So what’s worse? A Ken Burns documentary or a commencement speech?

    I’m a bit of a Civil War buff and found his most-famed documentary a colossal bore.

    1. I liked that one a lot. Everything else he has made is sorry, however.

      1. I like my military history with a bit of strategy – or how a certain battle was won. Like some maps… with moving arrows showing the attacks and its effect.

        Pan-n-scan over old photos with a repetitive soundtrack gets a bit tedious.

        1. Maybe if he had more mournful fiddle, you’d appreciate his genius more.

        2. It was a social history. It wasn’t a strictly military history. And I am fine with that. I like both.

        3. Did you like The Electric Map?

    2. His jazz one was worse, and I am an intense jazz freak.

      1. I liked the first (2) episodes which focused on everything ‘proto-jazz’.

        Not because they were exceptionally well done, but mostly because its just not given a lot of attention elsewhere.

      2. Eric Dolphy received like 60 seconds of airtime in that documentary. Not cool.

    3. It did inspire the excellent “Pillows and Blankets” episode of Community.

  43. 1) No one is even 10% qualified to be President of the United States as it is currently constructed.

    2) Trump is no less qualified to President than Obama was/is.

    3) If Trump is elected, does anybody really think everything will fall completely apart? It won’t, but nothing will get fixed. That applies to Hillary as well.

    4) Regardless of who wins, and for the hundredth time, the disease which manifests itself in Trumps success will continue undiagnosed or treated, and the radicalization of the masses will continue to metastasize.

    5) Reason appears to largely made up of liberals who see the electable Democrats as too Statist, but will rally the wagons on their behalf if challenged. In short, as things progress down their radicalized path, libertarians are water shedding to their root beliefs. I think most people evolve into libertarianism from once having been Democrats or Republicans, and as things are beginning to fall apart, they are retreating to their base beliefs.

    1. 4) Regardless of who wins, and for the hundredth time, the disease which manifests itself in Trumps success will continue undiagnosed or treated, and the radicalization of the masses will continue to metastasize.

      That really cannot be overstated. If Trump loses the elites in the media and both parties will get their full smug on and tell all of his supporters to fuck off and continue to do all of the things that created Trump to an even greater degree. And the issues Trump has raised will just get bigger and the number of people wanting change will only grow and get more radical.

      Occasionally you need to turn out the elites, get a few knew ones and leave the ones that stay chastened. Trump winning would do that and likely go a long ways to defusing the problems that lead to his rise.

      If people would stop social signaling and think, they would see that. But the snobbery and elitism in this country is just oppressive.

    2. most people evolve into libertarianism from once having been Democrats or Republicans, and as things are beginning to fall apart, they are retreating to their base beliefs.

      I pretty much agreed with everything you said up until this point.

      I’ve never liked any party (including the LP), and have always been far more interested in Policy than politics.

    3. 3) If Trump is elected, does anybody really think everything will fall completely apart? It won’t, but nothing will get fixed. That applies to Hillary as well.

      Actually, I think everything will fall apart under the reign of all the other candidates faster than it would under Trump.

      Hillary is clearly incapable of thinking through the consequences of her actions and will run the government into the ground.

      Bernie is a commie who wants us to be like Venezuela.

      Gay Jay might do a decent job, but I think will find himself run amok by the civil service which is on its own self destructive course.

      Trump will make deals with the various factions to keep the train wreck going. And I get the sense that he has a good nose for what he can get away with and what he can’t, and a great deal of experience knowing when to cut and run on something that is going wrong.

      1. What the Republicans didn’t get about Trump and the GOP voters did, was that any deal is better than nothing, which is what they have been getting from the GOP. The GOP has been giving the Democrats everything they want and getting nothing in return since Gingrich got welfare reform 20 years ago. Yet, they can’t understand why someone who told Republicans, I will cut a deal and get us something in return would be appealing.

      2. Can you give any examples of how you think the federal civil service would defeat GJ’s (& ultimately their own) efforts?

  44. Micky Dolenz called, he wants his hairdo back.

    1. Hey hey that’s a good one.

    2. I thought Mickey was touring with Lou Reed.

  45. Sounds like some pretty serious stuff to me dude.

    http://www.Got-Anon.tk

  46. if you’re afraid of the powers Trump will wield as president don’t argue they’re necessary when Obama is in charge.

  47. I loved his NASSA documentary.

  48. There are only a few qualifications to be president.

    1. Natural born citizen
    2. Over 35 years of age
    3. Haven’t already served 2 terms as president

    That’s it.

    So this talk about “qualified” this and “qualified” that is total bullshit.

    1. If the House impeaches you, and the Senate convicts you and bars you from holding federal office in the future, you are also disqualified.

  49. ken burns slams trump = even more votes for trump

  50. Wait a minute.

    Ken Burns created a documentary film filled with images of the confederate flag, and which actually says moderately nice things about Confederate figures such as Robert E. Lee. How the hell did the SJW’s at Stanford allow him to speak at commencement under these circumstances? Wasn’t his mere presence triggering?

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