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The New Moderate Gives Thanks

November 24, 2021

Even George Orwell couldn’t have concocted a more dystopian society than the America we’ve known for the past few years – and he was the acknowledged master at concocting dystopian societies.

Instead of a passive populace dominated by the ever-watchful eye of “Big Brother,” we’re greeted by the spectacle of a once-proud nation split into two squabbling tribes. Each tribe comes equipped with its own sacred narratives, brazen politicians, propaganda outlets, online amen corners and torrents of self-righteous rhetoric whipping the faithful into frenzies of irrational anger and mutual loathing.

The left continues to spread its myopic race-obsessed dogma through the conduits of academia, journalism and corporate America. They’ve conveniently redefined racism and white supremacy so that the majority of us must plead guilty. (Correct grammar? Objective reasoning? Merit? Math? Individualism? Mea culpa! Please don’t hate me!)

Meanwhile, the militant right slips farther into a dark bog of conspiracy theories, anti-Democrat hysteria, gun fetishes, knee-jerk resistance to science, and an unhealthy fixation on their ousted orange-skinned leader, who’s still pushing the buttons of his followers and pulling the strings of Republican politicians who’d like to stay in office.

Of course, virtually nobody listens to the sensible voices that still emanate from the center. And if the extremists do listen to them, they go out of their way to silence them. Leftist social justice warriors cancel anyone whose wayward opinions depart from woke scripture (even if they’ve been dead two hundred years), while right-wing Republicans threaten their more reasonable colleagues who dare to cooperate with the Democrats – even for the good of the country. Both tribes come complete with inquisitors whose job it is to purify the ranks by expelling the heretics.

What else? How about the statue topplers, white vigilantes, black segregationists, Trump insurrectionists, The 1619 Project, hoarders of assault weapons, and the woke editors of the AP Stylebook who decided to capitalize “Black” but leave “white” in lower case? Oh, and let’s not forget our beloved social media outlets for turning former friends into screeching adversaries. (Keep it up, America, especially if you’re itching for a second Civil War.)

To top it off, this madness is taking place within the context of the worst pandemic since Woodrow Wilson was president – a pandemic that keeps reinventing itself with new strains of the abominable bug, thanks partly to the hordes of obstinate anti-vaxxers who help keep it in circulation. The rest of us take our shots in the arm, wear our masks at the supermarket and hope we don’t get sneezed upon at point-blank range by a clueless covid carrier.

So, you might ask, what exactly does The New Moderate have to be thankful about? Well, I’m still alive – and if you’re reading this, so are you. Where there’s life, after all, there’s hope – and mirth, love, passion, creativity, sympathy and kindness, not to mention cynicism, chagrin, spleen, vexation and all the other colorful responses to life that prove we’re not ready to become coffin fodder. I prefer being a curmudgeon to being dead, don’t you? Possessing a live body comes in handy for all manner of amusing earthly pursuits, even as we approach terminal geezerhood.

What else moves me to give thanks? Food — especially turkey and cranberry sauce this time of year – but even granola, spinach and legumes. Where would we be without the nourishment that keeps our bodies from sputtering out and decaying prematurely? I give thanks for tap water, too. What a miracle it is that I can simply turn a spigot and guzzle pure H2O without having to dig a well in my yard or pay $1.50 a pop for commercial spring water in flimsy plastic bottles.

Friends and relatives come in handy, too – especially when we grow tired of talking to ourselves. Pets give us affection when almost nobody else will. Books, movies and TV take us to interesting places without getting us mugged, kidnapped or thrown into a river wearing cement shoes. Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast, even if the latter-day descendants of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Scott Joplin sound relatively savage themselves.

And how about the natural world? Trees, meadows, wooded trails, mountains, beaches, pristine lakes and cascading brooks, birdsongs and wildflowers, fall foliage, snowflakes and spring rain – all wholesome and good and worthy of our gratitude. 

Manmade monuments deserve our thanks, too: the pyramids of Egypt and Mexico, the Great Wall of China, the surviving splendors of Greece and Rome, the Gothic cathedrals of Western Europe, Independence Hall, the Empire State Building – tangible reminders that we’re heirs to civilizations greater and more lasting than our petty tribal identities of the moment.

I have to thank my readers, too – the contrarians as well as the cheerleaders, and everyone in between. Without you, I’d essentially be playing tennis with myself. It always helps to have someone across the net to keep our reflexes sharp and supple.

I’m even tempted to thank the architects of our current social, cultural and political divide. Why? For engineering such a godawful mess that only dedicated moderates like us can patch it up and create some semblance of domestic tranquility. I’m confident that the extremists will have to listen to us eventually or be marginalized into insignificance. They’ve made us indispensable, and for that small favor The New Moderate is eternally grateful.


Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate. His three brilliant (but inexplicably overlooked) collections of dark-humored essays are available as e-books for just $2.99 each on Amazon or wherever else e-books are sold. 

All material in The New Moderate copyright 2007-2021 by Rick Bayan — but feel free to quote from this site as long as you credit me as the author.

172 Comments leave one →
  1. Ron P permalink
    November 24, 2021 1:04 am

    Well Rick you out did yourself with this one. Very Nice. And you about used up every possible descriptive word in the English language to make your point. Loved it!

    So for you meals you mention food. “especially turkey and cranberry sauce this time of year – but even granola, spinach and legumes. Now the first two I agree, the other not so much. But I would add “stuffing” (not dressing, but stuffing). Because my wife lives dangerously just like her mom, her grandmother, my mom, my grandmother and all the other ladies that preceded them in the kitchen because they all stuffed the bird and cooked it inside the bird, not outside where it drys out. And by the way, it doesn’t take much to get the stuffing at a high enough temperature, not dry out the bird and take it out of the bird before it begins to cool to avoid any health issues. And with 11 people for dinner, it ain’t a small bird either!

    To close, we must be one of the dying breed that still drinks water from the tap. And just think experts say “Making a single water bottle takes three times more water than the bottle will hold. Because this water is exposed to harmful chemicals during the production process, it cannot be reused and is then wasted.” And that is suppose to be better? What happens to those chemicals in the plastic? I will stick to the tap! (beer that is)

    Have a wonderful Thanksiving!

    • November 25, 2021 12:20 pm

      It would not matter if it took 10,000 times more water than the bottle will hold.

      Water is infinitely renewed. You should have learned that by 5th grade science.

      We constantly trade efficiency for convenience and safety.

      It is the free market price system that properly regulates that choice.

      You would go out to a stream to drink water – if the cost of tap water was too high.
      You would drink from a tap – if the cost of bottled water was too high.

      You are personally free to drink water however you please – as are others – so long as they are prepared to pay whatever the price is for water in the form they choose.

      • Ron P permalink
        November 25, 2021 4:17 pm

        “Water is infinitely renewed.”

        Tell that to the people out west where the ground level has gone down several inches in the San Joaquin because too much water has been removed from the aquifers or those along the Colorado River that watch the water level in the damn drop to the lowest level since they began filling the damn with water.

        Technically you are right. Water around the globe,continues to be replaced,. Much of it goes into the oceans and not where drinking water is replaced.

      • November 27, 2021 10:18 am

        Again – atleast in my school we were taught something like this.

        The oceans are NOT the end of the journey for water.

        Absolutely there are natural constraints on the amount of water flowing through specific regions, and absent tremendous effort by humans we can not use more than those limits in that region.

        But humans are incredibly good at the engineering to move water from one place to another.

        Doing so obviously benefits some at the expense of others.

        There is almost no limit to the water that can be brought to the san jaquin valley – so long as you are prepared to leave someplace else short.

        I would also note the trivial fact that global warming means MORE water.

        Higher global temperatures mean more evaporation from the oceans and more water transported to land. but as with everything in nature – it does not mean MORE water everywhere. It can mean much more in some places and less in others.

      • Ron P permalink
        November 27, 2021 12:32 pm

        Depends on where you are in the world. And right now, no snow in Rockies, meaning it looks like another year of low snowpack.

        You look at things with rose colored glasses. you see the country actually going to get better. Others see it going in the wrong direction for years. You see libertarian principles being followed legally by everyone, others see criminals that would take advantage. You see rain replenishing all the water people use without regard to how it may be wasted. Others see issues like this and the fact ground water has been taken from the San Juaquin valley so fast the ground is sinking becasue the rain can not replenish underwater aquifers fast enough.

      • November 28, 2021 11:45 am

        “Depends on where you are in the world.”


        The water cycle and the infinite renewal of water are universal.

        Local surpluses our deficits are just that – extremely local issues.

      • November 29, 2021 8:23 am

        There is no such thing as “wasting water” – atleast not at the macro level.

        You can “waste water” at a local level and cause a temporary shortage.

        But the water you “waste” must go somewhere, It either evaporates, percolates underground where it is quickly filtered and cleaned, or it works its way back to rivers, streams and the ocean.

        Regardless, very little water is created or destroyed.

        Humans can make relatively large quantities of water temporarily unusable but nothing more.

        All parts of the earth are not blessed with the same amounts of water. All that means is that man should not presume that they can farm in the desert – or that if they seek to, they will have to transport water from somewhere else to the desert – so long as they are prepared to pay both the transport cost and the price demanded of those whose water they take, that is fine.

      • Rick Bayan permalink
        November 28, 2021 2:05 pm

        Thanks, Ron. I can’t believe I’m just getting around to replying, but Thanksgiving intervened. I suppose you and I are fortunate that we can drink our water straight from the tap. Other friends (and they’re not from Flint, Michigan) have told me that their local water supply is unfit for drinking. As for the argument about whether water is infinitely abundant… theoretically it is, but of course it’s not equally distributed. That’s the catch.

      • Ron P permalink
        November 28, 2021 5:10 pm

        Rick, thanks
        Evenly distributed was what I was trying to convey, but some do not understand that an overabundance of water in the tropics does no good for people in Africa or southwestern USA. Its like people in Romania or Bulgaria freezing to death due to the lack of.fuel for heat, while there may be an overabundance of natural gas in the USA.

        As for water and unfit to drink, there are differences between “unfit to drink” “Flint style” and “unfit to drink” “I don’t like the taste of this water”. Anyone over 50 basically only had tap water. Some younger had bottled water for a portion of their lives. Anyone born since the mid 90’s has always had some form of bottled water. Just because it does not taste like water out of a mountain brook in the high peaks of the Colorado Rocky Mountains does not mean it is unfit to drink.

      • rondabellelane permalink
        November 28, 2021 11:27 pm

        I want to thank you as too. Where I live there is no treatment of the water that comes out of my tap… and outside? Dumpsites to the left of me and farmland frequently sprayed with toxic crap to the right of me – not to mention a huge milking complex where cow excrement is piled 40 feet high and left to ferment (rather pungent depending upon the wind) until ripe and used as additional fertilizer.

        Water may be everywhere, but good enough to drink? Not here & many other places as well – bottled only for me and my cat!!

      • Ron P permalink
        November 29, 2021 12:25 am

        Ronda, I have no doubts that there are places without good water. Eastern N.C. where many hog farms are located probably is another.

        My comments about the waste of water that takes 3 times the water to produce the bottle than the water it contains is all the city folk that walk around with bottle water in towns with excellent water plants like we have around here. They are even too lazy to buy a counter top water filtration system that removes almost 90% of any smells or tastes one may not like and refill their own water bottles from tap water.

        Did not mean to offend anyone with my original comment.

      • rondabellelane permalink
        November 29, 2021 12:23 pm

        Well, you didn’t offend me. I travel back east 4 times a year, and (when there where water is good and treated properly) happily drink from the tab.
        I agree with you – water may be plentiful, but not always drinkable – and bottled water is not only wasteful, but much more expensive.

      • November 29, 2021 6:55 pm

        There is a completely different legal infrastructure regarding water in the east than in the west.

        In the east water is fundimentally covered by individual property rights.
        In the west it is treated as a common good.

        I wonder if that is why there are so many problems in the west.

      • November 29, 2021 5:26 pm

        I buy bottled water to take with me int he car when I travel for work to projects.

        At home I drink tap water. Everywhere I go most everyone drinks either tap water or well water.

        It is possible for individuals to get good drinkable water – usually better than their municipality most everywhere in the country. Further most municipalities in the country are NOT Flynt.

        Generally you find these disasters only in large democrat controlled cities that are supposed to be the envy of the rest of us.

