December 30th, 2017

I wonder…

…when I see articles like this one written by Charles P. Pierce and published in Esquire, entitled “Trump’s New York Times Interview Is a Portrait of a Man in Cognitive Decline,” just how it might feel to be on the left and to be continually finessed by a man in such cognitive decline.

Or how the author thinks Trump managed to win the GOP nomination despite his cognitive decline (I know, that one’s easy: Republicans are both stupid and evil, and so they will vote for a man in cognitive decline as long as he says the right buzzwords).

Or how the author thinks Trump managed to be elected over Hillary Clinton despite his cognitive decline (I know, that one’s easy, too: the American people are both stupid and evil, and so they will vote for a man in cognitive decline as long as he says the right buzzwords. Plus, Hillary was unfairly hurt by [fill in the blank, including but not limited to Russian collusion, Comey, voter fraud, gender bigotry]).

So I guess I don’t really wonder after all.

40 Responses to “I wonder…”

  1. Cornhead Says:

    All the Left has left is insults.

    Harvard Law prof Larry Tribe apparently has a book coming out in May about removing Trump by the 25th Amendment.

    These people are sick.

  2. om Says:

    It continues to be a source of wonder how many things are inconceivable to those who think themselves so much smarter than the “masses.”

  3. Ray Says:

    Leftists believe they are intellectually and morally superior people and continually tell us how wonderful they are. Remember how they continually told us that Obama was the smartest person in the room? However, when you asked to see Obama’s grades they could never be found.

    Are you sure Tribe is writing the book? Didn’t Tribe plagiarize his magnum opus? Tribe had his assistant writing the book and the assistant was quoting other peoples work, without a citation, if I recall. In college we used to joke that the difference between plagiarism and research is a citation.

  4. TommyJay Says:

    It ticks me off that the left pulls this garbage over and over, when the academic records of 0bama were a more closely held secret than the procedures of Seal Team Six. That may be literally true given that Katheryn Bigelow, director of Zero Dark Thirty, purportedly got access to some of the Seal Team classified info.

    How is it that his transcripts were never leaked? Does the GOP have ANY opo research resources (excluding opo against themselves)?

  5. FOAF Says:

    Before the election I was talking with a friend of mine who also supported Trump and we agreed that if Hillary won, as we then expected, we’d be bummed but we’d get up the next day, go to work and get on with our lives. But that if Trump won our lib friends would go bonkers.

    So I’m not entirely surprised by the reaction that has taken place. But I am taken aback by the limitless depth of the hysteria and denial. It is scary.

  6. Oldflyer Says:

    Gee, I didn’t realize that there was still an Esquire magazine. I wonder how many other inconsequential publications limp on. Or maybe my lack of sophistication is showing.

  7. Susanamantha Says:

    My 65 year-old sister, here from NYC for Christmas, thought that the CIA was part of the State department. Yes, true liberal. She was unable to believe it when we told her it was a separate agency. We hicks, deplorable as we are, don’t know anything, in her mind.

  8. Ymar Sakar Says:

    The Deep State has the Left, so they have insults as well. But if the Left dies, the Deep State will still have more power than the entire Leftist alliance.

    It’s like watching ants attacking humanity itself. Even if they win, humans can just detonate everything and flood everything.

  9. steve walsh Says:

    Not having ever heard of one Charles P. Pierce I googled the name to see if I could learn about about the man’s qualifications to be assessing and asserting President Trump’s cognitive condition. Here is what I found:

    Charles Patrick Pierce[1] (born December 28, 1953) is an American sportswriter, political blogger, liberal pundit[2] author, and game show panelist.[3]

    So, clearly, this is a man whose opinion of the President’s cognitive condition we should take very, very seriously. Or, we can, as one is wont to do in Boston, call him a whack job. I vote for the latter.

  10. GRA Says:

    The left can’t win in a moderated, fair debate that is either taped or live. They need the buffer that is journalism and academia and art (all lean heavily to the left) to project their immense insecurities, bitterness, and prejudices – if not bigotry – about those who they think are bigoted. And if you don’t agree with what they say you’re ignorant and soulless.

