Court: Michigan Secretary of State Broke The Law On Absentee Ballot Guidelines In The 2020 Election

The litigation over the 2020 election seem to be continuing with a ruling this week from Michigan Court of Claims Chief Judge Christopher Murray that Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) broke state law in issuing new rules on absentee balloting before the 2020 election. The orders concerned instructions on what constitutes a “match” for verification signatures — a core issue raised by the Trump campaign in its election challenges. There is no evidence that the violation of state law altered the outcome of the election in the state and the court declined to order a new audit. However, the court found that Murray should not have issued the orders and, in doing so, violated the state’s Administrative Procedures Act.

Benson ordered that clerks follow a highly deferential standard in favor of the voter and verification. The court explained:

The stated purpose of the at-issue document was to “provide[ ] standards” for reviewing signatures, verifying signatures, and curing missing or mismatched signatures. Under a heading entitled “Procedures for Signature Verification,” the document stated that signature review “begins with the presumption that” the signature on an absent voter ballot application or envelope is valid. Further, the form instructs clerks to, if there are “any redeeming qualities in the [absent voter]application or return envelope signature as compared to the signature on file, treat the signature as valid.” (Emphasis in original). “Redeeming qualities” are described as including, but not being limited to, “similar distinctive flourishes,” and “more matching features than nonmatching features.” Signatures “should be considered questionable” the guidance explained, only if they differ “in multiple, significant and obvious respects from the signature on file.” (Emphasis in original). “[W]henever possible,” election officials were to resolve “[s]light dissimilarities” in favor of finding that the voter’s signature was valid.

The section on signature-verification procedures goes on to repeat the notion that “clerks should presume that a voter’s [absent voter] application or envelope signature is his or her genuine signature, as there are several acceptable reasons that may cause an apparent mismatch.”

The court found that the orders on the signature-matching requirements amounted to a “rule” and thus should have followed the requirements under the APA. 

Murray states that “The presumption is found nowhere in state law. The mandatory presumption goes beyond the realm of mere advice and direction, and instead is a substantive directive that adds to the pertinent signature-matching standards.”

Trump campaign lawyers argued that state officials were usurping legislative authority in issuing such guidelines or rule changes before the election. This is a ruling supporting those objections. However, the problem has been the nexus between such irregularities or unlawful orders and any determinative impact on the outcome. The court noted that Genetski did not allege that Benson’s directive “caused him to accept a signature that he believed was invalid.”

While celebrating the finding of unlawfulness, Trump supporters are frustrated with the failure to order additional discovery to establish such impacts.  However, Murray  noted that

while the statute allows for an audit that includes ‘reviewing the documents, ballots, and procedures’ used in the election, the statute plainly leaves it to the Secretary of State to ‘prescribe the procedures for election audits’ and mandates that the Secretary of State shall conduct audits ‘as set forth in the prescribed procedures.’ In other words, there is no support in the statute for plaintiffs to demand that an audit cover the subject of their choosing or to dictate the manner in which an audit is conducted.”

That will not sit well with many since it was the Secretary of State who violated the state law in the first place. This would mean that she could violate the law and then dictate how that violation is investigated.

Allegan County Clerk Robert Genetski and the Michigan Republican Party filed a complaint the same day that the order was issued, but the delay prevented the ruling from being cited in the ongoing challenges before the certification.

The result is a victory but not in the form of substantive relief of an audit on how these matching rules were applied.

Here is the opinion: Genetski v. Benson, No. 20-216-MM in the Court of Claims for the State of Michigan

353 thoughts on “Court: Michigan Secretary of State Broke The Law On Absentee Ballot Guidelines In The 2020 Election”

  1. This is the 2000 Supreme Court Ruling on a state level. Rules were broken and it is to be fixed next election. The count is done and there is no going back. Now the Republicans can scream for the next twenty years like the Democrats did the last twenty on how they were cheated out of the White House.

  2. It’s not as bad as violating federal criminal, violating the Geneva Conventions and betraying one’s Oath of Office by adopting torture techniques from the Spanish Inquisition. Or the nation’s best attorneys, at DOJ, committing legal malpractice by green lighting torture. Or violating Ronald Reagan’s Convention Against Torture.

    All of the above Bush war crimes have no statute of limitations. Let’s prosecute the big crimes first before we focus on little cases like this one. Americans used to look down on Banana Republics with Kangaroo courts – what changed? The courts have publicly stated that presidents can be prosecuted once out of office, so what about these crimes that betray the American Oath of Office of every government official?

    1. “All of the above Bush war crimes have no statute of limitations. Let’s prosecute the big crimes first before we focus on little cases like this one.”

      But we don’t. The “big crimes” are ignored, which is one of the reasons that we find ourselves in this mess that we’re in.

  3. I have to read this again. I hope some with legal knowledge comment on the whole article.
    ——

    Zuckerberg Grant Allowed Outsider to Infiltrate Presidential Election in Wisconsin

    …“But what the grant money really purchased in battleground states such as Wisconsin was infiltration of the November presidential elections by liberal groups and Democratic activists, according to hundreds of pages of emails and other documents obtained by Wisconsin Spotlight.

    In the city of Green Bay, which received a total of $1.6 million in grant funding from the Zuckerberg-funded Center for Tech and Civic Life, a “grant mentor” who has worked for several Democratic Party candidates, was given access to boxes of absentee ballots before the election….

    …”Wisconsin election law clearly spells out that municipal clerks are in charge of administering elections. Kaardal said Center for Tech and Civic Life’s election security funding came with conditions that bound the city to give these left-leaning actors power they could not legally take.”

    https://www.dailysignal.com/2021/03/11/zuckerberg-grant-allowed-outsider-to-infiltrate-presidential-election-in-wisconsin/

    1. “Spitzer-Rubenstein [a private citizen and democrat partisan] was given the keys to the room where the absentee ballots were stored.”

      “Juno [the former Brown County clerk] raised concerns about how the election was conducted in Green Bay. She told the Wisconsin Elections Commission that she believed the Central Count location was ‘tainted by the influence of a person working for an outside organization affecting the election.’”

      This would be a lot more honest if the leftist operatives skipped all of the middlemen, and just said to Biden’s election team: “Here are the ballots. Let us know the final tally.”

  4. Of course, the election was stolen by communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs). The election was stolen by communist (liberal, progressive, socialist, democrat, RINO) traitors committing treason who have been “…adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort” as described and proscribed by the U.S. Constitution. Communist China is the enemy “…[adhered] to…” which commenced WWIII when it released “China Flu, 2020,” a biological weapon of mass destruction, 9 months prior to the election, in order to injure and weaken the Presidency of Donald J. Trump, who was on an inexorable path to a massive landslide victory in November, 2020.
    ___________________________________

    “The goal of socialism is communism.”

    – Vladimir Lenin
    ____________

    “[We gave you] a republic, if you can keep it.”

    – Ben Franklin, 1787
    ________________

    “[We gave you] a republic, if you can take it back.”

    – Ben Franklin, 2021
    ________________

    “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    – Declaration of Independence, 1776
    _____________________________

    All hail the New Guards!

  5. “MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell Says He’ll Counter-Sue Dominion With Two Cases—For Company and Himself”

    MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell said Monday that he plans to launch two counter lawsuits against Dominion Voting Systems, one in his personal capacity and the other on behalf of MyPillow. Lindell was hit with a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit by Dominion last month after repeatedly claiming that the company was involved in a massive voter fraud conspiracy that moved votes in the 2020 presidential election from former President Donald Trump to President Joe Biden. During an appearance on the latest edition of former Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s War Room: Pandemic podcast, Lindell announced his plans to legally strike back, claiming that the voting machine company had violated the First Amendment rights of all Americans as well as federal anti-racketeering laws. “You’re also going to have MyPillow going after Dominion in a countersuit and that’s going to your First Amendment speech. You’re going to have me go after them, counter-suing them,” Lindell said. “There are two cases, one will be MyPillow, one will be Mike Lindell. We’re both going after them. They’re a little bit different because one of them, what Dominion did was violate the First Amendment rights of everyone in this country by using bullying lawsuits and RICO law.” “[What] they say to news outlets is, ‘If you let this guy on, we’re going to sue you too,'” he added. “That’s racketeering, that goes back to the mafia days.”

    – Newsweek

  6. oh what a wicked web we weave when first we point at others with our deceit. Judging from the types of bills forwarded they broke their oath of office before, during, and after not the least of which was suborning the military which should have acted but didn’t. I doubt it was the rank and file that will have to go out and fight at east four more years of the Party of Wars adventuring at the cost of the blood of those who will do the fighting. Adding up the score since 1909 since the former Democrat Party became the Progressive Liberal Socialists I wonder just how long will it be before they have put the still in existence Selective Service (Draft) into effect and resort to the their usual blood letting. Took four years to clean up after Obama’s eight solid years with no peace AND four years of zero worth while pay increases and now they want to scut 70 billion? And for what? Didn’t save our Constitutional Republic in favor of their Socialist treachery.

  7. Let’s just break it down to the most easily understood. According to the constitution the state election rules are to be set by the state legislatures not by individual politicians or judges. Why was this constitutional requirement placed into the law? Perhaps the founders understood that the rules would be better set by the “elected” representatives of the people than by individual members of one faction or the other. When individuals are allowed to set the rules this action should be vigorously opposed regardless of party affiliation. If either party was remiss in pointing out such irregularities they would be neglectful in their duty. The representatives of the Democratic Party have often brought notice to irregularities in elections they have lost and it was their duty to point out such irregularities when they thought they existed. However, there is a bias by posters here in giving credence to the objections of only one side. They declare to us all that they and only they are the keepers of the fairness chalice. Their motto is, let the law be be damned. I am sorely tempted to give their individual identifications but it is so obvious that naming names is not required.

