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January 29, 2017


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Patrick S. O'Donnell

... or any particular religious or non-religious worldview orientation.

Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King

There is something to be said when one remembers Daniel Pearl or Leon Klinghogger.... Something to think about.... I will bet this is what Trump thinking....


The outrage machine is always on full blast, day and night, 24/7.

One wonders: is the FL an appropriate place for this sort of ranting?

There isn't even the pretense of a legal analysis in the rant above.

One questions the author's grounding in the law, the Constitutional and executive precedents applicable here (including those of the last administration, which were given ZERO attention).

Let's see some lawyerly analysis to back up this rant or, perhaps, the post should be moved over to MSNBC's site, where everyone just assumes evil in everything that the new administration has done or is said to have done (very different in this case, BTW).

Patrick S. O'Donnell

anon @ 9:29 PM
First sentence: uninformative in part because grossly tendentious (and by now predictable ad nauseam) description.
Second sentence: The post was far from a "rant," but a clever piece of commentary from a person with impeccable credentials: a "lawyer, law professor, and officer in the United States Air Force Reserve."
If you want a legal analysis, there's one here, by one of our country's foremost experts (or brightest minds) on the relation of terrorism to constitutional law:
Third sentence: FL bloggers here are neither required nor obligated to satisfy your particular pet peeves, interests, concerns, values, beliefs, what have you. You're free to ignore them, which would be far wiser than posting comments such as we find above.
Fourth sentence: repeat comments on first three above.

Patrick S. O'Donnell

And not incidentally, The Faculty Lounge is characterized at the top of the page by an orientation around "conversations about law, culture, and academia," and the post can clearly be understood as falling within the orbit of that orientation (as one can infer from the 'categories' listed on the left, which reveal a refreshingly generous orientation: conversations in the 'lounge' spill over into the coffee shop, bar, dinner party....)

Enrique Guerra Pujol

Wow, kudos to Frakt for this textbook example of virtue signalling; more here:

David Frakt

Enrique - Thanks for introducing me to a new phrase!

Anon - So, I guess you didn't like it?

Patrick - Thanks for coming to my defense. I should hire you to answer my hate mail!

Captain - Trump thinking?

Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King

Yes, Trump thinking. We need to give him credit. He managed to cobble together the "angry" hoi ploy elements of our body politic and get elected to the highest office in the land. No small feat. By golly, he is keeping his promises.... Got to respect that.... Take a look at the countries he TEMPORIARILY imposed bans on.....Not Turkey- or any number of Muslim majority nations. Some of the the countries he banned, coincidentally enough (I got it right in my first post) had a significant hand in killing Leon Klinghoffer.

Patrick S. O'Donnell

No, Trump trolling.



Thank goodness you are so unpredictable! I couldn't fathom a guess, especially after reviewing the interminable "reading lists" (talk about "ad nauseam"!) about the reason you become so unreasoning when certain subjects are discussed!

Perhaps you would prefer a different form of government in the US. Perhaps one more like the countries at issue, labeled by the prior administration? Wouldn't that be a great improvement? Then we could all enjoy the "rights" afforded there; then, we would all be "free."

Law, culture, and academia: ok.

Political screeds like the above, not so much.

If you haven't read US law on immigration policy, I will understand. IF you don't actually know the facts, I will understand. But, unfortunately, reading and citing a sole source, unrelated to the history of the actions by prior administrations and the legal precedents that partisans don't want to face, is about as irrelevant to your claim as the specious contention that I expect anyone here in the FL to satisfy my sensibilities.

You apparently truly do adhere to that different set of values, a very totalitarian system of belief where all must agree. You may be in sync with the attack du jour, and you may believe that none may cry foul, but until the stifling of different points of view and dissent is complete in this country, you are very, very wrong to respond as you do.

Patrick S. O'Donnell

Your sheer genius, while blinding in its brilliance, deserves widespread recognition, so abandon the false modesty ensconced in your anonymity and take proud title of your true identity. You so richly deserve the acclaim that will cascade in the wake of your unveiling!



Folks in the FL who resort to the anonymity issue demonstrably do so when they are flummoxed.

It is risible, but true. Sort of like the playground, when a kid spits when he runs out of steam.

One has no doubt about the type of "acclaim" that you would dish out.

Patrick S. O'Donnell

To those who imbibed the toxic cocktail of denial, self-deception, and wishful thinking in the last presidential election, there’s still hope for a full recovery. Your fears, anger and insecurities are ill-served by a fascist populist and his would-be kleptocratic cronies whose narcissistic megalomania and Midas complex glorify the conspicuous vices of contemporary capitalism in a manner that seeks to trump democratic institutions, values and principles as it eviscerates the triune principles and virtues of liberté, égalité, and fraternité. It is still possible to awaken your potential to exercise the tenacity and courage needed to break through the authoritarian character armor sub-consciously constructed out of the fragile and feeble fabric provided by the more regressive and perverse socio-cultural materials found in this country’s history: conformism, homophobia, (white and ‘Christian’) ethno-nationalism, militarism, parochialism, racism, sexism, conspicuous consumption and acquisitiveness, unbridled ambition, celebrity worship and fame-seeking, the will to dominate others, in short, the “false consciousness” well-captured in Erich Fromm’s locution, “the pathology of normalcy.” We know too well the debilitating and deadly powers of human vengeance, senseless destructiveness, and violence, the ease with which even the most “civilized” peoples can descend into the dark vortex of chaos, needless suffering and evil. The need to “fight fire with fire” is rare and regrettable, and certainly avoidable should we learn to build the emancipatory structures of the Good Society.

