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Confessions of an Embattled Moderate

October 7, 2021

Let’s face it: being an outspoken moderate is a thankless and even hazardous job. I’ve tussled online with warriors from the left and right, and I have to wonder if I’ve ever changed a single wayward opinion. Worse yet, the warriors use moderates like me for target practice.

I’ll never forget the time I defended Kate Smith in a Facebook forum. The late Southern songstress was being “canceled” here in Philadelphia because, in the high recklessness of her youth 90 years ago, she recorded a plaintive song called “That’s Why Darkies Were Born.” No matter that black singer/actor/far-left activist Paul Robeson recorded the same song. That one recording — out of three thousand songs Kate Smith recorded over her long career — proved to be her posthumous undoing. Her statue was promptly shrouded under a burqa-like tarp (lest sensitive souls feel offended by her presence) and finally hauled off to oblivion

When I voiced my dismay in that online forum, I was ambushed by a “woke” business professor (apparently not an oxymoron) from a local university. Not content merely to take issue with my defense of Ms. Smith, he checked my Facebook profile and proceeded to taunt me for being divorced, narcissistic, and whatever else he could throw in my direction to delegitimize me as a valid human. (These days, it’s not enough to disagree; you have to go for the kill.)

I’ve taken heat from black friends who slam me for criticizing BLM tactics and call me “patronizing” when I sympathize with innocent black murder victims. (And when I defend myself, they throw the “white fragility” label in my face.) There’s no winning against such watertight double-binds, so I’ve given up trying to move any hardened minds in that sphere.

Lately I’ve had more online run-ins with right-wing friends who subscribe to the usual conspiracy theories regarding the 2020 election, climate change, the Deep State, the dreaded covid vaccine, mask mandates and the malignant senility of Joe Biden. Like the ideologues at the opposite end of the spectrum, they’ve formed a protective shell around their beliefs and won’t be moved by any rational arguments to the contrary. They simply hunker down and take potshots at me from their foxholes.

Even here at The New Moderate, nearly every column I write tends to elicit protests of one sort or another. I’m too far left… no, I’m too far right. (No amen corner for me, even on my home turf.)

Granted, I wouldn’t expect (or even want) my fellow moderates to agree with my every pronouncement. We’re not ideologues, after all, so we’re not inclined to march in lockstep. But it doesn’t bode well for the future of our hyper-polarized republic if we moderates can’t speak with a strong and reasonably coherent voice – a voice that can influence the more reasonable liberals and conservatives to join us in opposition to the raging extremists.

 I’ve been plugging away at The New Moderate for fourteen years now, and here’s the sorry fruit of my labors: aside from the fact that my readership would barely populate a small town in Mongolia, moderates today are more marginalized in American politics than before I launched this site. The diehard wokesters and MAGA-maniacs garner all the attention, stir the blood, and fuel the opposing tribe’s outrage, which only energizes them to spout yet more borderline-insane demands and proclamations. In short, both tribes thrive on anger.

Meanwhile, the sensible middle withers from neglect and indifference. We lack the loud and strident voices, the blustering self-assurance (OK, I admit I enjoy blustering now and then), the sympathetic media outlets and amen corners that keep the extremists in business. We moderates can’t even seem to decide who we are. We’re not ideologues, after all, and we have no dogma to define our tribe. We dwell under a large and accommodating tent.

Think about the fanatical fervor of the extremists. For the left, wokeness has filled the place of historically intolerant orthodox religions like Islam, medieval Catholicism and Puritanism: the same humorless zeal, the shared myths and delusions, the hostility toward outsiders and the persecution of heretics within their ranks. They use shibboleths like “Hate has no home here,” “diversity, equity and inclusion,” “intersectionality,” “cultural appropriation,” “decolonizing,” and “Defund the police” to recognize one another in a crowd… to cement their cohesion… to separate the wheat from the chaff.

The far right, for the most part, still embraces orthodox religion: a Republican brand of evangelical Christianity that favors the individualistic “be saved or be damned” preaching of St. Paul over the more compassionate teachings of Jesus, who probably would have been a Democrat today. But like their left-wing counterparts, the far right dabbles in secular shibboleths, too. Uttering terms like “Second Amendment rights,” “illegals,” “Deep State,” and “Stop the steal” will automatically ingratiate them with their like-minded peers.

How can moderates hope to compete with fanatics? Do we need our own set of shibboleths to build tribal cohesion? (“Stay centered”… “Hold the middle ground”… “Yes, but…”?)

No, I’ve concluded that building a moderate movement is a noble but ultimately futile enterprise, as long as so many Americans respond to naked emotion, overheated rhetoric and sacred narratives over the exercise of reason and fairness – and as long as moderates can’t agree on what to agree on.

Am I ready to quit my fourteen-year experiment, then? Not just yet, although I’ll probably want to ditch the vexations of politics sooner rather than later. My remaining time on this mysterious planet is growing shorter every day. I’d prefer to spend those days romping in nature, exploring backwaters of history, finding lasting love, reading at least ten percent of the unread books on my shelves, writing one or two more under my own name, seeing my teenage son graduate to fulfilling manhood, and being of service to my fellow humans. Can you blame me?

Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate. His three brilliant (but inexplicably overlooked) collections of dark-humored essays are available on Amazon (and wherever else e-books are sold) for the ridiculously low price of $2.99 each. That’s less than a latte at Starbucks, and considerably more fortifying.

405 Comments leave one →
  1. Priscilla permalink
    October 7, 2021 11:47 am

    Hey Rick, I feel your pain. Unfortunately, the way things are going, it’s not currently acceptable to be moderate in either direction, but most particularly on the left. I was just reading this morning that Bernie Sanders refused to sign a document condemning the woke harrassment of Kyrsten Sinema. The Left feels in control right now.

    i did watch an interesting interview last night ~ Tucker Carlson interviewing Andrew Yang. (I know I will face brutal incoming from Roby on this, as he despises Tucker and and anyone who watches him, but, again, that sort of thing is exactly the problem. I’m sorry,Roby).

    Anyway, it was an hour long interview, conducted after Yang left the Democrat Party to become an Independent, and he and Tucker found many areas of agreement, as well as the obvious areas of disagreement that you would expect. Nevertheless, it was more agreement.

    Yang intends to found a 3rd party ~ the “Forward Party.” (I don’t like that name but whatever…) Yang says “Neither Left nor Right, but Forward,” so that’s the idea.

    Here are his party’s essential policy goals. I do not support them all, but I really like the idea that they are focused on strengthening voting rights for all and improving conditions for the middle class, while maintaining safety nets for the poor.

    https://www.forwardparty.com/platform

    • Priscilla permalink
      October 7, 2021 11:52 am

      FYI, I partiularly disagree with Yang’s voting rights “improvements.” But we should all be willing to discuss these things…

      • Ron P permalink
        October 7, 2021 1:08 pm

        I think there are many changes that can take place with voting. I particularly disagree with the GOP positions on mail in voting because one of the first states in the country to provide every citizen with a mail in ballot was Utah in 2013. That was 7 years before the huge GOP uprising against mail in ballots and it was in a state dominated by and approved by very conservative GOP dominated legislature. If its good enough for the GOP in a GOP dominated state, why is it bad in swing states?

        I say only because it might swing the outcome to the democrats. I have not heard any other argument where documented proof has provided any substantial voter fraud that has changed an election other than Trump lies about him losing states and losing the election.

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 7, 2021 7:29 pm

        I think so, too, Ron. However, I don’t think that the idea of having one single day for elections (it could be a Saturday or a federal holiday) and requesting that citizens show up, in person, with ID, to fill out a paper ballot, is a bad way to do it. Mail-in voting is too easy, and, by that, I mean that people without the right to vote can easily receive and submit a ballot, and there is really no way to tell, without a lengthy audit. While there are ways of making it more secure, there are no ways to make it as secure as in-person voting.

        I’m all for discussing changes to the system that make voting simpler and more accessible, but I didn’t fall off the turnip truck, and no one is going to convince me that mass mailing ballots to every address in the country, without regard to whether or nor a currently living, registered voter lives there, is a secure way to run a national election.

      • Ron P permalink
        October 7, 2021 11:59 pm

        My point in the election issue was mail in ballots were fine for the GOP and they never said one thing against them until the blue and swing states began doing it. Now they have individuals such as yourself completely against them and are making a huge deal about them. If they are such a bad thing, why was it that they did it first?

        I personally think we need one day of voting and nothing else except absentee ballots like we had back years ago for those out of the country and in the military. Ever since they began early voting in N.C. and especially Forsyth county, they have had nothing but “race based” fights on when where and how long they would do it. This past year they wanted to combine two sites within a quarter mile of each other in the minority section of town, one at Winston Salem state and one 4 blocks down the street. The NAACP had a cow because it was going to make it harder for those living there to vote when only 75 or so people voted at the one off campus. Then they wanted to shorten the number of days, but add hours to each day making it easier for those working to get to the early voting site. The NAACP had another cow because it would cut down on the days that their people could get to the sites, but said nothing about the fact they would have later hours to get there.

        So yes, whenever you give anyone anything special, some group will bitch and moan about it and find ways to make a political issue from it, so having one day for voting would be good in my mind. And that should be a Saturday from 6 am to 10pm with no reporting of any data and no projections allowed until the west coast had closed to allow those people the same benefit of voting as the east coast without any idea who had won or was leading.

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 9, 2021 9:48 am

        Ron, I think that mail-in ballots can work on a smaller scale, specifically with state and local regulations that ensure that the kinds of abuses that we saw in 2020 would not be permitted. And, I know that Utah has used mail ballots, very effectively, for some years now…but Utah is not the entire US, and the states that switched, very abruptly, to mass mail ballots in the last election, without any significant controls, such as the purging of dead voters, voters who had moved out of state, duplicate registered voters, etc. were not able to control the security of the election, and that helped to create a situation in which many, many people did not trust the outcome. It was not only the toxic partisansanship, and the rumors of voting machines hooked up to the internet ~ it was that there were a number of states that used the covid emergency as a way to circumvent voting laws that had been in place for decades, by making changes that were not trustworthy. For example, in NJ, the governor issued an exec order that there would be NO in-person voting, except for those who needed to file provisional ballots. Everyone else was forced to use drop boxes or the USPS. I do not trust that my vote was counted, but in a deep blue state, it hardly mattered. Next door, in PA, however….

      • October 11, 2021 7:55 am

        O agree with you we shoudl have one day of voting. In fact the constitution seems to demand that. Congress gets to set the DAY of the election – not the week or month. Not the Last Day.
        Not the day the votes are counted. But the Day people vote.

        I am not a big fan of making voting easy – I want it to be HARD.

        But I have no problems with assuring that it is as easy or hard for ALL OF US.

        I have no problems with 24hrs of voting.

        I will fully support measures to assure that it is as easy for people in big cities to vote as it is for me in the country.

        Though I would note that while it really is harder to vote in cities particularly minority areas, is SHOULD be easier – not harder.

        Every single congressional district contains the same number of people.

        In practice precints in Cities have MORE money for voting, and LESS costs.
        What we see is that there is more corruption – in this case city politicians pocketting the money that is supposed to pay for elections.

        Why exactly is it that I vote in a precinct with a few thousand people, and that even a hand count can typically be completed by midnight, and In Philadelphia ballots are counted by the millions ?

        No election official in my precinct could get away with more than a few dozen fraudulent votes.

        The possibility of 100K fraudulent votes in Philadelphia – requiring only a small number of people to get away with it is enormous.

        One of the reasons that I oppose Voting terminals is because only a tiny number of people could throw millions of votes, and get away with it.

        WE do not want “Trust me” to be the basis for our conclusion there was no fraud in an election EVER.

        But if we can not eliminate fraud entirely – we can make the fraud that a few people can get away with SMALL. We do that by not having large scale systems. And we do that by having closed loops.

        The AZ Audit found huge problems. It found massive cyber security problems. It found that the voting machines could easily have been hacked myriads of ways.

        That said it DID NOT find that cyber security problems effected the vote count – THIS TIME.
        This DOES disprove several of the “right wing” allegations – atleast with respect to AZ.

        There is evidence supporting some of those allegations from OTHER audits.

        Regardless, The AZ audit put SOME types of Fraudsters on notice – in the future they might be caught.

        We always want to do whatever we can to send THAT MESSAGE – engage in election Fraud and you WILL BE CAUGHT.

        I do not inherently trust Dominion. Or election officials anywhere, or even other voters.

        But I can design an election system where the people I do not trust WILL BE CAUGHT if they engage in Fraud.

        We have not done that.

        We keep thinking that voting is something we can structure however we please without regard for the fact that if we open doors to fraud – IT WILL HAPPEN.

        I mostly do not give a $hit whether Trump “won”.

        Biden is doing an excellent job of proving that Trump SHOULD have won.

        But I actually do want these large scale audits accross the country – because I want to kill of the lie that our elections are well run and lawful and deserving of Trust.

        They are not. 2020 Was not much better than an election in Russia.
        And even prior elections have enough fraud to have tipped several close races accross the country EVERY SINGLE ELECTION.

        I want election fraud to be taken seriously.

        We should have gotten that message after 2000.

        The more narrowly decided elections we have the more Fraud we will have.
        The amount of money riding on the outcome is way too high.

      • October 10, 2021 7:24 pm

        Anything that involves ballots leaving control of election officials means that fraud is much harder to detect, and worse still even where you can detect is much harder to attribute,

        When ballots are handled only by election officials when we find errors we know who is to blame and that it is likely fraud.

        There is a reason that nearly all the experts in the world opposed mailin voting until 2020.

        Even the error rate alone is too high.

        Mailin voting can not be secured. There are numerous problems that can not be prevented, can not easily be detected, can not be corrected and can not be prosecuted.

    • Ron P permalink
      October 7, 2021 1:01 pm

      Yang…Some good points, but not all good

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 7, 2021 7:34 pm

        No, definitely not. Not in favor of ranked-choice voting, for one. And, although I like the idea of UBI in theory, I don’t believe it would be workable or beneficial in practice. Yang is a very good salesman for what he sees as its benefits, however.

      • Ron P permalink
        October 8, 2021 12:05 am

        Now ranked voting was an idea I liked, That way there would be no one ever elected with less than a majority. But then again I did vote for Gary Johnson and would have put Trump second choice in 2016 (before I knew what Trump was), so I don’t have the same perspective as one who votes for just one of the major parties.

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 8, 2021 12:18 am

        Ron, I think that your view of ranked voting is reason that Yang likes it. The flip side of that is that it makes it very likely that someone could end up winning an election, even if he were nobody’s first choice.

      • October 11, 2021 8:54 am

        There are myriads of different ways to cast votes. Ranked choice is just one of many means of addressing multiple candidates and preferences.

        My understanding of the data on Ranked choice voting is that about 96% of the time the candidate that receives the largest number of first choice votes wins.

        I personally prefer automatic runnoffs.

        Regardless, methods that resolve close elections without dragging the courts in are a good thing.

      • October 10, 2021 7:28 pm

        UBI as a replacement for the ENTIRE social safetynet AND as actually universal – i.e. EVERYONE gets the “basic income” is a Better bad idea that what we currently have.

        But I do not see that happening.

        Can you see the left getting rid of medicare, medicaide, Social Security, all forms of aide to the poor, all tax credits, basically every social safetynet program in return for a UBI that ultimately has to be small or government goes bankrupt, AND has to be universal – i.e. even Bill gates gets his UBI check – otherwise it has the same disincentives problems the current social safety net has.

      • October 8, 2021 4:28 pm

        Yang…Some good points, but not all good

        Trump…Some good points, but not all good

        Biden …Some good points, but not all good

        what should be increasingly self evident to everyone – is you can like Biden. You can dislike Trump. but claiming Trump was a disaster is impossible – Because Biden has been an actual disaster.

        He has failed at ev erything that Trump purportedly failed at.
        He has failed at everything Trump succeeded at.

    • October 7, 2021 5:42 pm

      Did not delve too much into Yang’s policies but did notice that he supported term limits. I believe that is something which would greatly help the democratic process. Senators limited to three 6-year terms. For reps change the length from 2 to 4 years and limit them to four 4-year terms. This way they have enough time to know the job and contribute to the job but don’t become so intrenched that they favor those who can contribute to their campaign and ignore the rights of the masses.

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 7, 2021 7:42 pm

        rescuingdemocracy, I totally agree with you on term limits, although I would change your plan for reps to 4 two-year terms, and senators to 2 six year terms. I don’t want them them in D.C. for much more than 10 years. I think I’d support a single 6 or 8 year term for presidents, as well. As it is now, most presidents become lame ducks about 2 minutes after their re-election.

    • October 8, 2021 3:59 pm

      The only place that people like Yang and Tulsi Gabbard can be heard is on “right wing” outlets.

      Both Yang and Carlson share common ground on the luddite beleif that automation is going to impoverish the workforce.

      But on many other issues Carlson is pretty good.

      But personally I would recommend Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibi as important journalists to follow. They are not talking heads – they are investigative journalists whose stories are rooted in investigation and facts, not ideology.

      Carlson is often good – but he is an idelogue and should be weighed as such.

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      October 8, 2021 8:07 pm

      Priscilla: The left controls the political conversation in this country, so even liberals are terrified of being caught disagreeing with the wokesters. I wonder why agreeing with them feels almost compulsory in polite society, aside from the fact that the wokesters will ferret out the heretics in their ranks and make their lives miserable. It goes deeper than that… it’s probably worth a future column to analyze the psychology behind virtue signaling.

      As for Yang’s platform… I think he’s an important voice, and we probably do need a third major party (although we haven’t launched a successful one since before the Civil War). I agree with the majority of the planks on his platform, especially closing the revolving door that turns former legislators into lobbyists. In fact, I don’t think he goes far enough in that direction: we probably need a constitutional amendment to stop the covert bribing of legislators by lobbyists. Congress certainly won’t do anything to stop the flow of money into their coffers.

      I also agree that the House should extend the terms of representatives from two to four years. As it stands, they’re constantly in campaign mode and lusting after big donations.

      • Savannah Jordan permalink
        October 9, 2021 3:33 pm

        Thanks, Rick, for your support of changing reps from 2 to 4 year terms. As it is right now, the are running for reelection as soon as they are voted in office. I do believe that limiting senators and reps to a total of 18 / 16 years does allow them to develop expertise while being forced to return to the general population. I am reading a biography of John Quincy Adams. What an intrepid warrior in a United States even more bitterly divided than currently.

      • October 11, 2021 3:02 pm

        Expertise in government is a liability not an asset.

      • Ron P permalink
        October 11, 2021 4:07 pm

        Expertise in government is neither an asset or liability. It is non-existent!

      • rondabellelane permalink
        October 19, 2021 11:02 pm

        Agree on all Rick, except that I hear as much crap from the far left as I do from the far right – and you can add those from the right who are far but don’t think so. Yes – eliminate the lobbyist and their bribes!

  2. Ron P permalink
    October 7, 2021 1:00 pm

    Rick. Very good comment. There has always been that silent middle that never was heard from much and then there were the ones very vocal, but they did not have the means of controlling the narrative like they have today. When you have the means to do that, you become much more dominant, leaving the silent majority weakened.

    And that loss of influence has been replaced by the ability to control the message and dominate the monetary impact on the elections, resulting in the much greater polarization of the parties. One only needs to look at the senate where 2% of the senators are willing to go against their party on issues for the good of the country. Even when Newt and Clinton were in office, they were willing to negotiate outcomes to benefit the country, Now it is only to beneifit the party and their careers.

    While I don’t believe there has been a huge reduction in the moderates and I dont believee there is much change in ” and as long as moderates can’t agree on what to agree on.” That is why we are moderates and not agreeing on many things brought moderation to dominance. Our influence has been diluted because we do not have the moderate candidates to vote for on either side, so we vote for the least offensive or dont vote at all.

    But as you decide to close out you career writing the blogs, maybe you can do something for the handful of people that comment here. Post “this months discussion is XYZ”. That will open a new dialog for the diehards here so wordpress does not croak when it gets too many comments like it has in the past.

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      October 8, 2021 8:15 pm

      Good points, Ron. The rise of social media has created bully pulpits for the left and right alike. The center, not so much (because we’re not in lockstep). And of course, the radicalized Democratic and GOP leadership run extremists against the moderates in their own parties.

      Did you mean that once I stop writing my columns (still uncertain at this point), I should suggest a topic for conversation and invite everyone to discuss it?

      • Ron P permalink
        October 8, 2021 11:40 pm

        Rick, there are few places where just moderates can discuss issues without being overrun with the left or right making comment personal. And the handful that are more moderate are national and it is almost impossible for a few individuals like we have here that are active to carry on a conversation with the hundreds of comments daily on their sites.

        You offer a nice place for that to happen, but we all know what happens to wordpress when it get choked on 500+ comments like we were seeing back before the election.

        So my suggestion, if others are interested, is when you get tired of writing articles that we respond to, just post “this months topic is _______”. And if so desired, make a couple of comments much like you do with your vigilance list or the old hit list. We all can stay in touch, discuss that or something that comes up and not fill up wordpress so it locks us out. There seems to be something in the news daily that could be the word of the month discussion.

      • October 11, 2021 10:29 am

        I have a problem with censorship in social media.

        I really do not care about its other purported problems.

        I do not think as you claim that SM has deprived moderates a platform.

        It has given EVERYONE a platform – or atleast it did until the censorship started.

        I think Der Sturmer shoudl be on FaceBook.

        I want the extremists out where we can see them.
        And if they succeed in appealing to many people – that is fine by me.

      • October 11, 2021 10:33 am

        You are constantly making these idiotic arguments that the right is becoming more extreme.

        You are now talking about radicalized Republican leadership

        HOW SO ?

        I do not agree with all republican policies – but Republicans today are not more radical than they were 50 years ago.

        Name a single policy issue that Republicans have moved right on in the past 50 years ?
        The past 10 ?

        I do not personally like Sen. McConnell – but he is not in anyway Radical.

  3. Savannah Jordan permalink
    October 7, 2021 5:12 pm

    Rick, I feel your pain. I once wrote an article in which I delineated several of my views. One person said it could have been written by Trump. Another person countered I sounded more like a Scandinavian socialist. (By the way Scandinavia is capitalist).

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      October 8, 2021 8:18 pm

      Savannah: Yep, that’s the moderate’s curse. We’re in the no-man’s-land between the warring factions, and both sides fire away at us as well as their enemies.

    • October 10, 2021 5:17 pm

      What you write reflects YOU.

      What you write should be judged on the merits of YOUR idea’s – not nonsense pigeonholing you as either a Trumpist or Socialist.

      Sweden Ranked tied for 11th Place in the world on the Frazer institute Human Freedom index. The US was tied for 15th. All countries in the top quartile of the HFI are Free markets.

  4. SCOTT MYERS permalink
    October 7, 2021 7:18 pm

    Keep up the good fight Rick!

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      October 8, 2021 8:19 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement, Scott. I’ll probably have to change my strategy, but I believe moderates are more important than ever.

      • October 11, 2021 10:52 am

        Rick,

        Contra claims here to the contrary, I try to keep my finger on the pulse of many voices – particularly those at odds with my own.

        Your voice – and Ron’s and others here who are NOT clearly on the right or the left are important sanity checks for me.

        I can find left wing nuts and right wing nuts most anywhere. I spend alot of time on johnathanturley.org. It is trivial to find others like Robby or similar voices from the left.

        I do not need to come to TNM to find the best arguments the left has to offer.

        Even Priscilla – who is likely the most right wing here. I can find similar voices to hers elsewhere.

        No insult intended. I find priscilla to be wise and polite and well spoken and she has deservedly earned my respect for that. But it is not hard to find Priscilla’s elsewhere.

        In fact as a rule of thumb 80-90% of the disrespectful assholes who have not thought before speaking are on the left.

  5. Francisco A Figueroa permalink
    October 8, 2021 6:05 am

    Don’t give up, Rick. Yours is an important voice. There are many up and coming moderate and centrist forums. Now our critical next step is to coalesce under our large tent and do something dramatic to rally our moderate forces and take back our country and national narrative. Something like our own moderate/centrist march on a selected date…such as July 4th…at every city in the nation. Millions of voices…millions of feet on the ground…expressing our resolve to put the country above the two parties that are controlled by the radical fringes. It’s our time now. Let’s make it happen.

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      October 8, 2021 8:23 pm

      Francisco: What you suggested definitely needs to be done, although the moderate movement was actually stronger about 10 or 12 years ago — around the time No Labels was launched. It’s unfortunate that there’s no major media outlet geared to moderates; otherwise I’d be writing for it, and we could have an influential voice in the national conversation.

    • Anonymous permalink
      October 29, 2021 11:29 am

      Francisco, I’ve been having these conversations with people for many years and can always use the help trying to move it forward. Please e-mail me at moderate.squared(at)yahoo(dot)com to help!

      -Rod

  6. October 8, 2021 1:48 pm

    Wow Rick! Those on the right as a rule defend the individual liberty to own Firearms.

    What clear Wacko’s !

    I mean don’t we have incredibly compelling evidence that the more guns there are the more violence and violent deaths there are ?

    It is not like the most violent places in the country are those with the most draconian gun laws ?

    It is not like the left has been lying about Guns for decades to pass laws that never worked ?

    Rick – Your fixation on those speaking out for “2nd Amendment right” is just more evidence that you are clueless about EVIDENCE.

    If you wish to disuade those on the right of their “shilobeth’s”
    Try doing so with “FACTS, LOGIC, REASON”

    That is actually of Critical importance.

    If you can not do so – then it is YOU that is clinging to some “conspiracy theory”.

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      October 8, 2021 8:29 pm

      Dave: Yes, the cities with the most Draconian gun laws are also the most violent… but they’d be even more violent without those laws. And these days, those cities are afraid to rev up police presence on their streets… (because BLM).

      For factual evidence, look no further than the drop in gun crimes after the temporary ban on semi-automatic weapons during the Clinton administration.

      • October 11, 2021 12:45 pm

        “Dave: Yes, the cities with the most Draconian gun laws are also the most violent… but they’d be even more violent without those laws.”

        Evidence ?

        There have been myriads of studies of guns and gun laws throughout the world.
        There is only a single correlation between strong gun laws and ANY positive benefit anywhere – and that is a significant reduction in male suicides in countries with draconian gun laws.

        I have not yet seen comparative data – but violent crime rates throughout Europe have been doubling over the past decade – mostly as a consequence of extremely high rates of violence among immigrants.

        I expect that when we start to see comparative data that most of the advantage that Europe has had in rates of violence will have disappeared.

        Scotland has rates of violence equal to the US – without guns.

        And we are seeing murders in London with knives or even just beating people to death.

      • Ron P permalink
        October 11, 2021 4:12 pm

        You might want to check your information concerning Scotland. other than assaults, the USA exceeds every other crime by a good multiplier over Scotland and even in the assaults, serious assaults is much higher in the USA.
        https://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/Scotland/United-States/Crime

      • October 11, 2021 4:47 pm

        Your data only goes to 2012.

        As I noted in my post – Europe has seen significant escallation in violent crimes over the past decade almost certainly a consequence of vastly increased immigration.

        I have also noted here before that the crime rates of just about every country can be directly predicted by that countries demographics.

        In 2011 Scottland was 97% white according to Wikipedia.

        In the US the white crime rate is about 1/2 the crime rate in the country as a whole.
        Pretty much the same as Scottland in 2012.

        HEre is what has been happening in Sweden since they increased their immigrant population to 10% of the country.

      • October 11, 2021 2:12 pm

        The AWB started in 1994.

        The US Violent Crime rate peaked in 1992.
        It has declined steadily without any connection to the AWB through 2014 were it approximately leveled off, until it started rising again recently.

        The Firearm crime rate follows the same pattern.

        There is no statistically significant correlation between the AWB and anything.

        This is to be expected – the AWB “banned” “Scarry” looking weapons.
        It essentially was a ban on having Multiple Scarry looking features.

        It said things like you could have flash supressors, and pistol grips – but not Both in the same gun.

  7. Ron P permalink
    October 8, 2021 2:39 pm

    I have to say that in N.C.,like so many parts of the country, the GOP is as paranoid as the past president they follow.

    https://www.carolinajournal.com/news-article/n-c-house-freedom-caucus-plans-to-inspect-durham-county-voting-machines-for-fraud/?mc_cid=471af49bc5&mc_eid=8f49c0d583

  8. October 8, 2021 3:17 pm

    How can a moderate (or anyone) compete ?

    What is wrong with seeking the truth ?

    Your post dictates your specific perception of the world – as if it is already proven as truth.

    You make no effort to provide evidence to support your claims.

    Regardless, none of us – left, right, moderate, libertarian, are entitled to structure the world as we wish through force.

    You bemoan that you “can not compete with fanatics”.
    In a race no matter how many competitors only one person wins.

    Why are you posting ? To impose your will by force ? or to persuade ?

    People are unfortunately persuaded many ways.

    In 2017 the media, the left, democrats told us all that people had been persuaded by a few idiotic facebook posts purportedly from Russians.

    It is self evident reading TNM that some people are persuaded by appeals to authority, and others by appeals to emotion.

    If you wish to persaude me – Facts, Logic Reason.

    Ultimately I hope and beleive that is the most effective way to persuade most people.

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      October 8, 2021 8:30 pm

      Where do I talk about FORCING everyone to follow a moderate course? Sheesh.