  8. Election laws are written by politicians just so parties can cheat and no one will ever find out or pay for it. These laws are circular reasoning and stupid. It’s like when you get a job interview at a place that has been unionized. They ask you if you are a member of the Union. If you aren’t a union member. well you are out of luck. If you say that you will join the union you are out of luck because you can’t until you are hired. .

    With election laws there are tight deadlines for certification. If you can’t immediately find smoking gun evidence, your suit will be thrown out. The problem is that it is hard to conduct a real investigation under such deadlines. Even if you actually have evidence, the judge can just throw it out anyway because they could claim there is no evidence it changed the outcome, If you are atleast granted a hearing it is likely it won’t be before a certification has taken place and there is almost no way to ever change results at that point so there’s no real incentive to pursue the issue. Because there is no longer an incentive things get swept under the rug and every year the media says, “there is no evidence fraud ever takes place (only because laws make it almost impossible to look at the issue….).

  9. Conclusory answer; failed to identify and analyze all material issues.

    Note: I do admire your ability to get paid for your writing. Perhaps that’s really all that matters in the end.

    1. “the most secure in American history”

      A statement he originally issued a mere *five weeks* after the election, while some states were still counting votes. He should be on late-night TV hawking his fortune-telling skills.

      That soothsaying statement was part of a brief comment issued at the same time by CISA — an organization influenced by various secretaries of state and voting machine providers, such as Dominion. In the real world, you don’t allow those who create the work to audit or investigate the work. They’re called: *independent* auditors.

    1. Krebs can “explain” all he wants. But the evidence will prove him wrong.

      It will also prove that he was just another Lincoln Project actor.

        1. I don’t know whether or not what you say is true, but what you say is meaningless. We have already seen that many of the major players in trying to impeach Trump were Republicans, Mueller for example. In fact one of the good things about Trump was that political hacks from both the left and the right hated Trump. That hatred demonstrated Trump was doing certain things right.

          1. “I don’t know whether or not what you say is true, but what you say is meaningless.”

            Allan, you should have this printed on a business card because it describes you perfectly.

            EB

            1. lol

              The things that come out of his mouth… Hilarious. @Anon @1:29 about this:

              “I don’t know whether or not what you say is true, but what you say is meaningless.” –S. Meyer

              1. Another Stupid comment, Anonymous the Stupid. You should read what was said.

                Bug, what you said was meaningless. Mueller was a Republican. Did that help Trump? No. The Lincoln Project is filled with Republicans. Do they help Trump.

                Being a Republican doesn’t mean support for Trump. If you wish to agree with the ignorance of JF, go ahead. No one can help you if you accept such ignorance as gospel.

            2. Bug, what you said was meaningless. Mueller was a Republican. Did that help Trump? No. The Lincoln Project is filled with Republicans. Do they help Trump.

              Being a Republican doesn’t mean support for Trump. If you wish to agree with the ignorance of JF, go ahead. No one can help you if you accept such ignorance as gospel.

        2. There were several lifelong Republicans and Trump appointee’s who ended up doing the Lincoln Project’s bidding.

          WH General Counsel Pat Cipollone and WH Chief of Staff Mark Meadows were also doing the same.

          The Lincoln Project was comprised of lifelong establishment Republicans who were completely freaked out that an outsider who wasn’t in their Beltway elitist club won the Presidency.

          As Trump found out the hard way, there were plenty more of them who weren’t part of the Project, but were in league with them. Look no further than Mitch McConnell in that regard.

          This much you can be sure of, JF. None of them, whether they be Republicans or Democrats, give a sh*t about you, or anyone else who isn’t in their club.

          If there is anyone who doesn’t fit that category, it is Ron Paul and Tulsi Gabbard.

  10. I always gauge the importance of a topic by how ferociously the trolls like Svelaz and AnonJF come out, so this one must be a doozy. There should not be any issue whatsoever with going over the data etc. if the election was indeed valid; that process would only prove beyond the shadow of a doubt what you all are screaming, it is very curious that you respond this way. When one is telling the truth beyond a reasonable doubt, they do not fight against disclosure, pretty much period. That is really all there is to it. I don’t know what you and your ilk are scared of anyway, given that dem fascists control our entire government at this point – unless, that is, you know it’s a farce and the rule of law still applies. Pathetic. There are a lot more than 74 million of us, and we are not all Conservatives. Finally, a number of us are filing lawsuits to this effect. Thanks for your post, Professor.

    1. “Finally, a number of us are filing lawsuits to this effect.”

      Great. Good luck. Get back to us when you finally realize that it was all for naught. In the meantime, it’s a good way for you to waste your time.

      1. “Good luck. Get back to us”

        There is no such thing as luck.

        Who is “us”? I always find it amusing how common trolls are so insecure that they have to hide behind an imaginary group.

        You’re “Anonymous”, and hiding behind a keyboard. But you’re such a natural born chickensh*t, that you’re still incapable of standing up for yourself. So you unconsciously display it by hiding behind other chickensh*ts like you.

          1. Anonymous the Stupid claims not to insult anyone but here he is doing it to another person.

            He’s such a liar and take note how the comments to Wal are the same he makes to me or anyone else. What can you call a guy that Stupid? Answer: Anonymous the Stupid.

            1. Anon @ 4:38 is also S, Meyer. He insults people all the time.

              For once in his life, he should STFU.

              He wants to run the comment section of Jonathan Turley’s blog.

              1. The guy — S. Meyer (also Anonymous when he wants to be — lives on this blog. He’s completely hooked on other people who post comments anonymously (with the exception of sal sar and others who agree with him). He frequently refers to them as “stupid.”

                “Anonymous” is like a drug for him. Again, he’s utterly hooked.

                1. OK, Anonymous the Stupid, I post on this blog and you copy what I post. I am flattered, but that doesn’t make you any less Stupid.

                  Keep trying to hide but that will be difficult because the word STUPID is marked in large letters on your forehead.

              2. You and your other aliases deserve insults on your intelligence because such insults can never be as bad as it actually is.

            2. Allan, it’s mostly a quote. If you consider that quote to be an insult, then you also consider it an insult when Walworths first said it.

              “note how the comments to Wal are the same he makes to me or anyone else”

              Yes, often I call out your trolling by repeating your own insults back to you. There’s an easy way for you to avoid getting that response: don’t post your insults in the first place. But if you choose to post them, expect to be called out on it. You don’t get to post them with impunity.

              1. “Allan, it’s mostly a quote. If you consider that quote to be an insult…”

                Anonymous the Stupid, I was not defining what the quote meant or who said it. I was disputing your contention that you don’t insult others. You do that all the time.

    2. “I always gauge the importance of a topic by how ferociously the trolls like Svelaz and AnonJF come out”

      Exactly.

      Keep in mind that the talking points trolls are getting their marching orders every morning. So you are correct about how loudly the guilty dogs start barking on certain topics. Also keep in mind that none of them are capable of an original thought, as they have no critical thinking skills.

      Speaking of no thinking skills. Biden calling Putin a “killer”, and saying that he has “no soul”, is further proof that Biden is nothing more than a globalist puppet with Dementia.

      1. “Keep in mind that the talking points trolls are getting their marching orders every morning.”

        Some of our blog members get old talking points and can’t seem to let go of their grievous errors.

          1. This guy is hooked on Anonymous. S/he’s like a drug to this schmuck, who also goes by the name S. Meyer.

          1. “You once again describe yourself, Allan.”

            Not really, and that can be seen when I explain in detail of how I drew my conclusions. Maybe you need to read what I said again.

            “Some of our blog members get old talking points and can’t seem to let go of their grievous errors.”

  11. Let’s not generalize and call the left criminal, but the SOS should be criminally charged.

    To say none of the multiple elections in the state were affected by this illegal action is a pretty lofty assumption. You can’t know something doesn’t exist if you don’t even look and also have little transparency.

  12. Turley, why do you and all media outlets keep sliding that opinion in regarding “no evidence that it changed the outcome of the election,” how could it possibly be known unless there was an audit based on appropriately restrictive signature analysis? You are a smart guy, and I agree with you most times, but you are conspicuously silent on the issue of election integrity and why the Supremes declined the cases.

    1. “how could it possibly be known unless there was an audit based on appropriately restrictive signature analysis?”

      You could just ask each of the election officials whether they accepted any signatures that they otherwise would have rejected.

  13. Turley attempts to make sure his Trump supporters are on the hook, writes posts like this so they have something, anything to hold on to their grievance that their twice impeached con-man who brought nothing but incompetence and disaster to the nation is somehow vindicated. Trump lost, get over it, and f*** your feelings.

    1. Trump ended the Brennan CIA’s Operation Timber Sycamore. For that, alone, Democrats will vilify him.

      Democrats’ impeachments? The first framed Trump for Biden’s wrongdoings. The second was predicated on falsehoods that were
      created and perpetrated by Democrats, including the false WaPo article concerning T’s convo re: Georgia.

  14. JT finally has a column which covers the many court rulings on the 2020 election and wouldn’t you know? It’s one out of at least 60 ruled in favor of Trump, even if the victory is not significant, or probably even final.

    Tell us about the other case JT. You know the ones with rulings by GOP and even Trump appointees thrown for lack of evidence.

    How obvious can JT be?

    1. AnonJF:

      Any more twisted logic and nonsequiturs and you’d qualify as Biden’ spokesbabe. You oughta at least recognize that Trump’s argument in Michigan and Pennsylvania about grubby bureaucrats changing election law to suit their own preferences is a denial of the public’s rights but hey that would take some intellectual integrity that the Left avoids like leprosy.

