The Death Star Strategy: Is Trump Contemplating The Ultimate Constitutional Trick Shot?

Below is my column in The Hill on the possibility of contesting electoral certifications by key states. With the adverse ruling in Pennsylvania, the Trump legal team is still pledging new evidence of massive fraud as certifications are completed. The options for the team seem more and more reduced to the ultimate constitutional trick shot in engineering a fight on the floor of Congress.

Here is the column:

The Thursday press conference by President Trump’s legal team left many breathless as Trump counsel Rudy Giuliani alleged a global communist conspiracy to steal the 2020 election. While making passing references to credible election challenges over provisional ballots or “curing” rules, he repeatedly returned to the allegation of a purported massive conspiracy directed by Democrats to change and “inject” votes into state tallies.

It was a strange narrative that seemed to move away from the provable to the unbelievable. The question is, why?

One possibility: to raise sweeping allegations with insufficient time to resolve them in order to force an Electoral College fight. The idea would be to give license to Republican-controlled legislatures to intervene with their own sets of electors or block the submission of any set of electors. Concern over such a strategy was magnified when Trump called key Republican leaders from Michigan’s legislature to the White House on Friday.

Call it the “Death Star strategy.”

In “Star Wars,” a struggling rebellion was in full retreat on every front against an overwhelming force in the Empire. The rebels were left with just one strategy and literally one shot. Luke Skywalker had to skim the surface of the Death Star along a trench and fire a round into a small thermal exhaust port to travel down an air shaft and cause an explosion in the core reactor. Then poof! No more Death Star.

However, if this is the Trump team’s plan, it will make Luke Skywalker’s shot look like a beanbag toss.

The electoral ‘trench’

The “trench,” in this instance, is found in state election systems leading to the electoral equivalent of the “exhaust port” in the Constitution’s Electoral College. It is the Electoral College where the actual election of an American president occurs. Each state certifies votes to the Electoral College — a figure that adds up to the number of members the states have in the two houses of Congress, or 535. (In addition, for Electoral College purposes, the District of Columbia is given three electors, for a total of 538.) Thus, a candidate must have at least 270 electoral votes to become president.

To reach that “exhaust port,” Trump’s legal-team equivalent of X-wing fighters must get all the way down the electoral “trench” by creating challenges to multiple state certifications and deny Joe Biden the 270 threshold or claim those votes for Trump. The Trump team has focused on states such as Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania. If the litigation can create serious doubts over the authentication or tabulation of ballots, the Trump campaign could force fights on the floors of these state legislatures. However, after meeting with the president on Friday, the Michigan legislative leaders dealt that potential strategy a serious blow by saying they are unaware of anything that would change their state’s certification for Biden.

The electoral ‘shaft’

Once litigation introduces doubt as to the validity of the vote, the matter travels down the electoral version of the Death Star’s air shaft to individual state legislatures. This is when things move into some uncertain constitutional physics.

Article II of the Constitution states that electors are appointed “in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.” All but a couple of states have directed that all of their electoral votes will go to the candidate with the greater number of statewide votes. The question is, what happens if legislators decide they cannot say with confidence who won the greater number of votes?

Such controversies have arisen before, as in 2004, when Democrats objected to counting Ohio’s electoral votes due to voting irregularities. The greatest controversy occurred in 1876 after a close, heated election between Republican Rutherford Hayes and Democrat Samuel Tilden. Like Biden, Tilden won the popular vote and more electoral votes (184, to Hayes’s 165). The problem was that rampant fraud was alleged in Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina. (For example, South Carolina reported 101 percent of voters voting). The controversy led to rival sets of electors being sent to Congress. A long fight led to the improbable election of Hayes as president.

For Trump to pull off a similar maneuver, he would need the cooperation of Republican state legislators. He also would face collateral litigation over who should certify electors — a state’s governor or its legislature. In Bush v. Gore in 2000, the Supreme Court ordered an effective halt to further litigation, but that was just one state. It is possible that such multistate litigation could push the challenges beyond the end of the safe-harbor period for certification on Dec. 8 or beyond Dec. 23, when those votes are supposed to be submitted to Congress. Indeed, it could force a fight on Jan. 6, when Congress gathers in joint session to count the votes.

The electoral ‘reactor’

Only then would the action make it into the “core reactor” equivalent of our constitutional system — the joint session of Congress. This would trigger a law passed after the Hayes-Tilden election. Unfortunately, the Electoral Count Act (ECA) of 1887 is hardly a model of clarity and would become the focus of litigation itself. Under some circumstances, Vice President Pence could issue a ruling in favor of Trump, but one senator and one House member could challenge his ruling.

What if there were insufficient votes overall to elect a president? This is where we could see a rare court intervention in a contested election in Congress. The ECA is ambiguous on what it means to have a majority of electors; it does not clearly state whether a majority of “electors appointed” means a majority of the 538 electors (270) or simply a majority of those electors accepted or successfully certified (allowing election with less than 270 electoral votes). There also are untested terms and provisions, ranging from the weight given to the decision of governors and the meaning of what is “lawfully certified” or whether votes were “regularly given.”

There also is the potential under the 12th Amendment for a “contingent election” when there is a tie or insufficient votes. In such a case, Trump could win again. In that case, the vote for president is held in the House based on state delegations, not individual members. Republicans likely will control a majority of state delegations in the House, despite having fewer seats overall — as well as the Senate, where Pence could be reelected.

Again, that is all quite a long shot — a bit more than Luke Skywalker’s boast that he could sink it because he “used to bull’s-eye womp rats in my T-16 back home.” It is enough to make an Ewok weep. All one can say, to paraphrase Han Solo’s parting words before heading out for Death Star, is “Hey, Rudy. May the Force — and the ECA — be with you.”

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates online @JonathanTurley.

 

618 thoughts on “The Death Star Strategy: Is Trump Contemplating The Ultimate Constitutional Trick Shot?”

  1. “And why not ?”

    Because, John, these issues are complex, require careful definition and have a lot of fuzziness.

    I want to be as clear as possible before going to war including making sure everyone involved has exactly defined their positions and that every word is understood as best as possible. Even then fuzziness will exist.

    To get to as close as possible to reality one needs careful definitions and definitions change on a continuous basis when dealing with fluid issues.

    Your leftist “slur” doesn’t add to the debate. It is actually a sign your frustrations.

    Reality exists outside of human thought. Human thought doesn’t reflect the most exacting realities that exist. That is why you couldn’t define the word “force” in the context of the discussion we are having.

    1. You need to let go of this “fuzziness” nonsense.

      True or false it is irrelevant. In far to many instances determining whether force can be used can not be a masters thesis seminar.

      It must be decided in an instant based on principles we all know intuitively.
      Fuzzy or not does not matter. There will be no oportunity for debate over definitions.

      I would further note that you STILL can not seem to grasp that we go FROM reality to words and definitions.

      Not the other way arround – Fuzzy or not, the justification for force is based on real world circumstances.
      Those are described by words, and those WORDS are clarified by definitions – but the circumstances are not driven by the words.
      And the fuxxiness is not about reality – it is about words and definitions.

      1. “You need to let go of this “fuzziness” nonsense.”

        You are wrong. Fuzziness is part of life. You want black and white decision making in a complex and ever changing world. It only happens in your world or a world where you are the only one involved.

        “I would further note that you STILL can not seem to grasp that we go FROM reality to words and definitions.”

        You are wrong. A reality is something that cannot be completely defined by humans and fuzziness will always exist.

        Go ahead and give us those definitions that apply to each and every circumstance and that are as clear to each and every person as 2+2. I have been waiting and continue to wait.

        1. “You are wrong. A reality is something that cannot be completely defined by humans”
          Irrelevant. The fact that you can not define something does not mean that thing is fuzzy – only that your perception of it is.

          “and fuzziness will always exist.”
          Because you say so ? Again you confuse the inadequacy of perception with reality.
          The limits of my perception are NOT limits to reality.

          “Go ahead and give us those definitions that apply to each and every circumstance and that are as clear to each and every person as 2+2. I have been waiting and continue to wait.”

          Is this supposed to be an argument ?
          Why must I define something because you demand it ?

          Again you keep trying to run implication backwards.
          You are free to define the legitimate uses of force. Whether you are correct depends on how well you conform to reality – not the other way arround. I doubt I can perfectly define the legitimate uses of force. But without a near perfect universal understanding of what uses of force are legitimate and what are not – government, society is not possible.

          1. “Irrelevant. The fact that you can not define something does not mean that thing is fuzzy – only that your perception of it is.”

            Fine. That is why one needs definitions and there will always be some fuzziness in the complex decisions involving war and peace.

            “Why must I define something because you demand it ?”

            I don’t demand it but you keep telling me how clear these words are yet you cannot define them so that all people will have the same exact understanding under different circumstances.

            “without a near perfect universal understanding”

            Is that sort of like, fuzziness?

            1. Do not confuse what I cannot do, with what I will not do.

              I am not engaging your defintional debate as it is an irrelevant distraction.

              Fighting over shades of differences in definitions will not change reality.

              1. “I am not engaging your defintional debate as it is an irrelevant distraction.”

                It is a distraction because you seem to believe that only your definitions count despite the rest oof the world that relies on dictionaries such as Merriam Webster.

                According to you, no one except you can define terms based on reality, so the rest of the world is left in the dark.

  2. one way to resist the upcoming false victor Biden is withhold income taxes

    imagine if 70 million americans refused to file 1040s as a “PEACEFUL PROTEST”

    ouch. billionaires would feel that one, because their Treasuries would take a dump in bed

    billionaires are the enemy

    Saloth Sar

  3. If you guys think I am crazy and that another civil war is at hand, then answer this query.

    Why is there no ammunition on the civilian market? Tens of millions of shooters in the USA and all you can get is shotgun ammo. If that.

    There has never been a higher price for ammo than now.
    I have watched this for decades and seen shortages before.
    nothing like this. what is for sale is gone fast, at the highest prices ever
    The past year has seen supply plummet, demand skyrocket, and prices can’t even make up for shortages.

    Either the military is building up for war or the rest of us are.

    Or both. Understanding that, the why comes easy.

    Billionaires and their steppinfetchits are the foe.

    Saloth Sar

  4. Of interest. Interpret as you may. The video opens a lot of questions.

    Video: Lt Gen McInerney Claims It Was Delta Forces Who Actually Raided A CIA Server Farm In Frankfurt To Seize Dominion Servers – 5 Soldiers Killed, Servers Secured

    https://redstatenation.com/video-lt-gen-mcinerney-claims-it-was-delta-forces-who-actually-raided-a-cia-server-farm-in-frankfurt-to-seize-dominion-servers-5-soldiers-killed-servers-secured/#disqus_thread

  5. Trump dead-enders, listen this guy is not only generally an indiscriminate liar, but on the election blatantly so.

    1. He repeats the nonsense that there is no way he could have been so far ahead on the night of the election and then lost, as if we – including him – don’t know there was a record breaking mail in vote due to the virus. Of course he did nothing before the election to mitigate this fact except setting you up to buy the fraud BS – he knew he’d lose – and GOP legislators in Michigan , Wisconsin m and Pennsylvania all voted down proposals to allow mail in votes to be counted as they came in.

    2. He continues to blame the result on crooked big city vote counting, naming Atlanta, Philly, Detroit, and Milwaukee. The fact is that Biden either under performed Hillary in those cities or at best equaled her results. He over performed her in the suburbs of those cities and mostly across those states, including in red counties.

    Don’t be a sucker for this obvious con man loser

    1. “Trump dead-enders, listen this guy is not only generally an indiscriminate liar, but on the election blatantly so.”

      Insulting Trump voters is a very effective means of persuasion.

      Regardless, I am not interested in Trump. I am interested in election fraud.

      “1. He repeats the nonsense that there is no way he could have been so far ahead on the night of the election and then lost”
      That is one argument – and an excellent one. It is not impossible, but it is highly unlikely. Equally importantly indications are that all Bidens gains came in 5 cities accross the country, that in each city observers were told that counting was being stopped for the night and were sent home and then without observation suddenly mailin ballots started trending heavily and uniformly for Biden.

      “as if we – including him – don’t know there was a record breaking mail in vote due to the virus.”
      False – Trump voted Absentee. Not Mailin. The process is radically different.

      Even Absentee balloting typically has a rejection/fraud rate of 6% – that of mailin ballots is typically 20%.

      Yet, miraculously the rejection rate of Mailin ballots in Philadelphia was only 0.25% – so somehow Philadelphia voters became 800 times more accurate than the past or 800 times less fraudulent than in the past ?

      That is theoretically possible. But the statistical odds against it are enormous.

      If you chose to vote by mail – knowing the risks associated with mailin voting – you should not be surprised that you vote may get rejected,

      I voted in person. I drove to the polls, wore a mask, social distanced, It was no more dangerous than going to the grocery store.

      If you are so terrified then maybe you should not vote. There is no obligation of the rest of us to coddle you.

      Regardless, for those under 65 the risk of C19 is less than the Flu – and all past election have been held during flu season.

      The record breaking numbers of mailin ballots are because very few states allowed mailin balloting before – Even the EU banns it, Even Jimmy Carter has spoken out against it. Even Obama has publicly spoken out against it – before he was for it.

      Epidemics are not a justification for election fraud.

      While we must never engage in this mailin election nonsense ever again – the fraud in this election is worse than just mailin elections.
      It is the failure of election officials in about 5 cities to follow the law.

      “Of course he did nothing before the election to mitigate this fact except setting you up to buy the fraud BS – he knew he’d lose – and GOP legislators in Michigan , Wisconsin m and Pennsylvania all voted down proposals to allow mail in votes to be counted as they came in.”

      Trump railed that mailin elections are rife with Fraud – that is a well known fact and 2020 is just another data point.

      Great to fix a problem with fraud we should make fraud easier.

      We count votes on election day and only on election days as a means to disincentivize fraud.

      Regardless, it is not the legislatures job to make a problem created by democratic governors and state election officials worse.

      YOU decided to conduct a mail in election YOU did it almost entirely without lawful support. YOU then expected legislators to be complicit in your fraud.

      If you could not count the votes on election day then you should not have imposed mailin voting by fiat.

      Would these 5 cities have been unable to count the votes had they been in person ?

      This is typical leftist nonsense. Do something stupid. Make a mess and then blame others for failing to give you what you want to make the mess even bigger.

      If you honestly want a system of continuous public voting – then SAY SO. That is not how US elections are done.

      If Elections have no real start and no finish – then say so – I am sure there are millions of votes for Trump that can be found in the same fashion as those late night in secret votes for Biden.

      You do not seem to grasp that if you get away with this – the consequences are more fraud in the future. This is no different from eliminating the filibuster. Republicans do not tend to initiate lawlessness – but they are atleast as good as democrats.

      Take note the GOP took back nearly every seat in CA they lost in 2018. Democratic ballot harvesting produced a one time benefit.
      In the long run it just makes CA elections less trustworthy.

      “2. He continues to blame the result on crooked big city vote counting, naming Atlanta, Philly, Detroit, and Milwaukee.”
      Correct.

      ” The fact is that Biden either under performed Hillary in those cities or at best equaled her results. He over performed her in the suburbs of those cities and mostly across those states, including in red counties.”

      Incorrect. Biden won signiificantly less counties accross the US than Clinton. Further Biden underperformed Clinton accross the country – nearly everywhere EXCEPT those 5 cities.

      “Don’t be a sucker for this obvious con man loser”

      You still seem to think this is about Trump.

      It is not – it is about YOU, the left, democrats, the media and FRAUD.

      You are maligning Trump – fine do that. But you fail to grasp that YOU have no credibility – this is not about Trump, it is not about Biden, it is about YOU.

    1. One has to wait and see, not just grab onto any result one finds appealing.
      —–

      “We have identified over 150,000 potentially fraudulent ballots in Wisconsin, more than enough to call into question the validity of the state’s reported election results,” said Phill Kline, director of the project, in a statement. The count includes 144,000 fraudulent votes and over 12,000 legal votes not counted.

      “Moreover, these discrepancies were a direct result of Wisconsin election officials’ willful violation of state law,” he added.

      According to unofficial results in the state, Biden beat Trump by about 20,000 votes.

      The group said it found that more than 10,000 Republican ballots weren’t counted; more than 10,000 GOP voters who had their ballots requested and filled in by another person; and around 100,000 illegal ballots that were counted anyway.

      https://www.theepochtimes.com/milwaukee-county-recount-concludes-finding-slightly-larger-margin-for-biden_3596444.html

      1. We’ve seen the court challenges and seen no reputable support for these claims. Epoch Times is put out by a Chinese religous cult for members of the Trump cult.

        1. I do not follow the Epoch Times.

          Regardless Credibility is not based on buzzarre claims of guilt by association.

          So Epoch Times was founded by Chinese americans who support persecuted disident groups in China.

          Are you actually saying that China’s supression of dissidents is a good thing ?

          Credibility is based on a historical record of factual accuracy.

          What is the track record of Epoch Times ? Of New York Times ?

          As I said I do not follow Epoch Times.

          I do not follow Alex Jones either – but his lunatic conspiracy theory claims regarding Trump have ultimately proven more accurate than what is reported by CNN, or MSNBC

          That is pretty bad.

          The MSM has become the propoganda arm of the left. They are worse than Pravda.

          You are ranting like a lunatic that Trump has not alleged fraud – right. In left wing nut world is it acceptable for those running an election to ignore the law for their personal benefit and that of their party ?

          Are you actually claiming the laws were followed ? I have yet to hear you say that the election laws of the state of PA, GA, WI, NV, MI were followed.

          In your world how do you have a trustworthy election if the government ignores the laws and makes up the rules as it goes ?

          You rant about Epoch Times – I would ask WHY isn’t New York Times, Wapo, … investigating this ?

          They are not grilling election officials. They are busy repeating the left’s talking points. No ones feet are being held to the fire, no tough questions are being asked.

          And you wonder why no one trusts the media ?

        2. Listen to this nutcase who has no credibility. The Epoch Times is put out by anti-CCP publishers. Joe F. goes along with the MSM not recognizing how ruthless the CCP is so they both have some agreement. Heck, even the Joe Biden Family Fortune benefits from the Chinese, so the two Joe’s are CCP supporters.

          The Epoch Times has been quite accurate with its reporting and is far better than any of the MSM outlets.

          1. I do not know the bona fides of Epoch Times.

            I do know those of the MSM and they have burned their credibility.

            I would also agree with you that if the Epoch Times is a voice for Chinese dissidents that ADDS to their credibility rather than diminishes it.

          1. That you choose to name supporters of Trump, Trump cult members, is a display of your ignorance. Why should anyone trust a person with zero credibility who almost always is wrong? You think your mindless insults are proof? How stupid.

            1. Only cult followers would believe the loser BS Trump is selling, and worse, applaud his efforts to have the decision of voters cast aside so partisan state delegations can hand him victory. That is an attempted coup you’re cheering on.

              1. “Only cult followers would believe the loser BS Trump is selling”

                Who said this was about Trump ? You are the one fixated on Trump.
                I am fixated on the lawlessness of those administering the election.

                “and worse, applaud his efforts to have the decision of voters cast aside”
                Which voters is that ? Absolutely every single legitimate vote should be counted.

                But a lawless election process means illegitimate votes get counted.
                That is a violation of the rights of legitimate voters.

                “so partisan state delegations can hand him victory.”
                I have no idea what state legislators can or will do.

                What I do know is that partisan governors and their administrations have run lawless elections.
                and if possible those results need corrected, and if as is more likely that is not possible the results need to be set aside.

                The optimal solution would be a proper election in those places with fraudulent elections.
                That may not be possible.

                “That is an attempted coup you’re cheering on.”

                How So ? I do not see the JCS surrounding the whitehouse with Tanks ?

                The constitutional process for challenging an election is being followed.

                If states fail to certify because of failure of their administrations to follow the state laws, then the election will as the constitution dictates be thrown to congress. I would prefer a different solution – but that is the one we currently have.

                My suggestion to you is to get behind laws with teeth to assure that elections are conducted in a trustworthy fashion.

                The constitution allows congress to step in.

                I think a national election law requiring
                secret ballots for all federal elections – that would preclude mailin voting,
                votes must be counted by midnight election day.
                National voter ID.
                Random hand audits of all forms of electronic counting.
                Public release of raw counts immediately after polls close.
                Public oversight of the entire process,
                Public right to challenge any individual ballot.

                Those would be a start.

                1. The election is “administered” by thousands of county and state officials of both parties – and none – in 50 states. Yesterday Trump called the Republican Sec of State – previously a Trump supporter – an “enemy of the people” Now he’s trying to get millions of votes thrown out and the election to be decided by partisan state legislators, Ghat’s a coup and attempted overturning of our democracy.. This is what you Trumpsters are supporting. A whiny b..ch of a loser who will say anything and turn on anyone who doesn’t sell out for his personnel goals. It’s Trump First, America Last for you.

                  GTH, and quickly please.

                  1. “The election is “administered” by thousands of county and state officials of both parties – and none – in 50 states.”
                    Amazing! I would not have guessed that.

                    “Yesterday Trump called the Republican Sec of State – previously a Trump supporter – an “enemy of the people””
                    You keep thinking this is about Trump.

                    “Now he’s trying to get millions of votes thrown out and the election to be decided by partisan state legislators,”
                    Well then you should have followed the law – then this would not be an issue.

                    When the government does not follow the law that casts doubts on all ballots – good and bad, regardless of who they are for.

                    If you want your vote to count – you should demand that government follow its own laws.

                    “Ghat’s a coup and attempted overturning of our democracy..”
                    Nope, that is an effort to prevent a coup.

                    The law was not followed. As a result we have no clue what votes are legitimate or not.
                    Even if we can ascertain the proportion of invalid votes – it is my understanding that many cities have destroyed the mailin envelopes to prevent tracking fraudulent votes, we still would not know who the fraudulent votes were for.

                    This is your mess.

                    “This is what you Trumpsters are supporting.”
                    A proper election where only legitimate votes are counted, where the law is followed.
                    I am OK with that.
                    In fact I insist

                    1. “many cities have destroyed the mailin envelopes to prevent tracking fraudulent votes,”

                      If the killer got rid the entire body and the knife Joe Friday would state the man who was killed is still alive.

                    2. In PA there were 1.8M mailin ballots mailed out according to State records.

                      But 2.5M mailin ballots were cast.

                      One of the things being checked right now is voting records vs. records of deaths, and moves.

                      In Georgia alone there are over 100,000 votes by people who moved out of Georgia.

                    3. I would further note that thus far no one has threatened Sidney Powell with a defamation claim.

                      I am trying to get facts straight as there are many confusing statements.

                      It appears that Smartmatic makes the software that is on the Dominion Voting Systems Hardware.

                      It also appears to be correct that Smartmatic did add over 1M votes to totals in Venezuella – and has publicly admitted that.

                      While that is not evidence of misconduct in the US 2020 election, it likely explains the failure to respond to Sidney Powell, as well as the failure of DVS to testify as requested by the PA Senate.

                      Todate I have seen no absolute evidence that the 2020 election was stolen. But I have seen LOTS of evidence of fraud, and far more than enough evidence to not trust the outcome.

                    4. John, I think that significantly changing voting procedures that were properly instated by a state’s constitution and thereby acting unconstitutionally voids the election for the entire state unless it could be proven the winner would have occurred if the non constitutional processes didn’t exist.

                      If something of that nature happens in two or maybe one state and the other contested states have significant mathematical similarities to those states, then the SC might void the electors in all those states based on mathematics alone.

                      The cheating that occurred becomes more obvious every day but the proof is very hard to come by in such a short period of time.

                    5. First I would note this is NOT a criminal proceeding against an individual

                      I would absolutely require proof beyond a reasonable doubt to convict anyone of voter Fraud.

                      But the legal standards we are addressing now are far lower.

                      There are myriads of allegations out there right now – and I do not doubt that some of them are false.
                      Some also contradict each other.