        If the cities are so wonderful – they should not have any trouble cleaning up their own messes.

      • rondabellelane permalink
        November 29, 2021 6:18 pm

        I made a mistake – I read you post! Why talk crap like this to me? I do NOT live in a city, and my county is completely controlled by Republicans. Confirmed – you know not of which you speak!!

      • November 29, 2021 4:30 pm


        I understand what you are Rick are trying to convey.
        I understand that water is not evenly distributed.

        Still a fallacious and shallow argument.

        The same argument can be made for everything – and socialists litterally do.

        There is no “right to water”, just as there is no right to healthcare.

        There can not be a right to anything that nature does not distribute evenly – and nature distributes no THINGS evenly.

        There can not be a right to anything that imposes a positive duty on others.

        There can be no right requiring others to provide you with some “fair share” of water.

        There can be no right requiring others to provide you with some “fair share” of food.
        There can be no right requiring others to provide you with some “fair share” of clothing.
        There can be no right requiring others to provide you with some “fair share” of gold.

  2. Priscilla permalink
    November 24, 2021 10:13 am

    Hey, Rick, great column…very “you” both in spirit and style. It’s difficult, these days, to find much in the news to be thankful about, which is, I suppose, why so many people have detached from the news. Problem with that is, when a big story hits, those people tend to hear/read only the top-line narratives, and remain unaware of the actual facts. Pushing those (often 100% untrue) narratives has become the main goal and purpose of the national news media and those narratives exacerbate, by design, the divisions among us.

    Actual investigative journalism and a free and uncensored press would be the answer to this, but we appear to be moving in the opposite direction, at least when it comes to the national news.

    That said, we don’t drink tap water~ yet~ in our new town, because there has been a longstanding issue of chemically contaminated water, by a subsidiary of DuPont, from the Cape Fear River, and inadequate filtration, which became the primary local issue in the 2020 election. As a result, reverse osmosis filtration systems have begun to be installed. But, for now, I’m sticking to bottled water, not sourced from Cape Fear…

    Anyway, stories like this ~ clean water activists successfully getting the right people elected, who then work to resolve important local issues ~ are what keep me thankful, and somewhat optimistic, about America’s federal system.

    And, Ron, very glad to hear that there are still brave people out there who are not afraid to cook the stuffing in the bird, the way it was meant to be!!

    • Priscilla permalink
      November 24, 2021 10:14 am

      Sorry, I meant the 2018 election…

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      November 28, 2021 11:29 pm

      Thanks, Priscilla. You probably know how I feel about agenda-driven news and other media outlets. I wish they had never discovered that stirring anger is good for ratings and readership.

      I had forgotten that you and Skip had already moved to NC. What town are you in?

      For the record, I’ve never roasted a turkey, with or without stuffing. I’ve always mooched off my relatives. 🙂

  3. rondabellelane permalink
    November 24, 2021 11:54 am

    Happy ‘Day before Thanksgiving’ Rick.

    You already know I posted your words for others to read. I can’t (who can?) predict the response, especially since (unlike your friends), many of mine pass by things they don’t want to argue with… but I find little to argue about.

    But I did discover something you don’t know about me – like Ron, I too stuff my turkey (when I have one)! Never had an issue, and keep track of the temperature to make sure of that. It just tastes SO much better – although excess stuffing in a bowl properly basted (like the turkey) isn’t bad either, and served those with trust issues…

    Everyone have a wonderful Thanksgiving – even that singular multiple personality whose posts I delete before reading!

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      November 28, 2021 11:34 pm

      Ronda: Thanks again for posting my column. Did you ever get a reaction from your friends?

      As I said to Priscilla, I’ve never roasted a turkey in my life, and at this point I probably never will. I didn’t know that cooking the stuffing inside the bird was risky business. I’d have to do a taste comparison test with external and internal stuffing to see if the latter is superior.

      • rondabellelane permalink
        November 28, 2021 11:43 pm

        Just a few likes – no comments… I do though have a wide variety of friends across the political spectrum, including a rather intelligent libertarian who is NOTHING like yours, and I’m speaking to him about checking out your site.

        We’ll have to work on your introduction to real stuffing in the future – a smaller bird will suffice LOL

  4. Ron P permalink
    November 24, 2021 12:33 pm


    I dont remember people when I was younger getting sick from turkey and stuffing. I do know that there was three rules that most everyone knew. Safety in cooking was stressed by older generations. 1) If you had to clean your turkey, clean the sink, place the bird in the sink and clean it in the sink. Then move it into the pan that it was being cooked in and finish preparing. That made sure anything from the bird did not spread on counters. 2) People did not have magic gadgets that popped out when the bird was done. But they did have thermometers and checked the temp. And most knew that turkeys take hours to cook, so they had a very good idea when it was ready before even checking..But the main issue with the stuffing is many people did not learn the basics being handed down. They would stuff the bird and then scoop out enough for a bowl for the dinner table , let the bird and stuffing cool on the counter while eating and a few hours later take the rest out and then put leftovers in the fridge. That’s like taking mayo on a picnic in the middle of summer and not eating for hours.

    Priscilla, one issue with investigative journalism may be the changes in journalism at the local levels. No longer are local papers owned and operated by local companies. They are owned by large conglomerates. Just yesterday it was announced our local paper owned by a larger company, but one that puts importance into local reporters and news has received an offer by a “slash and burn” hedge fund. Papers they own do little local reporting, use mostly wire service articles and have little to no local interest stories. So eliminating local reporters reduces those that make it to the investigative level. And some who do like Sheryl Atkinson rub the wrong person the wrong way, step on money toes and get fired.

    Last,as I have said hundreds of times, we are losing our freedoms one drip at a time. How does the “leader of the free world” come in 6th, one step lower than the last report and continuing a trend of going down. Links at the bottom of this report provides detailed info.

    • rondabellelane permalink
      November 24, 2021 12:51 pm

      Well Ron, I must say, you’ve got the bird down pat… I always use a thermometer, never those pop-ups… and get up early.

      …and you’ve given me an interesting site to look at – thanks!

  5. Vermonta permalink
    November 24, 2021 3:35 pm

    Rick its a great theme. Our political system is a ^&%$# &$#@ I don’t even want to think about it. But Gratitude is one of the best things in life. I am grateful to have been born where and when I was because I have read history and just 50 years earlier (let alone 100 or 200 or 500, etc.) my life would have likely been much, much worse. Not to mention being born in most other places. I was lucky in the parent department too so I won the trifecta. I am one of the lucky ones, my grandparents would not have believed what I soft life I have had.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all.

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      November 28, 2021 11:43 pm

      Roby: I used to romanticize the pre-World War I era, based mostly on the sweet old songs and other lyrical features of middle-class life that trickled down to us. What I didn’t take into account was all the premature death, the judgmental morals, and the squalor of life on the other side of the tracks. My brother and I keep reminding ourselves how lucky we were to be raised during the postwar era, which (despite the Cold War) was probably a rare interlude of general prosperity, sanity and well-being.

  6. Priscilla permalink
    November 24, 2021 10:15 pm

    Not sure if this will work (I can’t recall if Rick blocked videos, back from the day when too many were clogging up the site). But, I think it’s time for a cockatoo video. I think it’s us, Roby. I just don’t know which one is you and which one is me…

    • Vermonta permalink
      November 25, 2021 4:15 pm

      I was expecting them to talk. Cockatoos talk, right? Find me two talking cocktoos arguing and I will choose one to be me.

      In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving, sans any nasty PC element. Just celebrate Thanksgiving in the opposite way that, say, AOC would. Eat the opposite of what she is eating today. Nothing organic. I’ll even join you. As to what to drink, consult this:

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 25, 2021 4:17 pm

        As a bonus, I do not endorse this 100% but its appropriate fodder for this site on this day.

      • Priscilla permalink
        November 26, 2021 4:32 pm

        Hahaha, this is great… Even I wouldn’t endorse this 100%, but it’s quite funny, and, as you say, appropriate fodder for the site, during the season.

      • November 27, 2021 10:11 am


        Louder With Crowder ?

        Who will you post next – Alex Jones ?

        Regardless, thank you for the laughs.

        Crowder has an important core point – even if there are a few inaccuracies.
        That point is that history is full of things that offend modern moral standards.
        We can not go back to Eden and attempt to right every past wrong.

        In the 1400’s people did not know about germs, but they knew that the clothes and blankets from people who died of small pox could pass small pox, even if the mechanism was not understood.

        In fact biological warfare was common in the middle ages with trebuchett’s used to lobb infected corpses into cities under seige to defeat them.

      • Rick Bayan permalink
        November 28, 2021 11:45 pm

        Refreshingly non-woke video. A guilty pleasure!

    • Vermonta permalink
      November 27, 2021 3:13 pm

      He’s more like an opinionated sloshed guy that you might meet in a bar than an actual historian or expert on archeology or indigenous Americans. Does he really know what he is talking about? Not much. But there is a grain of truth or two in his comedy routine and I was just looking for anything anti-PC related to Thanksgiving. Somewhere between Howard Zinn’s very twisted views of history and this guys all too glib and superficial shtick lies a well informed but not left wing view of the whole sad story of the native Americans.

      • November 29, 2021 12:10 pm

        Victor David Hanson is an actual historian – I doubt you would like his remarks any more.

        The 1619 project is the product of Nikole Hannah-Jones and the NYT.

        Not a historian in sight – and yet we are seeing it taught as history in school.

        Crowder is better informed about US history than the 1619 project.
        And his take is humerous and easier to grasp.

  7. November 25, 2021 2:13 pm

    Despite what Rick calls my contrarian nature – I am far more hopeful about the future than most here.

    My mother had a tendency to spend much of her life anticipating disaster. A trait she has passed on to a lessor extent to me.

    But it is not the fear of imminent disaster that was my big take away, but the way she and everyone jumped in to fix things when disasters occured.

    I am very sad – and often angry about the mess that is being made in this country.

    But I am more optimistic I think than nearly everyone here.

    Bad things have happened in the past, and will happen again.

    We have recovered ALWAYS, often very quickly.

    • Rick Bayan permalink
      November 28, 2021 11:48 pm

      Optimism bodes well for a long and happy life. Of course, I’m no optimist, although being a parent almost forces us to believe in positive outcomes.

      • November 29, 2021 6:25 pm

        I am perfectly capable of seeing storm clouds in our future.
        And I have been surprised in the past year at how fast so much could go horribly wrong.

        But I am a parent because two decades ago I came to grasp that no matter how bad the short term might be, the long term was truly better than the present.

        I rant here DARKLY against the constant malthusian nonsense that so many of us buy.

        But anti-malthuisianism no matter how darkly expressed is inherently optomistic.

        Almost everything that I attack you or others here about – is YOUR pessimism.

        We are NOT more racist than before.
        We are NOT more pollute than before.
        We are NOT in need of more government.

  8. November 27, 2021 11:22 am

    In Nov. 2017 Trump made a surprise trip to Troops in Afghanistan for Thanksgiving.
    In Nov. 2021 Biden spend Thanksgiving at a Billionaire’s compound in Nantuckett.

  9. November 27, 2021 11:41 am

    Bret Weinstein normally writes and Vlogs about Covid – he is an evolutionary biologists and one of the early scientists to publicly note that the lab leak hypothesis for Covid origens deserved examination.

    Weinstein is one of the growing body of left intellectuals increasingly at odd with the left.

  10. Ron P permalink
    November 29, 2021 12:53 am

    After about a week of “oh my god the sky is falling” rhetoric from the main stream media acting like chicken Little , with the support of the WHO, NIH, CDC and Fauci concerning the Omicron variant, this is published by other outlets.

    This is from the Chair of the South African Medical Society and she actually treats patients, unlike the bureaucrats that make news in America, but never see patients and probably have not for years if ever.

    I find it hard to understand the desire to publish stories that scare the hell out of many who are already in fear of catching covid and dying, instead of telling the whole story. I can not imagine how this doctor could have reported this to the WHO or whoever she reported it to without including the symptoms her patients exhibited and why she was investigating the differences in symptoms.

    I guess a headline “New covid variant detected in South Africa with less severe symptoms” would not generated the number of eyes on the article as “New covid variant detected in South Africa with higher infection rate” does. But in none of the stories did they ever say the symptoms were less severe and that is a major point of interest that should be communicated.

    Wonder how long it will take before the MSM finally reports all the facts.

