Friday, March 3, 2017

Sputnik International — 'If Trump Loses Sessions, It'll Be the End of His Administration'

Trump, Szamuely* stressed, must take a firm stand, and support Sessions more vigorously than he has so far – to openly point out that this is an open attempt to destroy his administration. At the moment, the commentator noted, "it doesn't look like he's fully aware of the forces that he's fighting. He's up against the intelligence agency, the very powerful mainstream media, the entire Democratic Party establishment being manipulated by Obama and Clinton in the background, and important sections of his own party. He's got huge forces against him! And unless he realizes how formidable these forces are, and how feeble his own position is; unless he really mobilizes public support, then I think he's in real trouble.."
Hard to believe that Trump and Bannon haven't got this figured out by now.

As I said at the time, Trump really needed to defend Flynn, since it was an obvious beginning step in a takedown of his presidency. 

After the Flynn the obvious next step was to neuter Sessions to make way from the appoint of a special prosecutor on the way to impeach of Trump himself.

I was skeptical when The Saker declared it game-over when Flynn was ousted without a fight, but it is beginning to look like he may be right.

Next on the list are Bannon and Kushner.

Sputnik International
'If Trump Loses Sessions, It'll Be the End of His Administration'

*George Szamuely is a Senior Research Fellow at the Global Policy Institute, London Metropolitan University

89 comments:

John said...

The Flynn takedown emboldened the deep state and its media sidekicks. Trump talks a big game, but as soon as he felt the slightest pressure he fed Flynn to the sharks. The deep state then knew they were dealing with a cowardly big mouth, and that his administration is easy pickings. So Sessions may not last a few more days. They're going to ramp up the pressure on Sessions. If he's toast, Trump looks like an incompetent vulgar buffoon, which is what he is were it not for daddy's money.

Trump and Bannon are pussies. And what was the pussy grabbing orange pussy Trump's reaction to Flynn's public crucifixion? He said "He did nothing wrong"! Well, why the fuck didn't you stick by him? What a fucking pussy, and there's four more years of talking big but capitulating as soon as the going gets tough. Can't wait to see how the pussy grabbing orange pussy reacts when the going gets tough. Daddy's not around to sort out your problems any more, you spoilt brat.

Dan Lynch said...

Yes and no.

Symbolically, Sessions and Flynn are important as pawns in a game. It looks bad when your opponent captures one of your pawns.

Practically, the official Trump cabinet are mostly figureheads with no real policy making power. Sessions has no special skills and could be easily replaced with some other reactionary conservative hack. Regardless of which figurehead is AG, policy decisions will continue to be made by the kitchen cabinet.

If Pepe's Mr. "X" is to be believed, Flynn was discharged because he was insubordinate to Trump, not because of his Russian ties, and Trump's critics could be shut down at any time because the powers that be have dirt on them. But some dissent is useful to give the illusion of a functioning democracy.

An impeachment attempt would generate a lot of drama but it would only serve to make Trump look like the underdog fighting the establishment. It would not necessarily weaken Trump, to the contrary he could use it as an excuse to get tough, similar to what happened after the attempted impeachment of Governor Huey Long. In the end, there is zero chance that the Senate would vote to impeach. There is a danger of not being able to pass Trump's agenda, but at the moment Trump has no legislation on the table, anyway.

If the motivation behind the Russian smears was to keep the military industrial complex going, then Trump has already addressed that issue by proposing a huge increase in military spending, so I'm not seeing this anti-Russian thing going anywhere.







John said...

Dan, everything you say is quite true, but the deep state haven't even gotten started. They're just warming up. They just want Trump to play nice. Since he's showing no willingness to do so, they take his pawns as a warning. I get the strong impression they can take out his inner circle at any time but are giving Trump the benefit of the doubt. The NSA and all the other eavesdroppers must have every phone conversation and email ever sent. Bannon would have said something unbelievably racist or antisemitic. Similarly with all the other "Christian" wackos in the cabinet. The FBI must have thick files on everybody in Washington. The ghost of J. Edgar Hoover is going to hit this administration like a shit storm.

Dan Lynch said...

@John, it all depends on who is really in charge.

If Pepe is right, the CIA is not in charge now. The CIA still has power and influence, and can cause mischief, but they are no longer the top dog.

Mr. X in Pepe's article:The deep state conflict is irrelevant. These [the TPTB who put Trump in the White House] are pros who know how and when to change policy. They have the goods on anyone who is in a high position and can destroy them at will.

Should we believe Mr. X? I have no way to confirm Mr. X's story, other than to say that Mr. X has always been right. Mr. X predicted that Trump would be president when the consensus was that Trump did not have a chance. At that time, Mr. X used words to the effect of "it has been decided." The fix was in.

Trump cannot arbitrarily fire civil servants, so civil servants who are neocons and Hilbama "stay behinds" will continue to stir the pot. It will take time for Trump to identify them and to gin up legal grounds to dismiss them. So there will be drama, but in the end, Congress will do what there 1% owners tell them to do.

Penguin pop said...

Donald Trump loves projecting himself on others. When he says he wants to grab people by the pussy, he really means himself. He's truly a coward and a flake. No balls whatsoever. Just bloviating.

John said...

Dan, it absolutely depends on who is in charge, and how much inter-deep state conflict there is on this, although I think they're all on board for making sure for reading the riot act to Trump and his dipshit madman VP. Thos kind of administrative mayhem is without precedent. It's a soft slow coup, but one that perversely has the target of the coup in a position to call it off by saying he'll play nice.

If Pepe is saying that the deep state isn't in a position to dismember Trump's administration and cause so much chaos that there is no governing but simply constant firefighting, then I think he's as wrong as it is possible to be. They can keep this shit up for eternity, and all of Bannon's nasty grimaces and alt-right singing to the choir isn't going to do a damn thing to stop it. As for the people who put Trump in the White House, it isn't all that clear that they're any different to those who put, say, Dubya in the White House, although in Trump's case the "Christian" right are far more enthusiastic than they've ever been for any previous candidate and now president. Trump's campaign received approximately $1 billion, which means the usual suspects put him in power, and he has in any case surrounded himself with the very kinds of people who funded his campaign. Can they call of a president who has decided to go his own way? Probably not, but the moneyed interests who put Trump in the White House are represented in the deep state, who are in a position to eat Trump alive.