  11. Shepherd Says:

    Everything you wrote can be true and at the same time totally irrelevant to the issue of whether something is deeply, profoundly wrong with DJT. And I realize that I’ll be called a Leftist troll for saying this, but it is so screamingly obvious that he’s suffering from something that I don’t have to be a leftist or a doctor to know that something is wrong with him. And if my fellow conservatives refuse to admit this, then all I can do is implore you all (not you folks) to be true conservatives, hold your public servants up to rigorous scrutiny, and see the truth with your own eyes.

    This is a man who recently claimed he signed more bills into law than anyone else, when literally the opposite is true. He either doesn’t give two ***** about the truth or he’s delusional. He recently claimed that Feinstein said there was no collusion, but Feinstein has said she expects the investigation to find it and that her committee is moving towards an obstruction charge. Again, totally seperate from anything to do with Feinstein, what he said was simply the opposite of reality. This is DJT without a filter. He said millions of people are joining his healthcare associations that don’t actually exist yet because the rules haven’t been written since his EO.

    PS I wouldn’t be surprised if Clinton didn’t have some cognitive decline. Age wreaks havoc on us all.

  12. parker Says:

    Trump is a strange man, but his instincts are in the right place. He actually loves our country and does not play by the DC rules of etiquette. He’s a barn burner and the get along to go along barn needs to be figuratively turned into ashes and embers. Never thought I could appreciate djt, but I do.

    Of course obama was a paragon of virtue, honesty, and a true patriot with well creased pants in all 57 states. And the Clintons are such virtuous souls they can walk on water.

  13. charles Says:

    And it is the Left’s constant understating Trump’s abilities – even by claiming that he is mentally ill or whatever – that will cause them to continue to underestimate his ability to win.

    I do wonder if they will catch on by 2020.

  14. Irv Says:

    Neo-I marvel at your patience and tolerance in not filtering Shepherd’s posts.

  15. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    Shepherd, you make a fair point as usual and do so bravely, (also as usual), so thank you. You’ve caused me to ponder that article and to think more deeply than I would otherwise have done.

    Here’s my own take for what it is worth:

    When you say “…it’s so screamingly obvious that he’s suffering from something that I don’t have to be a…doctor to know that something is wrong with him” that’s not, respectfully, correct.

    I know it’s a popular sentiment and often said by bright people but it confuses the right to merely have an opinion and the oft-claimed but non-existent right to assert facts.

    The difefrence is that the former is a purely subjective issue where there is no right or wrong answer whereas facts are objectively discernible truths.

    To assert, as the article seems to do, that the Donald may have alzheimers which is a degenerative neurological disease where neurons and synapses are effected or may be suffering from impaired cognition, (which is the ability of the mind to take in knowledge and to process thought due to disease), one really must be a qualified medical practitioner. Not only that, but that doctor must have either met and examined the patient – or at the very least have examined the results of the battery of investigations that are routinely carried out on such a patient – again, by experts in each procedure.

    People can and do and should be free to express opinions on many things such as that blue is a prettier colour than red or that vanilla is a tastier flavour than chocolate because these are merely matters of personal preference and there is in such matters no right or wrong answer.

    But one doesn’t have the right to express facts on matters calling for professional expertise when one is not professionally qualified. This is what the courts call the Expert Evidence Rule and is why I would not be allowed to express an opinion on a medical issue in a court but could on a legal one or some other area in which I might have qualifications and expertise.

    Isn’t the author’s “case” just built on Trump being true to his deep-seated and lifelong personality traits of boastfulness, grandiosity, egocentrism and vainglory? These things surely just make him Trump – not a mentally diseased Trump, no?

    I am one of the Donald’s most ardent fans but only in as much as he appears to me to be a man superbly fitted to this particular moment in time. I don’t think he is a saint, but he doesn’t have to be.

    No normal, civilised person, as most of us are here, conditioned as we are to try not to cause offence, could ever do what this man has been given a mandate to do: to shake the political, governmental and cultural establishment of the US to its very foundations.

    Arrogance, vainglory and egotism very much go with the territory. It’s just his personality and America knew that going in. The left may not like it but calling his long-standing core personality traits evidence of a degenerative disease just doesn’t wash.

    It is like the advice my Italian great-grandfather gave me as a seventeen year old when I matriculated. He was in his 90’s then and had been a ship’s captain but this father and grandfather, and so on before them, had all been lawyers and magistrates back in Sorrento.

