Bullshit! Or, How to Frankfurt a Trump

Time for a primer in the age of “alternative facts”…
Opinion • Views: 40,576

Uncredited image: dailynous.com

As I mentioned in my recent post, “How To Nussbaum a Trump”, others have pointed out the relevance of Harry Frankfurt’s analysis of bullshit to Trump’s rhetoric, and a few have alluded to how he might be the first post-modern President. However, given how “truth-challenged” his administration appears to be in its opening week, I thought it might be worthwhile to develop those themes in a little more depth.

Harry Frankfurt, professor emeritus at Princeton, is best known among philosophers for what are called “Frankfurt cases”: apparent counterexamples to the widespread assumption that an agent is morally responsible for what she does only if she can do otherwise. Frankfurt cases might be relevant to understanding Trump insofar as they imply that he (like anyone else) should be held morally responsible for his words and actions even if he is incapable of speaking or acting otherwise (as he well might be). But more relevant here is a distinction Frankfurt developed in 1985, and later published in his accessible little book entitled “On Bullshit” (2005). It was this book (or at least its title) that inspired Jon Stewart to interview Frankfurt on The Daily Show, thereby elevating (or lowering?) him to the role of “public intellectual” for a brief period.

Bullshitters might use the terms ‘true’ or ‘false’ and ‘right or ‘wrong’, but they don’t do so seriously. “On Bullshit” is not among Frankfurt’s best work, but it’s about as readable as analytic philosophy can be. It’s also just plain fun to read a book by a highly respected professor that is copiously sprinkled with ‘bullshit’. The book’s framework can help to explain the sort causal disregard for truth and justification (or evidence) that Trump has demonstrated at least since his “Birther” years (2011-2016). The fundamental idea is this: we need to distinguish bullshitters from both people with merely false beliefs and liars. Anyone can be mistaken, and reasonable people will usually modify their beliefs once they are aware of their falsity.

Take, for example, Zeke Miller, the reporter who mistakenly reported last week that a bust of MLK Jr. had been removed from the oval office; learning of his mistake, he immediately corrected his report. Liars, by contrast, are usually aware of the their statements’ falsity, and - for that very reason - intentionally try to hide it. So they recognize and “respect” (in the sense of fear) at least the particular truth they are trying to hide. But bullshitters have no respect for, or even fear of, the truth. The concept is not on their radar screen. Bullshitters might use the terms ‘true’ or ‘false’ and ‘right or ‘wrong’, but they don’t do so seriously. Think of Trump’s multiple exclamations of ‘wrong!’ during the debates with Clinton. He made no attempt to follow up with any evidence that might justify his charge, and thereby demonstrate at least a modicum of respect for truth. Rather, he seemed content to merely express his disapproval… and perhaps to do so in a way he thought his followers might find entertaining or pleasing in some other way.

The failure to take truth, evidence, or epistemic rationality seriously suggests a close kinship between natural bullshitters like Trump and far more intellectual “post-modernists”. Unlike contemporary modernists, many of whom regard objective truth as a mere ideal, but one towards which we can make progress by adopting at least apparently reliable belief-forming processes, post-modernists (of a certain stripe) reject the notion of objective truth outright, preferring to promote the value of sincerity instead. Sincerity, on such a view, is the best one can hope for, epistemically speaking.

Trump seems to use his expressions of belief like a carpenter uses his tools: to build his base of support, or to manipulate a situation. Now, a significant number of Trump’s followers cite his penchant for “speaking his mind” as their main reason for voting for him, and downplay the importance of what he says being true or justified, or even of his beliefs being consistent with their own. (This was evident in Tom Ashbrook’s interview of Trump supporters on On Point this morning.) Clearly, such followers value sincerity over evidence, which they seem quite comfortable without, and I see no reason to doubt their judgment that Trump is sincere (at least some of the time). Surely it would be difficult if not humanly impossible to express such wildly unjustified beliefs as that climate change is a Chinese hoax, or that most undocumented Mexican immigrants are rapists and drug dealers, or – for many years – that Obama was born in Kenya, without holding those beliefs sincerely.

On the other hand, Trump seems not to value sincerity for its own sake. Rather, what ultimately matters to him seems to be neither truth, nor evidence, nor sincerity, but rather the practical consequences of expressing a belief. That is, Trump seems to use his expressions of belief like a carpenter uses his tools: to build his base of support, or to manipulate a situation (for example, to strike a deal or make an ally). In this he may appear to more closely resemble a pragmatist than a post-modernist. However, pragmatism, a philosophical outlook pioneered by William James, John Dewey, and Charles Pierce, takes the concept of truth seriously enough to bother redefining it in terms of the practical consequences of holding a belief. Bullshitters don’t care enough about truth to bother redefining it, and since Trump keeps reconfirming the observation that he is a bullshitter, I think we can safely avoid placing him in the lofty company of James, Dewey, or Pierce.

I want to stress that identifying Trump as a bullshitter in no way directly impugns his policy positions. Even the most dedicated bullshitter may (at least inadvertently) speak the truth, or have a good policy idea. Neither should we assume that most of Trump’s supporters value his sincerity merely for its own sake; many may also take it as a sign that he will keep his policy promises.

Finally, although Trump often invites insults by insulting others, arguing that we should reject his policies merely because he is a bullshitter would be to commit an ad hominem fallacy, and so to imitate him. However, when Trump argues that we should accept his pronouncements and policies just because he is trustworthy or reliable, then it is not fallacious at all to point out that he is neither. And the more bullshit he spouts, the less we should regard him as either.