      1. Mespo apparently has no problem with “grubby bureaucrats” in Texas and 16 other red states trying to cancel millions of voters in some blue and purple states who disagreed with them on who should be president. There is a principle in elections that every reasonable effort should be made to discern the intent of a voter before pitching his ballot, but also apparently the GOP does not think the principle should apply to those not voting for them.

        1. There is also a principle in elections that every reasonable effort should be made to discern the integrity of the vote itself.

          1. Well, it didn’t happen in Florida in 2000. They threw out thousands of votes that had check marks next to the name, and then written in to make sure. They called it overvotes.

            1. The vote was against the socialists and made by those who had bolstered the anti-socialists by immigrants escaping from places like New York. to keep a power mad neo fascist out of office.

          2. Not while you have those trying for an anti constitutional police state getting away with it. Tihey haven’t been democratic since 1909 when the Democrats were high jacked by the Socialist REgressive Liberals began their in house war for supremacy in the socialist world. They have nothing to do with our Constitutional Republic.

      2. And the republican legislators in republican controlled state houses are just toying with access to the voting booth? To what? suit their own preferences? To the public’s right not to vote? Of course to have citizens the right to vote, would be like leprosy to republicans.

        1. FishWings, once again you and I agree. Citizens should have the right to vote. In California non-citizens are voting in local elections. How are we supposed to know if they are “citizens” if an ID is not required. You have written wisely in your demand for “citizens” to be allowed to vote. I would like to think that you might be moving to a more lawful approach to voting but I am afraid that I am only being mislead by another head fake.

        2. Too bad you still can’t prove any of that piglosi hog wash but can only refer to the RINO right wing of the far left and pretend to be concerned about Citizens. Putin was right in referring to the Socialist disguised as Democratic and pointing out they were the nearest thing to the Soviet Communist Party. Seig us no Heils socialist is a socialist is a socialist no matter under what pretend. More especially since the Democracy is the 180 degree opposite of Socialism. which preaches their fascist spawned dogma doing anything and everything to control the population and then calling it the Party Truth.

    1. Sure, as soon as you pay back the money your state has gotten from the Federal government.

      1. If they’re a southern border state they’d be signing off on a border war certainly to the south. Maybe even to the north with any sort of border incursion. The clear winners would be Mexican cartels, and they’d deserve to be should some state with its head irretrievable wedged in the 1860’s be so idiotic.

        EB

        1. All nations inevitably fail. Better to acknowledge it sooner than later. Call it irreconcilable differences…no hard feelings.

          1. They fail because of nihilistic attitudes and people not shouldering responsibility. Better for people to shoulder responsibility, in general. It improves the individual and the rest of society benefits. Perhaps if more people shouldered responsibility, it wouldn’t have gotten into the frustrating state it is in. This experiment in freedom is too precious to let go.

        2. “The clear winners would be Mexican cartels”

          They’re already winning thanks to Dementia Joe’s handlers.

          ‘Migrant president’: Mexico says Biden asylum policies boost illegals, cartels”

          https://nypost.com/2021/03/10/mexico-says-biden-asylum-policies-boost-illegals-cartels/

          “One Mexican official, who requested anonymity, told Reuters the cartels have been using sophisticated smuggling methods “from the day Biden took office,”

          Those strategies include keeping migrants up to date on the latest immigration rules, using technology to thwart authorities, and disguising smuggling operations as travel agencies, according to the assessments.

          Reuters also reported that plastic wristbands, some labeled “arrivals” or “entries” in Spanish, were seen discarded near Penitas, Texas after illegal immigrants crossed the border.”

          Stick to cutting and pasting talking points, Bugs. As soon as you start trying to think for yourself, you prove your ignorance.

            1. Bug, you can call him an idiot if you wish, but how does that make you look when one looks at some of the things he says?

              Drugs, violence Covid, the sex trade, terrorists, gang members etc. are now crossing the border in increasing numbers and killing our young. That is a problem for all Americans. Stop playing politics and look at the issues.

                1. Bug, you should be careful about setting the standard of who should be considered an idiot. The standard was low before and you fit into it. Raising the standard only puts you further on the bottom.

                  SM

                2. Yet you are obviously incapable of specifically stating what those “things” I say are, Bugs.

                  That’s because you have no cogent response you can make that won’t make you look even more idiotic.

                  BTW, it is a very simple rule of debate that the second anyone responds with an ad hominem attack, they have conceded that they are wrong.

                  So, you are constantly proving yourself wrong. You’d actually be better off sticking to your bogus basketball coach story.

                  I can only assume that you, JF, Natacha, Fishwings, et al, are the single A minor leaguer DNC trolls put here to try to improve your game.

                  It’s not working.

      2. The only “money” the Federal government has is from taxpayers. So that’s a double-edged sword.

        Not that you have the intellectual capacity to figure out why.

    2. Ivan says:March 17, 2021 at 1:28 PM
      Secession is the only answer.

      ____

      Sure it is, Ivan. Good luck with that.

        1. Which states are you thinking will secede, and what will they choose do? (Form individual countries? join together to form several countries? form a single country even if they aren’t contiguous? …)

          1. We’ll have the core red states. Then many red counties in blue states will want to secede with us. If you, Anonymous, look at the electoral map on a county business, that spells really bad news for Cooke County and Manhattan. In that event, their choice will be war and a hostile occupation against well-armed patriots or rump-state irrelevancy, so be snarky while you can. The smarter thing is to tell your Senate Democrats to not kill the filibuster and precipitate a crisis.

            1. First, if you think killing the filibuster, which was not something that originally existed, is cause for secession, maybe you’re not that patriotic.

              Second, Manchin and Sinema don’t favor doing away with the filibuster, so it’s unlikely to be rejected. Manchin is OK with it returning to its earlier form, a talking filibuster, so it seems increasingly likely.

              Third, you didn’t answer my questions. WHICH states and WHAT will they do? Are they going to form a single new country? …

              Whatever “well-armed patriots” you’re thinking of, I doubt that they’re as well-armed as the National Guard and the US military.

              1. As far as the filibuster is concerned, I hope you’re right.

                Not interested in answering the question, and the military will likely stay out of it, at least until both sides are exhausted.

                1. Reminder: the Confederates would have to form their own military without a sufficient tax base. Not to mention they’d have to contend with a civil war within their civil war between urban areas and rural areas. It would be the most collosal strategic mistake possible.

                  EB

                    1. I’ve not led us to dreams of secession, so no, I will not be blaming myself. I just wanna bang on my drum all day.

                      EB

                  1. I have bad news for those who put any hope in secession. It won’t be allowed. This is the legal precedent established by the Civil war.

                    All the generals are in the bag, even Colonels have to be approved by Congress, they are all politically verified. There are no rebels in that bunch.

                    The National Guards can and are federalized, and they have done exactly that with establishing the 26,000 troops from all over the USA to come and “protect” DC from hooligans. That was a loyalty test and every state governor passed the test. There is no high level support for any form of secession ergo it is impossible. There is zero analogy to the War between the States possible here.

                    Moreover the Intelligence Establishment is drooling at the chance to round up dissidents. here read this

                    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-terrorism/u-s-report-warns-of-threats-from-white-supremacists-militias-idUSKBN2B92SG

                    and please note that they have list of other dissenters including some leftists who are potential baddies. One imagines that the FBI has seeded nearly every significant group with its informants and provocateurs from the ANTIFA to the “Proud Boys” and all in between.

                    Even we law abiding citizens engaged in legit political conversations are under the gaze of the Pantopticon! They have probably logged all our IPS and indexed us in some database somewhere for even talking about a fragmentation in hypothetical terms.

                    I suggest that everybody stay legal and work for lawful change. With sufficient popular support, dramatic lawful changes are possible. And they are less prone to go haywire and lead to deeper tyranny and-or chaos. Remember billionaires are the ones who benefit the most from chaos. Those with the most resources now, will be the most ready later if things fall apart. So we should not do the oligarchs any favors.

                    Sal Sar

                  2. I recognize the problem of sanctuary cities within red states. That problem has been in my face for many years.

                    I expect that conflict would be a bloody mess, but any armed hostilities would be bad for both sides because both sides have profound strategic handicaps. And, yeah, the lights will go out in Chicago if war comes. Don’t kid yourself. Victory would be far from a sure thing for your side, so don’t think anybody has latitude to beat down the political opposition.

                    The solution is to avoid thinking that razor-thin congressional majorities and a contested presidency give you a mandate for such a beat down. You might not think so, but the radical wing of your party gives a lot of people–even some Democrats–that distinct impression, and the radicals are on the cusp of getting control of your party. Why?

                    Because your President Potato Head and your Vice President BLM are making our borders meaningless right now. Your party wants to rewrite the Constitution and election law to give one party control over elections and immigration. Your party wants to invent states out of whole cloth while ignoring millions of citizens who resent Chicago’s and Manhattan’s and Richmond’s and Seattle’s and Portland’s and LA’s stranglehold on their lives.

                    The only things standing in the radicals’ way are the filibuster, two Democrat Senators, and an equivocal Supreme Court. Our Republic is almost literally hanging in the balance.

                    If the beat down ever comes, Newton’s Law will apply with a vengeance. Potato Head needs to start acting like he means it when he says he wants unity. No more blarney, Joe Biden.

                    1. I noticed that the socalled COVID bill bailed out pensions. This is an obvious benefit to a blue state like Illinois and it does nothing for neighboring red Indiana.

