Skip to content

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.

186 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.

  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 ?

  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.

    • 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.

  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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: