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The truth about Trump: two divorces, five children from three wives, multiple business bankruptcies, on the record for not paying contractors. His son has said the Trump enterprise "gets most of its loans" from Russian oligarchs after Western banks (understandably) refused to lend to him after his bankruptcies.The guy is a master con artist,and gaslighter. He inherited millions and lies that he only got a "small loan" from his father. He brags that he "got to see" teenage girls in a dressing room. And why is he so afraid to release his tax

And half the stuff he says is pure nonsense. From his speech yesterday:

"I told Prime Minister Abe — great guy. I said, “Listen, we have a massive deficit with Japan.” They send thousands and thousands — millions — of cars. We send them wheat. Wheat. That’s not a good deal. And they don’t even want our wheat. They do it because they want us to at least feel that we’re okay. You know, they do it to make us feel good."

So much wrong here. Japan makes most of its cars now in North America (see Wheat is only a very small portion of U.S. exports to Japan. And why would they buy it "to make us feel good?"

This is only ONE example of his constant misunderstanding of economic and other issues. He also continues to wrongly mistakenly state that "China is paying" for U.S. tariffs. How can anyone respect someone like this?

I'll never understand why he's hoodwinked people so easily. I tried to stay out of this, but come on. Maybe find someone half-way mentally stable with a competent grasp of facts to primary the guy.

I know what you’re saying, Kathleen, but Republicans did come up with somebody who’s mentally stable and competent in 2012, and he (Romney) lost badly. Then in 2016 they came up with several credible alternatives to Trump in the primaries, but Trump bulldozed right over them. So I guess Trump is what people want. He’s not to my taste, but neither are the Kardashians, and they’re incredibly popular.

At least he’s kept us out of any new wars and accelerated the economy. The way I deal with his personal style, his tweets, his word salad commentary ... is to ignore all of it as much as possible. Most of the news I focus on is the weird stuff. Like, Jeffrey Epstein had a painting of Bill Clinton posing provocatively in a blue dress and high heels. Forget Trump. I want to know what that painting is all about! 😬

Here is a little blurb from the American Bankruptcy Institute: - AOD

“Chapter 11 is most often used by businesses filing for bankruptcy. Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows a financially struggling business to reorganize in order to keep going. A Chapter 11 filing can potentially enable a business owner to avoid liquidating the company. In fact, it can often be said that a Chapter 11 bankruptcy is in the best interests of the business and in no way a reflection of a poorly run company. PolitiFact took a look at all four of Trump’s Chapter 11 bankruptcies and determined that they were a result of business struggles largely beyond the billionaire-turned-presidential-candidate’s control.”

Holy crap, that painting of Bill in the blue dress...that Epstein was one weird, sick dude. I myself can't stop rubber-necking the whole sordid mess either. Probably half the country can't either.

AOD,sorry, multiple business bankruptcies is never a good thing. Usually, those in charge take their golden parachute and are never heard from again. I just wish his supporters would take a clearer-eyed look at him.

What you comment may be true. How is your comment applicable to President Donald Trump and his presidency?

As you can see in the statement from the American Bankruptcy Institute I quoted above that “[I]t can often be said that a Chapter 11 bankruptcy is in the best interests of the business and in no way a reflection of a poorly run company.” [Emphasis added] Technically Donald Trump was more than an employee of his companies, he was the person who had borrowed and invested millions of dollars in those companies and therefore a “golden parachute” given to an employee and his or her disappearance “never heard from again” really is not applicable to Donald Trump in those business bankruptcies. As a small business owner myself I would expect to at least recover some of my investment in my business if it should ever go bankrupt just as Donald Trump did when he sold his businesses but probably in most business bankruptcies, that doesn’t happen.

I agree with the American Bankruptcy Institute that many “business struggles [are] largely beyond the [owner’s] control”. I know from experience that this is true. - AOD

I've read two biographies of Trump. Admittedly, both were biased against him, so what they say should be taken with a grain of salt. Even so, they seem to have been well researched.

