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As the Horrors of 2020 Haunt Us, Who Needs Halloween?

October 31, 2020

Every Halloween for the past decade or so, I’ve donned my Dracula cape, slicked my hair back, practiced my frigid Bela Lugosi smile and greeted the costumed kiddies in my best Transylvanian accent. The veteran youngsters look forward to seeing the Count in person as he compliments their costumes and favors them with sugary treats. And, of course, it’s always a joy to watch their reactions.

This Halloween is different. The ongoing pandemic will slash the number of visitors appearing at my door, and what’s more, they’ll have to make do with a more impersonal greeting: little goodie bags piled on our outside table. (I’ll have to trust the early trick-or-treaters not to grab all the loot for themselves.)

It’s a sad state of affairs, this downsized 2020 version of Halloween. But then, we’ve been living in a horror story for most of the past year — enough to render Halloween almost redundant. Who needs ghosts, witches, vampires and goblins when we’ve had to deal with far worse: a monster virus that has killed a quarter-million Americans and still won’t quit… tragic racial incidents and the inevitable riots that follow… soaring urban gun violence… right-wing militiamen on the march… nonstop leftist protests and rampant wokeness… desecrated historical statues and monuments… and a political climate steeped in hyperpartisanship and mutual loathing.

Of course, top billing in our horror story must go to the current occupant of the White House, a rampaging Frankenstein monster patched together from equal parts con artist, showman, sociopath and three-year-old brat. Yes, like Frankenstein’s monster, Trump was maligned, misunderstood and mistreated -– in his case by the press, Congressional Democrats and our coastal elites — but for the most part he brought it on himself. 

More to the point, Trump’s rampage has taken a ghastly toll on the nation. Both the left and the right have lost their collective minds, and (as usual) nobody pays attention to the moderates.

Election Day 2020 won’t bring an end to the horror; it only stands to amplify it to Stephen King dimensions. Because of the unprecedented plethora of mail-in ballots, an unhealthy percentage of which will undoubtedly go missing or uncounted, we might not know the results for weeks.

If Biden wins by less than a landslide, Trump and his henchpeople will try to delegitimize the outcome; they’ll cite how easy it was for Democrats to submit ballots for their dead relatives. (Of course, Republicans have the same option.) If Trump wins, the Democrats will call foul due to the widespread attempts at voter suppression (via drastically reduced polling places) where Biden voters dominate the landscape.

If the election is too close to call, state electors could disregard the tally and cast their state’s votes for their preferred candidate, a scenario that would probably favor Biden. The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives could decide the outcome only in the statistically improbable event of an electoral vote tie. More likely, as in 2000, the final decision could rest with the Supreme Court, now a Republican stronghold.

No matter who wins, there will be chaos. A Biden victory would turn much of Trump’s base into a seething proletariat for the next four years. Gun sales would go through the roof, conspiracy theories would abound, and Confederate flags would fly from thousands of pick-up trucks across the republic. If Trump manages to stay out of prison, he could even stir the pot by broadcasting and tweeting to his base as a rabble-rouser emeritus. How would a Biden victory affect the left? Would they be emboldened to bombard us with  socialism, wokeness, critical race theory and calls for reparations — or would they be soothed by the prospect of a compassionate, old-fashioned liberal at the helm? I suspect it would be a little of each.

If Trump wins –- well, we’ve already seen what happened when he snatched his unlikely victory in 2016. If you thought Trumpocracy and Trump Derangement Syndrome poisoned our politics for the past four years, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. A second-term Trump would essentially rule by fiat, since he’d no longer be accountable to the voters. He’d model himself more than ever after world-class autocratic potentates like Kim Jong-un, Turkey’s Erdogan, and his idol, Vladimir Putin. We’d undoubtedly see more coup attempts by Congress, more madness in the streets, more nasty memes on Facebook, more broken friendships, more family feuds –- in short, more horror than those pedestrian Halloween ghoulies and ghosties could ever deliver.

For those of us caught in the middle, it might be time — as a wise eighteenth-century Frenchman once advised us — to cultivate our own gardens. If moderates possess a virtue denied to the extremists, it’s the ability to keep our heads when everyone around us is losing theirs. We need to keep our heads now more than ever.
 

Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate. His three collections of dark-humored essays are available as e-books on Amazon for $2.99 each — less than a pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks. (Just search under Rick Bayan.)

84 Comments leave one →
  1. Steve permalink
    October 31, 2020 8:45 am

    I’m a moderate but I lean slightly right. I agree with much of Trump’s policy, but I just don’t think he deserves my vote. He’s made no effort to mature beyond the troll who defeated Clinton in 2016. I’ll show up to the polls because I want to vote in my state election, but I might have to write someone in.

    What do you think, Rick? You up for the job?

    • Savannah Jordan permalink
      October 31, 2020 4:18 pm

      I am with you Steve. I probably swing a little more left than right, but I am definitely not all right or all left. I don’t disagree with all of Trump’s policies but the man is a disgrace. I can’t bring myself to vote for Biden either even though he is a very decent man; the things occurring in the Democratic party scare me to death. I will write-in John Kasich’s name. That is what I did in 2016.

    • November 2, 2020 12:48 am

      Steve: See my detailed reply below. (I managed to post it in the wrong place.) As for my own ambitions, let’s just say I’m strictly an armchair politician. (Who said, “If nominated, I will not run… if elected, I will not serve.” That’s me.)

  2. rondabellelane permalink
    October 31, 2020 11:47 am

    As you know, I’m a bit left of you… but far from the what you describe as far left. Those ‘Far Sides’ can be visualized best when picturing Carol Burnett’s fake ‘old lady boobs’!!
    Seriously, I think there are many more of us who haven’t slipped down to the end of either side… It’s just that fewer of those have as big a mouth as either of us. Their voice will be used in their vote.

    • November 2, 2020 12:39 am

      Ronda: I’m a fan of Carol Burnett, but I don’t remember her fake old lady boobs. (Do they represent the far-left and far-right extremists?) I’m sure there are more moderates in America than would appear from the biased news coverage and partisan Facebook memes (although both have done tremendous damage in polarizing the country).

      I was hoping, of course, that The New Moderate would give a voice to the neglected middle, but hardly anyone noticed.

  3. November 1, 2020 7:22 pm

    I was once a liberal (not all that long ago), became a moderate “conservatarian”, and more recently, have become a populist leaning moderate.

    I have no interest in Donald Trump’s personality. I will vote for him ehtusiastically, based on his policies, unlike in 2016, when I was somewhat more skeptical and reluctant to cast my vote for him. I had no idea what his policy accomplishments might be, and, as I’ve spent my adult life voting for politicians who promised to pursue policy agendas that they had no intention of pursuing, I was not expecting him to do pretty much exactly what he promised ~ no interventionist foreign wars, enacting tax cuts, reducing regulatory burdens on small businesses, bringing our manufacturing base back from China, renegotiating NAFTA and TPP, withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris Climate Accords, reducing illegal immigration, creating increased economic opportunities for minorities and residents of inner cities, pursuing peace in the Middle East, by creating strategic alliances between Arab nations and Israel, rather than trying to kow tow to the Palestinians, who do not want peace, and pressuring our NATO allies to contribute to their own defense, rather than using the US military for free, while they expanded their socialist democracies.

    Even if the above was not enough for me, I would not vote for Biden, who mouths the “no red statea or blue states” palaver, right before blaming covid deaths on red state governors, claims that voters have “no right” to know if he will pack the Supreme, district and appellate courts, chose as his VP a senator whose voting record is to the left of Bernie Sanders, and claims that he will raise taxes on everyone (yes, I know what he says, but he also promises that he will eliminate all of the Trump tax cuts, which will affect the middle class in multiple adverse ways, including tanking the stock market, raising personal income taxes, and more), grant amnesty to 11-20 million illegal immigrants, and has refused to say whether he would confiscate guns (he will) or whether he would go back to the massive trade deficits with China (add that to the tens of millions of new low paid amnetized workers and to sky high corporate taxes, and the middle class will again begin shrinking into oblivion) or bail out the blue state governors who have mismanged their budgets to the tune of billions….oh, you get the idea.

    Anyway, I realize that I’m iin a minority here. But, my belief is that Biden is a corrupt guy, who has grown fabulously rich as a “public servant” making less than $200K a year, and Donald Trump has given up the life of a wealthy businessman and TV personaality to become the whipping boy of the Democrats and the media, in order to do what Republicans before him couldn’t or wouldn’t do.

    • November 2, 2020 12:59 am

      Priscilla: You know I’ve always respected your opinion, and I still do. We’ve definitely been dealing with Trump Derangement Syndrome for the past four years, but we’re also dealing with a slightly deranged president. I’ve given Trump credit for his foreign policy boldness, but I think this country will go off the rails if we have to endure another four years of his divisive leadership.

      Biden might have feet of clay, thanks mostly to his ne’er-do-well second son, but so does Trump. (His kids have probably topped Hunter Biden in terms of corruption — remember the childhood cancer charity scandal?)

      I see Biden as a unifying figure — even if he’s just a benevolent old figurehead during his four-year presidency. (I’m sure he wouldn’t run again.) He said he’d raise taxes only on individuals making over $400,000 a year, which hardly makes him a threat to the middle class. He’s anti-riot, pro-police and not likely to change anytime soon. Remember, it would be Joe Biden in the presidency, not AOC or Bernie Sanders.

      • November 2, 2020 8:04 pm

        Rick, I respect your opinion as well, and you have often put things in perspective for me.

        But then there are days like this… I was reading the Washington Post today ( yes, I read it, and the NYT) and this comment appeared under an article by Henry Olsen, who is WaPo’s electoral polls analyst. Olsen is a good guy, not at all affected, as far as I can see, by TDS. Olsen’s prediction that Biden will win brought out the true feelings of many of WaPo’s commenters. Not pretty. I was not at all shocked by the following comment, because, after all, I spent years reading comments like this from Roby and Jay. But, I submit it as an example of the hate and vitriol that these people have for every single Trump supporter. And, because I have seen and experienced this hate and know that it’s real and pathological, and, unfortunately, all too common, I have zero faith that Joe Biden, who has never been a uniter ,will be able to unite us:

        ” And here we come to you personally, Trump supporters. You decided to support and imitate Trump in it. And now you are going to pay.
        No, I am not talking about antifa terrorists dressed in black coming after you in the night. I am talking about people around you.
        Perhaps you think everyone here shares your Trumpism. They don’t.
        Perhaps you think people don’t know that you supported him, or they’ll forget. They do, and they won’t. Perhaps you think, so what, who cares, it won’t affect me. it will. You’ll start noticing that strange things now happen for no apparent reason. Dates get cancelled for good; your requests are ignored; your acquaintances are not in touch with you anymore, you are not invited to this event, you are not getting that promotion into the position of responsibility. And worse of all, you’ll spend the end of your life in fear that one day your grandchildren find out who you are (and they will).” https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/11/02/henry-olsen-2020-president-congress-election-predictions/?arc404=true

        I know many Trump supporters. Never heard anything like this. It’s not Trump or his voters who are driving the partisan division that so many decry. Sure, there are fringe groups out there, but the real hate, the real vengefulness? It’s on the left, it has always been, and it’s going to get worse no matter who wins.

        I hope I’m wrong about this. I’d like it if you, Ron, Steve and Savannah (and maybe Ronda, I can’t tell) were typical of anti-Trump voters. But, I see more evidence that you are thoughtful and rational outliers. Anyway, just wanted to point out that the seething proletariat has been seething for the past 4 years, and, win or lose, they want their pound of flesh. Maybe literally! (Happy Halloween!)

      • Savannah Jordan permalink
        November 3, 2020 9:16 am

        Priscilla, almost everyone in my family is a Trump supporter. I understand their disgust with the Democratic Party but I just cannot vote for a man who relies upon personal insults to sway his supporters and who ignores science. I have never made derogatory comments about Trump supporters because I know that the vast majority are very decent people utterly disgusted with the Democratic Party. They are not the uneducated bigots as the media tries to portray them. I can’t vote for Biden either. I will write-in a name. Probably John Kasich.

      • Savannah Jordan permalink
        November 3, 2020 9:18 am

        Priscilla, the article in the Post which characterized Trump supporters as something despicable, I thought was disgraceful.

      • November 3, 2020 11:51 am

        Thanks, Savannah. I think that characterizing anyone as despicable, merely for exercising their right to vote for the candidate of their choice is pretty disgraceful. Political discussions can get very heated, but it should be the kind of “heat” that stops before personal relationships are destroyed over an election.

        I know many people who feel the way that you do about Trump. They may support many of his policies, and his record, but they believe that he doesn’t have the demeanor that they believe is fitting for a president. I get that. What I don’t get is the thinking of people who jump from “I think Trump is a jerk and a buffoon,” to “I think that tRump is worse than Hitler, and he is destroying our democracy!!!” That conflation is unhelpful at best, pathological at worst.

        Our right to vote is sacrosanct, and I would never presume to tell anyone that they are evil or dangerous for voting for someone whom I personally think is a bad choice, I think you and I are the same on this, and I know that Rick not only feels similarly, but has allowed this blog to continue as a safe haven for anyone who wants to disagree (or even agree!).

