By Katharine Brush Night Club PROMPTLY at quarter of ten P.M. Mrs. Brady descended the steps of the Elevated. She purchased from the newsdealer in the cubbyhole be- neath them a next month's magazine and an tomorrow morning's paper and, with these tucked under one plump arm, she walked. She walked two blocks north on Sixth Avenue; turned and went west. But not far west. Westward half a block only, to the place where the gay green awning marked "Club Français" paints a stripe of shade across the glimmer- ing sidewalk. Under the awning Mrs. Brady halted briefly, to remark to the six-foot doorman that it looked like rain and to await his perform- ance of his professional duty. When the small green door yawned open, she sighed deeply and plodded in. The foyer was a blackness, an air- less velvet blackness like the inside of a jeweler's box. Four drum-shaped lamps of golden silk suspended from the ceiling gave it light (a very little) and formed the jewels: gold signets, those, or cuff links for a giant. At the far end of the foyer there were black stair, faintly dusty, rippling upward toward an amber radiance. Mrs. Brady approached and ponderously mounted the stairs, clinging with one fist to the mangy velvet rope that railed their edge. From the top, Miss Lena Levin observed the ascent. Miss Levin was the checkroom girl. She had dark-at- the roots blonde hair and slender hips upon which, in moments of leisure, she wore her hands, like buckles of ivory loosely attached. This was a moment of leisure. Miss Levin waited behind her counter. Row upon row of hooks, empty as yet, and seeming to beckon——wee curved fingers of iron——waited be- hind her. "Late," said Miss Levin, "again." "Go wan!" said Mrs. Brady. "It's only ten to ten. Whew! Them stairs!" She leaned heavily, sideways, against Miss Levin's counter, and, applying one palm to the region of her heart, appeared at once to listen and to count. "Feel!" she cried then in a pleased voice. Miss Levin obediently felt. "Them stairs," continued Mrs. Brady darkly, "with my bad heart, will be the death of me. Whew! Well, dearie? What's the news?" "You got a paper," Miss Levin languidly reminded her. "Yeah!" agreed Mrs. Brady with sudden vehemence. "I got a paper!" She slapped it upon the counter. "An' a lot of time I'll get to read my paper, won't I now? On a Saturday night!" She moaned. "Other nights is bad enough, dear knows——but Saturday nights! How I dread 'em! Every Saturday night I say to my daughter, I say, 'Geraldine, I can't,' I say, 'I can't go through it again, an' that's all there is to it,' I say. 'I'll quit!' I say. An' I will, too!" added Mrs. Brady firmly, if indefinitely. Miss Levin, in defense of Saturday nights, mumbled some vague some- thing about tips. "Tips!" Mrs. Brady hissed it. She almost spat it. Plainly money was nothing, nothing at all, to this lady. "I just wish," said Mrs. Brady, and glared at Miss Levin, "I just wish you had to spend one Saturday night, just one in that dressing room! Bein' pushed an' stepped on and near knocked down by that gang of hussies, an' them orderin' an' bossin' you round like you was black, an' usin' your things an' then sayin' they're sorry, they got no change, they'll be back. Yeah! They never come back!" "There's Mr. Costello," whispered Miss Levin through lips that, like a ventriloquist's, scarcely stirred. "An' as I was sayin'," Mrs. Brady said at once brightly, "I got to leave you. Ten to ten, time I was on the job." She smirked at Miss Levin, nodded, and right-about-faced. There, indeed, Mr. Costello was. Mr. Billy Costello, manager, proprietor, monarch of all he surveyed. From the doorway of the big room where the little tables herded in a ring around the waxen floor, he surveyed Mrs. Brady, and in such a way that Mrs. Brady, momentarily forgetting her bad heart, walked fast, scurried faster, almost ran. The door of her domain was set politely in an alcove, beyond silken curtains looped up at the sides. Mrs. Brady reached it breathless, shoul- dered it open, and groped for the electric switch. Lights sprang up, a bright white blaze, intolerable for an instant to the eyes, like the sun on snow. Blinking, Mrs. Brady shut the door. The room was a spotless, white- tiled place, half beauty shop, half dressing room. Along one wall stood washstands, sturdy triplets in a row, balloons afloat above them. Against the opposite wall there was a couch. A third wall backed an elongated glass-topped dressing-table; and over the dressing-table and over the wash- stands long rectangular sheets of mirror reflected lights, doors, glossy tiles, lights multiplied. . . . Mrs. Brady moved across this glit- ter like a think dark cloud in a hurry. At the dressing table she came to a halt, and upon it she laid her news- paper, her magazine, and her purse ——a black purse worn gray with much clutching. She divested herself of a rusty black coat and a hat of the mushroom persuasion, and hung both up in a corner cupboard which she opened by means of one of a quite preposterous bunch of keys. From a nook in the cupboard she took down a lace-edged handkerchief with long streamers. She untied the streamers and tied them again around her chunky black alpaca waist. The handkerchief became an apron's baby cousin. Mrs. Brady relocked the cupboard door, fumbled her key ring over, and unlocked a capacious drawer of the dressing table. She spread a fresh towel on the plate-glass top, in the geometrical center, and upon the towel she arranged with care a pro- cession of things fished from the drawer. Things for the hair. Things for the complexion. Tings for the eyes, the lashes, the brows, the lips, and the fingernails. Things in boxes and things in jars and things in tubes and tins. Also an ash tray, matches pins, a tiny sewing kit, a pair of scissors. Last of all, a hand-printed sign, a nudging sort of sign: NOTICE! THESE ARTICLES, PLACED HERE FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE, ARE THE PROPERTY OF THE MAID. And directly beneath the sign, prop- ping it up against the looking glass, a china saucer, in which Mrs. Brady now slyly laid decoy money: two quarters and two dimes, in four- leaf-clover formation. Another drawer of the dressing table yielded a bottle of Bromo- seltzer, a bottle of aromatic spirits of ammonia, a tin of sodium bicar- bonate, and a teaspoon. These were lined up on a shelf above the couch. Mrs. Brady was ready for anything. And (from the grim, thin pucker of her mouth) expecting it. Music came to her ears. Rather, the beat of music, muffled, rhythmic, remote. Umpa-um, umpa-um, umpa- um-umm——Mr. "Fiddle" Baer and his band, hard at work on the first fox- trot of the night. It was teasing, foot- tapping music; but the large solemn feet of Mrs. Brady were still. She sat on the couch and opened her newspaper; and for some moments she read uninterruptedly, with spe- cial attention to the murders, the divorces, the breaches of promise, the funnies. Then the door swung inward, ad- mitting a blast of Mt. Fiddle Baer's best, a whiff of perfume, and a girl. Mrs. Brady put her paper away. The girl was petite and darkly beautiful; wrapped in fur and mounted on tall jeweled heels. She entered humming the ragtime song the orchestra was playing, and while she stood near the dressing table, stripping off her gloves, she con- tinued to hum it softly to her self: Oh, I know my baby loves me, I can tell my baby loves me. Here the dark girl got the left glove off, and Mrs. Brady glimpsed a platinum wedding ring. 'Cause there ain't no maybe In my baby's Eyes. The right glove came off. The dark little girl sat down in one of the chairs that faced the dressing table. She doffed her wrap, casting it care- lessly over the chair back. It had a cloth-of--gold lining, and the name of a Paris house was embroidered in curlicues on the label. Mrs. Brady hovered solicitously near. The dark little girl, still humming looked over the articles. "placed here for your convenience," and picked up the scissors. Having cut off a very small hangnail with the air of one performing a perilous major oper- ation, she seized and used the mani- cure buffer, and after that the eye- brow pencil. Mrs. Brady's mind, hopefully calculating the tip, jumped and jumped again like a taxi meter. Oh, I know my baby loves me——— The dark little girl applied powder and lipstick belonging to herself. She examined the result searchingly in the mirror and sat back, satisfied. She cast some silver Klink! Klink! into Mrs. Brady's saucer, and half rose. Then remembering something, she settled down again. The ensuing thirty seconds were spent by her in pulling off her platinum wedding ring, tying it in a corner of a lace handkerchief, and tucking the handkerchief down the bodice of her tight white velvet gown. "There!" she said. She swooped up her wrap and trotted toward the door, jeweled heels merrily twinkling. 'Cause there ain't no maybe——— The door fell shut. Almost instantly it opened again, and another girl came in. A blonde, this. She was very pretty in a round-eyed, doll-like way; but Mrs. Brady, re- garding her, mentally grabbed the spirits of ammonia bottle. For she looked terribly ill. The round eyes were dull, the pretty silly little face was drawn. The thin hands, picking at the fastenings of a specious beaded bag, trembled and twitched. Mrs. Brady cleared her throat. "Can I do something for you, miss?" Evidently the blonde girl had be- lieved herself alone in the dressing room. She started violently and glanced up, panic in her eyes. Panic, and something else. Something very like murderous hate——but for an in- stant only, so that Mrs. Brady, whose perceptions were never quick, missed it altogether. "A glass of water?" suggested Mrs. Brady. "No," said the girl, "no." She had one hand in the beaded bag now. Mrs. Brady could see it moving, causing the bag to squirm like a live thing and the fringe to shiver. "Yes!" she cried abruptly. "A glass of water ——please——you get it for me." She dropped on to the couch. Mrs. Brady scurried to the water cooler in the corner, pressed the spigot with a determined thumb. Water trickled out thinly. Mrs. Brady pressed harder, and scowled, and thought, "Something's wrong with this thing. I mustn't forget, next time I see Mr. Costello———" When again she faced her patient, the patient was sitting erect. She was thrusting her clenched hand back into the beaded bag again. She took only a sip of the water, but it seemed to help her quite miraculously. Almost at once color came to her cheeks, life to her eyes. She grew young again——as young as she was. She smiled up at Mrs. Brady. "Well!" she exclaimed. "What do you know about that!" She shook her honey-colored head. "I can't imagine what came over me." "Are you better now?" inquired Mrs. Brady. Yes. Oh, yes, I'm better now. You see," said the blonde girl confiden- tially, "we were at the theater, my boy friend and I, and it was hot and stuffy——I guess that must have been the trouble." She paused, and the ghost of her recent distress crossed her face. God! I thought that last act never would end!" she said. While she attended to her hair and complexion, she chattered gaily to Mrs. Brady, chattering on with scarcely a stop for breath, and laughed much. She said, among other things, that she and her "boy friend" had not known one another very long, but that she was "ga-ga" about him. "He is about me, too," she con- fessed. "He thinks I'm grand." She fell silent then, and in the looking glass her eyes were shad- owed, haunted. But Mrs. Brady, from