Monday, November 30, 2020

Brief Hiatus and Christmas Thoughts

Hello all.  Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couples Club.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or would like to be in, Domestic Discipline relationships.

I hope you all had a great week.  Ours got kind of crazy, with some unanticipated housing repairs that we’re still dealing with.  Tis the season for frozen pipes and other plumbing problems in our part of the country.  In addition to that craziness, I was trying to push through a couple of home improvement projects, and we both tried to knock out most of our household Christmas decorating.  All this was in anticipation of me getting sidelined by a personal issue I’ve been needing to deal with for a while.  This has been one of those years that I find myself constantly bemoaning the fact that getting old sucks, until I remember how much better it is than the only known alternative.

Thanks to that little issue, the blog may be on hiatus for a couple of weeks.  That, plus I really can’t think of a damn thing to post about that we haven’t done to death.  If I get a burst of energy and inspiration, I will post something substantive. If not, it may just be sporadically sharing some Christmas cheer in the form of art and memes.  In that spirit . . . in honor of Belle, who admits to getting inspired by titillating Christmas art and in partial apology to Jimmy for whatever role this blog played in his becoming a disciplined husband this year . . . I hope this gives her some inspiration and him some Christmas cheer. 


   

There is something about the following picture that I find inspiring, though I doubt Anne will be modeling for such a shot herself, given that there is a direct line of sight from our tree, through a huge set of windows, to the front street.

  

I also probably won’t be seeing anything like this. It looks like it was taken in front of a mall Christmas display, and I almost certainly won’t be making any more trips to the mall before Christmas.  

 

It’s one of many things that many of us won’t be doing in 2020.  It’s been a year of adjusting our expectations, hasn’t it?  Lots of this going on, with no lube . . .

 


 

Unfortunately, there won't even be vanilla versions of this going on this year. 

 

 

Cliché as it may be, you never know what you have until it’s gone.  I distinctly remember limping into this time last year, exhausted from too much travel, too much work, and too much socializing.  We ended up dodging several holiday parties with friends that have become traditions over the last few years, because we were just worn out.  Had I known it 2020 I would be desperate for some time with other people, I might have reached a little deeper for some Christmas cheer and the energy that comes with it.

 

 

Who would have thought that there would ever be a year in which what is under the tree may actually matter more than the people around it for the simple reason that the people won’t be there this year?

 

While I don’t have a topic this week, feel free to chime in with how this crazy year is impacting your holiday plans, including sharing any thoughts on ways you are working around lockdown orders and concerns for vulnerable friends and relatives.

185 comments:

  1. Hope you recover quickly Dan. But remember, it's not "getting old" that sucks, it's "being old."

    D

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    1. Thanks, Diane. And, you are right. In my case, feeling old probably was a direct result of all the dumb but fun stuff I did over the course of getting old.

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  2. I would defonitely be the nude (except for the stocking cap) cigarette/drink girl at a party if anybody ever asked me! Since everybody is sequestered, I plan to put on a bow and nothing else and lie under the tree and let Jimmy open his present.

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  3. Although missing the spanking parties, events and dungeon visits this year, we have tried to maintain our spirits and doing the best we can. We spent Thanksgiving this year at a nudist resort and took pleasure in feasting with others....all at proper distancing....all totally nude. Food was very good as well. Christmas will find us by ourselves again, but I am positive I will receive my Christmas spanking.

    Try to enjoy the holidays in whatever way possible and look forward to better times......Happy Holidays to all!!!!!

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  4. So regarding the picture of Mrs. Clause taking Santa from behind, do any of the wives do this to their husband's? I plan too very soon and have been preparing William so any thoughts or feedback is appreciated. Don't they say something about "Behind every good man.....". Jennifer

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    1. Jennifer,
      My husband is submissive to me. I don't do this to him but we have discussed it. I do make him wear a chastity device occasionally. That can be fun, but probably not so much for him. I won't say more on it.
      CarolH.

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    2. Jennifer,

      Yes, I require husband to submit to this. Still, we took our time, I was patient and started out smaller and easy on him.

      Delete
  5. To Jennifer, Yes, this happens in our relationship. Message me at cowboy_lac@yahoo.com for more on this subject.

    cowboy

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  6. We are keeping the holidays at a smaller scale as far as activities and celebrations. We plan to have one of our grown children and a guest over though there are no big parties on the horizon. One of our children is in another state and we plan to visit in the spring. Even decorations were scaled back. I broke down and ordered an expensive gift for my husband that was on his list. I was going to make it a birthday present (his birthday isn't long after the holidays). The guy has been so good and has done so much for me since we've been home I felt bad after told him "no." He also meticulously painted our home with me supervising. Since he is getting his gift he was already been warned that if his work or obedience doesn't measure up, he'll get a birthday caning he won't forget to ring in the new year. I hope all improves for you Dan.
    CarolH.

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    1. It seems like we, and some others in our neighborhood, actually scaled UP on decorations this year and put them up earlier.

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    2. Dan,
      We noticed an increase in decorations in our neighborhood too. We also have a home in the mountains and, ironically, decorations in that area are elaborate even though the area is classified as rural. We might have opted for more elaborate decorations but, as I mentioned, my husband completed a paint project that was extensive. He is big into details and likes painting. The job he did on our home was impressive. I have joked with him that any punishment he gets won't be due to house painting.

      Feel better and enjoy the holidays. We will be enjoying our privacy, which returns in time for New Years. I may diaper my hubby like the New Year Baby again. I'm not sure he likes it, but he does it for me. I enjoyed all the comments too.

      Happy Holidays,
      CarolH.

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  7. Wishing you a speedy recuperation Dan .
    You'll be back to your old self sooner than you think and giving Anne Lots of reasons to bend you over the ottoman !
    I still think Anne should pose for you in front of the tree....damn the neighbours !

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    Replies
    1. I'll be sure and tell her that you encouraged up to get over the whole modesty thing. :-)

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  8. Dan, hope you feel better, soon. Best wishes to everybody for a good holiday.

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  9. It's very hard to muster Christmas spirit for me too.......always. (Anyone who loves Christmas is probably one of the many shoppers IN the mall rather than one of the retail workers waiting on them. Over 30 years in retail does wonders to dispel the "magic". LOL) In terms of my mood, this year isn't even that much worse than non-Covid years past. Enjoy the break.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, though this year even more of those retail employees are probably sweating out whether they will even have jobs come 2021. I had not made a trip to our local mall since the first covid shutdown. When I went in last week, I was shocked at how many stores had gone out of business.

      Delete
  10. Wishing you a speedy recovery, Dan.

    Also, I never knew Santa wore a drop-seat Santa suit! Good for spankings, too.

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  11. Joe2 here,
    Our Christmas is going to remain unchanged and occur as it has in the past.

    We will have Christmas Eve with one side of the family: have a big evening meal, go to Christmas Eve service, open presents after church. On Christmas day, the kids have Santa Claus presents to play with. On the day after Christmas we go to the other side of the family and repeat. The kids LOVE having two Santa Clauses. After a few days of eating too much we will all head home.

    Concerning COVID: The kids are too young for COVID to be have much effect. The parents of children have pretty much decided that it is much to do about a little unless you are in your retirement years or have a medical condition, which none of us have. Our parents, which are in their retirement years, say they went through much worse in the past (the tail end of Polio, German Measles, Hong Kong Flu and one parent spent two tours in Viet Nam) and that the medical community has developed a pretty good medicinal program for COVID. Lastly, my Aunt, who is in her late 80s and still lives by herself, says, “At my age I’d rather live the life as I want to, rather than to sit at home and worry.”

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    1. I think a lot of people did this same analysis for Thanksgiving, and yesterday we had the highest total death over the course of the entire pandemic. And, we probably have not seen the worst of the Thanksgiving spike, since it takes about 2 weeks for the spike after a spreader event.

      Delete
    2. Joe2 here,

      Your reply is one of the many reasons I enjoy your blog. You completely disagree with me, but you replied in a respectful and subtle manner.

      I placed my comment because you asked a question: question asked- question answered. It is obvious that you spend a lot of time with this blog and it provides a lot of value to us spankos/FLRs. I wish I had your skill at stating a thought or position in an elegant and persuasive manner- without being too emotional. I am trying hard, but I am no where near your level. For instance, after a rather contentious situation (at great embarrassment to my wife), one of my wife’s friends told my wife that I was a “high performance man”- I could go from Mr. Rogers to Atilla in less than a second.

      It is obvious that you have hit a wall, but please push through. I read your blog compulsively. This site was one of a few links that I asked my wife to read when I asked her to spank me, because it is more involved in “why” than “what.” Though I real like “what.”

      Thank you.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, I have that same ability to go into full Atilla mode at the drop of a hat. Of course, Attila did end up creating the biggest empire the world has ever seen.

      Delete
    4. He also became the ultimate icon for contemporary right wingers ( as in "right of Attila the Hun")- probably not someone you would want to have a beer with
      Alan

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    5. For Joe2
      I probably am diametrically opposed to your political views and find unfathomable your views about the virus. However I deeply respect your commitment to maintain civil and respectful dialogue on these issues. One reason we are so divided politically is that here are so few like you who strive to maintain the norms of civility. That is one reason I urge you to reconsider your analysis for the Christmas holidays. I want you to be around in the New Year to tell all us liberals how wrong we are. Meantime a lot of people are going to get very sick and die in the next +_ 7 weeks. Make sure none of them are you or your family
      Alan

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    6. Joe: I certainly believe a person can go from Mr. Rogers to Attila quickly. My guess is that while you might express you and your family's rugged individualist choice to celebrate regardless of risk in the manner of Fred Rogers, if one of them needed a hospital bed as a result of that choice, you might go full Attila to make sure they got one. And that's my issue with such an outlook.

      My personal fear is that if enough people adopt your approach, I could end up being more frequently exposed and more likely to contract it even while being careful.....and then when "I" need a bed, there won't be any. I would feel very differently if everyone like you and your family could fill out a sworn testimonial to live or die with the consequences of your choices...basically saying if you do end up needing a hospital, you'll all take your chances on your own at home.....but we all know there would be no legal way to make that happen. Even anti-mask Trump still took full advantage of medical treatment when he got the illness and it was a bit more threatening than he had thought. People who are taking these chances are not just gambling with their own lives. They are gambling with those of health care workers and other citizens who didn't sign on to these unnecessary risks .....but who will have to live or die with the consequences. So while such bravery seems independent and macho.....we all know that's not how it will play out when the Covid hits the fan.

      I wrote this as civilly as possible, btw. LOL

      Delete
    7. Nicely articulated, KD. Unfortunately, people must remain safe from the truth inside their bubble. The truth is their most dangerous enemy, so it’s difficult to impossible to remain patient with the other side of the political spectrum, or whatever it is, these days.

      We’ve already lost a family member to the virus. A much younger branch of the family is planning a wedding in December that apparently can’t wait a few months til we’re out of the current tsunami spread, or when we have some vaccines out. Parents can’t say no to their kids. Generations of children poisoned by this culture.

      Yet still, Happy Holidays to all. :)

      Delete
  12. I would gladly go Atilla in some situations. I would be so satisfying.

    But My life and circumstances require that I go Godfather on them instead. So on the rare occasions when someone genuinely aims harm my way, I "mention it" in the right ears.

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  13. As a registered Republican who voted for Goldwater, I voted this year for Biden because I feel that Trump has completely flunked the covid test. As Harry Truman said rightly so many years ago, "The buck stops" in the Oval Office. A President does not always get to choose what he finds on his plate during his tenure, and he should be judge by how he responds.

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  14. Trump’s response to the pandemic has been perfectly in line with the person he is, always has been, and how he executed his term in office. To his people, he passes the test.

