What do the terms ‘arms’, ‘well regulated’, and ‘militia’ mean in the Second Amendment?

David Franklin Hammack
David Franklin Hammack, Student of the Constitution, and Essayist Discussing Constitutional Principles

Right Wing Americans: Do you generally believe or disbelieve in climate change? Is this stereotype an unfair portrayal?

Rexx Shelton
Rexx Shelton, Historian Detachment 1096 at Marine Corps League (2018-present)
Published in: on October 30, 2018 at 10:16  Leave a Comment  
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Events that led up to Russia annexing the Crimea

Just a reminder of the events that led up to Russia annexing the Crimea. The threat of war in Ukraine was growing. As the unelected government in Kiev declares itself unable to control the rebellion in the country’s east, John Kerry brands Russia a rogue state. The US and the European Union step up sanctions against the Kremlin, accusing it of destabilizing Ukraine. The White House is reported to be set on a new cold war policy with the aim of turning Russia into a “pariah state”.

That might be more explicable if what is going on in eastern Ukraine now were not the mirror image of what took place in Kiev a couple of months ago. Then, it was armed protesters in Maidan Square seizing government buildings and demanding a change of government and constitution. US and European leaders championed the “masked militants” and denounced the elected government for its crackdown, just as they now back the unelected government’s use of force against rebels occupying police stations and town halls in cities such as Slavyansk and Donetsk.

Guardian Today: the headlines, the analysis, the debate – sent directly to you “America is with you,” Senator John McCain told demonstrators then, standing shoulder to shoulder with the leader of the far-right Svoboda party as the US ambassador haggled with the state department over who would make up the new Ukrainian government.

When the Ukrainian president was replaced by a US-selected administration, in an entirely unconstitutional takeover, politicians such as William Hague brazenly misled parliament about the legality of what had taken place: the imposition of a pro-western government on Russia’s most neuralgic and politically divided neighbor.

Putin bit back, taking a leaf out of the US street-protest playbook – even though, as in Kiev, the protests that spread from Crimea to eastern Ukraine evidently have mass support. But what had been a glorious cry for freedom in Kiev became infiltration and insatiable aggression in Sevastopol and Luhansk.

After Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to join Russia, the bulk of the western media abandoned any hint of even-handed coverage. So Putin is now routinely compared to Hitler, while the role of the fascistic right on the streets and in the new Ukrainian regime has been airbrushed out of most reporting as Putinist propaganda.

So you don’t hear much about the Ukrainian government’s veneration of wartime Nazi collaborators and pogromists, or the arson attacks on the homes and offices of elected communist leaders, or the integration of the extreme Right Sector into the national guard, while the anti-semitism and white supremacism of the government’s ultra-nationalists is assiduously played down, and false identifications of Russian special forces are relayed as fact.

The reality is that, after two decades of eastward Nato expansion, this crisis was triggered by the West’s attempt to pull Ukraine decisively into its orbit and defense structure, via an explicitly anti-Moscow EU association agreement. Its rejection led to the Maidan protests and the installation of an anti-Russian administration – rejected by half the country – that went on to sign the EU and International Monetary Fund agreements regardless.

No Russian government could have acquiesced in such a threat from territory that was at the heart of both Russia and the Soviet Union. Putin’s absorption of Crimea and support for the rebellion in eastern Ukraine is clearly defensive, and the red line was drawn: the east of Ukraine, at least, is not going to be swallowed up by Nato or the EU.

But the dangers are also multiplying. Ukraine has shown itself to be barely a functioning state: the former government was unable to clear Maidan, and the Western-backed regime is “helpless” against the protests in the Soviet-nostalgic industrial east. For all the talk about the paramilitary “green men” (who turn out to be overwhelmingly Ukrainian), the rebellion also has strong social and democratic demands: who would argue against a referendum on autonomy and elected governors?

Meanwhile, the US and its European allies impose sanctions and dictate terms to Russia and its proteges in Kiev, encouraging the military crackdown on protesters after visits from Joe Biden and the CIA director, John Brennan. But by what right is the US involved at all, incorporating under its strategic umbrella a state that has never been a member of Nato, and whose last elected government came to power on a platform of explicit neutrality? It has none, of course – which is why the Ukraine crisis is seen in such a different light across most of the world. There may be few global takers for Putin’s oligarchic conservatism and nationalism, but Russia’s counterweight to US imperial expansion is welcomed, from China to Brazil.

In fact, one outcome of the crisis is likely to be a closer alliance between China and Russia, as the US continues its anti-Chinese “pivot” to Asia. And despite growing violence, the cost in lives of Russia’s arms-length involvement in Ukraine has so far been minimal compared with any significant western intervention you care to think of for decades.

The risk of civil war is nevertheless growing and with it the chances of outside powers being drawn into the conflict. Barack Obama has already sent token forces to eastern Europe and is under pressure, both from Republicans and Nato hawks such as Poland, to send many more. Both US and British troops are due to take part in Nato military exercises in Ukraine this summer.