                      But many are not, and several od those that are near certain to be true are pretty damning.

                      One of the most significant for me is that the handling and counting of absentee ballots was not done with meaningful observation.
                      The law requires that. Trustworthy elections require that. If you handle and count ballots without meaningful observation – you can not expect people to trust your results PERIOD.

                      The lack of required observation is itself FRAUD. It is illegal, and it is unethical even if it were legal.
                      Most importantly it destroys the credibility of the results.

                      The fact that each of five cities in states that Flipped to Biden all had sudden vertical gains in biden votes at nearly the same moment late on election night – after election observers were sent home.

                      The graphs of the vote counting are pretty damning. Every single swing state had a smooth curve with Trump taking a large early lead and Biden slowly catching up as mailin votes were counted. There is nothing wrong with that. The problem is that at virtually the same time in each city there is a sudden vertical rise in Biden votes. That does not occur naturally. That requires that in a single very large – often over 100,000 ballots, block process all at once that the percent of votes for Biden was near 100% – while those during the entire period before and after were running consistently 70/30. There is just not a natural mechanism for that to happen. Small variations – sure. 27pt one time changes in large numbers of ballots process all at the same time in 5 different cities ? 27pt ONE TIME shifts ?
                      That is just not plausible.

                      There are other serious issues – PA issued 1.8M mailin ballots. It counted 2.5M – I do not think there is a legitimate explanation for that.
                      Where did the other 700K mailin ballots come from ? PA residents are required to request mailin ballots. That is one of the few measures to prevent fraud. Almost 1/4 of the PA mailin ballots were not requested ?

                      Efforts are being made to contact people who purportedly voted by mail – especially those who were not legal voters.
                      On GA there are purportedly 30K people who voted who were not GA residents at the time of the election. hundreds of them have been contacted and they report they did not vote.

                      While you are right in one way about the time frame.

                      You are wrong in another – in the long run more and more will be known.
                      Some of the claims of Fraud will likely prove false. Most of the early Benfords law claims are wrong. Benfords law does not apply to data were there is a real underlying pattern to the numbers. The number of voters in a precinct is not random – it is relatively uniform. Therefore the distribution of leading digits in vote totals will not follow benfords law. That does not mean Benfords law can not be used at all in elections – but it can not be used on data where there is a legitimate pattern or constraints that would override benfords law.

                      But the odds of all or even most claims of fraud being disproven are near zero.

                      I would further note that there is a fairly high risk that some egregious example will come to light.

                      Contra the left and the courts Trump does NOT need to prove massive fraud in all the swing states.
                      All he needs to prove is a single really bad example – one that can not be explained away by incompetence or error.

                      Actually establishing that democratic party members did something that can not be excused is the end of this.

                      To create a hypothetical – what happens if an email surfaces from the Biden campaign to some Michigan democratic operatives discussion stuffing ballot boxes with 10,000 Biden votes ?

                      One example like that would be the end.

                    6. Mr. Say, you keep on keeping on, but all the courts that have considered the allegations of fraud have found insufficient (or no) evidence of it. These include judges who were appointed by Donald Trump. When any of these issues get to the U.S. Supreme Court you will find that SCOTUS will make the same finding, despite having on it 6 out of 9 Justices who are conservatives, including 3 recently appointed by Trump. So I guess you know better, anyway.

                    7. RDKAY – I have been perfectly clear – the activities that we KNOW occured – the failure to follow the law of these states are alone FRAUD,.

                      The fact that all these courts that you seem fond of have as you claim found nothing – is merely proof of the problems with out courts.

                      No one doubts that the Law in Pennsylvania was not followed – the Pennsyvlania Supreme court was Open that the order they issued before the election was at odds with the law, and even the PA constitution, their reasoning was “But Covid”.

                      Anyway there is no question at all that the law was not followed in this election.

                      THAT – not who won the election is my concern.

                      The fact that numerous courts are ignoring widespread lawlessness is an amplification of the problem.

                      When government does not follow the law, and the courts allow that – then we have no government.

                      BTW the PA Supreme court order already went to SCOTUS which decided 4-4 to wait until after the election – but recomended that PA separate late ballots as they were likely invalid. Justice Alito as the Justice in charge of the 3rd Circuit turned that recommendation into an ORDER. Yet, the State of PA ignored that Order.

                      I do not know what to expect of SCOTUS – it is really really hard to expect courts to act in cases like this – that is what the lawless actors in these state governments counted on.

                      Regardless, What I want is the courts to compell states to FOLLOW THEIR OWN LAWS.

                      That should be a simple, non-controversial demand. The fact that it is not damns all those involved and particulary the left.

                      Do you have a problem with requiring states to FOLLOW THEIR OWN LAWS ?

                    8. “All he needs to prove is a single really bad example ”

                      That is what I was stressing above in my response. 2 or maybe one tangible example might lead the court to looking at the mathematics and other things that occurred in those states in the same time frames.

                      Contrary to what you stated above, I believe in the long term more information (not less) will become apparent and there will be no doubt that this election was rigged.

                    9. This is not mostly about the courts.

                      The lawless conduct of democrats in this election THUS FAR, for the most part resulted in counting illegitimate ballots.

                      While lawless and potentially devastating in impact, the actions of democrats thus far appear recklessly indifferent.

                      There is a moral difference between violating the law to count invalid votes and actually introducing invalid votes into the election.

                      It is easy to interpret the current results as Democrats counting on democratic voters to cheat, even encouraging them and turning a blind eye to that cheating.

                      Everything flips if there is evidence of directly participating in cheating.

                      The unusual (impossible) concurrent early morning spikes in Biden votes in 5 swing state cites are different.
                      There is no turning a blind eye. The sudden appearance of 10’s of thousands of nearly exclusively biden ballots – all at once and defying trends before and after is evidence of active rather than passive fraud.

                      But Trump needs more than statistics – thought the statistics are pretty damning – there is no way this occurs 5 times in 5 different cities naturally.

                      Regardless, catch someone – put a face to it, and that changes things.

                      The research into invalid votes by people out of state also has the possibility of proving very useful.

                      Imagine a Television comerical with say 30 of these people saying “I did not vote for Biden in PA in 2020”

                      The implication is not that someone else did, but that the democratic party or democratic operatives DID, and not 30 ballots, but thousands of ballots.

                    10. This not mostly about any one segment of government. This is about law and order, whether or not this nation is a nation of laws or despots.

                      “There is a moral difference between violating the law to count invalid votes and actually introducing invalid votes into the election.”

                      When either are done with the intention of subverting our laws and Constitution it really doesn’t matter that there is a moral difference since the end product is the destruction of a free nation.

                      “But Trump needs more than statistics – ”

                      That is the feeling I have expressed more than once. I believe the statistics alone will not cause the court to do very much. However, if election law violations and substantial votes were miscounted then things change. I said ” If something of that nature happens in two or maybe one state and the other contested states have significant mathematical similarities to those states, then the SC might void the electors in all those states based on mathematics alone.”

                    11. I was pointing out the difference – because we can find hundreds of examples of failure to follow the law, of essentially passive participation in fraud – and that is unlikely to gain much traction.

                      But it will take very little evidence of ACTIVE Fraud by those in the democratic party – and this is over.

                      Trump does not have to prove active fraud in every state. If he can prove active fraud by democrats in one place confidence in the results everywhere will be entirely destroyed.

                      Even the courts will quit resisting.

                    12. That is why I focus attention on Pennsylvania though it is not the only state to focus on.

                    13. I live in PA I am pretty familiar with what has been going on there.

                      How many people are aware that just in the past 3 years 3 Philadelphia election officials plead guilty to election fraud – to feeding the same ballot into a scanner over and over and over as long as no one was watching them.

                      I do not know those things in other states.

                      I am getting information on Georgia – which is closer, but where most of the misconduct appears to have been smaller.

                      Purportedly there are already more than enough KNOWN ballots from people who are too young to vote, or dead, or do not live in Georgia and voted in another state to exceed the Biden margin of victory.

                      That does not surprise me – the number of out of state votes in each state every year is very real, but it is not usually large.

                      But it matters when election margins are razon thin.

                      Georgia also bothers me because GA claimed they were going to do a full manual recount – and most of what I am hearing is that they did not. They did a machine recount – they still picked up 5000 Trump votes which itself should be a big clue of problems.
                      But they still have not validated the machine counts.

                      One of the problems with democrats claims about voter fraud – is that there is very little investigation of voter fraud in elections that are not close.

                      At the same Time Michigan and PA are more interesting because the scale of is so large.

                      The scale of the fraud in PA is likely enough to flip the election. That does not occur by accident or just willful blindness.

                    14. “How many people are aware that just in the past 3 years 3 Philadelphia election officials plead guilty to election fraud – to feeding the same ballot into a scanner over and over and over as long as no one was watching them.”

                      That leads to an earlier discussion. Yes, there are enough people willing to go to jail due to their criminal actions involving elections. Criminality seems to be desirable to Democrats as demonstrated by emptying the jails, releasing illegals that are rapists and murderers, making the theft of less than ?$600 non criminal in California, defunding police and watching arson, rioting and looting while doing nothing.

                      Though unlikely, the best thing to happen would be for the SC to declare criminal voting illegal denying those electors the ability to cast their vote and permit Trump who legally won to keep his office. That of course will lead to leftist rioting as we have seen all over the country.

                    15. Though unlikely, the best thing to happen would be for the SC to declare criminal voting illegal denying those electors the ability to cast their vote and permit Trump who legally won to keep his office. That of course will lead to leftist rioting as we have seen all over the country.

                      This will end up at the SCOTUS and they will answer, once and for all; A republic, if you can keep it. Our republic will survive Leftist’s rioting under a Trump administration. It won’t survive if election fraud is upheld by the court. Nevermind that the Leftists will still riot under Democratic governance, the rights of the people will be further eroded to the point they won’t be permitted to defend themselves, speak for themselves or alter/abolish the existing form of government through peaceful and democratic elections.

                    16. I completely agree with Trumps statement that the facts are on his side, but Time is not.

                      You are saying the same thing.

                      If I have given you the impression I think otherwise – that is incorrect.

                      I expect Biden to prevail.

                      I do not expect even SCOTUS to do much.

                      I do not expect much investigation by DOJ or FBI.

                      I am not sure what I expect out of states – almost all these states have republican legislatures – which may act, and democratic governors who will not.

                      But evidence will slowly rise.

                      At the same time Social Media and the MSM will mostly ignore it – it is some right wing conspiracy theory.

                      You know like the Hunter Biden laptops – russian disinformation.

                      But it is not likely that the 47% of people who beleive this election was stolen are changing their minds.

                      And that is a huge problem for democrats.

                      Ultimately lawlessness breeds further lawlessness in one form or another.

                      I just do not know what form.

                      We should remember the OKC bombing was the direct response to Ruby Ridge.

                      The left frets about a dangerous right wing.

                      They are working to create that dangerous right wing.

                    17. This is a spiral in the direction of despotism. It is mostly caused by those on the left but the right has a lot of people that have similar thoughts. Additionally we have a lot of freedom loving people with insufficient pragmatism and too many people that look short term into what is in it for them. Part of that was created by the welfare state, both personal and corporate since everyone receiving some sort of benefit is more afraid of losing the benefit or perk than they are of losing their individual freedom.

                    18. I am libertarian – not republican.

                      I do not think the right TODAY is a consequential problem.

                      But it has been in the past.

                      And it may be in the future.

                      TODAY the threat is from the left.

                    19. “I am libertarian – not republican.”

                      That makes no difference if one is looking to move in the right direction. The left for more than a decade has been pulling this country way off track so leadership needs to be pulled from it in a pragmatic fashion. Who is the one most likely to reverse course and the most likely to get elected. I could hate the guy but that doesn’t matter. I want a leader who can do what needs to be done not a leader who I love that has no hope of being able to do what needs to be done.

                    20. What it means is that I have no problems calling republicans out when they are wrong.

                      Nor any interest in defending them – as so many idiots here think.

                      I can give a long list of Trump fails.

                      They are just not the failures the left fixates on.
                      In some instances they are the opposite.

                      Trump should not have blown several Trillion on faux Covid stimulus as an example.

                    21. I don’t know how much of a choice Trump had. I might have helped out a bit for those losing jobs etc. I might have provided some basic loans, but I agree, the spending was far too much and much of it did no good. However, one has to note that the Democrats were pushing more and more spending no matter what was on the table.

                      AS I have said before, outside of the first several weeks the nation should not have been closed down. This fear of the virus (though it is serious) caused the economy to suffer, children to be uneducated, drug and alcohol addiction, suicide etc., all likely causing the loss of more life years than lost from Covid…. Plus several Trillion dollars added to the deficit along with exposing our weaknesses to our enemies.

                    22. Failing to pass the Covid legislation would have severely constrained states abilities to impose draconian lockdowns that pretty much every study has demonstrated were ineffective – and common sense would tell you ahead of time.

                    23. I don’t necessarily disagree but politics often decrees what leaders can do. Remember Trump only controlled the Presidency which was under continuous attack from the deep state, Congress and much of the judiciary. A lot of Republicans don’t like Trump’s ‘populist’ agenda.

                    24. No one was going to override a veto.

                      Further without Trump support nothing was even getting to his desk.

                    25. Don’t forget that a significant number of Republicans wanted Trump gone. That forced politics to enter the equation. You can hold it against him, but you also have to understand the realities.

                    26. Trump has forced a re-alingment in the GOP and national politics as a whole.

                      Neo-Con’s are departing the GOP.
                      While blue collar workers are joining.

                      That is a major long term winning recipe for Republicans.

                      To the Neo-Cons – Good riddance.
                      If democrats wish to be the party of endless war – let them.

                      I find it amazing that todays blue collar workers – many of them minorities want the opportunity to get ahead ONE THEIR OWN.

                      I find it amazing that modern socialism is an ideology increasingly only held by over educated idiots who have no idea how to work hard or actually create anything of value.

                    27. John, there is a shift in who the respective parties serve. Billionaires and the elite are now on the left, while blue collar workers are migrating to the GOP.

                      You like the word neoconservative, but I find it a terrible word in todays world. Former Liberals migrated to conservative principles which is what we are seeing today with blue collar workers moving towards the GOP. The war hawk prominent neoconservatives did move in the Democrat direction. They should have moved out of the country. (Note: I support a strong military and am not against using it for legitimate existential threats.)

                      “I find it amazing that modern socialism is an ideology increasingly only held by over educated idiots”

                      True. They like to tell everyone else what to do and the less intelligent ones follow suit, as we see on this blog, but the less intelligent one’s have little knowledge of the political economy. Some don’t even recognize that communism is an economic system not a political one.

                    28. I support a strong military too – that is about 1/3 the budget of the current military.

                      That would still be more military spending that most of the rest of the world put together.

                      I do not support “pre-emptive war” – such as the Invasion of Iraq – not even if Sadam had actually developed WMDS.

                      It is near certtain Irans seeks WMD’s. It is likely they will get them – and be able to put them on ICBM’s.

                      That is an excellent reason to be hostile to Iran, and friendly to her neighbors, It is a reason to improve the US ABM capability.

                      It is not a justification for war with Iran.

                      Pretty much everyone who says “you should educate yourself” is ignorant of the very subjects they are demanding that others become informed on. Pretty much everyone who says that really means “you should be indoctrinated”

                    29. “I support a strong military too – that is about 1/3 the budget of the current military. That would still be more military spending that most of the rest of the world put together.”

                      John, I don’t know how much it should cost to keep a strong military but the last sentence would have been better left out. Do you wish to lower the soldier’s pay packages, benefits and retirement to the Chinese or Russian level?

                      The only debate we might have is what constitutes an existential threat and what we need to do to maintain American supremacy.

                      I don’t have enough facts to be an expert as to what wars we should involve ourselves in, but before entering we need an exit policy, parameters and a plan for a war that starts to involve surrounding nations.

                      I think we had an initial exit policy. Win, replace Saddam, and get out. That would have been smarter. Instead, we tried to democratize the nation which was a mistake. We had no plans for a widening war. If we weren’t prepared to bomb Iran and the Syrian air force should they involve themselves in the war, then we shouldn’t have been there. We should never have disbanded the Republican Army. Based on these factors, we should not have gotten into that war if there was a reason in the first place.

                    30. I meant what I wrote.

                      Our military today is absolutely amazing, and unbelievably capable.

                      We do not need that. I would be happy with a military with about 1/3 of the current capability – which is still far more than the top several world powers combined.

                      This does not inherently mean cutting pay and benefits to soldiers. Though it may mean cutting their numbers.
                      Absolutely the Chinese have more soldiers than the US.

                      Are we planing on fighting a ground war in Asia against China ?
                      Even if we are the Indian “tibetan special forces” recently demonstrated that the chinese army is a paper tiger.

                      Whether we should have invaded Iraq or not, Our soldiers both in GW I and GW II demonstrated quite effectively that numbers of men and tanks and aircraft are not all that important today. In both instances the US easily defeated forces numerically 3 times larger.

                    31. John, we can discuss what is needed for the military and what is not. Overall there is waste and mismanagement throughout the federal government. We should expect the same from the military.

                      It is easy to say reduce the waste and fraud. Get rid of this or that. It’s hard to figure out how and why even though I know we spend far more than we have to.

                      As an example (Maybe Olly can expand) A starting off point for determining the size of the navy (at least in the past) was how many large and small wars we could fight at the same time. Are you in favor of reducing that ability to ⅓ its present number of wars?

                    32. Government is ALWAYS going to have significant waste and mismanagement – that is a price we pay to hopefully reduce corruption.

                      But it is also one of the many reasons government mist be small – as that minimizes BOTH waste and corruption.

                    33. “Are you in favor of reducing that ability to ⅓ its present number of wars?”

                      1). Yes,

                      2). False dilema. We are highly unlikely to face any significant wars in the near future. And in the event that changes we will likely have lots of warning. There are a few specific hotspots that absolutely require our attention – but those generally do not require the ability to fight a war.

                      3). The US started WWI and WWII with a military of little consequence. We can build the military we need – when we need it.

                      Not having the ability to fight multiple wars concurrently AT THE MOMENT is a huge incentive to avoid wars.

                    34. >>”“Are you in favor of reducing that ability to ⅓ its present number of wars?”
                      >1). Yes,”

                      I remember that they reduced the number of wars the navy would be able to fight at a time. Your reduction to ⅓ might mean the navy can fight a small war, but not a big one. Do you think that wise?

                      “2). False dilema. We are highly unlikely to face any significant wars in the near future.”

                      I know, WW1 was the war to end all wars and WW2 didn’t exist. Is that what you are trying to say?

                      “Not having the ability to fight multiple wars concurrently AT THE MOMENT is a huge incentive to avoid wars.”

                      Yes, that would be true, but it would also be true that a nation that wished to violate our rights might feel free to do so.

                    35. The US currently has 13 Supercarriers – along with the Carrier task forces each needs.

                      There is not a single super carrier in the rest of the world.

                      The US has in mothballs carriers that are superior to every single carrier that every other nation posesses.

                      The US has in active service utility carriers that are equal to or superior to most carriers in existance.

                      A force of 3 or 4 carriers would be sufficient for ANYTHING in Asia, or the Mid east – but not concurrently.

                      Trump has very effectively made the mid east irrelevant. Because the US is a net fossil fuel exporter. That has substantially disempowered mideastern oil producing nations (as well as Russia and Venezuella).

                      Should Biden actually make good on his threat to end or reduce fracking – we would need a larger military – something close to what we have now.

                      Trump was able to isolate Iran and negotiate peace deals in the mideast BECAUSE of US energy policy.

                      I get really anoyed when leftists claim Trump is stupid or inept – espeically at foreign policy.

                      I have not seen Foreign policy this effective since Nixon/Kissinger. And Frankly Trump has done better.

                      He has completely reshaped the world.

                      The US is a backsopt for Europe – not a tripwire or front line defense, and the Europeans are getting their own act together.
                      Russia is rusting in place.
                      The mideast is increasingly a sideshow, a backwater.

                      We had a Bid fight under Obama with TPP, and yet here we are with Trump completely remaking our relationship with Asia.

                      The Obama era Ended with China belligerently throwing its weight arround the world.
                      Trump has entirely reversed that, From india through vietnam, philipines, Japan, Taiwan, Austrailia are all united in facing China down.

                      Regardless, the largest possible real conflict we face would be if China tried to invade Taiwan.
                      That would require 3 SuperCarriers to deal with – Possibly less as recent Taiwan arms deals have made it likely that Taiwan standing alone could destroy fully half of any chinese invasion force. That alone is likely enough deterent to stop China.

                    36. I don’t have the expertise to say what we have that is actually functional nor what we need. I was hoping Olly might have something to say on the subject. However, overwhelming strength reduces the likelihood of having to go to war. Penny wise and pound foolish is not a good way to handle strategic defense

                    37. There is no correct answer to your question.

                      The weaker out military is the more US and other soldiers will die if there is an actual conflict.

                      We are far from being insufficiently strong to deal with any potential conflicts.

                      But we are increasingly intolerant of casulties – especially where we are not clear what the US interests involved are.

                      As appealing as lower US casualties might sound, it is actually a BAD choice.

                      First it encourages US entanglements.

                      Presidents are less likely to use the military if Americans will die.
                      That is a good thing.

                      Next, like it or not human life is just not worth trillions of dollars.

                      We like to pretend that we can not put a value on everything.
                      Quite often we transfer hard choices over things like the value of a human life to government.
                      But government STILL calculates a value to human life – usually a lower one.

                      The HHS value of a Quality Human Life Year is Far lower than say Ford’s

                      Regardless, we must value human life – hopefully some of us are seeing that with Covid.

                      Our States have deliberately placed too high a value on deaths from Covid.
                      The result is that we are destroying quality of life as well as actual life elsewhere.

                      Placing a value on human life is unavoidable – because failing to do so – inherently placing too high a value in one place, devalues it elsewhere.

                    38. The US had only token forces at the start of WWI and WW2.

                      Today if you sunk the entire US navy our mothballed fleet is STILL more capable than all the rest of the world combined.

                      The fundimental differences between the forces the US has mothballed and what it has active is the number of US casualities in the event of war.

                      The modern US military can wreak havoc on most of the nations of the world with minimal US casualites.

                      For that we pay nearly a trillion dollars every year – 1/20th of our GDP. We are asking Europe to get to 2% of GDP – that is just about where we should be.

                      That will still be a massive deterent.

                      Reducing forces will also be a large deterent to US adventurism.

                      It is unlikely that Obama would have messed arround in Libya or Syria but for the fact that he could do so at little US cost in lives.

                      Both of those were mistakes.

                      With less toys – it is unlikely that Bush would have invaded Iraq.

                      I noted that Trump has been very effective – very little if any of that has been driven by our military capability.

                    39. Our inconsistencies and our politics cause a lot of problems in foreign affairs. The left doesn’t realize how good a job Trump did in his foreign policy and that foreign policy was severely obstructed by the left.

                    40. I am completely amazed at Trump’s foreign policy.

                      While after the fact much of it seems obvious.
                      It was not before hand.

                      Biden is going to have one H3ll of a problem.

                      All the pieces fit in a way that trying to remove one will create messes all over.

                      US energy policy – getting out of the way of Fracking, made Trump’s European and Mideast policies possible.

                      Isolating Iran made the Peace and other deals he made possible.
                      As did isolating Russia.

                      The energy policy allowed a Shift towards Nato and Eirope taking responsibility for their own defense. ‘
                      That moved the US away from being a european tripwire and changes the perception of the European people of the US – without their even realizing it. A stronger Europe weakens Iran and Russia, and even China.

                      And Trump’s entire Asian policy depended on his european policy.

                      About the only big miss from Trump was failure to complete an anglo US free trade deal.
                      Covid got in the way.

                      The UK and Johnson really badly need a US free trade deal – and the US would also benefit from it.

                      Frankly the UK needs to revive the British commonwealth as a trade arrangement.

