Morning Report: Home prices continue to rise

Vital Statistics:

  Last Change
S&P futures 3361 36.6
Oil (WTI) 36.91 -0.24
10 year government bond yield   0.67%
30 year fixed rate mortgage   2.92%

Stocks are higher this morning as a bunch of mergers are announced. Bonds and MBS are flat.

The September FOMC meeting begins this week. No changes are expected in the Fed Funds rate. We will get a new set of economic projections and dot plot. That could potentially be market-moving.

There are 19 million high quality refinance candidates, representing 43% of all 30 year mortgages. Black Knight defines “high quality” as a FICO > 720, 20%+ equity, current on the mortgage, and could save 75 basis points on their mortgage. “With rates near historic lows, millions of consumers have an opportunity to find savings by refinancing and, in many cases, significantly lowering their interest rate and monthly payments,” said Will Pendleton, senior managing director of third party originations at Home Point Financial. “We feel that the low-rate environment is likely to persist well into 2021, and a great amount of focus in the lending community is on building capacity to meet the explosion of consumer demand.”

Note that 19 million mortgages at $250k a pop works out to be about $5 trillion in originations… So this has a few years to run.

Home prices are up 13%, according to Redfin. “Home price growth this high is making the housing market especially difficult for first-time homebuyers right now,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “Rising prices are just one more reason for people to leave expensive urban neighborhoods behind. The sudden rise of remote work has allowed homebuyers who are priced out of one neighborhood to expand their search to more affordable areas. In turn, they are pushing up home prices in those relatively affordable areas, causing more people to look to even more affordable areas, and so on. Price growth may slow in 2021, but even if it does, high prices are going to continue to make affordability a concern for buyers.”

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is redfin-home-prices.jpg

59 Responses

  1. At one level, demand pull price increases seem counter-intuitive during a time of layoffs and uncertainty. At another, it indicates that the layoffs and uncertainty are not negatively impacting that segment of the market who would be potential customers. Rather they want to telecommute from outside the most expensive cities. Am I wrong in seeing a sharply segmented market?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the job losses have been primarily in the lower end of the wage scale, not the typical homebuyer.


      • Possible game changer for recovery of heavy crude:


      • Brent, from The Economist:

        Normally a recession causes house prices to plunge as people lose jobs and income. In the Great Recession America’s fell by 30% in real terms. The current downturn, however, is different. An index published by the National Association of Home Builders this morning is expected to show the market in decent health. A few factors explain this unusually strong performance. A series of provisions in the stimulus package that Congress has implemented make it relatively easy to request up to a year’s pause in mortgage payments, rather than face foreclosure. The slugs of cash in the package also help. Thanks in part to stimulus cheques of up to $1,200 per person, aggregate American household income is expected to rise this year. That allows people to continue servicing mortgages and take on new ones. Any hopes that the pandemic will cause housing to become more affordable are likely to be dashed.


        • I think we have underbuilt for a decade, and there is so much demand that we won’t see any sort of price decline…


  2. The NYT Orwellian spin machine:


    • They are literally taking *all* the action while asserting Trump is screwing-with/planning-to-screw-with the elections.


      • “what the campaign billed as the largest election protection program in presidential campaign history.”

        It’s not about “protecting the election”. It’s about being able to dispute the results and litigate them.

        ditto with this:

        “and hoping to maintain trust in the electoral process.”

        Getting a bunch of lawyers organized to challenge the results in court isn’t about “maintain[ing] trust in the electoral process”. It’s the opposite.

        Liked by 1 person

        • jnc:

          Getting a bunch of lawyers organized to challenge the results in court isn’t about “maintain[ing] trust in the electoral process”. It’s the opposite.

          Yes….but Trump is the existential threat to the country, remember?

          Liked by 1 person

        • He is. But I wonder how people are viewing all this outside of the hardcore left. Probably like it’s legit, although the logic problem of “we will refuse to accept the results of the election if Trump wins, because he will refuse to accept the results of the election” is just bizarre.

          But I have less problem with them preparing to challenge the results than their branding of it as the exact opposite. Just say what you’re doing.

          And of course if Trump had ever done anything like the Democrats are doing the media would be going on constantly about how awful it was.