There's a theme here on the threads. There is a majority opinion that Trump can drain the swamp and come out of this smelling of roses. Then there is the minority opinion that the deep state are going to fuck Trump and his administration six ways from Sunday. Not for the first time, I'm in the minority camp. In many ways the deep state is the state (which means the nexus of political and moneyed interests), and they'll be damned if an orange vulgarian is going to change that. There is zero chance that Trump can overcome the deep state, or more accurately "the state".

Dave said...

Look, if you want to be successful in anything you need to have a plan, a vision for what you want to accomplish. WTF is Trumps vision? America First? Not his, stolen. Beat up on immigrants? Again, someone else's playbook.

So what exactly does he want to accomplish? Not what does Miller want, or Bannon, but him?

When you know that, then you will know what and WHO he is willing to fight for.

John said...

Penguin: "He's truly a coward and a flake. No balls whatsoever. Just bloviating."

The past six weeks has proven that beyond a shadow of a doubt. The interesting thing is that nobody in team Trump understood that weakness is sensed by the enemy. Any smalltime drug dealer could tell you that!

John said...

Dave, I think once a trillion dollars of infrastructure is mysteriously awarded to the Trump family, that'll be it! Take away all the nativism, racism, narcissism and dumbshittery, what Trump now sees is a way of using the state to get phenomenally rich. If he can do that, he'd happily marry a homosexual Mexican gardener.

Dave said...

HAHAHAHA. Good one John. He might even date a LBGTQ Mexican Gardner who dabbles in Islam.

John said...

Dave, yeah, throw in Islam, climate change, the whole gamut of things Trump allegedly hates, but never did until recently. Trump's all about the money, and he'll do anything to get it. We've all seen those cringing adverts for Trump steaks and Trump vodka. Then there's the fraud that is Trump University. With Trump it never ends. He's the ultimate whore. Could you imagine Buffett or Icahn launching a fraudulent university, or pimping themselves out for Buffett steaks or Icahn vodka? It's unimaginable. While Trump will happily orchestrate a racist campaign against the President of the United States, could you imagine any other high profile "businessman" doing so? Then there's his newfound "Christianity". Jesus wept.

America needs a Nader in the White House and a Congress full of Naders. Instead America gets Trump, a cabinet of whack jobs and corporate raiders, and a Congress so crooked that if it swallowed a nail it would shit a screw.

GLH said...

I guess that if you are going after Sessions then you should also go after Schumer.

http://theduran.com/donald-trump-backs-jeff-sessions/

Dave said...

So Trump just accused president Obama of wiretapping his phones. On twitter. WTF

Bob said...

Going after Sessions and Schumer... do you take the gloves off or put on a HAZMAT suit?

lastgreek said...

Dave,

He misspelled "tap" :(

Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 2h
How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!

John said...

GLH, The Duran seems to have missed the point, and is in any case pro-Russia no matter what the evidence. Sessions recusing himself is a sign of weakness and desperation by the Trump team. With this much blood already shed, more sharks will gather. It's possible Sessions could survive this, but I'd be surprised if lasts more than a few weeks, and it just may be the stress that will force his resignation. That's why I said weeks ago so many of Trump's appointees are bad choices. They're being set up for a hard fall, and by extension Trump. If Sessions goes, Trump is in a lot of trouble, and he has no one to blame but himself.

Dave, Trump is losing the fucking plot. He's rattled, and now tweeting insane things. He isn't even thinking straight: he's slandered Obama in public with zero evidence, and if he has it he'll have to demand his arrest! The goddamn moron! He may be playing to his so-called "base", but that base is going to shrink pretty damn quickly to the KKK that he doesn't know anything about. Everyone who isn't a hardcore Trumptard and can never be persuaded that the man is a loon, is going to think he's cuckoo. Time to take twitter away from the loony orange pussy grabber. Perhaps Ivanka can entice him to do so by using that fabulous body of hers that daddy finds so mesmerising. Or just line up a thousand women every day for the prez to rehearse his pussy grabbing skills. That should keep him away from twitter for most of the day.

John said...

Dave, Bob, lastgreek, I don't know about you guys but I've had enough of all the "winning" Trump has delivered! It's just too much to handle. Hold on a minute, I just have to get some more popcorn...

Dave said...

lastgreek that's a lesson. Never tweet angry. Or maybe he was taking his morning constitutional, and he was unrolling the toilet paper with one hands while sending the tweet with the other.

John, the deep state is in the process of pummeling him. It's like shooting fish in a barrel, as you pointed out so well. No plan, no idea, terrible appointees who are corrupt and devoid of character. The sharks are circling.

The media, or should I say "the opposition party" are running wild right now with the tweets. Tillerson, now, may be turning on him, complaining about the proposed cuts in the State dept.

I don't have enough popcorn. Need to hit the market :)


lastgreek said...

Dave, John,

Last night I joked about the show Celebrity Apprentice. Wouldn't you know it, this is what the man with the nuclear codes at his fingertips has on his freakin' mind this morning:

Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 1 hour ago
Arnold Schwarzenegger isn't voluntarily leaving the Apprentice, he was fired by his bad (pathetic) ratings, not by me. Sad end to great show

What the hell!

Dave said...

I saw that lastgreek, and I was blown away by it. Just goes to show there is something seriously wrong with this guy. Understatement I know.

John said...

With all the problems he's got on his plate, Trump's tweeting nutty irrelevant shit about Schwarzenegger and then ups it with the craziest tweet in Twitter history about Obama! As much damage it would cause to their finances, Twitter should do the patriotic thing and take away his account. The Secret Service hasn't been able to. Too much winning...

The weirdest thing is that we need Trump to stay in office, if only to keep that religious fanatic Pence out. What a choice, Trump or Pence. It's worse than Trump or Killary.

Matt Franko said...

" While Trump will happily orchestrate a racist campaign... Jesus wept..."

LOL ... This is a racist statement by Jesus:

"Now the woman was a Greek, a native of Syro-Phoenicia, and she asked Him that He should be casting the demon out of her daughter.
27 Yet Jesus said to her, "Let first the children be satisfied, for it is not ideal to take the children's bread and cast it to the puppies." Mark 7:27

He's obviously comparing this Greek female to a dog, while advocating preferred treatment of Israelites to non-Israelites based on race ... He was manifestly a racist... and He certainly didnt weep over this ... get over it...

