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The New Moderate’s 2021 Vigilance List

June 14, 2021

What do we moderates need to worry about? Plenty, of course. I’ve cited most of these concerns before, but there are some disturbing new ones as well. The middle is being squeezed out more than ever as the extreme left and right continue to battle for the soul of America. (The irony is that both extremes have become soulless, humorless, intolerant mouthpieces for fundamentally un-American ideas.) The salvation of America now rests in the hands of outspoken moderates who are unafraid to challenge the willful distortions of the extremist mind. As usual, I propose remedies to our current problems. But we moderates need to make America listen – and make those remedies a reality.

1. Right-wing militancy. Yes, the republic’s armed guardians of nationalism, gun rights, old-time religion and all that is white with America have finally earned the top spot. The shocking assault on the U.S. Capitol back in January was probably just a foretaste of things to come. How did we get here? The movement was spawned by bloviating radio and TV pundits back in the ‘90s, gathered steam with the election of Obama, reached critical mass after being fueled by Trump, and continues to grow in reaction to the “woke” left’s asinine anti-white tirades. (Guess what: when you hurl insults at a group long and hard enough, the folks who identify with that group begin to take offense.) This growing coalition of gun zealots, diehard Trumpsters, neo-Confederates, white supremacists, conspiracy theorists, xenophobes and defiantly un-Christlike Christians has been mobilizing to carry out Trump’s most fevered dreams. In short, it ain’t Sarah Palin’s Tea Party anymore, and the Republican Party needs to wake up before the extremists destroy it. (See #5 below.) Remedy: Avoid taunting right-wing militants and mocking their ignorance. I know this will be painful for some, but the “nice doggie” approach might be the only way to keep them from biting. And I’d tell the right-wing zealots: Ditch Trump! Let him take his well-earned place in history’s dumpster. He doesn’t love you or even respect you. Rediscover genuine patriotism… think of Eisenhower, John McCain, George Washington. Those should be your heroes – not some egomaniacal flim-flam man who inherited a fortune from his dad.

2. Identity politics. We’ve become obsessed with our tribal identities and grievances, which have eclipsed national identity in the minds of the aggrieved. Blacks, gays, feminists, Latinos, Native Americans and transgender people have all been shouting at us from their respective pulpits, and now white nationalists – not surprisingly — have joined them, although they’re the one identity group that the mainstream media won’t coddle. Identity politics is essentially cultural Marxism; instead of designating oppressors and the oppressed by social class, they’re now defined by race or gender. Remedy: We all need to take a deep breath, look outside our own demographic boutique, and find common ground with our fellow Americans again. (We’re the United States, remember?)

3. Wokeness and cancel culture. Political correctness has crossed the line from a reasonable concern over offending minorities to a humorless and sinister Orwellian groupthink that delights in reporting heretics (i.e., independent thinkers) to the authorities, sabotaging their careers and exposing them to personal threats. Progressive companies and schools have expressed their solidarity with BLM by instituting mandatory “antiracism” training – too often a polite euphemism for “anti-white brainwashing.” (No doubt I’d be accused of “white fragility” or worse for that last statement.) Woke scholars have cited individualism, objectivity, merit, punctuality, the nuclear family, and even correct math solutions as damning evidence of white supremacy. White-bashing has become normalized, along with the almost compulsive trashing of historical white heroes — yet it’s still taboo (at least within polite society) for whites to criticize blacks for any reason. Double standards, anyone? Remedy: Be fearless. Speak out against woke excesses wherever you see them, and damn the consequences – unless you have an academic or media job to protect. (Then you might want to speak out under an assumed name.)
4. Polarization and the hollowing of the center. Extremists at both ends of the spectrum have been battling it out for America’s soul. Worst of all, the middle is losing. (When was the last time one of your Facebook friends posted a moderate political meme?) In an age of sound bites and Twitter tweets, polarization sells. It reinforces our prejudices and bonds us with like-minded folks. But the cost has been prohibitive: we’ve essentially split into two warring nations. Moderates are the last vestige of objectivity — the last group capable of seeing both sides of an issue. In short, America needs us now more than ever. Remedy: If we moderates have to shout to win attention, so be it: let’s shout. Once we’re noticed, we need to start building bridges between the warring factions. Advice to non-moderates: Try to understand the other guy’s perspective instead of automatically condemning it. Please don’t borrow your attitude from glib internet memes and biased “amen corners.” Above all, don’t insult your political adversaries; it only makes them hate you (and your ideas) more passionately.

5. The radicalization of the Republican Party. The former party of moderate, sensible conservatism has morphed into something strange and malevolent, with a sharp rightward lurch that would render it unrecognizable to old-school Republicans like Eisenhower and Nixon. The process started in reaction to the election of Obama, but it was Trump who turned his party into a seething cult of grievance, hatred and latent violence. Of course, the Democrats have shifted leftward, but not to the point of flirting with civil war. Remedy: If traditional Republicans can’t drive the nutjobs out of their ranks, I’d love to see a powerful third party emerge from a union of moderate Democrats and Republicans who are willing to work together for the good of the country.

6. Narrative-driven reporting, online amen corners and fake news. Too many major news organizations, including CNN, Fox, and even the sober New York Times, have ditched objective reporting in favor of pet narratives. The online scene is even messier. Too many of us gather our news from biased sources that cherry-pick their stories to promote an agenda, distort them with misleading headlines or simply make them up. (Trump wasn’t entirely off base about fake news.) The comments sections are even worse: echo chambers for opinions that grow ever louder and more extreme as the choir cheers them on. Remedy: If your preferred news source has gone off the rails, write to the top news editor to voice your complaint. Threaten to stop watching or cancel your subscription. When posting online, try to fact-check the juicier items beforehand, and don’t restrict your reading to your political home turf. Make an effort to discover moderate and unbiased news sources, too. (Hey, you’ve already found one!)

7. The politicization of EVERYTHING. Art, literature, music, gender, race, religion, sexuality, immigration, historical monuments, flags, vaccinations, the environment, women’s bodies – you name it, the zealots out there have politicized it. When we politicize everything, we split into factions. Factions consist of chronically angry people, and chronic anger isn’t good for the nation’s soul (or your own). Remedy: We should all take Voltaire’s advice and cultivate our gardens. It might put us back in touch with the natural world. Politics is an artificial ingredient, and it slowly poisons everything.

8. American gun culture. Let’s face it: America is a trigger-happy culture. The NRA, police, white militias, inner-city criminals, Second Amendment diehards, lone-wolf lunatics – all seem to revel in the power conferred by lethal weaponry. America’s shameful gun statistics reflect a sobering trend within our country: Americans are an increasingly angry people, and angry people often turn violent – especially when they have easy access to lethal weapons. Why the pervasive anger? In a few words: too many Americans feel – justifiably or not – that they’re getting screwed by higher powers. Despite the bloodshed, the NRA crowd still screams whenever anyone mentions tightening access to guns. Remedy: Guns don’t kill people, but bullets do. With over 300 million guns already in circulation here, it makes more sense to restrict access to ammunition – specifically the semi-automatic magazines whose only purpose is to dispatch mass quantities of victims as quickly as possible. As for our police, it’s time they found and used effective non-lethal methods for stopping unarmed criminal suspects.

9. The rise of authoritarian regimes. Sure, we’re used to Russia, China, North Korea and a few Third World countries favoring “strongmen” as leaders. But did you know there are currently 50 dictatorships in the world, with several others (like Brazil and Hungary) leaning toward authoritarianism? If Trump had triumphed in overturning the 2020 election, we could have added the U.S. to the list. Authoritarian regimes rise when a critical mass of people support a powerful radical leader who tolerates no compromise or dissent. Powerful men who see the world in black and white seem to cast a spell over the weak and disenfranchised, and apparently more of “the masses” are feeling weak and disenfranchised these days. Is representative democracy a doomed system? Remedy: The people need to feel more powerful. But if a country’s government is controlled or unduly influenced by plutocrats and lobbyists, it’s no wonder the people feel that their vote won’t make a difference. (If that’s the case, see #10 below.) In 5000 years of recorded history, representative democracy has been the exception rather than the rule – about 450 years under the Roman Republic before it succumbed to authoritarianism, and less than 250 years since the American Revolution. In short, we can’t take it for granted.

10. The rule of moneyed interests. Call it plutocracy or oligarchy or capitalism on steroids — the bottom line is that a self-entitled, deep-pocketed elite is still in charge of our government, our finances and ultimately our lives. Far too many of our elected representatives are essentially marionettes operated by the powerful interests that fill their campaign coffers. This state of affairs is unacceptable within a representative democracy. Unless we correct it, we’re headed toward a neo-feudal society of latter-day lords and serfs. Jousting, anyone? Remedy: Ban thinly veiled bribes by lobbyists (via Constitutional amendment if necessary), regulate the financial industry, get rid of most corporate subsidies and tax loopholes, impose tax penalties on companies that move jobs away from the U.S. And yes, raise taxes on the rich — especially on income from passive capital gains.

11. Worldwide environmental devastation. This shouldn’t be a political issue, but somehow it is. Climate change denialists, take note: the ten hottest years on record have all occurred since 2005. The only question is how much of the change is caused by human activity. Whatever the extent, we need to take prompt action unless we’d like to see massive crop failures, extensive lowland flooding and seaports that look like Venice. On top of that, the world has lost half of its nonhuman animal population since 1970. Developing nations account for much of the destruction as they convert forest to farmland. As they aspire to middle-class status, they’ll be fighting for use of the Earth’s limited resources. Eventually we’ll realize that we’ve ransacked a wondrous planet. (And we’re not equipped to start colonizing distant planets just yet.) Remedy: Work with other governments toward establishing and enforcing sensible universal environmental regulations, because the Earth belongs to all of us.

12. Disruptive technologies. You’ve heard the expression, “You can be replaced by a machine.” Well, it’s happening. Within the next twenty years, most of today’s jobs (even doctors and lawyers) could be replaced by automation, the internet and artificial intelligence. How will all those idle citizens survive, and how will the nation survive without a substantial tax base? Remedy: We need a new income-generating model desperately. Universal welfare doesn’t suit the American psyche. Maybe we could all sell Girl Scout cookies to rich technocrats.  

13. Selective outrage. Police kill roughly 10 to 20 unarmed black people in a given year, and each killing tends to make national news headlines. The result: massive demonstrations, often deteriorating into violence and looting. Meanwhile, major American cities have to deal with daily street shootings of blacks by other blacks. The result: silence. Of course, selective outrage is an equal-opportunity intellectual vice. Think of the Republicans’ over-the-top ire concerning Benghazi or Hillary Clinton’s e-mails, compared to their shocking indifference to the attempted insurrection at the Capitol on January 6. Remedy: Instead of blaming white America for “violence against Black bodies,” BLM could turn at least some of its attention to the rampant disregard for black lives within black communities. Meanwhile, far-right Republican politicians need to recover from their Trump-era fevers, preferably out of office where they can no longer whip their base into a baseless frenzy.

14. Reckless deficit spending. Our government is spending far more than it’s taking in (to the tune of $1.1 trillion), and most Republicans would rather cut benefits for the 99% than (God forbid) raise taxes. The credit crisis is a global issue that, if unresolved, could bring the whole system crashing down on top of us. Remedy: Here’s a start: cut back (way back) on corporate welfare in the form of bailouts and subsidies. Collect a fair share of taxes from huge corporations and the super-rich. No loopholes. No compromises. (The money could be diverted to small business owners who lost their livelihoods during the pandemic.) Trim those plush federal pensions, beginning with members of the House and Senate. And reduce the size of our military, which doesn’t need to be bigger than the militaries of the next ten nations combined.

15. The “Great Demographic Shift.” People of color now account for more than 50 percent of U.S. births. School dropout rates and other endemic social problems will doom too many of these new babies to poverty. At the other end of the age spectrum, Americans are living longer and will require decades of subsidies to get by. How will a shrinking middle class support all these needy Americans and still provide enough funds to maintain our infrastructure? Remedy: I’d encourage middle-class and wealthy Americans to procreate more freely (Hey, it’s fun!) to build up the taxpayer base. But we also need to raise revenue to fund social support programs. How? See the remedy to #14 above.

16. The immigrant/refugee conundrum. Yes, it’s honorable and humane to admit desperate people into our country; after all, the Statue of Liberty has been welcoming the huddled masses for well over a century. But we can’t continue to let illegal immigrants pour across our border. (Europe has its own illegal immigrant crisis.) What if half the population of the Third World decided to migrate to the U.S. and Europe? There has to be a sane limit. Remedy: Offer temporary asylum for refugees from oppressive regimes, and get to the root of the problem by leveraging American influence over those regimes. Impose reasonable limits on permanent immigration, favoring skilled workers and professionals who won’t overburden our social safety nets. Threaten to withhold federal aid to sanctuary cities, which insist on protecting criminal illegal immigrants. And yes, the U.S. should probably make English our official language to encourage assimilation.

17. Cultural degeneracy. When did Western culture become an exercise in pushing the proverbial envelope — and how much farther can they push it? Movies, TV, pop music, video games, high art and everyday behavior have combined to forge a cheap and often loathsome culture that too often celebrates the worst in human nature – the badder the better. Do I believe in having fun? Absolutely. (This isn’t The New Puritan, after all.) But we also need to restore respect for the nobler virtues, or we’ll crumble, as the Romans did, from internal and external assaults that we’re too weak to withstand. Remedy: Beats me. Sometimes I think Western civilization at its apex was simply too demanding for our species to maintain for any length of time. Still, if you have standards, don’t surrender them!

18. The endangered filibuster. This quirky feature of our legislative branch used to strike me as a joke: after all, talking nonsense for hours on end doesn’t seem like a productive use of time. But by delaying the vote on controversial bills, a timely filibuster can prevent one party from ramming ill-conceived legislation through Congress. Think of it as a safety catch. Now there’s a movement afoot to eliminate the filibuster, making it easier for hyperpartisan bills to pass. Remedy: Keep the filibuster until a third major party (cough, cough… a moderate party, of course) emerges and makes it difficult for any one political faction to dominate Congress.

19. The Covid-19 pandemic. Our devastating plague year is mostly behind us, although far too many on the right still bristle at the notion of getting vaccinated. (It’s not an imposition on your precious freedom, my friends; it’s the surest route to eradicating the virus and restoring your freedom.) You’d think a pandemic that attacked progressives and conservatives alike would have united the country like an alien invasion, but it became just another excuse for political polarization. Remedy: Get the damn vaccine already!

That’s my list for 2021, and it should be more than enough to rouse our fellow moderates from their slumber. Share this list so your friends of all political persuasions can see it. And feel free to propose your own additions to the list. I’d like to hear from you.

Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate. His three collections of darkly humorous essays are available as e-books on Amazon for just $2.99 each.

104 Comments leave one →
  1. Ron P2 permalink
    June 14, 2021 12:04 pm

    Excellent points, but I suspect that even if all voting age Americans read this, those in the middle would ignore most of it. This is a country that has moved on from being a “We the people” as described in the preamble of the constitution to a country of “I a person of the USA”. Not until government proposes something that personally impacts “I” does one become involved in trying to create an alternative solution.

    So wokeness and identity has created an environment where “blacks, gays, feminists, Latinos, Native Americans and transgender people have all are shouting at us from their respective pulpit”. And this is also being communicated through TV shows where one can not turn a show without having a very good chance to find some message or situation where one or many of these issues are addressed. I am not saying they do not have a place in television, but what does it add in police dramas to have gay and lesbian characters in romantic embrace scenes when the story line is a serial murderer and the police trying to catch that criminal. Or a medical program where a bomb has gone off in town, hundreds injured, the scene is the emergency room and then for some reason a scene is added with a romantic embrace of lesbians for some reason. What I am pointing out is not only politics are driving the divide with these issues, so to is the liberal press and entertainment industry.

    Almost every one of todays problems has a solution.
    —Guns, Ammo.,.This will never be solved with legislation. Legislation can be overturned by future congresses. Make bullets harder to get today, two things happen. The cartels south of use start producing it, they send it to the gangs in the country that sell on the black market and then only the criminals have the bullets. Ban multi bullet clips, same thing happens. It does not take a genius to look at the war on drugs, what happened with that and relate it to a “war on multi-ammo clips” And if the legislation creates enough right wing votes, a future congress will be in the position to repeal that legislation.

    —Immigrants..This is nothing but a political toy. If you are Hispanic from the south and illegal, no problem, welcome. We wont do anything now that Uncle Joe is president. However, if your a white European, a legal immigrant, been here for years, a more than productive citizen and miss paperwork filing dates, you are ordered out within days with no recourse. And then have to spend much on legal fees to try to get back your legal status.

    —Filibuster, just one short comment. Lets assume 2024 and the democrats eliminated the filibuster in 2022. Donald Trump has won the election and his coattails have produced a wave election where the house and senate is GOP with many of his followers in those positions. He has gone off the deep end further in his radical agenda and some really bad legislation has been proposed, passed by the house and is now in the senate with a 55-45 GOP control. Who wants the senate without a filibuster?

    Your comment #15. Not working. White middle class reproduction has been declining for years,The number of births between 2019 and 2020 declined 4% for both white and Black women, 3% for Hispanic women, 6% for American Indian and Alaska Native women, and 8% for Asian American women. Much of the decline in the Hispanic birth rate change was due to a significantly lower number of immigrants in 2018-2020, but that is now changing. For the other groups, 2021 will show and even more pronounced decline due to the pandemic.

    Lets just say I have a negative outlook and the survival of “moderates” because right now we are no longer the “silent majority”, in most cases we have become the “silent don’t give a damns”

    • Ron P2 permalink
      June 14, 2021 10:48 pm


    • Rick Bayan permalink
      June 19, 2021 11:08 am

      Good points, Ron, and we do mostly agree with each other on these issues. Like you, I’m not very optimistic about the future of our country (or our species) right now — but that could change if the ever-swinging pendulum stops swinging so wildly.

      As for our own moderate “identity group,”
      of course you’re right that we need to become more vocal. That’s the only way I see to keep the dialogue from being controlled by the battling extremists.

      • July 9, 2021 11:48 am

        Rick. I remain optimistic about the countries long term future.

        Why – because the great threat to the country is from the left – contra your vigilance list.

        Right wing militias are not going to march in – atleast not unless things get far worse.

        But the policies of the left will fail.

        You barely mention the gigantic failure the Biden administration has been so far.

        Nor do you need to. We need not debate any of this.

        The left FAILS naturally – without help, without opposition.