                      One of the driving factors for Brexit was that the EU was stiffling Britains growth.
                      The UK is the worlds pre-eminent trading nation. UK trade outside the EU was trying to grow faster than inside.
                      The EU would not let it. One of the things that Brexit allowed was the UK to scale up trade with the US, Canada, NZ, AU, China and India, as well as Vietnam, Philipines, … in return for a short term hit to trade with the EU.

                      Regardless Trump’s handling of foreign policy in my view puts to rest all the claims that he is not all that smart.

                      As I said before – what he has done is more brilliant than Kissinger and Nixon

                      I do not think that any president ever has accomplished as much in foreign policy.

                      Further, this is also an issue comparing Trump to Clinton.

                      Clinton did better on the economy – but his foreign policy was abysmal.

                      Trump managed an economy that was much better than his predecessors and a foreign policy that was amazing.

                      The closest president to that was Reagan.

                      And the idiots on the left think they can do better ?

                      H3ll, Trump has accomplished many of THEIR goals.

                      The world is more peaceful than almost ever before.
                      The US is out or nearly out of most hot foreign entanglements.
                      Our relationship to much of the world is better.

                      China has been contained. If Trump remained president Xi would either fall or have to change radically.

                      We had put more poor working class and minorities to work than ever before.

                      But the left is stupid. They do not grasp that ALL their goals will come about in due course with prosperity.

                      But if you put the cart before the horse you get conflict, division and you do not get prosperity.

                    41. When was the last time another Nation sent warships anywhere near a US coastline ?

                      The beligerants of the world threaten US alies – not the US.

                    42. I really do not like the phrase “existential threat” it smacks far to much of Bush’s “pre-emptive war”.

                      We plan for threats. We go to war only when acts of war are committed.

                    43. “I really do not like the phrase “existential threat””

                      John, One cannot help it if you don’t like the words “existential threat”. You are free to come up with a better word of phrase, but I didn’t see you doing that.

                      There are few things outside of the scientific realm that are solely reliant on formulas that are exacting. That is the problem when you construct an ideology based on iron rather than steel. Iron doesn’t bend. It breaks.

                    44. I addressed the problems with “existential threat” This is not about coming up with different words.

                      It is that going to war over an “existential threat” – is immoral. Mere threats do not justify actions.

                    45. “It is that going to war over an “existential threat” – is immoral. Mere threats do not justify actions.”

                      No one can be that wrong unless there is a misunderstanding of the definition of an existential threat.

                    46. “No one can be that wrong unless there is a misunderstanding of the definition of an existential threat.”

                      Again this muddling with the meaning of words problem.

                      If your Idea of threat includes acts – that is a problem.

                      If it does not – then a threat – no matter how large does not justify the use of force.

                      When threatened we can and should prepare for action.

                      But no threat justifies the use of force.

                      The rules are not different for governments than individuals.

                      What is not moral for a person is not moral for a government.

                      Sadam Husein/Iraq are a perfect example of why.

                      A threat is not an act. Further threats are frequently mis-perceived – BECAUSE they are not acts.

                      We beleived Iraq was developing WMD’s – probably Sadam beleived Iraq was developing WMD’s – but they were not.

                      I think we KNOW that Iran is developing WMD’s.
                      We know that North Korea are developing WMD’s.

                      None of the above are acts of war. None justify starting a war.

                      All are potentially existential threats.

                    47. John, you are jumbling things around in a complex fashion without defining what you mean by specific words. That is usually fine but not when there is an unexplained difference of opinion.

                      “Our military today is absolutely amazing, and unbelievably capable.”

                      I agree. That is why the above statement regarding jumbling things around was written.

                      But the statement I responded to was ” It is that going to war over an “existential threat” – is immoral.”

                      My response to that statement was not responded to.

                    48. I did respond.

                      Frankly I am surprised at the disagreement.

                      Threats are not acts, and you can not use force except in response to force.

                      If I threaten you – you can prepare for me to make good on that threat.

                      But you may not morally use force against me merely in response to words.

                      You are making the same logic, moral, ethical and pholosophical error that the left does all the time.

                      You may morally use force in response to force. Not merely threats.

                      You may not use force morally because of what you beleive I might do.

                    49. “I did respond. “

                      You think you did. You continue to be surprised at the disagreement of which there is little. Instead of responding directly you disagreed without defining what the disagreement was. You shift the discussion to promoting your personal ideology. That is not being responsive despite the fact that I mostly agree with your personal statements.

                      Take note of my response::

                      “John, you are jumbling things around in a complex fashion without defining what you mean by specific words.”

                      Then I provided a point of potential disagreement (perhaps due to definitions). I said:

                      “But the statement I responded to regarded your statement:”

                      Your statement was: ” It is that going to war over an “existential threat” – is immoral.”

                      Today, my problem is the same as has occurred in the past. I will quote from my last response:

                      “My response to that statement was not responded to.”

                    50. Again save the leftist tactics for leftists who deserve them.
                      Please do not tell me what I think.

                      First – I am not obligated to post, write, make arguments in the fashion you prefer.

                      I would further note that much of what you call ideology is fact, and even what is not, does not allow infinite choices.

                      You can disagree with me on what justifies the moral use of force – but doing so has consequences.

                      At the most trivial level the more willing you are to justify the use of force, the more violent conflict you will have.

                      Yes, this is an issue of ideology and philosophy. But it does not exist in a vaccuum.

                      Rejecting what you call my ideology and my philosophy – has consequences – a more violent and dangerous world.

                      You also keep ranting about my purported ambiguity.

                      Yet you are the one arguing an “existential threat” justification for war.

                      What could be more maleable and ambiguous than “existential threat” ?

                      I will agree that some of the things that I think constitute a justification for War are also “existential threats”.
                      But that is because existential threat is infinitely maleable.

                      I would further note that thought the war in afghanistan (not the subsequent occupation) was justified.
                      Afghanistan was not and is not an existential threat.

                      Afghanistan is an inconsequential country that committed an act of war against us. That act justified deposing the afghanistan government.
                      But it was a pin prick – a painful one maybe – but not an existential threat.

                      Conversely throughout the cold war – the USSR WAS an existential threat – yet we did not go to war with them.

                    51. “Again save the leftist tactics for leftists who deserve them.”

                      This is not a leftist attack or even an attack. It’s a response to unbending extremist thoughts.

                      “Please do not tell me what I think.”

                      It appears you are telling me what I am permitted to say. I don’t recall telling you what to think and if I did I would think that you would have copied the offending statement so it could be explained or recognized.

                      “First – I am not obligated to post, write, make arguments in the fashion you prefer.”

                      No you aren’t but if you write things in a fashion unintelligible to another don’t complain.

                      “You can disagree with me on what justifies the moral use of force – but doing so has consequences.”

                      Almost everything or everything of significance has consequences.

                      “At the most trivial level the more willing you are to justify the use of force, the more violent conflict you will have.”

                      …And when one leans too far in the other direction they could have a violent conflict that could have been avoided.

                      “Yes, this is an issue of ideology and philosophy.”

                      You are now agreeing with what you previously disagreed with.

                      “You also keep ranting about my purported ambiguity.”

                      I didn’t rant and was pointing out ambiguities that exist. They were not personalized.

                      “Yet you are the one arguing an “existential threat” justification for war.”

                      I argue that there is a bit of fuzziness at the lines of existential threat and an act of war. That fuzziness represents an ambiguity.

                      “I will agree that some of the things that I think constitute a justification for War are also “existential threats”.”

                      If that is the case why are you arguing?

                      “But that is because existential threat is infinitely maleable.”

                      That takes us back to another of my arguments that you disagreed with. Sometimes the argument is definitional and one has to set a definition for phrases like existential threat and act of war. The simple bookish answers that are commonly provided are not good enough to deal on the fringes.

                      You are correct on Afghanistan and the USSR but that doesn’t make you correct on fringe issues which is where we differ.

                    52. “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

                    53. Some people never learn that all battles cannot be fought at the same time. It is better to pick and choose than be destroyed.

                      Rigid adherence to rules is not always applicable in many circumstances. That is why for many aphorism there is an opposite. Common sense is assumed when you adhere to them otherwise when the light turns green you might start moving even though a car that passed a red light is going to hit you.

                      That is what you are facing with these discussions. You are so rigid that you cannot see anything but black and white despite the fact that there is a lot of gray.

                    54. “Some people never learn that all battles cannot be fought at the same time. It is better to pick and choose than be destroyed.”

                      Off point. Regardless, Each of us get to “pick and choose” for ourselves. We choose for ourselves, and we experience the consequences of those choices ourselves.

                      Further this is a blog. And so far no one has “destroyed” me.

                      “Rigid adherence to rules is not always applicable in many circumstances.”

                      When we are talking about government – aka force – we certainly should strive HARD for black and white.

                      This started over the justification for war – we should not accidentally wander into war. Not should we get there by sloppy adherence = or none at all to the rules.

                      “Common sense is assumed ”
                      Please lets not get into “common sense.”

                      “Common sense” is a refuge for poor arguments. It is where one goes when they can not make an argument.

                      WE all know what common sense is – but we do not agree about it.

                      Again leftists claim common sense drives their positions all the time.

                      Quite often Common sense means nothing more than shallow thinking or looking no further than the first order effects.

                      Common Sense is the villian in Bastiat’s the seen and unseen.

                      If something is actually “common sense” then you will be able to make a concrete specific argument. Not an appeal to common sense.

                      Much of our debate has been over definitions, and ambiguity. Common Sense is a practically deliberate effort to assure that debate is ill defined and ambiguous.

                      “You are so rigid that you cannot see anything but black and white despite the fact that there is a lot of gray.”

                      We are dealing with government – force. More specifically we are dealing with WAR. There are few topics were we being black and white would be more important than this.

                    55. “Each of us get to “pick and choose” for ourselves.”

                      Again you make my point for me. Smart people pick their battles.

                      “strive HARD for black and white.”

                      The operative word is “strive”. Now you will accuse me again of playing word games but “strive” adds the fuzziness I keep talking about and you are unwilling to accept that fuzziness exists except at other times when your words show acceptance of fuzziness. That is the major portion of our dispute. I don’t think things are as clear as you say and I don’t think the definitions are as clear as you say especially since the same word can have many different definitions and sub definitions.

                      >>”“Common sense is assumed ”
                      >Please lets not get into “common sense.”

                      OK, you can live in a world of automatons and I will live in the human world where things aren’t as perfect.

                      “Common Sense is the villian in Bastiat’s the seen and unseen.

                      Nowhere does Bastiat tell us to rid ourselves of common sense. In actuality (In the Seen and the Unseen) he is telling us our eyes are closed to what we don’t see and if we open them up to our eyes, common sense alone might lead the way.

                    56. SM – if you keep up trying to pretend that every time I use a qualifier like “strive” that broadens the scope sufficiently to encompass your broad claim – all you will do is drive me to even more rigidity.

                      Strive in this instance means acheive to the greatest extent possible.
                      It is not a loophole,

                      Failing to acheive black and white in this context means innocent dead people.

                      http://thetaxpatriot.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/camels-nose-in-the-tent.png

                    57. “– all you will do is drive me to even more rigidity.”

                      That is a seemingly impossible task.

                    58. sorry SM but the ambiguity is yours not mine.

                      I am very clear on my positions. Acts of war has very little ambiguity.
                      existential threat has unlimited ambiguity.

                    59. “sorry SM but the ambiguity is yours not mine.”

                      JS, that might indeed be true. Acting as an on off switch doesn’t lead to the ability of responding to things that are fuzzy. You miss a lot because the intersecting part of two circles doesn’t exist in your world. Think of a Venn diagram. When there is commonality of the circles things change. circle A and B differ at the intersection.

                    60. Though we are getting nowhere – primarily because you are fixated on arguing about how to argue rather than the issue.

                      The issue – War, is quite important.

                      And even the means of argument are also important.

                      The difference between genocide, mass murder, wanton destruction. Between morality and immorality of a large scale is the extent to which you have ventured into grey areas or tolerate ambiguiity.

                      We are not discussing what to have for dinner.

                      As I country we have been having this discussion for decades.

                      Was vietnam justified ? Grenada ? Nicaragua ? GW I ? Somalia ? Afghanistan ? ..

                      Recently Gen. Mattis published a book arguing for a very expansive role for the US Military in the world arena. Mattis is elloquent, and persuasive. He makes excellent arguments.

                      The left lapped up Mattis – because he was also arguing against Trump, and of course “Orange Man Bad”. Because Trump MUST be wrong, Mattis must be right.

                      But Mattis’s arguments have consequences – both in terms of the nature of the US interactions with the world, and our involvement in and responsibility for Violence.

                      More recently we have discovered that people within our government were deliberately lying to the president of the United States about the forces in Syria. For the purposes of imposing their OWN policy choices over that of the elected president.

                      These are the consequences of the nihilism and moral relativism that the left and others foist upon us today.

                      You are correct – the world is full of grey areas. To the greatest extent possible War should not be one of those. To only a slightly lessor extent all government – the use of force, should not either. Even within our personally lives – we should be clear and following rigid rules before using force.

                      The difference between premeditated murder and killing in self defense is very small, and hinges on precisely following “the rules”.

                      Grey areas are for choices that do not deliberately involve violent death.

                      I would further note that we did not just discover this topic. There is written work on the justification for War back to ancient egypt.
                      It is part of every religious text. Augustine and Aquinas wrote about it in detail.

                      My argument might be slightly narrower than aquinas, but not much, And Aquinas’s “just war theory”. is the core of modern military ethics,

                      Beyond Aquinas – this is also an issue that has been part of public debate. Again Vietnam, GW II, Syria, Libya. Even staying in afghanistan.

                      This is also an area where politics has been shifting. The Bushes brought the country much closer to Mattis’s view of the use of out military in the world. Bush II ran on a platform opposed to expanded foreign entanglements, and yet his presidency is defined by expanding those.
                      Obama ran strongly opposed to the Bush Doctrine – the “existential threats” justification. But he governed driven by Mattis, or Chenney or other NeoCons.

                      In 2016 almost every Republican Candidate advocated opposed to military meddling in the world. While none was isolationist, Trump was the most rigidly opposed to broad justification for the use of the military.

                      As president he followed through on that – unlike Bush or Obama. Yet at the same time his foreign policy was just about the least isolationist of the past 50 years.

                      And we may have just elected a president – without much scrutiny, who is returning us to the “existential threat” model, to Mattis’s deep US military engagement throughout the world.

                    61. “Though we are getting nowhere – primarily because you are fixated on arguing about how to argue rather than the issue. “

                      You are the one arguing and providing all the theory and aphorisms. My issue is that things are not black and white. You can’t stand that you are forced to admit that on the border things are fuzzy and that is generally the place where one needs very careful thought.

                      You say these things yet you continue to argue. For instance you say: “You are correct – the world is full of grey areas. To the greatest extent possible War should not be one of those.”

                      I have no problem with that statement so I don’t know what you are arguing about.

                      I don’t care for Mattis’s policy. I like the direction Trump took. I did not like GWB’s way of handling Iraq. I liked what Obama said about certain aspects of foreign policy but what he said and what he did were two different things. He was a total novice with regard to foreign policy and had little understanding of established ideas like the balance of power. I would love to get into a high dollar poker game with him.

                    62. Something wrong with theory ?

                      Something wrong with aphorisms ?

                      The entirety of morality is inherently theoretical.

                      Other animals do not contemplate the morality of their actions – only humans.
                      And please do not provide me with some monkey study – I do not care if there are a few tiny exceptions.

                      The point is that the entire question of justifying the use of violence is a purely theoretical purely human question.

                    63. “Something wrong with theory ?”

                      No. Something wrong with not having the ability to see gray.

                    64. I have no problem seeing grey.

                      When force is used – men with guns- we should not be operating in grey areas.

                    65. “I have no problem seeing grey. When force is used – men with guns- we should not be operating in grey areas.”

                      Sometimes there are gray areas. Many soldiers in the battlefield face a gray area and then back at home that gray area becomes white and black.

                      Things are different when one is sitting on a chair in a quiet air-conditioned room discussing what should have been done. It’s much harder when bombs are dropping all around you and your platoon is being overrun.

                    66. “Sometimes there are gray areas. Many soldiers in the battlefield face a gray area and then back at home that gray area becomes white and black.’

                      Reasons we should not go to war over threats.

                      With respect to your War digression.

                      How about some clarity.

                      Are you saying accididents occurr ? Are you saying that rules of engagement are not followed ?

                      Warr is messy – I will agree – we should not start wars over threats.

                      But accidents are not “grey areas, nor are the the result of unclear definitions.

                    67. “>>“Sometimes there are gray areas. Many soldiers in the battlefield face a gray area and then back at home that gray area becomes white and black.’
                      >Reasons we should not go to war over threats.”

                      Despite the very narrow path you follow you do a lot of generalizations.

                      There is gray (fuzziness) and words have multiple definitions. It is impossible to deal with specifics when your argument falters and you go back to generalizations.

                    68. I have never denied frequent generalizations.

                      That is NOT a logical fallacy OVER generalizing is a fallacy – one of the easiest to prove.

                      If I have over generalized – then you will be able to trivially find a counter example.

                    69. If I stab you in the chest – that is pretty clear.

                      It is clear – regardless of the words you choose to use.

                      One of the core issues is that you conflate fuzziness and multiple meanings for words with acts.

                      We are discussing the use of force. That is more than words. It is actions.
                      Words are what we use for describe those actions.

                      But the words and nuances of those words do not change what happened.

                      I would note that in ALL areas where we use words to communcate about facts, rather than uimpressions, feelings, the objective – even with your dictionary games is to describe those FACTS precisely and without ambiguiity.

                      When scientists or economists use words to describe what they observed – their goal is to be as clear as possible – no grey areas.

                      F = Ma is meant to be taken precisely and litterally – not figuratively. If there are multiple definitions of words – only one applies.

                      The only difference between factual fields and that of the justification of force is that science etc are generally discussed AFTER THE FACT.
                      And decisions are usually made with time to analyze them – and they are actually analyzed.

                      While many choices about the use of force – must be made a priori -in an instant.

                      There is not only no room for grey areas there is no time for analysis.

                    70. “If I stab you in the chest – that is pretty clear. It is clear – regardless of the words you choose to use.”

                      Clear but imprecise because it can be mortal or not. It could be a stab into the lung or heart or not. Too much of a generalization for a paramedic to know what to do. The medical community created words many do not understand because of their need for a clearer and faster definition but even those words require additional explanation along with three dimensional thinking.

                      “One of the core issues is that you conflate fuzziness and multiple meanings for words with acts.”

                      Not so. I add the idea of fuzziness. That is not the same as conflating.

                      “There is not only no room for grey areas there is no time for analysis.”

                      None the less gray areas exist.

                    71. ““If I stab you in the chest – that is pretty clear. It is clear – regardless of the words you choose to use.”

                      Clear but imprecise because it can be mortal or not.”

                      Does not change the fact that I used force. Nor that doing so required justification.

                      “It could be a stab into the lung or heart or not.”
                      All relevant to punishment if the force is not justified.
                      All relevant to treatment regardless.

                      But the act is still one of force regardless, And it is either justified and moral, or not an immoral.

                      “Too much of a generalization for a paramedic to know what to do.”
                      Completely true – and relevant – if the topic was treatment.
                      But the topic is whether the use of force is justified.

                      “The medical community created words many do not understand because of their need for a clearer and faster definition but even those words require additional explanation along with three dimensional thinking.”

                      Again I have told you over and over, that the requirement for near zero ambiguity regarding justification only exists with respect to the a priori use of force. That is a very narrow domain. It does not even include criminal courts and lawyers and juries.

                      ““One of the core issues is that you conflate fuzziness and multiple meanings for words with acts.”

                      Not so. I add the idea of fuzziness. That is not the same as conflating.”

                      Acts are not fuzzy – that was the point of my stabbing example. Acts are reality – they either happened or they did not.
                      Even our confusion over whether they occured – does not change whether they did.

                      If 10 people pile on to a man, and when they all get up the man has a knife in his chest.
                      Whether we KNOW what happened does not change what happened.

                    72. Yes, that is one type of force but the term itself is imprecise.

                      “Not so. I add the idea of fuzziness. ”

                      Yes, I was happy when you first accepted that idea. That leaves definitions which frequently cause a great deal of fuzziness.

                      “Acts are not fuzzy – that was the point of my stabbing example. Acts are reality – they either happened or they did not.”

                      Yes, reality occurs all the time but it is difficult to define the reality that occurred.

                      Now that you agree with fuzziness there is only one thing to consider, the definition of force which changes based on who and when. You have an idea of the reality of force which is acceptable but what you consider force (or an act of war) in your mind doesn’t translate easily or well into words. That means each individuals vision of force might be slightly different. That is the definitional part of “fuzziness and force”.

                    73. Trump is closer to Aquinas. Mattis is closer to your “existential threat” doctrine.

                    74. “Mattis is closer to your “existential threat” doctrine.”

                      Wrong. Mattis is too easily provoked into war. If it on the other side of the ET spectrum.

                    75. Yes, Mattis is pretty much right on your ET doctrine
                      and the consequence is being to easily provoked into military interventions.

                      That is the problem with the use of force in grey areas.

                    76. “Yes, Mattis is pretty much right on your ET doctrine
                      and the consequence is being to easily provoked into military interventions. “

                      Since I have provided many things that seem to differ with Mattis you must not know how Mattis thinks.

                    77. I have no doubt you disagree wwith Mattis on many things.

                      But you agree that some threats can justify war.

                      merely disagreeing over which threats is like evangelicals arguing over whether you baptise once forward and twice backward.

                      To 99% of the world the differences do not matter.

                    78. “But you agree that some threats can justify war.”

                      When those threats are with an enemy who is intent on hurting or destroying me then an ET that harms my ability to fight a war later has to be dealt with or later I will be attacked and not have enough power to respond.

                      At that juncture I have a two step process based on the situation at the time. Both involve the willingness to go to war.

                      1) Accept war is imminent and prepare for battle.

                      2) Respond like the Athenians did in their naval attack. Not too weak to demonstrate weakness and not too strong to create the climate for war.

                      The gray areas in this approach are huge. Take out your dictionaries so when communicating with one another you have the ability to get things exactly right.

                    79. Preparing for war is not war.

                      It is not what I am discussing with you.

                      What constitutes justification to prepare for war is near infinite in scope Arguably no justification at all may be needed.

                      Actually going to war is totally different.

                      With respect to your second point – If war is justified – that does not mean it is required.

                      Yes there is a very wide domain to war and preparing for war.

                      But not justification of war.

                      If someone shoots at you – you are justified in shooting back.
                      You are not obligated to do so.

                    80. “Preparing for war is not war.”

                      Agreed. So what?

                      “If someone shoots at you – you are justified “

                      When those threats are with an enemy who is intent on hurting or destroying me then an ET that harms my ability to fight a war later has to be dealt with or later I will be attacked and not have enough power to respond.

                    81. “Preparing for war is not war.”

                      Agreed. So what?

                      “If someone shoots at you – you are justified “

                      “When those threats ”
                      Shooting is an act. If you wish to claim it is also somehow a threat – I can live with your choices to count acts as threats.

                      But All threats do not justify force. Only those that are acts.

                      “are with an enemy who is intent on hurting or destroying me”
                      Again with mind reading.
                      We can conclude intent from acts – though we do not typically need to.

                      Concluding intent without actions is like playing with a ouija board.

                      You are making my case for the problem with grey areas.
                      You have so far proven pretty bad at devining my thoughts – If I have tried to determine yours – I expect I was just as bad at it.

                      We do not want to be making choices about whether to kill someone based on mind reading.

                      “then an ET that harms my ability to fight a war later”

                      Find an example of an ET that is NOT an example of an act of war – as an example a blockade is an act of war,
                      that irrepairably harms your ability to fight a war later.