They both agree that Trump's bankruptcies were the result of his own errors. He purchased a second casino in Atlantic City at a hugely inflated price, against the advice of his advisers, simply because he wanted to be the big man in AC gambling. He was told that he could never recoup the investment, and this turned out to be true. The new casino hemorrhaged money.

It didn't help that he was withdrawing profits from his other casino at a prodigious rate in order to purchase luxury items such as a yacht and a private jet. Basically, he was living large, without any care for the future. This house of cards came tumbling down, and he ended up having to declare multiple bankruptcies.

Later, he blamed the situation on a general downturn in the casino business, but in fact that downturn did not occur until a few years afterward. At the time his enterprises failed, the casino business in general was still going strong.

So I would say that it was his fault, and that his failure reflected his immaturity and hubris.

At the same time, he found a way back, which many people would not have been able to do. He figured out how to monetize his name and create a Trump brand that he could lease to golf courses, resorts, and even vodka, steaks, and the dubious Trump University.

Whether or not he's actually worth $10 billion (he probably isn't), he has certainly kept himself afloat and been able to live a lifestyle of great opulence (and tabloid tackiness). In many ways he's a typically American character – part entrepreneur, part huckster; street-smart, but not well-read; ego-driven and thin-skinned, yet charming and persuasive. Sinclair Lewis could have written a book about him.

Let's say I inherited 180,000 dollars in 1995 and invested it in a business. After borrowing an additional $500,000 from the bank I purchased some property and had a nice building built and opened a video store in 2000. I called it "My Favorite Videos".

I hired high school kids who wanted a part-time job at minimum wage of $7.00 per hour to run the store. The jobs required no skills or special knowledge as all that was required was to watch that customers did not steal any videos and to check videos out when the customer rented one. Those on the late shift had to put the returned videos back in stock, sweep the floors and make sure that everything was orderly for the next day.

Most of the employees were white because the town was mostly white, the store was located on the "good side" of town and most of the applicants were white. One person of color was hired but after a month on the job she told the manager that "nobody owns me." and refused to sweep the floor before closing. She quit soon after that claiming unemployment insurance. Eventually some employees became disgruntled because they weren't paid a "living wage" so reluctantly I increased their wages to $15.00 an hour in 2017.

At first business was good! The store made a profit during those first years as people rented many DVDs. So, eventually I borrowed more money and set up more stores in outlying towns and eventually across the state. We even sent DVDs in the mail to customers.

After ten years I was sitting pretty with many stores but deep in debt. I began to notice that the number of rentals was dropping off in all of my stores, Each year the rentals got less and less and eventually I didn't have enough money from rentals each month to pay on the loans, the utilities, property taxes, licenses and employee wages and benefits so I had to let all of the employees go and file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. I was able to sell my house and all of the stores, pay off my debts but I had nothing left over as compensation for my investments of money, time and physical and mental effort over the past 20 years.

What did I do wrong? Tell me Kathleen, what did I do wrong? - AOD

"What did I do wrong?" Failure to anticipate market trends. Well before 2017, it was obvious that DVDs were on the way out, and video streaming was taking over. Instead of expanding into more DVD outlets, your hypothetical businessman should have scaled back his DVD operation and diversified into other areas.

Still, I understand the larger point that many bankruptcies are no one’s fault. In Trump's case, my reading of the situation is that his bankruptcies were his fault. But to his credit, he recovered.

As I think I said before, US politics is binary. The alternative to Trump was Hillary. In the last couple of days, it’s come out that virtually all of Hillary's emails, both incoming and outgoing, were transferred to a mysterious gmail address that may (or may not) be connected with a Chinese firm. This was done before the emails were wiped from Clinton's server, rendering them inaccessible to investigators. I’d prefer an investigative focus on this matter, rather than trying to relitigate Trump's business screwups from decades ago.

Yes, Michael that was my larger point,that many bankruptcies are no one's fault. - AOD

Michael wrote:

"Politics seems to be a "low-vibration" endeavor, attracting office seekers of generally poor character and bringing out the less desirable traits in observers."