                      Strictly speaking however, the burden goes on the US debt as a whole, ie the promise of future taxation of all those subject to American jurisdiction, and not the red states alone.

                      Of course we understand that the American national debt is beyond ever being “paid off” in our lifetimes so that is just more financial chicanery which is endorsed by the powers that be, the billionaire tyrants, in a sop to those pensioneers who voted for their approved candidates.

                      https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/07/business/dealbook/bailout-pensions-stimulus.html

                      This mismanagement of big pension systems is most often a Democrat party associated phenomenon. Probably not always but usually. I wonder what responsibility any of that sector of American leadership will take for it. Probably not much., And if I were the lawyer for some failed pension admins, I would say “we just did what our financial advisors at X Big Bank told us to do.” Which would probably be true. it leads us back to the usual suspects in the end: billionaire tyrants!

                      Sal Sar

            2. There’s no chance the Democrats will kill the filibuster, but hopefully they will restore it to it’s historic for, i.e., to keep debate ongoing on the issue – a valid and important Senate principle – you have to actually keep debate ongoing. What’s wrong with that? It is what we always did and even within my memory.

              1. Anon JF, not only keep it a talking filibuster, but require that the talking be on topic. None of that reading from the phone book or other wasteful BS.

            3. ” Manhattan. In that event, their choice will be war and a hostile occupation “

              Diogenes, Manhattanites will not go to war if no Taxi’s are available.

              If they do go to war put the troops outside of Manhattan for a short while and wait until the garbage piles up.

              🙂

            4. Filibuster returned to talking status.

              Funny thing is, in thinking through the lens of 1860’s consciousness, there would be an emotional rush for southern whites. But they’d immediately be beset by border war possibilities. Two gigantic conundrums exist for the modern ‘secessionists’. A) the ‘core’ red states take more money from the feds than they provide, and B) the urban areas of red states are often as blue as the blue states themselves.

              Think Afghanistan, where one of the main problems has always been the skew between urban areas and the outlands. War lords have always had the upper hand outside the cities. Secessionists in the States are, by default signing up for sectarian wars on the turf they value most (turf that essentially doesn’t pay for itself).

              It’s like in the 1860’s when the south was all pumped because “we got our war!”. Yes they did. And life as they knew it was destroyed after an ongoing mass casualty event. After the emotionalism wears off, reality sets in pretty quickly.

              EB

              1. The thing about red states taking more from the feds than they provide is just another stupid lie. No one ever did a proper analysis.

                  1. Good, it seems you learned from my replies to you Bug. You can deny it if you wish but facts are facts.

                    For JD, one of the ways of looking at these things is per capita intergovernmental spending. Using that simple metric more money goes to blue states than red ones. I personally think most of the comparisons are ludicrous and not significantly meaningful.

                    Average per capita transfer ~$2,000 (including purple states)
                    Blue States get ~ $2125
                    Red States get ~ $1875

                    1. “Something this simplistic is implausible, indeed, idiotic.”

                      Typical of someone ill trained in science and numbers.

                      Bug, how can what i presented be less plausible than yours. The claim you made conflated multiple things where favorable variables were chosen to produce their results. Pick other equally or stronger variables in the box and the results will change.

                      I chose one variable. The per capita amount transferred per state. A state was red if it supported the red president in the last several elections, blue if it supported the blue president in the last several elections and purple if the vote varied.

                      What is it about per capita you don’t understand?
                      Why do you think selective choice in variables is better than a comparison of one variable, especially a per capita variable?

                      When you are embarrassed you throw out insults like you did here.

                    2. The problem of per capita as a standard to the question of what states take more money from the federal government is that it’s a deflection. It seeks to use statistics not related to the original question because it doesn’t factor in variables i.e. what tax rates are in various states, skews between conditions of being richer or poorer individually within any single state, etc.

                      In short, it’s an overly simplistic, divide and conquer strategy, Allan. I don’t expect you to understand this since I’ve seen you fall for overly simplistic research on any number of topics on this blog. It’s clearly a part of your process of struggling with, and awakening to, being able to transcend rhetoric. You’re clearly in the early stages of your development and no amount of vocally proclaiming the superiority of your intellect will make up for it. It’s a condition that is rather easy to mock from the outside in, but it may not be fair to you to do so. You’re where you’re at it and there’s a choice to be made: set your heels and remain gullible, or push forward into ways of thinking that are clearly painful for you and will take some reorganization.

                      Here’s hoping you choose the latter path.

                      EB

                    3. “The problem of per capita as a standard to the question of what states take more money from the federal government is that it’s a deflection.”

                      Bug, all numbers “deflect” (your word of choice) because there are so many variables, but the percentage variable is a variable that runs into problems when there are wide differences in the numbers being considered.

                      I don’t think you really know what either of your links demonstrated. The question at hand is very broad and the number of valid variables is very large to select from. Selection causes a lot of studies and calculations to fail over and over again because with selection one can almost always produce whatever result they wish. That is why I chose a singular variable that actually represents the individual. That is why it is simplistic. It doesn’t conflate various issues like yours do.

                      You call it “In short, it’s an overly simplistic, divide and conquer strategy,” That is because you have never had to do a study or run numbers. If you have then either your memory or your training was faulty.

                      “I don’t expect you to understand this since I’ve seen you fall for overly simplistic research on any number of topics on this blog.”

                      This is pure rhetoric absent of any logical proof. You substitute words for data and numbers. That doesn’t work when you don’t understand what the difference is. Anyone can see that you have failed to make your case and substituted insult for logic to prove your case. That is why most of the conclusions based on data and selection that you make have been wrong since you added your present name to your list of names.

                      Learn a few things. In science simplicity is best. Reproducibility in all circumstances is the highest level of proof. The use of selection to prove a point destroys one’s credibility. These are three reasons that nothing you say that deals with numbers can be considered credible and that the statistical links you provide are for others as the likelihood is that you require a third part to interpret them for you.

                  2. Look Allan, I know your insecurities prevent you from being able to let an argument go without having the last word, so have at it. But know there are worlds of understanding for you yet to achieve and maybe try to have an open mind. Life will go a lot easier and you’ll not be bound to trying to fight yourself out of these losing propositions so often.

                    EB

                    1. Bug, this response is nothing but a blatant insulting response trying to play the last word game. It contains nothing new. It is almost a canned response and doesn’t even bother with the question at hand. You don’t understand numbers, statistics, variables, selection, etc. and you can’t stand the fact that in order to argue all you have in your arsenal is insulting rhetoric along with claims that the other doesn’t know what he is talking about when he obviously does.

                      Do you think this enhances your reputation? You will say you don’t care. That is obvious based on the reputation of all your aliases.

            5. Let’s take this out of dreamland into reality for a bit, D. Let’s take NY state, which has some red counties up north. And let’s distinguish between red counties that are red for philosophical reasons, not just financial ones that are republican so the wealthy get a better tax deal in their minds (a canard basically, since the very wealthy do anything possible to pay as few taxes as possible, writ large, no matter what party is in charge and in no way would like to an insurgency/rebellion developing on their well manicured lawns).

              How do you secede? Do the northern NY counties move on the southern NY counties? (You guys take the Bronx!! lol) Do they hope they’ll be fine if they’re just left alone to sing religious hyms, get all up in their women folk’s uteruses, suppress their minorities right to vote??? How does the national grid system realign itself? What if Buffalo has no plans to sing religious hyms with them? Rochester? Albany? (Guaranteed) What happens when a dramatic cut in access to coastal shipping forces prices to rise beyond exponentially?

              What happens to the penal system? What happens when organized crime sees them for the easy marks they would absolutely be? What happens when Sal’s billionaires pull their money when their gated neighborhoods become an instant target?

              Endless possibilities. Ones that secessionists have clearly not thought through.

              EB

              1. EB there are theoretical answers to that, but they are along the lines that Mao used to take over China. The CCP founds its base in the rural hinterlands of China, and the corrupt KMT government had its base on the East coast, where they had grown rich trading with foreigners. They were “compradors” a word that I would like Americans to learn and start to use for our own billionaire globalist financial elites.

                Because Republicans demonize Mao, and to be sure, he was a scary and terrible warlord of historic proportions, but because they demonize him, nobody seems to have studied the analogy that has arisen between the coastal regions of America that get rich on global trade, like the old Chinese compradors of their East coast, and the increasingly impoverished and demoralized “red counties” of America.

                But Mao was no magician and a revolutionary cadre like the CCP developed in China does not arise overnight. it is the consequence of years, decades of careful political preparation, of countless hours of social and political organizing, and devoted, selfless leadership by not one person but by very many. Like it or not, that’s what a lot of the CCP had in its infancy, and eventually, with cunning and daring, but also with hard work and much suffering, they won the contest. Key in their success was being able to deliver a program that benefits the core people of the nation. In terms of how ruined that country was after the weak early years of the Republic, full of corruption and warlords, and then the utter colonization and devestation wrought by the Japanese occupation, the Reds promised a doable program of improvement. But key in it was appeal to the core Han CHinese population and its interest in autonomy from foreign forces. Which by the way, were, at the time, an identity with global capitalism, such as it was in those days.

                Here, we are a much more diverse population than China, Korea, or Vietnam was in the days in which they wrestled control away from the traitorous national elites in truck with the global capitalists, and so, development of a coherent program of national restoration and improvement would be much more complex.