The US and EU have already overplayed their hand in Ukraine. Neither Russia nor the western powers may want to intervene directly, and the Ukrainian prime minister’s conjuring up of a third world war presumably isn’t authorized by his Washington sponsors. But a century after 1914, the risk of unintended consequences should be obvious enough – as the threat of a return of big-power conflict grows. Pressure for a negotiated end to the crisis is essential.

By Seumas Milne.

So, for our politician to stand up and boldface lie about us having no role in Putin taking the Crimea is downright laughable, they depend upon your not remembering. Remeber this picture from the Orange Revolution.

The point of the above post is not to say Russia is a great place or that Putin is a good man, rather to point out that Russia was pushed by the West, EU, and NATO to take the Crimea if they wanted to keep their only deepwater port. The Crimea was a part of Russia until I think it was Boris Nikolayevich Chernousov under the USSR, decided to put it under Ukraine authority, it did not matter much then, but when the USSR broke up the port, Russia’s only deep water port, the Crimea became very important to Russa.

Things do not happen in a vacuum, all event have precursors that led to what happened, and these events will lead to other events, and I am hoping that an atomic war is not one of them. For now, that is between Trump and Putin.


May God Bless Us All.

Published in: on July 17, 2018 at 15:21  Leave a Comment  
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Interfered in our Elections by Hacking into Hillary’s emails

“Interfered in our Elections by Hacking into Hillary’s emails”.
That is a common misstatement of the facts. Hillary’s emails were never found, she destroyed her server, bleached it, and whacked all their cell phones with a hammer. Her 33,000 emails are yet to see the light of day. It was the Democratic National Committee email leak is a collection of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails supposedly stolen by Russian intelligence agency hackers and subsequently published (leaked) by DCLeaks in June and July 2016 and by WikiLeaks on July 22, 2016, during the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
In March 2016, the personal Gmail account of John Podesta, a former White House chief of staff and the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, was compromised in a data breach when he responded to a Phishing email and gave up his password which was “password”. The DNC server was never hacked, and they never let the FBI look at to make sure.
The email, with the subject line “*Someone has your password,*” greeted Podesta, “Hi John” and then said, “Someone just used your password to try to sign into your Google Account john.podesta@gmail.com.” Then it offered a time stamp and an IP address in “Location: Ukraine.”
Published in: on July 17, 2018 at 10:41  Leave a Comment  
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Rick Shenkman is the publisher of the History News Network and the author of Political Animals:  How Our Stone-Age Brain Gets in the Way of Smart Politics (Basic Books, January 2016), from which this article is adapted. You can follow him on Twitter. He blogs at stoneagebrain.

A psychological mechanism inclines us toward consistency, especially when our beliefs and behavior are in conflict. While we often hold contradictory views, obvious contradictions make us feel uncomfortable. By nature we aren’t Walt Whitmans. “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes,” Whitman says in his poem “Song of Myself.” But that’s not how the brain operates. The human brain does not like cognitive dissonance—as social psychologist Leon Festinger dubbed the phenomenon in the 1950s. Rather than live with contradiction, we figure out a way to reduce it. How far are we willing to go to do this? Pretty far.

In his landmark study of cognitive dissonance, When Prophecy Fails, Festinger tells the remarkable story of a Chicago housewife turned mystic who became convinced that the world was coming to an end. A great flood, she predicted, would envelop the globe, ending humanity. She learned this, she claimed, via a message from another planet. All but she and her followers would be lost, she said. They would be saved after being flown in a flying saucer to another planet, Clarion. In anticipation of the end of the world her followers sold their belongings: houses, furniture—they sold it all. Then the date of apocalypse arrived.

It was December 21, 1954. She and her followers dutifully gathered to await their deliverance from the hell that earth was about to become. They expected it to happen as the clock struck midnight. But nothing happened. Perhaps God wasn’t on Central Standard Time. So they waited. Minutes passed, then hours. Still nothing. But this did not shake their belief in the prophecy. Once they realized that no flying saucer was whisking them away and that no great flood was coming, they concluded that they had saved the world from destruction. Their example of faith had so moved God that he had decided to spare humanity. They saved us all.

It is easy for us, from our vantage point, to think of these folks as ridiculous believers in magical thinking. But what they fell victim to was a form of thinking to which we are all highly susceptible. We all want to believe what we believe is true. That’s the Perseverance Bias in action. Once we settle on a view of the world, we are inclined to persist in it. If forced to confront inconvenient facts—as the Chicago cultists were forced when life on earth didn’t come to an end—we are capable of going to great lengths to explain them away. That’s because we absolutely hate cognitive dissonance.

Whether something in our culture and history leads Americans to succumb to magical thinking more than people in other countries, as Edward Simon claims in another article on HNN, it’s characteristic of humans in some form all around the world. That in certain times and under certain circumstances more people fall for it is undeniable. It is beyond certain that we are in one such period now.

I am a Trump supporter and voter, not a cultist. I became a Trump supporter because, like him, I believe that we had let America slide way too far down into the Globalist’s dream. He did not tell me about the spread of the U.N.’s Agenda 21 Sustained Development, I saw it myself. I already believed that Global Warming was a hoax being perpetrated to generate taxes to give to the rest of the world and control our energy choices. I was not at all happy with Obama’s “Fundamental Changes” being one of that that believed in the Bible and the 2nd Amendment.