where she stood, could not see the looking glass; and half a minute later the blonde girl laughed and began again. When she went out she seemed to dance out on winged feet; and Mrs. Brady, sighing, thought it must be nice to be young . . . and happy like that. The next arrivals were two. A tall, extremely smart young woman in black chiffon entered first, and held the door open for her companion; and the instant the door was shut, she said, as though it had been on the tip of her tongue for hours, "Amy, what under the sun hap- pened?" Amy, who was brown-eyed, brown-bobbed-haired, and patently annoyed about something, crossed to the dressing table an flopped into a chair before she made a reply. "Nothing," she said wearily then. "That's nonsense!" snorted the other. "Tell me. Was it something she said? She's a tactless ass, of course. Always was." "No, not anything she said. It was———" Amy bit her lip. "All right! I'll tell you. Before we left your apartment I just happened to notice that Tom had disappeared. So I went to look for him——I wanted to ask him if he'd remembered to tell the maid where we were going—— Skippy's subject to croup, you know, and we always leave word. Well, so I went into the kitchen, thinking Tom might be there mixing cock- tails——and there he was——and there she was!" The full red mouth of the other young woman pursed itself slightly. Her arched brows lifted. "Well?" Her matter-of-factness appeared to infuriate Amy. "He was kissing her!" she flung out. "Well?" said the other again. She chuckled softly and patted Amy's shoulder, as if it were the shoulder of a child. "You're surely not going to let that spoil your whole evening? Any dear! Kissing may once have been serious and significant——but it isn't nowadays. Nowadays, it's like shaking hands. It means nothing." But Amy was not consoled. "I hate her!" she cried desperately. "Redheaded thing! Calling me 'darling' and 'honey,' and s-sending me handkerchiefs for C-Christmas—— and then sneaking off behind closed doors and k-kissing my h-h-hus- band———" At this point Amy broke down, but she recovered herself sufficiently to add with venom, "I'd like to slap her!" "Oh, oh, oh," smiled the tall young woman, "I wouldn't do that!" Amy wiped her eyes with what might well have been one of the Christmas handkerchiefs, and con- fronted her friend. "Well, what would you do, Vera? If you were I?" "I'd forget it," said Vera, "and have a good time. I'd kiss somebody myself. You've no idea how much better you'd feel!" I don't do———" Amy began in- dignantly; but as the door behind her opened a third young woman ——redheaded, ear-ringed, exquisite—— lilted in, she changed her tone. "Oh, hello!" she called sweetly, beaming at the newcomer via the mirror. "We were wondering what had become of you!" The redheaded girl, smiling easily back, dropped her cigarette on the floor and crushed it out wit a silver shod toe. "Tom and I were talking to Fiddle Baer," she explained. "He's going to play 'Clap Yo' Hands' next, because it's my favorite. Lend me a comb, will you?" "There's a comb there," said Vera, indicating Mrs. Brady's business comb. "But imagine using it!" murmured the redheaded girl. "Amy, darling, haven't you one?" Amy produced a tiny comb from her rhinestone purse. "Don't forget to bring it when you come," she said, and stood up. "I'm going on out, I want to tell Tom something." She went. The redheaded young woman and the tall black-chiffon one were alone, except for Mrs. Brady. The red- headed one beaded her incredible lashes. The tall one, the one called Vera, sat watching her." And Sylvia looked. Anybody, addressed in that tone, would have. "There is one thing," Vera went on quietly, holding the other's eyes "that I want understood. And that is, 'Hands off!' Do you hear me?" "I know what you mean." "You know what I mean!" The redheaded girl shrugged her shoulders. "Amy told you she saw us, I suppose." Precisely. And," went on Vera, gathering up her possessions and rising, "as I said before, you're to keep away." Her eyes blazed sudden white-hot rage. "Because, as you very well know, he belongs to me," she said, and departed, slamming the door. Between eleven o'clock and one Mrs. Brady was very busy indeed. Never for more than a moment during those two hours was the dressing room empty. Often it was jammed, full to overflowing with curled cropped heads, with ivory arms and shoulders, with silk and lace and chiffon, with legs. The door flapped in and back, in the back. The mirrors caught and held——and lost—— a hundred different faces. Powder veiled the dressing table with a thin white dust; cigarette stubs, scarlet at the tip, choked the ash receiver. Dimes and quarter clattered into Mrs. Brady's saucer——and were transferred to Mrs. Brady's purse. The original seventy cents remained. That much, and no more, would Mrs. Brady gamble on the integrity of womankind. She earned her money. She threaded needles and took stitches. She powdered the backs of necks. She supplied towels for soapy, drip- ping hands. She removed a speck from a teary blue eye and pounded the heel on a slipper. She curled the struggling ends of a black bob and a gray bob, pinned a velvet flower on a lithe round waist, mixed three doses of bicarbonate of soda, took charge of a shed pink-satin girdle, collected, on hands and knees, sev- eral dozen fake pearls that had wept from a broken string. She served chorus girls and school- girls, gay young matrons and gayer young mistresses, a lady who had divorced four husbands, and a lady who had poisoned one, the secret (more or less) sweetheart of a Most Distinguished Name, and the Brains of a bootleg gang. . . . She saw things. She saw a yellow check, with the ink hardly dry. She saw four tiny bruises, such as fingers might make, on an arm. She saw a girl strike another girl, not playfully. She saw a bundle of letter some man wished he had not written, safe and deep in a brocaded handbag. About midnight the door flew open and at once was pushed shut, and a gray-eyed, lovely child stood backed against it, her palms flattened on the panels at her sides, the dra- peries of her white chiffon gown settling lightly to rest around her. There were already five damsels of varying ages in the dressing room. The latest arrival marked their pres- ence with a flick of her eyes and, standing just where she was, she called peremptorily, "Maid!" Mrs. Brady, standing just where she was, said, "Yes, miss?" "Please come here," said the girl. Mrs. Brady, as slowly as she dared, did so. The girl lowered her voice to a tense half whisper. "Listen! Is there any way I can get out of here except through this door I came in?" Mrs. Brady stared at her stupidly. "Any window?" persisted the girl. "Or anything?" Here they were interrupted by the exodus of two of the damsels-of- varying-ages, Mrs. Brady opening the door for them——and in so doing caught a glimpse of the man who waited in the hall outside, a debonair, old-young man with a girl's furry wrap hung over his arm, and his hat in his hand. The door clicked. The gray-eyed girl moved out from the wall, against which she had flattened herself——for all the world like one eluding pursuit in a cinema. "What about the window?" she demanded, pointing. "That's all the farther it opens," said Mrs. Brady. "Oh! And it's the only one——isn't it?" "It is." "Damn," said the girl. "Then there's no way out?" "No way but the door," said Mrs. Brady testily. The girl looked at the door. She seemed to look through the door, and to despise and to fear what she saw. Then she looked at Mrs. Brady. "Well," she said, "then I s'pose the only thing for me to do is to stay in here." She stayed. Minutes ticked by. Jazz crooned distantly, stopped, struck up again. Other girls came and went. Still the gray-eyed girl sat on the couch, with her back to the wall and her shapely legs crossed smoking cigarettes, one from the stub of another. After a long while she said, "Maid!" "Yes, miss?" "Peek out that door, will you, and see if there's anyone standing there." Mrs. Brady peeked, and reported that there was. There was a gentle- man with a little bit of a black mustache standing there. The same gentleman, in fact, who was stand- ing there "just after you came in." "Oh, Lord," sighed the gray-eyed girl. "Well . . . I can't stay here all night, that's one sure thing." She slid off the couch, and went listlessly to the dressing table. There she occupied herself for a minute or two. Suddenly, without a word, she darted out. Thirty seconds later Mrs. Brady was elated to find two crumpled one- dollar bills lying in the saucer. Her joy, however, died a premature death. For she made an almost si- multaneous second discovery. A a sad- dening one. Above all, a puzzling one. "Now what for," marveled Mrs. Brady, "did she want to walk off with them scissors?" This at twelve-twenty-five. At twelve-thirty a quartet of ex- cited young things burst in, babbling madly. All of them had their evening wraps about them; all talked at once. One of them, a Dresden-china girl with a heart-shaped face, was the center of attraction. Around her the rest fluttered like monstrous butter- flies; to her they addressed their shrill exclamatory cries. "Babe," they called her. Mrs. Brady heard snatches: "Not in this state unless . . ." "Well, you can in Maryland, Jimmy says." "Oh, there must be some place nearer than . . ." "Isn't this marvelous?" "When did it happen, Babe? When did you decide?" "Just now," the girl with the heart- shaped face sang softly, "when we were dancing." The babble resumed, "But listen, Babe, what'll your mother and father . . . ?" "Oh, never mind, let's hurry." "Shall we be warm enough with just these thin wraps, do you think? Babe, will you be warm enough? Sure?" Powder flew and little pocket combs marched through bright mar- cels. Flushed cheeks were painted pinker still. "My pearls," said Babe, "are old. And my dress and my slippers are new. Now, let's see——what can I borrow?" A lace handkerchief, a diamond bar pin, a pair of earrings were proffered. She chose the bar pin, and its owner unpinned it proudly, gladly. "I've got blue garters!" exclaimed a shrill little girl in a silver dress. "Give me one, then," directed Babe. "I'll trade with you. . . . There! That fixes that." More babbling, "Hurry! Hurry up!" . . . "Listen are you sure we'll be warm enough? Because we can stop at my house, there's nobody home." "Give me that puff, Babe, I'll powder your back." "And just to think a week ago you;d never even met each other!" "Oh, hurry up, let's get started!" "I'm ready." "So'm I." "Ready, Babe? You look ador- able." "Come on, everybody." They were gone again, and then dressing room seemed twice as still and vacant as before. A minute of grace, during which Mrs. Brady wiped the spilled pow- der away with a damp gray rag. Then the door jumped open again. Two evening gowns appeared and made for the dressing table in a bee line. Slim tubular gowns they were, one green, one palest yellow. Yel- low hair went wit the green gown, brown hair with the yellow. The green-gowned, yellow-haired girl wore gardenias on her left shoulder, four of them, and a flashing bracelet on each fragile wrist. The other girl looked less prosperous; still, you would rather have looked at her. Both ignored Mrs. Brady's cos- metic display as utterly as they ignored Mrs. Brady, producing full field equipment of their own. "Well," said the girl with gar- denias, rouging energetically, "how do you like him?" "Oh-h——all right." "Meaning, 'Not any,' hmm? I