Squaring the Culture




"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

03/30/2009 (9:12 am)

President Obama Fires President Wagoner (Updated)

The Obama administration today fired GM’s Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner in what it’s calling a last-ditch effort to save the ailing automaker from bankruptcy. Federal auto industry czar Steve Rattner, former investment banker, said that the recovery plan submitted by GM was not sufficient to restore the company’s viability.

The move is probably right, and the reason also probably right. However, it comes too late and from the wrong direction. I’m wracking my memory, and cannot discover anywhere in the US Constitution the authority for the executive branch to operate take over and operate private companies.

The violation of American Constitutional government took place 6 months ago, during the last days of the Bush administration. The government has loaned GM some $13.4 billion for operating capital since then, apparently believing that the economic impact of allowing GM to declare bankruptcy was too great for the nation to sustain. That fear was poppycock at the time, and remains poppycock; GM is the victim of long-term, lousy management decisions, bad engineering, weak marketing, and union bullying. But crock or not, the operation of private corporations is among the powers reserved to the states or to the people in the 10th Amendment.

The automaker should never have asked for government assistance. It should never have been granted government assistance. The decision to oust President Wagoner should have been made by GM’s Board of Directors. The oversight of GM’s recovery plan should have been performed by GM’s Board of Directors. The choice to continue operation or declare bankruptcy should have been made between GM’s Board of Directors and the banks that held GM’s operating loans — and none of those banks should have been the federal government.

What I’m saying is, the unconstitutional nationalization of American industry is a Bush-Obama collaboration. Today’s decision merely slams home the reality — we are well on the way to becoming a socialist nation.

Sooner or later one of the private corporations accepting TARP funds is going to grow a testosterone factory and challenge the coercive Obama administration in court. They should win, as the Court recognizes the limits of executive authority. Some banks are already working very hard to escape the TARP trap. Wagoner is not the guy to do it, though, since he asked for federal funding and is as much at fault in GM’s demise as anybody else.


UPDATE: A fairly rude fellow from Sadly, No! objected to the sentence in my second paragraph, in which I stated that I could not discover from the Constitution authority for the executive branch to operate private companies. This is, in fact, muddled. I’ve corrected the sentence.

I said in the comments, below, that there are two, separate violations of the Constitution in this act: first, the executive branch does not have the authority to create private companies, and second, that neither the Congress nor the President has the Constitutional right to take over private companies owned by private citizens. I believe this was closer, but still not precisely correct.

In 1952, President Harry Truman attempted to seize the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company in an effort to head off a strike by the United Steel Workers that would have damaged the country’s war effort in Korea. The Supreme Court in Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v Sawyer (1952) upheld an injunction by a lower court preventing the President from doing so. The Court declared that the President had no authority to seize a private company without either specific authorization under Article II of the Constitution or a specific act of the legislature.

This suggests that while Obama’s act is, in fact, unconstitutional in that the executive has no authority either to create a private company or to operate one without specific legislative approval, it might be constitutional for Congress to declare a private company subject to federal control due to national emergency, and when that’s been done, the President could in fact operate a private company. I really need the opinion of a constitutional scholar to explain under what conditions Congress could properly establish federal control over a private corporation, and it’s possible that the question has never really been settled.

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23 Comments »

March 30, 2009 @ 9:47 am #

Big Brother is watching. This is just one more step in the Communist Manifesto.

March 30, 2009 @ 1:40 pm #

You dare thwart The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy by mashing that DEL key!!! Really, you needn’t bother as no one reads your blog anyway.

(Webmaster notes: And yet, here you are. Curious…)

March 30, 2009 @ 2:01 pm #

“we are well on the way to becoming a socialist nation”

Good, good!

Rubs hands together gleefully.

March 30, 2009 @ 3:07 pm #

I’m wracking my memory, and cannot discover anywhere in the US Constitution the authority for the executive branch to operate private companies.

*snort*

Does the Constitution ban you from putting milk in your coffee?

No.

Does it, however, permit it?

No.

And yet, millions of Americans do it.

Similarly, there is no reason delineated in the Consitution that says the Federal government cannot run a private corporation and you can go at least as far back as the Federal Reserve for examples.

Indeed, the First National Bank of the United States was a (mostly) private corporation that Alexander Hamilton proposed and started to fund the government back in the 1790s.

The Resolution Trust Co also falls into this domain.

So your point is…?