In my 75 years as an American Trump is the first politician that actually went to work keeping the promises, he made while running for office. If it makes you feel better to call me a cultist go right ahead, you are still going to be stuck with Trump for another six and a half years.

When all of Obama’s supporters were calling him the Messiah did you put them in the category of cultists?


Trump and accomplished more of what he said he would do as President in my lifetime.


“…being one of that that believed in the Bible…”, which is the core belief of any Cult. Thanks for confirming the article’s main premise.

  • Avatar

    You are as sick as the author if you believe that, a cult is not built up around the Bible, rather is is built around a personality.

    Heaven’s Gate was an American UFO religious millenarian cult and had nothing to do with the Bible.

    918 Americans died in Peoples Temple-related incidents, including 909 members of the Temple, led by Jim Jones, in Jonestown, Guyana. Jim Jones was a Communist, not a Christian.

    Joseph Di Mambro Solar Temple cult was not based upon the Bible rather upon the ideals of the Knights Templar they said.

    When on March 26, 1997, 39 followers of Heaven’s Gate died in a mass suicide in Rancho Santa Fe, California, which borders San Diego to the north. These people believed, according to the teachings of their cult, that through their suicides they were “exiting their human vessels” so that their souls could go on a journey aboard a spaceship they believed to be following comet Hale-Bopp it had nothing to do with the Bible.

    I suggest that you get educated on just what cult is before you start spouting off. Members of the Catholic and Protestants Churches are not cultist as they follow doctoring, not personalities. The people in America who support Trump are no more cultist than the people who supported Hillary. Although Hillary supporter comes much closer to the definition than do Trump supporters.


    Of course, a cult is built around personality, as Christian cult is build around legendary personality of Jesus Christ… Take away, Jesus Christ story and Christian faith would not exist as an independent religion; it would remain Judaism, no more no less.
    Thus, Christian faith, in general, is a Cult.
    Secondly, you claim: “Jim Jones was a Communist, not a Christian. It’s half crude distortion, half a lie.
    From Wikipedia:
    “James Warren Jones (May 13, 1931 – November 18, 1978) was an American religious cult leader who initiated and was responsible for a mass suicide and mass murder in Jonestown, Guyana. He considered Jesus Christ as being in compliance with an overarching belief in socialism as the correct social order.[1][2] Jones was ordained as a Disciples of Christ pastor, and he achieved notoriety as the founder and leader of the Peoples Temple cult.”
    That why U’re the one who is sick and deranged liar, like cultivated by the ones like yourself US president…


    From reading this response I must confess that you are so locked into your POV that any time I spent correcting your distortion would be a wasted effort so I will leave it at that. Think of us Trump supporters as you will, but you will, nevertheless, have Trump to deal with for another six and a half years, and his V.P. after that, so get used to crying you have a long cry ahead of you.


    I’m not happy with my intellectual and factual victory over U, ‘course I have beaten to the ground many dishonest ideologues that way on HNN site and beyond, so this a casual event to me…


    You have no victory over me other in your mind, and further comments will be to yourself as I will no longer respond. Enjoy your delusion, and try and explain to yourself just why Trump will win another term if you are so right.


    First, any unbiased witness of our exchange will tell U that I did win by rebutting your distortions and lies with undeniable facts and iron-clad logic, and not just because you believe in supernatural creatures and things, while purporting to judge on purely earthly matters.
    Second, I never suggested that Trump will or won’t win another term, the issue that has little, if anything, to do with our argument.
    BTW, your repeated attempts to switch our debate to completely different issue is one more indication that U lost the initial argument.
    Bye, loser.


    Be that as it may, Trump will still win a second term regardless of if you think I am a looser or not


    Illiteracy is also a trait of Trump cultists.


    Spoken like a true cult member. You are as deranged as Trump is, you deserve each other.


    Yep, a real deplorable, and America does deserve Trump after 8 years of Obama running it to the ground for the last 8 years. You are just going to have to grit your teeth and bare Trump’s 8 years like I did Obama’s.


    “8 Years of Obama running it to the ground”? What sort of alternate fantasy world do you live in, Rexx?

    Obama rescued this nation from the greatest financial disaster since the Great Depression and gave us 8 years of financial prosperity and excellent leadership. He was a moderate centrist who left the nation far better at the end of his term. I guess by “running it to the ground” you must mean “having a black man as president”, right?

    Oh and your Cheeto Fuhrer couldn’t even win the popular vote and only took the electoral college by a freak accident, a plague of racism, hate, & lies, and Russian interference. He is the most hated president in history and will probably be forced to resign when his full crimes are uncovered.

    But, hey, you can still worship at the feet of your “Supreme Leader”, grovel before the reality show con-man as he lies to you every single day. Like I said, you deserve Trump, fortunately the rest of the nation does not.