                I realize that my conservative and Republican friends think I have gone off my rocker when I talk like this. I will propose to them a simple axiom that I believe explains both history and the possibility that lies before us

                Asian Communism = Popular Nationalism

                Of course to buy that equation, you need to get past all the propaganda that we were fed in school, which demonized Mao and Kim and Ho Chi Minh, and appreciate the reality, that all three of these were incredibly popular leaders to their national populations. I mean if you had a real democratic election in 1946 across the whole country of Korea between Rhee and Kim, Kim would have crushed Rhee. Ditto that Vietnam in 1954 or whenever the French pulled out. Indeed in China in 1946 Mao would have easily won an election against Chiang Kai Shek too. You never heard this in school because they were not allowed to tell you that. I have come to this conclusion objectively based on my studies of history and interviews with foreigners from those nations who understood that I had an open mind about history and was so insignificant socially, that they could tell me the truth. The bottom line is that these wars were won by the Communists because they advanced a program of national restoration and more importantly they appealed to the nationalism of the ethnic groups they championed. The promised a national government run by Chinese, not Japanese, and not Americans. They also delivered on that promise for all the difficulties and problems that attended them.

                Anyhow to extend the analogy to America is geographically easy to imagine, but socially more complicated. I mean, who are Americans? Even defining that can be a problem. It is the subject of much disagreement among us. So the problem would be much harder for us than it was for them.

                But we have one thing going for us, an increasingly rich, rapacious, domineering, oppressive, and tyrannical plutocracy which controls nearly every institution above us. So perhaps we will find a way to come together before it’s too late.

                Too late is when? Why, I have a guess about that. 10-20 years out, when robotics, 3d printing, bioengineering, nanotechnology and artificial general intelligence have fully bloomed. Because when they do, understand, the billionaires will OWN these things, and they WILL use them to cancel us, in large numbers, permanently, thus solving all future problems of rebellion and our worthless co2 emissions from our orifices all at once.

                Francis Fukuyama said the fall of the USSR was the end of history. he was wrong. But we may yet live to see it. “The Singularity” will be the end of it, and us, unless we cancel the billionaires and retake sovereign power over our own country and its institutions, by hook or by crook, one way or another. I believe the only realistic alternative now is to retain the shape of the US and develop a bipartisan lawmaking push against our native plutocracy, that goes long and far towards cutting them down to size so the American people can rule themselves again instead of being mere pawns of the “Fortune 400.”

                Sal Sar

                1. +10

                  Fascinating deep dive, Sal. Full of nuance and, basically, the energetic nuance of how momentum shifts — and what makes it shift. Thanks!!

                  EB

          2. Q: Which States should secede?
            A: The ones that care about the fundamental principles behind the now dead Constitution.

            I want a loose confederation of sovereign states dedicated to limited government and focused on protecting our individual rights.

            1. I asked “will,” not “should.” The answer to “should” is “none.”

              The Constitution isn’t dead.

              1. Only God and Nostradamus know exactly what will happen and when…certainly not some anonymous posters on the internet.

            2. And I want a pasture full of Clydesdales, an infinitely more realistic probability than secession would be.

              EB

              1. In time every nation breaks up. The probability of that is 100%. The probability of you’re acquiring much in life is the same as winning the lottery.

                1. They are indeed! Putting them to work would be awesome…, once I got around the issue of being able to afford to feed them for a week.

                  EB

            3. right now the government is busy protecting the individual property rights of billionaires to own all the mass media, all the social media, and shut us up and treat us like garbage.

              I used to be liberterian but i see now how the billionaire tyrants are the ones who are always on the march against us and their government stooges are mere pawns.

              The nation-state needs to be able to regulate finance in the best interests of the people or else the financial titans will manipulate the markets and central bank to make themselves from billionaires into trillionaires and then it’s game over, the Constitution will not matter at all because they will buy everything and we will just have to go live in FEMA camps or something.

              they need to have their tickets punched. not in a chaotic way, in a reckless way, but in a thorough, systematic, enduring way that limits and “cancels’ their ability of financial titans to manipulate and control every institution of consequence as they have so manifestly and totally done today. Sal Sar

              1. Sal, you’re inner Elizabeth Warren is coming on strong! This is an awesome development!

                EB

                1. Liz Warren has had many smart proposal over the years. Unfortunately she buried a lot of them under superfluous garbage

                  One example was her proposal to revise the bankruptcy code to allow judges to “Cram down” mortgage security interests that exceeded market values, on homes

                  This cram down power is a well known feature of business bankruptcies and could have been easily imported into the consumer side.

                  The banking industry of course was against it so nothing happened. Just like AG Holder held no major players to account for the debacle, just a handful of petty mortgage brokers, which was akin to locking up streetcorner dope dealers while letting El Chapo skate. But that’s what he did. That was your Deep State in action.

                  The Deepest State are the financial interests and this has always been the case. The incestuous relationship between investment banking and the CIA is just one outward manifestation of this, but a very easy one to recognize

                  Sal Sar

                    1. This Warren plan to break up the Silicon Valley oligopolies would benefit the American people greatly.

                      I see no reason why any Republican should oppose it. They are fools if they don’t act against their enemies in Silicon Valley. I mean it’s obvious many of them are fools but can they be so foolish as to see that they will be a permanent minority opposition party if they let them continue to consolidate control over public communications.

                      https://www.investopedia.com/how-will-elizabeth-warren-break-up-big-tech-4772263

                      Eventually there will be some Democrats who figure this out too. We can see how they kept Cuomo on tap until he outlived his usefulness and now he’s being flushed. The total control of the billionaires over news and commentary and social media means that elections are very much under their control in the short and long run and they can cancel elections when they feel like it too. I am no fan of Cuomo but he is being lynched.

                      Sal Sar

            4. Is it not clear that seceeding would be the number one way to literally smash the fundamental principles behind the Constitution?

              EB

              1. Im not sure who that question was directed at, but at the time of 1789, the states believed they had the right to secede and it was generally conceded in theory.

                Lincoln cancelled that decisively with the outcome of the war. Secession is not legal but federalism, that is to say, a system of decentralized government, is still viable, and needs a strong comeback to mitigate the conflicts which are arising between the regions.

                The economic problem of deindustrialization and financialization, however is not going away, not even with a more flexible and robust system of federalism. Economist Michael Hudson is the best at explaining this dynamic since the end of Breton Woods. The dollar’s status as world reserve currency means we are probably all in this together until it collapses. A debt default may be the catalyst, or another war. Who knows if or how it will come in our lifetimes

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_shpkThngcE

                This article is full of juicy anti-Trump barbs, for those who like such things. Hudson does not like Trump nor did his interviewer, but at least Hudson takes the problem of deindustrialization seriously. Trump took the issue seriously too, but the bigger reasons for it are deep, complex, and to some degree, intractable.

                Sal Sar

                PS another great economist for these topics, is Yanis Varoufakis. I have mentioned these names often here over the years but perhaps people find economics boring. I never did!

                1. I’ve actually checked out some of the Yanis links you’ve posted here. Fascinating! Agreed on the intractability quotient, but convinced that the only thing he takes seriously is himself, and while very adept at dividing and conquering segments of society to his benefit, he in no way had a greater good in mind. It’s just not who he is and he’s proven that in any situation he can. In short he’s the worst of billionaire consciousness because he’s too try hard in that realm and if fundamentally unable to not lead with his gargantuan insecurities and felonius heart.

                  EB

                  1. Trump’s failings are many but the issue of deindustrialization was highlighted by him thankfully and it needs to continue to be taken seriously. He is out of office and fixating on personality issues about him is kind of like a soap opera distraction, it’s detrimental to focus on serious problems and promising policy solutions.

                    Another interesting commentator on our economic problems and this phenomenon of deindustrialization and the corruption of our elites, is Chris Hedges. He is not an economist, rather, a journalist, a true and serious one. he calls himself a progressive. He would probably think I was a fascist. Nonetheless he is worth listening to and taking seriously. Of course the system has shuffled him off to the side since he went off-tune about the endless wars in the middle east.

                    https://popularresistance.org/chris-hedges-rebellion-is-the-only-way-to-stop-the-ruling-elites/

                    Sal Sar

                2. ” at the time of 1789, the states believed they had the right to secede and it was generally conceded in theory.”

                  Sal, I am going to take a stab at this question.

                  Nothing in the Constitution indicates there is a right to secede. The Supremacy Clause would indicate the opposite. Jefferson talks about revolution and some might consider that secession, but that to me is different. Some might have assumed that if they needed to secede they could but I don’t think it is founded on any tangible written evidence of such a right.

                  1. Meyer, it was in the logic of how the states ratified the US Constitution in the first place. They agreed to it, like a treaty. They were sovereigns in their own right before 1789 by virtue of winning the war against England. They have dual sovereignty even today, within limitations imposed by the Constitution. But in theory they could invoke it again.

                    But understand sovereignty is never just a legal question for lawyers. It is ALWAYS in the end, a question for generals. The only way sovereignty is ever won in the end is when a people are powerful enough to TAKE IT from their adversaries. Whether it happens by force or by agreement, is secondary. the primary element is always sufficient POWER to do the act of rebellion or secession, successfully.

                    In our situation we quite simply lack this power and I believe we should aim lower at more lasting changes that are what we really need to aim for anyhow. Like reigning in our corrupt financial and digital elites. Reigning them in hard!

                    Sal Sar

                    1. “They agreed to it, like a treaty. “

                      Where is that written down and signed?

                      “They were sovereigns in their own right before 1789 by virtue of winning the war against England. “

                      The individual’s were sovereign. “We the people…”

                      “They have dual sovereignty even today, within limitations imposed by the Constitution.”

                      That is known as federalism.

                      “But in theory they could invoke it again.”

                      What theory is that other than what Jefferson is known for, Revolution. That is not secession. It might lead to a peaceful result but it is not secession. The power of the federal government is supreme… The Supremacy Clause.