        Let’s hope for a relatively peaceful conclusion to this crazy election!

      • November 3, 2020 9:20 pm

        Priscilla and Savannah: I know many good people who are voting for Trump; I also know even more good people who have been in full TDS mode for the past four years. I don’t feel compelled to insult either group, and there’s really no excuse for the tribal animosity we’ve been witnessing.

        Yes, I have to agree that the left has been more ferocious and insolent in its attitude toward Trump and his supporters, as if all Trump voters are racists or Neanderthals. The attitude I see wafting from Trump country is more like hostility toward the “woke” left (which I share) — along with a kind of defensive crouch in response to the rapid demographic and cultural shifts of the past few decades. There’s also a widespread (and not entirely rational) fear that any Democratic social support program, no matter how benign, is a harbinger of SOCIALISM — which, like gun control, they see as a slippery slope leading us to perdition.

  4. November 2, 2020 12:34 am

    Steve and Savannah: I agree with your assessment of Trump. I waited for him to grow into the presidency. Unlike my anti-Trump friends, I even gave him credit for his accomplishments (especially in foreign policy). But he’s just too reckless, ignorant and arrogant to lead the country for another four years. Worse yet, his words have been mobilizing an informal army of belligerent militiamen. (He never condemned the right-wing extremists who tried to kidnap the governor of Michigan, for example.)

    I’ll be voting for Biden, not the Democratic party. I’m not a Democrat, and I detest the “woke” left. My Republican friends are trying to convince us that Biden will usher in an era of socialism, urban mayhem, and race war. No, Biden is an old-fashioned blue-collar Democrat who has repeatedly condemned riots and stood strong against defunding the police.

    The question mark is whether Biden will survive his four-year term with his faculties intact. I’d still prefer a doddering but compassionate president — even with his questionable overseas connections — to a self-centered, pathological liar and demagogue who ALSO has a roster of dubious connections.

    As I said in my column, it’ll be a rough time for the country no matter who wins, but I’d feel safer with a generally decent man like Biden at the helm.

  5. Vermonta permalink
    November 2, 2020 7:45 am

    Bravo Rick!

    I also have given trump credit for trying to end the korean war. I felt sincerely sorry for him when little kim yanked the football away, a la lucy. His finest moment was when he told the generals that we had wasted enough money in afghanistan. I believe that the conservative take on basic economics is more realistic than the liberal one, so any good president will have a basically sound economic policy, relatively speaking as did trump. But the rest of his presidency has been a grotesque disaster. There is a sanders cult and there is a trump cult. They are both dangerous demagogues and ignoramuses. Trump has done deep deep harm to our fabric. If he loses he will very likely outdo himself in his last months with destructive acts. My dark fear is that his cult following, armed to the teeth will follow his lead and there will be very large acts of violence, perhaps for years by those who will persist in believing that trump and their movement were robbed by a deep state conspiracy. I hope my fears will be unfounded. Trump had the ability, when aided and amplified by people like tucker carlson to convert basically ordinary decent people into cult followers who would accept any behavior from his administration, including blatantly unconstitutional or flat out evil behavior. His followers will justify his actions and their actions by blaming obama. Their actions are there own responsibility, obama made me do it is not an excuse. One thing I always have conservatives credit for was their belief in personal responsibility. That has been destroyed under the cult of trump.

    • Anonymous permalink
      November 2, 2020 7:50 am

      Any GOP president. Arrrggg. The spell editor changes GOP to good. It’s not a google conspiracy, I don’t believe.

    • November 2, 2020 10:04 am

      Oh “come on, man!, Trump supporters are sick and tired of being called cult members, supporting a racist, misogynist homophobe, and being blind to the “divisiness” of a president who has been far, far less divisive than his predecessor. The cult is on the other side. It’s a cult of real hate, agaiinst a president who has been inarticulate, blunt, and sometimes rude, but who has put black and hispanic citizens in a better economic position than they have ever been, whose top advisors include the first openly gay man in a cabinet level position, as well as women and other minorities. So, for those toting up the “intersectionality score” of his administration, Trump beats Obama by a mile. In fact, as I have said many, many times, it is Obama’s divisiveness, and his failures as a leader, that brought us Trump in the first place. I’d like anyone here to name anything that Trump has *actually* said or done, that makes him a divider. It’s the identity-obsessed Democrats and the TDS media that have become toxic and divisive. And Biden is all in on that, despite his claims to the contrary.

      As far as Biden is concerned, he is certainly corrupt. A public servant does not come to own 4 mansions, including a beach estate and and lake house, and have a drug and porn addicted “lobbyist” son who is worth millions of dollars, without having engaged in significant corruption. Biden has few, if any, actual policy accomplishments, in spite of being a senator for decades and the vice-president for 8 years. He used that time to accrue power and to enrich himself and his family.

      And Biden is weak. Weak physically, weak in spirit, weak in character. When questioned about policies that he may pursue, he often becomes angry and agitated, and has several times said that no one deserves to know what he will do as president, because that’s a “distraction.” He will be weak on the world stage as well. He has always been characterized as a foolish and ignorant dupe, but arrogant as well.I’m sure that other world leaders look forward to hobnobbing with Joe, the “nice guy.” They believe that his administration can be bought.

      Bottom line, most Trump supporters see their candidate as strong, decisive, accomplished and courageous (try putting anyone else in the crosshairs of the abuse that he and his administration have withstood over the last 4 years, and see how long they last), with a strong record of accomplishment, and the will to enact a pro-American agenda. It’s fair to disagree ~ in fact, disagreement when talking politics should be a given. As Steve above has said, he doesn’t believe Trump has earned his vote. Fair enough. Savannah doesn’t think so either, nor does Rick. We have always been free to disagree. But Trump voters, for the most part, are not cult-like zombies, Roby. They are folks like me, who believe that he has earned their vote.

      And, I truly hope you’re right about Biden, Rick, It will make me feel better, in the case that he wins. (Not much better, mind you… but I intend to go on with my life on November 4th) I do believe that a Biden victory, particularly if Dems win the Senate, will usher in the end of our constitutional republic, even if the far left is unable to take control of the Party, and usher in a socialist era. Just the fact that Biden says he will likely “order” a national shutdown and mask mandate, tells me that he will do as he is told by the true powers-that-be, as long as his family can do foreign deals for cash. And, that he is very comfortable ending our federalist system.

      But then, I greatly dread the future, in either case. I believe that, if Trump wins, the left will go more beserk than it already is, and, of course, their violent tantrums will be blamed on the “alt-right” the “Qanons” (whoever the hell they are!) and anyone who legally owns a gun, whether or not they have anything to do with the violence. If Biden wins, and has a Democrat Congress, his administration will move quickly to enact unconstitutional reforms to the government, many of which will be difficult to roll back. And he will pack the federal courts, including SCOTUS, creating a kind of “super-legislature.” If he is not sufficently progressive, the left will STILL go beserk, but he will be too weak to stop them.

      I actually do think that Trump can win. And I hope that he does, that’s all. If that makes me a “cult follower,” Roby, so be it.

      • November 3, 2020 10:26 pm

        Roby and Priscilla: One of the reasons we’ve been polarized to an unprecedented degree is that the news media have given up any pretense of neutrality. People gravitate to the outlets that confirm their biases, and nobody gets both sides of the story unless (like me) they switch back and forth between left-leaning and right-leaning sources.

        Trump capitalized on a base that had been primed by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. For an inarticulate man, he’s a master manipulator. Has Trump created a cult following among frightened, angry Middle Americans? You bet he has. Are all Trump supporters members of that cult? No, of course not. But he’s had a mesmerizing effect on that core base, wooing them with their shared resentments and their distrust of elites. (Of course, those elites have often proved worthy of that distrust.)

        For the record, I think Obama had a cult following as well — although he didn’t deliberately encourage it. To this day, I see Facebook friends post worshipful statements, photos and memes about St. Barack. Do I think Obama was a divider? No, in fact I voted for him twice. But I think he squandered his unique position as our first biracial president. During a time of racial unrest, he could have promoted understanding and a sense of perspective when the BLM narrative took off. Instead, he sided with BLM all the way. (Other than that, he was commendably statesmanlike as president.)

        Anyway, back to the current election. As I wrote in my column, we’re in trouble no matter who wins. I can see both the far left and the far right going off the rails if the election doesn’t go their way (or even if it does). I voted for Biden primarily because I think he’s much more likely than Trump to de-tribalize this country. And we need to be de-tribalized in a hurry.

  6. Vermonta permalink
    November 3, 2020 9:26 am

    “I’d like anyone here to name anything that Trump has *actually* said or done, that makes him a divider. “

    Oh good grief, an amazing statement from another universe. Anyone here could name countless examples. But it will not reach you. You are not of this world. Your vision of the noble heroic trump who has no major faults and who goes around doing great good while being treated unfairly is not the view of a person living in reality. And your vicious caricature of Biden as a weak, feeble, criminal, fabulously wealthy man is also not of this world. Your views are the views of the totally brainwashed, a cult member. That is not me being mean, that is the kindest interpretation I can put on your political statements.

    My band practices these days as a trio. The other two guys are conservatives and voted for trump in 2016. We have no problems, get along fabulously and don’t spend much time on politics, but when it does come up there is no friction, we can talk calmly and needle each other a bit without any anger. They are not trump cultists, they are perfectly rational people, just the conservative sort who are not about to vote for any liberals. I can get along with no problem with decent conservatives who are not trump cultists. By no means is every person who voted for trump in 2016 an all in trumpian nut.

    My father lives in an assisted living community in Montana. They were doing very well with COVID until about a month and a half ago then COVID really got going in Montana and got into their assisted living community. Now many residents have COVID and some are dying. That nitwit Kristi Noem living in her world of trumpian incompetent denial (We are showing Republican Leadership) is not a harmless nitwit. Like her president she is getting many people killed. South Dakota touches Montana. Montana’s COVID outbreak has flowed hand in hand from the outbreak brought on by utter negligence in SD.

    Oh yes, Priscilla, there IS anger with trump and the really all-in trumpians like Noem, and million like yourself of trump worshippers. COVID is just one of many, many reasons.

    When Laura Ingraham used her bully pulpit to mock and harass that kid who became a gun control activist after surviving a school massacre and having many of his friends slaughtered, you parroted her behavior here and attacked him. When trump set his followers on Michigan Governor Whitmer, and then doubled down after she was the target of a militia plot to attack the Michigan government and kidnap her, you parroted the same attacks on Whitmer here.

    trumps attack on the validity of the election, you have parroted that nonsense here too, you say democrats will just keep counting until they manufacture enough votes. You are all in, there is no trumpian theme you will not repeat here.

    Oh yes Priscilla, there IS anger at your brand of trumpian belief. You have said some incredible things here during the trump time and now you have your grievance, like trump you are being treated unkindly. Five times more people (more or less) have died of COVID in half a year in the US than died in combat in the entire Vietnam war, and you are all in defending a president who’s reaction has been to hold super spreader events and to attack the scientists and spread conspiracy theories. All fine with you. My father, who at 90 is as intelligent and mentally capable as he was ever, has been locked with his wife not able to leave his room for more than a month and around him his fellow residents are dying. You had better &^%$#@# believe I AM angry at your trump world. I can name countless other very, very real reasons for my anger with trump and the all-in trumpians like yourself, the 550 kids made into wards of the border patrol, the other kids released back into Mexico with no relatives, all the trumpian mayhem and bullying of people (the “nice” trump mob who “protected” the Biden bus in Texas and went around shutting down traffic in other states with trumps warm approval and blessing is just the most recent example), trumps “perfect” Ukrainian adventures, on and on.

    And, he may yet get reelected for 4 more years of his catastrophically bad leadership and I and many will sweat out the next few days until we know our fate.

    Yes, Priscilla, I am unapologetically angry with trump and his world, which does include you based on your many comments from the otherworldly universe you live in of the good kind noble unfairly treated trump and the terrible criminal Biden. You express your nasty opinions freely. Now you feel hurt at the blowback. Get tougher skin.

    • November 3, 2020 10:46 am

      I’m not nasty, Roby, never have been. And I am not “hurt”, because I have no respect for people who condemn others based on political disagreements. I know many sane and decent people with whom I can disagree in a civil manner. I was pointing out that I have yet to meet a Trump supporter who expresses the kind of bitter anger and hatred toward Biden supporters that people like you routinely vent against Trump supporters. If you blame me, or Trump voters in general, for supporting his policies, despite his personal flaws, then you are the partisan misanthrope, not I.

      Have a nice day. 🙂

      • November 6, 2020 5:32 pm

        Priscilla, I have to agree with your Trump/Biden supporter comments.

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 7, 2020 10:04 am

        “I was pointing out that I have yet to meet a Trump supporter who expresses the kind of bitter anger and hatred toward Biden supporters that people like you routinely vent against Trump supporters.”

        Of course you haven’t Priscilla, just as you have not seen any actions or words of trump that were divisive, just as you have seen none of his real flaws. He’s a bit rude sometimes is the best you can come up with. Well you have wired you brain to see no evil on your own side and see a feeble weak criminal with signs of dementia in our President elect and a democratic party that supports looting and marxism. And no matter who the democrats and republicans nominate for the rest of time you will do the same.