I mostly agree with the above sentiment, but I'd like to believe that the better angels of our nature might ultimately triumph in the political sphere and elsewhere. Whether politicians are especially wanting in character, or their faults more evident in the pitiless glare of the civic sphere, I don't know. It takes a certain kind of courage to stand up for what you believe and struggle to win over those who venomously oppose you. So, I respect them for that.

As a spectator, I can model the spirit and attitude that I wish my representatives to embody by being charitable to those whose opinions clash with mine, and humbly open to see and hear what is vital and meaningful to them. Of course, I fail at this regularly, but I genuinely am interested in how people become impassioned over issues and why they believe what they believe.

It would be a wonderful world if our political leaders were men and women of outstanding character and moral virtue, but they are just flawed human beings like the rest of us. The leaders we choose, for better or worse, accurately reflect what we truly value. As Churchill put it: "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."

Kris wrote, "92% of scientist identify as democrat."

I'm pretty sure that includes only scientists in academia, not in industry or in the field, and may also include social scientists. Link?

AOD wrote: "I see a more orderly, sophisticated, legal battle occurring in the United States of America with one or more states withdrawing from the Union and going out on their own. Or, by mutual agreement the country might be divided into 4, 5 or more territories where people of like philosophies would gravitate with their own group. If that occurred then the new American territories or countries would be very vulnerable to attack by other countries"

MP wrote: "As an experiment, I tried commenting on the right-wing Ace of Spades blog after the admin posted an article saying the time has come for a "national divorce." I said that there's not going to be a national divorce/civil war, and that fanning the flames is unhelpful."

How about a peaceful national "separation" (to use a marital term), in limited respects? For instance, it could be agreed that policy-setting on certain controversial topics would be "devolved" to the State and/or county level.

If a majority of the citizenry were polled and agreed with this idea, and if things were becoming violent, with bombings (remember them?) and assassinations or attempts, plus other inflammatory events, the Overton Window would open to a national conversation about it. If the conversation devolved into a you're-the-goober! shouting match, that would not be a bug, but a feature of the exchange, self-referentially supporting the "get-off-my-lawn" (separatioonist) side of the argument.

I can imagine some leftists being happy to have their favorite policies implementable in their home states, no longer being blocked by the national government or its Supreme Court, and thus, in the course of the debate, their moving to that side. Plus being happy to get the wrong-thinkers out of their hair.

It would be much better if a detailed plan for a smooth separation could be agreed-upon at the same time, but there'd be instant big objections to every detail of it, based primarily on deep divisions between social-justice types ("cosmic justice" types in Sowell's typology) and others. So dumping the issue of how to populate regions by political inclination would need to be left to political contests within the states. Crude and cruel. But not as bad is it would be otherwise.

My preference, although also crude, but less so, would be to run a pilot project in which voluntary population exchanges between natural pairs of states would by facilitated by an agency engaged in finding jobs and homes for movers. E.g., New Hampshire could be designated a future "right" state and Vermont a future "left" state, based on existing political leanings there. Ditto with N. and S. Dakota, N. and S. Carolina, and pairs of rectangle States in the middle of the country. This checkerboard arrangement wouldn't weaken national defense.

The new national consensus is that YOU'RE The Goober. Perhaps a humorous alternative national anthem could be composed elaborating this theme with details. It could top the charts, if cleverly done and not favoring left or right, just expressing what each side feels about the other.

Democracy came in because the populace objected to being bullied. Then it divided into factions each aiming to bully (in other factions' view) its opponents. There is no alternative, currently, between being the hammer or the anvil. There is no way to say "love it or leave it" without imposing banishment. But there should be. Then America would really be "the land of the free." Free to find a new frontier, free of the crazies, free to be themselves.

I just long for the days when we could honestly admire leaders. If we get the money (especially dark money) out of our politocal system, who knows what could happen?

In the meantime, we should try not to fall for bogus characterizations of "Socialists (really meaning commies)" or "Nazis", as if anybody left or right of center deserves these labels.

PS: Once persons have divided politically into states, they can then divide by counties and/or by different ends of the state along internal political divisions. For instance, between the religious and secular right.