          It has been de rigueur to have election lawyers on the spot in contested areas for a very long time. That both nominees have more of them then in previous years is only barely newsworthy – it goes with both parties having more to spend, rather obviously. Having participated in two county wide voter recounts/challenges, small time stuff, and having been one of the TX SecState’s goto election lawyers in the 80s, I find all of this not newsworthy and stupid 24/7 internet foaming at the collective mouths. The more Trump and Biden lawyers the better it is for the profession. And maybe for the electorate, who knows.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Mark:

          It has been de rigueur to have election lawyers on the spot in contested areas for a very long time.

          I’m sure you are correct. But what is new, I think, is the idea that an electoral loss is itself evidence of voting chicanery, and that is what necessitates all the lawyers. The Dems have pretty much declared that the only way Trump can win is through some kind of illegal chicanery, and so if he wins, lawyers will be required to combat the must-have-happened chicanery. To me that is pretty clearly undermining, not protecting, the electoral process.


        • Well, of course Trump himself has declared the adverse position. All BS.

          I think.


        • Seems like a shift to the concept that elections that are anticipated to be close can be settled by who has the best legal machine to grab the brass ring.


        • @markinaustin: All this stuff (and the coverage of it) suggests to me we’re just moving to a point where perhaps elections will ultimately be decided in court. Good for lawyers!


        • “It has been de rigueur to have election lawyers on the spot in contested areas for a very long time.”

          Yep, and nothing wrong with that. I’m just calling out the NYT spin on it as being evidence of trust in the electoral process.


  3. Edit: The article is about Michael Caputo. Sorry

    This article about Marc Caputo is,… something.

    said without evidence that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was harboring a “resistance unit” determined to undermine President Trump.

    Does anybody doubt that all aspects of the Executive Branch have people, often organized, that are “resisting”? I thought this was something that the left was proud of? Now it’s outlandish and unfounded and untrue?

    “You understand that they’re going to have to kill me, and unfortunately, I think that’s where this is going,” Mr. Caputo, a Trump loyalist installed by the White House in April, told followers in a video he hosted live on his personal Facebook page. Mr. Caputo has 5,000 Facebook friends, and the video has been viewed more than 850 times. It has been shared by 44 followers.

    Boy, those are fucking huge numbers. Totally viral, yo!

    Mr. Caputo said Monday, “Since joining the administration my family and I have been continually threatened” and harassed by people who have later been prosecuted. “This weighs heavily on us, and we deeply appreciate the friendship and support of President Trump as we address these matters and keep our children safe.”

    Hunh. Context. Interesting.

    Mr. Caputo delivered his broadside against scientists, the media and Democrats after a spate of news reports over the weekend that detailed his team’s systematic interference in the C.D.C.’s official reports on the pandemic and other disease outbreaks. Former and current C.D.C. officials described to Politico, The New York Times and other outlets how Mr. Caputo and a top aide routinely demanded the agency revise, delay and even scuttle the C.D.C.’s core public health updates, called Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports, that they believed undercut Mr. Trump’s message that the pandemic is under control.

    Is it possible that those reports were wrong, hyperbolic and / or purposefully pessimistic? The government would never lie, would they? They’d never say, oh, I don’t know… that wearing masks won’t do any good? No?
    Pretty subjective re “under control” how’s our per capita death compared to western European countries?

    Those reports, deemed “the holiest of the holy” by one former top health official for their international respect and importance, have traditionally been so shielded from political interference that political appointees see them only just before they are published.

    That just made me laugh out loud.

    “I don’t like being alone in Washington,” he said, describing “shadows on the ceiling in my apartment, there alone, shadows are so long.” He then ran through a series of conspiracy theories, culminating in a prediction that Mr. Trump will win re-election but his Democratic opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr., will refuse to concede.

    Yeah, Biden refusing to concede is totally a conspiracy theory. Being lonely for his family? What a fucking kook!

    “If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentlemen, because it’s going to be hard to get.”

    I don’t know where NYT reporters shop for ammo but in Texas it’s hard to get.

    Mr. Caputo echoed those sentiments, saying scientists “deep in the bowels of the C.D.C. have given up science and become political animals.”

    So, to say there are some resistance scientists at the CDC is crazy? I keep forgetting all scientists are saints.

    Mr. Caputo frequently touched on themes of an obstructive “deep state” that the president has used throughout his tenure and during his re-election campaign. Mr. Trump has portrayed himself as at war with federal bureaucrats determined to thwart his policies and with radical left-wing activists who he claims are sowing violence in American cities.

    Again, does anybody seriously doubt this?

