Principle vs. Party

Party Unity My Ass!

Party Unity My Ass!

Drew M. at Ace of Spades HQ:

Why I Refuse To Cheer The GOP “Establishment”

Yesterday I went on a Twitter rant (that’s what it’s for, right?) against Mitch McConnell’s debt ceiling shenanigans (the old, vote for cloture when you could stop it but against the bill on final passage when you can’t trick).

HQ and personal favorite Charles C.W. Cooke replied to one of the tweets.

He followed up by saying he’d be writing more about it later.

And that he did in a piece entitled “In Praise of the Establishment”

Still, all of that notwithstanding, many conservatives have of late demonstrated a worrying tendency to believe that the virtue of their grievances and the legitimacy of their pursuits must automatically translate into political victory — and that if these do not, that this is the fault of the leadership of the Republican party. I appreciate that this is difficult for some to hear, but I would venture that the opposite is the case. In my estimation, the only thing of which Mitch McConnell and John Boehner have been guilty in the past few years is to have worked tirelessly within political reality and to have reacted sensitively to the hands that they were dealt. The hysterical epithets and acronyms, the witless talk of the amorphous “Establishment,” and the lucrative fundraising e-mails all to one side, there is little that either man could have done differently while their party controlled just one half of one branch of government.

“I’d be willing to risk losing the Senate if we could keep America,” Mitch McConnell’s primary challenger, Matt Bevin, told Glenn Beck this morning. What an astonishingly incoherent and misguided sentence that is. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” asks the King James Bible. A fair question, yes, but politics is a different game altogether, and, in this case, the alternative isn’t an otherworldly victory or spiritual advancement but simply more loss. The question for Bevin must be “for what shall it profit a man if he shall lose another debt-ceiling fight and lose his party’s shot at the Senate as well?” And the answer is “not at all.” If this is what we are to expect from the revolution — a host of nihilistic, suicidal, performance artists who would rather be outside of the control room screaming than inside and in charge — then give me the cynical calculations of a Mitch McConnell any day of the week.

Charles is correct that defeating the debt ceiling hike was a losing game for the GOP. That’s why I opposed pretending to use it last fall. You can’t play chicken when you announce that you will turn away first. McConnell knew this and yet he and other Republican leaders talked up a fight on the debt limit. Don’t blame me for holding them responsible for their failure to deliver on their rhetoric.


I looked back at the debt ceiling hikes during the Bush years (that’s as far back as I had time to check) and there were seven of them totaling $5.85 trillion in increases. Mitch McConnell voted for each and every one of them. Only in 2009 did he begin to vote against hiking the debt ceiling. I find it hard to believe that McConnell suddenly found a principled objection to ever increasing debt. It seems pretty clear his biggest problem with debt is that it’s now political expedient to be against it. Remember, then Senator Obama said hiking the debt ceiling “is a sign of leadership failure”.


I have no faith that given more power, even the Presidency, the current GOP “establishment” will behave any better then they are now or have in the past. I don’t come to this simply as a nihilistic hater but as McConnell’s debt ceiling history shows, as someone who is well acquainted with what the party and its “establishment” history.

Others may have more faith in their latest promises that they’ve seen the light and will stay on the straight and narrow hence forth but I see no evidence of it. In fact there are many reasons to believe the exact opposite.

Remember when the sequester was supposed to be the Holy Grail to be protected at all costs to trade for entitlement reform? Or when every dollar of debt hike was supposed to be offset by a dollar or more of spending cuts? They couldn’t rollover fast enough on that to get the spending moving again.


If you want to change the way business has been done under Democrats and Republicans alike, at some point you will have to change the people doing that business.

If you really want to change the way business gets done in Washington DC, the first thing you have to do is identify the real problem. Here is what is wrong with our government:

We the People

That’s right, we have met the enemy and they are us.

Politicians pander to us, but WE LET THEM! This is the eternal problem with all democratic forms of government. You can have principles but no power, or you can have power but no principles.