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120 comments

1
Wendell Zurkowitz ((slave to the waffle light))  Jan 26, 2017 • 2:42:00pm

Yes, the Wall must be built as an expression of our National Resolve to remain Pure, not based on any cost/benefits analysis or even feasibility studies.

2
Anymouse  Jan 26, 2017 • 2:43:18pm

If the GOP is putting forth a government hiring freeze, how do they triple the border patrol size as they are also claiming they are doing?

One of these things cannot be true.

3
Targetpractice  Jan 26, 2017 • 2:46:22pm

re: #2 Anymouse

If the GOP is putting forth a government hiring freeze, how do they triple the border patrol size as they are also claiming they are doing?

One of these things cannot be true.

They’re carve out an “exception,” same as they did for the military. And keep carving “exceptions” until finally we realize that the only hiring freezes in effect are on those agencies that the GOP would very much like to see drowned in a tub.

4
Myron Falwell  Jan 26, 2017 • 2:48:40pm
5
Dr. Matt  Jan 26, 2017 • 2:49:39pm

BEFORE:

AFTER:

Image: AFTER.gif

6
Skip Intro  Jan 26, 2017 • 2:50:58pm

re: #5 Dr. Matt

Video of above

Donald Trump Gets a GQ Makeover

7
allegro  Jan 26, 2017 • 2:51:12pm

I suppose those who want to call Trump a bullshitter can. I’m sticking to liar. And insane.

8
Kragar  Jan 26, 2017 • 2:51:59pm
9
Skip Intro  Jan 26, 2017 • 2:52:08pm

re: #2 Anymouse

If the GOP is putting forth a government hiring freeze, how do they triple the border patrol size as they are also claiming they are doing?

One of these things cannot be true.

I thought I solved that one yesterday. All new agents become interns for Ivanka and work for free.

10
Dr. Matt  Jan 26, 2017 • 2:53:12pm

re: #6 Skip Intro

Video of above

[Embedded content]

Video

ha!

11
Targetpractice  Jan 26, 2017 • 2:54:08pm

re: #8 Kragar

[Embedded content]

You know, I support local farmers and farmers market’s as much as the next guy, but let’s not continue to live in this fantasy where the demands for fresh produce from a single city can be met by local farms if the grocery store down the block will just work with them. If we’re cut off from produce imports due to a trade war, then you’re in competition for that tomato with the manufacturer down the block who has a shitload more money to throw at that farmer than your grocery store does.

12
Decatur Deb  Jan 26, 2017 • 2:54:51pm

re: #2 Anymouse

If the GOP is putting forth a government hiring freeze, how do they triple the border patrol size as they are also claiming they are doing?

One of these things cannot be true.

Blackwater/Xe/Acadami/Schutzstaffel.

13
HappyWarrior  Jan 26, 2017 • 2:55:24pm

re: #11 Targetpractice

You know, I support local farmers and farmers market’s as much as the next guy, but let’s not continue to live in this fantasy where the demands for fresh produce from a single city can be met by local farms if the grocery store down the block will just work with them. If we’re cut off from produce imports due to a trade war, then you’re in competition for that tomato with the manufacturer down the block who has a shitload more money to throw at that farmer than your grocery store does.

Exactly, we’re in an international economy. So many of our products are foreign and people who are anti trade don’t even realize it.

14
Dr. Matt  Jan 26, 2017 • 2:55:47pm

re: #8 Kragar

[Embedded content]

15
HappyWarrior  Jan 26, 2017 • 2:56:31pm

re: #14 Dr. Matt

[Embedded content]

They’ll justify anything for their hero Trump. SAD!

16
Wendell Zurkowitz ((slave to the waffle light))  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:04:49pm

re: #13 HappyWarrior

Exactly, we’re in an international economy. So many of our products are foreign and people who are anti trade don’t even realize it.

and it is not a binary thing: a lot of our products are assembled from components that come from all over, both US and abroad…likewise for the companies that produce them

17
Wendell Zurkowitz ((slave to the waffle light))  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:06:54pm

re: #14 Dr. Matt

Deplorables are so desperate to worship Drump that they are now justifying paying 20% for imported goods. Wow. SMH

This is how it works: DT says something outrageous and indefensible, and his supporters and proxies line up to defend and rationalize it, be it “locker room talk”, “listen to his heart”, “millions are registered in more than one state” or in this case, “we”ll just have to grow more of our own, won’t that be terrific!”

18
jaunte  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:07:13pm

re: #14 Dr. Matt

Alan Oberwise apparently doesn’t understand the concept of “scale” in agricultural production.

19
jaunte  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:07:33pm
20
goddamnedfrank  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:07:48pm
21
EPR-radar  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:09:33pm

The entire GOP has a problem with sincere ignorance being valued more highly than real knowledge.

E.g., creationism, climate change denial, and 100% resistance to fact-based policy making in general.

I think part of the problem is that this nonsense has been treated as respectable belief by too many non-believers. For example, most people’s reaction to finding out a political candidate or office holder is a young earth creationist is a big yawn or a reluctance to challenge that person’s religious beliefs.

We can’t afford to indulge these fools any more. If someone is a young earth creationist, they are delusional because their beliefs contradict all available evidence. If they advance any argument for their beliefs other than goddidit (e.g., saying that empirical evidence supports young earth creationism), they are lying and/or merely repeating their programming. Either way, their views should be mocked and derided, as opposed to being given any kind of cover or respect.