    His father counselled him when he left for the sea that “You must always and in all things keep before you the answer to the old riddle: If you call a donkey’s tail a leg, how many legs does the donkey have?”

    The answer of course is always four because “just calling a tail a leg will never make it so”. Trump’s nature is what it is and Leftists calling it something else will never make it so, however much they wish.

    Deal with it, pajama boys!

  16. Tuvea Says:


    Please apply all your wisdom and enlighten us with regards to the statements made on this page from Snopes:

  17. Shepherd Says:

    Tuvea, what in the sweet heck does Obama have to do with this? Your post only makes sense if you think of politics as purely a kind of tribal scorekeeping. Trump’s constant and obvious lying about everything matters because he’s president, and Obama’s lies don’t somehow make it ok for Trump to lie. We’re supposed to have higher standards than the left.

    Stephen, thanks for treating my decently even though we disagree, you’re the first one here. I think it’s fair to ask professionals to a higher standard and I don’t have the right vocabulary to describe what I’m seeing, but as an American I have a right to say “this public servant is not qualified to work for us in this capacity.” Have you read the transcript? Large sections are incoherent, and the parts that are coherent are lies. If I ever started talking like that, I’d hope my kids would know what to do.

  18. Shepherd Says:

    PS — there are plenty of personality traits that are both lifelong and symptoms of something being wrong, like being a sociopath. Trump might be demented or not (and seriously, why would it be a surprise that a 72 year old man was experiencing mental decline?), but there was probably already something wrong with him before all this. And saying that all these things served him well doesn’t mean he’s fine either. Someone who can say literally anything without any shame and only seems to care about grabbing as much as possible for hinselfe is exactly the sort of person you could expect to manipulate his way to the top.

  19. om Says:


    Think back, or use the interwebs, to the bad, bad, bad reign of Ronald Reagan. Your “cognitive decline” meme isn’t original or wise (IMO). We’ve been there, they tried that, and didn’t work then either. Find some other sheep to lead astray.

  20. neo-neocon Says:


    You’re not at a blog where people worship Donald Trump. Particularly during the primaries, when there were other possible choices, his personality flaws were fully aired here. They are a given, and I think that Stephen Ippolito lists them rather well: Arrogance, vainglory and egotism. In addition, I would add that he’s not an articulate man in the interview situation; in some ways, he makes George W. Bush looks articulate.

    That is not the same as “cognitive decline,” which was the subject of the post. I don’t see cognitive decline in him at all. I see a person whose performance in office has way exceeded my expectations based on his character traits as I perceived them.

    What’s more, even when I was a Democrat I didn’t fall for the “Reagan is an idiot; Bush is an idiot” memes. I disagreed with Reagan while he was president, but I thought he was smart. Same for Bush. And same for Obama, by the way—something I argued about ad nauseam on this blog, against those who felt he was stupid.

    One of the things I noticed about Trump during the campaign was his ability to speak off the cuff in large forums, to monologue without a script, relatively coherently and with force and humor. That was his m.o. during the campaign, and it’s a very unusual ability for a politician. During the debates, however, I thought he was abominable—rambling and repetitive and not usually on target. The two modes of expression co-existed, and I decided that he was good at the first and bad at the second.

    Trump is a very unusual man, to say the least. But I see no evidence of cognitive decline, although the left and the MSM (but I repeat myself) have been pushing that meme for quite some time.

    Here’s a post I wrote about Trump’s campaign speech-giving.

    Oh, and by the way, what is this poor poor pitiful me business on your part? You write “Stephen, thanks for treating my decently even though we disagree, you’re the first one here.” That is simply untrue. You have commented on five or six threads here since your appearance. The first was the tax bill thread. Take a look at the way people address you there—for example this, this, this. On another thread we have this.

    I’ll stop there because I’ve already spent too much time on this, but I could have gone on. In fact, many of the responses to you were quite respectful.

    I’ve accused you of being a troll for a number of reasons—including the fact that you continue to have identifiers from Montreal, Canada, a very odd thing if you really are coming from Virginia, as you say—but one of those reasons was this accusative tone that YOU have adopted. Stephen is not the first one here who has treated you decently; that’s just plain untrue.

  21. Gringo Says:

    Tuvea, what in the sweet heck does Obama have to do with this? Your post only makes sense if you think of politics as purely a kind of tribal scorekeeping.