sus- pected as much!" The girl with gardenians turned in her chair and scanned her companion's profile with disapproval. "See here, Marilee," she drawled, "are you going to be a damn fool all your life?" "He's fat," said Marilee dreamily. "Fat, and——greasy, sort of. I mean greasy in his mind. Don't you know what I mean?" "I know one thing," declared the other. "I know Who He Is! And if I were you, that's all I'd need to know. Under the circumstances." The last three words, stressed meaningly, affected the girl called Marilee curiously. She grew grave. Her lips and lashes drooped. For some seconds she sat frowning a little, breaking a black-sheathed lip- stick in two and fitting it together again. "She's worse," she said finally, low. "Worse?" Marilee nodded. "Well," said the girl with gar- denias, "there you are. It's the climate. She'll never be anything but worse, if she doesn't get away. Out West. Arizona or somewhere." "I know," murmured Marilee. The other girl opened a tin of eye shadow. "Of course," she said dryly, "suit yourself. She's not my sister." Marilee said nothing. Quiet she sat, breaking the lipstick, mending it, breaking it. "Oh, well," she breathed finally, wearily, and straightened up. She propped her elbows on the plate- glass dressing-table top and leaned toward the mirror, and with the lip- stick she began to make her coral- pink mouth very red and gay and reckless and alluring. Nightly at one o'clock Vane and Moreno dance for the Club Français. They dance a tango, they dance a waltz; then, by way of encore, they do a Black Bottom, and a trick of their own called the Wheel. They dance for twenty, thirty minutes. And while they dance you do not leave your table——for this is what you came to see. Vane and Moreno. The new New York thrill. The sole justifica- tion for the five-dollar couvert ex- torted by Billy Costello. From one until half-past, then, was Mrs. Brady's recess. She had been looking forward t it all the eve- ning long. When it began——when the opening chords of the tango music sounded stirringly from the room outside——Mrs. Brady brightened. With a right good will she sped the parting guests. Alone, she unlocked her cupboard and took out her magazine——the magazine she had bought three hours before. Heaving a great breath of relief and satisfaction, she plumped herself on the couch and fingered the pages. Immediately she was absorbed, her eyes drinking up the printed lines, her lips moving soundlessly. The magazine was Mrs. Brady's favorite. Its stories were true stories, taken from life (so the editor said); and to Mrs. Brady they were live, vivid threads in the dull, drab pat- tern of her night.
By Herman Melville I AND MY CHIMNEY (i.) I and my chimney, two grey-headed old smokers, reside in the country. We are, I may say, old settlers here; particularly my old chimney, which settles more and more every day. Though I always say, I and my chimney, as Cardinal Wol- sey used to say, I and my King, yet this egotistic way of speak- ing, wherein I take precedence of my chimney, is hardly borne out by the facts; in everything, except the above phrase, my chimney taking precedence of me. Within thirty feet of the turf-sided road, my chimney——a huge, corpulent old Harry VIII of a chimney——rises full in front of me and all my possessions. Standing well up a hill-side, my chimney, like Lord Rosse's monster telescope, swung verti- cal to hit the meridian moon, is the first object to greet the ap- proaching traveler's eye; nor is it the last which the sun salutes. My chimney, too, is before me in receiving the first-fruits of the seasons. The snow is on its head ere on my hat; and every spring, as in a hollow beech tree, the first swallows build their nests in it. But it is within doors that the pre-eminence of y chimney is most manifest. When in the rear room, set apart for that ob- ject, I stand to receive my guests (who, by the way, call more, I suspect, to see my chimney than me), I then stand, not so much before, as, strictly speaking, behind my chimney, which is, indeed, the true host. Not that I demur. In the presence of my betters, I hope I know my place. From this habitual precedence of my chimney over me, some even think that I have got into a sad rearward way altogether; in short, from standing behind my old-fashioned chimney so much, I have got to be quite behind the age too, as well as running behindhand in everything else. But to tell the truth, I never was a very forward old fellow, nor what my farming neighbors call and forehanded one. Indeed, those rumors about my behindhandedness are so far correct, that I have an odd sauntering way with me sometimes of going about with my hands behind my back. As for my belonging to the rear-guard in general, certain it is, I bring up the rear of my chimney—— which, by the way, is this moment before me——and that, too, both in fancy and fact. In brief, my chimney is my superior; my superior by I know not how many heads and shoulders; my superior, too, in that humbly bowing over with shovel and tongs, I must minister to it; yet never does it minister, or in- cline over to me; but, if anything, in its settlings, rather leans the other way. My chimney is grand seignior here——the one great dom- ineering object, not more of the landscape, than of the house; all the rest of which house, in each architectural arrangement, as may shortly appear, is, in the most marked manner, accom- modated, not to my wants, but to the chimney's, which, among other things, has the centre of the house to itself, leaving but the odd holes and corners to me. But I and my chimney must explain; and, as we are both rather obese, we may have to expatiate. In those houses which are strictly double houses——that is, where the hall is in the middle——the fireplaces usually are pon opposite sides; so that while one member of the household is warming himself at a fire built into a recess of the north wall, say another member, the former owner's brother, perhaps, may be holding his feet to the blaze before a hearth in the south wall——the two thus fairly sitting back to back. Is this well? Be it put to any man who has a proper fraternal feeling. Has it not a sort of sulky appearance? But very probably this style of chimney building originated with some architect afflicted with a quarrelsome family. Then again, almost every modern fireplace has its separate flue——separate throughout, from hearth to chimney-top. At least such an arrangement is deemed desirable. Does this not look egotistical, selfish? But still more, all these separate flues, instead of having independent masonry establishments of their own, or instead of being grouped together in one federal stock in the middle of the house——instead of this, I say, each flue is surreptitiously honey-combed into the walls; so that these last are here and there, or indeed almost anywhere, treacherously hollow, and, in consequence, more or less weak. Of course, the main reason of this style of chimney building is to economize room. In cities, where lots are sold by the inch, small space is to spare for a chimney constructed on magnani- mous principles; and, as with most thin men, who are generally tall, so with such houses, what is lacking in breadth must be made up in height. This remark holds true even with regard to many very stylish abodes, built by the most stylish of gentle- men. And yet, when that stylish gentleman, Louis le Grand of France, would build a palace for his lady friend, Madame de Maintenon, he built it but one story high——in fact, in the cot- tage style. But then, how uncommonly quadrangular, spacious, and broad——horizontal acres, not vertical one. Such is the pal- ace which, in all its one-storied magnificence of Languedoc marble, in the garden of Versailles, still remains to this day. Any man can buy a square foot of land and plant a liberty- pole upon it; but it takes a king to set apart whole acres for a Grand Trianon. But nowadays it is different; and furthermore, what origi- nated in a necessity has been mounted into a vaunt. In towns there is a large rivalry in building tall houses. If one gentleman builds his house four stories high, and another gentleman comes next door and builds five stories high, then the former, not to be looked down upon that way, immediately sends for his architect and claps a fifth and a sixth story on top of his pre- vious four. And, not til the gentleman has achieved his aspira- tion, not till he has stolen over the way by twilight and observed how the sixth story soars beyond his neighbor's fifth——not till then does he retire to rest with satisfaction. Such folks, it seems to me, need mountains for neighbors, to take this emulous conceit of soaring out of them. If, considering that mine is a very wide house, and by no means lofty, aught in the above may appear like interested pleading, as if I did but fold myself about in the cloak of a gen- eral proposition, cunningly to tickle my individual vanity be- neath it, such misconceptions must vanish upon my frankly conceding that land adjoining my alder swamp was sold last month for ten dollars an acre, and thought a rash purchase at that; so that for wide houses hereabouts there is plenty of room, and cheap. Indeed, so cheap——dirt cheap——is the soil, that our elms thrust out their roots in it, and hang their great boughs over it, in the most lavish and reckless way. Almost all our crops, too, are sown broadcast, even peas and turnips. A farmer among us, who should go about his twenty-acre field, poking his finger into it here and there, and dropping down a mustard seed, would be thought a penurious, narrow-minded husbandman. The dandelions in the river-meadows, and the forget-me-nots along the mountain roads, you see at once they are put to no economy in space. Some seasons, too, our rye comes up, here and there a spear sole and single like a church- spire. It doesn't care to crowd itself where it knows there is such a deal of room. The world is wide, the world is all before us, says the rye. Wees, too, it is amazing how they spread. No such thing as arresting them——some of out pastures being a sort of Alsatia for the weeds. As for the grass, every spring it is like Kossuth's rising of what he calls the peoples. Mountains, too, a regular camp-meeting of them. For the same reason, the same all-sufficiency of room, our shadows march and countermarch, going through their various drills and masterly evolutions, like the old imperial guard on the Champs de Mars. As for the hills, especially where the roads cross them, the supervisors of our various towns have given notice to all concerned, that they can come and dig them down and cart them off and never a cent to pay, no more than for the privilege of picking blackberries. The stranger who is buried here, what liberal-hearted landed proprietor among us grudges him his six feet of rocky pasture? Nevertheless, cheap, after all, as our land is, and much as it is trodden under foot, I, for one, am proud of it for what it bears; and chiefly for its three great lions——the Great Oak, Ogg Mountain, and my chimney. Most houses are are but one and a half stories high; few exceed two. That in which I and my chimney dwell, is in width nearly twice its height, from sill to eaves——which accounts for the magnitude of its main content——besides showing that in this house, as in this country at large, there is abundance of space, and to spare, for both of us. The frame of the old house is of wood——which but the more sets forth the solidity of the chimney, which