    Mr. Caputo suggested, also without evidence, that the August killing of a Trump supporter in Portland, Ore., by an avowed supporter of the left-wing collective known as antifa was part of a broader left-wing plot to target the administration’s supporters.

    Again, to whom is this a conspiracy theory? It just goes on and on.

    It really is funny.


  4. The controversy over Biden’s seeming use of a teleprompter for ostensibly unscripted interviews reminded me of the Debbie Wasserman-Schultz interview from several years ago that we mentioned here. Recall that she said “mizled” when what she meant was “misled”, something that seemed explicable only if she was reading off a prompter and mindlessly mispronounced the word she was reading.

    If friendly journalists would allow a relatively mentally astute DWS to make use of a prompter, I have no doubt that they would do so to help hide Biden’s decline. I wonder how common this practice is.


    • I think more and more common all the time. As we’ve observed before, the news is becoming less “news” and more “infomercial” for where journalists and editors monetary and social interests lie. Because they are humans and in large organizations filled with humans organized in a hierarchal manner, that’s what humans end up doing.

      Such organizations tend to become more insular, tribal, and cultish over time as well. Especially when they associate social and cultural power with their tribe. And the institutions themselves attract people who see their role as “changing the world”–which justifies whatever narrative shaping they decide is appropriate.

      And also feeds their low and condescending opinion of their audience and the general public–because they are memebers of an elite guild, and they need to use their wisdom and intellectual superiority to shape the narrative so the hoi poloi “don’t get the wrong ideas”.


      • LOL Kevin, I’m sorry but that sounds a bit like ATIM currently. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • No one is immune.I still think it’s better than PL currently.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I haven’t been to PL in years but if there are conservatives there arguing/debatiing (LOL) with the libs then I wouldn’t consider it exactly the same. I assume they would wish the differing opinions to be gone though. IMO where’s the fun in that?


        • ATIMers are members of an elite guild shaping the narrative for their hoi polloi audience? I didn’t even now we had any audience at all!

          Liked by 1 person

        • Yup. You may recall, I have said that literally the only way to make the original conceit of this place work as desired (open discussions between multiple sides where both sides maybe both tried extra-hard to be polite, etc., etc.) would be that if all participants were paid and it was basically a job.

          Human beings need incentives to avoid tribalism. Even if you hate identitarianism and tribalism (as I do)–we all do it to some degree, *especially* in small groups of likeminded folks. That’s like 100% of humanity.

          That being said, I can still object to the willful ignorance of journalists. I may lapse into tribal-speak now again, but I try to avoid willful ignorance . If this were a journalist organization purportedly about balanced discussion and factual data, I would couch my words differently. Heck, if I knew you were coming I probably would couch my words differently, especially if speaking in response to you.

          How likeminded folks communicate and people on the opposite sides of issues communicate is different, and should be approached differently. Sometimes it’s hard.

          But ultimately, the reason it sounds like it does is . . . everybody left! Except you. And when you’re here, it doesn’t sound like that (when you’re talking).

          And I really don’t think we’re cultish. You can literally disagree with everything anybody says here and, as long as you’re polite, you’re not going to get banned or cancelled. I like dissenting opinions! And I’m definitely not trying to shape a narrative for an “ignorant” audience (I actually think, by and large, the audience (meaning the general public) is not that ignorant–although we all have our strengths and weaknesses). Most of this is conversations between people who agree on a lot and sometimes get into debates about what we do disagree about.

          Ultimately, just sharing opinions and experiences. But I confess I have a strong bias against the press, which I put in category of conmen running boiler rooms trying to bilk retirees out of their savings. We all have our biases!


  5. LOL Scott

    ATIMers are members of an elite guild shaping the narrative for their hoi polloi audience? I didn’t even now we had any audience at all!

    We wish right? No, it’s just that ATIM is still in my blood, as a founding member, and I kind of miss the discussions we used to have but I can’t keep up with you guys by myself. I honestly believe that Trump is a danger to our country/democracy but for all of you, possibly even Mark, it doesn’t seem to register. So, I have to give up I think.

    Like I said I’ll check in between now and the election, but after that, whatever the result, I’ll be gone. I’ll send you an email hopefully detailing how to unwind my payment and pass it on to you.

    I would suggest the few of you still here be careful about letting yourselves be a one track mind. The country is in dire need of reasonable debate and compromise but I’m not seeing any of that here. Maybe that’s not what you want though so that’s fine I suppose.