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  15. Dan,
    Delete this comment if you think wise. I will take no offense and understand the sensitivities involved.
    I read your comments on Julie’s blog and her not unexpected non - response to its substance. I have been avoiding her since she publicly proclaimed her move to the dark side - defending and advocating Trumps assault on the constitution and the Republic) and regard her , with her gratuitous advice, as a real and present danger to the health of both Americans and Canadians. She is widely read and certainly influential in some circles, yet she is spewing the delusions associated with the most irresponsible of the Trump toadies.
    I thought I just about had the Trumpites figured out: alienated from modern society;, economically stressed; only modestly educated; heavy consumers of extreme right wing media –and above all personalities attracted to authoritarian cult like figures like Trump. Julie seems Nome of these.
    She is bright, clearly educated, talented and creative -- and she is a genuine spanko. Yet her views echo those of the most extreme Trump stooges. I don’t get it. Here is a person acting delusional who has no obvious reason or motive to enter that make believe world Trump fosters. Do you get any of it? What am I missing? I find all this genuinely distressful because she is very much “one of us”, yet her behavior is deplorable (sorry, Hillary). Any insight, or answers. I suspect more than just me are asking the question
    Thanks if you can comment- and I as I said earlier, delete if you choose. Your judgment in these thing is very good
    Alan

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    1. Hi Alan - there is a possible explanation, and that I'm not actually "extreme" or "evil" but just hold different views from you, but our society is so polarized that it is no longer acceptable to simply disagree. One side must be "evil incarnate". The cognitive dissonance you are feeling is that you have it in your head that anybody who supports certain viewpoints must be pure evil and/or falling for conspiracy theories, and yet you know I am unlikely to be either of those things.

      Delete
    2. Hi Alan,

      I've given up on trying to figure out what motivates Trump supporters. It's clearly not ideology or policy, since he doesn't believe in much of anything and over the years his policy positions have shifted with the wind. To me, he's so self-evidently a blowhard conman with a record of one business failure after another after another -- what's there to like? I suspect it's a wealth fetish for some, with many of his followers being too unsophisticated to get that if you took all the money he inherited and put it in an index fund and left it along, it would be worth more than he likely is today. Some people also get off on authoritarian figures, no matter how fake. Probably no coincidence that Julie came out as a Trump supporter at about the same time she came out a closet submissive.

      Julie, I have no problem with disagreements on policy and ideology. In "real life," I have good friends who are Republicans, and on the left one friend who is a self-professed Marxist. I'll debate anyone on actual policy positions anytime. As for conspiracy theories, to paraphrase Forest Gump, deplorable is as deplorable does. I'd say a lot of your current post with its rampant speculation about voter fraud based on a bunch of hearsay declarations filed in the 49 of 50 cases that Trump has lost certainly toys with that line. And, I'm going to block or drop any contact, here or IRL that drifts into anti-vaxxer realm, since it flirts with getting people killed. I don't think your current post quite crossed that line, but it starts heading in that general direction.

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    3. My view is the governments all over have mishandled COVID, not taking the extremely different outcomes between elderly and young/healthy into account, much to the unnecessary detriment of the latter. On new mRNA vaccine I advocate that those at most risk take it, but do not pretend that the vaccine is risk free. On voter fraud, I believe all US elections have been fraudulent to some degree, and this one likely more so. If those views are evil and extreme, well so be it, I guess. I do not understand free speech crossing lines as you do.

      Delete
    4. Free speech, as protected by the First Amendment, is a right against government repression of the right to speech. It's not a right as against fellow citizens, and the right to speak doesn't entail the right to be listened to. It's like wearing a mask. You may have a right not to wear a mask (though, you actually don't), but no business has a duty to let you in without one. I've just decided there is certain nonsense speech I'm not going to listen to or provide a forum for though the person obviously has the right to speak it to their heart's content. After the election, I "unfollowed" a relative on Facebook, who I was once very, very close to, because I just got tired of seeing pandemic denial and rightwing BS masquerading as Christianity. Doesn't mean I wouldn't send her a card on her birthday or help if she was sick, but life is too short to engage with stupidity that can't be cured.

      Who said these or any other vaccines are risk free. But, what's a little risk? I thought you R's were against being snowflakes? Scared of a little needle prick? Not scared of a virus but scared of the vaccine for it? Very logical.

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    5. Assessing risk is not the same as being "scared". And yes, I am youngish, healthy, have a good diet, boost my immune system, so no I am not scared of COVID. If I were to get ill,I will quarantine. Older at-risk folks should take it, I think.

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    6. Hope one of those older folks, or maybe someone with a compromised immune system, doesn't stand too close to you. They might not be like Trump and Guliani getting to cut in line for generally unavailable treatments, in Trump's case at the taxpayers expense. Personally, in his case I would fully support the position, "Health care isn't a right . . ."

      Delete
    7. Alan: “I thought I just about had the Trumpites figured out: alienated from modern society;, economically stressed; only modestly educated; heavy consumers of extreme right wing media –and above all personalities attracted to authoritarian cult like figures like Trump.”

      It’s a danger to think that only the slow, uneducated, and easily brainwashed make up the ranks of Trumpism. Evil and intelligence are not mutually exclusive. Delusional thinking isn’t a symptom of stupidity. Empathy, compassion, humanity come from some other place. Denial, selective reasoning, lacking principles or abandoning them, can be a product of simply wanting something so bad and blind hatred. Now anything is worth the price to destroy the enemy. Right-wing media has been demonizing liberals for decades, social media has fueled the hate and further divided people who, bottom line, hold different values.

      For example, why does the GOP make fools of themselves in a hopeless Supreme Court lawsuit to overthrow the election, where their own hand-picked judges spit on that pathetic attempt? These people are intelligent enough to gain and hold on to power. They’re wealthy, comfortable, wear suits, wave flags, and smile through their teeth like good friendly Americans. Is it cynicism? Political PR? Opportunity to grab more money from their cult? Just desperate to believe? Whatever it is, we can’t rely on their intelligence as a path to compromise.

      Delete
    8. Great! I'm some of slow, uneducated, easily brainwashed, evil, delusional, lacking principles, suffering from blind hatred, ...

      Who again is part of the problem?

      Delete
    9. Slow - no.
      Uneducated - I don't know anything about your educational background, but I assume you are well educated.
      Easily brainwashed - I don't know. You do seem to put a lot of emphasis on a bunch of immaterial, hearsay statements in declarations, some that have been pretty firmly ripped apart and that were attached to lawsuits that pursued legal theories that were utterly ridiculous to anyone who actually understands anything about constitutional law.
      Evil - I don't know or have any real basis for an opinion, and evil is pretty ambiguous term, before we even get into things like Hanna Arendt's observations about the banality of evil. Do I have any reason to think you are an evil person? No. Do I think that many current Republican's attacks on the democratic system, democratic institutions, democratic norms, and attacks on things like refugees and even legal immigrants displays evil in at least the banal sense? For sure.
      - Delusional? Doubt it. You seem pretty lucid to me.
      - Lacking in principles? Well, you seem pretty cavalier about Trump's destruction of democratic and institutional norms, and you've laughed off his attacks on people and process as being great because you and others think his rejection of norms and, frankly, just basic manners is amusing. So, if you have strong principles, you seem fine not displaying them and are very open about your support for a President who plainly is principle-free.
      - Suffer from blind hatred? I haven't seen any evidence for that, other than your proclivity for attacking "you Dems" when six Republican appointed Justices throw out frivolous lawsuits. That seems to me to display a certain willful blindness to inconvenient facts, but I don't see it as rooted in hatred.

      Delete
    10. "Do I think that many current Republican's attacks on the democratic system, democratic institutions, democratic norms, and attacks on things like refugees and even legal immigrants displays evil in at least the banal sense? For sure.”
      Brilliant, absolutely!
      But ultimately sad also. We are witnessing the death of a Party that started with Lincoln but expired with Trump

      Alan

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    11. You speak from such a position of certainty in your own views, Dan. Try dialing it back a notch and coming from the point of view of thinking the best of others. It will make for a healthier society all around.

      Delete
    12. Julie, go look at your replies to commenters on your posts. When someone argues against you, you either (a) label it fake news; (b) tell them that they are a creature of the media they consume (see below re: bubbles as your latest example; or (c) resort to name calling. In what way do you "think the best of others"? I don't have any way to draw any conclusions about you except via things you say and the positions you advocate, and it doesn't make any sense to insist that I should assume the best about someone, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. You have said multiple times that you like Trump's antics because (a) they amuse you; and (b) they make liberals mad. If you want people to think you're principled, then stop praising an unprincipled asshole not despite the fact they he is an unprincipled asshole but precisely *because* he is an unprincipled asshole and you think those are cute or amusing attributes in a president. That's why I said if you see yourself as principled, it may or may not be true, but you haven't posted much that displays it. Conversely, you don't seem to be slow, uneducated, delusional or (as far as I know, though I don't have much evidence one way or another) motivated by hatred, so I made a point of saying so. I think I was actually pretty rigorous in calling out the areas in which I am uncertain about what you think or why.

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    13. You mischaracterize my position on Trump, taking a couple of remarks out of context. The main reason I like him are his policies. Pro free speech, pro fossil fuels, law and order, peace, no foreign wars, reducing regulation, tax cuts, helping minorities with a rising tide lifts all boats approach, anti Communist China, veterans rights, ongoing support for HBCUs, opportunity zones, and I could go on. I've stated that explicitly several times. Weird how you immediately discard all that, put up a straw man, and then tear it down.

      Delete
    14. Ok, good enough for me. Free speech......unless you're a critic then 'lock 'em up'. Fossil fuel? You are an enemy of human life on this planet...period. Law & Order....you mean the TV show? Because a whole lot of Trump people got themselves into serious legal trouble and now the "pardon season" is about to begin. Law and order my ass! Peace. Well who is against peace? Ok.....peace, baby! No foreign wars. Hmmmmmmmm, I think this one is a bit more complicated than a phrase. Reducing regulation......again......without regulation I suppose we all should just trust corporations to just do the safe and right thing according to their benevolent hearts......because that's always worked so well in the past? Tax cuts.......to the wealthy most of all, right? LOL They certainly need it. Poor unfortunate rich people, they were just barely getting by before. LOL. Rising tides raise all boats......if you HAVE a boat.....if not you just drown. Anti-Communist China. Well, I'm not pro-China but I do wonder about his method. It's like "I'm against Nazi's........so I'm going to shoot my family before they do." kind of thinking. Veterans rights. Yeah we never had those before. LOL...........yeah......I've seen enough to know you're not mischaracterized. I don't believe in evil, but in my book, you are the enemy. Glad you're in Canada. And I was giving you the benefit of the doubt on that intelligence assessment being tossed about before.....but..............well......if the these are you positions.....>winces<.

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    15. I could have a productive debate on each of those points, but your attitude is not a good starting point. Besides, you have Queens Gambit to watch.

      Delete
    16. Finished it....and the wrapping. But no debating here. I've seen you present no evidence for the capacity for "productive" debate. None, zip, zero. And I happen to have a lovely attitude...........until someone advocates policies that will endanger my grandchild's future. Then I get a bit defensive. Protecting one's young....you know ....."family values" hallmark of the archconservative right. But tell you what, I'll find something else to watch and you can go burn some fossil fuels.

      Delete
    17. All that righteousness must be a heavy burden to carry around. You need your rest.

      Delete
    18. We binged Queens Gambit a couple of weeks ago. One of the very rare occasions that my wife and I both like the same thing to the same degree. I also just finished Cobra Kai. Loved it!

      Delete
    19. Alan,

      There has been a lot of characterization of Trump supporters as working class with modest education. There is some truth to this. A Twitter account I sometimes read (Tom Nichols - @RadioFreeTom) once characterized the archetypal Trump supporter as a boat owner with a high school graduate educational background. In other words he's a small business owner or a successful tradesman. That's an amusing way to sum them up but they're far from being that monochromatic. Unfortunately there are many well educated among them. I was surprised to learn that a former philosophy professor of mine, unquestionably one of the smartest men I've ever met, is a vocal Trump supporter. Many books will be written trying to explain the support of Trump's base.

      I think what largely motivates them is resentment. The title of an article in 'The Atlantic' a little while back nicely summed it up, "The Cruelty is the Point". Let's not forget these people back a party without platform. The last four years have been so surreal that this is one more bizarro anomaly we just take in with barely a shrug. No platform! Brendan Buck, a GOP congressional aide, described what the party stood for in 2020 as "Owning the libs and pissing off the media. That's what we believe in now. That's what the Republican Party is all about. There's not much more to it than that." (taken from https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2020/08/25/gop-no-platform-2020-trump). Well said, I guess.

      On the subject of intelligent Trump supporters let's not forget about James Baker. He's as wily and sophisticated a political operator as anyone breathing. He declined to endorse Trump but reportedly voted for him in both '16 and '20. What explains this? He knows who and what Trump is and the associated dangers. It's party membership as identity. If he can't shake it off here in favor of a moderate like Biden, there's no set of circumstances where he could. And there's certainly no reason to think that those Republicans who know less about politics, and that is all of them, could either.

