Pur Autre Vie

I'm not wrong, I'm just an asshole

Monday, May 23, 2016

Laying Down a Marker

Just putting down a marker to return to later:  our society is becoming increasingly transparent in ways that are having a big effect on politics and perceived inequality.  Once upon a time, you could look around and say, "Republicans are like the people at the country club.  And people at the country club are rich."  Now you can see vastly worse Republicans and vastly richer people, on TV and on the internet.  And people are more aware of what their friends/peers are consuming, so that longstanding injustices are newly being thrust under people's noses.  These factors are exacerbated by self-selected or customized, or otherwise ideologically filtered, "news."  There is no hope for the Republic.

Non-Taxable Stocks: Traditional vs. Roth

Just a quick note on the recently published finding that only about a quarter of U.S. stock is held in taxable accounts.  This is an important fact about the world and in general it's important to pay attention to this sort of thing, so I'm glad this was published.

That said, I just want to observe that the report treats traditional IRAs as non-taxable.  And that's of course true:  when you make an eligible contribution to an IRA, that money is not counted as part of your income and so your income taxes are reduced.  (This is often expressed as contributing "pre-tax dollars" to your IRA.)  Also, when you buy and sell stocks within your IRA, you don't incur capital gains taxes the way you might in a taxable account.

But in another sense, stocks held in traditional IRAs are not really exempt from taxes.  When the taxpayer withdraws money from a traditional IRA (mandatory withdrawals begin around age 70), the withdrawals are taxed as income.  And for many (all?) individuals, the income tax rate is higher than the capital gains tax rate.  The accounts are tax-sheltered, but the government has already taken the hit.  If 100% of U.S. stocks were held in traditional IRAs, the government could anticipate a lot of future revenue from those accounts, and there would not necessarily be reason for concern (at least, on the grounds of future tax revenue).

By contrast, once money is invested in a Roth IRA, it has permanently exited the picture.  Roth IRAs are funded with "after tax dollars"—the taxpayer gets no deduction in the year the funds are contributed.  Instead, the benefit is that the investor pays no capital gains or income tax when withdrawing the money.  There actually aren't any mandatory withdrawals from Roth IRAs, but if there were, they wouldn't generate any tax revenue.

I'm not sure Roth IRAs are any better or worse than traditional IRAs if you are looking at the entire life cycle.  But if you take a snapshot of stocks in taxable vs. non-taxable accounts, as this report has done, then the 25% headline number might be misleading.  A lot of stock is held in "non-taxable" accounts that will be taxed when the stock is sold—and quite often, that tax rate will be higher than the tax that will be paid on accounts that the report codes as "taxable."

Just Another Boring Post, No Reason to Read

Kurt Vonnegut wrote in the introduction to Mother Night, "We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be."  I have found this to be quite insightful.  Our identities are a mélange of elements cobbled together from the primordial murk under the oversight of a fitfully attentive spotlight of consciousness.  We have less control than we like to imagine, but on the other hand, what control we exert tends to shape us whether it is "genuine" or not.  There is no ironic way to impress your thumb into the clay.

Another way to think about it is that Poe's Law has a lot of traction in real life.  Briefly, Poe's Law states that in the absence of an express indication (such as a winking emoji), it is impossible to deploy sarcasm/irony on the internet without being mistaken for an earnest proponent of the view that is expressed.  If you decide to carry yourself a certain way, the wider world generally has neither the time nor the desire to disentangle your "true meaning."

In real life, you see this in "ironic" enjoyment of things, especially personal appearance.  ("I'm not the kind of guy who enjoys wearing a beard!  I'm sending up the kind of guy who enjoys wearing a beard!")  But I think the point goes much deeper:  to a dismayingly large degree, we choose our tastes for reasons that typically do not reflect well on us.  (Often we want to seem sophisticated.  I mean, "mélange"? Really?)  In other words, it's not just the hipsters, it's all of us.  We "lock in" at some point, but before that we are remarkably fluid, and the point of solidification is almost entirely arbitrary.

I'm not going to be able to express very well the merger of style and substance here.  I'll just observe that they tend to merge very quickly.  There's a scene in Catch-22 where the bomber pilots are hoping that a ribbon (representing the line between Allies and Axis) will move up the Italian peninsula past the bombing target, so that the pilots won't have to risk their lives on more bombing missions.  An officer snidely observes that their focus on the ribbon represents magical thinking:  what matters is the actual movement of the battle line, not the ribbon that represents it.  In the night, Yossarian sneaks up to the map and moves the ribbon past the target city.  The next day, seeing that the ribbon has moved past the target, the commanders order the planes to stay on the ground.

