❝Because LIBERTY demands more than black and white❞

remarks around the web

NeoWayland is a pagan philosopher, libertarian & part-time trouble maker. Keeping vigil, he shares beacons of individual freedom & responsibility while watching for threats to LIBERTY. There's more to life than just black & white.
  • Doesn't that pretty much eliminate everything except some ground meat?
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  • Stars above, stop rewriting me to fit your own purposes. You've been wrong about me and what I write every time it doesn't fit what you want.

    "By my count, there are at least eight diverse groups, all with differing agendas and goals.

    It's right there in the post. I gave the link explaining my analysis. You want to dispute, fine, at least list them.
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  • This has been in the works since at least the 2000 election.

    It's "give us what we want and we'll go away." But paying the Danegeld isn't a long term solution. It doesn't matter if it's the Barbary pirates, British impressment gangs, protection rackets, or any other extra-legal scheme based on force.

    Here's the bad news. Historically, any government response short of overwhelming force doesn't work well.

    Here's the good news. This is not a monolithic block. By my count,there are at least eight diverse groups, all with differing agendas and goals. One solution won't work, and those differing goals can be used to split up the threat.

    Here's more bad news. The conventional conservative response is not going to work. If there isn't a "one-size-fits-all" solution to be found for these eight groups OTHER than rip it down and steal it, then there is nothing conservative politicos can offer. The benefits have to outweigh the costs and right now they don't.
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  • Reducing the size of government so it can't screw up your life.
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  • More water found on the Moon.

    original thread

  • When you give your passion away, it's not yours to master and use anymore.
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  • I really wish people would quit trying to rule me by deliberately misstating their own faith. Go back and read that book of yours again. It's about choice. If I do not choose to follow your faith, tain't mine.


    If you believe that the only way people will accept your religion is by holding a gun to their head, that says more about the weakness of your faith than my morality.
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  • ºPardon, kin not ken.
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  • The non-consecutive term has possibilities, especially if it were extended to Congress critters and Senators.

    I don't like the idea of the six-year Presidential term though.

    The biggest problem would still be the bureaucrats and functionaries embedded in all the agencies. How do you get them out of the loop?
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  • Your belief is locking into a duality that doesn't apply to me.

    Is the only possible way I can be a good person is to be a Christian?

    If you believe that, you might as well lock up the "non-believers" now. You won't succeed and you'll launch a war, but hey, it's for the Greater Good, right? Let G*d sort them out.
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  • You miss the point.

    Trump didn't win in 2016, HRC lost. She comes across as grating and she didn't offer a vision other than she was a woman and it was time.

    Democrats have thrown everything they could at Trump and he still comes off looking pretty good. Not because of what he has done, but because the Democrats consistently make him look good.

    I may never forgive them that.

    And the best alternative that the Democrat party leaders can offer is Biden? Does anyone think that on the off-chance Biden is elected, he will be allowed to keep the office, much less govern? There is a monumental scam here, and it doesn't come from Trump. The Democrat leadership wants a puppet president.

    There is no Democrat vision except "get Trump." Democrats offer nothing except more guilt and demands that successful people sacrifice because of their skin color and "the sins of the fathers." There is no visible viable future under Democrats.

    The Democrats make Trump look good.

    ETA: I'm still voting None of the Above.
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  • In my original post on this thread, I disputed that the label had moral worth. For many years, my view has been that the label has no vice or virtue, the value is in the words and actions of the individual. I'm judging that by how it impacts me at the time, just as anyone else would. For all the claims of higher moral authority, on those terms Christianity is no different from Islam. Or the climate panic crowd. Or the social justice crowd. Unless you believe, there is no "objective" standards to judge by. The "objective" standards depends on your belief.

    My problem is that all these groups (Christianity included) want to give their beliefs the force of law and punish people for not complying. At that point it's tyranny and dissent becomes illegal. I can't live my life because groups demand that I live theirs. No one bothered to ask me (or other "nonbelievers") what I thought, we're just given a solution that we're not allowed to discuss. The issue shifts from personal choice to compliance with a "objective" standard that we never agreed to, Belief becomes mandatory.

    If I dissent, hardly anyone looks at why I disagree. The issue is phrased in terms of how I am attacking morality.

    You started arguing with me..
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  • Now I am curious about the Cutty Sark Curse. I vaguely remember the poem, but I don't recall anything about a curse.
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  • If I accepted your "objective" standards, we would not be having this conversation. I agree with some of the goals, but I disagree with the means.

    If Antifa and BLM accepted your "objective" standards, the headlines would be different.

    Of course I have the right to argue otherwise, particularly if there are premises I disagree with.

    "Without objective standards, no one knows what the "right thing" is."


    Which means you are going to have to show benefits rather than depending on Higher Authority which is human to begin with. No matter what that book of yours says, it is the most heavily edited and rewritten text in human history.
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  • Over the long term, better for people in general. But it's not something that can be directly controlled except in the most general sense. That thwarts a lot of would be masters and rulers.

    Because social interactions rests on trust, pretending to cooperate can work in the short term but not the long term. Eventually your reputation means you run out of people to exploit and you have to move on.

    Which god?
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  • Yes, my opinion. Just as the existence of objective standards are your opinion. That's my point.

    You. Have. No. Proof.

    What you have is your belief and experience and an unstated need that my belief and experience must give way to yours. You recognize that unless I (and by extension other "non-believers") do not submit, your belief has no preeminence..

    You have faith. Nothing more, nothing less.

    I've tried to be polite about this, but that is your core issue. Christianity loses it's special spot and it's assumption of moral authority. The reputation means nothing. It's up to the words and actions of those who call themselves Christians. They don't get a pass for the label.

    That probably makes you uneasy if not threatened. It's not how you were taught that country is supposed to work. Now before you take it personally, look carefully at what has happened here.

    I've not attacked Christianity. Nor have I gone after Christians for being Christians.

    What I've disputed is that Christianity is the default moral setting. I've said that it's not enough to call yourself Christian, you have to show it. You have to do the right thing in a World that doesn't care about the label.

    Seems to me a certain carpenter talked about that, but hey, I'm an ignorant pagan and couldn't possibly know that.
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  • I consider objective standards in the humanities, morality, and religion to be a logical fallacy. Even the precepts and ideas carved-in-stone tend to change over time.

    In the physical sciences most objective standards are highly subject to local conditions. The speed of light in a vacuum and so on.

    I think the soft sciences are even more subject to the observer effect than the hard ones.
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  • I prefer to use respect when possible, it makes things easier. I read many sites, although I only comment on a handful. I do this because I'm interested in people and what they think, not because I am out to convince anyone. Tacere is part of how I face the World.

    Short of crawling into someone else's head, I've no way to rate morality except behavior. I don't think I'm wise enough to judge by anything else. For me at least, so far that has proven effective.

    You hae a point about higher morality, but I am not sure it's workable for me.
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  • In my book, he runs about 35% interesting. Every once in a while he's right, and sometimes he's dead accurate.

    I just don't like him libeling other faiths. Particularly when his knowledge comes more from Hollywood and online games than actuality.
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  • Fair point.

    Considered from a fictional objective standard, one religion isn't necessarily morally superior. Many claim to be so, but they require the believer to accept at least some of their moral premises and then dismiss other religions don't accept those moral premises.

    Personally I make the distinction between faith and religion. Faith is between you and the Divine, no one else. Religion is the system to get you to faith, and more often than not to restrain your actions.

    "…I saw that what had repelled me were the actions of individuals, not the tenets of their faith.


    The existence and nature of the Divine is an act of faith. Any logic is going concerning the Divine is going to be self-referential. This doesn't "prove" or "disprove" the Divine, it just means that unless people share a common belief, religion isn't going to make sense. It's not just how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, it's if the angels are baseball fans or football fans.

    There is no sturdy foundation for building a higher morality within the framework of religion unless everyone concerned shares the religion. Or at least shares similar religions. It's all individual choice. Your morality may be defined by your religion, but that is your choice. Your choice doesn't bind your neighbor any more than their choice binds you. To me that means that any common morality has to exist outside a religious structure. I know of no better example than the Ethic or Reciprocity. I've argued elsewhere that the EoR is the keystone of Western Civilization and one of the few things that humans share outside a cultural context. We know it works.
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  • I just don't think that a religious label accurately reflects morality. You're not a better person because you are Christian, Jewish, pagan, Buddhist, or Muslim. You are a better person because of how you treat others.

    And if the religion doesn't tell you anything about a person's morality, then maybe we should stop emphasizing the label over the action. A man is measured in the lives he touches.
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  • You've got one person who keeps asking for proof of your smear allegations.
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  • I didn't say anything about living for oneself. I disputed that any religion has an exclusive claim on higher or more effective morality.