        You are somewhat right about concerns about authoritarianism.

        But those will not come about until AFTER the left fails more dramatically.

        Biden was elected with the economic wind at his back.

        There were predictions of 8% growth by Q3 2021.

        There were concerns about inflation – but not until late 2022.

        We were supposed to see the economy adding 1.2M jobs/month.

        The Most recent Unemployment report – UI ticked UP to 5.9%.

        Inflation is already rearing its ugly head. Americans have not seen inflation over 2% for decades – we are seeing that and more now, and even some mainstream economicsts are worried about hyper inflation.

        We should be seeing strong growth – we are not.

        1/3 of all small businesses failed in the pandemic.
        They are struggling to come back.

        I honestly hope for the sake of all of us – that either Biden reverses course – as he apparently has done recently on defunding the police.

        Or that I am wrong and things do get better.

        Regardless, what do you expect the politcal consequences of Biden blowing recovery as Obama did in 2009 will be ?

        Republicans expected to do well in 2022. Their initial claims seemed based on magic.

        IF Biden does well, if we get strong post Covid growth – Republicans will be in the dog house for a long time.

        I actually hope that is what happens. My opposition to democrats is based ont he fact that their policies are destructive. If that proves false – they can run the country.

        But I do not expect that. I am honestly surprised at how fast the wheels have come off the Biden administration. But I could still be wrong.
        Things could magically get better.

        But I am not betting on it.

        I expect that our future will actually be better – because bad ideas actually fail.

  2. Ron P2 permalink
    June 14, 2021 10:49 pm


  3. Ron P2 permalink
    June 14, 2021 10:50 pm

    Test message, trying to post something to this awful Word Press driven software and again having problems.

  4. Vermonta permalink
    June 17, 2021 8:06 am

    Its a great post Rick, I agree with a lot of it, and where I disagree there is plenty of room for an intelligent discussion. I don’t have time now to give your long very well thought out thoughts the full attention they deserve. I will make a few quick comments. Maybe not so quick, ha.

    Policing and the media coverage of deaths of blacks at the hands of the police. I believe that while there is some element where the police have members who are of a rather right wing point of view, like the ones who participated in the insurrection, and those bad cop members are protected by police unions when they fuck up and brutally treat people and even kill them, much like bad teachers are protected by teachers unions no matter how obvious it is that they are not people who should teach, the main reason for the disproportionate deaths of blacks at the hands of police is the poverty and high crime in the inner cities.

    There really are cases where cops go far beyond what they should do with their use of force. It does not matter what race the victim of that is, the cops should lose their jobs and face criminal consequences. This would be good for everybody, including the good cops, who are the vast majority. All too often these cases the media chooses to make into big stories are cases were the cops had no business at all killing a citizen. And the cops walk free. It has happened over and over and its infuriating. Remove the element of race and you still have a real story. We would all be better off if bad cops who kill without reason would face their consequences. I do not care if this is 200 cases a year or 20,000 (which it isn’t) it is an abomination at any figure. It becomes a race issue because the majority of these unjustified killing happen in inner city environments.

    Defund the police is one of the stupidest ideas I ever heard of. Some people mean something different than what this sounds like, they mean some changes in the way the police work and not truly and literally defunding the police. Its a case of the typical left wing inability to communicate (actually, first of all, to think logically). They only reach their own fanatics and they piss off everyone else. They are amazingly counter productive. As a result policing is now a battle between left wing and right wing activists and their associated media figure. Its is a very difficult environment to get some sensible changes made in that would benefit all.

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      June 19, 2021 11:29 am

      Roby, I agree that police have no business using lethal force on suspects who simply resist arrest or fail to obey commands. Even if they kill only 15 unarmed blacks in a given year, that’s still 15 too many. What I object to is the narrative-driven focus of the “liberal” media; i.e., that cops (and white people in general) are engaged in some kind of genocidal campaign against blacks. If the media would occasionally report on the white folks who are killed by police (twice as many as blacks, in fact), maybe the woke left would gain some needed perspective.

      Do cops kill blacks in disproportionate numbers? Yes, but it’s a function of several factors within poor black communities: higher crime rates (Philly is off the charts), a tendency to resist arrest, and a general refusal to cooperate with police. And why does BLM say nothing about the countless blacks killed in street shootings by other blacks? Would it spoil the narrative? Those black lives matter, too.

      In fact, I knew a black guy from the neighborhood who was shot to death on the street for unknown reasons. (I’m guessing he owed money to a drug lord.) His death went virtually unnoticed by the local media. He was a small-time grifter but an otherwise harmless and good-natured soul. No cries of “Say his name!” from BLM.

      I honestly don’t know how this country’s racial tensions will play out, but I hope the media stop fueling the anger before a race war breaks out between the nutjobs on both sides.

      • Vermonta permalink
        June 20, 2021 9:35 am

        If you are waiting for the unreasonable and slanted coverage of issues by many in the media, left and right, to disappear you will wait a long time. Likewise for the actions of activists on any issue and from any political side. Listening to media and activists will drive anyone nuts or brainwash them. The big issue to me is how do we make reasonable laws and create a reasonable culture in which police do not all to often have license to kill. The media, right and left, and activists, right and left, are not helping that is for certain. The idea that over the top rhetoric that only reaches ones fellow fanatics and pisses off everyone else is counter productive does not ever occur to fanatics.

        Look at Portland, somehow some group of violent far left fanatics has used social issues as an excuse to riot for the last forever and somehow they are not all in jail. I actually wrote to the mayor of Portland and the Cheif of police saying that I as a liberal leaning person and sick and tired of Portlands so called protesters and I want them rounded up, outed, and sent to jail. Portlands entire crowd (riot) control unit just disbanded itself. Here, I feel sorry for the cops and in this case I wish they were freer to act. The right wing media portray Portlands rioters as typical liberals the Portland as a typical city. Thank you violent anarchist goons for your big help on improving society. Arrrrggg.

    • Ron P2 permalink
      June 20, 2021 12:24 am

      Roby, I have to agree with most everything you have said about the police. One thing I have said for many years is there are two professions that are severely underpaid in most cities even with the unions. Police and teachers.

      We place our safety in the hands of the police and we place our kids in the hand of teachers. But with the pay they are getting, we lose many of the good ones to other professions and many of the ones deciding to become a police officer or teacher are not the top students.

      So in some cases we end up with police officers with anger issues to begin with and then over the years, with the union protections, their anger increases until we have problems as we have had in the news about police brutality.

      On the other hand, we have a black community that marches for BLM, but when there are shootings in communities and people know who the shooters are, they will not cooperate with police, so more murders are committed. We have a female black police chief that has gone on TV, held news conferences and met with community leaders almost begging for the black communities help in identifying drive by shooters that have killed innocent teens, injured children inside homes and killed a black minister and no one will step forward with information.

      I dont know what it will take to get both sides working to really make BLM an effective movement, but right now with both sides working against each other, nothing will improve.

      • Vermonta permalink
        June 20, 2021 9:40 am

        We agree Ron. For me its the inner city crime and poverty and the idea that even the worst cops have to be defended and not held accountable that do the most damage to the situation. Better pay would ceratainly be an incentive to improve the policing.Defund the police?! Bah!

    • July 9, 2021 12:12 pm


      The problem I have with your post is I can not find an actual position in it.

      I have posted HERE frequently about problems with police.
      There are many police reforms I support.

      But i can not tell from your post what you want and what you do not.

      I am extremely concerned about the consequences of the BLM/Defund police movement.

      We have seen violence spike accross the country.
      Everything I am reading strongly suggests this is not a short trend and not likely to reverse anytime soon.

      No single event was more consequential in propelling Nixon into the whitehouse – or later Reagan than the spike in crime in the 60’s.

      Ultimately both republicans and democrats fell all over each other to be “tough on crime”.
      Biden is himself personally responsible for many of the most egregious crime bills.

      We KNOW that something worked – and crime peaked in the late 80’s and dropped steadily until recently.

      There are numerous theories regarding the cause of that decrease

      Longer sentences,
      increased abortions.
      More agresssive policing.

      The recent violence spike makes one thing clear.
      The more agressive policing WORKED.

      You discussed police racism. Real world evidence of systemic racism by police is non-existant. While there are a few actual instances of racism, every single statistic shows no actual racist signle when regressed properly.

      54% of all murders in the US are committed by blacks.
      It si possible that reporting errors might cause that to be off a few percent – but not by the factor of 4 needed to bring it into line with demographics.

      Every single other policing statistic is consistent with the much higher rate of murder committed by blacks.

      In 2019 there were 10 unarmed blacks killed by police. There were 14 unarmed whites.

      Are there actual instances of racism – absolutely – if you want police racism – google the shenanigans of State Police Troop F in Lousiana.

      But overall racism is actually rare. Much more common is agressive policing.

      In the end we face a problem – that aggressive policing WORKS.
      When it stopped in 2020 – crime spiked.

      So my honest question for you is – what do we do ?

      Chicago had 14 murders over the weekend.

      I am asking you for a real world answer – not utopian thinking.

      To what extent to we use agressive policing – knowing that will result in more police abuse, but also that it will reduce violent crime ?

      I will be happy to join you in looking into ways to reduce abuse by police.
      And maybe we will find some that do not increase crime.

      But in the real non-utopian world – do we choose more aggressive policing, more police brutality and less crime – or less aggressive policing and more violent crime ?

      I will happily agree with you that some conduct by police is egregious – I have been saying that here for years.
      I will also agree with you that “Defund the police” is stupid.

      But in the end we must make actual choices – in the real world and utopia is out of reach.

  5. Priscilla permalink
    June 19, 2021 8:58 pm

    It is an excellent post, Rick. You’re becoming more and more a centrist, as opposed to a moderate liberal, which may have less to do with your opinions and more to do with the movement of the Overton Window so far to the left, that many liberals are now seen as right leaners. Like Roby, I agree with much of what you have to say here and think that there is room for fair minded debate on the rest.

    I will say that I flat-out disagree with the idea that the Republican party has been radicalized. Or, at least that it is any more radicalized than the Democrat party has been. Is it the Republican Party of Eisenhower? Hell no, but neither is the Democrat Party the party of JFK. Both parties are far removed from what they once were, and I would contend that it was the Democrat’s decision to emphasize racial identity politics over economic and foreign policy that caused the poltical earthquake which has left moderates of both paries largely homeless. When you have Bill Maher, Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi being accused of being “right-wingers,” simply because they are pushing back on the corporate oligarchical control over free speech, something is seriously wrong with our binary party system.

    And that oomething, in my view, is identity politics, with its embrace of a more Marxist world view, only with a racial, rather than class, spin to it. As one of my favorite political writers, Wilfred Reilly, has put it, “Wokeness is Marxism with American characteristics.” (for what it’s worth, Reilly is a black man, who grew up poor, and is now a political science professor at Kentucky State University, which is an historically black college. He is very heterodox in his political views).

    Your post is a meaty one, and I have a lot of thoughts about each one of the items on your list. That said, if we don’t, as a society, reject identity politics outright, and do it soon, I think the America that we have known is doomed .

    • Ron P2 permalink
      June 20, 2021 12:12 am

      Priscilla, your comment “I will say that I flat-out disagree with the idea that the Republican party has been radicalized.” is one that even with what we agree on most of the time, this i can not agree with. When we have a party that is so afraid of one authoritarian leader like Trump and his support of radicals that attacked our capital, I can not support anyone that he supports nor can I support him in any future elections, even though I supported many of his policies before he went completely off the deep end. I can only hope that N.C. has enough moderate right republicans to pick Pat McCrory as the senate candidate and not Ted Budd because that is a sure fired defeat by a far left democrat since all the leaders are extreme liberals.

      I do agree that the pendulum that has swung far right nationally has also equaled out the arch with the radicalization of the democrats. If it were not for Joe Manchin creating a road block in the radical agenda the Democrats have today, I shutter to think where we would be heading. At least with his positions, he is able to bring some of the senators that fear backlash from leadership into more moderate positions like the 20 senators that have now agreed on an infrastructure spending bill. (10 democrats and 10 republicans). And this does not include spending that has nothing at all to do with infrastructure like Paid leave, Child care, Elder Care and education spending that has nothing to do with internet, buildings or equipment. It is scary to think that we elect individuals to represent the citizens of each state, but those individuals are so damn afraid of leadership they can’t go to the bathroom without clearing it with their party leaders first.

      Now, I HAVE NO PROBLEMS WITH SEPARATE BILLS FOR THOSE ITEMS THAT KRISTIN GILLIBRAND WANTS!!! However, they are not infrastructure. If the democrats want to spend money on those items, let them offer a separate social program bill that provides funding for those items.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 20, 2021 9:32 am

        Ron, I understand the argument that Trump has “destroyed” the Republican party, but I disagree, due to the lack of any evidence that his policies or actions were authoritarian.

        Actually, if anything, Trump was simply incompetent, and his incompetence was amplified by 99% negative media coverage, in addition to what we can fairly call deep state opposition to almost everything he did, One example would be the Charlottesville lie, which supposedly inspired Joe Biden to run. Trump never said that the Nazis were “fine people,” but that has been lost in the fog of political war. To this day it is a lie that is repeated constantly in our political discourse and in the media.

        I am not defending Trump himself, I’m simply wondering what, exactly, he did that was “authoritarian”? Or, in a larger sense, what the Republican party is now doing that is “extreme”, other than uniting behind its most recent ex-president.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 20, 2021 11:27 am

        To be perfectly clear, I think that the GOP is largely useless at this point. They stand for nothing. But I see no evidence that the party stands for any extreme positions. And I see no evidence that they support white supremacists or racists of any kind.

      • July 9, 2021 12:36 pm


        If you support Trump’s policies, and oppose those of the left.

        What is the racicalization of the GOP that you are talking about.

        Rick’s rant about radicalization was entirely about people – not policies.
        And yours appears no different.

        As to Jan 6.

        The capital was stormed by left wing nuts during the Kavanaugh hearings.

        No one would have broken into the Capital on Jan 6. had it been open as it was for the kavanaugh hearings.

        I have no problems with people protesting election results.

        Clinton ranted about russian influence in 2016 and still does today.

        We had Pussy hat riots in DC in 2017 over the elction.

        The Jan 6 protestors were angry about a lawlessly conducted election.

        While I did not expect them to prevail – they SHOULD HAVE.
        Congress should have done exactly as Ted Cruz asked and taken 10 days to have the national guard audit the election.

        Of course the courts should have done that months earlier.

        I am not sure that an audit would have changed the outcome.

        But as a separate issue the lawless conduct should result in people going to jail.

        I am not as familiar with other states – but what occured in PA was criminal and egregious. And it was done with the impranatur of the State Supreme court.

        In 2019 the PA legislature compromised (unconstitutionally) with Gov. Wolf. and passed Act 77. Aside from the fact that Act 77 permitted mailin voting in PA – which two separate provisions of the PA constitution that are over 100 years old preclude, Act 77 was an agreement between democrats and republicans that purportedly ended the PA conflict over Voter ID which has been ongoing for a decade. Aside from the mailin voting provision – Act 77 was otherwise reasonably crafted.

        It required all mailin ballots to be mailed or hand delivered to the office of the board of elections in each state.
        Act 77 imposed deadlines for accepting ballots, and for counting ballots and generally cleaned up PA election law.

        As noted Act 77 was a compromise – and the PA legislature included a non-severability provision in the law – basically if the courts struck or modified on provision then the law repealed itself.

        The Wolf administration did NOT follow Act 77, instead in the midst of Covid they took it to court, and the PA Scotus changed the law willy nilly – openly admitting they were doing so unconstitutionally – but well “covid”.

        PA went from the requirement that ballots must be mailed or hand delivered to the board of elections in each state to hundreds of unattended ballot boxes – mostly in Philadelphia and Allegheny counties.

        There has been a fair amount of attention to the shenanigans that went on in Fulton county – but lost in the weeds is that PA still has 1/4 of a million votes unaccounted for – entirely from Allegheny and Philadelohia counties.

        During the vote counting – observers were thrown out.
        Hundreds of thousands of ballots were counted. Observers went to court and got a court order returning them – so the election official moved their workstations out of observation. Again the observers went to court – and again won – but counting was now over.

        Philadelphia county has a long history of election fraud – long before 2020.
        During 2020 two election officials plead guilty to feeding the same ballot through over and over and over. ‘

        Nor is this the extent of things. The State Secretary provided different election advice to different counties – telling red counties one thing and blue ones another.

        Further Wolf reneged on the Voter ID requirements – probably hundreds of thousands of ballots were accepted in PA without ID meeting the PA law requirements

        You claim to value compromise.

        PA Act 77 was a compromise.

        But in the end – republicans got NOTHING – because democrats reniged.
        And the PA Courts – not only let them – they actually expanded the lawlessness.

        Do you really wonder why lots of people do not trust the results of this election ?

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      June 21, 2021 3:27 pm

      Priscilla: Thanks, first of all. I think I’m as moderate as ever, but the extremist shifts in both parties probably make me seem both more anti-left and anti-right (and believe me, I’m anti-both!). While I’ll oppose the Orwellian groupthink of the left until they carry me away feet first, I think the degradation of the GOP into a Trump cult and the increasing militancy of the Trump base are cause for more immediate concern. At least AOC and her woke cronies aren’t numerous enough yet to stoke fears of an armed rebellion. We just have to remain vigilant about any further spread of cultural Marxism in academia, the media and corporate America.

      I’m encouraged by the fact that even some of my liberal friends are rebelling against the mandatory anti-whiteness and anti-Americanism of the woke crowd. I think the woke madness of the past year was at least partly a reflexive desire by the establishment to placate the BLM activists — the kind of “nice doggie” approach that I recommended for liberals in their interactions with right-wingers. I doubt if most of the corporate types who take “antiracism” training will become true believers, but we do have to watch out for educators indoctrinating our young people.

      As for Trump… Even though I never supported him and had no tolerance for his boorish, vindictive personal style, I agree that he was victimized by the most hostile press in memory. He brought much of it upon himself, of course, but it reached the point where you couldn’t get a straight story about Trump from the mainstream media. He deserved credit for some of his policies and criticism for others, but CNN did nothing but bash him on a daily basis.

