a companion discussion area for blog.codinghorror.com

I'm Loyal to Nothing Except the Dream


There is no solution to the whole world’s problems. And that’s where logically-minded people like us get stuck. If we can’t solve everything, we stall and are tempted to give up. So where do we start? With me, with you. “Be the change you want to see” is trite and clichéd, but contains truth. I would caution against thinking that we can ‘understand’ others with a little effort. The greater the cultural (and linguistic) divide, the more effort is required. (I’ve read articles about people from North Africa risking their lives to get to Europe because they were bored. Not something I can even start to understand…)

You have written off religion along with the other institutions: but when we talk of transforming the world from the inside, by example rather than by force, and being ‘salt’ and ‘light’ for those around us, there is one religious teacher who comes to mind… :slight_smile:


You want to change the world, you really want to change the world? Have children.


I guess that means Planned Parenthood really doesn’t want to change the world.

Interesting. Now tell us more about your “large” monthly contributions?


When you choose to have children, of course. We aren’t the future. We’re already the past. One of my favorite stories about a child, is this one:

What’s striking about it is that the parents demonstrate so much love for their child that they are willing to completely let him have his own life and make his own decisions no matter what. Most people will read that as a story about race politics, and I guess it is that. But I saw it as a powerful demonstration of how being a parent changes you so deeply, allowing love to override ideology. As it must.

That’s the first thing that kids teach you, by the way. They aren’t taking any of your shit.


“Years before Donald Trump launched a presidential campaign based in part on the politics of race and division…”

And the Democrats weren’t running on the politics of race and division? Ever hear Bernie Sanders open his mouth?

I mean, seriously? It’s a lovely story, but it’s also entrenched with the same narrative that you sadly seem to perpetuate here.

If you really wish there was a third party (and there was this past election, and hopefully will be this next), then I strongly suggest you step outside the bounds of the NYT and WP. Give Reason.com a try.


I’ve found it’s a waste of breath to even mention this. You’ll get dismissed as a nut job, racist, misogynist, and/or you will be accused of “shutting out” everything but right wing news sources (as if it were really possible to avoid hearing left-wing ideology). Didn’t you know that it’s not possible to disagree with the liberal perspective without being either racist, misogynist, alt-right, or crazy?

I feel for you that you’d just like your technology sans politics. I even had to unsubscribe from Engadget, of all things, because I couldn’t read about cell phones without hearing how badly Trump sucks. Guess they don’t care about losing half their readership.


Why is it that every liberal has to start a post like that one with a paragraph about how they are moderate and have been forced, kicking and screaming, to bear their soul in a multi-paragraph diatribe? At least this one had cartoons.

Looking at the sources you site, it is easy to see that you are very liberal. I see that you are from Berkeley, CA. That might explain your misconception that you are just a middle of the road American, politically.

Full disclosure, I consider myself a fiscal conservative who did not vote for Trump…in the primaries. Of course I voted for him in the general election, because the other choice was unthinkable, in my opinion. If we survived eight years with the Community-Organizer-In-Chief, I think we will make eight with the Celebrity-Apprentice-In-Chief.

I applaud your resolution to be involved in the process. I believe that our Republic only works when the citizens are informed and involved.

Finally, the only real issue I have with your blog entry is that you posted it on your “Coding Horror” blog. I understand that because this site is beloved by so many that you were ensured an audience. However, it is my opinion, that this technical site may have been better served if you had made this post elsewhere. Maybe part of your new-found political activism would be to create a new political site and post your political thoughts there and not distract from what you have built. I know that probably sounds condescending but I truly do not mean it to be but I am too lazy to spend the time to parse my words

I wish you the best. Thank you for the excellent technical posts and discourse.

May God bless America.

Keith Tullius


Which Half of America ?? ohhh the Trump half ? Noooo, that half had no other choice to back out of the Bush / Obama Administration, a clearly proWar Admin

A better choice does not class those MAD…do u prefer sinister Presidents that display a disdain for their electorate (Bush Admin) who dodged responsibility, & cheated American people into becoming a symbol of hatred. A barely literate, dismantling industry & visibly laughing at how stupid people were to place him in power…steering committee media assisted, televised , that is. U asked for it.
Just to remind how easy it gets …when Reagan was voted in no-one noticed he was the most absent president in US history, his white house chair is famously labelled “ReaganSlept here” none of his aides could work with him, his summit meetings were less important than reruns of Sound of Music, much preferred to reading briefs…but what would u kno…America is a country led by television…who is the worlds most famous star Reagan shook hands with when he was 8 ? didnt say he was a star at 8 , as everyone is programmed to think back to when “he” was 8` …and then puzzle over reagan at 8 …thats mind conditioning… just a thought experiment to show u cant trust yor feelings…no matter how endeared u are, they’r wrong
There is Reason … yet hidden (peop would feel cheated) even tho they are every day by politics…U’all kno how cold numbs feelings…u have entered the deep freeze phase : too much to lose so u stay & fight … (the neighbor) …while u weren’t looking “reagan” imported communism to america…well he didnt do anything, his cabinet was reshuffled by the elite NY controllers, who been importing the Bolshevik party into America ever since…this was the smokescreen: “The U.S. continued to pressure the Nicaraguan government by illegally arming the contra insurgency.”