And it turns out that in real life too the ribbon matters all the time, even when it "shouldn't."

Anyway blah blah blah.  The point is that "James" is too moralistic and judgmental.  Victorian, is the way I like to think about it.  So to operationalize all the observations I've made above, I am going to try an experiment.  This summer I am casting aside all notions of morality and I am going to pursue my own interests without regard to other people or any notion of decency.  I will obey some rules, of course, but only because it is in my own short-term interest to do so.  I will lie and steal with impunity.  I will assert dominion over all I survey.  I am above morality, and I have made myself as a god among men.

Descriptivism vs. Prescriptivism And Why I'm Ignoring It

Maybe I'm an idiot [No need to hedge here. -ed.], but I've never really understood the whole descriptivist/prescriptivist thing (that is, the debate about whether grammar describes how people use language or prescribes how they ought to use the language).

It would seem crazy to maintain this distinction in other areas.  Surely anatomy can both describe the body and yield prescriptions about how to heal it.  We might choose to use different terms for these different enterprises (anatomy and physiology or whatever, I don't know), but we would regard that as a terminological boundary and we wouldn't get into interminable annoying debates about which side is "right."  In fact, we wouldn't even entertain the idea that there is a "right" side.  (If an emergency room doctor says, "We need to keep his windpipe from collapsing!" we don't think it would be appropriate for a nurse to insist that there is no right or wrong form for the windpipe to take, and that the medical team's proper role is merely to describe the windpipe as it exists in the patient's body.  On the other hand, we wouldn't expect to have strong opinions about detached earlobes or whatever.)

I'm not denying that there is some potential nuance here.  People may lack awareness of the different modes in which grammar can be analyzed, and so they may be annoyingly dogmatic and imperious when this isn't called for, inviting a descriptivist critique.  And there may be a legitimate debate about what people are or ought to be doing when they publish a dictionary, or whatever.  But that seems like an almost laughably small question compared to the stakes that the debate is invested with in the popular imagination.

Anyway until I'm convinced otherwise, I'll regard anyone who takes the debate seriously with considerable skepticism.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

There Is a Special Place in Hell

Just an observation about the Zika virus and the history of the HIV epidemic.

The Reagan administration bears tremendous moral guilt for its failure to respond adequately to the AIDS crisis.  (I use that term because in the early years, HIV had not been identified.  In fact, even "AIDS" is a bit of an anachronism—for a while there was no single name for the disease.)  Officials would come to Reagan asking for money for research, prevention, and treatment, and the administration's answer was, "We're not going to increase your budget, or even reverse the budget cuts we've forced through.  But gee, if the disease is such a big deal, you should cut your other programs to find money to fight it.  The blame is really on you if you if you fail to find the money somewhere in your budget."

The reason this was such an abdication of responsibility is that existing programs (A) probably make a lot of sense on their own terms, since they've gone through rigorous budgeting processes, (B) probably have incurred a lot of fixed costs that will be lost if the projects aren't carried through to completion, (C) probably have induced reliance, by which I mean people have made decisions and allocated resources on the assumption that the budgeted money will be spent as intended, and (D) have constituencies that will resist any effort to reallocate the money.  In other words, when the Reagan administration denied any increase in funding for AIDS work, it was a foregone conclusion that the funding would be grossly inadequate.  Telling the bureaucrats they should reallocate money from other projects was a disgusting attempt to pass the blame.

Now as we face the Zika virus, the roles are somewhat reversed.  The Obama administration is asking for $1.9 billion in funding, and the Senate has voted to provide $1.1 billion.  What has the House done?

House Republicans put forward legislation that would require the Obama administration to reallocate $622 million from existing health programs to fight the mosquito-borne disease, which causes severe birth defects. 
In announcing their proposal, House Republicans said in a statement that they were supporting “critical activities that must begin immediately, such as vaccine development and mosquito control.”
Now in fairness, Zika is not as destructive as HIV, and I think it's legitimate to debate how much should be spent.  (Personally I think the $1.9 billion request is reasonable, but it's not as though I'm some kind of expert.)  But it's telling that the Republicans are resorting to the Reagan administration's AIDS playbook when so much is at stake.  Very few things would make me happier than seeing Nancy Pelosi back in the Speaker's office.