                      As an example Presume that Iraq – like Iran and NK was trying to get WMD’s.

                      That is a a threat – possibly an existential threat. But it is not one that can not be countered.

                      We countered the USSR with mutually assured destruction

                      We are working to deal with Iran, and NK by assuring that any ICBM launch will be shot down.

                      “has to be dealt with or later I will be attacked and not have enough power to respond.”

                      Another example is Hitler. Chamberlain’s policy of apeasement is what weakened the allies – not the ET that Hitler represented.

                    82. “Preparing for war is not war.””

                      If it is a “So what” why did you make the statement in the first place?

                      “Again with mind reading.”

                      How was that mind reading? That was a response of mine having nothing to do with mind reading. In fact it was copied from an earlier response I provided.

                      Along with a proprietary dictionary it seems certain thoughts of yours are proprietary as well even though those thoughts are not known to anyone. One can only garner your thoughts based on what you write so blame yourself if a normal response has entered your proprietary world.

                      “as an example a blockade is an act of war,”

                      I have no problem with that except it conflicts with a conglomerate of previous statements you long ago wrote. Based on that statement we need further interpretation otherwise many things done by China or Russia could be considered acts of war. All of a sudden you are providing examples of easy ways to get involved in wars. I guess I am the only one left standing that wishes to avoid wars.

                      “We countered the USSR with mutually assured destruction”

                      It turned out to be a good counter.

                      “We are working to deal with Iran, and NK by assuring that any ICBM launch will be shot down.”

                      That is force. But if the launch wasn’t directed at the US it wasn’t an existential threat. Therefore you have created a new set of problems.

                      “Another example is Hitler. Chamberlain’s policy of apeasement is what weakened the allies – not the ET that Hitler represented.”

                      Do you really want to go down the path of discussing WW2 and how the ET caused appeasement and decreased the willingness of the allies to prepare for war? You can go there alone.

                    83. “Do you really want to go down the path of discussing WW2 and how the ET caused appeasement and decreased the willingness of the allies to prepare for war? You can go there alone.”

                      If you wish. Appeasement, ET, irrelevant atleast to the specifics of actually going to war.

                      I am not saying that we can not take all kinds of steps short of going to war to deal with Assorted threats etc.

                      That is an entirely different domain.

                      The process by which we sometimes incrementally get to war is an entirely different discussion – and much if not all of what you are arguing regarding going to war is relevant in that domain.

                      No one says ignore Existential threats. No one says do not respond to them.

                      Only that they are not sufficient to go to war.

                      They are likely a step in a path that may lead to war.

                      But the initiation of violence against another person is only rarely justified and then not by many of the conflicts and offenses that get us to the doorstep.

                      If I call you names and verbally abuse you. That is immoral – wrong. But it is not a justification for you to punch me.

                    84. “If you wish. Appeasement, ET, irrelevant atleast to the specifics of actually going to war.”

                      Maybe, maybe not. It’s a matter of how one perceives the discussion and what you are talking about which goes from the specific and spreads out widely.

                      “No one says ignore Existential threats. No one says do not respond to them. Only that they are not sufficient to go to war.”

                      I guess we are back to definitions and along with a clear definition of force we need a clear definition of Existential threat. I’ll wait until you provide them. Make sure there is no fuzziness.

                    85. ““If you wish. Appeasement, ET, irrelevant atleast to the specifics of actually going to war.”

                      Maybe, maybe not. It’s a matter of how one perceives the discussion and what you are talking about which goes from the specific and spreads out widely.”

                      No, they are not relevant, Justified use of force decisions are NOT mere opinions. You claimed to agree that we should keep fuzz and grey areas to a minimum, but you are mass manufacturing them.

                      Do myriads of factors potentially get us to the cusp of war – absolutely.
                      But we may not morally go from preparing for war, to actual war without justification – all use of force must be justified.

                      Justification MUST be as black and white as possible. You quite actively seek to debate things that there should be no debate over.

                      “”No one says ignore Existential threats. No one says do not respond to them. Only that they are not sufficient to go to war.”

                      I guess we are back to definitions”
                      No we are not. We can fight over the definitions for things less than force.

                      But force and its justifcation are a really big deal. There can not be meaningful disagreement and still be able to govern – or more significant still – manage the relations of countries with each other – which are inherently anarcho capitolist.

                      “and along with a clear definition of force we need a clear definition of Existential threat. I’ll wait until you provide them. Make sure there is no fuzziness.”

                      NO! Aside from the fact that you are inverting the direction, you are conflating fuzziness over communications (definitions) with fuzziness over reality.

                      We can disagree over definitions – we can even disagree over reality. But our disagreement does not change the fact that there is only one reality. That your perception and mine differ just means one or both of us are wrong.

                      you keep circling round the same fallacious argument.

                      You are on the wrong side of Kants catagorical imperative – and you are there on the most egregious possible example – war.

                      Even if we do not agree – there still must be only one answer. Even a wrong answer is better than the alternative – anarchy.

                      To be clear this is unique to the use of force – as the catagorical imperative is unique to force.

                    86. “Justified use of force decisions are NOT mere opinions. ”

                      To get rid of that fuzziness define justified use of force.
                      Define when an ET becomes an act of war so in all cases no matter what countries are involved the definition is the same. Define justification. Define force.

                      “I guess we are back to definitions”
                      No we are not.”

                      General 1 ‘we have a justification for war. General 2 ‘no we don’t’

                      I wonder what they are disagreeing over. Do yo think it could be the definition of justification?

                      “That your perception and mine differ” (on reality)

                      Now you are getting to the point you seemed to avoid earlier. Reality is based on perception. Things are not as clear cut as you would like them to be. That has caused a lengthy argument over TRIVIALITIES and you making arguments that others are using leftist and fallacious arguments because their minds are not perfect clones of yours. You are unable to sustain your argument and that is frustrating you causing you to say things that are non sequiturs..

                      To make decisions people need as clear a definition as possible and even then fuzziness exists. You wish to deny this because the definitions of these things are in your proprietary mindset.

                    87. We have been through this all before.

                      You do not like being compared to the left – but you are literally making the same argument as the faux left wing intellectual from harvard that challenged us to prove that 2 + 2 != 5.

                      I do not need to respond to your arguments – they are no merely obvious fallacies, but the consequences of actually following them would be anarchy.

                      You can not make the world work if definitions precede reality. If there is not near universal agreement on the narrow subset of morality associated the with use of force. Fighting a posteriori over definitions does not change anything.

                    88. “I argue that there is a bit of fuzziness at the lines of existential threat and an act of war. That fuzziness represents an ambiguity.”

                      It is not my job to fix your ambiguity.

                      And there is far more than “a bit of fuzziness”. It is arguable that ET and AOW do not overlap at all.
                      But accepting that they do the overlap is small.

                      An actual act of war can also NOT be an Existential threat.

                      And existential threat is so nebulous that it can be argued to be anything.

                      These are your problems not mine.

                    89. “It is not my job to fix your ambiguity.”

                      It is not my ambiguity. It is an ambiguity that is presented to me ‘as is’. That is the element you seem to have forgotten.

                      And there is far more than “a bit of fuzziness”. It is arguable that ET and AOW do not overlap at all.
                      But accepting that they do ***the overlap is small***.

                      No one defined the size of any overlap. But you are now admitting to that fuzzy area we have been discussing time after time. That fuzziness discounts the rest that you say on this subject. However, that is not important. The important issue is that you recognize that fuzziness exists.

                    90. This is not about formulas.

                      What constitutes an “act of war” might have some grey areas – but it is much narrower than “existential threat”.

                      Existential threat is the language used by people seeking an excuse for war.

                    91. I don’t have objections to your generalizations but let me pose this question to you.

                      Assume like many do the Wuhan virus came from China and the Chinese had done things to it that weaponized it. At what point is it an act of war? (Consider all the variable that can enter into that question.) Also ask yourself, when is it recognized as an act of war, when the act was performed or when the act was recognized for what it was?

                    92. If you establish as a fact that China Deliberately created Covid and unleashed it on the world – that is an act of war.

                      That does NOT inherently mean we are going to war. Though it might.

                      Regardless, the consequences would be very bad. ‘

                      I do not beleive that to be true – though it is possible.

                      What appears more likely is that it was accidentally released from a lab that was NOT studying it as a weapon.

                      The next more problematic issue is that after it escaped, China acted to protect itself, but not the world.

                      China shutdown all flights from Hubei to the rest of china, but let people fly anywhere in the world they wanted.

                      That is arguably an act of war.

                      We have not confronted that.

                      The left was so busy ragging on Trump over calling the virus the wuhan virus or the china virus, that they ignored the fact that China probably committed an act of war that allowed it to spread to the world, and may have done so deliberately.

                      To be Clear – my daughter is chinese. when I speak of China I am talking the current regime – not the 1.6B people.

                      China was slowly moving towards greater freedom for decades after Mao died. Xi has reversed that.

                      I hope that in the future China returns to moving towards greater freedom.

                    93. I wasn’t trying to explore the possibilities of the Wuhan virus. I was pointing out how the generalities can merge so that an existential threat and an act of warfare are not easily separated and definable.

                      (That would go back to your calling responding to an existential threat immoral)

                    94. You confuse factual ambiguity with moral ambiguity.

                      We do not know the truth regarding the virus.

                      But every possible truth has clear moral lines regarding what is and is not justified.

                      The ambiguity is in what we know – not in what is required to justify different acts.

                      I would further note that the ambiguity does not create an “existential threat”.

                      The actual facts do – or dont.

                      There is lots and lots of ambiguity in existance.

                      To the greatest extent possible we want clarity with respect to the use of force.
                      And that means government.

                      And that loops back to why government must be small.
                      Because to the greatest extent possible we do NOT want government acting in ambiguous circumstances.

                    95. You completely skipped over what I said which is as follows:

                      “I was pointing out how the generalities can merge so that an existential threat and an act of warfare are not easily separated and definable.

                      (That would go back to your calling responding to an existential threat immoral)”

                      You then start talking about ambiguities which appear everywhere in foreign policy while adding new words when the old words haven’t been clearly defined.You are not dealing with the issues at hand.

                    96. A threat is not an actual use of force.

                      If you actually use force – you have gone beyond threat.

                      I am sorry, but we are not writing poetry of fiction.

                      In the realm of government actions – the meaning of words must be construed narrowly.

                      We can not have the rule of law if all our laws, rules, etc. regarding govenrment action rest on ambiguous standards.
                      We can not have the rule of law if humans do not know clearly what they can not do.

                    97. “A threat is not an actual use of force.”

                      That may or may not be so.

                      “I am sorry, but we are not writing poetry of fiction.”

                      We are not writing volumes of books either. Basic questions are being discussed but most of your responses don’t deal directly with them.

                      You are responding to an issue that has involved response after response and lots of words, however, most of those words are bullet points that do not satisfy the questions at hand.

                      Though not the best way to present the underlying question I will poorly summarize my responses in part.

                      Many disagreements are based on definitions and what they mean. I believe there is a fuzzy area between an existential threat and an act of war. You believe the differences are clear just like night and day…(there is no dusk).

                    98. ““A threat is not an actual use of force.”

                      That may or may not be so.”

                      That is correct, and that is my point.

                      “existential threat” is impermissibly broad, vague and ambiguous.

                    99. “That is correct, and that is my point.”

                      In other words you are agreeing with what I said all along.

                    100. “I believe there is a fuzzy area between an existential threat and an act of war”

                      That would be because “existential threat” is a very fuzzy term.

                      It is your term – not mine.

                    101. “I believe there is a fuzzy area between an existential threat and an act of war”

                      That would be because “existential threat” is a very fuzzy term.”

                      Yes it is and it is best to understand that so one doesn’t get into a needless war or one doesn’t lose a war because of inaction.

                    102. GW I was justified – Sadam invaded Kuwait – an actual act of war.

                      GW II was not. Persuing WMD’s – is not an act of war – it is a threat. It was not when Sadam did it – or didn’t, and it is not as Iran and NK do.

                      While that does not mean we should do nothing. It does mean there is no justification for military action merely because a country is a threat and/or persues WMD’s.

                      I fully supported the killing of Soleimani – even though that is an act of war.

                      Soleimani was engaged in supporting terrorism globally – that too is an act of war.

                      I would not have supported Trump going to war with Iran – as Bolton wanted.
                      I will not support it in the unlikely event Biden goes there.

                      An existential threat is a reason to prepare. It is not a justification for violence.

                      It is not between nations. It is not between people.

                      My beleif that my neighbor might attack me does not allow me to initiate violence against him.

                    103. “GW I was justified – Sadam invaded Kuwait – an actual act of war.”

                      Was that attack an existential threat on America? If so, how? Was Saddam going to invade America? These things are fluid and not exacting enough to meet strict formulas.

                      “GW II was not. Persuing WMD’s – is not an act of war – it is a threat.”

                      Where was the act of war against the US where GW 1 was involved?

                      “Soleimani was engaged in supporting terrorism globally – that too is an act of war.”

                      Soleimani was attacking American troops. He was an instrument of war where Iran’s leaders were attacking the US. Isn’t that also an act of war?

                    104. Your challenges to GWI noted – are still not relevant to this debate.

                      GWI was based on an actual act of war. Not a mere “existential threat” – Sadam has always been an existential threat – as is Iran, North Korea, China and the USSR, and today Russia.

                      We are not and should not go to war based on an existential threat – that is immoral.

                      If you want to address what “acts of war” rise to sufficient level to go to war that is a different discussion.
                      Regardless. any act of war is more meaningful than “existential threat”.

                    105. “Your challenges to GWI noted – are still not relevant to this debate.”

                      Can you enlighten us why?

                      “actual act of war.”

                      Are you saying we should be involved in every war around the globe? There are a lot of them.

                      “We are not and should not go to war based on an existential threat – that is immoral.”

                      The European powers of WW2 must have thought like you do and they almost ended up speaking German.

                      By the way in my comment I didn’t render my opinion on GW1 or GW2 wars.

                    106. GWI – because we both agree that it was justified.

                      IF you or I was debating someone who wished to limit US Wars to those solely involving the defense of the US – GWI would be a point of difference.

                    107. I believe our ambassador screwed up and if she hadn’t there wouldn’t have been a war. Mixed signals.

                    108. Possibly. But regardless of what “signal” our embassador gave Sadam, GWI was morally justified.

                      That does not mean the actions of the amabassador were.

                    109. “That does not mean the actions of the amabassador were.”

                      It means despite the fact that we call it a moral war and justified, that war may have been able to be avoided.

                    110. Even arguably moral wars, usually were avoidable.

                      Read the guns of august for a detailed history of how we blundered into WWI and how it was easily avoidable.

                    111. Even arguably moral wars, usually were avoidable.

                      No disagreement. I think WW2 could potentially have been prevented.

                      Trump has done certain things that made war less likely. My fear is Biden will do things that will make war more likely.

                    112. +10

                      I honestly do not know what will happen with respect to Biden in numerous areas.

                      Trump has been incredibly successful in many areas.

                      Biden’s promises quite often will result in a cascading collapse of those successes.

                      Reduce fracking and you imediately weaken Europe, strengthen Russian and the Mideast.

                      Overatures to China without fundimental changes by the Xi Regime – if not an end to the regime will undermine US relations with the entirety of asia destabalizing the entire region.

                      Even hinting at relaxing immigration will likely result in hundreds of thousands even millions trudging from south american through central america.

                      There is almost nothing Biden can do that will apease those that elected him that will not alienate large majorities of americans.

                      Biden can sit in the whitehouse and do nothing and mostly expect a friendly press.

                      But a friendly press can not cover for failure.

                    113. You still didn’t enlighten with regard to the question. The answer didn’t match the context of the discussion.

                    114. “What question didn’t I answer ?”

                      You deviated from the discussion multiple times which is fine with me but now I am left with this question and no linkage that appears on top of every email. Additionally, for some reason you posts don’t exactly track the one you are responding to so I will leave it to you to search for any of the confusions that have occurred.

                    115. You have entirely lost me.

                      As best I can tell your fundimental issue is that you beleive an ‘existential threat’ can justify war.

                      Lets invert this.

                      The US is clearly an existential threat to other countries. Particularly communist countries – as an example during the cold war.

                      Was the USSR justidied in a first strike against the US merely because we were an “existential threat”

                      In the end we were a successful threat.

                    116. “As best I can tell your fundimental issue is that you beleive an ‘existential threat’ can justify war.”

                      I think that is close enough for a discussion.

                      Your inversion (USSR) doesn’t provide enlightenment. You dealt and deal in whites and blacks. Is there no such thing as gray?

                      On the way towards an act of war the offending nation arms and prepares the armies and potential field of battle to increase its strength so it can exert overwhelming force. There are countless of things that are done to make this possible and while doing so can inhibit the other power’s ability to prepare itself and the ground where the fight will take place.

                      When that existential threat turns into an act of war is fuzzy. The offending nation that has created such power can now intimidate former friends and supporters of the country to be attacked. Those nations can move into the sphere of the offending nation denying raw materials, transit along with other things while the population numbers of the offending nation increase and make it stronger.

                      According to you all these existential threats cannot be responded to. You want to wait until the offending army has you encircled and weakened. It doesn’t have to declare war or do anything that is an act of war the way you seem to be describing things. Eventually no war will take place because the lifeblood of that nation will have disappeared.

                      The fuzziness that exists between an existential threat not adequately managed is a cause of war. The threat of an act of war is what prevents that type of war in the first place, but a threat of an act of war means that you are willing to go to war in an existential situation or all the threats eventually mean nothing.

                    117. Going to war – deliberately killing other people should be about as black and white as we can make it.

                      Generally all acts of government – aka FORCE should be back and white.

                      Grey areas are for individuals in their own lives, in actions that do not involve the use of force.

                      I am not trying to make everything black and white.

                      I merely insist that if you are going to use force – there should be as little grey as possible.

                      Grey areas are not enttirely avoidable. But we need not expand them with terms like “existential threat”/

                    118. “Going to war – deliberately killing other people should be about as black and white as we can make it.”

                      The operative portion the sentence is “as we can make it.”

                      “I merely insist that if you are going to use force – there should be as little grey as possible.”

                      Yes, one clearly defines their terms in discussion so that there is as little fuzz as possible. It seems you are getting the point.

                      “Grey areas are not enttirely avoidable. But we need not expand them with terms like “existential threat”/”

                      No we shouldn’t and that is why we use the term existential threat. The problem is at what point does one go to war based on an existential threat. It should be very rare.

                    119. You keep playing word games.

                      Everything is always the best we can do.

                      The inability to achieve perfection does not change the discussion.

                      If we choose to deliberately move away from black and white with respect to the use of force,
                      we are no longer doing the best we can do.

                      We are chosing to get on the slippery slope.

                      There will always be people trying to push the edges.

                    120. “You keep playing word games.”

                      No, John. You want a totally rigid discussion but that is not how the world functions. There are no word games being played by me. I talk about the unknown. Remember Bastiat? You seem to forget about the unknown in your arguments. You are arguing about the purity of ET and AOW, but few things are pure and those two things are not.

                      This is really a funny situation because we are mostly in agreement and on the same side. We differ at the periphery. I see fuzz and Wenn diagrams when two things look like they intersect. You do not.

                    121. We have been here before.

                      We are discussing Force, specifically Government force, more specifically WAR.

                      Rigidity is required.

                    122. John, you used the word force. Seldom does one face a three dimensional problem by dealing with only one dimension.

                    123. “John, you used the word force.”
                      Yes, govenrment is force. We must never forget that.

                      When we act through government we are using force.

                      ” Seldom does one face a three dimensional problem by dealing with only one dimension.”
                      Incorrect and irrelevant.

                      We should always look at every problem from multiple directions.
                      But the solution is often a single vector.

                      The only solution government offers is FORCE. That is it. If a problem can not be solved byt he application fo force – it is not a government problem.

                      If it SHOULD not be solved by force – it is not a government problem.

                      Government is always about force.

                      The sole distinction between a government and any voluntary group is that government may use force.

                      If force is not necescary – then government is not necescary.

                    124. I appreciate what you said but my comment involved a different train of thought. You cut the context out of what I said.

                      I will repeat what I said: “John, you used the word force. Seldom does one face a three dimensional problem by dealing with only one dimension.”

                    125. Of course there can be and in this case is an intersection between the set of an ambiguous term and a specific term.

                      That is irrelvant.

                      The ambiguous term can not be used to define the limits and scope of war – specifically because it is ambiguous.
                      Because the set it encompases is far larger than is necescary or moral.

                      Is this a disagreement at the periphery ?

                      Is going to war with Iraq a peripheral matter ?

                    126. “That is irrelvant.”

                      No it’s not. That is the essence of this discussion and I have said that over and over again.

                      I am not talking as much about ambiguity of terms as I am of the ambiguity of how to interpret things that occur at the intersection of two problems. To be more specific, I am talking about the fuzzy parts.

                    127. The essence of our debate is that despite your conservatism you clearly reserve to government a domain beyond those problems here force is necescary.

                      I suspect you will disagree – but the moment you start talking about grey areas and ambiguity – that is where you are at.

                      All decisions with respect to government are decisions about FORCE.

                      When you pass a law that says people can not buy big sugary drinks – are you prepared to send men with guns to deal with those who will not obey ? Are you prepared to see someone die over sugary drinks ? If not then you should not pass a law about it.

                      Eric Garner was killed because he steadfastly refused to comply with a law regarding selling loose cigarettes.

                      We spent this summer having a great national debate over policing and the use of force.

                      But we ducked the most important issue of all – If a law exists it is supposed to be enforced. When people do not comply – ultimately we send the police – men with guns. They are not social workers. Their job is to get compliance with the law or to arrest you BY FORCE.

                      We would love to see that always happen gently. We would love to see that done without mistakes.

                      But the police ultimately end up confronting black men and sometimes killing them – because of the laws we passed.

                      If the law is truly legitimate – then some people are going to die as a result of its enforcement.
                      Government – the police do not exist for the purpose of making people who will follow the law, do the right thing on their own
                      They exist to FORCE those who will not to do so or accept the consequences.

                      When you are addressing the possibility of killing people – the use of FORCE – the lines must be bright and grey areas reduced as small as possible or eliminated.

                    128. MY comment that you are responding to was:

                      “I am not talking as much about ambiguity of terms as I am of the ambiguity of how to interpret things that occur at the intersection of two problems. To be more specific, I am talking about the fuzzy parts.”

                      My comment involves basic problem solving.

                      You have created a new discussion where you are providing my thoughts and giving your answers. You are are providing examples that are non sequiturs.

                    129. The debate started over the words used to empower or constrain government.

                      That is a narrow domain.

                      You would be completely right – if the topic was chemistry or creative writing.

                      It is not, it is government.

                    130. “The debate started over the words used to empower or constrain government.
                      That is a narrow domain.”

                      To you the domain is a very narrow path, but to the rest of the world, it isn’t.

                    131. There is no right to the raw materials of others – that was Japan’s justification for WWII.

                      There is no right to transit another country.

                      “According to you all these existential threats cannot be responded to.”

                      False. Respond away. They are NOT a basis for going to war.
                      That does not preclude concern and even action short of war.

                    132. You are creating the argument I think you would prefer me to make. Instead of that I will provide a portion of the argument I actually made.

                      “When that existential threat turns into an act of war is fuzzy. The offending nation that has created such power can now intimidate former friends and supporters of the country to be attacked. Those nations can move into the sphere of the offending nation denying raw materials, transit along with other things while the population numbers of the offending nation increase and make it stronger.

                      According to you all these existential threats cannot be responded to. You want to wait until the offending army has you encircled and weakened. It doesn’t have to declare war or do anything that is an act of war the way you seem to be describing things. Eventually no war will take place because the lifeblood of that nation will have disappeared.”

                      I suggest you read that entire reply.

                    133. I am having no problem reading you

                      Though again you continue to misread me.

                      “According to you all these existential threats cannot be responded to. ”

                      Absolutely false. You both did not read what I said and worse presumed I said something I did not.

