Morning Report: Home price appreciation accelerates in September

Vital Statistics:

 

Last Change
S&P futures 3134 1.25
Oil (WTI) 58.39 0.24
10 year government bond yield 1.74%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 3.93%

 

Stocks are flat this morning on no real news. Bonds and MBS are up.

 

Jerome Powell spoke last night and said that the Fed cut rates this year as the economy wasn’t as strong as anticipated. He reiterated that the Fed won’t be making any moves unless things change “materially” in the US economy: “Monetary policy is now well positioned to support a strong labor market and return inflation decisively to our symmetric 2 percent objective. If the outlook changes materially, policy will change as well. At this point in the long expansion, I see the glass as much more than half full. With the right policies, we can fill it further, building on the gains so far and spreading the benefits more broadly to all Americans.”

 

Home prices rose 1.1% in the third quarter, according to the FHFA House Price Index. They are up 4.9% on a YOY basis. They added an interactive map, so you can drill down to MSA-level home price appreciation. Separately, the Case-Shiller home price index rose 3.2% on an annual basis in September.

 

Mortgage delinquency rates fell in October, according to Black Knight’s First Look. The Deep South still has the highest delinquency rates, while the West Coast and Mountain states have the lowest levels. Prepay speeds are up 134% on a YOY basis.

 

Redfin makes its predictions for the 2020 housing market.

  • a return of bidding wars
  • 30 year fixed rate mortgage stabilizes at 3.8%
  • home prices will rise in the Southeast as people get priced out of the cities

87 Responses

  1. Forget White Privilege. I want Silicon Fascist Privilege.

    Grimes Responds To Zola Jesus Calling Her “The Voice Of Silicon Fascist Privilege”

    https://www.stereogum.com/2065918/grimes-zola-jesus-devon-welsh-silicon-fascist/news/

    Like

  2. Trying to imagine the reaction if HBO had done this to Obama or HRC.

    https://www.vox.com/2019/11/25/20981767/watchmen-episode-6-fred-trump-recap

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    • They’d have a fit. At this point they’d just whine if it had been a reference to Bill Clinton or maybe not even that. Probably ignore it if it had been a reference to Robert Byrd. This they’ll just be excited by.

      That being said, I’ve actually enjoyed Watchmen, despite all the white guilt. Have also enjoyed Man in the High Castle despite the final season being super-woke. Although the finale was . . . meh.

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      • Man in the High Castle started going downhill when the original show runner left during Season 2.

        Season 1 & Season 2 almost seem to be a different series than Seasons 3 & 4.

        Like

  3. I find this interesting:

    Emerson has back support for Trump at 34.5% and Rasmussen has it at 34%.

    Frank Luntz dismisses it (this really is 2016 again) because it was like 40% before the 2018 elections and only 8% of actual voters showed up to vote.

    I think there could be several things going on here.

    One: shy voter response. For whatever reason, respondents don’t want to say what they actually think, or the sample is very bad (this would not surprise me).

    Two: African-Americans have more of the loyal opposition orientation than other demographic groups, and support the president because he is the president, but that doesn’t mean they will vote for Trump.

    Three: African-Americans like Trump pretty well, but aren’t turning Republican. They just like Trump. Thus, 2018 elections are irrelevant to the observation.

    This tweet and others on the topic didn’t seem to dive too deep, but I found this at Gallup which measures job approval and doesn’t see any kind of increase in support:

    https://news.gallup.com/opinion/polling-matters/268517/analyzing-black-support-president-trump.aspx

    The same stability holds true for Trump’s approval rating among black Americans. Gallup averages show Trump with a 10% approval rating among blacks in 2017, 11% in 2018 and 10% so far in 2019. In short, Trump’s approval rating among blacks has essentially not changed over time, despite blacks presumably having had plenty of time to observe the economic gains that Trump touts as the reason why they should be moving into his camp.

    Approval ratings for an incumbent president have a significant relationship to actual election outcomes. I think it is fair to say that Trump’s progress toward a substantially higher share of the black vote than he got in 2016 is in severe doubt if he maintains a 10% black approval rating. Notably, the last Republican president before Trump, George W. Bush, had a 14% approval rating among blacks in 2004 as he was seeking re-election. Bush received 11% of the black vote that November.

    Which is interesting. And seems to have come out at about the same time as the other polls, which is also interesting.

    https://www.theepochtimes.com/trump-approval-among-blacks-above-34-percent-emerson-polls-shows_3155737.html

    So there was a jump from 17.8% to 34.5% . . .

    So, I’m thinking #1. Sample is bad. Or polling methodology is flawed.

    Or Emerson and Rasmussen are trying to click-bait to get some attention.

    Like

    • remember the “”General Betray Us” campaign.