March 30, 2009 @ 3:14 pm #

Well, I think the first point is to wonder why it is that some folks cannot disagree without sneering. It really does mark you as sub-human, you know … the inability to say “I disagree” without adding “I really think you’re worthless” in some form or other. Decent human beings don’t talk to each other that way. Leftists always do.

Having said that, the point you make is well-argued, except that you didn’t read very carefully. I said I could not discover where the executive branch had the authority. Hamilton’s National Bank, the Federal Reserve, the Resolution Trust Company, even FNMA, SLMA, FHLMC… all were established by acts of the legislature, which DOES have the Constitutional authority to establish private corporations and appoint guardians therefor.

So you see, not only was your sneering vicious and boorish, it was also premature — as is almost invariably the case when people sneer.

Thanks for playing. Have a nice day.

March 30, 2009 @ 4:02 pm #

*A-hem*

Resolution Trust Co:

“In 1995, its duties were transferred to the Savings Association Insurance Fund of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

The FDIC being an executive branch department

So sorry… you lose! The consolation prize is answering the question you trolled about at Sadly,No!

March 30, 2009 @ 4:24 pm #

Actor212,

The FDIC was established by the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which was an act of the legislature. And from the same Wikipedia article you quoted without attribution, “[The Resolution Trust Company] was created by the Financial Institutions Reform Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA), adopted in 1989.” Also an act of the legislature. So not only did you err, you quoted a source improperly, and you attempted to deceive by deliberately omitting the sentence immediately preceding the one you quoted. You should be doubly ashamed.

The current action is unconstitutional in two regards, in fact, and while my original post was unclear (for which I apologize), I was aiming at both:

1) The action is being taken by the executive branch without regard to acts of the legislature, making it an unconstitutional expansion of executive power; and

2) There was not one of the founders who would not have regarded as a gross violation of personal liberty the direct takeover by the federal government of a private corporation, owned by private citizens — even if it were performed properly by an act of Congress.

So once again, you’re incorrect — and still, no apology for the abusive language?

March 30, 2009 @ 6:11 pm #

PB, you claim that “The Obama administration today fired GM’s Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner.” If we follow the link we find that “The Obama administration asked Rick Wagoner, the chairman and CEO of General Motors, to step down and he agreed…”

Can you not distinguish between those two statements? Can you not distinguish between the federal government forcibly taking over a company and making business decisions for it and a company asking the government for a loan and the government putting conditions on the loan that the company agrees to?

If you really cannot distinguish between those two situations, then I think you probably deserve the ridicule that is being directed your way.

March 30, 2009 @ 6:50 pm #

Phil,

After reading your post and the attendant commentary I really do not see why you need apologize for perhaps a less-than-artful turn of a phrase suggesting Wagoner was fired by the White House.

It is a distinction without a difference.

That we have acquiesced to the point where we contemplate the dismissal of a CEO by any action of the White House without howls of outrage is, in of itself, a tragedy.

The government has no role whatsoever in determining the course of the inner workings of a corporation. Period. That GM sought government money to stave off bankruptcy was wrong, but does not change the fundamental equation. That GM could not come up with a satisfactory business plan (I am suspicious that any plan would have been satisfactory) does not change the fundamental equation.

As I have mentioned before, I ascribe a manevolent intent to Obama’s policies that are not shared by many. Since his inauguration, my opinon that he wishes to displace the cornerstone of our free enterprise economy with his socialistic post-capitalism has only grown stronger.

I have been a life-long Chevy pickup owner going back to a really lousy 1970 rust bucket that I owned in High School. Between personal use and businesses, I have probably owned dozens of them. As of today that relationship is over. I will not be party to socialism. I will not support it. I will not condone it. I will not be held hostage to it. And, most of all, I will not apologize for calling it for what it demonstrably is – socialism.

March 30, 2009 @ 7:18 pm #

fardels bear,

I think I agree with turfmann about this one: the distinction between “they fired him” and “they asked him to resign as a condition of the loan, and he agreed” is hardly even a difference in degree. In effect, the executive branch is operating like a bank performing a restructuring operation on a debtor company in receivership. I don’t think there’s a businessman on the planet who would not regard the CEO as having been fired if the bank demanded that he step down as a condition of the company’s next operating loan, nor is there one who would not regard the bank as making business decisions for the company in that situation.

It’s the fact that the federal government is operating in this capacity over private companies that concerns me. As I said, the feds are doing what GM’s Board of Directors should have been doing.