    I'm a man of faith, just not one you are used to dealing with. I don't care about the merits or failings on your faith. I'm more interested in how you treat others.
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  • Tell you what. I'll consider your argument when people stop killing other people for their faith.

    Me, I think that the Divine is ultimately beyond human understanding and at best we can only understand a small portion of reality.
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  • Which god? And why?

    And looking at current events, most religious people don't make that distinction.
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  • Pardon, but the first four commandments in the Protestant version of the Decalogue are about establishing the primacy of one religion, not about morality.

    The ethic of reciprocity is not limited to Christianity.
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  • On it's own terms, Islam has moral utility. That doesn't mean I am going to practice it.

    Even Christians were selective in how they practiced. Some still are today. The label isn't what's important, the actions are.
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  • Pardon, you misunderstood. I didn't say anything about there being no G*d, I disputed that religion provided a higher morality. The fact is that slavery was ongoing, encouraged, and practiced by Christians up until the 19th Century. Something changed and it wasn't the holy book.

    While Christians spearheaded the change, the change didn't happen because of Christianity. It happened because good people decided no more.

    The vice or virtue is not in the label, it's in what the individual chooses to say and do.
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  • It wasn't what they had been taught "by G*d," it's what they had been taught by other humans. Cooperation tends to produce more and better solutions over time. One person can't think of everything and you need someone you can trust to watch your back.
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  • Just to be clear, the Green New Deal is (much) more about social activism than any practical green technology.
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  • Standards, yes, but not a standard. I could never be a vegan even though some friends gave me all sorts of moral justifications. Likewise, I could never buy into polygyny as a way of life. The standards can't be unchanging and can't be drawn solely from a single religious tradition.

    I'm not sure we ever really had that. The English Civil War spilled over onto colonial America and helped cement some religious fractures that remain until today. Up until the 20th Century, the idea of universal rights was honored more in the breach.
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  • As far as I know, Trump has never publicly discussed Satanic ritual abuse.

    On the other hand, you keep making allegations but can't seem to produce proof. My neighbor may allege that the mayor is raping her dog, but I want evidence.
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  • Which creator? Why do you think there is only one? Would you follow Islam?

    You are the one who can best decide on what standards are necessary for you.
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  • I'm not. I just don't think that I should kneel before a faith I don't practice. Nor should anyone else.

    "The Ethic of Reciprocity is the keystone of Western Civilization. It is arguably the single most important and universal basis for human advancement and the core for all true liberty."Golden Rule from my lexicon

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  • As opposed to self-proclaimed Christians? Or self-proclaimed Jews?

    Still not sure why you keep trying to compare me to a fictional corporation, but you are missing the mark.
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  • Pardon, but I think you overlook human judgement. My favorite example is still slavery. In 1800 slavery was acceptable and valuable in England and America. By 1900 it wasn't. Granted, that changed because of some very devout people. But those people stood up for principals despite what was socially and religiously accepted at the time. Now you can talk about a higher law if you want, but humans made the better choice in spite of what they had been taught and what was expected.

    Nor is slavery the only change.
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  • Pardon, what city?
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  • "Once you jettison the moral God and create your own standards, you can expect more stories of depravity, debauchery, and corruption."

    Sorry, have to disagree with you there. Catholic priests, evangelical ministers, teachers and many others succumb to temptation on a regular basis.
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  • "Put Federal elections in control of the US Government."

    Amazingly bad idea.

    No matter what processes are initially put into place, they will be changed after the very next election. Will, not might. Considering that earlier this year, at least one editorial suggested “It’s time to give the elites a bigger say in choosing the president,” it's a safe bet that the average voter will be diminished.

    The government of a republic is not supposed to work smoothly. That's because government should not be the default choice to get things done. Most importantly, Federal legislators should have no say in how they are elected.

    Personally I think a better solution would be to eliminate political parties, especially their control of nominations.
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  • Who decides what government should do and what limits exist on government?
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  • As opposed to the "right's takeover of publicly held companies" that characterized much of early 20th Century? I'd argue that the conservative "takeover" lasted up to Watergate at least.
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  • It starts earlier than that. From right-of-way legislation to public funding, any time the law was changed to benefit the railroads it helped create the monopolies that the politicos would later go after.

    The second most popular use of government is to "fix" government mistakes.
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  • Gotta give you that.
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  • And if people don't agree?
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  • As long as enough profit flows, it will never make the stockholder's meeting. Even then, there will be proxies.
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  • Pointing this out, there is no way the railroads could have been a monopoly until the law was changed to make it possible.
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  • Pardon, I disagree. "Fiduciary duty" does not necessarily align with political ideology. If a company can make more by mocking and scorning one political group, then that is going to be what that company will do.
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  • Believe it or not, I almost find the whole Biden thing incidental. We knew most of it years ago.

    This whole "government used to be impartial" thing bugs me, especially when politicos use that as an excuse to expand government. Government is not your friend and never has been.
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  • Can't disagree, but I still say it's individuals and not the group.
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  • That isn't what I was commenting on.

    The FBI and DOJ have never been neutral or impartial. You may have agreed with what they have done, but that hardly makes them neutral.

    There was no time when government was pure only to be corrupted by (the Masons, the Catholics, the Jews, the Democrats, the Republicans, the Shriners, etc). Government is about controlling others while shielding yourself from control. An expanding government is more likely to be corrupt. In the case of the Obama administration, do you really think it could have happened without the USA PATRIOT Act and other measures taken in the wake of 9-11? For that matter, do you think that could have happened without the long chain of stuff going back to WWII and the Cold War?
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  • She's after unbelievers. If she would only stick to apostates, dealing with her would be simpler.
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  • My preferred letter closing is still "Bright & Dark Blessings," but it's as likely to offend as not.
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  • "No domestic institutions have debased themselves more than the FBI and the DOJ. Prior to Obama-Biden and Hillary Clinton, those institutions were respected as neutral arbiters of the law."


    Hoover built the FBI on blackmail. Some of the things used against MLK alone should make anyone ask questions. And where was the DOJ when all this was going on?
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  • I'm not familiar with QAnon.

    I do know some Satanists of various types.

    I'm pretty sure that the average Satanist is involved with pedophilia about as much as the average Republican is racist.
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  • Also look at my Watching Headlines page. These are the headlines that I pass around, and I've even set up an RSS feed because it changes several times a day. See for yourself if I am attacking conservatives there.
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  • Yes, I did emphasize created. I also specifically mentioned the links between the rise of interstate organized crime and Prohibition, something that every American historian recognizes. I also pointed out similar links between the "War on Drugs" and international drug cartels, something so obvious that the comic strip Bloom County satirized it in the 1980s.

    There are legitimate uses for drugs too, that is why many were developed. The crime comes because the government made the drugs illegal. Look at what happens in other black markets. You've been conditioned to think "drugs are bad," so you accept that government must ban and regulate for Your Own Good. If this were anything else and without a century or government propaganda you wouldn't accept it.

    There is no Constitutional authority to ban drugs or to regulate medicine.

    It is not the Federal government's job to decide if legitimate uses exist, unless you want to start banning smartphones, colored socks, sex toys, 2 liter beverage bottles, plastic straws, sixty watt bulbs, high flow toilets, bleach, throw rugs, and television commercials.

    I'm arguing for the sake of liberty. Seems like a worthy cause, but obviously you define it differently than I do.

    Trump doesn't like free speech when it is directed against him. That's perfectly understandable. But rather than enforcing section 230 of the Communications Act and distinguishing between platforms and publishers, he is calling for new law. History shows that is how tyranny starts. Offer a government solution in search of a problem. To his credit, Trump has not used the IRS against reporters and publications he doesn't like. In my mind, that makes him smarter than his predecessor.

    I've already stated that I oppose interventionism, so the international examples don't apply.

    I will say that conservatives tend to work within the law. But otherwise, conservatives do want to use the law to control others rather than protecting the country. American history is littered with it, from marriage law to the treatment of Amerind tribes who had already signed treaties, from creating monopolies to seizing property, from "Big Stick" interventionism to actively surveilling it's own citizens.

    For what it's worth, I "attack" progressives too. Most of that is in person. Most "pure" (modern) liberal sites ban me pretty quick these days if I do comment. There is one pagan site that I regularly comment at when things turn political, I invite you to check out my Disqus history.

    It's not that my philosophy isn't grounded in the real world, it's that most people think they ought to meddle in other's lives and they want control of government so designated agents will do that for them without them taking the blame. I see government as a problem, you see government as part of the solution to government that you don't like.
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  • My point is that when alcohol was made illegal, that is what created interstate organized crime. And yes, I left out a word. It happens. Since some high end product was smuggled from Canada, it could even be said that Prohibition created international organized crime, but that leaves out several centuries of history.