      Like

    • It’s so weird to me how pretty much everything about some people’s ideology is fungible if it competes with partisanship. They just hate Trump so much that if he came out for Universal Healthcare and a UBI tomorrow, they’d find themselves at least opposed to whatever they imagined his implementation to be and you’d have MSNBC and WaPo and the New York Times suddenly deconstructing all the problems with Universal Health Care and a UBI and running stories about the problems in such systems in other parts of the world and whatnot. I think they’d still hold on to a narrative that made those things okay–if only the right person was doing them, from the right party–but Orange Man Bad would be more important than the achievement of any policy goal.

      Like

    • Even before Navy Secretary Richard Spencer’s forced ouster this weekend, a handful of the Pentagon’s highest-ranking officials have been debating just when they would feel compelled to resign over what they see as Trump’s disregard for the chain of command

      What? What do they think the chain of command is? That the Pentagon tells the president what to do?

      He ordered the Pentagon to award a huge contract for JEDI to Microsoft rather than to Amazon, because he hates Jeff Bezos.

      While neither should have it, IMO, much prefer Microsoft has it.

      He stole money from military families and facilities to help pay for his useless border wall.

      Every reallocation of funds or budgetary changes is now “stealing”. What about stealing money from the taxpayers?

      Like

  4. Interesting take on the first Thanksgiving vis-a-vis internal Native American politics:

    “The Wampanoags were deeply divided over what to do with these new arrivals given the enslavement, murder, and disease that Europeans had inflicted on them. Ousamequin favored cultivating the English as military allies and sources of metal weaponry to fend off the Narragansett tribe to the west, who had escaped the epidemic and were using their newfound advantage in strength to reduce the Wampanoags to tributaries. In later years, Ousamequin frankly acknowledged that he was willing to have peace with the English because, as Plymouth’s William Bradford and Edward Winslow recounted, “he has a potent adversary in the Narragansetts, that are at war with him, against whom he thinks we may be of some strength to him, for our pieces”—that is, guns—“are terrible to them.” Ousamequin also seems to have believed that the English had weaponized disease, which he hoped to put to Wampanoag use. At one point, according to fur trader Thomas Morton, he asked his English friends to send the plague against another sachem—probably the Narragansett leader Canonicus—whose territories bordered the Wampanoags’.”

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/11/thanksgiving-belongs-wampanoag-tribe/602422/

    Like

  5. The background on impeachment video that the Washington Post keeps running on every impeachment related article looks like an opposition political ad. Which I suppose it is.

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    • Terry Gross sat down with Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch to talk about the Steele Dossier (and their new book), and their message is basically that it was all true or probably true, that Russian meddling definitely happened–basically a full return to the collusion narrative. Nothing potentially sketchy about Steele or his background at all.

      It’s all campaign ads now. Political coverage on major news networks are campaign ads.

      Like

  6. I like this:

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/11/26/1902090/-Melania-gets-booed-by-middle-school-and-high-school-kids-during-opioid-addiction-press-stop

    The Trumps are not well liked by the majority of the country. Yes, there are a ton of really duped angry, predominantly scared and racist people who worship at the cult of whiteness and charlatanism, but most Americans would rather the Trumps disappear from our public imaginations.

    And that’s what living in a bubble looks like.

    Buzzfeed reports that the school-age kids continued being boisterous during her five minute speech, and roundly booed her again when she walked off the stage.

    That’s a school where either they were encouraged to be rude, or the school has zero control over its students. But probably the former.

    I find it interesting that they seem to think the opinions of elementary and middle schoolers is going to have a serious impact on the 2020 election. Or that we should care. “Wow! Seventh graders don’t like the first lady. Well, that’s it, I’m voting for Warren!”

    Like

  7. And there’s also this:

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/11/27/1902232/-Story-in-the-South-What-Do-the-Results-in-Louisiana-and-Mississippi-Mean

    Even though Hood lost, both results can be seen to be major successes for Democrats. Louisiana went to Trump by 20 points, Mississippi by 18. Hood got the highest percentage of the vote for a Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 16 years.

    This may be indicative of a shift, or might not be. What I do know is that John Bel Edwards and Jim Hood didn’t run on the platforms of Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders or Kamala Harris.

    That being said, the rest of the article is very interesting in terms of the ground game the author thinks the Democrats should be playing.

    Like

    • The punch line is that government must censor social media and the search engines

      Like

    • Four years after Russian agents weaponized social media

      They keep beating that drum. Which is just fictional. Or mostly fictional. The bad buy was tiny, targeted folks who were voting Trump anyway, linked out to clickbait sites for revenue and were almost certainly primarily about making money. If the Russian government was involved I kind of doubt it was a direct order from Putin.

      And “weaponized”. That’s like calling WaPo “news”.

      Like

    • From Volokh:

      In a system like ours, governed by the Rule of Law, the Executive Branch does not—and cannot—have the last word when it comes to the scope of its own powers.

      Who has the last word when it comes to the scope of the Judicial Branch’s power?

      Like

      • Happy Thanksgiving, all.