22
Targetpractice  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:10:51pm

See, I don’t know about a lot of folks in the deep south, but here in VA the local farmer’s market tends to see most of its produce vendors close shop in the winter. Why? BECAUSE THERE’S NOT MUCH GROWING! It’s why you can’t grow much in your garden in the winter unless you’re operating a greenhouse because the first frost will kill it. And most local farms do not pump out crops large enough to supply a single grocery store for a week, let alone a chain for any appreciable length of time. That pack of strawberries with the “locally grown” sticker on it? Odds are it’s from a factory farm that supplies more than just your local grocery store. And when the imports of strawberries dry up, so will those packs because the factory farm is gonna sell more of its product to the companies pumping out strawberry pastries and straw daiquiri mixes than to your grocery store chain.

23
EPR-radar  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:10:58pm

re: #19 jaunte

That’s a good start.

The US State Department is high on the list of RWNJ boogiemen, so a bloodbath at Foggy Bottom is exactly what they want.

24
Targetpractice  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:12:19pm

re: #23 EPR-radar

That’s a good start.

The US State Department is high on the list of RWNJ boogiemen, so a bloodbath at Foggy Bottom is exactly what they want.

That’s largely because they think foreign policy is “Who are we blowing up today and who are we threatening to blow up tomorrow?”

25
Wendell Zurkowitz ((slave to the waffle light))  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:15:06pm

re: #21 EPR-radar

The entire GOP has a problem with sincere ignorance being valued more highly than real knowledge.

E.g., creationism, climate change denial, and 100% resistance to fact-based policy making in general.

Ideological purity and political reliability are the key factors here…and they have moved us into the post-factual world.

26
Backwoods_Sleuth  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:16:49pm

re: #2 Anymouse

If the GOP is putting forth a government hiring freeze, how do they triple the border patrol size as they are also claiming they are doing?

One of these things cannot be true.

Sean Spicer said the wall will be built with Mexican labor and materials…

27
EPR-radar  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:16:56pm

I have to disagree with the OP on this point:

Surely it would be difficult if not humanly impossible to express such wildly unjustified beliefs as that climate change is a Chinese hoax, or that most undocumented Mexican immigrants are rapists and drug dealers, or - for many years - that Obama was born in Kenya, without holding those beliefs sincerely.

Trump is incapable of being sincere. He says what he thinks will advance his cause, which is usually what he thinks his audience wants to hear at that moment. This is pretty much the exact opposite of sincerity.

28
Skip Intro  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:17:52pm

re: #20 goddamnedfrank

“We responded greatly, really greatly. I got a five minute standing ovation because I handled the situation so greatly, so greatly. I was really, really great, everybody says so. Millions of people have tweeted me thanking be for acting so greatly, tens of millions maybe. I don’t know, but I know it was even more than the millions of people who were at my inauguration, which the lying media refused to report accurately, but we caught them in a beauty there, the entire CIA agrees with me. They think I’m really great too, in fact they said to me ‘Please, Mr. President, stop acting so greatly, no one will ever be able to match you’, they said.”

29
Wendell Zurkowitz ((slave to the waffle light))  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:17:56pm

re: #24 Targetpractice

That’s largely because they think foreign policy is “Who are we blowing up today and who are we threatening to blow up tomorrow?”

I don’t want to draw to close a parallel, but the two groups that Hitler distrusted most in the power structure were his career generals and the diplomatic corps, because they came predominantly from the aristocratic elite and had very low regard for Hitler and the Nazis.

30
Wendell Zurkowitz ((slave to the waffle light))  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:19:44pm

re: #27 EPR-radar

I have to disagree with the OP on this point:

Trump is incapable of being sincere. He says what he thinks will advance his cause, which is usually what he thinks his audience wants to hear at that moment. This is pretty much the exact opposite of sincerity.

That is exactly what a deal-maker does, the difference being, once a deal is made and signed, both parties walk away and are under no compulsion to deal with each other ever again.

That style can not really be successfully translated into policy-making. That is the art of the very long-term deal.

31
Targetpractice  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:19:49pm

Oh, and that 20% import tax? That’s deceptive because it’s just on the base product itself. Those strawberries don’t grow their own packaging, that’s a bag or container generally made of plastic that requires manufacturing (energy from oil), raw products (petroleum-based), and transport (petrol/diesel distilled from oil). And Mexico is the fourth largest exporter of oil to the US. So you’re adding a tax, even a fraction of one, at every step of the way atop that 20% on the initial product. So even the locally-grown shit is going to cost more because the packaging and transport will rely upon Mexican oil.

32
Wendell Zurkowitz ((slave to the waffle light))  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:20:28pm

re: #26 Backwoods_Sleuth

Sean Spicer said the wall will be built with Mexican labor and materials…

And then Trump will simply stiff them for the payment: do not now see the brilliance of his plan?

/

33
EPR-radar  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:21:17pm

re: #25 Wendell Zurkowitz ((slave to the waffle light))

Ideological purity and political reliability are the key factors here…and they have moved us into the post-factual world.

The more literate RWNJs (e.g., Dreher et al.) often whine about post-modernism supposedly destroying the idea of an absolute moral order. The irony that their whole movement is engaged in a post-modern denial of reality itself is not appreciated by RWNJs.

34
Myron Falwell  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:21:18pm

re: #2 Anymouse

If the GOP is putting forth a government hiring freeze, how do they triple the border patrol size as they are also claiming they are doing?

One of these things cannot be true.

The “wall” will never be completed, assuming that construction ever begins.

I’m calling my shot.