    • Vermonta permalink
      November 29, 2021 6:07 am

      I hope you are correct. So far Africa has been an enigma, something is going on there that we don’t have a handle on. Perhaps it’s the heat leading to much time spent outside where transmission occurs with a much lower viral load.

      Your point about clickbait headlines is very true.

      All the same the rate of mutation of this thing is unsettling.

      • November 29, 2021 6:46 pm

        According to both JHU and The EU Africa as a whole or even as individual countries, has had a tiny fraction of the infections and deaths that the US and EU have had.

        There are numerous reasons that you can not directly compare africa to the western world.

        BUT if you ignore those and attempt to anyway – as you are doing,.
        The FACTS are africa is doing much much much better than the EU or US.

      • November 29, 2021 6:52 pm

        Covid’s rate of successful mutation is quite low. Virus’s – RNA is highly prone to mutation.

        The fact that Covid’s sucessful mutation rate is so low is part of the evidence it is man made.
        Man made virus’s tend to be more fragile and therefore a greater portion of mutations fail.

        With specific respect to Covid – the only mutation so far that has been problematic was delta which increased the infectuousness exponentially. We do not know alot about Omicron yet,
        Very early indications are as contageous as delta, but milder. There is also competing claims about nearly everything about it.

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 30, 2021 10:40 am

        “Covid’s rate of successful mutation is quite low. Virus’s – RNA is highly prone to mutation.

        The fact that Covid’s sucessful mutation rate is so low is part of the evidence it is man made.”

        I have found no credible support for the claim that COVID-19 has quite a low rate of mutation. If you can supply me with a credible link I would be interested in reading it.

        I did do some reading yesterday on the actual biology of the virus, I’ll post some links.

        COVID-19 as an RNA virus has all the mechanisms it needs to mutate as rapidly as it needs to to stay in circulation.

        This is a readable source that presents the complexity of viral mutation in relation to COVID-19

      • December 1, 2021 3:14 am

        Why is it my obligation to provide this too you ?

        Do your own searching.

        I have not read your linked paper – though why would I trust the NIH – that is Faucci.

        Darkhorse – which you can find on Odyssey – that is Heather Heyer and Brett Weinstein – they are evolutionary biologists – lean heavily to the left, but are not so stupid as to buy the garbage that our so called “experts” put out.

        Regardless, you are an intelligent person, you should be able to easily figure out why man made virus’s are more fragile and why most attempts at mutation will fail.

      • December 1, 2021 3:20 am

        The mechanism for mutation is the same for all viruses. It is the same as that for DNA based life forms. Mutations is just more common with RNA. DNA has some error checking in it that makes mutations more difficult.

        Regardless, mutations are the consequence of errors in replication.
        they are random chance. Successful mutations are rare because most errors are not viable and of the few that are most are not superior.

        There is no intelligence involved – just darwinian natural selection.

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 30, 2021 10:43 am

        Here is another source that is readable by a layperson with some biology education on the biology of COVID-19 infection.

      • December 1, 2021 3:25 am

        From NIH to Nature ?

        Nature is pretty much the home high priesthood of global warming.

        43 years and the deviation from the mean is only 0.25C at the end of September.

      • Vermonta permalink
        November 30, 2021 10:54 am

        Finally here is an article in Salon on the issue of COVID-19 being unlikely to mutate into something much more lethal. I generally consider Salon to be garbage but this happens to be a well thought out piece of writing.

        The logic is that viruses are UNLIKELY to mutate into something more lethal. There is no argument that they can’t and history is strewn with example where they did.

        In my mind the issue is whether the same mutation makes the the virus both more infectious and also changes the rate of lethal outcomes. Any mutation that produces a more contagious virus that does not change the lethality of it up or down is going to be more lethal in one sense, more people will get sick and thus more people will die. But that is not what virologists mean by the lethality of the virus, they mean how likely it is to kill each particular patient. A more contagious strain is going to cause more deaths all other things being equal.

        The virus is capable of combining with another different COVID-19 virus and it one of them is more contagious and the 2nd is more lethal than the cross is likely to be both more contagious and more lethal. It may not be “smart” for the virus to be more lethal but viruses have no intelligence, just natural selection.

      • Vermonta permalink
        December 1, 2021 10:35 am

        “The mechanism for mutation is the same for all viruses. ”

        If you read what I posted you would see that is not so, not by a long shot.

        Evolution has been working on DNA and RNA for billions of years and the complexity that has evolved regarding errors (which cause both death and disease and evolution itself) and proof reading and accuracy of replication is quite considerable. There are many mechanisms for mutation and many mechanisms for correcting errors. Every cell in your body spends the energy of millions of ATP hydrolysis reactions per minute (actually I thinks its per second) just maintaining and using the apparatus for correcting DNA errors. And that is just in the everyday life of the cell, to say nothing of mitosis and meiosis. Your simple assumptions are erroneous because you do not even begin to have the actual knowledge to understand the actual scientific knowledge gained by millions of person hours of work over decades. You have delusions of grandeur, as contrarians so often do.

        You dismiss the article in Nature because you don’t like their opinions on climate change. You dismiss the article in PLOS because you don’t like Fauci.

        You provide me with no evidence in the form of a reference that supports your statement about the very slow rate that COVID-19 is mutating.

        You are just making up your own so called science and facts. I will tell you that you are selling gibberish based on your ideology. No person is so brilliant that they can reject the work of millions of person hours, some of of it performed by actual geniuses, and substitute some kind of inventions and fabrications of their own. Again I will mention Velikovsky. He was not a stupid man but he did an arrogant thing and thought he was smarter than the experts. He made a fool of himself. Nothing he produced stood up to scrutiny. Same for you and the other contrarians right and left who invent their own science.
        This is a bad time for that.

      • rondabellelane permalink
        December 1, 2021 10:56 am

        I just had to say it BRAVO!!

      • Vermonta permalink
        December 2, 2021 8:20 am

        Thank you Rondabellelane. I try.

    • rondabellelane permalink
      November 29, 2021 12:31 pm

      Agreed – which is why I read AP generally. My latest reading makes serious sense, indicating that viruses work more to survive than anything else, and with the vaccines out, this variant may be taking another “survival route”… more resistant, but less severe so that it continues to have victims without killing.

      The fact remains though, that those who are vaccinated retain a much better chance for less severity, and also that if more people are vaccinated this may end up no worse than the common cold.

      So yes, everyone who can be vaccinated (and that is a vast majority of our population) should be vaccinated – no exceptions.

      • Ron P permalink
        November 29, 2021 2:31 pm

        “So yes, everyone who can be vaccinated (and that is a vast majority of our population) should be vaccinated – no exceptions.”

        I agree with “should be vaccinated”. But we may not agree as to how that happens.

        Private employers have that right to make that policy. Unions. like the UAW have the right to oppose that policy for their workers as they have done with the big three until the government mandate is settled by the courts.

        Government also has the right to require vaccinations for their employees and based on the fact that one can not continually monitor kids and the way they wear a mask, have the right to require students to be vaccinated, just as they do for other viruses.

        But that is where I stop and others continue. And that is what SCOTUS has to decide based on cases coming before them.

      • rondabellelane permalink
        November 29, 2021 4:58 pm

        No, I suppose we do not agree… it’s truly sad that people who (for no valid reason) can remain unvaccinated & unmasked. That they, should they contract the disease – and only then admit their error – take up hospital beds that may have been used to save lives of others not so ignorant, and organ transplants that would also save others.

        I acknowledge that it would be a sad consequence if the administration eventually felt it necessary to mandate vaccinations because of this ignorance, but not a bad consequence.

        You may not have had to contend with what I have experienced. First, yes – I am vaccinated with Moderna… 2 shots AND the booster. I wear a mask everywhere outside of my home with the exception of walking outside – and there are never crowds in my town where I walk. I do this for MY protection because NO PLACE HERE requires masks or distancing except for Kwik Trip – even Walmart requires them only for employees, and it’s up to you to now wipe down your carts. Guess how many masked customers I saw on my last grocery trip – ZERO!

        Even where I live – which is for elderly and disabled – few are vaccinated! Reasons? Oh – “My grandkids are smart and tell me it’s all crap…” Misinformation runs rampant, as is ignorance – and FOX is alive, well, and the most listened to news station… along with big time religious fanatics who want everything in “God’s hands”.

        It’s fine and dandy to say it isn’t right to be mandated… but I have friends who died of this, and seriously – Covid killed yes, but an ignorant person pulled the trigger, and that person will never be held accountable. If they survived (like Trump did), they most likely responded as he did too – laughing about how it was no big deal.

        Sorry, but I have been seriously touched by this – and I honestly believe that if you lost a friend and lived here where ignorance abounds, you would feel as I do.

      • November 29, 2021 8:01 pm

        I do not agree with should.

        If I had children under 18 right now in good health – I would not vaccinate them.

        The long term risks are unknown, and the known risk of adverse consequences to the vaccine is close enough, and possibly greater than the much lower risk of a disease that the may not get and would be mild if they did.

        Further there is some evidence strongly suggesting that adverse reactions increase as age decreases.

        We now have a handle on how the vaccine causes heart problems – some of which can be permanent.

        The risk of death from Covid for those under 18 is incredibly low.

        The risk of heart problems is about 1:10000 FOR EACH JAB,
        Worse if any jab gives you even mild heart issues – the next will make those much worse.

        We are currently to the point of requiring 3 jabs – that brings the risk to about 1:3000 of serious and potentially life long problems for kids.

        That is FAR from SHOULD

      • Vermonta permalink
        December 1, 2021 10:46 am

        If children were lived in an isolated world out of contact with adults: parents, teachers, and others then it would probably be fine not to vaccinate them.

        But children don’t live in such a vacuum. They rarely (not never, just rarely) die or become seriously ill but they spread the virus when they are infected to their parents and teachers.

        So, it matters.

      • rondabellelane permalink
        December 1, 2021 11:01 am

        I agree. I believe someone replied to me saying how low the infection rate of children is, and that is (so far) true, but there were deaths. Along with that was a lot of guff about the vaccines not being safe.
        Unlike some, I prefer to move inland before the tidal wave hits.

      • December 1, 2021 4:18 pm

        Children do mostly live in a relatively issolated world.

        80 year olds are grand parents – and great grand parents.

        I became a parent in my 40’s – that was rare and old. Children are primarily exposed to and exposing younger adults – 20’s and 30s – the next most healthy cohort of the population.

        That is right – they rarely die of Covid. several orders of magnitude more children die each year from ingesting things they find under the kitchen sink.

        We do not use FORCE to protect ANYONE from being killed by lightning.

        Less than 1 in 1000 Covid deaths are of kids under 17 as of 11/17/2021.
        Less than 1 in 100 deaths of children from all causes are deaths from Covid.

        And that is from the overall population of kids. Regress for those with serious health problems and you are approaching struck by lightning territory.

      • Vermonta permalink
        December 1, 2021 10:58 am

        “The risk of heart problems is about 1:10000 FOR EACH JAB,”

        A reference for this please.

        Oh, forget it, you’ll likely just tell me to figure it out for myself. You are even misquoting the result, which has been withdrawn with an apology by the authors of the study because is was wrong by a factor of 25. I will provide a reference that shoots this nonsense down. This is exactly the kind of garbage you base your contrarian opinions on. A little effort on your part fact checking and you would not embarrass yourself so often. I am sure this crap is still circulating on the parts of the internet that right wingers and other contrarians go to for their “facts.”

        The study was then withdrawn on September 24 and in a statement the researchers said: “Our reported incidence appeared vastly inflated by an incorrectly small denominator (ie number of doses administered over the time period of the study). We reviewed the data available at Open Ottawa and found that there had indeed been a major underestimation, with the actual number of administered doses being more than 800,000 (much higher than quoted in the paper)” ( ).

      • rondabellelane permalink
        December 1, 2021 11:03 am

        Hmmm… it said you replied to me, but I’m thinking you responded to another. Agreed.

      • Vermonta permalink
        December 1, 2021 4:42 pm

        ” several orders of magnitude more children die each year from ingesting things they find under the kitchen sink.”

        The number of US children under 12 who have died of COVID is somewhere between 400 and 750 according to a quick search I did. Two orders of magnitude is 100 times. Do you really have data to show that 40,000–75,000 children have died of eating things under the kitchen sink since March 2020 in the US?