    Aside from your childish labels (Cheeto Fuhrer, is both inane and a mixed metaphor) the statement that Trump was elected even though he couldn’t “win the popular vote and only took the Electoral College” is foolish and disingenuous; it’s like saying that a baseball team won the game even though the opposing team had more hits. If you don’t understand how baseball works (or Presidential elections for that matter), ask someone.


    Aw, I am sorry you don’t understand metaphors or the electoral college. The electoral college is a dinosaur that cannot even due the job it was intended to, which was to stop irresponsible and unqualified people from becoming president (read The Federalist #68). Instead, it is now a tool that undermines the will of the people. And no, the proper metaphor would be Trump winning the ball game because he was ahead more innings, despite the fact that he scored less runs than his opponent. Do yourself a favor, stop commenting on things you know nothing about!


    The reality is that the states decide who will be president, it has always been that way. Also, I like my baseball metaphor better than yours, it’s more apropos. Why would you think that he was ahead more innings, what does that even mean? Hits lead to runs, but are pointless unless you score. Trump scored more runs, he won more states, that is the way the game is played. Your rationale in quoting Federalist 68 is pedantic, it has nothing to do with how the system operates. You should take your own advice, trying to discredit another opinion as ignorant is a fool’s gambit.


    Yep, “the greatest financial disaster since the Great Depression” brought on by the Democrats Community Reinvestment Act that forced banks to sell subprime mortgages Which Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bought and sliced them with prim mortgages and sold them through out the world as a guaranteed revenue stream backed by the US Government. Then when the subprime mortgages holders started defaulting on loans that they never should have been given the whole house of cards fell down into the Great Recession.

    His “8 years of financial prosperity” was funded by 6 trillion dollars of deficit spending, and one Quantitative easement after another.

    Go back to your dream world, you’ll be much happier there. Obama’s new normal GDP growth rate of 2% will be blown to hell soon as Trumps GDP passes 4%.

    Frometoday press:

    Economic growth for second quarter is on track to double 2017’s full-year pace

    The Atlanta Fed is forecasting 4.6 percent GDP growth for the second quarter.
    If the outlook is correct, that would be exactly double the full-year 2017 rate and well ahead of the 3.1 percent increase for the same period a year ago.

    President Donald Trump while campaigning pledged growth that would rise as high as 6 percent.


    Oh my god, you have to be about the most misinformed person I have ever seen. You are walking talking proof of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Look, buddy, turn off the fox news, it is rotting your brain.


    Turning off Fox News won’t help a person who believes some man was walking on water and rose from the dead to… nowhere.


    “Dunning-Kruger Effect”, no that is you projecting your disorder upon people you disagree with. But your disillusion does demonstrate a strong example of the Mandela Effect.


    Sorry, done with you, I don’t talk to mentally ill cultists. I live in the real world, not your right wing fantasyland devoid of facts and reality. Continue to fall to your knees and grovel to your reality show con-man, you deserve him.


    Yep, we deserve him, and you got him too. And I am so happy for you.


    Sorry, don’t talk to insane cult members!


    That’s good, snuggle up with your like-minded POV bubble and be absolutely flabbergasted again when Trump wins by an even bigger landslide for his next term. In the meanwhile watch your Blue Wave peter out into a Red Tide.


    Sorry, don’t talk to insane evil cult members!


    It obvious that you do not, as you keep talking to me.


    Brown, still spewing your hate on the internet? Time to sit down Brown.


    As per your statement, “Trump and accomplished more of what he said he would do as President in my lifetime.” Since the only way to make this statement intelligently would be to compile a list of all of his promises and compare that against his accomplishments, then do that same for the other 10 or so Presidents of your lifetime, I would be very eager to see your analysis. Would you be so kind as to forward?

    That is there for even the most causal observer to see, if you are to blind to see it I will gladly leave you in your ignorance. As a horse trainer I know full well that I can take a horse to water but cannot make it drink. I do not have to justify my observations, I just report them as I see it. Take it or leave it. You will be putting up with Trump for another 6 1/2 years.

    There is nothing I could say to change your mind so why should I take the time?


    As you can see, I did not attack you, but merely asked for the evidence underpinning your assertion. Asking people to produce evdience to support their assertions is a useful tool to expose who has truly thought about their assertions and who is just in an emotional state of frenzy.

    If you feel comfortable in relying completely on your unfounded beliefs while ignoring empirical facts, then you have fulfilled the textbook definition of a cultist. And one bonus contribution for you to chew on while your feeding the stock, the idea that Obama was or was not a cult figure has no bearing on whether Trump is or is not.


    Ignorance is a lack of knowledge, not a derision upon the one needing educated. I do not believe that there is anything I can say to change your mind, and what you are asking me to do would take a hell of a lot more time than I care to put in this discussion with a person I believe locked into a point of view so tightly that there is no chance that any of my words would change you mind if I was to take the time to do as you ask.

    “…the idea that Obama was or was not a cult figure has no bearing on whether Trump is or is not.” True enough, but was not the point of that comment, the point was that the author would never dream of calling Obama supporters what he was accusing Trumps supporters of, when they gave so much more example of the attitude than any Trump supporter ever did. I just had to go back to my records for these examples:

    Ezra Klein said in January 2008 in The American Prospect. “He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh, over color, over despair. The other great leaders I’ve heard guide us towards a better politics, but Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves, to the place where America exists as a glittering ideal, and where we, its honored inhabitants, seem capable of achieving it, and thus of sharing in its meaning and transcendence.”