35
Eclectic Cyborg  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:22:52pm

re: #2 Anymouse

If the GOP is putting forth a government hiring freeze, how do they triple the border patrol size as they are also claiming they are doing?

One of these things cannot be true.

Two words: Independent Militias

36
Wendell Zurkowitz ((slave to the waffle light))  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:23:41pm

re: #34 Myron Falwell

The “wall” will never be completed, assuming that construction ever begins.

I’m calling my shot.

But not until it sucks a shit-ton of money down a black hole somewhere and winds up on the Cayman Islands…

37
Decatur Deb  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:23:48pm

re: #34 Myron Falwell

The “wall” will never be completed, assuming that construction ever begins.

I’m calling my shot.

But what a ruin it will make.

(As HG Wells is supposed to have said on seeing New York.)

38
Targetpractice  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:24:04pm

re: #35 Eclectic Cyborg

Two words: Independent Militias

How long before we hear about how the Minutemen have been given legal authority by DHS to act in lieu of Border Patrol?

39
Myron Falwell  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:24:13pm

re: #14 Dr. Matt

When they get hurt by these tactics, they’ll follow Rush and Lumpy’s marching orders and blame everyone but Trump.

Those with a brain will think differently. Because they will be thinking.

40
EPR-radar  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:24:28pm

re: #28 Skip Intro

How long until we get something like this recorded live from Trump:

“I’ve got the biggest dick. Everyone calls it yuge. Biggest dick ever. All the pussies I’ve grabbed were really happy about it. Really happy. Did I mention yet how happy they were? Huge. Bigger than a fire hydrant. The crowds loved me…”

41
Wendell Zurkowitz ((slave to the waffle light))  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:24:45pm

re: #38 Targetpractice

How long before we hear about how the Minutemen have been given legal authority by DHS to act in lieu of Border Patrol?

That is coming clear as day.

And they will give rise to counter-militias and then the real chivarees can begin

42
Myron Falwell  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:25:38pm

re: #36 Wendell Zurkowitz ((slave to the waffle light))

But not until it sucks a shit-ton of money down a black hole somewhere and winds up on the Cayman Islands…

Trump will use the money to pay off whatever debts he has to Putin and the Russian crime syndicate.

I wish I could use the //// tag.

43
Targetpractice  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:26:59pm

re: #42 Myron Falwell

Trump will use the money to pay off whatever debts he has to Putin and the Russian crime syndicate.

I wish I could use the //// tag.

I’m sure he’s got some buddies in the mob who will make a mint off this boondoggle.

44
EPR-radar  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:27:29pm

re: #42 Myron Falwell

Trump will use the money to pay off whatever debts he has to Putin and the Russian crime syndicate.

I wish I could use the //// tag.

As noted some time ago by Charles Pierce, Trump would sell nuclear missiles to ISIS for $15 a pop if he got to pocket $5 for each missile sold.

45
Myron Falwell  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:27:46pm
46
ObserverArt  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:29:57pm

re: #22 Targetpractice

See, I don’t know about a lot of folks in the deep south, but here in VA the local farmer’s market tends to see most of its produce vendors close shop in the winter. Why? BECAUSE THERE’S NOT MUCH GROWING! It’s why you can’t grow much in your garden in the winter unless you’re operating a greenhouse because the first frost will kill it. And most local farms do not pump out crops large enough to supply a single grocery store for a week, let alone a chain for any appreciable length of time. That pack of strawberries with the “locally grown” sticker on it? Odds are it’s from a factory farm that supplies more than just your local grocery store. And when the imports of strawberries dry up, so will those packs because the factory farm is gonna sell more of its product to the companies pumping out strawberry pastries and straw daiquiri mixes than to your grocery store chain.

In those golden days many of the ignorant want to return to but have no idea how it really was forget how people used to store food, prepare food, etc.

Many times you ate from the stored food in your cold cellar, pantry, etc. Much of that was grown in the growing season then prepared for storage by the women of the family. You had potato bins, onion bins, canned fruits and vegetables, etc.

Who does that today? Really no one. And people today want to stop in their grocery store and get fresh lettuce, spinach and other veggies…they don’t want stuff that is in a mason jar. I like a good salad. When I was younger we didn’t have a lot of fresh salads during the winter because half the stuff was out of season. I don’t think you can can lettuce and spinach…you would end up with goop.

The biggest issue with people today is they live in a fantasy of what they think it was or should be. Getting real is the problem. They can’t.

47
Myron Falwell  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:34:57pm
48
Wendell Zurkowitz ((slave to the waffle light))  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:35:45pm

re: #46 ObserverArt

In those golden days many of the ignorant want to return to but have no idea how it really was forget how people used to store food, prepare food, etc.

Many times you ate from the stored food in your cold cellar, pantry, etc. Much of that was grown in the growing season then prepared for storage by the women of the family. You had potato bins, onion bins, canned fruits and vegetables, etc.

Who does that today? Really no one. And people today want to stop in their grocery store and get fresh lettuce, spinach and other veggies…they don’t want stuff that is in a mason jar.

There are not many things I miss about my ex, but she was big into canning and preserving. We lived in the country and did not buy jam or fruit preserves for years: it was all home made from berries grown in our yard or our neighbors’.

49
GlutenFreeJesus  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:35:46pm

re: #39 Myron Falwell

When they get hurt by these tactics, they’ll follow Rush and Lumpy’s marching orders and blame everyone but Trump.

Those with a brain will think differently. Because they will be thinking.

That rules out any of his supporters.