How the hell can you imply that Jesus would weep over racism when He was manifestly a racist?????

Dave said...

Agree John, although I think they would all go down putting the Ayn Rand disciple, Paul Ryan in charge. That would be worse.

Penguin pop said...

Paul Ryan would be the biggest game over in terms of how much we'd be screwed. Pence is a religious wackjob and Trump is too busy picking dumb fights with Obama and Arnold to see the plates are crashing around him. It's an absolute farce.

Bob said...

Hard to believe that Trump and Bannon haven't got this figured out by now.

Hard to believe those two were portrayed as masterminds!

Matt Franko said...

"WTF is Trumps vision?"

Hellooooo Tom just pointed this out down thread and even highlighted it for you:

" the trifecta of 1) national sovereignty and security, 2) economic nationalism, and 3) the destruction of the administrative state as goals of the Trump administration."

MMT ideal with 1.

MMT ideal with 2.

Now 3 is the tricky part as the reactionary libertarians look at MMT as "big government!" when you say "govt spends FIRST and THEN collects taxes..." they dont want to see the govt institution with this leading authority...

imo, 2 out of 3 will not be enough... Trump will come up short... but it will still be a lot better than what the left has been able to deliver for the last 8 years...

Bob said...

Should we believe Mr. X? I have no way to confirm Mr. X's story, other than to say that Mr. X has always been right. Mr. X predicted that Trump would be president when the consensus was that Trump did not have a chance. At that time, Mr. X used words to the effect of "it has been decided." The fix was in.

Oh, the fix was in, and his name is Mike Pence.

Matt Franko said...

" While Trump will happily orchestrate a racist campaign... Jesus wept..."

Here's another one:

22 And lo! a Canaanitish woman, coming out from those boundaries, cried, saying, "Be merciful to me, Lord, Son of David!.... "Lord, help me!" .... 23 Yet He answered her not a word... His disciples asked Him, saying, "Dismiss her,.... 26 Yet He, answering , said, "It is not ideal to be taking the children's bread and to be casting it to the puppies."

Again comparing this time a Cainite female to a dog and advocating racial preference to Israelites...

He was manifestly a racist... get the F over it already.... youre getting as bad a Andrew Anderson and his "stolen purchasing power!" OT legal schtick...

lastgreek said...

He's obviously comparing this Greek female to a dog, while advocating preferred treatment of Israelites to non-Israelites based on race ... He was manifestly a racist... and He certainly didnt weep over this ... get over it...

κυναρίοις, Matt -- κυναρίοις!

lastgreek said...

Paul Ryan would be the biggest game over in terms of how much we'd be screwed.

One of the guests last night on Bill Maher's show Real Time was spot on when she said that Paul Ryan wanted to repeal the 20th century -- that is, privatize and gut all welfare/entitlement programs. I don't recall the guest's name, but she was talking to the guy with the funny hair Jeffrey Lord ;)

Tom Hickey said...

So Trump just accused president Obama of wiretapping his phones. On twitter. WTF

"The deep state" is too amorphous to attack. Trump is pinning a target on Obama, just like Obama pinned a target on Putin. That is how the persuasion game is always played. Smart move persuasion-wise.

Six said...

Matt, maybe you should get your "Jesus was a racist!" meme to the Trump people. I'm sure his "base" will eat it up.

Tom Hickey said...

He may be playing to his so-called "base", but that base is going to shrink pretty damn quickly to the KKK that he doesn't know anything about.

Trump's base is the only power base he has. If he cannot mobilize his base to threaten civil war, he is toast. As I said there is a very dangerous dynamic now in the US and it will lasted for at least a decade in my estimation, unless there is martial law. You can be that the deep state already has a contingency plan for it.

Dan Lynch said...

Trump's base is the only power base he has.

Tom, you are ignoring our owners. As long as Trump takes good care of the 1%, his job is secure.

Russia-gate is already losing steam, as there is "no there there" and the media is running stories about Democrats who lied about meeting with Russians. In another week or two, Russia-gate will be forgotten, and Sessions will still be in office.

That said, Trump needs to do some positive big thing to shore up his support. Yesterday Pepe hinted that such a big thing may be coming in the way of a new deal with .... wait for it .... Russia.

Some of the comments are repeating the conventional wisdom that Trump is a buffoon and doesn't have a chance -- the same conventional wisdom that was proven wrong during the election. I would suggest that there are different kinds of intelligence. Trump may be ignorant with regards to many policy issues, but he seems to have an innate grasp of politics and PR. Combine that with his Alpha Male personality and I don't envision Trump rolling over and playing dead anytime soon.

Tom Hickey said...

Now 3 is the tricky part as the reactionary libertarians look at MMT as "big government!" when you say "govt spends FIRST and THEN collects taxes..." they dont want to see the govt institution with this leading authority...

The administrative state is the nomenklatura (senior bureaucracy) and siloviki (intelligence services) in Russian terms. The administrative state ensures continuity in government and makes the political leadership and especially the head of state merely a figurehead.

"The state" is the administrative state in that it's the operational aspect of the state. The administrative state is an unelected technocracy. The BoG of the Fed is a prominent example of this. It is politically appointed (unelected) and in charge of the monetary policy of the state as the monetary authority.

The administrative state is subordinate to the political government in that the administrative state is a political construct that can be changed politically, and the unelected technocrats can be replaced by the political leadership.

This is what Bannon is talking about and Trump is taking on. Trump's power base is the people that elected him, about half of the people that voted. If they are not willing to take up torches and pitchforks, metaphorically speaking, this revolution will fail. It is not guaranteed to win if they do take up torches and pitchforks, but at least the Trump team will have a chance.

The administrative state is not going to go quietly. They will have to see a lot of angry people in the streets before this over.

The interesting thing is that Trump has to deliver for his base economically to succeed but to the degree he does that the level of anger subsides. There are good reasons to think that Trump's administration will not improve the economic position of his supporter materially, since Trump's own administrative policies are based on acquisitor rule and trickle down, and he seems to be assume that government is just a big firm that can be "managed for profit" like a firm.

If things get worse for the people that perceive themselves not only to be left out but purposely taken advantage of, then all hell could break loose. It seems to me that they picked a poor savior in Trump, buying into the hype and buoyed up by irrational expectations.