      Once Trump tried to overturn the election results, though, he went beyond the pale and became an immediate danger to our democracy. His incitement to interrupt the formal electoral vote was unprecedented in American history. I’m still not sure if he’s genuinely delusional or a master manipulator, but I think he needs to be ignored from this point on.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 21, 2021 5:38 pm

        Oh, I definitely agree that you are as moderate as ever ~ I was more saying that you seem a tad less left-leaning (not that you were ever on the left !) and a bit more in dead center. After I posted my comment, I regretted even bringing that up, since I was essentially labeling you by doing so. I hate when people label me, because I think, more and more, I’ve joined the growing number of Americans who consider themselves free-thinkers, non-comformists, ideological agnostics, unorthodox , etc. I intentionally left out “non-partisan” from that list, primarily beccause I can’t think of a single current Democrat that I would ever cast a vote for, other than, perhaps Kyrsten Sinema or Joe Manchin. Not many Republicans either,but enough that I can’t fairly consider myself non- partisan. Nevertheless, I don’t like either party much these days….

        I tried to separate my opinion on the GOP from Trump, and to explain why I don’t believe that the Republican partty is extreme. I did address Trump in my response to Ron, so I can see why it may seem that I conflated the two, but I didn’t mean to. I think that Trump actually lives on far more so in the minds of those who oppose him and/or despise him personally, than he does in the minds of his current or past supporters. I know a lot of Trump supporters, and very few of them (actually, I can’t think of one) who want him to run in 2024. Mind you, they still like him, but they want to back someone who has Trump’s courage and fighting spirit, but who is less divisive and less prone to making himself ~ or herself ~ an issue. I would guess that, right now, Ron De Santis is the favorite of those people. I know that Trump haters have been led to believe that every Trump supporter is a deluded, cult-of-personality worshipping, white supremacist, but that’s far from the case.

        That said, I don’t consider it extreme for a party to back its most recent ex-president as its titular leader.It’s been months since any important figures on the GOP side have talked about overturning the election (if they ever did), even Trump. Believing that gross irregularities and fraud took place before and after the 2020 election, is not the same as believing that it should be overturned. That is simply a Democrat talking point, and it’s false.

        On the other hand, there will be no end to the current bitter divisions over the 2020 election until there are electoral reforms that bring back voter confidence in fair elections. Certainly, the highly partisan Democrat bill that would nationalize all elections and put them under the control of the federal government is not going to do that. I do think that there are many things that would, and which would also garner bipartisan support.

        Sort of like this Kentucky law that was passed by a GOP legislature and sgned by its Democrat governor…

      • July 9, 2021 12:51 pm

        Rick – you claim Trump brought the antipathy of the press on himself ?

        What about Romney – Romney like every republican presidential candidate since Nixon was villified as a Nazi.

        I am not always enamoured of Trump’s comments.
        But like very many people – I share Lincoln’s assessment of Grant.
        “I cannot spare this man. He fights.”

        Patton was similarly Boorish – he too fought when that is what we needed.

        One of the things you constantly miss – is that the left is at war.
        They do not like this country – they want more than to change a few policies – they want to transform it completely.

        We are in the midst of something that most strongly resembles the cultural revolution in China. The left seeks to destroy and rewrite history – because history is damning to them.

        Trump fought back.
        I think Trump was wrong on many issues.
        But Trump is not and was not ever a threat to the country.

        The left is.

        You are worried about a radicalised GOP.

        You should be more worried that you will get what you want – more Romney’s

        I personally think Trump himself will fade. I think he will be too old by 2024 and will not run again. That is my look in the crystal ball.

        But “Trumpism” – both the policies and the style that you call boorish will continue to dominate the GOP.

        They will be cause they must – because those are the only way that Republicans win in the current environment.

        The left wing nut media is going to brutally attack ANY republican – in the same way as they do Trump. Just as they did to Romney.

        Republican moderates stand no chance in the future – they will be eaten alive – while you stand by – and probably vote for the democrat – because you bought the nonsense that the next Romney is a radical nazi authoritarian.

        I would ask you to completely separate the personal and just address policies.

        Whether those of Trump or Republicans.

        There is only one set of authoritarian polices threatening the US – and those are from the left.

  6. Vermonta permalink
    June 26, 2021 12:24 pm

    Since critical race theory has been of interest here, this episode of the culture wars is worth noting:

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 26, 2021 1:32 pm

      Critical Race Theory promotes poisonous and racially divisive beliefs that have no place in the American military. If Milley is promoting CRT, which he apparently is, he deserves to be called stupid. Calling him a pig is very rude, but Carlson has the same free speech that Milley has. If Milley really believes that white soldiers should be purged from the military, based on a Marxist definition of racism, then he shouldn’t be in a position of leadership. Generals should not be parroting divisive political ideologies, especially ones based on skin color. They should be apolitical, and focused on creating a unified force that can win wars.

      As a Green Beret, now colonel in the National Guard and US Rep Mike Waltz said, “Of course, as the army we must always work to destroy extremism. We should never tolerate racism, but this has gone too far. In the Army, you are told the only skin color you should be worried about is the color of your camouflage … The enemy’s bullets don’t care about Black, White or Ebony, or political party or race or religion or not. Anything else. And we should not be concerned about that while training the future leaders of the US Army. As a Green Beretsman, I can’t imagine in a combat situation where I order a soldier to use a machine gun and he would think ‘was I ordering him just because he was African American.”

      • Vermonta permalink
        June 26, 2021 8:48 pm

        This is what he actually said. The generals study all kinds of ideas and books Mao, Hitler. Its not an endorsement of those ideas its a wide education about ideas.

        ” If Milley really believes that white soldiers should be purged from the military, based on a Marxist definition of racism, then he shouldn’t be in a position of leadership. ” No he obviously does not believe that, you are talking complete nonsense. As is carlson, as are right winger everywhere, constantly. To hell with facts.

        Lets see if you as a conservative are able to actually understand what Milley actually said, what his point is. Carlson either does not understand or just does not give a shit as long as he can make a buck agitating.

        Speaking before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, pushed back on accusations by Reps. Matt Gaetz and Michael Waltz that critical race theory was being taught in the military. “What is wrong … with having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend?” Milley asked.

        Video Transcript
        CHRISSY HOULAHAN: I know my time is very precious, but I would like to yield some of my time to General Milley because I know that he had some comments that he wanted to make when Representative Gaetz was talking, as well as Mr Waltz, about a similar subject of the stand-down in race theory. Would you like a minute or so to comment on that? Do you remember what we were, what your line of questioning or your thought was there?

        MARK MILLEY: Sure. First of all, on the issue of critical race theory, et cetera, a lot of us have to get much smarter on whatever the theory is. But I do think it’s important actually for those of us in uniform to be open-minded and be widely read. And the United States Military Academy is a university. And it is important that we train and we understand. And I want to understand white rage, and I’m white. And I want to understand it.

        So what is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America? What caused that? I want to find that out. I want to maintain an open mind here, and I do want to analyze it. It’s important that we understand that, because our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and guardians, they come from the American people. So it is important that the leaders now and in the future, do understand it.

        I’ve read Mao Tse Tung, I’ve read I’ve read Karl Marx, I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist. So what is wrong with understanding, having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend? And I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned, non-commissioned officers of being quote, woke or something else, because we’re studying some theories that are out there.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 27, 2021 11:04 am

        Roby, I do understand this argument. If we are to look at CRT as a Marxist theory, to be compared and contrasted with the color-blind theory of, say, MLK, I would be fine with it as an exercise in academic freedom in a school setting.

        But that’s not what this is. As Milley states, the purpose of mandatory CRT training is to understand “white privilege” and “white rage”. CRT is openly divisive and has no place in mandatory military training.

        Milley has cast his lot with a political ideology.

      • Vermonta permalink
        June 27, 2021 12:29 pm

        So, if he tries to understand Marxism we realize that he is not a marxist, but if he tries to understand white rage, which was on ugly and destructive display during trumps insurrection adn is highly relevant, he has thrown his lot in with CRT? Good grief, really, no.

        I am always astounded and more than a bit frightened by the ease at which people of every ideology are convinced of total nonsense. trumps appointment to the joint Che ifs is not a Marxist anti-white ideologue. Its laughable. But its a great money maker for professional fire starters like carlson.

        This issue will lose the GOP more than it gains. its just one more piece of red meat idiocy that fires up the faithful, while making them look crazy to everyone else. The era of nutty bomb throwers like Carlson, Greene, and Gaetz does not end well for the GOP or conservative values. Most of the country has nearly forgotten AOC and Sanders since the insurrection and the rise of these truly loony and scummy personalities on the right making their daily performances much like AOC used to. Not a good look.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 27, 2021 3:29 pm

        Big difference between teaching the history of slavery, race relations, and civil rights in America, and teaching Marxist neo-racist theory.

        Making gross generalizations about people, based on the color of their skin, is the very definition of racism.

        And, splitting up American soldiers, forcing whites to acknowledge racial privilege that they may not have and telling blacks that they are racial victims, when they may not be, is wrong.

        These men and women, who have volunteered to serve our country, deserve to be treated fairly and equally. CRT specifically denies that that is possible, because it begins with the presumption that our society is systemically racist against people of color, and that whites want that to remain the case.

        If General Milley believes that,
        then he should resign. Frankly, I am astounded and more than a bit frightened that we have generals who place their personal ideology above their patriotic duty to protect all Americans.

      • Vermonta permalink
        June 28, 2021 7:39 am

        “And, splitting up American soldiers, forcing whites to acknowledge racial privilege that they may not have and telling blacks that they are racial victims, when they may not be, is wrong.

        When someone shows me credible proof that what you describe is actually happening I will get excited. Since for what you describe to happen would require a lot more people to sign off than your one allegedly marxist anti-white trump appointed Chairman of the Joint Cheifs and those people are not the kinds of people who are prone to marxism I am going to see this as hot air.

        I have experience with military basic training, several hundred sleep deprived recruits in a huge stuffy tent hearing 15 and 30 minute lectures on a wide variety of topics including the military’s sexual harrassment policy, the official policy on preventing heat injuries, which they no soooner delivered than they broke into pieces and sent recruits to the hospital, etc. If anything is ever said about race in training it will be similar to the sexual harrassment lecture. Not long after the sexual harrasment lecture we were all taken to the NCO club to watch local prostitutes strip. We were lectured about avoiding prostitutes as well, and then sent off on “family day” a 2 day break in the middle of basic training, with plenty of winks and sly references from the drill sergents. So, having been through basic training I have a pretty good idea what the race training will actually look like on the ground and it will not be marxist anti white leftist propaganda. I cannot actually remember whether there was race training when I did basic. There may well have been. If so it made no impression on me.

        Before I belive that the pentagon is a marxist anti-white training ground I am going to have to see some hard proof. If one word is said on race in training some recruits will be worked up especially in today’s environment. If conservatives think that the pentagon is signing off on or promoting a policy that would cause total disruption of the basic mission of training that is laughable and not believable to me.

        All the sources I could find in the news on this were the typical right wing bomb throwers.

  7. Vermonta permalink
    June 26, 2021 8:54 pm

    Milley was nominated to be Chairman by donald trump for gods sake. Here is an excerpt of his career. Does he sound like a Marxist to you or a man who believes in purging whites from the military? Really? Speaking of poison, all too many conservative swallow it by the gallon every day.

    Milley has served in the 82nd Airborne Division, the 5th Special Forces Group,[8] the 7th Infantry Division, the 2nd Infantry Division, the Joint Readiness Training Center, the 25th Infantry Division, Operations Staff of the Joint Staff, and as a Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon.[9]

    General Milley has had multiple command and staff positions in eight divisions and special forces throughout the last 39 years to include command of the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division; Milley commanded the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light) from December 2003 to July 2005, served as deputy commanding general for operations of the 101st Airborne Division from July 2007 to April 2008, and was commanding general of the 10th Mountain Division from November 2011 to December 2012.[10] He then served as the Commanding General of III Corps, based at Fort Hood, Texas, from 2012 to 2014,[11] and as the commanding general of the United States Army Forces Command, based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, from 2014 to 2015. He was appointed chief of staff of the Army on August 14, 2015.[12]

  8. Vermonta permalink
    June 26, 2021 10:18 pm

    I know nearly zero about critical race theory. Half an hour of reading the wiki article about it left me not much closer to understanding it. Frankly, it goes over my head, too many big words I don’t know. Its a very esoteric and to begin to understand it I would have to do 1000 hours of research into hundreds of concepts and personalities. Not to sound snotty but if its too deep for me its going to be understood by a very, very small audience of the nerdiest philosophy oriented intellectuals. It sounds like a thing that is too diverse to easily label, but it definitely has a left wing element. It also discusses issues that are actually important and real from a large number of points of view. The left wing element of it is not my sort of thing. I am quite sure it is not General Milley’s sort of thing either. Regarding Milley and the supposedly “woke”military that carlson et al are up in arms about, CRT is simply something on the long list of subjects that are studied by the higher ranking military people because it exists and has proponents and detractors and has become a political lightening rod and is therefore relevant. These people read Min Kampf, it does not make them nazis. I found nothing in my reading to suggest that CRT is about throwing whites out of the army.

    When a thing is too esoteric to understand without doing a Ph.D thesis on it, then anyone with almost no real information and an ax to grind can make any claim about it about it and get people hysterical. I find this ironic because the damned thing is way too boring in its dependence on esoteric philosophical arguments to hold the interest of anyone but the biggest nerd, unless of course it become a political pawn in the culture wars. So now people will fight bitterly over yet another thing they have no real understanding of.

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 27, 2021 4:24 pm

      Here is a 5 minute video on CRT that explains it pretty well. It really isn’t that complicated. It’s similar to every other critical social theory that came out of The Frankfurt School, except that CRT has a uniquely American twist, and emphasizes race conlict over class conflict .

      • Vermonta permalink
        June 28, 2021 8:13 am

        Your video is a product of Prager U. Its far right garbage, propaganda.

        Here is what Prager U is. Yes, this is exactly the kind of place conservatives get their “information” The same people who promoted and still believe trumps big lie, believed that the VP can choose which electoral votes to count and thus guarantee that his side will remain in power, are spreading pseudo-scientific nonsense about the COVID vaccines, etc. have now discovered that the pentagon is run by marxist anti white ideologues. its not a good look Priscilla. You are one of tens of millions of right wing brainwashed people who are going to listen to this kind of unbelievable rubbish and believe it for the rest of your lives, with very few exceptions. That, (the all to easy mass brainwashing of ideologically inclined people of any ideology) is what scares me

        “PragerU, short for Prager University, is an American far-right, 501 non-profit media company that creates videos on various political, economic, and sociological topics from an American conservative perspective. The organization was co-founded by Allen Estrin and talk show host and writer Dennis Prager in 2009. [4][5][6][7] The organization relies on tax-deductible donations, and much of its early funding came from billionaires Dan and Farris Wilks.[4][7]

        Despite the name, PragerU is not an academic institution and does not hold classes, grant certifications or diplomas, and is not accredited by any recognized body.[7][8] PragerU’s videos over a range of topics including climate change, racial issues, and opposition to immigration have been criticized for misleading or factually incorrect content.[9][10][11][12]

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 28, 2021 8:30 am

        Ah, Roby, I was afraid that you would attack my source. So, this is where any discussion ends.

        Dennis Prager is a mainstream conservative, not a far right extremist.. He has been producing these videos, and calliing them Prager U, for many years. They are instructional and informational in nature. I already knew a good deal about the Frankfurt School and about critical theory, but I thought this might simplify what you said was too complicated to understand.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 28, 2021 9:12 am

        Oops, hit reply a bit too soon.

        Anyway, it’s not complicated. Oh, if one wants to get into the heavy philosophical underpinnings of neo-Marxism, it can get pretty dense, but as with all ideologies, there are some core ideas that can be easily identified. I’ve read Ibram Kendi’s book, “How to Be an Anti-Racist.” Kendi is considered one of the thought leaders of Critical Race Theory. This quote from the NYT review pretty much sums up Kendi’s position, ” Kendi has gifted us with a book that is not only an essential instruction manual but also a memoir of the author’s own path from anti-black racism to anti-white racism and, finally, to antiracism. . . . ”

        Ok. I will admit that I tried really hard, but ultimately failed, to accept Kendi’s premise that America is structurally racist ~ not because I am a “right-wing extremist,” but because I truly believe that Kendi is wrong. You may attribute that to successful brainwashing, but I would suggest that, after studying sources on both sides, I simply came to the conclusion that Kendi’s support for reparations was not persuasive for me. He states unequivocally, by the way, that NOT supporting reparations, as he defines them, is racist. Basically, if you disagree with him you are racist.

        Of course, racism exists, but I dispute the idea that the structural political and social systems of the US are racist at their core, and I dispute that “equity,” imposed by the government in the form of reparations, will bring about equality and better race relations. So, in the eyes of Ibram Kendi, I am a racist, just as, in your eyes I am a brainwashed moron.

        See how that works?

      • Vermonta permalink
        June 28, 2021 9:06 am

        Dennis Prager is a mainstream conservative, not a far right extremist..”

        Mainstream conservatives and far right extremists are all too often one and the same people these days. Expecting people who are true believers in this ideology to accurately evaluate how extreme it is, well, that by definition is not possible. Its like expecting a devoted Scientologist to see through Scientology.

      • Vermonta permalink
        June 28, 2021 10:21 am

        I call you brainwashed because like tens of millions of other conservatives you were a heartfelt believer in many of the most outlandish elements of trumps post ( and pre) election lies, things that no normal decent intelligent person could believe if they were not brainwashed. I do not limit brainwashing to conservatives or even Americans, many of the Russians I know, intelligent and decent people are absolutely brainwashed and will believe anything their state media tells them.

        I do not think that America is structurally racist. But it goes back to defining first racism in a way that everyone understands and accepts equally, which has become clearly impossible, and then structural racism, which is even foggier as the combination of two undefinable concepts. You and I could have some overlap on this, I loath PC and wokeness just as much as you do and I think that many people on the left take their attempts to fight the “isms” to absurd and counter productive extremes that are destructive.

        But as an example of an outlandish belief that normal intelligent people would not have unless they were brainwashed, the idea that the Pentagon is full of Marxists who have an anti-white agenda is outlandish and just nuts. You really should try saying “the Pentagon is run by Generals who have succumbed to marxist anti-white ideology” over and over until you realize how absurd that is. If you can get that far then you can start to question the motives and knowledge of the people who have sold you that idea.

      • Vermonta permalink
        June 28, 2021 11:06 am

        I can add that I do not believe in reparations and I think the very idea makes the racial situation worse not better. I do not believe in targeting aid to farmers who are black that is not available to those who are white. That creates senseless division of pits one group against another. Kendi would I guess call me a racist. That would be nuts. I give you credit for reading his book, I am not going to follow you in that though, but I will accept your description of it and perhaps read what wiki has to say about it.

