Verah nice, Premier Trump.

24 thoughts on “Verah nice, Premier Trump.

  1. Adam Tondowsky said: “That quote is generally attributed to…one of two Frenchmen.”

    That reminds me of a quote attributed to Ulysses S. Grant, to the effect that he only recognize two songs – the one that was “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and the one that wasn’t.

    1. I didn’t post the names because I’ve never heard of either of them and I would have wanted to have posted the article, which isn’t always easy to do here.

      However, if you insist, according to quote investigator, the quote originated with either Jacques Abbadie or Denis Diderot.

      1. I never heard of the other dude, but I’m surprised you never heard of Diderot. We learned in elementary school that he was the editor, compiler and major contributor to the famous Encyclopédie and one of the more important thinkers of the Enlightenment. I thought he would have been an even more prominent figure in the textbooks of bilingual Canada.

        1. I thought everyone knew the Abbadie’s. They’re the “coming thro the rye” guys Burns wrote about

      2. I wasn’t insisting. The way you put it just reminded me of a quote I always liked. I didn’t think the names would mean anything to me, either, especially if one was the French equivalent of PT Barnum. I won’t pretend I had knew about Diderot, and Abbadie just reminds me of a guy named Abadie, who invented the Abadie system used in some revolvers of the time. Thanks anyway, Adam!

        1. I’m not great remembering names most of the time, but he doesn’t ring a bell.

          A book that influences my teaching in history is “A History of the Modern World” by R.R Palmer and Joel Colton. It was first published in 1950 and is now in its 7th edition. It’s available for free in PDF. Anyway, I have the 3rd edition.

          This is what it says about Denis Diderot. “In Paris too, was published the most serious of all philosophe enterprises, the Encyclopedie, edited by Denis Diderot in seventeen large volumes and completed over the years 1751 to 1772. It was a great compendium of scientific, technical and historical knowledge, carrying a strong undertone of criticism of existing society and institutions, and epitomizing the skeptical, rational and scientific spirit of the age. It was not the first encyclopedia, but it as the first to have a distinguished list of contributors or to be conceived as a positive force for social progress. Virtually all the French philosphes contributed – Voltaire, Montesquieu, Rousseau, d’Alembert (who assisted in the editing), Buffon, Turgot, Quesnay, and many others, all sometimes collectively called the Encyclopedists.

          I believe the first encyclopedia was written by a man named Bob Encyclopedia.

        2. Welcome.

          “If you insist” is also a phrase, if not a quote. I didn’t mean it literally.

          Speaking of guns and revolvers. Are you familiar with the story of the role guns played in the developing of the modern economy? I don’t remember if I’ve written it up here before.

          1. I believe there is a fair amount written about the role firearms manufacture played in the development of American manufacturing in the nineteenth century. There are two main threads to this (that I can think of right now).

            The first was the US Army’s demand, very early in the century, for firearms with interchangeable parts. Their ideal was to be able to disassemble a dozen guns, mix up the parts, and reassemble a dozen working guns. We take that kind of thing for granted in almost every product now, but it was a HUGE demand in, say, 1820, when practically every product was what we could call hand-made now and individually fitted together by a craftsman. Therefore, craftsmen also had to to any repairs that called for the replacement of worn or broken parts. That was a big problem for the Army, because there were not enough skilled craftsmen to go around in this country, and good ones could make more money than the Army could afford to pay. The US arsenal at Springfield, Massachusetts played a major roles in development of standards, manufacturing techniques, determining allowable tolerances, and the use of devices (called gauges) to tell if a part was acceptable or not.

            This lead to the second thread, which was the use of semi-skilled labor using complex machines to make firearms rather than skilled artisans using simple tools. The use of semi-skilled labor was well suited to American labor conditions while still allowing for the production of good quality parts without excessive wastage.

            Eli Whitney is, rightfully, given credit for a significant part of this via his invention and manufacture of the “cotton gin”. What many people do knot know was that the cotton gin was such a simply device that Whitney realized he could never control its manufacture. So he turned to the manufacture of other things, including firearms, at what was known as the Whitneyville Armory. He actually some early revolvers under contract to Samuel Colt. (The cotton gin, BTW, made cotton growing much more profitable than it had been, and by so doing, made slavery much more profitable. It became major reason why slavery grew and became essential to the economic life of the South, instead of fading away as the Founding Fathers would have liked it to.

            It took FOREVER to get to the kind of interchangeability the US Army wanted, and in the mean time, they had to settle for parts that could be fitted by, once again, semi-skilled workers,but this was good enough for the Civil War.

            That moderate level of interchangeability and the use of semi-skilled labor with a capital-intensive investment in equipment became known in Europe as the “American System”, and made American producers a threat in many markets. The US became, for a time, a major force in watch production, and gave the Swiss great concern until, with Swiss government help, they could modernize their watch industry to compete on the same basis.