is of brick. And as the great wrought nails, binding the clapboards, are unknown in these degenerate days, so are the huge bricks in the chimney walls. The architect of the chimney must have had the pyramid of Cheops before him; for after that famous structure it seems modeled, only its rate of decrease towards the summit is con- siderably less, and it is truncated. From the exact middle of the mansion it soars from the cellar, right up through each suc- cessive floor, till, four feet square, it breaks water from the ridge-pole of the roof, like an anvil-headed whale, through the crest of a billow. Most people, though, liken it, in that part, to a razeed observatory, masoned up. The reason for its peculiar appearance above the roof touches upon rather delicate ground. How shall I reveal that, foras- much as many years ago the original gable roof of the old house had become very leaky, a temporary proprietor hired a band of woodmen, with their huge, crosscut saws, and went to saw- ing the old gable roof clean off. Off it went, with all its birds' nests, and dormer windows. It was replaced with a modern roof, more fit for a railway wood-house than an old country gentleman's abode. This operation——razeeing the structure some fifteen feet——was, in effect upon the chimney, something like the falling of the great spring tides. It left uncommon low water all about the chimney——to abate which appearance, the same person now proceeds to slice fifteen feet off the chimney itself, actualyl beheading my royal old chimney——a regicidal act which, were it not for the palliating fact that he was a poulterer by trade, and, therefore, hardened to such neck- wringings, should send that former proprietor down to pos- terity in the same cart with Cromwell. Owing to its pyramidal shape, the reduction of the chimney inordinately widened its razeed summit. Inordinately, I say, but only in the estimation of such as have no eye to the pic- turesque. What care I, if, unaware that my chimney, as a free citizen of this free land, stands upon an independent basis of its own, people passing it wondering how such a brick-kiln, as they call it, is supported upon mere joists and rafters? What care I? I will give a traveler a cup of switchel, if he ants it; but am I bound to supply him with a sweet taste? Men of cultivated minds see, in my old house and chimney, a goodly old elephant- and-castle. All feeling hearts will sympathize with me in what I am now about to add. The surgical operation, above referred to, nec- essarily brought into the open air a part of the chimney previously under cover, and intended to remain so and, there- fore, not built of what are called weather-bricks. In con- sequence, the chimney, though of a vigorous constitution, suffered not a little from so naked an exposure; and, unable to acclimate itself, ere long began to fail——showing blotchy symp- toms akin to those in the measles. Whereupon travelers, passing my way, would wag their heads, laughing: "See that wax nose ——how it melts off!" But what cared I? The same travelers would travel across the sea to view Kenilworth peeling away, and for a very good reason: that of all artists of the picturesque, decay wears the palm——I would say, the ivy. In fact, I've often thought that the proper place for my old chimney is ivied old England. In vain my wife——with what probable ulterior intent will, ere long, appear——solemnly warned me, that unless something were done, and speedily, we should be burnt to the ground, owing to the holes crumbling through the aforesaid blotchy parts, where the chimney joined the roof. "Wife," said I, "far better that my house should burn down, than my chimney should be pulled down, though but a few feet. They call it a wax nose; very good; not for me to tweak the nose of my superior." But at last the man who has a mortgage on the house dropped me a note, reminding me that, if my chimney was allowed to stand in that invalid condition, my policy of insurance would be void. This was a sort of hint not to be neglected. All the world over, the picturesque yields to the pocketesque. The mort- gagor cared not, but the mortgagee did. So another operation was performed. The wax nose was taken off, and a new one fitted on. Unfortunately for the expression ——being put up buy a squint-eyed mason who, at the time, had a bad stitch in the same side——the new nose stands a little awry, in the same direction. Of one thing, however, I am proud. The horizontal dimen- sions of the new part are unreduced. Large as the chimney appears upon the roof, that is nothing to its spaciousness below. At its base in the cellar, it is precisely twelve feet square; and hence covers precisely one hundred and fourty-four superficial feet. What an appropriation of terra firma for a chimney, and what a huge load for this earth! In fact, it was only because I and my chimney formed no part of his an- cient burden, that that stout peddler, Atlas of old, was enabled to stand up so bravely under his pack. The dimensions given may, perhaps, seem fabulous. But, like those stones at Gilgal, which Joshua set up for a memorial of having passed over Jor- dan, does not my chimney remain, even unto this day? Very often I go down into my cellar, and attentively survey the vast square of masonry. I stand long, and ponder over, and wonder at it. It has a druidical look, away down in the umbrageous cellar there, whose numerous vaulted passages, and far glens of gloom, resemble he dark, damp depths of primeval woods. So strongly did this conceit steal over me, so deeply was I penetrated with wonder at the chimney, that one day——when I was a little out of my mind, I now think——get- ting a spade from the garden, I set to work, digging round the foundation, especially at the corners thereof, obscurely prompted by dreams of striking upon some old, earthen-worn memorial of that bygone day when, into all this gloom, the light of heaven entered, as the masons laid the foundation-stones, peradventure sweltering under the August sun, or pelted by a March storm. Plying my blunted spade, how vexed was I by that ungracious interruption of a neighbor, who, calling to see me upon some business, and being informed that I was below, said I need not be troubled to come up, but he would go down to me; and so, without ceremony, and without my having been forewarned, suddenly discovered me, digging in my cellar. "Gold-digging, sir?" "Nay, sir," answered I, starting, "I was merely——ahem! merely ——I say merely digging——round my chimney." "Ah, loosening the soil, to make it grow. Your chimney, sir, you regard as too small, I suppose; needing further develop- ment, especially at the top?" "Sir!" said I, throwing down the spade, "do not be personal. I and my chimney——" "Personal?" "Sir, I look upon this chimney less as a pile of masonry than as a personage. It is the king of the house. I am but a suffered and inferior subject." In fact, I would permit no gibes to be cast at either myself or my chimney; and never did my visitor refer to it in my hearing, without coupling some compliment with the mention. It deserves a respectful consideration. There it stands, solitary and alone——not a council -of-ten flues, but, like his sa- cred majesty of Russia, a unit of an autocrat. Even to me, its dimensions, at times, seem incredible. It does not look so big——no, not even in the cellar. By the mere eye, its magnitude can be but imperfectly comprehended, because only one side can be received at one time; and said side can only present twelve feet, linear measure. But then, each other side also is twelve feet long; and the whole obviously forms a square; and twelve times twelve is one hundred and forty-four. And so, and adequate conception of the magnitude of this chim- ney is only to be got at by a sort of process in the higher math- ematics, by a method somewhat akin to those whereby the surprising distances of fixed stars are computed. It need hardly be said that the walls of my house are entirely free from fireplaces. These all congregate in the middle——in the one grand central chimney, upon all four sides of which are hearths——two tiers of hearths——so that when, in the various chambers, my family and guests are warming themselves of a cold winter's night, just before retiring, then, though at the time they may not be thinking so, all their faces mutually look towards each other, yea, all their feet point to one centre; and, when they go to sleep in their beds, they all sleep round one warm chimney, like so many Iroquois Indians, in the woods, round their one heap of embers. And just as the Indians' fire serves, not only to keep them comfortable, but also to keep off wolves, and other savage monsters, so my chimney, by its ob- vious smoke at he top, keeps off prowling burglars from the towns ——for what burglar or murderer would dare break into an abode from whose chimney issues such a continual smoke_— betokening that if the inmates are not stirring, at least fires are, and in case of an alarm, candles may be lighted, to say nothing of muskets. But stately as is the chimney——yea, grand high altar as it is, right worthy for the celebration of High Mass before the Pope of Rome, and all his cardinals——yet what is there perfect in this world? Caius Julius Caesar, had he not been so inordinately great, they say that Brutus, Cassius, Antony, and the rest, had been greater. My chimney, were it not so mighty in its magni- tude, my chambers had been larger. How often has my wife ruefully told me, that my chimney, like all English aristocracy, casts a contracting shade all round it. She avers that endless domestic inconveniences arise——more particularly from the chimney's stubborn central locality. The grand objection with her is that it stands midway in the place where a fine entrance- hall ought to be. In truth, there is no hall whatever to the house ——nothing but a sort of square landing-place, as you enter from the wide front door. A roomy enough landing-place, I admit, but not attaining to the dignity of a hall. Now, as the front door is precisely in the middle of the front of the house, inwards it faces the chimney. In fact, the opposite wall of the landing- place is formed solely by the chimney; and hence——owing to the gradual tapering of the chimney——is a little less than twelve feet in width. Climbing the chimney in this part, is the princi- pal staircase——which, by three abrupt turns, and three minor landing-places, mounts to the second floor, where, over the front door, runs a sort of narrow gallery, something less than twelve feet long, leading to chambers on either hand. This gallery, of course, is railed; and so, looking down upon the stairs, and all those landing-places together, with the main one at bottom, resembles not a little a balcony for musicians, in some jolly old abode, in times Elizabethan. Shall I tell a weak- ness? I cherish the cobwebs there, and many a time arrest Biddy in the act of brushing them with her broom, and have many a quarrel with my wife and daughters about it. Now the ceiling, so to speak, of the place where you enter the house, that ceiling is, in fact, the ceiling of the second floor, not the first. The two floors are made one here, so that ascend- ing this turning stairs, you seem to go up into a kind of soar- ing tower, or light-house. At the second landing, midway up the chimney, is a mysterious door, entering to a mysterious closet; and here I keep mysterious cordials, of a choice, mys- terious flavor, made so by the constant nurturing and subtle ripening