                      There are all kinds of things that can be done to deal with existential threats short of War.

                      The Trump presidency is a text book for dealing with existential threats without going to war.

                      China, North Korea, Iran.

                      You have accused me of rigid black and white thinking, and then you jump to this false binary ?

                      I have said very little specifically about existential threats – Except that without an act of war, you can not go to war.
                      A position very close to just about all thought on war from ancient Egypt throw Aquinas.

                    134. “I have said very little specifically about existential threats – Except that without an act of war, you can not go to war.”

                      Though your presumption is that you are misread let me assure you I read you loud and clear.

                      There are two things about existential threats. The first is definitional but you think your undefined definition is sufficient. It isn’t.

                      Secondly, different generals can have different ideas about threats made by other nations. One might call it an act of war and want to declare war. Another might call it an existential threat but not enough to respond to by declaring war. Yet still another might want to respond with one of these fuzzy things you don’t like hoping it won’t provoke war, but at the same time be ready for war should it occur. That seems to be how Trump acted. Others can act in a variety of tit for tat actions divorced from the idea of war.

                      Take note of my comment some posts back. I said:

                      “The fuzziness that exists between an existential threat not adequately managed is a cause of war. The threat of an act of war is what prevents that type of war in the first place, ***but a threat of an act of war means that you are willing to go to war in an existential situation or all the threats eventually mean nothing.***”

                      I think GB2 Iraq war may have been caused by a misunderstanding of signals. I think a political blunder caused confusion and I don’t think Saddam thought the US was ready to go to war over Kuwait. That is a danger of the enemy thinking that the US acts only against AOW and not ET. If Saddam knew we would go to war and pursue him I doubt Saddam would have attacked Kuwait.

                    135. With respect to existential threats.

                      You make my point.

                      With respect to law – courts must explore the nuances of definitions to after the fact determine if something was or was not against the law.

                      But before the fact no one should have to consult a dictionary to know whether their actions are moral or justified.

                      That should be obvious. The efficiency of the real world and thus our standard of living would be destroyed if we had to consult law books and dictionaries every time we acted.

                      This is also why government must be small, and why the law must be limited to our clear intuitive understanding of right and wrong.

                      That is also why existential threats can not justify going to war.

                      Next you are making another definitional error.

                      A threat is not an act. This goes to your venn diagrams claim. If you have defined existential threats to include some or all acts of war, that poses multiple problems for you. First your set and its description are logically inconsistent – a threat is the implication of the possibility of future action. It is NOT an act itself. The next is that your set includes things that are justifications for war – because it includes acts of war, and it includes things that are NOT. In doing so you empower those that actually want war – and there is always some of those to go to war without sufficient justification. Johnson actually sought an ACT of war to broaden his powers in Vietnam – but he manufactured an act to get the “”Gulf of Tonkin Resolution”. Why do we want to go beyond actual acts and the possibility of lying about them to threats which are trivial to manufacture ?

                    136. “With respect to law – courts must explore the nuances of definitions to after the fact determine if something was or was not against the law.”

                      There you have it. There is fuzziness, despite the effort in writing the law and despite a lot of time spent on the definitions of the words being used. Yet even afterwards the lawyers argue the definitions of those same words.

                      Why you argued that words are so clear, dictionaries or explanation weren’t needed, I don’t know. Why you didn’t immediately recognize fuzziness, I don’t know.

                      Yet you continue to pursue your previous type of thinking. “A threat is not an act.”. A better statement is, when is a threat an act? (of war)

                    137. “There you have it. There is fuzziness”

                      False and irrelevant.

                      First courts act after the fact.

                      Next there must always be a final arbiter, unfortunately text no matter how clear can not validate itself.

                      Next, our debate is not about the law as written by legislators. It is about the law as written in our hearts.
                      Few of us have ever read the law as written by legislators.

                      Finally those being accused by the law get all doubt. Of the legislators crafted poorly the defendant may go free.

                      But murder remains morally wrong requirdless of the “fuzziness” of written law or court decisions.

                      “despite the effort in writing the law and despite a lot of time spent on the definitions of the words being used. Yet even afterwards the lawyers argue the definitions of those same words.”

                      You do not seem to grasp that this is unavoidable – no matter how clear things are – someone will fight over it. And in fact – defense attorney’s are litterally required to fight over it.

                      “Why you argued that words are so clear, dictionaries or explanation weren’t needed,”
                      That is not what I argued.

                      What I argued is that when you are having discussions about government and force you MUST use words as crystal clear as possible.

                      Definitional issues are issues for the courts and attorney’s after the fact.

                      We are not even debating specific laws.

                      We are debating meta-law – the foundational authority of law itself.

                      That BTW is not the domain of the courts.

                      Are you unclear what force is ? If you are unclear – you were badly educated and likely wrong.

                      “I don’t know. Why you didn’t immediately recognize fuzziness, I don’t know.”

                      I do not know why you are so determined to argue about something that has nothing to do with the debate.

                      You want what are philosophical – not legal definitions – up front, for terms that we are REQUIRED to use so clearly that nearly everyone fully understands them.

                      Again are you unclear what force is ?

                      I am not asking can you be obtuse and argue about it. I am asking are you ACTUALLY confused ?

                      We do not convict people who are unable to tell right from wrong. Why ? Shouldn’t that be correctable by reading definitions ?

                      Ignorance of the law is no excuse – but a lack of fundimental knowledge of right and wrong is.

                    138. >>“There you have it. There is fuzziness”
                      >”False and irrelevant.”

                      Along with getting rid of definitions you are trying to get rid of fuzziness the major mainstay of this discussion. I won’t use your Personal dictionary.

                      “Next, our debate is not about the law as written by legislators. It is about the law as written in our hearts. “

                      You are now taking the position of a leftist, thinking with your heart instead of using your critical thinking skills.

                      “What I argued is that when you are having discussions about government and force you MUST use words as crystal clear as possible. “

                      Enter stage left, fuzziness.

                      …And you do not respond to the real question that involves fuzziness and definition.

                      “Yet you continue to pursue your previous type of thinking. “A threat is not an act.”. A better statement is, when is a threat an act? (of war)”

                    139. “Along with getting rid of definitions”
                      False. I am not trying to get rid of definitions.

                      I am trying to get you to grasp that words and defintions are there to allow communications about ideas and actions.

                      Those ideas and actions EXIST independently of the words we use to describe them and their defintions.

                      In the context of a priori discussions about the use of FORCE the “definitions” that MUST be used are the unwritten ones that are nearly universally accepted.

                      You keep ducking this entirely.

                      You are making a large logic error – by conflating words and definitions with the acts and ideas that we are communicating about.

                      As I have noted before – this is the same tactic used by the left.

                      They change the definition of violence and force, and pretend that changes what actually is force and violence.

                      If I stab you in the chest and call that jabberwocky – you are still dead or dying.
                      Even if I have no words at all to communicate what I have done – the act is still a fact.

                      I am requiring you in the context of force aka government – to use words so clearly that we do not need to refer to dictionaries.

                      If we were a wordless society – that would not change the morality of our actions or the necescity for justifying them.

                      “you are trying to get rid of fuzziness ”
                      Only in the context of government and the use of force.

                      Are you saying that we can kill others when we are fuzzy about whether doing so is justified ?

                      “the major mainstay of this discussion. I won’t use your Personal dictionary.”

                      Never asked you to.

                      Do you need a dictionary to know when you can kill someone ?

                      “You are now taking the position of a leftist, thinking with your heart instead of using your critical thinking skills.”
                      If you do not like heart, use soul, or conscience.

                      Again do you need a dictionary ro know when you can kill someone ?

                      “What I argued is that when you are having discussions about government and force you MUST use words as crystal clear as possible. “

                      “Enter stage left, fuzziness.”

                      So the absence of fuzziness is fuzziness ?

                      “…And you do not respond to the real question that involves fuzziness and definition.”
                      Of course not – it is not the real question.

                      This is simple – if the use of force requires consulting law and dictionaries – not only can;’t people govern, but ultimately we will have anarchy or totalitarianism.

                      Choices about the use of force – moral choices predate language.

                      The morality of acts is determined by the acts themselves – not the words we use or even the laws we right.

                      Language is a means by which we communicate. If we were dealing with how to construct a bridge or bake a cake that would be fine.

                      But we are talking about when killing is justified. Changes to language can not change the answer to that question.

                      If you are fuzzy about questions of morality and justification – you are likely acting immorally and without justification.

                      “Yet you continue to pursue your previous type of thinking. “A threat is not an act.”. A better statement is, when is a threat an act? (of war)”

                      Why better ? You are engaged in so much language play that I have no clue what you mean by threat.
                      Acts of war are just that ACTS. The use of force is an ACT.

                    140. As pointed out numerous times there can be a multiplicity of definitions. That is why settling on the most exacting definition with further emphasis on understanding what the words mean to each individual is essential.

                      “In the context of a priori discussions about the use of FORCE the “definitions” that MUST be used are the unwritten ones that are nearly universally accepted.”

                      If the definitions cannot be written then how can you say they are universally accepted. This too is a generalization. I am part of the universe and we apparently don’t agree.

                      I won’t deal with the rest because it is based on a generalization that everything you do not agree with is leftist and it is more of a rant.

                    141. “As pointed out numerous times there can be a multiplicity of definitions. ”
                      As pointed out numerous times there can be only one reality.

                      “In the context of a priori discussions about the use of FORCE the “definitions” that MUST be used are the unwritten ones that are nearly universally accepted.”

                      “If the definitions cannot be written then how can you say they are universally accepted. This too is a generalization. I am part of the universe and we apparently don’t agree.”

                      Does gravity cease to exist because Newton was not born ?

                      You keep trying to make reality and its description a double implication – it is NOT.

                      “I won’t deal with the rest because it is based on a generalization”
                      Again generalization is not fallacy – over generalization is.

                      “that everything you do not agree with is leftist and it is more of a rant.”

                      Without context, It is hard to know what you are talking about.

                      But for the most part when I have compared you to the left, it was either in tactics or outcome.

                      I do not beleive you are a leftist. I just beleive that leftist tactics and assimptions have bled into nearly all of us, and that is bad and distorts our thinking.

                    142. “Does gravity cease to exist because Newton was not born ?”

                      No one knows what gravity is until it is defined.

                      Define the leftist tactics that I am using with an example.

                    143. ““Does gravity cease to exist because Newton was not born ?”

                      No one knows what gravity is until it is defined.”

                      Incorrect. We STILL do not really know what gravity is.
                      Newton merely mathematically described its behavior.

                      Prior to newton if Apples still fell from tree’s and people knew they would.

                      Gravity was not brought into existance by Newton.

                      Without Newton we had a pretty good understanding of it.

                      Newton added math.

                      “Define the leftist tactics that I am using with an example.”

                      In a separate post, I addressed one part of that.

                      Conflating words with reality is a biggy.

                      Defintions are important – but it is critical to understand that we strive to get words correct so that we can accurately COMMUNICATE about reality, about ideas. It is not the words, that are important. It is not the deffinitions.

                      If you and I could communicate telepathically – without words or definitions – words and defintions would be inconsequential.

                      And a great deal of my argument here is that when dealing with acts of force, when dealing with government and especially when dealing with war, we MUST start with a shared understanding that comes BEFORE words.

                      When force is involved there is often no opportunity to communicate – to be sure we are each perfectly clear on the others words and definitions.

                      If I must consult a dictionary or law book to determine if I may use force against an intruder – it is already too late.

                      Where there is ALWAYS time – then words and defintions matter.

                      But the use of force is either justified or not – far to often without the opportunty to ponder words, and defintions and consult the law.

                      I have NEVER consulted the statues regarding burglary. Yet I know that stealing from others is wrong and I should not do it.
                      The words and defintions of the statue might be the difference between going to prison or not.

                      But they have little bearing on whether my act was right or wrong. That was known – without words or definitions by me, and everyone else before I acted.

                      As to how are you employing leftist tactics – by not merely confusing words and reality, but by conflating them. By arguing that changing words, changes reality.

                      We are seeing some of this right now with this election.

                      The following facts are indisputable:’

                      Election officials in atleast 5 major cities in swing states did not follow the election laws of their states on election day.

                      There is no escaping that fact. There is no escaping that means the results of the election are not lawful – fraudulent.

                      Yet, we keep hearing rot from the left – that courts have found that there was no fraud or Trump could not prove fraud that would change the outcome, or that the AP has called the election, or that the EC has voted.

                      I would further note – this is not a “collusion delusion” claim – the election laws were not followed – that is lawlessness.
                      It is not debatable. It is a fact, it occured. The actual impact is a question of speculation. I am personally not interested as much in the impact.

                      The reality is that the election was done lawlessly and therefore can not be trusted.
                      It will likely become a point of contention over the next 4 years.

                      But unlikely the collusion delusion – it will not be disproven – because it really occured.

                      We may come to accept Biden as president – but nothing will change the fact that the election itself was done lawlessly.

                      Overtime we may be persuaded that lawlessness did not change the outcome – or we may be persuaded that it did.

                      Some of us will become more certain it did, other less certain with time.

                      But nothing changes the fact that it was lawless.

                      No amount of word games or defintional changes will alter reality.

                      Barring some dramatic change Biden’s presidency is likely a fait accompli
                      But nothing changes the fact that the election was lawless.

                      Yesterday on NPR I heard some PA Wolf administration official talking about how in the new year they expected to get together with the legislature and amend PA Act 77 to relax signature verification laws – because signature verfication was so unreliable.

                      Signature verification is unreliable – and that aparatich made an excellent argument for all the reasons it can result in a valid vote being rejected. It is also the means by which myriads of invalid votes are rejected.

                      Regardless, I nearly choked hearing that she expected that the Wolf Administration would be able to work with republicans to amend Act 77,

                      Failing to follow the existing laws – and doing so eggregiously has likely made any cooperation or compromise between republicans and democrats impossible.

                      You can not strike deals with people you do not trust. And the one clear lesson of this election is that democrats can not be trusted to keep purportedly binding aggreements – and the courts will not uphold the law when it is government that is not following it.

                    144. “Incorrect. We STILL do not really know what gravity is.”

                      Think about it because that response proves both my point on definitions and fuzziness. We think and communicate only in human terms. Reality is always a few steps away

                    145. Think about it – the fact that our understanding of gravity may be lacking does not change reality – gravity.

                      Cavemen who have no words much less defintions still understood it as well as most people today.

                      Regardless, your efforts to raise fuzziness keep making my point.

                      Reality IS. Communications issues do not change reality. Communications errors – do not change reality. Perception differences – do not change reality. That we are a few steps away – does not change reality.

                      What we do not know about gravity does not change the fact that we can intuitively rely on it.

                    146. “Think about it – the fact that our understanding of gravity may be lacking does not change reality – gravity.”

                      It certainly doesn’t but it changes the definition of gravity and there is a great deal of fuzziness between Newton and the more modern understanding of gravity. Despite all these years the perfect definition of gravity has yet to be offered and fuzziness remains. Yet you think there are perfect definitions and no fuzziness exists in things that involve human behavior across multiple cultures. Ridiculous.

                      Reality is reality and though humans can closely describe reality there is always much that is missing.

                    147. “Again changing the definition does not change reality.”

                      We have agreed on that since day one, but yet you continue to argue.

                    148. >>”“Your generalization at the time was inappropriate because you lost focus of the discussion.”

                      >Arguing about how to argue is fallacious.”

                      My attempt to focus on the points of the conversation is not fallacious. It is totally appropriate to stay on topic.

                    149. “If you do not want the leftist analogies – do not use leftist tactics and “il” logic.”

                      When your arguments are reduced to near zero you make this type of absurd comment.

                    150. Again you are presuming you know my thoughts.

                      I have no concerns about my arguments – this exchange with you has improved them.

                      As I think about it even your fuzziness argument is too close to leftist tactics.

                      Essentially “everything is fuzzy, therefore everything is equal, therefore all ideas are equallly valid”

                    151. Your generalization at the time was inappropriate because you lost focus of the discussion.

                    152. “Your generalization at the time was inappropriate because you lost focus of the discussion.”

                      Arguing about how to argue is fallacious.

                    153. “I keep telling you again and again that I do not need them in the specific contexts we are addressing.”

                      Fine, involving the specific contexts of AOW, ET, and force tell us what you wish to say so that all will understand what you say in the same way.

                    154. “Asked and answered – move on.”

                      This is essentially your answer.

                      “definitions.
                      I keep telling you again and again that I do not need them”

                      You may not need definitions but others do.

                    155. “You may not need definitions but others do.”

                      Nope. In your hypothetical – before you shove your brother out of the way – did you consult a dictionary ?

                    156. “when you go beyond what I have written, everything inevitably goes off the rails.”

                      Why don’t you show me where you think that happened. I’ll make it easy and copy what I said: “That is useless rhetoric. To respond to your words I have no choice but to determine what you are saying. What you are saying is the written form of what you are thinking when you are writing.”

                      “Reading works.”

                      When one reads what you write they are reading what you say and think.

                      “Correct – but you are only privy to what I wrote.”

                      Correct, that is exactly what I have been doing. You are dealing in trivialities and you are wrong.

                    157. “Why don’t you show me where you think that happened. ”
                      Any time you start speculating about what I am thinking.

                      “To respond to your words I have no choice but to determine what you are saying.”
                      Correct.

                      “What you are saying is the written form of what you are thinking when you are writing.”
                      You like sets.
                      The set of what I say is a subset of what I am thinking.
                      The only part of that set that you can know is what I say.
                      Stick to what I have said, not speculation about what I am thinking.

                      You are free to use logic to demonstrate the logical conclusions of what I have said – but you must get the logic correct to be meaningful.
                      You can not just speculate.

                      Typically when I criticise you for claiming to know what I am thinking – it is because you have gotten that wrong, and that invalidates your argument.

                      “When one reads what you write they are reading what you say and think.”
                      See above.

                      “Correct – but you are only privy to what I wrote.”

                      “Correct, that is exactly what I have been doing. You are dealing in trivialities and you are wrong.”
                      Nope.

                    158. “Again you are speculating as to what I was thinking – and you are wrong.
                      I am likely to address it whenever you use illegitimate leftist tactics or arguments

                      You are going off the rails.

                    159. “Regardless, you are repeating – often in the next comment issues that we resolved.”

                      No, we resolve an issue but the return to your former argument that definitions and fuzziness do not exist. That may be true with reality but humans only have a perception of reality so where humans are concerned you are wrong.

                      “First you are amplifying the complexity and fuzziness ”

                      Wrong. That is reading another’s mind. I merely state that fuzziness exists and definitions are needed in the human world.

                      Of course one should be clear when using force, but that doesn’t mean that fuzziness doesn’t exist in the decision.

                      “Again – please refrain from telling me what I think or beleive.”

                      I take note of that comment right after you were telling me “You MUST” Do you have a double standard? Further I didn’t tell you to do anything. Quite the contrary I said “that is your problem. ”

                      You are not advancing the discussion at this point just repeating your proprietary rules of behavior accepted by you so I am stopping here.

                      Why are you arguing? Human decisions are loaded with fuzziness and definitions are a common way of making sure one is understood.

                    160. “No, we resolve an issue but the return to your former argument that definitions and fuzziness do not exist.”
                      That is not my argument. This is why I want you to stick to what I say, not speculating on what I think.
                      I have not siad they do not exist. Only that they are mostly irrelevant in the SPECIFIC context of force and its justification.

                      “That may be true with reality but humans only have a perception of reality”
                      Correct, sometimes that perception is wrong. But mostly it is not.

                      “so where humans are concerned you are wrong.”
                      Also false. Even if human perception was wrong about reality – so long as it was consistently wrong in the same way – I would still be right.

                      “First you are amplifying the complexity and fuzziness ”

                      “Wrong. That is reading another’s mind. I merely state that fuzziness exists and definitions are needed in the human world.”
                      Wring – this is not reading your mind, it is not even the logical consequence of your argument, it IS your argument.

                      In the context of force and its justification complexity and fuziness are NECESCARILY small, they MUST be, because we frequently do not have the luxury or referencing dictionaries and deep contemplation before acting.

                      “Of course one should be clear when using force, but that doesn’t mean that fuzziness doesn’t exist in the decision.”
                      Lets address this.

                      What is it you mean ?
                      If you mean that those using force may sometimes be uncertain about their justification – that is correct.
                      REGARDLESS, they are either correct and moral, or incorrect and immoral.
                      And as noted in a prior post – the degree of immorality may hinge on whether the unjustified use of force was accidental or reckless.
                      but it is still immoral.
                      Only justified uses of force are moral – regardless of your incertainty in acting.

                      “I take note of that comment right after you were telling me “You MUST” Do you have a double standard?”
                      Nope.
                      This is about acting, not thinking. You can think whatever you want.

                      “Further I didn’t tell you to do anything.”
                      When you advocate for force – Government, without justification, you ARE telling people what to do.

                      “Quite the contrary I said “that is your problem. ””

                      Again you are jumping into the leftist domain.

                      Because leftism presumes that the use of force by govenrment is inherently legitimate (except when it is convenient for them to oppose it),

                      That allows them to pretend there is moral partity demanding that the use of force be justified and limited and demanding any use of force by leftist governments

                      Demanding that liberty not be infringed on is NOT morally equal to demanding to infringe on liberty.

                      “Why are you arguing? Human decisions are loaded with fuzziness and definitions are a common way of making sure one is understood.”
                      Correct.
                      But we are not talking about all human decisions. We are talking about a very narrow subset of them.
                      We are specifically discussing those were contemplation and anaylsis ansd refering to defintions are a luxury that we often do not have. Therefore it must be possible to successfully make those decisions without a priori reference to dictionaries.

                    161. “You keep reverting back to the same fallacy. There is no requirement that you determine what i think. It is entirely irrelevant.

                      That is useless rhetoric. To respond to your words I have no choice but to determine what you are saying. What you are saying is the written form of what you are thinking when you are writing.

                    162. “That is useless rhetoric.”
                      Correct – when you go beyond what I have written, everything inevitably goes off the rails.

                      “To respond to your words I have no choice but to determine what you are saying.”
                      Reading works. Ouifa boards are not needed.

                      “What you are saying is the written form of what you are thinking when you are writing.”
                      Correct – but you are only privy to what I wrote. I may have thought of cats golfing in the midst of responding, what I was thinking is not relevant. What I wrote is my argument.

                    163. “Then do not make that argument.”

                      It is illogical to believe that someone believes something when that someone responds with a no to that issue. Your response is a last resort response when one is wrong.

                    164. Again you are speculating as to what I was thinking – and you are wrong.

                      I am likely to address it whenever you use illegitimate leftist tactics or arguments

                    165. If you do not want the leftist analogies – do not use leftist tactics and “il” logic.

                      The fact that I see the right as the lessor evil, does not make me republican or conservative.
                      Nor does it preclude me from pointing out failures on the right.

                    166. The Fundimental problem with GW2 is that the justification used your “existential threats” doctrine.

                      Yes, there were mixed signals. The politics assured there would be mixed signals.

                      Sadam needed politically to Stand up to the US.
                      He was not going to back down.

                      Further it is likely he beleived he had WMD’s or atleast was developing them.
                      I am sure he directed his people to do exactly that.
                      Yet the actual evidence is that he did not.

                      What appears to be the case is that his ministers were LYING to him.

                      We put them between a rock and a hard place.
                      They were telling Sadam they had or were working on WMDs
                      If the IAEC found they were not – Sadam would have killed them.

                      So they were playing a shell game – trying to persuade the IAEC they were not while trying to assure Sadam they were.

                      Further we WANTED to beleive there were WMD’s so we interpreted all evidence as leading to WMD’s

                      Regardless, even if Sadam had WMD’s – that is NOT an act of war. It is a bad thing and we can respond to it with measures short of war. But we can not resort to violence.