        I do believe in a massive rebuild of decayed areas in America, powered by teaching the residents trade skills and paying them a salary and providing materials to rebuild, something like the CETA program that trained me as a mechanic. That plan in my opinion would be aimed at both inner cities and rural areas with collapsed industrial or farm economies. It would not specifically target helping blacks but it would disproportionately help black inner cities.

        The main issue to me is economic. I agree with Ron that education is the key. Urban poverty and rural poverty are blights on America. It is not something that one can just say well lets DO something, its too complex for simple answers. But poverty is at the root of racial problems.

      • Vermonta permalink
        June 28, 2021 11:20 am

        From Wiki on the Anti-racist book:

        “He relates his evolving concept of racism thematically, through the events of his own life over four decades, touching on observations and experiences as a child, young adult, student, and professor, from classes he has taught, via contemporary events such as the O. J. Simpson robbery case and 2000 United States presidential election, and through historical events such as the scientific proposals of polygenism in Europe in the 1600s and racial segregation in the United States. Kendi further details the manifestations of racism, such as scientific racism, colorism and their intersection with demographics including gender, class and sexuality.

        Kendi comes to define racism as any policy that creates inequitable outcomes between people of different skin colors. Therefore a person is not “a racist” (noun). A policy is “racist” (adjective). Policy is made by the powerful. He examines his own internalized racism and disagrees with the prejudice plus power model of racism, which would not allow for Black racism.

        Finally, he suggests models for anti-racist individual actions and systemic (i.e. policy) changes.[4][2][5]”

        According to this synopsis Kendi believes that people are not racist, policies are racist, which, if true, would be a helpful contribution and implies that he woudl not call you are me racists. His definition of racist policies sounds ridiculously broad, if true. Unless I have misread this, Kendi also disagrees with the idea that a black person cannot be a racist. That is also helpful, if true.

        I guess I am going to have to read the book.

      • Vermonta permalink
        June 28, 2021 11:27 am

        Running backs, wide receivers, and cornerbacks in the NFL are black by an overwhelming margin like 19 to 1. There has not been a consequential white running back in years. So there must be a racist policy involved somehow because there is a racially unbalanced outcome. Believe me, I get it, attempts to define racism or racist policies are a minefield and absurd outcomes result.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 30, 2021 10:11 am

        Roby (by the way, is it that I still use “Roby?” I know you’ve been Vermonta now, for some time, and I’ll start using that handle, if you prefer), I’m glad that we can both acknowledge that there is still some significant overlap in our political worldviews.

        And, let me address the whole “Trump issue”. I ask that you read this with an open mind: I have never backed down from my position that Trump accomplished some very important things during his 4 years, despite almost universal opposition from the DC establishment, the mass media, and the Big Tech oligarchy. Ultimately, however, Trump failed, as pesident, to get Congress to legislate his policies. His only real legislative accomplishments were his tax cuts and the First Step Act, which was a bipartisan priority. Most of his other accomplishments had to be implemented through Executive action, and Biden erased most of those within his first couple of weeks; stopping the contruction of the border wall, stopping the “stay in Mexico, until court date” policy for asylum seekers, cancelling the Keystone pipeline, reentering the Paris Accords, etc. The Biden admin seeks to reenter the Iran deal as well, and has basically abandoned the Abraham Accords. So, Trump failed.

        So, while I give great credit to Trump for resisting the temptation to just ‘go along to get along,’ I don’t think that he had the skills or experience to negotiate the “swamp” despite his grandiose claims that he would drain it. I think that he too often spoke in a way that could be described as “offensive,” and that that gave the media and his politcal opponents constant fodder to attack him. Mind you, they would have attacked him anyway, but he made it too easy. Do I think that he incited an “insurrection?” No. The idea that a bunch of unarmed idiots who got into the Capitol and behaved badly, constituted an incident comparable to 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, even though only one person, an unarmed female combat veteran , a Trump supporter, was shot, by a cop who has never been identifed, is both ludicrous and deceitful. I’m aware that everyone here disagrees with me on this, but I will point to the fact that not one single person has been charged with insurrection, despite hundreds of arrests, mostly for trespassing and/ disorderly conduct. Not one person has been charged with carrying a firearm in the building. The “armed insurrection” narrative is just that ~ a narrative. It was bad, just as the storming of the Capitol during the Kavanaugh protests was bad, and the BLM riots (far more destructive and deadly) were bad. But it was not an insurrection, unless the definition of that word has changed.

        All of this to say, I am far from “brainwashed,” when it comes to Trump. I have said that I hope he chooses not to run in 2024. On the other hand, the GOP would be foolish not to consider him the current leader of the party, when he has the overwhelming support of the base. I find it interesting that people continue to argue about Trump when he holds no position of real power, and has literally been banned from social media. I think that many of his most ardent supporters view him as a political martyr.

        Why are we not talking about Biden? He doesn’t seem like the perfect POTUS either, and he’s the most powerful man in the world. He’s already undone almost everything that Trump did, so let’s address his policies, because, going forward, those are the realites of what we’ll be dealing with.

      • Vermonta permalink
        June 30, 2021 4:23 pm

        Sure, you can call me Ray you can call me, Oh you remember the shtic.
        First, you made the comment a few days back about me thinking you are a brainwashed moron. I don’t think you are a moron anymore than than I think my Russian friends are morons for supporting putin and even to some extent, stalin. The brainwashed theory explains in my mind how (as I have phrased it many times, Decent Intelligent people can support and believe insane ideas. I consider, as I have said many times that everyone who has beliefs has been at least a bit brainwashed. I have said many times that ist was my parents and the Huntley Brinkley report that set my cultural and political zone of comfort.

        I think that history will have to acknowledge that trump was the least warlike POTUS since WWII and that he truly did not believe is spending American Blood and money on international conflicts. His phenomenal popularity with conservative/GOP voters led to them reluctantly following his lead to some extent. That is an accomplishment. We will see if it lasts, buts its an accomplishment and a big one and history has to give him credit for that. I am a fan of the space program to put it mildly. So is trump (of course he very likely has visions of the moon being renamed trumpland).

        On the insurrection we will have to agree to disagree. McConnell did a very good job of describing trumps responsibility. I was not there to see the controversial elections of 1824 and 1828, or 1800 for that matter or the election of Rutherford Hayes in 1876, all very controversial and angry elections, but in my lifetime no president has behaved in the insane and destructive manner that trump did. He is still claiming that he will be reinstated in August and something like a quarter of his followers believe this will happen. I have been pleasantly surprised at the lack of right wing violence since Biden has been sworn in. So far my fears have been wrong. But trump behaved terribly, even in the eyes of the saner members of his inner circle. It was a true existential crisis that was brought on by the unprecedented vile undemocratic and just plain crazy behavior of a the 45th POTUS. A thing I never thought I would live to see and never hope to see again. History will remember that too, as a huge deal.

        Your ability to criticize trump has grown by several hundred percent recently. You certainly could not while he was POTUS make any but the tiniest complaints about him.

        I have taken up my childhood obsession with fishing again. My wife loves to eat fish and I love to get up at 4 and see the sun rise over a river or lake and I love to see the sun set in the same way. I spend a lot of time in a local fishing and gun shop run by two truly wonderful fellows, intelligent, decent, incredibly helpful and generous with their time and knowledge, and I am quite sure, all in for trump. There is a little society of local guys who hang out there and shoot the shit. I am sure all are trumpy as hell. I am happy to know them, but of course we don’t talk politics. I can accept decent intelligent people happily into my affairs, these are first class people. If they are sympathizers with the insurrectionists, I don’t want to know.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 30, 2021 4:43 pm

        Thanks for the reply. I appreciate that you do not think me a moron. I’m also not brainwashed. I suppose that I can understand how you might believe that, because I cannot believe that so many Americans have been convinced ( brainwashed)to support socialism, based on what I see as dishonesty and gaslighting by the left and it’s corporate media allies.

        I doubt that either one of us is either brainwashed or a moron.

        But you won’t convince me that a riot is an insurrection, and I apparently won’t convince you of the reverse.

        Thanks for engaging with me on this, and perhaps we’ll see more eye to eye on some other matter.

    • Vermonta permalink
      July 1, 2021 9:45 am

      I am not sure there even is such a legal charge as insurrection. When the POTUS claims without evidence that he was massively reelected instead of losing as he actually did by millions of votes and then tries a series of unConstitutional maneuvers to overturn the actual election results topped off by pressuring his loyal VP to overturn the election by not counting the electoral votes of states that voted against him, follows that with a fiery speech to a large collection of hooligans as Congress was meeting to perform it Constitutional vote counting who then invade congress violently and chase its members out, you can call that what you want. Quibbling over a word for that is not going to deflect the seriousness of that. The word I would use is traitor. trump had plenty of sane advisors trying to tell him that he was not upholding the Constitution. The POTUS is sworn to defend the Constitution. Instead the narcissist in chief fomented a violent rebellion. Yes some of these knuckleheads were armed, and explosive devices etc were also found on capital grounds. Then there was the gallows. Its a disgrace that it happened and its a grace to to the GOP that most of them have not called it what it is and tried to pretend otherwise.

      If a democrat POTUS did it I know what you would call it, and you know what you would call it too. In downplaying the nervousness of this you are simply one sardine in a school of tens of millions playing a game of alternate reality. History will remember this too.

      Most of the GOP is trying to play this down. Its a disgrace and a bad look and I surely hope they face voter punishment for it, otherwise this may be the new normal and we really ARE on a slippery slope to losing our country as I have understood it.

      Make America Great?

      • Ron P2 permalink
        July 1, 2021 11:07 pm

        Roby/Priscilla, some very interesting conversation and I enjoyed reading your exchange. We need more of that civil disagreement in society today.

        As for the charges for Jan 6th, our local home grown “Proud Boy” Charles “Charley” Donohoe of Kernersville NC has been in jail for sometime and is still in jail because the judge refused bail. His charges are basically inciting a riot and he is the only one with that level of charge so far. And the reason he was not left out waiting trial was due to social media posts supporting more violence from what I can gather.

        On the other subject you all discussed, we have had a local Wake Forect professor give a presentation on CRT and what it is or is not. I, like Roby, have no idea what it is or is not. And therein lies the problem.

        In this day and age, everything needs a title. So they call it CRT. And immediately with a title we have three groups. 100% support, ho-hum whats the big deal, could care less one way or the other, 100% opposition. And most of that comes from social media and all the “experts” that “know ” what it is. The issue is not CRT. It is just history and the teaching of the caues that created that history. One can teach kids that over the past 50 years, blacks are X percent more likely to get jail sentences or capital punishment than their white counterparts, but the why has never been taught. Why should that part be left out?

        But someone sometime gave this a super intelligent sounding title amd immediately all the extremist experts on MSNBC and Fox went to social media and started posting crap about it, then the average social media “experts” added their “expertise” and created division within the country over teaching it or not. If your liberal, its good, If your conservative, its bad.

        In NC, a bill has passed the GOP house to restrict schools from teaching it. So while they bitch and moan about history being removed with the civil war monuments taken down, they turn around a remove history from why people of different races have been treated differently. They can still teach the what, just not the why.

        I read the following. Did not watch the video. Thought it a good summary.

      • Priscilla permalink
        July 2, 2021 11:14 am

        Hey, Ron, welcome to the discussion. As a former history teacher and history buff, I became interested in the Frankfurt School many years ago. The Frankfurt School, which was founded in Germany in the 1930’s,, and then, after WWII, moved to Columbia University in NY, is generally considered to be the itellectual basis of cultural Marxism. Here in America, where Marxism is considered very bad (because it is) they call it social justice. After you strip away all of the heavy philosophical mumbo-jumbo of Freudism, Hegelianism, Marcusianism, and Marxism, the Frankfurt School basically teaches that there are victims and oppressors, and that the victims must be educated to overthrow the oppressors and all of their social and political systems, and establish an equitable (even outcomes) collectivist state.

        This was known as “Critical Theory,” and basically taught that, in order for those workers of the world to overthrow their oppressors, they should criticize every pillar of Western culture—family, democracy, common law, freedom of speech, etc. until these pillars collapsed under the pressure.

        CRT takes Critical Theory and replaces “workers of the world” with “oppressed racial groups.” The idea is the same ~ the system (because it is “systemically racist”) must be overtrhown, in order to overthrow the white oppressors, who use it to oppress.

        Now that CRT in our schools, corporations, and military, has become controversial, it’s proponents claim that it’s just “racial studies.” It’s not. It’s simply communist drivel.

        So, that’s the problem here. Joe Manchin, in a recent interview, claimed that one of the problems standing in the way of legislative compromise was that the sides come to the table with different sets of “facts.”

        When you can’t agree on some basic facts, compromise becomes impossible. Yet each side accuses the other side of making up its own facts. I think that this is true, but I also think it’s important for moderates to identify what is made up and what is true, based on actual evidence.

        If everyone is just chooses sides, the middle wil truly cease to exist.

        And, I agree with Roby, who says something very important ~ most Americans of good wil get along just fine, regardless of their racial, religious or economic background. That basic trust and good will among”normal people” is what teaching CRT is meant to destroy, and that’s why I oppose it.

        I do not oppose teaching CRT if it is taught in combination with other cultural and political theories. The concern is that it is often taught as “fact,” in place of other historical evidence. The “1619 Project” is a good example.

      • Ron P permalink
        July 4, 2021 12:04 am

        Priscilla, “but I also think it’s important for moderates to identify what is made up and what is true, based on actual evidence.”

        It does not matter what moderates identify as fact or fiction. Moderates today are third class citizens when it comes to politics. Biden was suppose to be one of the moderates, but my definition of a moderate is Joe Manchin and Joe Biden is no Joe Manchin. If it were not for manchin, who knows wht the heck the democrats would have passed. Moderates get stuck with the candidates of the extreme of each party and then we hold our noses and vote, vote for a third party that has no chance in hell of winning or leave the choice blank. that is how we ended up with Obama, Trump, and Hillary. And look what happens to a more actual moderate like Romney or McCain. The extreme bitch and moan when the moderate skip elections because of bad candidates, but they do the same when someone more middle of the road is the candidate.

        As for your history thoughts, the last time I was at Williamsburg and heard the staff asking middle school and high school age kids basic questions about the founding of the country and they had no idea, including identifying George Washington, I could not understand how they would not know some of that stuff. I ran across this article looking for something else. We argue about CRT, but this seems to be a bigger problem.

      • Priscilla permalink
        July 4, 2021 9:25 am

        That Post article, unfortunately, doesn’t surprise me at all, Ron.

        One of the reasons that we see parents around the country atending school board meetings to protest CRT is because it’s being taught as fact. And many of these parents are quite leftwing themselves (Loudon, VA is not remotely a conservative stronghold), but they are educated citizens who are very concerned by what they view as indoctrination, rather than fact-based history.

      • Priscilla permalink
        July 4, 2021 9:29 am

        “Moderates today are third class citizens when it comes to politics.”

        Yep, if you’re not 100% on one side, you end up being hated and bad-mouthed by both sides.

      • Vermonta permalink
        July 2, 2021 9:34 am

        Ron, your words are pure common sense and common decency. If you were the average conservative/libertarian and I were the average liberal, and people like us were the most vocal wings of the two ideologies, and the media followed our example how much of the nonsense and divisiveness would be left? Trouble makers would still exist but they would not have such fertile grounds.

        99% of the human interactions I have are positive. Leave out people’s naive and all too sheeplike political allegiances and people get along, even like each other and can laugh. Political fervor is poison.

      • Vermonta permalink
        July 2, 2021 9:40 am

        Well, there you have it, on Fox news in North Carolina, a perfectly sensible and balanced and non hysterical treatment of CRT and teaching history. Go over to Carlesons section of FOX and you will get the opposite and tucker gets richer by the day and his followers become more bitterm, hysterical and misinformed by the day.

        Anyhow, between your rational post and the Fox News article, you made my day.

      • Vermonta permalink
        July 2, 2021 9:48 am

        My last post disappeared. I will try to recreate it. Apologies if there wind up being two.

        Well, there you have it, a rational nonhysterical fact-based article on CRT and teaching history in NC on FOX news.It gives me hope.

        But go over to Carlson’s area of FOX and you will get hysterical misinformation and right wing propaganda and TC gets richer by the day and his followers become more bitter, misinformed and hysterical by the day.

        In any case, your post and the FOX news article on CRT made my day.

      • Vermonta permalink
        July 3, 2021 9:15 am

        Priscilla, who is the “they” who replaced the marxism with other language? You have the idea that there is some group of identifiable marxist schemers and that they exist as a cohesive powerful force behind this. I doubt it. You showed me the kind of source you are using in your study of this, that Prager U or whatever, They are not a source I would trust. There is a very broad range of people thinking about race. Conservatives are seeing Marxism in every corner, that goes way back to the 50s. They are not teaching thinly disguised Marxism in the military for gods sake. There is some tiny tiny molecule of truth in the marxist fears of conservatives, but it is wildly overblown compared to reality.

        I don’t mind that people are pushing back on crt or any other form of talking about race (or sexism or homophobia) that uses an overly broad definition of racism (or sexism or …) . According to polls I see and even a very good discussion in the Atlantic a few years back, I will try to find the link, 80% of people do not like and do not support over the top efforts to purge the isms, which effort is known as PC, wokeness, etc. I believe that going overboard on calling people racist or policies racism ( or sexism or …) is doing much more harm than good, that is the real issue, not some right wing idea that marxism is behind it.

        It is natural that people push back at being labeled sexists or racists or homophobes or ablists or ageists or …. The people who go over board labeling people and policies sound ridiculous and some of them become also rather nasty. Same goes for the people who have gone far beyond reality to push back on wokeness, I will use TC as the top personality in this, and in that group there are some actual thinly disguised racists and again I will use TC as my example.

        The leftwing race extremists are forever rioting in Portland and other places and the right wing form staged an invasion of Congress and groups like the the proud boys going around looking for violent confrontations. There are people in the media who are feeding these goons propaganda and pushing their buttons. Each side pushes the buttons of the other side and on and on. The best way to fight this idiot culture war between extremists is to try to calm those who have believed extremist hogwash of either side down and to not be a part of spreading the hysteria.

    • July 9, 2021 12:59 pm

      Why do you need to know anything about Critical race theory ?