      It's sad to say but these people are largely beyond help. I wish there was some way to reach them. This is a man who endorsed the United States military committing war crimes, ("You have to take out their families.", December 2, 2015) and wanted to remove grieveously wounded war veterans from view during a proposed military parade on the grounds that no one wants to look at a bunch of amputees. If these and similar statements do not disenchant the military worshipping right wing, nothing will.

      It makes me feel physically ill that the same man responsible for the above is the head of this nation.

      ---

      Julie,

      The idea that Trump has some sort of political agenda is ludicrous. I'm embarrassed for you.

      No mainstream politician is in any appreciable way "anti-free speech" or "anti-law and order". Please. This is bluster and poses. Does no foreign wars mean betraying the Kurds? Was that a move you commend? Tax cuts? At the same time as he raises military spending. That these coincide shows how fundamentally unserious he is. It's just pandering to the crowd. As for Trump being tough on China, a brief Google search will show that this is at best a debatable claim. Keep in mind that when Trump discussed the VP position with Kasich, he told him that he could be in charge of foreign policy, also domestic policy too. When Kasich asked what Trump would be doing he was told, "Making America great again". Of course.

      Trump doesn't care about policy. At all. At all. People who care about policy don't take five different positions on abortion in three days as reported in the Washington Post on April 3, 2016.

      Also, "ongoing support for HBCUs". LOLOL. Yes, now this is an issue that Trump cares deeply about. If by some chance he does, it is surely for reasons that would make his supporters (well, maybe some of them) blush.

      Delete
    20. Also Dan, I recognize that this is something of a departure from your regular programming. This is a bit of an odd place for it, but thank you for giving us the space to share some views.

      Delete
    21. Wow - the condescension is palpable. How do you expect to get along with your neighbour if you bring that attitude? Really. Show some respect for your fellow citizens else you are the one promoting hatred and division.

      And oh yes, "anti free speech" is cancel culture and banning so-called "hate speech" and not reigning in the media and social media.

      Delete
    22. Trump supporters come from a variety of backgrounds and with various agendas. Some are leaders, many are followers. That was my point.

      Julie, you sidestep what I wrote by making it personal. All anyone here knows about you is what you post online. What do you want to call evil? What Trump supporters have in common is supporting/excusing/sidestepping what “we” can plainly see, what must answer for inhumanity, incompetence, deadly irresponsibility, rampant corruption, jaw-dropping hypocrisy, lying, cheating, the self-serving spitting on our institutions and those heroes who have served well our country, and a threat to democracy like nothing I’ve seen in my lifetime. Many conservatives see Trump and Trumpism as a threat to everything decent just like liberals do.

      Maybe that sounds like we’re “the problem” to someone who thinks this is just about a list of political policies. So argue for what free speech means to you, why fossil fuels are to die for, your wisdom to attain peace, what corporations should be allowed to get away with, what the role of government should be and how to fund it. Argue against whatever selective evils threaten your world. The point is where we are as a country after four years, and how political aims are achieved. I’m not sure why I’m even getting into this here. We agree that two sides are no longer living in the same reality. We’ll agree to disagree and, with our allies, fight for what we believe in. The back-and-forth has become fruitless and annoying.

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    23. As long as your rhetoric remains hateful and divisive "inhuman, incompetent, deadly irresponsible, corrupt, hypocrisy, lying, cheating" I agree that no progress can be made. All those same epithets can be thrown equally, and with equal justification (little) in the other direction. Drop the rhetoric and maybe progress is possible. Keep it up, keep demonizing half the population, and you will reap what you are sowing.

      Delete
    24. And... the reaction from Dan and kdpierre is to bow to an unlink request from Ronald276@mailinator.com. Go deplatforming! Go free speech! Go building bridges and listening to other points of views! Pathetic.

      Delete
    25. I'm never quite sure what Trump supporters mean by "cancel culture," or what their beef is with it. I see three possible variants of it, one of which is not only problematic but, in my opinion, toxic. The other two are just free choice. The problematic version is represented by things like college students and the faculty throwing hissy fits about conservative speakers on campus. Grow up. That is what college is for -- to be exposed to a wide variety of different ideas, some of which you may not like. The fact you don't like something or are offended by it doesn't mean you get to shut it down when it happens in the public square. Now, speech on private platforms (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) is profoundly different. No one has any "right" to speak on any platform provided by a private entity. You have a right shut off comments on your blog, as I do on mine. Same with Twitter, same with Facebook, etc. I saw some of your comments on Sec. 230, and I you are almost completely mistaken about how it works. Section 230 does not require policing third-party content, nor does it ban policing third-party content. Instead, its whole purpose is to encourage the existence of making places like Twitter and, yes, Parler possible by immunizing them from libel claims that might otherwise be subject to for allowing third-party commenters who say things that are false and defamatory. It's what keeps people like you and me from getting sued if someone says something defamatory on our blogs, even if we have the power to delete (or not delete) those comments. You can remove Sec. 230 protection, but it will almost certainly mean Facebook, Twitter, Parler, 4chan, etc. all go away in a deluge of defamation suits. The great irony in Trump's sudden affection for getting rid of Sec. 230 is that Twitter almost certainly wouldn't have existed without it, and Trump almost certainly would not have had even one term without Twitter. On balance, I think Sec. 230 is good because much of what we find useful or helpful about the internet (Yelp! reviews, news aggregator sites, pretty much anything that allows or aggregates third-party posts or content) wouldn't exist, though I would say it's debatable whether the polarization you object to would be as bad as it is if Facebook, Twitter and Parler just went away.

      The third category of "cancel" culture seems to be things like encouraging people not to buy from companies that are led by people who don't support their values, like the dust-up over Goya foods. I don't know what you as a conservative could possibly find objectionable about that. It's simply the "voting with your pocketbook" free market at work. The CEO of Goya is free to say whatever he wants or give contributions to whomever he wants, but his customers are perfectly free to take their business somewhere else when he does.

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    26. I approve of section 230, but its entire basis is that the platforms behave more like a carrier than a publisher with editorial power. Yes they can remove illegal content, or content that violates their publicly stated TOS. However, censoring a point of view, for example the Hunter Biden evidence pre-election (that has now turned out to be true), any info on hydroxychloriqine, or YouTube completely removing from its platform any mention of possibility of election fraud, goes well beyond the pale into censorship of ideas.

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    27. Julie, I have no idea what the fuck you are talking about. Who is Ronald276@mailinator.com?

      I removed the link to your blog when you started drifting over into anti-vaxxer territory, suggesting people should not get vaccinated, because in my opinion it is the kind of advice that is going to slow us getting to herd immunity, slow getting the economy open and, frankly, will get some people killed. If you want to post about it, knock yourself out but I won't be linking to it.

      I obviously haven't "canceled" you in response to any complaint by anyone, given that you've posted more than half-dozen comments here in the last couple of hours alone. You, on the other hand, closed comments on the political topics earlier today and said you were doing so because you got tired of the content. So, who exactly is "canceling" people? Maybe re-read your own blog entry about consistency in debate positions.

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    28. Hmmm. "I don't think your current post quite crossed that line". Of course it doesn't. It states only facts and opinions drawn from facts.

      The email is from an account that's been mailing around to all the blogs that link to mine saying they should unlink. It could be anybody.

      It's totally within your rights, of course, but it's a bitch move, Dan, and you know it.

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    29. Again, I think you're confused either about how Section 230 works or what 1st Amendment free speech rights apply to. The latter does apply to content-based restrictions on speech, but restriction *by the government* or in public forums. It does not apply at all to editorial decisions by private publishers. Section 230's protections do not vary depending on content or the degree of editorial control exercised - and that is the entire point. A platform like Facebook can choose to delete some posts or no posts. If it does the latter, it can't be sued regardless of how false or defamatory the post is. If the platform decides to "curate" content (like Yelp taking down reviews that turn out to be hit pieces by competitors), they cannot be sued for taking those posts down or for taking down or not taking down future content. The whole idea was to not punish platforms that tried to clean up false or other "bad" content by allowing them to be held liable if they exercised that editorial discretion. So, you can't really "approve" of Section 230 but say it shouldn't apply to instances of platforms "censoring ideas." Removing Section 230 immunity for platforms that "censor" ideas is the exact opposite of what Section 230 does. And, as a matter of First Amendment law, private businesses and individuals, like newspapers and websites and Twitter and Facebook can publish or not publish anything they want. If someone doesn't like it, go to Parler. The free market in action.

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    30. Yes, Julie, because I am *so* known for taking orders from mouthy commenters who try to tell me what to do on my own blog. You should know better. For the record, I have not received any such email and would have told any such sender to go fuck himself.

      I don't agree with you on the vaccine comments. You basically just speculate about possible vaccine side effects then suggest people who aren't in high risk groups should think about not taking it because of those speculative risks. Which, again, if adopted by enough people just guarantees we don't get to herd immunity. It's precisely the kind of thinking that has led to resurgence of measles, which had almost been eradicated until a bunch of morons started objecting to having their kids vaccinated. Again, if you want to go down that road, go for it but I'm not linking to it. Unless, of course, someone tells me not to link to it, and then I might just as a "fuck you" to them.

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    31. It was written for a time when it was not so important to draw these fine restrictions, and when the Internet was a bastion of unrestricted free speech. I think it needs to be modified for today. The big platforms have huge network effects that act as a giant barrier to entry. Effectively a monopoly. I think the law should be changed so that the platforms should enjoy the protection if they publish a clear TOS, and have a clear and transparent review process for any actions where if they are found to violate they are fined. The Internet and these platforms now filter all news and information and we need to understand that and write laws accordingly.

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    32. You began by stating you are for free speech, but you are now advocating that non-government businesses be required to post things they don't agree with unless the government blesses a "clear and transparent review process." Your monopoly argument doesn't really fly in a world where Trump starts tweeting about OAN and Parler and his followers leave Twitter and Fox for those alternative platforms and news sources. Again, you say you like Trump because you like free speech and want less regulation, but you are simultaneously advocating for increasing regulation, including fines for violating said government regulation, on platforms that distribute speech. And, your proposed policy will almost certainly backfire. Instead of a "clear and transparent review process" that leave them open to liability if some government bureaucrat, judge or jury decide they got it wrong, Facebook will just ban all political ads and Twitter will get rid of all political tweets or might just fold if exposed to a flood of private lawsuits, resulting in less speech. Now, again, a lot of people would argue that might be a good thing and, for all I know, they might be right. I'm old to enough to remember a time when I managed just fine without a Facebook account, and I've never had a Twitter account and don't want one.

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    33. I can't believe I'm going even further down the rabbit hole, but I'm also not sure, Julie, why your side professes so much angst over Hunter Biden or the corruption of political family members. I suspect that Hunter Biden is a first-class entitled little prick who has thought about all sorts of ways to trade on daddy's fame, but so what? Wow, relatives of connected people cashing in on those connections - shocker! This observation came to me because of your comment about counter culture. You will recall that at one point some college student administrator faced some kind of removal action or protest because he brought Don Jr. to campus as a guest speaker. What jumped out at me was the students were pissed that the student government was paying Don Jr. a $50k speaking fee, paid for with student funds. Now, tell me, do you think anyone, anywhere, would be paying the likes of Don Jr. anything were he not the President's son? He is a thoroughly unaccomplished, over-aged frat boy. The obvious answer is no, in the absence of his daddy connection he would not be collecting $50k to talk about anything to anyone. $50k an hour is not a bad pay day when aggregated out over several such speaking engagements a year. But, no familial corruption or cashing in on political connections going on there! No, none at all!

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    34. Those other platforms will remain fringe because of network effects. I fear they are an effective monopoly ans should self-police responsible free speech, but they have recently proven they are not responsible, hence a good case where the govt should intervene. Recall I am for capitalism with reasonable government regulation where needed..

      Regarding the vaccine, it is the first time a vaccine based on transporting messenger RNA into your cells and then have those cells manufacture the viral spike proteins inducing an immune system response. I believe a little caution is warranted, though I would advocate for high risk groups to take it ASAP. I don't think children, at very low risk, need to take even the small risk.