        Scott,

        In some particulars, Congress has the limiting say over the Judicial Branch, in another, the President and the Senate do, but the broad outline is from the Constitution itself. You know this. Judges can be and have been impeached and removed. Presidents nominate judges. The Senate must confirm them [or deny them]. Congress determines the number of courts and judges in the federal system. Courts remain, as they were under common law, arbiters of disputes for which no statute controls, and the source of equity jurisdiction. They also determine the validity of laws and regulations contested as violating limiting measures such as federal and state constitutions and administrative procedure acts, and when challenged, the incorrect application of laws or regulations by lower courts or agencies within their jurisdiction.

        when enough of us think a state or federal court has steered itself down a dark pathway [take Kelo as a universal example for this group] we attempt to change the law through every means available and there are many means available to us. Again, state responses to Kelo are instructive here.

        But Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy it with family and friends and know you have much to be thankful for.

        Like

        • The Senate must confirm them [or deny them].

          As a weird tangent here, does the Constitution say “must”? I thought it was more of a “may” type thing.

          Like

        • Mark:

          I don’t think simply saying “the Constitution itself” and citing impeachment powers satisfies as an answer, because the same could be equally said with regard to Volokh’s claim about the executive.

          Volokh’s point was that, if there is to be the rule of law, the Executive’s claim of immunity from compelled testimony must be subject to judicial review, otherwise it would be the case that the Executive itself was defining the scope of its own power. I don’t disagree with him, and I wouldn’t say that citing the Constitution or impeachment powers would render the point any less legitimate. I am only turning Volokh’s reasoning back on the Judiciary itself.

          The fact of the matter is the federal judiciary really has become a law unto itself, without any legitimate check on its power grabs. It really and truly does define the scope of its own power, in precisely the same way which Volokh would object to in the Executive.

          If the Executive claims that the Constitution grants it the power to ignore congressional subpoenas, an appeal can be made to the Judiciary which acts as judge of whether it is so.

          If the Judiciary claims that the Constitution grants it the power to re-define marriages for states, or establish a national abortion policy, or any one of the many other patently unconstitutional things that SCOTUS has done over the years, to whom can an appeal be made, and who will act as judge of whether SCOTUS’s claims are so? The answer is only SCOTUS itself. SCOTUS defines the scope of its own power and so, under Volokh’s own reasoning, that means that when it comes to SCOTUS, we do not have the rule of law. Regrettably, I think he is right.

          Happy Thanksgiving to you and all, as well. I am just about to leave the office. This will be the first Thanksgiving since my first daughter was born that we will have without any of the kids around. To compensate, my wife has invited 4 kids from our old town (we know their families) who are on their semester abroad here in London over for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. It will be bittersweet. Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday of the year.

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        • to whom can an appeal be made, and who will act as judge of whether SCOTUS’s claims are so?

          Wouldn’t Volokh say that the people ultimately judge the validity of SCOTUS power claims through the Amendment process (and through widespread nullification, as we partially saw with prohibition?)

          I’m waiting for the first state to truly nullify a SCOTUS decision post Civil Rights era. I think it will be California or New York when SCOTUS makes some sort of determination supporting the Executive banning a state law that is more stringent than some Federal environmental regulation.

          On a personal note, I’ve always preferred July 4th as my favorite holiday but it must be tough to be so far away on what is traditionally a family holiday. I like what you and your wife are doing, providing a bit of home for some young expats who are undoubtedly feeling disconnected.

          Like

        • McWing:

          Wouldn’t Volokh say that the people ultimately judge the validity of SCOTUS power claims through the Amendment process (and through widespread nullification, as we partially saw with prohibition?)

          In the same vein, then, one could say that the check on an Executive’s claim to power is the electoral process, not the judiciary.

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        • I don’t agree with Volokh and I don’t think SCOTUS now is what they had in mind. It’s the only Constitutional branch that is not elected, for the power they’ve delegated to themselves it’s way out of proportion.

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        • McWing:

          It’s the only Constitutional branch that is not elected, for the power they’ve delegated to themselves it’s way out of proportion.

          I agree. And it is an indication that there isn’t really any check on a lawless SCOTUS.

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        • BTW…some activity here in London. Someone has been shot and killed by the police on London Bridge, and they are evacuating Burrough Market. Earlier reports of an explosion in Burrough Market, but those appear to be false. But there are reports of 5 casualties, perhaps from knife attack.

          Like

        • If only I could pack heat here as self-protection!

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        • Maybe you should anyway, perp was released form jail and wearing an ankle monitor.

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        • Can you carry tasers or mace or maybe a fire extinguisher? Gotta be some form of useful self defense.

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        • I don’t enjoy any holiday (or birthday or anniversary) so … I’m just looking forward to it all being over. And it will be soon!

          For all you people who actually enjoy holidays, Happy Thanksgiving!

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        • I tend to feel the same way as you about holidays, as a rule I don’t enjoy them, excepting the 4th of July.

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        • BTW Mark, on this:

          Again, state responses to Kelo are instructive here.