    The Demos see politics as tribal scorekeeping. Moreover, the Demos AND THE MSM have been quite tribal as long as I have been aware of politics- and less so than the Pubs. Less so- recall the Pubs that went to Nixon to suggest that he resign. No such for Clinton.

    Less tribal: this comment from FOAF sums it up rather well:

    Before the election I was talking with a friend of mine who also supported Trump and we agreed that if Hillary won, as we then expected, we’d be bummed but we’d get up the next day, go to work and get on with our lives. But that if Trump won our lib friends would go bonkers.

    As a further indication of less tribal, consider the plethora of sexual misconduct uncovered recently. They have overwhelmingly been on the Demo side. I do not see this as an indication that Demos have a greater tendency for sexual misbehavior. The tendency towards misbehavior is human, a tendency which applies equally to Demos and to Pubs.

    Much of this sexual misbehavior has been going on for decades- and been an open secret for much or most of that time. Weinstein- check. Lauer- check. Charlie Rose- check. While many who were not victims knew of that misbehavior, they didn’t make a big public issue of it because to do so would reflect badly on a member of the tribe- the lib/prog/Demo tribe.

    When we look at politicians, we see misbehavior on both sides. Foley and Packwood for the Pubs. Stubbs, Clinton, Kennedy, Dodd for the Demos. Foley and Packwood left public office. Stubbs, Clinton, Kennedy, Dodd- stayed in public office. There was more pressure from the Pub side to boot out those who had misbehaved. From the Demos, there was a tendency to forgive misbehavior from a member of the tribe. Weiner was, as far as I can tell, the first Demo in the last 30 years to leave office for sexual misbehavior.

    When I changed my vote from Demo to Third Party, I noticed the tribal tendencies of NPR announcers. There was a sneer in their voices as they announced Regan’s victories. (I now vote Pub.)

    That’s my two cents’ worth, as a former Demo voter.

  22. Gringo Says:

    Neo to Shephard:
    I’ve accused you of being a troll for a number of reasons—including the fact that you continue to have identifiers from Montreal, Canada.

    Some years back there was a guy from Toronto who did a lot of commenting here, with much the same viewpoint as Shephard. He eventually got tired of losing the arguments.

    I suspect that were this a Canadian blog, and we were all living in Canada, that Shephard would try to get the Canadian “hate speech” laws applied to us.

  23. Shepherd Says:

    Hurray I get to play this game again here too.

    1. I’m not a Canadian and I’m not in Canada. I don’t know why I’m showing up as in Canada. I’ve never even been to Montreal, though it’s on my bucket list, and I don’t speak a lick of French. But what would it matter either way?

    2. When I said decently I meant here on this thread. You’ve had it out for me since my first word and this is another example of insisting on reading everything i say in the worst possible light. Irv was rude and Tuvea assumed I was a liberal Obama defender for the sin of criticizing DJT. Since then, you wrote an absurdly long post once again going after me and Gringo jumped on the badwagon. You’ve got someone posting here who writes a dozen posts on flat earth but I’m the troll.

    For me, the issue is his incoherence. You say that Trump can speak very easily off the cuff, which is true–he’s perfectly capable of a jumbled word salad of half sensible lies and brags. His claim in the interview that he knows more about the tax law than the best CPA would be merely laughable if he had ever demonstrated the slightest interest in policy details, but since he never has, it comes across not just as a brag but as a deluded brag.

  24. Gringo Says:

    Tuvea assumed I was a liberal Obama defender for the sin of criticizing DJT.
    Tuvea had given a link regarding Obama’s lies. Your reply:

    Tuvea, what in the sweet heck does Obama have to do with this? Your post only makes sense if you think of politics as purely a kind of tribal scorekeeping.