                    2. meyer, i am saying the Constitution was in some ways like a treaty between the states. it was ratified by them. the people did not vote on it, the states did, the people indirectly approved of it via their state elected leadership

                      right our system of dual sovereignty is federalism

                      right that there is federal supremacy, and that opposing it would be an act of rebellion., in the end all rebellions are illegal, unless they succeed, in which case, the success is precisely what legalizes them. hence we can see that the fundamental factor which defines sovereignty is essentially power in a given territorial space and not quite so much all of the legalisms that we structure upon such reality.

                      the kosovo secession was legalized by success in war against Serbia, thanks to NATO.

                      the Crimea secession was legalized by the fact-on-the-ground that accession to Russia was impossible for Ukraine and NATO to contest.

                      I think both secessions were genuinely the democratic will of most people in Kosovo and Crimea, but, it was the fact of military power that made the results secure

                      Sal Sar

                    3. “meyer, i am saying the Constitution was in some ways like a treaty between the states.”

                      I think it was more contractural where ultimately the contract supersedes the desires of either party. (Supremacy Clause)

                      ” it was ratified by them. the people did not vote on it, the states did, the people indirectly approved of it via their state elected leadership”

                      When I sign a contract, my wife doesn’t sign nor do my dependents yet in financial terms it could lead to bankruptcy for them. By nature of the marriage document and other documents they indirectly approved.

                      “the kosovo secession was legalized by success in war against Serbia, thanks to NATO.”

                      Think of Texas.

              2. No. It´s the only way to restore the Constitution to its original manifest intent. The slippery slope of ¨reinterpreting¨ the Constitution over the past 230 years has brought us to the point where it no longer resembles the original intent.

                1. I know right? Protecting the private property of those who took it from natives is just so 1700’s. And those pesky women and slaves wanting to vote nonsense!!

                  EB

        2. No, you’ve made me chuckle. I’d like to see any red state survive without financial support from blue states.

          1. The major cities get their water, power, and gas from red counties. Smarter not to think this is funny.

          2. ” I’d like to see any red state survive without financial support from blue states.”

            Wally, what you just said is funny all by itself. Did you ever realistically look at the numbers? Doubtful, very few do. It all depends on the metrics one is using in their calculations. The NYT is big on producing numbers just like they produced the Russia hoax. Are their numbers real or contrived? Do you know the variables involved? Are you using percentages or real numbers?

            That last item can cause the results to shift from one side to the other. The NYT will chose the view that suits them best and if you are a subscriber to the left you will likely chose the metric the NYT chooses but if you are of another persuasion you might pick the other metric.

            My answer is I don’t know. I don’t adopt the metrics that suit what I wish to believe. I like to state what metrics I am using to show what I am trying to say.

            Can you tell us your metrics and how you arrived at your decision?

              1. Bug, I don’t know what you are referring to. You have not refined your metrics any more than Wally. Pew has produced data as have other places.

                Just as an example: The federal government spends per resident of a state less to red states and more to blue.

                That would mean more money is going to blue states rather than red ones when we use the per capita metric which you might very well agree is a fair metric.

                1. “Bug, I don’t know what you are referring to.”

                  I know, Allan. And I don’t hold it against you. Your capacity for leading with insults I do hold against you though and they don’t help you in any way.

                  EB

                  1. Bug, I asked a serious question in a polite way and then added information. You responded with insult and no facts. Let’s try again.

                    Bug, I don’t know what you are referring to. You have not refined your metrics any more than Wally. Pew has produced data as have other places.

                    Just as an example: The federal government spends per resident of a state less to red states and more to blue.

                    That would mean more money is going to blue states rather than red ones when we use the per capita metric which you might very well agree is a fair metric.

                    1. “Just as an example: The federal government spends per resident of a state less to red states and more to blue.”

                      Since there are an abundance of metrics saying otherwise, how about producing a metric version that says otherwise. The statistics themselves, not an opinion from a blog about that tries to interpret what the statistics say. I know from past experience with you this would be beyond your usual tact.

                      Short of that, try discussing what i posted above rather than reflexively dismissing it. They are actual statistics after all. If you disagree with how the statistics have been gernerated, but be specific.

                      It’s not my job to spoon feed you source material that you agree with because experience has taught me there is virtually nothing I could post that you agree with.

                      EB

                    2. “Since there are an abundance of metrics saying otherwise, how about producing a metric version that says otherwise”

                      Bug, that is exactly what I did except I focused on the raw data based on different metrics rather than contrived data that is used to falsely promote a specific position.

                      I didn’t deal with your contrived numbers nor did I comment on their validity. Instead I focused on the fact that there were many ways of looking at things and provided one metric that contained only the variable of a per capita government transfer of money to the individual. More money per capita that went to blue states was greater than that money going to red states.

                      The average intergovernmental spending was around $2,000 per individual where blue states received around $250 per capita than red states. I don’t recall the exact numbers but an approximation would be Blue: $2.125 per capita to Red: $1,875 per capita.

                      Don’t blame me for upsetting your applecart. and don’t make me do your homework for you.

                    3. Allan, I’ve done my homework and am content with what the numbers have shown. Don’t need you to agree. Let’s just say you have a pattern when faced with statistical reality that doesn’t meet your preconceptions. It’s glaring. I leave that to you.

                      EB

                    4. Bug, it doesn’t matter that you feel you did your homework. All I did was put into question the statement of where intergovernmental funds flow. I stated that there were many ways of looking at such numbers mostly because such numbers are generally contrived and in general not of much help.

                      That you feel threatened by such a revelation should be surprising, but it isn’t.

                      The analysis you provided wasn’t very clear to me as to how the analysis was performed or what it really meant. Mine was quite clear, per capita intragovernmental funding.

                      You got a little insulting and said “Let’s just say you have a pattern when faced with statistical reality that doesn’t meet your preconceptions. It’s glaring.”

                      What is my pattern? I provide good numbers with explanation. In this case direct non-contrived numbers. What did you provide? I don’t think you even know.

                    5. Already stated your pattern, Allan (many times). You systematically reject whatever doesn’t fit preconceived notions on your end. In a really clumsy way. Your statement in another part of this thread that I think you should make your business card speaks perfectly to this. Paraphrasing your words here: ‘I don’t know whether what you say is right or wrong, but what you say doesn’t matter.’ Your own words sum up you, and your pattern, perfectly.

                      EB

                    6. “You systematically reject whatever doesn’t fit preconceived notions”

                      Bug, that is what you would like to think, but when I present numbers I make sure they aren’t so contrived as to be useless. What I do is reject a lot of the superficial junk promoted on the blog and I am open for dispute if you have the ability. So far you haven’t shown such an ability and you have based most of your conclusions on generalities that may or may not be valid.

                      If you wish to dispute my numbers based on per capita transfers go ahead. Alternatively you can show why your link had validity but so far you haven’t. The reason is you probably don’t understand it yourself and recognize that others do.

                    7. It’s what you said in your own words, Allan. Enjoy the fictional creations circulating in your brain.

                      EB

                    8. “It’s what you said in your own words, Allan. Enjoy the fictional creations circulating in your brain.”

                      Bug, tell me which words lead you to make such a statement.

                      #1) “when I present numbers I make sure they aren’t so contrived as to be useless. “
                      #2) ” I am open for dispute if you have the ability. “
                      #3) “If you wish to dispute my numbers based on per capita transfers go ahead. “
                      #4) “you can show why your link had validity “

                      I made it simple and numbered 4 phrases. You can add any others you desire.

                      There is nothing in any of these comments that is difficult to understand. Everything is open, but you seem to have a closed mind.

                    9. “Here’s another comparitive statistical analysis on the question that I trust infinitely more than your coloring book one liners…”

                      Bug this one seemed to have similarities to the last one. Did you even bother to read and understand either?

                      In any event I told you previously the difficulty in using percentages within conflated numbers rather than using real numbers. In one of its selected variables it used percentages instead of real numbers. Had real numbers been used in this single variable the likely result would have been the opposite.

                      We have talked about the use of percentage comparisons before especially when comparing growth rates

                    10. Your ‘business card’ words, as I’ve cited several times before, perfectly describe you: ‘I don’t know if what you are saying is right or wrong. But what you say doesn’t matter.’

                      Not a better description of you, out of your own mouth no less.

                      EB

                    11. Bug, take another look at my responses based on knowledge of how studies are done. Then take a look at your responses and how they rely on insulting rhetoric with little if any understanding of how studies are performed. All you are doing is demonstrating your ignorance. That it isn’t clear to you doesn’t alter the fact that it is evident to everyone else.

                    12. I’ve read, and understood, both of the statistical sources I’ve posted, Allan. But clearly, you don’t.

                      EB

                    13. “I’ve read, and understood, both of the statistical sources I’ve posted, Allan. But clearly, you don’t.”

                      Bug, what you say is clearly not true because you can’t explain your numbers, but I can explain yours and mine. There is nothing wrong with a lack of knowledge in this field. Most people don’t have to deal with studies and proofs. That is why you rely on your ability with words.

                    14. And speaking of patterns, this is another of yours: when someone cites statistical sources to you, automatically you accuse them of not understanding what they’re citing to you if the information runs across your preconceptions.

                      One might say this is pure deflection tactic. Or it could be a reflexive response you utiliize to cover for the fact you don’t understand the information…

                      I consider both possibilities to be factors in your game.

                      EB

                    15. ” you, automatically you accuse them of not understanding what they’re citing to you”

                      Bug, that is your tactic and it is clear from our recent discussions. I explained both my numbers and yours. You couldn’t even explain yours much less mine. I also explained where your statistical conclusion was faulty. Mine was a singular number that had a singular answer.