Part of the blame has to go to our Founding Fathers, because they set this shit up. They didn’t want efficient government, they wanted a clusterfuck. And that’s exactly what we have.

If you want to accomplish anything in politics you either have to win elections or buy politicians. Whichever method you choose you have put together a majority in the legislature and win/buy the presidency, or you have to win/buy supermajorities in both houses of Congress. And you will need to do that repeatedly.

Basically, you either gotta have an awful lot of money or an awful lot of friends. That’s hard to do.

Right now we have some serious financial problems staring us in the face. There is no simple and painless way to fix the mess we are in. But every time a politician tries to discuss fiscal sanity We the People clap our hands over our ears and go “La la la, I can’t hear you!”

God forbid they actually try to impose a little fiscal discipline! Paul Ryan tried it and they accused him of wanting to throw grandma off a cliff. He don’t talk about that stuff much anymore, does he?

The answer is not the other party. Since 2001 each party has had a period of hegemonic control of the federal government. At no point did spending slow down significantly and the national debt has exploded.

I wish I knew what the answer is. We spent all of our money, maxed out our credit cards and now we’re writing hot checks. We’re robbing Peter AND Paul to pay Mary for some crap we don’t need. And we ain’t gonna stop until we crash and burn.



About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
This entry was posted in Klown Musings, Politics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

129 Responses to Principle vs. Party

  1. The Klown says:

    The only people who are really trying to stand on principle these days is the Tea Party, and they are vilified for doing it.

  2. The Klown says:
  3. DeniseVB says:

    Camp David was good enough for the Carters and Clintons …. re: FLOTUS in Aspen, I think the link’s downstairs 😉

    • The Klown says:

      They never take vacations to the South Side of Chicago, either.

      • DeniseVB says:

        The Obamas don’t have a home. Their Hawaiian “traditional” vacays didn’t start until 2008. After he was elected to the Office of the President-Elect and before his first Inauguration. Though I think that coincided with Grandma’s memorial so the DNC picked up that tab since the Lightbringer was too busy campaigning when she died…..or something like that ?

    • 49erDweet says:

      If we gave him Air Force One right now, would he just go away?

  4. DeniseVB says:

    Someone had to say it 😀

    • 49erDweet says:

      That she was ever Speaker is mind-numbing, too. Or is she suffering from early onset dementia? It’s so discouraging to think she might be the best and brightest her district has to offer. Except that I’m even further west than she, I’d be tempted to cheer for the San Andreas fault solution.

      • piper says:

        First face research on the deleterious effects of botox.

      • Constance says:

        The thing is I think the further west you get in the country the fewer people want to run for Federal office. Seriously who wants a job in DC? So we basically elect whoever volunteers to move to the east coast and fly home a few times a year and as soon as they hit the east coast they go native and no longer share our values. It would help to abandon DC and move the capitol to Omaha and then do what Disney did in Disney world and buy all the land for 25 miles around the capitol so you can keep the influence buyers away from the peoples representatives. Also a move to Omaha would impose some real American values on the government.

        • 49erDweet says:

          Your idea makes way too much sense to be taken seriously. Do you realize some guy named LeMay had the same idea 65 years ago and moved his part of the government to a small patch of prairie just outside Omaha? I think it’s still there today.
          Interesting thing about LeMay is he was first military type who gave top operational authority to whoever was doing the top job, not by the highest rank involved. I saw a 2nd Lt Aircraft Commander in charge of 3 full colonels and six other senior officers on one flight crew. Talk about a morale booster for the lower ranks! But I digress.

        • DeniseVB says:

          Love that plan ! Probably be easier and cheaper to do Term Limits for the professional squatters in DC.

  5. votermom says:

    Maduro blocking twitter accts of Venezuelans

    Twitter Inc. (TWTR) said the Venezuelan government blocked users’ online images as opposition groups marched through Caracas for a third day, demonstrating against record shortages and the world’s fastest inflation.
    Nu Wexler, a Twitter spokesman, confirmed yesterday in an e-mail that the government was behind the disruption. President Nicolas Maduro banned protests Feb. 12 and asked supporters to counter with a “march against fascism” today, in a week of social unrest that has left at least three dead.