." Historian Greg Grandin described a disjuncture between official ideals preached by the U.S. and actual U.S. support for terrorism…" " In Nicaragua v. United States, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) held that the U.S. had violated international law by supporting the contras in their rebellion against the Nicaraguan government and by mining Nicaragua’s harbors. The United States refused to participate in the proceedings after the Court rejected its argument that the ICJ lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. The U.S. later blocked enforcement of the judgment by the United Nations Security Council and thereby prevented Nicaragua from obtaining any actual compensation “…” November 12, 1987, the UN General Assembly called for “full and immediate compliance” with the World Court decision. Only Israel joined the United States in opposing adherence to the ruling … Why do u think only Israel joined America to oppose that decision.? Israel IS America …“a new Constitution was promulgated, the Armed Forces regulated, a “civilian” police force established, the FMLN metamorphosed from a guerrilla army to a political party that competed in free and fair elections.” Maybe stupid, definitely not MAD

He had no policy, yet more party members were replaced than in any other administration… How does Wiki (& obviously peop) list this guy as a hero when most of his presidency was spent watching late-nite television. why did he get a second term ? u believed the media …he was asleep .WTF ? retrospective dismissal… of the audience that is. U have become irrelevant. This took all of 1hr to research, meanwhile U’ve been trumped with another 5trillion debt to BS US stock climb falsely leading all other markets into a planned inevitable collapse… all on media hyped hot air out of a ragin bull…

Discourse has potential to breed leaders without $10bill elections, except for one thing : social leadership must classify, thus label, turning irrelevant into logic

Everything u see is a subversion of freedom, the human brain is not developed to cope with information overload, tempted by crap, it needs an overpriced holiday / over taxed job to pay for a pompous lifestyle / or the choice of black market activity to subsidize their crisis … Tragedy ropes many into desperation … How many nonCorrupt Senate members ? Grayson was one until his 2016 defeat on Obamas televised recommendation , obviously Grayson open accusations of the Federal Reserve handing $9trillion to foreign banks for undisclosed purposes … politics does not want a troublemaker in its ranks , that is so obvious …peop are gullible & dont look at the details (who has the time, unless u unplug all family responsibility) Television is societies glue if u dont know team names / heros / who kicked a goal and other media nonsense … u simply are addicted to … society labels that type weird … They in fact cannot recognize any degree of help as such is completely foreign to them (strange behavior) Rome succeeded to install a floatation device into the psyche of the average “soldier Joe” allowing them to murder innocent people under a banner of “Freedom” yet to condemn a brother as a sociopath simply from a lack of sporting “activity”

“While Grayson has more consistently voted for Democratic priorities and Obama’s agenda, many party leaders thought he was unelectable because of his brash demeanor.” … this guy told the truth, & his peop failed him … Never mind, they did the same thing to G_sus & look how big he is today …imagine Lennon in 200 years…(same may happen …this world is sic…Grayson had a policy on that in 2009 , wasn’t popular, but it was the truth. i gave him 5 stars, & recommended stage comedy as a more fruitful career path. Hilarious

Speaking of comedy… Corin reminded all about valentines day, we actually celebrate a Roman event where soldiers captured & humiliated (nothings changed) a woman Valentina , on that day beheading her publicly, as Corin aptly put it : “So have a happy Valentines” sums up the planets conceited commerce

… as to Caymen Is. investments, as if he is the only politician to nest away wealth…

When all along , a deceitful campaign thru paid credibility (in-) , invents excuses…to blame & create another enemy thru which more control over the population may be placed by law. It is this rampage that has brought attention to the Axis, an out of control State taking those last freedoms away (celebrating the wrong victories - continued False Flag strategies)