      Why should we be indoctrinating elementary students in ANYTHING ?

      50 years ago I was taught – mostly in middle school and HS about reconstruction, jim crow, lynchings as well as many other failings of this country.

      Students today should receive the same FACTS regarding our past.
      The bad as well as the good.

      We can debate issues regarding CRT – but that should not be necescary.

      There is not some right to teach specific curricula, particularly a political charge curricula opposed by students.

      This debate should be easy – where parents do not want CRT taught in their schools – those schools should not teach CRT.

  9. Vermonta permalink
    June 27, 2021 12:55 pm

    Another pillar of GOP faithful credulity and belief takes a huge hit.

    • July 9, 2021 1:20 pm

      uIltimately Barr has proven a disaster.

      He sold himself as restoring integrity to the FBI and DOJ

      It is self evident from the nonsense that Garland is pushing – that the DOJ and FBI remain politically capitured wings of the democratic party.

      Barr failed.

      I have no interest in his book.

      Unlike you I AM actually familiar with the FACTS about the election.

      Several states violated their own laws and constitutions.

      DOJ should have acted on that BEFORE the election.

      It did not. Barr failed.

      You fought for years spouting nonsense about russian influence in the 2016 election.

      Russia is actually free to try to influence US elections.
      The guardian is free to do so.
      John OLiver is free to do so.
      Zuckerberg is free to do so.

      But US State and local government ARE NOT free to put their fingers on the election.

      Our government is ALWAYS required to scrupulously follow the LAW.

      TX Sherriffs are currently suing Biden for ordering ICE and CBP to not follow US election law.
      What should be disturbing is that they even have to sue or that they might not win.

      What should be so hard about Government must follow the laws that exist – not the ones they wish for ?

      The same is true 1000 times over regarding elections.

      28 US states (why not 50 I do not know) have constitutional provisions requiring secret ballots. It is not possible to have a mailin election that is a secret ballot.
      Most of the world requires secret ballots.

      I beleive even Russia requires secret ballots.

      But in 2020 – most of the US did not use secret ballots – the EU did, the rest of the west did.
      But State governments – some of them republican violated their own constitutions to run lawless elections.

      Nor is that the limits of lawlessness.

      Again most states now have voter ID requirements.
      If you can not provide a photo ID – you will have to sign an affadavit and your ballot will be counted provisionally. But you will be convicted of voter fraud if it is later found your ID does not match.

      PA requires that GA requires that. AZ requires that NV requires that.

      None of these states enforced Voter ID requirements.

      Raffensberger had a signature audit of Cobb country done during the “faux recount”.

      In Cobb county – an affluent GA county where fraud and error should be rare.
      The GBI found that 6% of randomly selected ballots did not meet the ID and signature requirements of GA law. Worse 0.6% were clearly fraudulent.
      Trump lost GA by 0.2% of the vote.

      Prior to 2020 there has never been a mailin election were 6% of the ballots were not rejected for errors. In May 2020 in the Democratic primaries in Newark – 225K ballots were rejected by the courts as failing to meet the requirements of the law.

      Just recently NYC screwed up and counted over 100K test ballots accidentally (probably) in the NYC mayor election.

      Also recently Raffensburger has gone to court to decertify the Fulton County election board – arguing that they have a long history of fraud and incompetence.

      We now know that Raffensberger was aware of credible allegations of Fraud during the election, and that he lied to both Trump and the public about them.

      Yet YOU and apparently Barr want us to beleive that error and fraud do not occur.

      This election turned on 45,000 votes in 3 states.
      An error of 100,000 votes would have flipped the presidency, the house and the senate and been a route for democrats.

      And you do not think that we should scrutinize and election where 0.01% of the vote would have radically changes the outcome ?

  10. Vermonta permalink
    July 3, 2021 11:22 am

    CRT to me is highly related to the PC concept, which has been lampooned for many decades because most people think it goes to absurd lengths and is irritating and/or offensive. I am thinking of a little book I once owned decades ago, Politically correct bed time stories, it was quite funny.

    Arguing against PC should be a clear political winner, unless those arguing against PC in all its forms become even more offensive than PC itself, which is what is happening. While PC is stupid, counter productive, and irritating, TCs thinly disguised white nationalism (he is not David Dukes favorite and the favorite of many white nationalists for no reason) is all the above plus being vile and disgraceful.

    Here is the Atlantic link. From 2018.

    • July 9, 2021 1:23 pm

      The relevant question is why are we teaching this to elementary students ?

      I would note that Actual CRT is quite offensive – it is an open effort to shred all western law from the magna carte forward.

      I doubt that is what is being taught in elementary school.

      But that does not matter. Parents should be free to demand that schools not politically indoctrinate their kids.,

  11. Vermonta permalink
    July 7, 2021 9:14 am

    Two different worlds. 85% of Democrats COVID vaccinated. 46% of Republicans. Republican governors of red states trying hard to convince their voters to get vaccinated. Right wing commentators trying to scare the same people about the vaccine based mostly on conspiracy theories and and its working. This is actually killing no small number of people and makes it that mach harder to subdue a virus that has killed more than 600,000 Americans. Boggles the mind.

    For example:

    • Ron P2 permalink
      July 7, 2021 10:00 pm

      As I have said many times, there is only one cure for stupidity. Death!
      And this issue shows just how stupid people can be, in this case not getting protected from the virus. But if these same people knew the adverse reactions from all medicines, they would not even take any. There is a reason some warnings include “and even death”.

      Every medication has side effects. There are some people that should not be vaccinated, but that is between them and their doctor. And some need extended monitoring if they get the vaccine. That is why you never hear 100% vaccination rate goal.

      But why the right wing “stupids” are the ones resisting is hard for me to understand. It was their idol that out in motion the vaccines we gave today. He was in office when it started being used. I can only associate their resistance to the fact that most every state distributed this through a state or county government run health department and that set in motion the anti government rhetoric associated with vaccines.

      Maybe when Norovax covid vaccines are approved, change will occur since that vaccine uses the same technology used for many other vaccines and not the “unpdoven technology” used for Phyzer and Maderna.

      • Vermonta permalink
        July 8, 2021 6:12 am

        Ron, I thought you would be on the same page as I am on the antivax stupidity.

        Well, I will be fair here. There also left wing stupids who are anti vaxers, the holistic medicine people, the hippies, they don’t want cancer and they think everything will give it to them (except smoking pot). They won’t eat a GMO containing corn chip, because one person in a million is allergic. Little do they know that their body contains trillions of uranium molecules and even many more radioactive potassium molecules. Bananas are so radioactive they will set off a detector. Benzene is a biological molecule, its a part of two amino acids. You breath it out at a few parts per billion. Formaldehyde in french fries? Your body makes far more formaldehyde in normal metabolic reactions. We are all full of substances. Fructose will give you diabetes, don’t eat an apple. People are not biochemists, they don’t speak the language, they can believe anything. People on the right and left are particularly gullible, they buy idiotic political ideas and idiotic science. Politics concentrates idiots.

        I will be fair again and remember that after 911, some large portion of people, mostly on the left, thought that W knew about it ahead of time.

        So, Junk science exists for right and left and so do other idiot ideas.

        Here we are now, going forward only vaccinated people will die in any numbers of COVID and vaccinated people are now predominantly conservatives. So, the Murdochs can make a buck and TC and people like him can make a buck on their antivax conspiracy theories and they don’t mind killing their own viewers. I bet they are all vaccinated.

        Did not FOX defend itself from a lawsuit by successfully arguing in court that nobody could take the things TC says as truth or actual news? That does not stop a large segment of the GOP from believing that he is the most accurate and on target commentator in America. Conservatives just swallow his poison by the barrel and think they are well informed and not brainwashed.

        AOC is a noxious imbecile (and her fellow far lefties) but her weight and volume today are drowned out by a legion of noxious right wing politicians and commentators. I predict that the Dem party does not lose seats in 2022, and in fact gains them.

        As a democrat I think the descent of the GOP as a nearly monolithic unit into madness, amorality, and stupidity is great. As an American I think its terrible.

      • Ron P2 permalink
        July 9, 2021 7:29 pm

        Roby, I believe you are right about 2022 with gains in congress IF the democrats continue trending back to the center nationally as they have in NYC with the choice for mayor.

        But I can not say I approve of the way either party has run the country since the Clinton administration. To me it has been downhill on everything economically, socially and judicually. There is no way we can continue spending more than we tax, continue cutting taxes while spending too much, supporting social programs that further divide this country, support legislation that flies in the face of the constitution and allow governors to act like kings with unlimited powers controlling citizens almost every move without any oversight by state legislatures.

        Today I read that N.C. approved the new social studies curriculum on a strict party line vote by the education department committee 5-4 democrat/GOP.. The reason for the division. Eleanor Roosevelt and Ruth Bader Gingsburg are included as influential women in history, while Sandra Day O’Conner is left out. When parties create education programs that include the second woman, a liberal, on SCOTUS, but not the first to break the gender discrimination on the court because she was a conservative, I see no way this country will do anything but divide further.

        I accept the theory behind CRT, teaching the why to define the what. But there are numerous stories that are written from a non political view and interviews with teachers that define almost a horror story on what some include in that curriculum. It is only there to further divide the country.

        But division is good for parties and careers and inthis generation of “me”, division will reign.

      • Priscilla permalink
        July 10, 2021 9:15 pm

        CRT is clear as a bell that racism can only be exhibited in one direction. It is political and ideological, not historical, in it’s approach. So, I agree with Ron that it’s meant to divide. And not only to divide us, but to teach upcoming generations that America is a bad country, and one that has always been all about oppression of non-white minorities.

        The 1619 Project is the historically inaccurate revision of America’s founding by CRT advocate Nikole Hannah-Jones. It teaches that America’s founding ideals can be traced not to 1776, but to 1619, the year in which the first slave ship landed in Virginia. According to this CRT view of American history, which is being taught as fact in many schools across the country, the founding fathers were focused not so much on liberty, but on the perpetuation of slavery, and that the American Revolution was fought largely to preserve the institution of slavery.

        This, frankly, is BS. The American Revolution was not fought to perpetuate slavery in America. There were slaves in Britain too, so this doesn’t even make sense.

        I’d be ok with this BS perversion of American history being discussed as an alternate theory of our founding, if all of its inaccuracies and inconsistencies were clearly identified, just as we identify the inaccuracies and inconsistencies in, for example, the fact that Jefferson wrote that all men were created equal, yet apparently believed that some people were unequal enough to be enslaved. History should always be taught from different perspectives, but not with a political agenda to push one perspective over the others.

        Just because the right is using CRT as a wedge issue doesn’t mean that it’s not a dangerous, divisive and untrue version of American history that’s being pushed as fact by the left. True liberals and reasonable conservatives should not be fooled by all of the political gaslighting about this.

      • Vermonta permalink
        July 8, 2021 6:24 am

        er, only UNvaccinated people will die in any numbers of COVID and UNvaccinated people are now predominantly conservatives. See, I am doing it myself.

      • Vermonta permalink
        July 8, 2021 7:55 am

        Er, uranium and potassium are Atoms, not molecules. It was early in the morning.

      • Vermonta permalink
        July 10, 2021 10:53 pm

        CRT sounds a great bit to me like Howard Zinn’s style of revisionist history. I loath howard zinn. Some HS teachers of left persuasion have been teaching Zinn’s distorted ideas about history for decades. I saw Zinn in person at UVM after 9/11, he made me think of Trotsky. I, as a liberal, am disgusted with the excesses from the left, the absurdities. I fight them.

        When will you fight the absurdities of the right instead of embracing them and defending them?

      • Priscilla permalink
        July 11, 2021 9:49 pm

        Not sure to whom your question is directed, Roby, but specifically what do you consider to be the right’s absurdities? (And yes, Zinn started the revisionist history that has brought us to CRT, which is to the left of Zinn).

        Both sides have their absurdities ~ some are dangerous, some are stupid, many are just, well, absurd. I’m just wondering which ones you think I embrace, because you and I may define “absurdities” differently.

        I think absurdities in politics tend to be those things that people believe purely on faith, even if there is no empirical data to support their belief. In that sense, politics has been becoming more and more like religion for certain people. I do have to say that people on the right tend to be more religious when it comes to actual church-religion, so politics-as-religion is more common on the left.

        For example, the idea that there is an epidemic of ongoing violence between black and white Americans – especially one driven by attacks from the white side – is an example of a leftist hysteria driven by no empirical data whatsoever.

        On the right? I guess an example would be the widespread insistence that climate change is a “myth,” when there is an enormous amount of historical and empirical data to support the fact that the climate is changing.

        Is that what you meant? (Not sure it you were addressing Ron, so I’m sorry if you were, but it sounded more like a question posed to me!)

      • Ron P2 permalink
        July 12, 2021 5:17 pm

        Roby, so “When will you fight the absurdities of the right instead of embracing them and defending them?”

        I suspect when you say you fight the absurdities of the left that there are many things you think Biden is doing right. So my thinking is you support some liberal ideas and dislike others.

        Just as I support some things that the right support. But what I really support will never happen, so I have to choose between the asinine left and the idiot right. So I will list 5 things that I believe and support.
        1. Decrease government spending and increase taxes by eliminating most all loopholes, and create a minimum tax on corporations so not company can do what Amazon has done going years without paying taxes until just recently. Tie this to a balanced budget law within 7 years.
        2. Create a Medicare buy-in option for health insurance coverage and create competition for younger people that improves coverage, much like Medicare Advantage did for older individuals. Create the law to require automatic rate increases to match cost increases to take any pressure off future congresses forced to increased rates.
        3. Completely rewrite immigration law to allow for almost complete open borders, at the same time restricting any immigrant from receiving any federal support or state support that has funding by the feds except for education.
        4. Establish mandatory state auto inspections and a miles driven tax that is collected by states when cars are registered yearly, using mileage at each yearly inspection as a basis for the tax and eliminate the federal gas tax. This is due to all the cars that use gas partially or not at all, but creating maintenance requirements the same as gas powered cars.
        5. Establish import fees on Chinese merchandise that matches Chinese import fees on American products. ie American cars taxed 20-25% so the China Buick Envisions taxed 20-25% on entry to USA.

        Now you tell me which ones of these are supported by the right (or the left) and if any have a snowballs chance in hell happening. So if not I have to pick alternatives like I would pick decreasing bloated government spending instead of increasing taxes.

      • Vermonta permalink
        July 13, 2021 10:38 am

        Ron, I am replying to you and your proposals. But the thread got too long so.. We have the basis for a very interesting discussion, I will bet we can agree on a lot. I can agree with all your ideas and proposals, which does not surprise me. But, I don’t think you should throw up your hands and give up on them happening in some form. You described a really solid proposal several months back about national health care. I almost asked you if you would mind it I sent it to my congressman, Peter Welch. Why come up with good ideas and then give up on them? You offer something valuable, have some faith that your ideas could find support.

        Right and left are impossible terms. No one can agree what they mean. To me the words right and left do not describe people like you and me, they describe the over the top people, the warriors, the fanatics, the cultists.

        To me left is defined most of all by economics, anger at capitalism all the way up to the delusional belief that capitalism can be eliminated, that is the force behind left ideology. Its not race, not transgender toilets, not wokeness that define the left its the war on capitalism. The cultural war, the war on the isms, is also popular on the left but its ideologically secondary to the war on the rich and the corporations. I want to separate the war on capitalism from the wokeness crusade, in my opinion they are two different movements with different histories and causes that are both popular with the same people. People on the right see them as being one war, not two separate wars. It’s a mistake.

        Right ideology is defined most of all by a very conservative strain of Christian religion (I do not think that you believe in that flavor of Christian religion) and patriotism. I am not formally religious and I am more and more thinking that patriotism is dangerous, many take it too far, and in other countries too, for example in Russia, as I know well. Russians are very patriotic, they have to be. Its bad. Some reasonable level of patriotism I can understand, pride in one’s country and love for it but not the blind love and ignorant angry defense of all the bad things that any country has in its past and present. When I hear the word patriot in America now I do not think of Paul Revere and Ben Franklin anymore. I think of the mob with their gallows at the Capital. I think of an assault on the Constitution, not a defence of it. If this is patriotism I hate and fear it.

        Outside of its economic beliefs the left is automatically opposed to the religious and patriotic values of the right because they are at war with the right, period. Outside of their core ideas of religious and patriotic values the right is automatically at war with the economic ideas of the left, its all Marxism, all ideas of the left are rooted in socialism.

      • Vermonta permalink
        July 13, 2021 11:05 am

        Priscilla, this thread got very long and it now contains a lot of different discussions. But I will try to answer your question about the word “absurd.”

        I have said many times that I am lucky, I have two highly intelligent and highly educated and informed parents, science and history and in general culture and education were the foundation of my upbringing. My parents are passionate about politics but they are not fanatics, they are not people who embrace weird wild conspiracy theories. So, I had something in my upbringing that is not so common. When I read that a large number of people thought that W knew about 9/11 ahead of time, I just cannot relate, these people did not have parents like my parents who grounded me in reality. If I had had the normal upbringing in America, and unfortunately the normal upbringing in America is pretty bad when it comes to science, history, economics, and just solid knowledge period, I might be just as easily persuaded of all truly absurd ideas that so many people swallow. Its not me, its my upbringing.

        Trumps election lies were absurd. The idea that the Capital riot can be downplayed in its significance is absurd. The idea that Biden in mentally crippled and is basically just a front for his VP is absurd. The idea that the military, led by a trump appointed general Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, has swallowed and is promoting Marxist anti-white ideology is absurd. The anti-vax and anti-mask theories, and practically all of the theories about how to deal with COVID, were absurd and deadly. Going back pre-election the number of absurd ideas that were popular on the right is practically uncountable. The number of absurd assaults on legal and social norms and even on Constitution that trump engaged in and the conservatives accepted is beyond counting.

        Believe me, there is no lack of absurd and destructive idea that some on the left believe either, defund the police, democratic socialism, $2000 checks to everyone every month, a 93 trillion dollar climate change new deal. Absurd, embarrassing, uninformed, ignorant, unhelpful.

        I look at all this complete nonsense from both sides and it scares and disgusts me. I just cannot relate. I was not raised that way.

    • July 9, 2021 1:37 pm

      Generally the states with the highest vaccination rates are the states that had the highest Covid rates.

      That sounds reasonable to me.

      Regardless, you are free to make choices for yourself.

      One of the huge problems with our handling of C19 has been the heavy hand of the state.