March 30, 2009 @ 8:14 pm #

I see. So, you think it is good business practice for a lender to put no conditions on a loan. So, when someone files for bankruptcy, under no conditions should a court (the government!) require any kind of change of behavior on the part of the individual. When all these companies file for Chapter 11, the government has no right to require them to act in certain ways to make sure that no more social harm is done from their incompetent business practices.

As for our ideological howls about “socialism,” you do realize that this has been done before, right? With Chrysler? And that the taxpayer actually made money on that deal BECAUSE the loan had strings attached that required the corporation to behave in certain ways? And yet, we somehow didn’t creep into the government controlling the means of production?

March 30, 2009 @ 8:39 pm #

So, you think it is good business practice for a lender to put no conditions on a loan.

Excuse me????

This is as illogical an inference as I can imagine. I have no idea where you got it.

I have NO OBJECTION WHATSOEVER to a BANK placing such a condition on a loan, if it has receivership over the company to which it’s loaning money.

I object to the government loaning money to private companies. I said this EXPLICITLY in the post.

I object to companies asking the government for loans. I said this EXPLICITLY in the post.

I object to the government operating like a bank, when it should be banks doing it. I said this EXPLICITLY in the post.

Learn to fucking read, or stay off the blog.

As to Chrysler, 1) I objected to that, too, and still do; 2) Chrysler requested loan guarantees, not an actual loan; 3) the government did not make demands on the operation of the business; 4) the Chrysler loan guarantees did not occur in the context of the government allocating $750 billion in money for loans to private companies, nor in the context of the government expanding spending to 28% of GDP; 5) Chrysler was actually a much more important employer at the time than GM is today.

If you can’t see the Obama administration’s acts as directed toward creating a socialist state, then you’re just too partisan to be trusted with facts.

March 30, 2009 @ 9:48 pm #

My goodness. It it did not take long for this to go to complaining about a “fairly rude fellow from Sadlyno” and Phil complaining about his critics being “sneering and boorish” to him proclaiming that I need to “learn to fucking read or stay off the blog.” But, you know, at least he wasn’t sneering and boorish about it. Because that kind of behavior has no place here.

You are making an empirical claim: that the government taking the role of a private institution is socialism. You make an inference that this is “toward creating a socialist state.” My point is that you are committing the fallacy of the slippery slope: that this sort of thing happened in the past and we did not turn into a socialist state. My example was Chrysler and you suddenly become an expert at drawing very fine distinctions, a skill which somehow eluded you when you conflated “Obama fired Waggoner” with “Obama asked that Waggoner step down and he agreed to do so.”

OK, how about the Price-Anderson act, in which the government indemnified the nuclear power industry thus making it possible to HAVE a nuclear power industry. Or, do a little research into the airline industry and you’ll see that without government bailouts we would not have air travel in this country.

We have always had such a mixed economy. Your claims that we are on a path to socialism are thus empirically disproven. And, now that I know that it passes for civil discourse here, I respectfully suggest that you learn to fucking think or get off the blog.

March 31, 2009 @ 2:31 am #

I’m sorry Phil. I know I said I’d leave your blog alone. But allow me one last moment.

Touche’ Fardels Bear. You made my day!

Joe H.

March 31, 2009 @ 2:47 am #

Hi, I was assigned by Rahm to, uh, lemmeesee, infiltrate and disrupt a “Plumb Line Blog.”

Am I in the right place? If not, can I borrow your phone?

March 31, 2009 @ 4:02 am #

The empirical claim that we are becoming a socialist state is not evidenced by past dalliances in mixed economy antics by the state, e.g., nuclear or airline regulation (note well that the word is regulation, not operation and certainly not ownership) but by the political/economic philosophy and designs of the current president. He is not a capitalist as evidenced by his upbringing, his education, his employment history and his explicit pronouncements. He is a brilliant politician (a dubious charge) but could not run a fucking lemonade stand in the desert (sorry, Phil, I wanted to get in on the spirit of things – nothing quite like hurling a f bomb to do the heart good!). Yet, he feels complete contentment in firing someone that may or may not be doing a good job. How would he know? By what measure of life experience would Obama be in a position to judge anyones performance as a Fortune 500 CEO? He can’t. That’s the job of the BOD. That’s the job of the shareholders. It is not the job of the government. But hey, he sure made a lot of money and the liberal cabal has not wasted a single moment pointing out with glee the fall of another capitalist.