One may say the Oligard business (Trumps blue sky) ~ is much the same thing only fought with money … Thats true, it allows the Elite a change of tack , Trumps camoflage , to realize it, better late than never is a well worn phrase …What sort of animal is defined as human ? We need a new vocabulary starting with metadata that shifts invisible borders … the very same as in business …acquire infamy and never do business, regardless of how good the pitch … they always move IP into hands of advantaged players (why does Musk get2 crash 4 NASA launch missions) who insurered those 4 failed satellite launches ? why are regulations depriving new business growth ? why do banks get bailed out , who insists on $50M bonus payments ? Why does Wall St plunder global markets ? Would any sane person call Americans MAD ? when clearly they are set up without freedom of choice , laws are to control peop not the kingpins servants waging war to slam dunk the game… Everyone wants to win…clearly that is an advertised utopia , run by the bankers who continue to delude YOU. Alan Grayson points it out on Utube
how many here watched him grill that mad Greenspan, who had hide to publish his book of political BS… a guilt trip to the confession box.

A decentralized economy is the only one to prosper those who are brave to test the waters… China is doing that in provincial credit swaps, that allow an entire city to be built on debt. Leaders are those with plan C prepared when plan B fails, then have an ideology to fall back on like Libertarian … like me, a closed shop, yelling at the general public that most are too far gone (old dog, new tricks) to even care about things they don’t comprehend. Tsk Tsk …

Anyone not gathering momentum in critical political thinking is a goat stuck on its own hill, defending pride & arrogance (which an EgoDriven planet groans under) Trump is on Capitol Hill. er… Capital Hill , the easiest thing is print money …at least the Oilgard types (NASDAQ / DOW) are cleaning up …ITs easy to start another gOOg , jus a pity there’s no _wish money… Lets see if we get any coders. BTW free holidays on board the SheGas Carver at DelRey , any coders like a live-aboard as a waterfront Office .step up.(dockmaster stole the new boarding block, had the boat moved, thanks to his inability to control trespassers …what can a tourist do but get on-board management…


Why do we need to apply labels to other people? What does this even mean? I reject labels, for myself, for you, and for everyone.

As I said in the opening paragraph of this blog post, I vote on leadership qualities first, issues second, and on the basis of meaningless labels – never. I’d be happy to discuss specific issues here as needed, in fact, @giorgiog brought up a few; feel free to scroll back and read up. But issues are not, pardon the pun, the issue.

Is there anyone, literally anyone in the world, who would argue with a straight face Trump has anything approaching reasonable leadership qualities befitting the president of the most powerful country in the world? (By this I don’t mean USA is the best, I mean that USA has a large effect on the world, whether we like it or not.)

Trump has a disastrous set of personality traits for a leader. Dangerous qualities, that many people and organizations warned us against in the runup to the election, and continue to warn us about today. That’s the problem, before we get to issues. In fact the issues are largely moot because Trump is such a dangerous leader. Whatever your pet issue is, it’s likely to get worse because we managed to elect the worst leader in the last 200 years, and he is currently helming the republic. Everything else flows out of that. Just read today’s news.

If you don’t like this blog post, too bad. We are at a historically unprecedented point in American history, and all Americans need to step up. Whether we like it or not.


War on terror is ongoing, a campaign modernized by dependency analysis of hi-tech deployment… Try to keep semblance of sanity…Advanced warfare does not involve what u call “death” … Life involves death.

Speaking of which :

a look into a so called OpenGovernment: in Canada (no wonder there’s fighting, the money spent on political gab is worthless , look at this babble, on opiods : :

This timewaste needed ? No its socially disgusting… find a junkie send them to a labor camp , not rehab … These goons know nothing about Oxycodon, the pharma plague which govt prescribes as free med, only to hit the street at $20 / tab
In Byron it is the most abused for all newcomer hippy / fire-twirlers, 3 years study in underground culture … its the parasites who latch onto usefools & turn them into prostit addicts… fueled by free scripts. an tea-totellar pollies provide BS lip service… B4 any contrary, i love America more than other peop…thousand miles driving LA to NC… maybe was lucky in a 98 suburban… US police i met were all advanced examples of intelligence , as were Army units… America resonates.

Theres war, in the hope to take out bureaucrat timewasters.who dont achieve except pat selves on back…OpenParliament needs a timeline spreadsheet of how much BS achieves any goal ( yet to read one

MATLAB is the Future of Informed Politics … ( i design reconnaissance ) new tools2 analyse what fools do (having come from long line of these makes 1expert
Get into this : (the least good advice i can offer, apart from study CUDA)

Statistics & Machine Learning Toolbox
Neural Network Toolbox - Pattern Recognition
DSP System Toolbox , taking objects from DSP to model & ready for C++
MATLAB Coder Embeddable source from objects in DSP tools
MATLAB Compiler generate standalone application or spreadsheet add-in


Thanks for writing this, Jeff! I don’t quite agree with the framing of the issue but we can probably all agree that more reasonable people getting involved in politics is what’s needed the most now, and that open discussion will improve the reasonableness level of everyone involved.