  9. October 8, 2021 3:29 pm

    Your ability to do those things you cite as giving meaning to your live in your last paragraph,

    To enjoy nature, to seek love, to read whatever appeals to you.

    Unfortunately REQUIRES constant political vigilance.

    “”It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.”

  10. David permalink
    October 9, 2021 12:01 am

    Rick, how can you claim to be a moderate and support Joe Biden? Biden is not a moderate, never has been, and never will be! Maybe change your positional theory to being an independent. “The New Independent.”

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      October 10, 2021 12:33 pm

      My friend, I’m not an uncritical supporter of Joe Biden. I voted for him because 1) I believed (and still do) that Trump was a reckless and dishonest rabble-rouser who pretended to love ordinary Americans but did everything he could to favor the rich, and 2) unlike recent presidents, Biden can relate to the neglected working class and middle class, who have been screwed by the system and maligned by social justice warriors. He’s far from perfect, and he’s more liberal than I expected, given his past record. But I still prefer him to his predecessor.

      • Ron P permalink
        October 10, 2021 2:20 pm

        Rick, I agree 1005 with point #1 in why someone would choose Biden, but #2 really? Someone who has spent 48 years inside the beltway? Someone who is a millionaire?

        He might not be a Trump or Bloomberg in his net worth, but he sure as hell has never had issues to face like most middle class Americans.Hunter Biden attended Georgetown University, not one that a middle class father could afford.

        Biden worked for a law firm before 1973, earning about $43,000 per year ($250,000 in today’s dollars, adjusted for inflation). That was not middle class!

        I think you might need to reconsider “middle class Joe” and what he really was. In 1973, middle class was considered $12,157 a year. Middle class joe made 21 times what middle class made. Middle class today is $79,900, so he would be making $1.6M a year using that same

        Even in 1990 with just his senators salary, he was making twice what the average american made.

        Sorry, but Joe Biden has never lived like a poor or middle class American, has never worried about when and if his job was in danger of being eliminated, has never had to put up with crappy bosses, his kids never attended crappy public schools and he has never had to worry about healthcare for his family.

      • Ron P permalink
        October 10, 2021 2:23 pm

        Typo, 3.5 times middle class, not 12 times

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 11, 2021 9:49 am

        Rick, Biden, who owns four homes and is a multimillionaire (almost certainly a billionaire by now), as are most members of his family (son, daughter, brother, sister), is not a ‘middle-class Joe, by any means. I will grant you that Biden has, over the years, skillfully cultivated the image of himself as a working-class guy, but, the reality is that that has never been true. He was elected to the Senate when he was 28, and never looked back, certainly not to Scranton, PA,from which he falsely claims to hail (his family moved when he was a child of 10). Or, perhaps I should say that he looks back every time he is in the middle of a political campaign, but, otherwise, shares nothing with the working -class types of Scranton.

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 11, 2021 10:03 am

        Oops, maybe he “only” owns 3 at the moment.
        https://www.homesandgardens.com/news/joe-biden-house

        Point being, he has never been “middle-cless,” and he is certainly a very wealthy man now. And that vast weath has come from….?

      • October 11, 2021 4:51 pm

        A relevant question is how is it that people who spend their lives in public service end up multimillionaires – well beyond anything their salaries would have produced.

        This is incredibly common.

        It is NOT however a sign of being a “common man”.

        I have no interest in guessing whether Trump’s connection with the working class is genuine – on his part or not.

        It is absolutely genuine on the part of the working class, and it is earned – not by Trump’s motives, but by his fruit.

    • October 11, 2021 2:40 pm

      Just to be clear – this is not me.

      In response Biden is a Chimera. He is whatever he thinks he should be at the moment.

      He has been a drug warrior in the past.
      Today he is a progresive.

      I would say who knows what he will be tomorow
      But I think we are past Joe Biden being in control of who Joe Biden is.

  11. October 11, 2021 5:38 pm

    And here is some of the fallout from the Covid stupidity that flows to frequently even here.

    If it was self evident that the vaccine was an excellent idea for absolutely everyone and that getting more people to take it would end Covid – mandates would STILL be a bad idea.

    We are seeing versions of this across the country – Amazon has stopped giving employees drug tests – because they can not afford to lose people if they test positive.

    How are they going to manage even small losses from vaccine mandates ?

    In January the economy was supposed to be ready to explode to burst free post covid.

    Today neither Covid nor the economy are as expected.

    So of course we should poor cold water on the economy and spent trillions of dollars – who needs a job and who cares if prices skyrocket ?

    https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/rick-moran/2021/10/10/southwest-cancels-1800-flights-is-there-a-sickout-over-the-vaccine-mandate-n1522911

  12. October 11, 2021 5:46 pm

    If you do not think the 2020 election was lawless – this nonsense in VA went on during 2020, and they are now trying to bring it back to Save McAlulfie.

    It is not like the election law is unclear.

    Whether you are republican or democrat. Whether you like a law or not
    ENFORCE THE LAW AS WRITTEN,

    Anything less is lawless.

    If you do not like a law – work to change it – properly, through legislation.

    Not by personal fiat of the governor.

    https://spectator.org/va-dems-want-last-minute-voting-rule-change/

  13. October 11, 2021 7:32 pm

    Tulsi Gabbard on The totalitarian nature of elites in the Biden administration.

    https://amgreatness.com/2021/10/10/the-left-got-what-it-wanted-so-now-what/

  14. October 11, 2021 7:41 pm

    Free Speech over Beer.

  15. October 11, 2021 7:51 pm

    Fox reports on 60 Minutes going after Nancy Pelosi for insider Trading.

    https://rumble.com/vnk9e8-watters-world-investigates-pelosi…-sure-looks-like-insider-trading.html

  16. October 11, 2021 8:08 pm

    Former Biden Border Patrol official speaks out.

    What is going on is really really dangerous – The large issues that are dominating the news are actually distracting from even worse problems border patrol faces.

    Beyond the almost 2M who crossed illegally this year another 400K crossed without any encounter with CBP. these people almost certainly paid extra to get accross without encountering law enforcement and they are likely very dangerous. These people are likely drug dealers, foot soldiers for drug dealers criminals, or even terrorists.

    https://rumble.com/vndr1u-former-biden-official-makes-stunning-claim-about-president-s-border-policy.html

  17. October 11, 2021 8:51 pm

    Again there is a much better video on this on Youtube by Dave Rubin but can’t link to Youtube.

    Rep. Rashid Taib admitting on camera that masks are for show and that she only wears them when republicans are arround.

    https://rumble.com/vnkysx-reprehensible-wait-till-you-see-what-this-democrat-lawmaker-just-admitted.html

    • October 11, 2021 8:52 pm

      Search this on Youtube
      Rashida Tlaib Caught Admitting on Camera that Masks Are for Show

  18. Priscilla permalink
    October 11, 2021 8:56 pm

    Has an American president ever threatened citizens ~ any citizens ~ with firing by private corporations, if they did not do as that President commanded? Not that I am aware. In fact, I am not aware of any president commandng that any citizen (and this does not apply to illegal migrants, which is why I specifically use the word “citizen”) to submit to a medication or vaccine injected into their body, or lose their God-given freedoms and/or their unalienable rights.

    And, in particular, did an American president ever say that he ~ and the “good citizens” of America ~ have begun to “lose patience with the “bad citizens,” who have already had covid, or who have religious or health concerns about the vaccine, or who may believe that they are sovereign over their own bodies?

    Lose patience? What does that mean, exactly? That those people are inferior, lower in status, more unclean than the “good citizens,” and therefore, the president is within his rights and powers to punish them by rendering them second-class citizens, unable to work, unfit to be parents?

    Note: I am not talking about putting the “good folks” in danger. First of all, those wonderful, open-minded folks are protected from the virus, by the very fact that they are vaccinated, right? Secondly, there are many, many unvaccinated American citizens, including our elected leaders, who are 100% exempt from the vaccine mandates, and do not need to “present their papers” to the authorites in order to work. Teachers, postal workers, and others who are exempt by presdential edict, need only to agree to testing… or not even that.

    And, I ‘m not talking about states, or local school districts, or private businesses that freely and independently decide to enact mandates. That is constitutional. I’m talking about FEDERAL medical mandates, ordered unilaterally by the president. Or even Tony Fauci.

    As I’ve said before, I am vaccinated. I have been vaccinated against polio, smallpox, meningitis, tetanus, malaria, shingles, and maybe more ~ I can’t even remember. I’m old enough to have already had measles, mumps and chicken pox, but I made sure that my kids got those (well, not chicken pox, since they pre-dated that one). What I am against is the creation of second-class citizens, through the issuing of an unconstitutional, federal mandate by the man who was elected to enforce our duly enacted laws…

    I’m interested in discussing the reasons that I am wrong to think that federal vaccine mandates, vaccine passports, different rights and freedoms for vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans, etc. are dangerous and immoral. Don’t hold back!

    • Ron P permalink
      October 11, 2021 9:40 pm

      First of all, I have not problem with any employer mandating their employees be vaccinated. That is their right and it is the right of the employee to follow those policies or seek opportunities elsewhere. And that goes for healthcare, state employee, federal employee, military and the corner pet food store owner with 5 employees.

      But I do not support the president in his ordering employers, through OSHA, to mandate vaccines. But I have said for years that we are the crabs slowly warming in the crab pot. Is it getting hot yet? I have also said for years that congress has relinquished its responsibility .and turned over way too much authority to the president. I can not put down the original powers that the founding fathers gave the president constitutionally, but they were very very limited. Unlike today where we have a pseudo-dictator (no matter the party) that can wave his magic wand and people have to jump when he says jump. So why are we surprised that Biden has ordered all employers top require vaccines or be fined?

      But there are many people like me that are losing patience with what is being done with regulations. Not because of how Biden puts it, But I am sick of wearing a mask when I am vaccinated. I am sick of politicians making rules for 100% of the people to follow when 60% have followed recommendations and been vaccinated. So my patience with the unvaccinated is wearing very thin and I am not a nice person for anyone that is not vaccinated to be around because they will hear just how tired I am of the crap we have to follow because of their stupidity.

      Yes I know there are some that can not get vaxed, but they are a very small number. It is the ones that want to take horse dewormer medicines if they get covid and won’t get vaccinated because of side effects. Yes, If i were a woman 18-40, I would not get the J&J vaccine due to blood clotting. But that is not present with the other two. If I had a young son, I would gather all the info on pfizer and moderna and talk with pediatricians due to the cardiac issues, and might choose J&J since it does not have that side effect on them, But there are choices after consulting with doctors.

      And my patience and sympathy is -0- when I read about anyone dying now from covid. And yes, if they have kids, I have sympathy for the family because they are the ones suffering from the actions of those that refused the vaccine.

      But in this country we have two groups that will never agree on anything, especially this. I complained about stupidity of the government and closing all the businesses and forcing lines at big box stores, all while doing little to protect seniors in nursing homes. That has since been proven correct with investigations. But now we still have mama government trying to protect their subjects with regulations that many are finding ways to get around.

      Like the new mesh mask that some parents are putting on kids, but are nothing more than a fine material that has openings like screening on a window.

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 11, 2021 11:39 pm

        Ron, We agree on two important points, although I have a key reservation about one. We absolutely agree that no president has the constitutional power to force private companies to fire the unvaccinated. We also agree that private businesses and corporations do have the right to require that their employees get certain vaccinations. I have serious reservations around the hand-in-glove, “you do what I want, and your company will get what you want” relationship that currently exists between the administration and big business. Seems like fascism to me, and I don’t like to throw that word around. But, that’s another topic that we can discuss.

        I strongly disagree with your take on the 20% or so of American adults who have chosen not to get vaccinated. Many of those people have immunity from having had covid, and that is as good or better than the mRNA shots, which are proving not to be particularly effective for very long. Other people have serious reservations about the life-threatening side effects of the vaccines, particularly the clotting disorders and the relatively high incidence of myocarditis in young, healthy men and boys. Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland have now banned the Moderna vaccine for those under 30, and Iceland has banned it for everyone. The risk is too high for those who are at very low risk of serious covid.

        As far as those young people beng a threat to others, that is simply not true. Anyone, vaccinated or not, can catch and spread covid. The virus will not go away, as it is endemic in nature ~ it’s been found in deer, cattle, camels, and bats, as well as cats and dogs. Covid, like many other coronaviruses, such as the common cold, is here to stay.

        And it will mutate. Viruses all do. And, pretty soon, the current vaccines will be useless against the newer variants. The key to controlling covid will be therapeutics. Of course, vaccines are much more popular with the pharma companies.

        Blaming the small number of unvaccinated people, many of who already have natural immunity, is simply creating a dissident group with lesser rights and freedoms, that can be controlled with force. Just politics.

        Biden has said ~ clearly, and many times ~ that Trump was responsible for every single covid death that occurred during his presidency. That seems unreasonable, but Biden insists that it’s true.

        As of right now, according to Johns Hopkins statistics, more people have died of covid under Joe Biden than under Trump. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2021/oct/8/more-americans-have-died-covid-under-biden-trump-j/

        Hmmm, I wonder why Biden wants to blame these deaths on something other than his own mishandling of the virus?

      • Ron P permalink
        October 12, 2021 11:49 am

        Priscilla, my point was made in the third paragraph. I don’t care if your vaccinated or not. What pisses me off is the fact I have to follow rules to protect those 20% you state have good reason not to vaccinate. If they don’t want to vaccinate fine, but government needs to leave me alone and everyone else alone that vaccinated and let us lead our lives as we want. And if that means not wearing masks and doing other things they say the unvaccinated should not, then that is our decision.

        As for those that had the virus, they are part of my comment in the 4th paragraph. Yes it is estimated that natural immunity last from 7 months to a couple years. It all has to do with the severity of the case the person had and the immune response that their body created, much like the vaccines that are showing they work for 7-8 months and then begin to wane. That is why they now have the pfizer booster since it seems to wear off faster than then others.

        I also stated that there are reasons to avoid certain vaccines as you commented about the cardiac issues with young men. I also mentioned women and J&J. That is all decisions one needs to make with their doctor. But when making those decisions one needs all the info, not just social media info. Such as the number of young men who contact the virus have a 6 times greater risk of myocarditis than those receiving the vaccine. So they need to weigh the risk and chances of getting the virus and then developing myocarditis without vaccine against the risk of getting the vaccine and developing myocarditis, and all of that is mathematical equations that I can’t take the time to identify right now. But for women, refusing the J&J seems like a wise choice since the Pzizer and Moderna are available.

        So after 180M Americans have received one of these vaccines, there are another 60M to 70M eligible to get vaccinated but have not. When there are still 1000-2000 deaths each day from covid over the past month and 95% of those are among the unvaccinated, my thinking is the greatest majority of those 70M are relying on social media data that has no useful purpose other than to divide the country for political reasons and nothing more.

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 12, 2021 12:51 pm

        “What pisses me off is the fact I have to follow rules to protect those 20% you state have good reason not to vaccinate.”

        I’m not sure that the government is tryng to protect the unvaccinated, Ron. I think that the refusal to lift restrictions such as mask-wearing, etc. has more to do with a reluctance to acknowledge that many, if not most of those restrictions, are not working. Also, 47 states still have “emergency” powers in place, allowing their governors to sign executive orders whenever they feel the need. NJ gov, Phil Murphy, just reinstated an outdoor mask mandate, which has been widely ignored, particularly at football games.
        But he still gets to be a little tyrant when he chooses! If the emergency ended, due to our having 3 vaccines and several therapeutics, with more in the pipeline, he might have to go back to being a constitutional chief executive of a state, as opposed to a little king of that state, lol….

        Nations that have declared an end to the covid emergency, such as the Scandinavian countries, have not seen any resurgence in the virus. And when there is a resurgence, as there was in FL a month or so ago, it recedes in response to the effectieness of the vaccines and therapeutics.

        There is simply no reason to treat you. or me. or anyone else, as if we did not have the right to decide what might keep us safe. I haven’t worn a mask in months, other than to go to a doctor’s office, or enter a store that mandates it.

        A bit off topic for this discussion, but a large scale study out of British Columbia seems to indicate that there is no need for boosters in people who have received 2 shots of any of the the 3 available vaccines, at least 4-6 weeks apart (that’s more than the 3-4 weeks that the US has used). The study also shows that same efficacy even if the shots are mixed and matched, i.e. Pfizer with Astra-Zeneca (I guess they don’t have J&J, but A-Z is bssically the same) oe Moderna and Pfizer, etc. That’s very good news, although I wonder how much press it will get, since it isn’t meant to scare the pants off people….
        https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/canada-vaccine-effectiveness-data-delayed-doses-mixing-matching-covid-19-vaccines-1.6205993

        In any case, Ron, thanks for clarifying your position on this ~ I think I was lumping you into the pro-mandate crowd, even though you clearly are not part of that…

      • Ron P permalink
        October 12, 2021 1:42 pm

        “I think I was lumping you into the pro-mandate crowd”

        OH MY GOD…!

        man did I give the wrong impression!! That is the last thing I am for. But right there with it is the following of false data on social media.

        last words on that!

        As for your comment about mask wearing, we have local governments that have passed mask mandates, so if I drive 3 miles to the grocery store in my county, I have to wear one even though almost 70% of eligible individuals have received at least one shot.. If I don’t, they can be fined. Not sure how much, not interested. And stores are enforcing that requirement.

        I can also drive 5 miles to the same named store, but in a different county and not have to wear a mask. That is what I usually do. But going to any business like big box stores, shopping malls etc and anything inside masks are required in this county, as well as any of the other democrat controlled counties. Any of the GOP controlled counties are mask free.

        As for the article, this is the type of info that needs to be provided. Looks like there intervals shows the first shot is effective for 4-6 months and their second shot is like the boosters we are starting to give to people with 2 shots already.

        As for other countries, Sweden did do one thing that has protected them from new variants. They shut their borders early on so it limited any spread of the second wave just as Canada has done.

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 12, 2021 6:31 pm

        “OH MY GOD…!”

        Hahaha! I should have known better, after all of these years, that that would be the last thing that you would want!

      • October 13, 2021 12:15 am

        Even the CDC is now reporting that of the 700K Covid deaths only 5% or less are FROM Covid. The rest are With Covid i.e. people who were already dying from something else.

      • Francisco A Figueroa permalink
        October 12, 2021 12:07 pm

        I just want to congratulate you, Priscilla and Ron, for the civil and informational discourse. We need much more of this and hats off to you both for being role models in this manner.

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 12, 2021 12:30 pm

        Thank you, Francisco. Ron is particularly reasonable, which makes debate civil and more productive. 🙂

      • Ron P permalink
        October 12, 2021 1:19 pm

        Thank you for the positive feedback. Please join the discussion!

      • October 12, 2021 4:36 pm

        I think we all agree that Government should not be coercing businesses.

        Personally that would be Federal, State and local government.

        But the constitution DOES leave room for States to do this.

        There are plenty of people who have excellent reasons to not vaccinate.
        There are even more with good reasons.
        There are many with completely stupid reasons.

        Each of us is free to judge our neighbors choices.
        We are NOT free to FORCE them.

        Employers can mandate or not – and Employees can quit, be fired, strike, sick-out, …

        I strongly suspect most employers will NOT mandate.

        Businesses can not afford to be that coercive either with employees or customers.

        But that is for the management of each business to decide.

        I have noted before Amazon is so busy they have suspended mandatory drug screening.

        Do you honestly think they would force Vaccinations when they can nto afford the small losses of workers from Drug screens ?

      • Ron P permalink
        October 12, 2021 6:13 pm

        “Do you honestly think they would force Vaccinations when they can nto afford the small losses of workers from Drug screens ?”

        Guess we will see what happens in about 100 days or so when the federal mandate takes effect. After a few rotorooters up the nose, either they will quit or vaccinate.

    • October 12, 2021 3:30 pm

      I am also vaccinated – and I had the Booster – so I have been jabbed 3 times, and the last really slammed me.

      The more I learn the more I question the Vaccine.

      First while there is evidence that it is of some benefit, at the same time throughout the US and the world there has not been much variation in the way Delta has progressed based on Vaccination level. Though it is early to tell.

      Regardless, hospitalizations and deaths are following the same patterns they did as C19 spread through the country in 2020 and then again in early 2021.

      There is no statistically significant difference between states with high vaccination rates and ones with low ones.

      There is a growing body of evidence that the Vaccine is being administered incorrectly (and dangerously) and that CDC, FDA, WHO, etc are ignoring this.

      • Ron P permalink
        October 12, 2021 6:40 pm

        Dave it is information like this spread around the internet with no data to back up the information that gives credence to the many that refuse to vaccinate for reasons that have no medical data to back it up. Please provide proof from some reliable source (not Brietbart, Huff Post, etc) that does not have a political agenda in spreading that news to document your statements.

        1)”throughout the US…. there has not been much variation in the way Delta has progressed based on Vaccination level.”

        How true, but when the virus began we had no vaccine, so everyone was at risk of getting it. Now, the majority of cases are in the unvaccinated population, with some breakthrough cases, and that can be for any number of reasons, either the immunity of the person was not built up when vaccinated or the vaccines immunity had begun to decline, allowing for the breakthrough case. Whatever the reason, the delta variant was much more contagious and spread rapidly through the unvaccinated population. Today, documentation proves that around 95% of all hospitalizations are in the unvaccinated group and 97% of the deaths are now in the unvaccinated.

        2) “hospitalizations and deaths are following the same patterns they did as C19 spread through the country in 2020 and then again in early 2021.”

        Again prove that this is the same with or without vaccine. Don’t just write something and think we will buy it hook line and sinker. Again, they are following the same trend and it is the same trend as before. Unvaccinated were the ones at the biginning. Now the unvaccinated are the one for the most part. And here is a source from a outlet not prone to have a vaccine agenda that provides this info.
        https://www.foxnews.com/health/covid-19-hospitalizations-nonvaccinated

        Now if you look at various parts of the country you will find in some areas those percentages are lower. Could be the type of vaccine administered, such as Pfizer that seems to wear off faster, could be patients age, any number of reasons. Now in my part of the country in central section of N>C>, it is in the high 90% of hospitalizations and almost 99% of deaths are among the unvaccinated.

  19. Priscilla permalink
    October 12, 2021 7:24 pm

    I think you both make good points.

    We may be dosing people too heavily with the vaccines, by giving them at too short intervals. I got my J&J shot more than a year after I recovered from covid, but a test showed that I still had antibodies. I wonder if that would explain the fact that the shot knocked me on my butt? These things need to be studied globally, but it strikes me that too many politicians, all over the world, are more interested in leveraging the virus for their own power than truly “following the science.”

    I’ve read that Pfizer and Moderna are almost identical, except that Moderna is much stronger ~ almost 10 times stronger, and that might explain why many people get a strong reaction after their 2nd shot. It would also tend to explain why Pfizer wears off sooner. To Ron’s point, I don’t really know what I’m talking about, but all of these things need to be investigated, and certainly should be before we go around mandating a “one size fits all” vaccination strategy.

    Unfortunately, the pharma companies have made tens of $billions$ on these vaccines, and they must be reluctant to get off the gravy train to investigate some of the more concerning side effects of the vaccines. That’s the big problem with eliminating liability for the pharmas.

    I’m looking forward to the Merck pill getting approved (even if it is just a more expensive version of the “horse dewormer!”). Then, maybe the covid vaccines will be treated more like the flu shots ~ people will be encouraged to get them, not forced to…

    • Priscilla permalink
      October 12, 2021 8:03 pm

      Another thing that would be interesting to discuss is Africa, which has, for all intents and purposes, not been part of the pandemic.

      Of course, Africa has bigger fish to fry, as far as infectious diseases go ~ like malaria and ebola, both of which are orders of magnitude more deadly than covid. The other thing is that hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin are sold over the counter in at least some African countries. (My daughter, studied in South Africa for a year, and I remember how amazed I was that she could buy codeine cough syrup over the counter.)

      These are things that doctors and scientists should be able to freely discuss and put the info out there for us…..

      • Ron P permalink
        October 12, 2021 11:47 pm

        “I remember how amazed I was that she could buy codeine cough syrup over the counter.”

        I can only imagine what could happen with information concerning new treatments and vaccines if the information was shared freely over the internet. I don’t have a problem with open discussions, but just think of how that can be twisted, both good and bad.

        Years ago in the late 1800’s-early 1900’s we had “snake oil” dealers selling bottles of whatever. Years ago opium was legal and considered for any number of ailments. One use was to smoke it in a pipe for relaxation and pain relief, but one of the side effects was a “high”. People called that felling a “Pipe Dream”

      • October 13, 2021 11:09 pm

        We are in far more danger NOT having the information.

        It appears that the method of administering the vaccine is likely the cause of the high incidence of myopericarditis.

        And that this is easily corrected.

        But that is not happening – why ? Because the safer administration of the vaccine would cause more pain. and fewer people would get it.

        Worse every dose you get increases your odds of getting not just myopericarditis – but severe possibly lethal myopericarditis.

        It is a form of Russian roulette.
        If you accidentally get an IV rather than IM shot – which is just random chance, That shot will cause mild heart and liver damage.

        But the NEXT – even if administered correctly could kill you, or disable you for life.

        Young, old, does not matter.

      • Ron P permalink
        October 13, 2021 11:14 pm

        Dave, Please provide documentation supporting the comments you made concerning the method of administration and the increase risk with more doses. I am unable to find any internet link that supports those two points in your comment.

      • October 16, 2021 4:15 pm

        Media on Same study
        https://joomi.substack.com/p/vax-injected-mice

      • Ron P permalink
        October 17, 2021 12:12 am

        Dave, I read, or tried to read what you shared. Much of it was way over my head, so I could have missed the piont. But what I saw was the same thing as we see most of the time in the media. That the risk of cardiac problems, although they occur, are small in numbers. for instance, if I read the military one right, 23 males out of 2.8M given had a reaction. That is .0008214%. That is even much lower than what is spread on social media.

        And in response to “Ron some of what you are writing sounds an awful lot like those afraid that the Covid Vaccine is going to alter their DNA and report to Biden what they are up to.”

        How you came up with that must have been when you were in a “pipe dream” because nothing I have said sounds like the idiocy on the internet. I have said I will follow what my doctor recommends. I have said I will not pay attention to anything on social media when it comes to decisions. Others will and those are the ones I was commenting on. They can make teir own decisions just as I make mine.I did say that people in certain age groups and sex should follow doctors advice after discussing blood clots and cardiac issues. But that was all.

        As for yur comment about LLC’s. I looked up some info and one report said since 2019 there have been over 900,000 California citizens file as LLC’s. The filing can be done with internet forms, you pay $75.00 and then each year pay an LLC tax or fee of $800.00. many of those filing are truckers that formed their one one man company.

        And after reading some of the information concerning LLC’s, it seems like it is of benefit to a trucker to be in an LLC where company assets are subject to creditors, but personal assets are not if the proper book keeping provides specific divisions between the two.

        So XYZ Freight Co. contracts wil ABC trucking LLC to provide one truck and one driver, along with the proper liability and other legal mumbo jumbo to move freight as assigned.

        thank you for this info, If you see anything where CA changes the LLC laws for trucking, please let us know.

      • October 17, 2021 4:27 pm

        I doubt that CA can change LLC laws that much.

        These laws are part of a significant body of laws that is defined by interstate compacts.
        PA recognizes CA LLC’s and visa versa.

        Anything beyond twiddling at the edges violates the compact and that has repercussions accross the country.

        CA does not want other states to refuse to recognize CA businesses.

      • October 16, 2021 4:16 pm

        This is in humans.

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8216670/

      • October 16, 2021 4:19 pm

        A study identifying instances of Myopericarditis in previously healthy adult military males after taking the Covid Vaccine

        https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34185045/

      • October 16, 2021 4:21 pm

        The ddg search terms I used
        “covid vaccine myopericarditis mouse study”

        There is alot more.

      • October 13, 2021 11:13 pm

        Years ago there were all these problems – and yet we were NOT dropping like flies from snake oil.

        Years ago Opium was readily available – and yet the entire country was not opium addicted.

        The “cure” to the problems you note in the past – did not fix anything.

        Selling “snake oil” is both fraud and a tort. It has always been. It was never legal, and we did not need a special govenrment agency to protect us from ourselfves.

      • Ron P permalink
        October 13, 2021 11:39 pm

        There seems to be a very different population than there was years ago. I don’t remember any massive effort to create doubt with the public about the polio vaccines when they came out. There were many scientist that argued against the Salk vaccine, and even the WHO said it would need further testing, but there was no wide spread movement to make people hesitant like there has been with this vaccine.

        Even you are writing comments that you are not documenting that could be used by hundreds of others to spread on social media and they could impact thousands of others into thinking the same. Society today is split into tribes that have their social media platforms to spread the word of their witch doctors if the information is not proven, while the other tribes may not spread any news or only spread documented news.

        I have no idea what the outcome of any vaccines are going to be. I can only go by what my doctor tells me just like following instructions for other medical issues that require medical attention. I don’t pay attention to witch doctor information like Ivermectin, HCQ or other non approved medications. One will have to wait and see what the new Merck drug brings fro treating Covid.

        If it is approved, I will be interested to see if the anti-vaxers are more inclined to take it because the way it works seems like voodoo science. It tricks the coronavirus into using the drug to try to replicate the virus’s genetic material. Once that process is underway, the drug inserts errors into the genetic code. Where else will that genetic error end up in the body?

      • October 16, 2021 5:05 pm

        Ron,

        How often am I actually wrong on an issue of Fact ?