        According to my quick search, 2 children die per day in the US on average. 10% of those deaths are from cleaning products, aka stuff under the kitchen sink. That would be ~ 70 children per year. You are off by nearly 3 orders of magnitude.

        You just make nearly everything you post up.

      • December 2, 2021 8:26 pm

        If you want to look into things that are “made up” – try this.

        I am not sure why this was just republished – I heard about this particular hoax over a year ago.

      • December 2, 2021 8:40 pm

        This is a much older expose on how easy it is to get crap papers – in this case written by a computer AI software published.

        This is what actually “made up” looks like.

      • December 2, 2021 8:48 pm

        Here is another recent instance – this is just one of thousands of instances of this that have been found – and not just in obscure geological journals.

        I appologize of the obscure source – but the original publication is behind a paywall.
        This is just a non-paywalled copy

        This is what “made up” actually looks like

      • December 2, 2021 8:55 pm

        Here is a nature article since you like nature on the continuing history of crap scientific papers.

        There is another nature article on the problem of plagerized papers that are AI rephrasing existing published papers to get a new author published.

        But as the Stossel vlog notes – the actual problem is enourmous.

        If these computer generated gibberish papers are getting published – and even in presegeous journals. Why should we trust ANYTHING that is published.

        Fundimentally this addresses the CORE flaw to the concept of “peer review”.

        It is NOT a replacement for replication.

        Peer reveiw at its best is inherently politically biased against challenges to whatever the current “conventional wisdom” is of the peer reveiwers.

        And that is AT BEST.

        Fundimentally it is an easily gameable system that encourages ideology rather than science.

        In other words – it encourages “Making things up”

      • Vermonta permalink
        December 1, 2021 4:44 pm

        correction: I meant 2 children die per day in the US on average from accidental poisoning

      • December 3, 2021 6:20 am

        Ok, why should you believe anything from prestigious journals? Don’t. That is how you are wired and nothing can change it. You have been screaming no 1000 times a day all your life. Not your fault really, it’s in your DNA.

        The world of science will go on regardless and continue to accomplish it’s accumulation of knowledge.

        Meanwhile I correctly showed you that your posts are full of crap factwise. You have no answer, there is no answer. You are a clumsy amateur not worth my time.

      • December 3, 2021 6:15 pm

        Look arround you Robby.

        Your Idols are FAILING.

        Your Faux Science – is NOT WORKING.

        To all but religious fanatics it is self evident that the nonsense of public health “experts” did not work.

        To all but religious fanatics it is self evident that the nonsense of Catastrophic Global Warming has not come to pass.

        To all but religious fanatics it is self evident that the nonsense of we can spend trillions and it will cost you nothing is bogus.

        IF YOUR misplaced trust lead to harm to YOU – that would be unfortunate.

        But YOU have HARMED everyone.

        And worse still you are still buying it.

      • December 3, 2021 7:48 pm


        I choose to “waste my time” with you – because you are dependable.

        You will regurgitate the left wing nut company line all too often – without thought.

        You will equate titles with accomplishment and trustworthyness.

        You will ignore reality to follow the dictates of your priests.

        I am sure you will disagree with that characterization – it reeks of hyperbole,
        and yet it is not.

        You will cling to the collusion delusion until death.
        You will cling to “mask for your safety and that of others” until you inhale your mask and choke.
        You will cling to whatever the “elites” sell you without thought.

        You provide the perfect foil to make REAL arguments, To discuss ACTUAL facts.

        I do not know whether you beleive in a god. But you certainly believe innumerable false gods.

      • Vermonta permalink
        December 4, 2021 9:36 am

        “You provide the perfect foil to make REAL arguments, To discuss ACTUAL facts.”

        We’ve seen your “facts.”

        You stick to home inspections and I will stick to science and that way each of us will be doing what they actually know how to do.

      • December 4, 2021 3:10 pm


        You are not fighting with me.

        You are at odds with REAL Science.
        I do not personally test the effectiveness of masks -other people did those studies.
        I do not personally measure the effect of CO2 on global warming – others do that.
        I do not write the global climate models, nor did Iwrite the software used to model the pandemic – though I do write software.

        But I do look at the results. I understand statistics, and math – actually quite well.
        Though in assessing the vast majority of science today – particularlyt eh FAILURES of science today, the level of math and statitics needed to grasp how flawed some of it is, is high school at best.

      • December 4, 2021 3:45 pm


        Have you ever been published in your field as a purported scientist ?

        I was published IN THE FIELD OF SCIENCE twice while I was in high school
        That was more than 40 years ago.

        I have also been publised in technical journals in the field of embedded software atleast half a dozen times.

        But despite your attacks – this is not about me.

        You have been consistently wrong about the science.
        And for the most part your errors are either statistical or mathematical – not actually scientific.

        The problem is that the first foundation of every form of knowledge is logic, and the second is math.

        If you do not get those right – nothing else matters.

    • November 29, 2021 6:36 pm

      And yet you continue to accept much of the same fear mongering nonsense that the same people spray about masks and vaccines and mandates.

      I do not know if Covid will pass or become endemic.
      If it does become endemic, it will be because of the bad policies of the very people who we allowed to dictate to us.
      If it does not -it will be INSPITE of them.

  11. November 29, 2021 1:42 pm

    This is an excellent summary of some of the Biden administration so far.

    Starting with the observation that in January – Biden had the wind at his back. All he had to do was not Fup and he would succeed incredibly.

    I disagree with Concha that this is about poor messaging.
    It is about incompetence.

    To the rabid never trumpers here – Trump is barely mentioned in this article – and only by Biden appointees trying to blame Trump for problems of their own making.

    But Trump is an ever present problem for Biden.
    Because we can ALWAYS compare the country under Trump to the country under Biden.
    In nearly every way we are worse off. Biden fails in comparison to Trump, but also in comparison to Obama or any other president since Carter.

    And even the Carter comparisons are unfair – to Jimmy Carter.

  12. Ron P permalink
    December 2, 2021 12:31 pm

    This goes back to the comment I made concerning water, bottles, waste and pollution. I suspect others may not agree with this analysis, but it does agree with other reports concerning the damage the world, and especially America is doing to the environment with the excess plastic being discarded.

    • December 2, 2021 9:57 pm

      I do not buy the CAGW nonsense.

      The world would be better with MORE not less CO2.

      But even if I was wrong. the problem can be solved by engineering – by extracting CO2 from the atmosphere. Just like removing garbage from the ocean – we are not good at that yet.

      But we will get good with time if we decide it is important.

      Elon Musk did something that no one had done before.
      He recovered his rocket boosters by landing them under their own power.
      That was very difficult to get right. But once accomplished it is now the norm.

  13. December 2, 2021 11:02 pm

    Lets see hundreds of people go to the capital without weapons and are arrested and jailed indefinitely – while facing only minor charges, While an Antifa member who takes an axe to the door of a senators office – gets a fine – and the Axe back.

    • Vermonta permalink
      December 3, 2021 9:56 am

      The Jan 6 thugs deserve all they got and more, but this Antifa thug and others like also should receive their consequences and be removed from society. The outcome of this Starks trial is disgusting, unbelievable, and wretched. Also wretched is the fact that it has received 0 coverage by the MSM. This is a genuine story and its a genuine travesty that the MSM likely will never say a word about it.

      This is still not equal to the terrible damage to the Constitution and the rule of law that the POTUS inciting the capital riot caused, but it is very very damaging and I am disgusted with everyone.

      In other news items, the man who ran into a Thanksgiving parade after fleeing a domestic abuse crime now is complaining that he is being demonized. Meanwhile in CA, 14 violent looters that have been arrested in connection with 5 separate mob lootings have all been released on bail. The word looters is being called racist in some circles.

      In my opinion the conservative media are actually not persistent enough in following these stories. They follow these stories for a day and then go on to other things. They should follow up day after day on these stories and never let go of these twisted events.

      The outrages of neither side excuse the other, although the fuel each other.

      Its very very likely that law and order issues will return the GOP to power in the House in 2022, a party that has disgraced itself beyond the point of redemption is fortunate to have help of the idiot left-wing nut sector of the democratic party.

      The Constitution and the rule of law are under attack from all sides. It is all beyond my belief.
      I am not hopeful about the future of the US.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 3, 2021 12:53 pm

        Roby, although you and I disagree on many issues from the start, I always believe if our politicians believed as you and I do that 75% of the issues would be addressed in a manner that benefited the country. Much like Reagan/O’Neill and Clinton/Gingrich.

        Darrell E. Brooks…I have not followed news much, but I am in the kitchen many nights when my wife has NBC nightly news on. The interesting thing I find is this does not seem to be an important story for them to cover. And if they do, it must be a short segment since I dont hear anything about it, nor is there much from the MSM on it on the internet. I have my thoughts on that, but will keep them to myself.

        Smash and Grabs..Must be an interesting life to live in California these days. How much more racist can it be when one looks at all the pictures available and almost every individual in these “organized theft rings” aRE people of color? And one can expect that these individuals will find ways to negotiate a minimal sentence for their crimes and do it again, expecting not to get caught in the future.

        Press coverage..conservative press/liberal press, doesn’t matter. The stories you mention do not generate votes. Right now Covid is the story that is going to be the vote generator. Which party can excite their base, either the liberal press scaring the total crap out of everyone that believes their stories about the new variant or the conservative press spreading questionable data about vaccines, masking and other fake stories to excite their base.

        I get summaries of stories from 2-3 places and then look up stuff I want to read. I avoid the news as much as possible, but I have found one new news outlet that is an antenna TV 24 hour news outlet that is new. Its called Newsy and most of their stories do not seem to have any political leanings, but then I could be immune to leanings with all the extreme positions the current news outlets take. Every now and then I will turn it on to get headlines and then move on to something else.

      • December 4, 2021 2:14 pm

        I know little more of Omicron than you.

        I suspect – but I am not prepared to claim that it is more contageous than delta and less fatal.
        That appears to be the actual information so far.

        If that is true Omicron will quickly displace delta as the dominant strain in the world.
        That will reduce deaths and increase infections.

        But even if that is not true – TODAY Omicron is a FUTURE even. TODAY Covid is again spiking globally, in the EU, and in the US, and that Spike is a DELTA spike not an Omicron one.

        All the measures we have taken have NOT sustainably reduced the delta transmission rate below 1.0.

        Put simply regardless of the personal benefits, Vaccine todate are not even close to preventing Covid from becoming endemic.

      • December 4, 2021 2:20 pm

        What is important is not whether a position is extreme or not.

        It is whether it is true or not.

        Masks do not work.
        Lockdowns do not work.

        All policies combined – including social distancing and vaccination – Do not work – they do not prevent the virus from becoming endemic.

        If you wish to sell vaccines as a method of reducing personal risk of serious infection or death – data supports that.
        But if you are trying to claim they are a means to end the pandemic – the data shows they are not.

        Our best remaining hope is that infection induced immunity is sufficintly high and durable

        Data from Sweden suggests that to be true.

        If it is – the pandemic will end when enough people are infected.
        If it is not – Covid will become endemic.

        There is a possibility that if Omicron is even more contageous and even less deadly that it will save us – infecting enough people quickly to reach herd immunity.

      • Vermonta permalink
        December 3, 2021 2:07 pm

        Thank you Ron. I have to disagree about the value that law and order issues have in influencing voters. I see people all over the place wearing the blue flag hats, face masks, t-shirts etc. that I associate with blue lives matter. I saw them all over the place in Montana and New Mexico a few months back and I see many in Vermont. I am fine with the blue lives matter movement, its very understandable that people value law and order and want cops to do their jobs. Defund the police was a typically left wing nut idea with typically left wing obliviousness as to its actual political effectiveness. The blue LM sympathizers outnumber the black LM sympathizers by a wide margin, I am sure of it.

        As you know I am not a person who is opposed to the sentiment of Black LM if that sentiment is that cops should be held accountable if they go over the line (race being to me immaterial.) I was heartened by the initial public reaction to the Floyd murder by asphyxiation, the sympathy most people had for the victims of the casual brutality that happens disproportionately to blacks (because they live disproportionately in impoverished high crime areas). But the original impulse of that sympathy got hijacked by looters and left wing activists and became useless and actually counter productive to the initial impulse of correcting the actual abuses by cops. This issue is now a major albatross around the necks of Dem politicians, by no means all of whom are onboard with the defund the police crap.