  6. DeniseVB says:

    Whoa ! Something to think about……

  7. DandyTIger says:

    There’s even a video of what the US via both parties (and we the people) is doing right now:

  8. The Klown says:
  9. wmcb says:

    Some days lately I think a lot about scaleability. I’m beginning to wonder if there is an upper limit to the size of a stable, functioning human society, outside of oppressive control. Not an economy, but a society. Seems to me that smaller nations (us included) have usually (no not always) worked better regardless of their form of govt. Globalism is trying to make of the civilized world one big (in effect) nation. And the loss of federalism here has made the states less “mini-nations” than they once were. Whether larger scale can be made to work economically is one question, but whether it makes good societies is an altogether different one.

    Also, as myiq pointed out, We The People are a big problem, ourselves. I’m finding democracy fucking exhausting anymore. It wasn’t so, back when society was more healthy and united on the big stuff, and voting, frankly, was a matter of endorsing tweaked versions of what we all agreed on anyway. A communal ethos. Yes, we were “democratic”, but it was kind of a formality, ya know?

    Now? We live in a world where public opinion is the key to power, and its by no means united, so everyone fights over it. He who controls the Public, rules. We The People, while ostensibly the power, are pretty much a commodity to be fought over by very large forces indeed. Anyone who wants to resist that has to himself gear up and try to get out there and sway people. Or sit back and have no influence at all. Question: is this going to go on forever? At what point can people just live their lives in peace and order, and not be fucking consumed with politics All. The. Damn. Time. Oh, you can do it now, of course. If you agree to not care anymore. But in doing so, you are in effect consenting to be ruled by someone else, someone who IS out there swaying the public to his side. And is there anyone who really sees this as a great way for a people to have to live? Having to FIGHT for some cause? Forever and ever and ever? Because any given good is always in jeopardy? I dunno. Sounds exhausting, neurotic, and wholly unnattural to me. Things obviously worked better at an earlier date in USA history. That much is obvious. Was this a matter of scale, of community, or of the structure of our govt itself? Or some combination of all that? Was what we are seeing now inevitable, given our growing size and the weaknesses inherent in democracy, even a limited one? Would scaling down make it more manageable?

    I have lots and lots of questions and observations lately. Answers not so much.

    • DandyTIger says:

      I think you’re on to something about scale, and the direction of citizens as commodity. Look at Google for example, now according to Wall Street seen as more valuable than Apple. And what does Google sell? Us. We are the product Google sells. Vs. what Wall Street sees as less valuable, companies that sell physical hardware, manufacturing. Advertising companies have been around forever, but not as the most, or one of the most valuable companies. That’s a very odd thing. And I think there is some correlation in both politics and the marketplace that has changed. I think part of it is scale and part of it are the changes in technology and communication.

      But I think it’s a double edged sword. Things could change on a dime in a way the establishment isn’t prepared for too. A good example is the movement of digital currency that gets away from central banks. So far it hasn’t scaled and has problems, but you can bet the establishment is scared shitless about it. Other things like that may crop up too.

      • wmcb says:

        Yes, the Google thing is a good example. Look, democracy (even in its republic form) has always had inherent weaknesses. Even the founders understood that. But I think that before mass media, before the internet, etc, those weaknesses were limited in how much damage they could do. But, as you said, modern technology holds dangers for TBTB as well. If the establishment gets torn down, people will organize themselves differently, and I think technology could be a real tool in that re-building. (And when I say “torn down”, I don’t mean cataclysmic revolution. I mostly mean slowly crumble under its own weight. At least I hope so.)