I said I would comment anymore on this thread, but I feel compelled to make an exception for what I think is an important point.

Here is one way a civil war could start (emphasis on "could"). San Francisco has declared the NRA a terrorist group. Presumably it members (my wife and I among the millions) are now terrorists.

Now I realize that it's just a city declaring this. Yet San Fran is a trend setter. So liberals are basically declaring war on millions of Americans. If that policy becomes more widespread, we could find ourselves in involved in intra-citizen combat. It's the attitude that counts here. People don't just wake up one day and start killing each other. First they develop irreconcilable animosity towards each other and each other's way of life.

And then there’s this. Some left-wing organization in Pittsburgh is targeting local businesses owned by Trump supporters with the declared intention of driving them out of business.

As Eric intimates, this kind of trend is very dangerous. It involves reducing one’s political opponents to "unpersons" who must be destroyed not just politically but financially, socially, personally.

It's not just Pittsburg. It's happening all over. A bunch of self-righteous people trying to destroy their political enemies because...well....I'm truly not able to comprehend.

IMO, The liberals' leaders are in league with 1. The Mexican dope and human trafficking cartels (pay-offs) and 2. China and they are willing to go along with a conscious plan to destroy America because it makes them wealthy and fat. All of voters/protesters/die hard anti-Trumpers are just so many useful dupes who have been brainwashed by the corrupt education system and the lying propaganda media.

I mean global warming is such a big problem, but even big Al Gore allows China and India to merrily go along being the biggest polluters. The US lets in a million to a million and half legal immigrants every year (more than any other country), but anyone who wants to secure the border against illegal immigration - or even have borders at all, something every other country in the world has - is a Nazi racist. Trump is making the economy fantastic after Obama said we'd have to get used to anemic growth and Trump is a villain that needs to be thrown out of office by any means. How can one not conclude that liberals literally seek the destruction of the country?

But I digress....once liberals start acting like a giant witch hunting mob and attempt to ruin conservatives' business and lives, take their guns (the only means to defend against such tyranny) and simultaneously work to destroy the country in favor of other countries and their citizens and in favor of criminals (note all of the anti-law enforcement by liberals), then I really don't see how civil war can be avoided in the long run.

I'm just hoping that this "liberal" (it looks more like self-righteous fascists to me) activism mania is a fad that burns itself out before a limit is reached.

This exact topic (the NRA thing) came up on the Power Line blog:

The comments on that post are interesting.

I admit that I’m slightly less sanguine about the prospects for continued domestic tranquillity than I was when I wrote the main post. While a civil war that parallels 1860-65 doesn’t seem feasible, there could be something more akin to what Eric has talked about vis a vis the Turks and Armenians. Or perhaps the Irish "troubles," or Bleeding Kansas (the period of lawlessness and tit-for-tat raids in the territory of Kansas that preceded the Civil War).

One more thought, at the risk of really being controversial. I think part of the problem is that the left just keeps pushing and pushing. Nothing satisfies them. There is always a newly minted injustice that must be addressed, and anyone who stands in the way is always a monster.

Take LBGTQ rights. The left pushed for gay marriage and got it — a major victory, and one that was worth winning. But they immediately followed up by pushing for a new agenda of transsexual rights, including public restroom use, gender modification therapy for children, allowing a child’s sex to remain unspecified on a birth certificate, allowing trans athletes to compete in women’s sports, and a furious assault on any suggestion that gender is biologically determined.

Much of this agenda, which overturns thousands of years of common-sense assumptions (e.g., that there are only two sexes), has already been achieved. But not content with this rather astonishing victory, which would have been inconceivable even ten years ago, the bleeding edge of the left is now pushing the idea that straight men who don’t date transgender people are hopelessly retrograde bigots and haters. Now, I think there are virtually no straight men who want to date a biological man who "identifies" as a woman. So this means that all straight men are haters, by definition.

And it just goes on. I had a "serious" online discussion with a European leftist who argued that bestiality may be okay, as long as you "obtain the consent of the animal." Bestiality brothels are legal in some European countries already.