50
Dr. Matt  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:35:53pm

lolololololololololololol

51
The Vicious Babushka  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:36:19pm

re: #46 ObserverArt

I don’t think you can can lettuce and spinach…you would end up with goop.

I don’t remember Popeye ever eating fresh spinach.

52
calochortus  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:36:30pm

re: #46 ObserverArt

Don’t forget that you had to head down to the root cellar on a fairly frequent basis to sort through the potatoes and apples and turnips because you have to remove the ones that are starting to spoil, ‘cause they’ll ruin the whole lot if you don’t.
Living off the land/living seasonally is, as you say, really, really labor intensive.

53
Wendell Zurkowitz ((slave to the waffle light))  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:37:25pm

re: #50 Dr. Matt

lolololololololololololol

[Embedded content]

I am starting to see the stirrings of a “folk hero movement” leading the anti-Trump resistance…it is starting to lessen the sense of doom and despair that was looming very large in my mind.

54
Myron Falwell  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:37:51pm

re: #36 Wendell Zurkowitz ((slave to the waffle light))

But not until it sucks a shit-ton of money down a black hole somewhere and winds up on the Cayman Islands…

The court fights and lawsuits against this shitty boondoggle will suck up an inexorable amount of money and time.

Like this:

55
electrotek  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:37:59pm

Pete Seegar left us too soon :(

56
ObserverArt  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:38:04pm

re: #52 calochortus

Don’t forget that you had to head down to the root cellar on a fairly frequent basis to sort through the potatoes and apples and turnips because you have to remove the ones that are starting to spoil, ‘cause they’ll ruin the whole lot if you don’t.
Living off the land/living seasonally is, as you say, really, really labor intensive.

Yeah that ol’ one bad apple.

57
ObserverArt  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:38:55pm

re: #51 The Vicious Babushka

I don’t remember Popeye ever eating fresh spinach.

And it was goop!

Ugh. You are right, there is canned spinach. Me no can do.

58
calochortus  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:41:52pm

re: #57 ObserverArt

And it was goop!

Ugh. You are right, there is canned spinach. Me no can do.

Me neither. Spinach is pretty robust/low liquid for a leafy green. Frozen spinach is OK for things like ravioli filling, but that’s about it.

59
Targetpractice  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:42:12pm

re: #46 ObserverArt

In those golden days many of the ignorant want to return to but have no idea how it really was forget how people used to store food, prepare food, etc.

Many times you ate from the stored food in your cold cellar, pantry, etc. Much of that was grown in the growing season then prepared for storage by the women of the family. You had potato bins, onion bins, canned fruits and vegetables, etc.

Who does that today? Really no one. And people today want to stop in their grocery store and get fresh lettuce, spinach and other veggies…they don’t want stuff that is in a mason jar. I like a good salad. When I was younger we didn’t have a lot of fresh salads during the winter because half the stuff was out of season. I don’t think you can can lettuce and spinach…you would end up with goop.

The biggest issue with people today is they live in a fantasy of what they think it was or should be. Getting real is the problem. They can’t.

I know it may be wrong, but I suspect so many of these “go to the local farm” types are composed not simply of the dirt-ignorant conservatives who have no clue what life really was like in that mythical Golden Era they think Trump’s taking them back to, but also the “back to the farm” types of liberals who think life was so much better when you knew where your food was coming from and not from factory farms that use GMOs and various artificial substances to preserve food. Both groups have grown up in a nation where the convenience of going to the grocery store has totally wiped out the knowledge of how hard it is to “buy locally.” There’s no big family farms living on the outskirts of your city, trucking in fresh produce daily to your supermarket.

60
Wendell Zurkowitz ((slave to the waffle light))  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:44:07pm

re: #54 Myron Falwell

JUST IN: Tohono O’odham tribe responds to Donald Trump executive order on Border Wall

Just build an extra wall around the whole reservation. And make the Tohono O’odham pay for it.

/

61
KGxvi  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:45:45pm

re: #31 Targetpractice

Oh, and that 20% import tax? That’s deceptive because it’s just on the base product itself. Those strawberries don’t grow their own packaging, that’s a bag or container generally made of plastic that requires manufacturing (energy from oil), raw products (petroleum-based), and transport (petrol/diesel distilled from oil). And Mexico is the fourth largest exporter of oil to the US. So you’re adding a tax, even a fraction of one, at every step of the way atop that 20% on the initial product. So even the locally-grown shit is going to cost more because the packaging and transport will rely upon Mexican oil.

Also, depending on when it gets collected - most tariffs today don’t show up as a separate line on your receipt, instead the 20% gets paid by an importer/wholesaler who then bakes that into their price to the retailer, who then marks up the item before putting it on the shelf - you’ll most likely be paying sales tax on the tariff costs. So, there’s another couple percentage points that costs will go up.

62
Dr. Matt  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:47:14pm

VERY disappointed Michigan turned red this year, but I still love my home state….

Instagram

Happy 180th birthday, you big beautiful state! Via @enjoymichigan.

#Michigan #enjoymichigan

63
Myron Falwell  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:52:07pm

re: #53 Wendell Zurkowitz ((slave to the waffle light))

I am starting to see the stirrings of a “folk hero movement” leading the anti-Trump resistance…it is starting to lessen the sense of doom and despair that was looming very large in my mind.

We aren’t that far removed from the 1960s… 🙂

64
Skip Intro  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:52:17pm
65
Eric The Fruit Bat  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:52:54pm

BBC: The Why Factor-Conspiracy Theory

Throughout history people have held conspiracy theories which cast doubt on the official narratives of some very serious events - from the Holocaust to 9/11, Diana to JFK, Lockerbie to Sandy Hook.