      • 49erDweet says:

        The scary thing about the “Rise Up” video DVB linked to above is there is a certain amount of truth there. Some hyperbole, too, but personal productivity in some fields is just phenomenal when one looks back three decades. It bothers me when DC tries to stifle competition. “For the public good”. As if.
        We used to have 3 car companies. Period. We now have a kajillion. Aren’t we all suffering way too much because of those confusing choices the market has forced on us? I sure wish all we had to choose from was an Obamacar or a Bushmobile.
        I don’t have the same confidence of your:

        ” (And when I say “torn down”, I don’t mean cataclysmic revolution. I mostly mean slowly crumble under its own weight……)

        What we’re seeing this week in Caracas could well be a foretaste of US in a year or so. I hope not, but………

    • wmcb says:

      Been thinking a lot about power, and what limits it. Throughout all of history. It’s not just a law saying “X power is limited.” We have those. They eventually get ignored or “re-interpreted.” Yet, English Common Law held really fast in practice for centuries, despite never even being written down til much later. It was a limiting principle on their rulers. So, how did they manage that? A limiting principle, in that case, is obviously not the same thing as a limiting law with some kind of statutory punishment behind it. Right now in history, we don’t have kings, we have The People. Do we need a limiting principle that keeps THEM from doing batshit stuff? Because in my observation, The People can be just as cruel and short-sighted and spendthrift and capricious and abusive as any crappy king ever was. What would the limiting principle be, if so? Some form of custom, connection leading to a communal sense of rightness? (Which is sort of what English Common Law was.) Can that even be achieved/fostered in a massive State, or only in smaller communities/nations?

      Do you see that 2/3 of my political commentary anymore consists of nothing but fucking questions? Why is that? 😉

      • DandyTIger says:

        We do have the idea that the majority can’t limit the rights of the minority. And we do have the state itself in the loop on just about everything, which gives it a lot of control. Any crime between two people is also a crime against the king (now the state). Quite a genius move back in the day I must say. Those things provide some measure of control over the people.

        • wmcb says:

          Oh, yes, we have that in theory, and it still somewhat works. I’m not a complete and TOTAL pessimist! LOL! But the ease with which our rulers-in-all-but-name turn society against this or that thing deemed inconvenient is troubling. It cycles and changes faster than it ever did, at least in my lifetime. You, too, could be evil and anathema tomorrow, for holding opinons that were perfectly normal even ten years ago. And I ain’t just talking about “social issues.”

          • 49erDweet says:

            We lost that when we lost the delicate balancing act between the three branches. Once the administration became the forever universal top dog (not just in wartime), things went south, IYKWIM. That the other two branches accepted that move if forever to their shame.

      • John Denney says:

        I’m thinking all taxes should be local to a a city, say a 10% income tax. The citizen pays no other tax. The city then pays 10% of its tax receipts to the county; the county pays 10% of its receipts to the state, and the state 10% to the Feds.

        If the Catholic Church can be so wealthy and influential by voluntary donations of tithes (10% of income), why can’t the state do the same?

        • DeniseVB says:

 is the biggest threat to the idiots in Congress right now, they just can’t get this bill passed, which is what you’re proposing John. Common Sense 😀

          • John Denney says:

            The Fair Tax is not the same:
            “All money will be collected and remitted to the U.S. Treasury, and both the retailers and states will be paid a fee for their collection service.”
            Under that scheme, all revenue goes to the feds, a huge pool of money controlled and trickled down by a very few people. Huge pools of money attract crooks. Huge pools of money centralize power. Power corrupts.
            Under my scheme, all revenue goes to the local government, which will pass a portion up to the next level of government, and so on. Trickle up; not trickle down. Disperse the power from central authorities to local authorities.

    • lyn says:

      This is the truth: “At what point can people just live their lives in peace and order, and not be fucking consumed with politics All. The. Damn. Time.” The ruling class wants chaos. Obama showed that a loser could get elected based on marketing, and we can expect more dumbass politicians as presidents until the governed no longer gives its consent. I like what the gun owners of Connecticut are doing (see helenk3’s comment below). It may all go back to the state level eventually if we wake up. All those who vilify the Tea Party were brainwashed by TPTB.