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    35. It's again ironic that you see yourself as the conservative but are OK with government intervening, particularly where the intervention would be for the specific purpose of regulating speech providers. This is why you are simply wrong when you say things to me like "you Dems." I started political life as a Republican, and left in only after it got taken over by the religious nut cases and remnants of the Dixiecrats. On both free speech and economics, I'm a hard core 1st Amendment supporter and also a very big fan of the free market (within rational limits). I don't think you, or I, or anyone else can predict how network effects will play out over time. Remember when MySpace was the hot "open" social network and Facebook was a restrictive college networking site? The only reason by kids have a Facebook account is so they can interact with oldsters like me, which is ironic since the only reason I have a Facebook account was so I could keep an eye on them when they were teenagers. Now, Facebook is passe and they are all on Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter. A few years ago it was Tumblr; then they started reviewing people's posts and censoring for porn, and people left in droves and found alternatives. Everyone said that no one could ever break away from Microsoft apps or Intel chips, and now Microsoft isn't in the browser market, iOS (closed) competes with Android (open) and Apple is producing its own chips again and dumping Intel. Remember when IBM supposedly ruled the world and the government spent about 20 years going after them on antitrust charges? When's the last time you bought an IBM computer or used a piece of IBM software? The government has an unbelievably lousy record when it comes to predicting that monopolies are "locked in" or where technological changes and consumer preferences will lead. Except in extreme cases, I'm just fine letting the market of ideas decide, and if you are really a conservative and free speech believer, you should be too.

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    36. You have a good point and you may well be right. But the past is not necessarily a guide to the future. Facebook, Google, and Twitter have developed a market dominant network effect that is very hard to overcome. And we have already seen them sway opinion in pretty major ways, and ways not at all healthy for general discourse.

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    37. Consider these two posts from the same person, posted right after each other:

      >>>>>>>>"As long as your rhetoric remains hateful and divisive "inhuman, incompetent, deadly irresponsible, corrupt, hypocrisy, lying, cheating" I agree that no progress can be made. All those same epithets can be thrown equally, and with equal justification (little) in the other direction. Drop the rhetoric and maybe progress is possible. Keep it up, keep demonizing half the population, and you will reap what you are sowing."<<<<<<<<<<

      >>>>>>>>"And... the reaction from Dan and kdpierre is to bow to an unlink request from Ronald276@mailinator.com. Go deplatforming! Go free speech! Go building bridges and listening to other points of views! Pathetic".<<<<<<<<

      Is it any wonder that I am deeply suspicious of any offer of "productive debate" from a person whose position can change quicker than a hooker on a tight schedule?

      Sorry, dear, but I received no email from any Ronald, or even 'Donald' advising me what to do about your blog listing. I see such lists as a kind of subtle endorsement, so I only list blogs that I am comfortable with. I have deleted several over the years, yours being the most recent after your conspiratorial Covid ramble. You assume without proof. You didn't ask. You equated my decision with some pathetic bow to pressure from a source I would not be pressured by, and hell, you must have been to my blog to see that you were no longer listed.......and didn't even comment on any of the recent posts! Unforgivable! LOL

      Perhaps it's as simple as walking downtown and seeing one of those crazy evangelical types and crossing to the other side of the street? You really don't need the guy next to you to tell you to, you just all do it independently.

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    38. Well maybe there's a difference between us. It never even entered my mind to remove either of you two guys from my blog roll over a political argument even though I think your ideas are wrong-headed and potentially dangerous. But it seems to be your natural, go-to instinct to do so, to suppress in what little way you can any opposing point of view. As I said before. Pathetic.

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    39. Well, I'll make the point one last time. I didn't remove you at all. I removed a link to your blog. And, I didn't do it about a political argument. The only one making vaccinations political is you and your side of the aisle. It's a public health issue, not a political issue, and your position, if followed, could literally get people killed. I made the choice both here and in my personal social media that while I wouldn't dump any "friend" for political views, I would make sure that any anti-vaxxer crap or anyone encouraging not wearing masks would not be seen from my account, because I believe those positions are getting people killed. I guess the one other exception is Qanon conspiracy crap. Anyone posts any of that non-sense, they are dead to me.

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    40. Of those three, Facebook seems to me the closest to have a kind of lock on viewers, as exemplified by the fact that my kids see it as passe, yet they are still on it because it's where their parents, grandparents and some social friends still are. But, even there, the fact it is successful doesn't make it a monopoly let alone an illegal monopoly. In the ad space, ironically I see Google as facing big competitive threats, primarily right now from Facebook. I love Google as a search engine, but I won't be their stock because I see Facebook and others as too big a threat to their revenue stream. Twitter -- I admit I don't get the business model, and it's been a money loser for most of its existence so I'm not sure what its trajectory is over time. I think it's an annoying form of communication that seems to be especially appealing to a lot of annoying people.

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    41. "Hooker on a tight schedule . . ." I have to remember that one!

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    42. You can't seem to fathom that there is more than one side to a "public health issue". You don't seem to get that new and innovative medical treatments (especially when rushed through) have risks. You don't seem to get that suicides, drug abuse, missed medical treatments create misery as well. You don't seem to get that the rate of infection among children is 5x lower and the survival rate is 3000x higher. No. It's not up for debate. It can't be discussed. You scream "anti-vaxxers!!!!" like the peasants screaming "WITCH! WITCH! BURN THE WITCH!".

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    43. [Reference for data: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/ncov/epi/2020/05/covid-19-epi-infection-children.pdf]

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    44. No, I totally get that new and innovative medical treatments have risks. As do established treatments. You neatly ignored, for example, my reference to measles. It is a disease that had been all but eradicated thanks to vaccinations, but now it is coming back with a vengeance, thanks to parents who decided that even though the vaccine is unquestionably great for society as a whole, they say they are entitled to do the risk analysis for their one child and decide not to vaccinate, even if those aggregated decisions mean we lose herd immunity and a once-vanquished disease comes back and starts killing and maiming people again. The same thing could easily happen with diseases like polio. Here, we have a new vaccine that does not use attenuated live viruses, which should make it more safe than previous vaccines, not less so. And, you are once again all over the map and facially inconsistent in your arguments, you segue from the risks of unproven vaccines to suicides, drug abuse and missed medical treatments, which I assume is a reference to Covid lockdowns. I agree that those things could be issues with a lockdown (though I haven't seen any data showing that suicides have gone up because of lockdowns), but the best way to get out from under the current restrictions is to get vaccines out there and into people's arms as quickly as possible. By suggesting--based on complete speculation about unknown risks--that people forego getting the vaccine you make it more likely that the lockdowns that (may) have the effects you are worried about stay in place longer. Your argument is literally, facially inconsistent. And, your arguments about survival rates among children is a great argument for reopening schools, which I don't disagree with, but a completely irrelevant argument with respect to vaccine adoption and its impact on establishing immunity for the population as whole. So, you have a perfect right to post whatever you public health arguments you want, but it's also my right not to aid in their spread when they run counter to the consensus of the real public health experts and virologists.

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    45. Julie, like too many today, first decides what she needs to believe and then spends the rest of her time trying to amass "evidence" to support that belief. Rather than beliefs following from facts, she manufactures her facts to fit her beliefs, often twisting her logic into a pretzel. She apparently is unaware of the contradictory statements she regularly makes in the attempt to defend those beliefs. If consistency is really the hobgoblin of little minds, she needs no concern about that problem.
      Alan

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    46. Point out the inconsistency Alan, rather than launching an ad-hominem, and I will be happy to debate.

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    47. Here is a headline on the front page of our mainstream left-leaning national newspaper today (The Globe And Mail). "Lack of data on pregnant women prompts concern about whether they should get vaccine" - they go on to say that an expert panel that advises Canadians on immunization advises against it for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Better seek out and remove any links to them as well for drifting into anti-vaxxer realms :-)

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    48. So, is your point that people should, in fact, take the recommendations of the official public health authorities? I wholly agree. Please let us know when you've gotten your shot, unless you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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    49. I believe people are responsible for their own health and safety, and following the advice of physicians without question is a very, very, bad strategy if you expect to stay healthy.

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    50. True, though there is a pretty big difference between "be your own best advocate when dealing with your doctor" and "ignore experts in virology because Alex Jones and Robert Kennedy say Bill Gates is putting tracking chips in each vaccine dose."

      The more serious question, and the one that I think really at the heart of the divisive public health views we are seeing, is whether in addition to being responsible for your own health, you are responsible for ONLY your own health. Diseases like measles and polio get wiped out because vaccines are widely distributed -- to the point of being virtually universal. There has always been an element in that of the community watching out for other, not just themselves and their own. When you take a vaccine or get your child vaccinated before attending school, you are not just protecting yourself and your child, but also protecting me and my child. If you start looking out for only your own child, and if others adopt your view, you then start putting my child in danger. Which is why, if you want to make that choice, I think it is perfectly fine for the government to tell you OK but don't expect to send your kid to public school.

      It's the exact same thing with politicizing mask wearing. Masks may or may not protect you from the virus, but when we both wear them, we maximize the protection for each other and minimize the chance that one of us accidentally kills someone who is immuno-compromised or is particularly susceptible to a fatal case of the illness. And, it is such a minimal inconvenience, what does it say about you as a person if you think your "right to do what you want" (which you don't actually have, by the way) means you get to risk not just your own health but others as well. At a minimum, it seems to say you are kind of an asshole, and probably someone I don't want in my store or my school or my church regardless of your Covid status.

      When people start acting only in their own self-interest, with the goal of maximizing ONLY their own likely health outcome even if it means endangering others, that can mean no population immunity if enough people adopt that view over time, then we see a resurgence of once eradicated lethal diseases. (And, the part that would be funny if it wasn't so sad is that the individual decisions questioning vaccine safety aren't aren't changing based on some change in the medical consensus but, rather, because Jenny McCarthy apparently is an authority on public health issues because she has nice tits. What's Patrick Kennedy's authority -- he's done a lot of heroin and, therefore, is an expert on things that come out needles?)

      This is really the question KD raised in a comment to me on his most recent blog post -- we have had periods of divisiveness and acrimony before, but when did self-interest and ONLY self-interest--"rights" versus obligations or just simple decency and care for others--become our defining characteristic?

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    51. For my part, I am not basing my views on either Alex Jones or Robert Kennedy. Have you ever seen me reference them on the subject? You are hallucinating that one.

      And you jump to conclusions that I am not as interested in the health of others as myself. You are engaging in the fallacy of imagining you can divine my intent. My motives are for the greater good of all, as are yours, we just have a difference of opinion on how to achieve that. Demonizing the other and ascribing shitty motives is not healthy for free speech and debate.

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    52. Julie: >>>>>>"And you jump to conclusions that I am not as interested in the health of others as myself. You are engaging in the fallacy of imagining you can divine my intent."<<<<<<<<<

      Frankly, if someone is doing or advocating something that endangers me, my loved ones, or society in general, I don't give a fuck what their "intent" is. Perhaps people doing dangerous things DON'T have "shitty motives". That makes them no less dangerous. In fact, it may just make them MORE dangerous because they are too misinformed.....or maybe just not that bright......to not be a danger to themselves and others.

      It's really as simple as what I wrote to Joe2. Go on and take your swaggering John Wayne chances...... but live with the consequences. Don't take chances and inflict the consequences on others.

      Oh and as far as hallucinations.......what mirage prompted you to write "you Dems"? See? it cuts both ways. If you run with a herd of deer, you might just get mistaken for one.

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    53. Once again, the pivot. You don't have any real answer to how the anti-vaxxers, in making decisions that they see as minimizing the risks to themselves, place others at risk and undermine the public healthy triumphs that rid the world of lethal diseases. Instead, you pivot and suggest the issue hinges on your motives. I can't quite tell whether that is a learned debate move, or just the current proclivity on the right for constantly whining that everyone misunderstands the purity of their motives. Jesus said, "You will know them by their fruits." I've always liked that verse, because on top of its literal application to false prophets, it kind of puts all talk of intent and motives in in its place. What someone says about their motives in one data point, but it has to be looked at in the context of what they say and what they do. It's why I've lost all patience with most evangelicals -- if they say they are for Christian values then vote for someone who is the walking, talking antithesis of those values, I don't really give a shit how they rationalize that in their minds and, thus, I categorically reject that it's on me to figure out what "really" is in their hearts.

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    54. I do not label myself as an "anti-vaxxer". My position on this vaccine is that it is a brand new type, rushed through testing, and that we don't know what we don't know. I advocate those at higher risk take it, and those at very low risk don't. In this way I hope to minimize the small chance that this vaccine has unintended consequences that are more harmful than COVID for those low-risk groups. People who wish the vaccine are free to take it and not be endangered from COVID. Only those who freely chose not to take it are exposed to this risk. I believe my position results in the smaller expected sum of harm. You disagree.