            All of this was rattled off by me in 10 minutes or so, because I realized if I stopped to consider and explain and fact check and do everything required to turn it from an off-the-top-of-my-head word salad into something accurate, it would take forever and I would never get it done and what I did get done would be unreadable,

            It is the history you asked about as I understand it, and I hope it is good enough to be helpful in finding out what really happened.

            One of the effects, BTW, was to allow US manufacturers to supply what turned out to be an enormous demand for cheap pistols, rifles, and shotguns. This started in the early 1870’s, when firearms using what we would consider the modern style of ammunition was developed. The demand for cheap pistols dwindled sharply after about 1920, and the demand for cheap rifles and shotguns after about 1970 or 1980, but a demand for them persists until this day. This are two things about that that I find interesting:

            1) There were several companies that produced huge numbers of small pistols from about 1890 to 1920, and which are forgotten by most people today. Their pistols were almost indistinguishable from each other – there were all copies of a successful Smith & Wesson design, and they became virtually a generic product, which for me seems like a strange thing for a gun to become.

            2) In 1968, the US Congress re-created a defunct industry in the United States by what was, in effect, protective legislation. By that year, almost all of the smallest and cheapest pistols on the US market were imported from foreign countries, mainly Spain, Italy. and West Germany. They were called “Saturday Night Specials” and it was thought their availability contributed to crime and violence.

            So when Congress passed the Gun Control Act of 1968 (which was drafted with with help from the NRA, BTW, but that’s another story) it contained provisions that made it impossible import guns under a certain minimum size.

            What happened was that companies gradually began to spring up in the US manufacturing small cheap guns. They kept the price to some extent by keeping the quality down and by using very simply designs, but also by employing up-to-date manufacturing techniques, primarily the use of precision cast zinc alloy for major parts that traditionally had been machined out of solid chunks of steel or aluminum.

            Management and ownership of these companies seems have become interconnected, and they were, for a while, referred to as the “Ring of Fire” companies.

            Maybe I have said it here before, but supposedly there was a book report written by a 4th grader that went “This book told me more about frogs than I wanted to know.” I apologize, but hey, you were the one who pushed my ON button.

            I am NOT going to proofread this, or it will never be finished. Please ask if you want any garbling untangled.

          2. Adam,
            It has just now dawned on me that you were not asking me for information, but were instead offering to give me information. I am now embarrassed by the my own mega-post, and I suggest UncleScoopy delete it.

          3. Roger

            I’m not going to delete that. It was an interesting post. You and Adam are thrashing this out, but are not the only ones here. There is much for the rest of us to learn. (Although you two guys have even managed to out-geek the rest of us on this particular subject.)

            We certainly must beat the rest of the internet porn sites in abstruse discussions.

          4. Not at all, that’s what I was going to tell you.

            The only thing I’d add, and this isn’t related to the economy, but to economics is that the British did not adopt standardization and mass manufacturing until years later. Due to inertia and loss aversion (of throwing out the way things were already done), the British stuck to what was called “British Manufacturing” as opposed to the standardization and mass production called “American Manufacturing.”

            Germany also adopted “American Manufacturing” and though it took a long time, by 1885 the German economy, according to most evidence, was not that far behind the British economy. For those, like me, who believe that Kaiser Wilhelm II was solely responsible for World War I, this economic strength likely greatly contributed to Wilhelm’s willingness to go to war with much of Europe.

          5. Well, I was going to tell you the first part. The only thing you left out is it was a French general -Jean-Baptiste Vaquette de Gribeauval – who first proposed that guns use interchangeable parts.

            A Frenchman, Honore Blanc, came up, with the process of standardized parts before Eli Whitney, but Blanc was prevented from going into mass production by the French gun craftsman lobby.

            One other thing about this: it was about 100 years from this point to where Henry Ford supposedly came up with the assembly line. That’s a bit ridiculous to think that nobody would have made better use of standardized parts, and, of course, people did.

            The history of the assembly line isn’t clear but most likely it was first used in Germany around 1830.

            What Henry Ford (more likely engineers working for the Ford Motor Company) invented was the moving assembly line.

            I didn’t know anything about the second part of what you wrote. It was interesting, thanks.

  2. Wow. DeWine is one of the remaining handful of Republicans who can be halfway intelligent – on occasion – and will actually open his mouth.
    Two New York plagues hit my NE Ohio last night – the Orange Buffoon and the goddamn Yankees (I’m worried about the Bieber).
    And what in the hell is the Twins’ problem?

    1. I think the Twins just stood too close to the Vikings and a little of the chokiness rubbed off.

    1. You know, while it is just awful to see what Americans will sink to in their support of Trump, at least now we know clearly who they are, and that they no principles whatsoever except for service to the oligarchs of the Republican Party. They appear to have no shame, and they never will, because it would destroy them. The legacy they are leaving their children is dreadful, unless their kids are just as bad or have very selective memories.