How about pedophilia? Dave Chappelle's latest Netflix special includes a riff on how lucky Michael Jackson's victims were — they could brag to their classmates that Michael Jackson had sex with them. High fives! Big laughs from the audience. Hollywood continues to make movies about the beauty of relationships between older men and underage boys. The movie "Doubt" revolves around just such a relationship between a boy and a priest. When a nun exposes the scandal, the boy's mother tearfully chastises her, saying that the relationship with the priest was the best thing in the child's life.

What started as a reasonable stand — gay marriage — has become only a foot in the door for increasingly bizarre positions. The impulse is to normalize all behaviors that have traditionally been marginalized or even banned by society. But if we break down all social norms, we’ll end up by breaking society itself. And in fact, our society does seem to be having a nervous breakdown right now.

When you get to the point where saying there are only two genders can get you banned from social media for the crime of "hate speech" (itself a dubious concept), you’ve gone pretty far down the road to complete insanity. And when a whole civilization goes crazy, the results are ... unpredictable.

MP: "you’ve gone pretty far down the road to complete insanity."

Or jumped-the-shark. If Trump wins again (doubtful—he should stand aside for someone else) the mainstream left will repent of its overreach.

MP: "How about pedophilia? Dave Chappelle's latest Netflix special includes a riff on how lucky Michael Jackson's victims were — they could brag to their classmates that Michael Jackson had sex with them. High fives! Big laughs from the audience."

I'm not sure, but I suspect the context of that was on the absurdity of their doing so due to the overreach you're talking about. In another video he acted out the part of a potential black juror in a trial of Michael Jackson who made absurd excuses for the evidence against him. Chappell has lately become famous for criticizing the college crowd for their wokeness and their attempts to disinvite and exclude non-PC comedians.

A conservative online commenter, Steve Turley (whom I just discovered today) talks about Chappelle's political incorrectness here (start at 1:30):

Look in the sidebar for links to many Chappelle videos. Be warned, some of these are extremely raw—the ones with other actors involved. Videos of his on-stage presentations are easier to take.

One of the funniest was his description of how he and a white friend were high recently (pot) and wandering around the East Village looking for Third Street, and how his white friend went up to a cop and said, "Excuse me, officier, I'm a little high (actually very high) and I'm looking for Third Street; could you give me directions?" (Chapelle's point being that this is something neither he nor any black would do, because of police prejudice and likelihood of being searched for drugs.) The cop hilariously replied, "You're ON Third street."

That’s true about Chappelle; he’s not at all PC. In fact, the Netflix special in question was largely an attack on PC culture. Still, he told the pedophilia jokes and the audience laughed.

I hope "the mainstream left will repent of its overreach," but I’m not confident about it. Who will lead them back to the center? President Elizabeth Warren? President Bernie Sanders? Even Biden has embraced nearly all the farthest-left positions of his party now. And why would they repent if their positions got them the White House?

"Still, he told the pedophilia jokes and the audience laughed."

The audience didn't understand that he was implicitly mocking the jokesters making those jokes. He went on to make that fairly plain in one of his routines, where he extended the jokester's comment to absurdity.

"I hope "the mainstream left will repent of its overreach," but I’m not confident about it. ... And why would they repent if their positions got them the White House?"

I agree that would only occur if Trump won again, as I wrote.

"I agree that would only occur if Trump won again, as I wrote."

My mistake. I misread that part of your comment.

"If Trump wins again (doubtful—he should stand aside for someone else) the mainstream left will repent of its overreach" - Roger

Roger, I'm sorry, but that statement is all kinds of wrong. First, as things sit today, Trump is going to win again and win bigger than the first time. No one outside of extreme liberal bubbles is in favor of what the Democrat candidates are offering (they've gone so radical that they've completely lost touch with the pulse of the country). 72% of Americans say they want border security and illegal immigration curtailed. The 72% includes Blacks and Hispanics - it's their communities that worst impacted by illegal immigration (and legal immigration). People are sick and tired of being called "racist" etc. for simply disagreeing with Leftist policies. People are loving this economy, which was brought by Trump tax cuts and regulation cuts and pro-American stances in trade agreements. Americans are happy with their employer based healthcare insurance and don't want liberals taking that away. Most Americans are sick of identity politics. Eh...don't believe me, Believe polls of Democrats. Joe Biden, a gaffy old has-been, is way ahead of the other Dems. IMO, this is because democrats remember when he was a moderate D. The new Leftist candidates are simply not attractive to most Ds.