Monday, May 16, 2016

For Which Life Is a Burden

I make it a practice to share amusing and colorful passages from the books I'm reading.  (Previously.)  To that end, from Louis Pasteur, by Patrice Debré (translated into English by Elborg Forster):

For all the shortcomings of this reductionist approach, one must recognize that pathological anatomy and cytology did have the merit of bringing the laboratory into the hospital.  Yet the very concept of the medical experiment was still far from rigorously defined; thus one can read in one textbook of the period that experiments on rabbits cannot be considered conclusive, for "the rabbit is a neurasthenic animal for which life is a burden, and which is only too glad to get rid of it."

The Mysteries of Corruption

So here's a response from Sarang in the comments to my post on bad public policy in Venezuela etc.:

I see James's point as having two parts: 1. stickiness of unsustainable legacy policies, 2. ex ante awfulness of legacy policies -- e.g. an effective retirement age of 45. I want to shelve (1) b'se it is not actually a puzzle. My claim is just that group conflict is a contributor to 2, because norms forcing people to pretend that policies are universally good can act as a (weak) curb on the worst kinds of explicit plunder. (So can people feeling uncomfortable about stealing from others, which is likelier when group conflict is weak.)
I agree with this framing.  (1) is not a puzzle, the puzzle is (2).  I also agree with Dave's comment that a great deal of suboptimal policy can be tolerated when there is a large (or rapidly growing) surplus to share.  There's a big measurement problem here that I doubt will ever be satisfactorily resolved.

I also think Sarang's point about ideological cleavages vs. group-based cleavages probably explains a lot.  But the question still seems mysterious to me.  Sometimes bad policy is simply rejected outright by the vast majority of people—a good example is Santorum's effort to prevent the National Weather Service from providing daily forecasts to the public (the point being to channel money to the for-profit "forecasters" who free-ride on the NWS's data).  Santorum's shitty bill went nowhere and was subjected to widespread scorn.  It's a great outcome, but it's mysterious to me why we are so much better at resisting garbage like that than we are at preventing, say, the "synthetic fuel" scam, another Santorum special.  (Santorum would have to be ranked as one of the worst public servants of all time if he hadn't been drummed out of office by a double-digit margin, cutting short his shit-stained career.  By the way, isn't it odd that a man whose only selling point is his squeaky-clean moral code was such a venal piece of shit when he was in office?  Maybe get a few blowjobs on the side and don't fuck the taxpayers so hard next time.)

Anyway I will think more about it, and maybe read some of the literature (though I bet it is very annoying).  Many of these problems seem eminently solvable if we were to bring resources to bear on them, but I'm well aware that hasn't gone so well in the past.

This Is Just To Say

Quinoa is disgusting.  There may be a way to prepare it so that it is tasty, but I haven't encountered one yet.  However healthy it may be, I can get my nutrients elsewhere.  Our society appears to be undergoing an episode of mass delusion on this issue.

Safe Drinking Water: Its Benefits Should Not Be Overlooked

Having spoken up for anesthesia and sterile surgical techniques, I now want to put in a word for clean drinking water.  My guess (and it is just a guess) is that clean drinking water has saved at least an order of magnitude more lives than proper surgery has.  The basic concept is simple:  water should be obtained from a source that is not polluted with feces and other impurities.  Sewage should be treated before it is discharged into waterways.  (Actually, this second step is not that important as long as the first step is strictly observed, and assuming people don't, like, swim or fish in the polluted water.  Many cities, including New York, regularly discharge untreated sewage into the environment, and while I'm sure this isn't totally harmless, it's also not a public health crisis.)

People have always sought good drinking water, and the Romans famously built huge public works to supply it.  But it wasn't until the mid-19th century that people recognized the scientific principles involved, and then rich societies started to spend significant amounts of money ensuring that tapwater is safe to drink.  I think the egalitarian aspects of this should not be overlooked:  rich people can get clean water anywhere in the world, but in the U.S. really excellent drinking water is available at extremely affordable rates to everyone in New York City.  (Other cities don't have quite the excellent water that New York enjoys, but almost all cities in the United States have tolerably clean and pure tapwater.)  As a result, deaths from diarrhea are far rarer in the United States than they are in developing countries.  Partly this is because of our modern medical system, but the truth is that most cases of diarrhea simply don't arise in the first place because of our excellent, publicly available drinking water.