    • Constance says:

      You are absolutely right about scale. We need to break the nation into half at the Rocky mountains or possibly into thirds as I don’t see the South wanting to stick it out with the Northeast. The east coast won’t like losing what they see as their God given power of elitist control but what are they going to do about it? Attack us? Ha! Who would they pay or draft to do their actual fighting? We should do it soon so we can do it on reasonably good terms and not try to do after the shit hits the fan and the nation is falling apart.

    • John Denney says:

      What binds us together as Americans is a set of principles. I call them, “The Four and the Three”.

      An individual can prosper with 4 character qualities:
      1) Can-do attitude
      2) Diligence
      3) Continuous Learning
      4) Trustworthiness

      The primary job of the government, We the People, is to defend each person’s:
      1) life
      2) liberty
      3) property

      All 7 are motivated by love – a concern for the other person.

      For instance, the blacksmith John Deere saw the Midwest farmers struggling to plow the heavy clay soil with plows that had worked well in the lighter New England soil. So he invented a plow that would work well for the Midwest farmers, thus enabling both the farmers and himself to better prosper.

      Consider that Switzerland has little natural resource, but yet they prosper because of the Four and the Three, bringing to the world such things as Swiss watches, cheese, chocolate, knives, and banks, none of which requires much natural resource.

  10. lyn says:

    This gives me hope.

  11. wmcb says:

    Aaaand, it’s shit like this that makes me laugh in people’s faces who whine at me about our poor dying malnourished children and the horrors of Foodstamp cuts:

    • DandyTIger says:

      Also the fact that the amount we’ve spent on climate change is 10x (or was it 20x) as much as the UN says would take to end world hunger. Priorities.

    • wmcb says:

      Here’s an idea. Let’s cut Foodstamps to cover only FOOD. That would be nice.

      • DandyTIger says:

        But, but, but, people’s feelings can get hurt if they’re made to feel like they’re poor.

        • SHV says:

          IIRC, that was Deval Patrick’s reason for vetoing a Mass. law that placed some restrictions on EBT purchases. I suspect the real reason was bribe money from the Retail Grocery Asso., Coke, Pepsi, etc.

          • DeniseVB says:

            …..and beer/wine distributers ? Never fails to watch the food stamp people always have enough in their pockets for beer, box wine (not that there’s anything wrong with that), cigs and junk food. I don’t mind feeding a hungry family, but I’m also allowing them to feed their unhealthy habits too.

            And what’s the deal with Food Banks not accepting expired canned goods? I always thought those were good for 10 years or so ?

          • The Klown says:

            That expiration date thing is a racket to make you buy more stuff. Canned foods are good way past their “expiration” dates. Most OTC meds too.

          • wmcb says:

            Yep. The Left is good at proposing the purest goals imaginable for their actions: “We want to feed the children, so they aren’t malnourished.” Okay, sounds legit to me. But when you point out to them that the program as it actually exists in reality-land is running counter to the stated goal, it’s all “SHUT UP! WHY DO YOU WANT MALNOURISHED CHILDREN?!”

        • wmcb says:

          Some drugs expire, others don’t. When my husband was responsible for all the drugs on a Navy vessel, they didn’t throw things out by expiration date alone (except certain drugs). They physically examined the pills, to see if they were breaking down, gummy, crumbly, smelled funny, etc. A buttload of them are still good, way past the expiration date. Many of them, at worst, lose a bit of their potency over time.

          • DandyTIger says:

            That’s one of those case by case things. Some of the chemistry breaks down in nice, just getting less potent ways, some breaks down in not very nice ways. But the expiration dates are way conservative, so you can keep them lots longer than that. Mostly.

          • The Klown says:

            How and where the meds are stored makes a difference.

  12. helenk3 says:

    so now that it is ok to lend money to pot dealers are all those anti drug laws going to go away.
    will there still be random drug testing in the transportation business?

    • Constance says:

      I think it is still pretty iffy. I know people here in WA who are trying to start legal pot businesses and they are looking at Canadian banks for doing business.