        I was really gobsmacked by the flashmob looting and got interested in the story of seeing these, excuse me, animals, brought to justice. I did not know, is this a white gang, a black gang, a mixed race gang? I can’t even find arrest mug shots of the looters that would answer my curiosity, not even on Fox outlets. One black woman, Dana Dawson, a convicted felon who was carrying a 9mm handgun in the recent looting made it onto FOX as a screenshot from facebook. Is there some sort of prohibition of arrest mug shots now or is this PC because the looters are black and god forbid we should have that information?

        I happened accidentally onto a story about looting of the same Nordstrom in walnut creek in my search for information, the story was from a year ago! The same exact flashmob looting thing occurred a year ago and the cops arrested 8 black women, judging by their first names in a news story I found. I am sure you realize I am a genuine bleeding heart liberal when it comes to race in many ways, but I am not stupid. Law abiding black citizens must loathe these idiot gangstas, especially when they combine looting with political activism.

        This is going to be a big issue in 2022 and it will beat democrats.

      • December 4, 2021 2:22 pm

        Law and order is much more than a political football.

        Law and order is a requirement of the social contract.

        Government that can not deliver law and order is NOT legitimate.

      • December 4, 2021 11:06 am

        “In my opinion the conservative media are actually not persistent enough in following these stories. They follow these stories for a day and then go on to other things. They should follow up day after day on these stories and never let go of these twisted events.”

        Then you are not paying attention. the Conservative media has been pushing these stories as well as the underlying government lawlessness driving them for a long long time.

        Further they are working HARD to overcome the assorted censorship that tries to stiffle these stories.

        If you followed pretty much ANY “conservative” source – the only surprise that the Rittenhouse jury verdict would bring was that the jury did the right thing.

        Half the country was well aware that the nonsense naratives sold in most of the media was LIES.

        The same media you are deriding has been warning of the bad consequences of failure to enforce a variety of laws atleast since the begining of the pandemic – in many cases much sooner.

      • December 4, 2021 12:04 pm

        You are correct that the evil done by one side does not excuse that of the other.

        You are completely incorrect in any pretense that there is any parity in the evil done between the left and the right.

  14. December 5, 2021 3:18 am

    Not only is this story shocking, but the fact that it is in Buzzfeed and not InfoWars is shocking.

    Why – because Buzzfeed is confirming a CORE tenent of Qanon.

    I have made comparisons between right wing tin foil hat nut job Alex Jones and main stream media talking heads – and found Jones more credible.

    But now it appears that even Qanon is more credible than the MSM

  15. Vermonta permalink
    December 5, 2021 9:33 am

    I read your link. It’s legitimate journalism and believable.

    Qanon, you are now going to try to defend qanon? I can cut and paste a description of the beliefs and activities of qanon and you can tell me how much of it you want to defend or minimize. See Dave, you start from some real thing and then you quickly go off into a right wing swamp, reliably every time.

    For context I googled cops and child porn and found a long list of cops who got prosecuted and then I googled teachers and child porn and likewise. Subway spokesman Jared got caught, so did Pete Townshend.

    Till I started googling this I had no idea that child porn is so prevalent.

    Qanon goes way beyond child porn and accuses democrats of being in a satanist cannabalistic cabal. Trump was supposed to swoop in and expose it all in an operation called Storm.

    Well storm happened alright and qanon Trump supporters were involved and there is an an actual event that occurred in your plain sight that you have the the typical right wing view of as being of little importance.

    So Dave, have fun in your right wing nut trumpy world of values and theories. Actually not long ago Rick himself predicted that you would go there. Ugh.

    • December 5, 2021 1:00 pm

      Speaking of long lists of bat $hit crazy things – try the Washington Posts reporting for the past 5 years.

    • December 5, 2021 4:14 pm

      Wow! There are pedophiles in the world – who would have guessed.

      Nor was it the point. Those in the Federal government – particularly in the CIA are not being prosecuted.

      But the actual point was that Qanon was right about their Core claim. That is scary.

      I suspect we BOTH agree that Qanon is the whacky right. Though I suspect you are far more fearful of them, and convinced they are some huge threat.

      As to the fact that many police and teachers are prosecuted as sex offenders – do you think that is a secret ? Did you need google to tell you that ?

      The numbers have actually increased. Part of the reason is that it is nearly impossible to fire a teacher or police officer for misconduct. It is easier to send them to jail.

      The vast majority of the cases involving teachers and police are consensual with 15, 16, 17 year olds depending on the state.

      For the most part this is an EXCELLENT reason to fire them. But not to prosecute.

  16. December 5, 2021 6:03 pm

    It is rare that Youtube video links work
    Search youtube for
    “Judge overturns election due to ‘illegal’ votes”

    If it does not.

    Regardless, we have a case of clear election fraud in California.

    I would note that the fraud involved here is one of MANY types of fraud that is nearly always undetectable and unpreventable when you do not have secret ballot elections.

    In this instance a landlord provided a tenant with a ballot and indicated how he expected the tenant to vote – and they did, and then the landlord turned in the ballot.

    So long as you have ballots outside the control of election officials this is always possible, and with certainty will become common.

    It was quite common in the 19th century and resulted in states passing constitutional amendments requiring secret balloting.

    Mailin voting is NOT secret ballot voting.
    It is unconstitutional and lawless in 38 states, and likely to result in fraud in the rest.

  17. Ron P permalink
    December 6, 2021 4:08 pm

    this article was in my inbox this morning when I checked messages. Had I not known, I could have been writing this “sleep writing” . Sounds much like my government deficit diatribes.

    And now what are the politicians arguing about? SALT, repeal promoted by the left, just more welfare for the rich and famous in liberal states.

    • rondabellelane permalink
      December 7, 2021 1:23 am

      I read this article Ron, but if this is true, how did Clinton balance his budget after Republicans put it in the red, and how did Obama decrease the deficit? I’m guessing it would have been in the black again were it not for the Republican majority that quickly took over and opposed so many strategies that could have attained this…

      …and I’m curious what you mean by SALT – which was my field as an accountant, and to me means State and Local Taxes, not Federal.

      We’re now talking about 6 years of the wealthy and corporations paying didley squat in taxes – of course this deficit will not even be touched with the houses so evenly separated. This needs to change.

      I admit that in doing reverse audits I obtained quite a few large refunds for several corporations on sales tax they didn’t have to pay, but these were for materials used in a finished product – and the taxes were paid on that product, or they were for items and work that benefitted our environment.

      …and please do not blame Social Security. This was taken out of our pockets and (had it been used properly instead of the constant borrowing and paying back with no interest) would not be an issue.

      Here in my current home state of Wisconsin, we have a Democrat for a Governor, and both houses controlled by Republicans. Our roads are shit. Much of our drinking water is untreated and untested. Landfills that I once obtained tax exemptions for when they built a process to make run-off water safe again or a generator powered by methane to produce electricity no longer do this – the exemptions were taken off the books during the previous Republican administration. Even farmland that used to be tested for run-off of toxic fertilizers is a joke now.

      Covid is a joke – most stores do not require masks, and few require it even for their workers. I can count the number of intelligent masked customers in every visit I make to the grocery store on one hand… even when people are still dying.

      Yes, there are greedy users in every party – far right as well as far left (and I tend to disagree with both) – but the difference seems to be that Democrats make a better attempt to actually benefit their constituents, and Republicans coddle while benefitting the wealthy.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 7, 2021 1:45 pm

        To try and minimize the length of comment, I will address just a couple items.

        1) SALT is state and local taxes. I refer to the “rich and famous welfare” as the ability to deduct those in excess of $10,000 on federal tax returns. From everything I have read, there are few Americans living in the low to middle income brackets that pay more than $10K in SALT. So those that are paying more are the rich. And the democrats are running around bitching about the rich not paying their fair share, but let the tax increase hit them in the liberal high tax, high spending states and they have a cow and are doing everything in their power to repeal that provision and allow the rich to deduct more from their taxable income, thus reducing their taxes. I do not favor anyone in NC, Tx, FL, TN or any other low tax state funding tax deductions in states with higher taxes. like CA, NY, NJ or IL.

        2) The surplus generated in the late 90’s was a combination of things. A) Bush 41 signed a provision to raise taxes.The law increased the maximum individual income tax rate from 28 percent to 31 percent, and raised the individual alternative minimum tax rate from 21 percent to 24 percent. Those increases took effect and generated income during the 90’s. Clinton worked with Gingrich on welfare reform and that saved money. Clinton had exception GDP growth and that generated income. Later in the 90’s, the GOP saw all this revenue streaming into Washington and wanted tax cuts and Clinton refused. And finally the GOP compromised on the budget issues with Clinton and worked out a Surplus budget, resulting in the surplus at the end of the decade.To accomplish that, it took a GOP president to increase taxes, a Democrat president to support welfare reform, a democrat that refused to increase spending much and blocked GOP efforts to cut taxes, all while the economy was hot.

        3) Obama, Now that is where my “figures don’t lie, but liars can figure” comes in. Yes, Obama cut the defict in half from his first year to his last year. Great news. But looking at more than just his years in office, is that really true that he “cut the deficit”. In 2007, the year before the banking crisis (and that was not caused by government spending, but by lack of institutional controls and bad laws in some cases), the deficit was $161B. Then the banking crisis hit, bailout began, and in 2009 when the stumlus package and QE was in full force, the deficit grew to $1,413T. And some of that was good spending and some waste.By the time Obama left office 8 years later and after 8 different budgets, spending and revenue packages, the dficit was down to $779B. That $779 billion was 1/2 what it was when he started, but after 8 years, that should have been closer to the $161B with the improvement in the economy. But given Washington’s propensity for not worrying about deficits and the future generations standards of living, it never got close to $161.

        Then comes Trump and its back up to $984B in 2019, and don’t even mention the Zombie years of 2020 and 2021.

        My position remains the same. And Clinton only provides additional support. But do you really think a democrat like the 90’s Clinton could get elected today? I do not, the same as I do not think a republican like the 80’s Reagan could get elected by the GOP. They would never make it out of the extreme left and right primaries any more.

      • rondabellelane permalink
        December 7, 2021 4:33 pm

        My response was not much longer than yours, however…

        1) anyone individual purchasing items in another state where sales taxes are higher can obtain a refund if that item is used in a different state… and they are also required to pay their own states’ higher taxes if the opposite applies. Funny how many more get the refunds and fewer pay their state taxes.
        2) funny how you fail to state how the Republican ‘in-between’ presidents managed to blow everything up once they got in. How? By neglecting everything from roads to protecting our environment.
        Just ask Christie Whitman – who left after a year running the EPA because her hands were tied.

        You are entitled to your opinion, but Reagan initiated the whole “lower taxes on the rich” that started our problems and led to Trump.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 7, 2021 7:17 pm

        So I am either not reading properly what was in that article or I am not communicating my positions correctly. So I will use as few words as possible this time.

        1) If someone has state and local taxes that includes income taxes and property taxes exceeding $10,000 to qualify for a federal tax deduction, then they are in the rich category IMO. It has nothing to do with sales taxes. You figure out how much a house has to be worth plus adding in even the top income tax rate in NY to come out with $10,000 of SALT. Its sure not the middle class individual that pays more than $10K

        2) The GOP refuses to find anything to cut when they propose any tax cut. Growth is a economic piece of revenue generation, but will never grow enough to cover the decrease in tax revenues from tax cuts. So their economics is voodoo economics. Bush 41 told us that and it is true!

        3) Democrats want increased spending and say they can pay for it taxing the rich. So how can giving the rich a tax cut with allowing all the SALT deductions make since? And you can tax 50% of everything they make/ realized or unrealized per yr, plus a percentage of their assets each yr and it will never come close to paying for what the democrats propose.

        Both parties have the heads up their asses and are jeopardizing the future generations economic survival. The map has been drawn in other countries that have done the same thing our politicians are doing to placate their voters and to “buy” votes. only to have it turn into a economic disaster years later.That is where we are heading.

        Obama had almost the perfect solution handed to him by Simpson/Bowles deficit reduction commission, one drawn up by both parties. He took one look at it and because it had sending cuts, he said no. And because it had tax increases, the GOP did not fight him.

        So if you believe that the current proposals by the democrats will work, fine, that is your choice. If others believe the GOP plans will work, fine, let them believe that also. I dont believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Ferry, Social Media news, main stream media news and I sure don’t believe in the Dem/GOP economic models they are using today.