What prompts people to think in this way? How should governments react to the people who doubt them? Or, are they in fact critical in our attempts to hold governments to account? Mike Williams talks to a psychologist, a professor of Political Science and a conspiracy theorist as he attempts to separate fact from fiction.

66
Wendell Zurkowitz ((slave to the waffle light))  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:53:08pm

re: #63 Myron Falwell

We aren’t that far removed from the 1960s… 🙂

“What we need is a cross between Elvis and Che Guevara”

67
KGxvi  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:53:22pm

re: #59 Targetpractice

I know it may be wrong, but I suspect so many of these “go to the local farm” types are composed not simply of the dirt-ignorant conservatives who have no clue what life really was like in that mythical Golden Era they think Trump’s taking them back to, but also the “back to the farm” types of liberals who think life was so much better when you knew where your food was coming from and not from factory farms that use GMOs and various artificial substances to preserve food. Both groups have grown up in a nation where the convenience of going to the grocery store has totally wiped out the knowledge of how hard it is to “buy locally.” There’s no big family farms living on the outskirts of your city, trucking in fresh produce daily to your supermarket.

I try to buy organic or at least “natural” as much as I can. But I don’t worry too much where the food comes from, geographically. I’m also prone to grabbing a (sugar free) Rockstar Energy Drink or a coke and/or candy bar more often than I should. I know healthwise that GMOs aren’t inherently bad, and a lot of artificial preservatives aren’t terrible, but I think the organic/natural stuff tastes better and that’s good enough for me.

68
FormerDirtDart  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:53:49pm
69
Bubblehead II  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:56:03pm
70
Wendell Zurkowitz ((slave to the waffle light))  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:56:51pm

re: #67 KGxvi

I try to buy organic or at least “natural” as much as I can. But I don’t worry too much where the food comes from, geographically. I’m also prone to grabbing a (sugar free) Rockstar Energy Drink or a coke and/or candy bar more often than I should. I know healthwise that GMOs aren’t inherently bad, and a lot of artificial preservatives aren’t terrible, but I think the organic/natural stuff tastes better and that’s good enough for me.

Micheal Pollan writes a lot about food and points out that demand for food is pretty static: we cannot physically consume more than a ton and half of foodstuffs per year.

And he notes that the lowest possible margin for food producers is in simply selling you wholesome foods that you prepare yourself: the only way they can boost margins is to sell you processed food from the cheapest raw materials (or by-products) possible, preferably under the premise of trendiness or convenience.

71
ObserverArt  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:57:09pm

re: #69 Bubblehead II

[Embedded content]

Trump: A man of the FOX People.

72
Eclectic Cyborg  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:57:38pm

I can’t stand the amount of food we waste in this country.

73
Myron Falwell  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:57:58pm

re: #68 FormerDirtDart

They’re going all in right now because they know that Trump’s time is limited.

Last night’s interview kinda reinforces that likelihood. Short your stocks and cash out.

74
teleskiguy  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:58:09pm
75
Eclectic Cyborg  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:58:12pm

re: #71 ObserverArt

Trump: A man of the FOX People.

76
Eclectic Cyborg  Jan 26, 2017 • 3:58:41pm

re: #74 teleskiguy

That first one made me wretch.

77
MsJ  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:00:38pm

re: #74 teleskiguy

78
electrotek  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:01:13pm

re: #77 MsJ

I hope your tweet goes viral.

79
thedopefishlives  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:01:15pm

Evening Lizardim.

80
ObserverArt  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:01:29pm

re: #74 teleskiguy

[Embedded content]

She says “powerful photo” like it is an actual photo of something real.

I am getting really sick of her crap.

81
FormerDirtDart  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:01:32pm

re: #69 Bubblehead II

82
MsJ  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:01:43pm

re: #76 Eclectic Cyborg

That first one made me wretch.

It’s very Ben Carsonish.

83
Wendell Zurkowitz ((slave to the waffle light))  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:01:51pm

re: #72 Eclectic Cyborg

I can’t stand the amount of food we waste in this country.

because food, like labor or health care, is just another commodity to be traded for maximum profit…waste is built into the system

84
EPR-radar  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:01:56pm

re: #74 teleskiguy

Calling Trump a ‘man of God’ is weapon-grade delusion. Worse than young earth creationism.

85
Targetpractice  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:02:11pm

re: #77 MsJ

[Embedded content]

“Free Market Jesus” forgives those who commit virtually every sin in the book if they’re rich and powerful.

86
thedopefishlives  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:02:17pm

re: #84 EPR-radar

Calling Trump a ‘man of God’ is weapon-grade delusion. Worse than young earth creationism.

Yes, but Obama is a Muslim.

87
Myron Falwell  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:02:26pm

re: #74 teleskiguy

You know someone is not really all that when a trolling response gets three times as many RTs and seven times as many likes as the initial tweet.

88
Backwoods_Sleuth  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:02:57pm

As many of you know, I am one of those fruit/veg market farmers.
As has already been noted, most of North American farmers have to deal with specific growing seasons, unless they have greenhouses (and those are hugely expensive to operate).
During the season, I grow for local market sales and, if I happen to have excess product, to the local grocery in town. I also do a great deal of canning, freezing and other food preservation to tide us over until the next growing season harvests.