However, things develop, I don't see the US going back to "business as usual" with only the upper deciles participating in the gains and developed world workers' living standard falling as emerging world workers' living standard rises. That won't happen in the US, US, or Western Europe without imposition of tightly controlled police states based on total surveillance and zero tolerance for dissent aka a form of totalitarianism.

This is where economic liberalism leads when the state is captured by acquisitors especially when facilitated by compliant labor leaders.

Bob said...

Tom, you are ignoring our owners. As long as Trump takes good care of the 1%, his job is secure.

Yes, as was the case with Obama.

I want to see this alpha male buffoon go down in flames. I want to see Republican controlled Congress and state legislatures give "their base" what they so richly deserve.

lastgreek said...

Tom, here's a clear headed article (finally) to the Sessions testimony. Maybe it deserves its own thread? :)

THE DIRTY SECRET BEHIND THE JEFF SESSIONS MESS
It may not be as sinister as it seems


by T.A. Frank

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/03/the-dirty-secret-behind-the-jeff-sessions-mess

And all because of a missing preposition, folks: "I did not communicate with the Russians REGARDING..."

So take note: Prepositions, like commas, matter :)

"Come eat grandma."

"Come eat, grandma."

Matt Franko said...

Tom,

Trickle down works better than a pure "we're out of money!" approach... its a relative issue not an absolute...

Also there is still a chance that the Fed can get interest income going again this month on the 15th with another 0.25% but it is looking like just a coin flip at this time... imo a lot is riding on this March meeting... if they can raise and imply more this year then we might finally get a steepening of the yield curve and we are off to the races...

Bob said...

For the want of a pretzel, a president was almost lost.
For the want of a comma, the presidency was lost.

Seriously, why is it sinister for a Senator to speak with Russians? This is no worse than the Flynn affair.

Matt Franko said...

"The deep state" is too amorphous to attack."

Oh for crying out loud will you guys stop it with the conspiracy theories already... "deep state!"... "neo-liberal conspiricy!"

It wasnt the "deep state!" it was allegedly a small group of political people who abused the authority of their positions...

If they broke laws they will be looking at jail and we will move on....

Here is where it seems to be coming from we will have to see:

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2017/03/03/occams-razor-did-nsa-admiral-mike-rogers-warn-trump-on-november-17th-2016/

This guy alleges DIRNSA was not on board with the others and tipped off Trump back in November after it was secure to talk at the Tower... was subsequently fired...

Dave said...

I find the whole Trump thing fascinating as well as entertaining. If you like him, and many here do, he is exactly what you think he is. A master persuader, an MMT practitioner, a deal maker, and a nation builder. If you dislike him, as I and others do, he is a moron, a clown, a con man, a sociopathic narcissist. Which one of us will be right?

In this sense, Trump is like the fool of the tarot, he can become whatever he needs to in order to achieve the objective which the universe has staked out for him. He does this unwittingly, of course, and in an unconscious way which is chaotic, but incredibly actually works. In my opinion, I believe that Trump is the sign of the end of the American empire. What emerges will, I think, be unpredictable, but I don't think it will be authoritarianism but a new sense of community and connectedness. But it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Matt Franko said...

O throwing them under the bus:

https://twitter.com/FoxNews/status/838085434173440002

Tom Hickey said...

He was manifestly a racist

There is actually some controversy over this in New Testament textual exegesis.

κυναρίοις is a diminutive from of κυνός, so it is proper to translate in as "puppies." But why would Jesus use the diminutive? If Jesus were intending a racist meaning, he seems he would have used "dogs" (κυνός), which is used negatively in other contexts, e.g. Matthew 7:6.

What is possible the meaning of κυναρίοις based on Jesus' intent. Was Jesus actual being racist? Or was he intending something else that accounts for use of a softer form?

Those who say something else than racist argue that Jesus emphasized throughout the gospel reports that his mission was to the people "for whom he had been sent" and that he came for them first and foremost.

In this reading of the text, Jesus was telling the person that what was requested was not in his brief. When she humbled herself instead of being angry, he made an exception, which was his prerogative.

Then the exegesis goes on that those people that did not rise to the occasion were then to be replaced by "all comers," which was the mission of Paul.

This was foreshadowed by Jesus in the parable of the banquet in Luke 14:15-24, and the similar but different parable of the wedding feast in Matthew 22:1-14.

Noah Way said...

So Trump just accused president Obama of wiretapping his phones. On twitter. WTF

And the headlines read "Citing no evidence, Trump claims wire taps". This would be laughable if the NSA hadn't gotten caught tapping Chancellor Merkel's phone or if we were presented some real evidence of the so-called Russian election hacking.

Americans with a "fair amount of trust" in mass media dropped 20% from 2015 to 2016, 40% to 32% (Gallup). And that was before the fake news about fake news.

Tom Hickey said...

Trickle down works better than a pure "we're out of money!" approach... its a relative issue not an absolute...

Trickle down hasn't worked since the '70's when Carter instituted a conservative approach to economic policy. Workers have not participated in productivity gains, and the labor share has lagged the capital share.

The only thing keeping the US economy going from the government side is military and welfare, and now the push is on to gut the welfare state in the transition to a market state, while expanding the military in order to project neoliberal globalism, protect US financial and economic interests abroad, secure access to resources, and insure international compliance with US dictates.

The "deplorables" aren't going to see much of this trickling down to them. What they are seeing is more and more rent extraction and a reduction in public services, leading to a lower standard of living for them.

Noah Way said...

I believe that Trump is the sign of the end of the American empire.

Yes, but the Empire is not going to go down without a fight. If anything, we are about to witness the full power and might of the Deep State on a global scale.

The funny thing is that when it all goes to shit the people at the bottom will hardly notice a difference.

Dan Lynch said...

Re: evidence of wiretaps.

How would one present evidence of a wiretap? Presumably there would be a legal order authorizing the tap, recordings and transcripts of conversations, and perhaps memos discussing the information. Recordings and transcripts could easily be faked, so that leaves the legal order and memos as the most likely evidence.

If the order or the memos exist, they may be published eventually. In the meantime no one other than Democratic partisans will doubt that Obama spied on Trump.

Tom Hickey said...

If you like him, and many here do, he is exactly what you think he is. A master persuader, an MMT practitioner, a deal maker, and a nation builder. If you dislike him, as I and others do, he is a moron, a clown, a con man, a sociopathic narcissist. Which one of us will be right?