    Oprah Winfrey. Both spoke like preachers on the old-time gospel hour — about Obama. “I give all praise and honor to God,” Obama said, according to Politico. “Look at the day the Lord has made.” Meanwhile, Winfrey spoke about a quasi-holy man. “We need a leader who’s going to touch our souls. Who’s going to make us feel differently about one another. Who’s going to remind us that we are one another’s keepers. That we are only as strong as the weakest among us.” The once-popular daytime talk show host also spoke about “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,” a novel and movie from the 1970s. This old woman would ask all children, “Are you the one? Are you the one?” “Today we have the answer to Miss Pittman’s question,” Winfrey confidently predicted. “South Carolina: I do believe he’s the one.”

    Toni Morrison, the person who once called Bill Clinton America’s first black president, in January of 2008, she wrote a letter praising Obama for possessing “a creative imagination which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom.” He had an “un-embargoed” “moral center,” she gushed, according to the New York Observer. He had “courage instead of mere ambition.” Indeed, the novelist most famous for being forced upon a generation of American high schoolers babbled: “There have been a few prescient leaders in our past, but you are the man for this time.”

    San Francisco columnist Mark Morford frothed in June 2008 that Obama “isn’t really one of us.” “Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul.”

    Eve Konstantine, some leadership coach and Huffington Post blogger. “He represents our diverse whole: he’s brown, book and street smart, somewhat androgynous, strong while adaptive, and, above all, purposeful,” Konstantine wrote of Obama in February 2008. “He’s an amalgam of all that we are. He knows where he’s going, he understands what’s possible, he sees the current imperative, and he’s voicing it for all of us. He is a necessary response to the current zeitgeist. He’s our representation of who we might be as caretakers of the planet. He comes at the hour of our greatest darkness, after we’ve hit a national bottom on the world stage. He’s Everyman, in a way a that [sic] fine white male, brimming with integrity, or a competent white female simply can’t be.”

    Democratic politician Gary Hart identified Obama as “a leader” for a “transcendent moment” at HuffPo. “He is in fact an agent of transformation,” Hart explained. “He is not operating on the same plane as ordinary politicians, and this makes him seem elusive to the conventional press and the traditional politicians. His instinct for the moment and the times is orders of magnitude more powerful than the experience claimed by others. Experience in the old ways is irrelevant experience. ”

    In February 2008, Politico, a suburban Virginia blog, noted the messianic effect Obama was having on many Democrats — including celebrities. Take George Clooney, for example. “He walks into a room and you want to follow him somewhere, anywhere,” the hunky college dropout said. Another celeb, Halle Berry, indicated her own cultish devotion to Obama. “I’ll do whatever he says to do,” she swore. “I’ll collect paper cups off the ground to make his pathway clear.” The Politico story also has this interesting tidbit about Obama’s shtick. “The campaign works hard to cultivate the rock star image,” it said. “After he’s introduced, Obama routinely waits about 30 seconds to enter the arena.”

    In June 2009, then-Newsweek editor Evan Thomas called Obama “sort of God,” according to the Media Research Center. “We’re not just parochial, we’re not just chauvinistic, we’re not just provincial,” Thomas told MSNBC host Chris Matthews. (Thomas was talking about the Middle East, not defending his cocktail-circuit friends.) “We stand for something – I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God.” Ever the powerhouse intellectual, Matthews responded, “Yeah.”

    In December 2009 that Politiken, a leading Danish newspaper, proclaimed to the world that Obama is far greater than Jesus Christ because Obamacare had “passed through the American Senate” but all Jesus did was offer up some miracles “which only benefitted a few.” “Obama is, of course, greater than Jesus – if we have to play that absurd Christmas game,” the newspaper instructed. “But it is probably more meaningful to insist that with today’s domestic triumph, that he has already assuAred himself a place in the history books – a space he has good chances of expanding considerably in coming years.”

    I’ll stop with Michelle Obama’s “We have an amazing story to tell, This president has brought us out of the dark and into the light.”

    As Stephen Hawking was fond of saying, “The greatest enemy of knowledge isn’t ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” This isn’t about my beliefs or even your beliefs, it is about you making a rather sweeping assertion about President Trump that you have not a single shred of actual evidence to support. If you were able to conclusively demonstrate you are correct, I would widely proclaim your findings. Moreover, if you wish to be considered an intellectually honest person, you should stop repeating your baseless claim. Until you can demonstrate your assertion, it is merely an Illusion of Knowledge.

    The fault dear Brutus lies not in our stars, but in ourselves…


    My dear sir, I am under no obligation to prove anything to you, that I see it and understand it as I do is plenty good enough for me. I assert equivalently that Trump will win another term for the reasons I have asserted. I am not the only person who see Trump as a promise keeper, promise made, promise kept is a common refrain in reports of what he has done and is doing.

    Time will tell that tale, and when it is told I am sure that you will be very sad.