        How often has Faucci been Wrong ?

        You are free to beleive whoever you wish about whatever you wish, but wise people will accept what those with a track record of accuracy say over those without – regardless of credentials of cites.

        Might others read what i say and decide not to vaccinate ?
        Sure, and I have no problems with that.
        Just as some may read what I say and choose to vaccinate.

        Regardless, each of us is individually responsible for ALL our choices – including that of Vaccinating.

        If I am providing Bad information – which I am not, that damages my credibility – rightly.

        But the choice is STILL yours.

        I have to cull through the data and the remarks of people I trust to reach my own choices.

        I continue to trust some “experts” because they have a track record of being correct.

      • October 16, 2021 5:20 pm

        Ron some of what you are writing sounds an awful lot like those afraid that the Covid Vaccine is going to alter their DNA and report to Biden what they are up to.

  20. Vermonta permalink
    October 13, 2021 12:18 pm

    “My remaining time on this mysterious planet is growing shorter every day. I’d prefer to spend those days romping in nature, exploring backwaters of history, finding lasting love, reading at least ten percent of the unread books on my shelves, writing one or two more under my own name, seeing my teenage son graduate to fulfilling manhood, and being of service to my fellow humans. Can you blame me?”

    1) Not at all! Do that, do as much as possible of that, every day.

    2.) On vaccines. My 90 year old father and his 88 year old wife got Covid about 10 days back. They were quarantined in their Apt at the Springs. They had a bad time for a week but are alive today and recovering. Both had been fully vaccinated. I cannot prove they would be dead today if they had not been vaccinated but its very likely. Will be getting my booster. I am looking into the possibility of having an oxygen tank in my home, just in case.

    3.) Moderates still have power Rick, unorganized as it is, it is mostly seen in general elections and rarely seen in primaries. That is an important part of our woes.

    4.) I just found this post, just got home from New Mexico. Ricks comments are interesting, the discussion following it, well, I read next to none of it, it has its usual form, which is just not worth time taken from responsibilities and pleasures.

    5.) I spend less than 100th of the time under Biden agonizing over politics and reading the news that I did under trump. That is a blessing to my life. History usually moves at glacial speed compared to the timescale of a person’s life. Every once in a while it moves at lightening speed. I will be most interested to see what shape the culture wars have taken by the end of my life if I live as long as my parents. It seems to me we have a noisy stalemate in spite of the loudness of the rancid ignoramuses of the political class red and blue who make the news each night and the commentary from other jackasses and cult leaders about the first set of poisoners. Will it seem so in 25 years or will it seem that one side slowly became dominant?

    6.) Both parties are driven by people who are delusional who are fighting wars about policies that will never happen. Neither party or ideology deserves power. Stalemate is the result as of today.

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      October 20, 2021 12:41 am

      Roby: First, welcome back from New Mexico. (One of my favorite states.) Yes, I’ll be weaning myself off day-to-day politics while focusing more on the culture wars. (I’m curious to see who prevails, too — I hope it’s the sensible apolitical middle, and not the wokesters OR the Trumpsters.) I’ll probably be sounding more cynical and flippant in my attacks on the extremists, but I’ll be promoting old-fashioned moderate virtues as well. And then there’s the lure of real life — savoring what’s left of it for a fellow of my advancing years.

      • October 21, 2021 1:40 pm

        What in your view is the difference between “the culture wars” and “politics” ?

        I do not see any.

        If there ever was a difference – I do not see one now.

        I would note that until they became entirely bat$hit crazy I supported the ENDS that the left sought in the culture wars. Just not their means.

        I stand for freedom.

        If you wish to live with or marry someone of the same sex – you should be free to do so.
        If you wish to live as someone of the opposite sex you were born as – you should be free to do so.

        The limits of your freedom only end when they forceably infringe on the freedom of others.

        If you are free to tell others they must make a cake for your wedding,
        then others are free to tell you who you must marry.

      • October 21, 2021 1:46 pm

        Again you talk about the middle, you talk about moderate – without any defintion.

        What is the apolitical middle in the culture wars ?

        Should each of us be forced to call others by the pronouns they choose ?

        What if I choose “master of the universe” as my pronouns ?

        Should we be free to marry people of the same sex or not ?

        Is there an apolitical middle ground to that ?

        Should we be forced to harness our creativity to advocate for causes we do not support ?

        Is there an apolitical middle ground to that ?

        People will die and kill others for liberty.
        They will not do so for some apolitical middle ground that you can not even define.

      • October 21, 2021 1:51 pm

        What is a moderate virtue ?

        I have been asking for you to come clean on this for nearly as long as I have been here.

        if you stand for nothing you fall for anything.
        Alexander Hamilton.

        As best as I can tell your sole principle is that having principles is wrong.

        Why shouldn’t I have more respect for the wokester who can atleast identify what the believe and attempt to defend it ?

    • November 27, 2021 11:18 am

      The Current US Covid Surge is almost entirely in Blue States.
      The south in particular has declined to almost nothing for the moment.

      We have seen this over and over again, as the virus and mutations roll through the country in patterns.

      I would note that Vermont is now 6th int he nation for new infections per 100K people.
      Almost all of New England is being clobbered – though it appears that the Cities – like NYC that were very bad in the past are doing well right now.

      We can either continue this red/blue Nonsense, or you can accept that Covid does not give a crap about politics or policies.

  21. Priscilla permalink
    October 14, 2021 10:08 am

    Roby, glad that you are enjoying the Biden admin, and not stresssing over the news. I do agree that reading too much news is stress-inducing.

    That said, I’ve been reading a bit about this supply-chain crisis, which has been described as a “truck driver shortage.” Yet, apparently, much of the problem is being caused by union regulations and California laws, restricting those who can actually transport goods throught the state.

    For example, traditionally the ports have been served by many owner-operators (non union). California has now essentially banned owner operators. That has drastically reduced the numbers of truckers that can transport from the Cali ports. There is a case pending certiorari by SCOTUS. https://www.overdriveonline.com/home/article/15279478/truckings-ab-5-independent-contractor-suit-still-pending

    California also passed a law making it illegal to drive a truck older than 10 years, or with an engine manufactured before 2010. Current trucks will be illegal in 2035, when only electric cars and trucks will be allowed in the state, so trucking firms are not investing in new trucks.

    Cargo ships could be re-routed to ports in Texas or Florida, but they then would have to pass through the Panama canal, which would cause a back-up equal to or worse than the current one.

    So, as often happens, government regulations have created a crisis, and now we are looking to that same government to resolve the crisis. Seems like the definition of insanity, no?

    • Ron P permalink
      October 14, 2021 12:51 pm

      Priscilla, please be careful with information since not everything you state here is accurate.

      California has not banned owner operator trucks or drivers. What the new law requires many trucking companies in California, which are normally smaller than the larger national companies, to do is make them employees of the company and follow the regulations of the state concerning union membership, benefits, taxes etc. What these companies have been doing is hiring people, paying them as an independent operator, not paying benefits, social security, or withholding taxes,etc.

      So while one may not agree with the new laws that went into effect that was meant primarily to address the independent employees working in tech, it has also impacted drivers that have been working for trucking companies. And those in Calfornia that believe in regulation until it effect “me” also passed a referendum to exempt Uber and Lyft drivers from that law, even though they are basically employees who have to follow those company rules.

      Also please remember that semi-diesel trucks travel over 100,000 miles a year, many up to 250,000 a year. The life of an engine in one of these trucks is 750,000 to 1 million miles. The IRS depreciation life is 5 years. So most every truck that is 10 years old is ready for or has already had an engine replacement.

      The California law that passed in 2015 states “California fleets must comply with a schedule that requires replacement of engines 20 years and older. Therefore, as of Jan. 1, 2015, trucks in this GVWR range with 1995 engines or older must be replaced with trucks using 2010 engines or newer. A year from now, trucks with 1996 engines or older must be replaced, and so on. Starting January 1, 2020 — if you can think that far ahead — all remaining trucks would need to be replaced with 2010 model-year engines or equivalent emissions by 2023.

      So given this laws timing and the 10 year life of these engines, there most likely are few trucks remaining registered in California that have not had an engine upgrade or been replaced with a newer truck.

      And the ban on gas and diesel is for passenger cars and trucks only, not commercial. But by 2035, this country will have transitioned to electric everything just as we transitioned from the horse an buggy to the model T Ford car. during the early part of the last century. Right now the industry is finding its footing and the limitation on range is the primary reason many refuse to buy an EV. Performance and reliability of those cars and trucks exceed anything gas powered today offers. But the range issues are being addressed. While some are still 175 or so (less on the highways), others are approaching 350 miles. It won’t be long before that is closer to the 400+ miles that many cars can go today. And during this period of advancement, there is going to be some company that jumps in with a national travel center to install fast chargers every few miles across the interstate highways of America at those travel centers, eliminating the range issues that people site as the reason for not considering an EV today. Once one company does it, all the rest will follow suit.

      • Francisco A Figueroa permalink
        October 14, 2021 1:13 pm

        Ron, thank you for the information. I am curious as to your latter statement:
        “But by 2035, this country will have transitioned to electric everything just as we transitioned from the horse an buggy to the model T Ford car.:
        What is your basis for that statement? It sounds more like a hope without some concrete fiat or foregone conclusion. Here is an interesting article on the transition from horse and buggy to combustion engine, with lots of stops and starts and unintended consequences in between.

        https://thetyee.ca/News/2013/03/06/Horse-Dung-Big-Shift/

        Some quotes from the article:

        Congested urban cities such as Vancouver even ran advertisements as early as 1959 asking, “Should we back to the horse and buggy days?”

        “Don’t laugh,” added the poster. Real tests show that “the average speed at which traffic moves through congested areas is less than it was during the horse and buggy days.”

      • Ron P permalink
        October 14, 2021 2:53 pm

        Francisco. thank you for the question and I will try to do better next time backing up what I type.

        I have nothing scientific or financial to document my comment about 2035 and EV’s dominating the market. I only use past decisions made by manufacturers and my own experiences in healthcare.

        !) Using the healthcare issue first, in the early 80’s medicare began changing rules for how, when and why doctors treated patients in and out of the hospital. At that time about 30-35% of most hospitals percent of patients were medicare, but what we experienced was not a two track treatment pattern. When they changed for treatment patterns for medicare, they changed for everyone. So at a certain level, the greatest majority of decisions will become based on the smaller percent of activities since few want to have two ways of doing anything, especially manufacturers.

        2) Commercially, Four states, California, Washington, Oregon and New York combined account for more than 20% of all new vehicle registrations. They have regulations in place that 100% of all new passenger registrations will be EV by 2035, With over 20% of your production being EV’s, I believe that most companies will dedicate most of their production to EV’s. Seems like it would be extremely expensive to produce cars specific to state regulations instead of the type most stringent of the regulations for all.

        In addition, all big four auto companies in America have stated goals to have 50% of their sales EV’s by 2030. GM and Ford and goals for 100% EV by 2035. Soem foreign companies are going EV 100% within a couple years.

        And it appears Ford may have solved the range anxiety issues with the Ford F-150 Lighting already, they just won’t certify that yet. May be so they can use it for the next model and use it for marketing that.
        https://insideevs.com/news/522603/f150-lightning-display-incredible-range/

        Whatever happens, technology will find a way to eliminate range anxiety and when it does, the performance and reliability of electric over gas will promote sales itself. Just the fact that the internal combustion engine has over 2000 moving parts to go wrong and the EV motor has 20 makes the EV much more reliable.

        Even at 75, I am still young enough to enjoy a fast car with high performance. Using the 150 as an example Ford says the F-150 Lightning can tow up to 10,000 pounds. Zero to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds and top speed of 130 mph. You dont get that out of most internal combustion cars, let alone a truck! That is even faster than the Mach-E Mustang.

      • Francisco A Figueroa permalink
        October 14, 2021 6:22 pm

        Ron, I appreciate your elucidation regarding the 2035 forecast. With respect to healthcare, I serve on the Board of a major healthcare system and have some insight on Medicare rules and their effects. Fee for Service (where a provider bills for each service rendered) has long been dominant in US health care and more responsible and responsive healthcare systems have moved and are moving to Fee for Performance (where the provider takes the risk and manages patients’ health care for a capped amount). Medicare has encouraged this but it has been tortuously slow in coming to fruition. Medicare attempts to manage costs by changing reimbursement models but their efforts have been chronically arbitrary and most often lead to unintended consequences. Medicaid is even more problematic, but that is quite off the subject at hand. Let me just leave it that changes and transitions are never smooth and frequently bumpy with prognosticators of technology implementation being left with eggs on their faces.

        To wit: Fusion Energy. This has been the solution to all of our problems for generations. The technology has been “ten years away” for decades. The Department of Energy has spent billions chasing this technology rabbit, but the fusion “rabbit” has consistently stayed a decade away.

        Just because the states you mention have tagged 2035 and the big auto companies have similar goals does not mean they will happen on that schedule. China has stated significant goals…but more often than not, have no intention achieving them.

        I had a hybrid for years and loved it. I was ready to all electric this year…but the models I liked were not anywhere near the range I felt was necessary for my driving habits.

        I have one more year around the sun than you do and also appreciate quick cars. I’ll be ready to go all electric when the market produces them reliably and with sufficient range…but not before.

        By the way, you are correct to point out that fewer parts often portend higher reliability…but manufacturing quality and precision is also a very big factor.

      • Ron P permalink
        October 14, 2021 10:28 pm

        I think over the next 16 years there will be major advances in EV technology. much like the rapid advances in cell phone technology. Most people did not have a smart phone until 2010-2011. so we went from the dumb phone to the technology we have today in just 10 years.

        As for energy, I do not think much of what government does will have major impacts on any changes until the private sector finds how to make it available and make it profitable without having a huge expensive impact on the GDP of the country. I have no idea how or when it will happen, it may never happen. And I suspect when people are spending money for energy and eating beans and rice and they are cold in their homes, politicians will not be keen on furthering more change that will only increase those impacts.

        thank you for the article very interesting read.

      • October 16, 2021 6:47 pm

        The primary reason for lower real speeds today is much higher traffic density.

        How long does it take to Cross Manhattan ?

        Normally it takes the same amount of time in a Ford Focus as a lamborghini Huracane.

        But during the “shutdown” in April 2020 – CanonBall run drivers did it in 5 minutes.

        We are also extremely stupid about traffic control.

        We generally did not use traffic lights in “horse and buggy” days.
        That also helps get high throughput.

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 14, 2021 1:41 pm

        Hey, Ron, thanks for that clarifying info, especially regarding the vehicle matainance timelines. I do think that setting a hard deadline for outlawing internal combustion engines is foolish, but maybe the transition will be more organic that I think!

        I was under the impression that, although California has not “officially” banned owner-operator truckers from working, the new rules are a de facto ban for most non-company/non-union drivers, because they place unaffordable or otherwise unreasonable requirements on companies that use independent contractors, who own their own rigs. For example, the law states that an independent contractor must do work that is “outside of the usual business of the company.” So they’ve essentially made it impossible for a trucking company to hire an independent trucker, who owns his own truck, and buys his own benefits.

        So, aren’t we saying that, going forward, only big corporations with unionized drivers will be allowed to transport goods in and out of California?

      • Ron P permalink
        October 14, 2021 11:04 pm

        Independent contractor, owner-driver. Very interesting. Something that I had little knowledge and now just enough to know I dont know what I am talking about.

        The one thing that is in any employment law determining if a person is an employee or a contractor is the amount of control the “employer” has over the individual. So just using that criteria, I think that SCOTUS looked at the issues in the case and determined that any owner-operator that has a contract with one trucking company is under the control of that one company, assigns that driver to pick up specific loads at specific times and since most are paid at a rate that reimburses for the truck and expenses, plus profit to the driver, it is considered wages. The difference between UBER and LYFT drivers is they can sign in and out when their schedule permits, so they are not under the control of those companies.

        This will be interesting to watch in the future to see if Owner Operators leave CA and go to states that allow those arrangements under contract. If I were an owner operator, I sure would think about it and leave the high taxes of CA in the rear view mirror along with everything else that cost an arm and a leg. With the driver shortages nationally, there is no reason to remain in CA unless something in the family would stop it.

        In 2019. Landstar, one of the national companies that contracted with owner operators sent letters to any driver with a CA address stating they needed to move out of state and haul for one of their companies in another state and if they did that, they could deliver into CA if they wanted, but had to dead head out of the state which makes that trip worthless since picking up loads would make them employed in CA. I suspect many of the drivers have already made the necessary changes and that could be part of the ports shortage of truckers that is referenced when article appear about the supply chain.

        https://www.freightwaves.com/news/california-owner-operators-weigh-options-as-ab5-deadline-looms

      • October 16, 2021 6:48 pm

        What is the difference between a “bann” and making things bad enough that drivers and truck companies refuse to do business ?

      • October 16, 2021 6:56 pm

        Must do work outside the usual business of the company – is idiocy and effectively bans IC’s entirely.

        I would note that idiotic laws like this are usually fairly trivial to work arround.

        If you are an independent Trucker – Go form an LLC. Then you have Adam Smith Trucking co. being hired by John Say Trucking co.

        Ultimately this actually appeals to bigger companies.
        There is very little additional cost or complexity to forming an LLC.
        It is little different for taxes.

        But it makes CLEAR there is a B2B relationship.

        I have an LLC for my Due Diligence work. I can actually get higher fees as a result – I have my own professional and general liability insurance, the companies that hire me have far less risk accross the board. There are always issues with IC’s related to Workers Comp.

        I would further note that Independent Truckers often make as much as 250K/yr or more.
        They do not have problems affording Health Insurance.

      • Vermonta permalink
        October 15, 2021 7:50 am

        “Something that I had little knowledge and now just enough to know I dont know what I am talking about.”

        This makes you actually the wisest person here and the least likely to be full of crap. But, I already knew that.

        A little knowledge is dangerous. The news business has become a propaganda business based on filling people with just enough knowledge to spread misinformation. It does not matter what the ideology of the outlet is, its all clickbait and propaganda. The amount of time and effort it would take a person to actually understand how complex issues are is not something anyone but an actually expert has time or motivation for. So, we get loads of propaganda and hot air from the media and it spreads like wildfire on social media.

        Yet, so far the country is still functioning. Having taken now two cross country trips in a month I was impressed by the airports and the airlines, its a massive undertaking and in spite of huge curve balls from Covid, it functions and everyone, millions of people every week, gets to their destination.

        So, if one ignores the universe of news and political chatter, just goes fishing instead, then its still a pretty good life.

      • Ron P permalink
        October 15, 2021 1:58 pm

        Roby, You may find this appropriate for your comment about news.

        Seems like even Thomas Jefferson began to question truth of media reporting, even back then!

        “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”
        Thomas Jefferson to Dr. James Currie, January 28, 1786

        “Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle.”
        Thomas Jefferson to John Norvell, June 11, 1807

      • October 17, 2021 3:53 pm

        Both are true.

      • Vermonta permalink
        October 15, 2021 8:12 am

        Not that I do not sometimes let something penetrate my defenses and piss me off. Apparently activists are now trying to drive people away from cooking with gas and to electric stoves and using the idea that your gas stove is harming your health based on bullshit science to do that. As earnestly reported on an NPR story I read on my cell phone news feed.

        I don’t think its gonna work. They can have my gas stove when they pry it out of my cold dead fingers. I can imagine the uproar even in Vermont if the legislature would think of trying to shut down the propane business. And, where the hell do they think the electricity comes from, electricity fairies?

        To balance that with some conservative idiocy, in Texas as we know, the actual legislature is trying to shut down abortion, period, using vigilantes.

        On the PC war front, The James Webb telescope will continue to be named as such in a brave action by NASA in the face of a witchhunt by gay activists against his name based on no evidence whatsoever.

        Etc.

        F****** activists, I am so sick of them, no matter what cause they are fanatical about.

      • rondabellelane permalink
        October 17, 2021 5:22 pm

        Thank you for your response. I also personally know that many owner operators put our lives on the road in danger by fudging their sleeping records. Trucking companies with unions are far more responsible to legislation and to helping their employees.

    • October 16, 2021 5:23 pm

      Many pacific Cargo ships will not fit in the Panama Canal.

      Regardless, you have done an excellent job of pointing out the failure of regulations.

    • October 16, 2021 5:32 pm

      One can suffer from far too much news.

      One can also suffer from far too much ignorance.

      One of the reasons democracy is immoral is that a majority that has chosen blissful ignorance can not impose their will on the rest of us over matters they know little or nothing about.

      Thus far Biden has been a disaster as president.

      Robby is free to go fishing and feel otherwise – so long as that mess does not reach him in his fishing hole.

      He is not free to return from his fishing Trips and limit the freedom of the rest of us especially when he is uninformed.

      Further if he was not informed in Nov. 2020 – he could not morally vote.

      • Rick Bayan permalink
        October 20, 2021 12:22 am

        Dave, are you implying that voting should be restricted to the well informed? I thought I was anti-democratic for believing that voters should be literate. 😉

      • October 21, 2021 1:24 pm

        If I have ever attacked you for being “anti-democratic” – that would be because democracy is YOUR value.

        It is NOT mine.

        I am completely with John Stuart Mill.
        No form of government is more repressive or totalitarian than democracy.

        The ability of a king, a dictator to meddle in the affairs of subjects is inconsequential compared to that of our neighbors to insert themselves into and endeavor to control our lives.

        Please do not associate me with “democracy” – that is your ideal, not mine.

        It is my beleif that the republican form of govenrment the constitution guarantees us, is most likely to maximize the freedom I cherish.

        But should that prove wrong – I am NOT wedded on principle to some form of government.

        My problem with socialism is that it intentionally diminishes liberty and it does not work.

      • October 21, 2021 1:30 pm

        A significant part of the conflict between us is that I have principles, and you do not.

        I do not mean that in some nasty way. I am not accusing you of lying cheating, or stealing if expedient.

        What I am saying is that you appear to decide all issues by splitting the baby.

        That to the extent you have any principles it is that the truth must always be between whatever the extremes are.

        I not only do not accept that, but it is inherently false.
        Reality determines truth. Humans choose there relationship to truth.

        Sometimes the right is closer, sometimes the left, sometimes neither.
        On very rare occasions the truth falls in the middle, but not often.

  22. Ron P permalink
    October 14, 2021 3:33 pm

    Well first of all I am not an expert. so I only know what little I have read.

    We have two issues here.
    1. First, I have no idea how and why an independent trucker would ever latch on with a trucking company and be under their control for loads other than they do not have to find loads themselves. I can’t address those issues because all i know is they are basically working for a trucking company. And I have no idea if the trucks are the company trucks or the drivers truck with the company logo on them.

    2. A truly independent trucker owns his own tractor. He then goes to a freight broker for the most part, or a freight dispatcher that has loads at terminals and they have arrangements for the trucker to get paid by the shipper and the broker gets paid somehow. I suspect the shipper gives the money to the broker and the broker takes a cut and pays the trucker when the load is delivered.

    But those drivers are completely independent. They work for no one. They get a load from shipper A through the broker and when delivered, that broker may have a return load from shipper B. if they don’t, then the trucker has to go to another broker to find a load because no one wants to be dead heading for any length of time. An empty truck is only an expense.

    Now for the port issue.

    I am going to be very interested to see just how much the 24/7 schedule changes the problem. One of the major problems with offloading cargo was the lack of space to put the cargo containers due to a shortage of trucks when they were only two shifts. And in most cases, most of the trucks were lined up in the morning or early afternoon because the terminals that the containers were being delivered to were not open 24/7. If the truckers picked up a 8:00 pm and drove 8 hours to their destination, they got there at 4am and many times that terminal was not open. So they drop the container, deadhead back to the port and get another, deliver it and then go back to the first one to finalize that delivery. No trucker want to be doing that.

    The other issue is the shipping container shortage because so much cargo is coming into the USA. Amazon, Fed Ex and others are leasing or buying containers or leasing them so they have something to put their orders in in Asia and that is driving up container cost by up to 300%. But everyone wants and needs their cheaper products, so we live with the polution shipping brings and the shortages during times like this.

    • Priscilla permalink
      October 14, 2021 7:50 pm

      Ron, I think that we are talking about two different types of self-employed truckers: 1) independent truckers. who are essentially entrepreneurs and find their own loads, and 2) owner-operator truckers, who work as independent contractors for other carriers, and are not employees of those carriers. A lot of self-employed truckers are both, but essentially owner-operators negotiate contracts with leasing companies.

      At least that is my understanding.

      I was also listening to a podcast today that was highlighting the fact that longshoremen contracts at the Long Beach and L,A, ports prohibit 24 hour operations, and that, despite what Biden demanded, unionized dock workers are unlikely to support anything like that. Apparently, the L.A. port has said it would use one of its six docks to pilot a 4 day a week/ 24 hour operation, but that’s all right now ~ one dock out of six…

      None of these union issues are new, and none were caused by Biden, but they are serious, and he’s not gonna solve them by saying “Companies gotta step up, man!”. The expert (I forget who he was, but he was a long time dockworker, now retired) said that New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia piers are far more efficient and unload/transport almost twice what the California ports do, partly because the California ports don’t allow truckers to pick up loads on weekends, due to traffic getting too backed up. Even so, there aren’t enough truckers for all of the containers.

      Sounds like a total mess. And one that certainly won’t get resolved by Christmas… maybe next Christmas!

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 26, 2021 9:03 pm

        That makes a lot of sense, Ron. The California trucking regs may eventually be a problem, but, when you see those cargo ships just sitting out in the Pacific, by the dozens, each one with lord knows how many containers on it, the problem is obviously right there.

        Well, that, and the fact that we barely manufacture anything in the US anymore, and, even the stuff we do make here, uses parts from other countries, mostly in Asia…. I’m still waiting on a bed and dresser that I ordered 6 months ago, and the furniture store says that the hold up has something to do with the right size screws not being available to put the damn things together.

      • Ron P permalink
        October 26, 2021 11:32 pm

        OK I have to say that excuse almost has to be true because it is so bad.

        I think I would ask them what size do they need and then go to some salvage yards and look for some of those screws and give them to the store…(yes I might do that since I salvage most anything and love going through junk, but I know you don’t want to spend that time) But dang, stores have many different size screws, seems like they could find something.

        Anyway the cargo containers are either 20 ft or 40 ft in length. About 70% of the containers are 40 ft. The newer cargo ships now used most commonly can carry around 10,000 containers. If they carry 20 ft containers, which many do, they carry 20,000 containers. According to wall street journal t takes 3,000 people working three days in shifts around the clock to unload a giant ship with capacity for 20,000 containers when it stops at one of the world’s biggest ports.For the larger containers where the ship has 10,000, it appear that they are offload in about 24 hours.

        That is just hard for me to comprehend, the volume of products coming into this country around the clock. And each one of those things are then transported by truck or train with no more than two on a flat bed car. No wonder those trains one sees leaving California heading east are over a mile long..

      • October 28, 2021 5:49 am

        There are way more ships off the coast of CA than the ports can handle – there is no doubt.

        But to presume that is the cause is to confuse results with causes.

        I would further ask you to consider the difference between what happened in Early 2020 when there were shortages – of Masks, hand sanitizer, Ventalators, Toilet paper.

        All these were dire and we were told they would not be solved soon.

        Yet, they were temporary.

        Whenever you see enduring problems – particularly economic ones such as shortages – look to government.

        There is no greater system for converting scarcity to abundance than free markets.

        If you see enduring scarcity – you do not have a free market.

      • October 28, 2021 5:55 am

        There has been no decline in US manufacturing, only manufacturing jobs.

      • Ron P permalink
        October 28, 2021 12:20 pm

        Dave, just a little math. Since 2000 in this chart, the dollar amount of manufacturing has increase somewhere around 11%. Inflation has increased since 2000 2.4% a year, so over this 15 year period, prices would increase 36%. Maybe all prices would not have increased this month, but there is very good chance that manufacturing output in the USA declined. Maybe not by 25%, but it is very hard to make the argument it did not decline.

        Might that be why manufacturing employment declined almost 30% over that same period.

        If productivity was the reason for the decline, then there should have been a corresponding 41% increase on manufacturing dollars. (30% productivity plus inflation)
        .

      • October 28, 2021 6:05 pm

        Ron wanted more on the supply chain problems.

        https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/global-supply-shock-about-enter-negative-feedback-loop-weakening-demand

        Note –

        “Finally, we can see that the primary problem here is not one of excess demand for goods but a breakdown in supply: global container capacity driven by supply chain disruption, has sunk to near-decade lows”

        In case you are having trouble disrupting that – it means that demand did not spike.
        That the problem is an inability to deliver goods because of the backup at ports.

        The more ships sit waiting to be unloaded, the less containers are available to transport goods, the more production tanks because of inability to transport wanted goods to market.

        This pretty much refutes the demand claim you linked to.

    • October 17, 2021 10:51 am

      Why was anyone needed to step in to go to a 24×7 schedule ?

      If I were to bet Ron, that is just a lie for public consumption.

      I would presume that the Ports ALWAYS operated on a 24×7 schedule.

      That is pretty universally the case in the free market where capacity is fixed and demand is greater than capacity.

      • Ron P permalink
        October 17, 2021 1:02 pm

        Well this was a good research.

        https://www.supplychaindive.com/news/los-angeles-long-beach-port-truck-gate-hours-cargo/607044/

        I was wondering why I was reading that Fed Ex, Walmart, Target and others were agreeing to have cargo picked up during the night to help move cargo. The longshoreman may have been working 24 hours shifts, but the trucking gates were not open 24/7. So the trucks could not get into the terminals to load and unload containers. So it appears the problems with freight movement was not the longshoreman hours, it was third party movement of freight causing sever backlogs.