He is some of both and more. The truth lies somewhere in the middle ground and only time will tell what it is. Historians will arguing over it in hindsight.

lastgreek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lastgreek said...

κυναρίοις is a diminutive from of κυνός, so it is proper to translate in as "puppies."

That's right, Tom. And thank you for taking the time to put that quote in its proper context :)

lastgreek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lastgreek said...

He is some of both and more. The truth lies somewhere in the middle ground and only time will tell what it is. Historians will arguing over it in hindsight.

Now, here, we disagree :)

Wayne Barrett (he died a few months ago), in his work as an investigative journalist, had covered Trump extensively, writing articles and books about him. According to Barrett, and I am loosely paraphrasing him in "French," Trump was a dick and a stiff all of his adult life. And when Barrett was asked if he believed that Trump had changed, he said that it's not reasonable to believe that Trump, or any man for that matter, can be expected to change now as a 70-year-old man.

Regarding what John earlier said about Trump's wealth: Yes, it's true that if it were not for daddy Trump, boy Trump would have been history. But Trump's father died in 1999. So what happened afterwards? Well, Trump got a break from none other than the current president of CNN, Jeff Zucker, who hired him for the reality show The Apprentice. You see, Zucker had the good sense to know -- that's why he's paid the big bucks, right? --that a clown-show needs its clown; hence, the hiring of Trump. Up until then, Trump was meandering from one business failure to another.

Regarding what Dan said about the conventional wisdom being wrong about Trump: The conventional wisdom believed, and I was one of these folks, that Americans could not possibly be so stupid as to cut off their noses to spite their faces. Man, were we wrong :( (Though in the conventional wisdom's defence, Clinton did beat him by nearly 3 million votes as the national polls had predicted; so, a trouncing were it not for the electoral college.)

And what Dan said about the different kinds of intelligence: The only intelligence that can be attributed to Trump is that he had the smarts to attach his political future to the Republican Party. Up until then, he was basically Democrat -- even went so far as to express not only his admiration for Bill Clinton as President but even stating that Bill's wife, Hillary, was one of the best Secretary of States the United States ever had. If that is not a Democrat toady, then I don't know what is! So, yeah, he is "intelligent" in that he saw the Republican Party as a party of convenience -- no different than a flag of convenience where, for example, you have a ship with a Greek captain and crew but the ship flies the flag of Antigua and Barbuda under which it is registered. That is what Trump had the "intelligence" to do.

Andrew Anderson said...

Tom,

You have a better understanding of Scripture than Franko but since his understanding is often a NEGATIVE understanding (i.e. disbelief) that's saying little. Still, thanks for correcting him.

Dan Lynch said...

@lastgreek, first off, I did not vote for Trump, and do not plan to vote for Trump in 2020. I disagree with most of his policies. Nonetheless, I try to look at him realistically, seeing both the good and bad, rather than through a partisan filter that sees only the good or only the bad.

Is Trump a dick? Probably. As were LBJ, Teddy Roosevelt, Andrew Jackson, Genghis Khan, and the majority of CEOs these days. It is possible for someone to be a dick and at the same time be very competent, or to be a nice guy and be incompetent. Competence and niceness are two separate things.

Would Trump be rich without his daddy? I think that without his daddy's support and connections, Trump would have ended up as a used car salesman. And the same could be said of the Roosevelts and the Kennedy's. Without her husband, Hillary would have been a 3rd rate lawyer than no one ever heard of.

Trump has many different businesses. A few fail, but most have succeeded. Real estate is cyclical, downturns are to be expected. Certainly Trump has been more successful in business than Harry Truman.

Whether Trump is a Democrat or a Republican is meaningless since they are two cheeks on the same butt. The more interesting takeaway is that Trump said years ago that the GOP had been taken over by radicals, and that if he ever entered politics, he would run as a Republican and try to move the party back to the center.

I stand by my claim that Trump shows political intelligence, in a Machiavellian way. His personality is that of an alpha male, which means he is not going to roll over and play dead if attacked. Underestimate him at your peril.

Dave said...

The New Testament is written in Greek. Jesus, if he existed, spoke Aramaic. As a result, How can you possibly know what he actually said, if it was interpreted and translated properly, and therefore if he was racist? His supposed racism also could have been sexism, since it was a woman he was addressing. Or, the whole thing was meant to be taken symbolically. Or your an American imposing your biases on him.

Hence my point about Trump. We see in him the very things we want to see, and since he rarely gives us something concrete to attach onto, and speaks directly to our archetypal mind, he becomes either a savior or a devil. Kinda like Christ. Does he work his miracles with The help of Beelzebul? Do you see where the Pharisees were coming from, what they were trying to say?





Matt Franko said...

"His supposed racism also could have been sexism"

Good point!

(I was going to include that too but thought that the racism might be enough....)

John said...

Matt, perhaps you are unaware but "Jesus wept" is also a well-known expletive or figure of speech as well as a verse in the Gospel of John, albeit a modern one. That is to say it should not be taken literally. "An eye for an eye" is similarly a figure of speech and not meant to be taken literally, although in this case it is not a modern figure of speech but an ancient one understood by all to mean commensurate retaliation, not a law regarding the visual systems of bronze age homo sapien sapiens.

Are we going to defend Trump's blatant disgusting racism by saying Jesus was a racist, or dragging him in because someone on a thread obliquely uses the shortest verse in the Bible? That's a splendidly novel way of defending racism; no doubt racists everywhere will be delighted to hear of this divine justification. In any case, Jesus's real attitudes to race are unclear because all we have are fragments of manuscripts that have been doctored and doctored again throughout the ages that no one has a real clear idea of what he in fact said, as is clear when one reads all the contradictory things Jesus is alleged to have said by the canonical Gospel writers. Although this is well known within New Testament scholarship, Bart Ehrman has made all this widely available if you're interested.

John said...

As for all the Biblical references, one should never forget that there are very many idiomatic expressions of languages which are now barely understood. Jesus spoke Aramaic, but his words were written down in Koine Greek, with none of the original manuscripts having survived. Only bits of much later manuscripts survive, and these have been shown to be very dissimilar in crucial ways. So all in all, unless some lucky archaeologist unearths complete manuscripts from the time Jesus lived, no one will ever know what he in fact said. What is clear, though, if one believes what is attributed to Jesus, is that he cannot have been a racist, and so the purported racism is a result of misinterpretation and misunderstanding during the centuries after Jesus died.