                      Iran is with near certainty working on WMD’s and ICBM’s. They are clearly an existential threat – yet we are not going to war with Iran.

                      There have been several times we have been close – under Bush, Obama, and Trump.

                      The fact is the pursuit of WMD;s is not enough to go to war – an existential threat is NOT a justification for war.

                      The same is true of North Korea – which is much closer to actually being able to strike the US than Iran.

                      That does not mean an existential threat should be ignored.

                      Depending it may cause us to prepare for war.

                    167. “The Fundimental problem with GW2 is that the justification used your “existential threats” doctrine.”

                      One of today’s versions is he misdefined the threat.

                    168. Don’t care – threat alone is not justificattion for war.

                      It may justify alot of acts short of war – like preparing for the threat.

                      But not war itself.

                    169. “Don’t care – threat alone is not justificattion for war.”

                      That is your opinion based on your personal dictionary and lack of understanding of fuzziness.

                      But if we look back to what some historians say about Saddam’s war, quoting myself: “One of today’s versions is he misdefined the threat.”

                    170. “Don’t care – threat alone is not justificattion for war.”

                      That is your opinion based on your personal dictionary and lack of understanding of fuzziness.

                      No it is thousands of years of human history and morality.

                      “But if we look back to what some historians say about Saddam’s war, quoting myself: “One of today’s versions is he misdefined the threat.””

                      I have no idea what you intended to mean.

                      I would further note that I am not all that enamored of random named experts – why would I be impressed by the “fuzzy” “some historians.

                      Regardless this is not a historical question. I it is a simple moral question about the justification of force.

                      ALL moral questions about the justification of force must be simple – because otherwise the use of force is not justified.

                      If you have an “act of war” by Sadam – then the war is likely justified – that is not the only criteria.

                      If you do not it is not.

                    171. “No it is thousands of years of human history and morality.”

                      That’s a generalization.

                      “it is a simple moral question”

                      If it is a moral issue then most people will seek to use identical definitions and most will recognize that most moral issues are not black and white.

                    172. ““No it is thousands of years of human history and morality.”

                      That’s a generalization.”

                      Yes, So ?

                      “”it is a simple moral question”

                      If it is a moral issue then most people will seek to use identical definitions”
                      Correct – intuitive common and narrow definitions – not dictionary ones.

                      Hopefully – and likely the dictionary will agree.

                      But reality is not altered by definitions.

                      The purpose of definitions is to describe reality – not the other way arround.

                      The problem with word mangling – with definition games, is that it distorts our perception of reality.

                      Calling words violence distorts reality.

                      “and most will recognize that most moral issues are not black and white.”

                      Morality is complex.

                      The morality of the use of force is not.

                      It is black and white or very near so.

                      We do not want a grey area where killing someone is not moral or immoral.

                    173. “Yes, So ?”

                      You asked for a generalization and I gave you a couple. There were plenty of others far more meaningful but I won’t look them all up.

                      “Correct – intuitive common and narrow definitions – not dictionary ones.”

                      That is fine. That helps eliminate some of the fuzziness. I didn’t require a dictionary definition. You said there was only one definition for the words you wished to use and you indicated that it came from your proprietary dictionary. That is what Randians do. You are now shifting towards negotiated definitions.They are good definitions for the purpose but they too will be refined at a later time.

                      Reality is not altered by definitions, but who knows what reality is until it is defined. You have distinct definitions existing in your head. That is fine until you refuse to recognize that others have different definitions.

                      “The purpose of definitions is to describe reality – not the other way arround.”

                      That is correct, but your definition need not be the right one. In fact I doubt anyone living knows the right one.

                      “The problem with word mangling – with definition games, is that it distorts our perception of reality.”

                      Yes, and the problem also occurs when there is no agreement on the definitions.

                      “Morality is complex. The morality of the use of force is not.”

                      Of course it is complex. That is why you have to use your proprietary undefined definition.

                      “We do not want a grey area where killing someone is not moral or immoral.”

                      But in a real world those gray areas exist. However for the court system we have laws (definitions) to define when killing someone is illegal but even that has been litigated.

                    174. “You asked for a generalization and I gave you a couple. ”

                      I do not recall asking you for a generalization. I asked for an over generalization.
                      There is a great difference.

                      When you drop things, the fall. That is a generalization. It is true on earth.

                      “There were plenty of others far more meaningful but I won’t look them all up.”
                      Your not obligated to. But if you expect me to buy into your argument, then you need meaningful examples of over generalization.

                      ““Correct – intuitive common and narrow definitions – not dictionary ones.””

                      “That is fine. That helps eliminate some of the fuzziness. I didn’t require a dictionary definition. ”
                      It has taken me some time to refine my argument to something that has made an impact on your.
                      That does not change the claim, only what persuades you.

                      “You said there was only one definition for the words you wished to use and you indicated that it came from your proprietary dictionary.”

                      False, that is not what I said. Most words have multiple meanings, I have never claimed otherwise.
                      Outside of poetry or fiction we rarely use them intending more than one meaning at one time.
                      Nor do we need a dictionary to know which meaning we are using.

                      When I use the term force – are you confused into thinking I mean the power of a rocket engine ?

                      “That is what Randians do.”
                      Not a randian, do not really care what you think randians do.

                      “You are now shifting towards negotiated definitions.”
                      Nope.
                      You are still missing the point.

                      Definitions do not drive reality. The process works only one way.

                      Even if we did not have a word for murder – that would not change the fact that murder occurs.

                      Red is still the same thing – even if the word for it is gigglesmersh.

                      The “definitions” we MUST use when dealing with the initiation of force against other are those we inherently all know without refering to dictionaries and laws.

                      I thought we were getting somewhere. But it appears we are not.

                      “They are good definitions for the purpose but they too will be refined at a later time.”
                      I have not defined anything that I recall.

                      But I will agree that when you are confronted by a person with a weapon, what constitutes jusifiable killing and what is murder MIGHT be determined differently by an individual in the moment, and a court of law at a later date.

                      I am dealing exclusively with the individual in the moment.
                      As well as noting that the same standard aplies to government uses of force.

                      “Reality is not altered by definitions, but who knows what reality is until it is defined. ”
                      Words are about communications, reality is not changed by words or definitions.

                      “You have distinct definitions existing in your head. ”
                      As do you. But you miss the point entirely.

                      We are not addressing concepts like entertainment – you and I need not share either the same deffinitions or the same reality.
                      We can consult a dictionary or not. Does not matter.

                      When we use force against others dictionaries are not a luxury we typically have.
                      Not me, not you. In moments when decisions regarding force arrise – we rarely have the opportunity to consult a dictionary or the law.

                      You, I each must rely on what you insist is our own personally definition, act based on that and later are judged based on the one in the law.

                      But we all hope and expect that at the moment of decision – each and every one of us is using the same criteria for determining if force is justified. We hope and expect that knowing that in that moment we have not consulted the law or a dictionary.

                      “That is fine until you refuse to recognize that others have different definitions.”
                      On anything that we do not have near perfect accord on our personal definitions – the use of force is not justified.

                      “”The purpose of definitions is to describe reality – not the other way arround.”
                      That is correct, but your definition need not be the right one. In fact I doubt anyone living knows the right one.”
                      Odd and irrelevant. I am not arguing about the definition of everything.
                      I am argument primarily about the use of force and its justification.
                      That is a relatively narrow domain. But it includes all of government.
                      Any government actions that do not fall within are illegitimate.

                      ““The problem with word mangling – with definition games, is that it distorts our perception of reality.”
                      Yes, and the problem also occurs when there is no agreement on the definitions.”
                      Again you keep ignoring the fact that the problem domain is quite small.

                      ““Morality is complex. The morality of the use of force is not.”
                      Of course it is complex. That is why you have to use your proprietary undefined definition.”

                      Wrong. The morality of use of force can not be complex or society is not possible.
                      If someone swings at you, do you yell “stop, I need to consult the law and dictionaries, before I can decide to defend myself” ?

                      ““We do not want a grey area where killing someone is not moral or immoral.”
                      But in a real world those gray areas exist. ”
                      Most if not all of the “grey areas” regarding the use of force are a posteriori third party unclarity about reality.
                      And that is why we have courts.
                      The problem is not lack of clarity on what is moral. It is lack of clarity regarding what happened.

                      “However for the court system we have laws (definitions) to define when killing someone is illegal but even that has been litigated.”
                      NOPE! We know long before courts. We know before we act. We know before we read the dictionary whether our actions are justified or not.

                      Courts and the law rarely get into gray areas over whether an act is justified.
                      The gray areas are about whether the facts necescary to justify the act were present or not.

                    175. I don’t think I used the word over-generalization. I used the word generalization in discussion of some of your comments and you told me to show you where. I did. If you wish to pursue this train of thought I have to ask you to show me just as I showed you.

                      Some of your comments were too generalized for a response in a reasonable amount of words.They infinitely expanded the discussion so it could never focus on the end or the original basis of the discussion.

                      ““That is fine. That helps eliminate some of the fuzziness…” When I said that you went on. With what purpose, I don’t know.

                      What you call false is not false in the appropriate context. No, I didn’t confuse the context in your use of the word force. No, I didn’t assume it was the force of a rocket engine.

                      Reality and human thought will always be somewhat different depending on the definitions used. There will always be fuzziness.

                      Define the word force in the context of going to war and make sure no fuzziness exists. You have told me that “force” in the context you mean exists in reality. I won’t disagree. Instead I await your definition. The rest of the discussion is spreading the discussion wider and not focusing in on the particular disagreement. That disagreement lies in your inability to provide a definition of force and to place the clear cut lines you are demanding of others.

                    176. I do not care which words you used.

                      A generalization is valid, and over generalization is not.

                      Nothing is served by noting that an obvious generalization is a generalization.
                      What matters is whether it is correct.
                      If it is not, it is an over generalization

                    177. You keep going for definitions.
                      I keep telling you again and again that I do not need them in the specific contexts we are addressing. And I am not turning this debate into dueling dictionaries. Reality is what matters – not our respective choice of dictionaries.

                      The purpose of words is to describe reality. The purpose of definitions is to clarify words. Reality remains unchanged by either or definitions.

                      If I look out at the sun and call it “vibrant” – has the sun changed ?

                    178. The formal process of getting into a war is an independent topic – one we have not discussed.

                      I am not dealing with process. I am dealing with justification.

                    179. Things generally get done not by isolating different parts of the problem but by dealing with them together.

                    180. I do not think I agree with that at all.

                      There are myriads of ways to address any problem, but rarely if ever do we get anywhere by trying to deal with it as a whole.

                      It would be easy to post a disertation here.

                      Regardless – again it is YOU that are OVER generalizing.

                    181. First one isolates the problems and deals with them, then one fits the pieces all together for a finished product.

                    182. Your hypothetical is deeply flawed.

                      If the “existential Threat” that you theorize is more powerful than you as well as so commited it will encircle you and starve you out, you have lost regardless – war is futile.

                      If it is weaker than you, then it is incapable of encircling you and wearing you down.

                      Regardless, you are quite litterally arguing exactly what Japan used as the justification for Attacking Perl Harbor.

                    183. That is not what happened in the European theater in WW2. The allies were initially more powerful and Britain had much greater industrial power to produce planes and the like than Germany while at war.
                      More powerful or less powerful, the ET can change the balance of power if not appropriately managed.

                    184. Your statement about WW2 is correct AFTER 1942 – maybe a little earlier.

                      Prior to the check partition the united forces of GB, France, CZ, Poland were far greater than Germany.
                      This was not a question of production, but of actual in place supplies, Troops etc at the time.
                      CZ was especially important as the Checks were a larger munitions producer than Germany. They had a strong army excellent defensive positions and could have held out against the Germans for a long time. Chamberlains deal broke their lines of fortification and destroyed CZ as a factor when War came. Conversely the polish army was large and well lead, but it was outdated in aircraft tanks, and artilery.

                      Worse even though France and the UK declared war when Germany invaded Poland – they did not attack. The french once again sat behind the maginot line doing nothing and waiting for a german attack.

                      Just as in WWI the FRONT DOOR to Germany was WIDE OPEN in 1939. French forces could have crossed the Zeigfried line unopposed and gone straight to berlin while Germany was tied up in poland.

                      Both Britian first and the US started preparing for War in the mid 30’s – Every US WWII battleship was underconstruction BEFORE Germany invaded Poland. And the Brititsh started even earlier – but war production takes atleast 5 years to ramp up.

                      The UK did not match Germany in war production until shortly after the Battle of Britian.

                      I would strongly suggest reading Churchills multivolume works on WWII They are excellent and they cover all these issues thoroughly.

                      Whatever his Flaws Churchill is by far the most amazing war leader in history. He made numerous disasterous mistakes. But he kept Hitler off guard through the entire war and managed to avoid early defeat against enormous odds.

                    185. I am not going to argue your point rather repeat the on topic point I made:

                      “More powerful or less powerful, the ET can change the balance of power if not appropriately managed.”

                    186. Manage and go to war are not the same thing.

                      You want to manage threats – fine.

                      You want to go to war over them – no.

                    187. I am clear on what “go to war” means.

                      Manage a threat is not even close to the same.

                      Trump prioritized ABM measures that Obama allowed to languish to “manage” the North Korean Threat (as well as that of Iran).

                      That did not involve going to war.

                      No Manage and go to war are NOT the same.

                    188. “I am clear on what “go to war” means.”

                      Good for you. I am not. I believe in continuous preparation having firm definitions and trying to reduce fuzziness. I don’t like mistakes where serious things are concerned

                      Trump demonstrated smart leadership with foreign policy..

                    189. P:reparation is not war.
                      It is not an act of war.
                      It may be a ET.

                      No one is perfect – not even Trump.

                      But I have already stated that even with my criticism’s he was the best president on foreign policy since Nixon and maybe better

                    190. John, you are totally clear on what constitutes an act of war, when you are willing to go to war, when you are willing to commit an act that has the potential of starting a war and what is an existential threat.

                      I am not. Yet you cannot provide a definition for each of those terms that is good for all circumstances.

                      Our differences lie in the fact I see fuzziness (gray) and require definitions. Sometimes you say you see fuzziness and at other times you don’t.

                    191. “John, you are totally clear on what constitutes an act of war, when you are willing to go to war, when you are willing to commit an act that has the potential of starting a war and what is an existential threat.

                      I am not”

                      And why not ?

                      Do you not think that we should be totally clear BEFORE we go to war – before we contemplate going to war – before we even know who our enemies might be, while we can be cold and objective, what justifies going to war.

                      “Yet you cannot provide a definition for each of those terms that is good for all circumstances.”
                      False. I have not said I could not define them. I said I will not get into a debate over defintions.

                      I specifically stated that it is NOT the defintions that matter. It is reality.

                      As you noted – I am totally clear what constitutes and act of war, and when we can go to war.

                      That clarity did not require a debate over definitions. We can quibble over words and definitions forever.

                      But the majority of people do know what constitutes an act of war.

                      “Our differences lie in the fact I see fuzziness (gray) and require definitions. Sometimes you say you see fuzziness and at other times you don’t.”

                      Once again I must note that you make the same error and argument that leftists do. Confusing implication with equality.

                      Reality is not changed by definitions. The purpose of words and defintions for them it to communicate and so that communication results in a shared understanding of what is communicated.

                      What constitutes a justification for going to war is NOT changed by definitions.

                      Reality drives words – not the other way around.

                      In the recently leaked telephone conference – Biden made clear that for him – it is speaking about issues, not acting on them that matters.

                      That words matter – not actions.

                    192. You can disregard the response of your debating partner but that doesn’t mean the point cannot be repeated.

                      I am not going to argue your point rather repeat the on topic point I made:

                      “More powerful or less powerful, the ET can change the balance of power if not appropriately managed.”

                    193. You have accused me of being black and white and rigid and ideological.

                      Yet, my arguments have been made with ties to several millenia of intelectual debate on the issue, as well as numerous real world applications and examples – not hypotheticals.

                      My rigid, black and white, ideological argument aligns well with every instance in which it is generally accepted that we have acted correctly and is at odds with every instances in which we are generally viewed has acting incorrectly.

                      That is pretty amazing.

                      In the real world – Government acts not just in war, but in most everything else by acting first and thinking later, by jumping into the grey areas gleefully. But in hindsight without the emotions of the moment we ultimately wish we had followed dogma, black and white, ideological.

                      This nation and its people are mostly at their core libertarian. But they frequently act at odds with that driven by emotion.

                    194. “You have accused me of being black and white and rigid”

                      I did because it is true. You don’t accept a need to agree on definitions. You say black and white all the time and argue as soon as I bring up the words gray, fuzzy Venn diagram. I don’t think the lines are as distinct as you seem to think. That is where most of our differences seem to lie.

                    195. “I did because it is true.”
                      In the very narrow case of going to war – which MUST be black and white and rigid.

                      “You don’t accept a need to agree on definitions. ”
                      Correct. If the meaning in context is not so clear to both of us before we enter a discussion – it is not sufficient to justify force.

                      WE can address mutual definitions in the context of producing deoderant.
                      IF we are going to war – we must do so on terms where everyone used the same definitons – without discussion.

                      “You say black and white all the time and argue as soon as I bring up the words gray, fuzzy Venn diagram.”
                      Absolutely – in the context of war and the use of force.

                      There is little room for grey areas in government use of force. There are none in deciding to go to war.

                      This is not about buying groceries, or producing dog food.

                      “I don’t think the lines are as distinct as you seem to think. That is where most of our differences seem to lie.”

                      If the lines are grey as you say – then they are insufficiently clear to justify the use of force.

                      It is that simple.

                      This is not about whether grey areas exist. They are all over in real life.

                      To the greatest extent possible they ALL belong outside of government, and certainly outside of going to war.

                    196. >> “You don’t accept a need to agree on definitions. ”

                      >”Correct. If the meaning…”

                      The nature of the word “if” tells you the definition is in question or the right definition is not being used. It also tells you things are fuzzy.

                    197. >>> “You don’t accept a need to agree on definitions. ”
                      > “It does ? I see no basis to agree.”

                      Then we can continue the Tower of Babel discussions using different languages. How did that turn out?

                    198. Accross most every culture in the world. accross most every country, accross most every language there is a near uniform set of justifiable uses of force.

                      bavle seems to have had minimal effect.

                    199. “near uniform set of justifiable uses of force.”

                      If you are saying what it seems you are then you are wrong.

                    200. Is there a reason you can not just make your argument or claim.

                      I have no idea what you think I am saying.

                      Regardless, quit fixating on what you think I think, and stick to what I have said.

                      After that please make YOUR argument – not some “fuzzy” “ambiguous” “unclear” remarks about mine.

                      I have not idea what you think that I think

                    201. ““near uniform set of justifiable uses of force.”

                      Based on that statement I think you are wrong.

                      “Regardless, quit fixating on what you think I think, and stick to what I have said.”

                      I almost always deal with the words before me. You control what I think you think. For this particular response you can refer to the two or three comments earlier.

                    202. “I almost always deal with the words before me. You control what I think you think.”
                      No I do not.

                      Stick to what I have said. I stick to what you have said.

                      Again doing otherwise is a leftist tactic.

                    203. John, I think you need to read what I wrote again,

                      >>“Regardless, quit fixating on what you think I think, and stick to what I have said.”

                      >I almost always deal with the words before me. You control what I think you think. For this particular response you can refer to the two or three comments earlier.”

                      I only know about you from the words you write so obviously your words impact “what I think you think”. If I never saw any words there would be no response. If You write the sky is green then I have no choice but to believe you think the sky is green.

                    204. You keep reverting back to the same fallacy.

                      There is no requirement that you determine what i think.

                      It is entirely irrelevant.

                      You say that you know what I think from my words. Repeatedly that proves false – but it is still irrelevant. Stick to the words, it will be harder to get it wrong.

                    205. “The problem is not with your context or train of thought.”

                      That is because just like with dictionaries you don’t accept the proposition that a word can have more than one meaning. You also don’t accept that sometimes there is more than one train of thought within a discussion.

                      You have a tendency to permit only one black and white train of thought. The other person is either stating your exacting dogma or he is a leftist. In that regard you are so extreme that you will cut the context out of what the other said.

                      I will repeat what I said: “John, you used the word force. Seldom does one face a three dimensional problem by dealing with only one dimension.”

                    206. You keep telling me what I think – despite the fact that i have been clear in what I have said.

                      We are not discussing everything.

                      We are discussing justifiable uses of force.

                      You can have as meaning meanings as you want to any words you wish outside of that context.

                    207. “We are discussing justifiable uses of force.”

                      If that is what the discussion is about now, that is fine. We need to recognize the fuzziness in the decision and everyone needs to have the same definition of justifiable force. We don’t need your proprietary dictionary. We can use Merriam Webster.

                    208. “If that is what the discussion is about now, that is fine. We need to recognize the fuzziness in the decision and everyone needs to have the same definition of justifiable force.”

                      I have said this repeatedly – and you ignore it.

                      In many instances where force is used. Those using it make their decision in an instant, Often they do not even know that they are going to use force until immediately before they do.

                      Few of us plan in detail how we will respond to an attempted murder, a burglary, a mugging, ….

                      Those deciding to use force often have little oportunity to consult a dictionary or law book.

                      Further – while we educate people – and some of them we educate in civics, We do not for the most part cover the law on justifiable uses of force, or the defintions that you fixate on.

                      Most people are completely unprepared for the moment they resort to using force.

                      Societally we know this – we even expect it. We do not expect people to know the nuances of the law.
                      But we do expect them to know right from wrong.

                      We expect them to just know when the use of force is justified and when it is not.

                      This is not true of ALL uses of force. Those committing violent crimes usually have a little time to contemplate their actions – even if they do not do so. Usually we put some thought to going to war. Our police get SOME training on when they should use force and when they should not.

                      Fortunately most ordinary people do not have regular violence in their lives.

                      But when they do, it is rarely foreshadowed.

                      My point – which you completely fail to grasp is that what constitutes justifiable use of force must be something most of us grasp intuitively. Because we do not have the luxury of dictionaries and lengthy philosophical and moral discussions.

                    209. When did I ever approve of unjustifiable force? (back to definitions: justifiable. That was clearly mentioned in my response.)

                      ” what constitutes justifiable use of force must be something most of us grasp intuitively.”

                      What is intuitive to you is not necessarily intuitive in the same way to another.

                    210. “What is intuitive to you is not necessarily intuitive in the same way to another.”

                      That only matters is after the fact we do not agree.

                    211. We are making a tiny bit of progress.

                      It appears that you accept that some uses of force – by government and individuals is justified and some is NOT.

                      Do we agree on that ?

                      Do we agree that unjustified uses of force are immoral ?

                      Do we agree that most uses of force are not justified ?

                      Do we agree that Government is force ? That anything that can be done without force does not require government ?

                      That government should not do those things that can be done without government ?

                      I would note that NONE of the remarks above define justifiable force.

                      We can agree that all uses of force must be justified without defining or agreeing the meaning for justified.

                      We may have a long debate over what is required to justify the use of force. But I would bet that neither you nor I would have any difficulty aggreeing that most uses of force in the real world are not justified.

                    212. I will make this easier for you. I believe too frequently we rely on force.

                      “Do we agree that unjustified uses of force are immoral ?”

                      Yes and No. Intent is needed to make the person immoral when he uses immoral force.

                      “Do we agree that Government is force ?”

                      Government does not = force. Government uses force.

                      “That anything that can be done without force does not require government ?”

                      Can be done and will be done are two different things.

                      Most uses of force are not justified. Justification depends on definition, who, what, where and when along with intent and perhaps several other things.

                      (these questions are mostly generalizations)

                      You can rephrase anything left out but be careful of the language. Can and will are particularly tricky.

                    213. “I will make this easier for you. ”
                      I am more interested in getting it right than easy.

                      “I believe too frequently we rely on force.”
                      That does not say much. Why ?
                      Because we did not consider whether the use of force was justified and there was no consequences a posteriori for unjustified use of force. And because we pretend there is lots of fuzziness in the use of force.