      1. You see a lot of these stories, completely reasonable people becoming poisoned by the Nazi-esque propaganda of the alt-right. That’s what it is, it’s pure unadulterated evil.

        Then the children disengage with them, and they’re left old and alone. It’s an Orwellian dystopia. I don’t know how you unhook people, the only thing I’ve seemed to see work from documentaries on Scientology, is the community infighting with itself and imploding rather than being able to think for themselves.

        Trump could literally basically be the anti-Christ from Revelations as these Evangelicals believe, and they still would support it. They would say, ‘oh he’s not REALLY a Satanist, he’s just doing to bring on the Apocalypse where Jesus returns!’

        There’s no light in these people at all. Get your holy water, stakes ,and garlic ready – because in 5 weeks time this demon and his cult will be exorcised.

        1. Well, I meant the politicians like Mike DeWine, who have shown that kissing Trump’s butt comes so naturally to them that A) he can do things like tell the Proud Boys to “stand by”, and it is meaningless to them and B) even abject, transparent failure on Trmp’s part will not make them stop.

          It reminds me of Detroit in about 1972. They have come to believe that styling and marketing are everything, and that the awfulness of the bloated, poor-quality cars they are producing does not matter. After all, what were people going to do – buy JAPANESE cars?

          The equivalent question for 2020 is “What are people going to do – vote for SOCIALISTS?” They forgot whoever it was (PT Barnum?) that said you can all of the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of time. That led to the collapse of US automakers as we knew them.

          Eventually, the number of people they could fool just wasn’t enough. It seems to me the Republican Party is barreling down the same road, because Trump floored it, and the reality about him and his party is apparent a lot faster than they like.

          1. The dustbin of history is coming up fast. Selling your soul while simultaneously excreting your brains is not a good long term strategy.

          2. 1.That quote is generally attributed to Abraham Lincoln, though is also less commonly attributed to P.T Barnum. According to the quote trackdown site, it was actually one of two Frenchmen.

            P.T Barnum is also attributed with the line “there’s a sucker born every minute” but there’s also no evidence he ever said that either.

            2.To sidetrack this first, Japanese cars of the 1970s are the best argument in favor of free trade and against ‘buy American.’ Imagine what would have happened with the American made ‘rust bucket’ cars of the 1970s if there had been at that time, say a 50% tariff on Japanese imports at that time. Most likely, Americans would have largely continued to buy the ‘rust buckets.’ In fact, Japanese auto exports to the United States really picked up in 1977, as tariffs started to decline (they were completely eliminated in 1978.)

            This lack of competition is a major problem in defense procurement where 5 companies dominate manufacturing (and they often have a defacto non compete agreement.)

            I don’t know about all government procurement, but I’d worry about that when Biden says he’s make it a law that all government procurement must ‘buy American.’

            3.Back to the main point. It’s a truism in politics that one party wins when it forces their main opposition to adopt their policies. For instance, when Bill Clinton won in 1992, he campaigned on keeping many of the policies of Reagan/Bush. Similarly, when Tony Blair won in 1997, he did the same.

            It was generally expected after the 2012 election (and the 2008 election), especially from ‘official’ Republicans that they would start to move away from some of their previous policies – opposition to gay marriage and especially their hard line (and failed governance) policy on immigration. Instead, Republican voters went for Trump.

            So, what happened was an even further barreling into extremism. I really don’t know what to expect from the Republicans as they clearly are no longer rational.

          3. I’ve commented on the United States becoming the next Argentina. The Economist magazine wrote a decent article on how Argentina has been steadily declining economically for over 100 years now a few years back.

            They said essentially what happened is that both the left and the right have fallen into a populist feed back loop and the one side tries to outdo the other with populist proposals. This has been true during times of democracy as well as times of dictatorship.

            The one positive thing, from this perspective, for the United States is that Bernie Sanders was handily defeated in the primaries by Joe Biden.

  3. Well any concerns about Trump sounding somewhat reasonable or Biden not being able to handle Trump’s barrage of bullshit was pretty much put to bed last night. Biden wasn’t exactly quick on the draw or with as much energy, but when Trump just rambles off like a coked up schizophrenic, it pretty much puts to bed needing to do anything that special.

    Trump and his supporters just shit all over themselves and anyone within a short radius of them with some loud rabble of lies, conspiracies, and unintelligent schizophrenic nonsense until everyone has their brain cells turn off a little bit more by being near them.

    I’m sure the next two debates will go on as scheduled, Biden will probably adapt a little better now that he knows what to expect, maybe pound a coffee or two before the start. Hopefully the moderators know what they’re getting into here, and they’re not going to be able to shut this moron up.

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