        But even with this expanded hours, they state “there were 69 container ships at anchor or drift areas and 30 at berths at the ports as of Tuesday morning. In addition, cargo ships arrive daily that carry somewhere between 10,000- 24,000 containers. Most in the upper range these days. The average time to off load the containers is 4 days per ship. They are offloaded and then placed on trains or trucks. One ship represents a freight train 44 miles long. One can only image the congestion for trucking at the port of L.A..

      • October 17, 2021 4:35 pm

        a substantial portion of Port of LA cargo is moved by train – not truck – which makes sense.
        I beleive the port of LA rail yards are the largest in the world.

        They are served by 4 different railroads and operate 24×7.

        I am not exactly sure what created this mess – longshoremen or a shortage of truckers.

        Except that ultimately all large scale disruptive changes originate with government.

        I do know that contra claims otherwise this is pretty simple to fix.

        Either Newsome or Biden could threaten to send in the national guard to unload and transport.

        I suspect whatever is broken would get fixed quickly.

        For all I know this is caused by longshoreman refusing to get vaccinated – it is not like there are not massive disruptions of other services accross the country as a result of mandates.

      • Ron P permalink
        October 17, 2021 7:16 pm

        From articles I have read, the longshoremen were one of the groups that had a high case infection rate when the vaccines were not available. The union did everything they could to get vaccines made available so the employees could stay on the job. It does not appear it is those workers are causing any of the issues.

        The issues with the back up is not employee availability. It is basically volume. First, they did not have night pickup for containers and truckers did not want to be picking those up at night. So they closed the gates at 11pm. To alleviate the issue, early in October they opened the gate to 1:30 am, and now they are open 24 hr.

        The size of the ships today are 3 times what they were just 10 years ago. And most ports have not been upgraded to handle the sizable increase in volume other than adding equipment that handles the containers that are up to twice the size of containers 10 years ago.

        All of this has been created by demand for asian products or products coming through mostly the west coast ports.

      • November 5, 2021 11:19 am

        Ron, there has been a slow steady increase in west to east trade with China.

        There was not a sudden jump during Covid.

        US China Trade is DOWN more than 10% since Dec 2020.

        Over the past 5 years according to Trading economics increases are only a few percent a year and 2021 is DOWN from 2020 significantly.

        Total Chinese GDP was 14.7T in 2020 and is likely to barely make 15T in 2021.

        Prior to Xi China was growing by 7% minimum per year.

        Chinese production indexes are DROPPING and China appears to be slipping into recession.

        Frankly the entire world economy has moved from expectations of record grown in January to inflationary and at risk of recession now.

  23. Francisco A Figueroa permalink
    October 14, 2021 6:31 pm

    This is a good reference article for the discussion we are having.
    https://econ.st/3aBU8YH

    • Priscilla permalink
      October 14, 2021 7:59 pm

      “Many countries have net-zero pledges but no plan of how to get there and have yet to square with the public that bills and taxes need to rise. A movable feast of subsidies for renewables, and regulatory and legal hurdles make investing in fossil-fuel projects too risky.”

      This is always the problem isn’t it? Ambitious goal, no plan….

  24. Ron P permalink
    October 14, 2021 11:16 pm

    Priscilla, Maybe this is the problem. You commented and I looked this up, was not easy, but I finally keyed in the right words that brought this up.

    https://cei.org/blog/why-dont-u-s-ports-operate-24-7-ask-the-unions/

    • Priscilla permalink
      October 15, 2021 9:22 am

      This is an excellent article, Ron. I especially noted this pasage:

      “We were totally opposed to fully automated terminals and got the guarantees from our employers that they would not construct them during the life of our new package,” said ILWU President Harrold Daggett, when the current contract was reached two years ago. Last month, the union announced that its members would not work on any automated vessel that docks at a U.S. port. “Now more than ever, dockworkers from around the world, joined by all maritime workers, must unite to fight this important battle against automation,” Daggett said.”

      Interesting that the longshoremen think ~ and, so far, they’ve been right ~ that they can keep automation from happening. Unfortunately, the automation that they fear (and that already exists at other international ports), is probably going to happen faster now, and their $171,000 jobs will disappear.

      I’m not cheering that. But automation is here, and it’s going to affect every aspect of our lives. This is something that Andrew Yang talks about all the time, and, while I don’t agree with his solution (which is universal basic income), we’d better come up with some solution. The Biden admin is clearly incapable of doing so, and I have my doubts that a GOP admin would do any better…

      • October 17, 2021 3:37 pm

        Automation is inevitable – at ports especially.

        But ultimately even to trucks and truck drivers.

        A part of what has occured is a clear demonstration of the need to automate the docks (and Trucks)

        Automate docks and trucks and government’s ability to regulate is diminished.

  25. Ron P permalink
    October 15, 2021 1:51 pm

    Priscilla, followup article to our covid discussions earlier. I don’t think I shared this yet.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02795-x?utm_source=join1440&utm_medium=email&utm_placement=newsletter

    I find two comments interesting.
    1) “It’s possible that hybrid immunity is better than the immunity from vaccination alone at blocking transmission, says Bello Bentancor”..

    That is most likely why you had such a reaction to the vaccine. Your a HYBRID!

    2) ““We are not inviting anybody to get infected and then vaccinated to have a good response,” says Finzi. “Because some of them will not make it through.” One has to wonder if that got started on the internet how many people would expose themselves to it? Not unlike years ago when there were no vaccines for MMR and some people were exposing kids to mumps at an age before puberty because of side effects after that. They also had “chicken Pox parties”

  26. Priscilla permalink
    October 15, 2021 9:48 pm

    I am a HYBRID! Just call me Prius!

    I remember chicken-pox parties…never got invited to one, though… 😉

  27. Ron P permalink
    October 16, 2021 12:54 pm

    Dave, you have commented many times that all information should be made available so people can make their own decisions.

    I have said many times that one of the biggest problems we have today is social media and the spread of misinformation.

    This is an example of what I mean. First, I don’t know why any entity would put out “draft” documents, especially those with scientific or financial information, on a publicly available website. That is just moronic thinking on the part of leadership in those agencies/businesses unless they wanted civilian (non-expert) input.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/covid-19-vaccine-study-error-anti-vaxxers-1.6188806?cmp=newsletter_CBC%20Health%27s%20Second%20Opinion_4965_320616

    But once they did and the draft document had not been reviewed for errors or scientific verification by reviewers, it was used by many to spread incorrect information.

    Let me be clear, I am not for censorship, but I do believe entities should not make available working documents before they are verified and finalized nor should social media be held to standards greater than or less than print media. Print media is required to monitor information that they publish or they can be held responsible for the outcome for that misinformation. Social media should be held to the same standards.

    And I would hope entities and individuals learn from this situation and adjust what information they make available and when.

    • October 16, 2021 4:13 pm

      Of course scientists should be publishing Drafts – that is common place.

      And those drafts should be subject to scrutiny – by the people, the press, “experts’.

      And those publishing the drafts should correct errors, and address criticism before final publication.

      That is how things should work.
      That is how science has worked for centuries.

      The only useful information in the entire article you cited was the statement of one of the authors that they had miscalculated the risk.

      Pretty much everything else in the reporters article is left wing nut ranting.

      Peer review goes by a completely different name – Pal Review.
      It is just a method by which the politics of science advances prefered results and squashes those it does not like.

      Peer Review is a mistake – and it is NOT how science was done for most of the history of Science.

      I do not think ANY of the work of Einstein was ever Peer Reviewed – as peer review means today.

      It was however made broadly available in the scientific commmunity, including full data and methods. and subject to verification and reproduction.

      THOSE are the core to actual science.

  28. October 17, 2021 5:26 pm

    • Ron P permalink
      October 17, 2021 7:28 pm

      Employers free to set employment policies as long as they are not illegal (SCOTUS ruled years ago vaccine requirements are legal employment policies)

      Employees free to follow vaccine requirements or seek employment elsewhere.

      So he did!

      Now where I draw the line is government dictating that private company A has to verify private health information of John Q Public before they can enter that facility.Or government dictating that any business has to have vaccinated employees. Only if government is the employer do they have the right to dictate that policy.

      If that company wants to require their customers to show proof of vaccine, that is their prerogative, but should not be a government dictate.. That is what freedom is. And I also am against any government telling that same business they can not require proof of vaccine. That also is what freedom is. And anyone choosing to go to that business can decide for themselves if they want to enter or not knowing they might be required to show proof of vaccine or be in a building with others that may spread the virus.

  29. October 17, 2021 6:05 pm

    Try this link to youtube for a vlog by Dr. John Campbell who has been very good on Covid.

    He was “fact checked” on the Myopercarditis issue and the Fact Checkers supported and expanded on his claims.

    Some countries are increasingly requiring apsiration on Covid jabs.

    Further the fact checkers exposed that not only is myopericaditis a side effect for IV mRNA jabs but apparently TTS is a side effect for IV dna vaccine jabs.

    Regardless, it is increasingly clear that there is a strong possibility that some of the most severe adverse events can be eliminated by simple changes in vaccine administration.
    And US and UK health organizations are resisting.

    anyway you will have to cut and past the link – because WP block youtube links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXcddiS32s0&list=TLPQMTcxMDIwMjHyRVDTwgZu0w&index=2

  30. Priscilla permalink
    October 17, 2021 9:32 pm

    Well, now this is fairly terrifying. Of course, with such generals as super-woke Mark Milley, I’m sure we have nothing to fear..Once our military is diverse enough, no one will be able to harm us. 🙄

    “A report from Financial Times’ Demetri Sevastopulo and Kathrin Hille states that China has tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic glide vehicle that goes into space and traverses the globe in an orbital-like fashion before making its run through the atmosphere toward its target. There would be huge implications if such a system were to be operationalized, and according to this story, which says it talked to five officials confirming the test, the U.S. government was caught totally off-guard by it.”

    https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/42772/china-tested-a-fractional-orbital-bombardment-system-that-uses-a-hypersonic-glide-vehicle-report

    Seriously, thoough, what the hell is wrong with us??

    • Ron P permalink
      October 17, 2021 11:52 pm

      Seems to me someone back in the 80’s proposed some defense system that could have been upgraded over the past 30+ years to take care of something like this.

      If one thinks about it, there are enough nuclear weapons to annihilate humanity on both sides. Other nations like China are not going to try to destroy us with weapons, they will destroy us financially by creating weapons like this, we will respond as did Russia during the cold war, we destroyed the Soviet Union due to their excessive spending on defense and that is how china will destroy us as the world power leader.

      When we are as dependent on China from most everything we wear and appliances in our houses to the paper we wipe our butts on, they are dong exactly what their long range goals dictate. Just look at our economy today with the shortages of most everything we want to buy. And they are not doing it, we are doing it to oursleves.

      They don’t want to nuke us, they want to eventually take over as the world super power and they are not too far away from that goal. If they can scare us into spending more on defense, then that is good. If not, they will continue to destroy us economically.over a long time period.

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 23, 2021 12:57 pm

        Yep. I remember that guy, from back in the 80’s. 😉 I think they mocked his defense system by calling it “Star Wars.”

  31. Anonymous permalink
    October 19, 2021 8:22 am

    Rick,
    You are a word warrior experiencing battle fatigue, a culture warrior, an idea warrior! Lean your head back against the wall, close your eyes and rest, but do not despair!

    Yes, the reasonable middle sometimes seems a ragtag force, like George Washington and his troops starving and freezing through the winter at Valley Forge, but the tide is turning! People are tired of the division from the extremes. The tide is turning away from the extremes and the division and toward a more reasonable “alt-middle.”

    Zubin Damania, MD (aka ZDoggMD) reaches millions of people weekly and pushes for the “Alt-Middle”

    Bill Maher now makes fun of the left and the right.

    Alaska has adopted ranked-choice voting for its state elections. Ranked-choice voting should lead to more moderate candidates rather than ideological extremists, eliminates the “spoiler effect,” and reduces negative campaigning as candidates try not to alienate supporters of other candidates (in order to become 2nd or 3rd choices of those supporters.) We’ll see how it works out. Let the various U.S. states experiment and we’ll see who prospers and who falters!

    Rick, you are one of the pioneers. Think about the huge body of civil discourse that has occurred on TNM, especially compared to the low level insulting occurring in so many comments sections in cyberspace. Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett were famous pioneers, but there were many who led the way…

    The tide is turning. Do not despair, word warrior!

    • October 19, 2021 6:47 pm

      No Rick is not George Washington.

      I have no idea where the tide is shifting – though it is Decidedly NOT the middle.

      Pew has been documenting the hollowing out of the middle since Obama was elected.

      The tide is not turning against the “extremes” – but it may be turning against the left.

      Yes Rick criticises Right and Left equally – instead of focusing on Right and Wrong.

      Generally at any moment in history one party or the other is wrong about nearly everything.

      Right now that is Democrats.

      We have listened to Democrats, the left, the media, rant about mean Trump tweets for 4 years.

      The contrast between the past 4 years and the present can not be starker.

      Biden took office with the wind at his back. What has he succeeded at ?

      BillBoards in PA featurn Biden with the phrase – Making the Taliban Great Again.

      https://img-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/tenant/amp/entityid/AAOucmN.img?h=768&w=1366&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f

      Trump faced fierce opposition – much of it False, immoral and unethical – and still succeeded in most everything he touched.

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      October 20, 2021 12:10 am

      Thanks (whoever you are)… I needed that! “Battle fatigue” is probably a good description, and the “Washington at Valley Forge” analogy is apt — although I’m nowhere as central to the moderate movement as he was to the Revolution, and I don’t have a Von Steuben to whip the troops into shape.

      I’ve never heard of ZDoggMD, but I’ll look him up. I know Bill Maher shares my disdain for both the far right and far left, and I’m sure millions of other Americans do as well. We just need to be more outspoken and more visible.

      I’m thinking of putting my New Moderate commentaries on Substack, which should expand my audience, and I’ll probably assemble a collection of my better pieces in book form. I think I’ll always enjoy being a “word warrior” — but I’d enjoy it more if I could see that I’m making a difference.

      Thanks again for your encouragement — much appreciated!

      • October 21, 2021 1:07 pm

        Rick,

        Can you specify what values or principles identify “the far right” ?

        If you are going to have disdain for something – you should be able to clearly identify what is it you have disdain for.

        A part of my inability to get behind YOUR version of moderate is that even though I have been here forever I still really do not know what your values or principles are.

        but a more serious problem is that you are not even all that clear regarding what you are against.

        I do not want to know WHO you oppose (or support) as much as I want to know WHAT you oppose (or support) and more important still WHY.

        “Better to fight for something than live for nothing.”

        George S. Patton

        It is clear that you have equal disdain for the left and the right.
        It is not clear why.

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 23, 2021 1:01 pm

        Substack would be a perfect platform for your pieces, Rick! Do it! (Although I would miss the TNM “family” here on WordPress!)

      • Rick Bayan permalink
        October 23, 2021 9:32 pm

        Dave: I’ve written about my principles as a moderate, but they didn’t pass muster with you. Fairness was one you took issue with, but it’s central to my beliefs. My interpretation of fairness includes not favoring one class of people over any other class — tilting the pinball machine to let the rich, or the poor, or even the middle class rack up points they don’t deserve. I’m adamantly opposed to lobbyists buying our elected representatives. I’m in favor of a balanced approach to teaching history — no whitewashing of past sins OR centering all of it around the narrative of whites oppressing nonwhites. I believe in treating individuals as individuals — not as interchangeable representatives of their race, class or gender. (In fact, I’ve reached the point where I believe identity politics will be our undoing.) I believe in moderate government control — a midpoint between runaway plutocracy and the welfare state. I’m in favor of basic safety nets to keep people from starving or going broke due to illness. I’m against dumbing down school curricula to achieve “equity” for all. I could go on, but you get the picture.

      • October 25, 2021 9:56 pm

        You say

        “I stand for Fariness” – I still do not know what that means.

        After your explanation – I still do not know what that means.

        I can not predict based on your claimed principles where you stand on anything.

        I used Taxes before as an example. What does “I stand for fairness” mean with respect to taxes ?

        Our founders thought that each man should pay exactly the same amount of tax.
        $5 for the rich, $5 for the poor.

        Steve Forbes thinks a Flat tax is fair.

        When I say “I stand for freedom” – you can know where I stand on most issues. Frankly you can know where I stand on All issues with a bit of exegis on the justified use of force.

        But Fairness has no definition at all.

      • October 25, 2021 10:07 pm

        When was the last time someone starved in the US ?

        Today in the entire world people only starve because of politics.

      • October 25, 2021 10:15 pm

        Going broke is something you think is government’s business ?

        No one should ever go broke ?

        Fortuntately we do not live in a zero sum world – therefore – it is not nescary the each persons success requires someone else’s failure.

        But it is still true that success is not possible, unless failure is too.

        Regardless, in the US plenty of people “go broke” – and they get past it -usually quite quickly.

        Those few people who live in abject poverty in the US for a long period of time, do not do so as a result of misfortune. The long term homeless or poor in the US are so primarly due to mental health issues.

        At one time we locked them in asylum’s. We decided that was inhuman so we incarcertated them -and to an extent still do. but those we do not we leave to live in tents and filth.

        If you wish to discuss what to do with them – we can do that.
        But we have no cure, and centuries have not provided any answers.

      • October 25, 2021 10:21 pm

        You list a number of things that you would like to see.

        A question and a problem.

        First the question – why is what you want the business of government ?

        Why is it governments job to keep people from going broke ?

        For nearly all of human existance nearly all of us were broke nearly all the time – government has only had the ability to do anything about that very recently and only then because we have a very high standard of living.

        And the problem is “what is broke”?

        Have you seen pictures of how Johnny Cash grew up ?

        That was broke. There is just about no one in this country who is not mentally ill or adicted – probably both that lives in that kind of poverty today -yet by the standards of human history Cash and his family were rich.

        The poor in the US today are the top 1% of the world today.

        Is that Fair ?

      • October 25, 2021 10:26 pm

        There is a reason that your “principles” do not pass muster.

        They are obviously not principles.

        They tell me nothing.

        You subsequently provide a list of – I am not quite sure what they are.
        They are statements of policy – that do not actually state a policy.

        But more importantly – they do not follow from what you call principles.

        When you say fairness is your principle – that does not actually provide much of a clue where you stand on taxes, or safety nets, or anything else.

      • Rick Bayan permalink
        October 23, 2021 9:38 pm

        Fear not, Priscilla. I wouldn’t abandon The New Moderate; I’d simply cross-post my columns on Substack. I still have to look into what’s involved. I don’t think I’d charge a subscription fee, because I don’t want the pressure of having to crank out X number of pieces per year or have irate subscribers demand a refund. I’d use it to reach a wider audience. (The New Moderate still hasn’t recovered its full reader base since it was plagued by various glitches over the last two or three years.)

      • October 28, 2021 3:11 am

        I am going to keep this short.

        I do not have an opinion regarding you moving to or cross posting on Substack, nor charging subscriptions.

        Do whatever you want.

      • Rick Bayan permalink
        October 26, 2021 4:47 pm

        Dave: Maybe we should try to define fairness by first defining unfairness. Let me start: big corporations and multimillionaires paying no income tax thanks to creative accounting, tax shelters and offshore havens is unfair. Woke activists blaming today’s white people for the sins of their ancestors is unfair. (My ancestors were too busy trying not to be massacred by Turks to oppress anyone.) Private health insurance that might cover 80% of a stroke victim’s $500,000 hospital and rehabilitation bill is unfair. (I repeat: nobody should have to go broke due to illness.) Reporting and firing college professors and journalists for departing from woke scripture is unfair. Lobbying to peddle influence in Congress through thinly veiled bribes is unfair.

        Are you starting to get the picture? When we’ve listed all that’s unfair in contemporary society (and it’s a long list), it becomes a little easier to define fairness.

      • October 28, 2021 3:15 am

        You can not define fairness PERIOD.

        The entire concept of fairness is so incredibly subjective that even within a single individual they can not consistently follow the same definition of fairness.

        Unless you can do what no one has ever successed in doing and creating a generally accepted defintion of fairness that is specific enough to actually function as a principle – you have failed.

        You have proposed something that I do not think is clear enough to even constitute a VALUE as a principle.

      • October 28, 2021 3:27 am

        You keep talking about “creative accounting”.

        There is no such thing.

        There is tax law. If you are following the law – you are doing what you are supposed to.

        Specifically with respect to corporations – any corporation that pays consequential taxes, is poorly managed.

        It does not take “creative acounting” to avoid corporate taxes. It takes fiscal stupidity to end up paying them.

        As a PROPER rule of thumb, almost nothing a business does is taxable – because the actions of business are the fundimental – possibly SOLE driver of the economy.

        Taxing businesses is just about the most economically harmful thing you can do.

        There is a reason what you call “loopholes” exist – because government is not so stupid most of the time as to deliberately impoverish the country.

      • October 28, 2021 4:17 am

        I repeat: nobody should have to go broke due to illness.

        Why ?

        Should people go broke if they do not pay their homeowners insurance and the house burns down ?

        Should people go broke if they do not pay their car insurance and they have an accident and injure someone ?

        Grow up. The world does not end because some people go broke.

        There are about 700K personal bankruptcies in the US each year.
        1/3 of those involve medical expenses.
        Of those 225K that involve medical expenses the average unpaid medical expenses are 2.5K.

        That is about $5B in medical expenses per year.

        Those figures are all from Elizabeth Waren’s research that was used to justify Obama Care.

        PPACA cost 1.6T/decade or 160B/year – to solve a problem that was $5B large – and was not an actual problem.

      • October 28, 2021 4:26 am

        I have little problem with lobbiests,
        I have a great deal of problem with those in govenrment who rent out govenrment power for personal benefit.

        It is not Burisma paying Hunter Biden that bothers me.
        It is not Hunter taking their money.
        It is Joe Biden as Vice President of the united states using the powers of that office to do Burisma’s bidding for persoanl benefit that bothers me.

      • October 28, 2021 4:31 am

        Almost 200 years ago Fredric Bastiat exposed the flaw in every single one of your examples of supposed “unfairness”.

        http://bastiat.org/en/twisatwins.html

        Life is not fair. Government efforts to correct unfairness DONT.
        They just more it arround – and usually make it worse.

        You see the fundimental unfairness of life – though many of your examples are NOT actual unfairness, but you fail to grasp that you can not magically fix unfairness.
        That efforts to do so have consequences – usually larger ones than the initial unfairness.

        But you do not think beyond the initial unfairness and YOUR proposed remedy.

      • October 28, 2021 4:36 am

        “Are you starting to get the picture?”
        Absolutely,

        The “picture” is that your thinking is shallow and fallacious.

        You are engaging in the broken windows fallacy.

      • October 28, 2021 5:54 am

        “Private health insurance that might cover 80% of a stroke victim’s $500,000 hospital and rehabilitation bill is unfair.”
        Doubly wrong.

        First, that rarely if ever happens. The primarly cost to US healthcare is NOT “major medical” – it is ordinary health care.

        Switzerland REQUIRES that people MUST pay 30% of their healthcare costs.
        You can not buy health insurance that covers more.

        Too much insurance creates a problem called MORAL HAZARD – that results in over consumption or even outright fraud.

        This is precisely why nearly all insurance has a dedictable – and why low deductible insurance is incredibly expensive.

        It is so expensive that for MOST families – buying a major medical insurance policy that covers all medical costs about $10K/year costs MORE than 10K/year less than a policy that covers 80% of costs under 10K.

        (I repeat: nobody should have to go broke due to illness.)

  32. October 19, 2021 7:08 pm

    Excellent article by Barri Weis – formerly the New Your Times Editorial page editor.

    https://www.commentary.org/articles/bari-weiss/resist-woke-revolution/

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      October 19, 2021 11:51 pm

      I saw this earlier today. A good, rousing, fearless call to fight compulsory wokeness. (Bari Weiss is an important new voice.) It’s easy for outsiders like us to challenge the wokesters and expose their Soviet-style tactics. (We have nothing to lose.) But I feel for the academics, students, media people and corporate managers who must parrot the party line or face ruin.

      • October 21, 2021 12:45 pm

        Bari is NOT a new Voice. Nor is she an “outsider”.

        She was the Editor for the New York Times Editorial page for some times.

        She is an actual journalist as opposed to much of what we see today.

        She is also another of myriads of “liberals” who have been red pilled by the left.

        You can engage in your pretense that there is some parity in misconduct between the left and right – if that makes you feel better.

        But the actual threat each of us face is from the left – not the right.

        This is a long vlog by Glen Greenwald examining the data that Democrats have become authoritarian, and that this has been occuring for a long time.

        Need I note AGAIN that Greenwald is on the LEFT – atleast he was until the left moved away from core values.

        https://rumble.com/vnwyhz-the-mountain-of-data-showing-how-authoritarian-democrats-have-become.html

      • Priscilla permalink
        October 23, 2021 1:51 pm

        Bari Weiss is a hero of mine, but I had not, until I saw Dave’s link here today, read this article in Commentary. I have heard her speak of the need for courage in today’s monstrous woke world, and this essay really fleshed out the critical need for those of us who are not wokeists to, at the very least, stand up and say so…but to also stand up and say that those who espouse wokeism are often evil totalitarians masquerading as justice-seekers, and that they need to be called out.

        I’m not a particularly courageous person. I occasionally tell the story of when, as a college student, I went to the old Rutgers gym (known as “The Barn”) to see Jerry Rubin of the Chicago 7 speak, along with his attorney, William Kunstler. They had set up a stage on the basketball court, and the place was absolutely packed, with students sitting on every inch of the court, in addition to those in the spectator stands, which is where I was, in the balcony. Kunstler came out, a few minutes before he and Rubin were scheduled to start speaking, and announced that there was a bomb threat, and that the speech would be delayed until the police could make sure that there was no bomb (there wasn’t). I immediately left my seat and ran out of the building, terrified. When I got to the parking lot, I realized that I was the only one out there, and no one else had left the building. About 15 minutes later, everyone was made to leave and wait until the search for the bomb was complete….but, I have always judged myself somewhat harshly for being so much more frightened than literally hundreds of other kids.

        So, I’m not a brave person. But, I am reaching a point where I’m willing to push back on the kind of bullying and intimidation that I see, not just on the news, but in my everyday life. Not in a belligerent or violent way, of course, but simply refusing to agree with statements and actions that I know to be wrong.

        If a wimp like me has reached that point, I imagine that there are others.

      • Rick Bayan permalink
        October 23, 2021 9:10 pm

        Priscilla: You’re hardly a wimp these days. In fact, you may have reached what I call “the Popeye Point”: when you have to exclaim (like the immortal sailor), “That’s all I can stands… I can’t stands no more!” Whereupon you reach for your handy can of spinach, gulp the contents, and send the offender into orbit. I reach that point every so often, and the woke left has triggered that impulse in me. Granted, the militant far right repels me just as much, but there’s something about the supercilious attitude and misplaced piety of the wokesters (along with their readiness to report and punish “heretics”) that makes me want to whack them upside the head. I try to stay civil, and I’m reluctant to insult anyone based on politics, but it’s getting harder to keep silent in the face of blatant outrages. You and I are lucky that we’re retired and have nothing to lose by speaking up. I feel sorry for conscientious younger folks with jobs to protect.

    • Savannah Jordan permalink
      October 21, 2021 1:29 pm

      This is Savannah Jordan. Don’t know what name WordPress will attach. Very much appreciated the article in that link. It is pretty depressing to read the attack on the freest society that world has ever known. I would like to add one other courageous voice. It is Andy Ngo, the author of “Unmasked.” In that book, he ‘unmasks’ the objectives of Antifa. A friend of mine recently asked me why I held Antifa in a negative light. To her, Antifa is fighting fascism, hence it is a force for good. She did not know that it defines the United States as a fascist state and hence, it is working for its destruction.

      • October 21, 2021 2:05 pm

        Andy Ngo is to be highly recomended, as is Matt Taibi, Glenn Greenwald,

        Tulsi Gabbard is speaking out now.
        Alan Derschowitz,
        Johnathan Haidt.

        Eric and Brett Weinstein and Heather Heyer.

        and many many others.

        There are still many excellent voices of sanity out there.

        Most of the people I have the greatest respect for came from the left – liberals in a different era – not very long ago. Most of those still consider themselves liberal.

      • October 21, 2021 2:13 pm

        The problems with Antifa are the problems of the left.

        The meaning of words is mangled.

        We listened to 4 years of Trump is authoritarian.

        Authoritarian: Characterized by or favoring absolute obedience to authority, as against individual freedom.

        How was Trump authoritarian ?

        How is Biden NOT authoritarian ?

        Why should i beleive that Antifa is opposed to Fascism ?
        How many members of Antifa even know what Fascism is ?

        The US has never had anything close to fascism.
        Neither party is particularly fascist.
        Though democrats are more fascist at the moment that republicans,

        The left at the moment more strongly resembles the cultural revolution in china.

        The right increasingly resembles populist democrats of the past.

        Neither are fascism.

        So what is Antifa fighting for ? Against ?

        Antifa today is a form of left anarchism.
        That most strongly resembles bomb throwing anarchists of the early 20th centurty.