    Let's start with the purity problem. Even without the law, custom tells you what to expect from a drink. A shot, a glass or wine, or a beer are all going to have a similar effect. The "dose" is the same for each.

    That's not true with illegal drugs. While drugs have been made more potent, the average user doesn't know how much "kick" he's going to get. It may have been cut, it may not. That's common in a black market. But competition and keeping the customer prevents it from happening in a free market.

    Getting back to alcohol, even when it's legal people become addicts and destroy their health. And most importantly and as proven by the 18th Amendment, Congress has no authority to ban something because it's dangerous.

    Cannabis is still illegal on a Federal level, and that influences banking laws. It's not a free market.

    Government enabled the violent crime. And the more the Federal government goes after illegal drugs, the more violent the crime becomes. We're literally burning crops in other nations. And the only reason you have is that illegal drugs are dangerous.

    How they are more dangerous than guns, cars or the contents of the average hardware store, I don't know. Maybe you could tell me.
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  • Interesting.

    Taxes are only part of the problem though.
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  • First, the "kids in cages" started in the previous administration and was an approved solution then. That doesn't make it right, it just means that how the situation was reported changed with the party that controlled the White House.

    Second, "both-sidesism" presupposes that there is only one game and that your adherence to one of the designated Official Sides shows some sort of moral virtue. I don't like the game and I don't think it should be controlling how we deal with people.

    As I said above, the rhetoric doesn't change, only the spectacle level. In four years we get to see all this play out again with the same exact arguments. Just as we did four years ago. And four years before that.

    That's the nature of the game. No matter what happens in real life, the Other Side™ will be blamed for whatever bad might have happened, whatever bad news supports the message, or whatever fabrication that makes them look bad. So much so that anything that doesn't fit will be routinely ignored. If that doesn't work, the disagreement will be actively scorned.

    The only real losers are the ordinary folks who want concrete solutions that they can build their lives on.
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  • Yes, people are selfish. And as long as there are "free" government benefits, those will be popular choices.

    I don't intend to "make" them do anything. I just don't think they should be on the public dime. Before someone says I have no compassion, government benefits aimed at certain groups are not compassion. Americans were very compassionate before government "charity." You can find a good overview in Olasky's The Tragedy of American Compassion (www.goodreadsDOTcom/book/show/37663.The_Tragedy_of_American_Compassion?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=jHi4iKWpTh&rank=1). It's Somebody Else's Problem writ large. Government programs drive out private alternatives and discourage people from taking the responsibility for helping and taking care for others. As government "charity" ballooned and centralized, private charity shrank.

    Americans are damn near wired to help all without official government intervention. Child lost? We'll rally to look, and more of us will rally to feed and coordinate the searchers. New Orleans levees overwhelmed? We load fan boats with supplies and go. But FEMA gives us trailers that become unlivable and ice kept so long it has to disposed of by hazmat teams.

    Charity should be a personal choice, not a way for politicos to buy votes.
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  • Alcohol used to be illicit.

    Alcohol does cause brain damage. Also liver and kidney damage. It also impairs neural function, makes judgement worse, and dampens inhibitions.

    Illegal alcohol created American organized crime. There used to be very dangerous alcohol cartels. Refer to the Valentine's Day Massacre and Al Capone. After Prohibition stopped, those cartels mostly stopped. The only ones still existing are dependent on an exclusive market maintained by state laws.

    Chlorine in small amounts can cause tremendous damage. So can water. And don't forget, oxygen makes things burn.

    I think you'll find that it's not permissive drug policies causing problems, it's government restrictions on manufacture, refinement, and distribution.

    Can you point to where in the Constitution the Congress is given authority to make drugs illegal?

    If junk food were made illegal, there would be ties to organized crimes.

    More dangerous than tobacco, insulin, alcohol, and nasal decongestants?
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  • The last couple of times we were admonished by a moderator.

    I probably won't explain this again so it's worth remembering. Pay attention now.

    To me, paganism is about embracing the natural rhythms and harmonies.

    I define politics as controlling the other while preventing them from controlling you. Almost always there is no reason for it except ego. Politics is disruption, no matter how worthy the cause.

    I am very, very good at politics. But that is not the person I want to be. What's even worse, most (but not all) American neopagans take personal offense at my political philosophy because it does not line up with theirs. That has gotten substantially worse in the last couple of decades. Heathenry tends to be a more even split in tolerating me. Experience has taught me that it's better to keep most of my political opinions to myself when I am talking to neopagans. And yes, I'm specifying neopagans.

    So when you think I "ran away," I was maintaining a distance between my paganism and my politics. Politics is one of my darker passions. I do not casually indulge. Inevitably it gets nasty.

    Oh, and it wasn't a year. But then I never promised it would be.
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  • www.urbandictionaryDOTcom/define.php?term=Sealioning

    Not just laws and regulations, but the assumption that government is the first, best, and last solution. The idea that government experts are more capable of making choices for you instead of giving you the tools to make your own choices. Anything that shields government agents, large corporations, and certain designated minority groups from the consequences of their own actions. The notion that if you can just get the correct people elected and appointed, government will take care of you better than you can take care of yourself. The idea that American foreign policy includes active intervention and manipulation in the internal affairs of other nations. The idea that government is absolutely necessary for anything except national defense, enforcing contracts, and protecting people and property.

    I'm libertarian, I can go on for pages and pages. But the important part is choice. If I choose to do something, that is my responsibility. If government compels me to do something outside those very basic guidelines, that destroys liberty. Me is mine, you is yours. You don't have the right or power to decide what is best for me, anymore than I have the right or power to decide for you.

    I want a government that is smaller than absolutely necessary. I believe that if people rely on their own abilities and those people they can convince without force, they will outperform any government solution. And if people like that, it will get better, cheaper, and more efficient over time. That's why we have smart phones and public highways that are falling apart.
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  • And alcohol isn't?
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  • Very few crimes are "victimless."

    Why are the drugs illegal? And I write this as someone who doesn't even like taking aspirin. Alcohol and nicotine are just two examples of highly addictive drugs which are legal and incredibly dangerous, yet they are not only legal but taxed.

    Prohibition should have been a warning sign. Overnight government action made liquor incredibly profitable and led directly to organized crime. The same thing holds with narcotics. The more that government tries to eradicate the trade, the bigger the black market becomes.

    It's not the drugs that are the problem, it's the fact that they are illegal. If illegal drugs were legal, there would be no cartels. You'd have Bayer producing cocaine and it would sell next to the Sudafed. You wouldn't have to produce ID to buy cough medicine.

    Since Nixon, it's been increasingly hard to separate the conservatives from those calling themselves conservatives. It reminds me of all those progressives saying that we haven't really seen "real" socialism in action yet.

    Trump does threaten the First Amendment. I wouldn't say that if Trump was content to enforce existing law. But he wants to change the law, particularly as it applies to social media.

    Talk to me when actual government spending goes down. Heck, talk to me when the U.S. does actual budgeting and operations without a deficit. How about reducing the national debt? How about a currency that has a value not decided by decree?
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  • The last couple of times we've gotten into politics on this site it hasn't ended well. Probably because it shouldn't be a political site.

    Do you remember what Starhawk wrote about "power over?" The notion wasn't original with her, but she did write well.
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  • No, doesn't work that way.

    The person making extraordinary claims provides the proof.

    Original work now, no citing someone else.

    We're waiting.
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  • Buzz!

    I'm sorry, you broke the rules. Thanks for playing though.
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  • I know.

    But I am going to make the infamous self-declared group and pretentious moral authority own their lousy statistics.
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  • Assuming you are not sealioning me here, that is a good question.

    It's nothing so organized. There is no grand master plan. There is only self-interest, the lure of power, and several self-organizing systems insulating themselves from oversight and competition.

    The progressive or conservative agenda isn't the problem, the scope of government is.
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  • And that proves that you don't understand what you quote.

    If your baseline is a century, then a ten year drop off and a later five year drop becomes statistically significantly. Claiming "lots of factors" also undoes your central premise.
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  • Distraction. Confetti. Balloons. Car crashes. Spectacle.

    Congratulations, you serve the "system" well.

    And I think I am done with you on this thread.
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  • You just didn't like the answer. More accurately, you didn't like the implications of my answer.
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  • And that STILL isn't the question.
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  • No, your bindings are your own.

    Still doesn't answer the question.
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  • Just for a moment, ignore what you've been told about climate change. I really REALLY don't want to open that debate again here.

    Think about it from this angle. If the Powers That Wanna Be can get enough people to worry or panic over something, then the people stop asking inconvenient questions. No matter what the existing law, no matter what the declared rights, no matter who owns what when, the Greater Good trumps.