        My mother told me the following story a few days ago. She is going on 90 and lives with her husband, in his 80s in NM in a nice suburban neighborhood. Her husband was talking with their neighbor, a conservative, and made the comment that the NM Governor was doing a good job with Covid. The neighbor became quite angry, informed him that she is a big girl and can make her own COVID safety choices and stomped off. Since then that neighbor and all the other conservative families she is friendly with in the neighborhood won’t give my mother or her husband the time of day. You would think they were Antifa instead of an elderly couple who live in the real world concerning COVID. Ah, you will “so what” this information away, your brain will not acknowledge something like this exists.

        I’ve heard from you and Dave how the vile left is to blame for everything and the right is nice and good and wholesome a million times. You and Dave both have the ability to completely tune out information you don’t want to process.

        The trump caravan that ran the Biden bus off the road last week, were they sweet, kind, nice, wholesome people? The trump caravans that went around shutting down traffic in many blue states, was that good behavior? Could it have caused anyone harm, say an ambulance that could not get through? I wonder how you deal with information like that, does your brain literally refuse to process it or do you always find a way to pretend that nothing like that could happen in conservative world, or that it’s the fault somehow of the horrible hateful left?

        Your hero trump is a giant butthead to make an understatement and many of his supporters mimic his worst qualities themselves, there are millions of mini trumps running around and their actions are hard to miss. Mobs with assault rifles in Statehouses talking of citizen arrests of governors who treat COVID seriously, come to the top of my mind. I cannot imagine the flood of their children that will be entering the school systems over the next years, little trump buttheads.

        And then there is his idiotic “leadership” of COVID that has gotten many innocents to die choking and asphyxiating and now COVID, far from disappearing, has reached its highest yet levels and the deaths continue to climb. Our stable genius has a lot to answer for and so do his enablers.

        It is a given that you will not see or admit that what I am talking about even exists. Psychologically, its sort of fascinating in a depressing way.

        The things a person believes and supports are very close to the top of my list in choosing my friends, the people I like and respect and the people I do not like and do not respect, some of whom do make me quite angry. I cannot think of a better reason to form an opinion of people than their causes and beliefs. I can easily tolerate people who are honest intelligent conservatives or liberals I never have been able to tolerate idiots or ideological fanatics, left or right.

        You mostly have nice manners Priscilla, but the things you believe and the things you support, well, from my reading of your comments over the years you are full of anger and bitterness and hatred yourself and its exclusively towards the left, even more so than Dave, not that you will begin to admit that you have such feelings. You and dave live in your impermeable denial. When I consider the people and causes you attack and some of the ones you support, no, you are not in my idea of a nice person, quite a bit that you support is disgusting and destructive and/or idiotic. Under trump this has risen to a crescendo.

        You have richly earned my opinion of you. And, I am hardly the only person in the country, left or right, who has anger towards people whose politics disgust me.

      • November 7, 2020 12:39 pm

        Roby, you really need to stop making up my personality flaws, or inventing my opinions about you and others, simply to justify your bad opinion of me. You are better and smarter than that.

        I’ll try to explain myself once more:

        In my opinion, it’s hard to make the argument that Trump supporters are racist, misogynist, or angry and bitter, as a group. No real violence has ever broken out at a 2020 Trump rally. In 2016, there was at least one instance in which Antifa waited outside of a Trump rally being held in an indoor arena, for the purpose of attacking the Trump supporters as they left the rally. And there were several instances of isolated fights between rallyers and protesters. Other than that, Trump supporters tend to have a lot of fun at these things, cheering and dancing, and their behavior is, on the whole, exemplary (The “Lock her up!” chants of 2016 were not so nice, but it’s hard to find any of that in this year’s rallies, despite tens of thousands of people attending). I can’t say the same about left wing protests, which frequently feature violence, looting, and arson. There is real hate, and a real desire to hurt ~ physically maim, or even kill~ people on the “other side.”

        Do I think that you are like that? Hell, no . I don’t think that you support violence of any sort. What I do think is that you turn a blind eye to the hatred and violence, not to mention outright pro-Marxism, working within and for the Democrat Party, because you don’t want to be associated with that sort of thing. That says very good things about you. But, turning a blind eye to violence, intolerance and election fraud, because it happens on your side says that you are too partisan, and that you don’t see the dangerous elements on your side, only on the right.

        You are willing to libel Trump supporters, and you appear to have a condescendingly smug view of them, as evidenced by your mocking accusation that Trump is “my hero,” and that I am “disgusting” and “idiotic.” Do you really believe that you are superior to me, simply because of your politics?

        My point is that this is not merely hateful, it runs counter to your own declarations of goodness, and compassion. I have no doubt that you are good and compasionate, and my own opinion is that, were we to meet and talk in person, you would conduct yourself as a gentleman.

        Maybe I’m wrong about that, but I’m sticking to it.

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 7, 2020 5:28 pm

        Priscilla, its an interesting and gracious post, very disarming. I think if you read my posts more carefully you will see that I did not exactly say most of the things you claim, e.g. I did not say you are disgusting. I said that many of your political views are disgusting to me, which is mere honesty. Am I splitting hairs? I don’t think so. As well, my political views are not what you state them to be either, for all the many too many words I have written describing them.

        I have over the years repeatedly condemned violence by the left, specifically the student PC riots at Dartmouth and Middlebury, that guy who sucker punched a conservative activist at UCLA, the Mass. Attorney General who said a few months back that the cities are burning and that is healthy because periodic burning is how forests stay healthy. I’ve condemned Antifa, (who are NOT BLM!) and the anarchists in Portland and Seattle. I wish them all jailed and cannot understand how they haven’t been. I complained here months back in July or June that the dem politicians were not going nearly far enough in condemning the violence attached to the protests and trying to stop it. I have for all my time here always been willing to strongly criticize the actions of the democrats and the left, even if they are to some extent my side.

        But in the ranking of my fears, while I loathe all the above leftist nut jobs, the militias, the right wing gun nuts, the right wing ideology that led to the plot to launch a violent terrorist attack on the government of Michigan, they scare me much more and are of more consequence in my world. The FBI itself has clearly stated that right wing groups commit more violence by far than left wing groups. trump truly fanned the ideology of the nuts in Michigan and then he went back and doubled down after the plot was discovered and stopped. You and Dave repeat over and over that all problems start from the left. Well, left is a poorly defined term but by some definition of it I am part of “the left.” So, naturally I totally disagree with you and dave and your one sided blaming of the left. That is not a trivial disagreement that can be papered over by polite behavior. In your world of one sided blaming of everything on the left you seem to be utterly oblivious to the dangers of the right. There is a gun nut in my neighborhood, constantly firing his guns. I wonder where he gets the money for the all those thousands of rounds. And there are militias in Vermont, some nasty ones, some of whose members show up in public places with their military weaponry to intimidate lawmakers or protesters. Its not like there never really have been people like Timothy McVeigh or many other violent right wing nuts. Does that ever worry you? If so, it is not something you describe while you are blaming of everything on the left.

        Many of your political views, as I understand them from your words, are beyond the pale for me and many of them are just nothing I can even comprehend how anyone can think like that unless they are in the position that converts to scientology are of having little by little been captured by skilled persuaders of the most unbelievable things.

        I am not a misanthropist, misanthropists hate everyone. I loathe some hateful or idiotic people for ideological reasons, Bernie, Tucker, Laura Ingraham, Rush. Where is it written that I have to like everyone or respect them? My dog, like most dogs, has a “like everyone” gene. I do not. If something is disgusting to me if tucker says it, should it be less disgusting to me if some other person of similar ideology says it? I have the same reaction to the people who repeat the hateful things that come out of the tucker carlson world as when the originals say them.

        It is great that you like to have a wide circle of friends of different ideologies and maintain your friendships with liberal types, as I do with, for example, the two conservative guys I play music with. You may be much, much more tolerant than me. I yam who I yam, as popeye would say. Sure, I would be a gentleman if we met. But that would not remove the ideological chasm or its consequences.

        In the world of tragic and stressful events the small issue of who I like and who I respect is a grain of sand on the beach. In fact, its a molecule in that grain of sand. Its more important, Priscilla, how you manage this issue with your actual friends in the real world. I assume you are pretty tactful and much less colorful and pointy there in your statement than you are here.

        One attractive thing about yakking about politics online is that one can actually say what they truly feel without damaging their social life. I try to be polite, but I am not always polite. I edit my posts and pull most of my punches, I could be much more biting if I did not. These political issues have deep meaning to me, they inspire my passions and emotions, none more than the crazy world of trump, who I have still managed to give credit at times if I think he did something right. I do not regret my opinions about trump or his true believers as I have expressed them here. Anyhow, I am hoping that I will spend much less time on politics now that trump has lost. Perhaps we all will.

      • November 7, 2020 11:28 pm

        Priscilla, when one has the choice between bad and worse, those on each side begin framing the supporters as the worst. So let me ask you this.

        If we could rewind to 2016, who would you wanted as the candidate going against Clinton knowing what you know today.

        I will come clean and say once again, even though I supported most of Trumps policies, I could not and still would not support him if I had another choice. That choice would still be Marco Rubio.

        I believe he would have done much of what Trump did, but not all, For one, I think he would have handled immigration different and trade different. I still support Trum,ps fair trade polcies as opposed to free trade, but I still would vote Rubio over Trump.

      • November 8, 2020 9:03 am

        Ron, if I had had the choice to vote Rubio over Trump in 2016, I would have done so. Today? I’m not sure.

        I’m more worried about the future of our system. The presidency has apparently been decided in an election rife with massive fraud and deception, and now the party that engineered it is planning to capture the Senate, with the same kind of electoral trickery. It will work, unless someone or something stops them. Flip NC after the 12th, with just enough magic ballots to drag Cunningham over the finish line, and use Georga’s relaxed residency laws (1 week) to flood the state with new “residents” and capture the 2 seats there in the runoffs. Apparently, this is already planned. There will be no divided government, or checks on the power of the executive branch.

        But we’ll get a federal mask mandate, I’m sure.

        I’m not sure about much of anything else right now. I’ll continue to support calls for an audit of the states that stopped their voting on election night, until they could create, in the dark of night, just the right number of mass mail votes to win. I don’t much care who the president is, if it’s decided in advance.

      • November 8, 2020 12:23 pm

        Well I am not as negative on the election results as you are.. I did not agree with the Democrats when they said 41 stole the election and I dont think much of anything wrong has taken place today. Much of peoples mind set is shaped by the media or the candidates themselves and most of the information that comes up will never be found factual.

        Tillis leads Cunningham by 95,700 votes

        As for North Carolina, there are a total of 166,000 possible ballots that may be counted by the 12th as of yesterday. Of those 95,000 are absentee ballots outstanding, 30,000 that have been accepted and tallied, but not recorded and 41,000 provisional. Even if all 166,000 are counted, Cunningham would have to capture 58% of those, but the big number is the 95,000 that have not even been returned to election officials. Many of those people did not vote, many missed the postmark date and many will be disallowed due to some error on the ballot.. Given the timeline already, I suspect few of the 95,000 will come in unless the post office finds a bag of mail and dumps it on the the election headquarters and that would be assuming all 95,000 is from one city, which they have not identified.

        As for Georgia, I would give the G.O.P. a slight edge of retaining both seats since the massive turnout generated by the Trump and anti Trump vote will not be there. Also, the 100,000+ Libertarian votes in one election and 40,000 in the other will swing mostly to the conservatives should they vote. But the hard core voter will be there and given the people that made a difference for Biden, many being younger, I suspect their enthusiasm for a special election will be less than that for the Trump voter. And one can not discount Trump making many visits to Georgia to generate votes for the candidates.To the general election voter, getting rid of Trump is the reason for the record 4,800,000 Georgia votes, exceeding the 3.8 M votes in 2016 and 2008 and 3.7M votes in 2012. That 1,000,000 difference is something where a large percentage will not vote. I think there will be much more energy on the right to keep divided government than on the left to secure dominance.

        But i was wrong about the election and people not voting for Trump that voted for him before. Looks like most did vote for him and he generated many more voters than before. He just could not overcome the added left voters that hated him more. And I had Tillis a Collins losing in the senate. So my crystal ball is clouded.

    • November 6, 2020 5:31 pm

      Roby, to begin, please remember I was never one that liked Trump, but I did support most of his policies. Also, remember that I was critical (to the max) on how state governments were handling nursing home and assisted living facilities. Even today with the availability of testing and PPE that they have, other than months of isolation that is causing as many deaths as C-19, little is being done to determine how to protect this group. So many sad stories about assisted living individuals that were active, vibrant and “the life of the party” dyeing from loneliness after the residents were quarantined to their rooms for months exist on social media and the web. Many healthcare articles are written about how many have died from isolation, but not counted as C-19 deaths,

      I am sorry your father is in that environment where C-19 is increasing, but one can not blame government actions in one state for increases in another if facts are a used for decisions. N.C. has been restricted for months and we have a doubling to tripling of cases today compared to what we had in the summer. California has been in perpetual lock down and seeing increased cases. Europe locked down tighter than Dicks hat ban and is now surging, going back to lock downs.