      • rondabellelane permalink
        December 8, 2021 11:43 am

        Simpson/Bowles was hardly the wonderful solution you mention… it was severely curtailed by Republicans and (especially as pertains to health care for those under Social Security) would have limited care. I suggest you read a little more on this.

        So okay – State and Local taxes have their limitations when it comes to the Federal side, but the truth is that lowered FEDERAL INCOME TAX RATES for the rich is what truly put us in the debacle we are now.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 8, 2021 11:56 am

        Ronda, you are missing my point completely on taxes and the rich. So less than 25 words.

        One can not complain about republicans cutting taxes for the rich and then propose cutting taxes for the rich by repealing the SALT limitations.

      • December 8, 2021 6:38 pm

        I believe I picked this up on Zero Hedge recently.

        But the data is in – the GOP Tax Cut benefited the middle and working classes significantly more than the “rich”

      • December 8, 2021 6:59 pm

        So where is the impact on Federal Revenue of the “Tax Cut” ?

        “the truth is that lowered FEDERAL INCOME TAX RATES for the rich is what truly put us in the debacle we are now.”

        Here are actual revenue figures.
        Your statement is False.

        Fiscal Year Revenue
        FY 2021 $3.86 (estimated)
        FY 2020 $3.71 trillion (estimated)
        FY 2019 $3.46 trillion (actual)
        FY 2018 $3.33 trillion
        FY 2017 $3.32 trillion
        FY 2016 $3.27 trillion
        FY 2015 $3.25 trillion
        FY 2014 $3.02 trillion
        FY 2013 $2.77 trillion
        FY 2012 $2.45 trillion
        FY 2011 $2.30 trillion
        FY 2010 $2.16 trillion
        FY 2009 $2.10 trillion
        FY 2008 $2.52 trillion

      • December 8, 2021 7:18 pm

        Some states use sales taxes not income taxes and property taxes to fund government.

        ALL of us are allowed to deduce UP TO 10K/year of SALT taxes from our income tax.
        WE can either deduct UPTO 10K of property and income taxes or UPTO 10K of sales taxes.

        But not both.

      • December 8, 2021 7:29 pm

        3). Democrats can raise taxes if they wish.
        They can not raise federal revenue.

        Tax Revenue will remain very close to 18% of GDP regardless of small tax increases of decreases.

        But the economy will respond negatively to tax increases – particularly large ones.

      • December 8, 2021 7:35 pm

        Simpson Bowles was a poor plan.

        Simpson Bowles was a STUPID compromise – tax increases and spending cuts.

        Tax increase will have little or negative impact of federal revenues.
        But they will negatively impact the economy.

        We are far too far away from tax rates that could actually impact federal revenue.

        The US Government has a SPENDING problem PERIOD.

        The maximum US tax rate – federal State and local combined should be cut to 20% MAX
        And all govenrment spending reduced to not exceed the revenue that creates.

        That is draconian – but such tax cuts would RAPIDLY pay for themselves.

        Not because Government revenue would rise – but because the rate of increase of standard of living would double or triple.

        To the miniscule extent that the economy is governments business at all – its obligation is to raise standard of living – not raise govenrment benefits.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 9, 2021 12:02 am

        Simpson Bowles was a plan, maybe not the best, but one that would have solved many problems we have in the congress today. But it left out one major expense category in the plan and that was interest payments on the debt.

        You and Ronda have shown it was a good plan. Ronda gave the democrats response that it was bad because it cut into social security and other entitlement spending. You have regurgitated the GOP’s message about how bad increased taxes can be on the economy.

        Maybe not the best, but it sure beats what has happened in the last 8 years and counting.

      • December 9, 2021 8:17 am

        “Simpson Bowles was a plan, maybe not the best, but one that would have solved many problems we have in the congress today. But it left out one major expense category in the plan and that was interest payments on the debt.”

        False, Simpson Bowles was a well intended bipartisan effort. But it WOULD NOT HAVE WORKED.

        Higher taxes WOULD NOT have increased revenues – possibly not at all, definitely not sufficiently.

        I have noted over and over that tax cuts and tax increases over the past 40 years have had little impact on federal revenue.

        While I have offered a logical and near certain to be correct explanation, that is backed by Robby’s “experts”, even that is NOT critical.

        Why tax changes have little impact is of interest, it is sound evidence based speculation.

        But it is a FACT regardless of Why.

        TWO measures have been effective in my lifetime.

        Graham Rudman which was eventually determined to be unconstitutional.
        And the SEQUESTER which was bipartisan abandoned in 2015.

      • asmith permalink
        December 9, 2021 9:32 am

        How does two different comments saying it was bad prove it is good ?

        Nor did I echo some gop message

        The Fact is we are a long long way from the point at which tax increases are not economically harmful

        Facts are facts

        Maybe they Are sometimes talking points

        They are still facts

      • Ron P permalink
        December 9, 2021 1:34 pm

        “How does two different comments saying it was bad prove it is good ?”

        I will rephrase. Replace good with better than nothing.

        But there are three ways of thinking when it comes to issues such as this.

        One is to not do anything about spending and especially entitlements.

        Two is to do nothing about revenue increases.

        And the powers in congress will fight for those two positions and it will end up with little legislation to do either.

        Three is to realize that there is a problem in this country and that is congress. Congress is addicted to buying votes and spending money. They are oblivious to the issue that we spend to much, the entitlements are not sustainable, tax breaks that allow companies like Amazon to go for years without paying any income tax is corporate welfare and they fear for their careers if they do anything to fix one problem in the current “deficit spending” supported programs.

        So Graham-Rudman, Sequester, Simpson/Bowles, or something in the future that both parties can compromise on and come to a decision needs to happen. You will argue compromise is bad, but doing nothing in this case is much worse IMO.

        The younger voters that are more supportive of the spending and tax increases proposed by democrats do not understand it is all bad economics and they are the ones that will end up having little for retirement when they get to that age because the good times will end and the bills will have to be paid. You either pay the bills now, later or go bankrupt and the paper is worthless, causing a severe economic collapse. And for those saying “tax the rich” you can take it all and it will have very little good impact on the situation and the economic impact would be much worse.

      • December 9, 2021 8:12 pm

        And your evidence that Simpson Bowles was better than nothing ?

        The Sequester worked through 2015. It was far from perfect but it WAS better than nothing.

        Simpson Bowles combined good and bad – it is not easily predicatable whether the net was good or bad.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 10, 2021 12:01 am

        And your evidence that Simpson Bowles was better than nothing ?

        Just my opinion because nothing ever came of it so their is no data other than much of the $2.9T in cuts over 8 years actually happened due to the sequester, but none of the $2.6T in tax increases occurred when the Bush tax cuts were suppose to sunset. That was due to the tax cuts expiring right around the 2012 election and no politician wanted “Tax Increase” associated with their campaign.

        However, the sequester has basically been ignored from about 2018 with magical funding legislation that basically took money from one pot and gave it to another and then trump signed a budget bill that basically ignored the whole thing.

        Not until something forces Washington to reduce the deficits will they do that. Just the demands by liberal state legislators to include repeal of SALT limitations shows they will not support higher taxes on the rich. And few are going to support anything that reduces entitlements.

      • December 10, 2021 10:12 am

        I would note further that it is NOT deficits that are the problem – it is DEBT.

        While these are obviously related, there is nothing wrong with a country running deficits that match the debt it retires each year, or with running a deficit when the economy is poor.

        There is not even a problem with deficits for the purpose of acquiring assets.

        There is nothing wrong with government funding the purchase of capital items through bonds.

        Our schools as an example are typically funded through bonds.

        But the federal govenrment does not fund capital improvements through bonds – it funds ALL shortfalls in revenue through bonds.

      • December 8, 2021 9:27 pm

        3). “Obama” did not “cut the deficit. The SEQUESTER cut the deficit.
        Obama and democrats would have been happy to increase the deficit and spend more – if they could.

        One of the biggest mistakes republican made was ending the sequester in a bi-partisan deal in 2015

  18. December 10, 2021 10:33 am

    More bad news regarding inflation.

  19. December 10, 2021 11:53 am

    I like Jussie Smollet – or atleast I liked the character he played on Empire.

    His conviction is just the tip of the iceberg.

    A significant portion of so called hate crime are staged particularly on uiniversities.

    Often staged badly. Swastiska’s are drawn incorrectly and security camera’s catch minority students painting them.

    There is no consequential far right extremist racist groups in the US today.

    This should be evident from your consistent efforts to identify the Proud Boys as the equivalent of neo-nazi’s.

    Like them or not they are not even close to the KKK – or on the otherside Antifa.
    And they are the poster group for right extremism today.
    That alone should tell you how inconsequential right extremism is.

  20. December 10, 2021 12:00 pm

    I constantly find it disturbing that so many people falsely frame these discussions.

    It is NOT a good thing to raise the debt limit.

    Failing to do so is NOT a default.

    Doing so WILL likely lead to inevitably default.

  21. December 10, 2021 12:24 pm

    As with other similar issues like Catastrophic Global Warming or the Collusion delusion too many – even here are TNM have bought into nonsense from so called experts – continuing to hold onto what was initially obvious nonsense long past when doing so is insane.

  22. December 10, 2021 12:29 pm

    I am far less hopeful than the editors of the Baltimore Sun.

    The United States – more so than any country has made a poor education system even worse during the pandemic.

    Worse still as noted the worst impacts are on the least well off to begin with.

    Contra the article – money is not going to fix this.
    The damage is already done. This harm is lifelong for large portions of the poor.

  23. December 10, 2021 12:54 pm

    Hillary Clinton duped a willing FBI, DOJ and “deep state” into doing her dirty work – using the power of the federal govenrment to perpitrate a fraud on the american people for years.

    The most powerful members of the democratic party – inside and outside government, as well as some of our most powerful public servants were all part of this fraud.

    And there have been no consequences.

    Nixon resigned, his staff went to jail.

    Yet in the “collusion delusion” – only the victims of the crime went to jail.

    Russia Gate was excreble. As this author states the worst criminal/political scandal in this nations history.

    And yet so many were duped – and are not even angry at having been duped.

  24. December 18, 2021 11:00 am

    I just watched “Together” with Sharon Horagan (Catastrophe) – and I would highly recommend it.

    Had I know it was about Covid I probably would have a passed.

    But it is an incredible movie that captured relationships and the effects of Covid on those relationships.

    It also effectively captured the times that we lived through and are still living in.

    The movie has no overt political message – to the extent that it might try it leans slightly to the left.

    Regardless there are interesting political transformations in the characters as they confront the realities of 2 years of Covid in the UK.

    The trailer is here on Rotten tomatoes.

  25. December 20, 2021 4:17 pm

    Another of the many reports, studies, even peer reviewed papers on masks.

    This time in michigan comparing schools with mask mandates to those without
    and fining no difference in Covid rates.

    • Ron P permalink
      December 21, 2021 12:16 am

      First, I don’t understand the big deal about kids wearing a mask. If the people elect a school board and the school board decides that masks are warranted, then so be it. If, like in NC where some school districts decide not to have mandated mask, but optional, then fine. Those are the people the voters elected to represent them. Now for the feds to make a mandate, that goes against the 10th amendment with states rights and I also don’t think some fat cat sitting in mahogany row in the state capital city should be dictating what local district do.

      But I bet if one researches enough info, one could find data that shows masks slows the spread. but I am not wasting my time to look it up.

      I have tuned out everything Covid, I listen to nothing about it, dont read anything about it, if I am in the room with a TV and my wife is not in the room at the time and something covid comes on, I mute the TV.

      I never thought I would say this, but I can’t wait until the election comes around to kick covid off the news for at least a few weeks

  26. December 20, 2021 4:24 pm

    So the Biden whitehouse is sending US senators phone calls to voicemail or just hanging up.

    And does not give a shit about political prisoners in Cuba.

    • Ron P permalink
      December 21, 2021 12:22 am

      Not any different than any other president when we have even our own citizens in prison in foreign countries. i remeber a military man who got lost and ended up in Mexico and was imprisoned and Obama did nothing to get him out. Not sure what happened to him, it got shut up in the papaers.

  27. Ron P permalink
    December 21, 2021 12:30 am

    Third time trying to post a link. WordPress says no. I read something today that spurred me do look up the Carter-Baker voting commission report from 2004/2005. How interesting that their recommendations are much like those that the GOP wants in place, but back then there was not the huge political divide we have today.

    can not link to anything, but doing a search on carter Baker Voting commission Report PDF will result in a link to and then Download an the report can be read, or Wki has a link at the bottom of its written description.