    Now ask yourself this. If you can do that because of something you passionately believe, what's to stop the other person from doing the same because of what they passionately believe?

    More times than not, "Greater Good" is an end run outside of existing law. There are times that is necessary. But there are always consequences to upsetting existing norms, especially when it is imposed from the top down.
    original thread

  • You left off part of that question. Let me add it for you.

    "…from a constant struggle with no possible winner except to set up the next battle?"

    If Trump's term taught us anything, it's that the actions of one president can be undone by the next. Your goals and priorities are the confetti and balloons, not what matters. I keep telling you, the show is the distraction so you pay attention to the left hand and not to the guy behind the curtain. Or the gal in the building downtown who is calling the shots. Or the agency head pulling her strings.

    We can and have argued for hours and pages over if the Democrats are as bad or worse than the Republicans. Do yourself a favor. Step back from the confusion. Stop focusing on your political opponents of the day. Ask yourself who benefits from the struggle that never quite ends.
    original thread

  • You mean other than the obvious WHO BENEFITS from a constant struggle with no possible winner except to set up the next battle?
    original thread

  • Again, It's always urgent. The stakes are always everything you love and value. The Bad Guys are always demonized and their arguments always dismissed without consideration. I've been seeing the same campaign rhetoric since 1976 when I started paying attention.

    Don't you find it just a little odd that both major parties are doing the exact same tactics with no foreseeable payoff except maybe a brief period in power?

    Last action movie, it was a car chase and two explosions. This movie, it's three car chases, six explosions, and a dogfight between a helicopter and a jet. Nothing gets solved, but the spectacle factor goes up.

    Again, cui bono? Who benefits from the struggle with no long term solutions? What if the partisan politics are a distraction to keep you from asking too many questions?
    original thread

  • Gods, give it a rest already.

    Look at your chart. You know, the one you copy-pasted. Literally one of the measurements is "natural and human factors." Look again, there is a strange drop-off between 1963 and 1973. Don't you think that justifies a closer look? Especially if all that nasty climate change was due to "human factors?"

    I'm pagan as you well know. If any group has been plugged into the climate narrative, it's been American neopagans. In my lifetime, I've seen that narrative go from global cooling (1970s) to global warming (1980s and 1990s) to climate change. Along the way, i've seen it blamed for everything from hurricanes to earthquakes to stock prices. I've seen claims of a massive sea level rise that somehow leave centuries-old coastlines alone.

    What I haven't seen is a baseline long enough to accurately measure actual temperature change. We had ice ages before. Climate changes and there is no evidence that humans have yet had a statistically significant change. Certainly no graph limited to a mere century is going to show that. Any valid baseline has to include the period before humans could have possibly influenced the planet, say a millennium or so.

    Either learn statistics or pick a different cause.

    original thread

  • Maybe the answer isn't in getting the Other Side™ to submit. They don't want to, you don't want to, so why is the only "practical" solution putting your guy "in charge" for a little while?

    Who benefits from all this squabbling? Are the changes claimed by either side really doing anything except perpetuating the fight?
    original thread

  • Yeah, conservatives do threaten liberty.

    All it takes is a little bit of extra power to get things started.

    Reagan's War on Drugs escalated civil asset forfeiture and qualified immunity. Bush League gave us the USA PATRIOT Act and a lot of "market intervention" that destroyed much of the economy. Trump regularly threatens the First Amendment.

    Show me conservatives who reduce the size of government instead of expanding it "for the Greater Good."
    original thread

  • And after you've beaten off the dogs with a stick, will you drop the stick?
    original thread

  • ❝Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.❞ — Daniel Webster

    "For Your Own Good" is a strong temptation that has toppled nations and empires. After you've won, after you've struck down the forces of evil, after you've made the world safe for truth, justice, and apple pie, what then?

    Can conservatives be trusted to rule?

    Will you sacrifice that massive power over? Or will you keep it, just in case?

    The point I keep trying to make is that the problem is not progressives. Or conservatives. Or even the local PTA. It's an ever expanding government that tempts with the idea of control and utopia.

    If your worst enemy can't be trusted with that power, then why do you think you can be?

    I've read history. I know how this works. I know that the growth of modern progressivism was sparked in part because of the hold that conservatism had in social institutions.

    Now the "problem" conservatives are few and far between. Not to mention idiotic. But it won't stay that way. The urge for the Greater Good will take control not because it's a good idea, but because government power always seeks to expand itself.

    Time and circumstance will give you the names. All I can do is tell you that using government power against the progressives will corrupt you and leave us all in the same mess. Only then it will be bigger and harder to fix.
    original thread

  • Not going to get into the politics here.

    I just think people deserve to know all that is happening.
    original thread

  • Signs That Trump Isn’t Going to Win on Nov. 3
    “Because he’s going to absolutely crush the election that day. A #Trumpslide if you will.”

    More interesting stuff at my Watching Headlines page.
    original thread

  • Kudos for reporting the mess in Portland.
    original thread

  • Pardon, it's not that we're the least knowledgable electorate on the planet. It's that deep down, most Americans want their own choices at least some of the time. The more emphasis on government, the less choice that people have.

    No matter what their politics. most American's recognize this on an instinctive label.

    Or as the line in Fiddler On The Roof goes:

    ❝May G*d bless and keep the tsar… …far away from us!❞

    original thread

  • Without fail, the crusading True Believer™ is blind to the harm that they do to their own cause and to the underlying principles.

    From now on, when someone on this site objects to me saying conservatives can threaten liberty just as much as any progressive, I have a live example. One whose intolerance is demonstrated with nearly every comment. One who attacks the merest whiff of dissent and disagreement. One who insists that the only True Way are the rules that they hand out.

    The scary thing is that you are just one of the more vocal ones.
    original thread

  • When does compromise stop being the least bad choice?
    original thread

  • "…the Rad4Cap comments were too argumentative to lead anywhere…"


    "Truth is, though there certainly are leftist coastal elites who need to get out of their bubble, there are people living on farms in middle America who need to get out of their bubble, too."

    Also truth.

    "The left is already so deranged that it has stopped caring about reason, truth, and critical thinking; if the right does the same, what happens to our civilization?"

    Still truth.
    original thread

  • And that answers the next question.

    You're not interested in discussion, you are crusading.
    original thread

  • Now that was an unwarranted assumption. I wasn't making an argument. I was getting you to answer a couple of minor questions.

    Oh, and I prefer my version. "Words matter. Actions matter more. Intentions don't."
    original thread

  • Okay, haven't run into that in a while.

    Someone thought up the plumbing. Someone figured out how to make electricity useful. Someone thought about using trucks to move goods.

    The impractical mind has this strange habit of making things better, especially when people choose for themselves.
    original thread

  • I disagree.
    original thread

  • "The christian roots led to state religions like the vatican."


    The Egyptians, Romans, and many others had state religions before Christianity. In fact, Christians in the Roman Empire were sentenced because they would not sacrifice to the official Roman pantheon.
    original thread

  • Ran across the term used that way a couple of years ago in a climate change discussion. It explains so much.
    original thread

  • The data always has to "fit." If it doesn't, it's not true data.
    original thread

  • You are not being scientific. It's scientism, using the language of science without being scientific.

    This has nothing to do with the rotation of the Earth. This has to do with a statistical analysis of deaths. For example, murder rates and other violent crimes are spiking in many major cities. Yet that has nothing to do with COVID-19. To make your case, you have to show additional deaths over an extended time (there's that pesky baseline again). And if you can't show that the deaths blamed on the coronavirus occurred only because of the coronavirus, then your statistics are flawed and your case fails. I pointed out that there are deaths registered as COVID-19 when no testing of any kind occurred. According to the CDC, over 97% of COVID-19 deaths had other contributing conditions.

    So your statistics are flawed. Your case fails.

    It was never about science. It is and was about statistics used for political purposes.

    Three and I am done with you on this thread.
    original thread

  • "If."

    That is the crux of your entire argument.

    There are reasons to doubt the infection statistics.

    There are reasons to doubt the (continually) modified mortality statistics.

    There are reasons to doubt the effectiveness of masks and social distancing.

    The baseline is too short AND the new case rate is dropping so much that the mainstream media is threatening that a second and worse wave is around the corner.

    And there's my favorite bit, borrowed straight from the climate change claims. If you dare to dissent, if you dare to question, then you are a heretic and must be denounced. Truth must give way to the narrative.


    No demonstrated proof. Just manipulated statistics and computer projections.

    original thread

  • Okay, scare statistics.

    In some jurisdictions, deaths are being reported as COVID-19 deaths even though there was no testing. Some suggest that certain death rates can be off by as much as 95%. Even then, an overwhelming percentage (something like 97%) of deaths had other existing conditions that contributed as much or more than COVID-19.