                      ““Do we agree that unjustified uses of force are immoral ?”
                      Yes and No. Intent is needed to make the person immoral when he uses immoral force.”
                      Repeat – “I am not a lefty”. Intent is used two ways – we really should have two words.

                      Intent – I intended to kill him.

                      Intent – I did something I beleived to be wrong.

                      They are not the same.

                      For the most part the law finds you criminally culpable if you commit a crime intentionally – i.e. you act delibertately.
                      It is more rare that actual malice is required.

                      Intent – meaning the decision to do wrong, requires either overt evidence – telling another “I hate him and I am going to kill him” or reading other peoples minds.

                      That form of intent is important to juries – juries have a harder time when they do not understand why someone did something.

                      But reading other peoples minds has no place in morality.

                      Atleast on the surface the intentions of most progressives are good.
                      They “intend” to make life better. And they use force intentionally to do so.
                      But they fail. Their “good motives” does not make the unjustified use of force more.

                      Good intentions – do not justify bad acts.

                      ““Do we agree that Government is force ?”

                      Government does not = force. Government uses force.”

                      “is” != “=”. The entire set of force completely includes government.

                      If you prefer “all government is the use of force.”

                      “All Political Power Comes From The Barrel Of The Gun”
                      Mao.

                      It is important in most contexts not to assume that all implications are qualities.
                      Equations are reversable, they have distributive, communative and associative properties.

                      You can not say “force is government”

                      Government is force is not an equation.

                      BTW this is another very common left error. Even Keynes made it. He concocted a mathemtaical theory of economics that appeared to work, and assumed that what he wrote as equations – were. If that were so – then govenrment putting people to work digging holes and filling them up again would have produced prosperity.

                      It did not because Keynes purported equations are not equalities – they do not have mathematical properties.
                      They are implications – they go ONE WAY.

                      ““That anything that can be done without force does not require government ?”

                      Can be done and will be done are two different things.”
                      Yes, that is my point. If it can be done without govenrment – then force can not be justified and it can not be done BY government.

                      “Most uses of force are not justified.”
                      I am not going to quantify.
                      Most government uses of force are not justified.
                      They are therefore not moral.

                      “Justification depends on definition, who, what, where and when along with intent and perhaps several other things.”
                      Absolutely justification is more complex and multifacetted than force itself. And absolutely we can spend long hours debating the defintion.

                      But in the real world when you must choose – you know when it is justified and when it is not.
                      It would be really nice if we had clear after the fact definitions of what is justified use of force.
                      I could propose one. But what constitutes justified use of force is determined mostly a priori

                      As I have tried to get through to you repeatedly. Defintions follow reality – not the other way arround.

                      “these questions are mostly generalizations” – they are and they are the most important generalizations that may exist.

                      “You can rephrase anything left out but be careful of the language. Can and will are particularly tricky.”
                      But you can not change that defintions are to describe reality – not change it.

                    214. Unjustified force based on bad intentions is immoral. Government is not force even if you wish to say it is. Government uses force. Too much force is used especially when things are fuzzy and the threats now well defined.

                      I did not pursue your new avenues of discussion because that would only confuse the issues. When you start injecting leftism in our discussion that means you are trying to plug the holes in your boat that is taking on water. When you add so many new discussions that crowd the ones under discussion that is the equivalent of buying a new boat and starting to dig holes again.

                    215. Unjustified force is immoral regardless of your intentions.

                      Government is force. There is nothing government should do without force.

                      Government does not merely use force – it IS force.

                      Government is not a suggestion.

                      Not plugging holes – you are back to pretending you know what I am thinking.

                      I note it when you or others not on the left start using leftist methods or arguments expecially when taken to their logical conclusion must end up in the same place.

                      All uses of leftist arguments and tactics are not wrong – particularly when used against leftists.
                      But I am going to call it out when YOU use them on me – you should know better.

                      Regardless, those arguments are usually fallacious – no matter who uses them.

                    216. “Unjustified force is immoral regardless of your intentions.”

                      Yes and no. If the person made a mistake, do you say he is immoral? There is a difference between unjustified force by error and by intention.

                      “Not plugging holes – you are back to pretending you know what I am thinking.”

                      I guess that means you are back to pretending you know what I am thinking. However, in discussion where only words are used, it is your words that tell me what to think.

                      You are back to your accusations of leftist argument. That is an escape hatch when things don’t go right. It seems like it is a good time for you to quote those words and tell us why they are leftist words and not conservative words or right wing words. Also show how those words are fallacious. I think your classification system is Randian as well.

                      Using the words “leftist methods” sounds like a slur.

                    217. “If the person made a mistake, do you say he is immoral?”
                      Most if not all the time we do.
                      In fact we go further – not just mistakes, but even accidents caused by recklessness are immoral.

                      There is not much latitude regarding the immorality of unjustified use of force.

                      “There is a difference between unjustified force by error and by intention.”
                      There is. But that changes nothing.
                      Being LESS immoral is not the same as acting morally, or even neutrally.

                      “However, in discussion where only words are used, it is your words that tell me what to think.”
                      I am going to assume I am not supposed to take that as written.

                      I am going to assume that you are trying to say “it is my words that tell you what I am thinking”

                      The answer remains – no!. When you jump from what I have said to what I am thinking, you jump the shark.
                      Stick to what I have said. That is all you can know.

                      “You are back to your accusations of leftist argument.”
                      Yes, because it is an error you keep making.

                      “That is an escape hatch when things don’t go right.”
                      This is going fine for me. I am happy with all of the arguments I have made, each independently is sufficient.

                      “It seems like it is a good time for you to quote those words and tell us why they are leftist words and not conservative words or right wing words.”
                      ????

                      I said you are making leftist arguments. When you convert the progression from reality to definition into a two way equation that you can use to change reality by changing defintions – you make one of the most common leftist errors their is. The same one that Orwell railed about in animal farm and 1984.

                      “Also show how those words are fallacious.”
                      I have shown how the argument is false.
                      Fallacious and false are different.

                      You can not change reality by playing with definitions.
                      While Fallacies can actually be true, they are merely invalid arguments.

                      “I think your classification system is Randian as well.”
                      I do not care.
                      Further, Randians are right about most things – just not everything.

                      Your comparisons to randians fall flat, because they are both false and not mostly insulting.

                      “Using the words “leftist methods” sounds like a slur.”
                      It is. It is also correct.
                      You are wise enough not to make this mistake.

                    218. The justification of the use of force must be as black and white as possible.

                      We are discussing the taking peoples property, their liberty, their lives.

                    219. “The justification of the use of force must be as black and white as possible.”

                      Agreed. You are now permitting a bit of fuzziness, but we still require an understanding of the definition.

                    220. I am not “now” doing anything.

                      BTW I am not PERMITTING any fuzziness, I am accepting that we can not entirely get rid of it – no matter how hard we try.

                      But I am going to constantly argue of narrow a priori black and white standards – “fuzziness” belongs ONLY in a posteriori examinations.

                      This is the foundation of our law – up front it is black and white. But we require defendants to get the benefit of all doubts – all grey areas belong to criminal defendants.

                    221. Accepting fuzziness is good and trying to keep the line as narrow as possible when making a decision is good as well.

                      Onward to definition.

                    222. “Accepting fuzziness is good and trying to keep the line as narrow as possible when making a decision is good as well.

                      Onward to definition.”

                      NOPE.

                      When you were pushing your brother out of the way so he did not get shot – did you look up the definition of justification first ?

                    223. >>”“Accepting fuzziness is good and trying to keep the line as narrow as possible when making a decision is good as well. Onward to definition.”

                      >”NOPE.”

                      What do you mean nope? Are you trying to create yet another debate?

                      “When you were pushing your brother out of the way so he did not get shot – did you look up the definition of justification first ?”

                      After being pushed he broke his neck falling down the stairs. The question will be was I acting maliciously or was I trying to save his life?

                    224. What I mean – clearly is that I do not accept your claims as true.

                      For the same reasons I have not for days.

                    225. “What I mean – clearly is that I do not accept your claims as true. For the same reasons I have not for days.”

                      Do you honestly believe that I don’t recognize that you disagree? That is fine. Complex decisions involving humans have fuzziness and the humans involved will likely have some differences of opinion based on definitional issues.

                      If you wish to believe there will be no fuzziness or differences in the reality that is seen, that is your problem. But I note you can’t define the words in question that will make a bunch of humans all agree. I have been asking for those definitions and the best you provided was that they were feelings we all had. That is not good enough.

                    226. “Do you honestly believe that I don’t recognize that you disagree?”
                      I try not to guess what you think.

                      Regardless, you are repeating – often in the next comment issues that we resolved.

                      “Complex decisions involving humans have fuzziness and the humans involved will likely have some differences of opinion based on definitional issues.”
                      Irrelevant.

                      First you are amplifying the complexity and fuzziness – we are not dealing with poetry. We are dealing with the justified use of force.
                      That is a tiny but incredibly important part of the infinitely larger domain of all human experience and decision making.

                      You can make your personal choices as fuzzy and complex as you wish.

                      You MUST be clear when you use force against another. If you are not clear you may not morally act.

                      “If you wish to believe there will be no fuzziness or differences in the reality that is seen, that is your problem. ”
                      Again – please refrain from telling me what I think or beleive.

                      Regardless, I do not have a problem here. You are on the wrong side of morality – if you are uncertain (in a way that matters) – you may not use force.
                      If your perception of reality is fuzzy (in a way that matters) – you may not use force.

                      “But I note you can’t define the words in question that will make a bunch of humans all agree.”
                      Can’t and won’t are not the same.
                      Nor is it relevant. You have improperly inverted the logic and burden of proof.

                      The burden to act morally in the use of force rests with those seeking to act.
                      Not with those demanding that acts be justified.

                      “I have been asking for those definitions and the best you provided was that they were feelings we all had.”
                      Nope. Not feelings. All I have claimed – which BTW is a requirement for the use of force, is that the understanding of what constitutes justified use of force is near universal.

                      But lets assume arguendo that I am wrong – then force can not be used at all, or it can only be used in that small domain that is near universal to all of us.

                      “That is not good enough.”
                      Correct – anything less than near universal agreement on what is justifiable use of force, results in the use of force being unjustified.

                    227. Maybe this will put this to bed for you.

                      I keep comparing your arguments to those of the left.
                      I tripped over this IDW Darkhorse vlog from the Bret Weinstein regarding the nonsense floating arround that 2 + 2 = 5.

                      Frankly I thought the whole claim was idiocy. Regardless, it is fundimentally just a more extreme version of what you are arguing.

                      And my response to 2+2=5 would be the same – it is NOT as the left claims merely about symbols and definitions.

                      Those pushing the nonsense that 2+2=5 – or anything else are fixated on the claim that these are all just symbols or words and they can mean whatever we want – which is just an extreme form of your argument.

                      MY response is that they are NOT just symbols, they symbols that communicate about reality.
                      Absolutely we can play games with the definitions of the symbols.
                      But doing so DOES NOT change reality.

                      And that is the ass kick to those on the left making these types of stupid arguments. While the symbols we use to communicate with are arbitrary, the reality that we are communicating about ISN’T

                      Anyway that is the argument I have been making with you – which despite your unwillingness to accept it, is still determinative.

                      But Weinstein came up with a different though related argument that also applies.

                      WE have a universal common agreement that 2 + 2 = 4 – both as symbols and as reality.
                      At the symbolic level – that is just defintions.
                      But if you and I were to debate this I would NOT have to define 2, +, =, and 4.
                      We do not look these up when we use them – they are universally agreed to.
                      And that agreement is non-negotiable – and that is the problem with the leftists that are pretending that 2 + 2 = 5 is equally valid.
                      If that universal agreement fails, our entire society fails. We are suddenly cave men again. Just about everything in life relies on that near universal agreement on the meaning of those symbols and that expression.

                      The same is true of the requirement to justify the use of force.

                      WE can not have a working society without near universal agreement on the justifiable uses of force.
                      As the declaration of indepence states the purpose of government is to secure our rights.

                      HOW ? And FROM WHAT ?

                      The answer to both is the same – FORCE.

                      Government is FORCE, Its purpose is to use that force to secure our rights,
                      And it is to secure them from the unjustified force of others. ‘

                      The very existance of government means near universal agreement on what uses of force are justified.

                      Absent near universal agreement on the justification of the use of force we can not have government – just like everything quits working if 2 + 2 = 5, Everything quits working absent near universal agreement on the justified uses of force.

                      We can not have government without that.

                      In demanding defintions – you are doing exactly the same as those proposing that 2 + 2 could = 5.
                      You are claiming that something that is required to be near absolute, is actually fuzzy.

                      If you were to actually win the argument – government would not be able to continue to exist.

                    228. Maybe the one doing the pushing knew the gun was not real and not a threat but a good way to eliminate his brother.

                    229. Questions of fact are not questions of intent.

                      The gun was real, or it was not.
                      You knew that, or you did not.

                      A jury may be fuzy on what you knew – and obligated to give you the benefit of the doubt.
                      But outside the court room – you either knew or you did not.

                    230. “Questions of fact are not questions of intent.”

                      In the scenario above they are an indication of intent.

                      “The gun was real, or it was not.
                      You knew that, or you did not.”

                      If you knew that the gun wasn’t real then the push indicates that you weren’t trying to save his life.

                      You might better understand what was said if you reread my prior response.

                    231. “”Questions of fact are not questions of intent.”

                      “In the scenario above they are an indication of intent.”

                      Maybe, but you only need the facts to determine the morality of the act.

                      ““The gun was real, or it was not.
                      You knew that, or you did not.”

                      If you knew that the gun wasn’t real then the push indicates that you weren’t trying to save his life.”
                      a question of FACT.

                    232. You are actually trying to claim that when someone else tried to shoot your brother pushing him out of the way that resulted in his falling down the stairs could possibly be malicious ?

                      Why didn;t you just let him get shot ?

                    233. P = True
                      Q = True
                      R = True

                      P & Q & R = True

                      ~P & Q & R = False
                      P & ~Q & R = False
                      P & Q & ~R = False

                      This is the case for however many dimensions you want.

                      This is very simple logic.

                      As an aphorism – two wrongs do not make a right.

                    234. You have a point, but now we have the problem of justification (definition).

                      I push my brother away so he doesn’t get shot. That is force and the justification is to prevent him from getting injured.

                      Life is more often multidimensional.

                    235. You seem to think that I am claiming because force must be justified that I am also claiming it is never justified.

                      Justification is more complex. And yet though we debate justification in theory, we rarely disagree in practice.

                      Has someone claimd that pushing your brother so that he does not get shot is an unjustified use of force ?

                      I am not.

                    236. “You seem to think that I am claiming because force must be justified that I am also claiming it is never justified.”

                      No.

                    237. The invasion of Poland was an act of war.

                      There were several things that occured prior to that that were not acts of war, but that should not have been allowed and likely would have lead to war earlier – which would have been much shorter.

                      The negotiated arrangements that gave hitler parts of Checklosovakia, and france should never have occured.

                      Being unwilling to go to war short of acts of war does not require giving ones imprimatur to pure idiocy.

                      Neville Chamberlain bent over backwards to give Hitler whatever he wanted to avoid Hitler following through on threatened acts of war.

                    238. During the time period before the war was officially declared, Germany was an existential threat.

                    239. Correct. But that would not have justified war.

                      Had Chamberlain NOT made his odious deals with Hitler AND Hitler invaded Checklosovakia – that would have been a justification for War.

                      It is not the Threat posed by Germany that was the problem, it was the ACTS of Germany.

                      Chamberlain’s appeasement of Germany gave Hitler what he wanted without having to commit an act of war.
                      It did not buy peace. It bought Germany time to grow even stronger.

                      Had Germany invaded Checklosovakia without the blessing of Britian and France – there would have been war, and Germany would have been defeated easily.

                    240. As I pointed out earlier there is a fuzziness surrounding that tiny space between existential threat and a justifiable war.

                      Sometimes handling the existential threat might prevent a bigger and more deadly war. Waiting too long for the justification can cost millions of lives and a war can be lost.

                    241. The space is not tiny.

                      Threats are not acts of war.

                      An act of war is necessary to justify a war.

                      Can I kill my neighbor because I beleive they are an existential threat ?

                      The use of force – violence against my neighbor is not justifiable by their words. It is not justifiable by their non-violent actions.
                      It is not justifiable by threats.

                      There may be many many actions that are justified by an “existential threat” but war – violence is not one of these.

                    242. “The space is not tiny.”

                      If that is the case then you will have to define what that tiny space is.

                      “An act of war is necessary to justify a war.”

                      Earlier I provided a scenario having to do with the Wuhan virus. I am sure people can think of many more scenarios than I mentioned. Some of the scenarios contain elements consistent with acts of war. Many will disagree if the are or they are not. That is the fuzziness I discussed.

                      One should not use simple examples where it is easy to demonstrate that the act was an act of war or not. The problem occurs where there is fuzziness. That is the area you refuse to delve into.

                    243. Again – I do not need to define your terms or argue using them.

                      We addressed Wuhan.

                      The Chinese engaging in biological research is not an act of war.

                      Allowing infected travelers to go to the rest of the world without quarantine while isolating them from China itself – could constitute and act of war.

                      Delberately releasing C19 on the world would be an act of war.

                      But merelyu developing it – even as a potential weapon is not an act of war.

                      Regardless, I addressed much of this before.

                    244. “The Chinese engaging in biological research is not an act of war….

                      Delberately releasing C19 on the world would be an act of war.”

                      Your contention is that there are no fringe areas between the two where uncertainty exists.

                    245. Why are we fighting over Soleimani ?

                      I am pretty sure we agree. We did not go to war over Soleimani. But we did respond to “acts of war” with “acts of war”.

                      Killing Soleimani was justified. It was also NOT going to war. GWI, Afghanistan, GWII were.

                    246. “Why are we fighting over Soleimani ?”

                      I didn’t know we were.

                      Just to be clear acts of war can lead to war. I thought Trump’s response to Soleimani was a good response instead of going to war which would have been justified by many definitions. I think some existential threats can be greater threats than Soleimani was before he was killed.

                    247. Any act of war justifies going to war.

                      All acts of war do NOT require going to war.

                      I thought Trump’s takeout of Soleimani was perfect.
                      I would note that taking out Soleimain was also an Act of War.

                      Trump responded to an act of war with an act of war.
                      That too is morally acceptable.

                      We are now shifting from what is justifiable to what is effective.

                      Often it is wise to do LESS than what is morally justifiable.

                      Trump also did LESS when Iran took out the drone.
                      Again Trump responded correctly.

                    248. We didn’t disagree on the points in your recent post.

                      The possible point of disagreement was “I think some existential threats can be greater threats than Soleimani was before he was killed.” Existential threats are what you should be discussing.

                    249. Please do not tell me what I should be discussing.
                      That is another anoying left tactic.

                      Regardless, the moral issue is simple – you may not justify the use of force based on fear not even credible fear.

                      Force can not be justified without an ACT.

                    250. “Please do not tell me what I should be discussing.”

                      Please tell me how my response was telling you what to say.

                      “The possible point of disagreement was “I think some existential threats can be greater threats than Soleimani was before he was killed.” Existential threats are what you should be discussing.”

                    251. When you tell me what I am thinking, when you tell me what or how I should be arguing,

                      Most of your complaints – I do not care about.

                      Yes, I sometimes steer my arguments towards my ideology. So what ?

                      As to ambiguity and definitions – I am writing standard English. I do not use unusual definitions for words, and I am careful about the specific words I use and how I use them for critical concepts. You will note I use the word FORCE alot. I think we generally agree what force is.
                      I rarely if ever use synomyms – as those have nuanced differences in meaning.

                      Government is force – it is men with guns. If you do not need force to accomplish something – you do not need government.

                      I have said that acts of war justify war. I think that is pretty clear.
                      Acts, deeds – not words, not fears.

                      You are arguing for “existential threats” – I am hard pressed to think of a more ambiguous phrase.

                      Why should I be discussing “existential threats” – I have already rejected that as a basis for war.

                      It is an impossibly vague phrase. It is sufficiently broad and ambiguous that I am not even interested in debating what you think it means.

                      I would also note that it is WRONG, First for going to war when war is not justified – GWII is the perfect example.
                      But also for not going to war when it is justified – Afghanistan was never an “existential threat”

                      You brought up issues with definitions and ambiguity – Fine, but they are YOUR problems not mine.

                      There is both a reasonably clear understanding of what an act of war is, as well as a legal definition – and the common understanding and the more legal understanding are fairly closely aligned.

                      I do not have an ambiguity problem.

                      Conversely there is not and can not be universal agreement on the meaning of “existential threat”. There is not broad common agreeement or broad legal agreement.

                      Finally, the very claim that we must coordinate definitions demonstrates YOUR problem.

                      I do not think that we have to work out a common definition for FORCE, or Acts of War.

                      While these might not be universally agreed on – they are certainly nearly so.

                      The actions of government MUST be constrained not merely by law – but by laws framed with words that have near universal understanding.

                      Again one of the problems with the left – and all statists right and left.

                      If a customer comes to my bakery to order a product, and I have to consult myriads of Human Relations commission orders and definitions to determine whether I can agree to make his cake of not – then the law itself is deeply flawed.

                      While the law often deals with issues in nuanced precision – the underlying issues of right and wrong MUST be universally.

                      Ignorance of the law is not an excuse – because the law MUST be written in our souls. We may not understand the difference between burglary and robery, but we all know without consulting penal codes that taking what belongs to another without permission is WRONG.

                    252. “When you tell me what I am thinking, when you tell me what or how I should be arguing,”

                      This should not be a difficult thing to understand. When people converse they tell others what they are thinking at the time. When a person responds that is what he is thinking and if the first person doesn’t make himself clear the second person has a right to tell him that.

                      “Most of your complaints – I do not care about.”

                      But if you look at your statements you will find that you are the one complaining and dictating. Example ‘don’t tell me what I am thinking’, ‘don’t use lefty thoughts’, ‘don’t tell me what I should write’…

                      “Yes, I sometimes steer my arguments towards my ideology. So what ?”

                      That is fine until your ideological arguments do not pertain to what the other person said and are mixed within the response making things difficult to the reader.

                      “As to ambiguity and definitions – I am writing standard English. I do not use unusual definitions for words”

                      As I demonstrated to you earlier dictionaries will have multiple definitions for the same words. It doesn’t matter whether or not the person even speaks English if they can’t understand exactly what you wish to say.

                      “, and I am careful about the specific words I use and how I use them for critical concepts. You will note I use the word FORCE alot. I think we generally agree what force is.
                      I rarely if ever use synomyms – as those have nuanced differences in meaning.”

                      Go check the dictionary and see how many different ways the word force can be used.

                      “You are arguing for “existential threats” – I am hard pressed to think of a more ambiguous phrase.”

                      That is exactly what I have been telling you and that is why I stated that one needed to have agreement on what that term means. I guess you finally got the point.

                      “Why should I be discussing “existential threats” – I have already rejected that as a basis for war.”

                      You have done so without defining the term.

                      If an enemy had the ability to send satellites into space with nuclear weapons that you could not defend against and they did so would you not consider that an existential threat when the nation’s leaders adopt the end of the world as a solution?

                      “It is an impossibly vague phrase. It is sufficiently broad and ambiguous that I am not even interested in debating what you think it means.”

                      That is fine, but don’t get so upset when you can’t obtain agreement. I don’t think you consider all the eventualities because you have a tendency to never veer off a straight line. You seem to have a lot of trouble with curves.

                      “There is both a reasonably clear understanding of what an act of war is, as well as a legal definition – and the common understanding and the more legal understanding are fairly closely aligned.”

                      That only occurs when you are talking to yourself.

                      “Finally, the very claim that we must coordinate definitions demonstrates YOUR problem.”