      As for Montana, weak leadership makes a big difference in cases. In Montana, mask enforcement responsibility has been idiotically transferred to businesses to enforce. That is the responsibility of law enforcement, health officials and emergency workers, not private individuals trying to survive this crap.. The Democrat governor in Montana was too interested in not pissing people off during his senate run that he refused to make law enforcement responsible for issuing the $500.00 fines, so the businesses get fined if they don’t enforce it. And how does that prevent the spread in other environments? The only governor that I know of who had the balls to give law enforcement, health department individuals and emergency workers authority to issue fines for not wearing a mask in areas deemed needing them is Abbott (R) Texas. $250.00 fine. In N.C. our governor ,Cooper, (D) uses “pretty please be good boys and girls, wear a mask” policies that dont work, but we have $180.00 fines for not wearing seat belts that daily we hear from his highway safety commission and his messages on the fines.. Seat belts only protect the wearer, masks protects others from the wearers spit, vapor and germs. Go figure

      It is peoples actions that spread this virus. Gallatin Montana, where much of their outbreak has occurred is the gateway to Yellowstone which has been open since June. Not everyone at Yellowstone comes from South Dakota. Colleges have been a center of many increased cases across the county. In many areas, the minority communities are hit hard for two reasons. Maybe not everywhere, but in many states. 1) large multi family homes or large families and 2) a high number of minorities not wearing mask. In my area, probably 40% do not wear one. In Montana, a large percentage of cases is in the Native American population.
      .
      My point. Each state has its own problems. Many states have few cases, while others have many. Policies that fit in one state don’t fit for another. New York is now showing slow growth, but what has been the long term impact on that state with the 8 month and counting closure. How many years will it take to recover. And how does one catalog all the nursing home deaths brought about by Cuomos directives to send C-19 patients into nursing homes. There are too many things happening, but the primary blame lies with individuals, and much of that is the 18-30 age group (who seem to think they are invincible)

      As for the election, I think the best outcome happened if things stay as predicted. Divided government.And Joe can retire to the White House and be the SOTU ground hog. My desire is to never hear from a president again except for the SOTU., at least for a year.

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 7, 2020 10:24 am

        Ron, I agree with you about the election, it came out very well according to my views. Trump lost, the progressives lost the Dem nomination battle and now are in bad odor with their moderate colleagues in the House and Senate. As I told you over and over, the progressive takeover you feared, especially in the Senate, was not to be. Sanders and progressive power has reached its highest point and is now losing its steam.

        About COVID and its spread I cannot agree with you. I appreciate your detailed post, but I do not agree with your facts. COVID is spread from state to state by people moving around. Having 500,000 bikers come to SD from every state in the country, hang out without taking COVID seriously for a week and then disperse back to their 50 state is a tragic deadly nightmare of stupidity, along with trumps rallies and yes, the protests as well. We are now in a terrible state with COVID, its worse than ever with winter and flu season coming on. This is going to be a terrible year, rendered much worse than it had to be. And, it has a large ideological component. The liberals take it much more seriously than the conservative and libertarians, see even how liberals and conservative tended to vote, by mail or in person. trumps “leadership,” as well as that of many other conservative and GOP figures has been catastrophic. There is a American good chance that a year from the now the death toll will be north of half a million. MAGA! Not! Every &^%$#@ person in the country, no matter where should be mandated to use a mask in indoor setting with non family members and follow social distancing. Instead you have the militia and other armed loons on the right threatening to citizen arrest politicians who take COVID as the deadly and at least somewhat preventable thing it is. I do not live in your Libertarian universe on this issue and I think the conservative and libertarian approaches are idiotic, often anti-scientific, and deadly.

      • November 7, 2020 10:32 am

        Roby, so my constant comments to our governor for at least a $250.00 fine for being out in public without a mask is Libertarian?

      • November 7, 2020 10:42 am

        Would you support Montana’s Governor directing law enforcement and other givernment officials issuing ticket to open faced people instead of using business as enforcement officers?

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 7, 2020 10:49 am

        I read that comment and appreciate that part of your opinion. I can say that in Israel I happen to know that the entire country has a mask mandate, wear them in public or get a large fine.

        But the idea that events like the Sturgis bike week are not connected with the the situations people like my father are in (perhaps I misunderstood your meaning though, if so I apologise) is the part that I strongly do not agree with. If a person smokes a pack of cigarettes per day for decades and then dies of lung cancer can we say for sure that he died of smoking? No. Can we say that a population that smokes heavily will have many excess lung cancer deaths? Yes! If Sturgis occurs and then SD and surrounding states enter a major resurgence of COVID can one say that there is a direct cause and effect for one particular COVID death? No. But that Sturgis rally and the “leadership” of trump and the mini trump governor Noem (and her views on COVID seem to me to be classic libertarian) in SD are just as deadly as smoking cigarettes taken as a population statistics problem.

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 7, 2020 11:07 am

        “Would you support Montana’s Governor directing law enforcement and other givernment officials issuing ticket to open faced people instead of using business as enforcement officers?”

        Yes. It is asking to much of some store clerk to deal with the angry denialistic and at times violent anti-mask individuals. Let the cops do it.

        I don’t like wearing masks and I wear a mask very little outdoors, hiking etc.. I have it around my neck and raise it up over my nose when I get close to someone. I always wear it in supermarkets etc. When eating with my wife in a restaurant I take it off, as we are spaced well from other people. If I did not live in Vermont or a place with very low COVID I would not eat in a restaurant at all.

        When the shit hits the fan in the coming months there is going to be a lot more support for masks.

        And to be clear, I do not think that every last conservative or libertarian person or politician behaves stupidly with respect to COVID, but the conspicuous bad examples outshine the sane examples. Then there is the strong statement made by how people voted, in person or by mail depending on ideology. Its two separate universes for many people.

      • November 7, 2020 11:41 am

        ” And to be clear, I do not think that every last conservative or libertarian person or politician behaves stupidly with respect to COVID, but the conspicuous bad examples outshine the sane examples. ”

        Dang, I had no idea that there were as many blacks and hispanic Libertarians and Conservatives that we have until C-19 hit. Especially 18-35 yr old. I almost refuse to go to Lowes or Home Depot due to so many unmasked construction workers!

    • November 7, 2020 11:48 pm

      Roby, could not find the exact place to comment on this, so chose one that would be attention to you.

      Your comments about biker rallies, protests etc was on my mind today when I would come in from working in the shop or in the yard. I saw parts of the K-State/OK State game, Texas/West Va, Fl/GA and Clemson/Notre Dame. If you viewed any of these you would have seen “YOU CAN’ FIX STUPID.

      K-state/OK State played in Kansas was the only one where social distancing was apparent. There were fewer people at the Texas game than normal, but there must have been over 50% capacity and people were there close to each other and without mask. Florida playing in Georgia was near capacity from the looks of it, or at least the lower levels, also few with mask. But the one the blew my mind was Clemson Notre Dame, played in Indiana where the chancellor has recovered for C-19, they had a huge outbreak at the school earlier and the damn stadium was packed, most without a mask.

      And I would argue that these leaders of these institutions are anything but conservatives. You only find conservative leadership at any university in this country at schools like Liberty. Wake forest, previously a Baptist university in Winston Salem N.C. is very liberal in its approach to politics and policies and I view most universities in the same light. One only needs t read the paper to find that to be true.

      My point. Until we get true leadership in all states to mandate, with fines, face mask, Stupid will prevail. Joe Biden has pledged to do a national face mask mandate, but he can only order that to occur on federal properties.Unless he declares Marshall law or some other Draconian executive order that would immediately go to SCOTUS and be overturned, it won’t happen at the state levels until the governors do it.

      This face mask issue is not political and it is not driven by parties, Both Republican and Democrat governors refuse to order fines for not wearing one.It is the responsibility of state government to insure the safety of individuals within their borders and few are doing that.

  7. fran8302 permalink
    November 6, 2020 11:56 pm

    Hello- Center-left Democrat/Libertarian here. I just want to say that I’ve been following your blog for years and have always respected your opinion, even when I don’t totally agree. I wish there were more people like you in this world to create civil discourse in this hyper-partisan political climate. Keep doing what you’re doing.

    -Fran

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      November 14, 2020 9:09 am

      Thanks, Fran! (Sorry, I just got around to reading your comment. I’ve been preoccupied with the messy events in and around my ancestral homeland, Armenia — but that’s another story.)

      It’s been a challenge to create a place where moderates feel at home — because we rarely agree about everything, and in an age of online echo chambers, I guess we’re an anomaly. Of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  8. Bill permalink
    November 9, 2020 11:15 pm

    Long time reader, first time commenter here.

    Here we are, they announced for Biden/Harris Saturday night, and my Democrat friends are still excoriating anyone on their Facebook friends list that even mentions anything positive about Trump, and the Republicans are acting like this is the greatest conspiracy theory since JFK made a little trip to Dallas. The fact remains that whoever won the presidency did so by a very slim margin. The Republicans have lost the Senate, even if they win the 2 outstanding seats, they would still only have 50 and have to reach across the aisle to the Independents or the Democrats to get a simple majority. The Democrats are nearly in the same boat in the House, but have at least a chance of getting their majority back, yet it will still be pretty slim. Neither party has won. I get the feeling that many of those who voted for Biden did it more to vote against Trump, or I could be attributing my own actions to others to feel better about myself. It also feels like many of those who voted for Trump did it so they wouldn’t have to admit they were wrong and produce and back another candidate. Signs in my very red home state saying “Republican Voters Against Donald Trump” made me hopeful we could send some electoral votes Joe/Kamala’s way, but no, still got outvoted and pushed all our electoral votes to The Don.

    I am hoping that whoever wins the court battle to become President realizes how narrowly they won and both parties treat it as a learning experience to come back to the middle. They won’t, even after Joe’s gracious victory speech Saturday night, I fully expect to hear from the Left how they won “by a landslide” and that they operate with the “absolute will of the people” in very short order.

    If the parties could see how their loudest supporters were also their smallest group of voters, shift their platform and make some changes, in the long run they would dominate the political landscape. I’m not fooling myself, in the short term they would lose, as their extremist members would leave first and it would take much longer for the Moderates of the other party to realize they want more of that and switch over. Yes, I think we can only make a Moderate party by changing either the Republicans or the Democrats, as the last time any Independents made it even to a televised debate was Perot back in the ’90s, much less received any votes worth mentioning.

    Where would I start? If we could convince the Democrats that media outlets don’t actually care about gun control, only so far as repeating any “news” about any shooting raises their advertising income, they would win over many Republican and Independent moderate voters. And it’s not like gun control laws work – the excellent book “Freakonomics” proved the Assault Weapons Ban didn’t have an appreciable effect on crime rate, it was Roe v Wade more than anything else – plus there are tons of well researched posts over at Open Source Defense (https://opensourcedefense.org/blog/) that show that legal, private firearm ownership has no effect on the crime rate, that crime is down even though we just added 5 million new gun owners due to the pandemic, and so on. If the media wasn’t hyping it, you might just realize that pools are the number one killer of children, and there are far less of those in the country than there are privately owned firearms.

    Conversely, with the Republicans, I would start with reproductive rights, but just like the struggle to get homosexual marriages made legal back in the Obama era, you’re fighting not only platform and long-held tradition, but also religion. If the Republicans embraced it, which they could, they could even use the “Freakonomics” argument to convince some of their members, they would draw some big numbers from the Dems and Independents.

    That’s my $1.50 on the matter, hopefully we can get something done in the next 4 years.

    • November 10, 2020 12:19 am

      Bill, nice comment. Much to agree with, but then, there is another view.

      First, the current senate count is 48-48. Alaska, N.C. and two in Georgia. Tillis in N.C has a 95,000 vote margin. The outstanding ballots which no one knows were they are, did the voter vote in person, not vote at all, etc total 94,000, of which 21,000 are Republican and 36,000 unaffiliated, the rest Democrat.. So there are not enough votes to offset Tillis if those all come in and it is 6 days after the election. There is also 41,000 provisional ballots, meaning the person voting did not show on registration form or some other problem exist. Cunningham would have to take 100% of the provisionals and 100% of the unaffiliated voter ballots if all 94,000 came in. Mathematically he could pull it off, but realistically he has a hard road ahead. In Alaska the same issue is present. The GOP candidate has a 58,000 vote lead with 130,000 absentee ballots to count. Of these, 25% are registered GOP, so one can use and additional 32500 for the GOP candidate giving him a 90500 vote lead. Out of the remaining 99,500, he would need to capture 91%, meaning most all of the independent voters going for the democrat. It can be done, but again the road is difficult. Should the GOP take 3 out of the remaining four unsettled seats, it would be 51-49. If they take all of them, it is 52-48.

      Given the rhetoric already coming out of the Democrats, I doubt like you that anything will change. Most of what will come out of Washington will be by executive order reversing most all of Trumps significant E.O’s
      1. Paris agreement where USA bears the brunt of the reduction while China goes is merry way until 2050 polluting the air and taking our industries due to environment constraint here.
      2. Re entry into the Iranian Nuclear deal.
      3. Restriction on fracking, thus driving up energy cost.
      4. Repealing any immigration restraints and going back to catch and release.
      5. Directives that make it easier to unionize, harder for independent workers to decline paying dues and harder for employers to fight off unionization.
      6. More control of GIG workers and fewer beneftis for supervision as was done under Obama where people under $45000 or so had to be paid overtime, thus making them basically hourly workers.