    • I don’t consider myself a Trump supporter and didn’t vote for him in 2016.

      Having said that, rather than stick to focusing on his manifest defects in governing, the media and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) instead grasp onto every random accusation as if it was fact, regardless of how thin or non-existant the sourcing.

      When it comes to Trump “It could be true” is the standard for publication.

      And there’s no accountability when the stories fall apart. But calling bullshit on that makes one a “Trump apologist”.

      If he wins again, one big reason will be because his opposition insisted on purity tests to join them.

      Liked by 1 person

    • lms:

      I honestly believe that Trump is a danger to our country/democracy but for all of you, possibly even Mark, it doesn’t seem to register.

      What policy or initiative has Trump undertaken that has uniquely put the country or democracy in danger? And by “uniquely” I mean in a way that distinguishes him from his predecessors. Implementing policy by executive order, for example, may be seen as a danger to democracy, but it is hardly a Trumpian invention and doesn’t merit singling out Trump as some special or unique danger. So what does?

      I completely get the visceral reaction to Trump’s persona, style and character. Really, I do. Just go back and read my posts from the primary season in 2016. There was no bigger Trump critic here at ATiM than me. But a danger to the nation or democracy? To me that is just as much overblown rhetoric as is half of what Trump says himself.

      If anything, I would say that the reaction to Trump by his most crazed critics is a much bigger danger to the nation/democracy than anything Trump himself has done. But I am willing to be convinced otherwise, if you have examples of this danger.


      • This is such a big topic . . . it’s a whole other discussion. But any dangers to our country and democracy aren’t going to be because of Trump (or Biden, or Obama, or Hillary). It would be because of cultural shifts (and other shifts) caused by thousands of factors. It would be because of social media, academia, the press, public education, etc., etc..

        Like him or loathe him Trump, like Obama, and like Biden, is just one guy.

        I can’t stand the whole Flight 93 election phenomenon, and I’m with the Conservative, Inc.™ NeverTrumper types on that. It’s just an election. As Jonah Goldberg says: if the country is over because of one election, then it is ALREADY over. If Trump loses lots of things might get worse but other things will get better. A Biden win will mean more Republicans in probably both the house and the senate in 2022 than a Trump win will.

        And so on. It won’t be the end of the world if Biden wins. Conversely, it won’t be the end of the world if Trump wins.

        I personally consider the complete abdication of any allegiance to facts or accuracy or objectivity on the part of the media a much bigger threat. But I may be wrong about that, ultimately. Probably it will be fine.


    • I agree with you, Lulu. Perhaps not for the same reasons, but I agree with you. Having a professional con artist as POTUS has already been demonstrably damaging IMHO, and can only get worse, with the aid of an AG who believes in the royal notion of the presidency and a supine Congress.

      While my opinion of Trump’s character is shared by many here, many here think the alternative to a lowlife who agrees with their policy choices is worse. And some here will suggest that all pols are con men. But I believe Trump is different in kind, with respect to character, not merely in degree.


      • Mark:

        …many here think the alternative to a lowlife who agrees with their policy choices is worse.

        When the alternative is a movement that is fundamentally opposed to most of my philosophical/political values, sure, I’ll cop to that.

        But I don’t think I am that different from most people, even probably you. I suspect that you are more closely aligned with the left/Dems to start with, and so it’s not like you are faced with the same choice, ie one between a loathsome person that might advance policies you agree with, and a not-so-loathsome person who will advance policies you strenuously object to. In 2012 you had an R nominee who had a public persona of infinitely more character, class and good standing than Trump, and even a more moderate policy approach to most things, but that wasn’t enough to convince you to vote for him. So while I have no doubt that your view of Trump as the conman of all conmen is sincere and drives your personal dislike of him, I doubt that that is the determining factor in your voting preference. If a Trump-like persona was packaged up with a policy agenda more aligned with your own, and the alternative was a Biden (or Obama or Romney) -esque persona packaged with a hardcore conservative policy agenda, I wonder if the alternative to the lowlife who agrees with your policy might look a little different to you.


        • With Mark on that one. Romney rubbed me the wrong way. I voted for Johnson! It’s amazing to me that I now find the Libertarian choice worse than Trump. Which is why I have to write in Gabbard (in a state that will guaranteed go for Trump, so I’m not worried).