    By the way, it was Daniel J. Boorstin who coined “The greatest enemy of knowledge isn’t ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” not Stephen Hawking, did he give credit when he quoted him? As to your “This isn’t about my beliefs or even your beliefs,,,”, I beg to differ, we act upon what we believe, it is our beliefs that guide up in the path that we walk both in the world and in our philosophies.


    You seem to be extremely confused about the point I’m making which is unfortunate because it is exceedingly simple:

    If you care about intellectual integrity and intelligent debate, then you won’t make wild, unsubstantiated claims, when the outcome you assert is actually falsifiable. Again, the fact that others agree with you has no relevance to whether or not what you stated is true.

    On the quote issue, again you are incorrect. Boorstin’s quote was : “The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge.” I corresponded with Hawking’s assistant at Cambridge few years before his passing to confirm the quote which he did directly from Dr. Hawking. You need better sources.

    People have different ways of looking at the world, no argument. At the same time, there is a big difference between facts, ideas, false statements and irresponsible speculation. The problem I’ve observed with dogmatists and Trumpists is that they don’t understand the distinction between those different concepts.

    “Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true.” Francis Bacon.


    1- Daniel J. Boorstin quotes (showing 1-30 of 68)

    “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
    ― Daniel J. Boorstin

    tags: ignorance, knowledge, misattributed-stephen-hawking 2735 likes Like
    “No agnostic ever burned anyone at the stake or tortured a pagan, a heretic, or an unbeliever.”
    ― Daniel J. Boorstin

    45 likes Like
    “A wonderful thing about a book, in contrast to a computer screen, is that you can take it to bed with you.”
    ― Daniel J. Boorstin


    2- You do not get it, I don’r care what you think of me or any other “Trumpists”. We will put him into office for another term, and there is nothing you can do about it.

    “…a big difference between facts, ideas, false statements and irresponsible speculation.” I have not uttered a false statement, I have offered my opinion, and my own personal observations, i.e. Trump has delivered on more promises than any other president in my lifetime. And there is nothing irresponsible about speculation regarding the midterm elections and the 2020 Presidential election.

    Now as to facts, they are a different kettle of fish. As Nietzsche said, “There are no facts, only interpretations” just as the interpretation of a book is up to the reader, so too is the interpretation of our world is up to the person(s) observing the facts. Facts do not explain themselves, they must be explained by an observer. Facts can be explained to tell many different stories, as any courtroom drama will point out. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering, another in Computer Information Systems, these required I pass courses in physics up to and including wave theory. I also earned an MBA with an emphasis on management which means, among other things, a lot of studying of statistics and forecasting. I have well demonstrated my ability to understand the distinction between those different concepts you point to. This is the problem all you Trump haters have, you vastly underestimate his supporters. I am a Marine active in the Marine Corps League for the last 30 years. You would be hard put to find a Veteran that thinks the way you do, out of the hundreds I currently know only two that look at Trump the way you do.

    We are not going to come to a meeting of the mind, you will not convince single Trumpists to change who they will vote for, you are just going to have to grit your teeth and bear it. I am retired some time back and now train horses for a living. I am a Marine active in the Marine Corps League for the last 30 years.

    This is me in the middle. Bty, those two Marines beside me see Trump the say way I do



First of all, I do not hate, nor dislike Trumpists, and I am very, very proud of our military. Your need to paint this as an “us vs them” issue is not scientific, nor statistically relevant. My only point, which you have chosen to completely ignore, is that you initial statement that “Trump and accomplished more of what he said he would do as President in my lifetime” is not a fact, however, it could be verified, if you were truly concerned about having an intelligent debate, based on facts and evidence.

Objective truth is not relative, no matter how casually you treat it, it is a process of discovery, as great thinkers have pointed out for over 2400 years. And the only way mankind has discovered to move intelligent debate forward is by systematically removing error, bias and falsehood from our discourse. This is and has been my only point. If you were to agree to embark on that intellectually honest and essential journey with me, then I would recognize you as a brother in arms and welcome your input, despite the fact that we view the world in different ways.

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so
certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts,” Bertrand Russell

“When a man finds a conclusion agreeable, he accepts it without argument, but when he finds it disagreeable,he will bring against it all the forces of logic and reason.” Thucydides


Whether you hate Trump or not, you come across like a Never Trumper.

You said, “My only point, which you have chosen to completely ignore, is that you initial statement that “Trump and accomplished more of what he said he would do as President in my lifetime” is not a fact, however, it could be verified, if you were truly concerned about having an intelligent debate, based on facts and evidence.”

I have no desire to debate you about my assertion, I can gratuitously assert anything I may wish and you can just as gratuitously deny it, which you did without proof of any kind. This is a “us vs them” with the Progressives on the one side and MAGA on the other, there can be no compromise for the two sides are diametrically opposed and cannot meet in the middle. You are going to lose the election, both the midterm and the Presidential in 2020. That is the issue you do not wish to debate as it will be decided at the polls. Either you are right or I am right, there is no middle ground.