      And I suspect there are other things with the environment restricting owners use of land, like farmers with land that floods once a year that can not plow that part of their land because it is a “water shed”

      If Biden governs like the Biden of the 90’s, we can come together. But he will govern like the Biden of 2008-2016, and with his mental issues, probably led by Harris and more liberal members of his party.

      that’s my buck fifty!

    • November 15, 2020 8:57 pm

      Hey Bill, good comment. You shoud stick around. 😉

      As far as abortion goes, I think that science has pointed the way forward. We have several abortifacient drugs now, and the stigma of early abortion no longer exists, outside of the religious right to life movement (which, btw, I respect as a movement guided by a true belief that life begins at conception, but also one that has no chance of winning the culture, unless we become a theocracy. I was going to say that that could never happen, but these days……) In any case, I do believe that the abortion controversy is now primarily around the killing of fully ~ or nearly fully~ developed babies, who are viable outside of the womb, and who would be gladly and gratefully adopted, if they were allowed to live. I think that late term abortion is not popular, and medical advances have insured that many, many fetuses born in the second trimester could be kept alive and go on to live healthy and productive lives. There may be one or two states that would choose to ban all abortion, just as there are several states which no longer place any restriction on abortion. But the majority of states would probably opt for some sort of time frame which would limit late term abortion almost completely.

      As far as the election goes: I think that the GOP will win at least one, and probably both Georgia Senate races, and that will give them 51/52-48/49 control. Senators like Mitt Romney, Susan Collins and Joe Manchin would hold the balance of power, and that might be a very good thing. Certainly it would be better than a 50-50 split, so that we’d avoid some of the worst excesses of the leftist agenda that the Democrats would enact with total control of the government. Either way, there will be no unifying under Biden. He is not a unifier, never has been, and the far left of his party will want their pound of flesh fo helping him “win” the election.

      And yes, I put “win” in quotes, because I do firmly believe that the Democrats stole this election The idea that this doddering old man, who can bearly string a sentence together, without notes or a teleprompter, won more votes than any presidential candidate in history, yet had virtually no coattails, strikes me as completely unbelievable. That doesn’t mean that I think that Trump will win his court challenge, it just means that there is no argument that has convinced me that millions of votes for Biden appeared out of thin air after midnight on election night. Sure, I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

      So, I’m not too optimistic that things will get better, not in the short term, anyway. But, the end of the republic is not upon us…yet.

      • November 15, 2020 9:00 pm

        **barely** not bearly

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 16, 2020 2:31 pm

        Good Grief, you are still selling the same rubbish?

        Stolen election?!!!? Bullshit. Bat-shit crazy bullshit. Show me the proof, any actual proof other than handwaving conspiracy theories. If it happened, the election was stolen, then it was a great big plot with lots of proof it happened and huge risks for he plotters when inevitably caught. Instead, there is a long string of GOP election officials in those states who strongly disagree with the lunatic trumpian conspiracy theories of the stolen election. Last time I looked at the news a week back or so, GOP election official were asking for this nut jobbery to stop and complaining of death threats to election workers. The courts have knocked this nonsense down, Some Fox news commentators have knocked it down. Its insane and its alwo anti-democratic garbage.

        I am not surprised to see you hanging on the bitter end with this anti-democratic nonsense but I really am saddened to see what has become of you. The good news is that only 3% of Americans actually believe that trump won. You are in that 3% hanging with the likes of laughing stock Rudy Giuliani.

        Hey, why don’t I just join you in loony land? That would look like this: Jeez, I think that Biden actually won Ohio and Florida, like the polls predicted, the GOP operatives must have been working overtime to manufacture enough votes to put trump ahead in Ohio and Florida. it must have been a fix, how could it not have been, how could an obviously deranged man be chosen again in Ohio and Florida? Just could not happen.

        “The idea that this doddering old man, who can bearly string a sentence together, without notes or a teleprompter… ”

        More brainwashed rubbish. I watched Biden many times this year including his excellent acceptance speech and there is zero sign of his mental decline, let alone the pathetic state you describe. Now, your hero trump on the other hand presents enough psychological pathologies for an entire meeting of the AMA. But you have never seen any of that. There is something wrong with someone’s mental state here, but its not Biden’s. Its yours and that of your fellow trump cultists.

        Meanwhile, with COVID cases at a record US level and rising and the death count following it, trump’s COVID advisor Scot Atlas urges the people of Michigan to “rise up” against the state COVID policy. The violent plot to overthrow the government of Michigan was the product of the words of seditious wackos like Atlas in trumpworld.

        I used to think that the worst political freaks and weirdos in our country were on the left. The freaks on the right have Trumped them.

        I really, really want the people who make up the GOP to return to to semblance normal rational thought, but I see very few signs. Perhaps in a few months the trump spell will wear off. I think its a very bad and scary thing for either party to nearly completely run of the rails of sanity.

  9. ncmoderate permalink
    November 16, 2020 6:24 pm

    From Ron P. WordPress locked me out and I had to create a new account and post through wordpress.com

    Roby…“I really, really want the people who make up the GOP to return to to semblance normal rational thought, but I see very few signs.”

    Roby, what we really need is for the Democrats and G.O.P. to return to some semblance of rational thought, not just the G.O.P. I suspect you don’t see why 73 million voters rejected Biden and the democrats when the other choice was so bad. But when given a choice between bad Trump/bad Biden, many looked at the actual policies of each and made their decision. I thought hard before I actually voted. There was basically no third party candidate worth voting for so I could not go there. So my next choice was to not vote the president at all or vote against the progressive movement of the democrats. I ended up voting against the socialist progressives because the stand for everything I have been against since I was in the service. They are kin to McGovern and Obama, not Carter or Clinton.

    What we really need in this country is a really serious moderate third party that can carry enough states with moderate votes to capture the White House without sending the election to the house. But the money is not with the moderates, it is with the extremes, so true moderates almost have to vomit when making a selection for president.

    And many of the 73 million also know the federal government has little say when it comes to health and safety within states. One small step nationwide could have a profound impact on the spread of this virus and it can not be made by the feds.. I would like to see the same monetary penalty for no mask in public as a DWI. Both bring harm to others when contact is made between the offender and innocent by-stander. But guess what, I only know of one Gov. that has given local authorities permission to issue citations and both those on the left and right reject that idea. So until governors get off the crapper, risk voter backlash, do the right thing and begin fining people $250,$500 even $1,000 plus court costs then the blame for this spread is shared equally.

    • Vermonta permalink
      November 16, 2020 7:44 pm

      Ron, I do agree with you about the mask mandate, jeez it does not sound libertarian at all though. I wonder how you feel about people like Noem and Scott Atlas? They are the furthest thing from your mask idea. Their thinking is responsible for many, many deaths in my universe. If diehard conservative want to be carefree about COVID and get themselves killed, fine, I have no problem. But they spread it to many others who did not join them in their idiotic freedom crusade and get them killed too.

      ” I ended up voting against the socialist progressives because the stand for everything I have been against since I was in the service. They are kin to McGovern and Obama, not Carter or Clinton.”

      I am sorry Ron, but seriously I sometimes wonder if you understand that the government consists of 3 branches. The dreaded marxist revolution just isn’t and never will be. Sanders lost, Biden won. If Sanders had won he would have lost to trump in a landslide. You were sure for most of this year that the dems would win big in the Senate and run amuck. I knew otherwise. They might possibly have gotten a slim majority but that majority would include swing state members like Manchin, who are not about to go all Bernie on us. The prog revolution never was going to happen. It never will happen. Almost no part of the progressive platform stands a chance in hell, now or ever. You and others are terrified of a thing that is a myth. Now, I will admit that many conservatives will call every single government program to help people marxism. So in the conservative mind they will be correct, marxism is alway at the door. Government programs to help people, both well and ill conceived, will continue to be proposed and sometimes come into existence. But they will be as marxist as the post office.

      I am sorry, I just can’t take this socialist bullshit seriously.

      In 2008 the Dems did actually win everything by a landslide. What did they do that was marxist? I am not a fan of obamacare, but it is made up mostly of recycled parts of GOP bills that failed. Perhaps you think its marxist, I sure as hell don’t.

      Bernie lost. He will die soon. AOC and the gang are just four overhyped representatives.

      Here in the furthest left state in the country we live quite a bit differently than you probably imagine. A moderate republican just won his third re election and annihilated his progressive opponent Hunters have clout. State government keeps getting smaller. An attempt to create a single payer health plan failed when the overwhelmingly democratic Senate pulled the plug on it. The hyper liberal governor Shumlin, who had staked his political life on it, did not try to revive it. A few progressive diehards think that there was a crooked sellout to big Insurance. Almost everyone got over it. There is no marxist revolution in Vermont, and there will be no marxist revolution in America. Its a bogeyman.

      • ncmoderate permalink
        November 16, 2020 9:19 pm

        Roby, first concerning face mask, fines and Libertarian. I am not the screaming Libertarian that want government removed from everything, but I do support removing government from anything that does not produce harm to others.

        Seat Belts, Helmet Laws..Do not support. They only protect those that make that decision to wear them. Face mask, Yes because your spit, vapors and ferms when infected, which you may or may not know you have it, can bring sickness and death to others. You are harming others when you dont wear one.

        Now for my “socialist”progressive positions.
        I do not support an agreement like the Paris accords that makes America cut pollution by some percentage by the end of the 2020 decade, but is written to allow china to continue to increase CO2 outputs until the middle to late 2030’s, then cut and achieve their 2018 level in 2050. During that 30 year period, many US companies would move more production to China because their cost would be significantly cheaper than ours, even more so than in 2016.

        I do not support free trade without fair trade. I accept a Buick Envision being increased in cost by 25% if that same Ford going to China gets tagged with a 25% tariff. If Ford sells more SUV’s in America due to a price advantage over the tariffed Buick, then many jobs have been saved.

        I do not support government coming in on individuals property, determining that 2-3 acres of land backs up with water in the winter, calls it wetland and tells a farmer that owns 100 acres of land he can not plow 2%-3% of his land because its wet in the winter.

        I do not support a national minimum wage. That is asinine. $15.00 in NYC is starvation wage, $15.00 an hour for a single young person in North Carolina is a livable wage.If they make one, its should be indexed to the cost of living such as $22.00 in NYC, $12.00 in N.C.. The average across america would be $15,00 and there should be a teen exemption for kids works just a few hours a week.

        I do not support anything the government does to promote unionization. If unions are so damn good, then they should sell themselves. If one does not want to join a union, fine. With systems today, job classes separating union members from non union members is very easy. Wages and benefits designed for the job classes. If the union job classes are better, more people would join. No force!

        I do not support Medicare for all. I do support Medicare buy in. I do not support a mandate for everyone to buy insurance. For the first 10+- years of Obamacare, United Health Insurance did not sell Obamacare policies, but they received a large number of employer and private subscribers increasing their income and profits by double digits each year due to most being younger workers.

        I do not support reentry with the Iran Nuclear treaty.

        I do not support catch and release and then providing government support for illegal immigrants. My grandfather came here from Sweden with just pennies in his pocket. He used his trade as a tailor to make money, married, then moved to Idaho and bought a farm. Not one person helped him, just like thousand who came here before him and after him. Let people come in, no help, find a job, learn English (no double language crap in any environment) and become productive, Otherwise go back home.

        Guess I covered most other than Biden mask mandate. That will never happen. States rights other than on and in federal properties. If it does happen, then just throw out the constitution because the 10th and one or two more protect those rights.

  10. ncmoderate permalink
    November 16, 2020 6:25 pm

    This is a test to see if I can reestablish my account

  11. November 16, 2020 6:51 pm

    Wonderful, maybe I’m back, so now I will work on displayed name.

    • November 16, 2020 8:09 pm

      Looks like you’re back, Ron. And, yes, I agree with you that both the Democrats and the GOP have both become unresponsive to the needs of all but a few very wealthy citizens.

      I would love to see a new, more moderate party, but I think that the opposite will happen, unless we find out what the hell happened in this election. Trump or no Trump, everything about it was statistically aberrant . Many of the 73 million people who voted for the President will end up believing that their votes were taken away by foul play and will never trust the system again.

      And, if Biden voters think that Trump, who, despite his flaws, governed as a federalist and a constitutional conservative was bad, wait until half the country believes that not only their vote has been taken from them, but also their free speech, freedom worship, and the right to bear arms has been taken as well. Liberals who are now dancing in the streets celebrating the Democrat victory may likely regret that they were so hard on Trump, after a real right wing demagogue comes along.

      If we can keep the Georgia run-offs from being as f’ed up as the general election was, that will help. GOP control of one house of Congress will prevent progressives from getting their wish list of government control. Biden is weak, and Harris is already a progressive, so I don’t think either will stand up to leftist demands.

      I hope I’m wrong, but history tells us that it’s more likely that we’ll see increasing extremism than moderation.