Greg said...

@Dan

Excellent comment. I did not know that about Trumps comment about the GOP, which is interesting.


I would only say that Trump (probably off the cuff) then and Trump today arent the same person. I dont think Trump is trying to pull the GOP 'back' to the center at present, a least at first glance. I admit there is likely more than any of us know going on in places we have never heard of but I dont see a guy with a different vision of the GOP.............. that is in a positive direction. Bannon and Sessions are out and out racists. Guys who see "whiteness" itself as a positive trait..... not so much blackness as a negative (although there is some of that too).

You are right that we shouldnt underestimate him though. For a large part because he has a very committed base that wont leave him. At present he's their only hope

Matt Franko said...

" put that quote in its proper context"

LOL its not the 'context' of the WORDS which is going to be instructive from the Lord...

If you have to work only with the WORDS (ie ROTE) then you go to Paul...

With what we can see of the Lord dealing with Israel in the scriptures, you have to think in terms of what we were talking about the other day and use axioms, limits, concepts, inequalities, operators... these are active teaching methods ie NOT rote...

Remember this from Taleb's reference: "mathmeticians think in axioms, logicians in operators....philosophers in concets ...idiots (morons) think in words..."

Morons use the words only... for that you have to go to Paul... FD I am under Paul here....

He is creating an inequality when He is exhibiting racial discrimination with the Greek female He treats like a small dog... if you dont understand this is an inequality and then furthermore what that means then you are not going to get it... you have to use these active learning methodologies when you are assessing the Lord's actions if you are trying to learn something from the accounts of His life...

You will get nothing from His words alone...

If you only use words then you are a moron.

"Does not God make stupid the wisdom of this world?" 1 Cor 1:20

I'm telling you guys: they.... are.... stupid...





John said...

Dan: "How would one present evidence of a wiretap?"

This is the most important question. Trump isn't going to provide evidence, so it looks like a diversion from six weeks of disaster, or in Trump's mind "winning". If it was a legal tap, he'd hardly be bitching that this figment of his imagination was illegal. So if it's illegal, and that's a big if because this is all bullshit, Obama should be arrested and in the slammer until he can post bail. A lot of people, even those who voted for Trump, are going to be left believing that Trump is full of shit, which is what he is. Ivanka, do the country a favour and give daddy what he needs. The poor man can't think straight until his special girl...

Matt Franko said...

""You are the salt of the earth. " Mat 5:13

John, What are you next going to tell me I should ignore this scripture because use of salt has been shown to cause high blood pressure????? c'mon!!!

Stop just reading the f-ing words already and trying to make sense of them... that is not what He is doing... His is an active teaching methodology ie "disciple making"...

And furthermore, God's operation with we of mankind is not ideally some womanish human flesh systems maintenance and repair facility... get over it...

John said...

lastgreek: "The only intelligence that can be attributed to Trump is that he had the smarts to attach his political future to the Republican Party."

Yes, and I would add that the only other useful quality he has, and I use the word "quality" very loosely, is his utter shamelessness. No other businessman uses the bankruptcy laws in the way he has, but then again no other businessman gets into all the holes that Trump seems to get himself in. What self-respecting billionaire would launch a crappy board game named after himself, a fraudulent university named after himself, spring water named after himself and with his mug plastered all over it, a bike race named after himself, a vodka named after himself, and steaks named after himself? The answer is none. One can quibble and say that since Trump is neither a billionaire let alone a self-respecting one, he's not guilty as charged, but that'd be a legalistic argument, the kind that a shameless Trump likes to use to stiff everyone in sight by claiming bankruptcy.

Penguin pop said...

"Yes, and I would add that the only other useful quality he has, and I use the word "quality" very loosely, is his utter shamelessness. No other businessman uses the bankruptcy laws in the way he has, but then again no other businessman gets into all the holes that Trump seems to get himself in. What self-respecting billionaire would launch a crappy board game named after himself, a fraudulent university named after himself, spring water named after himself and with his mug plastered all over it, a bike race named after himself, a vodka named after himself, and steaks named after himself? The answer is none. One can quibble and say that since Trump is neither a billionaire let alone a self-respecting one, he's not guilty as charged, but that'd be a legalistic argument, the kind that a shameless Trump likes to use to stiff everyone in sight by claiming bankruptcy."

Even Trump Grill is a disaster from all the reviews I've read on Yelp, from people who have actually gone there. They have said the food has been anywhere from mediocre to downright awful. He had the audacity to name the salad there the "Ivanka Salad."

lastgreek said...

Remember this from Taleb's reference: "mathmeticians think in axioms, logicians in operators....philosophers in concets ...idiots (morons) think in words..."

NassimNicholasTaleb @nntaleb
Don't fughet Obama is leaving us a Ponzi scheme, added ~8 trillions in debt with rates at 0. If they rise, costs of deficit explode...

So,how is Taleb thinking here? Is he thinking in axioms, in operators -- or is he an idiot (moron)?

Matt, serious question: Why do you frequently quote a guy like Taleb who doesn't even know how a modern economy works? It's embarrassing to say the least. It's even more so when you consider the media interviews he does regarding the economy and acting all smarty pants like he knows his shit ;)

PS: Enjoy, Matt ;)

How Debt Ruins Systems

Black Swan author Nassim Nicholas Taleb on fragility, centralization, and capitalism


http://reason.com/archives/2013/03/24/how-debt-ruins-systems/1

John said...

Matt, nothing to do with blood pressure and all to do with idiom, figurative speech, parables, etc. So, yes, "salt of the earth" is a figure of speech. Clearly Jesus does not mean that people are in fact salt, does he? Whether this expression existed in ancient Aramaic is another matter. Perhaps it's a Koine Greek expression that has a more resplendent ring to it than the Aramaic. We'll never know.

"Stop just reading the f-ing words already and trying to make sense of them... that is not what He is doing..."

I am making sense of them and that is exactly what "He" is also doing. They cannot in fact be understood in any other way. Trying to understand them literally just causes confusion. You're the one taking things literally when they're meant figuratively. Jesus's parables are also clearly figurative. What else could they be? You think he's really talking about a mustard seeds, pearls and lost sheep? Some phrases and verses are figurative WITHIN the text (like the parables or idiomatic ancient expressions), and some phrases and verses are used by readers OUTSIDE the text (like Jesus wept).