  33. October 20, 2021 2:50 pm

    Hi Rick, You might feel some consolation is you read John Qunicy Adams biography by Fred Kaplan. The times were even more divisive.

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      October 23, 2021 8:42 pm

      True, and the man regarded as one of our most intelligent presidents ended up a one-termer like his dad.

  34. October 22, 2021 5:05 am

    Hopefully Youtube will not censor this link if so search for
    Bari Weiss | The Ben Shapiro Show Sunday Special Ep. 119

    This is an en excellent interview of Bari Weiss by Ben Shapiro

  35. October 25, 2021 11:54 pm

    See if this link will post.

    Reagan on Johnny Carson in 1975.

    Aside from being more soft spoken how is Reagan different from Trump ?

    Has the Republican party gotten more extreme since 1975 ?

    The congressional authorization to build a southern wall was Bi-Partisan under Reagan.

    Ronald Reagan Interview on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson – 01/03/1975

    • October 25, 2021 11:56 pm

      I guess word press is just blocking youtube links.

      You can google the title I provided

      I think you can even cut and paste the link.

    • Ron P permalink
      October 26, 2021 12:51 pm

      Dave “Aside from being more soft spoken how is Reagan different from Trump ?”

      At one time I considered you to be somewhat intelligent. But….

      I can not imagine anyone comparing Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump. But if one has to give others the difference, here are a few that I can identify and why I would vote for another Reagan in a heart beat and run like hell from another Trump.

      Reagan had a strong moral foundation
      Trump had a very weak and questionable moral foundation

      Reagan was decent to others, even those that disagreed with him
      Trump was a total ass and bully, sometimes even to those that were his supporters.Very rude, very arrogant.

      Reagan was very optimistic, even when shot, when not attaining legislation he wanted, etc
      Trump was basically a very pessimistic, although when talking about himself he gave an optimistic picture.

      Reagan was most always even emotionally.
      Trump was very unstable emotionally

      Reagan was supportive of the country
      Trump proved he was more supportive of himself than the country on Jan 6th

      Reagan used humor to win over those that questioned his visions
      Trump used social dominance to try and force others to accept his visions.

      Both had visions for the country that was acceptable to many, but they were completely different in the way they approved leadership.
      Reagan had the support of the conservatives, he also won over the moderate democrats with his vision, personality and style of leadership.
      Trump had the support of conservatives, but he alienated most everyone else with his arrogance, lies, narcissistic all about me, overly-emotional, easily offended, and unable to deal with opposing opinion personality.

      Both had visions for the country that were much the same.
      Reagan brought the country together.
      Trump[ created division to gain power.

      • October 28, 2021 3:09 am

        I am going to address some aspects of Jan. 6 further.

        First, though the narative is falling apart rapidly.
        There are several excellent reporters addressing it now.

        Revolver has done stories exposing the growing evidence of FBI involvment in ORCHESTRATING Jan. 6.

        I beleive there have also been some stories at Rolling Stone and even New York Times.

        Further Journalists like Jullie Kelly (on the right) and Matt Taibi and Glenn Greenwald on the left have been delving into this.

        Greenwald is particularly damning.

        Greenwald points out that much of what the FBI did is exatcy what they did in the Michigan/Witmer case.

        It is what the FBI did in the over and over to young muslims in the US port 9/11

        It is what the FBI did to the Bundy’s , to Randy Weaver to David Koresch.

      • Vermonta permalink
        October 28, 2021 7:44 am

        Good post Ron. I see that now Dave is on to his alternative universe narrative that the fbi orchestrated Jan 6. I just look in occasionally. Too many delusional people have too much bandwidth. The sane keep much lower profiles.

      • Ron P permalink
        October 28, 2021 12:12 pm

        Yes and I find not to many creditable sources quoted, but that is what the extremist always use

      • October 28, 2021 2:37 pm

        Have you actually bothered to check anything ?

        Are you saying that Glenn Greenwald is not a credible source ?

        What of Matt Taibi ?

        Julie Kelly ?

        I do not recall who the revolver reporter is – though I would note Revolver is NOT a right wing outlet. Nor is rolling stone. Nor is New York Times.

        I would further ask you do we determine what constitutes truth by FACTS ?

        Or do we decide what is true based on whether we like those who bring those facts to light ?

      • October 28, 2021 2:43 pm

        Here is a NYT story about Ruby Ridge.

        “Yesterday it awarded $3.1 million to Randall Weaver, whose wife and son were killed at Ruby Ridge by Federal agents. But the worst damage was to the Government’s reputation.”

        There is zero doubt Weaver was an extremist.
        But his only “crime” was shortening the barrel of a shotgun – after extensive pleading on the part of an FBI agent. Weaver was ultimately aquited of that crime.
        But his family, and his dog were all MURDERED by the FBI.

        They were attacked without a warrant, on their own property. The FBI did not identify themselves and fired first, killing Weavers dog, his son, his wife, and his infant daughter.

      • October 28, 2021 2:52 pm

        Here is a salon article on Wacco. While it is by a survivor and has an obvious tilt, it still exposes myriads of lies that govenrment told us all about Wacco.

        And many of those lies were ultimately exposed – and reported on by Wapo.

        https://www.salon.com/1999/09/09/waco_4/

      • October 28, 2021 2:53 pm

        Wapo on one of the lies regarding Wacco – I would note this sounds very similar to claims today.

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/daily/aug99/davidians26.htm

      • October 28, 2021 2:56 pm

        Here is Buzzfeed – definitely not a right wing source on the Michigan Wolverines FBI Fiasco.

        It has subsequently gotten much worse as the FBI has been forced to turn over texts and emails. and one FBI agent has actually been Fired – for domestic violence after his wife refused to participate in a swingers event.

        https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/jessicagarrison/fbi-informants-in-michigan-kidnap-plot

      • October 28, 2021 3:03 pm

        This is the NYT confirming that atleast part of the Revolver series of stories are true.

      • October 28, 2021 3:05 pm

        One of the more recent Revolver Stories on Jan 6. and the FBI involvement.

        https://www.revolver.news/2021/10/massive-infiltration-of-feds-on-jan-6/

      • October 28, 2021 3:08 pm

        Another Revolver Story about misinformation and false charges

        https://www.revolver.news/2021/08/revolver-jan-6-george-tanios-appeal/

      • October 28, 2021 3:12 pm

        Presumably we can atleast sometimes accept the FBI’s congressional testimony.

        https://dailycaller.com/2021/03/03/fbi-guns-capitol-riots/

      • October 28, 2021 3:16 pm

        This is a broader attack by Greenwald – mirroring much of what I have said.

        Both the Media and the DOJ/FBI are currently actively engaged in political persecution.

        Jan. 6th is NOT The single act of malfeasance and lying – it is part of a much larger pattern of politically motivated misconduct.

        https://dailycaller.com/2021/10/20/glenn-greenwald-megyn-kelly-political-persecution/

      • October 28, 2021 3:19 pm

        Greenwald on the FBI failing to indict those who ACTUALLY incited riot.

      • October 28, 2021 3:26 pm

        Early reporting by Greenwald on Jan 6

        https://greenwald.substack.com/p/questions-about-the-fbis-role-in

      • October 28, 2021 3:46 pm

        More direct rebutal of your claims that what I am arguing is a “crazy conspiracy theory” again by Greenwald.

        https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2021/06/18/greenwald_fbi_involvement_in_capitol_riot_not_a_crazy_conspiracy_theory_this_is_what_they_do.html#!

      • October 28, 2021 3:57 pm

        Here is some by Julie Kelly. If you wish to discount Kelly as “biased” – then just look at the video from the capital. It runs completely counter to the nonsense being sold by the media.

        If this video the true picture – or is the short violent clips that the govenrment has allowed out ?

        The answer is knowable – make all the video public. All the surveilane video, all the body cam video.

        I would note that MOST of the media is asking for this.
        While WaPo and NYT might hope to bolster their narative – and maybe they will.

        We all should expect to get to the Truth – not what the powers that be cherry pick for us to see.
        https://rumble.com/vnya9g-julie-kelly-dems-jan.-6-narrative-falling-apart.html

      • rondabellelane permalink
        November 7, 2021 5:17 pm

        Exactly!

      • November 7, 2021 6:34 pm

        So what are the sources that are not credible ?

        James Madison ?

        Lord Acton ?

        Adam Smith ?

        Or

        Glenn Greenwald,
        Tulsi Gabbard ?
        Matt Taibi ?

        Are these people you do not trust ?

        Regardless, is something false because you do not like the person who says it ?

      • Rick Bayan permalink
        October 30, 2021 2:46 pm

        Well said, Ron. I didn’t always agree with Reagan’s policies, but he was an inspiring leader with a solid moral foundation.

  36. October 28, 2021 4:42 pm

    We have spend years noting how the Republican’s are poor at messaging.

    Yet the past 10 months I have been surprised at how incredibly poor the democrats have been at messaging.

    There are so many things that have been said and done by the left that are so entirely and obviously stupid.

  37. October 28, 2021 5:16 pm

    Study in the Lancet reports that the propholactic use of an inexpensive anti-depressant results in a 30% decline in Covid hospitalizations and deaths.

    Who would have thought it – Covid mortality is all in our heads.

    Just to be clear – anti-depressants do not cure Covid.

    But we have known for sometime that depression and anxiety are among the highest risk factors for poor outcomes.

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(21)00448-4/fulltext

  38. October 28, 2021 5:24 pm

    US AG Garland has directed DOJ/FBI to silence parents angry with school officials.

    But the Loudon County Sheriff has told the school board to pound sand and learn to deal with parents who disagree with them.

    https://thefederalist.com/2021/10/28/loudoun-county-sheriffs-office-rejected-school-superintendents-insane-plan-to-weaponize-police-against-parents/

  39. October 28, 2021 5:54 pm

    I recall several of you citing Tulsi Gabbard as an example of a moderate.

    Here is Gabbard today. Why aren’t you with her ?

    https://rumble.com/vodnoj-tulsi-gabbard-rips-biden-admin-for-attacking-1st-amendment-rights.html?mref=23gga&mc=8uxj1

  40. October 28, 2021 11:58 pm

    Excellent article on the cult of experts.

    We should not confuse the importance of our efforts to learn more and improve our condition with truth.

    The experts are just people closely studying problems and testing ideas. Until they RARELY come up with something that actually works, they are just guessing – like the rest of us, though maybe with more information. Still guessing.

    https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/arts-letters/articles/i-have-been-through-this-before-bauer

    • Vermonta permalink
      October 29, 2021 6:49 am

      Using nothing but actually true facts one can argue that dihydrogen oxide is a dangerous substance that can must be tightly regulated. A clever school kid did that as a presentation to prove a point. Dihydrogen oxide is water.

      Using a mixture of facts, half truths, untruths, and omissions of facts one can argue that W was in on 9/11 or that the moon landings were faked or any of a number of other idiot theories.

      A quick look at your arguments and statements shows that this theory you are pushing is the same type of nonsense.

      Sure, the FBI orchestrated Jan 6. It lets the real culprits, your poor innocents, from trump on down, right off the hook. I have no doubt that a majority of republican voters will buy most or all of this too. A post truth world.

      I despise the PC and the hyper woke activists, I think that defund the police is one of the most retarded idea I have ever heard. and I have no use for the actual socialists al la sanders. The far left break everything they touch.

      But, events have shown that the GOP is far far more dangerous, its 90% rotten, than the dems, who are merely 40% rotten as of today. I don’t want the extremists and demogogues of either party to have any power. I won’t get much of that wish, for the rest of my life I will witness nuts like yourself and the trumpies and nuts like sanders and AOC and the woke pushing each other to further extremes and idiotic delusions.

      Frankly, Fuck all you god damn nutjobs. I hope that our society and country can somehow continue to stably function in spite of your efforts.

      • October 29, 2021 11:51 am

        “Using nothing but actually true facts one can argue that dihydrogen oxide is a dangerous substance that can must be tightly regulated. A clever school kid did that as a presentation to prove a point. Dihydrogen oxide is water.”

        FALSE – you need more than “actually true facts”.

        Further you run afoul of the is-ought fallacy – you can not reason from what is to what ought to be.

        Dangerous is NOT ever an Actually true fact, it is a subjective conclusion.
        “must be tightly regulated” is doubly false.

      • Rick Bayan permalink
        October 30, 2021 2:52 pm

        I’m pretty much where you are at this point, Roby. I’m a bit more alarmed than you about the woke mob, because their influence is so pervasive. But I’ve absolutely lost my tolerance for the extremists at both ends.

    • Anonymous permalink
      October 29, 2021 10:21 am

      21 consecutive posts, Dave. That might be a record.

      • October 29, 2021 12:57 pm

        Have I ever cared ?

      • Ron P permalink
        October 29, 2021 1:01 pm

        Dave uses other individuals blogs to spread his ever increasing Trump propaganda and dominates the comment section instead of taking the time to create his own WordPress or web site and publish articles for others to read. best just to scan them and delete than to spend time trying to read the all.

        At one time you could have a logical discussion with him, even if you disagreed, but the information now has grown to the level of that used by the January 6th rioters justifying their take over of the capital.

      • October 29, 2021 3:41 pm

        “Dave uses other individuals blogs to spread his ever increasing Trump propaganda”

        So Tulsi Gabbard is right wing pro Trump Propoganda ?

        Glenn Greenwald ?

        Ann Bauer ?

        Matt Taibbi ?

        The Lancet ?

        Or the actual testimony befor congress of AG Garland or FBI Agents

        Those things are pro Trump right wing propoganda ?

  41. October 30, 2021 1:41 am

    Increasing evidence that Covid-19 did not jimp directly from animals to humans.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/covid-19-coronavirus-lab-leak-virology-origins-pandemic-11633462827?mod=djemalertNEWS

  42. Vermonta permalink
    October 30, 2021 9:40 pm

    “I’m a bit more alarmed than you about the woke mob,”

    Well, I am pretty alarmed about and disgusted with the “woke mob.” But what is the “woke mob”? The term is undefined and each person has their own idea of what woke means. To my surprise 32% answered a poll question I saw this year to say that they considered them selves “woke”.

    “One-third of voters identify as ‘woke’, a new Hill-HarrisX poll finds.

    Thirty-two percent of registered voters in the July 8-9 survey said they see themselves as woke to the extent that they understand the term.

    Twenty-three percent of respondents said they do not identify as woke while 13 percent said they are unsure.

    Thirty-one percent of voters said they don’t know what the term “woke” means.”

    https://thehill.com/hilltv/what-americas-thinking/563415-poll-one-third-of-voters-identify-as-woke

    They outnumbered the not woke. I now realize that this group contains many ordinary people who’s idea of “woke” is thinking that Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein are creeps who belong in jail. This poll puzzled me as I have seen two good polls that say that 80% of Americans are unhappy with PC. I thought that PC and Woke were synonyms. Now I think that woke means a lot of different things to different people, some of which I agree with. Cosby and Weinstein are criminal creeps and they are not entirely rare cases. But having a hissy fit because the James Webb space telescope is thus named is idiotic and pisses me off to no end. I am thankful NASA stood its ground and the James Webb name stands. And you know how I feel about Dr. Seuss.

    I loath the woke mob just as much as you but we would have to find out through a long discussion where each of us draws the line between reasonable concerns and fanatical attempts at tyranny towards every person born before 1980 and any person who is not a radical feminist or any person who does not worry nearly as much about the plight of trans sexual persons in public restrooms as they do about issues like the economy or foreign policy.

    • rondabellelane permalink
      November 7, 2021 5:28 pm

      Agreed. Woke is one thing, but there are many with their eyes open who too.

  43. Ron P permalink
    November 1, 2021 5:38 pm

    Dave, thought you might be interested in this WordPress info.

  44. Vermonta permalink
    November 3, 2021 2:00 pm

    Meh, as part of my career of tilting at windmills I sent the following to Sens Sanders and Leahy and Rep Welch. I modified the original letter to make it hopefully possibly relevant to Leahy and Welch. This is the form I sent to Welch. It may not be much but I am not one to do nothing:

    Dear Peter,

    You are the one member of the Vermont congressional delegation who I suspect may share my point of view on national politics. Below is a letter I wrote today to the office of Bernie Sanders but I hope it may be worthwhile to send it to all of the Vermont delegation. It may be a wild wish to persuade people but I feel I have to do something because I foresee disaster if things continue as they are. To anyone who reads this, thank you if you will take to the time to read it through and consider my thoughts:

    Last night, the elections in Virginia and New Jersey were another warning, yet another disaster for America. Analysis will now be in full swing of what went wrong. I am sure that the message progressives will take from it is that they need to double down and work even harder to spread the progressive ideology that Bernie Sander is the main leader of.

    I disagree. I am a lifetime liberal voter of age 65. I am not a progressive. There is a difference and the difference in my opinion is an understanding of economics and national politics. I have never ever been a fan of Bernie Sanders and never will be. It is time now for progressive to start behaving like intelligent people who are capable of studying the system they want to change and understanding the actual workings of the world outside their progressive bubble. Most of the progressive wish list sounds nice. Almost all of it is based on delusional misunderstandings of economic and politics. Its one thing to list the problems of the capitalist world, its another and much more difficult thing to propose solutions that are economically and politically feasible. I know what I would hear if I made these comments to Bernie or almost any progressive personally, I would hear a litany of outrage that the US does not have the same things that Europeans have. A litany of outrage is not a plan. A plan has the believable details of how to accomplish goals politically and economically.

    It is my opinion that the ugly political situation of today that led to the vile leadership of Donald Trump would never have been possible had Bernie not brought his socialist far left vision to a hostile takeover of the Democratic party and somehow fooled many idealistic people into thinking that he has solutions. Here are some example of what this looks like to the eyes of a non-believer: This year Bernie proposed giving every American $2000 per month. Add that up, its about $7 trillion per year. If Bernie could somehow take every dime from the billionaires (I am certainly not one of them) he despises he would not raise half of the $7 trillion. Oh, don’t I wish that far reaching change was as simple as taking the stock holdings of 800 American billionaires. Another example of the progressive form of delusional economics was the $93 trillion dollar green new deal. That was counter productive on a giant scale. Progressives as a group do not seem to know the difference between a million, a billion, and a trillion or think it matters. It does, they sound insane and move people in the other direction.

    Bernie is the leader of what is most of all an economic movement and he and his true believers are as innocent of knowledge of economics as Trump and his cult are of knowledge of the Constitution. As a person who is not a member of either the Bernie or the Trump cults of personality I am disgusted with both these two demagogues. If Trump is the number 1 bad actor in America, Bernie is number 2; he and his movement made Trump possible.

    Why do I write this? Its not likely to have any effect on Bernie or his followers is it? As an American who is watching the disaster of the cold civil war unfold between two cults, the left and right cults led by Trump and Sanders, I have to Do Something to speak out. Perhaps someone who reads this in Sander’s office will have a thought and get an actual education in economics and then understand what is possible and what is just rhetoric and demagoguery. Bernie has driven the Democratic party to the left, but he has driven America as a whole to the right. That is his legacy. I have never seen him as anything other than a socialist demagogue. I just never thought he would become so destructive. He has gotten Trump elected once and he and his cult are on the path to repeat that.

    Progressives need to do something they hate the very idea of, join the world of realism and fact.

    OK, everyone can laugh at me for thinking this will help, but, one can only try.

    • Ron P permalink
      November 3, 2021 4:22 pm

      Roby this was a good letter and i agree with all of it except one item.I do not believe this was about te progressive agenda.First I have no idea what has taken place in New Jersey. Have heard little about the state and don’t follow that except for Murphy almost losing to the GOP candidate.

      But look at three other races.
      New York mayor, Minneapolis replace the police department and Virginia elections. All of those were issue related with more moderate results. A former New York black cop where people want to feel safe. Likewise Minneapolis where the police unions protect criminal cops, but the people still did not vote to remove the police department.

      But Virginia basically turned on three issues. #1 McAuliffe tried to link Youngkin to Trump, and although Youngkin accepted Trumps support, he kept miles away from him. He did not mention Trump and did not respond to McAuliffe’s attempts to make him a Trump Person. #2, the economy, although many Virginians live comfortably, rising prices for everything, especially fuel, had an impact. Youngkin made that election based on national politics in this regard and it worked. But #3 was the critical issue.

      McAuliffe had a 3% statewide lead going into their last debate last of Sept.. He was basically tied in the Virginia Beach and Chesapeake Va localities. That area is one of the largest in voting numbers. If a candidate can stay underwater less than 5% of their opponent there, then they have a chance of winning. Those areas have a high percentage of parent aged voters, white and middle class, with many in the military.

      So in the last debate, the candidates were asked about education, CRT, the debate around CRT, etc, and McAuliffe, took the government knows best attitude and answered after a few other comments about the subject “I dont think parents should have any say in what schools teach children”

      That gave Youngkin his next 5 weeks campaign message along with the rising gas prices and inflation and his popularity increased, the GOP and independent voters were energized, they truned out in huge numbers while the democrats stayed home and Youngkin carried Virginia Beach and Chesapeake VA by 8% points. They got pissed off because they understand government answers to the people, not people answering to government, and although they can not dictate everything a kid learns in schools, parents do have some say in what is taught.

      But that issue alone does not answer why every leadership position flipped in Va or that the House of Delegate flipped other than the turnout being high. And that probably rest with the declining approval of Biden, so democrats stayed home. Might be the same in New Jersey.

      But if the GOP is smart (??), they will follow the Youngkin playbook. Nationalize the 2022 elections for every statewide office, use Bidens disapproval ratings, use parental rights in education of kids and accept Trump endorsements, but don’t show up with him, talk about him or respond to anyone trying to tie them to Trump. That will keep the Trump support, but will not alienate the independents that despise Trump.

      • November 4, 2021 1:26 am

        Trump.

        It is highly likely that Trump is going to be a HUGE factor in 2022 midterms.

        You are correct that in SOME purple states – state wide GOP candidates will deal with Trump as Younkin did.

        But there are many many places Where Trump will make a difference.

        And accross the country he will make a big difference in house elections.

        Trump provokes a backlash in clue cities, but he is incredibly effective at getting out his base elsewhere.

        And republicans have a huge issue – Trump has brought lots of not traditionally republican voters out for him.

        I expect you will see lots of Trump rallies – but the locations will be carefully choosen.

        Finally, thee worse the economy gets, and the worse Covid gets – the less toxic Trump becomes.

        The more Biden fails the more effective Trump becomes.

    • Ron P permalink
      November 3, 2021 4:31 pm

      And, not listed as an issue, but I think covid fatigue in states like virginia that are not liberal bastions of sheep have had it up to their necks in government telling them when things can be open, what you have to wear, when you can go get what you want and people following the science being restricted because of those that refuse to follow science.

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 3, 2021 7:35 pm

        Thank you Ron for your very rational analysis, I did not follow the election closely (read, at all) so I knew no details.

        Also, understand that the rhetoric I put in the letter was intended to use this as a reason to bash the progressives. I don’t actually see this election as a disaster. But I do see the possible return of trump as a disaster.

        In fact I vote enthusiastically for a sane republican governor whenever they appear in Vermont and I understand why many people who lean left of center in many of their votes would pick a moderate GOP governor.

        In some sense I think this was the best thing that could have happened to the democrats, they need to embrace reality ASAP. Its the same as I think that Joe Manchin is actually a great thing for Biden, he keeps it real.

        I am not blaming the economy on Biden, this economy is predictable, everything is out of whack after the COVID spending and some many workers having been on unemployment collecting large checks to stay home. Its going to be several years before the economy hits something like normal again, even if COVID fades. But I don’t expect most people to think like I do, most think the POTUS controls the day to day economy somehow. If it was a GOP administration I still would not blame the POTUS for the COVID economy recovery malaise with its many distortions and fits and starts and a workers market that must lead to inflation. Its just something that is going to be.

        I think you will remember that I said (and you agreed) last year before the election that whoever wins it was going to be a very bitter country and the sourness was not about to ease. There was once a so-called era of good feelings at the beginning of Monroe’s first term but it soon passed and I don’t think there has been another since. And this certainly isn’t going to be it!

        As an aside I got thrown out of a Dunkin Donuts the other day and was told to “never, ever, return”. This does relate to our economy. There were 6 people behind the counter only 2 actually working and the other 4 ladies having a giant social occasion and after 15 minutes of nothing happening with my bagel I started growling out phrases like “when are you going to stop talking and make my fuckin bagel? I never did anything like that before and I suppose I should have left out the language. Would not have changed anything though. Corporate is sending me a gift card, I complained, I was more articulate when I talked to corporate.
        Those employees were the best the management could find in this current state of affairs.

      • November 4, 2021 1:59 am

        The economy is absolutely the fault of Biden – or more accurately the woke children that are running the country.

        There is only one surprise in what has happened to the economy – and that is how fast democrats could take an economy roaring to go, and screw it up.

        My political fear in early 2021 was that democrats would be sane enough to not completely screw up. Had they done that we would be seeing 8% growth and Democrats would sweep the midterms and the villification of Trump would be permanent and complete.

      • November 4, 2021 2:11 am

        Dunkin Donuts

        The Covid lockdowns have created a huge problem.

        many people have lost any interest in working.

        It is requiring high pay to get them back to work,
        and then many of them do not work – as you have seen.

        This is a very big deal.
        Standard of living rises when we produce more value.
        That means making your bagel – as quickly as possible.

        When people deliberately strive to be less productive we are all worse off.

      • Ron P permalink
        November 4, 2021 1:38 pm

        You are right about people working and wages growth.

        But I am aware of women with children who worked, lost jobs and after the extended period at home, realized that they were almost at a break even position when working given cost for child care. transportation cost, meals, etc

        And with the increased cost for child care now, the increased cost for gas and everything else, including the ability to be more involved with children after school, etc, they are staying home.

        How to get them back into the work force. Increased wages.

        But this country need to get back to promoting high school and college aged kids working like they did years ago. Part time. Wage demands may increase wages for full time employees, but somehow there needs to be jobs for students that are less costly, less benefits that allow employers a way to reduce costs as well as promoting a generation that values work and not the generation like we have now.

      • November 4, 2021 1:39 am

        I think Covid was a big issue in NJ – the late leaked video of Murphy people talking about mandates and lockdowns AFTER the election seems to coincide with his dramatic drop in polls.

        I do not think Covid was much of an issue in VA.

        Covid Fatigue is a growing national issue that democrats should worry about.

        But there is a more immediate covid related issue – which is the economic harm of mandates.

        And we are still working through that.

        My expectation is that as Covid numbers keep dropping VERY SOON Biden will decalre victory and back down on mandates.

        If he does not – it is not the mandates that will be the huge issue, it is the damage that the economic cause.

      • November 4, 2021 1:42 am

        No one is following the science.

        If they were would would have done almost none of this nonsense and we would likely have gotten through Covid a year ago.

        We would have had lots of deaths and sick people over a short period and then it would be gone.

        Remember that George Washington deliberately infected his troops with small pox to get through it.

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 5, 2021 10:07 am

        God help me, Dave I am going to respond to your comment about how we should have let people die even faster at the beginning of COVID. My daughter works in a hospital as a radiographer. Your COVID solution ignores reality completely, no sane person would propose that people should have been dying even faster and totally overwhelming the system my daughter works in. The result would have looked like the bring out your dead scene from monty python and the holy grail.

        When you make statements that are simply based on basic economics 101 and 102 I will be on the same page with you. When your ideas become, as they frequently do, batshit crazy, as in believing that the FBI was behind the events of Jan 6 and that COVID should have been allowed to kill as rapidly as possible in the early days, then you are just a nutcase who no person in their right mind should give credence to.

        I realize that I am making the error of arguing with Velikovsky but I just cannot let this idea of yours pass because it is an idea that, crazy as it is, has support from the ignorant, of whom there are never a shortage.

  45. Ron P permalink
    November 3, 2021 5:22 pm

    .

    • November 5, 2021 9:37 am

      Ron, totally agree with your comments regarding a lower minimum wage for high schoolers and possibly part-time working college students. Our society implemented the minimum wage to address the basic needs of adults who are essentially dependent upon themselves for providing these basic needs.

      • November 5, 2021 1:37 pm

        If you lower minimum wages for some group – you automatically disadvantage all those not in the group.

        If you accept that high school students should not have to be paid MW – then why should anyone ?

        And BTW why is work limited to HS ?

        I started emptying trash cans for a nickel a peice for my father’s business when I was 4.

        I was being paid 0.25/hour to run a blueprint machine by the time I was 8.

        I paid my way through college on what I had earned as a kid – some of it before HS.

      • November 5, 2021 1:41 pm

        Our society implimented the minimum wage as a means to reduce the ability of blacks to get jobs.

        Lets not rewrite history with noble justifications for overtly racist actions.

        A minimum wage is a floor to wages all it accomplishes is depriving those who do not produce sufficient value to justify that wage from getting a job.

        Atleast the racists of the past were honest about that.

  46. Ron P permalink
    November 3, 2021 11:48 pm

    ..Roby No matter the issue, there will always be something anyone can end up agreeing with others about. I thought is would take many months, if not years, for me to agree with progressives. But I agree with them blocking repeal of SALT.

    I don’t think anyone living in million dollar homes paying 5 digit property taxes should get a tax deduction more than a middle class home owner. If the state decides to be high taxed state, then those in low tax states should not subsidize federal income taxes for the billionaires in high tax states. The deduction should be capped at 200% of what the amount that the average american can deduct. Democrats speak with forked tongue when they say “tax the rich” followed by “repeal SALT ” because about 9o% of the SALT deductions benefits the top 10% of income earners.