I'm aware that there are big exceptions to what I've said.  Most notably, Flint, Michigan provided terrible drinking water to its residents, in what has to be regarded as a shocking failure of public policy.  There have also been reports of elevated lead levels in drinking fountains in Newark public schools.  To be honest, here is what I would do if I had to drink out of a drinking fountain (anywhere, not just in Newark):  I would run the fountain for at least 30 seconds before drinking the water.  That way, the water that was sitting in the drinking fountain should be flushed out.  (I don't know if 30 seconds is long enough, but it's better than nothing, and there are limits on what you can do.  I wouldn't bother if the drinking fountain is used frequently enough, as in a busy airport terminal, because in essence it has already been flushed out.)

Anyway we should be angry about the failure in Flint (which by the way was bound up with inequality and poverty, as with most policy failures in the U.S.), but what happened there was noteworthy precisely because it is so rare.  Almost always, almost everywhere (in the U.S.) tapwater is by far the healthiest thing you can be drinking (except maybe black coffee).

All right, so you knew this was coming.  What man stands at the intersection of these two massive advances for humankind?  That would be John Snow, who developed techniques for safely administering anesthesia and who demonstrated the connection between unsafe water and the SoHo cholera epidemic in 1854.  A weird man, for many years he was a teetotaler and a vegetarian.  After demonstrating that cholera was waterborne, he drank boiled water for the rest of his life.  (I would have too.)  Sadly, he died at the age of 45, but his legacy lives on.  He is rightly remembered as one of the greatest benefactors of mankind.

Anesthesia and Sterile Surgical Techniques

It's hard to see the development of anesthesia and sterile surgical techniques as anything but a step forward for humanity.  Before, surgery was akin to torture, and patients very often succumbed to infection afterward.  With anesthesia, recovery from surgery can still be painful, but the patient is unconscious during the procedure itself, and won't thrash around in pain.  (Of course, local anesthesia can also be used in the right circumstances.  In that case, it is often important to block the patient's view of the surgery with a screen, because the sight of the blood can cause the patient to faint.  The pain itself is nonexistent.)  Also, there is little reason to fear routine surgery, whereas even a minor surgery was a terrible risk before sterile techniques were used.

The result is that we have much more control over our lives than we did previously.  People with debilitating conditions, or who have experienced traumatic injury, can sometimes return to normal life with relatively little disruption or pain.  And, as mentioned, we can use surgery to address less debilitating problems as well.  I wouldn't regard surgery as a totally riskless activity, and so I wouldn't go under the knife for trivial benefit, but I've had a few surgeries and they went well.  Probably millions of people around the world have benefited from what amounts to a technological revolution that played out in the second half of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century.  (Of course progress continues to be made, but the big leaps forward were the ones I've mentioned:  anesthesia and sterile techniques.  With the addition of antibiotics in the mid-20th century, most of the progress was complete.  Relatively non-invasive techniques, which emerged in the late 20th century, should not be discounted, though.)

None of this is to say that surgery can't go wrong, that it's always prudent to use surgery, or that surgeons never make mistakes.  If you want a full accounting of surgery's role in society, you will have to consider the many ways in which it can go wrong, or in which it can be over-used.  Still, I would say that if anything humanity still suffers from too little access to safe, painless surgery, not too much.  To conclude where I started:  it's hard to see the development of anesthesia and sterile surgical techniques as anything but a step forward for humanity.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

What We Should Fear

In general, conservative fears of "creeping socialism" are overblown.  They are also often hypocritical, since conservatives opportunistically argue that liberal policies threaten Medicare, etc.  I'm just laying down a marker to observe that the phantom that conservatives attack in the United States is a reality elsewhere.  Generally, though, it's not a reality in the most redistributive countries, such as the Scandinavian countries, Germany, and the Netherlands.  Instead, what you might call left-wing overreach is at its worst in much more dysfunctional, less developed countries.  For instance, today there is a story in the New York Times that highlights what a basket case Venezuela has become.  I might add India's system of affirmative action to the list.  Or Brazil's pension system.  Or Zimbabwe's well-known economic train wreck.