John said...

lastgreek, don't forget Taleb insisting back in 2008 that the Fed and the US government should do NOTHING because of the unpredictable nature of the results! Back then Taleb was forever waxing lyrical about Austrians. Has he learnt anything since then? Or is he still blabbing about unpredictability?

Tom Hickey said...

You have a better understanding of Scripture than Franko but since his understanding is often a NEGATIVE understanding (i.e. disbelief) that's saying little. Still, thanks for correcting him.

I would not say correcting but rather presenting an alternate reading. This was criticism of any literature is about.

Btw, one interpretation doesn't necessarily contradict another. Jesus might have been a racist in some sense but that one gloss doesn't establish it.

lastgreek said...

I would not say correcting but rather presenting an alternate reading.

Don't be too modest. You, sir, are a gentleman and a scholar.

Plus, you are the only one here who can make heads or tails to what Matt says ;)

Matt Franko said...

greek I was highly trained via NON-VERBAL methods of teaching... this is how STEM is taught in the modern academe...

You can see (well at least I can see...) the Lord exclusively using the same types of methods with His disciples .... you might have to have been trained via those same methods to better understand what He is doing...

Matt Franko said...

greek see you and John read this:

"blessed are the poor!"

And you are ready to break out your hair shirts and pledge a vow of poverty and give all of your munnie to some TV televangelist "charity" ...

Which I guess is better than Andrew A. who still is banging the OT drum and wants to tithe...

no thanks either, pass the salt please...

Matt Franko said...

Greek,

Taleb understands stochastic processes no doubt very well...

But our numismatic system is not a stochastic process its deterministic...

Sometimes when the tool you've been given is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail.. and he is in the academe so he is probably all closed off...

Doesnt mean he cant be right about other things... Nobody knows everything...

Here in rote: "Teaching and admonishing yourselves...." Col 3:16

This is not how the academe works its hierarchical not a discussion format...

John said...

Matt, no one is suggesting that the New Testament isn't literal in places. Of course it is. What is clear is that it is also figurative. Are the parables figurative or literal? They're figurative. Are the beatitudes figurative or literal? That's more difficult because it depends on which gospel you're reading. There's another indication of the glaring inconsistencies of the canonical gospels, let alone the far more problematic inconsistencies.

John said...

"...NON-VERBAL methods of teaching... this is how STEM is taught in the modern academe..."

I don't know how your teachers instruct students in the US, but my teachers found words useful and so did everyone taking the class.

Tom Hickey said...

It is much more difficult to establish that Jesus was sexist than racist.

Observant Jews of Jesus' time did not associate with non-Jews. Samaritans were neither Jews nor non-Jews, but of mixed blood. They were pagans and Jews did not associate with them either. Jesus was relatively observant but not orthodox about this custom, and seems to have been flexible on the matter, as the parable of the good samaritan in Luke 10:25-37, goes to show.

It is much more difficult to portray Jesus as sexist in that not only did he associate with women in a time when men did not do so publicly but he took women disciples and apparently even favored them in enough for them to be mentioned prominently in the gospels.

Moreover, such behavior on the part of a teacher was considered scandalous.

While Jesus upheld the teaching of Moses and the prophets, he broke with the contemporary rabbinical attitude of the pharisee sect toward it.

This flexibility of association is in tune with Jesus' teaching of flexibility toward the Law and rabbinic teaching, with both being context-dependent. "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2: 27

Jesus flexibility with respect to the custom of his time is well-established by comparing contemporary literature and reports, for example, the number of times women are mentioned.

lastgreek said...

Taleb understands stochastic processes no doubt very well...

Matt, there you go again with this "stochastic" and "deterministic" stuff :( I'm tempted to ask Tom to explain what the heck you're talking about again, especially that bit about non-verbal methods, were it not irrelevant as to why Taleb is still clueless regarding how a modern economy works.

Why?

Because if a dumb, Greek fuck like me can understand ... well, then, certainly a guy like Taleb can.

The man has no excuses -- unless, Taleb is a lazy snob with the curiosity of a mongoose, or it's because he's embarrassed to admit that all these years he was talking nonsense. It's one or the other, Matt.

Matt Franko said...

Tom the whole reason there is a male and female to begin with is to establish another inequality...

The parable of the Samaritan: He contrasts the behavior of the Israelite scribe to the Samaritan traveler...

The one time He made His disciples go thru this whole rigmarole with feeding like 5,000 people and collect a bunch of scraps, blah, blah, blah....

He incurs a tribute liability and makes Peter go all the way down to the water and catch a fish and get a coin out its mouth, blah, blah, blah....

Its endless for Him dealing with those morons... He was fed up by the end of it....

lastgreek said...

"...NON-VERBAL methods of teaching..."

Matt went all Helen Keller on us! ;)

Matt Franko said...

Well imo youre not a dumb greek fuck... there are only about 1,000 to 2,000 of us globally who even have half a clue wrt currency systems...

Taleb being in the academe probably has cut himself off and thinks no one can teach him anything...

But again that doesnt make him ignorant of stochastic processes in general... he may not understand how to determine what is deterministic and what is stochastic... but if we are correct in looking at something as stochastic, he is probably a good guy to go to...

Here is a wiki on Deterministic vs. Stochastics:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_model

"Deterministic vs. probabilistic (stochastic): A deterministic model is one in which every set of variable states is uniquely determined by parameters in the model and by sets of previous states of these variables; therefore, a deterministic model always performs the same way for a given set of initial conditions. Conversely, in a stochastic model—usually called a "statistical model"—randomness is present, and variable states are not described by unique values, but rather by probability distributions."

So for instance someone like Taleb might say the 'unemployment rate is a random result we can measure ex post...' ...... where we would say "we can implement a Job Guarantee and set unemployment to zero..." Taleb is looking at things stochastic while we are deterministic...

Bill Mitchell has said "well if you want to increase employment, then employ people..." this is a deterministic statement... ie we determine the rate...

jrbarch said...

My understanding is if you want to find your way from the E. gate to the W. gate of the city, you can do so stochastically (try out every street that suits your fancy) or deterministically (use a compass). Somewhere in between these two is chaos theory I think (butterfly flaps its wings on one side of the universe and affects something else on the other side). To me, its mind. What you want to know is inside of you. Stand still, look within. Then it doesn't matter: - maybe one day the shortest distance between two points is arrived at stochastically; the next day deterministically, the next via chaotic link .... as long as I am enjoying myself!