      That you label this an "extreme anti-vaxxer" viewpoint seems weird to me.

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    55. But, that again makes my point, because its directly counter to how populations as a whole get protection from deadly diseases through vaccines. If "low risk" people don't take the vaccine, they may or may not be protecting themselves (with 300,000 dead in the US from Covid and many thousands more requiring hospitalization and some with very long-term effects from the virus, but *none* dead in the vaccine trials, can you really say that rational risk analysis suggests you are safer not taking the vaccine even if you are in a lower risk group?), but you probably don't get to herd immunity from the vaccine at all, and many, many people may die as a result. Your approach also ignores that people who may not get ill from the virus still can passing it to others. So, the result is, if enough people decide they aren't willing to take any risk to the themselves despite the trial results and the proven deadliness of this disease, they endanger the population as whole. Thus bringing us back to KD's "selfishness" argument that you won't address. (On that deadliness point, remember when so many of your conservative pundits were saying this was just a little flu bug? Now, despite all the heroic sacrifices people have made, it's killing more people every day than died in 911, and the death toll in the US is higher than we lost in the entirety of WWII.)

      It is, btw, getting more and more hilarious watching some of the right-wing punditry starting to twist themselves into pretzels now that a vaccine is here. They are arguing on the one hand that Trump should get enormous credit for vaccines that will liberate us from this pandemic, but then simultaneously suggesting that maybe people shouldn't actually take those vaccines. I predicted weeks ago that they were going to start getting whipsawed between their Trump worship on the one hand, and their desire to keep sucking up to the conspiracy theory faction of the party on the other. That chicken is now coming home to roost. And, it really does make me very sad that there is compelling evidence that this virus can be passed along by asymptomatic carriers, including those lower risk people who you say can/should decide not to take the vaccine. If those people really could not pass it on to others, I would be just fine with us indulging in a grand experiment to test your risk analyis. Those of us who think it is a good idea to take it even if we aren't in high risk groups would, and those who don't want to take it could do that too as long as they are willing to suffer the consequences. But, as KD says, one senses their rugged individualism and/or extreme risk avoidance (funny how those two come together on this anti-vaxxer issue) will fall apart as soon as its *their* 80 year-old mother who needs the ICU bed that my 80 year-old mother also wants. In that case, your mother is going down.

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    56. Children have low chance of contracting it, and low chance of passing it on asymptotically. There is also a reasonably chance that more people have immunity than you suppose, due to T-Cell cross immunity to other corona viruses.

      From https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3563
      "At least six studies have reported T cell reactivity against SARS-CoV-2 in 20% to 50% of people with no known exposure to the virus.5678910

      In a study of donor blood specimens obtained in the US between 2015 and 2018, 50% displayed various forms of T cell reactivity to SARS-CoV-2.511 A similar study that used specimens from the Netherlands reported T cell reactivity in two of 10 people who had not been exposed to the virus.7"

      And if the vaccine is effective, people who do not take the vaccine will not significantly endanger those that do, and soon enough herd immunity will be attained (especially if the above is true).

      And I agree it IS a bit funny watching folks talk up Trump's rushed vaccine initiative, and then complain about it being rushed. However most reasonable Republicans have the position that Trump did a great job accelerating the discovery, development, testing, production, and distribution as part of Operation Warp Speed, however that it should still be up to individuals to make their own judgment, taking into account their risk and the risk to others, as to whether or not to take it.

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  16. I almost entered into this, but thankfully I just used the backspace button to delete everything. It is interesting to realize though that had I written a long, detailed comment, it would have probably been embraced by some, denounced by others, and ultimately achieved nothing but raising my blood pressure. Offering nothing changes the minds of exactly the same number of people therefore having an equivalent result.......only minus the elevated vitals. LOL

    Folks, just objectively look at what is written and how it is replied to and it's pretty clear that argument, or debate, or whatever one would optimally call it, is not what is going on in any of these exchanges. Better to just pour a drink and watch "Queen's Gambit". LOL

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    1. You just hit on why I "unfollowed" a handful of relatives and friends after the election. Whenever I saw the idiotic things they posted, I was tempted to respond and sometimes did. And, doing so was a complete waste of time and energy. The interesting part is that I unfollowed only a very small number of "friends" -- three or four, yet that got rid of about 99% of the stuff that was driving me crazy and actually left in place two or three friends who are total extremists on the left and the right but who are smart, engaged people. It just got rid of all the idiotic conspiracy theory crap, and also the religious hypocrisy. The latter makes me absolutely crazy, and I will never again stand down when some evangelical tries to lecture about values. And, you are 100% right. Getting rid of my own temptation to respond to idiots freed up several minutes of time every day and had a salutary impact on my blood pressure. And, since I've always focused on high quality news sources (The Economist being far and away my favorite), I haven't lost a thing in terms of being well informed on what is going on in the world.

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    2. I salute KD's wisdom and agree with Dan's sentiments. But what bothers me -and a lot- is ignoring the inexorable drift to authoritarians in American politics. According to one poll, some 70 percent of R's believe the election was stolen -and at least a third of the electorate are strong supporters of Trump who is virtually a poster child for an authoritarian führer figure. If we ignore the reality that a large minority of Americans are ready to destroy the Republic and give up on democracy, we are in deep trouble. We have to understand why it is happening and respond to it. The parallels to European fascism in the 1930’s are chilling.
      Alan

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    3. Alan, there is a fascinating book entitled Hitler Ascent, 1889 to 1939. It follows the rise of Hitler up to the point of his election as Chancellor in 1939. What I found so interesting, appalling, and downright scary was that the German people *voted* Hitler and the Nazis into power even though the Nazis were quite open about their position that if voted in, there would never be another vote. The German people quite literally voted to never get to vote again. And, you are right that the parallels are chilling re: how thin support for democracy really is and how many people will enthusiastically give up their democratic rights and put an authoritarian in power. And, don't underestimate the extent to which being loud and violent helps these right-wing demagogues come to power. There is not a bit of difference between the Proud Boys and the right-wing thugs that became Hitler's volunteer storm troopers. Knowing the role such disorganized, volunteer violence played in the rise of Hitler is one reason I couldn't care less if people step in and beat the shit out of a Proud Boy.

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    4. Alan: Thanks for the compliment but it may not be wisdom on my part as much as disgust. So don't give me too much credit. LOL But maybe there is some wisdom when banging one's head against a wall...to think it might be better to stop? LOL

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    5. I have not read Hitler Ascent, 1889 to 1939, but have read most of Ian Kershaw's books on the era (he is better on bio than narrative history but has an encyclopedic knowledge of the period). Back in college, I read the granddaddy of them all (1000 + pages), William Shirer's, Rise and Fall, which I plan to reread (I hope). Right now I am getting into Volume one of (Evans) ,The Coming of the Third Reich, which has had glowing reviews. For an explanation of why the German people supported Hitler, the best source I know is Eric Fromm (Escape from Freedom) who argues that the Germans embraced authoritarianism to escape the traumatic changes freedom and democracy was bringing them. The book is especially resonant because Fromm lived through it and published shortly after WW 2.- and because it points to rapid cultural and political change as a catalyst for authoritarianism –something we almost certainly are experiencing.
      Alan



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    6. You guys. Do you realize that what you say almost exactly mirrors what the right says about the left? Get out of your bubbles!

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    7. Re-read a book on good debating practice and posted a blog about it.

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    8. I just finished watching Chris Wallace take apart Steve Scalise on Fox News Sunday, which I watch pretty much every Sunday. What did you watch this morning?

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  17. Lol Julie. And what does the right say about the middle? Oh that’s right if they are middle left, they’re left and if they’re middle right, they’re traitors. Easy peasy no thinking necessary. Lol.

    You kids have fun playing, I have gifts to wrap on this fossil fuel induced balmy December afternoon in the 60’s. Got to enjoy whatever holidays we have left on this planet. Christmas palm trees and cacti in 2040.😂😂😂😂

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    1. More like mangroves and seaweed than palms and cacti. But, at least we be rid of big chunks of Florida!

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    2. It'll be OK though......all of our boats will be raised.

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    3. And you thought Trump was conning us when he said he would "drain the swamp"
      Alan

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    4. The quibbling and crabbing rang through the night
      Giving Santa's poor reindeer a terrible fright

      Poor Donder and Dancer were frothing with shock
      Causing Santa’s Great Sleigh to shudder and rock

      Blithely uncaring were the people below
      Muttering and cursing as they trudged thru the snow

      The Spirit of Christmas, head hung in despair
      Wondered if ever again would his season be fair

      Like a wraith on a fireplace, material greed hung
      Putting lies to the perfunctory songs being sung

      But amid the complaining, comparing, and spite
      Shone a child’s pure bright eyes, piercing the night

      Neither spoiled nor a cynic its eyes glowed with love
      And calmed the poor reindeer flying above

      The sleigh again righted, its driver relieved
      Returned the child’s love with a “message received”

      The Spirit looked up, with hope, freed from fear
      A child had saved Christmas for yet one more year.

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    5. I hate you guys who have talent! Seriously, great stuff!

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    6. Tomy - Yes, as Dan put it - seriously, great stuff!

      I have a personal policy of not discussing politics online - a real time sink that never changes anyone's mind. I do however occasionally find myself just unable to resist. :)

      While I have never been a Trump supporter and share a sentiment similar to that of both Dan and Alan in regard to him, what I find most distressing about this election is that in this country with so many brilliant and inspired leaders, the best we could do in our two party system is to present a choice of Trump and Biden, both exceedingly poor choices, neither of whom I found to be even a remotely qualified candidate for the Office of President. Seriously sad state of affairs.

      My political philosophy is essentially Libertarian - I don't like the conservatives in my bedroom, and I don't like the liberals in my wallet. Nevertheless, in the past I have seldom voted Libertarian ("wasted vote" theory), but in both of the last two presidential elections, I have voted Libertarian as I absolutely could not stomach either of the major party's candidates. As long as we're sharing opinions. :)

      Ever been paddled just before a 15 mile bike ride? Happened to me recently - I tried to get her to postpone the spanking till after the ride, but she wasn't to be deterred. There was a certain numbness in my ass during most of the ride - but when I got off, and for at least an hour afterward, I was very seriously sore. Can't recommend it.

      --al

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    7. "I don't like the conservatives in my bedroom, and I don't like the liberals in my wallet." I trend in that direction, and I sometimes think of myself as a libertarian with a small "l", but the Libertarian Party takes some good principles then extends them too far for me. Jury duty as involuntary servitude in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment?? And, on economic issues, I think Social Security is a good thing. I think Medicare and Medicaid are good things. Another reason I've never voted for a Libertarian candidate is I haven't seen one who was any more inspiring than Biden. I might have enjoyed smoking a joint with Gary Johnson, but do I see him as someone who could go toe to toe with a Vladimir Putin or Xi Jinping? Not remotely close.

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    8. al,
      Penetrating observations as usual: I will take your advice on avoiding the paddle before a bike ride on faith. I love new experiences but somehow I don’t think that would be a treasured one (inasmuch as our wives seem to often think similarly ,I am surprised I have never faced that particular challenge but so far, so good. Re the quality of our candidates, some very smart people over the last century or so have tried to puzzle out how a country as large, diverse and affluent as the US consistently come up with such dismal choices ( thee have been exceptions ( TR Roosevelt, FDR and Eisenhower to name some) but overall, not impressive. The consensus of those who have studied it seems to be that the “best and the brightest” don’t go into American politics (I don’t have space to elaborate on the “why” of that.) Incidentally I too once flirted with Libertarian ideas, but decided they were ultimately impractical in the real world, captive of an ideology that ignores the reality of modern times –and thus, as you say a “wasted vote”
      Alan

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    9. Forgot to respond to your bike ride comment. No, I haven't experienced that. For me, the activity most likely to uncomfortable when too close to a spanking is weight lifting. I used to hate doing a hard leg day in the gym if I knew I was going to get spanked that evening.

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    10. So why would you do it then?

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    11. Umm . . .because I like to look good naked?

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    12. You would need a full body work out for that!