                      Bug, don’t get so upset and not knowing this stuff. Science is not your turf. Writing fantasy is closer to your heart.

          3. The financial system is built on fiat money which can be and is mostly conjured into existence by an irresponsible central bank and an even more nefarious private banking system that issues you digital money in exchange for your promissory notes ie loan papers. the notion that money is created by fractional reserve lending does not grasp the volume of money that is made up out of thin air by debt instruments which the banks book as assets and then give you the digital money in return, that they have a banking license to fabricate out of thin air, provided they keep it within certain accounting limits imposed on them by the cartel leader aka the FED

            this has been a clever system up to a point but now it veers totally out of control into horrible antisocial excess and it must be rectified
            the matter is not one of blue states versus red but the people versus plutocracy

            Sal Sar

        3. Ivan says:March 17, 2021 at 3:32 PM
          I see I touched a nerve. LOL.

          —-

          A leap of logic, there, “Ivan.”

              1. Anonymous the Stupid, I accidentally got here but had already read where you said you didn’t insult others. Though mild, this is an insult.

    3. No. Quit being divisive it’s not helpful. You’re acting like all the foolish people who just want to divide people into their little grievance groups. It’s a nihilistic, destructive game.

      1. We are already deeply divided. This has nothing to do with petty grievances. The divide is fundamental: freedom of speech, the right to keep and bear arms, federalization, immigration, a sound currency, even how we are to interpret the basic law. The lefties and the establishment want an all powerful central government and the right views that as an evil. Rather than let the chaos grow we should agree to split before a civil war actually begins. It is you that is playing a destructive, foolish game. Nostalgia for a bygone era is no reason to keep the nation together.

        1. Ivan makes some good points but no reform not even a dissolution of the USA is possible without breaking the billionaire tyrants. The government actually needs to be strong to get that done, stronger than it is, not stronger at oppressing the people, but rectifying the abuses of of the billionaires.

          I would consider supporting dissolution into post USA fragments but these days my support will be contingent on cancelling the ability of billionaires to buy off the entire mass media, social media, the financial sector, and all of the government, thus running this country like one of their rackets. I would not lift a finger to be part of a post USA fragment that has the Kroch brothers in charge as opposed to Gates and Zuckerberg.

          Billionaires need to support the nation-state and not try and dismantle it. if they try and dismantle the state, then they should get dismantled. I hate to single out Soros since there are hundreds more evil billionaire schemers besides him, but, he’s an example of the oligarchy trying to divide, demoralize, and subjugate us all.

          it may be in fact that a guy like Soros would LOVE IT if the USA blew up into five or six fragments. Im sure he’s got plenty of billions squared away offshore in diversified assets. he might be even more powerful if the US imploded. Look at how the looters pillaged Russia after the fall of the USSR, in the days of the Yeltsin kleptocracy. It was a disaster for the people. This is a story most people don’t know but people can look it up if they want to know.

          What would be better is a bipartisan coalition that cancels the plutocracy.

          It may be possible. it may be closer than we think. The immense increase in the wealth of the billionaire segment during COVID has not gone unnoticed and a lot of people are pissed. As the Biden administration stumbles along and fails to deliver much besides more stimmies and a lot of rhetoric, people will be increasingly unhappy. I just hope the rage that is coming, which will dwarf what we have seen so far, is channeled into intelligent reform and not just more excuses for the security state to lock us down.

          Probably this hope will be disappointed, but, we have to believe that improvement is possible, eventually, somehow, or we are done, finished.

          Sal Sar

        2. “The lefties and the establishment want an all powerful central government and the right views that as an evil.”

          Nonsense. People on the left and right both want the federal government involved in some things and not in others, but they have different opinions about when the government should be involved.

          1. Interesting question. I think almost all agree some government is necessary, but to what extent. What is the philosophy behind more or less government.

            Do people believe in private property [ life liberty and happiness (property) ] or not. That is a fundamental question.
            Do people believe in freedom of speech or censorship?

            There are more and they represent the principles people stand behind, though to some principles change based on the wind which can also be called a principle by some though others might think more of the word unprincipled.

            That is where discussion should be taking place and that is essentially what Professor Turley posts about on a daily basis.

            1. S. Meyer,
              “Do people believe in private property [ life liberty and happiness (property) ] or not. That is a fundamental question.
              Do people believe in freedom of speech or censorship?”

              I think most regular people believe in these things.

              1. “I think most regular people believe in these things.”

                If that is true, then a lot of people are advocating things they don’t believe in.

                1. S. Meyer,
                  That is probably so. I think people don’t think thoroughly enough about what they advocate. Thinking through the ramifications of ideas is a measured, tricky business. Lots of people just echo what they hear by people they trust or at a gut level they agree with. Wrestling with beliefs requires some respectful opposition. It can be done in your own mind, but that can be especially difficult because of confirmation bias and the difficultly of steel-manning ideas you might not be thoroughly familiar with. I have friends on both sides of the aisle and everyone I talked to was appalled by Dr. Seuss getting cancelled, for instance. Same with the Muppets. They are now seeing the value of free speech and expression, as well as the terrifying extent of the power of Big Tech or other manipulative interests (who knows if the Deep State has its tentacles in on these problems). Hopefully, people will begin to be a little more self-reflective regarding the what and the why of what they advocate and whether or not it really rings true.

                  1. ” I have friends on both sides of the aisle and everyone I talked to was appalled by Dr. Seuss getting cancelled, for instance”

                    To me that is near meaningless. Almost everyone likes Dr. Seuss. Will your friends act the same when someone they hate gets cancelled?

                    ” I think people don’t think thoroughly enough about what they advocate. “

                    Listen to Anonymous the Stupid. Essentially what I am pointing out to him is that he needs to know what he is advocating, his principles. Then he needs to try the shoe on the other foot and see how it feels. He acts blindly but gets rewarded for virtue signaling. But that virtue signaling doesn’t change his life. It’s like a narcotic that one can’t give up.

                    1. S. Meyer gets something right:

                      For S. Meyer, “AtS” is “like a narcotic that one can’t give up.” S. Meyer is totally and completely hooked.

                    2. S. Meyer,
                      “Will your friends act the same when someone they hate gets cancelled?”

                      Earlier, it was polarizing people who were easy to dislike getting cancelled. And, no, not much was said by some of my friends. But, now, the cancelling has moved further and the reality of the importance of free speech finally hit them. The Martin Niemollar observation of “First they came for…” has become more visceral to the more partisan of my friends and family. A good, hard conversation can be had with a few now that, hopefully, their eyes are finally opening.

                    3. Prairie, did it hit your friends because they finally realized that the process was wrong or because they realized that certain things they believed were open to being cancelled.

                      If the former, the world is safe. If the latter then time is given to today’s Nazi’s to destroy tomorrow’s future.

                    4. S. Meyer,
                      “Prairie, did it hit your friends because they finally realized that the process was wrong or because they realized that certain things they believed were open to being cancelled”

                      That is a good question. I have not ascertained the distinction. It is a fraught topic, so I have not discussed it in depth for some time. I’ve only gotten the recent shocks, but did not probe more deeply about whether it changed their views of conservative speakers getting physically threatened and cancelled.

                    5. “That is a good question. “

                      Prairie, when you talk to your friends keep that in the back of your mind.

                  2. Prairie, Dr Seuss was not “cancelled”, his estate decided on it’s own that some of his many books were overtly racist and pulled them. This act will help keep his books on the market and in kid’s bedrooms. Go Dogs, Go!

                    1. Go, Dogs, Go is by P.D. Eastman.

                      Those books were effectively cancelled. How about having conversations about the pictures or discussing his entire corpus of work, especially in light of his later works and the inscription at the beginning of, I think, Horton Hears a Who. Loose the Seuss!

                    2. My bad Prairie, yes Go Dogs Go is by Eastman.

                      The conversations about those books is being had now. Glad they are not being read to little kids anymore, aren’t you? They can read, or have read to them, all his other books.

                    3. AnonJF,
                      I just read McElligot’s Pool to my youngest kiddo yesterday. We quite enjoyed it, nevermind it was one of the books that that organization wants to banish to an oubliette. The book is about persistence, imagining possibilities, optimism, the joy of the process instead of being so focused on the outcome, the fun of playing with words and ideas, the richness that could exist in the unknown. Heck, it’s even a bit psychological–‘you never can tell what goes on down below’ hints at our own subconscious, though it could also be considered in relation to not knowing all that people are thinking–we only see people’s faces, their thoughts are unknown to us. The appearance of the pool had amazing possibiities underneath–so don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Sounds kind of anti-racist to me.

                      It has ONE picture that caused an uproar. Sterotypes are best dealt with by seeing how they are inaccurate, not hiding them away.

                    4. JF, that you do not understand what cancelling is, is quite apparent. Yielding to intimidation isn’t that much different from being forced to do something against one’s will.

                      Your intent is to promote the cancel culture and intimidation. You had a problem, likely that you never would have thought of cancelling Dr. Seuss so you make excuses for the cancel culture and those excuses fail.

                    5. Prairie, kids books are not a proper place for lessons about racist images not called out as such in the text, and even then, without guaranteed supervision. Not all parents are as conscientious as you, nor do kids always have any parent at all reading to them. Can I assume you are as white as Dr Seuss and so are not personally offended? How about Nazi literature with stereotypical Jews. Do you want them in bookstores so kids can learn about racism? I hope not.