    Many of the early tests were giving false positives. Most of the existing tests are not specific to COVID-19 but could show the anti-bodies to other corona viruses. Since the tests react to anti-bodies, the tests themselves can't show if someone is showing symptoms, infectious, recovered, or acquired their immunity from someone else.

    There is not as yet a long enough baseline to show how deadly the virus is. Almost every official projection assumes that humans won't develop their own defenses to this specific virus, despite the fact that our immune systems do exactly that in most circumstances.

    You love to ignore baselines. There are two you ignore here. First, COVID-19 hasn't been significant for very long. We have no annual numbers, much less decade and century trends. The other number you are ignoring is annual deaths. That 200,000 you cite seems like a big number, until you factor in that there are approximately 2.7 million American deaths every year. So the important question is how many additional deaths are due to COVID-19? And the numbers are just too soft as yet to answer that question.

    Oh, and one.
    original thread

  • Pretty sure if we wait long enough, you'll claim that they are the space aliens that kidnapped Elvis.
    original thread

  • But I am serious.

    In the last year or so, I've seen more and more conservatives saying that the way to solve our problems is to eradicate progressives from government. Never mind that this is precisely the argument that progressives used against conservatives.

    I'm not progressive. I'm libertarian. The idea that solving problems means that your side controls government repels me. Yet that statist argument is what more and more conservatives are embracing.

    What's worse is that conservatives don't recognize that some of the problem originated with their own attempts to control people "for their own good." Look at this thread. There's Quartermaster up there declaring that most Christians don't follow the Bible. That's not something from "years ago," that's the here and now. We've got people who want government to control the search engines instead of just applying existing law (they can moderate or be common carriers, not both).

    I want choice. I believe it's fundamental to freedom. Eliminating choice and information denies freedom. It doesn't matter if it's tasteless movies that exploit children, unpopular political opinions, recreational substances, tasteless fast food, or glow in the dark socks.

    In the last fifty years or so, most conservatives have resisted using the power of government to silence their critics. Right now, I think we're going to get a populist and "Republican" revolution. For many conservatives, that means they FINALLY get to control the public dialogue. They don't see the trap or how the reaction to conservative policies will set up the inevitable public reaction. Right now conservatives seem to be ascendent. But in four years? Twenty? Fifty? How long can that be maintained by taking away freedom?
    original thread

  • The Democrats are not democratic and haven't been at least since adopting superdelegates.

    I stand by the rest of what I wrote. I've no problem with holding Republicans responsible for what they do. I have every problem with excusing the actions of Democrats and progressives when those actions directly contribute to the problem.
    original thread

  • We could start with mainstream religions, but that is too easy a target.

    How about the "War on Drugs?" Vice laws are always good for an open-air examination. If I were to point out that almost all vice laws originated with religion and probably shouldn't be applied to the general population, what would you say?

    We all have our own orthodoxy. Conservatives can be just as obnoxious with theirs as progressives. And let's face it, no one likes the libertarians.
    original thread

  • Actually it's not my turn. I started on this thread by pointing out that problems Amerinds face predate the current administration and that we need to stop blaming conservatives and start fixing the problems. All along you've dismissed my points but you haven't addressed them.

    I've no desire to point out who is more wrong, I want to fix the problems.

    It would be nice if Democrats acknowledged that they are a big part of the problem. Failing that, I'd accept them getting out of the way and dropping the "more compassionate than thou" routine. Conservatives and progressives measure compassion differently.

    And you are both wrong.
    original thread

  • My point was about selected incidents. You can't blame all the murders in major cities on bad cops.

    You're selling a narrative about "blacks" being singled out for racist reasons while simultaneously ignoring a system rigged against other minorities. So yeah, it's selective. It's not even for the benefit of "blacks," but to make progressives claiming to act for "blacks" look good.

    Again, these are ongoing problems. What's changed since the Watts riots? Since Rodney King? Since the BLM movement started? Just entrenched elites who routinely trot out designated victims but do not provide any long term solutions. They want the votes, they want the rewards, but they do not want the responsibility,

    Most infuriating to me, Democrats refuse to acknowledge their part and exploitation of the problem. It gets passed off and celebrated as compassion even as generations pass.
    original thread

  • Codswallop.

    Even here, would anyone have noticed the problems Amerinds face if it could not be blamed on conservatives?

    We're not talking about something that cropped up in the last four years, the last eight years, or the last two decades. These are ongoing problems that are routinely ignored unless they produce political capital for progressive politicos.

    I tell people about these problems. Hardly anyone pays attention.

    Of course this isn't unique. The BLM protest movement routinely ignores murders and assaults unless they involve the police. Meanwhile, a surprising number of inner city minorities want more policing, not less.

    Do not think for a moment that I am pushing Republican solutions. I am pointing out that the much vaunted Democrat compassion isn't solving problems, it's exploiting and prolonging problems. It's about a narrative.

    It's time to stop pretending the solutions are found in a party platform.
    original thread

  • That is exactly the wrong attitude to take.

    When the BLM protests started during the Obama administration, there were decades long problems on the reservations, particularly the Navajo reservation. Yet oddly enough, those longstanding problems were continually overlooked as long as a Democrat administration was in power. The hypocrisy of trotting out selected minorities with cherry picked problems to aim at conservatives never ceases to amaze me. It's like someone isn't interested in solving the problem, only in attacking Republicans.

    Lest we forget, we have Andrew Jackson to thank for "Indian Removal" and the Trail of Tears. Amerindians weren't considered citizens until 1924, and didn't have a universal right to vote until 1962.

    America has not done right by it's native peoples, and today minorities are usually recognized by any political benefits they bring to the narrative, not by need or how they have been abused by the Federal government. Believe me or not, you don't know what "systemic racism" truly is.
    original thread

  • The problems with the Navajo reservation predate the Trump administration. There isn't reliable water or electricity. Many locations and homes are miles away from paved roads. For decades Utah has tried to seize mineral rights and land from the Ute and Diné (websearch San Juan County Utah). That doesn't count the mid 1990s ruling in favor of the Bureau of Land Management that essentially relieved the Federal government of any responsibility for mismanaging the mineral resources of tribes including the Diné, the Ute, the Hopi, the Havasupai, the Hualapai and several others.

    Poverty on reservations is a long standing and ongoing problem. The Federal government is not all that good at building infrastructure, particularly for racial minorities that are mostly out of the public eye.
    original thread

  • In all fairness, that applies to much of the "Right" as well.
    original thread

  • Or refine the gasoline.
    original thread

  • This is a oversimplification and mostly my own work, so make of it what you will.

    There are thought modes, the "gears" of intelligence. The first thought mode uses behavior maps, basically learned responses to a list of cues. For most people in most situations, this is sufficient and they never need anything else. The second thought mode is analysis/synthesis and is what most people think of when it comes to intelligence. But it requires understanding at least two behavior maps for the same cue.
    original thread

  • The Grand Canyon's North Rim is quite a bit higher than the South Rim and much cooler and less crowded. The Kaibab National Forest (North Kaibab Ranger District) is just north of the North Rim and consists of ponderosa pine mixed with swaths of aspen. When I was a kid living in Phoenix, the Kaibab was where the family went to get out of the summer heat. The wind would whisper through the aspen leaves, and sometimes it sounded like different voices in each direction singing a slightly different part.

    The gold and crimson would stand out among the dark green of the pine and the white of the aspen trunks in the fall. Not quite as dramatic as some places, but with a special magick all it's own.

    And the squirrels scold you if you don't feed them enough. Kaibab squirrels are probably a subspecies that exists no where else. I saw so many as a kid that the first time I saw a "normal" squirrel I thought it was deformed or something.
    original thread

  • "A decent respect to the opinions of mankind" matters only if they are willing to give that respect in return. In the past 80 years, the US has alternated between bribing and threatening while treating almost no one else with respect. So their opinion doesn't really matter because they don't give respect or contribute to safety or prosperity. In fact, much of their prosperity comes because the US provided security.

    You're speculating. Excess statistics mean that the measurements aren't accurate.

    Two and I am done with you on this thread.
    original thread

  • One.

    There are two things I was going to let slide, but today is your lucky day.

    Why does it matter what citizens of other nations think about the U.S. President?

    Second, overall the U.S. mortality rate ranks about 8th or 9th in the World, depending on whose statistics you're using. And again depending on statistics, the U.S. ranks about 24th for the COVID-19 case fatality ratio.Since more people travel to, from, and within the U.S. than any other nation, that is going to skew the infection rate. Add the fact that most testing doesn't screen for COVID-19 specifically (but for a class of infections), the testing is still being ramped up, and many cases labeled as deaths from COVID-19 did not have any testing or screening done at all, and the claims for COVID-19 infection may be the biggest statistical clusterf*ck in history.
    original thread

  • ❝The ace factor really explains people's behavior. In ancient Rome, writers knew that if you isolated the right 1 out of 5 prisoners from the others, the rest became nearly docile. In WWII, the U.S. Army Air Corps discovered that roughly 20% of the combat pilots delivered 80% of the kills. The Army Air Corps studied combat aces to identify the traits. The regular Army found that a similar ratio held for tank commanders.