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    13. >libertarian with a small "l", but the Libertarian Party takes some good principles then extends them too far for me.<

      Well said - for the most part that is how I view the Libertarian *Party* as well- although I do believe that as a leader the Libertarian's most recent candidate, Jo Jorgensen, could most likely hold her own with just about anyone, and almost certainly was more qualified than either of the choices presented by the major parties (opinions vary). While I view the libertarian philosophy as a positive influence - or an even a ideal for a perfect world, we are from a perfect world, and the realities of such things as social security, health care, and national defense do have to be addressed - both out of compassion and practical necessity.

      The bike ride had been scheduled with a friend for a few days - so didn't really want to have to make up a story to back out, so - since I wasn't getting out of the paddling, I just sucked it up and rode anyway. But, damn was my ass sore after the ride. The hazards of being a disciplined husband. --al

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  18. I am no fan of Trump, but StrictJulie sounds a lot more reasonable (and polite) than most of the rest of y'all. Julie seems to have won these arguments. I hafta say that I remain troubled by the intolerance of the left. It seems like they want to ban free speech.

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    1. I'm confused. You say Julie won....but you're no fan of Trump? And then you conclude by talking about the "left" as if you were not on the left. But if you're no fan of Trump's.........then.....what are you? I would think if you say that Julie won, then you would have to have been a leftwing Trump critic who upon reading Julie's comments, changed your mind.

      However, if she did not convince to love Trump as much as she does, AND you are no fan of the left......what did she convince you of that you did not believe prior to reading her arguments? If she didn't change your mind on any of these positions then what is your criteria of a debate 'win'?

      And who here is "the left"? Dan? nope...he isn't. Me? no again. So who?

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    2. Well, I think I'm "winning" the argument that free speech is good, and suppression of views is bad, even if you believe you are 100% right and the other is 100% wrong. Because... you may be wrong about that.

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    3. Julie: Please explain how. You've been to my blog. Other than the occasional, annoying "nonseXquitur", when have I EVER deleted a comment......even if it was over-the-top defamatory? I have also never even used the moderation feature to screen comments. So I fail to see where I suppress ANYTHING. And plenty of bloggers employ the moderation feature.

      What I DID do, was exercise my right as the blog owner to either list or not list other blogs. My reasons for not linking another blog are varied, based on a case-by-case review, and I already explained my reason for yours being unlinked. And doing so is as much my right as any view on free speech. In other words, if I see my blog list as a kind of recommendation of places I endorse or approve of, then what ends up there or not there is reflective only of my criteria for endorsement.

      So as far as free speech? I believe in allowing it to occur, but I also believe that such allowance is different than endorsing something. However, if you believe endorsement is a critical component of free speech, then you should tell every person who disagrees with you that you APPROVE of what they say.......not just recognize a right to say it.....but out-and-out approve of it.

      Now a couple of comments back, you made a remark about my apparent self-righteousness, and here in this post you are presenting yourself as some champion of free speech in the midst of others who are suppressing you. Now since not a single comment has been deleted or edited here or on my blog, I'm not sure if that is a bit self-righteous on your part.....or just some delusion of grandeur....or persecution complex? Or maybe you're just 100% wrong? Only you and your therapist know for sure.

      Now.....to be honest.....while I won't delete, or to use your melodramatic expression, "suppress" a comment, I am not above making fun of them. And you my dear, have given me too much to just let slip. Hell....I would be dishonoring the gods of humor to let the golden opportunities they provide through folks like you drop without offering a punchline. And lately, through you, the humor gods have been generous. I dare not offend them. So by all means.....keep 'em coming. LOL

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    4. No need to defend yourself. Your stated reason is you removed the link because you disagree with my views, and you did it, coincidentally, during a campaign to unlink. I say, yes, I am a bigger proponent of free speech than you because I would not myself take an action like you did, as I find it diametrically opposed to the principle. So yes, I claim the moral high ground on this one.

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    5. So you don't understand the difference between allowing and endorsing? Perhaps self-delusion is not your issue? Maybe it's just plain old comprehension? Similarly, it was not because I disagreed with your views.......because if that was the case I would have unlinked you ages ago. No, it was because I found your views on this topic to be too dangerous for me to attach my name to.

      Interesting that you are all about personal rights and freedom and whatever, but you have now appointed yourself the arbiter of what criteria are not just different but morally superior. Your hypocrisy is staggering......made even more profound by your inability to even see it. You're like the text version of someone sticking their fingers in their ears, closing their eyes, and going, "la la la la!"

      (But you are entertaining as hell. LOL)

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    6. I stopped commenting on Julie's site because, whenever I seemed to be making a telling point in an ongoing dialogue, she would not post it

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    7. kdp - indeed, we all make moral judgments about others' behaviour. You more than most. I judge your actions as not in keeping with the highest principles of free speech: joining a movement to unlink.

      anon - your allegation is refuted by seeing all the commentary I allow on my platform. I have not singled you out for special treatment (you don't even supply a moniker, how could I?). If you indeed were to make a "telling point" against mine I would eagerly publish it. More likely, if I moderated you it was because you brought out the personal insults. Keep it civil as you have here and you will be heard on my site.

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    8. Nothing uncivil - just to the point. You seem eager to enter the political blog arena which is certainly your right. I would just like to warn people with differing views that you do not seem capable of acting as a moderator. You are too ideological. I do not know you and have no basis to say that you purposely edit to your benefit but I believe that is the result. I believe that if you have a differing view, you will eventually feel like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football that Lucy is holding.

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    9. I am not a neutral moderator, who said that I was? My blog gives my viewpoint. I am diligent in publishing comments that disagree, and then I rebut them. Go to one of my political posts and read the comments if you need proof of that.

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    10. I totally agree you have no duty to be neutral. Now that we have settled, stop bitching about Facebook and Twitter editors flagging content they don't like!

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    11. As we discussed before, I am not a monopoly, they are (in my opinion, I know you disagree, due to unprecedented level of network effect).

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    12. Who says you're not a monopoly? Know any other right-wing Canadian femdom bloggers? I can see pretty big practical barriers to entry on that front.

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  19. If you think Julie “won” the discussion above, your concerns about free speech are the least of your problems. And BTW, people who worry about the right to free speech usually have enough confidence in their own speech to sign their comments.
    Alan

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    1. I'm happy to have people be anonymous, but it is nice if they sign some moniker as you have, Alan, just so we know that two comments come from the same person.

      The only thing I hoped to "win" was the reaffirmation of the principal of free speech as espoused by the UN Declaration of Human Rights (see my latest blog entry).

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  20. If you think Julie “won” the discussion above, your concerns about free speech are the least of your problems. And BTW, people who worry about the right to free speech usually have enough confidence in their own speech to sign their comments.
    Alan

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  21. Y'all have encouraged me to exercise my free speech rights. "Shut the hell up already. Get over it. Go to your rooms and come back when you are ready to play nice again..or there will be spankings."

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    1. Hey dude, you're suppressing me! Power to the people, man!

      "Aw shucks! Just when I was havin' fun," >pout<

      Seriously though, I am more than willing to let this drop......especially since I'm not debating, just calling out the inconsistencies and doing some snarking. But it's a little like what Michael said in Godfather 3. "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!" It's very difficult to think 'ok this is done' then see something new and accusatory and just let it stand uncontested. And then again there's my point about appeasing the humor gods. I can't risk their ire. ;-) You can't impede my religious freedom, right? LOL

      But for you buddy, I don my Christmas Santa Hat and be a good little boy.......



      -------Killjoy! ;-)

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    2. Tomy: See what I mean? I saw your comment, agreed to a truce like they did in 1914, and then what do I see? Another false accusation! I am so primed for a retort......but.....I'll let this one go. If they keep coming though, the truce is off. I can't rightly appease your god and turn my back on mine.....and the humor gods are numerous and notoriously mischievous.

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    3. If you're talking about me, check the time stamp. Mine got in before the armistice was called. The early bird catches the worm. :-)

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  22. Julie,
    Your right to spew nonsense about Trump and the election is a right I will defend absolutely, however deplorable, dangerous and wrongheaded your exercise of that right is –BUT in doing so you open your self to the equal right of others to skewer those opinions who see them as dangerous, fact challenged and pathological– and frankly in the process lose respect for your mental acuity. But that right does not extend to actions you take that endanger the health, life or welfare of others. There is an old adage that sums this up colloquially: “My right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins” .This captures the essence I believe of what KD and others have been saying to you. You do not have a right to harm others with your speech- and that is what you are doing when you spread misinformation, hysterical speculations and plain lies about the virus and the vaccine. An eminent justice of the US Supreme court, Oliver Wendell Holmes summed this up more formally in the famous Schenck v. United States case. Paraphrasing Holmes: one cannot shout fire in a crowded theater and claim it is protected speech. It isn’t. And that is precisely what you do when you spread panic and misinformation about the virus and the vaccine. If you are going to be a champion of free speech, find our exactly what protected free speech is. You do have an absolute protected right to foolish free speech; you have no right to dangerous free speech. . If you aspire to be a champion of free speech, find our exactly what protected free speech is.
    Alan

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. (initial post deleted for spelling error)

      Hi Alan, I am not violating the truce here because I don't believe we are at odds nor is what follows in any way combative or snarky, but I do think it's important that since you mention me specifically in terms of what you think I'm saying, that I clarify a bit. In this case I believe it is important.

      I actually am NOT saying that, because I think Julie's post was advocating things I found dangerous, it should not be granted being voiced. Had she made such a comment on my blog, I would have never deleted it. Maybe if the comment was truly dangerously inciteful of violence....and even then only maybe. It would really depend on its degree and potential to influence. Still, even something REALLY bad would probably get a stern reply but still be allowed to be seen. But where I see an important distinction is in endorsement. And to me I feel my personal blog list is an implied endorsement of the places I choose to recommend to others. As such, I associate any choice I make there as a preference, and one I am certainly entitled to. It's like if someone posted a cocktail recipe that I knew was erroneous to a point of danger (one part gin to two parts antifreeze) I might delete it out of an abundance of caution. If the recipe was just erroneous to a point of being unappetizing, I would let it stand......but I would not recommend it and probably warn others that what is being presented is potentially foul-tasting. And if that same person had a blog devoted to terrible recipes, I would not list it as a good place to go.

      So, I'm not arguing or breaking the truce......just making sure my position is being presented consistently with my actual feelings. All the best! (now go to my blog and give us your favorite holiday cocktail recipe! LOL)

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    3. KD,

      You are the arbiter,expert and final authority on what you said and what you meant. I apologize if anything I said implied otherwise.
      BTW, what is wrong with one part gin to two parts antifreeze". More of your "trigger warnings again I suppose
      Alan

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    4. LOL. That caught me off-guard you scoundrel! LOL

      No need to apologize. I just wanted to be precise.

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  23. Alan, I am an extreme free speech advocate, and believe the best remedy for free speech that some believe to be abusive, is “more free speech” to refute or oppose the objectionable speech. Voltaire is my champion; “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
    To be consistent, while I will defend to the death your right to post it, I must say that your post contained a lot of apples and oranges and unwarranted presuppositions. To be precise, you state, “You do not have a right to harm others with your speech- and that is what you are doing when you spread misinformation, hysterical speculations and plain lies about the virus and the vaccine.” In what sense, are others “harmed” by that speech, and who get’s to determine whether it is harmful or not?
    You use the example, “My right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins.” Do you have any evidence that anyone’s nose was bloodied by the speech of which you complain? I can’t think of an instance when there is not another remedy for limiting the speech, other than suppressing it. If I falsely accuse you of murder, your remedy is not to prohibit my speech; it is to bring a suit against me for defamation.
    Quoting “Schenck” you provide the old example that you can’t yell fire in a crowded movie theater. But you need to go farther. What if there IS a fire, and the statement is true? And lives are saved because of it. On the other hand, if there is no fire and people are trampled to death, the person should be prosecuted, not for abuse of speech, but for murder.
    If the lady is mistaken, then point out her mistakes; don’t prohibit her speech. Who knows? She might even be right. After all, even though Galileo was forced to recant, the earth does in fact revolve around the sun.