Second, Why on earth would Trump step down? He's doing a great job. Many Americans like what he's doing; many like it a lot. He has done nothing wrong. 2 1/2 years of investigation by hostiles parties and there's no crimes or credible dirt.

Oh...and you know perfectly well this has nothing to do with Trump. Liberals hate Mike Pence just as much if not more. They hate any and all conservatives with a passion. They just can't tolerate anyone who doesn't agree with their ideology.

Third, Neither the Left - both the politician and the followers - nor the media is going to change their ways when Trump is re-elected. Most all major media outlets have been engaged in a savage campaign of lies and character assassination against Trump from day 1. I've never seen anything like it ( for example see the "fine people hoax link below). Liberals have been totally brainwashed and are living in a false virtual reality at this point. And they just keep doubling down. Remember when Mueller was going to rid them of Trump any day now? When that bombed out because Trump didn't do what they all just knew he had, they moved right on attacking Trump as a "racist" without skipping a beat.

When Trump wins again, there will be rioting in the streets and an enhanced insurgency against the man and his supporters - and indeed against anyone who isn't a far leftist. If those actions are serious enough, then a civil war could start.

Personally, I wish liberals would just move to a foreign country. It shouldn't be a problem for them. They don't believe in borders. They love "diversity" experiences. They think other cultures are at least equal to ours and even better in most cases.

I mean what good liberal wants to live amongst a bunch of racist, environment destroying, capitalist, unwoke, gun toting, bible reading, old white people? I should think that immigrating to Mexico or Somalia or Pakistan would be far more appealing than remaining in a Conservative America.

Civil war a la the Spanish Civil War or Turks v Armenians is back to 50/50 on my future disaster meter.

One more thought about a flashpoint potential - the move to eliminate the electoral college.

Liberals do not seem to like the fact the country is a constitutional republic and they seek direct democracy (aka mob rule). If the electoral system is eliminated, the urban areas, especially in CA and NY will rule over everyone else. Everyone else really doesn't want that. I mean REALLY doesn't want that.

Now it's reasonable to respond that the electoral college will never be eliminated because the smaller population states' reps won't vote for it. That's today.

In another 20 years, with a whole new generation of brainwashed leftbots coming out the public school system believing all kinds of malignant things about the country and having no foundation in American civics and history beyond "Founders were evil old racist white men!" - coupled with the die off of people who actually know what this country is supposed to be and why - it could happen. That would lead to civil war for sure.

Hi Eric: My belief that Trump would lose in 2020 is mostly based on the lawsuits against him—one recent one is for rape—that will bring up so much dirt that he'll be encouraged by people close to him to resign before he's forced out, perhaps by impeachment. Dangerously, this dirt could come out during the campaign, when it would be almost fatal to GOP prospects.

If he doesn't stand aside for a designee, I suspect that many who voted for him the first time will sit out the election—something that would hurt the whole GOP ticket. (Sitting GOP congressmen are saying they won't run in 2020, suggesting to me that they think their prospects are poor, partly because of Trump.)

In brief, I think that Trump's policies are popular, but Trump is a net negative—including how he energizes the opposition. A different standard-bearer for his policies would likely win, and win big. But who would that be? Not a RINO, not a bible-thumper, and not a libertarian. Who’s left? Maybe there's a governor or mayor somewhere who is eager to take on The Swamp but who doesn't have a lot of baggage.

Re the good economy: That can change, and likely IMO will change.

"People are sick and tired of being called "racist" etc. for simply disagreeing with Leftist policies."