I’d argue that the harmfulness of Trump is being ridiculously overexaggerated and the preexisting harmfulness of the US tends to be ignored. For example, the so-called Muslim ban [1] casused a lot of outrage due to its sheer maliciousness but is on the whole a fairly small change to US immigration policy (which is unreasonably strict). By the end of 2014 about 3 million Syrians have been displaced by the war, Turkey was struggling under the swarm of refugees and the EU started to show signs of stress as well. Guess the number of refugees taken in by the US? Exactly 172. (Obama slightly upped his game in 2015/16 but the number still remains shamefully small.) Much higher impact - much smaller outrage.

In general, liberal voters tend to be more effective at keeping Democrat governments honest, and vice versa - if you are never going to vote Republican anyway, why should a Republican senator or representative care about what you think? Yet, liberals seem to be overwhelmingly focused on trying to police Republicans, and Republicans would make a dead cow president if the alternative was a Democrat win. This kind of downward spiral, where the only thing a party has to do to get enthusiastic support is not being the other party, is how you get failed democracies like Poland or Hungary. Politicians get selected based on how fiercely they oppose everything the Other does, instead of old-fashioned concepts like pragmatism or compromise or rule of law; the voters of the Other are more and more seen as not simply having different interests or (at worst) misguided but plain evil; and the fabric of trust that keeps democracies together slowly
unravels. Trump is a new rip in that process, for sure, but part of long-time trend.

David Frum (one of the few conservatives who had the integrity to oppose Trump even after he won the primary) wrote a sharp piece on how Trump could begin to deconstruct democracy. Basically, dole out lots of money to voters and incite the culture war to the point where each tribe only listens to their own press and that press only ever criticizes the other side. Granted, this can happen unilaterally too, but liberals are still playing into this scenario if they are going for total obstruction and attempt shaming Trump voters instead of starting a dialogue with the moderate right and curbing their own radical fringe.

[1] I find it somewhat dishonest that a ban that is not actually based on religion and does not affect most Muslims is called that - I get it that it was probably meant as a symbolic anti-Muslim action but still, I would prefer to call things what they are, not what the alt-right pretends them to be


Health care is not and cannot be a right. Here are ten reasons why, in no particular order:

  1. A right cannot impose material costs on others.

  2. A right cannot be an economic good, a limited resource.

  3. A right is an indivisible and unlimited concept. A right exists in exactly the proportion as human beings exist.

  4. One man exercising a right cannot possibly prevent another man from exercising the same right. There cannot be a waiting list for rights.

  5. Rights are inalienable. There are there when you are born, and they are there when you die. You cannot sell them or buy them, nor can they be taken from you by force, or granted by kings or governments.

  6. To declare a right to something that is not a right is to immediately and forever violate this false right. This is obviously true with health care, see Cuba, the Veterans Administration, etc

  7. A rich man cannot purchase more of a right than a poor man. Jeff Bezos does not have more free speech rights than I do. Yes, he can own the Washington Post, yes he can buy a network news station if he wants to. But my right to free speech is not an obligation on others to provide me with a megaphone.

  8. A right cannot vary over time or space. The right to free speech is the same today, a hundred years ago, and a hundred years from now. The “right” to health care would be the same in a poor country as a rich country, by definition violating the “rights” of some.

  9. Rights can only be violated by other human beings. Imagine a remote tribe in South America with no contact with the outside world in a thousand years. They have no health care at all. Are their rights being violated? By whom?

  10. To secure a right requires only that others refrain from taking certain action, not that others take positive action.

Because something is not a right, does not mean it is not important. It does not mean that family, friends, churches, and charitable organizations should not be working voluntarily to alleviate suffering in their respective spheres of influence.

You can argue health care should be a government provided benefit, but that still does not make it a right in any sense.


How on earth are you qualified to make such an assessment? The man’s been in office for a whopping 30 days and yet you’ve joined the flock of chicken littles who are looking up at the sky for the very first time?

Trump is easily the most clownish president I’ve ever seen in office, and I would certainly agree the man has unenviable personality traits for the leader of the free world, but none of that makes him a “dangerous” leader (much less THE WORST WE’VE EVER HAD ZOMG). Personality traits aren’t nearly as good an indicator of dangerous leadership as doing dangerous things.