    • Priscilla permalink
      December 21, 2021 9:14 am

      Hey Ron, Joe Manchin has truly shown himself to be a moderate in actions as well as words, hasn’t he? I have to admit that I thought he would cave on this obscene spending bill, but he didn’t. For now, anyway, he has saved the nation from a worse inflationary spiral than we are already headed for.

      Manchin has said he was not able to negotiate a compromise because Biden’s “staff” wouldn’t give up any of the progressive wish list programs in the bill. I’m wondering if Joe M. now realizes that Joe B. is not cognitively ok anymore, and is really just a puppet of the far left at this point. Manchin negotiated with Biden for months, but seems to believe that it’s the WH staff, not the President, who calls the shots….

      • Ron P permalink
        December 21, 2021 1:08 pm

        Priscilla, I think Biden and the Democrats made the wrong tactical decision.

        It is much like someone building a baseball team. One team spend millions on a core group of players that hit many home runs, but strike out alot, another spend the same on players that make contact with the ball, get many singles and doubles and strike out many fewer times. Both may be successful, but those striking out often are not as successful over a long run.

        Biden and the dems took the home run approach. They took almost every progressive agenda items from the democrat election platform and placed it into one bill. It was another one of those, “we have to pass the bill to know whats in it” situations. child tax credits, prekindergarten and school funding, rebates of $12,500 if you buy an EV, funding for EV charging stations, broadband and I could go on with more. And then to make the law fit their expenditure amount and fit the tax increases to pay for it, some items sunsetted at different times during the 10 year plan. When Manchin said he could not explain the bill to his voters, he was being honest. How can one explain the kitchen sink of spending and all the gimmicks used to create entitlements knowing full well once the sunset clause hits, congress would renew the entitlement with or without funding.

        Had they used the singles and doubles baseball plan, child tax credit would be in a small bill. School funding ins another. EV rebates and charging stations separate, etc etc.

        And maybe that is what will happen after the new year.

        I would also like to know when the $15 billion or so is distributed to states through direct funding or grants to create the charging station infrastructure for EV’s, will there be a charge for EV’ owners plugging in. And if so who get the revenue. Some third party that supplied the charging station, the owner of the property where the station is located, the state that funded the installation or the feds that paid for them to be installed? Its taxpayer money, so the feds should get the revenue!

      • December 21, 2021 2:08 pm

        Lets assume that somehow Manchin succeeds – and gets some of the concessions he wants, and democrats pass some program – slighly less obnoxious than BBB, that costs 1.8T.

        Either the Fed must revert to buying all treasury notes, or it must allow the market to dictate the price of US treasuries – and that likely means dramatic rises in interest rates.

        The Fed has a choice between low interest rates, and low inflation.

        Worse still history tells us the choice is transient. That interest rates unemployment, and inflation will all rise almost in tandem, unless government spending is under control.

        I am surprised at how fast Biden has destroyed an economy ready to boom.
        That is reversible, but not without democrats doing very undemocrat like things.

        If BBB passes – the economy will worsen faster, and the GOP will dominate the mid terms to a much greater extent.

        If it does not, the economy is not reversing course and the GOP will dominate midterms.

    • December 21, 2021 12:57 pm

      38 states constitutionally REQUIRE secret ballot voting. That should be 50, it should be part of the US constitution.

      A secret ballot is not a guarantee that fraud is impossible, but it makes many many forms of fraud much more difficult.

      Regardless, defrauding an election without secret balloting is easy.

      This used to be a universal. I am sure it is part of your carter baker report.

      If you can find a way to conduct mailin voting that is still secret ballot – then it becomes an issue of values and oppinion.
      But I have not seen any mailin voting system that is not trivial to defraud, that meets the requirements of secret balloting.

    • December 21, 2021 1:09 pm

      I have not read the carter Baker report – but the techniques to assure integrity in elections are NOT secret.

      Frankly it does not require a committee report.

      Conducting an election that is trustworthy is actually hard.
      But the requirements are NOT secret.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 21, 2021 1:13 pm

        You missed the point. Carter, as in liberal Jimmy Carter, along with a Republican created it. Sent it in for consideration. It went no where like all bipartisan recommendations, but the GOP continues to promote much of it.

        so if it was good for carter then, why is it bad now?

  28. Vermonta permalink
    December 21, 2021 11:12 am

    I will contribute this from my own local political environment. Since I believe that the Defund the Police movement was about as retarded (<–a PC word choice and enjoying it) as humanly possible, both in its real world and its political consequences, this came up on my cell phone story feed and got past my no-news barrier. This issue, in my opinion, marks the division between moderate dems and progressives quite clearly. I doubt that anything like a majority of dems support the idiotic defund idea, I will look for polls to test that belief of mine. But the progressives, in their usual delusional bubble, have adopted this idea with vigor.

    In less than a year we will have an election. It does not look good for the dems, but this environment, this time in history, is very unpredictable. Its likely the dems will lose seats as of today. Manchin vetoing the prog agenda surprises me not at all, what else would a dem from W. Virginia do? It boggles my mind that progs cannot understand that W. Virginia is not Manhattan and then count votes in the Senate and choose realistic tactics and strategies accordingly. They are like people who want to play in a chess tournament, but think that learning the rules is not important; its their passion for a righteous world that is all they need.

    Anyhow, in a year either there will be some possible path to some not very large part of the prog wish list, or the path will be completely shut down by the new composition of congress. Right now, they are not getting their wishes. If they get totally defeated in 2022 will they figure anything out or will they continue with their hopeless crusade to turn America progressive?

    Anyhow, here is my link to the policing story in Burlington. Its a well written and fair story that is worth reading in a thoughtful way. It shows a fairly complex evolution of people's thinking.

    Personally, I am staying the hell out of the heart of Burlington these days but I use the waterfront parts at times, which I think are not much affected, at least in the daytime when I use them.

    • Vermonta permalink
      December 21, 2021 11:19 am

      Pretty much as I would have guessed. 15% of the entire polled population and 25% of the dems (which would not even be all of the progressives) want to cut police funding.

      • December 21, 2021 3:42 pm

        And yet we are in the midst of 2 years of democrat lead war on the police.

        While you are correct about the polls – oddly you have ignored them completely regarding Trump.

        Nearly all the Trump agenda has had super majority or majority support.

        Nearly none of the democratic agenda has had more than minority support.

        Yet, democrats in power have reversed everything Trump did – that had public support and jumped to things that have little public support.

    • Vermonta permalink
      December 21, 2021 11:21 am

      I meant: a deliberately non-PC word choice and enjoying it

    • Ron P permalink
      December 21, 2021 12:48 pm

      Roby, There are many things that need to change with policing, but defunding is not one of them. I have said many times the two professional grossly underpaid are teachers and police. One holds the future of the country in their hands and one holds the safety of the people in their hands.

      It does not surprise me that issues like this happen when defunding occurs. Only those lacking any common sense would think it would not happen.

      But I do think there are something that could happen to change the way some people view the police, and the first one is changing the protections bad cops get from unions. So many times one reads about some action a police officer took and when research takes place, there are reports that the officer in question has had multiple issues with conduct that was covered up by the union protection and leadership.

      Once that change is made, then it might become clear just what other issues need to be addressed. Defunding or throwing money at the issues will do not good until the bad cops, few in number, but ones causing a stench throughout the profession, a finally removed from service.

      • Vermonta permalink
        December 21, 2021 12:55 pm

        As is so often the case, Ron, we agree. A Vermont liberal and an NC libertarian/conservative can find extensive common ground.

        Someday before I exit I would like to have a beer with you. I don’t know how that would be possible but anyhow a person can have their wishes, practical or not. Perhaps there is some good trout water in NC somewhere. Perhaps someday I will take that fishing trip through the country.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 21, 2021 1:23 pm

        Well here is something for your holiday reading!.

        And much of the problems in society today are labels and trying to pigeon hole people into those categories. Sometimes they just don’t fit. You dont appear to be a “Vermont Liberal” to me. On a scale of 1-10, one can be many different degrees of liberal. “Vermont” would be my label over 10 on that scale.

      • December 21, 2021 6:14 pm

        Robby would better speak to this than I – but I have friends in Vermont that are liberal.

        They are not at all like AOC or Warren, or Sanders. They are more like the people of Portland – sans Antifa.

        I would remind you that the first settlers of this country – both at Jamestown and Cape Cod tried “socialism” and nearly starved.

        There is a tremendous appeal to the thought that big government should take care of all the problems.

        It just does not work.

        I have no bone to pick with people who wish we would all look out for each other.
        Nor espeicially those who in their own lives try to do so.

        But history tells us over and over that transfering the individual duty each of us owes our fellow man to a a societal duty – FAILES- and quite often does so bloodily.

      • Vermonta permalink
        December 21, 2021 2:02 pm

        “And much of the problems in society today are labels and trying to pigeon hole people into those categories. Sometimes they just don’t fit. You dont appear to be a “Vermont Liberal” to me. On a scale of 1-10, one can be many different degrees of liberal. “Vermont” would be my label over 10 on that scale.”

        I’ll accept the compliment and pay it back to you, you do not fit my idea of a southern conservative either, much more pragmatic and not dogmatic at all, one issue at a time on a factual basis and no tendency at all towards the ugly parts of the conservative side.

        I will quibble about Vermont liberals being the far out nuts that Bernie gives the impression we are. Our very popular Governor, Phil Scott, is a moderate Republican. Before him was the progressive Shumlin, a man I had the honor of having been on the personal bad list of during my anti act 60 activism. Shumlin was not popular, nearly lost to an unknown in his last run and then retired. Before that we had Republican Jim Douglass, I guy I knew and liked, he was popular and easily was re-elected for as long as he choose to run, 5 terms. The most popular governor in my time here was probably Richard Snelling, a feisty moderate Republican. When he suddenly died Howard Dean, the Lt. Gov, took over and was much in the mold of the moderate Snelling until the idea of running for POTUS got into his head. Before that the progressives considered Dean their mortal enemy. His father was a wall street millionaire, he did not believe in prognomics.

        So, many liberal Vermonters have consistently chosen and reelected moderate governors, including numerous Republicans, in my time here. Its no fluke, we seem to like it that way. Liberal govs like Kunin and Shumlin, which have been just two in my 40+ years of time here served for shorter periods. The moderates have stuck around for 4 terms or more. So, we are not all so crazy here. Vermont sends Sanders to Washington to get him out of Vermont, that is one theory.

        I’ll keep that link of NC fishing.

      • December 21, 2021 4:02 pm

        The odds of meaningful police reform are rapidly dropping to zero.

        There are lots of reforms I support – starting with ending qualified immunity.

        But these are not happening.

        I suspect that both the increase in crime and a pendulm swing back to agressive law enforcement are both a certainty.

      • December 21, 2021 4:24 pm

        I suspect we agree on many of the changes that should be made regarding policing.

        But I do not expect any of them in the near future. Those on the left have blown that opportunity by trying to shoot the moon.

        Rising crime will not bring about police reform. It will bring about more police and more agressive policing.

        Some parts of that are good – but not all.

        Regardless, support for police is growing and tolerance for mistakes and malfeasance will rise with crime.

        That is my look into the crystal ball.

        The left squandered the best chance at meaningful reform.

    • December 21, 2021 6:47 pm

      I find it amazing that the standards you seek to impose on everyone else – you are unwilling to hold yourself to.

      Anyone not on the burn everything down if necessary to get rid of Trump was according to you a trumpist or Trumpanzee. You demanded that everything was binary.

      I have never been an actual Trump supporter.

      There is a difference between grasping that the left is and always was far more dangerous that Trump, between accepting that for all he many flaws – Trump was the best president in the 21st century and actually supporting him.

      But you supported every effort to get rid of him.
      You bought into and supported all the lies.

      I am sorry Robby – but YOU own the consequences.

      You can try to divorce yourself from the “defund the police” movement – and its predictable consequences. From other idiocies of progressives, but you made a choice.

      You demanded that all of us chose between Trump and Biden – and assured us that Biden was the lessor evil. You OWN the results.

      Regardless, none of this WORKS.

      Not the AOC radical agenda,

      Not “moderate democrat” progressive lite. The only difference is the scale of the failure.