    • Constance says:

      There would still be random drug testing in many businesses. Just like with alcohol which is legal but still you are not allowed to fly a plane or drive a bus or train or car drunk you also will not be allowed to do those things under the influence of pot even if it is legal.

    • John Denney says:

      Saw an article somewhere about the pot shop owners’ plight. The banks won’t let them open an account, for fear of the feds, so the pot shops have to deal in cash, and a store owner is often carrying a briefcase containing 10s of thousands of dollars in cash. They literally have to warehouse it.

  13. DeniseVB says:

    Very thoughtful article on Hillary and the future of the Dems.

    The comments are somewhat fugly though, or just trolls on a liberal site ?

    • The Klown says:

      Who exactly is she “blocking?” Isn’t that the same bullshit they said 6 years ago?

    • wmcb says:

      If she runs, it will get ugly. Still won’t make me vote for her, but it will.

    • Constance says:

      Both Clinton and Biden are too old for the youth/stupid people focused Progressive party. They just ignore Biden and Clinton they will want to flog to death as an example to other uppity women. But if Clinton runs I think Jeb Bush will run too as then media can’t use the dynasty thing against him as both parties will be running dynasties. That will really piss off the Kennedy dynasty people who are the ones who started pushing Obama so I think the Republicans could win a Clinton/Bush rematch in 2016. And both Hillary and Jeb will make better Presidents than we are used to getting.

  14. wmcb says:

    **facepalm. NJ Koreans are offended by the name of a sea on the other side of the fucking world.

  15. The Klown says:

    I hate mornings like this:

    It’s really embarrassing when you have to introduce yourself to naked strangers who are in bed with you.

  16. Constance says:

    The way out of the overspending/debt problem is inflation and health care rationing for old people. If they can get the Boomers to kick off 10 years earlier they won’t have to pay out so much in entitlements and inflation only hurts the little guy the big jerks who run everything can plan for it and profit from it.

    • The Klown says:

      Population growth would help, if those new people find jobs and start paying taxes.

      Somebody’s gotta pull the wagon.

      • Constance says:

        The population we have now can’t find jobs. I know skilled people over 50 who have been pushed out of their professions and I know many kids with new college degrees who had impressive college grades who either aren’t working or who are working part time with no benefits and low wages at internship extensions because that is all there is.

        • wmcb says:

          We are, at some point, going to have to make some clear choices re: direction for a post-industrial society. We could be somewhat industrial again, but we’d have to go somewhat protectionist (not totally) and give up some cheap foreign goods in favor of stuff made here.

          If my choices are “No jobs, so everybody pay out more in taxes for welfare.” and “We all pay more for goods so as to have jobs”, I’m pretty sure I’m in favor of the latter. I’m paying either way.

          Not that I’m 100% certain those are the only two choices, either. Just saying if I had to choose.

          • votermom says:

            Not that I’m 100% certain those are the only two choices, either. Just saying if I had to choose.

            Invade our geographic neighbors and seize their wealth?

          • The Klown says:

            Invade our geographic neighbors and seize their wealth?

            I believe that is Mexico’s strategy.

          • wmcb says:

            If you even notice that Mexico is exporting their problem and poor population to us, that means you hate all Mexicans and want them to die, Klown.

          • The Klown says:

            The truth is racist.

          • votermom says:

            And we provide the guns for them to invade us.

          • Constance says:

            I love the concept of invading Mexico. It seems like most of their population wants to be Untied States Citizens anyway and we could take over their natural resources. But let’s do it after we break the country into thirds or half. We don’t need those stupid hosers in DC telling us how to run an invasion and government takeover. Look at what a mess they have made of the last few wars they have organized.

    • 49erDweet says:

      So far, the ones that thought they could take mine away from me seem to have become lost in the woods, or something. Strange. 😆
      OTH, the “me, me, me” generation ain’t looking very productive anyway so tell me again just why they would be missed.

  17. wmcb says:

    My husband has been on a roll lately watching the series Fringe on Netflix. It’s pretty good. He loves it mostly because he has a real soft spot for Mad Scientists who are socially inappropriate.