I just discovered, on YouTube, routines of black comedians, mostly Dave Chapelle (very talented) and Chris Rock. He has a 12-minute routine out about being "tired of it" that is quite something.

"Joe Biden, a gaffy old has-been"

After a blood vessel in his eye broke during the recent CNN "town hall" debate, I saw an online characterization of him as "death warmed over."

"Liberals ... just keep doubling down."

They move to the left for the primaries and to the center during the election campaign. They'll trim their sails then. Elizabeth Warren would be a good candidate—she's Hillary without the baggage. She'd have won in 2016. Typical of Hillary not to have stood aside for her.

"Liberals hate Mike Pence just as much if not more. "

But Dem and independent voters don't.

"Personally, I wish liberals would just move to a foreign country."

Love-it-or-leave-it is not a good comeback, besides being impractical and too inflammatory. My intra-country foot-voting proposal a few page-ups above is reasonable and practical, if a majority were to agree on it, which could happen rapidly in a conflict-ridden political situation. There already is majority agreement that "YOU'RE the Goober!"

If Warren or someone similar gets elected, she and the Dems will lose big in 2024—preceded by losses at lower levels in 2022. Any large spending on CO2 mitigation will hurt the economy and not do anything significant to "fight global warming." Other nanny-state measures will alienate some swing voters intensely.

"Third, Neither the Left - both the politician and the followers - nor the media is going to change their ways when Trump is re-elected."

Most mainstream Dems will realize that they need to tone it down to win the presidency, and that the country isn't ready for their party's extremists. This discrediting of extremists after an electoral loss is the norm. For instance, after Goldwater's 1964 loss his brand of conservatism lost influence in the GOP.

There is no crystal ball to see what is ahead for the United States of America. It very well could be and seems likely to me that President Trump will be elected for a second term during which time he will continue to be harassed by the rabid leftists, whatever and whoever they may be at the time until they destroy his presidency or his life but after that, after those four years, then what? The country will have to go on with whoever becomes president after Donald Trump whether after a first or a second term.

(I should note here that if more states like Illinois where I live, adopt the polity of awarding all of their electoral votes to the candidate who got the most National votes, regardless of how the people in the state voted, then it could be that Trump will lose, as Democrat ‘progressive’ states like California, New York, Illinois, Washington, Oregon and a few highly populated metropolitan centers will control the election.)

The odds are I think that the country will continue into the future without a civil war. There may be riots in the streets but I don’t think Americans will start shooting at each other in an outright war where people take sides. A civil war in the United States would disrupt if not destroy the whole world.

Things will pretty much be the way they are now and have always been with a lot of in-fighting and confrontations between political parties, groups and factions of young people who think that they have a better way to govern and live as a society. As generations come and go they will eventually sort things out. A major difference now though is the power of the media including social media and its ability to work people up into a directed frenzy.

What worries me is that young people seem to be swayed by the media. Our education system has failed to educate students in the basics of how to think. I don’t mean what to think but how to think, to logically determine fallacies in arguments; to be able to determine facts from fictions based upon available evidence. Many who protest today seem to be basing their ‘facts’ upon their emotions and what they think ‘should’ or ‘could’ be true or ‘seems’ to be true rather than what ‘is’ true and often a lot of it is based on their fears, the most powerful emotion there is. Additionally there seems to be a loss of values and morals in their lives. Are we nothing more than the basest animals behaving according to our carnal desires or are we something more, something spiritual that is part of the Creator of the universe.

There needs to be a spiritual awakening in the United States. Long-time organized religions can not do it any more. It will take something new, another charismatic leader to convince the mass of young people that life has value and meaning far beyond this world. - AOD

One of the indignities of age, along with gaining hair in places unwanted and losing it where desired, is an enhanced facility for flatulence which, in boyhood would have been an endless source of amusement, but in maturity makes one literally the butt of the joke. While pitiless time has increased the powers of my physical flatulence, I believe, or at least hope, that the prodigious mental flatulence of my youth has seen a corresponding decline. Worse than lying, I think, is the disregard for truth that cloaks ignorant opinion in the tattered guise of pretend fact. To lie well requires knowledge of what is true, so that the liar can twist and distort the facts to suit his purpose. The bullshitter, however, is unburdened by wearisome facts, unconcerned with the Platonic abstraction of truth, and relies on that feeling of fullness in his gut, pregnant with meaning and truthiness, before excreting another round of pungent opinion.