    My assumption would be that someone who was NOT “a liberal Obama defender” would have acknowledged that truth-telling can be a problem for politicians of any affiliation, instead of replying with “what in the sweet heck…”
    1. I’m not a Canadian and I’m not in Canada. I don’t know why I’m showing up as in Canada. I’ve never even been to Montreal, though it’s on my bucket list, and I don’t speak a lick of French. But what would it matter either way?
    Why would it matter? You may recall the reaction to The Guardian’s campaign in Clark County, Ohio to try to persuade voters to cast their votes for John Kerry in 2004. The conclusion was that The Guardian’s campaign for Kerry gained votes for Bush. Losta Murkans don’t cotton to furriners tellin’ us howda vote. Or tellin’ us how stoopid we are- we gets nufa dat from libruls rat cheer. Eurosneers an’ so fort. Unnerstan’? Or as I would put it, ¿Me entendés? 🙂

    Gringo jumped on the badwagon.
    I made the observation to your “tribal scorekeeping” reply that Demos tend to be more tribal than Pubs. Which, in my opinion, made your “tribal..” reply a bit tone deaf.

    Given the way that Neo criticized Trump during the campaign, it is amusing to read this interplay.

  25. MollyNH Says:

    The Left can never abide Trump simply because NOBODY owns him. It galls them so much they have to gather in groups and scream at the sky. Seems like a symptom of cognitive decline to me.

  26. MollyNH Says:

    Cognitive decline= Pelosi once told a reporter “The Constitution does not say you can cry wolf in a crowded theater ” Totally True, she said that , has called Trump ,Bush at least 3 times. Google that quote it s hilarious.
    where is the Lefts bewilderment with her cognitive decline? Dosent exist for Mr pierce, a known NE Democrat hack btw.

  27. R.C. Says:


    Friend, I agree with you that Trump has an oddity about his cognitive “stack.”

    Here’s the way I picture it: I think he’s an unusual kind of psychopath. The unusual part is that I don’t think Trump has an internal picture of the world we could call an “ideology”; or, that if he does, I don’t think we can ever easily know what it is.

    You see, I interpret Trump’s behavior as a series of attempts to manipulate objects around him (including people) in ways that will play to his advantage.

    And I don’t think he grasps, let alone viscerally feels, anyone else’s pain.

    So he’s all-too-willing to say outrageous things via his Twitter feed if doing so will keep his political opponents distracted long enough that he can stop thinking about them for a little while and focus on what he wants to get done. From his point-of-view, their heads-spinning outrage is useful behavior (for him) so he keeps doing whatever keeps producing that behavior.

    But I don’t think we can take any of his speeches or Twitter comments as self-revelatory. I think he would say “Zweeble Zarble Zouss” fifteen thousand times in a row if it kept consistently improving outcomes every time he did so. It doesn’t mean that he thinks “Zweeble Zarble Zouss” is true. It doesn’t mean that he thinks it’s false. I don’t think he’s given the true/false distinction a second thought. I think that he thinks it produces useful outcomes, so I’ll keep doing it.

    Which means you can’t take his Tweets as indicative of whether he believes Russia influenced our election. Or of whether Rosie O’Donnell is a lovely and admirable human being. They don’t tell you what Trump thinks, in any direct way. They just give us a record of the kind of Tweets that Trump believes produce good outcomes.

    That’s my take. I think it fits the evidence.

    Anyone think I’m off-track?

  28. R.C. Says:

    ^^^^ Oh, by the way,

    Before anyone accuses me of being a leftist (!) because my prior post could plausibly be interpreted as a criticism of Donald Trump, let me point out: I voted for the guy, and to this day, I remain happy for having done so.

    When I voted for him, it was in the hope that he, a New York libertine who I assumed was also a New York liberal, would turn out to be at least 1% better than Hillary would have been.

    He has turned out to be vastly better than I hoped.

    So I remain happy that I voted for him.

    But I don’t regard my vote — for any politician — as some kind of endorsement of every aspect of that politician’s life and character.

    In a choice between Satan and Stalin, I’ll happily vote for Stalin, not because he isn’t horrifyingly bad, but because Satan’s worse. If it’s Stalin vs. Mussolini, I’ll vote for Mussolini, but my doing so doesn’t constitute an endorsement of Mussolini’s politics; only a judgment that his tenure in office would be less-destructive than Stalin’s. One doesn’t have to deny that such-and-such a candidate is an evil man or an idiotic man, while voting for him. One need only be confident that his exercise of his office would be less bad than the alternative.

    So when it comes to Trump, my best guess is that he’s a funny kind of psychopath (as I spelled out in my previous post). I was beginning to form that opinion already, when I voted for him.

    But in my judgment that made him better than Hillary. So my vote made sense. The fact that he’s been so much better than Hillary has been a happy but unexpected bonus.