    All that work just showed that aces had a certain irreverence for authority, an incredible drive to get the job done, and a certain intuition that defied any kind of classification.

    The really freaky bit is that without those “aces” well distributed and highly visible to the rest of the service, the service’s effectiveness could drop by nearly half. We need our heroes clearly in sight.❞

    ace factor from my lexicon

    original thread

  • Trump is playing poker.
    original thread

  • Actually I wrote that Satanism is not what you've been saying and there is no evidence that Satanists as a group are involved in child trafficking. Of course your description keeps changing, earlier you were proclaiming Satanic child sacrifice.
    original thread

  • Much like poetry or singing, using a secondary language can focus intent and passion. Of course that requires the ability to think and communicate clearly in that other language.

    In this case, I'm pretty sure it's copy-paste. It looks mysterious and vaguely threatening, and of course the translation is a curse. But they don't understand that culture or the language. It's cultural appropriation writ large for political purposes. They are projecting because they wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of such a curse even if it wasn't "real."
    original thread

  • A "sovereign citizen" with a lawyer?
    original thread

  • That's it. Blocked. Bye.
    original thread

  • I didn't ignore your request. You dismissed my answers.
    original thread

  • Frankly I liked the chorus.

    Have you read Sun Tzu? Or perhaps David Detzer when he quotes von Moltke.

    "No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy."

    The battle can't be predicted, much less the aftermath. You are drastically underestimating the stakes, much less the ability of "your side" to win decisively.
    original thread

  • Dude, c'mon. You just "presumed" I hadn't read your post.

    You assume I'll follow laws that I think are power grabs.

    You've called me cowardly when I didn't follow your "rules" of engagement. You've called me spineless. You keep assuming that the only way to make things better is to play your rigged game. And your only "solution" is that the conservatives aren't as bad as the progressives this week so I can "trust" them to do the "right" thing.

    And of course you negotiating. You want to convince all the other readers why you are right and I am wrong.
    original thread

  • You do not know what I have and have not read. You should quit making assumptions, it weakens your bargaining position.

    You assume I won't resist because I won't engage you on your terms.

    And yet I have been resisting your terms for some time now. Much to your frustration.
    original thread

  • I think you are confused. So far you've called both Toastrider and myself the acolyte.

    Are you familiar with Robert Goddard? He gave an interview during his early experiments suggesting that rockets might make travel to the moon possible. The New York Times among others ridiculed him. According to what the newspaper knew as fact at the time, there was no possible way Goddard's ideas could be correct. It went against all accepted science. Just the mere notion was silly and there was no way his equations could have any practical meaning. It was not until 1969 that the NYT acknowledged their mistake and apologized.
    original thread

  • Of course there is a choice.

    What are you going to do if I "refuse" your choice? Will you point a gun at me? Will you imprison me? Will you sentence me to re-education? Will you take my money and my stuff?

    How is that different if I make your choice and the Other Side wins?
    original thread

  • Not indescribable. Just ones you don't want to hear or even acknowledge.
    original thread

  • A game presupposes one chooses to play.
    original thread

  • No, it's veritas. And the Cassandra effect is the irony.

    I tell people the exact truth and they don't believe it. Always they look for the angles they can play. Always they look for loopholes. They never take me at my word.

    Ah well, the gift is given.
    original thread

  • Here is truth, simple and direct. I gift it to you without reservations and without preconditions.

    As long as you grasp the illusion that the system protects and defends you, you won't believe me.

    When you let go of that illusion, you won't need me.

    When you choose your own liberty, you'll know what to do.

    This is truth. It is up to you, not me.
    original thread

  • And there we go. You can't "allow" dissent, so you demand I must justify. Presumably so you can discredit and prove the worth of your ideas.

    You want the submission.

    You won't get it.
    original thread

  • Think about this carefully.

    I said I've no reason right now to actively oppose you.

    I hand you a sharp piece of political analysis that can be devastating in the right time and place.

    I point out that I am not bound by your rules of engagement.

    And yet you still vainly attack me using tactics that you know don't work.

    Don't you understand yet? I provoked this reaction from you. This isn't the first or third time that I've done so. You went after me and somehow it didn't work. Almost as if I recognized what you were trying to do and countered your moves as you made them.

    Meanwhile I've given you tools to use in your stated aims.

    Except it was never about winning. It was always about getting others to submit,

    Think about this.
    original thread

  • You think Harris is the player? She is at best a figurehead, the WOC that takes Biden's place when he falls. The designated Victim when the Orange Man takes advantage of the situation. She's the spectacle of the Wronged Woman who endures torture at the hands of of the Evil Republicans. The saint-in-waiting whose suffering "proves" her worth to take the Presidency no matter what.

    What makes you think I plan to submit?
    original thread

  • It is an answer. It's just not pledging allegiance to your cause and marching under your banner.

    Still waiting for someone to show me that Republicans aren't offering big government solutions that require my sacrifice for the Greater Good.

    original thread

  • No, I opt for the choice without political parties at the very least. Preferably with much less government. I won't dictate what form that should take, that never works.
    original thread

  • I believe in the future.

    And I don't think American political parties are a viable part of that future. Freedom, yes, America, maybe.
    original thread

  • Clearing the board has been my goal for some years now. I'm content to watch it play out and let both sides rip each other to shreds. I wasn't going to play the game. I've less reason now.

    Your goal shouldn't have been to convince me that your side was better. It should have been to convince me that the game was worth it.
    original thread

  • See, this is why I don't like discussing things with you. It becomes a debate about minutiae.

    Ginsburg was an expedient candidate, not a consensus one. Republicans confirmed her for the political capital, not because they thought she was a good candidate.

    The 2016 election had a shade less than 60% of the eligible voters actually voting. That was better than the previous two national elections, but not enough to show if Trump (or any President since Nixon) was elected with plurality. A substantial part of the electorate feels that government doesn't respond to them.

    If it's a Senate majority, it is a majority. The Constitution says "advice and consent" of the Senate, not of the population.

    Roe v. Wade was a partisan issue, and arguably the most partisan decision the Court made since Dred Scott v. Sandford. Certainly the Congress and electorate has treated it as such.

    I mistyped and confused pluralism with plurality. Congratulations, that is an error.

    This is my last reply to you on this thread.
    original thread

  • I didn't make errors.

    Trump has the power to appoint judges. If Trump's power and the Senate confirmation is inordinate, so is every single time it's been done in the past. There is no proof that Trump is a non-plurality President. Not everyone voted for him, but not everyone voted. The Senate majority is pluralism by definition.

    The Constitution doesn't make provisions for precedent, pluralism, or restricting the powers of the President and Senate close to an election. And if Democrats were "in charge," you'd be complaining if Republicans tried to do it.

    Consensus wasn't your point. Pluralism was. The two are not synonyms.

    Roe vs. Wade was an incredibly partisan case, not because of the justices serving but because almost all progressives support the decision and almost all conservatives oppose it. Progressives were happy with the partisanship because it served their goals.

    There is absolutely nothing in the Constitution about abortion or the practice of medicine. Precedent be dammed, there is no legal basis except by expanding the much abused commerce clause

    Dispute those truths if you dare.
    original thread

  • As strange as this sounds, if liberty doesn't suffer, maybe empire is a good option.
    original thread

  • I wasn't counting just Trump's judicial appointments. I do agree those judges are more likely to stay around for a while.

    The Democrats have made it clear that they want to expand the USSC. I might even be okay with that if they changed the rules so each SC associate justice also served on an appeals court.

    The thing is that the table stakes have gotten considerably higher and nothing is safe.
    original thread

  • Three B.

    The USSC had no authority to rule on Roe vs. Wade, Still doesn't, for that matter.

    "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    Yet that one ruling has become the everlasting litmus test of potential Supreme Court justices. A ruling not based on either the Constitution or existing Federal law.
    original thread

  • Three A.

    "The justice system loses credibility when it is seen as partisan in its administration of justice."

    Roe vs. Wade.

    It was a partisan decision and has shaped EVERY SINGLE USSC nomination since the verdict.

    You are proclaiming that a partisan court is okay so long as it takes the progressive side.
    original thread

  • Good thoughts, but since Billy-boy was elected, the progressive left's axiom is that the sole reason for the rule of law is to restrain or punish those not in line with the narrative and agenda.