          I don’t think that Kelo is that instructive. Kelo was not an example of SCOTUS claiming power to itself. It was an example of SCOTUS declaring that a certain state/local power was not restricted by the Constitution. Such a declaration does not prevent a state from reigning in the power by itself. However, when SCOTUS declares power for itself, as it did in Roe/Casey and Obergefell for example, there is little that states can do to rectify the situation. Anything they might do is still subject to veto by SCOTUS under its self-proclaimed power.

          Like

  8. Brent, this is from a WaPo article regarding a program called SBA HUBZones, that is supposed to put development money in building contracts in struggling areas.

    The fundamental flaw is not poor targeting; it is that, even when they operate completely according to law, these programs move investment from one place to another according to political, not market, criteria. There is undoubtedly real distress in places that have been hit by industrial decline; “creative destruction” is a necessary part of a market economy. The best way to help offset it, however, is to set broad incentives that raise the productivity and enhance investment opportunities equally across the country, not to set up nontransparent processes for insiders to game.

    Sounds like a generic earned criticism of many federal programs, but I wonder if you already knew about this one. I didn’t – which surprised me, because it began while I was still practicing and still representing builders. Maybe the program has another name aside from the acronym the author used? There was a program whose name now escapes me that offered federal tax incentives to developers who built apartments that were in part rent controlled. Was that part of this same deal?

    Like

    • The fundamental flaw is not poor targeting; it is that, even when they operate completely according to law, these programs move investment from one place to another according to political, not market, criteria.

      This is the fatal flaw with Keynsian spending – it gets allocated according to political fiat – i.e. who is in a tight race and needs some spending $$ – and not any sort of market logic. Which is why the multiplier for tax cuts is something like 3 and the multiplier for Keynsian spending is bupkis.

      FWIW, the Rust Belt is instructive. The OH / MI area is becoming less dependent on the auto industry and new industries (health care and mortgages) are growing, mainly because the area simply became too cheap to ignore. Toledo will be the site of a huge Amazon.com fulfillment center. Cleveland Clinic is growing like a weed, and the biggest mortgage companies in the US are Quicken and United Wholesale.

      Could policy have enabled this? I doubt it.

      Like

    • It is hilarious to watch the left rail about Trump’s alleged quid pro quo in one breath, and then in the next immediately turn around and offer voters free stuff in exchange for their votes. For progressives, every single election is an example of a corrupt quid pro quo.

      Like

      • Politics is almost nothing but implicit quid pro quo. It’s the problem with the whole discussion. And primarily quiz pro quo for political advantage. As I’ve mentioned before, I’d you went through every one-on-one discussion between presidents and other foreign leaders, there would be any number of implicit quod pro quos that could potentially benefit the politician discussing them. Some probably clearer-cut than this one.

        Almost like they want to keep Trump President. This energy could be devoted to beating him in 2020 but … nope.

        And the lessons of the Clinton impeachment aren’t that long ago. Short memories in Washington.

        Like

    • I’m guessing the government probably won’t start making people have sex with other people they don’t want to have sex with. I mean, probably. At least, I would hope not.

      Slippery slope and all that.

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      • KW:

        I’m guessing the government probably won’t start making people have sex with other people they don’t want to have sex with.

        Would you have guessed 20 years ago that the government would start forcing bakers to make cakes for same sex weddings, or that the government would start forcing teenage girls to share bathroom and locker room facilities with teenage boys who want to be teenage girls?

        We live in a progressive Twilight Zone. At this point there is very little insanity that I would bet against the left trying to impose on the nation.

        Like

        • @ScottC:

          Would you have guessed 20 years ago that the government would start forcing bakers to make cakes for same sex weddings, or that the government would start forcing teenage girls to share bathroom and locker room facilities with teenage boys who want to be teenage girls?

          I would not have guessed the cake thing, but if someone had introduced the idea as possible I might have said: yeah, I can see that.

          When it comes to the bathroom thing, no. For a number of reasons, one of which is I could have never imagined that become a hot button topic. I could not have envisioned the impact a microscopically tiny group of agitators would have on the culture regarding what, frankly, continues to seem to me something that should be defined as a mental illness. But being charitable and considering it an alternative lifestyle or “expression of authentic self”, it remains a very small group of people who appear to crave attention and power. That these folks–very specifically the men–are being allowed to be a threat to women, while also ruining women’s sports and apparently anything else that was once exclusively the domain of women where being a biological male is an advantage . . . I would have had a very hard time imagining that happening.

          But I certainly hope the government doesn’t get into the business of forcing people to have sex with other people because to not have sex is discriminatory. I see lots of problems with taking it that far–so I’m guessing it’s not going to happen. But I don’t disagree with your Twilight Zone metaphor, especially when it comes to trans-activists, where obvious misogyny is being celebrated and codified because the men doing it wear dresses.

          At this point there is very little insanity that I would bet against the left trying to impose on the nation.

          Also, I should say, my hope is not that there aren’t folks on the left who don’t want to impose that on us (I am 100% sure there are–most of them trans-activists), I’m just hoping that the practical obstacles will prevent it from happening.