  29. AesopFan Says:

    No one in cognitive decline accomplishes things like this, although it apparently hurts Stephens to say so:

    “Let’s go back to Never Trumper Bret Stephens. He does a pretty good job of itemizing the administration’s successes, from a conservative point of view:

    Tax cuts. Deregulation. More for the military; less for the United Nations. The Islamic State crushed in its heartland. Assad hit with cruise missiles. Troops to Afghanistan. Arms for Ukraine. A tougher approach to North Korea. Jerusalem recognized as Israel’s capital. The Iran deal decertified. Title IX kangaroo courts on campus condemned. Yes to Keystone. No to Paris. Wall Street roaring and consumer confidence high.

    And, of course, Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court. What, for a conservative, is there to dislike about this policy record as the Trump administration rounds out its first year in office?

    That’s the question I keep hearing from old friends on the right who voted with misgiving for Donald Trump last year and now find reasons to like him. I admit it gives me pause. I agree with every one of the policy decisions mentioned above. But I still wish Hillary Clinton were president.

    How does that make sense?

    Stephens goes on to explain why he is still a Never Trumper. I agree that from a particular point of view, a conservative can rationally be a Never Trumper. It requires a belief that the tone of our politics is important, and that the president contributes greatly toward setting that tone. I am fine with those views. But it requires something more: a belief that the tone (or style) issue is so important that it outweighs all of the policy fronts on which the Trump administration has moved the conservative ball forward.”

    * *
    It’s pretty clear that the people suffering cognitive decline are Stephens and his ilk, not the President.

    Two of the PLB commenters answer Stephens’ anguished question “How does that make sense?” with “It doesn’t.”

    Richard Terrell
    The Democratic Party and its alliance with major media companies is at the core of a deep moral corruption in America, and powerful elements of the GOP participate in it. Trump knows who these people are, and what they are. That is why they hate him. Anybody who would prefer Hillary Clinton as a leader on the grounds of some sort of moral assessment is intellectually bankrupt. Bret Stephens’ statement is empty of anything other than his own hubris.

    Paul Sorensen
    I was always for Trump, because so much was at stake. Obama built a liberal fortress of rock and steel. Jeb and the others pledged to work on it with a chisel and a hammer. Trump said “I’ve got C-4, and I’m going to use it”. It was messy and necessary.

  30. Shepherd Says:

    RC, I still don’t agree but that’s one of the better explanations I’ve read. I do agree that he seems to lack the capacity for empathy and a coherent ideology. But if we accept that his quirks are strategic and not indicators of mental decline, that’s just as terrifying–a president motivated purely by momentary personal, without empathy or any fixed set of beliefs motivating him. That’s exactly the sort of person you shouldn’t be surprised to learn could collude with an enemy foreign power and then lie about it. (Good reminder: Papadapolous and DJT Jr were both approached by Russians promising illegal help and even if they didn’t accept it, they never reported it and lied about it, not signs of trustworthy patriots but the sort of people who could thrive in the service of a man who views the world as a series of objects to be manipulated to his advantage.) And I’m not sure that NO statements by him are self-revelatory. I think theb presidents statement that he likes to grab women “by the pussy” was pretty self-honest. But all of them taken together do point to something, like you daid, like a psychopath.

    Agree that almost anything is better than Clinton but, as a Never Trumper from beginning to end, we were put in an impossible situation that I’ve never been able to square.

    And if I were a foreigner, which I’m not, and attempting to sway your votes for, what, 2020?? Which I’m not, and foreigners attempting to sway voters away from republicans made people want to vote more for republicans, shouldn’t that make everyone happy?

  31. om Says:

    Does a concern troll take more feeding and care than a ordinary troll? We shall see.

  32. neo-neocon Says:


    Much more.

  33. neo-neocon Says:


    You really don’t understand why the Canadian thing matters? Then let me spell it out for you.

    Bloggers learn pretty quickly that unless they want their blog taken over by highly destructive trolls, they have to be alert to them. One very very very strong sign of a troll is someone who lies about who they are and/or where they’re from. So if someone has identifiers saying he or she is from Canada, and that person insists he or she is from somewhere else far far away, that’s a huge red flag that they’re not telling the truth. Lying, in other words, not just about that, but perhaps about everything. Trolls do that.