of the chimney's gentle heat, distilled through that warm mass of masonry. Better for wines is it than voyages to the Indies; my chimney itself a tropic. A chair by my chimney in a November day is as good for an invalid as a long season spent in Cuba. Often I think how grapes might ripen against my chimney. How my wife's geraniums bud there! Bud in December. Her eggs, too——can't keep them near the chimney, on account of hatching. Ah, a warm heart has my chimney. How often my wife was at me about that projected grand entrance-hall of hers, which was to be knocked clean through the chimney, from one end of the house to the other, and as- tonish all guests by its generous amplitude. "But, wife," said I, "the chimney——consider the chimney: if you demolish the foundation, what is to support the superstructure?" "Oh, that will rest on the second floor." The truth is, women know next to nothing about the realities of architecture. However, my wife still talked of running her entries and partitions. She spent many long nights elaborating her plans; in imagination build- ing her boasted hall through the chimney, as though its high mightiness were a mere spear of sorrel-top. At last, I gently reminded her that, little as she might fancy it, the chimney was a fact——a sober, substantial fact, which, in all her plannings, it would be well to take into full consideration. But this was not of much avail. And here, specially craving her permission, I must say a few words about this enterprising wife of mine. Though in years nearly as old as myself, in spirit she is young as my little sorrel mare, Trigger, that threw me last fall. What is extraordi- nary, though she comes of a rheumatic family, she is straight as a pine, never has any aches; while for me with the sciatica, I am sometimes as crippled up as any old apple tree. But she has not so much as a toothache. As for her hearing——let me en- ter the house in my dusty boots, and she away up in the attic. And for her sight——Biddy, the housemaid, tells other people's housemaids, that her mistress will spy a spot on the dresser straight through the pewter platter, put up on purpose to hide it. Her faculties are alert as her limbs and her senses. No danger of my spouse dying of torpor. The longest night in the year I've known her to lie awake, planning her campaign for the mor- row. She is a natural projector. The maxim, "Whatever is, is right," is not hers. Her maxim is, Whatever is, is wrong; and what is more, must be altered; and what is still more, must be altered right away. Dreadful maxim for the wife of a dozy old dreamer like me, who dotes on seventh days as days of rest, and, out of sabbatical horror of industry, will, on a week-day, go out of my road a quarter of a mile, to avoid the sight of a man at work. That matches are made in heaven, may be, but my wife would have been just the wife for Peter the Great, or Peter the Piper. How she would have set in order that huge littered em- pire of the one, and with indefatigable painstaking picked the peck of pickled peppers for the other. But the most wonderful thing is, my wife never thinks of her end. Her youthful incredulity, as to the plain theory, and still plainer fact of death, hardly seems Christian. Advanced in years, as she knows she must be, my wife seems to think that she is to teem on, and be inexhaustible forever. She doesn't believe in old age. At that strange promise in the plain of Mamre, my old wife, unlike old Abraham's, would not have jeeringly laughed within herself. Judge how to me, who, sitting in the comfortable shadow of my chimney, smoking my comfortable pipe, with ashes not unwelcome at my feet, and ashes not unwelcome all but in my mouth; and who am thus in a comfortable sort of not unwel- come, though, indeed, ashy enough way, reminded of the ul- timate exhaustion even of the most fiery life; judge how to me this unwarrantable vitality in my wife must come, sometimes, it is true, with a moral and a calm, but oftener with a breeze and a ruffle. If the doctrine be true, that in wedlock contraries attract, but how cogent a fatality must I have been drawn to my wife! While spicily impatient of present and past, like a glass of gin- ger-beer she overflows with her schemes; and, with like energy as she puts down her foot, puts down her preserves and her pickles, and lives with them in a continual future; or ever full of expectations both from time and space, is ever restless for newspapers, and ravenous for letters. Content with the years that are gone, taking no thought for the morrow, and looking for no new thing from any person or quarter whatever, I have not a single scheme or expectation on earth, save in unequal resistance of the undue encroachment of hers. Old myself, I take to oldness in things; for that cause mainly loving old Montaigne, and old cheese, and old wine; and eschewing young people, hot rolls, new book, and early potatoes, and very fond of my old claw-footed chair, and old club-footed Deacon White, my neighbor, and that still nigher old neighbor, my betwisted grape-vine, that of a summer evening leans in his elbow for cosy company at my window- sill, while I, within doors, lean over mine to meet his; and above all, high above all, am fond of my highmanteled old chimney. But she, out of that infatuate juvenility of hers, takes to nothing but newness; for that cause mainly, loving new cider in autumn, and in spring, as if she were own daughter of Nebuchadnezzar, fairly raving after all sorts of salads and spin- aches, and more particularly green cucumbers (though all the time nature rebukes such unsuitable young hankerings in so elderly a person, by never permitting such things to agree with her), and has an itch after recently-discovered fine pros- pects (so no grave-yard be in the background), and also after Swedenborgianism, and the Spirit Rapping philosophy, with other new views, alike in things natural and unnatural; and immortally hopeful, is forever making new flower-beds even on the north side of the house, where the bleak mountain wind would scarce allow the wiry weed called hard-hack to gain a thorough footing; and on the road-side sets out mere pipestems of young elms; though there is no hope of any shade from them, except over the ruins of her great granddaughters' grave-stones; and won't wear caps, but plaits her gray hair; and takes the Ladies' Magazine for the fashions; and always buys her new almanac a month before the new year; and rises at dawn; and to the warmest sunset turns a cold shoulder; and still goes on at odd hours with her new course of history, and her French, and her music; and likes young company; and offers to ride young colts; and sets out young suckers in the orchard; and has a spite against my elbowed old grape-vine, and my club-footed old neighbor, and my claw-footed old chair, and above all, high above all, would fain persecute, unto death, my high- manteled old chimney. By what perverse magic, I a thousand times think, does such a very autumnal old lady have such a very vernal young soul? When I would remonstrate at times, she spins round on me with, "Oh, don't you grumble, old man (she always calls me old man), it's I, young I, that keep you from stagnating." Well, I suppose it is so. Yea, after all, these things are well ordered. My wife, as one of her poor relations, good soul, intimates, is the salt of the earth, and none the less the salt of my sea, which otherwise were unwholesome. She is its monsoon, too blowing a brisk gale over it, in the one steady direction of my chimney. Not insensible of her superior energies, my wife has fre- quently made me propositions to take upon herself all the responsibilities of my affairs. She is desirous that, domestically, I should abdicate; that, renouncing further rule, like the vener- able Charles V, I should retire into some sort of monastery. But indeed, the chimney excepted, I have little authority to lay down. My wife's ingenious application of the principle that certain things belong to right to female jurisdiction, I find myself, through my easy compliances, insensibly stripped by de- grees of one masculine prerogative after another. In a dream I go about my fields, a sort of lazy, happy-go-lucky, good-for- nothing, loafing old Lear. Only by some sudden revelation am I reminded who is over me; as year before last, one day seeing in one corner of the premises fresh deposits of mysterious boards and timbers, the oddity of the incident at length begat serious meditation. "Wife," said I, "whose boards and timbers are those I see near the orchard there? Do you know anything about them, wife? Who put them there? You know I do not like the neighbors to use my land that way; they should ask per- mission first." She regarded me with a pitying smile. "Why, old man, don't you know I am building a new barn? Didn't you know that, old man?" This is the poor old lady that was accusing me of tyrannizing over her. To return now to the chimney. Upon being assured of the futility of her proposed hall, so long as the obstacle remained, for a time my wife was for a modified project. But I could never exactly comprehend it. As far as I could see through it, it seemed to involve the general idea of a sort of irregular arch- way, or elbowed tunnel, which was to penetrate the chimney at some convenient point under the stair-case, and carefully avoiding dangerous contact with fireplaces, and particu- larly steering clear of the great interior flue, was to conduct the enterprising traveler from the front door all the way into the dining-room in the remote rear of the mansion. Doubtless it was a bold stroke of genius, that plan of hers, and so was Nero's when he schemed his grand canal through the Isthmus of Corinth. Nor will I take oath, that, had her project been ac- complished, then, by help of lights hung at judicious intervals through the tunnel, some Belzoni or other might have suc- ceeded in future ages to penetrate through the masonry, and actually emerging into the dining-room, and once there, it would have been inhospitable treatment of such a traveler to have denied him a recruiting meal. But my bustling wife did not restrict her objections, nor in the end confine her proposed alterations to the first floor. Her ambition was of the mounting order. She ascended with her schemes to the second floor, and so to the attic. Perhaps there was some small ground for her discontent with things as they were. The truth is, there was no regular passage-way up stairs or down, unless we again except that little orchestra-gallery before mentioned. And all this was owing to the chimney, which my gamesome spouse seemed despitefully to regard as the bully of the house. On all its four sides, nearly all the cham- bers sidled up to the chimney for the benefit of a fireplace. The chimney would not go to them; they must needs go to it. The consequence was, almost every room, like a philosophical sys- tem, was in itself an entry, or passage-way to other rooms, and systems of rooms——a whole suite of entries, in fact. Going through the house, you seem to be forever going somewhere, and getting nowhere. It is like losing one's self in the woods; round and round the chimney you go, and if you arrive at all, it is just where you started, and so you begin again, and again get nowhere. Indeed——though I say it not in the way of fault- finding at all——never was there so labyrinthine an abode. Guests will tarry with me several weeks and every now and then, be anew astonished at some unforeseen apartment.