      Right now it will take a miracle for democrats to hold either the house or Senate next year.

      2024 is a long way away and much can happen -but right now I do not see a path to democrats holding the presidency in 2024 – no matter what republican runs.

      Further – most though not all republicans will increasingly be Trump like or Trump adjacent.

      What you call moderate republicans will not be wiped out. The neoconns that are left will likely join the democratic party – there is no place for them in the GOP.

      But the rest will still get elected in the few Red but NOT trump supporting places in the country. Parties are always made of many parts.

      At the same time the left has very successfully polarized the country – hollowing out the middle, and increasingly Trump like republicans dominate progressives in actual numbers and increasingly what is left of the middle is less able to stomach progressives than Trump Republicans.

      • Anonymous permalink
        December 22, 2021 10:19 am

        For all your extreme libertarian rhetoric you are really a tyrant at heart. People who have a different ideology than you drive you frothingly insane. You made sense here and there at times yesterday, today you are simply bitter, enraged and raving. No, you do not represent your beliefs well or have any idea how to make coherent arguments and pursuade anyone.

        Trump is widely despised and lost. Get over it.

      • December 22, 2021 10:24 am

        I have no problem with people beleiving differently that I do.

        I do not even have a problem with people beliving things that are completely immoral.
        Though I WILL aggressively challenge those beliefs.

        I have a serious problem with people who ACT immorally.

        Who advocate the use of force against others without justification.

      • December 22, 2021 10:32 am

        It is odd and illogical that you rant about others being ideological.

        And then criticise me for purportedly being intolerant of your ideology.

        Which is it ? Is ideology good or is it bad ?

        Or can you accept the reality – that some ideologies are evil and some are good ?

        Most of us accept that actual facism (which is a LEFT ideology) is evil.

        Is there someone that would challenge my criticism of Nazi’s ?

        If not, then you have accepted that criticism of an ideology is legitimate.

        The question is NOT whether one is ideological.

        It is whether a SPECIFIC ideology is good or evil. Whether it works of fails.

        ALL ideologies that use force against people without justification are EVIL, and utlimately fail.

        Do you challenge that premise ?

        If so – lets have that debate.

        If not, then you are obligated – as am I, to justify every single instance in which you use FORCE. You are particularly obligated to do so when you PLAN to use force – which is inherently what government and law is.

      • December 22, 2021 11:31 am

        “Trump is widely despised”

        Absolutely – that is just evidence of the evil of those who dispose him.

        Is Biden despised ? No, he is pittied or pittiful. He is incompetent. His administration is incompetent. he is hypocritical.

        Every single negative impression that is held of Biden is fully justified by facts.

        Frankly if Biden were not mentally incompetent – his approval numbers would be much worse.

        No one as an example believe that Biden orchestrated a fraudulent election – that is beyond his abilities.

        You correctly note that Trump is despised – WHY ?

        What GOOD reason do you have for despising Trump ?

        Mean Tweets ? Really ?

        Please compare Trump to Biden or any other consequential democrat and show us how Trump is as bad – much less the FAR WORSE necescary to despise him.

        Absolutely Trump is wisely despised.

        By the very same people who think half the country is racist, homophobic sexist, hateful hating haters – deplorables.

        That speaks volumes about YOU – not them.

      • rondabellelane permalink
        December 22, 2021 11:48 am

        Bravo!!! …something about you is akin to a Libertarian I know, and I’m happy to see that much more sane perspective here.

      • December 24, 2021 10:40 am

        That you would cheer on that macarthyite garbage reflects badly on you.

        “Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness.” It was then McCarthy’s turn to be stunned into silence, as Welch asked, “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?”

        I have properly accused those of you on the left of acting immorally because you will use force without justification.

        But Robby’s remarks are just blatantly immoral.

        And you are cheering.

        I thank god I am not you.

      • December 22, 2021 12:05 pm

        I will happily change to any ideology that you can demonstrate actually works.

      • December 22, 2021 12:09 pm

        Do you actually know what a Tyrant is ?

        While your characterization of me is incorrect – even if it was – that would not be tyranny.
        Being enraged, frothing insane, bitter, raving – that is not tyranny.

        Tyranny is the use of FORCE to compel others to live as YOU wish.

        I have never advocated for the use of FORCE to restrict the freedom of others without justification.

        I very rarely advocate for the use of FORCE to restrict the freedom of others even with justification.

      • December 22, 2021 12:12 pm

        I am not here to persuade you.
        It was long ago obvious that was not possible.

        You do not give a crap about facts, logic or reason.

        And I have no interest in persuasion accomplished any other way.

        You are the actual tyrant.
        You are the one who would silence voices you do not want to hear.

        If you are not a tyrant – why do you care what I post ? How frequently I post ?

        Read your own criticisms of me – and consider how they apply to you.
        Because few if any apply to me.

      • Vermonta permalink
        December 22, 2021 11:07 am

        “If not, then you are obligated – as am I, to justify every single instance in which you use FORCE. You are particularly obligated to do so when you PLAN to use force – which is inherently what government and law is.”

        You are off on your own personal OCD crusade against government. It has nothing to do with the actual intelligent conversation that was going on before you jumped in.

        Dave, trump is your hero, he lost, you are bitter and fighting a war that is over, along with trump himself. Get over it. Even Priscilla threw in the towel on trump months back and admitted he was a failure. History will rank him with Buchanan, Pierce, and, Andrew Johnson as the worst presidents in US history.

        You may differ from the far right in a few key ways but more than 90% of your positions here completely overlap the loony right of Lin Wood, Sidney Powell, and even worse people. Sure Dave, Q anon is correct in your dysfunctional mental world and several orders of magnitude more children die from swallowing cleaning products than from COVID. Except that none of that is actually true. I realize that mental dysfunction is powerful in you, but you do also have a brain that functions in some ways and I am always surprised that the functional part of your brain does not have the intellectual power to see that you are wasting huge amounts of your time haranguing people on the internet.

        Do your wife and children agree with your right-wing nut beliefs and trump adoration? I doubt it, I will bet they joined me and 81 million other sensible Americans in chucking the jackass and Constitutional vandal out.

        Why don’t you go shout your insane harangues at them in person, rant at flesh and blood people standing in front of you who voted against trump? Go vent your rage to an actual person in your life who can then respond in person to your ideas. Ah, but you lack the courage to do that don’t you?

      • December 23, 2021 4:29 pm

        I am sure that modern historians would rank Trump among the worst US presidents.

        They would have done that before he took office.

        We live in a world were the 1619 project is sold to us as actual history, and CRT is taught in schools.

        Why exactly should I trust modern historians ?

        Why exactly should I trust historians who can not get the facts straight about events and times that I lived through ?

        Why should I or anyone trust ANY of the people that you revere ?

        Why should I or anyone trust historians, politicians, scientists, experts who have been WRONG about just about everything ?

        I do not consider myself expert on myriads of subjects that I opine on. Nor do I have a particularly good crystal ball.

        But my poor track record for future predictions is far better than YOUR experts in allor nearly all areas.

        I am not interested in YOUR experts.

        I am interested in FACTS, and the oppinions of peole who have a track record of accuracy.

        That would be pretty much NOBODY that you fawn over.

      • December 23, 2021 4:34 pm


        Keep up the nonsense.

        I will happily point out reguarly that actual right win loons – like Alex Jones – have been RIGHT more often than the luminaries of the media.

        As to Qanon – I have little interest in them – EXCEPT to rub your face int he FACT that what is regarded as one of the looniest right wing groups – turned out to be RIGHT about their major conspiracy theory – that there was a cabal of pedophiles within govenrment – particularly the CIA.

        Oddly the DOJ is more fixated in going after faux right wing terrorists as well as parents that do not what their children to be indoctrinated to grow up to be racists, than real peodophiles in govenrment

      • December 23, 2021 5:30 pm

        You have pretty much run through the entire gamut of despicable and immoral means of making an argument.

        You have lied about me and my positions – boldly and stupidly, you have tried idiotic guilt by association nonsense – where there is neither an association nor are those you are trying to associate me with so heinous as you claim.

        And you follow this by trying to make this about my family ?

        “Until this moment, …, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?”

      • Vermonta permalink
        December 22, 2021 12:15 pm

        “Bravo!!! …something about you is akin to a Libertarian I know, and I’m happy to see that much more sane perspective here.”

        Hi, Rondabellane, It seems pretty obvious to me that you are addressing Ron here, but the way the site is laid out you comment appears under one by that other Libertarian here, the one who is very rarely thought of as sane. Probably not your intention!

      • rondabellelane permalink
        December 22, 2021 12:28 pm

        Actually, I was addressing the Libertarian who commented anonymously… I invited a Libertarian I know to this site (one who is both sane, accomplished, highly educated AND is capable of actually listening and responding appropriately to responsible points of view) to look in.
        He is not the type to respond to idiocy… he will simply make one appropriate comment and let it go – but I do hope he returns.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 22, 2021 5:42 pm

        Ronda, maybe ask him to just out :New Guy” in so we know it is not one of “us”. That way we can respond appropriately.

      • rondabellelane permalink
        December 22, 2021 9:28 pm

        Found out it was actually Vermonta. 🙂

      • rondabellelane permalink
        December 22, 2021 12:30 pm

        He wrote this:
        For all your extreme libertarian rhetoric you are really a tyrant at heart. People who have a different ideology than you drive you frothingly insane. You made sense here and there at times yesterday, today you are simply bitter, enraged and raving. No, you do not represent your beliefs well or have any idea how to make coherent arguments and pursuade anyone.

        Trump is widely despised and lost. Get over it.

      • December 24, 2021 10:37 am

        “Insults are the arguments employed by those who are in the wrong.” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

      • December 24, 2021 10:43 am

        I am always happy to defend anything I say with facts, logic, reason.

        As always pick whatever point you wish to take issue with – and we can address it – not with fallacious nonsense, or insults but with actual facts and arguments.

        I would ask that you might read your own posts – but you are blind to your own use of the very same immoral tactics that you decry in the woke left.

        What distinguishes you from those who are constantly shouting racist, sexist, homophobe, hateful, hating hater ?

      • Vermonta permalink
        December 22, 2021 12:40 pm

        Ah, somehow that was me. Somehow I got anonymous. Happy Holidays to you Rondabellane. Do you mind if I call you Ronda for short?

      • rondabellelane permalink
        December 22, 2021 12:46 pm

        Everyone calls me Ronda – only Rick calls me RondaBelle (occasionally lol)

        Ah well – I still hope my friend joins us here – he would actually be a sane Libertarian voice!

      • rondabellelane permalink
        December 22, 2021 12:51 pm

        And Happy Holidays to you (and all here) as well! I have finally come to the point where I can relax and enjoy the season with all presents sent, and a purring Calico cat on my lap.
        Here’s to a New Year with a bit more sanity for all!!

  29. Vermonta permalink
    December 21, 2021 12:41 pm

    At the risk of imperialistically overloading the ecosystem of TNM with unenlightened masculinist sophistry, I will give this link to coverage of an event that I read about today while editing a Russian paper on the subject of fake news. It made me do a bit of reading and I found this:

  30. December 24, 2021 11:44 am

    Last Night my wife and I watched Jimmy Stuart in “Its a Wonderful Life” together.

    One of the best movies ever made. But it was impossible to notice that it could not be made today. The woke left would evicerate it.

    Regardless we had a wonderful night.

    Shortly we will have christmas eve dinner together with a few family and close friends.
    I do not know what that will be my wife is an incredible cook and the food is always different.
    But I know that it will be wonderful for all.

    I will have a wonderful holdiays.

    I wish the same for all of us.

    “God bless us, every one!”
    Tiny Tim.

  31. December 27, 2021 2:18 am

    Those on the left – particularly women are significantly more political and intolerant than those on the right.

    This is a huge problem. Real liberalism requires tolerance.
    And it used to. The modern left is illiberal.

    Look at the beating that Sen. Manchin is receiving from his own party. There is no real equivalent of that among republicans. Rep. Chenney was removed from a PARTY leadership position – because she does not represent the views of the party.
    She still holds here comittee assignments. She and Rep. Kinzer may be primaried – coters should decide if THEIR representative represents them.

    Frankly Sen. Manchin may be saving the country and the democratic party. Another couple of trillion in spending could significantly accelerate inflation – if it is not already too late.

  32. March 20, 2023 2:42 am


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