    It’s really very simple. I’m surprised you can’t figure out why it would matter, and that you needed to ask why it would matter.

    Now, perhaps you are really telling the truth about where you come from and for some reason your computer is saying you’re coming from somewhere else. Perhaps you’re telling the truth about everything. But it’s not the most likely explanation. IP locations are sometimes off a little bit, but to be off that much is highly highly highly unusual.

    In addition, you write “When I said decently I meant here on this thread. You’ve had it out for me since my first word…” Let me just say that when a person writes “Stephen, thanks for treating my decently even though we disagree, you’re the first one here” as you wrote, unless that person explains they mean on the thread, the meaning of the word “here” can easily be the blog rather than the thread. Your failure to see that is rather surprising, as well.

    So no, I haven’t “had it out” for you. As a blogger I watch for red flags and you’ve given me plenty. You might, for instance, have written, “Oh, now I see that what I wrote when I said ‘here’ was ambiguous and easily could have been interpreted as meaning on this blog.” Instead, you go into victim mode.

    If I “had it in for you” it would be very easy to take care of that by banning you. I’ve spent a lot of time engaging you and shown remarkable patience with you, actually, because I think at least some of the points you raise are of interest. But my patience is not endless.

  34. Shepherd Says:

    I don’t know what it means when you say your patience is not endless. What exactly would you like me to do? Everything everyone ever writes is at least a little ambiguous. You have interpreted virtually everything I have written in the worst possible light. So yeah, I do genuinely feel put upon for having to talk about this for the umpteenth time instead of what I came here to talk about with the people I thought were my community. But I appreciate what you said about my points and so I am glad to know you’re reading those too.

    I don’t know what else to say about where I am without giving you my home address. I live in Leesburg and sometimes commute to DC and Charlottesville for work. If I were clever enough to come here and fake my identity (as an anonymous anyman), wouldn’t I be clever enough to fake that too? Somewhere other than Montreal, of all places! And if I had never said a word abour where I was from, would it matter then or are my points still predicated on that too?

  35. neo-neocon Says:


    Exactly what I would like you to do is to stop the insults and the drama. Just make your points.

    And as I’ve already said, if you say something ambiguous that is easily interpreted in a certain way that makes you look bad, just issue a correction. No need to add all the “oh, woe is me, you hate me and pick on me all the time!” business. Dropping it would be a big big improvement.

    You have yet to acknowledge that the Virginia vs. Montreal thing is a bona fide reason for suspicion. If it’s not your fault it’s not your fault, but it continues to be very suspicious and odd. As I already wrote, IPs are sometimes off, but only by a few miles or even a hundred miles. Eight hundred miles? Just about unheard of.

    Most of the time on this blog the comments section takes care of itself, and the commenters communicate back-and-forth with each other. I jump in now and then to take up a particular issue. If someone is insulting, though, it’s not okay. And of course I’m often on troll alert. That’s pretty much it.

  36. Julia Says:

    I voted Cruz in the Primary, Trump in the General. I’m moderately happy with what he’s done. But after reading some of our explanations about him, I will say that I’m glad he’s our SOB and not the Dem’s SOB. I’d hate to be diametrically opposed to him and his actions – I can understand why they are infuriated.

    Of course, I disagree with their responses (#Resist, Trump is crazy let’s impeach him, etc).

    This all makes me very happy, indeed!

  37. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    I know that the caravan has well and truly moved on but I’ve just come upon this thread.

    It’s a small point but in fairness I ought to raise it: It may be that Shepherd is browsing with the TOR browser.

    That is a browser readily available for free off the internet, and increasingly popular, that protects privacy by re-routing through different countries and effectively masks the location of the computer.

  38. neo-neocon Says:

    Stephen Ippolito:

    I don’t think so for two reasons.

    The first is that, if that were the case, all Shepherd would have had to do is to say so.

    The second is, if that were the case, Shepherd’s IP number would be different each time he commented. However, it remains the same.

  39. Shepherd Says:

    I don’t know what that is. I am using a phone my kids got me for my birthday to write these posts.

  40. neo-neocon Says:


    Unless your phone’s Canadian, I don’t see why it would matter that you’re using a phone. Phones have IP numbers, just as computers do.

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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