    As for Biden and economy, he is responsible for rising fuel prices. In December 2019, there were 805 oil rigs pumping oil. That declined to 251 during the 2020 pandemic. With the rapid improvement in 2021 demand, oil rigs only recovered to 544 today, leaving 33% still inactive. Much of that reduced production is due to uncertainty in future regulations and the cost of activating and deactivating rigs. Fewer rigs equal less supply resulting in higher prices. When companies dont have a clear picture of regulations, they wont plan for increased production until they do.So what did Biden do,? He did not give clear guidance for the next ten year plan for domestic production, he went and ask OPEC to pump more. They said basically “screw you” and rightfully so.

    • November 4, 2021 2:14 am

      State and local taxes should not be deductible from federal taxes.

      Doing otherwise is bad pollicy that encourages spendthrift state and local conduct.

      I do not care if those trying to repeal the SALT provisions of the Trump tax reform are republicans or woke.

      They must be good for something.

    • November 4, 2021 2:16 am

      There should be no CAP.

      State and local taxes should NOT be deductable from federal taxes. PERIOD.
      Not for the wealthy, not for the poor.

    • November 4, 2021 2:20 am

      Biden is responsible for oil prices.

      But he is also responsible for most of the rest of the mess in the economy.

      One place you and I seem to diverge is that for a libertarian you do not seem to grasp that when there is a problem – and you can keep government out of it, it eventually solves itself.

      The fundimentals of the US economy are excellent right now.

      But a large collection of mostly small problems being created or amplified by democrats policies is responsible for ALL the current mess.

      And passing either of the democrats big spending bills will make it worse.

      All that was necescary for Biden to have an incredibly successful presidency was to do nothing.

      As the hippocratic oath goes – First do no harm.

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 4, 2021 7:33 am

        Ron, you have been a voice of reason and fact on gas prices. You are following this. I remember when Priscilla was blaming gas prices on Biden maybe six months ago and you shot that down. So, I do not follow the details of politics now you do and I trust your opinions. Okay, high gas may be on Biden. I was tending to think it’s the speculators who buy oil like speculators buy soy bean futures. Thoughts on that? Most people do not realize that there is a very influential group of middle men who have nothing to do with the work of obtaining oil who have a large effect on the price of oil.

        I will disagree with you that these results in NJ and Virginia do not reflect the pushback against all the insane ideas of progressives. It’s progressive ideas that keep trumpgop alive. It’s the reason for the existence of trumpgop. The things you mentioned were I am sure issues, but it’s all on the background of a rebellion against defund the police, reparations (I read a list of the things gov Murphy wants to have on his upcoming agenda, I thought I was reading the onion, not of this world, it included reparations), socialism a la Sanders, over the top woke fanatics, etc . The dem party is stuck with a pile of losing issues. The gop is stuck with it’s pile of losing issues. The future seems to revolve around the question of which parties lunatic activists will turn out the vote for the opposition more effectively.

      • Ron P permalink
        November 4, 2021 2:04 pm

        We may agree with the progressive pushback, but just disagreeing on semantics.

        While I said the two main issues other than economic issues was public safety and education, when digging deeper into those categories, one finds defunding police and CRT. And I really believe the CRT issue is the scab that is covering the wound when it comes to education.

        CRT comes at a time when people have just spent the last year basically home schooling their kids. They have seen what is being taught and how it is being taught. One of my daughters pulled my grand daughter out of school and home schooled her last year because the virtual learning was so bad. People have seen the extreme impact of virtual learning and the set back of kids that could not afford to be “set back” in learning. Testing in N.C. has indicated large drops in kids at grade level this year. And then add to that the lefts belief that parents should have no say in what their kids learn in school, CRT just allowed the scab to be pulled off and the “screams” happening about school in general. One only needs to read the definition of CRT to be upset.Many won’t even understand the definition, let alone how it would be taught.

      • November 5, 2021 11:46 am

        Please learn something about economics.

        Speculators mitigate shortages they do not create them.

        They are another case of left wing nuts punishing the people who actually make things work.

        A speculator BUYS when there is no shortage betting on a future shortage and SELLS when their is one.

        As a result speculators SMOOTH the supply curve.

        Further – if they guess wrong they are wiped out.

        Here is a free easy to read primer

        Click to access Henry%20Hazlitt%20Economics%20in%20One%20Lesson.pdf

      • November 5, 2021 11:50 am

        This is likely much more challenging to your values – even I can not quite accept some of What Block is willing to defend.

        Block is easy to read, but not so easy to accept – not because his logic is not impecable,
        but because he successfully defends those each or us though were obviously wrong.

        Regardless, it is an important and free read,
        And Block has several chapters on various forms of speculator.

        Click to access Defending_the_Undefendable_2018.pdf

      • November 5, 2021 12:00 pm

        You have been ranting about Trump and Republicans forever.

        Aside from mean tweets – what are the actual issues you have ?

        What are the “extreme” policies of the GOP ?

        I have asked this of everyone here – of you, of Rick, and gotten NO ANSWER.

        The biggest attack on Trump in 2020 – is now dead.
        More people died from Covid under Biden with a vaccine developed under Trump than did under a longer period under Trump.

        In every policy we have Left -Biden failed.

        There was a big fight during one of the debates over whether Biden lied about his Fracking policy.

        We can fight over whether he ever was clear what his policy would be.
        But we are past that now – His policy is exactly what Trump said it would be.

        If Biden was not lying about what he previously said, he was clearly lying about what he would actually do.

        And it has gone badly.

        you keep trying to make Trump and the GOP into Satan incarnate – and there is ZERO factual support for YOUR extreme views of republicans.

      • November 5, 2021 12:10 pm

        Trump’s presidency can be summed up fairly simply.

        Enforce the actual law that exists – such as our immigration law.

        Reduce regulation.

        Do nothing – and the rest will take care of itself.

        You keep ranting about all this woke nonsense.

        What is “trumpism” – but NOT going forward with Woke nonsense ?

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 5, 2021 12:12 pm

        Dave, Before you go of half cocked on a rant about my supposed left wing economic vies, reread what I wrote. I said nothing about shortages. I said higher prices. Yes, speculators can artificially drive up prices and that follows from econ 101.

      • November 6, 2021 4:26 am

        Please re-read your Econ 101 text.

        If you beleive that a speculator increase prices when they buy – you must also accept that the decrease them when they sell.

        Your a smart person – do I need to explain this to you ?

        I beleive Both Block and Hazzlit cover speculation thoroughly in their books.
        But plenty of other economists address is.

        Speculation is much like short sellors.
        Speculators gamble.If they are right – they provide a valuable service and make some money.
        If they are wrong – the only one harmed is themselves.

        The only way a speculator can do harm is if they buy as the market rises, and do not sell at all ever.

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 5, 2021 12:26 pm

        “What are the “extreme” policies of the GOP ?

        I have asked this of everyone here – of you, of Rick, and gotten NO ANSWER.”

        Bzzzt, wrong. You have been answered here ad nauseum for years. Forget me or Rick (you left out Ron). Let Ben Sasse, or Kinzinger or Romney or Cheney or Frum or any other of a number of other sane republicans or conservatives who have said exactly the same things I have said. The problem is not that no one gives you answers, the problem is that you play a childish game of “I can’t hear you.”

        You are an intelligent person, but so was Velikovsky. Most of your output is simply nonsense not worthy of an intelligent person, your intelligence is real but defective.

        OK, I have answered you three times this morning, sometimes your stuff is just irresistible because its so obviously crap.

        My apologies to the blog for having given in. I will stop here.

    • Vermonta permalink
      November 4, 2021 10:22 am

      This is the song I’m singin so its not just me, not hardly:

      https://thehill.com/homenews/media/579991-carville-blames-stupid-wokeness-for-democratic-losses

      I can at least say, though its faint comfort, that in the dem party there is still a large faction that resists the progressive nut jobbery unlike in the GOP where the trumpian nut jobbery has complete control.

      • November 5, 2021 12:14 pm

        I found Carville blaming progressive wokeness interesting – and correct.

        But I also listened to Carville selling democrats actively on the lame stream media just before the election, and he had no problem trumpeting the wokesters then

        But I would ask you AGAIN.

        What was the theme of Trump’s presidency – beyond
        “lets not do stupid woke stuff” ?

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 5, 2021 3:15 pm

        “What was the theme of Trump’s presidency – beyond
        “lets not do stupid woke stuff” ?

        The theme of trumps presidency was not some woke neutral position. One of the major themes of trumps presidency was “lets do all the piggish things that brought PC, wokeness, and cancel culture into being, lets double down and do the exact opposite of being woke and behave like jackasses. Lets represent ideas that attract the support of the actual white supremicist groups. Lets turn the clock back a century.” As well, lets set fire to the Constitution, lie day and night, and encourage a violent attack on the Capital as our final act.

        The thing I most fear about having republicans in power again is that they will take up where they left off, being the party whose voters think it fine to try to intimidate the VP into violating the Constitution, lets put a gallows up and storm the Capital and break shit and steal computers. Lets call this patriotism. They have ruined the word patriot, now it means rightwing imbecile scumbags with confederate flags trying to get their actual hands on their political opposition.

        You say that Rick and I are “suddenly against wokeness” if I heard you correctly? If that is what you said you are confessing to an amazing inability to process people’s words or opinions. Rick practically founded this site based on opposition to PC and I have had more or less the same disgust with PC since I first arrived. I might be somewhat more frustrated now, but its been a foundation of my opinions for much longer than just the time I have been here. You are deaf and blind.

        Everyone here is Woke, to some extent, depending on what the word means. Even you have made lots of woke statements if woke means simply awareness of the mistreatment of blacks, women, gays, minorities etc.

        Like Carville I oppose “dumb wokeness” both in itself and for political reasons. I have had the same opinion for 3 or 4 decades at the least. I do not believe in fighting the kind of piggish ignorant values trump and many of his followers hold to with stupid counter productive left wing nuttery. That is my position and it is not at all difficult to for any intelligent person to understand. Lets see if you can do an intelligent thing and process my opinions correctly this time. My opinions are a far thing from embracing what trump and his movement represented, the wretched piggishness, and in your face caricature of what the woke are fighting. You trying to dismiss all that as nothing but some nasty tweets. History will see it my way not yours.

        In short, there is a middle ground. Now, I am not expecting you to understand that. Extremism is your thing and it is natural that you do not see your ideas as extreme, in your trump apologist world they are just normal.

      • November 6, 2021 5:27 am

        Are you capable of having a fact based discussion.

        First you rant that you have offered policies – by spraying us with people.

        Then this nonsense.

        You are right – Trump is not “woke neutral” – there is no such thing.
        There is woke, and there is the opposite.
        There is not half woke.

      • November 6, 2021 6:37 am

        Every now and then you are briefly rational.

        Again you are right – there is always a middle ground.

        There is also always the truth. These are rarely the same.

        Right now Trump is much loser to the Truth (or competence as you prefer) than Biden
        The Proud Boys are much closer to the Truth that the Woke, and certainly less dangerous.

        Do you really think that the 1/6 “insurectionists” came to the capital to overthrow the govenrment – and they did not bring any guns ? Not one ?

        At Lexington and Concord the minuteman brought guns, and shot and killed 70 British Soldiers.

      • November 6, 2021 6:46 am

        Robby,

        I have never voted for Trump.

        I am perfectly capable of criticising Trump’s policies.
        I have frequently noted that like all politicians he exagerates his successes.
        But he was a better president than Bush and Obama and ifthings continue as they are Biden may yet beat Buchannon as the worst president ever.

        What I am not is drowning in Trump Derangement Syndrome.

        Biden has been president for 10 months. Trump is mostly gone. Regardless, he has no power. All the Fup’s of the past 10 months are with Biden and democrats.

        It is fairly easy to do a head to head comparison between Biden and Trump right now
        on policies and successes.

        No matter where you rank Trump on the scale – Biden is OBJECTIVELY worse.

        You would be able to tell that if you were not suffering from TDS and terrified of mythical white supremecists.

  47. Ron P permalink
    November 4, 2021 11:17 pm

    Roby ( and anyone else reading), this is a good analysis of the elections (or at least I think so because i said much of what she wrote before I read what she wrote (-_-).

    She is well respected and has been around for many years, right leaning but not far right. Did not think Palin was qualified and she thought Trump should have been impeached. I also agree with the comments of James Carville.

    Anyway, if interested, take a couple minutes reading.
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/voters-give-democrats-a-woke-up-call-republicans-youngkin-virginia-progressives-11636059748?mod=followpeggynoonan

    • Anonymous permalink
      November 5, 2021 6:36 am

      Excellent! It sounds like many people get it, will it be enough to change things? We will see. I would like to think that behind the madness and unreason that have so often prevailed in the last period, there may lurk a reservoir of… Common sense and common decency.

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 5, 2021 6:39 am

        Vermonta, not Anny Nominous

      • November 5, 2021 1:33 pm

        AGAIN, What is it you actually want ?

        I really want to hear from you, Rick – all the anti-trumpsters, who now stand against the woke.

        What distingushes what you want form republicans of Trump ?

        Go through the list of woke nonsense that you oppose.

        What of that is there that Trump or republicans favored ?

        In fact what if you accept agreement with Trump/Republicans on all the anti-woke stuff,
        what is left of Trump/Republican policies for you to oppose ?

  48. Ron P permalink
    November 6, 2021 12:32 am

    Dave, you have asked Roby and Rick why they dislike Trump, but left me out of that request. Like many other times, I am going to add my 2 cents worth anyway.

    I am commenting from a different perspective than Rick or Roby. As you know from previous comments, I thought Trump was unqualified and unfit for the presidency in 2016. Not as much as Hillary, but enough that I voted for Johnson, someone with experience at various levels. Then comes 2020 and the third parties give no good alternative, I disliked Biden due to policy issues which we see playing out today and that trumped my dislike of Trump as a person and his way he handled the public relations of the office.

    You also know from previous discussions that I supported even more of the Trump policies than you did. If there are laws, they should be followed. I supported his immigration policies. I supported his trade policies since I am much more in favor of open trade at both ends, not just our end. And there were other policies like the elimination of SALT in the tax legislation, the reduction in corporate taxes, etc. (I would add that I also believe in a minimum corporate rate so Amazon can not get away from paying when they make millions)

    But all that changed after the election. Trump began a process that one can look at other “dictators” to see how they managed to gain control of their country where the constitution was weak or non existent. He convinced millions that the election was rigged. That constant questioning of the election process created the rally in Washington, not of law abiding citizens, but of militia types looking to do harm. He ordered Pence to not allow the vote to certify the election and when Pence told him he did not have that authority, he went ballistic. He proceeded to give speeches that did not calm the crowd on January 6th, but used key words that if one is inclined to the thinking of the extreme right wing crowd, they created anger, they were not designed to calm anyone. It reminded me of film clips when Hitler was giving speeches and people were standing with the hands pointed toward the horizon and cheering. Not until the crowds began moving on the capital did one hear anything that could be considered asking for calm. There were even TV clips of him standing in front of TV screens watching the crowds getting excited before they began marching toward the capital.

    Even today, he goes around the country claiming the election was stolen, the media are disgraceful, fake, liars, out of control and very dishonest along with many other attributes. I don’t disagree with some of this, but it is not meant to change anything for the good, it is to create hate, anger and division within the country. This is not presidential. But it is designed to assist in getting his supporters into congress which I think he believes will insure he is re-elected, one way or the other come 2024, legally or not.

    So due to his desire to destroy certain laws and rights within the constitution, along with actions that one can find other dictators following, there is no way I could ever vote for Trump in the future. Nor would I vote for Biden or Harris. All are set on destroying the country as we know it, either through hate and division and an almost repeal of the constitution as we know it by Trump or an economic destruction as we now see Biden and Harris attempting to do in congress if not for Manchin and Sinema.

    • November 6, 2021 6:53 am

      I did NOT ask Rick and Robby why they Dislike Trump – they have made that abundantly clear:

      FEELINGS.

      I asked them to identify the POLICIES that they think makes Trump EXTREMIST.

      I am not even asking them to aggree with Trump’s policies.

      I am asking them to address policies for reasons that go beyond Trump.

      There are things I do not agree with in the Republican platform.
      There are things that are Wrong.
      There is nothing that is EXTREME.

      I am trying to push them towards rationality.

      I was hoping that after 10 months of Trump out of power and 10 months of a disasterous Biden presidency – they might be a little past the Trump Derangement Syndrome.

      Robby clearly is not.

      If Joe Manchin switched parties and ran in 2024 as a Republican -Robby would be calling him a racist nazi and scaring him self with fears of marauding white supremecists.

    • November 6, 2021 8:45 am

      This is Savannah Jordan. In 2016 and 2020, I could not vote for either the Republican or the Democratic candidates. I wrote in John Kasich’s name. I agree with Trump’s immigration policies, except that he justifies his policies by describing the illegals as murderers or members of gangs. My rationale for enforcement of immigration laws is that there is a limitation of resources. We have a responsibility to help some of the 2 billion people living in life threatening conditions but if we don’t realize that we don’t have the resources to help all, we will destroy our ability to help anyone.

    • November 6, 2021 9:53 am

      Of course the constant attacks on the election are meant to do good.

      They are meant to propup the efforts to tighten our election laws -though I am not sure how that works – since the executives in these states ignored those laws.

      I do not know whether we would have gotten a different outcome had the law been followed,
      But I do know that when it is not the legitimacy of the entire government is undermined.

      Trump did not do that. Those behaving outside the law did.

      Again YOU are the one who says “follow the law” – so do we stop complaining about lawlessness – if they get away with it ?

    • November 6, 2021 9:56 am

      You keep saying Trump acted lawlessly.

      Nope, not at all.

      You can like what he did.
      You can dislike it.

      But it was fully within the law and constitution.

      In fact he had options that likely would have torn the country apart that he did NOT move forward with.

      If you want to accuse him of actual lawlessness – provide evidence.

      The house was unable to do so in Faux impeachment II.

    • November 6, 2021 10:01 am

      You keep repeating this left wing Trump, Hitler,Dictator nonsense.

      We have had lawless presidents.

      Clinton lied under oath – twice,
      sought the destruction of evidence and engaged in multiple counts of witness tampering.

      Both Obama and Biden are completely lawless on immigration.

      If Biden wants to change immigration law – we have a democrat controlled congress he can call on to do that. In the meantime FOLLOW THE LAW.

      You keep saying dictator – when did trump go outside the law ?

      As we learn more of the events of Jan 2021, we learn that Pelosi and Miley went outside the law, but we have no actual examples of Trump.

    • November 6, 2021 10:07 am

      The odds of Biden still being president in 2024 are slim to none

      I am not sure he makes it to 2022.

      It is near certain Harris will be the democratic candidate in 2024

      Barring a miracle whoever the republican is is near certain to win.

      Trump will be the GOP candidate in 2024 IF

      His mind, his body, and his stamina remain excellent.

      I do not think the odds favor that.

      I have not doubt he WANTS to run in 2024.

      Obviously you can vote as you please for whatever reasons you choose.

      But the only thing that has changed since election day 2020, is we now know how mentally deficient Biden is, and how badly the children propping him up are doing running the country.

    • November 6, 2021 10:10 am

      A further clarification.

      I feel sorry for Joe Biden.
      He never should have been in the 2020 race.
      It is near certain those close to him knew he was failing.

      There is very little of what has been done in his name that I truly blame him for.
      Even though he was not that hot as senator.

      When I say “biden failed” – I mostly mean the children actually running the whitehouse.

      One of the things I find interesting – is that does not appear to include Harris.

      That does not make Harris a good person.

  49. Vermonta permalink
    November 6, 2021 8:35 am

    Dave, Ron gave you an excellent answer, you ignored every word he said, and instead of responding to his post you made comments about me that only a fool would make. You are asking for answers you say, but you never actually listen to what people say. You have your own mental issues and this blog is just a place for you to talk at great length to yourself. It makes conversation with you worthless.

    • November 6, 2021 10:29 am

      Ron gave a better answer than you.
      Albeit one that is factually incorrect.

      I would further note that Ron – like you fixated on emotions rather than facts -but atleast he was able to articulate – evidence – albeit false evidence to support his positions.

    • Anonymous permalink
      November 7, 2021 9:00 am

      Sorry, but I’m responding here because your last comment to me doesn’t show a “reply” tab to continue the conversation there. (Hopefully others aren’t having the same problems, but for me following and participating in conversations here is horrible.)

      Thank you for the information and endorsement regarding Ron. Unfortunately, we have to start from square one (IMO, general principles and organizing), so hopefully he will be willing to put policy topics on the shelf for awhile and help out there.

      I’ll also take the opportunity to ask the same of you!

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 7, 2021 9:58 am

        If I understand you correctly you are asking me to join your group. I would have to have more details about the form of the group to say yes, but the idea of a moderate sort of think tank is attractive and I certainly would consider it. Ron is much more detailed than I am, I try not to often dive into the details of issues because my idea of being truly informed on an issue would involve hundreds of hours of reading. Since no one is asking me to lead the EPA or be secretary of state and since I have plenty of demands on my time I don’t dive into details very often.

      • Francisco A Figueroa permalink
        November 7, 2021 11:46 am

        Vermonta, we are just getting started and would benefit from your insight and perspective. Please just send your email to moderate,squared@yahoo.com and copy me at fafigueroa@me.com to get more information. No obligations at all at this point.

      • November 7, 2021 1:32 pm

        Do people with shared goals work together ?

        Ir do people choose to work together and then decide what the goals are ?

    • Rod permalink
      November 7, 2021 11:16 am

      Sorry, I got ahead of myself.

      My current step, and what I’m inviting people to, is forming a charter committee to debate, possibly fine-tune, and ultimately ratify a charter for my proposed org. I’m trying to break down the effort into smaller, manageable steps, to facilitate concerns of workload, time, etc. such as you’ve expressed. So the charter committee will only be responsible for the single, relatively small step of ratifying a charter. Once that is done, committee members can stay on and help build however they see fit, or go back to their own business as usual.

      The draft charter points are already written. I’d just like people open to the basic belief that we (“the middle”) have to do something, to discuss them, work through them, fine-tune them, and eventually ratify a finished product to present to larger “middle” audiences.

      The process could be done in a weekend, or it could take a week or two. But it is a necessary, vital but manageable, step forward.

    • Rod permalink
      November 7, 2021 2:24 pm

      Hi again, Vermonta. Responding here just to ask that you move any questions, comments, etc. about the committee and possibly joining to e-mail, as it is just to difficult for me to navigate this comments setup with all the conversations going. Thank you, I’d I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

      -Rod
      moderate(dot)squared(at)yahoo.com

  50. Francisco A Figueroa permalink
    November 6, 2021 10:25 am

    Dear Rick,

    There are times with posts like these when the comments and counter-comments reach past the “useful product” stage, and it is best to bring the instant discussion to an end. I believe we have reached this stage.

    Second, if any and all of the commenters here would like to actively participate in a movement to advance the cause of the nation (as determined by the members of the movement) above and beyond the “narrow obsessions and preening presumptions” of the radical fringes that control both political parties, please reach out to Rick at moderate.squared@yahoo.com. He is working to activate the moderate forces who, while they may differ over specific issues, are avidly interested in the strategic interests of our country.

    Thank you for considering these ideas.

    • Ron P permalink
      November 7, 2021 12:02 am

      Francisco, Rick does not moderate this site. He posts a subject and then he will monitor comments for a couple days and then he moves on. So if you do not get a response, it is not you, that’s what happens.

      But I will say your comment is not new. Others have said the same thing. I have said the same, but tt goes ignored and there are just a few die hards left.Others come, are interested in Ricks thoughts, and then the number of comments increase to the point those interested leave to find places that are less active.

      On this one Roby and I have been more active than normal, but there was information concerning the election we both wanted to share, so we did. That is not normal for the most part.

      You should have been here before. It got tot he point wordpress could not handle the number of comments, most by one person. Over a thousand in some cases.

      • Francisco A Figueroa permalink
        November 7, 2021 12:26 am

        Ron, I love the energy level here and, despite the occasional bitter discourse, believe that there exists in the hearts and minds of those engaging here and in so many other forums, the sincere desire to adhere and advance the vision of this country, in accordance with the principles expressed in the beginning. We are not perfect, far from it, yet if we move forward to “form a more perfect union,’ then we will be true to our calling. I sense smart people here, who are interested in advancing a noble cause. There is nothing more powerful than that.

      • November 7, 2021 12:37 pm

        +1

      • November 7, 2021 1:06 am

        I should not be surprised that you have created an alternate reality view of TNM.

        I also post on johnathan Turley’s website – which is also wordpress based and handles far more volume that TNM

        I have been as prolific if not much more so at times.

        I get attacked for my principles, my positions.

        Not for this idiotic nonsense about posting.

        NYT comments sections often go to 5000 comments in a few hours.

        Nothing has ever impaired your abiltiy to say what you want.

      • November 7, 2021 1:14 am

        I would suggest to you that the problems with TNM fundimentally are that it is increasingly less interesting.

        I used to be excited to read what Rick would post next on some substantive issue.

        Either Ricks posts have become more formulaic or I have become more capable of seeing a pattern that was always there.

      • Anonymous permalink
        November 7, 2021 1:29 am

        Hi Ron,

        I’m the person Francisco is referring to with the Yahoo e-mail address trying to, literally, activate more moderates. I only stumbled onto Rick’s work maybe two weeks ago. There is so much parallel thought here (and I still have a lot to go through) that I had to reach out. Rick and I have exchanged a few e-mails and hopefully that will be ongoing.

        Rick has expressed interest in what I’ve been trying to do, and I think this site and its users/visitors (current, past, and new) could be another branch for it. Understandably after 14 years, Rick in this post seems to be questioning if there is anything left in the tank, personally and as a movement. My position is that we don’t really have any other choice.

        I’ve been working on my own niche of the movement for 7 years. Not being a politics guy, a lot of that time has been spent learning the hard way and making mistakes. What hasn’t changed is the belief that this isn’t going to happen through the efforts of just one person or one “leader.” What needs to happen immediately is the building of what Rick refers to as a culture, and what I refer to as a community, with deliberate conversations towards tangible goals. No more just, “talking politics.”

        I’ve been trying to assemble a working committee of open minded people to nail down a basic organization charter to start building off of, and would like to ask for your help getting this done. Once all six spots are filled, the process shouldn’t take more than a week or two.

        As of now, I have 3 seats filled and would like to ask you to consider filling a fourth. I hope that all those committed to this small but important step can fill the remaining committee positions and get to work giving the future community and culture a foundation.

        Would love to hear your thoughts and questions!

        -Rod

      • Ron P permalink
        November 7, 2021 11:44 am

        Rod, this sounds intriguing, but I would need more information before committing to something like this.

        For instance,
        1) how would the interaction of the group occur? I ask this because I am not a electronics fan, do not do any type of video communication between folks and avoid most anything other than e-mail if I can. In fact, it has not been that long ago that I bought a cell phone to keep in the car for emergency purposes because finding help these days on the road is near impossible. I refused to get one when they first got widespread when I was still working because people that had one could never get “away” from work.

        2) how much time do you see required for this endeavor?

        3) exactly what is your thinking as to the results of this endeavor. No specifics. This can range from just a blog, website or an actual organization designed for moderates.
        Ron

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 7, 2021 7:26 am

        The thing is Dave, that you have a defective input device. It has always been clear that while you read every word others write you rarely understand what they are saying. Everyone lives in their own inner world but most people can get out of it long enough to understand others thoughts. For you it is far more difficult. It means that for all the words you write what results is rarely a conversation, it’s you talking to you. It’s as if you are on a permanent acid trip of distorted impressions. As they say, garbage in garbage out.

      • November 7, 2021 1:15 pm

        We do not have a conversation because you refuse to have one unless it is shared anguish and ripping of sack cloth devoid of any factual basis.

        When our understanding of the world starts with emotion rather than facts, it is near certain our perception is wrong.

        I ask you to start from the facts and build towards conclusions.
        You don’t.

        You are intolerant.
        You are intolerant of disagreement.
        You are intolerant of being questioned.

        That precludes having a conversation.

        Even when you occasionally get somethings right – you and Rick have a growing distastes for the “woke”, but you must ALWAYS follow that up with a chaser – mythical far right extremists are equally bad. Your conception of moderate requires that YOU are always in the middle – if there are bad people to the extreme left of you there MUST be bad people to the extreme right.

        Nor do you seem to grasp that the only consequential distinction between Woke and your own positions is amplitude.

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 7, 2021 7:53 am

        Rod, you have chosen wisely. Ron has talents, both analytical and for commination. Ask him to show you his ideas on minimum wage and health insurance. Not that long ago He posted a really good framework for sensible national health care. That plan ought to be seen by more people and used as a starting point by some group.

      • November 7, 2021 1:28 pm

        The only correct minimum wage is zero.

        The roots of minimum wage laws is racism. They were created to create a barrier to thwart hiring blacks. That remains their effect even today.

        MW laws are a form of price controls and all price controls have seriously net negative impacts.

        Ron wants a lower MW for HS students – he is correct in all the facts he cites for the bad effect of existing MW laws on HS students. He is correct that a lower MW will benefit HS students.

        Still he is caught up in a fairly typical seen/unseen fallacy.

        lower the MW for HS students – and businesses will hire more HS students – and less of others many of whom are even worse off.