      Many of us have now learned that we have repeatedly and knowingly been lied to about Covid from the start.

      Should it surprise you that many people do not trust government regarding the vaccine ?

      WE now KNOW that Covid did not come from wet markets in Wuhan – there never were bats in the wet markets. We now know that we were lied to about the labs – the Wuhan Institute of Virology did have bats as well as humanized mice and was working on Covid and Gain of Function research.

      We know that Faucci lied about this and covered it up – bribing those who threatened to blow the whistle with grants if they kept quiet.

      We know that the effectiveness of masks is poor.

      The Danes found an effectiveness of about 1-3% over 100 days.
      The CDC found an effectiveness of 15% over 90 days – both of these will decline rapidly with time and more exposures.

      We know that Social distancing does not work – that if you are 12ft away from someone with C19 in a closed room for 15 minutes that you have a 15% chance of being infected. That Covid spreads not just from the spray from a cough, but from much smaller airbone particles that will not be trapped by a mask that will permeate any enclosed space over time.

      We now know that normal vitamin D levels are almost as effective in preventing Covid as the vaccine is.

      WE now know that Invermectine is twice as effective against C19 as remedsivir – and that HCQ is likely more effective than remedsivir.

      On and on and on – what we were told by experts has proven FALSE.

      And you wonder why many people are not getting vaccinated ?

      You have undermined peoples trust with lies,

    • Ron P2 permalink
      July 12, 2021 6:39 pm

      Roby, I forgot to mention this. Republicans are looking for ways to block any business from requiring a vaccine. This is not the party that believes the one that regulates least is the one that regulates best.

      If anyone owns a business they should have complete control if they require a vaccine or not. I do not want the federal government involved in that, just like I do not want them dictating a baker using their artistic talents being required to decorate a cake for gays and lesbians in their lifestyle against the moral values of the baker.

      If I do not support governors acting like kings closing mom and pop business and destroying them financially, I sure as hell dont support a federal dictatorship law requiring business to allow anyone to work or conduct business regardless of vaccine status.

  12. July 9, 2021 10:21 am

    Right wing militancy ? Really ?

    Violent crime in major cities is up 50% – in some as much as 300%.
    Property crime has increased by a factor of 6

    And you are worried about some right wing group ?

    You are appalled by the events of Jan. 6 ?

    What happened ? About 1000 people – none of whom were armed, went to the Capital to protest, petition government and assemble. About half of those were allowed in by the capital police. They marched arround chanting – for the most part staying between the velvet ropes.

    The only actual killing was by the capital police.

    The DIJ has been walking back claims one after the other.

    There was no “planned attack” – DOJ has withdrawn that claim in court documents.

    There were no weapons – claims also withdrawn in court.

    There were no death threats to congressmen – claims also withdrawn in court.

    About 2 dozen of the most violent participants are listed by DOJ as unindicted co-conspirators and not identified – likely because they are either FBI agents or FBI “informants”.

    Even the prosecution of the alleged militia attack on Gov. Whitmer is falling apart – because the leaders are aparently all FBI informants.

    In the event you find that difficult to beleive – in 43 of 44 instances of islamic conspiracy prosecutions in the US since 2001 – one of the participants – and often the lead was an FBI informant. And do we have to go back to the 60’s ?

    I can tell you what offends me about Jan. 6.

    The capital was atleast partly locked while congress was in session.

    I am not aware of that EVER being done before.

    A year earlier we had left wing idiots storming through the capital to protest Kavanaugh.
    They accosted Senators in person, they stormed into their private offices.
    The stormed into hearings and onto the capital floor.

    The world did not come to an end, and the capital did not lock down.

    Since Jan 6. the capital has been surrounded by Barbed wire – apparently walls work to keep citizens from their congress critters – but not to keep invaders out of the country.

    What disturbs me about Jan. 6 is that congress is is affraid of the voices of americans.

    We had a highly unusual messy lawless election – and you do not expect the results to be controversial ?

    Worse still courts – which were complicit in creating this lawless mess of an election then burried their heads in the sand.

    And you wonder why large numbers of people STILL wonder if the outcome was fraudulent ?

    The 2020 election was conducted disasterously – and that NEVER should have happened that way. 28 US states have constitutional provisions created in the 19th century because of massive fraud at the time to require elections by secret ballot – a mailin election can not ever be a secret ballot, so in 5 of the 6 “swing states” the election was conducted in violation of the state constitution – and yet not a single court acted ?

    Post election we actually have many court decisions affirming that elections in those states were conducted lawlessly.

    You can beleive whatever you want about the election and its outcome – but if you do not uderstand that 10’s of millions of people are angry – and have every right to be, and were entitled to march to the capital and protest and petition govenrment and DEMAND that congress do its job and not just rubber stamp lawless nonsense.

    In what world is it OK to protest in the face of senators over a 35 year vague memory of miscunduct and NOT OK to do the same over an election where states violated their own laws and constitutions ?

  13. July 9, 2021 10:37 am

    “How did we get here?”

    We conducted a lawless election – that is easy.

    “Guess what: when you hurl insults at a group long and hard enough, the folks who identify with that group begin to take offense.”

    Rick – this is a real concern. Trump was elected in 2016 as a backlash against this nonsense.

    Yet, the left doubled down during Trump’s presidency and has doubled down again since.

    This ends badly.

    I have HERE argued FOR constraints on the police in the past. FOR criminal justice reform. FOR an end to qualified immunity.

    There was a chance for this under Obama – Obama blew it.
    There was a chance under Trump. Trump granted clemency to myriads of people who committed minor crimes and received draconian sentences – nearly all of those were minorities. One of my complaints regarding Jeff Sessions was his opposition to criminal justice reform.

    But increasingly I not only have little hope of needed reforms but expectations of a severe backlash.

    The BLM and Defund the police movements have born bad fruit. Crime is rising dramatically – for the first time in 30 years. Further while I hope this is a brief spike – I doubt it.

    How can we expect any politicians to push for criminal justice reform while crime is spiking ?

    Psaki is now trying to sell the nonsense that Biden is FOR strengthening policing – and that Defunding the police is a republican thing. Ignoring the complete stupidity of that claim and the bald faced lie – that should be a clear signal that someone in the Biden administration knows which way the wind blows – and it is NOT to defunding the police.

    “This growing coalition of gun zealots, diehard Trumpsters, neo-Confederates, white supremacists, conspiracy theorists, xenophobes and defiantly un-Christlike Christians ”

    First you correctly rant that calling people racists is likely to produce racists – and they you join the left wing nuts in name calling.

    There are 350M guns in the US today – that is more than one for each person.
    Whether you like it or not there are are more than 100M “gun zealots” out there.

    But more importantly they have the facts on their side.

    One of my issues with you Rick is that your views are uneffected by facts.

    Like or do not like guns – I do not own a gun personally.
    The FACT is that legal gun owners are disproportionately unlikely to commit crimes – including murder. there are myriads of other gun law related facts.
    What there is not is any evidence that “gun zealots” are the problem, and plenty of evidence that gun control does not work.

    I do not care what you are selling – if you seek to impose it by FORCE – the least you should be able to do is prove that it will work.

  14. July 9, 2021 10:46 am

    “mobilizing to carry out Trump’s most fevered dreams. In short, it ain’t Sarah Palin’s Tea Party anymore,”

    You have an idiotic view of the right – your arguments constantly try to make the claim that those you disagree with are zombies in thrall to some allegedly whacko on the right.

    You seem unable much of the time to grasp that these alleged wacko’s are a reflection of their followers – not the other way around.

    The vast majority of the Trump platform has the support of super majorities of americans.

    Republican policies that I personally oppose have the support of super majorities of americans.

    Please get past the idiocy of pretending that any of this is about Trump or Palin.

    Half the country is not zombies blindly following some right wing leader no matter where they go.

    Until you can grasp that these people are sincere, and they are not political zombies, that right or wrong on an issue – they have their own minds, and reach their own conclusions,

    all you are going to do is build resentment from them.

  15. July 9, 2021 10:56 am

    “The Republican Party needs to wake up before the extremists destroy it.”
    Sorry Rick – not happening.

    I recently read a think peice by a left wing nut examining the data on changes of political views over the past 30 years.

    That leading left wing nut found that dmocrats have shifted politically towards the extreme by 3 times as much as republcians.

    Further most republican shifts have been TOWARD THE LEFT.

    Recent polls found the majority of evangelicals accept gay marraige as an example.

    You rant about “right wing extremism”

    What is Right wing extremism ?

    What political positions of the right are “extremist” ?

    Is expecting immigration laws to be enforced – extremism ?

    Is expecting that a border wall which received bipartisan authorization by law in the 80’s and numerous times since actually get built – extremism ?

    Is being skeptical about abortions after 20 weeks – extremism ?

    Is being skeptical of trade deals that always seem to screw US workers – extremism ?

    Is being unhappy that teachers are teaching are kids that they are white and evil and will always be evil because they are white – extremism ?

    What exactly is “right wing extremism” ?

    As best as I can tell today a “right wing extremist” is someone who stands up to the left.

  16. July 9, 2021 11:02 am

    “The radicalization of the Republican Party.”

    Please Please – what constitutes the “radicalization of the Republican party” ?

    Your argue that Eisenhower, McCain and even Nixon (really ?) constitute moderate voices.

    You talk about PEOPLE – not political positions.

    In what way has the Republican Party moved further right ?

    What issues make republicans “radical” ?

    There are issues I disagree with republicans on – but that disagreement does not make them radical. Even issues I disagree on have been normal political positions that were held by millions of people throughout my entire life.

  17. July 9, 2021 11:31 am


    The 2020 election was an absolute disaster that we will likely be paying for for years.

    It was conducted inarguably lawlessly – and yes lots of people are extremely upset about that.

    We listened to almost half the country rant from 2016 on that Trump stole the election by some magical nonsense – aparently Russian’s brainwashed millions of american voters.

    We saw arson rioting and violence in DC on early 2017 over the election.

    And you now whig out thoroughly because an awful lot of people are justifiably suspicious of an illegally run election ?

    If the purported insurectionists on Jan. 6th had succeeded we would have had a 10 day actual audit of the 2020 election.

    That is not tyrany, that is not authoritarianism.

    Very very few people sought to crown Trump president.

    All the people you keep calling loons wanted was an honest count of an honestly run election.

    We still do not have that.

    In the May 2020 democratic primaries in NJ – the courts through out 225,000 votes as improperly accepted by election officials.

    Just weeks ago in NYC election officials mistakenly counted over 100,000 test ballots in the real election throwing the results off for weeks.

    In GA Raffensburger – you know the republican who is the hero of the left for purportedly standing up to Trump and claiming there were no problems in GA.
    Raffensburger is now in court seeking to decertify the Fulton county Election board – why ? For massive and historical election fraud.

    In the audit in Windham NH we found incontrovertably that voting machines screwed up all counting where there was a fold in the ballot. This issue was known before the election, and effected 85% of precints in NH – but has still not been corrected and likely will continue as a problem in 2022.

    But we are all expected to beleive that the 2020 election was conducted flawlessly ?

    Biden still can not get more than a hadful of people to show up when he speaks at the 4th of July and Trump is still drawing crowds hundreds of times larger.

    I have been fighting for election integrity on this blog forever.

    I have been fighting against republicans – such as the stupid Bush HAV nonsense that first inflicted electronic voting machines on us.

    Recently black representatives Clyburn and Abrhams who have been ranting that voter ID is racist for more than a decade have come out claiming – that is not true – they NEVER said that voter ID was racist, or that it constituted voter supression – that they are actually for Voter ID and always have been.

    You wonder why many many people beleive the election was stolen ?

    Look at the last 4 years ?

    How many “Big Lies” have been told about Trump that proved ultimately FALSE ?

    Sorry Rick – but you are part and parcel of “the boy who cried wolf”.

    The only people who still beleive this nonsense are those who were crying wolf all along.

    I do not know if Trump won the election.
    I am not sure we will ever find out.
    Nor is there anything that can be done about it.

    But there is no doubt this election was conducted lawlessly.

    And worse that we have an uphill battle against those like YOU to avoid this nonsense in the future.

    Every single concern you have regarding “the right” – goes away completely if you conduct lawful and trustworthy elections.

    It should be very easy to agree that elections must be conducted according to the law.
    It shoudl be very easy to agree that when a plurality of people do not trust an election – that the problem is with the election and those running it.

    Yet, I doubt I can get either of those reasonable concessions from you ?

    In fact I doubt it is possible to conduct a reasonable discussion with you about improving election integrity.

    • Vermonta permalink
      July 9, 2021 2:12 pm

      Ah Dave, when last seen here you were saying that Georgia Republican secretary of State Raffensperger ran a lawless election and should be beaten. Channeling your inner Lin Wood you were.

      I skimmed your stuff, same old right wing conspiracy theory nonsense, predictable. Dave, the Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, Giuliani, dream team clown car has long ago left town. You are rehashing their lunatic theories. They are famous and all in serious trouble and you are not famous and just a local oddball.

      Barr looked for serius election fraud and found nothing, no credible person found your lawless election. You can join the likes of Kelli Ward continuing to make a fool of yourself.

      trump lost, Biden (100% mentally competent and vigorously in charge now) won. Your “crystal ball” sucked. Put the fish back in it and find a better hobby.

      That is all the time I am going to spend on your nonsense.

  18. July 11, 2021 11:24 am


    “Your video is a product of Prager U. Its far right garbage, propaganda.”

    This is an idiotic response.

    Do you have the slightest ACTUAL familiarity with PragerU ?

    People like Thomas Sowell. Dave Rubin, Jordan Peterson, Larry Elder, Heather McDonald, Candace Owen, Michelle Malkin, Karen Chen and numerous other well respected intellecutals have done PragerU videos.

    “The same people who promoted and still believe trumps big lie”

    Which lie was that ?

    Would that be the lie that the Russians brainwashed hundreds of thousands of voters to Vote for Trump in 2016 ?

    Would that be the Collusion Delusion lie ?

    Would that be the lie that there was actual evidence of collusion ?

    Would that be the lie that the Steele Dossier was ever anything but Russian made up garbage ?

    Would that be the lie that Russians were offering Bounties in Afghanistan ?

    Would that be the lie that claims that Hunter Biden was selling access to Joe Biden are all “russian disinformation” ?

    As to the 2020 election – it was conducted lawlessly.

    You wonder why 40% of pensylvanians still do not trust the results ?

    Might that be because Philadelphia and Allegheny Counties still have not accounted for nearly 300K votes – Ballots were counted – but those counties have still not provided records that actual people voted.

    And of course we are talking Philadelphia County – which has a nearly century long record of election fraud.

    So what exactly is wrong with being suspicious that in a lawlessly conducted election there might be significant fraud in places where in 2020 elections officials plead guilty to election Fraud ?

    I would separately note that Prager U has NOT taken a position on the 2020 election.

    Denis Prager himself has publicly stated that he is agnostic on the issue.

    “believed that the VP can choose which electoral votes to count ”

    The way you phased the question makes it OBVIOUS that he can – so long as there is a choice – there is OBVIOUSLY more than one possible legitimate action.

    I would note that you are obviously wrong – because this has happened before.
    We had very nearly the same thing happen in 1876 – there was a close election – claims of substantial fraud, state legislatures presenting different slates of electors, and congress had to sort out the results.

    I would further note that that election was the trigger to the election reforms that resulted in 28 states amending their constitutions to require secret ballots.

    in 1876 – they did not have Mailin voting – but they had very nearly the same thing.

    Ballots were distributed by the parties, by unions, even by employers – often already filled out. Because voters possesed ballots outside of voting booths it was possible – easy to pay (or coerce) peoples votes.

    After laws requiring secret ballots took effect the cost of elections declined 300%.

    “spreading pseudo-scientific nonsense about the COVID vaccines”:

    Which Psuedo-cientific nonsense would that be ?

    That we should were two masks ? How about 3 ?

    That Covid did NOT come from the wet markets in Wuhan ?

    Just in case you are unclear – which the Lab Leak hypothesis is not probven and it may never be proven, the Wet markets claim has been disproven. There were no bats being sold at the Wuhan Wet markets. Of all the early cases in Wuhan NONE have a connection to the wet markets – and ALL are connected to the Wuhan institute of Virology (WIV)

    Going beyond the wet markets – it is typical that within 1 month of a virus jumping naturally from animals to humans that biologists can trace the progression of that virus through natural hosts to humans.

    MERS as an example came from Camels – and that was firmly established very early.

    While We KNOW that Covid came from bats – bats that do not exist naturally within 1000km of Wuhan, there is no direct link. C19 did not originate with workers mining the Bat Guano.

    The Bat Virus RaTG13 has a spike protein that is 1000 times less able to bond to human ACE2 receptors. It would have taken MANY mutations for RaTG13 to turn into C19 and intermediat mutations have not been found anywhere.

    In contrast we KNOW that the WIV was working with RaTG13 and Bats, was engaged in Gain of Function reseaerch – partly paid for by the NIH and approved by Faucci based on executive orders that Obama signed in the last days of his presidency.

    Or would that Psudo-Science that Trump touted be the claim that a vaccine would be developed in less than 9 months ?

    Need I go on ?

    One would assume that with the number of things Trump said about Covid – that some of those would prove wrong – Faucci has certainly been repeatedly wrong. Cuomom,, Wolf and Whitmer and other democratic governors have certainly been repeatedly wrong.

    So it would not be unusual for Trump to have made some mistakes.

    What would those mistakes be ?

    “have now discovered that the pentagon is run by marxist anti white ideologues.”
    I am not aware of anyone making that claim.

    But the claim that our government is trustworthy is trivial to dispose of.

    Do I really need to list what evidence that we have that our government – specifically the intelligence agencies are not trustworthy ?

    Just the numerous idiotic claims over the past 5 years that something that subsequently proved to be true was “russian disinformation” – alone should be sufficient.

    But we need not confine ourselves to the past 5 years – there are myriads of examples of government incompetence and political misconduct throughout my entire lifetime.

    What is “Not a good look” – is being a lackey for these incompetent and often politically biased buffoons.

  19. July 11, 2021 12:08 pm

    One of the most fundimental question’s regarding the 2020 election is that of trust.

    All elections – all large scale processes involve anomalies and errors.

    The Audit of Windham NH found a very significant error that has effected elections in NH for over 2 decades.

    There are some very distubing aspects – the source of the error is that the AccuVote scanners used througout NH improperly record the results of ballots that have fold lines passing through ballot questions.