I refuse to do business with wholesalers and canners. They have proven over and over to be slimy operators (the horror stories I could tell you are Trump business level shenanigans).

I do have a greenhouse and cold frames, but they are only for personal use for family and close friends during the off-growing season.

Also, I’m here to tell you that a greenhouse tomato will NEVER begin to compare with a field/garden grown summer tomato. FACT.

89
Targetpractice  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:03:22pm

She couldn’t be clearer that “Man of God” equals “white guy” if she put sheets and a hood on Trump.

90
Eclectic Cyborg  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:03:30pm

re: #85 Targetpractice

“Free Market Jesus” forgives those who commit virtually every sin in the book if they’re rich and powerful.

91
Skip Intro  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:03:47pm

re: #81 FormerDirtDart

Hannity agrees with Trump. Get out the BREAKING NEWS banner, cable TV.

92
Myron Falwell  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:03:59pm
93
EPR-radar  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:04:05pm

re: #81 FormerDirtDart

In which Lumpy fellates Trump so enthusiastically that Trump’s upcoming prostate removal surgery can be canceled as being a moot point.

94
Jack Burton  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:04:14pm

re: #83 Wendell Zurkowitz ((slave to the waffle light))

because food, like labor or health care, is just another commodity to be traded for maximum profit…waste is built into the system

And when it’s not treated that way, we get millions of people starving in Ukraine and China.

Some food going to waste is much better than agricultural central planning has ever been, ever.

95
Wendell Zurkowitz ((slave to the waffle light))  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:06:12pm

re: #94 Jack Burton

And when it’s not treated that way, we get millions of people starving in Ukraine and China.

Some food going to waste is much better than agricultural central planning has ever been, ever.

Ukraine and China were examples of very poor central planning.

Other nations (the EU being an example) are a lot better at it

96
KGxvi  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:06:14pm

re: #81 FormerDirtDart

[Embedded content]

More projection than IMAX in space.

97
teleskiguy  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:06:18pm

re: #74 teleskiguy

The Tomi Lahren tweet is from a fake account, not really her.

98
EPR-radar  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:06:56pm

re: #74 teleskiguy

Is this Tami Lahren person one of the swivel-eyed loons in that Trump rally photo that was going around during the campaign?

99
Targetpractice  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:07:02pm

Let’s ask those two Corinthians about how great a “man of God” Trump is.

////

100
MsJ  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:07:21pm

re: #88 Backwoods_Sleuth

As many of you know, I am one of those fruit/veg market farmers.
As has already been noted, most of North American farmers have to deal with specific growing seasons, unless they have greenhouses (and those are hugely expensive to operate).
During the season, I grow for local market sales and, if I happen to have excess product, to the local grocery in town. I also do a great deal of canning, freezing and other food preservation to tide us over until the next growing season harvests.

I refuse to do business with wholesalers and canners. They have proven over and over to be slimy operators (the horror stories I could tell you are Trump business level shenanigans).

I do have a greenhouse and cold frames, but they are only for personal use for family and close friends during the off-growing season.

Also, I’m here to tell you that a greenhouse tomato will NEVER begin to compare with a field/garden grown summer tomato. FACT.

My three year old lemon tree finally produced a whopper and we used it on salmon the other night. I cut off both ends so I could have nice even slices and tasted one end and gave hubby the other. Neither of us ever tasted a lemon that good before. It wasn’t like any store bought lemon.

We decided we are going to grow some other stuff next spring; tomatoes, cukes and maybe peppers (stuff we can grow in pots) and we are very excited.

The thought of doing all my own farming? Nope. Not going to happen.

101
Myron Falwell  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:08:39pm

re: #97 teleskiguy

The Tomi Lahren tweet is from a fake account, not really her.

{{facepalm}}

The sad thing is, Tomi Lahren is so deranged that it easily could have come from her own mouth.

102
Bubblehead II  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:08:40pm

re: #71 ObserverArt

Trump: A man of the FOX People.

LMAO! I didn’t catch iy until now, but that was the 69th post on this thread.

103
Skip Intro  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:10:43pm
Thank you to my supporters, David and Victoria Battell, who asked Pres. Trump to award me Presidential Medal of Freedom and include me, as an attorney, in investigation of voter fraud conducted by Trump admin
David & Victoria Battell wrote:

Thank you for choosing to serve. May this new pursuit in your life give you true joy. You give this country, and the world, hope. George Washington and the Founding Fathers must be smiling, along with our creator.

May I ask you to consider vetting Dr. Orly Taitz for service with Attorney General Sessions? Many others may also be trying to make contact with you about this subject. The facts of her actions speak volumes. Dr. Orly Taitz has been the brightest light of hope for the Rule of Law by defending and educating many people regarding the constitution of this country. These efforts continue today in multiple cases that are waiting action.

During the last eight years of darkness my faith in our country’s leaders have been tried severely. Being an Army Veteran, it saddened me greatly to follow the news of a Commissioned Officer, LTC Terry Lakin US Army. As you must know, his concern was regarding the constitution. He was living up to his oath as every Commissioned Officer should. His orders were from Barack Obama to deploy overseas again, and as many of us, he did not know who Obama was. The vetting process was not properly or legally done by the DNC or the individual States. The history of this event is very worthy of the time. He is one of us that was ignored and wronged for faithfully doing his Duty. Please consider full reinstatement and the Medal of Honor for Mr. Terry Lakin. May I recommend this to you?