        The only correct price for anything is what a willing buyer and willing seller agree to.

        The correct national healthcare plan is no national healthcare plan.
        Health is individual, not national.

      • Ron P permalink
        November 7, 2021 4:09 pm

        Dqve,

        We clearly know from years of your comments that you do not agree with a minimum wage nor a national health insurance plan. We do not need to be constantly reminded of that fact. We know where you stand on anything government. We do not need 15 comments every time someone mentions one of those issues.

        You and I have discussed this too many times and we need to agree to disagree and move on. I can’t change your position and you are sure as hell not going to change mine.

        And that goes for all the other issues we disagree with because I view your form of Libertarian as one verging on minarchism which I do not subscribe to. I am much more moderate in my Libertarian leanings because I know all people will not do good and there are times that government is required because 300 million people can not go 300 million different directions.

        i am sorry that you can not accept that I do not believe all men will do good . I do not believe all people will be able to overcome the bad some others will be doing to them. I do not believe that everyone will be able to provide adequately for themselves due to many different reasons, lazy not being one of them.It must be wonderful to live in your world and believe in uptopia and think this way, But I can’t

        Please accept that I believe this way and move on!

      • November 7, 2021 6:08 pm

        So you want to live in a world in which no one will point out what is wrong with whatever you propose ?

        You want TNM, the internet, the world to be a cheering squad for whatever you seek to do, where no one ever tells you what the cost is ?

        You want to make the same flawed arguments over and over – and expect that if you make them enough times – people will quit pointing out the flaws ?

        If I am not permitted to raise the same objections over and over – why are you permitted to make the same arguments over and over ?

        Is there some law of nature I do not know about that if you kick your heels three times and make a wish – if no one objects if comes true ?

      • November 7, 2021 6:29 pm

        “i am sorry that you can not accept that I do not believe all men will do good . I do not believe all people will be able to overcome the bad some others will be doing to them. I do not believe that everyone will be able to provide adequately for themselves due to many different reasons, lazy not being one of them.It must be wonderful to live in your world and believe in uptopia and think this way, But I can’t”

        Beat that straw men to death.

        When have I ever said that all men will do good ?

        The very fact that men do not always do good is both why government is necessary and why it must be minimal.

        All men are not angels and Angels do not govern men.

        Government is made of the very same men that you do not trust

        “The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern. Every class is unfit to govern.”

        “It is easier to find people fit to govern themselves than people fit to govern others.”
        Lord Acton

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 7, 2021 7:55 am

        Er, communication. Ha, my own could be improved.

      • Anonymous permalink
        November 7, 2021 12:02 pm

        Hi Ron, thanks for getting back. I’m responding here because your last comment doesn’t show a “repy” tab.

        To answer your concerns, I’ll have to switch over to desktop later today, as typing and navigating on this site’s comments set up is near impossible on my mobile.

        For now, it’s important that I say I’m only looking at the relatively small step of a temporary committee. I’ve described this step elsewhere in these comments like this:

        My current step, and what I’m inviting people to, is forming a charter committee to debate, possibly fine-tune, and ultimately ratify a charter for my proposed org. I’m trying to break down the effort into smaller, manageable steps, to facilitate concerns of workload, time, etc. such as you’ve expressed. So the charter committee will only be responsible for the single, relatively small step of ratifying a charter. Once that is done, committee members can stay on and help build however they see fit, or go back to their own business as usual.

        The draft charter points are already written. I’d just like people open to the basic belief that we (“the middle”) have to do something, to discuss them, work through them, fine-tune them, and eventually ratify a finished product to present to larger “middle” audiences.

        The process could be done in a weekend, or it could take a week or two. But it is a necessary, vital but manageable, step forward.

      • Rod permalink
        November 7, 2021 2:53 pm

        Hi again, Ron. Responding here to address your specific questions, and to ask that you move any questions, comments, etc. about the committee and possibly joining to e-mail, as it is just too difficult for me to navigate this comments setup with all the conversations going. My e-mail address is below.

        As for how the committee will interact, that will probably be up to its members and their level of comfort and tech savvy. It will probably go down one of two general ways. The first would be real time, i.e. conference calls, video conferences, or internet voice conferences. The second way could be text based, where conversations are ongoing and people contribute as they have time. For what it’s worth, I prefer the later, as it’s more flexible and there is a written record. I assume you would prefer this, and I can help get you over any tech bumps along the way.

        As for time, that would depend on the mode of conversation, everyone’s ability to participate, and the chair’s (me, lol) ability to manage things. As I think I stated before, it could be a weekend or it could be a week or two.

        Finally, to the easiest question of the three, this is all aimed at an activist organization for moderates, apoliticals, converts, and anyone else ready for something different from two-party business as usual. No blogs, no “talking politics,” no circular conversations on issues and problems that we don’t have the strength to change. This is about getting people together and working on issues and affecting change, specifically in person and face to face, wherever and however it is available to them, but with a moderate’s sensibility and a militant’s enthusiasm.

        Thanks for your interest, and I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

        -Rod
        moderate(dot)squared(at)yahoo.com

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 8, 2021 7:58 am

        Dave, worry about your own mistakes and problems and try to correct those. Hounding others ad nauseum does not accomplish any goal except your goal of being a public nuisance. Millions of futile words over decades and you only succeeded in making it clear that you have a wiring problem. Any healthy person would have moved on to something more intelligent.

      • November 8, 2021 12:49 pm

        Good advice – but it is far more applicable to you and the left.
        I will be happy to leave you alone and focus entirely on my own life.
        When YOU let me. When ignoring you will not result in my waking up tomorow and discovering that I am not permitted to run my own life anymore.

        I am not looking to use the force of government to transform the world.

        I am universally arguing exactly what you just demanded of me.

        That each of us put our effort into our own lives.

        This is the core of libertarianism, and it is the only legitimate political position if you accept free will – and you can not have either self government or morality without free will.

        I am constantly arguing as Jordan Peterson does – “clean up your room”.
        If you can not manage your own life – you have no business trying to change that of others.

      • Ron P permalink
        November 8, 2021 1:48 pm

        Dave, “Good advice – but it is far more applicable to you and the left.
        I will be happy to leave you alone and focus entirely on my own life.”

        Great! Lets all follow this advice!

        How about developing the brokenwindows.com website or WordPress site and comment all you want there. You can attract people that really want to read your form of libertarian policies and have good discussions with them concerning issues that are of interest or concerns.You may also be able to find those that want to create a movement to spread those ideas nationally. Many forest fires start with the smallest spark.

        We will be leave you alone and you will not have to defend your actions almost every day from those that take issue with the amount of posting you create.

        We will all be happy!

      • rondabellelane permalink
        November 8, 2021 11:26 pm

        Exactly! The only bits I read from him are what you and a few others respond to. I welcome reasonable discussions – would be best if we ignore the unreasonable.

      • November 10, 2021 10:36 pm

        You will never hear from me at all if you avoid one thing.

        Trying to impose your will on others by force.

        You are not obligated to read my criticisms – or anyone else’s.

        But you may not silence them,

        And you can not know the merits of your own arguments if you ignore criticism.

        “He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion… Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them…he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.”

        ― John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

      • November 10, 2021 10:39 pm

        The woke welcome reasonable discussions – those of anyone who agrees with them.

        It is only by accepting, listening to, and if possible refuting criticism of your own positions, that you can be sure that you own position is reasonable.

      • November 10, 2021 10:22 pm

        So once again – I Must accordiing to you act in the way you demand ?

        Why can’t you just accept my freedom to post as I wish ?

        Do I EVER post complaining about how you mow your grass ? Live your own private life ?

        Pretty much all posts on TNM are one of two types:

        Demands by some to control the lives of others.

        Demands to quit trying to control the lives of others.

        You can trivially avoid having to read my “liberterian politics”
        All you have to do is stop trying to take control of the lives of others.

        If I have given you unsolicited advice regarding running your own life – I apologize.

        Just about universally what I attack – that libertarian politics you wish to be free of, is your or others efforts to dictate what others do.

        You are NOT inherently free to do so. Nor are you entitled to be free from criticism for doing so.

        I have no right to tell you how to run your own life.
        You have no right to expect to be able to tell me or anyone else how to run theirs without criticism.

  51. November 6, 2021 8:32 pm

    An excellent overview of the current state of the Biden crime family drama.

    https://jonathanturley.org/2021/10/19/joe-biden-and-the-disappearing-elephant-how-to-make-a-full-sized-scandal-vanish-in-front-of-an-audience-of-millions/

    Need I remind everyone that Trump was impeached for asking that this be investigated Now actual liberal democrats like Turley are demanding a special council.

    How is it that it is improper for Trump to seek an investigation that is so clearly justified that it requires a special counsel ?

    And why didn’t bar appoint won before he left. Hunter was under investigation at the time, Biden was going to be president and there is a clear conflict of interests. This is precisely what special counsels are for.

    FINALLY. What should be obvious here, is that just like the Collusion Dellusion we were LIED to by the left wing nut press AGAIN.

    This is the same press that keeps telling us that the 2020 election can be trusted.

    There is a basis for distrusting the election specifically because the press trusts it.
    What have they been right about ?

  52. November 6, 2021 8:41 pm

    It has taken 5 years to get partway to the truth of the collusion delusion.

    How long before we get to the truth about the Biden influence pedlling scheme – recently release emails make clear that “the big guy” was part of it all ?

    How long before we learn the truth about the 2020 election ?

    And on and on.

    https://nypost.com/2021/11/05/inside-the-clinton-dossier-and-the-con-behind-the-russiagate-scandal/

  53. November 6, 2021 8:50 pm

    More on the vileness of demcrats in the VA election.

    Several here claim that their issue is Trump and his personally offensive demeanor.

    Yet here we have the media, democratic operative all selling exactly the same BS they have sold about Trump – it is all racist dog whistles. It is all white supremecy.

    It has nothing to do with corrupt local government, financial misdeeds, policies that result in multiple rapes, or school boards putting together enemies lists of district parents.

    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/the-red-pilling-of-loudoun-county

  54. November 8, 2021 12:57 pm

    Here is an excellent articale in reason

    “Politics Is Rotting Brains and Making Everyone Mad”

    https://reason.com/2021/11/05/politics-is-rotting-brains-and-making-everyone-mad/

    I have some nits to pick but those do not undermine the core.

    I have said repeatedly here that countries with high voter turnout are inherently unstable.
    US voter turnout is rising – that is a very bad thing. Voter turnout rises as divisions become deeper. They rise when there are efforts to fundimentally transform the country. And they rise when there is opposition to rapid fundimental changes.

  55. Rod permalink
    November 8, 2021 5:32 pm

    Ever Google “Moderate organizations”?

    This was my top result – https://www.staunchmoderates.org/

    Is this the best we can do?

    • Vermonta permalink
      November 10, 2021 12:21 pm

      I don’t know about best, but its better than I expected. The website is not so strong though.
      Long ago, decades ago, at the beginning of what I recognized as my moderate activism my key thought was that there should be moderate targeted magazines and journals. The left and right have scores of them. Still none for moderates really all these years later, unless I am missing something. I am surprised there is no person with deep pockets and moderate yearnings who would put the money into this idea, as a tax loss even.

      • Ron P permalink
        November 10, 2021 1:30 pm

        Roby, the reason someone has not created magazines and journals for moderates is there is no market for them.

        I don’t think Moderate voters are those that spend their time reading or discussing politics. They know what is happening, but many times they don’t get into the details. One can look at primary elections to see the more active and involved voters are either the far right or far left. Why else do we end up with candidates like Biden (yes the most centrist of the candidates but not centrist at all) or a narcissistic wanna-be dictator like Trump. IMO, its because If moderate voters really got involved, there is a strong likelihood that someone like Gabbard or even Bloomberg (democrats 2020) or Marco Rubio/John Kasich (GOP 2016) would have been the candidates. They dont, so there are few moderates on tickets these days.

        So if you are a billionaire, are you going to waste money, even for tax loss purposes) on creating a moderate voters magazine where you publish a few copies each month or quarter? And who is going to work for you when you product does not sell?

        By the way, I had to laugh at the picture at the end of the staunchmoderates home page. One can buy that Reagan was somewhat moderate since he would compromise and he attracted the democrats that refused to vote for Walter Mondale. I can not say the same for Biden, but that is just my thoughts on what really makes a moderate.

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 10, 2021 5:17 pm

        Oh, I agree with you Ron, a moderate readership would have to be grown. Someone would have to make it cool to be a moderate, like its cool to have a tattoo, or 6 tattoos. Weird shit can become popular, so why not moderate politics? I know, I know…

      • Ron P permalink
        November 10, 2021 11:40 pm

        I can see the ad now
        Subscribe to Happy Moderates Monthly Journal and enjoy the benefits of reading and discussing topics of interest with other cool moderates!

        Its cool to be a Moderate!

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 12, 2021 5:53 pm

        That sounds sort of like an advertisement in life magazine from the 50s. Funny Ron. To help make it cool to be moderate you can be the first moderate comedian and calmly tell moderate jokes.

      • Rick Bayan permalink
        November 14, 2021 3:37 pm

        Moderates definitely need to rebrand themselves to attract a following. “Moderate” sounds wishy-washy; “centrist” comes across too wonkish and ideological.

        The beauty of a moderate political stance is that it doesn’t depend on received ideas; we’re proudly independent freethinkers. (Obviously, to judge by the comments section of The New Moderate, we can’t even agree on what to agree on.) But how do we sell our reasonable brand of politics to a public accustomed to self-righteous, hot-blooded posturing?

        I’ve tried, and I haven’t made a dent in the national discourse. It’s probably time for a new strategy.

      • November 15, 2021 12:04 am

        You do not need a new strategy.
        You do not need new branding.

        You need substance – actual principles,

        Ones that are clear, understandable and principled.

      • Ron P permalink
        November 15, 2021 12:23 am

        “But how do we sell our reasonable brand of politics to a public accustomed to self-righteous, hot-blooded posturing?”

        All the good intentions will never create an actual “freedom” party which is really what the moderates are looking for. Most independent moderates want the government out of their social lives and out of the pockets.

        Right now we have two groups of people with like arguments used for issues 180 degrees in thinking. On one hand we have the left that contends that abortions should be legal based on “my body, my choice”. On the other hand many, if not most support mandatory vaccines for those that don’t want it. Then we have the anti-vaxers saying “My body, my choice” but then support and defend eliminating most all abortions for most any reason. You can take almost any other issue like tax the rich. The left says the rich need to pay more taxes to pay for programs, but they include SALT deductions in most all legislation because the people in high tax states are paying more than they used to. However, over 90% of the ones paying more make over $400,00 a year, many own two homes, drive expensive cars, etc. All while the right is promoting less taxes, say they support cutting the deficit and the deficit has not been cut for years, even when they were in power.

        Not until the media takes up the movement will anything begin to happen. But right now we have a media with an agenda, not neutral reporting of facts.

        When only 35-40 % of each party shows up to vote in primaries and the winner in the first 4-5 states wins with 35%-40% of the vote, we won’t have any moderates on the ticket.

  56. Ron P permalink
    November 12, 2021 11:40 pm

    For those still interested in Va election results, this is a good recap.
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/democrats-face-the-woke-elections-socialists-critical-race-theory-schools-aoc-virginia-11636669165?mod=followpeggynoonan

    • Vermonta permalink
      November 13, 2021 7:26 am

      She is brilliant, I am a fan. I hope someone will listen to her. Thanks, Ron.

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      November 14, 2021 3:24 pm

      Yes, a much-needed opinion piece, although it will be read mainly by wealthy conservatives. I’m even more encouraged that liberal celebrities like Bill Maher and John Cleese have been railing against wokery lately. The movement may have “jumped the shark” with its asinine insistence that qualities like individualism, objectivity and even correct math solutions are symptoms of white supremacy. I’m less optimistic when I think about the millions of students who are currently being indoctrinated by anti-white “antiracist” training.

  57. Ron P permalink
    November 14, 2021 12:38 am

    I ahve been tracking covid cases since this mess started since I wanted to know what was happening in my zip code. So I have number fro national, state, county and zip codes within my county (Yes a numbers geek doing numbers) But I can see where the cases are and try to avoid that part of the county when the cases increase.

    Anyway, this wee was the first week in 8 that the cases did not decline. This week cases across America increased on a daily basis by 15%. In the data on this link, last week only a few states were white(neutral) or pink/red. If you open the link, you will find that there are no green stats of any hue. In fact, Vermont, which had been green or neutral for months just had its highest number of recorded cases on the John Hopkins site, And Vermont has an extremely high vaccination rate 80% at least one shot and 72% fully vaccinated.

    Given that data, there is a possibility we are headed for wave 3, winter 2.0 in this pandemic.Get ready for more mandates, regulations and controls.

    https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/new-cases-50-states

    • November 14, 2021 11:22 am

      If you have actually been paying attention to the data – in your state, other states, nationally and globally,

      Then you KNOW what I have been repeating over and over.

      GOVERNMENT POLICIES DO NOT WORK!!!

      Those states that have taken the most draconian steps have done no better – in most cases have done worse than those states that have done the least.

      It should be self evident to almost everyone that government can do little or nothing about Covid.

      And that is not new. It has ALWAYS been true.

    • November 14, 2021 11:32 am

      Covid is just another of the many instances the left, the media, the government, the purported experts have LIED to you – repeatedly.

      The country is deeply and bitterly divided.

      The BIG division is between those who continue to trust and beleive those who have lied to them over and over and over – and those who do not.

      YOU say the division is politicial – if so one side of the political spectrum is completely disconnected from reality

      We do not have “extreme” left and right at this time. We have those who see the world as it is, and those who do not. “moderates” here do not fair very well.

    • November 14, 2021 11:59 am

      “Get ready for more mandates, regulations and controls.”

      The “experts” have had their chance – and they have failed – they failed under Trump. They failed under Biden.

      As with innumerable issues – you are either able to see reality as it is, or you are not.

      Those still expecting answers from people who have repeatedly been wrong, even lied are slowly declining in both numbers and power.

      You can impose more mandates, regulations, controls if you wish, you will face growing resistance if you do.

      The power of government – even during and emergency rests on the trust of the people.
      As trust diminishes, so does power.

      • Rick Bayan permalink
        November 14, 2021 3:04 pm

        Dave: 99% of covid deaths are among the unvaccinated, but I’m sure you’ll find a way to dismiss that stat as a “deep state” lie.

      • November 14, 2021 11:26 pm

        I am pretty sure you are misstating a statistic.

        AS I recall in the UK which generally has better data on this than we do,
        about 1/3 of infections are in the vaccinated. But the hospitalization rate is 1/2 that of the unvaccinated, and the death rate for the infected is about 1/3 that of the unvaccinated.

        Regardless, you entirely miss my point.

        What is your goal ?

        If Covid becomes endemic – if something like 1/3 of people end up getting it every year,
        people – vaccinated or otherwise will continue to die forever.

        The 1918 spanish flu came, killed possibly 100M people world wide over 18 months, and then disappeared never to return again.

        You are also ignoring the fact that vaccine duration is relatively short. If covid becomes endemic you are going to have to get vaccinated possibly twice a year for the rest of your life.
        And the Vaccine itself has risks. The level of risk is about double that of the Flu shot.
        And you may have to get it twice a year.

    • Vermonta permalink
      November 14, 2021 12:45 pm

      Ron, Its an interesting analysis, I have also been looking at national numbers pretty often. Yes, a third wave in upon us. I can add that in Vermont, the death rate is still not high and we are still the lowest by a wide margin regarding the per capita death rate. The most conservative voting county, Essex, is also the least vaccinated and has the most cases but it has a really tiny population, less than 6000!. We have a high vaccination rate but we do have unvaccinated people and they are, not surprisingly, most of the cases and most of the severe cases. The delta variant is highly contagious and finds the unvaccinated.

      I am still very, very happy I am a Vermont resident regarding COVID.

      Nationwide, the unvaccinated are going to have a bad winter and they will spread it even to vaccinated people, who are not invulnerable, just better protected. I got my booster shot this week. Masks in stores are voluntary at this point but I may start wearing one in the grocery store.

      • November 15, 2021 12:21 am

        In the US the death rate per capita by state comes fairly close to matching the population density of the state. Vermont is the 2nd least populated state in the country.

        I also find it interesting that now that we have a vaccine you want to pretend that the same patterns that existed prior to the existence of the vaccine – are a reflection of vaccination patterns.

        What disturbs me the most about the vaccine is there at the macro level there is really no evidence that vaccination has had much effect.

        I keep referring you to Sweden – one of few countries that did NOT see a summer 2021 surge,
        They are into 8 months of very low infections, hospitalizations and deaths.
        They did very little with respect to policies. And they saw no Delta surge.

        Vermont saw a Delta Surge.

        In fact according to JHU Vermont is in the midst of the largest surge in Covid infections and deaths that it has seen since the start.

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 15, 2021 12:26 pm

        “In fact according to JHU Vermont is in the midst of the largest surge in Covid infections and deaths that it has seen since the start.”

        The largest surge in infections, yes, not the largest surge in deaths, not yet anyhow. The delta variant is very contagious and after our strong nation-leading successes people dropped their guard.

        Compared to the country our COVID death rate has been tiny, 63 per 100,000. Our next closest competitors are Hawaii and Maine at 69 and 92.

        In Pennsylvania you have 253. In Mississippi and Alabama the numbers are 342 and 326.

        I am happy to be here and not there.

        As to your continuing ranting about the drawbacks of the vaccine, its like ranting about capitalism, neither are perfect they are just the best of the available alternatives. Bernie wants what Sweden has, t seems you do to. Both of you are free to move there.

        As a country we have three basic choices,

        A. no immunity to Covid

        B. immunity by catching Covid.

        C. Immunity via vaccines.

        You are free to choose B if you think it is more dangerous to be vaccinated than to actually get Covid. But if you think that then….

        My 90 year old father and his 88 year old wife got Covid about 2 months ago. I went out to Montana to take care of him, he was pretty knocked down but today he has no Covid symptoms. I was double vaccinated (now triple) and I did not get his Covid. I would have buried him if he had not been double vaccinated.

        Here is a good link that compares vaccination immunity to immunity via getting Covid. Each type of protection gradually declines over about a year.

        The quoted data appear to be British.

        https://covid.joinzoe.com/post/covid-vaccine-natural-immunity-difference

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 15, 2021 3:33 pm

        Sweden 1484 COVID deaths per million
        Its neighbors on either side
        Finland 219
        Norway 173
        The COVID per capita death rate in the region is not a very impressive endorsement of Swedish COVID policies. Norway and Finland are seeing surges as of today Sweden is not. I do not have time to research the details but I can say that each US state and each country have followed their own trajectories of cases and deaths. Who knows what will happen in these countries over the winter. Perhaps in a year Sweden will have a better per capita death rate than its neighbors but as of today it looks like quite a few Swedes died who did not have to.

      • Ron P permalink
        November 15, 2021 5:23 pm

        Guys, I think we need to step back and look at the issues with countries and how they handled the virus from the big picture.

        Yes Denmark had a very low case rate and very low death rate.
        Denmark is on a peninsula, with only one side with a land border.
        Denmark is about the size of Maine and New Hampshire
        According to Virusncov-19.com Sweden death rate was 1484 per million.
        The death rate in USA was 2350
        That ranged from 3259 in Alabama to a low of 631 in Vermont. New Jersey was just behind Alabama with 3172 deaths per million.

        First of all you can not compare any European country to the USA as a country. If you compare the USA as an entity, you need to compare the whole of Europe to the USA. If you selectively choose a country in Europe, then you need to select a state to compare them to.

        Denmark banned all large public gatherings, closed down all unnecessary venues across its cities, heavily discouraged the use of public transportation and all manner of travel unless absolutely essential. Daycares, schools and universities were very quickly shut down and air travel was severely restricted. Most all retail was closed, all bars, gyms, churches and other places where multiple people might gather. They basically told people for two months to stay in their homes and go no where except for food and health care needs. So in the United states we had some states that did some of that. So select a state like what Denmark did and compare their outcomes. New Jersey, although much smaller was one of the most restrictive in our country and they have no where near the low numbers as Denmark. California is much larger, had the much the same lockdowns and they are also much higher.

        Denmark also closed it borders to anyone. So what might happen if North Carolina’s governor said we are going to do the same thing as Denmark, we are locking everything down and we are stationing our highway patrol on every interstate, state highway and country road that leads into the state and closing those to any travel.Can we do that here? How would Washington D.C. react to interstate travel being closed within NC’s borders to anyone outside the state? Remember, states have the 10th amendment right to govern themselves in an emergency. But can they curtail interstate travel?

        And lastly, Denmark has the population of Wisconsin. It is much easier to control 6.8 million people than 330 million.

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 15, 2021 3:55 pm

        “What disturbs me the most about the vaccine is there at the macro level there is really no evidence that vaccination has had much effect.”

        Total bullshit. You are supposed to be some kind of an expert at interpreting data?

        In the US the figures at the time of the report below in mid September were:

        5 times less likely to get sick, >10 times less likely to require hospitalization and >10 less likely to die when fully vaccinated.
        Even those numbers are a bit deceptively low since many of the younger age groups are in the mix now having been vaccinated and they already have lower incidences of getting Covid or dying. Among the older age groups the benefits of vaccination are much larger than 5X, >10X, and >10X.

        https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7037e1.htm?s_cid=mm7037e1_whttps://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7037e1.htm?s_cid=mm7037e1_w

        Give me a break, you are talking shit and its the same shit that is popular in conservative circles and leads conservatives to avoid vaccination disproportionally and die disproportionately.

      • November 16, 2021 1:52 am

        Speaking of BS – the death rate for healthy children under 18 was so low BEFORE that any claim you are making that with the tiny number of vaccinations of kids there have been an impact are BULL$HIT.

        Everything we have done regarding children has been insanely crazy.

        The Flu is even now Far more of a danger to children than Covid.

        The chances that a child under 18 has gotten Covid so far are 1:20.
        The chances that an adult has had Covid are 3 times as high.

        According to the CDC as of 11/10/2021 of ALL C19 deaths 0.08% are in children under 17.
        That is 595 out of 757K
        There have been twice and many Pnuemonia deaths in that age.
        If you were under 17 and died since 1/1/2020 the odds you died of covid are 1:120

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 15, 2021 6:32 pm

        Ron, I totally agree with you about the difficulty of comparing different societies, countries, and even US states. Which was actually my point: trying to read some message into the way that Covid has played out in Sweden is likely to be misleading, just like comparing health care or social programs in Scandinavian countries to those in the US is likely to produce exaggerated expectations in some people for the benefits of some policy they like.

        I did not actually mention Denmark, although it is an interesting case according to your information. I deliberately concentrated on Sweden’s two immediate neighbors who have had much lower death rates than Sweden and ought to be fairly similar societies in population size and history. Just my attempt to debunk yet another Sweden myth.

      • November 16, 2021 5:12 pm

        “I totally agree with you about the difficulty of comparing different societies, countries, and even US states.”

        That statement by YOU is completely FALSE.

        If I had said it – which I have over and over to YOU with YOUR opposition – it is TRUE.

        How much of how many posts have you wasted claiming great things about Vermont.

        I would further note that you are WRONG with respect to Sweden. Sweden is the ONLY western nations that chose NOT to impose draconian public policies to reign in Covid.

        There are non-western countries that have essentially followed swedens course – fundimentally because they can SAY whatever they want, but most developed nations just do not have the resources to do anything of consequence.
        But we can not compare to undeveloped countries – because their data is so poor.

      • November 16, 2021 5:46 pm

        Finland, and Norway are NOT as similar to Sweden as you claim.
        Sweden has double the population and double the population density of either.
        The fundimental cause of Swedens much higher mortality is that Sweden has senior living centers as much as 10 times as large as either finland or Norway and Sweden failed very early to prevent C19 from getting into its elderly community with disasterous results.
        The smaller scale of care facilities in Norway and Finland bought them more time to grasp the need to protect them.

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 16, 2021 9:31 am

        “Speaking of BS – the death rate for healthy children under 18 was so low BEFORE that any claim you are making that with the tiny number of vaccinations of kids there have been an impact are BULL$HIT.”

        No you have it backwards. Your comments about the low Covid mortality etc. in children support my point, which is that if children under 18 were not included in the statistics then the statistical benefits of vaccination regarding getting Covid, being hospitalized, and dying would likely be somewhat larger.

        Children are a large group with a low vaccination rate who are not often getting seriously ill. That would somewhat mask the level of statistical bad outcomes for the unvaccinated population and thus mask some of the benefits of being vaccinated.

        One area which I will join you in disputing Rick is that the vaccinated are no longer a tiny percentage of the seriously ill and dying. They are now having serious consequences, hospitalizations, and deaths. Rick likely had the numbers from the summer in mind, when what he said was true. In Vermont the vaccinated are dying. At the same time the statistics regarding their relative chances of bad outcomes are still much better than those for unvaccinated, as they were previously, that has not much changed. Its still a great idea to be vaccinated for most people.

        The changes in the various Covid graphs come from two obvious factors. A. The Delta variant spreads much faster then the original variants. B. A large percentage of the population is now vaccinated. The benefit of having many people vaccinated is being overwhelmed by the effects from the highly contagious delta variant. If so many people had not gotten vaccinated the present situation would be far worse.

        Vaccinated people, which includes me, are not invulnerable and should have no illusions, its not a free pass. The vaccinated who are having bad outcomes predominantly come from populations that have other negative factors of health or profession. Colin Powell is an example.