          Like

        • KW:

          I could not have envisioned the impact a microscopically tiny group of agitators would have on the culture…

          It’s not as tiny as it used to be. It’s worth noting how they have managed to actually grow their numbers through the creation of a social contagion. Being trans seems to have become a “thing” now.

          Like

        • Yes, but as a percentage of the population they remain infinitesimally small. Their political power is out of all proportion to their actual numbers. In a way that I can’t think of any other minority every having managed.

          And I have a very strong suspicion that some of these folks are “trans in name only”, especially some of those moving into women’s sports to dominate them.

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        • And I have a very strong suspicion that some of these folks are “trans in name only”, especially some of those moving into women’s sports to dominate them.

          Just wait till some mid-tier golfer who can crush the ball 300 yards decides he is sick of making 60k a year on the PGA tour and puts on a dress to make millions dominating the LPGA tour…

          Liked by 1 person

        • Brent:

          Just wait till some mid-tier golfer who can crush the ball 300 yards decides he is sick of making 60k a year on the PGA tour and puts on a dress to make millions dominating the LPGA tour…

          It’s just a matter of time. Here’s a pretty long and growing list of sports…including professional….where it has happened already:

          https://thefederalist.com/2019/12/04/male-transjacking-will-ultimately-end-womens-sports/

          Liked by 1 person

        • Going back to your Twilight Zone comment, this is the most Twilight Zone thing the progressives have given us. Ever, I think. I don’t understand why this isn’t causing a bigger schism on the left, because it’s basically discriminating against women in favor of men because they put on some lipstick.

          Now that one tranny troll (the one complaining that he couldn’t get his junk waxed because the business catered to women specifically) is now complaining that he was denied an appointment with a gynecologist. There is no way that isn’t a mental illness. I understand the logic behind redefining some things to be “not mental illness”, but this is clearly a form of mental illness. Men don’t need to go to a gynecologist. And can’t men generally get breast cancer screenings–because guys can actually get breast cancer? But they don’t have a uterus. Period.

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        • KW:

          this is the most Twilight Zone thing the progressives have given us. Ever, I think.

          Agreed. I shudder to think what might be next.

          I don’t understand why this isn’t causing a bigger schism on the left, because it’s basically discriminating against women in favor of men because they put on some lipstick.

          It is a bit of a mystery.

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        • Social status tied to victimhood.

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  9. This makes me rock hard.

    https://m.dailykos.com/stories/1902022

    I guess there is such a thing as Objective Reality. I guess Post Modernism is dead.

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    • The left has ALWAYS believed in censoring ideas they disagree with. Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Kos, they are all the same.

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      • It’s human nature to want to shut up the heretics. Elements on the right, when given the option, like censorship. Historically, they definitely have. Especially on moral or religious grounds.

        Many on the left treat their ideology as religion. So not surprising the want to silence the heretics.

        It’s why crusading libertarians are better than their counterparts on the left or right. Individual liberty is the first commandment of the libertarian religion.

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        • It’s human nature to want to shut up the heretics.

          I’m beginning to question my own humanity. Most of the things that you say are human nature seem to be missing from my own.

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        • Yup. There are always outliers (often many of them). And you’re clearly a space alien. 😉

          But these are hardly observations unique to me. In many ways enlightenment thinking is about how to combat human nature. This nation’s founding is about creating a system that imposes order on the chaos of “human nature”–and structuring government so that it is (hopefully) more ruled by rational thought than the passions or transient morality.

          And people are different, but history would indicate that a belief in higher powers or superstitions as explanations or beliefs that impose reason on the world are common. Often, the “order” provided by these beliefs (and how they define the believers place in society and culture) is crucial to the individual’s identity, and to in any form dispute or question those beliefs is seen as a direct attack on the believer. Which they generally don’t like, and don’t think other folks ought to be allowed to do.

          When their beliefs are basically superstitious in nature, and unable to hold up against criticism or objective analysis, people tend to see the problem–often their experience of cognitive dissonance–as that some awful devil of a person is trying to contaminate them with lies and deceits design to put their immortal soul (or signaled virtue) in peril.

          In general, you know not only what you think but why you think it and–or so it would appear to me–have subjected your beliefs to fairly rigorous analysis. Thus you are the type of person who would be unlikely to feel some sort of compulsion to demand censorship of offensive ideas. This would be my guess, anyway.

          You seem less likely to express an opinion or assert a position on something because it just seems intuitively right to you than just about anybody I’ve encountered. So I would guess you don’t find any alternative views or opinions particularly threatening to your person identity.

          And I could go on. And on. And on. But I shouldn’t. 😉

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        • KW:

          I was thinking less about the religious aspect than the left/right aspect of your original comment. You said:

          Elements on the right, when given the option, like censorship. Historically, they definitely have.

          Perhaps you are right, but nothing major immediately comes to mind. What examples do you have, especially with regard to the domestic right in the US?