  18. helenk3 says:

    stolen from a commenter at No Quarter.
    What is FEMA preparing for?

  19. helenk3 says:

    Is this the future of this country? Oh God I hope not

    • wmcb says:

      Stuff like this drives me nuts. Note to insane people: Everything that is a good idea does not need the govt to make it happen, any more than everything that is a bad idea needs the govt to outlaw it. We are not fucking children.

      I think smiling and being polite to people is a good thing. Dumb Prog: WHY IS THERE NO LAW FOR THIS???!!! HOW WILL THIS EVER HAPPEN IF WE DON’T HAVE A RULE????!!!! SOMEBODY MAKE PEOPLE DO THIS!!!!

      They really have no concept of “society” that exists outside of govt authority. None.

  20. helenk3 says:

    increased health costs
    increased food costs
    increased energy costs

    decreased jobs

    hell of a job backtrack

  21. The Klown says:

    Psychologists: Internet Trolls Are Narcissistic, Psychopathic, and Sadistic

    Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes

    “Chris Mooney reports at Slate that research conducted by Erin Buckels of the University of Manitoba confirmed that people who engage in internet trolling are characterized by personality traits that fall in the so-called Dark Tetrad: Machiavellianism (willingness to manipulate and deceive others), narcissism (egotism and self-obsession), psychopathy (the lack of remorse and empathy), and sadism (pleasure in the suffering of others). In the study, trolls were identified in a variety of ways. One was by simply asking survey participants what they ‘enjoyed doing most’ when on online comment sites, offering five options: ‘debating issues that are important to you,’ ‘chatting with others,’ ‘making new friends,’ ‘trolling others,’ and ‘other.’ The study recruited participants from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk website and two measures of sadistic personality were administered (PDF): the Short Sadistic Impulse Scale and the Varieties of Sadistic Tendencies Scale. Only 5.6 percent of survey respondents actually specified that they enjoyed ‘trolling.’ By contrast, 41.3 percent of Internet users were ‘non-commenters,’ meaning they didn’t like engaging online at all. So trolls are, as has often been suspected, a minority of online commenters, and an even smaller minority of overall Internet users. Overall, the authors found that the relationship between sadism and trolling was the strongest, and that indeed, sadists appear to troll because they find it pleasurable. ‘Both trolls and sadists feel sadistic glee at the distress of others. Sadists just want to have fun … and the Internet is their playground!’ The study comes as websites are increasingly weighing steps to rein in trollish behavior but the study authors aren’t sure that fix is a realistic one. ‘Because the behaviors are intrinsically motivating for sadists, comment moderators will likely have a difficult time curbing trolling with punishments (e.g., banning users),’ says Buckels. ‘Ultimately, the allure of trolling may be too strong for sadists, who presumably have limited opportunities to express their sadistic interests in a socially-desirable manner.’ Perhaps posting rights should only be unlocked if you pass a test.”

  22. votermom says:

    OT: Anyone want to take free edX courses? I’m poking around their catalog:

    I thought these looked interesting:

    ENGRI1280x Wiretaps to Big Data: Privacy and Surveillance in the Age of Interconnection

    UT.9.01x: Effective Thinking Through Mathematics

    Bunch of courses – I’m still looking through them

  23. The Klown says:
    • The Klown says:
      • wmcb says:

        How could they find him guilty of attempted murder of the ones who survived, but not guilty of murdering the one who died? Is it just hung because the jury can’t decide if 1st or 2nd degree?

        • 49erDweet says:

          They might have bought his claim he “thought” the deceased was about to shoot him (whether he was right to think that or not), which could mitigate intent, but held him negligent while shooting because it was also towards the others, and that may have been enough to find for attempt. Agree it doesn’t make a lotta sense. Another case where the responding officers blew it by not really securing the scene.

  24. helenk3 says:

    finally found something that backtrack is good at doing.

  25. DeniseVB says:

    Our most “visited” link over at Facebook this week, my “myiq” bouquet for VD 😀

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