Since the left wing in the United States generally doesn't take Venezuela, India, Brazil, or Zimbabwe as its model, these examples have limited relevance for us.  We can (somewhat) safely move toward Dutch levels of taxation and social spending without taking a detour through a Venezuelan hellhole.  But it's worth bearing in mind that things can go down a very bad path, and so leftists should have a basic understanding of the toxic dynamics that can develop and an explanation for why their plans won't be subject to those dynamics.  (This is not to say that the burden of proof is on leftists.  Given that the U.S. is much more similar to northern Europe than to Venezuela, I would say the burden of proof is on conservatives if they want to make the comparison.  My point is simply that leftists shouldn't hide behind the burden of proof, they should actively consider the issue.)

To some extent, the countries I've listed all simply faced challenges that social-democratic northern Europeans didn't.  (Then again, ex ante, our legacy of chattel slavery would seem to make us vulnerable to the same pathologies.  These sorts of historical explanations are clearly right but they don't necessarily give us much guidance going forward.)  But I think the northern Europeans also benefited from strong social/political norms that kept them on the straight and narrow.  I don't imagine that Dutch workers are permitted to retire in their mid-40s with a full pension (see the story on Brazilian pensions that I linked to above), because that would be crazy.  If the left-wing Dutch parties demanded it, they would be pilloried as irresponsible and unreasonable.  By contrast, you can see how Brazil, having adopted an overly-generous pension system, doesn't have the political wherewithal to end it:  it has created a huge constituency of pension recipients (or people who anticipate becoming pension recipients soon) who are understandably reluctant to give up their rights.  To adopt a rational pension system in Brazil would require making a lot of people poorer than they are in the status quo.  The Netherlands doesn't have that problem (or at least, not on remotely the same scale relative to its GDP) because it never went down that road in the first place.  But why didn't it?  Why are the Dutch so much more responsible (despite having, by the way, a very generous social safety net)?  That is the question.

There is a...  field?  sub-field?  of academic thought called public choice theory that essentially amounts to a cynical "we're all Brazil" way of thinking about things.  In other words, the theory highlights the danger of majoritarianism + redistribution, precisely because you can come up with models where everything goes to shit very quickly in such a system, in more or less the way Brazil's pension system has turned into a sick joke.  It's clear, though, that this approach misses something important, because it can't explain the highly successful redistributive democracies that we observe in the world.  But so my point is, the challenge is to figure out where public choice theory (or at least, the cynical, anti-redistribution thread of it) has traction and where it doesn't.  Over what domain should we apply it, and over what domain should we disregard it (or heavily qualify it)?

So anyway that's the thing we should try to figure out.  I don't have any suggestions, though.  Or rather, I have very vague suggestions.  One, which I pretty earnestly believe, is that in general it's better to tax and spend than to impose more direct controls on the economy (for instance price controls).  But that's a general observation that doesn't necessarily translate to specific policies without a lot more work.  I think a minimum wage is not a terrible idea, for instance, even though I question whether a national $15 minimum wage would be a good idea.  And I think public ownership of parks is good.  Maybe I just have strong status quo bias in this area.

We should also try to maintain our standards of open political discourse, which are an important bulwark against idiocy.  For instance, we probably shouldn't use securities laws to silence our political opponents.  (I think Levine's breakdown is basically right.  Citing contradictory statements to shame your opponents is good.  Using securities laws to silence them is bad.)

More broadly, I think it's important to maintain the integrity of our political process, even if it means foregoing political advantage in the short term.  In other words, I think it's better to behave well and bash your opponents when they don't than to behave poorly and cite your opponent's behavior to justify it.  Standards must be maintained.

But I admit, these prescriptions, besides being really vague, are mostly just speculation on my part.  I can't cite any reason, beyond basic intuition, that they will help us avoid a Venezuelan fate.  I might just be expressing my own taste for (mostly) above-board politics.  (And there are few things I admire more than the hardball politics that LBJ used to cram the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act through Congress.  So where does that leave me?)  The same goes for my belief that Trump would set us off down a very bad path in this as in so many other areas.  Maybe I'm just expressing my distaste for Trump.

Anyway blah blah blah, I hate myself, the world is terrible.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Falling in Love 4: A Sudden Flame

You tell me a cloud is not a thing but a phenomenon like a fire.
A place where the parameters are such that the air becomes opaque,
Instead of luminescent.
A smear of diagnostic dye
'To trouble the living stream.'