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 16, 2020 8:47 pm

        “Many of the 73 million people who voted for the President will end up believing that their votes were taken away by foul play and will never trust the system again.”

        Which will be completely the fault of the conspiracy mongers on the right, fed first and foremost by the chief conspiracy theorist, trump himself. Try to blame that one on the Democrats. Trump, a Constitutionalist, my ass. He has next to no understanding of the Constitution. Which has been 100% fine with most in the GOP.

        trump lost the popular vote in 2016 and won the states he needed to win the electoral vote by a whisker and yet Clinton conceded on the night of the election.

        Here is a part of a timeline Business insider put together of the days after each election.

        In 2016, Clinton called Trump at around 2.30 a.m. the night of the election to concede his win, The Guardian reported.
        The following day, the General Services Administration (GSA) authorized the release of funds for the presidential transition, according to CBS News.
        By lunchtime on November 9, Clinton had made her concession speech. That day, Defense Secretary Ash Carter gave the formal order for a peaceful transition of power, according to The Week.

        In 2020, Trump was at the golf course as major networks called the race for Joe Biden.
        At the same time, his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, held a press conference in the front yard of Four Seasons Total Landscaping, announcing the president’s intention to litigate over alleged voter fraud.
        That evening, Trump tweeted: “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!”
        Day 2: Obama handshake / Trump fraud hotline

        President Obama meets with President-elect Trump at the White House in Washington, November 10, 2016. Reuters
        On November 10, 2016, Vice President Joe Biden met Vice President-Elect Mike Pence, and Melania Trump met First Lady Michelle Obama.
        Trump and Obama took an hour and a half together in the Oval Office, The New York Times reported, and Obama shook Trump’s hand in front of the cameras.
        On November 8 2020, the non-partisan Center for Presidential Transition released a statement urging Trump to let the transition proceed.
        Instead, Republicans were soliciting calls to a fraud hotline set up by Trump, which was then flooded with prank calls.
        That day Melania made her first public statement in support of Trump’s fraud allegations, tweeting: “Every legal — not illegal — vote should be counted.”
        Day 3: Obama preps farewell tour / Trump hypes legal challenges

        On November 11, 2016, details of Obama’s global farewell tour were announced, in which the president said he would be helping prepare allies to work with Trump, the Associated Press reported.
        Three days after victory in 2020, without a concession from Trump, Biden met with and announced his coronavirus advisory board, designed to mark a break with Trump’s chaotic handling of the pandemic.

        And etc. As far as I have heard the GSA is still withholding the transition funds from Biden, with COVID raging.

        Nothing could make what is wrong with trump and his world more clear than this. Can you somehow ignore this and blame it on the Democrats? That will be some performance if you can.

  12. November 16, 2020 7:37 pm

    President Trump is making sure that, if Biden and the military industrial complex want to fight any more MidEast wars, they’ll have to go and start their own. Trump will not bequeath them any.

    “The cuts would take effect by mid-January, according to the sources who were not authorized to speak publicly. Trump is scheduled to leave office on Jan. 20. President-elect Joe Biden would have the authority to reverse Trump’s order.

    There are about 4,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan and a few thousand in Iraq. Trump has vowed to end what he has referred to as “endless wars” in those countries. The United States has had troops in Afghanistan since 2001 after the 9/11 terror attacks, and in Iraq since the 2003 invasion.”
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/11/16/trump-reduce-troop-levels-afghanistan-iraq-war-zones/6318771002/

    Donald Trump will likely not be in office three months from now, and, if not, Biden/Harris will certainly reverse many of the President’s best policies. But they won’t be able to take this victory away from the President: that he’s ending America’s longest war, and has steadfastly refused to start any new ones. That he found a path to a new Middle East alignment that did not require America to throw billions to the murderous and corrupt PLO, nor to Hamas or Hezbollah. And he stopped John Kerry’s and Barack Obama’s attempt to help Iran achieve regional hegemony. At least for now…

    • Vermonta permalink
      November 16, 2020 7:57 pm

      The one and only thing that trump did that history will likely smile on him for is move toward getting our troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq. Its the one and only thing he has done that makes me think that he has some actual principle above constantly feeding his own ego and causing chaos. He truly thinks war is a stupid waste and has gone against the thinking of his party with great stubbornness. Bravo! to him on that. I wonder how long the GOP will follow his path on that thinking. We will see. I am doubtful but it is the one part of the trump legacy that does him credit. I would even say he could be considered for a Nobel Peace prize if he has turned the GOP into the antiwar party.

      I hardly think that Biden and the Dem party will be frothing at the bit to undo this one thing that trump is doing correctly in the sea of his general destructive mayhem.

  13. Ron P permalink
    November 17, 2020 10:49 am

    Richard Stengel, new lead person for Bidens Global Media Agency that sets policy for givernment media policies. Cant get much more anti speech than this guy.

    Just another example of extreme view when one promotes the banning of burning the Quran, but is silent on USA flag burning. That anti-right, anti-constitution water is warming nicely as we blindly soak in that thinking! Unlike humans, even the crabs understand the danger!

  14. Ron P permalink
    November 17, 2020 10:51 am

    Richard Stengel, new lead person for Bidens Global Media Agency that sets policy for givernment media policies. Cant get much more anti speech than this guy.

    Just another example of extreme view when one promotes the banning of burning the Quran, but is silent on USA flag burning. That anti-right, anti-constitution water is warming nicely as we blindly soak in that thinking! Unlike humans, even the crabs understand the danger!

    • November 17, 2020 12:27 pm

      The problem with some being allowed to play fast and loose with the rules, only following them when and how they want, while others are forced to follow them, is that, eventually, a tipping point occurs. Those that have been following the rules decide that they’ve been chumps and that they’re going to start making their own rules as well. What do they have to lose?? They already believe that everything is being taken away from them, so why not fight back in kind? And then the government cracks down on them, etc, etc….

      Once the rule of law is gone, it’s gone.

      • November 17, 2020 1:00 pm

        First, sorry for multiple comments if they occur. WordPress is really messing up on my end. Some post under Ron P, others under NCmoderate. I tried deleting all wordpress signins, accout, etc, never found link. Changed passwords on old account, entered new password, got “login”, entered name and password “bad password”. So doing my best to post.

        Once speech.on the internet is restricted, the next will be books in library found to have objectionable speech. The internet is free, libraries are tax supported. If its objectionable on free sites, it certainly is objectionable in tax supported municipal buikding.

      • November 17, 2020 1:04 pm

        And certainly on the airwaves of tv and radio.

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 17, 2020 1:46 pm

        “Once speech.on the internet is restricted,”

        Oh you think it isn’t already?

        Go onto the hill Comments section and post the comment “I am asking all my friends to get their weapons and massacre all democrats, (republicans) and see how long your comment stays up and how long your account remains open.

        Here is some charming free speech from an (ex) sheriff on the right wing parler site that is now hugely popular with conservatives:

        Lang Holland, the police chief of Marshall, Arkansas, on Friday called for his fellow users to join him in traveling to Washington, D.C., to “fight our way into the Congress and arrest every Democrat who has participated in this coup? We may have to shoot and kill many of the Communist B.L.M. and ANTIFA Democrat foot soldiers to accomplish this!!!” Holland added, “Death to all Marxist Democrats. Take no prisoners leave no survivors!!”

        Oh hooray for free speech (which actually mostly has nothing to do with the Constitution unless the government is involved and everything to do in most cases with the standards of people who run a business, a school, provide a news of comment platform etc.)

        This fine patriotic American did get fired, although his town manager upon announcing his firing also praised him highly as the best police chief he had ever seen in the town.

        Actually, Holland said considerably worse than that but his comments have now been taken down, that is, censored, so I can’t provide them. I did a search for the comments of other similar nice conservative people on the new beacon of conservative freedom, parler, and found no shortage of right wingers inciting violence against democrats in the most disgusting way. Ah, you nice, nice, nice, kind conservatives and your freedoms. Well conservatives can all go over to parler be very happy there. Bath in the swill of freedom, drink it by the gallon.

        OK, I get it you guys are going to be entirely miserable for the next four years and kvetch about Biden until you turn blue. I have some sympathy for Ron since he has been decent enough to declare his disgust with trumps way of inciting people. As to Priscilla, be miserable, I do not care. Nothing bad about the right will make it into your sanitized brain, and every little thing from the democrats will be turned into a caricature. You are going to believe every right wing conspiracy theory and hate every molecule of anything from the democrats until it makes you ill. Oh well. Its your choice so live with it.

      • November 17, 2020 3:25 pm

        Eh, Vermonta-Roby, calm down.

        I do absolutely agree with Ron that we need to fear increasing and unconstitutional crackdowns on free speech, and, frankly, I agree with you that that has been going on for a while. But, now, the Left will be in charge, and it’s the Left who opposes free speech. Jack Dorsey is a leftist. He censors right wingers, but not left-wingers for the same language. He censors Trump, but not Antifa. He doesn’t like taking heat for that, and so he’s tried to get rid of those in Washington who hold his feet to the fire, and that has most recently been Republicans. But, he’ll gladly censor the free speech of Dems, if they piss him off and if he can get away with it.

        So, some stupid right wing schmuck said something stupid and got immediately (and rightfully) fired. So what? No small town Arkansas sheriff can regulate speech. Jack Dorsey can and does. So, spare me the pearl clutching over Lang Holland, a now unemployed sheriff. We agree on him.

        And I’m not miserable. I’m offering my opinion, not expecting you to agree. That’s how this works, right? If you honestly believe that Joe Biden is going be good for the country, that’s fine. I hope you’re right, I just don’t hink you are.

        The point I’ve been trying to make, and I believe that Ron has been trying to make as well, is that this country has reached a point at which basic freedoms have been eroded to the point that a Biden administration, if it is not vigilant in protecting them, could be instrumental in eliminating them. Is it only Democrats who have gotten us to this point? Absolutely not. Both parties have become corrupted by power and money.

        If Biden turns out to be stronger and wiser than I think he is, I will be ecstatic, not miserable, I can assure you of that. I just happen to doubt very much that he is strong or wise at all, unfortunately. There was a time when a weak or power-hungry president could be constrained by the checks and balances of our system, or even by political realities (FDR being stonewalled by his own party for trying to pack the Supreme Court, for example).

        That time is no longer. If you disagree, I would be happy to hear you out.

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 17, 2020 6:35 pm

        “So, some stupid right wing schmuck said something stupid and got immediately (and rightfully) fired. So what?”

        That, So What, has been your steady go-to response during the trump time to things that were anything but “so what” to me. You have been quite worked up about BLM and antiffa and the endless rioting (and I am also worked up about antifa and the rioting). Well, I am also worked up. I am worked up about right wing nuts armed to the teeth and full of conspiracy theories in which they are the victims of the government and of the marxist left, which means any democrat. I am pretty sure you can avoid Portland and Seattle without any trouble but I have one gun nut popping off night and day in my own neighborhood. You can have your worries and fears. I have mine. Conservatives under trump have shown me over and over that they will casually agree to let go of the most basic principles I thought they held. I am not expecting that to stop, so who knows what pillar of law and civilization will be the the next to go overboard. I pretty much expect the conservative world to say, so what, if the members of the far right launch their war and put their beloved guns to use. You will tell me that I am going too far. I hope I am. After the trump time, I need very good solid proof that conservatives have any interest in any social object other than their war on the smallest molecules of the democratic party.

        I will be very pleasantly surprised if there is not a wave of right wingers getting far beyond the planning stage and committing full scale armed assaults on their political targets. I have very ominous ideas about what could happen in the next months. I will gladly admit to being a twit if I am proven wrong.

  15. ncmoderate permalink
    November 17, 2020 3:59 pm

    OK Roby, you are getting as bad as Jay in your movement to the extreme liberal positions. At one time you were left of center and we could debate from logical oisitions, but I guess when one says Biden is left of center and becomes a Bidenite, then those that are moderates see the only ones able to see the extreme movement left.

    Harm! That is the key word! This guy( Sheriff) was inciting a riot and/or promoting violence! That is illegal! It brings harm to others. If one calls a Muslim a rag head, should be sent back to the hell hole they created, they are sub human, etc, or goes on about blacks, call them the N word, makes all the stereotype hate comments, but does not promote violence, then that speech should never be restricted. I dont give a damn if it hurts someones feelings. The founding fathers create the first amendment so anyone could stand on the street corner a yell whatever they wanted as for the most part. The internet today is the new street corner.

    Trust in government is a slippery slope. Anytime you give the leaders in the last 50 yrs a crack in revision to rights, you can bet money that crack becomes a canyon. This is the same damn government that gave us Viet Nam, Afghanistan, Iraq, promises.on doctors and insurance and Saddam Hussain is a direct threat to America, he has wmd’s. They were abd still our lies that cost lives in America. Fauci, part of the government said eaarluy on, don’t worry, not a threat top America, no human to human transmission, dont wear a mask, not effective, etc… How many lives has that cost? Now look at Cuomo in New York, He is blaming the CDC for his placing C-19 patients in nursing homes.