        • Johnson was clearly the high character nominee in ’16 and of course we could take high as wordplay in his case – but I mean it both ways.


        • You have to question his judgement re Weld as his VP. Weld endorsed HRC and not his own ticket! WTF? I mean, you’re either committed to your ticket or you’re not. His oilyness should have been obvious to Johnson, unless, you know, Weld provided good buds.


        • In all fairness, I was voting more for the idea of a 3rd party. But I draw the line at protesting-voting for a party embracing intersectionality.


        • I think so. But I voted for him because I was just voting for 3rd party options.


        • Fair question but I would have had no difficulty voting for Romney and none for the money I always gave McCain. I voted for W for Gov in ’98 largely because I thought his character was better than the D nominee. If I had not been for Perot I would have voted for Bush 41 and Dole.
          WJC having been someone whose policies I DID like but whose character was questionable to me. But not as bad as Trump’s by any means.


        • Mark:

          I would have had no difficulty voting for Romney

          Well, given that you didn’t, you must have had at least some difficulty.

          But that aside, if you routinely ignore policy preferences and only vote for the person you deem to have the highest character, I’d rate you as a pretty unique voter.


        • Given Romney’s inability to stay committed to any principal, it seems hard to fathom a Romney as being of high character.


        • McWing:

          Given Romney’s inability to stay committed to any principal, it seems hard to fathom a Romney as being of high character.

          True enough, and he’s only made it worse since. But I’d point out that I specifically did not say he was of high character, but only said it was higher than Trump’s. Of course these are all successful politicians we are talking about here, so pretty much by definition they don’t have the highest of character.


        • I didn’t vote in the WJC/Dole election. I just wasn’t feeling it. Neither candidate particularly sold me. Did vote for HW in 92–the first time I voted. Could have voted in the Dukakis/Bush election but frankly wasn’t that motivated.


        • The other issue is assuming a Trump second term would be no worse than the first.

          I think he’s deteriorating and you can’t count on past results being predictive.

          Of course that applies to Biden too, but in Trump’s case he doesn’t have good staff around him either in the White House or at the cabinet level with some exceptions.

          Liked by 1 person

        • jnc:

          The other issue is assuming a Trump second term would be no worse than the first.

          For me the only relevant question is whether it would be worse than a Biden Harris first term. And while it is always possible that a deteriorating Trump would pivot and embrace rioting BLMers, intersectionality, and the living constitution theory, it doesn’t seem sensible to take my chances with those who have already done so.


        • Seems unlikely that Trump would ever specifically embrace BLMers. Anything else I can see him pivoting on, just so long as it’s towards people who would embrace him and flatter him. Groups characterizing him as the devil aren’t going to get the time of day from Trump–which just makes the left in general seem remarkably short-sighted, at least tactically, as they could probably get a whole lot of what they might want out of Trump if they praised him and protected him.

          But I’m not worried about anything *Trump* will do making his second term worse (other than perhaps regarding issues of trolling and civility). However, the reaction to his winning a second term could be much more negative. I’ve not noticed a lot of introspection on the losing side on the left, myself. Not a sufficient reason to vote for Biden-Harris (but good enough to vote Tulsi, if only she had gotten the nod . . . and even though she didn’t).

          Trump’s primary sins seem to all verbal. All about what he says. The judicial nomination have been good. Reaction to coronavirus wasn’t all that bad, despite what critics say–unprecedented situations and all. Middle-east peace deals, plus Kosovo-Serbia–I have a hard time not viewing them as positives right now. I personally don’t have a lot of problem with the Trump administration (wasn’t a big fan of the travel ban) from a policy perspective. I wish Trump was conversationally half-as-sharp as Kaley McEnany but, you know, you get what you get.

          If I could have Trump policy and judicial nominations in an Obama-civility package, though, I’d be pleased as punch.


        • I don’t see any sign the Trump *admin* is deteriorating from a policy/operational side. If anything, I think it’s improving–not in leaps and bounds but I think it’s working way better than it was first year and second year, and even then I think it was pretty productive, if tumultuous. I’m kind of interested what a second term would bring–I think there’s a chance he’d be the anti-lame duck (or his admin would be, while he himself might seem off his nut a lot more of the time).

          I’m sure there remain challenges but right now, IMO, he has the best press secretary that not only he has ever had, but that I’ve seen in . . . well, ever. He’s got folks in his admin making sure all the “t”s are crossed and the “I”s dotted when he does anything now. Recent events with Israel/UAE/Bahrain and Kosovo/Serbia suggests the FP arm is not slacking.