The air up there is permanently cold.
But the coldness is forever out of reach:
Bring the air close and it heats up
Like fluid in a compressor,
Leaving us sticky and itchy with sweat.
We are on the wrong side of nature's air conditioner.
We can only watch longingly
While the clouds multiply and the heat shimmers.

And I believe you,
But inside I am screaming
And longing
To get away from you.

I wish I could find the poetry in your ramblings,
I wish I could find pleasure in your touch.
You deserve someone who does.
I deserve someone who can turn me on
With a look
Or a sudden hand on my back,
Drawing me in to something that I want.

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, you slobbery ox,
But I can't love you
And I don't want to.

You tell me breaking up is a political decision.
I tell you to get the fuck out of my apartment.

Falling in Love 3: Closer

Let's not get our ideas out of children's books.
When we catch each other when we stumble
When we paw each other late at night
And hold each other in the morning
Let's call it love.

Let's call it love when I make you coffee.
When you wait outside my hospital room,
And then make yourself busy
Opening windows and fluffing pillows
And ignoring the elephant in the room.

When you order me what you think is my favorite beer,
When I kiss you the way I think you like.

Turning our scarred backs to the world,
Or clasped together in amplexus,
Maybe this thing we have made
Deserves the name.

Falling in Love 2: A Pane of Glass

Are we criminals staring at each other through one-way mirrors?
(I know they don't work that way.
Don't make me say:
I know they don't work that way.)
Are we ready for this interrogation?

Are we falling in love with Oregon in the summer?
Are we propelled by orgasms like fish darting through the water?
Will any of this still be here when the tide is out
And the wind is cold.

Are we mimic octopi
(I know, I know.)
Contorting ourselves into hazy notions of each other's desire?

Yes, this is it:
Gesturing at each other grotesquely
Through mirrored aquarium walls.
Gawked at by strangers,
Separated by glass,
And ignoring the first cold currents
Of the oncoming storm.

Falling in Love 1: A Laboratory of Democracy

You only like me when you're drunk, and
You like me better when I'm drunk...

'Can any union so conceived and so dedicated long endure?
It is rather for us, the living... for us there is only the trying.'
I can drink every night.
And you can drink
Every night.
And we can...

We can start early on the weekend:
Pain perdu and Irish coffee.
Float through the weekend on a boozy haze, and
When we crash a little, we will go to separate rooms.
Or one of us can go out walking in the rain, and
Come back cold and soaked and
Ready to be loved.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Budweiser will temporarily be called "America," starting this month and ending with the election.

This is obviously a gimmick, and at first I found it annoying, but I'm starting to come around to the possibilities.  I want to walk into a bar and tell the bartender to pour me a "cultured hell that tests my youth."  I want a beer that will "flow like tides into my blood, giving me strength erect against her hate."

I want to ignore happiness & victory.  I want to undo myself with music.

And then, when all is said and done, I will say, "It never was America to me."

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Donald Trump Is a Pathetic Piece of Shit

Folks, I despise Donald Trump.  I hope he gets blown out in the general election by unprecedented margins.  I deplore everything he stands for, from his racism, to his sexism, to his homophobia, to his Islamophobia, to his idiotic, self-contradictory statements on basic policy issues.

That said, I hope you appreciate Donald Trump on an aesthetic level the way I do.  He is, after all, perhaps the greatest performance artist of all time.  To that end, let's share some links.

Here's maybe the most insightful piece on Donald Trump.  It captures him at his most basic level.  I urge you to read the whole thing.

The Onion has been the steadiest source of Donald Trump insight.  I almost don't know where to begin.  Here we go:

From the birther shitstorm.

Donald Trump is sad and so is his penis.

He won't be around much longer.  (Sad!)

He is fundamentally a ridiculous person.

His misogyny is remarkable.  Really.  No, really.

He is alienating and polarizing.

It is laughable to consider him as a symbol of peace.

His campaign is pretty clearly a call for help.

His "movement" is irrational but could be channeled toward a good outcome.

I'm not going to get into his many hilarious tweets...  that is a post for another day.  But here is maybe my favorite anti-Trump tweet:

Folks, we have never faced a greater threat to our welfare and our status in the world.  We must commit ourselves to crushing this misogynist, racist, xenophobic piece of shit by margins that would make Kim Jong-un blush.  He doesn't represent us and he never will.  Not in our name!