          While I’m sure there are some political vices that are non-partisan in nature, I actually think that there are a great many political behaviors that do in fact predominate on one side of the political divide or the other. I don’t know if it is the ideology itself that drives the behaviors, or if it is something else that drives both the adoption of the ideology and the behaviors. But I do think there are many behaviors that are much more highly correlated with ideology than with simply being human, which is why I am often skeptical of the dismissive “human nature” explanation.

          For example, I think the impulse to organize and participate in public protests over political issues is far more likely to be partnered with progressive ideology than conservative ideology. It doesn’t mean that conservatives never stage political protests, but if you had to bet on the political leanings of 100 random protests in the absence of any information about them, I think you would come out ahead…by a lot…if you just bet on “the left” 100% of the time.

          Ace’s Morning Rant actually touched on this very topic today.

          “Somebody go out there and find me one, just *one* quote from a conservative columnist, publication, or even a blog that says what we need to do is to use Thanksgiving dinner to argue with your relatives with whom you have political disagreements. I don’t think you’ll find any. The only sentiment you’ll find from conservatives on Thanksgiving is to enjoy your family, your meal, and just leave politics aside, just for one day.

          …Here’s another comparison: Remember the Kavanaugh hearings? Remember how many times they were interrupted by left-wing protesters who had to be forcibly ejected? Remember the silly, stupid Handmaid’s Tale cosplay? Remember the video of the protestor losing her sh*t while Lindsey Graham 2.0 walked past her to his waiting car?

          All told, there were over 200 interruptions in the Kavanaugh hearings due to the antics of left-wing protesters.

          Now, fast forward to the shampeachment hearings of a couple of weeks ago.

          “Was Washington DC suddenly inundated with hordes of conservative protesters screaming and yelling at Democratic congressmen in restaurants and in parking lots and disrupting the hearings? How many conservatives were arrested? How many were forcibly removed by security?

          “The answers are, of course, no, zero, and zero.

          He’s right. There is something about progressives – whether it is their progressivism itself or something else that also produces progressivism – that leads them to behave in ways that conservatives just don’t tend to behave. I understand the “moderate” desire to simply cast a pox on both their houses, but I just don’t think it is sensible in many if not most instances. Ideology really does matter.

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        • I was thinking less about the religious aspect than the left/right aspect of your original comment.

          By “religious”, I mean anything that can be fill that role in a person’s life. Climate activism is a religion. Antifa is a religion–I’d argue it’s a cult. For most on the left I get the impression that worship of the state (with the correct pope in charge) is their religion.

          Perhaps you are right, but nothing major immediately comes to mind. What examples do you have, especially with regard to the domestic right in the US?

          I should be clear, anything in the present era would be mostly anecdotal (though there are cases of conservative school boards demanding content constrains in text books and the teaching of creationism while mischaracterizing evolution, amongst other things, I would argue that progressivism dominates both school boards and text-book content creators nationally).

          Rick Scott banned the term “climate change” in state agencies. In the 50s, it was arguable the right agitating for censorship (specifically in Hollywood) regarding “communist propaganda”. Organizations advocating censorship to maintain community standards in film and comic books and other materials were arguably from the right (though based in religion rather than secular politics).

          There are a minority of people on the right who, even today, attempt to “turn the left’s tactics against them” and get liberals de-platformed as so many conservatives are, though with very limited success.

          That being said, the right simply does not have anything like the left’s capacity for censorship. The left owns almost all college campuses, all the big tech companies–they control Google, FaceBook, YouTube and Twitter. They control the vast majority of mainstream news. For all practical purposes, they control almost all the press. The capacity to censor and oppress speech is entirely on the progressive side of the spectrum. Ergo, any urge of staunch right-wingers or evangelical Christians is largely irrelevant.

          While I’m sure there are some political vices that are non-partisan in nature, I actually think that there are a great many political behaviors that do in fact predominate on one side of the political divide or the other.

          I don’t disagree with this, but I think they are fewer than ideologues tend to believe, and are often more correlative than causative. Where there are strong correlations that seems causative, I often suspect it has to do more with capacity and relative cultural position than a natural outgrowth. I.e: when it is your speech be suppressed (based on the opposing side’s capacity to do so), you become a greater defender of free speech than you might otherwise be.

          There are also issues of kind and quality and tendency. Meaning I may argue that it human nature (i.e.: a shared lizard brain impulse) to do x,y and z. Yet an ideology may make it less likely for one group to do it than another. Conservatives, generally, embrace enlightenment thinking. A precept of enlightenment thinking is that humanity is flawed and also not perfectible, that individual freedom and pursuit of happiness is a natural right, etc. Thus less likely to do certain things (like advocate for king-like leaders, or the investment of broad powers in a single office or institution) than progressives, or to believe that every whim or impulse should be surrendered to. This leads to distinctly different behaviors broadly.

          Making the assumption that I am correct in my human nature/lizard brain arguments, this makes the general tenets of what we presently call conservatism a much better system generally. While Ace may call out everything impure or insufficient conservative on the right as being a secret-liberal or a “cuck”, I tend to see them as evidence of the superiority of conservatism as a governing philosophy and cultural preference. Does anyone think that if Bernie Sanders had become president that we’d have as many–or any–prominent liberals on the left calling a President Sanders out for abuses of power or expansion of executive power?