    How can you trust Biden to protect Americans constitutional rights more than Trump? You give me examples of anything Trump has done to infringe on any American Citizens right guaranteed by the constitution. Yes he reversed DACA. Not citizens, no rights. He placed the Muslim travel ban. Not citizens, no right to travel. He retained and deported illegal immigrants. Not citizens, no right to be here. Give me examples of rights gauranteed in the bill of rights that Trump has trampled.

    Now look at Biden and his proposals. Relate those to the Bill of Rights.

    What happens today impact 5-10 yrs from now. So censorship on the internet today wont cause book removal from libraries tomorrow. But 5yrs?

    • Vermonta permalink
      November 17, 2020 6:15 pm

      The short (ha, short, right) answer Ron is that trumps unconstitutional behaviors involved his own behavior and limitations on his presidential powers. Is the attorney general the presidents lawyer or the country’s? I believe the correct answer is the the attorney general is not the president’s lawyer. Can a president withhold foreign aid unless the leader of the foreign country investigates the the presidents political rivals? trump thought so and the GOP supported him full hilt. Hatch act violations, conflicts of interest, a whole barrage of abuses went on and on. Those legal barriers have been created by law, but trump just ignored them and no concern was shown from the GOP side about the Constitution, they supported him. I am not a Constitutional scholar so I will not claim to be able to state that if the president continuously and habitually ignores laws and rules meant to limit presidential power it is “unConstitutional” but my intuitive understanding is that the Constitution explicitly puts limitations on presidential power and when the president is not held to the Constitutional limits of their power then that is Unconstitutional or should be. No, I have not studied the Constitution such that I can tell you explicitly which section he has violated and a clever lawyer like turley can argue that all that trump did is perfectly permitted and legal. The most recent of trumps abuses of his presidential powers was his public demands that his attorney general and secretary of state investigate AND PRODUCE INDICTMENTS on his political rival or he would not be happy (and, during the final part of the elections season itself no less!). Well, none of that bothered many GOP figures and voters, it was fine by them. So, my attitude is one of Cry me a River now for any Constitutional worries I hear from the right. If Biden’s administration does something supposedly unConstitutional let the Supreme Court decide that. I am not getting my knickers in a twist over conservatives gripping, even before anything has even happened. What IS happening right now at th8is minute is that the GSA under the tyrannical control of our lawless president has failed to do what it is legally required to do, fund the transition. Its been 2 weeks since the election. Trump got his concession from his opponent, his GSA funds and his meeting in the oval office with his predecessor immediately. Is what trump is doing Constitutional? My guess is that one clever lawyer can say yes it is and another clever lawyer can say no it isn’t. How many conservatives or GOP figures are speaking up? A few, a very few. So frankly I think the Constitution has been a failure under trump. I begin to disbelieve in it. Please, please, please do not ask me to get excited over things that conservatives are worried about Constitutionally.

      I will add that the hottest disagreement I have with conservatives is about the 2nd amendment. They say it says anything goes, militias must be able to arm themselves to the point of being able to lay siege to the White House if they think they should. I say that many years of precedent says that the 2nd amendment says no such thing. So, without me going through the years of work it would take me to be a Constitutional expert (and where would that get me?) I really have no sympathy with Conservatives on Constitutional matters but I will let history and the Supreme court judge what is Constitutional.

      I can add that I am half serious thinking of developing an arsenal of 38 caliber handguns of my own to be ready to fight back when the militias declare war. I am that angry with the right wing nuttery that has gotten worse and worse with trump seemingly having no Constitutional limitations and trying to foment an actual civil war. I am not at all sure it won’t come to that. I hope I am wrong. But this is one very pissed off liberal who might fight back.

      • November 17, 2020 6:42 pm

        Well everything you said points to exactly my point. Not one dang thing infringes on my rights, your rights or any other citizens rights.

        That is exactly why I voted for the obnoxious one that might have violated many sections of the constitution and when the democrats prove that, we will know, over the one that has said multiple times he will violate the first 4-5 rights in the bill of rights.

        Our 1st, 2nd ,4th and 5th amendment rights are far greater.in importance than those issues you listed that may violate other articles in the constitution. Once you lose those, there is no turning back.

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 17, 2020 7:02 pm

        I regard having a lawless president with dictatorial tendencies as a severe infringement on my right to live in the American-style democracy set out in the Constitution. You say, essentially, So What. I think that is a pretty damned radical position.

        Once the president can be a lawless tyrant and not be stopped from that we have lost everything in my universe.

        Just do not ask me to care about anything you care about or view the Constitution in the same way you do. I think that way you view it is extreme.

        But we will let the courts decide what is correct.

    • November 19, 2020 9:13 am

      Ron, book banning has already begun in the Burbank, CA school district:

      “According to Newsweek, “until further notice, teachers in the area will not be able to include on their curriculum Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, Theodore Taylor’s The Cay and Mildred D. Taylor’s Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.”

      Middle and high school English teachers in the Burbank Unified School District got the news during a September virtual meeting. The district made the decision after four parents complained about the content of the book, claiming that it causes harm to black students. ”
      https://redstate.com/jeffc/2020/11/18/california-banning-to-kill-a-mockingbird-and-other-books-because-racism-and-stuff-n281670

      To Kill A Mockingbird is one of the books that I would consider ANTI-racist. It certainly had a profound anti-racist mpact on me, when I read it for my 9th grade English class. But, what do I know?

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 19, 2020 11:13 am

        “Ron, book banning has already begun in the Burbank, CA school district:”

        Already begun? Where have you been? Its been going on forever. Harry Potter has been a conspicuous target of conservatives, they don’t want it in the building at all. Which is stupid. And some of the obnoxious woke have attacked Dr Seuss as a racist, which got me (and many other no longer young liberals) on my high horse. And mark Twain. And Harper lee, which did not just begin now.

        I am all for the conservative press going after this kind of stupidity I really hope they do, loudly, persistently instead of a quick one off for click bait. But if they are going to exercise good journalism they should mention the easily found examples of conservative parents getting books banned too.

        https://www.insider.com/banned-books-schools-2018-11

      • November 19, 2020 11:42 am

        Roby, you are correct. I always say that both sides have been complicit in getting us to this point.

        But now that the woke left is coming after free speech in all its forms, it’s important that both sides condemn it.

      • November 19, 2020 12:11 pm

        Priscilla,
        Both sides will never condemn it.
        It works to divide the country and generates votes. Just look at this election with the highest turnout since 1908 as a percentage of eligible voters. Division works!

        And look at steps 15-25 in this document from 1963 and see how everything fits nicely into todays political environment. (Hopefully it copied correctly)

        Click to access 45_Goals.pdf

      • November 19, 2020 12:17 pm

        Priscilla
        OK it did not copy the link, it copied the PDF file. The link is in Cultureshield.com and the file is /PDF/45_Goals.pdf
        If I write it all together it will just post the small type document again.

        By the way, you in N.C. yet?

      • November 19, 2020 11:53 am

        Priscilla, this one I can not get too upset about because it is nothing new. They have been banning books from schools all the way back to the 50’s-60’s when I was in schools and before.( Alice in Wonderland?) And it has continued.
        Where’s Waldo? by Martin Handford
        When: 1987
        2. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
        When: 1988
        3. Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
        When: 2006
        4. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
        When: 1999
        5. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
        When: 1983
        6. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
        When: 2010
        7. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
        When: 1996
        8. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
        When: 2006
        9. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
        When: 1900
        10. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
        When: 1963
        11. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
        12. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
        When: 1988
        13. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
        When: 1928
        14. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? by Bill Martin, Jr.
        When: 2010
        BONUS: The Merriam-Webster Dictionary
        When: 2010
        http://bannedbooks.world.edu

        I love the dictionary being banned (That was because it defined Oral Sex)

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 19, 2020 12:19 pm

        Priscilla, 3 years back Melania gave a set of ten books to a number of schools, one of which was a doctor Seuss book. Some wretched woke lady librarian in Mass wrote a big Open letter to Melania reply in a library journal that attacked Melania and Dr Seuss as a racist whose books were outdated and of minimal social value. and saying that Melania Should have provided one of a whole list of politically correct diatribes instead.

        And the world then fell on her. It was great!

        People like myself, older liberals, were outraged and the journal that published her “open letter to Melania” was inundated with angry replies calling the woke librarian an ignorant intolerant pain in the ass. She got her ass well and truly kicked and was last seen leaving in a giant huff.

        I %^$#@* Hate people like that.

        In fact, Dr Seuss Did make some of his drawing of Japanese in the war years in propaganda posters he drew for the military that were very stereotyped and some of his children’s books Do actually have drawings of Africans that are also quite stereotyped. Well, that is his style of drawing, and he made those drawings in another era. He is not a racist, He wrote “the Sneetches” an explicitly anti-racist parable, before anti-racist parables in children’s books were even a thing.

        Conservatives believe that the “woke” are going to utterly triumph and carry away every little bit of our history and culture. I do not. There has always been a push back, and a strong one and we will continue to have this battle for decades but in the end some kind of happy mildly woke medium is likely to be the result. A mildly woke future (which will be regional in its character) is fine by me. Emphasis on Mildly.

        This particular huff over burbank schools is one of those facebook memes that go around like wildfire and confirm peoples biases and unbalanced theories. I spent a bit of time yesterday coming up with information to undo my wife’s idea that pandemics occur exactly every 100 years, which of course she got on facebook. Apparently the future hold the necessity to try to correct all the nutty stuff people learn on social or partisan media or we are going to be living in a world of conspiracy theories and other complete rot and get stupider and stupider every year. That worries me a lot more than the woke crusade. Gullibility is a far stronger force than PC. Social media will destroy us, I do believe that.

      • November 19, 2020 12:41 pm

        Roby. Interesting concerning the librarians since they are usually the ones standing against censorship.

        You also state “Conservatives believe that the “woke” are going to utterly triumph and carry away every little bit of our history and culture. I do not. ”

        Each time anything is removed from history it is just another step in lost information. I read yesterday where there is a movement to remove all mention of classic artist and musicians that are know by one name such as Mozart, Shakespeare, Michelangelo.

        Why, because it is racist. Black artistic personalities are all know by two-three names, past and current. Only white artist have one name. So they were asking that anything displayed or written about those individuals be removed from whatever setting they appeared. If not, then those with one name are being placed at a higher standard than those with two.

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 19, 2020 1:34 pm

        Ron, if you want to judge how hard it is to completely remove information then consider how how hard it is to remove information that is rubbish. Its impossible. You cannot remove any information, good or bad. It is backed up in millions of places. We will lose nothing, not even the rubbish.

        Yes conservatives think the woke are winning, just taking over. I do not and I live in the heart of the beast.

        Examples, the Middlebury riot about Charles Murray. It went over very badly with Vermonters, tarnished the reputation of the school. Letters and comments in Vermont media were negative and angry negative by a large margin.

        The same happened when A PC nonsense of students running amuck happened at Dartmouth some years back. The locals (very liberal locals) were very negative and spoke out.

        BLM took over a park in Burlington Vermont for a month or so this summer tents signs all that. The Seven Days alternative paper, a paper about arts and culture and politics, quite left leaning, wrote an in depth article about the BLM period in the park with their marches and commotion. It was not a very nice or complimentary write up, the woke and the activists were very unamused by the write up they got and complained bitterly. Seven days is the leftest part of the the leftest city in the leftest state of the country and they made it clear that the BLM action was not a big success and just mostly pissed everyone off.

        We Vermonters, unfortunately, send Bernie and Leahy to the Senate. But we also elect moderate GOP governors and they get reelected for as long as they run.

        My sister lives in Portland, ground zero of antifa. She is quite liberal, much more than me and long ago was sick of the antifa and anarchists, along with nearly everyone else in the city (that is nearly everyone else is also sick of the antifa anarchists). She says life goes on nearly normally everywhere but a few blocks of the downtown. She and many other Are sick of also being invaded by right wingers looking for a fight and the chaos they add.

        I am telling you as someone who has been right in the middle of it, that the “woke” are not doing nearly as well as conservatives imagine they are right here on the home turf in Vermont. It seems to be a cherished idea of the right that the woke are taking 9over. Do you really want to believe that or would you like to consider evidence that says they are not really so popular or so numerous as your worst fears?

        One more thing I will add, conservatives are dying to have the Sanders wing win, they Love Bernie, he is the best thing that ever happened to the GOP. And when a moderate is the actual winner in the Dem Primary or wins the presidency, like Bill Clinton or Biden they go all out to annihilate his character (well Clinton made that pretty easy). The last thing the GOP wants is a moderate Dem president, they want the image of Portland riots and woke idiots tearing things down to be the image of the opposition.

      • November 19, 2020 4:32 pm

        Clunton, moderate YES
        Biden, moderate, NO! Not the Biden since 2008!

        So lets look at far left policies.
        1Will he reenter Paris Accords without equal treatment with China.
        2.What ll he reissue 42,000 (or about that)overtime rule
        3. Will he repeal Trump trade that allows Buicks into this country tariff free, hut also allows China to tack on Tariffs on Fords, costing USA jobs .
        4. Will he reissue 50 mpg standards by the ’30’s
        5. Will he propose Medicare for all.
        6.Will he support repeal of SALT elimination in any tax reform
        7. Support student loan forgiveness

        Lets follow which ones he introduces. Then rate his moderate positions.