I’d type some more, but I’m frantically searching the Constitution for the authority it grants the executive branch to do such a thing. Does anyone know if there’s a top-secret Constitution that we were never allowed to learn about in High School? That’s gotta be it.

Oh, Mr. Obamanaut-306K, yes indeed, you’re in the right place. Welcome! Come in! Must have been a long trip for you. May I plug you in for a little recharge? Right here, 240V 3 Phase…

Oh, dear.

The One isn’t going to like that one bit. Guess its off to Reeducation Camp (electrical division) for me.

(Author notes: having tossed the f-grenade myself, I can hardly object. But I reserve the right to cap the gusher down the road.)

March 31, 2009 @ 7:37 am #

1) “You are making an empirical claim: that the government taking the role of a private institution is socialism.”

I believe the claim I made was that this is an unconstitutional expansion of executive power on an unprecedented scale. And that it’s move in the direction of socialism. The directionality becomes important later when you attempt to wash out a 2-order-of-magnitude difference as a “very fine distinction.”

2) “My example was Chrysler and you suddenly become an expert at drawing very fine distinctions”

To you, the distinction between a single company receiving loan guarantees for $1.5 billion and dozens of companies receiving $750 billion and counting is a “very fine distinction.” Let’s take a poll here — or anywhere, really — and see how many others think that’s a “very fine distinction.” K?

Let’s try the same between the notion that the distinction between “gave Chrysler a loan guarantee” and “expanded government spending to 28% of GDP” is a “very fine distinction.” And so forth.

You’re using weasel words to mask your ridiculously lame comparison. Those are HUGE distinctions, and speak directly to the center of our concerns.

And by the way, “tu quoque” (you, too) is also a logical fallacy, and does not answer the CORRECT objection that there’s no practical difference between “fired” and “asked to leave as a condition of a necessary loan.” You got caught splitting hairs, and now you’re trying to reciprocate in order to erase the difference in magnitude between a house cat and an elephant. You’re wildly wrong on both counts.

3) Price-Anderson: This is an interesting exception, about the only one I’m willing to consider valid. It’s not entirely an exception, in fact, because it’s a constitutionally-proper act of Congress addressing a single, nationally-relevant difficulty. But in truth, I’m opposed to that in principle, too, as a violation of free-market principles; I’m just not sure what the correct alternative should be. My gut tells me that if a thing is really so dangerous that no insurer will touch it, then it should not be done. I suspect the thing is not truly that dangerous. I suspect, but don’t know, that government regulations (the Sherman Act, perhaps?) prevented sensible alternatives like arranging collaborative insurers.

But yes, both the Chrysler loan and the Price-Anderson Act were steps on the road to an improper socialism. They were smaller, they were less intrusive, they were one-offs, and they were done in a constitutionally-approved manner, but they were steps in this direction.

4) “We have always had such a mixed economy.” Uh… no. You have not made this case. Price-Anderson is from the 1950s, the Chrysler loan is from the 1970s; that’s not “always,” that’s “the last 50 years,” and I would agree that the road to socialism in the US began in the 1930s. And no, saying “We had 1.5X 30 years ago, therefore 750X today (and growing) is no different” does not “empirically disprove” that we are increasingly becoming a socialist nation. In fact, if you note that my initial claim was a clear trend (“we are well on the way”,) an increase of 2 orders of magnitude empirically proves my point.

What’s disturbing about this discussion is the appearance that there’s even the slightest intellectual value to fardels bear’s case. There is none. He’s playing at cognitive dissonance, trying very, very hard to avoid admitting the obvious, and has no intellectual capital whatsoever.

And Joe, you simply discredit yourself even further by applauding him. The left, as always, produces only vicious noise (accompanied by mean-spirited ridicule), never robust, civil intellectual debate.

March 31, 2009 @ 8:25 am #

By the way, fardels, when I’ve said in the post under discussion that “I object to A,” “I object to B,” and you come along and say “So, you object to XYZ” without establishing any relationship between XYZ and the things I specifically named, then you’re exhibiting a failure to read. “Learn to read” is the appropriate response. If you feel the need for an apology over “f’ing,” you’ll get it, although I suspect that your outrage is feigned and you truly don’t care much.

The same cannot be said of Actor212′s derision (followed by a reductio that’s provably wrong), nor of my rejecting your imaginary (but also derisive) distinction between being fired and being asked to resign by a player with controlling leverage.