          For example, I think the impulse to organize and participate in public protests over political issues is far more likely to be partnered with progressive ideology than conservative ideology.

          I think some of that is contextual (I think conservatives will organize and participate in public protests, but the bar for actually doing so is much higher) and different in execution (a conservative protest would be like the Tea Party rallies–congenial and optimistic overall, with a few crazies whose main objection was that Obama was a secret Muslim born in Kenya, where as on the left the folks who believe Trump is literally Hitler tend to dominate).

          A difference in kind would be, to me, like Clint Eastwood’s “chair speech” at the 2012 Republican convention and Ashley Judd’s unhinged “nasty woman” speech at the Woman’s March on Washington.

          I read Ace’s Morning Rant, and I think he’s exactly right. While I’m sure there are some crazy uncles who can’t stop talking about crazy liberals at Thanksgiving dinner, I don’t see a single conservative pundit or commentator or politician or publication arguing that your main goal at Thanksgiving should be to go in and attack your relatives for disagreeing with you politically. I don’t think bad behaviors, bad priorities, or bad ideas have an ideological bias. What I do think is that–with the possible exception of Trump–those things don’t float to the top on the right, where they clearly do on the progressive side of the aisle. As with the number of conservatives who show up for protests or participate in boycotts, I think those on the right who are defined by the ideology and seek all their life meaning from their ideology are outliers, while they are the mainstream on the left.

          I also think there is a strong correlation with enthusiastic progressivism and youth. When it comes to protests, young people have more free time and more hormone-fueled emotional issues they are seeking cathartic release from. I also feel like conservatism tends to correlate more strongly with pragmatism–and with people seeking to run their own lives, rather than the lives of others. Ergo, less likely to seek political or societal change through activism.

          I also suspect conservatives (especially those we might now refer to as the fake conservatives, or “cucks”) believe in working within the system, advocating for their positions forthrightly, supporting their positions at the ballot box, and that not every end justifies the means. I don’t think that’s true on the progressive side of the aisle at all. Which is why, in every free society, progressivism will always advance–because they are always working to infiltrate and take control over societal institutions at every level. And see any position they find themselves in as an opportunity to advance “the cause”.

          I understand the “moderate” desire to simply cast a pox on both their houses,

          To be clear, it’s a pox on humanity generally, not a “both sides” argument. Although I’m a big believer in the both sides argument, if for no other reason than both sides tend to object to the “both sides” argument with equal energy and using the same sorts of objections. 🙂

          Ideology really does matter.

          To be clear–ideology definitely does matter. Ideology translated to policy matters significantly, and the power of progressives to censor, their will to infect all societal institutions, matters a great deal. Not saying that they don’t.

          Like

        • Reminds me of Parliament of Whores:

          “How come,” I asked Andy, “whenever something upsets the Left, you see
          immediate marches and parades and rallies with signs already printed and
          rhyming slogans already composed, whereas whenever something upsets
          the Right, you see two members of the Young Americans for Freedom
          waving a six-inch American flag?”
          “We have jobs,” said Andy.

          Like

    • A. Good luck taking on Fox and Brietbart.

      B. The examples of SLAPP suits sound ill-advised. The demand that if they make accusations the Republicans need to prove them (regarding Hunter Biden) … there’s a pretty good chance they could. And SLAPP suits could open up discovery in ways that would not make them happy.

      Like

  10. To Scott’s point, here’s a fun article from Salon on how all censorship comes from the right wing:

    https://www.salon.com/2015/08/31/americas_true_p_c_villains_the_maddening_censorship_doublespeak_of_right_wing_culture_warriors/

    I just love this:

    But what about those roaring conservatives? Historically, censorship is not a problem on the left, but the right. It was not right wingers but socialists and communists who were barred from speaking freely throughout the 20th century, starting with the Sedition Act of 1918, which made it illegal to “willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of the Government of the United States,”

    Interestingly, the author doesn’t mention it was signed by Woodrow Wilson (indeed, embraced by him). It’s a hell of a stretch to argue the Sedition Act came from the right wing.

    Not only that, but the vote in the house was almost unanimous. So the best argument you could make is that the right supported it as much as the left, back in the day.

    Like

    • KW:

      To Scott’s point, here’s a fun article from Salon on how all censorship comes from the right wing:

      The author doesn’t really come close to demonstrating what he claims to be demonstrating. Let’s take his claims one at a time.

      the Sedition Act of 1918

      Whatever one thinks of the Sedition Act of 1918, as you point out it was roundly supported on both sides of the aisle, and was actually signed into law by the grandfather of American progressivism, Woodrow Wilson. It was not an example of the American right trying to censor the American left. It was an example of the entire mainstream political establishment trying to censor those who were widely considered (again, across the American mainstream political spectrum) to be anti-American. Also worth noting, it was limited to periods in which the US was actually at war.