    Most error in elections is random and tends to be self cancelling.
    Ballots are accidentally lost as an example – but absent actual fraud it is likely that losses will not display any partisan tilt.

    In fact whenever there is a pattern in errors that is significantly different from the pattern in
    errors – that is a strong indication of actual fraud – rather than error.

    Still real errors do occur – and we had large numbers of errors in 2020.
    With certainty – despite the claims of many on the left we had FAR MORE error in 2020 than prior elections. We ran an election in the midst of a pandemic, we implimented mailin voting accross the country with very little thought or effort to do so well.

    While it was illegitimate – and in many cases unconstitutional to do so – it still happened.

    Radical changes in the means of conducting an election are good reason to be suspicious – but they are also good reason to EXPECT far higher levels of error.

    Those who have been arguing since s few days after the election when the count finally tipped in favor of Biden that the election was conducted flawlessly are both stupid and liars.

    That was ALWAYS an idiotic claim. In NJ in democratic primaries in May 2020 the courts threw out over 200,000 mailin ballots. In the NYC mayors election recently NYC election official mistakenly counter 100,000 test ballots as part of the actual election.

    ANYONE claiming that significant error did not exist in the 2020 election is just plain STUPID.

    For those who care to look – there is already massive evidence of error.

    The open question is whether that is simple error – or whether it is fraud.

    We can not know that if we bury our heads in the sand.

    The windham NH audit found no consequential evidence of fraud. But it found a very serious problem – that it appears even now, no one is dealing with. Mist important is that unlike most error, the impact of that error was NOT random. That is usually a giant red flag for fraud.
    In this case it was just error. Though I would note it was NOT innocent error. DVS was aware of the problem, and aware that the effect would not be random – as were election officials in NH – they were NOT aware of which way the error would fall.

    In Windham that error went completely against a slate of Republicans candidates.
    But each of these republicans had sufficient advantage in uneffected ballots to win their offices. So the error had no effect – BARELY

    Error alone is a legitimate basis that elections should ALWAYS be independently audited.

    Mistakes – such as in NH or in NYC are going to happen – ALOT.

    We should not be affraid to look for mistakes and to improve the trustworthyness of our elections.

  20. July 11, 2021 12:30 pm

    The fundamental question of the 2020 election is of Trust.

    If you were alive in Germany in the 1920’s knowing the danger posed by Hitler – would you murder him to avoid the holocaust ?

    This is actually an important moral question.

    It is the question of whether the ends justify the means.

    If your moral foundations justify any means to acheive a good ends – then not only murder – but election fraud are obviously morally justifiable.

    I have little doubt that many who could not murder Hitler – would be perfectly capable of election fraud as a moral means to avoid a greater evil.

    Look arround – almost the entire left justifies censorship as a moral means to silence those they have deemed morally evil.

    If you are willing to censor those you have deemed evil – why not tilt the election against them ?

    By accepting that the ends justifies the means, and by openly engaging in immoral means such as censorship – those on the left make it clear that they can not be trusted with any power.

    We may not know for certain right now whether there was substantial election fraud in 2020 – and there might now have been.

    But we do know that those screaming loudest that there was no fraud are people who given the opportunity to defeat Trump – would do so – through fraud if necessary.

  21. Vermonta permalink
    July 13, 2021 11:32 am

    I am going to try to start a separate thread the previous one is too long.

    I will use the two populist figures who are the two poles of our politics today.

    Bernie Sanders:
    1.) The rich are much too powerful and are cheating. I agree. But they pay a lot of taxes as a group and drive a lot of progress. They cannot be eliminated and hating them is a waste of energy and time.
    2.) Corporations have too much political and economic power and need to be brought under stricter control. I agree, sort of, in principle, in this sentiment, but its way more complicated that Bernies blanket condemnation. Corporations are a necessary and natural part of capitalism and they do a lot of good too. They are going to exist and we need them.
    3.) Healthcare should be easily available, everyone should just see a doctor when they want and not be affected by the ability to pay. I agree, but I understand that its naïve, goods and services are not infinite, they will always be rationed somehow. Healthcare is still rationed in Scandinavian utopia. No one under any system in the world just gets all possible medical care immediately.
    4.) College education should be free. I agree, that would be great buts its very naïve and there are many downsides to that idea starting with people not valuing education so much if they don’t pay for it. Who will go to work or learn a trade when 4 years of free access to a sex and alcohol party, with some lectures about chemistry and sociology thrown in are the norm.
    Note I say nothing about the culture wars, Bernie is about hating the rich. PC, wokeness, all that, is very secondary to his crusade, he will play that riff if he has too but he is not driven by it. He is about economics, bring down the rich, the cawperations.

    1.) Cancel culture, wokeness, PC, its has gone too far. Dr Seuss was not a racist. I agree. But having a proud sexual predator as POTUS was an abomination too, and the proud boys etc. are not actually wholesome. Fighting PC with something even worse is bad and does not work.
    2.) The Southern border is too leaky. I agree. We wouldn’t agree? We sympathize with the horrors people in central and south america face that but cannot invite the entire of country of Honduras to move in. On the other hand, we are a country of immigrants. Its a strength not weakness. A populist movement based on a one sided caricature of immigrants is not the answer.
    3.) We should not spend our money and blood on foreign wars. I agree in principle, but its way more complicated than just having the US withdraw and let the world settle their problems. The march of authoritarian or Islamic extremist governments has to concern us and we have the money and the military to act, more so than anyone else.
    4.) We need more power and resources for law enforcement agencies, not less. Cops are good, criticizing them is bad. There is not enough law and order. I sympathize with his ideas if I think of Portland, Seattle, Chicago, inner city, but cops cannot be lawless. When they walk free after killing any citizen without cause it harms our country and harms law enforcement. It is possible to change the worst aspects of law enforcement or at least try.
    5.) China is getting away with too much, they compete unfairly. I agree. But I like many of their products and I like the price.

    So, I can agree to or at least sympathize with at least to some extent with almost everything that Sanders and Trump base their populist movements on. But I hate populist movements, because everything is incredibly over simplified and exaggerated caricatures become the targets of badly informed people with destruction ensuing. There are real issues at the base of these movements but they get turned into naive and destructive wars.

    I would not be surprised if like me, you guys can find at least some sympathy or understanding of many of the ideas of both Bernie and trump, in fact they overlap on China and on foreign wars.

    • Ron P permalink
      July 13, 2021 2:24 pm

      Roby hope we can keep this thread “clean” and to the points and not have 50 comments with 5000 words that do not add anything (if you know what I mean, I don’t respond to those that only encourage more)

      Every president and every party has had good ideas. I do not disagree with Bernie Sanders and in many ways I do not think his form of populism is anywhere near that of AOC and her tribe. Elizabeth Warren is much closer to her than Bernie in my mind. I agree that the rich are way too powerful. That is due to money. I agree that corporations have too much power. I disagree with the fact that corporations are considered “people” when it comes to campaigns. But in those thoughts, how does one decide if a issue directed TV ad is supporting a campaign or an issue. For instance, if Chick Filet spends $10M on TV ads promoting restricting abortions, is that a campaign ad or an ad promoting abortion restrictions. These would be very hard decisions for the justice department to monitor.

      The problems with the rich and corporations is the fact they have the money to buy lobbyist to sit in the capital offices and continually talk with senators and representatives. They know the power structure. They know how to get what they want. Even with the democrats bitching about corporations and their influence, no one will ever convince me that Caterpillar, John Deere, Sunland and Ace Asphalt Co,s,.U.S. Steel and many others associated with the building of America is not spending millions working democrats in congress to approve Bidens infrastructure plan, especially Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. And those same companies are the ones that have maneuvered former congresses to include pages of deductions and exemptions that allow for some companies like the one Jeff Bezos just stepped down from CEO paying much tax at all.

      As for healthcare, this is the result of unions. Before the Nixon administration there were many proposals for a national health insurance program like other countries had. They were blocked by congressmen bought off by unions because benefits were a major contract issue between workers and companies. Do away with the need for health insurance coverage and you reduced the clout of unions considerably. Thus Medicare after 65, after retirement when unions had no influence. However, Nixon and Ted Kennedy had a deal that Kennedy would take a proposal they had agreed on to congress until Watergate and then anything Nixon was nuclear. No one would support anything Nixon. And then it became a political toy. And I can write a chapter on how government reimbursement for Medicare caused the extreme increases in our cost as well as our health professional salaries compared to foreign countries.

      And money is why I do not think any representative or senator listens to anyone other than their “special interest”. And that ends up with many people picking the lessor of two evils.

      • Vermonta permalink
        July 14, 2021 11:47 am

        Ron, the reason I enjoy your posts is that they contain the element of the unexpected. Unlike the rest of us here, you are often likely to say things I never would have expected you to say. As to my posts, they are so predictable that anyone here could write them for me I am sure, I just say the same stuff over and over.

        Who would have imagined that you would have some more or less positive reactions to Bernie? Not everything about him but even just something about him?

        Whereas I find him to be a destructive ignoramus and I wish he would just disappear.

      • Ron P permalink
        July 14, 2021 1:11 pm

        Roby, Well like my wife says, “sometime I wonder about your mental capabilities”. Maybe my finding a few things that I can agree with Bernie on is one of those instances.

        But i am constantly accused of being a far right Trump supporting idiot and then I go off and say i support a Medicare-buy-In option and no one knows how to respond. Or I say I support a minimum corporate tax on income before extraordinary items and no one knows how to respond.

        lets just say I am extremely independent and will never accept a party line platform 100%. I find that I usually support some of each party’s ideas, but far fewer than 1/2 of either. That is when I have to decide who has the least offensive platform. Most of my support is based on equal treatment of individual rights and not special interest rights.

    • Priscilla permalink
      July 14, 2021 3:05 pm

      Roby I agree with everything you say here. I think that populism, in general, IS too simplified

      My concern, and I believe the concern of many, is that our current government in DC has become too detached from its purpose, and almost completely detached from “the people.” Like the founders, I am no fan of pure demoracy, and a big fan of checks and balances, as well as of federalism…I think we have moved in a direction that is away from those things.

      The current talk of “expanding” the Supreme Court would be a disastrous mistake in this wrong direction. We’ve already seen the Congress essentially neuter itself, and the presidency afforded powers that were never intended to be held by one person. For lack of a better term, the “deep state” has also become too powerful, particularly because those people (the intelligence agencies, the administrative bureaucracy, the Pentagon, etc.) are unaccountable to any voters. As Eisenhower warned 60 years ago, the military-industrial complex is a danger, so much so that he refused to vote while he was an active army officer, believing that it was too much of a conflict.

      I agree with all of Ron’s points as well, and to both of yours, I would add that we have become too lawless, too accepting of a justice system that is not equal for all.

      Edward R. Murrow said that ” a nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves” We have become more sheepish as a nation, and I’m not sure why. Probably a lot of reasons…

      • Ron P permalink
        July 14, 2021 4:56 pm

        Priscilla, Expanding SCOTUS scares the hell out of me. But what I fear won’t happen in my lifetime most likely.

        But be careful what you ask for. I can see a term of another “Trump” that may be worse than the original from the eyes of the left. Imagine a court where 4-5 retire or die and many being the left of center judges. One can envision a court where 8 of the 13 are right wing extreme and the liberals have to live with their decisions.

        Right now with nine judges, the chances of more than 2 in a term is unlikely. Adding 4 more can expand that to 4-5. I dont want to see any court where the power can be centered so greatly in one format.

  22. Vermonta permalink
    July 14, 2021 11:42 pm

    Well, a rare moment conjunction of the TNM planets!

    Priscilla, I don’t bother hating the rich, it’s a waste of time, and I don’t bother hating, or much think about, the deep state. There will always be the rich and there will always be a deep state, everywhere. The Russians have a slang word, blot, it means connections, someone who wants something in Russia would be well off having some blot. Actually, that is true everywhere.

    One theory of why Homo sapiens developed our large brain with its special areas like the forebrain is that it is due to manipulation, as in, our ancestors developed especially strong abilities in the area of manipulating each other, it was a social skill that led to the path of civilization, and the human brain evolved to keep improving that ability. Anyhow, whether the theory is correct or not, people Are naturally manipulative and seek ways to win by social influence. Self interest is the thing that makes capitalism work, Right? It’s the thing that Marx and Lenin thought could be eliminated, and they were wrong. The deep state to me just means the network of successful people who have blot. In my opinion, offensive as it is, these people actually do get a lot of stuff done, build bridges, roads, buildings, companies, etc. LBJ was a master of blot. How did the NASA space center get to be in Houston, far away from the launch site at Cape Canaveral? LBJ wanted it in Texas and got his way by seeing that requirements for the proposed space center were designed such that they could only be fulfilled in one place, which was coincidentally, Houston. Unfair yes, but life is unfair. And we did get to the moon and many other space accomplishments, with that space nerve center in Houston.

    Nothing I can do or say will change the fact that there are have always been people at the top, there always will be, and they will always have connections with each other. Periodically there is a scandal and some connected person goes to prison. Its like my grass, I cut it, but it just grows back. We should fight the unfairness of the connected people when we can catch them breaking laws, jail them, but it will not stop them as a group. The largest paving company in Vermont, Pike Industries, was founded by the Pike family. Its President Milo Pike was caught fixing prices in 1984, he served time in federal prison (ha, 30 days and he scammed millions by price fixing) and was banned from bidding on state contracts for 3 years. Didn’t stop him. Pike Industries is just as big as before, probably bigger. Doesn’t mean that I give up on cutting my grass and we should not give up on trying to stop blot from being the path to wealth and power. But we will never eliminate it. Perhaps I am too accepting of the status quo but I pick my battles and I don’t pick them with vast impersonal forces.

    • July 15, 2021 10:31 pm

      While spouting that claims of election fraud are “the big lie” – you are actually touting LBJ – probably the most well known embodiment of election fraud in the 20th century ?

      I would note that some testimony from the AZ audit is now public.

      1). The Arizona State Registration system WAS HACKED – this was not only verified by the audit, but was admitted by the state of Arizona.

      2). The Dominion Voting machines were more than 18 months behind in security updates at the time of the election and could have been hacked in less than 10minutes by script kiddies (baby hackers) and a minute or two by competent black hats.

      3). The ballot duplication system (when a ballot is damaged, the ballot is duplicated by election officials) was conducted so badly it is completely unauditable.
      There were more than 25,000 duplicate ballots in Maricopa county and the Maricopa records are so bad it is impossible to tell whether these are actual duplicates or whether election officials used the duplicate system to inject fraudulent votes. Only a small number of duplicate ballots could be matched to the original damaged ballots.
      It is not possible to tell if the originals were counted, the duplicates were counted, or even that there were ever originals for the duplicates.

      4). There are almost 75,000 more ballots than the count of people who voted.

      5). There are many tens of thousands of ballots that were not printed by the state of AZ that were counted. These are on the wrong paper, or appear to be photocopies or they were improperly printed (counterfitted) so that the printing layers do not line up – i.e they are likely forgeries.

      And this is just the preliminary results.

      I would further note that the private auditors TESTIFIED to these findings UNDER OATH.
      If they are caught lying – they are going to jail.

      And again these are just PRELIMINARY results.

      We have heard little beyond that the Voter registration system was hacked.
      We have not yet heard how many voters from non-existant voters were accepted as an example.

      If as Krebs said – this was the most secure election ever – then god help our country.

      You can continue to beleive whatever you wish about who won the 2020 election.

      I do not beleive the testimony thus far has proven a different outcome. Though we could still easily see that.

      What these results have proven is that there was either extremely large scale incompetence to a degree that the election results are meaningless – or there was large scale and probably organized election fraud.

      Hopefully those of you on the left are capable of waking up to the fact that election fraud is NOT all that hard, and where trillions of dollars are at stake, Fraud will occur if it is possible to do so and not get caught.

      So far the AZ audit has not “caught” anyone. What it has convincingly done is proven that the election was run so badly that Fraud could (and likely did) occur at large scale and not get caught.

      So Far the AZ audit demonstrated exactly why 28 states have state constitutional amendments requiring Secret Ballots.
      State constitutional provisions that were violated in any state that conducted mailin voting.

      The problems found so far in AZ – are inherent to mailin voting.

      Alot of what was found is clear evidence of error – if not fraud. But because mailin voting destroys the chain of custody of ballots it is diffcult and probably impossible in many cases to tell WHERE the fraud or error occured.

      It is not possible to distinguish a forged ballot submitted by a voter from a forged ballot injected by election officials in a mailin election.

      While forged ballots in Secret Balloting elections are ALWAYS from election officials.
      Because the only time voters handle ballots is inside the polls and under the supervision of election officials.

      Regardless, it is time for DOJ to investigate the 2020 election.

      What do you think the odds of that are ?

  23. July 17, 2021 2:56 am


    While there is purportedly a 6-3 “conservative” majority on the court – the fact is the court is more accurately split 3-3-3.
    Roberts Kavanaugh and Barrett have so far demonstrated that they have no appetite for making tough calls.

    Roberts for a very long time has made it clear that he is more interested in his bizarre notion of the courts legitimacy than the constitution. In fact he is open about it.

    His decisions are not even consistent with each other.

    While you and Rick might celebrate that purported “moderate” approach, SCOTUS is pretty much NEVER a place for compromise on anything.

    The law and constitution need to be BRIGHT and clear. We hasten our own demise when no one even SCOTUS can figure out what is constitutional and what is not.

    It is better for SCOTUS to be WRONG than it is for them to bring down some mushy compromise decision.

    Truly bad decisions by government – especially the courts FAIL – often significantly.

    That leads towards correction.

    Decisions that are just a mess that makes no one happy and makes nothing clear are far harder to ever get fixed.

  24. Vermonta permalink
    July 21, 2021 9:10 am

    The media have discovered that the moon is wobbling! Just like they discovered that Betelgeuse was about to go kerbluey (it didn’t and won’t for a long time). Just like they breathlessly report on the imminence of profitable fusion energy (I edit the translations of physics papers on fusion experiments. Fusion that produces more energy than it requires to run the experimental machine, and they are small and incredibly expensive experiments, is far far away, if ever. My prediction, based on some knowledge of the physics, is never. Fusion energy will never be economical. But they will continue to report the imminence of fantastic breakthroughs.

    “They”, in this case, are not the usual culprits, the MSM, its a more specialized sort of popular science media. They also need to attract viewers and they produce clickbait just like their big brothers who report on politics, CNN, the networks, and the big city papers. The most destructive element in journalism is nothing new, just like the wobble of the moon, its something old, a vast impersonal force, the need to make money.