Dr. Orly Taitz has a site that your investigative team may find very helpful with many issues. She has run for office herself and found afterward over 1 million invalid voters in her state alone. This is legally docummented as Dr. Taitz tried to have this case heard in court. It was not heard by a Judge, I understand. You may find she would be honored to hear from you about serving in a capacity that would have our laws enforced to directly protect our freedoms.

No other Lawyer in this country has come close to her efforts with the eight year problem that thank God, you removed. Many people would not listen to what Dr. Taitz had to say in the past. The Presidential Medal of Freedom from YOU would be more than fitting for Dr. Orly Taitz for everything she has done in the past and continues today. It may also point out that this will be a Nation of Laws, Blessed by our Creator, again.

orlytaitzesq.com

104
Myron Falwell  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:12:47pm
105
HappyWarrior  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:12:54pm

re: #101 Myron Falwell

{{facepalm}}

The sad thing is, Tomi Lahren is so deranged that it easily could have come from her own mouth.

Well honestly her real recent comments about refugees were just as if not more cringe worthy than that. So it’s easy to see how Poe’s law happened here.

106
Jack Burton  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:14:26pm

re: #103 Skip Intro

ORLY?!?

I think that my most commonly spoken sentence this year will be “You gotta be fucking shitting me!”

107
HappyWarrior  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:15:26pm

re: #103 Skip Intro

orlytaitzesq.com

Word pasta.

108
Myron Falwell  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:15:41pm

re: #105 HappyWarrior

Practically everything that comes out of her mouth is cringe-worthy, if not totally inflammatory.

109
FormerDirtDart  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:16:54pm

“On the morning after Donald Trump’s inauguration, acting National Park Service director Michael T. Reynolds received an extraordinary summons: The new president wanted to talk to him.

In a Saturday phone call, Trump personally ordered Reynolds to produce additional photographs of the previous day’s crowds on the National Mall, according to three individuals who have knowledge of the conversation. The president believed that they might prove that the media had lied in reporting that attendance had been no better than average.

Trump also expressed anger over a retweet sent from the agency’s account, in which side-by-side photographs showed far fewer people at his swearing-in than had shown up to see Barack Obama’s inaugural in 2009.

According to one account, Reynolds had been contacted by the White House and given a phone number to call. When he dialed it, he was told to hold for the president…”

110
ObserverArt  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:16:54pm

Sean Hannity is an expert on the death of journalism. He isn’t one and the fakes he works for helped to kill it.

111
Wendell Zurkowitz ((slave to the waffle light))  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:21:12pm

re: #104 Myron Falwell

These new accounts also raise the fascinating question of government control over its messaging online.

Taking a leaf from DT’s own playbook: he decided he could bypass the White House Press Corps and communicate directly via Twitter, but when he tried to gag-order government sites, they simply found a new “unofficial” outlet.

112
MsJ  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:21:49pm

re: #104 Myron Falwell

Forbes is VERY concerned…about logos being used by Alt Gov agency social media accounts.

Fuck them.

113
Eclectic Cyborg  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:22:47pm

I honestly wouldn’t put it past Trump to try and bring Twitter under government control.

114
Bubblehead II  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:24:25pm

re: #113 Eclectic Cyborg

I honestly wouldn’t put it past Trump to try and bring Twitter under government control.

Not going to happen.

115
Myron Falwell  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:26:15pm

re: #112 MsJ

Forbes is VERY concerned…about logos being used by Alt Gov agency social media accounts.

Fuck them.

Yup. That story missed the point so badly it’s hilarious.

By the way, I’m digging the logo for the AltUS National Park Service:

116
ObserverArt  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:27:56pm

re: #88 Backwoods_Sleuth

Also, I’m here to tell you that a greenhouse tomato will NEVER begin to compare with a field/garden grown summer tomato. FACT.

My father was one hell of a gardener.

He grew about 2 dozen Marglobe tomato plants a year. He knew his shit too.

His plants were smallish, but he fertilized for fruit not greenery.

One plant about 2 1/2 foot tall had to be staked because he would have so many blossoms turning into tomatoes there was no way the plant would support them with out the staking.

Out of those 24 plants my mother would get about four or so bushels of tomatoes she would can into tomato halves, cook down into tomato sauces and juices…and there were still all the ones consumed during the season.

I loved those Marglobes as they were not big, but they were meaty and the flavor was out of this world. Nothing comparable comes out of a hot house.

117
Backwoods_Sleuth  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:29:47pm

re: #100 MsJ

Neither of us ever tasted a lemon that good before. It wasn’t like any store bought lemon.

Any shipped store-bought produce is picked before it is ripe, otherwise it would be rotten by the time it gets to the stores, given all the middleman steps involved in shipping.

Tomatoes, in particular,are picked when they are green and fairly hard. During final shipping they are gassed to get them ripened and looking “pretty”. Really awful compared to fresh.
Similar thing goes for any root veg. If it ain’t freshly dug, you haven’t had a really good potato, turnip, rutabaga, beet, etc. I hated root veggies when I was a kid. Once I grew them myself, the difference was OMG amazing.

118
GlutenFreeJesus  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:30:57pm

re: #88 Backwoods_Sleuth

If I was close by, I’d be a regular customer. For personal and restaurant. Upding!

119
BeachDem  Jan 26, 2017 • 4:43:43pm

re: #18 jaunte

Alan Oberwise apparently doesn’t understand the concept of “scale” in agricultural production.

He also has a tenuous grasp of grammar and sentence structure (and sanity.)

120
Clearly a Country For Sick Old Haters  Jan 27, 2017 • 10:10:33am

re: #74 teleskiguy

parody account.


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