Abandon the residual messianic tribalism incarnate in the idea of a “chosen people” atop a “city on a hill.” In other words, to the avowed Christians in your ranks, recall that all human beings are created in the image of God, that God’s covenant is thus with humanity as such, and that Jesus’s foremost moral and spiritual teachings revolve around the Golden Rule and the double commandment of love (hence the Christ of Tolstoy, not Constantine), and it is that which should provide the pile-like foundations of your social life and democratic politics. As Daniel Burston writes in his book on Fromm, “the Hebrew concept of idolatry implies the misrecognition and reification of our own divinely begotten essence [an idea found in Stoic thought as well], which, like the burning bush, is in a process of continuous and inextinguishable becoming, and is not something finite, static, or dead, like a graven image.”

It is not easy to cultivate a disposition to truth (which depends in the first instance on the power of sublimation and thereafter on individuation), an elusive character trait indispensable for a full-bodied appreciation of the moral requisites of human dignity, the power of virtue, and a lifelong commitment to the Good. It is this dignity, virtue and commitment that, historically speaking, first found moral, legal, and political expression in the notion of human rights, in the idea of jus cogens norms, and the Liberal principles of democratic constitutionalism. It is such dignity, virtue and commitment that allows us to imagine a socio-economic system beyond capitalism, one that extends the logic of democracy and principles of environmental sustainability throughout the social order such that all human beings on this planet are accorded the capacity for the development of their basic capabilities, thereby encouraged to ascend the mountain of self-realization while discovering, creating and exploiting ample opportunities for human flourishing in harmony with the motley and marvelous (non-human) animal creatures that likewise partake of the precious “breath” of life.


"the more regressive and perverse socio-cultural materials found in this country’s history: ... white and ‘Christian’ ... "
"Abandon the residual messianic tribalism incarnate in the idea of a “chosen people” ..."
"In other words, to the avowed Christians in your ranks,"
"'“the Hebrew concept of idolatry ...'"

Agreed: it is important for you to sprinkle in these "truths" ... which inform your views about the issue above.

Pete Torrance

Anon. Stop you are embarrassing yourself.



Well thought out comment. Again, playground, sandbox stuff.


"One wonders: is the FL an appropriate place for this sort of ranting?"

Hey, it's their ballfield, and for now, Col. Frakt is an invited pitcher.

Why whine about it?



Patrick, "To those who imbibed the toxic cocktail of denial, self-deception, and wishful thinking ... [y]our fears, anger and insecurities..."

Gee, Pat, generalize much?

It's high time democrats stop demonizing "Trump voters".

Patrick S. O'Donnell

The generalization is apposite insofar as it helps account for the remarkable and disturbing fact that millions of Americans failed to vote from a vantage point that did justice to their enlightened self-interests, let alone more principled views on the common good. It does not mean that they are unintelligent or stupid or evil (if you think the generalization is 'demonizing' you clearly do not understand the meaning of the word). Liberals and Leftists have fallen all over themselves trying to explain this phenomenon, and I've yet to come across any explanation that was tantamount to "demonization," although that's a favored accusatory meme found among shrill right-wing ideologues and pundits. [For the record, I am not a 'democrat' if by that you're referring to a member of the Democratic Party. My (utopian) political worldview is anarcho-communist, but in praxis this means identifying with the politics of democratic socialism (at least in the foreseeable future). Regrettably, I am often compelled to vote for the Democratic party's candidate: thankfully, however, 'the political' encompasses far more than what takes place in the voting booth, and thus perhaps the day is not far off when we will have alternatives to domination by plutocratic and capitalist interests that distort our genuine efforts to live by democratic values and principles that find partial yet no less essential incarnation and expression in democratic processes and institutions.]


" those who imbibed the toxic cocktail of denial, self-deception, and wishful thinking ... [and apparently voted only upon their] fears, anger and insecurities..."

Yet somehow, "...[this] does not mean that they are unintelligent or stupid or evil"

Yeah, sure. Whatever you wish to think.

When a woman says she voted for someone for her own reasons, and you see fit to substitute your judgment that she instead actually imbibed a toxic cocktail of denial and self-deception and wishful thinking, it certainly sounds as if you're saying she is not her own person.

So, if you know more about why she voted than she does, how are your readers not to take from this fact that she's at least one of unintelligent, or stupid (to the extent this is distinguishable from unintelligent), or evil?

She's certainly less than capable of making her own decisions - why, you should make them for her!

And since record setting appears to be of value to you - I'm not a trump voter.

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