    Some of this quasi-scientific nonsense leaks over to the mainstream media, making for a new issue to vex people. As if giant snakes slithering through plumbing and biting people on the bottom were not enough to worry about, along with calls in a mechanical voice saying that your Social Security number has been shut down and you need to urgently pick up the phone.

    Here is a well written article in the Hill by an actual astronomer giving a lucid, non hysterical write up of the moon’s wobble and its affects on flooding, which are not apocalyptical, but are real and can be a problem mixed with climate change events as time goes on. This is my world, the world of people with actual expertise who communicate calmly.

    • Vermonta permalink
      July 21, 2021 9:42 am

      This brings me to another issue that fascinates me and relates to the often very poor quality of the media, the issue is why are so many people so stupid? I would not get calls in a mechanical voice telling me that my SS has been shut down or that I have a 97.52 charge on my amazon account that needs to be verified if it were not for the fact that it is a profitable business to scam people like this, even after years and years of warnings and news stories about people who got scammed. How can there be that many people who are that gullible?

      Then there are the bottom of the barrel fake news sites that advertise on the websites of CBS, USA today, Fox, etc. showing photoshopped images of plane crashes that never happened or, and this is my favorite, titillating (this is precisely the correct word) of women who are well endowed and scantily covered. The Hill article featured two such ads, “Never before seen pictures capturing the debauchery at studio 51”! If people want to actually see nekkid ladies, they can find something with more zing than this pablum. How is there a business in this?

      So, why are so many people so predictably stupid that entire industries can form to milk them?

      • Priscilla permalink
        July 21, 2021 10:17 am

        I’ve often wondered this myself, Roby. I drive an 8 year old car, and regularly get phone messages that my car’s “warranty is expiring.” Well, duh, it’s long expired. And, on Facebook, I routinely get friend requests from young, handsome “soldiers” and “doctors.” I actually know a girl who believes that these guys are for real ~ she’s not really stupid, but she communicates with these “men,” I guess because she’s lonely and flattered by their attention. Clickbait is part of social media, and, while most probably ignore it, there are obviously people who click on the bait, lol. Then they’re bombarded with ads…

      • Ron P permalink
        July 21, 2021 12:02 pm

        Roby, there are probably as many reasons for gullible written as “experts” in the field. But unlike those “experts”, I take it back to good ol’ common sense. And that was learned from a very young age when “woke”, “Safe Space” and all those progressive ideas were just ideas. And over the past 30-40 years kids have been raised in what I consider a protected environment. They are protected from bullies (which in most cases should be), they are protected from being a “loser”, so no scores are kept, they are protected from most anything growing up. They are also not really taught in school how to question any thoughts or actions by teachers or others so they don’t develop a sense of being skeptical of things people say or do. Animals learn from being “hurt” physically as well as mentally and the level of hurt does not need to be much. At a young age just someone taking a toy away can be a learning experience. I know that for a fact. I was about 6 years old, had a collection of metal cars that dealers gave out introducing new car model and I was doing something wrong in the back seat of our car with a new one. Mom said you do that again and I am throwing that out the window. Guess what, I did, she did and I learned never do that again.And with lacking that learning experiences I think we have a society that is much more gullible than ever before.

  25. Ron P permalink
    July 21, 2021 11:40 am

    Thought I would share this article since it fits in with Roby’s comments about reporting. Thought it was a good article and kind of reminds me of “old school” response to bullies that my mother gave me growing up.

    • Vermonta permalink
      July 21, 2021 5:20 pm

      It is a good article. The strategy to treat him like a crazy person, fine by me he IS a crazy person. I also like the description of how Biden is thinking abut getting bills passed, it matches what I thought about his ideas of handling legislation.

      There is that term “gas lighting”, I think its a stupid term, it seems to mean trying to convince someone they are delusional. Its considered abuse and harmful by pop psychologists. What if the person is actually delusional? If I try to convince a progressive that their economic plans to tax the rich and get everything free that way are delusional am I guilty of abuse? Likewise if I try to convince a trump afflicted person that he really is not going to be reinstated in August am I gaslighting and causing psychological harm? Is Biden gaslighting trump?

  26. Vermonta permalink
    July 21, 2021 5:12 pm

    To change the subject again, I had a phone conversation and mentioned a store that sells wine and cheese today to my mother.

    Now, for the first time ever, an ad popped up on my weather site that says

    “We heard you like saving on wine and spirits.”

    Good lord, the nerve, not even trying to hide their spying. Collecting data on my interests by websites I visit is bad enough but now every verbal conversation I have is being mined by big Tech? This kind of spying should be reserved for heinous criminals with a judge’s warrant. And we are just at the beginning of this age.

    Can I disconnect? Probably a doomed effort.

    Hey, you out there, send me some cabernet sauvignon. And Steppenwolf’s greatest hits.

    • Priscilla permalink
      July 21, 2021 7:02 pm

      Roby, you don’t even have to have a verbal conversation. Lately, I’ve been to a number of furniture stores, and, later in the same day, gotten ads for some of those very stores, even though I didn’t purchase anything, or even have anything but a cursory “Thanks, but I’m just looking today” conversation with a sales person. I’m guessing that it’s my iphone and its GPS that is ratting me out. What else could it be? On a related note, I was just talking with a friend of mine about Steppenwolf, and how they’re often treated as a one-hit-wonder band, despite having had a number of hits besides the iconic “Born to be Wild.”

      And now you mention Steppenwolf! Do you work for Google or Apple? 😉

      • Vermonta permalink
        July 21, 2021 9:46 pm

        “And now you mention Steppenwolf! Do you work for Google or Apple?”

        Worse than that, the Russian Mafia.

        Steppenwolf were fantastic. I like my music loud. In fact I parted company with the attempt to recreate our 60s band, they wanted me to turn down my volume. There is only one way I will ever play that music and its loud, with full teenage energy. Damned if I am going to play some feeble old persons version of rock and roll. I can play quiet music on my acoustic instruments with pleasure, but not electric guitar in rock and roll, that is full tilt boogie no matter what age I am.

        Where was I? Steppenwolf. For me bands with an exceptional guitarist came first, Hendrix, Santana, Cream, Chicago, Johnny Winter, the Doors, Allman Bros, and actually the Beatles, I love Harrison’s playing. So, Steppenwolf did not have that famous standout guitarist. But that Hammond organ! And playing their songs, well actually I have only played Born to be wild in a band, any how playing that was a blast and I could really get my teeth into the guitar solos. Actually I never knew the name of a single member of that band. But they were all great players and their music was original, they had their own distinct unmistakable sound. I love bands with what I call a muscular bass guitarist, someone who has that drive like Entwistle in the Who and plays up front with crisp, clear, and loud. Chicago is a great example, great bassist and a great drummer, they were all great, Terry Kath, their guitarist was the best in the world according to Jimi Hendrix, I loved his playing, fast and very rhythmic. Chicago cranked up through my PA is very fine. But then so is Vivaldi.

        I have a building project to do tomorrow inside the house and I did buy Steppenwolf’s greatest hits today as MP3. I’ll put it through my PA system while I work tomorrow. I think my dog will get a charge out of it, she seems to love energetic rock music. She is going deaf so if I crank it up I think she will hear it OK.

    • Ron P permalink
      July 21, 2021 11:40 pm

      Roby, it has been reported, (and denied for some of it), that SIRI is turned on to listen for code words and that is used for targeted advertising. Seems as though most all phones with any of these voice activated systems have listening turned on when you get a phone, just like location tracking is on, unless it is specifically turned off in the settings. And I bet that those who have phones dont ever read the user agreement to see that buried in the pages of legalese there is notification this is so.

      So when you walk into a corner store that sells candy, before you get back home you will get messages from various vendors selling candy. And those location trackers can pinpoint within just a few feet exactly where you have been. Just like those GPS systems that tells you the speed limit on the road and change exactly when you pass the speed limit sign that changes the speed zone speed.

      And by the way, reports there is a way to listen to your conversations that Alexa has recorded, so if you wife says “You never told me that” you can go back and find that conversation. Now dont ask me how because I avoid most all electronic crap and only have a very early generation L.G. smart phone for emergency use.

      Now I wonder just what kind of ads one would get if the conversation was about E.D.

    • Ron P permalink
      July 22, 2021 4:35 pm

      Roby, Now if this dont beat all. Look what came in one my email today. So can someone tell me how the heck Amazon knew I mentioned these products in a post to TNM? I did not search on the internet nor was I looking to buy one of these. Maybe Word Press shares data and the name of the product hit a key word search.

      I was going to share the link and then decided not to. It was an Amazon link for a smart phone wifi with Alexa, Echo, Google home and IFTTT.

      And people worry about “big brother”. I think we need to worry about the “drunk cousin”

  27. Savannah Jordan permalink
    August 2, 2021 12:20 pm

    This is Savannah Jordan. I don’t know if WordPress will allow my name to be posted, but then I am not sure if it will allow me to post this comment. I attempted to post it back in June but alas WordPress apparently has me blacklisted. (Just kidding).

    Rick, I agree with most of your concerns regarding the problems afflicting our society and I appreciate the thoughtful solutions you presented. I do differ with you on a few points. The most notable are listed below.
    I would list environmental devastation as the number one threat to the world not just America.

    I would not list the radicalization of the Republican Party. People point to Trump as the epitome of radicalization. I admit that the man is a narcissistic sociopath (for whom I would never vote, and hope to God he never runs again), but he has many equally sociopathic counterparts in the Democratic Party. It is filled with woked people who bear a hatred for America and would love to see its institutions and its heroes razed to the ground. I call that a far greater level of radicalization. Trump rose to power because he represented the antithesis of the hatred for America that had simmered in the Democratic Party because of the actions and rhetoric of Obama. Few things could have made Obama happier than the election of Trump. It tainted the white race and the Republican policies as sociopathic and thus not worthy of consideration and is, in fact, worthy of condemnation. I begged people to not vote for Trump. I told them you are doing exactly what Obama wants. Let me clarify – I voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012. I support many Democratic Party policies: universal health care, concern for the environment, reasonable gun control laws. I had reservations about voting for him in 2008, there were statements that he, his wife, and his church made that gave me the impression that they all bore a great resentment towards America, but during his campaign, he made comments to ameliorate the impact of those earlier statements. In his second term, he showed his true colors in his continual support of every criticism of the police, and promulgated, in a subliminal fashion, the belief that America is a systemically racist society that is beyond redemption. Even in retirement, he continually interviews young black men and points to how white America targets them. He is not only indifferent to how this is undermining the stability of civil society, but also indifferent to the black on black slaughter. But perhaps the statements that most confirm his animosity for America were given in a February 2021 episode of “Renegades: Born in the U.S.A”. He said “So, if you ask me theoretically: ‘Are reparations justified?’ The answer is yes. There’s not much question that the wealth of this country, the power of this country was built in significant part — not exclusively, maybe not even the majority of it — but a large portion of it was built on the backs of slaves. What I saw during my presidency was the politics of white resistance and resentment, the talk of welfare queens and the talk of the undeserving poor and the backlash against affirmative action,” he said, adding that “all that made the prospect of actually proposing any kind of coherent, meaningful reparations program struck me as, politically, not only a non-starter but potentially counterproductive.” Is there any doubt of this man’s animosity towards America? Is there any doubt that the extreme division in our country was the product of this man’s actions and rhetoric?

    I would place cultural degeneracy much higher on the list. In your item number 9, you discuss the rise of authoritarian regimes. The truth is if you look at the totality of human history the vast, vast, vast majority of governments have been authoritarian regimes. Authoritarianism is the default state of government for our species. Democracy is a rare, fleeting and unnatural form of government for our species. It requires its citizens to discipline themselves rather than be disciplined by the crack of the dictator’s whip. It requires delay of gratification, a strong work ethic, and a sense of duty to one’s fellow human being. All of these traits are antithetic to the pursuit of pleasure that now dominates society. I often harken back to the words of my beloved John Adams. “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

    I would list left-wing militancy in place of right-wing militancy and I would list it as number 2, but I would include the suppression of free speech as part of the left-wing militancy. People point to the January 6 riots as proof of right-wing militancy. At that riot (I refuse to call it insurgence) five were killed and $30 million worth of damage were incurred. Yet there was almost no outrage for the BLM/Antifa riots where 24 were killed and where there was $2 billion in property damage. I have heard it argued that these were not an assault upon our government as was the January 6 riot. Not an assault on government??? A multitude of government buildings were vandalized as the crowds shouted America is incapable of justice and must be eradicated. The destruction didn’t last for just a few hours, it went on for months and parts of some cities have turned into zones that are governed by their own rules and not by the rules of the United States. Just as the press and the progressive elements of government refused to condemn these actions, they also refused to acknowledge the violence on the part of the leftist counter protestors that preceded the tragic killing of a woman by a Neo-Nazi protestor in Charlottesville. The protestors were not all Neo-Nazis, many were just ordinary citizens who did not want to see the removal of Confederate statues. But even if they were all Neo-Nazis, it would not justify the beatings with baseball bats and clubs that the leftist counter protestors inflicted upon the protestors before the incident. The violence of the left is delineated in Andy Ngo’s book, “Unmasked”. Ngo is a journalist who attempted to film and write about the BLM/Antifa riots. He was stalked, threatened online and in-person, and finally beaten to the point where he has suffered permanent physical damage. At the end of the book, Ngo summarizes the consequences of implementing the policies of such leftist groups as Antifa. “For those who are vulnerable, antifa is more than appealing. It promises community, protection, and purpose. It is organized like a zealous religious movement through the constant feeding of ideology and propaganda. They believe a communist-anarchist world utopia is possible. There would be no borders, police, prisons, racism, or fascism. All material needs would be met through community mutual aid, not through working in an exploitative capitalist system … For those who are drawn to their siren calls of ‘anti-racism,’ ‘anti-fascism’ and ‘equity,’ look to where their ideas have been put into practice. No one inherits a utopia or civilization. They inherit ash, blood, and feces-strained rubble.” As a final note (from me) Nazi is the acronym for National Socialist German Workers’ Party. Sounds pretty leftist to me. The actions of the leftist groups that Ngo describes are very similar to those of the Nazi Brown Shirts.

    • August 3, 2021 8:20 am

      Narcissists and Sociopaths are both part of a group of personality disorders called “Cluster B”.

      All sociopaths are narcissist, but all narcissists are not sociopaths.

      Sociopathy is sometimes described as “malignant narcissism”

      Sociopathy, Psychopathy, and Malignant narcissism are the same thing.

      I would further note that all sociopaths are difficult to deal with personally, but they are not all dangerous.

      A significant portion of politicians are sociopaths.

      Dr. hare conducted some of the most important research on sociopaths.

      His student Dr. Kiehl was able to identify sociopaths using brain scans.

      Sociopathy is characterized by significant differences in the way the brain processes inputs.

      The vast majority of sociopaths are contributing members of society.
      The most productive members of society have disproportionately large numbers of sociopaths. While 30% of criminals are sociopaths.

      No matter what it is incredibly difficult to deal personally with a sociopath.

    • August 3, 2021 3:32 pm

      I doubt that Trump’s election made Obama or democrats happy.

      Trump’s election was the natural consequence of Obama’s failures as president.

      I do not expect to see Trump elected in 2024 – 4 years is a long time at his age and I doubt he can keep his health and stamina up that long. But we shall see.

      Trump did not “taint” the republican party.

      All the nonsense from the left predates Trump. In fact I think you have it backwards.

      Trump came about BECAUSE democrats labeled moderate republicans as racist, sexist, homophobic hateful, hating haters.

      Trump became the GOP standard bearer because he FOUGHT BACK.

      As Lincoln said of Grant “I can’t spare this man, he fights!”

      Trump’s style in some form will likely own the GOP for some time.
      It is the only effective means of responding to the alynskyite tactics that democrats have increasingly employed for decades.

      Can you name a significant Republican leader that was not labeled by democrats as a fascist, authoritarian, nazi ?

      This is particularly disturbing as modern authoritarianism and fascism are attributes of the LEFT.

      I disagree with Trump on specific policy’s.

      With respect to his style – I prefer not to watch. But I am far beyond caring whether he or republicans are forceful or brash or respond to insults and barbs with insults.

      The left started this. They can reap what they sew.

      I would further note that the left has been increasingly polarizing the country for a long time.

      So long as they continue to do so we will see more successful Trump like politicians on the right. This is inevitable. It is how polarization works.

      You c an dislike confrontational brutal politics but it exists because it works.
      It will not go away until we reject the entire alinskyite tactics.

      I would suggest reading Alynsky’s rules for radicals.

      Democrats have been following those for decades.
      All Trump did was read their book and employ their own tactics against them.

      But the left is at a severe disadvantage.

      While the tactics work – meaning they can get you political power.
      They have no bearing on whether that power is used successfully or not.

      Leftism FAILS – often spectacularly. That is the lesson of history.

      I am not a conservative, and I have many issues with conservatives – including Trump.
      But conservatism is historically far less dangerous than any form of leftist statism.

      Today the left rants about the “over incarceration” of minorities.

      That is a modern pattern that strongly correlates to the destruction of minority families that the left hopefully unintentionally brought about in the 60’s.

      I fully support individual liberty. Do not complete HS if you wish. Get pregnant before you get your first job – if you wish. Do not form traditional families – if you wish.

      Rick rants that not getting vaccinated is ‘selfish” – that is both an incorrect use of “selfish” and irrelevant.

      Not getting vaccinated is a FREE CHOICE – just like not graduating from HS, having sex and children when you are too young to form a family, not getting married, not getting a job, doing drugs, …..

      All these are Free choices – that I would not deprive to anyone. But like vaccination they are choices with consequences.

      The left advocates for freedom – WHEN IT SUITS THEM, but is generally repressive, intolerant and destructive of the freedom of others.

      The left dictates a sequences of choices we are all allowed to make – and expects that we can all make those without any consequences. While depriving all of us of whatever other free choices they feel like.

      We have significantly higher rates of crime among minorities where the family has broken down – I would note that exactly the same thing happens when white families break down.
      That is just somewhat less common.

      Is it systemic racism to incarcerate the people who commit crimes ? No!

      But it IS systemic racism for government to incentivize the destruction of minority families.

      That is on the left – not the right.

      To be clear – I have nothing against non-traditional families – AS A FREE CHOICE.

      But the modern destruction of minority families was not an exercise of free choice, it was a direct consequence of bad government – FORCE.

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