    Ken

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  24. Ken
    First, thanks for reading and commenting. Second, I started a point by point response to your post but in rereading the post itself I realized it would be a quixotic quest to respond to you that way. You demonstrated why that is so in your initial paragraph : “Alan, I am an extreme free speech advocate, and believe the best remedy for free speech that some believe to be abusive, is “more free speech”. To that I must respond “Ken I am not an extreme free speech advocate, and believe the best remedy for clear and present dangerous speech is to put a spotlight on it and then stop it. To ask as you have: “in what sense, are others “harmed” by (Julie’s screeds on masks, the virus and the vaccine) is a little mind boggling. We are in the middle of a pandemic that has already taken 300 thousand American lives, only slightly fewer than total causalities in World War I and a third of those in World War II –and in the midst of this, she is suggesting in an influential (i.e. widely read) blog that readers be skeptical of masks and vaccines, in virtual opposition to the totality of conventional medical opinion. That is dangerous speech, and poses a “clear and present danger” to anyone who is influenced by it. Ken, may I add a personal note on “absolute” free speech. As a younger man I probably would have descried myself as you do. Before the toxic proliferation of social media with its endless lies, fabrications and deceptions, absolute free speech may have been a worthy and plausible goal -- when there was really an opportunity for clear and critical thinking as an antidote to bad ideas and flawed beliefs. Clearly we no longer live in that world, hence absolute free speech is increasingly a naïve notion, one that may do more harm than good
    Alan

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    1. It is not a "screed". Only in your mind, and some others, is it that. My position stems from a desire to do the least harm. You disagree. Fine. But to say I do "violence", it is equally justifiable to me saying you are doing "violence" in the same way. Neither of us is "doing or inciting violence". We are both exercising feee speech. Kept to the facts. Kept to the debate. Arbitrary statements without backing, as you give above, do not advance the argument.

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    2. Now I'll respond, as if I was Alan: "no, no, Julie. Because I am clearly right, because... well whatever, and you are clearly wrong (in my mind), therefore your speech must be suppressed and my own thoughts, and those who think like me, are the only legitimate thoughts, so let's not hear your screeds, it is "dangerous"."

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  25. Alan, thank you for your civil and thoughtful response. However, you focus on the crux of the issue and I must answer. You are right, our world has changed, and in my view that is a shame. I was brought up to question everything, believing, only half of what I see, and none of what I read. Now we have "safe spaces" in our universities; what do you think Socrates and Aristotle would have thought of that?

    Why have we left that world "when there was really an opportunity for clear and critical thinking as an antidote to bad ideas and flawed beliefs. Clearly we no longer live in that world, hence absolute free speech is increasingly a naïve notion, one that may do more harm than good." Why!!! If what you are saying is true, we have become mindless idiots, who are incapable of first questioning, and then seeking whether the idea is true or not. It is a slippery slope, to say the least. Most important, who decides what ideas are those from which "people" need protection. In your current topic there are experts on both sides of the issue. In some cases the "expert" you are, or were supporting, has been on both sides of the issue. Without exception, every important issue needs full and open debate. You can best protect the ignorant, by making sure they have access to all sides of a question. The next step is re-education camps; and I'll ask again, who will decide the curriculum?

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    1. > "what do you think Socrates and Aristotle would have thought of that?"

      What's the difference? Public consciousness has developed very far from antiquity. The opinion of those people today does not make sense. Social being determines social consciousness.

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  26. Alan, BTW, what if the powers that be decided that Domestic Discipline is crazy talk, perverted, and harmful to our youth and other impressionable members of our culture, and therefore all such talk, except to condemn it, is prohibited.

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    1. Ken, you are sounding a little desperate. Why don’t you just declare victory and take the rest of the day off? It will give you more time to catch up on Newsmax and find out why the government is putting those pesky microchip trackers in the vaccine. Enquiring minds want to know.
      Alan

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  27. Alan, I don't understand how being concerned about freedom and individual rights can sound desperate; but whatever. I don't feel warranted to declare victory, but on the other hand, I have never lost a debate. Either I win on the merits, or I am proven mistaken, in which case I learn something; I always consider that a victory. In this case I have neither. May the people empowered to control our speech, be intelligent, benevolent, and most important -- "right." A sincere Merry Christmas.

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  28. One last gasp.

    juliesp: "As long as your rhetoric remains hateful and divisive "inhuman, incompetent, deadly irresponsible, corrupt, hypocrisy, lying, cheating" I agree that no progress can be made. All those same epithets can be thrown equally, and with equal justification (little) in the other direction. Drop the rhetoric and maybe progress is possible. Keep it up, keep demonizing half the population, and you will reap what you are sowing."

    This illustrates a problem I have with these political discussions these days. Dismissing my rhetoric because it’s critical of “half the population.” I’m exercising my free speech to condemn Trumpism and what it has supported. Yes, it represents a lot of people. That’s what makes it so dangerous to my values and to my country. The words I use are an honest attempt to accurately portray that reality. Of course the same criticism can be turned back at me or Dems or the other side, and that seems to be the chosen tactic to deflect and distract from the Trump world of corruption. Our population is going to decide what is fact or fiction, and we are already reaping what we’ve sowed.

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    1. Or... you could assume good motives from others and that you simply disagree on methods and systems to attain those good goals, and thus you debate. Hate breeds hate. Make love, not war.

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    2. You mixed things up a bit there, first talking about "good motives" and then switching to "good goals." If you don't share common goals, or a common vision, or most notably, common values, then good intent becomes kind of irrelevant. I'm not going to assume good intent from people who are currently trying to disenfranchise the majority of their fellow citizens or from people who don't have a problem with the little cry baby destroying democratic norms. Sorry, if you think what he is doing right now is OK, then I absolutely am NOT going to assume good intent since it would be counter to what I can see right before my eyes. In that vein, take a look at the comment below from your little Qanon fanboy, the tell me how I should assume "good motives" or "good goals." Sorry, but this insistence by people doing and saying bad things that I should judge them not by their acts and their words but by what they tell me is in their hearts is self-serving BS.

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    3. Be logical now. Those that disagree on the election believe that Trump received more votes than Biden, therefore who's to say you're not the one trying to disenfranchise the majority of citizens and destroying democratic norms? See how it works? We both have the same goal, to ensure democracy works, but disagree on our interpretation of the evidence. It's on you that you personalize everything like crazy, believe you are absolutely right, and demonize those that disagree. Sorry.

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    4. Except, my opinion is based on facts and on 59 separate cases that your side has filed being blown completely out of the water by a bunch of Republican and Trump appointed judges, at every level of the court system. You can choose to "believe Trump received more votes than Biden," but all the claims of dead people voting, etc. have been debunked with the exception of one guy who admits he cast a vote for his dead mother -- and voted for Trump. The President's legal team is not representing in court that there is (a) massive voter fraud; or (b) that any fraud or irregularities were sufficient to change the result. They aren't arguing that in court because in that forum there are consequences for lying, while on your blog there are not. You don't create a legitimate dispute about a result simply by saying you think your guy won. So, we absolutely do not share the same goal, and for you to claim that you are trying to assure democracy works is utter horseshit. That's not personalizing it -- it's just refusing to concede some kind of factual, ethical, moral equivalence to the the positions that isn't there.

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    5. Anybody who is 100% sure of their opinion, in this era of fake news and lying politicians, needs to check themselves. I am not 100% sure there was enough fraud to overturn the election, but I put the odds at around 70% based on all the evidence in those lawsuits, none of which were tried, and more besides. Being 100% sure is the sure sign of a zealot.

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    6. This illustrates the problem with these discussions. Julie doesn’t take us seriously, or doesn’t want to. She apparently thinks we’re just two competing ideologies, the old left and right, and respect for the other side is an obligation. Trumpism shows zero respect for, or loyalty to, anything outside their ambitions. Her side seems to think all they have to do is turn a criticism around and point it back at us. They lie, they cheat, they fail as good citizens, but all they have to do is deny and we should accept their well-intentioned “goodness.”

      There’s no evidence of voter fraud that comes anywhere in the ballpark of changing the outcome of the election. The prevailing conclusion is that it was a fair and sound election. Period. There is plenty of evidence of voter suppression and other unfair shenanigans by the GOP but, as in the past, everyone accepts the results because it’s best for the country. Trumpism is a new organized movement that has shown time and again that they feel no obligation to democracy, and as such, they are America’s most dangerous enemy.

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    7. You mean all that "evidence" that right-wing media sources are stumbling all over themselves to disclaim, now that they are facing actual lawsuits? Bill Barr, the AG you all loved just a few weeks ago has said straight out there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud, so now all your side hates him. Do NOT pretend you're promoting some objective search for truth. Yep, I'm a zealous supporter of democratic processes and institutions and don't have any problem calling out people who are undermining and calling them on their rationalizing BS. I'm totally loving Adam Kinzinger, one of the only R's on the Hill who isn't a sniveling weakling.

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    8. Just the latest in the long litany of things you opine about (Section 230, election law, civil and appellate procedure, virology and virus testing) without, as they say in my part of the country, "knowing your ass from a hole in the ground." I'm not a boomer, though I do like a lot of their music.

      BTW, you're on kind of shaky ground with your "we're all just protecting democracy" BS, when you have a prominent Republican pollster relying on quotes attributed (probably wrongly) to JOSEF STALIN to try to goad Pence to pretend he didn't receive the certified electoral college votes from the swing states: https://www.yahoo.com/news/anger-conservative-pollster-rasmussen-appears-232945555.html. It says a lot about your side of the aisle that they now feel free to openly rely on election manipulation advice from a Soviet dictator.

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    9. By the way, how about that congressman-elect from Louisiana who just died of Covid at 41 years old? https://www.wdsu.com/article/sources-congressman-elect-luke-letlow-dies-from-covid-19/35093657# I thought according to your blog and copious supporting research healthy white guys in their 40s from Red states should just ignore all those pesky guys with real degrees and expertise on viruses and public health? Or, maybe he DID read your blog? Very sad, though I doubt it'll have much impact on the thinking process of all those other young republicans in Louisiana out doing their own research on the internet and obeying your advice to make their own (uneducated) decisions based on shit they read on Facebook and Blogger.

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    10. The Stalin quote seems apropos. Stalin was pointing out how to steal an election. The allegation is that the left stole the election, just like Stalin did. It's NOT an instruction to Pence to act like Stalin. You have to be crazy to read that into it.

      How many healthy 41-year-olds died from COVID-19 as the sole cause? One anecdote does not convince. Show me the stats that healthy 41 year-olds are in danger. I reckon you have more chance being hit by a car while out for a stroll, but that ought not keep you from strolling.

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    11. You're either crazy or deliberately misreading the entirety of the Rasmussen post. It specifically suggests that Pence can simply refuse to open or count the electoral votes from disputed swing states.


      Yeah, yeah, yeah. Hospitals are out of ICU space but, according to you, it's all just seasonal spikes in hospital admission, so definitely no second surge going on. A very public case of a 41 year-old dying from Covid is just an "anecdote" and certainly not enough to discredit your internet research from Wuhan. Interesting that you've now injected "sole cause." Quite a loophole and one that makes zero sense in terms of either tracking or preventing Covid deaths. It's like saying that a diabetic who dies of related kidney failure didn't really die of diabetes, or that someone with congestive heart failure from bad dietary choices didn't really die of those choices because they walked up a flight of stairs, thereby triggering the heart attack. Under your logic, it was the stairs that got them, not the heart disease or the choices that caused the heart disease. As for strolling, I can dramatically increase my risk of being hit if every time I approach an intersection I close my eyes and walk across without looking both ways, and I can reduce my risk by looking both ways when approaching intersections. If I choose to ignore the risk of getting hit and just plow ahead, then my risk goes up quite substantially. Similarly, if I'm the guy driving the car, I can protect pedestrians by looking out for them and slowing down as I approach intersections. Or, I can deliberately choose not to do that, asserting my "right" to drive my car.

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    12. You were specifically referring to the Stalin quote, so I responded to that.

      As to what Pence can and can't do, that's a legal/constitutional question. I find it ironic that you cry "dictator!" while they are pursuing legal recourse. I would think it was the one wishing to discourage such recourse (you) to be more aptly described such.

      And once again you fly right off the deep end. If COVID was responsible, then fine, but in many places they are classifying all deaths with COVID as by COVID which is also wrong.

      And again, a misdirection with your analogy. What are the chances of a healthy 41-year-old (hell, any 41-year-old) of dying of COVID. I looked it up for you. By population 0.0057% (2,372/41,649,144) - https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm Healthy and taking vitamins, brings it down to what? By comparison, your chance of dying in a car accident, per pop, is 0.01%. For drivers only, what's that? By your reasoning, DONT GO OUT IN A CAR!

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    13. That's another fallacy you like trotting out -- that there is some "right" to file lawsuits no matter how specious. There is not. There is, in fact something called Rule 11 that says parties and their lawyers can be sanctioned for filing cases or pleadings that are not adequately supported by facts or law. You've lost 59 of 60 cases and counting -- there is no right to just keep filing cases just so Trump can keep up his PAC fund-raising grift for a few more weeks.