      • November 16, 2021 6:22 pm

        Robby – this is NOT to disagree.

        Do you have data on:

        Comparisons between vacinated and unvaccinated outcomes by age group ?

        Frequency and outcome of infection for the vaccinated Now rather than months ago.

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 17, 2021 8:13 am

        “How much of how many posts have you wasted claiming great things about Vermont.”

        Explain why you think I wasted my posts Dave.

        Vermont is probably the most liberal state in the union, it is definitely the most highly vaccinated, and, recent case surge notwithstanding, it definitely still has the lowest per capita death rate in the US, in spite of its proximity to the NY and Mass metropolitan areas and its cold climate.

        I am sure this is just not what is supposed to happen in your ideological world, but it is what has happened. We have had thus far three surges, but the bottom line is that few have died. Relatively few are dying now even with our recent surge in cases, which is most of all because we are so highly vaccinated which is most of all because we are so damned liberal as a state. This crazy northeastern liberal state must be doing something right.

      • November 21, 2021 9:15 am

        Robby, I just drove from Central PA to Northern NY to VT, to NH, to MA, to CT to NYC to NJ to PA.

        VT is NOT particularly close to the metropolitan areas of Boston and NYC.

        It is something close to 5hrs driving time from southern VT to Boston or NYC.
        It was 3hrs from Albany.

        I am in central PA and I am 5hrs from Boston, 1H form Phila, 1H from Balt. 2H from DC, and 3H from NYC.

      • November 21, 2021 9:39 am

        Covid in the US appears to be increasing slowly again.
        Covid is increasing throughout Europe. Including Norway and Finland.

        But Sweden remains Stubornly low – as it has since April.

        AGAIN policies to thwart Covid have not worked.

        Not even vaccination.

        My wife is a public defender. Her entire office was vaccinated extremely early.
        Last week more than half the office came down with Covid.

        As you continue to misrepresent what I say.

        Vaccines do have many effects.

        What they do not appear to do is reduce the transmission rate of Covid sufficiently to defeat Covid.

        It is increasingly evident that if 100% of people were vaccinated, that Covid would still spread.

        That spread might be slower, but it would still result in Covid being endemic.

  58. Rod permalink
    November 14, 2021 8:54 pm

    “[…] how do we sell our reasonable brand of politics to a public accustomed to self-righteous, hot-blooded posturing?

    “I’ve tried, and I haven’t made a dent in the national discourse. It’s probably time for a new strategy.”

    In all fairness, Rick, at the same time you (and several within your circle) didn’t give my proposal/strategy any consideration, either.

    • Ron P permalink
      November 15, 2021 12:00 am

      “In all fairness, Rick, at the same time you (and several within your circle) didn’t give my proposal/strategy any consideration, either.”

      I considered it. If others had the issues I had with the information you provided me, then it is not surprising this was the outcome. People need to know when, where and how information is going to be communicated. I was willing to look at anything you provided, but I was not willing to spend time on the phone, texting through whatever means or sitting at a computer discussing ideas with others. For me, I spent waste way to much time when I was working in that type of setting when I could have been doing productive things and refuse to do it now in retirement. I do not have a cell phone for anything but travel emergencies, I do not text and only use Facebook and Twitter for a few comments, many at this time of night when I have everything else done.

      Maybe you would get better responses if those being asked to participate had a good idea what they were getting into. How much time required, what means of contact, weekend or weekday, time of day, etc.

      • Rod permalink
        November 15, 2021 1:00 am

        Ron,

        Respectfully, you didn’t consider my proposal, because we never got to the point where I was able to communicate it.

        The plan was to get all who were interested into a groups conversation (the committee) to discuss, possibly fine-tune, and hopefully ratify an organizational charter. One of the first orders of business for the committee would have been to decide when, where and how information was going to be communicated.

        We never got there, but, being a committee, the expectation was to be collaborative interpersonal communication, not one person laying something down and everybody just giving their two cents. I would have thought a committee would have been understood to be inherently, “discussing ideas with others.”

        You told me you didn’t want to be in a position where you had to commit to a given day and time to meet, which was the only way that everyone would be participating at the same time, such as in a voice or video chat. So, as you were the first to respond, I deferred to plan B, which was people would participate when they were able to do so, and it would be ongoing conversations. This would need be done via multiple “text-based” conversations, similar to what you do here in the comments, but more structured and better organized. I understood that you took this “text-based” approach to mean texting, such as via a cellphone, and tried to clarify that that was not the case.

        In the end, you did not want text-based communications nor anything “live,” which pretty much narrowed our options to zero.

        I apologize for how things turned out, and for the miscommunication. But we will be starting from square one, and there are going to be a lot of bumps along the way. I won’t waste anymore of your time, and just wanted to clarify this particular bump moving forward.

      • Ron P permalink
        November 15, 2021 12:32 pm

        Rod, I apologize for the previous comment. It is semantics, I thought I considered your proposal to be part of the foundation of your project, I thought I did and after hearing the requirements, provided as I understood them, declined.

        I did say I was willing to participate, but in a manner that allowed for an unstructured approach. If “texting” was in a manner such as we do here, then I completely misunderstood. Because I do not consider this texting, there is no specific time it is done and does not fit my definition of texting. I can respond to comments one at a time, or multiple comments, at anytime of day including midnight. In my world when I do rarely”text” on my cell phone or receive one, that is just a replacement for a live phone conversation that needs a fairly quick response.

        Again, sorry for the misunderstanding.

  59. Claire permalink
    November 15, 2021 11:10 pm

    Good evening Rick, I am a 75-year-old woman who came to this country many moons ago from Western Europe, after my marriage to a North Carolinian now deceased. I fell upon your site this very day, read a number of topics and umpteen comments and I am postponing resuming these readings “tomorrow”—a concept which is only “a fragile human hope” especially since it is called ”today”when it happens!

    I read your very last post and since I found it to be “an oasis in the torrid desert of current politics.” I truly wish you would neither give up this blog nor “over-thin” (sic) it or even decide on its demise. Yet because giving your time to personal endeavors is very important I hope you will be able to conduct both—a herculean task and my being a bit selfish?–: “.. romping in nature, exploring backwaters of history, finding lasting love, …..writing one or two more under your own name, seeing you teenage son graduate to fulfilling manhood and being of service to your fellow humans.”

    I despise extremism of all sides and I agree with many of your views. In these troubled times, even though I am not one to live in the past, it is the “mentoring” of my husband’s spirit—he never proselytized yet his readings were often of the type that “reappeared” today and are taken as new. Together with his legacy and a platform such as yours, I feel less alone—although I am not lonely: I have “multiple personalities”—none of them of “The Three Faces of Eve” type,” i.e. pathological, and while “we may get on each others’ nerves sometimes we are never bored.

    I still have the love of a first-generation immigrant, without any apologies, yet clear-eyed about some of the future changes I would consider welcome, and in these days and times—pretty please– without the deeply retrograde and harmful tendencies that do not benefit anyone.

    So thank you, and yes I do hope this is not the end of this site. Although writing has been my panacea since childhood, I rarely post comments and I do not belong to any social networks, including FB. Especially now, I see them as a breach of privacy as well as both “echo chambers” and “witch-hunt platforms.” And yes I do agree with you, there is a difference between answers you can navigate as you wish when you can and “texting.” I had to admit a few years ago that texting does have its advantages for quick and instant communication and to reach friends who use it solely. Yet I don’t think it can compete with longer communications for their content. I even mourn the days of “palpable” correspondence with beautiful stamps and “the beauty of anticipation” it included. Best to you and your readers who also provided much food for thought. Claire

    P.S. I suspect I have left this without enough editing, but I want to send it while I muster the “courage:” It may well be the longest online comment I have ever sent.”

    “Beware of ‘self-anointed shepherds,
    pushing their gullible flock into oblivion
    while they remain safe behind them.”
    (Rabelais’s Panurge “revisited”)

    • Ron P permalink
      November 15, 2021 11:40 pm

      Claire, I was checking messages before turning off the computer and saw this from the email notifications we can get when new comments post.

      What a wonderful comment. You write beautifully,I hope you join us in our discussions. Rick checks in occasionally, so don’t be surprised if you don’t get a response quickly.

    • November 16, 2021 6:00 pm

      Welcome, and kudos for your courage.

      You should feel free to speak you mind -particularly here.
      Posters here including me, might disagree,

      but as the nursery rhyme goes

      sticks and stones may break my bones
      but words will never hurt me.

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      November 23, 2021 9:46 am

      Claire: I’m honored that you chose me for your longest-ever online comment — and an eloquent comment it was. (Thank you.) I’m only sorry that it took me more than a week to reply to you. As someone else here mentioned, I usually engage with the comments on my posts for a only few days before I disappear. This one was an exception; I actually returned a couple of times before I disappeared again. I should be posting another column before Thanksgiving — possibly even today.

      Fear not: I won’t be putting The New Moderate out to pasture any time in the near future; I just won’t be following current events as closely as I have in the past. I studied history in college, and I’m still more concerned with larger cultural and social patterns than I am with day-to-day political squabbles. As a result, my future columns might appear less regularly than my customary once-a-month eruptions, and they generally won’t be tied to events of the day. (Of course, I could still inveigh against specific events that raise my hackles.)

      A moderate “activist” has contacted me about joining him in building a grassroots movement to combat the extremist tendencies of today’s Republicans and Democrats. I’ll probably be putting some of my efforts into that endeavor as well as maintaining my presence here at The New Moderate. And of course, I’ll be making more time for scenic walks, explorations of historic places, and all the other fine pursuits I wrote about in my last column.

      Meanwhile, I hope you’ll be a regular visitor here. Your voice would add a welcome touch of civility to our conversations.

  60. Ron P permalink
    November 19, 2021 5:08 pm

    IMO, A good read for those that really are more moderate. Those that are not will disagree with most of it.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/america-slowly-learns-to-live-with-covid-vaccines-shots-flu-fauci-antivax-infection-11637275001?mod=followpeggynoonan

  61. Vermonta permalink
    November 20, 2021 1:16 pm

    I don’t know how you are getting past the pay wall but I am really enjoying Peggy Noonan. Thanks and don’t stop.

    • November 20, 2021 5:28 pm

      Somehow I got linked to an email from Wall Street Journal that is called “Notes on the news”. It comes daily, is free and gives short updates on issues. Then somehow there are other emails that come on a weekly basis and just have the first couple sentences, you click read more and most of them go to the pay wall. Peggy Noonans does not.

      I will continue to share it until WSJ finds out and doesn’t like that and stops sending it to me. But the “notes on the news” is a good summary of issues and allows for keeping up to date without reading agenda driven BS.

  62. November 21, 2021 10:47 am

    Glenn Greenwald doing a far better job of dismembering what I find wrong with “moderate” as it is constantly formulated here, than I have.

    Kyle Rittenhouse, Project Veritas, and the Inability to Think in Terms of Principles
    Those whose worldview is bereft of universally applied principles, and based solely on tribal allegiances, assume everyone else is plagued by this very deficiency.

    https://greenwald.substack.com/p/kyle-rittenhouse-project-veritas

    My problem with Noonan – is that though her articles are often good – ultimately hse has no principles.

    The article Ron linked said alot, it was pleasant, most of it was correct, but it lacked meaning. But Noonan fails to confront the tough questions.

    Greenwald, Taibbi, Weis, Sullivan and many others – often on the left but opposed to intolerance of the modern left, confront and answer the tough questions.

  63. November 21, 2021 10:50 am

  64. November 21, 2021 11:09 am

    Johnathan Turley – another principled advocate from the left on the Lack of Shame for gargantuan political misrepresentations that have harmed the nation.

    There is a theme on issue after issue:

    We were fed the “collusion delusion” – despite that it never made sense.
    We were Fed the “Kyle Rittenhouse is a white Supremecist” – despite massive evidencetot he contrary – if you bothered to look.

    On major issue after major issue that we face today – the left, democrats, the media, government and many here have been WRONG.

    From most – there is no appology, no self reflection, no consideration of the possibility that your constant acceptance of false narratives might require introspection, reconsideration of values, even a search for principles, contemplation of why you are so easily and constantly fooled.

    Turley does an excellent job of shredding Schiff. But the most significant question is why do so many of YOU get sucked in by such charlatans repeatedly ?

    https://jonathanturley.org/2021/11/17/adam-schiff-and-the-end-of-shame-in-american-politics/

  65. November 21, 2021 11:35 am

    Over and over – the claim that there was fraud in the 2020 election is called “the big lie”.

    And yet, day after day there are more stories like this – not covered by much of the media,

    Here we have video of Election officials in PA destroying evidence to hide it from the mostly stalled PA Senate Audit.

    This is just one of hundreds of similar stories over the past year that it is likely most of you have not heard.

    https://thefederalist.com/2021/11/19/whistleblower-videos-capture-pennsylvania-election-officials-destroying-evidence/

    • Ron P permalink
      November 21, 2021 12:45 pm

      Dave, How many Aliases do you have. JB Say, Dhlii, Asmith, Adam Smtih….? Why keep changing, you are the only one that writes like you do here and can be spotted easily. You really dont need to keep adding more aliases.

      first of all concerning covid. My position on covid vaccines is they work, just as well as the flu vaccine. Neither one is 100%. The difference between the flu and covid is the flu is seasonal and while the flu vaccine only provide immunity for 6-8 months, once winter has passed the flu for that year is basically history. Covid is not going to disappear. As you said concerning your wifes office, they were vaccinated. Well immunity lasts about 8 months and falls off, they had a case in the office and it spread to about 1/2 of the office staff. Not surprising.

      Now, how many of those staff members that were vaccinated ended up in the hospital?

      One of the other issues with the spread now compared to early surges is kids are much more likely to catch this because they are back in school, and most still unvaccinated.

      As for mandates, I support any employer making the policy that their employees will be vaccinated or wear mask (not chin bikini) and be tested if that is what they want. Thaty is their right. The employees right is to follow the employers policies or seek opportunities elsewhere that do not require vaccines. I do not support government mandating that this be the case and I have suspicions that this OSHA mandate may not pass judicial review. As an employer, then the government has the right to require that of their employees if agreed to by their union.

      As for Peggy Noonan and principles, you have your beliefs and I have mine. To me a principled person is one who acts with integrity and honesty, who treats everyone the same using their own beliefs of fairness, respects people regardless of differing views and does not change their beliefs when it is beneficial to do so while abandoning prior positions held. Just because one person is willing to compromise like Reagan did, while another steadfastly holds onto a positions and loses 100% of their goal because they will not compromise does not make either unprincipled. Noonan is the Reagan, I see you as the steadfast person.

      • November 21, 2021 2:09 pm

        Several posters here said that a large number of posts coming from a single identity dissuaded outsiders from posting.

        I have addressed that.

        How many aliases do I have ? How many do you want me to have ?

        I will be happy to revert back to one when it is generally accepted that it really does not matter. that there is no difference between posts, that there is no difference between 500 posts from 1 libertarain and 5 posts from 100.

      • November 21, 2021 2:13 pm

        BTW, I am not hiding anything.

        I announced that I was doing this in response to a post about the volume of JBSay posts.

        Van I gather from your reply that what you object to is not too many posts from one identity,

        But the actual views I express ?

        That sure seems to be what you are saying.

        Of course my posts sound similar – they all reflect the same PRINCIPLES.

        Can I refer you AGAIN to the Glenn Greenwald editorial on principles ?

      • rondabellelane permalink
        November 21, 2021 3:50 pm

        Totally agreed about the silly names he uses – but they ARE easy to identify & delete. However, I do agree with the mandate. Here in Wisconsin
        Covid is spreading… why? Less than half are vaccinated!

        No one has the right to kill me thru their idiocy.

      • Ron P permalink
        November 21, 2021 5:31 pm

        Ronda, It all comes down to what one thinks what powers the federal government should have. I believe the federal government should be restricted in any matters in regard to individuals and private businesses. Others do not. SCOTUS will settle.

      • rondabellelane permalink
        November 22, 2021 10:18 am

        You are correct… it does come down to what powers the federal government should have – and that includes the power to protect the citizens, even from other citizens who don’t care about others.

      • Ron P permalink
        November 22, 2021 12:55 pm

        Ronda, it is not the mandate itself that I object to. It is the manner in which the mandate was issued.

        I do not believe a president should have dictatorial powers or powers evening exceeding a king in some countries. I am a strong believer ( and more so every day) in the powers that the president was given by the founding fathers and that was very limited.

        Congress over the years has relinquished its responsibilities and allowed way to much power for presidents to do whatever they want, from issues like Keystone pipeline to vaccine mandates. All of these powers should be in the hands of congress and laws written that cover those issues.

        So in this case, I think SCOTUS will get the case and they will decide if the president has the power through workplace safety to require the vaccines. If they rule he has that power, that is just one more degree in the crap pot of water of reduced importance of congress and infringement on the powers limited by the constitution.

        (I can just hear the liberal;out roar and the extreme comments from the left wing media if Donald Trump ever made a dictate like this.Probably many saying those exceed anything Hitler ever did)

      • rondabellelane permalink
        November 22, 2021 3:20 pm

        Trump was too busy golfing & lying…
        But seriously, this is not the pipeline – this is much more serious, and one of the reasons is trump. He downplayed it his entire last year, even though he had it.

      • November 25, 2021 12:42 am

        While you are correct that the constitution does not give the power to issue health directives to the federal government.

        It is also true that it does not give that power to government at all.

        Regardless, it is more than How that matters.
        Government health mandates are immoral. Even if they were constitutional.

      • Ron P permalink
        November 25, 2021 12:58 am

        When it comes to morals, there are many differing views. Yours and mine are just one of many.

        But when it comes to mandates, the federal government is restricted in the original authority given the feds. It has been the last 100 years that the congress has allowed more and more authority for the president, with much happening the last 25 because congress does not want to be responsible for actions taken. Let the president take the heat.

        As for any level of government, that has to do with whatever state you live in. Michigan has repealed much of the emergency powers of the governor, while.North Carolina has not been able to over ride a veto, has included that in the buget and that will be tested in court because it is a big end around to take the governors power away. But that does not happen until 2023. And many cities and counties in states have much the same powers, such as county employees being vaccinated.

      • November 25, 2021 2:45 pm

        You want to debate technical issues regarding vaccine mandates.
        Go ahead.

        But the Critical fact is we are already well past that.

        It is already clear that whether you like them or not a critical mass of people are NOT going to obey a mandate to tank the economy.

        You want to argue over whether the president or the governor or the school board can impose mandates.

        But that is irrelevant – it is already self evident that mandates will not work.

        You can blame that on tribalism or conspiracy theories or lack of understanding of science or selfishness – and I can point out that for most those are not the driving factors, but in the end it is not relevant. Sufficient people will not comply – some for good and some for bad reasons, that either public health officials will have to capitulate or tank the economy or use draconian force.

      • Ron P permalink
        November 25, 2021 4:19 pm

        So earlier ou posted a comment about kids and vaccines.

        Please provide documentation where kids are being forced to get the shot. I have not seen that yet.

      • November 27, 2021 10:28 am

        I searched my posts here and I could not find one in which I claimed that children had been grabbed and forcibly injected with C19 vaccine without parents permission.

        I have seen a few claims that has occurred with “indigenous peoples” in some places outside the US.

        That said – what do you call it when children are required by law to attend school, and required by law to be vaccinated to do so ?

        I call it FORCE and that is where we are headed.

        Rightly or wrongly – we have done so with measles, Mumps, Rubella and a number of other diseases. But in nearly all instances we did so after massive testing with adults and long periods of VOLUNTARY vaccination of children.

      • Ron P permalink
        November 27, 2021 12:53 pm

        “That said – what do you call it when children are required by law to attend school, and required by law to be vaccinated to do so ?”

        I call it freedom. The school boards, elected by the people or the state leadership elected by the people have made the decision to vaccinate. If the people do not accept that mandate, they are free to elect those that do not support the mandate. And my position is private schools making their own decisions, not the state.

        If there is a mandate and the individuals do not like that mandate and will not follow it, they are free to find a private school that is not requiring it or to home school.

      • November 29, 2021 8:59 am

        “I call it freedom.”

        You call totalitarianism freedom ?

      • November 29, 2021 9:28 am

        I would note that we are seeing – to significant detriment nearly exactly what you are pushing in action.

        UAW just negotiated its big 3 contract. That contract forbids the Big 3 from imposing vaccine mandates on UAW workers.

        Myriads of occupations – law enforcement, TSA’s doctors, nurses, on and on oppose mandates – by as much as 40%.

        A small part of that opposition is sufficiently motivated that they will quit or be fired first.

        There are no employers that can afford to lose 40% of their workforce.
        There are few that can afford to lose 2%.

        The country can not afford the negative consequences of vaccine mandates.

        If you disagree – go ahead and try. I doubt we will do so again.

        I do not beleive that the Biden admin has any intention of actually going forward with vaccine mandates.

        It has threatened them, but I suspect they are secretly happy the court has blocked them.

        Because they are a BAD IDEA with horrible consequences.

      • November 25, 2021 12:48 am

        If the president should not have a power – why should a governor, or a mayor, or a school board ?

        The constitutional concept of federalism is rooted in the correct notion that LEGITIMATE government powers are SOMETIMES best executed closest to citizens.

        Defense of the nation – is a federal power. Contracts,Torts, and crimes are best dealt with locally.

        Federalism is a practical concept born of experience that is embedded in the constitution.

        It is effectively a tool to allow government to scale.

        While the extremes of federalism are obvious – federal governments are best suited to national defense, the muddy middle is not clear, and not clarified much by the constitution.

      • Ron P permalink
        November 25, 2021 1:00 am

        “f the president should not have a power – why should a governor, or a mayor, or a school board ?”

        Seems to be what people in many areas approved. May not be right, but accepted.

      • November 25, 2021 2:51 pm

      • November 25, 2021 12:51 am

        Neither the pipeline nor mandates are the business of government PERIOD.

        Not federal, not state, not the president, not congress.

        I will agree that congress has abdicated a great deal of power – and the courts have WRONGLY allowed it.

        But it is equally true that government has usurped powers it does not have – and the courts have WRONGLY allowed that.

      • Ron P permalink
        November 25, 2021 1:02 am

        “But it is equally true that government has usurped powers it does not have – and the courts have WRONGLY allowed that.”

        Exactly my point when I refer to the people in warming waters like the crabs in the crab pot. At sometime it will be too late and nothing can be done about it.

      • November 25, 2021 2:59 pm

        It is never too late.

        The only question is how much damage will be done before we change course.

      • November 25, 2021 12:55 am

        I doubt SCOTUS will grant this as a federal power, much less a presidential power.

        This is actually more egregious than CDC imposing the eviction moratorium which SCOTUS tossed.

        I would not that the contracts clause of the constitution explicitly precludes either states of the ALL government from interfering with private contracts.

        That includes leases and employment.

        But since FDR stacked the courts – we keep pretending the contract clause is NOT in the constitution.

      • November 25, 2021 12:59 am

        Nearly everything that Biden has done since taking office has been authoritarian.

        AGAIN – Fairness is NOT a principle.

        The powers of government are determine by PRINCIPLES.

        Whether Trump excercised a power is IRRELLEVANT.

        If that power was legitimate for Biden it was for Trump, if it was not for Trump, it is not for Biden.

      • Ron P permalink
        November 25, 2021 1:08 am

        “If that power was legitimate for Biden it was for Trump, if it was not for Trump, it is not for Biden.”

        Dave, really???!!! That is not how Washington works. “Its fair game for my guy, but you better not let yours do it”.

        If the president only did what he is really allowed to do, he would only be making decisions for basically foreign affairs. All domestic decisions would be by congressional action. If the pipeline was crossing a border with a foreign country, then congress would have the power to all that to come into the country, not the president.

      • November 25, 2021 3:00 pm

        If the constitution was followed – 90% of law today would have to be repealed.

      • November 25, 2021 3:02 pm

        With respect to pipelines – get government out entirely.

        That does not mean that private actors can do as they please – I do not want to see eminent domain used for private actors.

        If you want a pipeline over private land – you will have to persuade the owner to sell it.

      • Ron P permalink
        November 25, 2021 4:23 pm

        I agree until something crosses the border. You want anything coming into the country and only private individuals knowing what it is? I dont

      • November 27, 2021 11:14 am

        Why do you assume that because something is not done by government it is secret ?

        What do you think they are transporting in the Keystone XL – aresenic ?

        Despite the jabs – there is SOME role for government in Border Security.

      • Ron P permalink
        November 27, 2021 12:42 pm

        “Why do you assume that because something is not done by government it is secret ?”

        Not saying that.

        Saying I trust big business, but with oversight to some degree. Business has demonstrated many times it can not be trusted, just as government has demonstrated it can not be trusted.

        Trust but verify! EVERYTHING!

        But when it comes to borders, that is governments responsibility. So whatever comes in through the border should be approved by government. There is no international commerce clause in the laws of the country like the interstate commerce clause.

        .

      • November 27, 2021 9:45 am

        Is there more than a few percent in the entire country that thinks the way washington works is wise or correct ?

      • Ron P permalink
        November 22, 2021 1:04 pm

        ronda, does Wisconsin require vaccines for school kids? The vaccination rate does not seems much different in WS than other states, but the number of cases among school age kids seems to be in the top 10% for the country.

      • rondabellelane permalink
        November 22, 2021 3:26 pm

        No, it does not seem much different, but the vaccinated are mostly in large cities, which brings the number vaccinated up a bit (still not good)… but I live in a much more rural area where far too many remain unvaccinated.

        And no, children are not required to vaccinate.

      • November 25, 2021 1:24 am

        Risks are lower in rural areas.

        All respiratory diseases spread by direct contact between people.

        City inhabitants have many times more casual contacts than rural dwellers.

        The likelyhood of dying if you get Covid is Slightly higher in rural areas (there is less advanced medical care) , but the likelyhood of getting it is lower – population density is lower.

      • November 25, 2021 1:19 am

        It is incredibly stupid to force vaccinations Kids for Covid.

        There risk is far lower than the flu. We do not mandate that kids get the Flu vaccine every year.

        Further though it is likely the long term risks are low – they are NOT KNOWN.
        I do not think we have ever forced onto children a medical treatment like this that had not received extensive testing for long term effects on adults.

        If the Covid Vaccine kills you or debilitates you after 20 years – I will be 83, and I will have had a long life. I will be losing very little, while a 5 year will be 25 and still will have most of their life in front of them.

      • November 21, 2021 7:06 pm

        The overall vaccination rate in WI is 58% – that is for ALL AGES.
        For adults it is in or near 70%.

        That is not particularly different from the country as a whole.

        I would note that the rate for Black’s in WI is 36%.

      • November 21, 2021 7:13 pm

        Current JHU Covid map indicates CA, AZ, and NM as hot spots.

        NYT has NM and AZ, but not CA as well as the entire great lakes region

        NYT shows no discernable vaccination difference between WI and the rest of the lakes region – or the country as a whole – though AZ and NM have high vaccination rates.

        The NYT Death map is black through costal new england through NY and into NJ.

      • November 22, 2021 6:04 pm

        No one is killing you.

        It is rhetorical misrepresentations like that that have the country bitterly divided.

        Everything you do not like is not racist, stupid or sexist.

        Nor do you have the right to a world without racism, sexism, hate, stupidity, opinions you do not like or your preferred constraints on the speech of others.

        Actual rights do not impose positive obligations on others.

  66. November 21, 2021 12:12 pm

    Excellent peice on the past and present problems of the New York Times.

    https://unherd.com/2021/11/why-the-new-york-times-rewrites-history/

  67. November 21, 2021 12:15 pm

    Sometimes NYT gets it – though one wonders where reporting was a few years ago

  68. November 21, 2021 12:51 pm

    The real crime regarding the Rittenhouse case is that a trial took place at all.

    The facts were clear, the law was clear, the evidence was clear, and yet it still took the Jury a week to do the obvious.

    Further during the trial and deliberations there was an expectation from the left that Rittenhouse would be convicted and a fear from the rest of us that despite the incredible evidence – Rittenhouse would be convicted.

    It should terrify all of us that there even was a trial. It should terrify all of us that there ever was a possibility of conviction.

    Yet we have seen myriads of show trials and political convictions.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/restoring-america/fairness-justice/damn-the-evidence-convict-the-white-supremacist

    I breath a sigh of releif that even after the president of the united states defamed Kyle Rittenhouse as a white supremecist, that almost miraculously the jury found him not guilty

    And continue to fear because there was a trial.

  69. November 25, 2021 3:08 pm

    An interesting hypothesis
    https://amgreatness.com/2021/11/21/the-new-blue-confederacy/

  70. November 25, 2021 3:17 pm

    Stodard was one of Trump’s fiercest libertarian critics.

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2021/11/22/the_democratic_party_is_poised_to_blow_up_soon_146771.html#2

  71. November 25, 2021 3:28 pm

    The 2020 election was the most secure ever – NOT!

    https://thefederalist.com/2021/11/24/georgia-governor-releases-more-evidence-that-2020-ballots-were-miscounted/

    Though most of these errors are small – they are the results of a random audit – not a full audit.

    More distrubing is almost all of the go in one direction.

    Error is commonplace in elections, and though we should reduce it. it is still not a problem.
    It is rare that errors do not cancel each other out.

    Whenever error patterns do not match vote patterns, that is an indication of something beyond error. The more lopsided the error pattern the more likely it is an indication of large scale fraud.

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