It’s not about compromise or ‘meeting in the middle’, it is about having an intelligent productive debate that can yield real solutions. Jefferson referred to America on several occasions as “The Great Experiment” and one cannot conduct a useful experiment if facts, evidence and truth are casually disregarded.


You are the one that wanted this discussion. I have responded logically intelligently, and with courtesy in all of my replies. The upcoming elections are a continuation of the American Experiment, its outcome will be the proof of the pudding. I have ignored no evidence, in fact from my point of view you have absorbed a lot of propaganda about Trump supported. Which blind you to what we really are, and what we are rally doing.

Obama, with his “Fundamentally Changing” of America, was the greatest attempt yet to move us from Jefferson vision for America. Then came the choice between Hillary and Trump. Hillary mote the same of what Obama had laid the path for or Trump’s MAGA. Trump won and the Progressives cannot stop crying about it, and the reasons for their appointed heir to Obama was first the Russians did it. But that has about blown its course and petering out with the arrest soon of the FBI agents who cleared Hillary and trumped up the Trump Russian Collusion fiction to get him impeached.

Now the whole emphasis is on the way he is handling the illegal aliens crossing the border. That won’t help their cause, as we are not cultists, but people whose eyes have been opened.

I can carry this as long as you, for I am not going to let you have the last word.


With all due respect, you have not responded intelligently and logically. By making unsubstantiated claims that you assert are truth, without evidence, you have actually systematically undermined the seriousness and credibility of your argument. Your statement: “I can gratuitously assert anything I may wish” is not a logical or intelligent argument.

In fact, your endorsement of gratuitous assertions is eerily reminiscent of the example that Dr Shenkman used in the original article. You can say as often as loudly as you would like that the world will end tomorrow, but that certainly doesn’t make it logical, intelligent or true.


You appear to have no respect for me or any Trump Supporter, “you have not responded intelligently and logically” is your opinion not a fact.

As I said way above I am under no obligation to you to do anything.

I assert that Trump has kept more campaign promises than any other president in my lifetime than any other president elected to office. You asked for proof of that assertion, and I am under no obligation to give it to you. Your assertion “‘I can gratuitously assert anything I may wish’ is not a logical or intelligent argument.” No, it is a premise, not an argument, the argument is: A gratuitous assertion simply means that no proof was offered to prove the assertion, it does not prove that the assertion is untrue. If I come into the house and say it is raining outside, that is a gratuitous assertion, showing my wet hat would be evidence of that assertion, but not proof as the hat could have gotten wet in another way, such as a sprinkler system.


If you want to engage in an intelligent, logical discussion, as you claim, then proof is absolutely necessary, otherwise the discourse cannot move forward and the conversation is not bound by intelligence or logic and you fall into the category of the cult leader described above.

Your example is proof of your confusion and complete lack of understanding of what intelligent and logical actually mean. It is either raining outside or it is not and the statement is either true or not true and can be falsified. Your assertion has no bearing on whether it is, in fact, raining or not.

As an aside, it fascinating how closely you subscribe to the excruciating relativism of the post modernists. Even though today we mostly think of it as a left-wing movement, it did have its origin in right-wing ideology.


“If you want to engage in an intelligent, logical discussion, as you claim…”

I told you before I have no desire to have this discussing with you, you are the one driving it. And as I said above I will not let you have the last word. You have proved nothing beyond that you do not like Trump and his supporters. And that you have dome abundantly well.

My mane thesis through all of this discussion has been and will continue to be, that Trump will win a second term, and the Republicans will increase their seats in both Houses in the upcoming election. Everything else that you through at me about engage in an intelligent and logical discussion is bull crap. My assertion will be proved or disproved in the coming elections this year, and again in 2020. If I am wrong bookmark this discussion and rub it in and I will eat humble pie, if I am right I expect the same from you.

BTY: Trump’s approval on 20-Jun-18 is at 48%, that is the general population, he is about 85% among Republicans. I an Independent and not associated with the GOP in any way.


Since you clearly have no idea what I am talking about, allow me to explain in simple terms. In logic, if a=b and b=c, then you can logically deduce that a=c. According to your examples, a= capricious assertion that has no bearing on reality, truth or evidence. Can you understand how that cannot possibly lead to intelligent, logical discourse?

As an aside, I’m just curious, is it the official policy of people who think like you to lie down like a doormat when someone utterly destroys their arguments? Sad!


You destroyed nothing; you just went off on a tangent rant that has nothing to do with what I have been saying. You are right; you present your case so poorly that it would be difficult for anyone to follow beyond your main point of hatred of Trump and his supporters.

How are my assertions “subject to, led by, or indicative of a sudden, odd notion or unpredictable change; erratic”? Your saying my assertions are capricious does not make them so other than in your own mind.

You have a very sad 6 1/2 years ahead of you, for many more Americans agree with me then they do you. Yes, that is an assertion, but the proof will be forthcoming in the elections. I enjoy the thought of your exasperation when Trump wins his second term, and how disappointing you are going to be when the lauded Blue Wave gets inundated in a Red Tide to die into a dashed hope.

If you were not so mean spirited I might feel sorry for you.