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    14. No, the lesson isn't don't drive a car. It's, do it with care and wear a seatbelt. Similarly, in a pandemic, don't go out unless there is a good reason, don't get too close to people, and wear a mask. Now, if I were in Canada, I might seriously consider not going out on a walk, given the possibility that you'd be driving down the street with a blindfold on, prattling on and on about your right to drive anyway you want and declaring stop signs to be government tyranny in action.

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    15. No cases were lost. They were not tried on process grounds.

      Healthy people do not spread the virus. Presymptomatic and asymptomatic transmission is not a thing. If you disagree, wear a mask to protect yourself, don't trample healthy people's rights and force all the harms on others.

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    16. You'd make a good lawyer -- their win loss record always depends on creatively defining a loss. Unfortunately, getting thrown out of court on a motion to dismiss is, in fact, a loss no matter how you try to define one. It's actually about the worse kind of loss, because it means you either were too poor a lawyer to know the law or argue for an extension of it, or the facts were so skimpy there was no plausible case to proceed with, or both. If your legal theory is bogus, you can manufacture as many "facts" as you want, because unless they apply to a valid legal theory, and unless they would add up to win on the relief you want if they were true and were material, they are utterly irrelevant.

      As for transmission, I'll continue to pay attention to the actual experts with actual degrees and actual expertise and not to the ramdom musings of the self-annointed Dr. Julie. BTW, have you suffered any of the actual harm of which you spend so much time bitching? I keep finding that those of us who have seen major changes in our work and personal routines and even job losses usually support public health decisions that keep others safe, while most of the bitching seems to be done by a bunch of retirees who weren't going into work anyway, or AR-15 wielding wannabe "patriots" who didn't have a job anyway and, of course, stay-at-home bloggers with time to devote hours and hours and hours to looking for random Wuhan studies. It seems to be the people who have suffered the least from the shutdowns and can't name a single (a) right they supposedly have; (b) that actually is a constitutional right; (c) that has been infringed; (d) in a way that has actually had a material impact on them personally, versus just abstract bitching about non-existent "consitooshnl rites."

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    17. From that bastion of liberalism, The National Review. I'm sure you'll have no substantive response to either but will suggest I broaden my perspective by reading your "alternative sources" because The National Review just isn't conservative enough these days. From what I can tell, that's basically your "go-to" move whenever a Republican judge or Republican politician or pundit says you're full of shit -- claim they are too mainstream and that everyone needs to instead read your preferred "media," loosely and liberally defined.


      https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2020/12/31/disgrace-after-defeat/

      https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/12/louie-gohmert-mike-pence-lawsuit/

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    18. You're so angry always, dan. Take a chill pill.

      I agree with the courts that they are not the correct venue to redress a fraudulent election. State legislatures and Congress is the right place, but I doubt they will have the gumption. No, this will go down in history as another Democrat steal, like Kennedy. The facts more than speak for themselves.

      National Review is not my preferred media. You are confused. It's not Reps versus Dems, it's swamp versus MAGA.

      I work for a living and my job is uninterrupted. I am much more concerned by the multitude put out of work by these insane cowardly policies. Repeat after me: healthy people are not contagious.

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    19. Sorry sweetie, but that little maneuver doesn't work either. I'm not the least bit angry. I just think you're full of shit. Though, I do applaud your honestly in admitting you really haven't experienced any personal deprivation as a result of the lockdowns. I think you guys gave up any right to talk about "swamp" without people giggling in your face with, at the latest, Trump's recent pardons.

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    20. I just watched the GA Senate Hearings on the voter fraud. Please have an open-minded watch of it. A lot of it is very compelling (it gets better as you go, they save the best for last!) - https://youtu.be/u5ZP_HpBKos

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    21. I'm happy to look at it, though Georgia is an odd one for you to focus on, given that of all the challenged states, the allegations of fraud in Georgia are the ones that have been tested over and over in procedures demanded by Trump, and each time the results have confirmed Biden's win. Trump demanded a hand recount. He got one. It confirmed the Biden win. He demanded a machine recount. He got one. It confirmed the Biden win. He demanded a signature check. It found a whopping TWO mismatches out of the thousands and thousands and thousands of votes cast.

      https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/532042-georgia-signature-audit-finds-no-fraud-in-presidential-election

      The congressional hearings at both the federal and state level have been pretty much a joke, with "star" witnesses who have zero credibility and who have been forced to eat most of their testimony and who, in the Georgia hearing, were shielded from any examination by the Democrats on the panel. It's also one that really illustrates the quality of lawyers and experts on the Trump team and, frankly, the mindset of his lead people. A single Georgia lawmaker who actually looked at the underlying voter lists completely shredded one of the Trump experts who made claims of supposedly dead voters and other supposed irregularities using actual examples:

      https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/nation-politics/heres-what-happened-when-a-georgia-lawmaker-scrutinized-the-trump-campaigns-list-of-allegedly-illegal-votes/

      "Giuliani called out several Black election workers in Fulton County, alleging that they were “passing around USB ports as if they were vials of heroin or cocaine.” He also referred to some election workers by name while questioning their actions — despite repeated pleas from state election officials to protect the safety of election workers."

      "House Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Shaw Blackmon, a Republican, did not offer an opportunity for lawmakers to question Giuliani."

      The lay and expert witnesses testimony offered in support of actual fraud in Georgia, both in court and in the hearings you reference, have pretty much fallen apart under the most gentle of critical examination. Much of the alleged "evidence" supporting fraudulent votes has turned out to reflect an appalling ignorance of election law by the people offering the analyses and factual support, and also an appalling lack of qualifications among Trump's supposedly "expert" witnesses:

      https://lawandcrime.com/2020-election/heres-how-georgias-lawyers-destroyed-sidney-powells-wildly-unqualified-election-malfeasance-experts/

      https://www.register-herald.com/cnhi_network/georgia-rips-trumps-voter-fraud-claims-in-court/article_1be29048-4259-11eb-b8c3-afdd8487fd7c.html

      https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-54874120

      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/18/dead-voter-conspiracy-theory-debunked

      https://www.newsweek.com/two-dead-voters-cited-trump-proof-georgia-ballot-fraud-are-alive-1547432

      https://www.businessinsider.com/rudy-giuliani-witness-slammed-with-cease-and-desist-from-dominion-2020-12

      To date, the one and only example of true fraud uncovered in all these lawsuits was of a knowingly fraudulent vote by a TRUMP voter:

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/alisondurkee/2020/12/21/pennsylvania-man-charged-with-voter-fraud-for-casting-ballot-for-trump-under-dead-mothers-name/?sh=6d1863a959bf

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    22. Look at the source material on the video. You are reading a bunch of recycled news reports with an agenda. Use the source, Luke!

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    23. See, this is why I just don't know why I keep having these discussions with you. Those articles are doing a critical examination of your "source material" and of the people who provided or analyzed that material. They are directly relevant to the arguments you are making based on your preferred source material. As usual, you absolutely refuse to address things like the actual outcome of the recounts the Trump campaign demanded, all of which were overseen by a Republican governor and Republican secretary of state. You absolutely refuse to engage at any level on issues around the quality or materiality of what you keep insisting is high quality evidence of fraud. It's just a total waste of time, because you allege all this great testimony exists, and when I point you to critical examination of that testimony you insist that I either need to (a) ignore the expert examination of the evidence by real experts on election law and procedure and just do it myself even though neither you nor I are experts on election law or election procedure; or (b) ignore established media outlets on both the left and the right just because, in your world view, anything with actual processes and procedures and relevant expertise is "mainstream" or "swampy." Any argument that begins with rejecting real expert analysis precisely because it is being done by real experts is just dumb, and it makes debating you a total waste of time.

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    24. This is probably about the most balanced analysis I've seen on where things stand after all the election challenges, issued this morning by a Republican Senator who I don't always agree with, but who I've always believed genuinely believes in the democratic system. He addresses each swing state that is disputed and why the courts dismissed each challenge, mainly on the grounds that even if you granted every single thing that Trump was actually arguing in court (which has always been way, way more limited than the hysterical out of court statements by his lawyers, who know they would face sanctions for making similarly unsupported accusations in court) it simply would not overturn the election in even a singe state, let alone the multiple states that would be required to actually flip the results. Though, I'm sure you'll just dismiss the analysis with a quip because this particular Senator isn't one of the Trump fanboys and has, from time to time, shown some independence:

      https://www.facebook.com/SenatorSasse/posts/3517705981660655

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    25. I read all your links and was unimpressed. All of that "critical analysis" amounts to a hill of beans after you actually see and engage with the evidence directly. There's a great section in the GA hearing where they "debunk the debunkers", including the recounts that keep recounting the same fraudulent ballots without actually auditing or doing any forensic examination of where they came from.

      I just read the Sasse statement. He alleges there is not evidence of sufficient fraud to overturn the election. I think that is clearly in dispute. Let's look at GA as an example. See earlier vid. What Sasse has to say, when applied to GA, is clearly in error.

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    26. That's the heart of the problem -- this idea that you are qualified to "engage with the evidence directly" while having no actual expertise in election law. Half the "fraud" your side bitches about is stuff that is perfectly legal under election law. Like all the random bitching about people voting in GA or PA when they supposedly live somewhere else. Well, that is perfectly legal in many, many cases. College students. Military personnel. People on out-of-state job assignments. What makes some of it so facially ridiculous is some of the "evidence" you are talking about includes people voting by mail from another state, when Trump votes by mail, from his actual residence in DC in elections in Florida! Particularly given the breakdown in time Trump spends between DC, NY and Florida, he would almost certainly be on the list of supposedly fraudulent votes if your experts contested votes in Florida!

      At the end of the day, your unwillingness to acknowledge facts does not rise to any legally relevant "dispute." As Senator Sasse put it very eloquently and in terms that pretty much anyone who is actually looking at things objectively can understand:

      "5. BUT ISN’T IT IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST TO INVESTIGATE THESE CLAIMS MORE THOROUGHLY? DOESN’T IT HELP GUARANTEE THE LEGITIMACY OF OUR ELECTORAL PROCESS?

      I take this argument seriously because actual voter fraud – and worries about voter fraud – are poison to self-government. So yes, we should investigate all specific claims, but we shouldn’t burn down the whole process along the way. Right now we are locked in a destructive, vicious circle:

      Step 1: Allege widespread voter fraud.
      Step 2: Fail to offer specific evidence of widespread fraud.
      Step 3: Demand investigation, on grounds that there are “allegations” of voter fraud.

      I can’t simply allege that the College Football Playoff Selection Committee is “on the take” because they didn’t send the Cornhuskers to the Rose Bowl, and then – after I fail to show evidence that anyone on the Selection Committee is corrupt – argue that we need to investigate because of these pervasive “allegations” of corruption.

      We have good reason to think this year’s election was fair, secure, and law-abiding. That’s not to say it was flawless. But there is no evidentiary basis for distrusting our elections altogether, or for concluding that the results do not reflect the ballots that our fellow citizens actually cast."

      Well said, Senator Sasse. I'm not going to lose any sleep over the fact that a whole bunch of you get stuck on Step 3 and don't get the difference between speculative analyses by self-professed experts and material evidence sufficient to actually overturn an election.

      With that, if you want to retort, please go ahead and I'll probably publish it just because I am a magnanimous guy who always wants to let the losing side have the last word. But, after that, I am done with this thread and onto 2021.

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    27. Your blog, your last word. Only fair.
      Happy New Year, Dan, may there be much spanking in our future!

      Delete
  29. Julie is intelligent and correct the rest of you who disagree are disgusting and everything you say about those you disagree with.
    You follow,support, and admire pedophiles and murderers. You will see or we are Wrong! Trump will remain President because he won the election. Not because he stole it. Your people tried to steal it but everything was already on place to catch convict and imprison them.
    Treason is punishable by death.Military tribunals are allowed during times of war which we are in.
    One question.
    Where is the flu?
    Which arm did fauci get a shot in and which one hurts?
    Have at it geniuses.
    17

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congratulations on your new fan base, Julie. Have fun jerking off in mom's basement to Julie's latest conspiracy posts, incel boy.

      Delete
    2. I encourage free thinkers and questioners everywhere. I condemn violence. Make love, not war.

      Delete

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