Tu quoque is one of the favorite Red Herrings of the left. Not only is the argument a fallacy even if correctly drawn, but I don’t recall any instances of the left’s equivalence game where they actually produced equivalent violations. It’s just a juvenile attempt by very bad people to pretend that they’re not really all that bad. It’s disgusting.

March 31, 2009 @ 11:05 am #

Phil,
You’re dealing with True Believers here; they’re right AND oh so bloody intelligent, you’re wrong AND stupid. It’s the same thing as dealing with “kema” the other week, just a different religion.

And the legislative branch is getting in on the party as well; here’s a link to a Washington Examiner column about the house trying to control the salaries of not just the top brass, but of every employee of these companies.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Beyond-AIG-A-Bill-to-let-Big-Government-Set-Your-Salary-42158597.html

This from people who invariably come out of their cushy government positions with greatly expanded financial statements. They get rich on http://www.gov.tit, but that’s not allowable in the (sorta) private sector now, is it?

March 31, 2009 @ 6:39 pm #

Hi Phil,

It occurred to me that I should make one last try to enlighten you about the nature of my critique of your intellectual style.

In your comment above, you said that “I discredited myself even further” by applauding Fardel’s Bear. You said earlier that Jim and I lost “enormous credibility” with you by posturing on the torture issue.

However, I cited your response to the torture issue as an example of a problematic intellectual style – your stated practice of assuming that your political opponents are liars and cheats.

Truth be told, it is impossible for me to lose credibility with you. When push comes to shove, no one who does not agree with you (from the left) has any credibility to start with. In fact, you begin encounters with the assumption that people who disagree with you are wrong at best, and probably evil.

The only reason I posted this is because, when I read your response stating that I had “further discredited” myself, I wondered whether you even understood my original critique. How can a presumed liar further discredit himself?

By the way, your response to Fardel’s Bear contains a perfect example of what I’m talking about. You said:

“If you can’t see the Obama administration’s acts as directed toward creating a socialist state, then you’re just too partisan to be trusted with facts.”

People who disagree with you are too partisan to be trusted with the facts? Phil, millions and millions of people disagree with you. Are all of them too partisan to be trusted with the facts? Is your conclusion so compelled by the available evidence that anyone who disagrees is necessarily deranged with partisan fury?

That is the problem with you. You assume that you are infallible. You assume that those who disagree with you are blinded by ideology. However, it is you who interprets everything through an ideological window.

I’m sorry Phil. I know I said I’d leave your blog alone. But I’m an addict to reason.

Joe H.

March 31, 2009 @ 8:30 pm #

Joe,

You begin from the premise that your assessment of me is correct. I cannot accept any part of your argument, because I know — I don’t think, I know — that your assessment is completely off base.

You say:

Truth be told, it is impossible for me to lose credibility with you. When push comes to shove, no one who does not agree with you (from the left) has any credibility to start with. In fact, you begin encounters with the assumption that people who disagree with you are wrong at best, and probably evil.

The only reason I posted this is because, when I read your response stating that I had “further discredited” myself, I wondered whether you even understood my original critique. How can a presumed liar further discredit himself?

This is completely wrong, Joe. When I was first introduced to you a little more than a year ago, I had high hopes that we would be able to help each other understand things about the other end of the political spectrum. If you’ll recall, we communicated at length about homosexuality.

By the end of that conversation, your responses were so predictable that I stopped hoping for meaningful conversation. I never answered your last letter because it was apparent to me that you were not open to persuasion, that the arguments you were raising by that point were so completely lame that I was actually embarrassed for you. Five repetitions of “you never proved X was a disorder,” when I’d provided copious research demonstrating precisely that, a claim that “I’m not a social scientist” as an excuse for not accepting sound statistical evidence, and then your astoundingly wrong claim that the argument “Government endorsement will increase the incidence of homosexuality” is the same as the argument “Disapproval of homosexuality is the cause of their promiscuity” (the major premises of these two arguments are practically polar opposites — you’ll see if you syllogize them.) I could see the error immediately, and you were offering this as though it were irrefutable. You have no idea how disappointed I was.

The point is, I did not begin our conversation thinking you were a liar, as you claim. I began hoping you were different. I was very badly disappointed when it turned out that you were not.

You’ve been attempting to put me into your “partisan” box for several months now, Joe. That was the point of a post on your blog where you mentioned one of my posts back during the election season; and as I explained to you back then, the position you were so sure was pure partisanship, was in fact the result of a process of logical assessment based on repeated experience. As with you, I began my assessment of Barack Obama with an open mind, and came to my conclusions honestly, the same way I came to my conclusions about you. You conclude I’m partisan because you want to. I don’t know precisely why you want to, but I suspect it helps you explain away why I find you so unpersuasive, without having to accept any responsibility for offering just plain lousy arguments.