We don't have to trust [miners] to be "honest" as Satoshi unfortunately worded it.
Replace the term honest with "intelligently profit-seeking."
Bitcoin assumes miners are intelligently profit-seeking, meaning that they have a decent enough read on what the ecosystem wants that they can and will make any necessary changes to please the ecosystem and thus boost their own bottom line.
Greg's recent comments on BU totally discredited him, as he revealed himself to have no friggin' idea how Bitcoin works.
He actually thought "honest" meant something like "plays by Core rules." That's a completely broken understanding of Bitcoin, and implies centralization.
It's the kind of misconception I'd expect from a run-of-the-mill nobody on a forum, not from the mighty leader of Core/BS. I'm kinda pissed I wasted mental clock ticks trying to debate this guy without realizing he has not just a flawed understanding, but zero understanding of how Bitcoin works at all. And of course all his supporters parrot his nonsense view of how Bitcoin supposedly works.
Mining control is the key invention of Bitcoin. It's how it doesn't just devolve into yet another failed subjective monetary scheme. If you don't like it, you should figure out another scheme. Perhaps proof of stake is more your thing?
Also, it's pretty amazing that you think just because BU makes it more convenient for miners to do what they always could do, that that somehow dooms Bitcoin. If that dooms it, it was already a dead man walking.
How do you propose to stop miners from altering their own blocksize settings?
If you have no answer, you have no grounds to attack BU without falling into the category of being a Bitcoin skeptic.
It's actually fairly subtle: mining IS how you vote for rule changes, BUT miners have every incentive to vote with the market, so they DON'T have any meaningful ability to push rules on the community (even under BU).
There is no trust or "honesty" involved, as Satoshi unfortunately worded it. There is only the underlying assumption that makes Bitcoin work: the assumption that the vast majority of miners are INTELLIGENTLY PROFIT-SEEKING.
The only way this system can break is if the majority of miners seek something other than profit (say a government took the major mining pools over and somehow hashers couldn't switch away in time), or the miners misjudge what the market wants (due to a failure of market communication).
However, in this case and on these timescales it is obvious the current crop of miners are generally profit-seeking. And if they are misjudging the market, we have a remedy: we can resolve that through fork futures trading on the exchanges.
Note that this is just moving the decision from the first kind of investors (miners) to the general investing public. Miners are a first-line proxy for investors in general. If they fail to reflect investor will, investors are free to take it to the market by forking and trading the two sides of the fork (preferably as futures so as to avoid scrambling to upgrade urgently).
Also important would be to maximize freedom of discussion so that market communication is not distorted. Finally, the whole idea of the UASF people, that we would poll the ecosystem somehow to prove the economic majority wants some change, already means that merely showing this proof to the miners should convince them, as they are intelligently profit-seeking. But that obviates the need for a UASF in the first place (!).
I used to think they don't understand markets, but in fact they are stuck at an even more basic level than that.
I took a spin through the wreckage of /Bitcoin today for the first time in weeks. It was pleasantly surprising to see how with the ramping up of miner support for BU, the Core arguments have been reduced to obvious fundamental misunderstandings of Bitcoin that are now trivial to rebut.
In a word, they haven't actually grasped the concept of incentives.
This goes all the way to the top, not just the supporters but the key Core devs themselves. They don't understand markets, yes, but it's not like they are even close. They lack the understanding of even the fundamental building blocks of markets.
When you think about it, governance by incentives is pretty subtle. Even if one reads the whitepaper and goes, "Oh yeah I see, miners would be motivated not to kill the golden goose in that situation," it is quite another matter to fully internalize the fact that the only reason Bitcoin is a thing at all is because of the assumption that miners are not idiots. Or more accurately, that miners as a group will never have a gross failure to correctly apprehend the wishes of the market.
This is the source of all the weird claims about miners controlling or not controlling Bitcoin.
Core and Blockstream dev Matt Corallo thinks that if miners were allowed to (not mentioning how they could be disallowed to), they would mine extra coins for all the "extra profits." Again this goes beyond failing to understand markets, all the way down to failing to understand or take seriously incentives as a concept at all. I'm not blaming him, he's a coder; I blame those who take his commentary on non-coding matters seriously, merely by dint of his coding skill.
A constant refrain from Core supporters as BU gain hashpower is that "miners don't control Bitcoin." This is actually correct: miners don't control Bitcoin, they won't act against the economic majority. But not because they can't. They certainly can, just like oncoming traffic can swerve toward you on the freeway. But they don't, because that would destroy them as well.
Thus is the subtlety of governance by incentives. Miners have control, but they won't use it to do anything that displeases the ecosystem, on balance. Or they might, but in that case Bitcoin is a failed concept as its fundamental assumption is then proven to be broken.
Many or most anti-BU arguments unwittingly take that form: they start with the premise that Bitcoin is broken [i.e., miners are idiots or that they grossly fail to read the market] and reason from there to conclude that BU is broken. Examples include the median EB attack, the various big block attacks, and the bizarre claim that BU has a "new security model" because it "lets miners do something they couldn't before" (ironically implying Core has snuck in a new security model where they try to restrain miners by making it inconvenient for them to change a blocksize setting).
Hence we see that it isn't merely a matter of Core and Blockstream people having initially dismissed Bitcoin and then later seeing the light when the price rises forced them to look deeper. They in fact still haven't seen the light. They never fully understood the basic dynamic that makes Bitcoin tick, let alone understanding higher level concepts like markets. This is why they so easily fall into the central planning mindset, seeing Bitcoin as a fragile little thing that must be defended by their wise paternalistic guidance.
The Core devs have replaced the fundamental assumption in the whitepaper, that most miners are honest (I prefer "most miners are not idiots" as it is harder to misinterpret), with the fundamental assumption that the right set of people (or the right repository governance structure) is in charge of the "reference implementation."
This manifests as a kind of envy toward the miners and comes with all the other curious trappings of the Core worldview: the code is the spec, hard forks are dangerous, Core = Bitcoin, anything that deviates from Core diktats is an "altcoin," it doesn't count as censorship to delete discussion of alternative clients as they are "off topic," nodes > miners, anything that makes it a bit easier for miners to do something Core doesn't like is an "attack" on Bitcoin, centralized control by Core is necessary to preserve decentralization, UASF is a viable idea, Segwit has consensus among "the Bitcoin experts," and so on.
Estimated Core hashrate down below 2/3 already.
Core has lost supermajority status, even with all the historical inertia, miner conservatism, and crackerjack programmers they are reported to have on their side. Even with the "consensus" of "the experts."
Even with two years of mindbendingly extreme censorship in their favor on the two biggest Bitcoin discussion forums.
The Core devs have directly created this situation by keeping the blocksize cap locked down long after it became controversial. The logic of how users make needed changes to the protocol, as mentioned in the whitepaper, requires that users be able to easily adjust any settings that are controversial, so as to be able to "vote with their CPU" power in a smooth manner.
Core tries to leverage their waning "reference implementation" status to rig the vote by deliberately leaving the now maximally controversial blocksize limit hard-coded, forcing the user to venture out into relatively new dev team offerings if they want to cast a vote. This is exactly how you create the conditions for a contentious split. They have brought this upon themselves entirely.
Adam implies BU is pre-alpha, yet it is winning in the only arena where people actually put their money where their mouths are.
How pathetic does it make Core that they are losing to a pre-alpha client?