Tom Hickey said...

Matt, there you go again with this "stochastic" and "deterministic" stuff :( I'm tempted to ask Tom to explain what the heck you're talking about again, especially that bit about non-verbal methods...

A deterministic function is noiseless (pure signal), a stochastic function is noisy. In the case of deterministic functions, if the input is known and the function specified, then the output is determined precisely. in the case of noisy functions the output is noisy and not well-determined but rather defined in terms of confidence intervals.

Non-verbal methods are operational. For example, mid-level people that work in banks understand the operations, since they handle them every day. Professors of finance, not so much. They intellectualize the process without understanding the operations, so they make elementary mistakes like getting the causality reversed. A lot of Taleb's analysis is in his head.
s

Dave said...

Ok, so explain this. Trump wakes up on Saturday morning. His highness is very angry because his AG showed disloyalty by protecting himself from possible prosecution by recusing himself from any Russian investigation. He throws a royal shit fit and goes after his favorite punching bag, our first black president, to fire up all the white peoples who read Breitbart. Accuses him of illegal wire tapp with two p's. Offers no evidence.

Stochastic? Deterministic? Or Chaos? Racist or non verbal magician?

Go.

Matt Franko said...

sin π/2 is not a word...

Try learning/teaching math with only words and no numbers...

Andrew Anderson said...

Which I guess is better than Andrew A. who still is banging the OT drum and wants to tithe... Franko

When have I ever said anything about tithing?

There's a place* for liars, Franko, and I suggest you repent before you end up there - FOREVER!


*The Lake of Fire

John said...

"sin π/2 is not a word..."

Quite right. It's words plural.

"Try learning/teaching math with only words and no numbers..."

Try learning/teaching math with numbers and no words. You'll get nowhere. You need both. In actual fact, you couldn't do mathematics using numbers. It'd be impossible. What you mean is "symbols". Mathematics is symbolic, which is a very strange thing when you think about it. Years ago I took a course on the philosophy of mathematics. It was unsettling having to think about mathematics in a way that you never had to in undergraduate and postgraduate courses. I highly recommend it.

John said...

Dave: "Stochastic? Deterministic? Or Chaos? Racist or non verbal magician?"

Good question! It could be none of the above, and merely Trump being Trump: the bullshit artist extraordinaire.

Someone said of Trump that it's absolutely exhausting being near him because he lies every time he breathes. Apparently he is oblivious to the fact that everything he says one minute contradicts everything he's said in the previous minute. Like a shark has to keep moving, Trump has to keep lying. Even when caught out telling a whopper, he just carries on regardless as if nothing's happened. He never apologises. He didn't apologise about birtherism. He didn't apologise about his absurd claim that he got the most electoral college votes since Reagan. He replied that it was something that was handed to him! He just keeps flooding the media with bullshit. If he trips up over his own bullshit, by way of explanation he says that he saw it on Fox or read it on Breitbart or some nonsense. The man has a physical aversion to apologising.

Tom Hickey said...

Logic differentiates between signs and symbols. A symbol is a sign in use in a context that gives the sign meaning in a system of meaning. The overall system in which humans operate is ordinary language. Ordinary language includes many subsystems, including formal and technical languages. Ordinary language is embedded in the context of public discourse. This allows for translation across languages and systems.

Symbols are generally divided into universal and particular. Symbols used universally signify concepts, which can be thought thought of as sets. Symbols used particularly are names or demonstratives (think members of sets, for instance).

Numbers are concepts that are defined in terms of the concept of sets. Ordinary language cannot be defined precisely by sets owing to multiple simultaneous uses of signs. Ordinary language concepts are rich and fluid. Concepts in technical language are defined precisely to make them static and rigid so that identical signs are used for identical symbols in that context. Terms in ordinary language are "slippery."

Symbols have a variety of uses in addition to description. Prescription is an important type of use.

Logic and math are based on a precise use of prescription, that is, rules stipulated for the proper use of signs as symbols in a manner that is consistent in a specified context. For example, 0 and 1 have different symbols in binary and decimal number systems even though the signs are identical. Each symbol has a precise use and significance in the different number systems.

While it is possible to do math with mathematical symbols alone, the symbols themselves are given significance by conceptual expressions (rules, stipulations) that are verbal.

This assumes a linguistic framework in which communication takes place. It is possible to abstract from that framework but not to cease using it as the background (logic system) for thinking and communication.

Dave said...

Tom, your a smart man. A real depth of knowledge. I enjoy reading your responses.

Agree John, Trump is a bullshit artist. Trying to assign some kind of logical assessment to him is like pet owners imagining their pets have human feelings. It's projection. We see in Trump what we want to see, or better, what he allows us to see. In the end, he is only attempting to enrich himself.

However the universe has plans for us all, and Trump is no different. Some could say Trump is a mirror to show Americans how the rest of the world views us: rude, arrogant, ignorant, violent, sexually deviant. I don't want to preach, so hopefully you get the idea.

John said...

Tom: "While it is possible to do math with mathematical symbols alone, the symbols themselves are given significance by conceptual expressions (rules, stipulations) that are verbal."

Yes, and implicitly in that is the head fuck of all head fucks: is the mathematics subject to, and an outgrowth of, human conceptual understanding, or is it simply "out there" to be uncovered? It's not as simple a question as it first appears. The obvious answer is the Platonic one: the mathematics is "out there" with or without the limiting human knowledge it takes to uncover it. The other answer, which at first looks bizarre but isn't on further reflection, is that mathematics is a tool of the human mind: it is an "engine" that has "mutated" out of what is essentially an ape mind, and that's why, for example, we drive ourselves stark staring mad with concepts like infinity.

I don't know about you, Tom, but I still haven't really come to a satisfactory answer. Deep down I know that the question itself doesn't in fact have an answer, but I would feel more at ease if I was able to settle on one position. Somewhere in between Russell's "Human Knowledge", "Analysis of Mind" and "Analysis of Matter" and his more mathematical books I thought I glimpsed a more satisfactory way of approaching and thinking about the problem. I've always found Russell to be a reliable guide on just about everything, but perhaps there isn't an answer because the human mind is too limited to understand the problem. Russell was the near perfect intellectual, and I very much hope he wasn't entirely serious when he said that he always felt he was taking his life when arguing with Keynes!