          Flaws are many. But still, I’m not sold on the deterioration. Although most presidents do, indeed, have weaker second terms.

          It would be interesting to see what a Biden Whitehouse would look like, though.


      • And some here will suggest that all pols are con men.

        That would be me. I’d also argue they are all narcissists. Trump is just much more transparent and direct about it.

        But I believe Trump is different in kind, with respect to character, not merely in degree.

        I can buy that. Although I would argue that most of Trump’s negatives are symptoms, not causes. And that if the more civil and cookie-cutter politicians were doing their job, Trump never could have gotten the nomination and never could have won.


    • but I can’t keep up with you guys by myself

      It’s part of a two-part phenomenon that creates echo chambers. Part 1: You are in a significant minority (or feel that way) in the discussion group, so there’s only one you to make your point, but 5 or 10 or 20 people to make the opposing viewpoint. Eventually it’s like “I’m not getting paid, why am I doing this?”

      Part 2: When people care about stuff, they tend to be passionate about making their points, and so don’t pull their punches even if that would be the better strategy to keep the conversation going.

      And there’s a part 3 when it comes to the lack-of-a-referee. Policy and factual disagreements tend to quickly devolve into what are or at least feel like personal attacks–which tend to feel fine and reasonable and justifiable to the person doing them, but very much not to the person receiving them–even if receiving the in response to their own personal attack (and most people will argue “it wasn’t a personal attack, I was attacked first, yada yada”) . . . which again I think is just kind of how we are wired.

      The country is in dire need of reasonable debate and compromise but I’m not seeing any of that here.

      Then you aren’t looking, IMO. We could get more detailed in some stuff, but I don’t know anybody more reasonable than Mark!

      I have disagreed on multiple occasions with Scott, JNCP, and Mark–and have often had my opinion swayed by them. I don’t know that I’ve swayed anybody else’s opinion.

      And I’m not sure about the “one track mind” thing. I guess the question is: one track mind about what? As I’ve noted, I’m pro-choice. I would like to see more progressive taxation with carve-outs for middle- and lower-class tax payers and small businesses. I’d like an end to our military adventurism overseas. Not a fan of the Patriot Act. Etc. My favorite candidate in any party was Tulsi Gabbard.

      As far as presidents go, I think I like Obama better than Dubya. Although it’s close.

      As I recall, McWing is (or was) for open borders.

      And I expect there’s a lot of disagreement amongst us with these positions. So it maybe seems we’re more one-track than we are? Eh.

      I’m not particularly a Trump supporter, and if it had been a Gabbard-Trump match up, I’d have voted Tulsi. Actually, still going to write-in Tulsi.

      We are many tracks here. Could be more. If more people would participate. 🙂


      • KW:

        We are many tracks here. Could be more. If more people would participate.

        Yup. For some reason the idea that someone with a different opinion might not want to participate in what they see as an “echo chamber” reminds me of an old Yogi Berraism: Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.


        • LOL Scott, since I’m the most leftist person here, and I’m barely to the left of Mark………….it’s really tough to take you guys on and that’s all I’m going to say on the subject! Except that I wish I was smarter and had more ammunition………….LOL


        • lms:

          it’s really tough to take you guys on

          I’m not expecting you to take anyone on. I’m just curious about what it is that makes Trump is so uniquely dangerous to the nation/democracy. Your view is certainly a popular one. I just don’t see why.

          BTW, what did you think of the unprecedented peace agreements between Israel and various Middle East nations brokered by the Trump admin?


        • I feel like when you form tribal identification with groups, you want the hierarchical leadership of the community to be a member of the group you identify with.

          In the way back times, I imagine a change in tribal leadership to one group over another (or one tribe over another) led directly to slavery and or death, so there is an impulse to see the wrong leader/group being in charge as an existential threat. The caveat being you’ve got to think the leadership position is uniquely important and have little knowledge or faith in the cultural, communal, and political structures meant to reign that leader/dominant group in.

          Which I expect a lot of people don’t–because in most of the before times, everything was might-makes-right, things like constitutions and human rights be relatively recent inventions.


        • The smartest thing to do is participate in conversations when you’re enjoying them, and stop when you aren’t! 😉

          How we end up with echo chambers, alas, but I think it’s true.


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