👆lolComment removed from /badeconomics - lowskilled_immigrant - Created on 07/24/18 00:00:42 UTC - permalink
Serves you cunts right. Vote in shit, get your shit on your face.Comment removed from /Economics - speciesunworthy - Created on 07/24/18 00:22:06 UTC - permalink
Nope just a patriot pissed off at economic attacks on my country. I'm actively boycotting US products and travel where feasible. They voted for this so FUCK THEM.Comment removed from /Economics - speciesunworthy - Created on 07/24/18 00:27:56 UTC - permalink
Same here even switched to locally made vodka and beer. Remember, they hate us cuz they ain’t us. Hopefully the next one in office undoes all the shit this one has doneComment removed from /Economics - lord-derricicus - Created on 07/24/18 01:36:14 UTC - permalink
The reason why fiat has failed is largely due to the global elite purchasing bitcoin. Effectively moving the supply curve right and decreasing demand for paper currency.Comment removed from /badeconomics - Augustus_Trollus_III - Created on 07/24/18 01:52:26 UTC - permalink
I honestly couldn’t care less about the plight of some soybean farmers.Comment removed from /Economics - FloatyFish - Created on 07/24/18 02:14:40 UTC - permalink
You're an idiot, good luckComment removed from /Economics - europeanconsumer - Created on 07/24/18 03:08:42 UTC - permalink
Says the dude who posts in t_dComment removed from /Economics - Spy_v_Spy_Freakshow - Created on 07/24/18 03:12:20 UTC - permalink
Yeah, and guess what, they aren't going to just give it back either!Comment removed from /Economics - CarbonLifeForm69 - Created on 07/24/18 03:31:10 UTC - permalink
Geeze, you sound exactly like a Trump voter, dude. Take it easy.Comment removed from /Economics - tktk77 - Created on 07/24/18 03:52:15 UTC - permalink
That’s a pretty shortsighted approach to takeComment removed from /Economics - 255979119 - Created on 07/24/18 04:40:38 UTC - permalink
So essentially.... capitalism vs communism?Comment removed from /AskEconomics - waynerooney501 - Created on 07/24/18 04:59:50 UTC - permalink
Price theory only applies to firms when they face decreasing returns to scale, hence it really doesn't describe many parts of the real economy.Comment removed from /AskEconomics - themountaingoat - Created on 07/24/18 05:04:09 UTC - permalink
Yeh fuck farmers! Who needs food anyways. Fuckin jabroniComment removed from /Economics - czechweasel - Created on 07/24/18 05:20:34 UTC - permalink
You get what you voted for.Comment removed from /Economics - Muny30 - Created on 07/24/18 05:36:58 UTC - permalink
Yup serves these hillbillies right.Comment removed from /Economics - littlecro - Created on 07/24/18 08:08:23 UTC - permalink
At least some poor underage pregnant girls won't be getting abortions...Comment removed from /Economics - cd411 - Created on 07/24/18 11:44:30 UTC - permalink
Trump voters getting exactly what they voted for.Comment removed from /Economics - drobinsondn - Created on 07/24/18 12:09:49 UTC - permalink
So, because they’re farmers they’re all Trump-supporting hillbillies?Comment removed from /Economics - maosaysmiao - Created on 07/24/18 12:17:17 UTC - permalink
I don’t eat soy, therefore I’m not impacted 😀Comment removed from /Economics - FloatyFish - Created on 07/24/18 12:24:26 UTC - permalink
They voted for Trump which means they’re responsible for this. I’m tired of hearing them bitch about their plight when it’s self inflicted.Comment removed from /Economics - FloatyFish - Created on 07/24/18 12:29:07 UTC - permalink
I know, it’s not fair. But since we are all suffering because of what is going on and people’s kids are sitting around in cages, I’m not gonna feel that bad if the South suffers with us. They can bear the burden of their shit decisions.Comment removed from /Economics - littlecro - Created on 07/24/18 13:06:14 UTC - permalink
Maybe I haven't read enough articles, but I'd like to see more and more of these people being adversely affected by the tariffs start to call Trump by name or to express regret in voting for him.Comment removed from /Economics - MasterClown - Created on 07/24/18 13:31:25 UTC - permalink
That's why the Republicans will make sure the US famers don't even notice.Comment removed from /Economics - It-Wanted-A-Username - Created on 07/24/18 13:45:36 UTC - permalink
They're bring back a depression-era program to subsidize the farmers hurt during the trade war. This should hold over the rural republican voters until the midterm or even the presidential election. They'll just use tax dollars to pay for farmers being hurt by the trade war as long as they keep voting republican.
Hey, I'm a 30 year old American!Comment removed from /Economics - pwlocke13 - Created on 07/24/18 13:53:06 UTC - permalink
So their answer is to steal it and redistributeComment removed from /Economics - AFreedomLover - Created on 07/24/18 14:11:15 UTC - permalink
Got any better ideas?Comment removed from /Economics - joehillen - Created on 07/24/18 14:22:47 UTC - permalink
Innovation, hard work, not being a victim, stop the pity party. Stop blaming everyone else.Comment removed from /Economics - AFreedomLover - Created on 07/24/18 14:25:30 UTC - permalink
Taxes aren’t stealing.Comment removed from /Economics - Finally_Adult - Created on 07/24/18 14:38:44 UTC - permalink
Cool storyComment removed from /Economics - shades344 - Created on 07/24/18 14:44:05 UTC - permalink
You are arguing semantics.Comment removed from /Economics - persolb - Created on 07/24/18 14:46:13 UTC - permalink
If I demand your money (for prection, of course), and that is backed by the threat of violence, that's stealing.
You don't want to call taxes stealing, because the entity doing the stealing also writes the law that defines what is legally theft.
(Note: I think taxes for thepublic good and the threat of punishment for failure to pay are both necessary... But let's not try and pretend it's not stealing.)
That’s so silly. You get a return on your investment in the government. Some people get a shittier return than others, sure. But everyone benefits from the programs that taxes provide.Comment removed from /Economics - Finally_Adult - Created on 07/24/18 14:48:43 UTC - permalink
Calling it stealing is silly.
I also get a return on my investment when I pay a protection racket... And every that pays gets the benefitComment removed from /Economics - persolb - Created on 07/24/18 14:52:49 UTC - permalink
It’s so ridiculous to call taxes stealing. We elect officials to represent us, they enact taxation laws, which represent our interests. What are we stealing from ourselves? Silly...Comment removed from /Economics - Finally_Adult - Created on 07/24/18 14:56:10 UTC - permalink
You have a very optimistic view on government.Comment removed from /Economics - persolb - Created on 07/24/18 14:59:30 UTC - permalink
51% of the population votes in people to then take away everything some other subset of the population has. This isn't stealing?
(Note: this has happened in multiple counties, and this article is talking about a WAY waterered down version of this)
Everything? That’s a bit hyperbolic wouldn’t you say?Comment removed from /Economics - Finally_Adult - Created on 07/24/18 15:01:04 UTC - permalink
If people don’t participate in voting is that somehow the other people’s fault?
I understand government is inefficient, I don’t like the way all of it is spent for sure. But that doesn’t make taxes stealing.
Jesus Christ.Comment removed from /Economics - internal69audit - Created on 07/24/18 15:01:42 UTC - permalink
You missed my point. If 51% want to take your shit, they can legally do it. Your vote doesn't help at all.Comment removed from /Economics - persolb - Created on 07/24/18 15:04:15 UTC - permalink
Would you see this different than theft?
Ahh I see what you mean. I see you’ve turned a representative democracy into “stealing other people’s shit”Comment removed from /Economics - Finally_Adult - Created on 07/24/18 15:07:35 UTC - permalink
“Shit” costs money. Government provides services. If you don’t want to live in a state that provides government services there are a few available to move to.
Isn’t that a lot of the right-wing’s arguments? Don’t like how things are done: move.
There are checks and balances for a reason. Nobody’s coming for more than your fair share. You may disagree on what your fair share is, so I suggest voting. It’s never going to be 0, and above 0 isn’t stealing.
This fucking administration...Comment removed from /Economics - telltaleharte - Created on 07/24/18 15:10:12 UTC - permalink
The GOP can't afford to lose that voting bloc; naturally they'll get a bailout.Comment removed from /Economics - dispatch00 - Created on 07/24/18 15:13:38 UTC - permalink
Costing the taxpayers twice!
You can't steal what is rightfully yours.Comment removed from /Economics - MCVIXI - Created on 07/24/18 15:14:34 UTC - permalink
How come nobody and where is the money coming from to fix Trump's screw ups, but try to pay for poor children's lunch all of a sudden Republicans are all up in arms about fiscal responsibilityComment removed from /Economics - jyz002 - Created on 07/24/18 15:16:12 UTC - permalink
☝️let me tell you folks 👐we are going to have the biggest most beautiful deficit 👈you know it, I know it. It’ll be 👌yuuuuge👌Comment removed from /Economics - myweed1esbigger - Created on 07/24/18 15:18:51 UTC - permalink
Hey! Isn't this theComment removed from /Economics - graynymph7459 - Created on 07/24/18 15:20:17 UTC - permalink
that had access to personal computers their entire lives? Fucking shits can't even 1v1 not online 😶😶😶🤣
This fucking entire country.....Comment removed from /Economics - OptimalDouche - Created on 07/24/18 15:20:38 UTC - permalink
Investments are voluntary.Comment removed from /Economics - AFreedomLover - Created on 07/24/18 15:20:55 UTC - permalink
Just bout some Maine lobster for under $5 per pound thanks to Chinese tariffs.Comment removed from /Economics - HuskyPupper - Created on 07/24/18 15:24:12 UTC - permalink
Nice work Trump! I love lobster and don't want those Chinese eating all mine.
You haven’t been paying attention, have you?Comment removed from /Economics - internal69audit - Created on 07/24/18 15:27:14 UTC - permalink
You’re Free to leave the United States of America at anytime you likeComment removed from /Economics - Finally_Adult - Created on 07/24/18 15:27:31 UTC - permalink
Where!!??!!Comment removed from /Economics - captainroyal - Created on 07/24/18 15:29:19 UTC - permalink
It is almost as if he routinely and effortlessly lies.Comment removed from /Economics - ChocolateSunrise - Created on 07/24/18 15:29:23 UTC - permalink
Shouldn't we have the revenue from the tariffs to use for things like this?Comment removed from /Economics - PigSlam - Created on 07/24/18 15:33:19 UTC - permalink
Comment removed from /Economics - mhornberger - Created on 07/24/18 15:33:55 UTC - permalinkand how that is simply not what was intended by founding fathers/constitution. Tyranny of the minority is worse than tyranny of the majority...Cue routine response that the nation was supposed to be a union of coequal, sovereign states, not a republic where we collectively choose our leaders. So in that model a rural state with 1% of the population of CA would be equal in power to CA. There is no way rural states are going to willingly give up the disproportionate power they have. They're going to take any effort to have their votes count the same as other citizens as them being disenfranchised.