And therein lies my challenge to you. What has Trump actually done that makes you think he’s the worst leader we’ve ever had? I’m not talking about how he carries himself, or the way he banters with his opponents or the media. I’m not talking about personality traits that make him seem like a third rate used car salesman in Toledo. What has Trump actually done in these last 30 days that makes you (and so many others like you) believe that now it’s absolutely imperative that we “stand up” (whatever that means). What has Trump actually done that either a) lacks any legal precedent, or b) exceeds the moral imperatives of our nation?

The media, progressives, the sociopolitical pubescents will say something about “banning Muslims” or “threatening gays” or “racism” or “sexism”. In other words, fluff. That doesn’t cut it, because you’re a smart guy who has decided to care about these things now. Which means you care about what’s really going on–and that sure as hell has nothing to do with the kinds of distractions that occupy the vacuous minds of Berkeley college students who think setting their favorite Starbucks on fire is a great way to make a statement against hate speech.

Thankfully, you’re beyond such comic book sketches of the political realities of this world. You’ve outgrown the childish narratives and red herrings that seem to fill up our 24 hour news cycles. Beyond the icing, you’re looking for the actual cake.

In what way are we at a “historical unprecedented point”? This sounds really dreadful and super-meaningful, but it’s not actually communicating anything other than hyperbole. Is there something Trump has done that has never been done by a sitting president before? That’s the sort of thing you think of when you hear “historically unprecedented”.


Sure, here’s some data for you:


I would call one order of magnitude difference “historically unprecedented”

And in today’s news:

If you are a white nationalist, you’d indeed be rather pleased with Trump’s agenda, whether it is legal or not.


So your answer is to order up more icing? That’s unfortunate.

  1. Lawsuits filed against Trump aren’t really an accurate barometer of “historical precedent”–at least within the context of presidential actions and/or authority. You made a similar point earlier in this thread about the number of protests against his executive order–in other words, you are trying to use reactions to a president as evidence of his unprecedented actions. It’s the reactions themselves–not the executive order–that you’re really referring to when you speak of precedent. And frankly, that doesn’t mean a whole hell of lot when a) the entire mainstream media and half the country acted like incredulous, spoiled brats before Trump even took office, and b) being outraged is a professional pastime of virtually every American under the age of 40.

  2. Firstly, there is nothing unprecedented about this. Trump rescinded “guidelines” that his predecessor had put in place not even a year ago. So?

Secondly, if you care to look beyond the fluff here, you might realize that this “guidance” from Obama amounted to little more than the extortion of public schools who didn’t readily agree to let boys use the girls room and vice versa. It wasn’t an executive order and it couldn’t be a law (remember government class?), so he chose instead to threaten to withhold federal funds.

This is precisely what I mean about most of those outraged caring about fluff instead of substance. The white nationalist red herring is just more fluff to hide behind.

So again, do you have anything substantive here?


I agree, just like in Canada and every other nation on earth except the USA, health care should be a government provided benefit. Thank you!


Speaking of unprecedented actions:

Trump Continues Obama’s Order Protecting LGBTQ Workers


Hey can we switch the narrative and get some reasons on why people believe that Donald Trump is the best president to have been ever elected in the USA?


You asked for evidence that this presidency was historically unprecedented. I gave you some. If you don’t like the data, that’s on you. In this case, you see presidents from both parties having about the same number of lawsuits filed in the first two weeks. Reasonably equal. Trump had ten times as many. Not 2x. Not 5x. Ten times as many.

There is plenty of other data to look at that confirms everything about Trump is historically unprecedented – no release of tax returns, weird Russian ties resulting in the resignation of Flynn, the “betrayal” and firing of the attorney general, the historically low popularity ratings only weeks into office, calling the free press the enemy of the American people, his ‘victory’ with the largest popular vote loss in history, etc.

You know what the real problem with Trump is? He isn’t just a bad leader. He is clearly that, as even you agree. It’s that he fundamentally doesn’t give a damn about anyone but himself and his cronies. The Trump brand is his #1 concern – not America.


I don’t think that is a fair characterization. EJT pointed out that you were again providing evidence of the great leftist freakout over Trump, not of evidence of Trump doing unprecedented things.

And yet you are on to something here. Trump is in fact unprecedented in that he himself has gotten you yourself all worked up as no president before, even if you cannot point to any actual policies that are unprecedented.

And there you have it. It does not really matter what Trump does, who he appoints, or what actual policies he has, or whether employment and the economy grow after he is in office. It is Trump himself, the uncouth gruff New Yorker with bad taste in gold faucets, the outsider who does not play by the rules set up by the establishment.

And really, speaking of concern only for one’s self and cronies, couldn’t that have been said with much more evidence about Hillary Clinton?