    I may not totally subscribe to the ZAP, but I honestly don't see a non-violent alternative that can make the progressive left accept the rule of law. For more than a generation, it's been THE way to game the system and control the actions of others. The system as it exists will just perpetuate the bad choices available.

    Look at this thread. There are two or three posters here who keep telling me that it's better to support Trump because at least he's not those Dangerous Democrats. Likewise, Democrats are being told it's better to support Biden because at least he's not Tantrum Trump. We're reduced to choosing the least bad because "the system" won't allow any other choice.

    I don't know about you, but if a store doesn't sell what I want, I look for another store.

    That's how I feel about the American election process right now. And everybody has been conditioned to believe that the first, best, and last solution must come from government and work within the established institutions of government. Very few want to admit that most of the problems come because we are "locked" into a system that destroys liberty and exploits it's citizens.
    original thread

  • There's also the idea that ongoing demonic and/or angelic string pulling removes any possibility of human action whatsoever and reduces us all to candy-ass puppets waiting to have our strings pulled, but that is another subject.
    original thread

  • Collapse or civil war are the most likely outcomes. I'd like to hear other possibilities, but people don't seem to have any.
    original thread

  • Three.

    Consensus wasn't your point. But if you want to stand around with egg on your face, that's fine.

    I'm done with you on this thread.
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  • It's why I became a libertarian.
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  • Right now there is a Senate race in Arizona with an appointed incumbent whose sole qualification for the office is that she has an R after the title.

    Is there any indication that the majority of Republicans are any better?

    At the very least, the parties have outlived whatever usefulness they had.
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  • I disagree.

    What one president can do, another can undo. All these gains that you say Trump has made are dependent on keeping Republicans in power.


    If the Republicans in office actually act like Republicans.

    We agree that government is the problem and that it's threatening liberty.
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  • Okay, let's deal with this.

    The capacity for "good" and "evil" is inherent. We don't have demons instigating us anymore than we have angels showing us the way to enlightenment. It's about choice and how we treat each other.

    Blaming what you think is "evil" on demonic or Satanic influence is just dodging responsibility.
    original thread

  • Two.

    So as I said you find it acceptable so long as it's progressives and left leaning conservatives to be nominated. You do realize that if we had stuck to your "standard," Ginsburg would never have been confirmed.

    The Constitution doesn't mention anything about plurality or not making nominations so many days before a Presidential election. Of course, it didn't mention anything about hanging chads or absentee ballots dumped in a ditch either.

    As I told you before, the Senate rules are whatever the majority decides they are. The Democrat senators made that abundantly clear when they abolished judicial fillabuster.

    Plurality has very little to do with citizens voting, especially when those same citizens feel marginalized by the institutions of government.

    Senators may serve in the national legislature, but they are chosen within the states. Checks and balances, usually a good idea, you should study it.
    original thread

  • I'll accept that you are both bipedal organisms.
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  • Granted.

    I just think we need fewer Official Heroes and more people choosing to be heroic.
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  • See, I could see LaVey pretending just to mess with people.

    Looking back at what he did and having talked to some modern day Satanists, I'm not sure he was wild and crazy. Unconventional, yes. Pushing people's buttons, yes. But there is a certain logic to how he lived his life.

    I probably shouldn't, but I'm going to talk about Sagan's book. It's a valuable tool, but only one tool among many. Part of what sets the human mind apart is intuition and the ability to make links that don't appear rational by current understanding. I admit that Sturgeon's Law applies, but it's that ten percent that makes us wonder. More specifically, it's approximately three percent that seemingly doesn't fit yet still seems to be effective. And with that we're getting down to how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, and does it matter if the angels are wearing clogs or not.
    original thread

  • Fair enough. My arms are cold so I am not going to roll up my sleeves.

    Other than the constant lying, one major problem I have with Trump is that he is still a "big government" guy, although less so than the Original Bush and Bush League. He's probably less a "big government" guy than Reagan.

    That's my issue. Since 1909 and the proposal of the 16th Amendment and arguably since the Civil War, a strong Federal government has been perceived as THE answer to all American problems. During WWII, Americans let government of the leash for the duration of the emergency, and it's never been back on the leash.

    So when I see people defending Trump as the American savior, the Man on the White Horse, I have a problem. For all that he has done (and he has done some), he's barely scraped below the surface to address the real problems in American life.

    The damned question still comes up. Assuming Trump wins, what happens after Trump?
    original thread

  • One.

    "As Trump has nominated three justices to the Supreme Court, that gives a non-plurality president and Senate inordinate power in that regard."

    I'm going to point out the obvious. If Trump's power to nominate judges is inordinate power, then the nomination of justices supporting Roe vs. Wade is also inordinate power,. Not to mention the ruling itself.

    While contested, there is no evidence that Trump is a non-plurality President. There seems to be evidence that his support has grown,

    The Senate majority is pluralism by definition. Past discussions have shown that you aren't interested in pluralism as much as you are in manipulating the process so that the "default setting" is always progressive. If it were a Democrat president and a Democrat Senate, you would be supporting a nomination and confirmation.
    original thread

  • I have to wonder if they are real communists.

    Are they practicing what they preach?

    Or are they cosplaying online?
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  • Initially LeVey was doing it for the attention. He said he was protesting the hypocrisy of organized religion, specifically how the major churches were into pro-Americanism without asking too many questions. Later that sort of evolved into challenging assumptions that society expected people to follow without question.I'd argue that some of the more interesting thinking came after LeVey's death and there were some interesting crossovers.

    The nude rituals were to get attention, especially the filmed ones. LeVey wasn't the one appearing in the buff.

    I hadn't heard about LeVey being a vegetarian.
    original thread

  • But you can't blame LeVey without at least acknowledging what he was protesting against.
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  • One of my main headline sources put it very well.

    "if the NYT refuses to release original documents and quotes only anonymous sources, then I have no reason to believe this story. Especially with the NYT's dismal history of lying."
    original thread

  • I started saying it a couple of years ago and it's still true.

    I don't like or trust Trump. But the Democrats make him look good. I may never forgive them for that.
    original thread

  • Humanity and citizenship, I can work with that.
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  • Pardon, I am going to be persnickety here.

    Government officials, government agents, and police do not have the "legal right to use deadly force." The have been granted power to do so as duly designated agents of the government provided their actions protect people and property.

    It's not a right unless the other guy has it too. Everybody shares righs, Privileges are restricted to a few by government edict or circumstance. Government powers are not and never have been rights. Officially™ government agents and police may have the power, they may have the duty and obligation to use that power in defense of the public, but that power, duty and obligation are not rights. We shouldn't call those powers rights.
    original thread

  • Too close I think.
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  • You haven't shown evidence. Even your descriptions keep changing. You move from satanic child sacrifice to satanic ritual abuse. Basically you don't like someone so you accuse them of the worst thing you can think of.

    You keep making claims, but you can't prove what doesn't exist. It wouldn't matter, except you keep smearing people.
    original thread

  • The individual doesn't matter, only the Common Good of the narrative.

    Which is subject to change at a moment's notice.
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  • I am not going to get into subjective and objective truth here but I am going to insist on verifiable truths. No articles of faith are verifiable truths. It may be true that you believe in X, but that doesn't mean that it's true that X exists.
    original thread

  • Selected black lives matter, if it advances today's narrative.
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  • I don't care about the labels, I just can't see vandalism or violence being justified.
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  • nods I can understand that.

    My whole point in bringing this up is that Satanism has a bad rap, totally unjustified by what it is. The whole Hollywood Satanic conspiracy with secret sex and blood rites doesn't exist. Not so secret sex rights, occasionally in some groups. But the world domination and demon worship? Not so much.

    Now there are certainly demon worshipers out there, and some of them are even in modern American society. But it's not the mindset that can form secret and widespread multigenerational cults. There are some seriously screwed up people out there, but they aren't part of a conspiracy. Just because you don't know someone's religion doesn't mean that they threaten you.

    ymarsakar is saying these things because it's way too easy to find a scapegoat instead of looking at what is really happening.

    On the other hand, there are Muslim sects and groups that I think should be banned. FGM and child brides are not good things.
    original thread

  • Skimming the article, two things stood out.

    First, she joined recently.

    Second, she's talking rebellion, not secret conspiracies and controlling the world order.
    original thread

  • What Satanists?

    Would you make the same accusations of any other faith group in America? Not so long ago, it targeted the Jews and was called blood libel. How are your wild claims different in spirit than the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion?
    original thread

  • I agree that it's probably honoring the ancestors or at least respecting those who have passed. But there is no evidence that is the case. There are still cultures today that use the bones and remains of enemies.
    original thread

  • I was born on the Rez and lived near it most of my life. John Ford and and John Wayne are still respected, decades after passing.
    original thread

  • I started saying and writing it in response to gun control laws, but it has universal application.