That approval rating in purely in your sick mind; current polls show that his approval has dropped by over 5% in a single month. YOU lack any credibility whatsoever…which is typical for rightwing hardcore idiots, who are ALL blatant liars.


Judging by your irrational and wholly illogical commentary, no one with a functioning brain should have any respect for you. You are a TRUMPKIN, a mindless supporter of the TRUMPKINHEAD, and a delusional rightwing fool with no real understanding of any of the subject matter that you invoke in defense of your ridiculous views or attempts at dismissing far stronger, more rational arguments from far saner minds.

YOU are a 75-year old, racist, regressive fool who lives in a Fox News bubble of blatant idiocy. A SLUG deserves more respect than you do.

Oh, and your assertion that this orange-haired buffoon will win re-election is merely the delusional icing on your YUGE turd-cake of foul-minded beliefs.


If you feel that way why do you prolong this discussion so long. Calling someone a racist is a conversation like this is tantamount to asking them if they have stopped beating their spouse yet. Any answere will be offered as proof of the accused racist. I was waiting for you to get to the ad hominem part, that is where all Progressives go when they cannot win an argument.

Here is your written proof that you hate Trump:

“Oh, and your assertion that this orange-haired buffoon will win re-election is merely the delusional icing on your YUGE turd-cake of foul-minded beliefs.”

And you will have a very long time to wallow in that hatred, for he is going to be your president for another 6 1/2 years. I look forward to your distress.

Published in: on June 21, 2018 at 08:11  Leave a Comment  

All cattle and no hat

Sen. Chuck Schumer says the Trump-Kim summit produced nothing and it was “all cattle and no hat”! New Yorkers city slickers should not try to be cowboys. All hat and no cattle can be translated into “You talk the talk but don’t walk the walk!” So, “all cattle and no hat” can be translated into “you are all action with no bullshit.”

Published in: on June 14, 2018 at 05:59  Leave a Comment  

Fooling Around 1

My first rendition of “The House of the Rising Sun” and “Fooling Around”.

Published in: on June 5, 2018 at 06:02  Leave a Comment  

Me and my 12 string

Published in: on June 5, 2018 at 05:58  Leave a Comment  

Born to be Blue

Rexx and his harp with pictures taken over the years of critters at the Hideout.

Published in: on June 5, 2018 at 05:54  Leave a Comment  

Two Views of the Constitution: Originalism vs. Non-Originalism

I am a Libertarian, not a conservative, and I am in the originalist school of interpreting the Constitution. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia defined “originalism” this way:

“The Constitution that I interpret and apply is not living but dead, or as I prefer to call it, enduring. It means today not what current society, much less the court, thinks it ought to mean, but what it meant when it was adopted.” This applies to each and every one of the Amendments.

That means to understand what the Constitution means you have to understand how the writers understood the words they used to write the Constitution. That is in opposed to the Progressive’s Living Document way of applying the Constitution. The originalist doesn’t look to give the Constitution meaning, they look to understand what the original writers meant when they wrote it, and then apply that meaning to today’s issues. How judges line up on this divide is decided by the election of the President, and the justices he appoints to the bench. This is why election matter so much, and one of the consequences if elections.

It is the Living Document school of interpreting the Constitution that bends the meaning of the Constitution to fit how they wish to shape the law of the land. This article demonstrates how the two sides of this divide see how things that come before the Court should be decided.

This, by Katie Vloet, explains the divide very well:


Two Views of the Constitution: Originalism vs. Non-Originalism By Katie Vloet September 22, 2015

This year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, regarding the fundamental right to marry, provides a useful lens through which to view the differences between originalist and non-originalist views of the U.S. Constitution, the U-M Constitution Day speaker said.

“It’s really a microcosm of the legal debate about how we interpret the Constitution,” John Bursch said on September 17 at Michigan Law. Bursch argued Obergefell on behalf of Michigan, Tennessee, and Kentucky earlier this year (listen to oral arguments).

Bursch presented benefits and challenges of both interpretations of the Constitution: originalism, in which the meaning of the Constitution is interpreted as fixed as of the time it was enacted, and non-originalism, in which the meaning of the Constitution is viewed as evolving with changes in society and culture.

“Non-originalists would say that the same-sex marriage decision is the perfect example of why courts need some flexibility to depart from the text, structure, and original intent,” Bursch said, and that, although changes were already happening in state laws about same-sex marriage, they were happening “at a snail’s pace.” A non-originalist, he said, would argue “that this case was decided correctly because it focused on the liberty and personal dignity that were the animating principles of the Constitution.”

The originalists—including the four dissenters in the Obergefell opinion—would say that the justices in the majority “used substantive due process to amend the Constitution by judicial fiat,” Bursch said. An originalist also would say that this is a “classic instance of the justices imposing their own personal values about the way that they thought the country should be going rather than an application of simple, neutral, objective criteria. The dissenters pointed out that the democratic process was working; laws were changing. … By taking this issue away from the people who passed [marriage] referendums in all of these states, the majority hurt democracy.”

Fight the good fight.


Published in: on March 1, 2018 at 08:16  Leave a Comment