Political opinion doesn't carry much weight with me, but I largely agree with Michael's sentiment that a shooting war between the blues and the reds any time soon seems unlikely. This belief (or perhaps, more correctly, hope) is not buttressed by an arsenal of fact at my command, but born out of a simple faith in a divine sovereign spirit that, where possible, curbs our childish impulses to wrack and ruin and gently guides us towards the betterment of our souls and a kinder disposition to our fellow travelers on this pale blue dot. Yes, we humans still like to wallow in the blood of our enemies every now and then, and projecting our own darkness upon the "other" is man's favorite sport. Yet, I have faith brother, faith in a better world to come.

Eric's fear that the San Francisco city council's resolution to declare the NRA a terrorist organization amounts to liberals "basically declaring war on millions of Americans" seems, like the resolution itself, way over the top. As the linked Chronicle article notes "Resolutions are largely symbolic, and often used by the supervisors as a statement of values." Even the NRA regards it as “ludicrous stunt”, and though I don't want to negate the value of symbolic gestures, the fact is that rainbow clad peace officers will not be breaking down the doors of NRA members in the city, taking away their guns and locking up the "terrorists". Yes, branding the NRA a terrorist organization is way over the top, but if San Francisco can't go over the top, then who can?

I am intrigued by Eric's conspiracy theory of a cabal of liberal leaders "in league with Mexican dope and human trafficking cartels (pay-offs)" and engaged in "a conscious plan to destroy America because it makes them wealthy and fat." In the lurid paperback novel I envision, Bill and Hillary are building a secret army of undocumented immigrants (The Devil's Battalion of Bad Hombres) along a remote stretch of unwalled border, funded by the loot from their "payoffs" and supplied covertly by the Chinese government. Their evil goal: eradicate the NRA, overthrow the government and, in league with their Chinese allies, preemptively mount a nuclear strike against Russia. My working title for this page turner: Hell Hath No Fury Like Hillary Scorned. What do you think Michael, steaming pile of bullshit or a gripping political thriller that you can't put down?

I applaud your courage, Michael, by wading into the murky waters of the sexual politics of the day. I think that what you perceive as the left "pushing and pushing" for a further expansion of human rights, is just the rising tide of change in the world. Suffragettes pushed and pushed for decades to get the right to vote. University administrators didn't wake up one day with the illuminating revelation: "Holy crap, we could double our business by letting women into Harvard and Yale!" Women pushed and pushed against the pricks, making a whole in the ossified instituions big enough to let every qualified woman in. And when women pushed and shoved their way into the workplace, some men lost their jobs to those sexual migrants, equally qualified and willing to work for less.

When the spirit that sustains a tradition can no longer function in that vessel, it dissipates, and what was a vibrant culture and tradition gradually withers and transforms into something more accommodating to the spirit of the time. Notions of what it means to be a man, what it means to be a woman are in flux. Do the bare facts of our biological envelope correspond to the present calling of our souls? Heaven only knows. As the saying goes: Let patience have her perfect work. It will all sort itself out soon enough.

OK you guys. See me on facebook. I have never lost a bet on a presidential election and I bet on each and every one of them. I did well in 2016. I'll give you some good odds. I'm making book now. Don't miss out on a chance to "put your money where your mouth is".

Here’s something very relevant I accidentally found on YouTube last night, just two jumps away from watching ten videos on rocket stoves and stump burning, via the sidebar:

Jonathan Roth - Civil War Coming to America? a 31-minute lecture at
This speech was given at the Capitalism & Morality seminar in Vancouver, Canada, on Saturday, 21 July 2018. 381,000 views.

Canary in coal mine? The developments here will indicate the likelihood of a civil war

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