                      That is not my problem. It is yours. You can speak English to one that only speaks Hungarian and he can speak Hungarian to you which likely you don’t know. That is problematic if one is trying to exchange useful information. I don’t have that problem. I use a translator so that we can get the words right.

                      I think I’ll stop here.

                    253. I have zero problems with people making their own choices regarding Covid.

                      I am drowning in Vitamin D, Zinc, if I could get it I would take HCQ.

                      I just got an MMR vaccine – I had Mumps and measles, and was not vaccinated, but apparently MMR is about 77% effective in preventing C19 and even more effective at reducing its severity if you get it.

                      I have no problem with “My House, My rules”.

                      I have no problems with businesses deciding their own Covid Policies.

                      I wear a mask regularly when indoors for business.

                      I am in a moderately high risk group, and my wife is in a higher risk group.

                      I am absolutely opposed to government at any level dictating any of the above.

                      There is a single role of govenrment in this – quarantining the actually sick.

                      That is the only legitimate use of force in an epidemic.

                    254. No, there were not more ballots cast than ,mailed out in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania election law on mail-in ballots passed over a year ago by a bi-partisan vote in it’s legislature and 2 other elections have been held under it’s rules.

                      John Say will believe – or pretend to believe – any nonsense that supports his politics

                    255. Yes, PA passed a an election law over a year ago – that Law was not followed.
                      I would suggest you read it. While it did allow mailin voting, it had numerous requirements that were absolutely not followed.

                      The “bipartisan” law you are fixated on required that all mailin ballots have either the drivers license/PA ID # of the voter on the outside of the envelope – to meet the PA existing voter ID law, it required that no ballot could be accepted after 8Pm election day, and it required public observation of the ballot handling process by representatives from both parties .

                      None of these provisions of the law (as well as many others) were followed.

                      Yes, there were more ballots cast than issued.

                      One of the things you left wing nuts fail to grasp is that records do exist for much of this.

                      Voters in PA were able to verify that their ballots were received Online.
                      The number of ballots issued, who they were issued to, the numbers processed are all readily available.

                      Further we live in the internet era – not only are voter registration databases publicly available, but death records, records of people moving, etc are also readily available today.

                      It is quite easy for those with sufficient time and resources to independently validate the legitimacy of many of the alleged voters.

                      JF you have your head in the sand.

                      FIRST and foremost you have been arguing that Election fraud is rare to non-existant – that has been the constant refrain of the left.

                      If is false. the US has a long long long tradition of election fraud. If you are unaware of that you are historically ignorant.

                      There is plenty of evidence of large scale election fraud atleast into the 60’s. LBJ bragged about stuffing 80,000 ballots in his first Senate contest to win the election.

                      There are few prosecutions of election fraud in the US – because absent laws such as voter ID laws to secure elections it is near impossible to prove election fraud.

                    256. I do not “beleive” things.

                      I KNOW them.

                      As I have noted repeatedly the PA election laws was not followed.

                      Outside of left wing nuts there is no argument regarding that.
                      The PA Supreme court actually directed that the law NOT be followed.

                      Only idiots dispute the actual facts.

                      You and the left are the ones with their heads in the sand.

                      While the courts are for the most part failing, their failure is atleast somewhat understandable.

                      No Judge wishes to be the one ordering that the entire results of an election be tossed.

                      And that it is the problem here – the left has played a gigantic game of chicken. They have created a situation where the choice to reject invalid ballots does not exist. Where judges must decide to reject the election as a whole or not at all.
                      Few judges in the world have the cajones to throw out the election in an entire state.

                      But this conduct is typical of those on the left.

                      This is the same nonsense you started with Bork, and have continued with Ballot harvesting and the Fillibuster and with lawless executive orders.

                      Failing to grasp that whatever you do, republicans will figure out too.

                      The norm with absentee ballots is that they favor republicans. In 2018 in CA Democrats flopped that by making ballot harvesting – a process that violates secret ballots and makes it possible to induce or coerce peoples votes, legal. That tipped several very close house elections to democrats. In 2020 Republicans followed the same law and game plan as democrats and flipped every seat that was gained in 2018 back.

                      What do you think Republicans are going to do in 2022 and 2024 if what has occured in 2020 is allowed ?

                      They will do the same thing as democrats did.

                      You say that there were not more mailin ballots received in PA that mailed out – how would you know ?

                      What prevents that ? Based on my own knowledge of PA laws and processes and what happened in 2020,
                      Give me enough money – it would not take much and I can flood Philadephia with fraudulent mailin ballots – and you will never be able to catch me.

                      I am not going to do that.

                      Do you think Roger Stone. Paul Manafort, Karl Rove ? or their peers on the left would not do the same ?

                      I would further note that Republicans would have it much easier. All republicans need to do is invalidate a substantial part of the vote in Philadelphia – with Mailin ballots that is trivial. Flood Philadelphia with mailin ballots – Philadelphia will either count the duplicates – cancelling them out, or reject both – cancelling them out.

                      How do you plan on stopping that ? How do you plan on catching it or proving it ?

                      You do not seem to grasp that election laws exist for a reason – to PREVENT fraud.

                  2. Is there anyone who doubts that if there were hundreds of thousands of late Trump votes without postmarks or creases to indicate they had been mailed, That all showed up after midnight and were counted without observers that you would be screaming bloody murder ?

                    1. Mr. Say, I get it: You want us to live in a perfect universe where everything is done “by the book.” When you believe that rules have been violated, you don’t like it. (You say it has nothing to do with Trump’s loss – but that’s just you trying to appear to the world as being objective.) But in the real world, we try to get as close to perfection in following rules as humans can get. This should satisfy our sense of fairness. And don’t tell me that prior elections were all by-the-book. Why don’t you focus on imrpoving future election systems? This one is already beyond the point of no return.

                      BTW, I wonder if you feel the same way when it comes to gerrmymandering of Congressional districts?

                    2. The way to improve elections is to prove this one failed the smell test.

                      The left and Democrats want elections that are not secure. That is why they try to prevent one citizen one vote with all sorts of ways to prevent voter ID.

                    3. “Mr. Say, I get it: You want us to live in a perfect universe where everything is done “by the book.””

                      Not at all. Not even close. We are debating Government – not all private human behavior.

                      Yes, I expect government to follow the rules for government.

                      “When you believe that rules have been violated”
                      There is no beleif – they were violated egregiously and all over, And the result is that there can be no trust in the results.

                      “you don’t like it”

                      It is not about what I like.
                      It is about whether government has trust and integrity.

                      “You say it has nothing to do with Trump’s loss – but that’s just you trying to appear to the world as being objective.”
                      Do you actually beleive you can know what other people think ?

                      “But in the real world, we try to get as close to perfection in following rules as humans can get.”
                      There was no “try” in 2020, there was not getting close to perfection.

                      Laws were deliberately ignored – by election officials, state executives, the courts – both before and after the election.

                      That is not trying – that is fraud.

                      “This should satisfy our sense of fairness.”
                      I have no interest in fairness.
                      That is a meaningless standard.

                      I doubt what you think is fair I will.

                      Neither you nor I are entitled to our personal concept of fair.
                      We are entitled to a government that follows the law.

                      That is precisely what “the rule of law, not man” means.

                      If I do not think the law is fair – I can work to change it.
                      And if I succeed I can trust that the changed law will be followed.

                      When government ignores the law – that trust does not exist.

                      “And don’t tell me that prior elections were all by-the-book.”
                      I have not – I have been fighting against election fraud for over 2 decades.
                      The only thing unique about 2020 is the the scale of the lawlessness and fraud.
                      The scale of the fraud is a consequence of mailin elections – which are well known to have an order of magnitude more fraud than in person secret ballots.
                      The lawlessness of the election is however pretty unique.
                      I can not think of an election in my lifetime where election laws have been so flagrantly disregarded by the government.

                      “Why don’t you focus on imrpoving future election systems? ”
                      I have been for 20+ years.

                      “This one is already beyond the point of no return.”
                      And the left (and to a lessor extent the right) not fought all efforts at improving election integrity – that would not have occured.

                      Republicans responded to the 2000 debacle with HAV – putting in the electronic voting machines we are now fighting over.

                      It is somehow appropriate that Republicans might be victims of the very voting systems they pioneered.

                      Regardless, I was fighting them in 2001, and I am fighting them now.

                      “BTW, I wonder if you feel the same way when it comes to gerrmymandering of Congressional districts?”

                      I do not. There is absolutely no objective standard for deriving congressional districts.
                      The process is inherently corrupt and political and the courts should stay the hell out of it.

                      The good news is contra the left it is not all that dangerous. The impact on the house of representatives is less than 5 seats overall.
                      And any political party that tries to game congressional districts to gain too great an advantage risks being obliterated by small changes in voting patterns.

                      To repeat Gerry mandering is real, it is corrupt, it is practiced by both parties, and ultimately its impact is small.
                      Trying to fix it causes far larger problems.

                      To the largest extent possible we should NOT want our courts involved in elections.

                      Look at Georgia right now. there is a holy war and legal battle that is eroding confidence in the courts while at the same time two close senate seats are being decided by Runnoff – no courts at all.

                      Others thought of this by I have supported for decades – no recounts. Any election where the winner does not get atleast 51% of the vote goes to an automatic runnoff. No courts, no recounts.

                      That would also require fraud to exceed 2% of the vote to be meaningful.

                  3. You wear your blind partisan ignorance like a road killed peacock. You are one angry deranged hack …joe Friday biden.

              2. This has to do with your inability to accept one person one vote. The left wanted to confuse the election process so that illegal ballots for Biden would be counted diluting those votes that were legally cast. These people doing this for a Democrat victory weren’t cultists, they were outright criminal. They are who you consider your friends which doesn’t say much about you.

                In this case the advantage goes to the criminal class because Trump has to prove his case while the criminal class can just point to the number of ballots cast even though potentially millions were illegal. Trump has an uphill battle while the criminal class only have to hold themselves together and hope their errors weren’t’ too great.

                The group you support cares nothing of American values so you represent them quite well.

    2. Was this an actual recount – was anything actually done to verify the legitimacy of the ballots cast ?

      Continuing to look in the wrong place does not establish credibility.

      1. The ballots are certified, which means election officials across the state of both parties or none vouched for them and the method they were tabulated under.

        Trump lost.

        1. “The ballots are certified, which means election officials across the state of both parties or none vouched for them and the method they were tabulated under.”

          The laws of the state were quite broadly violated – those officials are therefore participating in Fraud.

          That is what vouching for lawlessness means.

          JF You do not seem to grasp that you can not get arround the fact that the law was ignored in every single one of these states.

          As John Adams codified in the Massachusetts constitution “we are a government of laws, not of men.”

          The certification process you described to be meaningful only allows certification of a lawful election – one that was conducted following the law. That did not occur. Therefor the certification is itself fraudulent and invalid – just as the invalid ballots that were counted as a result of failing to follow the law.

          You are constantly arguing that you can circumvent lawlessness by the magical incantations of “experts” or “authorities”.

          Though in even this you are inconsistent. Elsewhere there is one on the right arguing that because these elections were lawless Trump can ignore them.

          We are obligated to follow the law. Whether it is Trump or Biden. Left or Right. If we do not like the law we are required to follow lawful process to change it.

          I would support broad changes to our election laws. I have proposed several.

          But those are not the current law. We are obligated to follow the current law.

          We were obligated to conduct this election following the current law – we did not. Where we did not the election itself is illegitimate and can not be certified. When men choose to certify lawlessness – that is the rule of men, not the rule of law, and that leads to tyranny and chaos.

          Neither Trump, nor election officials, nor judges can ignore the rule of law, without undermining government itself.

          Without following the law there can be no legitimate government – we all lose.

          1. The courts have not agreed with John Says accusations, and in many cases the judges were Republicans, and the writer of the devastating opinion on Friday was a Trump appointed Republican. Only know-nothing Trump dead-enders believe this kind of BS and it’s doubtful even Trump believes it. He’s not stupid and that’s the thing with con-artists: they rarely believe what they sell to the marks – like John.Say.

            1. Not Accusations JF – most of what I have asserted is FACTS.

              These states did not follow their own laws.

              That is not even being challenged.

              Even the PA supreme court admitted they were not following the PA law or PA constitution when they ordered state election officials to violate the law.

              i would further note – we have heard all this same nonsense from the left before.

              We heard that the Steele Dossier was true, that Trump really colluded with Russia, that Carter Page really was a Russian Spy, that The Trump campaign actually collaborated with Russia to hack the DNC, that the US government did not spy on the trump campaign.
              That Joe Biden did not know about his Son’s dealings in the Ukraine,

              ……

              All of that proved false.

              Alex Jones has far more credibility that YOU, the left the MSM.

              A significant portion of this country – near 50% beleive this election was stolen.

              They do so because they have learned that YOU, the left, the democrats the MSM, Social media, even the FBI, DOJ, Courts can not be trusted.

              So why are we to beleive people like you who have lied to us repeatedly ?

            2. “the courts have not agreed” – false. The Courts have refused to act based on the evidence presented – that is NOT the same thing.

              In most if not all cases they have granted motions to dismiss on the basis that the alleged fraud was insufficient if true to grant the remedy requested.

              JF – neither you nor left, nor democrats nor the MSM are credible.

              I have said this before – there is a price for constantly selling lies – and that is your credibility.

              You spent 4 years chasing snipes and demanding that everyone else accept pure BS.

              I would note there is a pattern here.

              During the Obama administration the left resisted all inquiry – Fast and Furious, IRSGate, Benghazi, Uranium One, Clinton Foundation. Clinton Email server. Getting information regarding what actually occured was like pulling teeth.

              What did you have to hide ? Plenty. [

              During the Trump administration most of the same actors were fighting tooth and nail to thwart inquiry into their actions.

              Trump produced virtually everything that was asked. But DOJ, FBI, CIA resisted executive orders to turn over information.

              The faux impeachment was conducted in the basement dark – lest the people actually see what partisan hacks you were.

              You have fuerther resisted all inquiry into Misconduct by Biden and democrats in Ukraine.

              And now you resist any examination of an election that was conducted outside the law.

              You should not be surprised that you are not trusted. That you have no credibility.

  6. ‘Every Republican state legislator should read Patrick Basham’s analysis https://spectator.us/reasons-why-the-2020-presidential-election-is-deeply-puzzling/ and demand an oversight committee to review their state’s vote. Basham makes clear the election was almost certainly stolen in 5 states. Every Americanm should be worried by the theft.’ @newtgingrich

    https://spectator.us/reasons-why-the-2020-presidential-election-is-deeply-puzzling/

    1. “To say out-loud that you find the results of the 2020 presidential election odd is to invite derision. You must be a crank or a conspiracy theorist. Mark me down as a crank, then. I am a pollster and I find this election to be deeply puzzling. I also think that the Trump campaign is still well within its rights to contest the tabulations. Something very strange happened in America’s democracy in the early hours of Wednesday November 4 and the days that followed. It’s reasonable for a lot of Americans to want to find out exactly what.

      First, consider some facts. President Trump received more votes than any previous incumbent seeking reelection. He got 11 million more votes than in 2016, the third largest rise in support ever for an incumbent. By way of comparison, President Obama was comfortably reelected in 2012 with 3.5 million fewer votes than he received in 2008.

      Trump’s vote increased so much because, according to exit polls, he performed far better with many key demographic groups. Ninety-five percent of Republicans voted for him. Catholics also supported Trump in higher numbers. He did extraordinarily well with rural male working-class whites.

      He earned the highest share of all minority votes for a Republican since 1960. Trump grew his support among black voters by 50 percent over 2016. Nationally, Joe Biden’s black support fell well below 90 percent, the level below which Democratic presidential candidates usually lose.

      Trump increased his share of the national Hispanic vote by two-thirds to more than four-in-ten. With 60 percent or less of the national Hispanic vote, it is arithmetically impossible for a Democratic presidential candidate to win Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. Bellwether states swung further in Trump’s direction than in 2016. Florida, Ohio and Iowa each defied America’s media polls with huge wins for Trump. Since 1852, only Richard Nixon has lost the electoral college after winning this trio, and that 1960 defeat to John F Kennedy is still the subject of great suspicion.

      Midwestern states Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin always swing in the same direction as Ohio and Iowa, their regional peers. Ohio likewise swings with Florida. Current tallies show that, outside of a few cities, the Rust Belt swung in Trump’s direction. Yet, Biden leads in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin because of an apparent avalanche of black votes in Detroit, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee. Biden’s ‘winning’ margin was derived almost entirely from such voters in these cities, as coincidentally his black vote spiked only in exactly the locations necessary to secure victory. He did not receive comparable levels of support among comparable demographic groups in comparable states, which is highly unusual for the presidential victor.

      We are told that Biden won more votes nationally than any presidential candidate in history. But he won a record low of 17 percent of counties; he only won 524 counties, as opposed to the 873 counties Obama won in 2008. Yet, Biden somehow outdid Obama in total votes.

      Victorious presidential candidates, especially challengers, usually have down-ballot coattails; Biden did not. The Republicans held the Senate and enjoyed a ‘red wave’ in the House, where they gained a large number of seats while winning all 27 toss-up contests. Trump’s party did not lose a single state legislature and actually made gains at the state level….”

      https://spectator.us/reasons-why-the-2020-presidential-election-is-deeply-puzzling/

      1. “Atypical voting patterns married with misses by polling and non-polling metrics should give observers pause for thought. Adding to the mystery is a cascade of information about the bizarre manner in which so many ballots were accumulated and counted.

        The following 10 peculiarities also lack compelling explanations:

        1. Late on election night, with Trump comfortably ahead, many swing states stopped counting ballots. In most cases, observers were removed from the counting facilities. Counting generally continued without the observers

        2. Statistically abnormal vote counts were the new normal when counting resumed. They were unusually large in size (hundreds of thousands) and had an unusually high (90 percent and above) Biden-to-Trump ratio

        3. Late arriving ballots were counted. In Pennsylvania, 23,000 absentee ballots have impossible postal return dates and another 86,000 have such extraordinary return dates they raise serious questions

        4. The failure to match signatures on mail in ballots. The destruction of mail in ballot envelopes, which must contain signatures

        5. Historically low absentee ballot rejection rates despite the massive expansion of mail voting. Such is Biden’s narrow margin that, as political analyst Robert Barnes observes, ‘If the states simply imposed the same absentee ballot rejection rate as recent cycles, then Trump wins the election’

        6. Missing votes. In Delaware County, Pennsylvania, 50,000 votes held on 47 USB cards are missing

        7. Non-resident voters. Matt Braynard’s Voter Integrity Project estimates that 20,312 people who no longer met residency requirements cast ballots in Georgia. Biden’s margin is 12,670 votes

        8. ‘Over votes.’ Pennsylvania mailed out 1.8 million ballots, but 2.5 million ballots were returned. In 10 Pennsylvania counties, Biden secured more votes than there were registered Democratic voters. In Nevada, there are 77,982 more votes in the presidential election than total ballots cast; Biden’s current margin is 33,596. Ballots exceeded the number of residents by 2.5 times in some Georgia precincts

        9. Serious ‘chain of custody’ breakdowns. Invalid residential addresses. Record numbers of dead people voting. Ballots in pristine condition without creases, that is, they had not been mailed in envelopes as required by law

        10. Statistical anomalies. In Georgia, Biden overtook Trump with 89 percent of the votes counted. For the next 53 batches of votes counted, Biden led Trump by the same exact 50.05 to 49.95 percent margin in every single batch. It is particularly perplexing that all statistical anomalies and tabulation abnormalities were in Biden’s favor. Whether the cause was simple human error or nefarious activity, or a combination, clearly something peculiar happened.

        If you think that only weirdos have legitimate concerns about these findings and claims, maybe the weirdness lies in you.”

        https://spectator.us/reasons-why-the-2020-presidential-election-is-deeply-puzzling/

    2. This is all very easy. It was stolen and rigged and a fraud

      The answer is not lawsuits, it is unrestricted warfare. We are not organized for it but we could be fast, if enough people got the message.
      of course the Silicon valley and mass media keep the message buried under the brainwashing.
      The private property rules protect their schemes. We need to understand that and aim to destroy their control over media and the internet.
      Destroy it with all the means of war. Then if we win and survive, write new rules.

      War in so many different venues, covert, illicit, sneaky war. And terror. BLM was a terror operation. So is antifa. Outright violence aimed at intimidating us.
      if the government was on our side, they’d have locked them all up. No, they just lock us up and rig the vote and protect the billionaires.
      The billionaires might as well own the FBI as their own security team.
      War by the billionaires is what’s being waged on us. Most of us are just too dull to accept the obvious.

      We need to wake up before it’s too late

      Billionaires are the enemy. They must be destroyed and their tools of financial power rendered useless. Take their money and they are only 700 weakling traitors ready for the gallows.

      –Saloth Sar

  7. I wonder oh how I wonder when the silent power who is all and more powerful than all the political knock outs will plead for their place at the table of fairness, kindness, pleading for what one never gives out. .The battle seems to be won, but you are wrong. Wait and see .

  8. The appellees and amici have filed their responses in the 3rd Circuit case, and based on commentary from some lawyers and legal reporters I read, it’s not looking good for Trump.

    Here’s one source of analysis for anyone who is interested: https://twitter.com/bradheath (a legal reporter for Reuters)

    This excerpt of his made me laugh: “The counties note that by failing to appeal the rest of Judge Brann’s order, Trump waives his ability to challenge them, including the judge’s finding that he lacks standing, which precludes a court from hearing his case.” How incompetent is Trump’s legal team?

  9. Fighting Words
    It’s a war.

    …By now it should be obvious – even to conservatives – that we are in a war. It is a conflict that began nearly fifty years ago when the street revolutionaries of the Sixties joined the Democrat Party. Their immediate goal was to help the Communist enemy win the war in Vietnam, but they stayed to expand their influence in the Democrat Party and create the radical force that confronts us today. The war that today’s Democrats are engaged in reflects the values and methods of those radicals. It is a war against us – against individual freedom, against America’s constitutional order, and against the capitalist engine of our prosperity.

    Democrat radicals know what they want and where they are going. As a result, they are tactically and organizationally years ahead of patriotic Americans who are only beginning to realize they are in a war. The Democrats’ plan to steal the 2020 election was hatched many years ago when Democrats launched their first attacks on Voter I.D.s, and then every effort to secure the integrity of the electoral system. Those attacks metastasized into an all-out assault on Election Day itself with early- and late-voting grace periods, and a flood of 92 million mail-in ballots, hundreds of thousands of which were delivered in the middle of the night to be counted behind the backs of Republican observers after Election Day had passed. …

    Democrats are not democrats; they are totalitarians. They have declared war on the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, the Electoral College, the Senate, the Supreme Court, the election system, and the idea of civil order. They have called for the Republican President of the United States to be de-platformed and jailed. Their obvious goal is a one-party state that criminalizes dissent. To them, support for such basic necessities as borders and law enforcement are racist.

    Worthwhile to read the entire piece at:

    https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2020/11/fighting-words-david-horowitz/

      1. What is not true? They have declared war on:

        1) the First Amendment,
        2) the Second Amendment,
        3) the Electoral College,
        4) the Senate,
        5) the Supreme Court,
        6) the election system, and
        7) the idea of civil order.

        You don’t want to sound like a dummy do you?

  10. Great piece. Nice for once to see someone with a deeper knowledge of History and fully capable and willing to go back to 1876. I am perfectly willing to fight to the last trench for as in 1876 the stakes are “huuuge”. In 1876 if Tilden and the Democrats had won there really was a risk of having to fight the Civil War over again–the Bourbon Democrats “learned nothing and forgot nothing”. Today Biden clearly intend to Reset America to effectively be a hybrid of China and Russia–that Democrat AG in Michigan clearly demonstrates this, along with Biden’s “appointments”. What IS worrisome is that there are a few GOP Senators willing to surrender to the Democrats–while the Democrats march in lockstep–even Joe Manchin will rejoin the ranks. Keep up the good work before you are disbarred!

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