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 19, 2020 1:51 pm

        “I read yesterday where there is a movement to remove all mention of classic artist and musicians that are know by one name such as Mozart, Shakespeare, Michelangelo.”

        How big a “movement”? Any small group of nuts can have a “movement”.

        When I was at UVM for more than a decade there was a far left movement that was pretty loud and stupid. I got interested and stuck my nose in, helped a GOP club organize wrote about it a lot in my friends conservative newsletter, which actually had a lot of impact. The giant leftist noise came from about 20 pathetic students who are probably now all washing dishes somewhere or the like and 3 radical professors. Most of the students, even (or sometimes especially!) the liberal ones where very sick of them.

        Seriously Ron, do you really want to be convinced that these nuts are winning? By doing so you and other conservatives (and not only conservatives) give them power far greater than that they would have if everyone just ignored them as the freaks and weirdos they are. I wish people would try to be more objective about how much power these kind of movements have. Some sports teams may change their names, some confederate statues that never should have been put up in the first place have and will come down and life otherwise will go on as always.

      • November 19, 2020 4:39 pm

        Well I have no idea the size, but every movement begins with a few. Example: Cal Berkley free speech movement. Movement to remove all civil war officials monuments. Movement to ban any conservative speech on college campuses.

  16. November 19, 2020 9:00 pm

    I will concede to you gentlemen on the book banning issue, mostly because I agree with you, but also because I think that the banning of books like Huckleberry Finn and To Kill A Mockingbird, is currently less of a free speech issue than it is an issue of whether or not we’re going to continue to expand critical race theory in our public schools. One of the reasons why Burbank wants to eliminate TKAM is because those who believe in critical race theory believe that Atticus defends Tom Robinson, not because he wants justice for Tom, but because he’s a paternalistic, privileged white man, who seeks to enhance his own reputation and career. In other words, Atticus is an oppressor himself, and seeks to perpetuate systemic racism.

    So, I sort of conflated standard issue book banning, with a Marxist dialectic. Not really relevant to the free speech discussion.

    Ron, at the moment, we have one foot in NC and one in NJ. We haven’t sold our Jersey home, because my older son is going to lease/purchase it, and one of our dogs has been sick and needed surgery, so I’ve been staying up north, while my husband has been in the Southport house. So, I’m thinking I’ll head south in a week or two, when the pup is up and around. I missed my opportunity to be in one of the hot swing states when the election happened!

    • November 19, 2020 9:44 pm

      Priscilla, I agree about the critical thinking. I can imagine the discussion and possible fight that could break out between someone who says he wanted justice and BLM supporting student saying he was just a racist making a name for himself. I don’t think I would want to be that teacher.

      Critical thinking in novels was how I got turned off to reading. I did like reading good stories, but after enough times of being asked what the author was trying to say, I repeated the story line and did not get a good grade, I stopped reading anything after junior English. Did not read another book until I was almost 65.

      Glad to hear you are almost down here!

    • Vermonta permalink
      November 20, 2020 10:29 am

      Priscilla I never heard of critical race theory until recently, here on TNM. I hardly know what it is, but then I am such a cultural hermit that I hardly know who lady gaga is. And I don’t really want to know. I know who Barney Kessel is and Monty python. You can have most of what followed. So perhaps I have a poor understanding of today’s world.

      I am bitterly allergic to anything marxist. I am opposed to any unbalanced psychological/ideological philosophy that depends on feeding bitterness. On the other hand I am not about just ignoring the things that truly have done great social and cultural, not to mention personal, harm, such as everything that proceeded from slavery forward in America. I’d like to think that if I were black I would try stay positive and dwell on the good, but I don’t think it would be so simple and easy. It is a truth that for white people thinking about race is optional, whereas for african americans is not, the consequences of race and our history permeate their lives.

      I chalk most of the racial issues and crime in the cities up to economic conditions. Create a large well educated black middle class and much of this would solve itself in time. But how to do that? Single people can climb out of poverty and then they say, well, see I did it, that is something anyone can do. Actually, the “anyone” has to have certain strong advantages internal and external on their side, good character and native abilities and a good support network. The large numbers of black people at the low end of the economic system clustered in cities by the tens of millions cannot so easily escape their condition and it all does trace back to their history. And, no, magically somehow getting republican mayors and applying conservative economic ideas to the city reality would not lift many up. The problem is very deep. We are not doing well on either the left or right of center with solving it, it goes on and on and causes it never ending harms.

      BLM in Vermont is composed of something very different from the ideological bitterness that it may be based on in some places. Every third house has a BLM sign or the like. These are people who voted for a GOP governor by a large margin, they are not antifa. BLM for most people who support it here in Vermont simply signifies sympathy with the wretched things and conditions that blacks as a group still do encounter in America and the wish to somehow improve that. Personally I don’t have a sign but I go out of my way to broadcast a good vibe when I meet black people. And, they usually also seem to do the same.

      No one as far as I know, or next to no one, is thinking as deeply as critical race theory. One of the main impediments to the spread of true marxism is that it is boring, deadly dull and boring. Blah blah blah on and on forever. Monty python took Marx down very well, look it up for a laugh. Marx himself gave up Marxism in the end. If I ever commit a terrible crime I could be sentenced to having to actually read marx and lenin in their full width. Ugggg. Most people do not have the interest for that kind of mid-numbing exercise. Some on the left take up some small part of Marx. Marx was quite good on describing the ugly side of capitalism, its the solution side of Marx that is a disastrous failure, not the describing the ills side. Some people imagine that they are marxists because they agree with his description of hte ills of capitalism, but they nearly never have any real idea of Marxism. The few people who understand Marxism or its offspring like radical feminism, are tiresome boring fanatical people. Sane people with a life avoid them, cross the street to avoid meeting them.

      Any sensible, alert, decent person can describe the ills of capitalist society and then they will have some common ground with Marx. Any sensible alert decent person can see the tragedy of the cruelty of human behaviors, including some of those that were at the base of founding America in a world that was much tougher than ours, and then they will have something in common with Zinn. But most people don’t fall down the rabbit hole of making that the center of their life. Those that do do not get much success in this world, so they don’t really have much clout. If they really get sucked in then they join the mob in Portland and burn city property every week or so. I do not know how they get away with it. But they are a pathetic lot, the true revolutionaries.

      In short I think that while we have to be aware of the Marxist-type spreaders of bitterness and revolution and pay some attention to what they are doing, it is easy to hugely overestimate their power and force adn get sucked into being the opposite of marxists, which is also an extreme position that leads to fear and bitterness and sucks the joy out of life just as much as marxism itself.

      • November 20, 2020 12:02 pm

        Wow, Roby, you covered much in this comment. So I hope you will not mind me commenting on one of yours in response to Priscilla.

        Concerning, race. And before going further, this is just my thinking, I am not an expert and much could be wrong.

        In almost every decade or century we have had hatred or racism of some sort. And much of that hatred, except the native Americans, was driven by economics. But for the blacks, the racism was driven by other issues and then became more of an economic issue in the past 50+ years.

        White, northern Europeans and their ancestors ruled this country. Then the Italians, Irish, Jews “invaded”. They took jobs from “Americans”. At that time, there was no government support. Survival was a result of each individuals ability to find work, put food on the table. Harm came to those that dared take jobs or tried to move into their communities.

        Blacks from the end of the civil war for much longer had these same difficulties, but more so due to the racism in America. Then came MLK and that began to change. The civil rights movement brought positive changes. MLK looked to the future when people were judged by their character and not the color of their skin.

        But even with that, there was still problems. So here is where I go off on a tangent. Progressive policies derailed much of the positive changes that were beginning because progressives wanted to help the blacks. But their policies did not help them enough to really make a positive difference. They actually slowed or eliminated much of the change. Welfare, which in theory is good, created a whole new set of problems. The destruction of the black family. How fast did the percentage of black children born out of wedlock grow after the support programs began? So now we have kids growing up in fatherless families, mothers living off welfare, maybe working some, but not enough to make a difference. Just enough to survive but not progress.

        What happened? First, White America had taxes in states increased to support the welfare and Medicaid programs. After years of rising taxes, no real change in the economic conditions of the black community, rising crime rates due to black teens not have a father or discipline, some in white America began to revolt and some that had no adverse thinking about blacks began thinking about the situation and how they brought much upon themselves without trying to help themselves.

        Then another action. So another change was made. Affirmative action.

        Blacks that were less qualified got jobs over more qualified whites. Black HS kids that did finish HS got accepted to better schools, even when they had lessor GPA and entrance test scores. Another group of whites adversely impacted by “special” treatment. Another group of whites who began to dislike Black America.

        So my point is when we try to help, are we really helping? Why do we tell people not to feed the wild animals? Why do we say feeding birds anytime other than in winter is bad? In most cases it is because those animals become dependent on us for their survival and they are no longer able to do it themselves. Humans are animals also, but ones that can think and make decisions.

        What we fail to do is relate anything we do for our fellow Americans to all the outcomes and reactions that could occur in the future and we only take “feel good” actions that have far reaching negative outcomes. When welfare ws created, did they really ask what the far reaching negative impact could be, or did they just look to the positives?

        So closing, the BLM movement has issued an ultimatum to Gov. Newsome. Replace Harris with a black female “or else”.(Not sure what te or else is, they did not say) What happened to MLK’s judging someone by their character and not their skin color? If there is a white male better qualified, is this another affirmative action decision that gives privilege to a black?

      • Anonymous permalink
        November 20, 2020 12:52 pm

        I am out shoppi g with my wife so I will give you the short form of my reply. I love your comment and agree with nearly all of. we are on the same page here on much of the broad view. For example welfare, a cultural disaster. The part I don’t agree with I will write up later.

        About blm and their demands I will have to read a bit about that. Not my idea of how the world should run but special interest groups let’s say the NRA, leverage their power and ask for the moon all the time. It undemocratic but it’s politics. Bleh.

      • November 20, 2020 1:38 pm

        Roby, you will only find conservative sites with full story. Guess its being ignored by the liberal press. News Break, which is rated left of center did republish Fox Report.

        This is damn well ridiculous when one group of media flood the news with articles and the other ignore it completely. And it happens all the time on both sides of the coin. I heard it as a passing comment on a program and then looked it up.

  17. November 20, 2020 11:49 pm

    This fits with my comments about race, racism, affirmative action… And California even! That is one thing I have to say that is good about that states government. If you don’t like what the idiots in Sacramento do, you can get propositions on the ballot if you have a high enough number of signatures to make it happen. Would never have seen the light of day had it been left to the assembly to do this.
    https://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_michael_barone/californians_and_americans_reject_racial_quotas_and_preferences?fbclid=IwAR1GLY9fon5l0AjT9x8q7dwDkq7dtHZJvrZIBqLjeNIRrRrETsxxM-cX9_Q

  18. November 23, 2020 11:43 am

    A hypothetical question. And this really is hypothetical, but it may turn out to be close to the truth, so it’s worth thinking about:

    What if the Trump team really has the goods ~ and by that I mean genuine evidence~ to prove that the election was stolen, through a means of computer manipulation and fraudulent mail ballots?

    What should we do now? Roby, I’m especially interested in your response, since I know how much you despise Trump and his policies, but I also know that you are a fair and decent person. But interested in others for sure, as well…

    So, the question is : if the evidence (assuming there is evidence) shows that Trump actually won the electoral college, or, at the very least, if the evidence shows that the fraud/manipulation of votes was so pervasive that we actually don’t know who legitimately won, what should happen?

    This question can actually be answered 2 ways: 1) What would YOU do, if you learned that Trump was the winner, or at least not the loser or 2) what should the “powers that be” do, in order to make the country whole again?

    Is there anything?

    • November 23, 2020 12:29 pm

      Priscilla

      I know you ask Roby and hopefully he is looking in will answer from a Anti-Trump position.

      I will answer from a constitutional perspective. The first thing is to create the belief that there was enough fraud and illegal activity so that the state legislatures in each of the questionable states can not certify the vote to use by their electors.

      Those legislators would then have a choice since article II of the constitution directs the states to determine how their electors are distributed, not the federal government. They could choose to allocate based on the vote, they could choose to allocate based on the some other criteria, such as the in-person votes. And anything they may do could end up in SCOTUS, with the court deciding on the constitutionality. For Trump to have a chance, he would have to do this in states with Republican legislatures while the vote went Democrat. And this could take the determination past the Dec 8th Electoral College vote date. Once decided, if the states in question allocated enough votes to Trump, he would win.

      The next possibility is the legislatures in states in question allocate based on house district votes or some other percentage method, causing a 269/269 electoral allocation. That would then take the election into the house. And this method does not allocate based on population. Each state has one vote. Each state delegation meets, decides their choice and when the vote is called, each state makes their choice. Based on the number of GOP controlled state legislators, even though the democrats have control of the house, the new January 20th house has more states with GOP majority representation than democrats. For instance, the GOP would have in N.C. something like 10 out of 12 seats and California would have only 7 out of 53. Even though the total count would be 17 G.O.P. and 55 democrat, any election going to the house would give N.C. one vote and California 1 vote.

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