🤦♂️ k. That was dumb.Comment removed from /Economics - AFreedomLover - Created on 07/24/18 15:36:31 UTC - permalink
Lol, sounds pretty voluntary to me.Comment removed from /Economics - Finally_Adult - Created on 07/24/18 15:36:56 UTC - permalink
I just expect every "decision" he makes to have a purely political reason, he's not working for any Americans other than the ones who like him.Comment removed from /Economics - Lukewarm_beans - Created on 07/24/18 15:37:06 UTC - permalink
Maine lobster has been cheap for years because of a glut caused by ocean warming which drove the lobster population north, right into the Maine coast. Science!Comment removed from /Economics - NemWan - Created on 07/24/18 15:37:31 UTC - permalink
Get that logic outta here!Comment removed from /Economics - dispatch00 - Created on 07/24/18 15:38:17 UTC - permalink
So today we’re pro socialism and welfare?Comment removed from /Economics - HighOnGoofballs - Created on 07/24/18 15:38:17 UTC - permalink
Hey man, us American are sorry. Please don't be too spiteful, we don't like the guy either!Comment removed from /Economics - Rugged_Refined - Created on 07/24/18 15:39:14 UTC - permalink
Hyperbole aside the Legislative system is designed to specifically give disproportionate power to states with smaller populations. Tyranny of the majority is a real concern when we think about political balance of power.Comment removed from /Economics - June1994 - Created on 07/24/18 15:40:08 UTC - permalink
Market basket.Comment removed from /Economics - HuskyPupper - Created on 07/24/18 15:42:12 UTC - permalink
Can finally get some big ones too. Got a 2.5 lb lobster. Haven't been able to find those let alone buy them for some time now.
While 5 dollar lobster sounds great and all, it's not really related to the topic.Comment removed from /Economics - Rugged_Refined - Created on 07/24/18 15:42:29 UTC - permalink
Also proof, or it didn't happen..
Damn, only exist in the New England area. We only have $6, 4oz Florida lobster tails here at Kroger in the south east.Comment removed from /Economics - captainroyal - Created on 07/24/18 15:44:00 UTC - permalink
Other industries aren't his core voters. It wouldn't make as much sense for Trump to give them free money.Comment removed from /Economics - Katholikos - Created on 07/24/18 15:46:53 UTC - permalink
You know what's worse than tyranny of the majority? Tyranny of the minority.Comment removed from /Economics - minno - Created on 07/24/18 15:49:43 UTC - permalink
We knowComment removed from /Economics - Deofol7 - Created on 07/24/18 15:50:34 UTC - permalink
1: Promise farmers and coal miners that you are their president and will fight for them.Comment removed from /Economics - palindrome_is_not - Created on 07/24/18 15:51:51 UTC - permalink
2: Start a trade war that directly damages the farmers and coal miners
3: Use tax dollars to subsidize your inability to make any meaningful policy to fulfill your promise to the farmers and coal miners.
4: Get millions of votes from farmers and coal miners.
This is the world we live in.
Sure, but the current issue has more to do with the parts the Constitution left unaddressed rather than vice versa. Also, a tyranny of the minority can be overcome or contained, tyranny of the majority is rather absolute.Comment removed from /Economics - June1994 - Created on 07/24/18 15:53:13 UTC - permalink
I'm 35. My father was a laborer and I'm an engineer. When adjusting for inflation and factoring in his overtime vs me being salaried, he made the same amount of money 30 years ago that I do today.Comment removed from /Economics - Red_bearrr - Created on 07/24/18 15:55:17 UTC - permalink
Hi 35, I'm dad!Comment removed from /Economics - dadjokes_bot - Created on 07/24/18 15:55:18 UTC - permalink
Comment removed from /Economics - KinterVonHurin - Created on 07/24/18 15:55:45 UTC - permalinknd how that is simply not what was intended by founding fathers/constitution.What? That was the exact intention of the founding fathers, that even little states the rest of the country considers backwater would be able to have a say: that's literally the point of the electoral college.
Because they are full of shit.Comment removed from /Economics - Tullay - Created on 07/24/18 15:57:20 UTC - permalink
It's not only that though, the Senate cuts down on the power of Gerrymandering. You can't cut up a state so that it's Senate representation is wildly unlike it's demographic. However the problem with that is then you get crazy things like North Dakota having the same representation as California in the Senate.Comment removed from /Economics - changee_of_ways - Created on 07/24/18 16:00:16 UTC - permalink
I think the real problem is the fact that Democracy is too much work for most people who live in the modern world. "Government of the People" requires The People to do the actual work of governing, and in our case they have totally abandoned their duties.
I have a garden in my backyard, where do I sign up for hand outs?Comment removed from /Economics - fogcity89 - Created on 07/24/18 16:00:48 UTC - permalink
You are equating having your vote count the same as mine as living under a tyranny. There is no system where rural states don't have disproportionate power that wouldn't count as a tyranny to them. Rural states aren't worried about balance of power, rather they're worried about preserving their disproportionate power.Comment removed from /Economics - mhornberger - Created on 07/24/18 16:01:45 UTC - permalink
"Balance" for them is not between the citizens of our country (that they count as 'tyranny') but between states, as if they are sovereign and independent coequal entities. A model under which a state with 1% the population of CA would still have equal sway over the laws of the nation. You didn't rebut anything I said, merely reiterate it.
> You are equating having your vote count the same as mine as living under a tyranny. There is no system where rural states don't have disproportionate power that wouldn't count as a tyranny to them. Rural states aren't worried about balance of power, rather they're worried about preserving their disproportionate power.Comment removed from /Economics - June1994 - Created on 07/24/18 16:10:03 UTC - permalink
Rural states have disproportionate power by design. Which is a good thing. For a long time this country was under the tyranny of the majority, so the concern over minority power is very real. The issue here isn't that minority groups shouldn't be have disproportionate political power, but rather that the majority cannot effectively wield theirs. This is due to technology and lack of campaign finance regulations, not because rural states have too much power.
> "Balance" for them is not between the citizens of our country (that they count as 'tyranny') but between states, as if they are sovereign and independent coequal entities. A model under which a state with 1% the population of CA would still have equal sway over the laws of the nation. You didn't rebut anything I said, merely reiterate it.
I did rebut what you said, you're insinuating that rural states having disproportionate power is a bad thing. It's not, they should fight to keep the current design of the government. That's necessary to prevent large and powerful states from unilaterally dictating the course of the country. That's something that's been in place by design since the inception of this country. You're attributing the current political climate to the wrong cause.
How old are you?Comment removed from /Economics - dronepore - Created on 07/24/18 16:10:50 UTC - permalink
Except the minority has already fought and had the original system changed to preserve their power.Comment removed from /Economics - squashinmonks - Created on 07/24/18 16:21:07 UTC - permalink
The most significant example of the tyranny of the minority is slavery, which took over two centuries to dismantle and still affects us to this day.Comment removed from /Economics - June1994 - Created on 07/24/18 16:26:31 UTC - permalink
The article you linked has less to do with what we are currently discussing and more to do with the concentration of power in the hands of a smaller powerful group of people. That issue applies to all states equally, be they rural or the Californias and Texases of the Union.
I think the key here is that the constitution was written with the 13 colonies in mind. I don't think the founding fathers had any idea that we would end up with 50 states spanning both oceans, so I think we have a far greater disparity than they ever imagined we would.Comment removed from /Economics - Wingzero - Created on 07/24/18 16:26:49 UTC - permalink
This is so the farmers that voted for Trump’s get tough policy get bailed out of their decision with your tax money.Comment removed from /Economics - RestrictedAccount - Created on 07/24/18 16:27:33 UTC - permalink
Can't wait for Republicans to scream about Democrats "buying votes" in the 2018 Mid-terms.Comment removed from /Economics - HTownian25 - Created on 07/24/18 16:32:26 UTC - permalink
I'm much less concerned with what the Founding Fathers than with whether something is practical or not. The Founding Fathers designed an excellent system for their time and the philosophy guiding their design was very forward thinking. I don't think that rural states are in the wrong for trying to push their interests nor do I think that the manner in which they do so is insidious. The same tools after all, are available to all states. I think the far bigger issues are the things that the Founders didn't address. I don't think they realized just how much special interests could affect politics. The political class was fairly small at the time and the political system of the first four Presidents pales in complexity when compared to the late 20th and 21st century.Comment removed from /Economics - June1994 - Created on 07/24/18 16:33:31 UTC - permalink
I think that there are far too few rules concerning how we elect our leaders and far too few rules concerning money in politics.
Haha and the Trump 2nd term presidency is securedComment removed from /Economics - papeold - Created on 07/24/18 16:34:19 UTC - permalink
No, that was the point of the Senate.Comment removed from /Economics - ChornWork2 - Created on 07/24/18 16:36:09 UTC - permalink
The impact slavery had on the electoral college is undeniable -- the south would not accept one-person, one-vote (and obviously wouldn't let blacks vote), and hence the vile 3/5ths compromise and the need for a system other than popular vote for the presidency.
And likewise gerrymandering of the House has become a perversion. Layering the impact on the judicial branch by virtue of the appointment process, and we have minority of population being able to control all the branches of government... that is not what was intended.
Pick up the July 14 edition of the Economist if you can -- link to most the relevant article below if have subscription or otherwise able to access.
Right. “Balance” to them is that 10 square miles of mostly trees, vegetation, and crops should have more say than 10 square miles where a few million actual people reside.Comment removed from /Economics - harbison215 - Created on 07/24/18 16:36:25 UTC - permalink
Honestly, it’s because Democrats have a hard time describing their position.Comment removed from /Economics - TonyzTone - Created on 07/24/18 16:36:52 UTC - permalink
If they pick up the argument that we can’t pay for these things, Republicans will agree and ask to slash government spending across the board. That hurts Democrats politically (weakening public sector union workforce) and electorally (constituents everywhere have services reduced). This is a downward cycle as the country begins to lose faith in government and the idea that “government is the problem” spreads leading to more cuts in the future.
Democrats need to get aggressive and actually play the game by “holding possession.” This means sayin we’d be happy to provide subsidies for hurting farmers, but first you have to pay for X. That could be healthcare, education, infrastructure, or whatever.
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