                    6. AnonJF,
                      McElligot’s Pool is not Little Black Sambo. The one picture is of a couple of fish wearing furry parkas. I have seen those lovely parkas–I coveted the ones intended for mamas carrying babies on their backs.

                      It would take a lot more than a couple of stereotyped fish to turn anyone into a racist. Stereotypes are thrown about all over the place–Democrats are this, Republicans are that, frat boys are like this, cheerleaders are like that. Half of Hollywood would be up a creek if they couldn’t lean on stereotypes to some degree.

                      Even without conscientious conversations about avoiding stereotypes and treating people as individuals and with respect, Seuss’ work can convey such lessons pretty darn well anyhow. ‘A person’s a person no matter how small.’

                      I’ll go with South Pacific’s assessment of how racism gets passed along–it has to be carefully taught and that is not what Dr. Seuss teaches at all.

                      “kids books are not a proper place for lessons about racist images”

                      That is a complicated question. In some ways I agree. However, what about how it is addressed in Harry Potter — Mudbloods, Muggles, and such?

                      I have to become a taxi shortly, so I will return to this when I can.

            2. Here’s a dollar I own. It has a quantum of “property rights.”

              here is a dollar that a billionaire owns. It has the same quantum of property rights in its 4 corners.
              but the billionaire multiplies his rights by a billion times.

              Hence, he has a billion times more “rights’ than I do. We are not equal.

              Our civil right of free speech is also not “equal.” I have a voice and nobody hears it. Bezos owns the WAPO and will tell his editors what is news according to his pleasure.
              His “free speech” is a billion times more meaningful than mine.

              I am not suggesting that we do away with property rights or some version of the First Amendment. That would be throwing baby out with bathwater.

              But let’s not operate under the fantasy that we are “Equal.”

              We are not even close!

              The billionaires perpetuate the lie of equality under American law because it MASKS their manifest inequal position atop us all.

              Sal Sar

              1. “but the billionaire multiplies his rights by a billion times. Hence, he has a billion times more “rights’ than I do.”

                But a quantum of that property has the same rights as a quantum of the billionaires property and the billionaire has only one vote and only one life. You are equating things that do not equate. You are angry at the wrong things.

                “Our civil right of free speech is also not “equal.” I have a voice and nobody hears it. Bezos owns the WAPO and will tell his editors what is news according to his pleasure.
                His “free speech” is a billion times more meaningful than mine.”

                His rights of free speech are the same. He has the ability to wield more power through his ownership of WAPO. Remember that monk who had no money or power got the world’s attention with a singular act of Self-immolation. In a matter of minutes the monk got the same attention as Jeff Bezos did over a long period of time.

                “But let’s not operate under the fantasy that we are “Equal.””

                Who says we are Equal?

                We are (supposedly) equal under the law.

                “The billionaires perpetuate the lie of equality under American law “

                They do and they don’t and not all billionaires are the same. I think you are barking up the wrong tree. I think that you go from one extreme to the other.

        3. Ivan,
          “Nostalgia for a bygone era is no reason to keep the nation together.”

          What bygone era? We’ve always had quite a few divisions–fought a civil war over one deep division. One of our problems right now is a lack of interaction and conversation across party lines. I think people have been forgetting the common goals of ensuring our common liberties. Instead, I see a lot of people devolving into myopic tribal alliances or trying to rule from their petty fiefdoms.

          I realize this isn’t about petty grievances. I didn’t say it was. There is an element of ideological possession which I believe can dissipate through constructive conversation, and, a realization that keeping the boat afloat is best for everyone in the long run. A split weakens us as a nation. We become Sparta and Athens, eventually overrun by an opportunistic dictator. Wishing to preserve our nation, founded on the self-evident Truths that all Men are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights, is NOT a foolish or destructive game.

          Stop trying to swamp the ship of State, so to speak. I have friends and family on both sides of the aisle and everyone is concerned about the manipulation and propaganda seeking to divide us.

          Tulsi Gabbard discussed this very problem with Jocko Willink–that some of our leadership care more for their own power than figuring out what is in the best interest of the country.

          https://youtu.be/Sp3X-tvG7dU
          About an hour to an hour and a half in.

          1. I continue to admire Tulsi Gabbard. I just have to take exception with the idea that Sparta was ruled by a tyrant. The laws of Lycurgus established an aristocracy and a dual monarchy. And Plato distinguished aristocracy and monarchy from what he considered the lesser forms including tyranny. Now Sparta was not democratic, but it had a lot of good laws to commend it even today. Such as the notion that the elite were responsible for proper leadership of society and they would even have to lay their lives down for it if need be and would be the FIRST called on to die for the nation and not the last. Can anybody see our corrupt billionaires ever leading from the front in a moment of danger? Of course not. THEY are the selfish corrupt tyrants, taken as a group. They are no Leonidases, that’s obvious for sure!

            There are a lot of other things like how they used iron ingots for money instead of gold and silver. They believed that precious metals were not needed for money (a true insight proven by history) and that hoarding gold and silver was a despicable habit of the corrupt leadership of other states. Indeed it was and always has been.

            Sparta also had a far wider measure of civil and social autonomy for women. This is the subject of a lot of books and I am no feminist so I wont prattle on about it.

            Anyhow Sparta gets a bad rap. But without Spartan steel, the Athenian democracy would have vanished under the boot of the Persian king. Thats a fact! Sal Sar

              1. I see a closer analogy between ancient Greece and the 13 colonies, versus contemporary America that is more like the Hellenic Empire of 10 or more different nations that existed
                after Alexander died. It’s not consequential to our conversation, but Alexander admired ancient Sparta, and imitated it to some degree in some of his policies, as did the Romans who conquered Alexander’s heirs. They understood that the Spartan Laws of Lycurgus took seriously the problems of wealth inequality and the corruption of native elites.

                One thing you can see in the decline of both the Alexandrite Hellenistic Empire, and the Roman Empire, is a tendency over time to massive wealth inequality and an increasingly corrupt, effete, and decadent social elite. Now if America does not have an overwhelmingly rich, corrupt, effete and decadent elite, on par with either of those long gone empires, then I am Michael Jordan, and not an overweight middle aged nobody of a lawyer pecking at his computer in flyover country

                Sal Sar

                1. Sal, the nature of those leading a movement are completely different from those that follow. The former had a distinct objective that had to be overcome with uniform actions while the latter start to self select leaders based on leaders that can survive the political intrigues that occur after the objective has been won.

                  1. Yes thats true and the ancients believed that every society devolved. the notion of progress in the modern era says every society evolves. I am more with the ancients on that one. from daniels prophecy of the feet of clay, to Hesiod’s cycle of the golden age, silver, iron; to the Hindu notion of the golden age decaying into the iron age.

                    but here we are and maybe we will come up with a new thing that will be the seed of a new golden age as all humanity ages and runs with reckless oblivion towards nihilistic embrace of every conceivable technology all of which has the net effect of making humanity itself, obsolete.

                    we better come up with a new thing or it will be finished within a few decades. the next iteration of humanity will be cybernetic then, if it exists in any form at all

                    the truth is, I think that if we don’t cancel the billionaires and their schemes, and if they don’t find a way to pulverize us with less dramatic means, they will be content to have a nuclear war occur, once they’ve secure themselves in their bunkers in new zealand, of course. then after there will be no national governments, the problem of global warming will be solved with the dust cloud, and a 90% dieoff of humanity, and they will have all the AI and robots and mercenaries to make their remaining lives totally secure and comfortable in a way that’s not quite yet possible for them now.

                    does it sound crazy? read this. Sal Sar

                    https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2018-rich-new-zealand-doomsday-preppers/

                    1. “Yes thats true and the ancients believed that every society devolved. “

                      Yes, Sal, but the question is why? What are the incentives for the initial leaders? What are the incentives for for the leaders to follow? The former joined together with a common objective. The latter game the system to move up the ladder of power while pushing out those whose agenda was what that group initially stood for. With that change the initial agenda is lost. Look at the Democrat Party today.

                      You want to cancel billionaires. That is like the war on poverty… give handouts. It doesn’t work that way. Think in the classical liberal fashion and look at where the incentives were misplaced causing things to go wrong. Stop with your wars against… It is in the incentives not in the billionaires.

                    2. Meyer, I am not an “eat the rich” sort of guy. Relatively speaking I am a nobody, but, among nobodies, my balance sheet looks pretty good. In my mind people under $20 M in assets are not “rich.” There is only so much any system can do to either limit poverty or limit caste and who gets “rich.” I am no utopian.

                      But Billionaires are far BEYOND “rich,” however. The question requires an understanding of the size and immensity of the number we call “billiion.” It is hard to imagine. I’m sure you can find some interesting videos on the subject of how big is a billion, in real terms of relative size to other numbers.

                      When you are talking about billionaires, you are talking about a scale of wealth accumulation and economic and social power that dwarfs many nations. When you get up to the Mikey Bloomberg level of about 100 Billion you are talking about a wealth that dwarfs most nations annual GNP

                      i’ll give an example. Nigeria, a populous nation with much oil and natural resources, has a GNP in 2019 of about $448 billion. Belgium was just above them at $553 billion. they were 24 and 25 on the list of hundreds of nations.

                      Above Mikey you have people like Zuckerberg. One of his underlings brags that they registered 4.5 million voters last year and agrees that “this is why we won” the election in a video taken by an undiscover reporter.

                      This is insufferable! Don’t talk to me about classic liberalism. Adam Smith would be shamed at these globalists and what they are scheming to do to utterly destroy the very concept of the nation state as such.

                      Now even this very same fellow agrees, Facebook should be broken up., they are as big as a country, and Zuxk is like a King. This is unacceptable! Sal Sar

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