Joe, you are not addicted to reason. You’re self-deceived. You think you are something that you are not. You are, in fact, the very thing of which you accuse me — and I am not that.

I’m praying for you. I’m not kidding.

Phil W.

April 1, 2009 @ 1:02 am #

Phil,

Let me just say for the record that I never meant to say that government endorsement will increase the incidences of Homosexuality. That’s not something I believe. If I said that, I mispoke.

I also never said that disapproval of homosexuality is the cause of their promiscuity. What I said was something like “the closet” distorts gay people’s self-esteem and sense of self worth, and this contributes to their promoscuity and other psychological problems. I may also have said that the lack of any prospect of marriage significantly contributed to the creation of the juvenile sexual culture that we’ve seen among gays, and the prosepct of marriage would contribute to its end. I stand by these statements.

I also said that you have not proved that Homosexuality is immoral. Have you done so without my knowledge? Is it a disorder? Its surely a variation from a natural theme. But disorder? I’m not convinced. Neither is the American Psychiatric Institute.

Pray for me all you like, but it won’t change the fact that you assume that people who don’t agree with you are blinded by some irrational force or bad motive. You thought it so obvious that Obama is trying to implement socialism that you dismissed someone who disagreed with you as “too partisan to be trusted with the facts.”

Unfortunately, its not obvious to millions of people. Are they just partisans or idiots? Have they no grounds at all for their skepticism regarding your claim? Is there no rational basis from which to disagree with you?

Please!

Best wishes.

Joe

April 1, 2009 @ 6:32 am #

Joe,

You never said government endorsement would increase the incidence of homosexuality, and I never said you did. You did say that the attitudes of straight people were responsible for the promiscuous behavior of gay people (without the explanation you just provided), and when I objected that that was unsupportable and irrational, you observed that you were merely making the same claim as conservatives who claimed government endorsement would increase homosexuality. Hence my reaction: it’s not the same argument at all.

My claim was never that homosexuality was immoral, and your objection was not to that. I produced a bunch of statistical evidence illustrating the stark differences between straight and gay behavior. What makes a behavioral disorder a disorder is precisely that — the difference between some identifiable group and the norm, as established by statistical data. In behavioral disorders there’s no bacteria for which a clinician can test. As a matter of fact, some of the better research is establishing that there really isn’t any such thing as “gay” at all; what we appear to be looking at is a disparate collection of sexual disorders that produce varying degrees of sexual divergence. The details are for another day, but you might want to read up on the Laumann study if you’re curious.

Regarding the APA, their decision was political, not scientific, and the dissenters were hectored into silence by gay activists. For a review of how that was accomplished, I recommend Dr. Satinover’s The Trojan Couch, which is online in PDF format. This paper also reviews the testimony offered in Lawrence v Texas, which you might appreciate.

Your error in this entire discussion is your repeated assertion that the criterion I use to decide whether a person has bad faith or not is whether or not they disagree with me. I’ve never said that, I don’t believe that, and I don’t behave that way. It’s what YOU WANT me to have said, so it’s what you hear. The distortion is not in my behavior, Joe, it’s in your hearing.

The discussion at hand is actually an illustration of what I’m saying. Did you notice that I updated the post and changed the wording in response to comments from Actor212? I actually value input that demonstrates where I’ve erred in my thinking or wording, and readily adjust to a better position; my complaint about Actor212 was not that he disagreed with me, but that he led with derision — which is normal behavior for leftists. I don’t change in response to your arguments because your arguments are generally crap.

The wrong subject is under the microscope here; it’s YOUR behavior that needs adjusting. You’re doing exactly what you charge me of doing: you want very badly, for some reason, to think some ridiculous thing about me, and no fact is going to get in the way of your assessment. I NEVER, EVER dismiss any argument the way you did mine, simply saying “I give up” because you’ve said something unthinkable. When I dismiss an argument, it’s because I can demonstrate that it’s wrong; and when I dismiss a person, it’s because their behavior has marked them as worthy of dismissal. You, on the other hand, decided somewhere else that you were going to label me “partisan,” and you’ve been distorting, misquoting, and manipulating to produce that conclusion ever since.

I think it’s time you left.

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