    "The people who pay attention to laws aren't the ones you should be worried about."
    original thread

  • Not just kids books. Our self-appointed cultural gatekeepers have declared the individual a growing threat.
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  • I think you tangled your meaning there.

    At least you've established that the Satanic panic myth is separate from the actual child prostitution and trafficking.

    Your last sentence there heavily implies that there is a difference between "previous accusations and beliefs" and "present child trafficking and satanic ritual problems."

    You've not established that there are "satanic ritual problems," but one step at a time.
    original thread

  • i'd say that it actually started earlier than FDR in the Wilson administration, but that is nitpicking.

    The biggest reason I raised it now is because the situation illustrates just how progressives took respected names and turned them into validations of a completely different agenda.

    I know I'm the wise-ass. I never denied it. My Disqus profile even says I'm a part time troublemaker. But if a century ago one respected word could be fundamentally changed, what will the words rights, liberty, and constitution mean in a century?
    original thread

  • Excuse me. You complain about leftists taking control of cultural and government institutions all the time. Progressives did it first by laying claim to the term "liberal" during the Progressive era. They exploited the reputation to further their agenda. Sound familiar?

    Even today in Europe, "liberal" is much closer to the American "libertarian" than it is the modern American version of "liberal."
    original thread

  • Child prostitution? Yes. Trafficking? Yes. Satanic? Unproven. Sacrifice? No.

    Unless you can produce proof…
    original thread

  • Pardon, modern liberalism is rooted in prejudice and envy. Classic liberalism is libertarianism.
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  • Four and my last one to you on this thread.

    "I'm a politician, of course I lied to you just then."

    Politicos LIE, it's what they do. And the really competent ones get you to thank them for it later.

    original thread

  • Three.

    Already answered. Not going to repeat it because you can't be bothered.
    original thread

  • In January, Biden mentioned the "the possibility of a pandemic" in an op-ed piece. On March 9, Biden held a Detroit in-person rally and cancelled a rally for March 10. It wasn't until March 12 that Biden started offering a detailed plan, after WHO declared a pandemic on March 11.

    Buttigieg indirectly referred to it in the Feb 7 New Hampshire debate. In the February 25 South Carolina debate, there was discussion. While there was criticism of Trump, no one really offered a plan before Biden on March 12.

    Understand, I am not saying that Trump's plan was good. I do think a lot of the "science" about COVID-19 is codswallop. Trump did the travel ban on January 31.
    original thread

  • You can't blame Trump for something that happened in 2016. You want to blame the Senate Republicans, go right ahead. However, McConnell wasn't the only one who changed his mind. Regardless of whatever happened in 2016, it has no binding effect on Senators today. More importantly, if it were a Democrat President and a Democrat Senate, the nomination and confirmation would happen before the election.

    It's not lying and it is not an abuse of procedure. The Senate rules are basically whatever the majority can get passed.

    And of course, we won't talk about the decades long efforts of the Democrats to control the Federal judiciary.

    original thread

  • Actually it's a pass along with better wording. "Government is not your friend."

    Rates right up there with "Leave the World a little better than how you found it."
    original thread

  • I don't see existing government institutions as effective solutions to government failure.
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  • Speaks to motivation. FDR tried stacking the court because he didn't like what the USSC decided. How is the Democrat threat different? If there were a Democrat President, would it even be considered? Is it about protecting justice or rigging the system?

    While I don't think there should be a nomination before the election, it's within existing law.

    original thread

  • Of course it reflects my political bias. But since I am not a Democrat or Republican, I'm one of the people the Democrats had to convince that there was actually something to be investigated. And while I object to specific things that Trump has done, overall as President he is not significantly worse than his immediate predecessors.

    If you want to offer something better than Trump, you need something other than a sock puppet and the homeroom bully. The pre-election SCOTUS nomination is the only thing I've seen in years that might derail Trump's re-election, and handled right it won't even do that.

    My point is that Democrats aren't right just because they are Democrats and Republicans aren't wrong just because they are Republicans. If I can tell Christian conservatives that not all gays are unrepentant child molesters that radiate innocence destroying rays at seventy-three feet, than I can tell you that sometimes Democrats are wrong and Republicans are right. The constant and mostly fictional attacks against Trump aren't working, yet the Democrat leadership keeps pouring on more of the same.

    That being said, I'm voting None of The Above. Again.
    original thread

  • No, because I don't see denying access to the PDB as a wrongdoing. I see the PDB as wrong, but not controlling the access.
    original thread

  • Congressional oversight - "Pelosi says Democrats 'have our options' when asked about impeaching Trump if he replaces Ginsburg"

    That's not oversight, that is another process game. Do I think that the nomination and confirmation should wait until after the election? Yes. But there is nothing legally restraining the President or the Senate. And the Speaker of the House does not control the Senate schedule or debates. So what exactly is gained by making this threat? Nothing except pandering to a Democrat base.
    original thread

  • Except the Congressional Democrats weren't exactly doing constitutional oversight. Schiff in particular was playing fast and loose. The Democrat leadership has been playing process games and slinging accusations that never seem to pan out. What's more, the continued failures effectively make Trump look good and grant him immunity from voter criticism. The more enthusiastic Trump critics come off as crying wolf.

    I don't like or trust Trump, but Democrats make him look good. I may never forgive them that.

    I've no problem calling out Republicans and Trump in particular for wrongs they've actually done. It's just that the Democrats are phenomenally selective about it. It's like the Democrat leadership believes that the law should only apply to their opponents when it advances Democrat causes, but otherwise should be ignored. I've every problem with Trump being attacked for the same things his predecessors did as if those things were done first by Trump and are a threat to the nation because he did them.

    Democrats keep trying to sell their people as an alternative to Trump. Sure they attack Republicans, but I haven't actually seen enough Democrats excitedly supporting anyone or anything since Obama was nominated. There's been some excitement about Sanders, but it didn't go very deep.

    As far as the science, well, a quick comparison of New York and Florida raises some interesting questions, but I'm not going to deal with that further here.

    Democrats are not saints by being Democrats. The vice or virtue is not in the label.
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  • I'll call them Democratic when they actually start acting democratic.

    The President chooses who gets access to the Presidential Daily Brief. You may not like that, I may not like that, but that is how it is.
    original thread

  • I don't agree, but I admit the situation is murky.
    original thread

  • And of course we won't talk about what Democrat leaders were saying in February. Or the mainstream press.
    original thread

  • You think I am supporting Trump and the Republicans? I am not. I am libertarian. If I had my way, both major parties would be eradicated, almost all office holders arrested, and most government dissolved.

    My point is that the Democrats are just as responsible for this mess as the Republicans, and progressives are just as guilty as conservatives. Each side offers their champion while refusing to acknowledge responsibility for what has happened.

    This didn't start with Nixon. It started with Lincoln. It started with Wilson. It started with FDR.

    You can't go after Trump for things he hasn't done, that won't play in Peoria. And almost everything the the Democrat leadership has tried against Trump has fizzled and left him stronger than before.

    Re; The closed door meeting with Putin. Presidents have been privately meeting with foreign leaders since Washington, including Obama with Putin. It's part of the job. I don't like it, but the precedent was established long ago.
    original thread

  • The right-wing nationalists are a very visible but extremely minor threat.

    What's scaring people is that they just want to live their lives and there are rioters setting fires and smashing things in city after city. And it's looking like there is a conspiracy to destroy the United States. That's the perception.

    The fact is, most Americans have no interest in the "cause." It doesn't matter if it's global climate change, trans rights, feminism, the free market, Christianity, American nationalism, or dozens of others. They were perfectly content to live their lives and make a better place for their kids.

    But willing or not, the last few years meant they got dragged into an argument they never meant to have. They see their lives threatened and they see themselves threatened. And for what? A escalating conflict they had no stake in.

    A few days ago, I would have said that the leadership on the "left" has done everything they could to hand victory to Trump (not the Republicans). We got rioters set against the background of burning cities while elected Democrat officials sanctioned the disruption.

    Now I am not so sure what will happen. But I do know that the progressive leadership handed Trump a narrative that was better and more American than anything they could come up with. Gods, he's the Man on a white horse fighting for Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

    It didn't have to be this way. Democrats could have attacked what Trump had done instead of creating a narrative where Trump is always the Ultimate Evil. A competent Democrat could have gotten the nomination and probably have smoked Trump at the polls. Instead you got a sock puppet and someone who exploits political power for personal gain. The Democrats needed someone with character, they settled for the class bully. Not even the school bully, but the home room class bully.

    If this is indeed a "Satanic panic" situation, the so-called progressive elites have provided the monsters and made Trump into the Champion.
    original thread