      It was not some P.C. liberal, but Ted Cruz’s spiritual ancestor Joe McCarthy, who attacked countless individuals for Soviet treason — some of whom were maybe slightly to the left of Dwight Eisenhower — without a shred of evidence.

      Beyond the fact that accusing someone of being a communist is not an example of censorship (the communist party has existed in the US since 1919, and has published its own communist party newspaper without being legally shut down for almost the entirety of that time), most anti-communist work was done by the House Un-American Activities Committee, which was established in 1945 by the Democratic controlled House of Representatives, and was run by the Democrats for 28 of its 30 year existence. Again, this was not a case of the American right vs American left, but rather the entire mainstream political establishment against, well, communism.

      Today, censorship and whitewashing in public schools is a major problem on the right. In various states, including Tennessee, Louisiana and Texas — all red states — public school teachers are allowed to teach pseudo-science “alternatives” like creationism over evolution.

      “Allowing” teachers to teach something is the precise opposite of censorship.

      And what about the new history textbooks in Texas, which downplay issues like slavery and Jim Crow?

      Framing history lessons differently than one wants them framed is not an example of censorship.

      As for censorship of things deemed “offensive,” the real threat to free speech comes from conservative organizations like the Parents Television Council, which last year went after the TV-MA rated show “Sons of Anarchy” for its sexual content

      If you click on the link he provides, you find out that what he means by “went after” is that the PTA is trying to get cable companies to turn the station that airs the show, FX, into a premium channel like HBO rather than part of its basic plan, because they object to paying for something that they consider “pornographic”. This, of course, is not an example of censorship.

      But when it comes to censoring language and speech, Rick Scott’s ban of the term “climate change” in state agencies earlier this year takes the cake.

      In this context, apparently, “takes the cake” means “is a complete myth”. Again, the author’s own link quotes several people, including Scott himself, saying that no such policy exists, and even acknowledges that “State documents are still being produced with those terms.” But wholly apart from the fact that the claim is not true, every media organization in the US maintains its own “stylebook” which either requires or prohibits using certain words or terms in certain contexts. Would the author characterize such organizational requirements as “censorship”? I doubt it, but even if so, such requirements are hardly a phenomenon of the political right.

      Pretty clearly the author is using “censorship” to mean nothing more than “things I don’t like”. And, laughably, he even unwittingly adds ammunition to those he is attempting to refute when he imagines a Christian being upset and offended by a class on evolutionary theory. He proclaims that such a person should probably simply drop the class, not attempt to get it it censored (as if that is typically what motivates academic censorship these days). But then he just can’t help himself from adding a qualification: “Unless, of course, the class is promoting some kind of hate agenda.” The progressive willingness, indeed passion, to censor so-called “hate speech”, coupled with its inclination to label anything it disagrees with as “hate speech”, is exactly why censorship has correctly come to be associated with the left in modern day America.

      What a complete maroon.

      Like

      • Whatever one thinks of the Sedition Act of 1918, as you point out it was roundly supported on both sides of the aisle, and was actually signed into law by the grandfather of American progressivism, Woodrow Wilson.

        And I feel like the author knows this, and that’s why when he refers to it he specifically doesn’t mention Woodrow Wilson’s name.

        Of course, the left–always on “the right side of history”–refuses to acknowledge that progressivism was entirely behind early 20th century racism and Eugenics. And very much liked the cut of Hitler’s jib before 1940.

        Like

      • In this context, apparently, “takes the cake” means “is a complete myth”. Again, the author’s own link quotes several people, including Scott himself, saying that no such policy exists, and even acknowledges that “State documents are still being produced with those terms.”

        Hah! I did not know this, but why does that not remotely surprise me?

        in the US maintains its own “stylebook” which either requires or prohibits using certain words or terms in certain contexts.

        It definitely amounts for a form of propaganda. Recent AP stylebook changes have all seemed to be entirely about crafting a particular progressive political narrative than standardizing a style of writing.

        The author also notes his anecdotal experience that college was fine, and was not politically correct or censorious. But given that his orientation seems to agree completely with modern collegiate orthodoxy, there’s little chance he would have ever been on the receiving end the anti-free-speech climate on many college campuses today. That felt very “it’s okay because it never affected me”. But he’s also a millennial, so that explains that. 😉

        Like

  11. I think I’m about done with Chick-Fil-A. There’s something worse about completely reversing course in terms of corporate citizenship as opposed to having always been a leftist shill.

    And the SPLC? Really?

    Not to mention ditching the Salvation Army (and, specifically, why they ditched the Salvation Army).

    The food is good, but you pay a premium for the better food and service. And I really do like McDonald’s chicken nuggets (it’s mostly a nostalgia thing, but I really do). Arby’s–with their campaigns centered around manliness and meat–seems to me the increasing more appealing choice when it comes to fast food. And their sandwiches are good. Jamocha shakes are tasty.

    If the family votes for Chick-Fil-A, it will be Chick-Fil-A. But I’m gonna start pushing pretty much every other fast food restaurant when it comes to that.

    Like

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